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Newbie advice

21
28
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
Just picked up my first mustang. A pretty little 2012 Boss 302. I bought it because I wanted a car I could take to track days. Basically I’m a former motorcycle guy who got old and is switching to cars.
Anyway so far I’ve changed the oil and brake fluid. It has slotted and drilled rotors. Should I change those when I give it new brake pads? I am concerned about the brakes. I’ve only been on a road course once on four wheels in a car in the same weight class (3800 pounds) that has phenomenal brakes. Brakes that you just breathe on and the car stops. The mustang, not so much. The other thing is the mustang came with Falken Azenis FK510 tires. First time out I plan on being very slow and cautious but I don’t know anything about those tires. Will those be ok for the trial run? I have Michelin P4s on my other car and they stick very well on the track.
I also haven’t figured out how to put a tow hook on the mustang yet.
What else should I look at before it’s first time out?
 

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
6,225
3,211
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Illinois
With the right pads and rotors the factory brake system will do the job after you add cooling ducts. Ford made a duct kit you may still be able to find. Dump the drilled rotors, the holes are failure points waiting on heat to break. OP Mustang or KNS Brake can hook you up with parts and advice specific to your needs.
Tires?? Bill will likely jump in soon with specifics. Two basic paths for track days sticky street tires or takeoff slicks.

Welcome to the site. You picked a great car to start with.
 
21
28
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
I’ve been reading a lot here. The amount of information on this site is overwhelming. Motorcycles are easy. Take the mirrors off, stiffen up the suspension and go racing.
I’m amazed I lived the first time out in my car! I ran it bone stock with the Pirellis it came with.
Now with this mustang I need rotors, pads, cooling ductwork (already did the brake fluid) tires, fire extinguisher, etc. I can already here my wife, “you need what?” “I thought you just wanted the car?”
This is turning into a really fun project! I’m going to really enjoy wrenching again. The bikes don’t need anything unless you break it.
 
18
17
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Fort Worth
There's a few different options for the tow hook problem:
1. Cheap threaded rod style ones that require you to punch a hole in your bumper to use
2. The blowfish cage style one (if you can find it)
3. Weld on rings like this: https://kohrmotorsports.com/product/mustang-tow-ring-kit-2005-2013-front-rear/
4. The off-road bumper: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/FMS-M-17757-MB

The Falkens are probably okay to get a feel for the car and get some seat time. I wouldn't prioritize swapping tires if the dates are okay - they won't last long either way and you can get a lot of car control practice with less sticky tires. While they're not in the same league as your P4s, it's not like they are high mileage all seasons or something.
 
157
128
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
I’ve been reading a lot here. The amount of information on this site is overwhelming. Motorcycles are easy. Take the mirrors off, stiffen up the suspension and go racing.
I’m amazed I lived the first time out in my car! I ran it bone stock with the Pirellis it came with.
Now with this mustang I need rotors, pads, cooling ductwork (already did the brake fluid) tires, fire extinguisher, etc. I can already here my wife, “you need what?” “I thought you just wanted the car?”
This is turning into a really fun project! I’m going to really enjoy wrenching again. The bikes don’t need anything unless you break it.
A lot of us went to the track the first time with a bone stock car. There is no reason to be amazed the Boss is track capable as it sit with the exception of the brake pads. You can go as far down this rabbit hole as you want or your wallet (wife) will allow. You don't have to do everything at once. Run what you have and upgrade things as they wear out or if they are holding you back. The brakes on the Boss are really quite good with the proper pads and cooling ducts to make sure you don't cook them.
 
21
28
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
I was being facetious about the first time out with my bone stock other car while the reading I did here says the boss needs so much. I definitely want to balance “run what I got now “ with “make it faster later.” I really appreciate the reassurance that the Boss is a pretty good start as is with just a few upgrades. I’ll never be super fast and don’t plan on doing anything other than having fun safely. If I can get the Boss safe, working predictably, and easy enough to drive I’ll be happy.
Thank you all for the input. It really helps.
 
21
28
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
I’ve spent a lot of time in this site and out on the web trying to figure out what I need and the best approach for me. Ok, here’s what I’m thinking so far:
Brakes:
KNS Brake Rotors and DBA XP650 Performance Brake Pads
Tow hook:
2005-2014 MUSTANG LIGHTWEIGHT TUBULAR FRONT BUMPER M-17757-MB
Safety:
Corbeau Seat Belt Harness Bar Black With Two Red 4-Point Harnesses Mustang Coupe 2005-2014
There is so much out there it’s hard to narrow it down and EVERYONE has a different opinion.
 
157
128
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
I was being facetious about the first time out with my bone stock other car while the reading I did here says the boss needs so much. I definitely want to balance “run what I got now “ with “make it faster later.” I really appreciate the reassurance that the Boss is a pretty good start as is with just a few upgrades. I’ll never be super fast and don’t plan on doing anything other than having fun safely. If I can get the Boss safe, working predictably, and easy enough to drive I’ll be happy.
Thank you all for the input. It really helps.
The guys on this forum are good at spending other peoples money. You just need to remember that a lot of the guys are w2w racers and have been for a long time. Their set ups are great for their intended purpose, but are not for everyone and I doubt that any of them started out where they are now. I know I didn't. My car is very much a dual use car and has been upgraded over time as my focus has changed. I started out like you, in basically a stock car with Hawk HPS 5.0 pads. I drove the car 750 miles to the track the first time with what I could fit in it for the weekend (including my wife). I didn't even have a spare tire, since my car didn't come with one. The Hawk pads stayed on for 4-5 events. I added Vorshlag cooling ducts after the 3rd one, which bought me a couple more events before realizing the car wasn't stopping and moving to G-Loc pads. Next came a set of 19 x 10" Apec EC-7 wheels with stickier tires. I know most of the contributors on this forum recommend 11" wide wheels, but I didn't want to run spacers and didn't have money in the budget for the other supporting mods to run 11's without them. I have upgraded components for the most part as they have worn out or are holding me back. I find it easier to explain to my wife that my tires are worn out and need to be replaced than I want new R compounds. I just don't tell her what I am replacing the worn out ones with.
 
21
28
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
Forgot the cooling ducts.
I don’t ever plan on going beyond a few track days a year. In my younger days I chased a few series on motorcycles. I don’t want to spend the time or effort to do that anymore.
I just want to get to a good/safe basic setup to have fun with and my only competitor will be myself and possibly my wife. Once I do these first basic mods I’m done and just run it. My goal is to run 2.15s at High Plains Raceway. My best in my first 4 wheel day was consistent 2.26s. The car I did that in is 3800 pounds and only 340 hp. With the Boss 2.15s should be easily attainable.
 
18
17
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Fort Worth
I’ve spent a lot of time in this site and out on the web trying to figure out what I need and the best approach for me. Ok, here’s what I’m thinking so far:
Brakes:
KNS Brake Rotors and DBA XP650 Performance Brake Pads
Tow hook:
2005-2014 MUSTANG LIGHTWEIGHT TUBULAR FRONT BUMPER M-17757-MB
Safety:
Corbeau Seat Belt Harness Bar Black With Two Red 4-Point Harnesses Mustang Coupe 2005-2014
There is so much out there it’s hard to narrow it down and EVERYONE has a different opinion.
If you are getting pads for the track, you might want to look into some of the more common brands (Carbotech, GLoc, Hawk). The DBAs might be fine but they seem to have weird sizing for Mustangs (the pad dimensions in their catalog are not quite right) and you will probably want to get used to something you can easily get more of if you like it. I think pads are a thing that you sort of figure out what you like through trial and error and stick with.
 
157
128
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
Forgot the cooling ducts.
I don’t ever plan on going beyond a few track days a year. In my younger days I chased a few series on motorcycles. I don’t want to spend the time or effort to do that anymore.
I just want to get to a good/safe basic setup to have fun with and my only competitor will be myself and possibly my wife. Once I do these first basic mods I’m done and just run it. My goal is to run 2.15s at High Plains Raceway. My best in my first 4 wheel day was consistent 2.26s. The car I did that in is 3800 pounds and only 340 hp. With the Boss 2.15s should be easily attainable.
You don't have to spend a fortune getting started, that can come later. Start with some cooling ducts and decent track pads. I would go with G-Loc or Carbotech over Hawk. They are easier on rotors and wheels. They are basically the same compounds. I use pre-bedded G-Loc pads form forum sponsor Optimum Performance. Use the rotors that you have, unless they are in need of replacement, just sand them to remove old pad material. I would also remove the rear brake dust shields. Removing them is free, and they reflect heat back into the rotors. Have fun and decide on future mods based on limiting factors.
 
21
28
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
What is a good pad to start with for G-loc or Carbontech? My disks are drilled and slotted. Several people have said replace them because they will crack under high heat.
 
21
28
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
Looks like the tow hook is going to be an issue. Blowfish isn’t available. Ford Performance bumper doesn’t appear to be either. They are looking into it. Next step is to see if I can mount a Race Quip strap without to much trouble. I would have thought that because these Boss 302’s were supposed to be track cars Ford would have planned this better.
 
3,677
3,556
Looks like the tow hook is going to be an issue. Blowfish isn’t available. Ford Performance bumper doesn’t appear to be either. They are looking into it. Next step is to see if I can mount a Race Quip strap without to much trouble. I would have thought that because these Boss 302’s were supposed to be track cars Ford would have planned this better.
the Boss 302R is, that was the race car. There's nothing wrong with your car, it's just most guys on here are a little advanced and are no longer newbies, so their needs are a bit more complex. Just work you way into it, a bit at a time, start with safety, tow hooks, etc along with decent brakes. take a driver school in. You will find the "driver mod" is the best money you can spend. These cars were still winning races 6 years after production ceased. so they are a great platform.
 

Boone

Professional Thread Killer
I’ve spent a lot of time in this site and out on the web trying to figure out what I need and the best approach for me. Ok, here’s what I’m thinking so far:
Safety:
Corbeau Seat Belt Harness Bar Black With Two Red 4-Point Harnesses Mustang Coupe 2005-2014
There is so much out there it’s hard to narrow it down and EVERYONE has a different opinion.
If you are planning to use a 4-point harness restraint system, I recommend the Schroth ASM system. It has been tested and proven to resist the very dangerous submarining that can occur without a 5th or 6th belt. Read up on it, and I think you'll feel the same way I do.
 
21
28
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
If you are planning to use a 4-point harness restraint system, I recommend the Schroth ASM system. It has been tested and proven to resist the very dangerous submarining that can occur without a 5th or 6th belt. Read up on it, and I think you'll feel the same way I do.
I’ll look into it. Thank you!
I really really appreciate all of you taking the time to reply and help me. Motorcycles are easy by comparison, plus I grew up totally immersed in that world. With this car stuff I’m totally starting over.
 
157
128
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
What is a good pad to start with for G-loc or Carbontech? My disks are drilled and slotted. Several people have said replace them because they will crack under high heat.
As usual it depends on your use of the car and tire choice. I would probably start with the G-Loc R12 on the front and R10 rear, but know that the R12's will squeal a bit on the street. I would leave the R10's on the back and swap the fronts out between track events for the G-loc street pads. I went from the Hawk HPS 5.0 to the G-Loc R10 front/R8 rear and outgrew them pretty quickly while running 200tw tires. I stayed in the R12/R10 set up for quite awhile.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,588
4,113
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Lots of info and I hope you are using a DOT4 brake fluid on your car. You will get plenty to think about on here but since you are in Colorado Springs you will likely be running in Pueblo, PPIR, and Hi Plains Raceway. With altitude on these tracks right at a Mile High, brake ducts really are a very key safety item. Spend money there as an early expenditure and the rest of the mods will come as you can purchase. When you go with rotors do not get another drilled set , they love to crack , so stay with slotted only. Have fun , soak in the information , and the fun part is you only have about one month of track time left , and then you have an entire Winter to digest all the stuff.

For what you want to do look into the new Hoosiernentals , the new effort from Continental Tires using ( in their words ) some of the technology from their subsidiary Hoosier. Continental bought out Hoosier some years back and the new tire is using alot of the racing tech from the Indiana based company and the new tire ( Force ) is made for Endurance Racing or HPDE drivers. Should be a good choice for those who ran RS4s and plan on doing mainly track stuff and not necessarily autocross. Strong rumor is an Autocross Force tire is going to birth in 2022 , though may be later in the year.

I would probably call KNS or Optimum Performance on what to use for pads and make sure they know you are at altitude. Like EFI noted a balance is good with a less aggressive pad used in the rear. Frankly you may want to go with a higher rating and don't get the numbers mixed up with Carbotech and G-Loc as they do not translate exactly - for example a 24 Carbotech is equal to an 18 G- Loc. Just bringing it up as the pads are super similar since they are two groups of the same family and therefore they really are almost twin pads. Always order them pre-bedded in my opinion.
 
21
28
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Colorado Springs
Pueblo, PPIR and High Plains. I’ve run motorcycles at all 3. PPIR scares me. Come out of the turn onto the back straight at over 100 and that big white wall just pulls you towards it. (Ok it’s centrifugal force but it seems like the wall.) Pueblo is a very fun track but the run off areas are very rough. I’m not sure I’ll go there. If I do I’ll probably stick to my supermoto bike. I like High Plains. I think it’s safe. I’ve run a couple motorcycles there and it was the first time ever in a car there with my F Type. I’ll probably try out the Mustang there on Oct 15 if I can get it ready in time. I’m looking forward to upgrading the mustang this winter from what I’m learning here. You guys are awesome! Thanks all!
 

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