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S550 Performance Blue GT350 HPDE Car Build Thread Profile - S550 Mustangs

k4Lu5

TMO Beginner
So this is the start to my ownership/build thread for my Shelby GT350.

I saw one at the Chicago Autoshow (picture below) when they first came out in 2015 and I thought I would just shoot to make my current 2014 Mustang GT track pack my go to car... but I eventually caved. I sold the 2014 Track Pack GT and started debating between some used BMW, Porsche or a new Shelby.

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So back in November 2019, I ended up putting in an order on a GT350 but due to the "pandemic" and parts sourcing (what Ford was saying), the build didn't even start until mid July of 2020. I went a little stir crazy during this time and ended up updating my 3rd stall unattached garage! A little insulation, lighting and floor epoxy really makes a huge difference.

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It ended up being our go to place for projects and turned into a storage facility before we got the car. It was pretty nice while it lasted. Still poking the wife on letting me put up a large shed in my back yard for wood/welding projects in the future.

I finally took delivery on Aug 27th. I told the dealership that we wouldn't take it unless they left it as is off the truck. We were wanting the full experience of taking all the plastic off the inside and outside of the car. I also didn't want them installing the front splitter or camber plates based on comments I read in the forums. Plus, I wanted to be the first one to wash it! AND a big shout out to Leith Ford in Wendell, NC for accommodating my requests!

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When I usually buy a new car, I put it on stands and make sure that the car isn't missing anything. My 2015 Ford Fiesta ST had several bolts loose (doors, etc). I was quite disappointed in Ford Quality control with that vehicle. Reading through a lot of threads, it was noted that I should probably do the front spoiler install and camber plate install myself. I noticed I was missing some of those small plastic push pin clips - so off to the dealer to collect!

While I was there, I saw a GT500. They are pretty good looking cars. This was carbon fiber track pack and it sounded like whoever purchased it paid quite a bit over MSRP.

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So I knew the first thing I was wanting to do with it was add the APR lugs. I foresee some sort of 19x11 square wheel setup in the future. I ended up ordering a set of those and before the car had 500 miles, I installed my first mod. I've had good luck with the Monster Lugs on my previous Mustang and I noticed they are common on the 6gr website. So I figured I would try them out again for this build. I won't go into any detail with installing the lugs studs. It was pretty straight forward and I found quite a few useful threads to help with install.

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Currently, I have promised the wife I wouldn't go too crazy with the mods and keep it a good GT car for a bit. A couple of things that have been a bother to us (ok mostly me) is some of the rattles on the inside. Yes, I know this is a track Mustangs website, but my current plans have me keeping the car as a half weekend warrior/half track Mustang.... for now.

So if anyone is planning on doing the same, I found 3 rattles that seem the most audible. The first one is in the trunk behind the side wheel well carpet on the passenger side. There is an electronic box there. You can use your hand and smack that location. It makes an audible rattle noise. I just put some boom mat there and that seemed to fix that one.

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The second one was at the driver's side feet. There is another box there that causes the rattle. I pretty much followed the Autofanatic's youtube post on "dash rattle" and was able to solve this one. Ultimately, you need to pull one of the plastic panels, pull out another electronics box and put a little boom mat or dampening material there to stop the vibrations.

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One of the last rattles I have been working on is the shifter buzz. I pulled the shift knob up and unfortunately destroyed that.... I attempted a strap wrench.. tried a monster C-clamp.. ended up using a some channel locks and a large metal tube for leverage. Wasn't pretty but did the job.

With that unintended destruction, I ended up purchasing a Billetworkz custom shift knob. I saw something like this floating around the forums but I didn't want the cobras on the sides of the knob like most people had. Anyway, I think it suits the car a little better.

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So while doing all this work I found that the reverse lockout had some defect on it, ugh. Looks like the chrome plastic on it is wrinkled. I was debating whether on finding someone local or some other company that could make a metal unit for me. I am unfortunately still looking. But I did get some rough measurements of the reverse lockout. For now, I went to the Ford dealership and they ordered me a new part to replace this for now.

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This shifter buzz chase down is turning into a larger project than anticipated, ha. o_Oo_Oo_O

Besides wasting what little of fall I have left, I finally got to do my first oil change. I followed a strict warm up before going over 4k RPM, not jumping on the interstate, driving at different speeds and rowing through the gears. After 100 miles, I got it up to speed a little more but with restraint still in mind. At 900 miles, I dumped the oil and noticed some shiny bits. I was also curious and grabbed an oil sample to send to Blackstone Laboratories. I am curious what they will say.

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I'll probably post again when I get the shifter finally sorted out and some info back from Blackstone Labs. I will also be on the lookout for some 19x11s for my square setup.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,019
3,408
Blair, Nebraska
W2W Racing
20+ Years
As an ex-Teacher, Instructor , and basic old fart racer, I would have to give this " Build Thread " an A+ !!! Impressive and you will find the majority of the track addicts on the site do use their cars in a dual purpose manner --- cruising on the street, dominating Corvettes on the track.
 

k4Lu5

TMO Beginner
I have been using TMO for years and watching the threads. It helped me quite a bit with my dual duty 2014 Mustang GT Track Pack.

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I have a good friend that has a Z51 manual Corvette. He let me take it for a spin. It really is a great car and I would consider one if I currently had the space.

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We will probably be adding some truck to our stable before another toy.
 

k4Lu5

TMO Beginner
So I finally got some information back from Blackstone Labs. As I imagined, it showed typical wear of iron, copper and some silicon (from sealers). It will be interesting to see how the engine wears over time. I would have like to get a few more miles on it before the oil change but now that the weather has cooled down, I don't really want to drive on cup2s when its in the 30s.

**Also like to note that my factory fill wasn't Amsoil 5w50 so that might be a misprint or I might have wrote that down incorrectly when I sent in the oil form***

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I have also been working on a 19x11 setup. I am pretty fond of the pp2 wheels. I've read some posts on 19x11 +50 offset wheels working pretty well but nothing with the SVE pp2 wheels. These, of course, will need a 25 mm spacer to fit correctly in the front. Several people mentioned some reputable suppliers but I really had no idea if this pp2 wheel setup would even work with my car. I purchased one pp2 wheel and ended up grabbing some cheap 25 mm Amazon spacers ($32) and pressing out the lugs. I only had one mishap while trying to pound out the spacers... I suppose a 3 lb hammer and smacking the lugs on the anvil portion of the vise ended up initiating a crack. After that, I attempted to used the vise for another project and well, the picture below shows the outcome. Live and learn, my bad.


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I ended up purchasing a harbor freight ball joint separator that ended up working much better: https://www.harborfreight.com/3-4-quarter-inch-forged-ball-joint-separator-99849.html.

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The rear caliper looks close but with about a finger width of room so I am not too worried about that one. It did look like there might be a little more front poke considering its about 0.5 inches more wheel width. I did get my GT350 with the "handling package" so it did come with the camber plates and gurney flap. I opted to install everything from the factory myself and will probably install the Ford camber plates when I get a tire mounted to test the final fit. I believe I'll need to add some more camber to the front to make everything fit properly. Once I get all the wheels/tires figured out, I'll end up going somewhere to check my alignment.

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I don't have a picture of the front but I'll probably end up taking additional measurements later on. The rest of the pp2 wheels should arrive today.

Now, looking at tires, I was considering on doing a 305/30, 305/35 or 295/35 square setup to start. I'll probably save the factory cup 2s on the factory rims for the track and get the Conti ECS for a road/HPDE tire on the pp2s.

Found these today:

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I figured I'm nowhere fast enough to benefit from a sticker tire like a Hoosier or other slick. More tread should also allow the wife and myself to take the car out on a few trips around NC without the worry of cup2s in the rain. I should also mention I'm probably a little rusty after taking this year off from HPDEs so another good reason to burn up a more "streetable tire".. not to say I won't use the cup2 as well at a HPDE.

So in reality, I'm probably making the car a little slower using the 295 square setup with the Contis but should be fine for learning the car and driving around town.. oh well.
 

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