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S197 Autocross Mustang Set Up - Mostly Wheel & tire sizes

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I'm looking to go to either Hoosier A6's or R6's. I'm probably going to do more Auto-x's than track days.

My dilemma is what to do about wheel and tire sizes.

I have a set of Ford Black LS wheels that are like the factory wheels 19/9.5F & 19/10R. I'm debating on whether to try and go square all the way around with 18 x 9's.

First are there any problems running 18x9's on the front and rear?

Also, is there really that much difference.

My first couple of auto-x's my main problems is getting the car to turn through tight corners. You either turn or plow and there is no intermediate.

The next problem which is mostly driver is rear being loose. Of course on some runs on sweeping corners I've been in a 4 wheel slide.

I think going to the Hoosiers going to help with some of my traction.

Also, I'm going to purchase the MM camberplates and try to adjust them to the max negative camber I can get.

My thinking is with the rear loose as is, staying with 9.5's on the front and 10's on the back would be a good thing. I can use the shock adjustments and air pressure to change traction if I need to. But I would appreciate feedback from anybody with experience.

Also, I'm have no reliable experience to go off of as to whether 18" wheels would be better than 19"s for what I'm doing.

My car is not driven on the road anymore so that does not need to be factored into the equation.


Thanks
 

JScheier

Too Hot for the Boss!
Couple of notes:

1. 18" wheels will be better than 19" for a couple of reasons
a) 18" wheels, in most instances, are going to be lighter due simply to size
b) currently, there are more 18" tire sizes available
c) for the most part, 18" wheels and tires are more cost effective options

2. 18x9 will work at all corners assuming you
a) have the right offset
b) have enough clearance for the front calipers

3. if you think the Boss is tail-happy with the OEM staggered setup, then going to a square setup will make it even moreso.
a) invest in an adjustable front swaybar or
b) invest in an adjustable rear swaybar

4. In auto-x, grip is king. The bigger the tires, theoretically, the more grip. Getting heat into the tires can become an issue if you go too big (although fender clearance usually kills the issue first)

5. If you are strictly running auto-x, go A6. If you are strictly running track events, R6. R6s don't come up to temp fast enough for auto-x... and A6s rarely last an entire 20 minute lapping session.
 
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JScheier,

Thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for.

What class do you run in Auto-X? I was forced to run ESP because of the LS track key which I didn't notice a difference between it an stock.

I'm on the fence about what to do with the LS. They allow Infiniti G35/37's in the class and they ran, 4 secs faster than the fastest mustang in a 50 second course. They were 5 seconds faster than I was.

Top 4 guys were on A6's and I was on the Pirelli's. I'm just starting so I know learning how to drive is going to cut time down but I would guess maybe 2 seconds would be a lot. (I've raced competitively early in my life but it's all been motocross, just now getting into autox.)

I'm basing this on the first autocross I did, I signed up for novice. I let my co-rider take a lap in my car. He won the national championship last year in B Stock. By my last run I was 2 seconds off his time so for a 50 second course so I'm thinking 2 seconds is a lot. The 2 mustangs in front of me ran 1 & 1.7 seconds faster than me and they appeared to be good drivers. They ran 57.1 secs on a course the fastest pro in a S2000's ran 49.5 seconds.

I've already got a spare set of 19" wheels and the hoosiers make sizes I can use. They are about $20 a piece more than 18's so that's not a big deal.

I may look in to a swaybar and see if they are just bolt on replacements.
I'm not going to alter this car. If I have to start doing that to be competive, I'll just look for something else to compete in that's more Pax friendly.

Thanks for your help!
 

drano38

Wayne
1,130
318
Sway bars:
http://www.stranoparts.com/searchbymodel.php?CategoryID=200&ModelID=35
Strano has several, and he competes with his Mustang, so he knows what he's doing. I went square for road course use and installed his front and rear bars. But as JScheier mentioned, either one will get you to square.
If you go square, Enkei PF01 18x9.5 in 35mm or 45mm offset are great wheels. And the 9.5" gives you wider tire options. And they're light.
For a lower priced (but heavier) option, http://www.trueblueracingparts.com/05-12-SVT-18X95-WHEEL_p_111.html
 
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JScheier said:
ESP. I have camber plates, sway bars and 18x10 D-Force wheels.
Have you ran against any G35/G37's with good drivers and if so how did you fair?
 

JScheier

Too Hot for the Boss!
It's the driver's in the cars that are fast.

Also, the S197 is a BIG car. Course layout makes a big difference as the G35/37s are smaller.

I've been doing this for a really long time... and I can usually hold my own ;)
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,593
4,121
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
If you are going to autocross primarily you definitely want to go with the A6s, but if like me you want to do a bit of both ( actually I hope to be on the road courses more than autocrossing, though hasn't worked out that way, yet) you really need to go with R6s. The A6s just will not last too long on a road course and they heat up pretty quickly ( good for the autocross ) but this tends to make them greasy really quickly. The guys that are really quick are stuffing 315s under the Stangs ( all the way around ) , and there are some running even larger in the rear. I am running 18s all the way around and they are staggered ( if I had to do it over I would run them squared like everyone else) , but I am not getting too bad of push with shocks set at 5 front and 3 rear-- but I am also left foot braking.

If you have the 19 rims already , funds are expensive with either 18s or 19s, and it might be best to go with the R6s, as they will last longer. The big issue here is that you simply have not done this much, and like all forms of autosports , seat time is critical.

The Mustang will more than hold it's own against many cars, though course size will dictate a preference to certain machines -- you should do quite well on large , quick courses, like would be run at the Nationals ( Lincoln , Nebraska Airpark )
 
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Thanks Bill,

I finally got to speak with Strano and he recommended 315x30x18 all the way around. I would have thought the 315's would be too big for the front? Has anybody tried 315's on the front and if so any rubbing issues?

Also, he recommended running the Enkei PF01 18x10.5" wheels. I'm assumming 10.5" because that's the largest Enkei makes. However, I look at Hoosier and they recommend an 11" wheel.

I don't want to do anything that may cause any type of rub. So I'm contemplating on going with 18x10's with 295's all the way around but if I'm spending the money want to get the most performance I can. Any thoughts?

I'm going to start another thread seeing if anybody has found any 18x10.5's from anybody other than Enkei.

FYI. For starting out this was the recommendation I got
  • 315x30x18 on Enkei 18x10.5 Wheels on all corners
  • Switch to the Steeda Boss 302 Lowered springs 555-8245 (Said optimally to change to a better coil over but I'm going to wait on that.
    He mentioned for Auto-X only, a H&R spring would be better but too stiff for the road tracks.)
  • Sway Bar Package S197SB3
  • Watts Link - (I'm probably going to wait on this.)

So I'm going to try research the 18x10.5 wheels and probably go with the 315 tires unless somebody knows first hand they will rub or cause problems.
 

JScheier

Too Hot for the Boss!
The guys at Vorshlag ran 315's at all four corners without a problem. One thing I would ask Sam (since he was bending your ear) is if the 315s will fit with OEM struts and springs. Vorshlag had AST and Motons with 60mm springs up front which frees up a significant amount of inboard room.

I'm planning on 295x40 Hoosiers on 18x10s.
 
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JS,

You run road courses as well as auto-x, correct? I told Strano, I was going to pretty much only be auto-x. That's the only thing I care about. I may take this car out on a road course but it's going to be a controlled environment and I'm not going to care about any type of times in this car.

I'm changing springs. I've been looking at some of the TSW wheels but I think they have only a 27 offset. According to DiscountTire, an 18x10.5 wheel should have a 51'ish offset.

The PF01 has a 38mm offset but on Strano's sight it states there is a set of 5mm offset plates so I'm kind of confused about that one.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,593
4,121
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Frosty,

I run a 315 on my 10 inch rims on my Viper ACR, so I think you can take Strano's advice on the Enkei 10.5 with 315s as not an issue. He is pretty well thought of in the Solo World and has the National Championships to prove his mettle.
 
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Bill Pemberton said:
Frosty,

I run a 315 on my 10 inch rims on my Viper ACR, so I think you can take Strano's advice on the Enkei 10.5 with 315s as not an issue. He is pretty well thought of in the Solo World and has the National Championships to prove his mettle.

Bill,

Thanks. I will definitely rely on what Strano states but his response about rubbing wasn't assuring enough. I'd rather run 295's and just be a little slower than taking a chance on causing damage with tire rub. A

lso, again I don't like the idea of spacers so it would seem if you get tires with the correct offsets, you could advoid spacers. Or maybe my ignorance is showing and you can't.

As I mention in my other thread asking about wheels, when I popped my fronts off, on the drivers side I just saw that the stock 255's are rubbing my brake ducts as is. SO I'm going to probably have to take them off or start cutting on some plastic in the inner wheel well.

I'm going to call ForgeStar here shortly and see if I can figure out something.

Thanks.
 
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iDrive,

Thanks. Can you verify what we're looking at? Are those 315/30/18's all the way around on 18x11's? If so what offsets are the fronts and rears?

Thanks.

FYI. I spoke with Terry at Vorschlag extensively today. I'm serious considering foregoing the swaybar in favor of the AST coilovers to lower and stiff the front and then shocks in the rear.

Then a panhard bar with the forgestart 18x11's and the Vorschlag camber plate.

Or at least that the way I'm leaning.
 

JScheier

Too Hot for the Boss!
Terry (vorshlag) only had rubbing issues when he put the 345s on the rear of the car. And by rubbing, I mean smoking out the entire event with tire smoke from rubbing ;)

They have the offsets figured out (his are actually a tad off and required a small spacer) to run 315s all around.

If you go with the ASTs, I'd wait for the 42XX to come out in S197 fitment. I ran 4200s (and 4100s) in pre-production and production stages and really liked the adjustability of the 4200s. Moton doubles are also an option ;)

I do like Sam's swaybars and his front end-links. Good sizing and adjustability for the Boss.
 
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yeah,

Terry said he got a little greedy and went with 18x12's on the rear. I didn't know they were running 345's. I don't need to go that big. When I spoke to him, he assured me they now have the offsets figured out that require no spacers. I hope he's correct if I order them.

My thought is the swaybar is a fix an invalid setup. Or maybe it's a good setup for a stock class that doesn't allow coil overs. However, swaybars only help with lateral but not braking and acceleration?

I think the swaybars will probably be a good down the road when i get better and ready for adjustments.

I think I need to start a thread for coilovers. Terry was trying to say he feels there are probably about 5 good manufacturers of coil overs out there. The AST's appear to be made in Holland and they get to take July off.

I'm going to have to research to see what viable alternatives there are out there.
 

JScheier

Too Hot for the Boss!
-Tune with springs
-Fine-tune with damper adjustments
-Nail it with swaybar adjustments

If you get your spring rates dialed in for your usage and damper setup, then you should end up with a car that drives well (neutral). When track, traction, weather, etc change, you then use the adjustable damper settings and swaybars (adjustable) to fine tune where you want it to be.

I keep a log with my settings (tire pressure, damper settings, swaybar settings) for each track I run and the lap times run with them. When I go back to that track, whatever settings resulted in my fastest lap times is what the car is set to for my opening session. I tune from there with damper adjustments (mainly) and occasionally swaybar adjustments.

Swaybars effect overall spring rate... not just lateral movement.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,593
4,121
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
You asked a simple question and we have given you sensory overload. You are just beginning, so spend the money on entry fees to get seat time. Use your rims and get some A6s or R6s ( that alone will probably improve your times 2-4 seconds ). Install your MM camber/caster plates and get a proper alignment and as much camber as you can, and ........................

Stop right there for now.

Autocrossed for 31 years and have seen tons of newcomers to the sport spend tons of money instead of just learning their car. Always argued that folks should get to know their car first and then start making changes.

Go out and have fun and learn the car first, as it is pretty damn fast right out of the box.
 

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