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S197 first mods

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20
24
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Nova Scotia Canada
Just got a 2014 V6 S197 and was wondering what the first road course mod is for this car

some more info
I already have the tires I will be using for the season (Goodyear eagle f1)
I will need to get upgraded shocks due to my stock ones being blown in the rear
Other then those 2 things what should I spend my money on and what isn’t really worth it as a beginner

Edit
Important to point out I am 19 years old trying not to spend obscene amounts of money. This vehicle is also currently my daily driver
 
Last edited:
1,157
1,155
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
These cars are quite capable with little modification. Make the car safe. No leaks or excessively worn parts. Then all you need are decent tires, good brake pads, and fresh brake fluid. Get started on track and upgrade items as you determine they are holding you back.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
8,492
8,487
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Tires ( sticky ), wheels, aggressive brake pads, new brake fluid, etc. as noted by others above. The simple things are all you really need when you start and I will add one more item ( camber plate ) , because negative camber up front will help with turn in, and help extend tire life.
 
20
24
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Nova Scotia Canada
These cars are quite capable with little modification. Make the car safe. No leaks or excessively worn parts. Then all you need are decent tires, good brake pads, and fresh brake fluid. Get started on track and upgrade items as you determine they are holding you back.
I’ve got ford performance DOT 4 brake fluid in the car already. Is there a “best bang for buck” brake pad you can think of off the top of your head?
 
20
24
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Nova Scotia Canada
Tires ( sticky ), wheels, aggressive brake pads, new brake fluid, etc. as noted by others above. The simple things are all you really need when you start and I will add one more item ( camber plate ) , because negative camber up front will help with turn in, and help extend tire life.
My dad has camber plates on his 07 GT and they seem to make quite a difference. Thanks!
 
334
353
Great car, welcome. Good advice in this thread. Looking at your build sheet, I would go from staggered to a square setup when you use up those existing tires to reduce understeer and allow you to rotate. Pretty sure you can run 275/40/18 square on your 18x9.5 rims with 45 mm offset. See the Apex wheels fitment guide for details and options.

Agree with @Bill Pemberton, camber plates are a good early mod. You mentioned you are doing dampers already, you don't need to go nuts but spend a little extra to get something decent with more damping. OEM are terrible even when new. Especially in the rear, good dampers such as Konis or Bilsteins combined with either no rear sway bar or a small RSB really makes the rear end a lot more stable on bad pavement. It's a nice improvement for daily driving and also really helps put power down on track. If you combine that with a square setup and camber plates up front to increase front grip and avoid understeer, it all makes for a very balanced, quick, and easy to drive setup. Have fun.
 
20
24
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Nova Scotia Canada
Great car, welcome. Good advice in this thread. Looking at your build sheet, I would go from staggered to a square setup when you use up those existing tires to reduce understeer and allow you to rotate. Pretty sure you can run 275/40/18 square on your 18x9.5 rims with 45 mm offset. See the Apex wheels fitment guide for details and options.

Agree with @Bill Pemberton, camber plates are a good early mod. You mentioned you are doing dampers already, you don't need to go nuts but spend a little extra to get something decent with more damping. OEM are terrible even when new. Especially in the rear, good dampers such as Konis or Bilsteins combined with either no rear sway bar or a small RSB really makes the rear end a lot more stable on bad pavement. It's a nice improvement for daily driving and also really helps put power down on track. If you combine that with a square setup and camber plates up front to increase front grip and avoid understeer, it all makes for a very balanced, quick, and easy to drive setup. Have fun.
I 100% plan on going square once I use these tires up. The tires I’m using for next season came with the wheels and are almost brand new. Felt silly to but tires when I have capable tires

the dampers I had been looking at were the koni yellow adjustable but I wasn’t too sure if the adjustability is worth the extra money.
 
1,157
1,155
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
I’ve got ford performance DOT 4 brake fluid in the car already. Is there a “best bang for buck” brake pad you can think of off the top of your head?
Make sure the fluid is fresh. I don’t go on track if the brake fluid is more than 6 month old. There are lots if options on brake pads and everyone has an opinion on what is best. None of them are cheap. I prefer pads from G-loc over the others I have tried. Getting started I would look at R12 compound on the front with R10 on rear. The dust is less caustic than the the Hawks I ran previously. Easier on painted wheels and easier clean up. I did like the feel of some of the EBC compounds but they wore very quickly on my car.
 
20
24
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Nova Scotia Canada
Make sure the fluid is fresh. I don’t go on track if the brake fluid is more than 6 month old. There are lots if options on brake pads and everyone has an opinion on what is best. None of them are cheap. I prefer pads from G-loc over the others I have tried. Getting started I would look at R12 compound on the front with R10 on rear. The dust is less caustic than the the Hawks I ran previously. Easier on painted wheels and easier clean up. I did like the feel of some of the EBC compounds but they wore very quickly on my car.
I’ve always treated brakes as a safety device and you should never cheap out on safety. G-Loc is a brand I have heard of but hadn’t looked into very much. Definitely will take a look at their stuff
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
1,000
1,304
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Connecticut
Pretty sure you can run 275/40/18 square on your 18x9.5 rims with 45 mm offset.
You can also fit 275/35-18 on an 18x9.5 wheel, and there are a number of 200 treadwear sticky tires in that size. Not sure how far off it would make your speedo / odo, though. I wouldn't worry about 3-5% difference, and even 10% isn't too bad as long as you remember which way you're off when cruising by Mr. Radar on the highway.
 
6,394
8,272
Step 1 would be to go over the car and make sure all the maintenance items are taken care of, put the tires on, do the camber plates with about 2.5 to 3 degrees of negative camber and a good performance alignment. That will get you to the first step. If you feel like it get hold of OP Tim and put some performance pads on it and have fun.
Step 2 would be to find one of the Ford Performance handling kits and install it. This will take care of the shocks, springs, swaybar mods.
Step 3 drivers school and those 14 inch Brembos and steel lines.
Some place on here is Billy Johnson s build up which I mostly agree with.
That should take care of the next 12 months of your life.
 

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