S550 HPDE Prep - Need advice

Discussion in 'GT350 and S550 Technical Forum' started by Wotfun, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. Wotfun

    Wotfun TMO Advanced

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    Hey folks. I'll start with a little background...Over the past three years, I've done 8 HPDE weekends with BMW CCA. All were at VIR and Summit Point. All were in cars with less than 300 hp. My last instructor at Summit Point - Shenandoah - said I was ready for the advanced run group. My last time at VIR was my first time on the North Course. My instructor said I should do one more session in upper intermediate and then move to advanced.

    Now I have my first mustang and my first car with over 400hp. It's a 2017 GT with 6 speed manual and performance package, in oxford white. I bought it mid July and have put a little over 2900 miles on it - all for pleasure. So far, I like the mustang better than any other car I've owned.

    Now, I'm thinking about getting it ready for the track. My past experience has been that switching cars is a bit like starting over. I kind of expect I'll need a couple of HPDE weekends to really get to know the mustang.

    HPDEs I've attended required at least one tow hook. Since Ford hasn't provided a tow hook, I need to install one. The main options I'm considering are from Ford Racing and Blowfish Racing. The Ford piece is much less expensive, but requires drilling into the crash bar/bumper to mount. The Blowfish piece requires no drilling and would be easier to reposition if needed, but it costs about $80 more.

    Next is tires & wheels. The car currently has the stock staggered setup. My wants are: square set up so I can rotate the tires; the widest wheel and tire that'll fit in front without rubbing and without negative camber. (I plan to get camber plates so I can have the benefit of negative camber on track, but don't want to have to run excess negative camber for daily driving.) I'd also like to have a 5 spoke wheel to make cleaning a bit easier. Ideally, the wheel will be lighter than stock, but still strong and durable. (My track tires will be summer performance and will be used for for daily driving too - temps permitting. (I'm not thinking about R compound tires at this point.)

    Finally, for now, I was planning to get Vorshlag camber plates for the BMW, if I'd kept it. Several people recommended them due to function, quietness, and overall quality. Although they seem to be among the more expensive options and I have no personal experience with any camber plates.

    Questions:
    1) What tow hook do you recommend for the S550?
    2) What is the widest wheel / tire I can fit in front, without rubbing and without more than about 1* negative camber?
    3) Is there a particular wheel and vender that you would recommend?
    4) What are your thoughts on Vorshlag camber plates and what do you recommend?

    I apologize for the length of this post and appreciate any advice you can offer.

    Kind regards
    Shea
     
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  2. Black Boss

    Black Boss TMO Addict

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    Can't help with wheels/tires as the 350 is a little different. For Camber plates, Maximum Motorsports are more affordable, and I've run them on both the S197 and S550 with good results. The Ford front tow hook is very elegant, but takes some time to install. I have no experience with the S550 solution from Blowfish, but they make quality stuff.

    Probably don't need to mention, but you should look at Race pads, and flush the brake fluid to DOT4
     
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  3. dirtroadtrip

    dirtroadtrip TMO Intermediate

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    Hey Shea - welcome! I run at the same tracks as you. I now have a GT350, but had a GTPP before. Here are some thoughts:

    - Tow Hook: Check out ZL1addons for a no-cut option.

    - Tires/Wheels: I think you can comfortably fit 285’s under the GT square, and likely 305’s. APEX wheels makes 18’s that fit in a square setup that will clear the GTPP brakes. They are not a 5 spoke but are designed with track use in mind and the weight/strength/price point is attractive. They are a forum sponsor - I run their wheels for my track setup and like them a lot!

    - I’ve only heard good things about Vorslag. I run the Maximum Motorsports plates and they work great at 1/2 the price.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  4. VoodooBoss

    VoodooBoss Rick Moderator

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    Welcome to TMO. We love spending OPM and one of our moderators @Grant 302 is a master at it. :D Here's my recommendations.

    1. Blowfish tow hook for ease of installation and the ability to remove it. The ZL1 tow hook is also a nice option.
    2. You can run 18x11 (with spacers up front) and also run -2.0 on camber without tearing up your tires on the street.
    3. I highly recommend APEX 18x11 EC-7 wheels and run Nitto NT01 305/35/18 tires. You'll be hooked up and flying.
    4. Both Vorshlag and Maximum Motorsports make excellent CC plates, just depends on your budget.

    On your first track day don't be too quick to turn the traction control and stability control off. I'm not familiar with the driving modes on your car but use sport or track mode and don't turn the other nannies off.

    Besides the other brake modifications BlackBoss mentioned look at brake cooling ducts as well. These are heavy cars and although your stock brakes are more than capable keeping them cool will be top priority. Think safety first then speed. Have fun!
     
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  5. Wotfun

    Wotfun TMO Advanced

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    Thanks to all of you. I really appreciate your advice.

    Regarding brakes...my BMW weighed less - about 3200lbs - and I ran stock brakes, pads, and brake fluid. As I got faster on track, i did have some brake fade, (probably boiled the fluid), and I burned through new pads and new rotors in 1 - 2 weekends. Rotor temps measured as high as 1200* after a 20 minute session. Then, I added cooling ducts, hoses, and backer plates that directed air flow from the front of the car directly to the center of the front rotors. With cooling ducts, the stock fluid, pads, and rotors worked great - zero brake fade and minimal pad/rotor wear. Rotor temps were less than 500* after a 20 minute session.

    My BMW experience makes me wonder how the mustang would do with stock brake fluid, pads, rotors, and cooling ducts similar to the setup I had on the bimmer. (It may also be worth noting that the fastest I ever went in the BMW was 130. Typical threshold braking was from speeds more in the 90-110 mph range.). What do you think? Also, are there any diy write ups for installing cooling ducts on the S550?

    Shea
     
  6. Wotfun

    Wotfun TMO Advanced

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    Btw, I absolutely agree with Rick's advice to "think safety first". Track driving is about the most fun thing I've ever done and I especially enjoy being able to do it with my 23 yr old son. But, I'm a risk consultant by trade and a risk manager by nature. Suffice to say, I'm very cognizant of the risks and Safety is priority one. (Fun is a close priority two .)

    Shea
     
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  7. modernbeat

    modernbeat TMO Advanced

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    With stock tires, and an aggressive driver, we were able to stretch out the stock brakes for a while. But that's really not recommended. I recommend using a G-Loc R8 or R10 front and rear for these cars. Change to a GS1 for street use without having to rebed the pads for the next event.

    As for camber plates, I vote Vorshlag. But I'm a little biased as I did all the design and engineering of them, and programmed the CNC machines to produce them. Our camber plates for the OEM springs are the best available, and the small parts are available to change them to coilover use if you upgrade your suspension.
     
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  8. modernbeat

    modernbeat TMO Advanced

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    As far as wheels, 18x11 front and rear, or 19x11 rear and 19x10 front. These do require some camber to fit. We offer Forgestar and CCW in the 18" and 19" sizes, and Braid Motorsports for the 18" fitments.

    I'd suggest selecting a tire, and a tire size before selecting wheels. Figure out what sort of tire you want to run on the track and buy wheels to support that tire.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Wotfun

    Wotfun TMO Advanced

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    My initial thoughts:
    I've run Michelin PSS tires for both daily driving and track weekends and they've performed very well on my BMW and my son's VW GTI. I don't know if that's the best tire for the S550 though. I just want a good all around tire for warm weather and will consider recommendations from this group. I have some insight into pros and cons for R compounds and I'm not currently interested in going that route. Aside from that, my goal is to maximize cornering ability without negatively impacting daily driving.

    I want to be able run up to 3* negative camber in front on track, but keep the camber within factory specs for daily driving to avoid wearing the tires on the inside edge.

    Given all that, what wheel / tire would you recommend for a square setup that doesn't require negative camber to prevent rubbing?
     
  10. modernbeat

    modernbeat TMO Advanced

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    For a do-everything tire, you're going to have a hard time finding something better than a Michelin PS2. They have some better tires, but not in the big sizes we want for the S550. If overdriven (which is hard to do with the S550) they suffer and wear quickly.

    The Rival-S and RE71r are better streetable track tires, but they are noisier and wear fast for a daily driver. And after some wear, their wet performance suffers some.
     
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  11. Mad302

    Mad302 TMO Race

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    For wheels that aren't arm and leg. I know LMR has GT350 and GT7's i believe that fit S550 cars. I know that @Bill Pemberton was using some on his GT350. I agree that R compounds are awesome but wear to quick and it becomes a bit of chore to keep switching wheels etc.
     
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  12. cornercarvin

    cornercarvin TMO Intermediate

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  13. strengthrehab

    strengthrehab TMO Race

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    I installed a blowfish hook on my car (2016 GTPP).Very easy. Luckily I haven't had to use it.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
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  14. C7 B8

    C7 B8 TMO Advanced

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    I agree safety first. I would throw brake fluid and tires in with safety.

    1) Rocket Science towhook
    2) Wheels/Tires - sorry don't know about wheels as I run a GT350. But for track use, I'd imagine you need more than -1 camber. Tires: Rival S, RE71R, RE11s, MPSS, 4S. Tirerack also suggested A08s and DIIs.
    3) Apex and Forgestars for flow-forged wheels (<$2k set) or custom (>$4k)
    4) I run MM...more tried and trued plate. But Vorshlag makes great stuff too just 2x the price and been out for less time.
     
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  15. Wotfun

    Wotfun TMO Advanced

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    Lots of great information here - thank you all!

    I think I have enough info to make decisions about a tow hook, camber plates and brand/model of wheels and tires.

    I could use some clarification on @Black Boss brake fluid suggestion. He said "...flush the brake fluid to DOT4."

    I just checked and the brake fluid reservoir says to ONLY use DOT4, which should mean that's the stock brake fluid.

    Is DOT4 adequate for HPDE driving, with pp big brakes and cooling ducts? If so, Black Boss may have meant I should flush the system to ensure I have fresh brake fluid. Or, did Black Boss maybe mean I should replace the DOT 4 fluid with a high temperature fluid like Motul or Castrol srf?
     
  16. 85Gold

    85Gold TMO Intermediate

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    As you are experienced I would go to at least Motul RBF 660 brake fluid and a full race track pad, it isn't fun trying to whoa down from upwards of 140mph with fading brakes or boiled fluid.

    As for tires I am running the Hankook RS4-S which isn't quite as fast as the RE71-R or Rival S but lasts much longer on the track. None of these are great in the standing water so if wet driving is a concern then I would go with the Conti Extreme Contact Sport. Great tire in the wet and better than the older Michelin PS2 in the dry.

    I would endorse the Maximum Motorsports camber plates.

    Peter
     
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  17. strengthrehab

    strengthrehab TMO Race

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    I also have the MM camber plates. Great product.

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  18. Black Boss

    Black Boss TMO Addict

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    I use Castrol SRF. Ford Performance School/Track Attack cars flushed to this at UMP/Miller
     
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  19. blacksheep-1

    blacksheep-1 TMO Addict

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    FWIW we use AP600 fluid in all our stuff, it's cheap, it works and you don't cry when you flush it after each event because of the cost.
     
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  20. Wotfun

    Wotfun TMO Advanced

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    Brake fluid question clarified - thank you all!

    I'd like to circle back to wheel/tire size. I understand folks are running up to 18x11 or 19x11 square. I believe that's with 2* or more negative camber in front. I also understand that works great on the track.

    If I'm lucky, I'll get to do 2 or 3 track weekends each year. (I'm paying for two people and it gets expensive.) My point is just that most of my time in the car will be on public roads. I want to set the car up the best I can afford so it'll do well on track. But, I don't want to degrade street performance, comfort, etc. I realize this means considerable compromise. A great track car likely isn't a great street car and vice versa. Until I can afford a dedicated track car, that's a first world problem I'll have to live with.

    With all that said, my hope is to get the widest front wheels/tires that will fit with minimal negative camber. That should work on the street. Then, with camber plates, add as much negative camber as I can for track weekends. That should reduce understeer and increase cornering speed - not maximize it, but increase it compared to stock. Also, a top priority is to be able to rotate the wheels/tires front to back.

    Does anyone know what's the widest wheel and tire I can use on the S550 (with pp), in a square setup that doesn't require negative camber to prevent rubbing in front? (I really can't afford to experiment with this - still have a mortgage and a kid in college .)

    Thanks again for all the great info!
     

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