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Took the Boss to Mosport. Track impressions inside

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I was so enthused about the car that I wrote a blog about just this very thing :)
In short, what a crazy, amazing car! I could not ask for anything better.

Boss 302 Track review

Of course, with a live rear axle, we're stuck with 0 toe and 0 camber out back. Geometry be damned! This car was so planted, so competent and so confidence inspiring that it was nothing short of awe inspiring. Keep in mind that:

This was my first time at Mosport
I have never tracked anything more than 250hp
Here we have a bone stock, 444hp V8 monster of a car, weighing at over 3600lbs...in the hands of arguably an inexperienced driver with cars of this level. Despite all that, I had zero issues on track and zero close calls. All day long the car was carving out lap after lap of consistent times.

I've never driven a car where I said "yup, it's setup just right. There's nothing more that I'm looking for out of the car from a driving dynamics perspective". But this Mustang fits the bill. Ford really wasn't kidding with the development of this car. I've tried tons of cars out on track--both stock and modified. I always walk away with particular behaviors that I want to address...in order to fine tune the handling to better suit my tastes, or to have the car be more easily manipulated in specific manners. This 3600lb solid axle, high CG beast of a car was the most balanced chassis I've ever laid my hands on. The thing is so neutral, and so confidence inspiring. Some cars like to snap away at you with little warning--transitioning from grip to nothing. This car let's you know when it's nearing the edge, when you're on it, and when you should back off. Everything is very progressive, and somewhat forgiving. It's so composed (mind you, when dealing with so much weight, the driver still needs to focus on smooth and quick transitions between moving from brakes to the throttle and vice versa), yet so fast.

You'd think that such a high power, high torque, heavy car with no geometric traction aids out back would be skittish around the track--especially a high speed one with off camber corners, and down hill corner entries where your back end can get light if the corner wasn't setup properly... But it absolutely wasn't. I pushed it harder and harder, and the car just took it. Infact, I very much know that I had left a *lot* on the table with regards to lap times. Many corners I'm only taking at 75 - 80%. Many times I'm waiting too long to roll back onto the throttle, as I'm skeptical of what the car will do (and it's me just being extra careful--not having experience with such high hp motoring). But I am very much certain that the car has it in her. Hit the gas earlier in the corners? No sweat. The back end is setup so well that the more you give it gas, the more grip it has to give back. It's really an amazing feeling.

Of course, this brings to light one of the positive traits of a solid rear axle--when setup correctly, rear traction is increased with the throttle, as the axle is pushing the tires into the ground under load. I'm very certain that's what is happening here...and it's a feeling I'm not yet used to. I'm so much more accustomed to an IRS car where you utilize the advantages of dynamic camber, or the inherit rear end stability under trail braking due to positive toe....

But screw that. The Mustang is just as stable as my M3 was under braking out at the track. And it's even better under power! This experience really makes me not want to muck with the rear roll center, or even just basic ride height changes. For me and where I am right now as a driver, I cannot over drive this car. Until I can do it consistently, and hammer down really super impressive laptimes time and time again, this will very much fit the bill for the forseeable future. This thing is *very* well setup.

Turn-in: The car does what you ask it to. Don't worry about the weight--the car will follow the wheel. I've yet to experience a time where the front end started washing out (obviously, it's also up to the driver to setup for the corner appropriately). Dive bombing corners, trail braking, turning-in down hill, turning-in up hill...it doesn't matter. It won't understeer. It's *that* good.

Mid Corner: The car is simply planted. It holds it's line. Be patient with the throttle and it'll maintain trajectory. Add throttle and you get rotation on demand. Can't ask for much more. Very composed, and very benign. It will provide the driver with all the feedback of what both the front and rear tires are doing. You are in full control of how much rotation you seek here.

Corner Exit: Amazing. Randy Pobst hit the nail on the head when he said something like "They must'a had like, John Force do the suspension tuning" (John Force is a drag racer guy). The car just hooks up. On power it just grips and grips and grips. It can rocket out of corners like nobody's business. I have yet to experience another rwd platform which does what the Mustang can do on corner exit. It's astonishing.

Even the stock pads (by Performance Friction) are wonderful. I had a full day at a high speed track (215kph on the back straight--GPS verified) with no fade. My brake fluid on the other hand, did not fare so well. Prior to the day, I bled the car with ATE Superblue. The car also has Ford Racing brake ducts. Despite that, after my 1:44 session (nearly all of my laps were in the 1:44s to 1:45s that session), the pedal started to get soft. I don't even want to know how it would be without brake ducts. They are simply a must have. Next time out, I am going to re-bleed with Motul RBF-600. If even that doesn't hold up, I'm simply going to have to move up to a true racing pad to fix this. This is my only complaint. The car could not have been any better. I am still star struck after driving this thing on Mosport."

http://dreamingin302ci.blogspot.ca/2013/06/mosport-feat-boss.html
 
They really are one awsome ride,anyone who has rode in mine are awestruck by it's power and all around handeling.It's an adrenalin rush like no other car I have ever been in.I am 54 years old,whenI get behind the wheel I am transformed back to my 20's,I see why Carrol Shelby loved the thrill of his cars,It's what kept him going all those years!
 
I devoured all your blog entries. I can only hope to get on the track someday, but I share your enthusiasm for the Boss, it's design, components, and tuning. Really great reading. Thank you!
 
kc3333 said:
I can only hope to get on the track someday, but I share your enthusiasm for the Boss, it's design, components, and tuning. Really great reading. Thank you!
Don't hope, do!

Nice write up. Adding track pads will help a lot with brake fade. I had brake fade my first time at the track with ATE Blue, brake cooling ducts and stock pads just like you. Swapped in some Hawk pads and fade was gone. I'm now using Pagid pads also with no fade (or squeal).
 
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u00mem9 said:
Yes, I think you have experienced pad fade rather than fluid boil.

Interesting. Obviously, I've never tried any crazy pads before :)
I've only had KVR, PBR ceramic, Hawk HPS in the past...with the worst one being Hawk HPS.
The stock pads on the Mustang are probably the best pad I've tried out at the track.

Just so I know for future, why do you say that I experienced brake fade instead of fluid boil? My pedal is still soft to this date (ever since the track event), and in the past when I experience this, a re-bleed cures the symptom. I didn't notice any degredation in actual braking performance (with regards to brake bite) out at the track. If anything, it increased throughout the day, as the pad laid down a lot of material on the rotor face and got more grabby.
 
Soft pedal = fluid, not fade. Correct me if I'm wrong......

As for pads, HPS is a good STREET pad. When I was a newbie I had a set of HPS lying around and took them out for one of my sessions. I quickly learned a lesson when, despite my thinking "holy cow these are GREAT" for the first few turns, by the end of the first lap I almost went flying off the track.

Switched to race pads that day! And now I'm back to cooking pads (I actually may start a thread on this). I'm cooking my PFC-01's despite ducting and variations in technique. Not fun!!!!
 
Well, if the pedal is still soft, then it does sound like the fluid boiled. However, be aware that if you move to a more aggressive pad material, you are probably going to make things overheat faster...
 
First of all, a very nice write up on your experience at Mosport. I feel your excitement.

I had the same issue with my brakes getting soft after my 2nd 30 minute seesion at Watkins Glen on Monday. This was my 7th track day with this car running Carbotech XP-10's up front, stock pads in the rear and ATE super blue fluid.

I bled the brakes after the second session and they firmed up a bit, but maybe only about 75% [I was pressed for time and did a quick vacuum bleed]. Brakes were still a little spongy driving home. Did a proper bleed on them last night and they are back 100% now. I did swap from my Carbotech to the stock pads and changed rotors last night while bleeding.
 
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Hermes said:
First of all, a very nice write up on your experience at Mosport. I feel your excitement.

I had the same issue with my brakes getting soft after my 2nd 30 minute seesion at Watkins Glen on Monday. This was my 7th track day with this car running Carbotech XP-10's up front, stock pads in the rear and ATE super blue fluid.

I bled the brakes after the second session and they firmed up a bit, but maybe only about 75% [I was pressed for time and did a quick vacuum bleed]. Brakes were still a little spongy driving home. Did a proper bleed on them last night and they are back 100% now. I did swap from my Carbotech to the stock pads and changed rotors last night while bleeding.

Thanks for the info! I'll get something more aggressive than XP10s then :)
I will be trying RBF600 this time around and will report back on findings. The Glen...there's another legend of a track!
 

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