Welcome to the Ford Mustang forum built for owners of the Mustang GT350, BOSS 302, GT500, and all other S550, S197, SN95, Fox Body and older Mustangs set up for open track days, road racing, and/or autocross. Join our forum, interact with others, share your build, and help us strengthen this community!
Dropping the car off tomorrow to have all this installed. My contribution to the enhancements. KW STA X3+ triple adjustable dampers and height adjustable spring platforms with camber plate. 3 point adjustable front and rear bars. 350R brake package courtesy of Ford themselves. I love the fact you can get a big brake package from the manufacturer as a factory option for the model. Hopefully will get some pics of it up in the air.
Day-yam , that is a seriously cool looking set of camber plates and frankly for those Dyslexic Trackrats this whole build appears to be on the correct side, ha. Seriously, great to see the Down Under Destroyer being built up and don't forget to get an MGW short throw shifter. I especially like the simple option of the rear seat delete, as it is a mod showing you are a seriously addicted TrackRat!! Cutting out weight is the easiest way to manufacture horsepower1
So, finally getting around to updating the fun times.
Started with the seriously simple stuff and deleted the back seats, how does anyone actually sit back there.
Doesn't really weight that much but certainly will look nicer gone.
Not a huge choice here in Australia but i like the factory look of the GT350 so in went the rear seat delete panel.
While we were fitting the easy stuff, Chris @Herrod Performance gave me a great deal on a genuine GT350 steering wheel. Can't go past the look and more importantly, the feel.
Got to drive it for a bit to settle the new suspension and enjoy the meaty look of the big brakes and new wheels. Brand new Cup 2 tyres and wet roads are fun.
Had a few noises to chase down as springs finally seated properly and everything settled into position.
Stuck my nose under the car one night to find the adjustable sway bars had been rubbing on the rear shock absorber on one side.
The angle of attachment wasn't that great either. Surely the bar should be mounted further rearward and the problem would be solved. Quick internet search and surprise surprise, Modular Motorsport Racing to the rescue. Even better when you order here from Australia, you go to bed that night and find your order is half way to Hawaii by lunch the next day. Sometimes the time zones work in your favour.
A bit more internet research and off to buy a large hole saw to attack the front of the car. I'm sure some of you guys know exactly what is coming next given my suspension and camber plates.
Another item ticked off. Still had to get the die grinder out and add a few dimples to allow the torx bit to align correctly.
Because i'm a sucker for punishment, kicked myself in the arse and told myself to just get on with it, you know your are going to do it anyway.
Back to the boys at Herrod and in with a Waston half cage. They get one with the double cross bars being we drive on the correct side, the right side of the car.
All of this was leading to one place in particular, Seats.
Now because this isn't a dedicated track car and will spend time on the road, i needed it to ideally be road legal here which means i needed air bag seats. I also hate how fat the factory seats on the standard car are, including the Recaro option. I do however like the GT350 recaro, notice a theme here. The closest seat option being another Recaro, the Sportster CS.
I call this whole episode of fitting airbag seats "just because you can doesn't mean you should". Would have been way easier to rip the Cobra seat out of the other car for track days and be done with it.
Step 1, aquire not one but 2 very nice Recaro Sportster CS seats with airbags and heating caus ive got soft in my old age. Hey, whats another couple hundred when you are in this deep for them.
Step 2, mounting options.
Looked at a whole lot of overseas mounting options and happen to talk to the a guy i know at Revolution Race Gear here in Melbourne and he put me onto Trackart Fabrications also in Melbourne. They make a kit with all the parts needed to fabricate your mounting plate. Sounded like a plan.
Step 3, remove passenger seat 20 times while working in a tiny garage and needing to put it back in caus it weighed a ton and i didn't want to lug it into the house. This is where the fun began, crash course in pulling a factory seat apart to strip it of all the wiring required to keep its integration into the factory system. John @ Herrod Performance to the rescue with some wiring diagrams. Me falling off my chair realising the seats have a CAN bus connection, WTF, they are seats. Ahh, touch screen integration. The further i literally dug into the seat the more i wished i hadn't. Too late now.
Mean while working on the mounts caus lets dig ourselves deeper.
Step 4,ooppss, need to make bits.
Seat mounts underway, crap, need seatbelt mounts too to mimic the factory setup. Thankfully spend all day on CAD and have a sheetmetal shop in our business who has laser cutting contacts around the corner. Seat belt mounts on one side and spacer for the other.
Step 5, butcher "nicely"
Way too late to turn back. Take your brand new Recaro seats, pull them apart and start with the die grinder. Got to make the seat occupancy sensor fit somehow. Oh if only this was a dedicated track car.
Step 6, do it right and make it look factory.
Once again, road/track car so wanted everything pretty. Trial fit everything multiple times and pull it all apart again. Did i say the powder coaters are right next door. Cash exchanged and pretty parts.
After much cursing and plenty of "shiznit, what have i started", it all came together. Have to say i am damn happy with how they turned out.
Yes i know i need to clean the car. Last thing on my mind at that stage. I think this is the style of seat that should have been the Recaro option, hell, all the Focus hot models get them.
Amazing how many people have to have a couple of looks before they realise they aren't factory seats in there. They way i like it. Yes officer, all factory.
So, seats are in, now need harnesses. Had some old ones, read long time out of date though perfect condition. Still newer than 40 year old seat belts from the car they were in, but they could be used on the track, but not the 10 year old harness. Strange world when it come to car club regs for road cars. But lets not go there.
I needed harnesses and had some very specific requirements apparently. Was using the Watson harness mounts at the rear of the seat and found that the adjusters on the seats were in the way and nothing sat nice and flat around and over their path. Seriously didn't like what i was seeing.
Requirement became a 4 Point, pull down waist adjustment harness. Now because harnesses are used specifically for motorsport and the international regs had changed, i couldn't find what i wanted. All the pull down harnesses were 6 point and the latch is mounted to the crotch strap. After a few chats and visits to shops, made a call to Velo Racing Products and explained what i was after. Nope, they don't do 4 points any more. But, they could do a custom order. Now we are talking. For a small fee, and it was small, they would put a custom order through to England and i would have them in under 2 weeks. Like wow, custom and 2 week delivery. It actually took them less. Any chance you could do a left and right harness, as in latch on the left strap and one on the right so they would drop down beside the seat on the outside and not smash on the centre console. Nope, they apparently couldn't do that. Worth a shot.
Not being one to not get my way on this project. If i can pull seats apart, why the hell not seatbelts. Time to change the pining on the latch to make a left and right set.
Dismantle and move solid pin to the other side and put all back together whilst not losing the little springs. You know the ones that go flying at the worst possible time.
Trial fit and find that the lower eye bolts turn the harness clips 90 degrees which puts a twist in the strap and it still doesn't sit properly.
Schroth to the rescue with an eyelet attachment and perfect.
Looks kinda light weight but they have been making seating product longer than most i believe. Everything is now in the correct orientation and sits like it should.
Final product looks the part and should hold me in nicely.
Now to some more mechanical items. Because i'd like to do some Khanacross with friends and not try and slide 305 Cup 2's on the back of this thing, time to see what i can fit on the back.
Like will my factory 19's fit over those monster brakes. Well it appears they do fit over, just happen to smack the caliper as well. No shiznit i hear most of you saying. Ok so some spacers to the rescue and all should be good.
Every man and his dog is selling factory rims and tyres here for cheap. I dont think there are 10% of Mustangs in Australia on factory wheels. They all come off in less than a few 1000 kms. Perfect for disappearing in clouds of smoke.
But lets do this properly, MMR to the rescue again because of a few reasons. They were cheaper than anything i can get here and because the studs were black and not gold. I have black wheels and don't want to shout, look at me.
Started with the rear and realised i probably would have been happy to pay someone to do this. Glad the front turned out to be 20 minutes a side.
Hammer drill and 1/2 inch adapter for the win for removing and seating new studs. Beats taking swings with large heavy things. Way more controlled.
Those of you with sharp eyes will notice the Australian safety shoes. Don't drop anything heavy.
Studs in and some open ended factory nuts. Much prefer being able to see how much thread is actually engaged on a track car and have some stud length there in car something comes loose. Will feel it before a wheel goes flying.
Have seen the results and the tyre place was up for the bill on fixing a 911 twin turbo. Amazing how many people don't check their nuts.
After all this work, finally made it to the track. Winton in country Victoria to be specific. Now, can i still drive, like its been 14 years since i punted a car on track. Can i still heel and toe, bit hard practicing that around the suburbs of Melbourne. More likely to have the car impounded and crushed. Yes they do that here.
Quietly nervous like before all my previous track days.
Its only 3km long so more of a handling track, perfect place to get back into it and see how the car handles straight out of the box. Sway bars on soft and shock straight out of the box.
Happy to say that i was seriously impressed with the brakes. They can stand the car on its nose and didn't miss a beat all day. I did however learn that 1700kg mustang is a different animal than an 1100kg 944 porsche through corners. Learnt to pray a little, please stop sliding towards the ripple strip, just stop on it and i'll call us even.
Fun day and was very happy with my times and my driving. Now to start tweaking the suspension settings. Bought tripple adjustable shocks, should actually put those adjustments to use and start to dial out the slight understeer and stiffen the roll while we are at it. It was a pleasant road car. Now to dial in some more track manners.
The folks from Niko French Media were manning the cameras so got some great shots.
Great lead up to your return to the track and thanks for the track picture as that really gives us all an idea about what the course there in Melbourne is like. 3K ( about 1.9 miles ) is not a bad length as there are quite a few tracks in the US that are around that length or just a bit longer and as you stated they can be more of a handling track. True, for sure , but the track looks interesting and we will all look forward to seeing a video sometime in the future if you have that capability.