Vorshlag 2018 Mustang GT + S550 Development Thread

Discussion in 'Vorshlag Motorsports' started by Fair, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Fair

    Fair Go Big or Go Home

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    102
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    continued from above

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We used a front spring length long enough to keep the spring package "above the tire" while making sure they weren't too short that they had excessive slack at full droop. Out back we used the Whiteline spring and added our prototype "Version 1" S550 spherical rear upper shock mounts - which are admittedly a bit ugly, due to a plating choice I made that didn't work well.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    How were these made? We took the cast aluminum OEM upper shock mounts (above left) and drilled out the crimped in upper washer, which acts like a "fuse" - this pops out when someone bottoms the suspension hard enough in a crash. But it also pops when people convert the S550 rear shocks to coilover springs, and we don't want that. Moving from a divorced spring to coilover spring moves the suspension loads through the shock, and the stock top mount cannot withstand that for very long. We CNC machined a spherical bearing holder section and welded it into the modified stock casting (above right). It works, it just doesn't look very good, so we're not going to sell "Version 1" and instead will make a fully CNC machined "Version 2" with an additional feature we think is warranted. I will show that and explain further in a future post.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Both the rear shock and the front strut are inverted, which puts the single adjuster knob on the bottom. This is actually easier to access this way on the rear, and up front you just turn the wheels to lock and you can get to them fairly easy. An inverted front strut housing is very strong and has little deflection under lateral loads. We installed the modular camber "slug" inserts with zero offset on the upper spindle mount, to gain maximum wheel room. As we will show below, there is still plenty of camber adjustment on the plates so you don't need to "kick the struts" to get camber in the mounting holes. That gobbles up much needed inboard wheel room, and changes the SAI geometry, so we avoid that trick at all costs.

    [​IMG]

    Installation up front is fairly straight forward. The Whiteline strut is about 2" shorter than the stock piece and getting the front spring and strut out is relatively easy on that end. Above you can see the installed Max-G coilover and swaybar.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    OEM rear spring removal is not that easy - it takes a few tricks. Removing the rear shock while supporting the lower arm, then lowering the control arm doesn't release tension on the spring enough to remove it. You have to unbolt and lower the rear subframe from the chassis to unload the long, massive rear spring that Ford uses in the divorced location.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Even with the rear spring and shock removed, the rear control arm does not pivot freely. At all. Two guys can hang on this control arm, because it has so much bushing bind in it. It is amazing that this works in stock form, but it somehow does...

    [​IMG]

    You can see the inboard bushings (left side of pic above) and how out of axis they are. These are fighting each other badly during suspension travel. One of these lower control arm bushings is a sealed spherical from Ford, the other is a big nasty rubber bushing, with chunks removed to allow it to rotate in bind. Of course we will look at fixing this down the road.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Weight loss was a benefit with the aftermarket coilovers - as it usually is. Even with the beefier inverted 44.5mm shafts the pair of Whiteline front struts they were still 5.0 pounds lighter than the stock front struts, with springs and top hats installed.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The weight loss out back was even more substantial at 9.2 pounds on the pair of rear shocks/springs/top mounts. This is mostly due to the massive OEM "divorced" spring being replaced with a 60mm coilover spring. If you look closely at the "T-bar" lower mount, it is asymmetrical, to kick the lower part of the shock away from the rear axles. If you install this backwards it will be pretty apparent, as the spring will be close to the axle, but Whiteline thought of this little trick to gain more room.

    [​IMG]

    The rear shock is inverted so that the spring can sit "inside the barrel" of the wheel and not restrict the inboard wheel room for wider wheels and tires. With our 19x11" wheel it wasn't even close - we could move inboard another 1/2 to 3/4" and never get near the shock top. Moving the spring out to the shock can sometimes have negative side effects, but on the IRS suspension here with the ample wheel room its a non-issue. The effective wheel rate is higher due to the change in motion ratio - the lever effect of moving the spring out closer to the tire compared to the stock inboard "divorced" spring. 60mm springs are not only lighter but come in a lot more rates and lengths for adjusting around different conditions, tracks, and tire setups.

    Whiteline Swaybars and End Links

    The factory front swaybars on this 2018 GT were 32.5mm and the rear was 22 mm (0.855"), and of course non-adjustable. Since the rates the Max-G coilovers came with still looked a tad soft for what we had in mind for our next track test we went ahead and ordered up a set of adjustable swaybars from Whiteline.

    [​IMG]

    The Whiteline bits are 35mm front and 25mm rear, with 3 adjustment holes on each side. The BFK006 kit comes with the front and rear bars, body mount bushings, locking rings, and Whiteline shortened/adjustable endlinks for both ends.

    [​IMG]

    Installing these was relatively straight forward and when doing coilovers doesn't add a lot of work. We always test fit any aftermarket bar with the supplied bushings and sleeves, then shim them to fit so that they rotate with "pinkie finger effort". Once they are shimmed and fitted, the body mount bushings and sleeves are removed and drilled/tapped for grease zerks. This allows us to squirt in fresh grease every 6-12 months for a low stiction, noise-free rotation.

    continued below
     
  2. Fair

    Fair Go Big or Go Home

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    102
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    continued from above

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The factory S550 swaybar bushings are not just stuck to the bars - they are BONDED to the bars! This adds massive bind in roll - for the life of my I cannot see why Ford did this. Watch the video below to see what we are talking about. Bizarre. Of course we want the swaybars to pivot freely in the body mounts, without much deflection under load (rubber) or bind when they rotate (roll). This way the swaybar adds a known amount of "anti-roll" and the adjustability gives you some quick track-side adjustment to control under- or over-steer.

    [​IMG]
    This video shows the S550 swaybar bind and how we fix that

    The end links are adjustable in length and have sealed ball bearing ends - not open metal sphericals, that get full of dirt and start banging around in weeks. This is a great for both track-only and dual purpose setups - we love their end links so much we use them in all sorts of customized suspension kits we make, on both race and street cars.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Weight change was about a wash, with the hollow, larger aftermarket Whiteline bits within a tenth of a pound of the hollow but smaller stock bits. We set them all to full stiff to start with, knowing that the spring rate on these coilovers was not super stiff.

    [​IMG]

    The swaybars were shimmed, drilled for zerks, mounted, and greased. The end links were adjusted and the car was set for ride heights and it was time for wheels and tires...

    Forgestar 19x11" F14s + 305/30R19 Bridgestone RE-71R Tires

    We have sold a lot of 18x11 and 19x11" wheels for the S550 chassis, and luckily we had some 19x11's on order months earlier. The lead times are really out there lately and having a few sets in line helped us get a set quickly for our shop car. We got them raw and had them painted locally to save time. We picked 19" diameter because of the multitude of tires available in 305/30R19.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The tire we decided to use for these was a Bridgestone RE-71R. There are virtually no 315mm tires in 19", but this "305mm" model runs a tick big.

    continued from above

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We compared the 305/30R19 RE-71R to the 315/30R18 Rival-S above. The 18" Rival is a good bit shorter, but for the S550 the extra tire height from the 19" tire model actually helps gearing.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We took weights of the 19x11" wheels and at 26.7 pounds. The flow formed 19" Forgestars are not super light, but this is a normal weight for a 19x11" wheel priced under $500/corner. The 305mm RE-71R tires are heavier still at 32.1 pounds, but that's typical as well.

    [​IMG]

    Three of these RE-71Rs are stacked up evenly with all four of the OEM tires, above. We are adding another whole tire's width of extra rubber, yall!

    [​IMG]

    Once installed we checked the tire/wheel package for rub everywhere - not a problem. The wheels clear inboard and out, but it is of course a tight fit. They even clear at full lock, as shown above.

    [​IMG]
    This video shows our 19x11" wheel tire clearance on an S550 chassis

    There isn't anything magic about fitting 11" wide wheels under these cars, but you can get into rubbing (inboard) or "poking" past the fenders if you get the offsets wrong.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We had a 2018 GT "PP2" stop in this week and took the pics above. Ford got the offsets a little on the "poke" side with the 19x10.5" front and 19x11" rear. I'm sure they had their reasoning - maybe to clear tire chains in the Great White North - but that's not how we do it. ;)

    [​IMG]

    I was pretty dang happy when I saw this angle, above. That's how you fit 19x11" wheels square on an S550, folks. There is no giant spacer or long wheel studs needed. No, they cannot rotate front to back but neither can the stock PP1, PP2 or GT350 wheels. If you have a decent suspension setup you shouldn't need to rotate. I will show tire wear after our first track event in the next post, to show what I mean.

    Initial Ride Heights + Custom Track Alignment

    The car's alignment was first tested for max negative camber up front, which was -4.0 degrees at this initial ride height. This is pretty extreme and would only be appropriate for Hoosier A7s on a very aggressive track-only setup.

    [​IMG]

    Instead we setup the car with -3.4° camber up front and -2.0° out back, which is about the extent we would run for dual purpose street/track use. We used a 1/4" of total toe in on the rear axle and zero toe up front (front toe out kills tires on the street). We left the caster setting in the "forward" (stock) position on our camber/caster plates and ended up with +7.2° caster up front, which is about perfect (we shoot for 6-7 degrees on most cars).

    continued below
     
  3. Fair

    Fair Go Big or Go Home

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    102
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    continued from above

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Ride heights are a little on the low side, and after a few scrapes on the street, we have since raised the car a full inch from these numbers. This happened after our first NASA event, so I will show the new ride heights next time. We ran at these lower ride heights at the second track test, below.

    First Front Brake Pad Upgrade + Major Flaw in 14" S550 Brakes

    We need to talk about S197 and S550 brakes for a minute, because we found a fatal flaw in the 14" S550 brakes on our car. Not many people knew about this but several folks had seen the same thing, and just never knew why until we showed a few pictures. Bear with us a minute here, its worth it.

    [​IMG]

    All of my previous experience on track in S550 Mustang GTs - both coaching and driving - has been in the Performance Pack optioned cars. These 15" diameter / 6 piston Brembo brakes are MASSIVE and fairly unflappable. I was amazed that I could not cook these brakes when I drove Aaron's 2015 GT at a brake intensive track (ECR) back in December 2014 - on stock pads and fluid!

    [​IMG]
    2015-18 Performance Pack 15" dia front rotors are heavy but effective

    These 15" front rotors from the Performance Pack S550 Mustang GTs have regular rotor venting with access for cooling air from the rear. These bigger rotors are much better at absorbing and shedding heat to begin with, but with some forced brake cooling can be made pretty amazing for track use. In 2015 the Performance Package (PP1, which mostly consists of this brake upgrade) was $2500, but in 2018 it went up to $4000 for the same thing - so we skipped it. These are the same 15" 6 piston brakes used on the new for 2018 PP2 ($6500) package as well.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    These are the front (left) and rear (right) brakes that come on the 2015-up S550 base model GT and Ecoboost Mustangs

    Well that's not what comes on the Ecoboost or the "basic b!tch" base model GT we got, of course. For 2015-18 base model GTs, Ford picked some pretty looking 14" rotors and 4 piston calipers, but they are not labeled "Brembo". Somebody at Ford must have had a hand in designing these, and they done messed up. They look to be bigger calipers than the S197 cars. This one uses a completely different pad shape, different rotor, etc. The S550 rear rotors are very sizable so there's a small improvement out back.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The 2015-18 S550 Mustang front 14" rotor (above left) got heavier than the S197 14" front rotors (above right) by about 3 pounds. And usually more rotor weight means more heat capacity, since a brake systems' ability to absorb and shed heat is loosely related to rotor mass. But there is one key downgrade Ford made in the S550 14" rotors. Do you see it yet? It wasn't obvious to me until after I bought the car - and this revelation has shocked people that have seen the issue when pointed out, even people that work at Ford.

    [​IMG]

    I've seen the interwebs all abuzz with talk about using the 14" 4-piston S550 brakes on earlier model cars. We would recommend against this. While they do look pretty, they are worthless for track drivers. I have first hand experience with the 14" brake system's failures on track, which I will explain using the picture below.

    [​IMG]

    What the what!?! If you look at the back of the S550 14" front rotors above notice that the cooling vanes are on the outside! This means we cannot ever add brake cooling to these rotors. They are ass-backwards! The access to the inner portion of the rotor's cooling vanes are only accessible from the outside, and you can't exactly run ducting to the rotors from the wheel side.

    [​IMG]

    With no physical way to force feed air through the back of the rotor face and through the vented rotor section, we cannot cool these down. Ever. They will eventually get so hot that they stop stopping. Which is exactly what we are seeing in use. We ran these brakes with the factory pads with the tiny 235mm base GT tires and they lasted 8 laps on a "brake easy" track, in our first track test # 1. EIGHT LAPS. After the 7th laps in that first test session they were no longer capable of stopping the car at even my mild .85 g stops. I almost went off track, so I came in. The (Motul RBF600) fluid never boiled, I never lost pedal, they just wouldn't stop anymore.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The S197 "upgraded" Brembo 4 piston fronts also had 14" rotors (above left). The 11.5" rear rotors (above right) used a floating single piston caliper brakes, and these rotors were easy to kill on track (but we can and do upgrade them cost effectively to 14" dia GT500 rotors). The fronts were still just as undersized for the weight and power of the S197 chassis GT as the S550 14" versions, but we could make the S197 rotors work with forced brake cooling from the rear. Vorshlag sells 3" and 4" diameter backing plates and inlet / hose kits to force cooling air from the hub side out through the cooling vanes of the rotor, to shed heat. We tested these for 4 years on our car and they can make the 14" Brembos work for most folks up to even the pointy end of the grid.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We looked at the pads soon after this first track event (forgot to shoot pics!) and noticed that the material was 85% gone... just a sliver of pad left, with 300 street miles, an autocross, and those fateful 8 laps at MSRC. Those handful of laps KILLED the pads completely. So we ordered new front pads for the NASA weekend (above) and installed them before Track Test # 2. Since we had a Powerbrake 380x34mm / 6 piston big brake kit already on order for our car, and figured a simple pad upgrade would be enough for this "one track weekend" and the following autocross, we just got G-LOC's R8 compound front pads. This is their 2nd step up from their 7 track pad compounds. Mild enough for autocross and some limited daily driver use. Would they be enough...??

    2018 MUSTANG - TRACK TEST # 2

    After installing the Whiteline coilovers & bars + new wheels & tires I signed up for the next available event at MSRC on the 1.7 CCW course, which happened to be a NASA Texas competition event.

    [​IMG]

    Ignoring the street tire aspect, the car slotted nicely into TT3 class (based on power and weight) using some internet dyno charts from 2018 GTs I found and calculations for avg power (we still had not dyno'd this car yet). We declared a minimum weight of 3800 pounds (with driver and fuel) and a declared avg power of 399 whp (in reality we ran at 3950 pounds with driver and a full tank). We were well within the max limits of the class using these "bonus" modifiers for TT3:

    Power to Weight for TT3 = 10:1
    Comp weight 3750-3899 lbs = +0.5
    OEM Aero = +0.4
    Adjusted Power-to-weight max = 9.1:1

    3800 lbs / 9.1 = 417 whp avg max

    (real weight of 3950 lbs / 9.1 = theoretical 434 whp avg for TT3, for reference)

    Not to mention we were on 200 treadwear street tires! We had no prayer of winning the class, but we turned in our sheets and ran with TT3 anyway. I wanted to see how far off we would be from the rest of the class - which had 6 competitors (4 of which were on Hoosiers), everyone else was in gutted race cars, and 4 of those had full aero. We brought a letter opener to a gun fight - but this really was about testing for us.

    [​IMG]

    We also wanted to generate some lap time data for NASA about the modern 200 treadwear street tires, in the hopes of possibly starting a 200 treadwear TT class - at least in this region. We think there are a lot of untapped Time Trial racers who run in other series that limit tires to 200 TW (Optima, Goodguys, some GTA classes, some of the new SCCA TT classes) that could open up new potential NASA TT customers. These guys don't want to run head-to-head against NASA TT cars on monster Hoosiers with massive aero. These tires last a lot longer than Hoosier A7s, we know for a fact, so the cost-per-lap goes way down. Grip level is lower, too.

    continued below
     
  4. Fair

    Fair Go Big or Go Home

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    102
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    continued from above

    SATURDAY MARCH 10TH - RACE DAY 1

    Due to some last minute work needed to get the suspension installed (this was only one week after doing our baseline lap times in stock form) we were not able to get out to the track on Friday. This would have been helpful to get a good paddock spot and to tech the car for the first time. Every TT car needs a logbook and special tech inspection, which is good for the year.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We got to the track early (7:15) and quickly found a paddock spot and unloaded our BMW (there to just show it was for sale). Amy drove the Mustang out to the track (1.5 hour drive) with no issues. She quickly got into the tech line and waited. I ran to my TT meeting and came back, and the line had grown but hadn't moved. At this rate it might take hours to get the car teched. So we jumped outta line, went to G-Speed's shop on site and got the logbook.

    [​IMG]

    Sadly NASA has removed the right to give out annual Tech stickers to even their certified logbook shops, so we had to get back in line anyway. We finally got the Annual Tech sticker but by this time I had missed the TT Warm Up session - which is used to only get lap times for gridding purposes.

    With no lap time I had to slip into the first open spot on grid for the non-timed cars who missed the warm up, which was 34th! We had 51 TT entries this weekend, so it was a bit crowded on the 1.7 mile course. We also had over 270 total entrants that weekend - a NASA Texas record as well as a record for any event at MSR Cresson. This meant people were parked everywhere, and the all groups had to grid on part of the 1.3 mile course.

    [​IMG]

    51 cars in TT is insane - we have never had that many sign up before. Luckily we never had all 51 TT cars on track at once, but it sure felt like it! ;) In that first session I ran the Big Red Pig passed at least a dozen cars, maybe more. It was a total mess but it was another lesson learned - get your car teched before race day! Vorshlag is a certified NASA "HPDE" tech shop but not a "Logbook" shop. Not yet - we are scheduled to take the SFI exam soon.

    [​IMG]

    Somehow my old TT3 lap record in our 2011 GT, "Big Red", from 2014 was still holding strong (1:17.310) all day, and a previous customer KenO was chasing it once again in his fully prepped E46 M3 (shown above). He was on a sticker set of A7s with the most power and aero he had ever run on the car. I suspected he would win the class and take the TT3 record away from us...

    [​IMG]
    in-car video of our 2014 TT3 track record lap - which was still holding

    On this first day the TT3 record still eluded him, but Ken was faster than he'd ever been before. His is a dedicated TT3 build with no compromises, and I was lucky to be within 5 seconds of him on street tires. Amy was also co-driving the car all day in HPDE4 an I took some laps with her using the helmet radios from the right seat, and she dropped a bunch of time.

    [​IMG]

    The handling was spot on all day, and the only adjustments I needed to make were to tire pressures. I was looking at scrub at the sidewall and adjusted hot pressures to 34psi front, 33 psi rear. #500psi There aren't any major bumps at this track but damn, this suspension was downright plush. The roll and dive weren't bad and it was super easy to drive. I did managed to fuel starve the engine in a long left hand sweeper at 1/2 tank of gas, which triggered a CEL on the dash. We kept the fuel tank full for each session after that. The CEL stayed lit all day and into the next - but it ran great (it went off in her drive home Sunday night).

    [​IMG]

    I fought all day with traffic, slowly working my way up the grid to 8th fastest TT car at one point. Since we grid based on your fastest lap times, the later sessions helped removed slower traffic from in front of me the next time sessions. Strangely I ran almost the exact same lap times in session 3 and 4 -within .001 sec of each other - but was still only 3rd fastest out of 5 in TT3 class. To have already found EIGHT seconds on my first day of testing - in heavy traffic - was outstanding, but I knew there was more in the car.

    [​IMG]

    The brakes were not good. At all. I had to baby the braking to keep from overheating the rotors and upgraded front pads. Once again I never lost the pedal, so the fluid was fine, it would just lose stopping power if I pushed the brakes as hard as I used to push the S197, so I had to brake earlier and less aggressively or it wouldn't last 2 hard stops in a row. There was ample time between my TT sessions and Amy's HPDE4 sessions to cool the rotors down, so it was not compounded from double driving the car. Weather was beautiful all day, sunny in the afternoon, so we packed up and headed to the hotel to clean up and rest after the last HPDE4 session. We foolishly left our sun shade partially extended on the trailer...

    SUNDAY - RACE DAY 2

    As perfect as the weather was Saturday it was 100% more awful on Sunday. We woke up to hear the wind howling and rushed from the hotel to the event site. Sure enough we were greeted to a trashed sun shade. Lots of E-Z-up tents were down and destroyed, everywhere. Wind was blowing hard all day, which made it COLD.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We managed to retract and secure our now ruined sun shade and then got the Mustang ready with plenty of time to make the "golden session" of the weekend - the coolest of the day, TT session 1 Sunday. Was worried the wind might slow us down but it didn't. I started in the 10th grid spot (really 7th, we had some no-shows) and quickly passed the car ahead of me when he spun off track in the first lap, shown below.

    [​IMG]
    Our best lap Sunday in the 2018 GT - 10 seconds quicker than a week earlier

    That was good because I was held up badly on the first hot lap. Lap 2 was pretty good and my times fell a little, then lap 3 was perfect. Tires were up to temp, brakes were still working. Lateral grip on the RE-71R tires was 1.2g sustained with 1.34g spikes (see below). Braking was limited to about .90g stops, otherwise it would overheat the rotors/pads (it could spike to 1.0g stops but only about once every lap, for one good stop). I also had to compromise the last corner on my best lap because I had a 1:10 sec lap TTU car driving up my tailpipe into the last turn - scary fast! I got outta his way and braked a hair early, but that 1:21.733 lap was still 1.5 seconds better than Saturday, so I "banked the lap" and came in. Rear tires were already getting hot.

    [​IMG]

    When I used 2nd gear in "Rattlesnake" it could easily spin the tires on corner exit. Even 3rd gear exits on "Little Bend" and "Boot Hill" had to be made at part throttle or risk sliding the rears. The Base GT has an old style clutch Limited Slip Diff, unlike the Torson style diff that comes in the PP1/PP2/GT350 models, so we plan on upgrading to a Torson-style LSD later this season.

    [​IMG]

    I didn't run in any other sessions that day. I felt like it would be wasting consumables to try to catch P2 in TT3 class, and I might only find a tenth or two. Instead I worked with Amy (see above) coaching her for a couple of sessions, and she found more confidence and lap time. We packed up by lunch time and headed home for some hard labor at the house - we're building a shop behind our house and we needed to shovel 6 yards of crushed concrete to start making a road back there. It was back breaking work, so we bought a tractor the next week - we have many more tasks like this to tackle.

    [​IMG]

    Some of the temp data I am getting via OBD-II isn't super accurate, but the dash does have a readout for some things. Cylinder head temps were at 220°F after my last session, oil temps were creeping up into the "yellow". This car does have a factory oil cooler (at the oil filter, aka: the oil heater) but we may do something more substantial this summer.

    [​IMG]

    Sunday's final results were about the same: the #BigRedPig took 3rd out of 5 in TT3 class - and everyone got quicker. KenO finally beat my old TT3 record with a 1:17.1 lap, and the second place driver dropped into the 1:20.3 range, which I was never going to catch that day. Final thoughts - the stock seats suck, big time. I had to go to the chiropractor Monday to pop things back in place, ha! The crushed concrete shoveling that night didn't help, either. Great event overall, lots of good data learned. To end up 10th fastest out of 51 TT entries, in a car we drove there on street tires, was pretty remarkable.

    MOD BUDGET VS LAP TIMES

    We want to show where we are on lap times vs overall budget for this car, to compare against other NEW Mustang options. I am not trying to compare against an older car, or another new car model, but instead between the various OEM 2018 Mustang purchase options. I will show the MSRP or street price for models at our time of purchase + our mod costs to date. Sure, deals change and rebates come and go - these new purchase price numbers are relevant for Feb 2018.

    2018 Mustang GT PP1 w/ Premium + Recaros = $48,270
    2018 Mustang GT PP2 w/ Premium Plus + Recaros = $51,280
    2018 Shelby Mustang GT350 = $58,140
    2018 Shelby Mustang GT350R = $65,640

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Our "basic b!tch" 2018 Mustang GT base model 6-speed = $32,500 (what we paid)
    + Whiteline MAX-G+ Coilover Kit for S550 Ford Mustang GT - TrackPro = $3,154
    + Whiteline Front & Rear Adj Swaybar Kit, S550 Mustang = $585
    + G-LOC Brake Pads, Front, Base GT 4-piston, R8 = $234
    + Forgestar 19x11" F14 wheels = $1720
    + Bridgestone RE-71R 305/30R18 tires = $1368
    ================
    $39,531 in the budget, dropped ten seconds a lap from stock, and we cannot find a quicker lap time from any stock S550 at this track.

    Now we have spent less than that, since we make some of this stuff and we're a dealer for the rest. And we kept labor out of the tally because not everyone pays for wrenching. I'm not going to count fluids - those upgrades are a must, and would be done on all of these Mustang options for track use. That's like tracking fuel costs - its a consumable. The tire and brakes are consumables, but I'll factor those into the budget since these really are upgrades. When/if we change out one of the "mods" listed above we will show the subtraction of their costs and the addition of the new upgrade in place.

    Remember I showed Josh's stock Shelby GT350R lap time on PSC2 tires earlier in this thread at a 1:25.22 lap (different driver, so its hard to compare). Sadly I do not have any first hand experience in a stock S550 at this track, yet. If I can finagle my way into a few laps in any of the above cars I will update the "lap time list" below (any volunteers??) For now here is our list of data logged videos showing lap times in cars I have driven personally at MSR-Cresson on this same 1.7 mile CCW configuration:
    • 1:31.90 in our stock 2013 Scion FR-S
    • 1:31.412 in our stock 2018 GT
    • 1:29.630 in our 2013 Scion FR-S with camber and front brake upgrade
    • 1:28.564 in our 2013 Scion FR-S with Whiteline Max-G coilovers & bars
    • 1:27.40 in Todd's stock 2016 Focus RS
    • 1:26.212 in Todd's Focus RS on coilovers and camber (which then ran a 1:23.658 on 275 Bridgestones later that day)
    • 1:25.10 in a Spec Iron Mustang on Toyo tires (with passenger)
    • 1:25.075 in our TTD prepped E46 330 (195 whp)
    • 1:22.63 in Jerry's stock 2012 C6 Z06
    • 1:22.56 in Joe's modded 2013 1LE Camaro on Hankook RS-3 tires
    • 1:21.90 in our TTC prepped 1992 Corvette (288 whp)
    • 1:21.89 in Joe's stock 2017 Corvette C7 Grand Sport
    • 1:21.733 in our 2018 GT on Whiteline Max-G coilovers & bars + 305mm RE-71Rs
    • 1:17.310 in our old TT3 Prepped 2011 Mustang GT on 335/345 Hoosier A7 (447 whp)
    As you can see the 2018 GT has both one of the slowest and one of the quickest lap times listed here. It improved a dramatic amount in only one week, and we have more plans to upgrade brakes and power very soon. Gonna be fun to see how far we can push this one!

    WHAT'S NEXT?

    Next time we will show our second autocross - with the new suspension and tires. Or will the SCCA or other outside forces conspire against us and thwart out second autocross test????

    [​IMG]

    We just ran an SCCA Club Trials event event at ECR last weekend (above), which was a very brake intensive track. Before this event we upgraded to the craziest G-LOG compound pads, both front and rear, to deal with this track. Will it work? Can the Mustang hang with the swarm of Corvettes and 50 time trial racers that attended? Tune in next time to find out!

    Thanks for reading,
     
    JeffV8, RaiderJatt02 and Nvrfinished like this.
  5. TrEvoRS

    TrEvoRS TMO Beginner

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2018
    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    A lot of great information! Just curious, have you not addressed the bushing / roll-center related concerns yet, or are you just not mentioning those and focusing on the bigger stuff you are developing?
     
  6. stuntman

    stuntman TMO Advanced

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    It's interesting to hear your praise of GT3 & (especially) GT3RS as a good dual purpose car when they ride quite harsh on the street compared to GT350s. Really the GT350 only needs camber plates and it's pretty much good to go for extensive track use without overheating.

    It will be interesting to see how well the trans and diff holds up once you get some brakes under your 2018 and can actually put down some hard laps, especially in summer. That's one area where the GT350s and Camaros have a big advantage over the GT, and while weighing very similar to a GT with all those heavy coolers.
     
  7. Krispy

    Krispy TMO Intermediate

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2017
    Any ideas to fix the fuel starvation issue aside from running atleast a half tank of fuel?
     
  8. bpracer

    bpracer Mark

    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    246
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    The non-torsen diff is probably already toast. The PP offers a larger radiator over the base car, so between the lack of transmission/rear end coolers, the smaller radiator and the minimal engine oil cooler, I don't think the car will be happy in the Texas summers.

    I've run my GT350 down to "5 miles until empty" without an issue so not sure if this can be car specific or not.
     
    stuntman likes this.
  9. stuntman

    stuntman TMO Advanced

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    The base diff is crap, but it will still generate heat and probably cause a limp mode. It would be an interesting bet on which causes it first: water, trans, or diff temps. Anyone want to make a wager?
     
  10. Fair

    Fair Go Big or Go Home

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    102
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    There are definitely "bushing issues" we have run across, and I mentioned the worst offenders so far as being the rear lower control arms. We have some ideas on what to do there and we will continue to investigate other bushing issues as we tear into this car. But so far, there's no "catastrophic" issues so far - its pretty dang fast for what we've done.

    [​IMG]

    As "bad" as the rear bind we found is, this car still puts power down better and soaks up bumps on track more composed than our S197 ever did... so... ??

    True, but a lot of GT350 owners we talk to used to own a GT3 or GT3RS. They make these comparisons to us, and yes - all the GT350s seem to need are camber plates and a more aggressive alignment to haul ass on track. :)

    Honestly, I don't think everyone is going to see this issue. Look, we're putting spikes of 1.45g and sustained 1.28g lateral loads through this car, and with that kind of loading it will slosh the fuel out of the "dead" side of the saddle tank in LOOOONG left hand turns at our main test track (MSR-C). Neither the S197 or S550 like doing that, in any form (GT/Boss/GT350). And while most OEM saddle tanks have some sort of vacuum jet pump to keep the fuel pump pick-up side loaded with fuel, they don't really work all that well with an OEM saddle tank in any car I've ever tested here. Not any Ford, BMW, Corvette, nothing.

    [​IMG]

    The solution most folks will point to is "get a fuel cell" but that's not always the answer. We've seen slosh in those, too. What it takes is either an internal surge tank/accumulator (which is what we order for fuel cells) or an external tank.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The fuel cell above was made for a BMW we're building for a customer, and it is shaped to match one half of the OEM saddle fuel tank, so it can mount in the same position. We built the enclosure and had the fuel cell built to fit that. It uses an internal accumulator section that has dual pumps that feed from and return to this trapped area. Horrendously expensive solution for a dual purpose track/street car!

    [​IMG]

    We fixed this once and for all in Jamie Beck's 2013 Mustang race car (ST3 now ST2) by modifying the stock tank to work with an external surge tank/pump. This Radium surge tank sits in the trunk and is fed by the stock in-tank pump, and then the surge tank has an internal pump that feeds the engine. The surge has an overflow return goes back to the stock tank if this is over-filled. This way we can keep this ~1 gallon tank full down to the last drop in the main tank.

    [​IMG]

    After a half dozen races it seems to be working perfectly, and he no longer has to keep a "half tank of ballast" fuel in the car. So we will do the same to our S550 when we have the time.

    [​IMG]

    On our S550 we still need to add larger brakes, longer wheel studs, some brake cooling, tow hooks, racing seats, roll bar, harnesses, and much more before we tackle a surge tank. Until then we'll just keep the tank full for every session. :D

    True, the clutch-style diff is "losing its battle with longevity" and the stock radiator looks TINY in his GT.

    [​IMG]

    We never keep the plastic end tank OEM radiators in any S197 Mustang, so we will begin the search for a proper aluminum radiator for this S550 in the coming weeks...

    [​IMG]

    Everyone betting on failure - no faith in Ford's engineering here? ;)

    [​IMG]

    These are all valid concerns and we are monitoring all of the temps we can. The 14" brakes that come on this car are what have held us back so far, and at our last event I couldn't make more than 1 hot lap at a time. So the fluid temps were less of an issue.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The Getrag still worries me, and I was seeing some higher oil temps (into the "yellow") on longer stints at MSR-Cresson both times we have run there so far. So before our 3rd track weekend we swapped to 8 liters of 5W50 Motul synthetic in the engine and the trans got Motul DCTF. We noticed cooler oil temps at a warmer event at ECR, so that might buy us a little margin - but a proper oil cooler, radiator, trans cooler and diff cooler are in the works.

    [​IMG]

    Today we are upgrading to the 15" 6 piston brakes + brake cooling so we will see what is the next limitation. Tonight we load up to tow 9 hours to run this weekend at NOLA with the Optima series. I will show much more detail on these improvements in my next post. A Torsen style Wavetrac diff is also going in as soon as we figure out what gear ratio we want to use. Normally I'd use a 3.31 with a Getrag but ALL of the trans gear ratios changed in 2018 so we're still chasing the right ratio for this 26.2" tall tire.

    [​IMG]

    We will account for the costs of ALL of these upgrades and keep tally in our base GT budget and compare to the GT350 and PP1/PP2 cars as we go. We still haven't run against a GT PP1, PPP2, or GT350 that has similar or faster lap times, tho.

    More soon,
     
    flyhalf and VoodooBoss like this.
  11. Tommy J

    Tommy J TMO Advanced

    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    76
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Location:
    Texas
    The information you are providing really helps someone who is contemplating on getting a 18. Hope it really is worth the upgrade from a 17. Appreciate your info and VLogs.
     
  12. Mad302

    Mad302 TMO Race

    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    84
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2014
    Location:
    Waco, Texas
    I think what you're doing is great. However i feel for most people just adding the expense of PP1 or PP2 is the way most people would lean. Not all of us have the access to a shop with FAB skills and knowledge such as yours. Adding brakes, suspension, coolers and rear end parts you're building your version of PP2 car nothing wrong with that all but taking account of what labor hours are and part costs, a factory prepped PP2 car with a warranty would be a valid price tag.

    Again nothing wrong with what your doing. I find it really interesting that you and your team are building on a budget and proving what works and needs to be replaced for track use. What you've done in months would take us years. I would really like to see what you can do behind the wheel of PP1/PP2 car and see your thoughts on that and how compares to your current car.

    Keep up the great work
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  13. Fair

    Fair Go Big or Go Home

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    102
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    Years? Nah, maybe two days worth of real work done so far. :) Most of our "time" has been spent designing new prototype parts - that we plan to sell in production form so they are easy for the bolt-on guys to add in as little time as possible. Things like our brake inlet ducting, brake backing plates, front and rear tow hook kits, spherical rear shock mounts, and of course our camber plates and wheel offsets which we worked on years ago.

    [​IMG]

    Sure, for many folks the "easy button" is to just "pony up" and buy a PP1, PP2, or GT350. After seeing how badly the 14" base brakes did I am re-thinking the decision to start with a base car. ;) But the price difference is still a staggering $15-30K less when you start with a base GT. Hey I'm not going to talk people out of spending $50-70K on a Mustang, I know this. But I will challenge some PP2 and GT350 cars to a "lap battle" if we can compare total money spent. ;)

    [​IMG]

    The PP1/PP2 brake upgrade install actually goes on very quickly, and the PP1 is a $4000 option in 2018, PP2 is $6500. This swap takes about an hour to do - its very easy. It uses the same bolts, even uses the same brake hoses. Unbolt old bits, swap to the new rotors/calipers, bolt it on, bleed the system. We added long wheel studs just because... but Ford Racing hubs for the front come with the ARP 3" studs.

    [​IMG]

    The brake cooling we added is a damned good idea for any GT PP1/PP2 owner that tracks their car hard enough to need track pads. Cooling makes the bearings, pads, and rotors last a lot longer.

    [​IMG]

    The camber plates, coilovers & swaybars are significantly better than the PP1, PP2, or GT350 shocks and springs, no offense to the lovers of MagRide bits. :) The spring rates that Ford uses are VERY soft and allow for a lot of dive, squat, roll and heave (our front rates are about 4x the stock rates). So any of those S550s that want to do serious track work would be better off with these upgraded parts - yet more PP1/PP2 parts that go in the bin. All of these suspension parts + the wheels and tires were installed in an afternoon - lots of Mustang folks are capable of installing these parts, then getting an alignment.

    [​IMG]

    The 19x11" wheels and RE-71R tires are much better than PP1 bits and on par with PP2 and GT350 parts, with a more reasonable replacement cost. The PP2 wheels don't fit worth a damn (mega poke) but they are decent looking wheels. The fronts should fit better with some camber but the rears never will fit right...

    [​IMG]
    PP2 17x11" rear wheels have about an inch of poke

    Of course the GT350 comes with coolers and a tick more power (barely), but at 2X the price. But the rear wheels, once again, have the "Wrong" offsets if you look at them objectively.

    [​IMG]
    The GT350R wheels have rear poke that is just as bad...

    Ford is not perfect, mostly because it is such a big company with so many layers of bureaucracy. I'm sure some engineer somewhere spoke up about this but was over-ruled by a bean counter - they already had that wheel designed and paid for! And we are not perfect, but we're small and nimble enough to make quick changes. When the first set of 11" wide wheels we ordered for an S550 wasn't a 100% perfect offset front and rear....

    [​IMG]
    19x11" wheels built to our specs with 305/30R19 sure seems to fit a lot better than PP2/GT350

    ... you can bet our second set was. :) Sure, I wish we had the slightly wider GT350 front fenders, but we got these 11" wide wheels to tuck nicely at both ends without that extra room. And there's another 3/4" of inboard wheel room out back.

    [​IMG]

    So yea, it might seem cocky but I think we did some things better than a PP2, GT350 and even the mighty 350R. And we've barely gotten started. We still have easy horsepower we can grab, seat/harness upgrades, and some mix of 350R/PP2 aero bits we will add - all of which will drop more lap time. Not to mention Hoosiers.

    "Its hard being this humble..." ;)

    Thanks,
     
    TMSBOSS and RES_22 like this.
  14. ArizonaBOSS

    ArizonaBOSS Because racecar. Moderator

    Messages:
    7,834
    Likes Received:
    1,287
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    This 2018 front fascia update is growing on me.......
     
  15. stuntman

    stuntman TMO Advanced

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    I wouldn't call limp mode a "failure". Unfortunately the PPs don't have coolers like the GT350 or Camaro SS. And the Camaro is lighter WITH coolers.

    It would be interesting to see your cost analysis WITH shop labor for putting on the brakes and Wavetrac and how all of that compares to the PP2 & GT350. Also considering the MSRP or readily available discounts rather than a rare, big discount on a "stripper" model base GT.

    The 4 piston brakes shouldn't really ever be tracked . The GTPPs are quite good. Combined with a Torsen, the GTPP still has a lot of value for those who don't want to deal with LSD installs, shops who screw up the lash, making the rear end clunk under Decel and throttle tip in. But wave and truetraks are better units than stock, as are most aftermarket options.

    Stiffer spring rates (even when done right with good dampers) will still sacrifice ride quality to levels that probably wouldn't pass what the PP2 & GT350 is able to. So there will always be less constraints when going to the aftermarket for suspension which makes it difficult to compare to an OEM car. Picking the cheapest, base car is always the route for the best bang/buck for a track car. Likewise an old Miata can be built to be even faster for less money than a base 2018 GT.
     
  16. bpracer

    bpracer Mark

    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    246
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    Terry, I have two PP control arms sitting at my house if you want to throw them on.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
     
  17. Fair

    Fair Go Big or Go Home

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    102
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    Project Update for May 1st, 2018: We have been testing our 2018 Mustang on track and finding all sorts of issues, bad advice, and eventually the right fixes. Read along and learn what we have found in our first hand testing, along with a number of videos I shot discussing what we have found. Lots to cover, so I will "try to be brief", ha! :D

    [​IMG]

    In this round we will start with coverage of Track Test #3, where we ran the car with a new set of R16 pads on the 14" brakes (2nd round of brake mods) at Eagles Canyon Raceway (above). Poor braking endurance for both drivers, me and Amy. We also cover an autocross we tried to go to, and show the reasons why the car didn't make it.

    [​IMG]

    I had hoped to cover a a few other events we have attended since my last post: Track Night in America at NOLA, Optima 2 day event at NOLA (above), another track test at MSR-C, but the post ran long so I will save that for next time. Let's get started...

    BASELINE S550 TEST AT ECR WITH FACTORY PP BRAKES, DEC 6TH, 2014

    A little bit of a time jump backwards 4 years, to show some baseline track testing I did in a stock 2015 GT PP car at Eagles Canyon Raceway in 2014. I used to consider this my home track for many years, and have a lot of laps here. It is known to be a BRAKE KILLER track with a bunch of long straight always followed by tight turns, where you have to shed a LOT of speed: esp Turns T3, T6, T7, T9, and T11.

    [​IMG]
    The track map of the 2.5 mile ECR layout, which has a lot of elevation change for a Texas track

    Every December ECR held a Charity event where they collect money, toys and canned food for "Toys for Tots" - and they only charged $50 for a full day of HPDE fun. We went every year and 2014 was no different. The super low entry cost meant this event always PACKED with drivers, as you could imagine.

    [​IMG]

    I drove a bunch of cars that day and recently Aaron had to remind me about this track event - which was my first drive in an S550. It had slipped my mind completely. ECR is a 2.5 mile course which is known to be BRUTAL on brakes but it has no high speed corners, and it got pretty bumpy for a while there, so I haven't driven here much since 2015.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I mostly remember that day being very hectic. It was the 2nd time I drove Jerry Cecco's 2012 Boss302 (above left), to perform the "after" track test with the prototype TrackPro coilovers we had built for this car. It was also last time I drove our 2011 GT on track (above right). I had a bunch of customer cars out there, people I rode along and coached with, etc.


    [​IMG]


    Aaron Sockwell had just picked up his brand new 2015 5.0 6 speed Performance Package GT, above. It was an unusual "base" interior with the only option being the PP1, which came with the Torsen diff and 15" 6 piston Brembo brakes for $2500. Heck of a deal back then (its $4000 for 2018 model) and it was the first S550 I ever drove on track.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I drove two sessions in the car. The first time I was by myself (first pic in this segment) but without a lap timer or camera. It was just a few laps but it felt amazing, so I begged Aaron for a few more laps on track...

    Event Gallery, pics and video: https://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/Toy-Run-ECR-120614/

    [​IMG]
    In-car video from ECR test in bone stock 2015 GT PP car - Dec 6, 2014

    In the brief second session shown in the video above I am driving and Mark Council was in the right seat for some commentary. This time I had a video camera and a smartphone with Harry's Lap Timer on board. The video above shows 4 laps in this stock 2015 Mustang GT where I drove some ~90% laps. Fastest lap was a 2:06.01 in this bone stock car with the OEM pads, fluid, etc. Ignore the G-load trace after the first lap - the GPS data and timing seemed accurate, though. These factory 15" brakes were pretty amazing to me at this brake killer track back then, and it's what pushed me to buy these for our car (you will see this later in this post) for interim use.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    While we are time traveling looking at ECR lap times, for comparison back in Oct 2012 I drove a 2:07.31 lap in a 2013 GT (stock but with 18x10" wheels and 295/35/18 NT-05 tires) but killed the brakes and had a huge "off" at Turn 7 doing that. That car had abysmal 13.2" base 2 piston brakes that were new pads when that session started, on the metal backing plates after 15 minutes.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We took this same 2013 GT back to this track on the same wheels/tires but with the 14" 4 piston Brembo fronts, brake cooling, and some mild coilovers and ran 2:03 laps. Which is the same lap time we ran at ECR in our red 2011 GT on these same 295mm 200 treadwear tires (before Hoosiers & Aero). Keep this 2:03 lap time in mind for the ECR event section.

    BRAKE MODS, ROUND #2 (14" ROTORS)

    We ran the 2nd track test with the 2018 GT at MSR-C (NASA weekend) on stock rear pads and new G-LOC R8 fronts. In hindsight the R8 pads weren't the best choice for how we were using the car - heavy car, lots of power, decent grip level, driver is a hack (me).

    [​IMG]

    The OEM front pads were destroyed in the first MSR-C track test, 8 laps on the stock tires, nothing left. We went with the replacement R8 fronts but left the old OEM rears on for NASA event at MSR-C. As you can see above, the rears were down to 1/4 pad life after this 2nd track test (2 days, 2 drivers), so we bought R16 rears for use at the next weekend. As I mentioned before, using the bass-ackwards 14" inverted hat rotors, the rotors overheat very quickly. The rear rotors are built the same way.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We had a set of Powerbrake 380mm front brakes on order, but we had to buy some time. To hopefully get a little more brake system endurance, and with about half the life of the front R8 pads destroyed during just the NASA weekend, we bought a new set of R16 compound G-LOC fronts as well.

    [​IMG]

    Not too many folks had made loud noises about how bad the 14" S550 base GT brakes were, so at the time I just hoped it was just a pad compound issue (the R8 is their entry level track pad). Here's how the pads are ranked:

    G-LOC Pad Compound Chart
    GS-1 ~.45 ambient up to 800°F (426°C) - Street pads
    R6 ~.51 ambient up to 1000°F + (to 537°C+) - Autocross pads
    R8 ~.55 74°F-1250°F+ (23°C to 676°C+) - Entry level track pads
    R10 ~.59 118°F - 1475°F (47°C - 801°C) - Track pads
    R12 ~.62-.63 173°F to 1860°F (78°C to 1015°C) - Track pads
    R14 ~.60 210°F to 1400°F (98°C to 760°C) - Endurance pad for light cars
    R16 ~.65 255°F to 2000°F (123°C to 1093°C) - Aggressive track pad
    R18 ~.70-.71 610°F to 2100°F+ (321°C to 1149°C+) - Aggressive track pad

    We have sold G-LOC pads to HPDE folks with these 14" S550 base brakes many times, I just hadn't ever driven on or ridden in any S550s except for 15" PP brakes before buying this car. With no way to cool these backwards 14" Front rotors we just hoped that the next test at ECR with "better pads" would show some promise. Pushed some Motul RBF600 fluid through and system (it wasn't boiling or discolored) and then we looked at the bumpy conditions at ECR....

    [​IMG]

    I wasn't happy with the ride heights we picked initially. The rear shocks would run out of travel on heaves and big bumps on the street, and with how bumpy ECR is, I had the guys raise the ride heights at all 4 corners.

    [​IMG]

    The numbers above represent a 7/8" increase up front and and about a 3/4" ride in the rear. This 14-1/2" setting represents our ideal "dual purpose" (street/track) S550 ride height, with coilovers. To take tire height out of the equation we measure from center of wheel to fender lip. We got that squared away, double checked alignment settings, and loaded up for ECR.

    continued below
     
    jameskhana likes this.
  18. Fair

    Fair Go Big or Go Home

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    102
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    continued from above

    TRACK TEST #3 - SCCA CLUB TRIALS @ ECR, MARCH 31, 2018

    I was excited to get back to Eagles Canyon Raceway after about a 3 year hiatus. The new owners have done some much needed track improvements, and it shows. Amy and I both signed up to drive our 2018 GT at this SCCA Time Trial event. Amy ran in yellow group, I ran in red group, both of which had Time Trial competitors. Lots of fun, and somehow we ended up 6th fastest time out of 50 TT cars and won our class.

    [​IMG]

    It is "less than ideal" to double-enter any car for any track event, but two people driving the same car on a one day Time Trial - with marginal brakes at a brake killing track - was a terrible idea, but we did it anyway. And we ran back-to-back in several sessions, which did not work. At all.

    Event picture and video gallery: https://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/SCCA-Club-Trials-ECR-033118/

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I won't go into a bunch of boring detail here - this isn't even our "chosen test track" - but we did learn a lot at this ECR event. We learned that the 14" S550 brakes are pretty much hopeless for us. Even with fresh R16 pads front and rear, good fluid, and careful modulation, I could not brake hard for more than ONE LAP before the brakes were done. Again, it wasn't boiling fluid, it would just overheat the front rotors and the car would no longer stop.

    [​IMG]

    This was only our 3rd track event in the car, and 2nd on the new suspension, so we were still experimenting with shock settings, camber, tire pressures. I have been raising the "hot pressures" on these 305mm RE-71R tires from 28-30 psi (based on recommendations) to 34-36 psi. This was after seeing too much deformation and shoulder scrubbing with lower pressures. #500psi

    [​IMG]

    I ran a quick-ish 2:02.754 lap in the 2nd lap of the very first TT session of the day, avoiding a spinning Corvette in front of me on that lap. I struggled with the brakes after that lap, even in a dead cold car we took right out of the trailer. After 3 laps I came in. Then the car cooled down a bit, then Amy went out and had a lot of fun, as for once she got the car "cold" and then gave it to me hot in the red session right after she ran - brakes and tires would be overheated. This went on for 5 sessions, and eventually I just stopped going out. In one session I had a complete loss of brakes in the 2nd stopping zone on lap 1, went off, and blew off the session. I ran a nearly identical 2:02.699 lap in a later session, also in traffic.

    In total the Mustang ran 9 sessions that day, and it was a bit hectic with a LOT of traffic putting in wildly differing lap times in even the yellow and red groups. At least they were gridding us by lap times, so I was usually P1 or P2 in our group. Amy and I agreed that I would skip a session, give Amy the car two sessions in a row, and then I'd go out after she skipped her last session.

    [​IMG]

    This way the brakes might be cool enough for me to make ONE hot lap. I knew the two previous 2:02.7 best laps were slower than the car had in it, but the track surface was getting warmer so I doubted I would find much time. But with a cooled off car, a slow out lap (you can see I'm just talking to the camera and keeping the C6 ahead in sight in my video below), and a focus on getting my FIRST hot lap in clean... I managed this.

    [​IMG]
    In-car video of my final session, first hot lap was a 2:00.619

    That was a pretty decent lap, if I say so myself. I've driven a LOT of cars out here in the past 10 years but never have I run a 2:00 flat lap in anything with street tires. It took every amount of restraint I had to not "over brake" any one turn on that one hot lap - and the brakes were getting worse in every major braking zone - but it was just enough.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Eight of the top 10 cars were Z06, Grand Sports, or other Corvettes with lots of mods. KenO's E46 M3 TT3 race car with aero on Hoosier A7s took FTD and our piggy Mustang with no brakes managed 6th overall and "won our class". Don't ask about classing here, its something based on autocross classes and PAX factors that will make your head spin. We were 4 seconds ahead of the next Mustang, another S550 on RE71Rs. I was happy with that, considering how marginal the brakes were. I look forward to coming back here with better brakes to see if we can dip under a 2:00 lap on street tires.

    FIRST S197/S550 TECH TIP BRAKE VIDEO

    This first video explains our experiences with the S197 4 piston Brembos and then our frustrating experiences with the 14" S550 base GT brakes.

    [​IMG]

    The video above is the first in a series of videos about these brakes we made and we feel it is worth watching.

    SCCA AUTOCROSS EVENT # 2, LONE STAR PARK, MARCH 25, 2018

    So while I missed the March 4th autocross with our local SCCA region due to a drivers license debacle, I was excited to finally autocross the car - and this time on real suspension, wheels and tires. Jon had made us some magnetic door cards for STP/W and CAM-C classes. We had another race car in our trailer but this is a street car, right? So we decided to drive the car to the event, across town. These are street tires after all!

    Well there was a lot of construction going on in our area and we think the car got a flat leaving our neighborhood. Amy was driving and said "Hey, its really pulling pretty hard to the right." Hmm... turn around and go back to the house to air up/check the tire, or drive down the road to the gas station to check it there? We needed fuel, so I said to heck with it, let's go another 2 miles down the road. Mistake.

    [​IMG]

    She's on the highway, within a half mile of the gas station, and the tire lets go. Pop! This car just does NOT want me to autocross it! :D And while we had the factory optioned spare tire and lug wrench in the trunk - we didn't have the jack or the right 19mm socket for the lugs we had on the Forgestars...

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Jon was just ahead of us on his way to the event (he would be co-driving) and when we called, he ran back to his house, grabbed a floor jack and the right socket, and we put on the spare. He brought a plug kit in case it was just a flat, but when we removed the tire and saw the inner sidewall gone, we knew it was way beyond saving this day.

    LESSONS LEARNED

    Every time I make a mistake in my life I try to learn from it. I haven't had a tire blow out in a sports car in... well, ever. And getting caught with the wrong lug wrench and no jack was a dumb mistake, so I bought a cheap 1/2" torque wrench, thin wall lug nut long socket kit (17, 19, and 21mm), and a short 1/2" extension. Probably spent $50 but I won't be stuck again. I actually doubled up on all of this so my 1/2 ton truck would have the same setup on board.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I also bought the Ford Racing TMPS kit shown above, along with the programmer. Having on-board tire pressure readouts is super handy and would have prevented this blowout completely - the instant the pressure dropped below 30 psi we would have seen an alarm. The next time I have these tires off these wheels we will install these sensors, program them to the car, and never be without tire pressure data any longer. #500psi #streettires

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Sadly the Right Front tire (which took the most wear at the MSR-C event) that popped had 6/32" of tread left, as measured above left. They only come with 7/32", so it was wearing nicely! Instead of buying just ONE replacement Bridgestone tire I bought TWO - so we would always have a spare with us in the trailer, for any unforeseen mishaps in the future away from home or the shop. And by damn this would be the LAST time we did NOT tow this car to an event. Three people missed out on autocrossing this day due to our lack of a proper spare RE-71R tire, TPMS sensors, etc. This sure isn't going to happen again over a $330 tire or the ease of loading/unloading a car in our trailer.

    BRAKE MODS, ROUND #3 (PP 15" ROTORS & 6 PISTON CALIPERS)

    When I saw an opening at the normally sold out Optima series event at NOLA coming up in a week, without much thought I signed up. I knew this track well, plus we found a Track Night in America test the Thursday afternoon before the Saturday-Sunday Optima series event. Time for an Intermediate Brake Upgrade and subsequent test...

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Since we might use them only for one event I got the cheapest Centric rotors and rebuilt calipers

    I knew this track would need better brakes than our 14" stuff, and our prototype S550 380x34mm Powerbrake kit wasn't going to make it in time. With little to no research I ordered some Centric 15" rotors and rebuilt Brembo 6-piston calipers off of the 2015-18 Performance Pack Mustang GT. There was some small hardware to round up, new front pads to order (G-LOC R16 once again) for the new calipers, but the brake hoses would fit. There would be zero time to do a local track test before going to the Optima event so this was a total roll of the dice! But again, I had used the stock brakes at ECR in 2014 with good luck... they should work fine.

    [​IMG]

    It was a pretty tight schedule and everything we needed only showed up with hours to spare before we loaded up for the 9 hour tow to NOLA. The "Tech Tip" video in the section above shows many of these caliper/rotor weights, as I shot that as soon as the calipers and rotors arrived. The above gaggle parts were also ordered and arrived, including: ARP long wheel studs for the rear, Ford Racing hubs with ARP long wheel studs for the front, and Ford Racing trailer tie-down hooks.

    continued below
     
    jameskhana likes this.
  19. Fair

    Fair Go Big or Go Home

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    102
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    continued from above

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    First Ryan put the hubs, rotors, and calipers on then fabbed up prototype 4" cool brake backing plates for these 15" OEM brakes.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    These prototype brake backing plates (we will have these in production later this summer for the S550 15" PP brakes) serve two purposes. First, they cool the front hubs - which get hot and become a wear item over time (just like we saw on the S197). Second, they pump air inside the "hat" of the rotor, seal the air into this area, which then forces it into the vented portion of the rotor - which acts as a centrifugal pump and pushes this cooling air through the center of the rotor casting, to cool both the inner and outer rotor faces.

    [​IMG]

    We have seen a few people propose that you can "make brake cooling for the 14" inverted hat rotor", but we feel that is pretty much pointless. While this might help cool the hubs, it would do little to cool the rotor itself, especially the outside face - since there is no way to pump air through the vented portion of the 14" rotor. This is a lot of work for very little benefit. Now if there is a non-inverted hat 14" rotor on the market that fits the 14" 4 piston calipers, yes, that might be worth trying. But we've moved beyond the 14" bits on our car.

    HOW THE MOVE TO 19" WHEELS MAKE 15" BRAKES POSSIBLE

    We stuck with the 14" brakes on our 2011 Mustang for 5 years mostly because of one thing - we ran 18" wheels that didn't clear the 15" brakes. At the time we were using Forgestar F14 wheels in 18x10, 18x11 and 18x12" widths. And back from 2012-2015 the Forgestar F14 wheel in 18" could barely clear a 14.5" rotor/caliper setup.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Forgestar knew that the 15" / 6 piston Brembo kit was coming down the pipe from Ford (S197 GT500) so when they introduced a newer wheel design - the CF5 5-spoke above, they changed the barrel to clear this 15" / 6 piston profile. The shape of the inner barrel on the older F14 is very different than the newer design CF5, which I am holding below.

    [​IMG]

    Starting in late 2016 Forgestar began phasing out the old tapered barrel design of the F14 to the "stepped" barrel (above) of the CF5. So if you have 18" wheels of the F14 style from this company bought in the last 2 years they likely look like the black wheel above and can clear the 15" brakes. Barely.

    [​IMG]

    Of course many S197 and S550 drivers have moved up to 19x11" wheels due to the abundance of 305/30R19 street tire options available. But when it comes time to slap some Hoosiers on this car well... we will likely go with 18x11" wheels, so we will have to watch out for that rotor/caliper to inner wheel barrel clearance.

    OTHER UPGRADES AND MODS

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Next we changed the fluid in the manual trans at 1000 miles, but strained the trans fluid to check for the rumored "trash/metal" that would be in the fluid. We strained it, looked perfect, but still replaced it with Motul DCTF.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Engine oil was also upgraded to Motul 5W50 Ester based synthetic. This lubricant is one we have used on several race cars in the past couple of years and they tend to drop oil temps by up to 30°F. If any engine needs it, it's this one.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    During the oil change we also upgraded the tiny OEM oil filter to this larger Mobil1 filter that has at least twice the volume. It uses a synthetic filter element and is a Mobil1 Oil Filter part number M1-212, cost is around $17. It clears all of the "stuff" around the filter by a mile. The plastic oil pan still makes me giggle, but I'm sure there was a cost/weight savings there.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We had not seen any proper brake cooling inlet kits for the 2018 GT's new nose, so I asked Ryan to remove the bumper cover so we could have a better look. After looking under the skin we noticed that the area Jason and I wanted to draw air from was fairly unblocked, so I asked Ryan to make a quick 4" oval inlet to bolt into this lower grill section.

    [​IMG]

    In the same general space we found a good spot to bolt a front tow hook to, behind the 4 bolts that hold the bumper beam in place on the right front corner. This tow hook was cut from 1/4" steel plate, welded up, painted, and bolted in place. A small slot was cut for the tow hook as well as a 4" oval hole for the inlet duct. We plan to make these in production later this summer and offer them with modified lower grill inserts (which just snap in place into the pumper cover). Some of the other options out there require you to drill into the bumper beam (its hard AF!) or worse, remove it altogether. This is a simple bolt-on part that doesn't sacrifice crash structure or require you to cut into the upper grill or painted parts of the car.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The rear bumper is not any different than the 2015-17 models, so we looked at what was offered for a rear tow hook. Oddly enough they tend to mount where the lower/center mounted reverse light goes - and we don't want to remove that. The others require a hole cut in the rear bumper cover and/or the removal of the license plate. Not really what we wanted.

    continued below
     
    jameskhana likes this.
  20. Fair

    Fair Go Big or Go Home

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    102
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    continued from above

    [​IMG]

    We looked at the rear section, the bumper beam, and the many ways other shops have made rear tow hooks. And like in the front, we found that bolting behind the bumper beam was the least intrusive, strongest way we could find. Routing the hook above the exhaust tips made it so nothing had to be cut whatsoever. Maybe someone else has done this but we hadn't seen it yet. Another part we will make for all 2015-18 S550s later this summer.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We have a little tool that allows for on-car removal of splined, press-in wheel studs... but Ford did us no favors here, and there's not enough access to install the longer ARP studs. So the rear hubs have to be removed.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    With a few fixtures and a 30 ton press the new ARP studs went right into the rear hubs pretty quickly.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The OEM front hubs felt fine (above left) but I wanted the longer studs for this car, and ARP was sold out (we could only find 10 quickly). So we bought the Ford Racing front hubs with the same 3" long ARP studs installed, and the old hubs will become spares in the trailer.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The images above compare the base Brembo 4 piston calipers to the PP's optional 6 piston calipers - which are similar in size and mass. The pads are different between the two but also similar in total size.

    [​IMG]

    In our rush to install these parts, on a 2 day timeline before this Optima event, we neglected one piece of advice from a racer, Chris Wynne. He told us we might get a poor pedal feel with this 15" PP brake setup using the stock 4 piston master cylinder and booster. While many other folks that saw me posting about these upgrades said that this was an easy upgrade, and that "The Ford Racing kit doesn't come with the PP master or booster, so it isn't needed". The latter folks were wrong, wrong, wrong. But we wouldn't know that until we drove 9 hours to New Orleans and put it on a race track.

    [​IMG]

    I took a quick drive around the block after they bled the new brakes, it "felt ok to me", and we tossed it into the trailer. I foolishly thought we might have a shot at this Optima GT class if we can get past the D&E judging (more on that in our Optima coverage), but that was wishful thinking. Having functional brakes matter more than you'd think.

    WHAT'S NEXT?

    This post is running long so I will share the results from our two TNiA / Optima track events at NOLA and the Optima Speed Stop/D&E/Autocross events next time. Yes I finally got to autocross this damned car. Surprisingly I won one of the Optima competition segments, just not the one I was expecting. It all came down to not having any brakes.

    [​IMG]

    One piece of good news from this round of mods - the Ford Racing "tie down hook kit" for the S550 chassis was a real nice addition and makes hooking the straps up inside the trailer a whole lot easier. We modified the front tie down hook mounting locations to make it even easier - I will get pics of that on the lift and show it next time. We will also show the fix for the 15 PP brakes we needed - the PP's master cylinder and booster. Then the track test at MSR-C after that was installed to prove it. There's a lot more going on also, but I will cover this next time.

    Thanks for reading,
     
    jameskhana and The_Dead_Cow like this.

Share This Page