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Last Post 01 Jul 2015 04:56 PM by  Fair
Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build (STX?)
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Fair
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13 Jul 2011 02:36 PM
Project Update for July 13, 2011: Just some minor updates here, and last weekend's autocross report. Let's see, we had the car at an SCCA Texas Region autocross event last weekend, this time with some real STX competition again and a good course design.

Competitive drives put in by Brad Maxcy in his 328is and Chris Ledbetter and Brian Buchanan in Chris' 328is gave us some solid times to compare to. Costas co-drove the Mustang for the first time since April, blowing out the cob webs and trying to learn the new throttle mapping - with some other fun, new "challenges" to drive around.




I get to the event and unload the Mustang from the trailer (scraping both the nose and the tail on the trailer ramp - new 74" long Race Ramps ordered from SPS and should here by this weekend), go to set the shocks at our normal race settings, and... one of them is stuck. Damn! This can happen to any shock if its dropped, which might have happened last week when removing, reinstalling, or taking the shocks to be dyno'd (explanation why at bottom). This should not have been found while at a race, of course, and we had a talk about "checking all shock settings immediately after they are installed" in our Monday morning meeting at Vorshlag. So we've got a single rear shock stuck, either full soft or full hard. How much could that affect the handling? This sounds like a great test in the making. :)




It turns out, it affects handling a lot. Reinforces my "Shocks matter" mantra. Remember, this shock was still functioning properly, just with the adjustment stuck, as it turns out at full hard (stiff) in the Rebound range. The lateral grip was very different left to right, as a result. Made it a challenge on this somewhat tight autocross course today. Watching Amy and Costas drive through a particular offset compared to the 328is STX cars was dramatically different. Left turns were just a royal b!tch all day.




We also had a LOT of tire heat to deal with, especially Costas and me running back to back in STX class in heat 3. You see it was 100°F, and Amy ran in heat 2 by herself. She sprayed the tires after her 1st, 2nd and 3rd runs, to keep the tires within operating temperature for her next run. After her 4th run she was in 2nd place, a scant .053 sec behind Jen Maxcy, both running STX cars in the PAXed "W" class. She didn't spray tires - why would she? She was done for the day.




Immediately after her last the final run, heat (3) of the day started, and it was an abnormally small group. This meant that the 2 driver cars had little to no time between runs. Well the tire sprayer decided to die that day - it wasn't holding pressure and water just dribbled out of the spray tip. No jokes, please. So we started with hot tires and couldn't ever get the tire carcass or tread cool enough to even touch, and with just 2-3 minutes between 1st and 2nd drivers it was a thrash just to get the driver and numbers changed, much less splash a little water on the tires. So from our first runs on, we had boiling hot tires - especially the rears. Makes putting 392 whp through 265mm street tires on a sealed asphalt surface that much more impossible.




Costas and I both also heard some hideously LOUD noise in one turn, which spooked us both, so we had to investigate. We took a 1 minute "mechanical" to peek underneath, but we didn't see anything at the time. It wasn't leaking or obvious, so we drove thought the noise. Turns out we had two issues with things rubbing. First, a tire was rubbing on the inner fender well at full steering lock and full cornering load, which we saw in one corner only. No big deal. Second, the OEM end link bolts were dragging on the inner frame section at full droop, which was LOUD. The Eibach front swaybar we used was the 2005-2010 bar, so maybe the ends are slightly more inboard than the 2011? Whatever, we are fixing that in the shop now. And the steering shudder was ever present at any corner above 35 mph.

As you can see in the http://autocross.com/tr/2011_4_final.htm#STX
[*]PAX Results: http://autocross.com/tr/2011_4_pax.htm
[*]Picture Gallery and Videos from event: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/SCCA-TMS-071011/
[*]Video: Terry's run #1
[*]Video: Costas' run #2
[*]Video: Terry's run #3
[/LIST]

So we have a lot of new parts here this week to install and test, and another 2-day Divisional autocross this coming weekend. We've got to see some serious improvement in the car, and soon, or it will be a blood bath at Nationals and we might have to wait until we get the car further developed before we take it to Lincoln. But I'm not giving up just yet - just look at what's going on the car this week:

[LIST]
[*]ARH full length 1-7/8" primary headers and X-pipe with cats, good for 30 whp everywhere . Those are going on today (giant pain in the ass install). See picture, below right
[*]New PCM tune for the added power and exhaust flow from the headers
[*]Moton Clubsport double adjustable monotube shocks with remote reservoirs and custom valving, plus custom upper rear mounts (to mount these "eye to eye" shocks in the stock location). This is why we had the custom valved ASTs off - to verify valving ranges for the new Motons to match
[*]D-Force 18x10" wheels with 265/40/18 Yokohama AD08 tires (for street testing and some test-n-tune autocross runs, as these are not STX legal) - see picture, below left
[/LIST]




We've also taken the car as close to "stock" as possible this week, so we could swing by the Ford dealer to have them try to install that so called "fix" for the electronic steering (TSB 10-16-4). So we put the stock airbox back on, the stock tune, pulled ALL of the decals off, slapped on the stock wheels, and took it to the local Ford dealer. They couldn't get the EPAS program to stick on our 2011 GT, and then we found out this TSB's software update only works on the 2011 Mustang GT500's EPAS module. They also "couldn't duplicate the steering shudder issue", and left the car with all sorts of AdvanceTrac fault codes lit up (that they cleared, after I pointed them out).



De-stickered and back to "stock", at least for a day

Frustrated, I brought the car back and did some more digging. It appears the "new" EPAS programming issued in TSB 10-16-4 will never fix this issue on our GT at all - from what this article says , this TSB is simply turning the "Active nibble" programming ON for short build run of 2011 GT500 Mustangs that inadvertently had it turned OFF at the factory (see more here ). I'd rather have this active electronic nonsense in the power steering turned off completely, but that's a fight for another day.



Steering Shudder Test #2 - click for video

In the mean time I did some more road testing and now can make it go into "shudder mode" at will, and made another video showing this on the way back from the dealership (their techs were all at lunch when I picked up the car). I sent them this video (above left) and hopefully they can get to the bottom of this. Again, this is the only problem we've seen on the Mustang, nobody else with a 2011 GT has had it do it this badly, and we may have done this inadvertently, ourselves, while performing other work on the car. This seems to be a problem unique to this car, at least to this degree.



Header install is easier with the entire K-member out of the way

Since we had the stock airbox and tune on for the day, we did WOT and 45mph drive by Sound Tests with that set-up, then 2 more with the Steeda cold air and custom SCT tune back on. We'll do another 2 tests with the new headers on, later this week or next, then I'll post up all of those Sound Test videos/results. I'll throw another update up soon, maybe after we have the headers and tune on and have more dyno numbers to report, or after this weekend's Divisional - depends on how busy we get. The long tube header install is well underway, with the K-member completely out of the car to gain access to the stock headers. Supposed to be a "5 hour job", but we'll see.

Note: One of these days SCCAForums might enable "LISTS" in the UUB code for the forum software. I'm leaving the broken List tags in for now, hoping that they might work in the future.

Thanks,
47CP
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13 Jul 2011 03:08 PM
Terry - sent you an email with an idea about the steering shudder.

DaveW
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20 Jul 2011 11:46 AM
Every time I review this thread... It makes me want a new 5.0 Mustang... and all the track goodies from Vorshlag!

Great Build, and documentation!
Dave
Fair
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03 Aug 2011 11:25 AM
Project Update for July 29, 2011 (1 of 2): Go grab a drink, pull up a chair, and get ready for a long update on the Mustang project. Some of this is a bit tardy, as I've been buried in demolition and construction work at the new Vorshlag shop (we should hopefully be moved in there by mid to late August), and there's a lot of ground to cover so I'm going to post two updates to cover it all. Some of the forums I cross-post this thread onto (namely roadraceautox) have post count limits, so it might turn into 3 or 4 posts on those, but so be it.

Let's touch base on the latest batch of new parts that have been added (or are in the process of going on), that was amassing before my last thread update:



New full length headers + cat pipe weighed 44.5 lbs; the stock bits were 49.6 lbs

The ARH full length 1-7/8" primary headers and X-pipe with cats were installed, and boy are they nice - but a whipping to install. Two of our guys here were working in 105° inside our (old) shop, and that kind of heat. Still, even with a lift and the right tools it took about 10 hours to install these headers. Not the most fun job. The problem is getting access to the stock headers... we saw no less than 3 methods for this car, but the most straightforward was "just pull the front crossmember out". So the engine was held in place while the car was raised on the lift, the steering shaft was disconnected, as were the strut tops, and the K-member was lowered from underneath. ARH swears you can just "partially remove" the rear of the K-member and save time, but we did it this way instead.




Not much to see there, I know... but the sound is better, though still eerily quiet. I guess the stock mufflers are still keeping the sound well under control. At least it made some good gains on the dyno. We took the car to True Street Motorsports in McKinney for a re-turn with the new headers and they found some good gains. The new track tune's "404" whp peak number is +21 whp, which doesn't seem like a huge jump, but you have to take several factors into consideration: this is using the new "track" tune with the wussy throttle map, which before only made 383 whp (vs 392 whp for the "street tune" with the berserko, stock throttle map). Also, it was 107°F when they did the dyno pulls! We were pressed for time so they didn't do a "street tune" pull, but I suspect it will make another 10 whp, like before. And when it cools down? Yea... it won't suck.



Click dyno graph above for larger image

It has been crazy hot in Texas for the past month, and even with "SAE correction" factors, dyno numbers still suffer in this kind of heat. He said it was pulling timing on every dyno run, due to the high temps. Picked up power everywhere above 2600 rpm. We'll re-dyno the car with the new mufflers, when temps are more sane, and I suspect we will see a bigger jump. It sure feels a lot faster. The build quality of the entire system was TOP NOTCH . If you'd like to get some American Racing Headers for your domestic car, let me know - Vorshlag is an ARH dealer now.


WOT and 45mph drive-by sound tests with "stock everything"

So that same week we did six sound tests ; two tests (WOT in 3rd gear and drive-by at 45mph) for each of three configurations of parts. The First set-up was a re-test with OEM airbox/exhaust (WOT = 87 dB, drive-by = 75 dB ), then with the Steeda Cold Air and tune (WOT = 87 dB, drive-by = 80 dB ), then with the Steeda Cold Air + ARH long tubes and cat X-pipe + tune (WOT = 93 dB, drive-by = 75 dB ).


WOT with Steeda CAI and another with the Steeda CAI + Long Tube headers

As you can see & hear in the 93 dB test video, the car is still damned quiet at Wide Open Throttle with the new headers, and we're putting the sound meter much closer to the car than the SCCA does at Solo events. The steady speed drive-by tests show no sound increase at all over stock , and driving the car on the highway, it is still absurdly quiet.

I went back and looked at our February sound tests , also with the car totally stock, and it was only 82 dB . These tests were made with the same car, same tires, same sound meter, on the same road, meter located in the same location, and it was 5 dB quieter. Can't explain that one. Later this year, possibly after the Watts Link is in (because it adds new exhaust routing challenges), I'll build a custom axle-back exhaust. This will shed some pounds, un-cork some exhaust flow, and probably sound a good deal better. Its still just... too quiet.

We just got the custom re-valved Moton Clubsport shocks yesterday, but haven't put them on yet. I will cover that in a future update - the guys here have been working on the 330 motor swap and our massive influx of orders, and I'm buried in the new construction, so these Motons won't go on the car until sometime in August, probably after we've moved into the new shop. Any higher end shock set-up with remote reservoirs and hoses takes a bit of extra time, care, and planning to install properly . Add to that the copious pictures we'll be doing for an installation gallery. We've ordered and received the custom rear upper mounts needed for these shocks and for this chassis, as well as high-end rubber grommets bulkheads for the hose pass-thrus, but there's still a good 8+ hours of wrenching, drilling, reservoir bracket/mounting, bushing machining, and four corner set-up to perform. Never rush an install on high end shocks.




These double adjustable monotube shocks have remote reservoirs, and were customized with both new pistons and new valving from AST/Moton USA. After they dyno'd the off-the-shelf S197 Club Sports they saw the need for some valving changes, and we will work with these guys to get these set-up for autocross and track use on the S197 Mustang over the coming months (the new Vorshlag shop will be 200 feet from AST/Moton USA's facility, so that helps). The custom upper rear mounts converts Moton's "eye to eye" shocks to "eye to pin", but I'll still need to machine some bushings on the lathe to fit these mounts and upper sphericals. This is common on race car shocks, BTW. Vorshlag will stock the rear mounts and supply the custom bushings, plus the front Vorshlag camber plates, allowing customers to buy a Moton shock kit from us that more easily bolts-onto this chassis. The picture (above right) of the rear shock does not show the screw-on spherical upper end, nor the eye-to-pin adapter mounts that we have acquired.







The prototype D-Force/Vorshlag 18x10" wheels have been mounted with an extra set of (track abused but still deep tread) 265/40/18 Yokohama AD08 tires, and we've been bombing around on the street for a couple of weeks on these without incident - well, other than the many lustful stares the car now gets rolling on these big meats. They look... frakking awesome. The fit is perfect - we nailed the offset exactly. All of that wheel testing paid off! Spoke to caliper clearance is ridiculous - there's almost an inch between the inside of the spokes and the big Brembo 4-pot. There's more fender room outboard up front and inboard out back, but movement of the wheel flange in either direction would require spacers up front or cause the wheels to poke out in the rear... this is the best "bolt it onto either end of the car and it fits" offset, which most people want. Sure, two separate offsets could allow another 1/2" of width, but most folks don't want a different front and rear wheel. This allows for one wheel to fit anywhere, and easy tire rotation. Stay tuned for more information about the initial pre-purchase specials we will offer on the production batch of S197 18x10's; these wheels will be available exclusively form Vorshlag.




Last up, the Odyssey PC680 battery. We picked up one of these 14 pound AGM batteries months back but finally got around to ordering a battery mounting bracket to help install this thing. We ordered a Braille unit for $76 from TireRack . CNC machined, black anodized, beautifully built, but it is made for a Braille battery . Didn't fit the Odyssey, at all, so we found another battery bracket from West Coast Batteries - right from the Odyssey website . $55 and it looks as good if not better than the Braille. Why we didn't see this one and order it first, I cannot explain?! That's now on order and we'll install it soon.

That's it for the latest parts - the coverage of our last autocross (SCCA SW Divisional #3) is below.
Fair
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03 Aug 2011 11:29 AM
Project Update for August 2, 2011 (part 2 of 2): Sorry for the delay on "part 2", but the construction at the new Vorshlag headquarters is eating up every minute of my day. This past week the demolition inside the new space was finished and electrical work is finally getting back on schedule. Let's finish the July updates for the Mustang while I have a few free minutes.

SW Div Autocross #3 - Our most recent event in the car was a 2-day autocross in mid July, where Amy and I drove it (Costas had work stuff pop up). This was the 3rd of 3 SCCA Southwest Divisional Series events, run on a pair of Roger Johnson courses across the biggest patch of concrete around, in College Station, Texas. I went to school there (TAMU!) and ran with the college sports car club for many years (TAMSCC!), and even setup dozens of courses there myself as autocross chairman over the years. The area they had acquired for this weekend was the most prime real estate available at this old air force base, and most importantly it was our first real race in the STX Mustang on concrete , making a great test of the car, just a month before Nationals.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/SCCA-Div3-Riverside-071611/i-rBzF8bw/0/XL/scan0158-XL.jpg
* PAX results: https://axwaresystems.com/axorm/files/SOWDIV/div3_2011_pax.html
* Pictures: www.vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Event...


It was also damned hot - Texas is in the middle of over 30+ days of 100°F heat, and this weekend in July was no exception. The SW Divisional Steward (Todd!) had brought out two massive swamp coolers and a big tent, and we hung out there during our "off" heat on Sunday, which was a life saver. I was also lucky to score a prime work assignment driving the chase car, picking up the cone sheets between runs, so I shouldn't complain about the heat. Vorshlag being a SW Division sponsor doesn't hurt, I guess! But it was so hot that it became another tire-boiling event, with Amy and I running in the same heat, back to back to back.




This time we brought a new tire sprayer (20X better than the last!), and used melted iced water from the cooler to spray the tires, hitting the rears 2-3 times between runs - and boy were they hot, especially after my runs. Since the run order had us running close together, we had a 5 minute clock on us between runs (grid was very well run), which made driver changes pretty hectic again. I guess the car handled as well as we could expect given the course design, excessive heat, and horrific steering shudder. We had the new ARH headers and cat-X-pipe and custom tune, with 21 more hp at the wheels across the rev range for this event as well. Rear tire spin was again a serious issue, but its just another element we have to work with until we can get the Watts and a better differential (lots more fab time and testing needed). I'd rather have too much power than not enough, but if I was smarter I'd have too little weight and less power, as that is what SCCA Solo rewards. Like, say, a 1900 pound ST car in STX. That would be fast! :D




Our regular, faster STX competitors from the Texas Region were not at this event - the Maxcy's, and Ledbetter's 328is BMWs stayed in Dallas this weekend - so we didn't have much to gauge our performance on, except each others times, STR/STU times, and PAX. Not to knock the two STX competitors who were at this Div, who were in a stone stock RX8 on the OEM tires driving their guts out; they had a lot less prep on their car for the class. My drive in STX class was bad, frustrating, and I coned my fastest runs on both days, which were 1.4 seconds quicker on Saturday and 1 second quicker on Sunday, than my clean runs. I cannot explain this huge gap in my clean vs dirty runs, other than I drove like a hack. I haven't been leaving that much time out there, even in this "difficult to drive car". This was almost as frustrating as the STU Nats win I threw away in 2005 with cones on 2 different runs (as did my co-driver). So this weekend I had 3 cones in 8 runs over 2 days (whereas Amy hit 7 over both days, but never on her quickest runs!), which was still a fairly low cone count for this event (some normally quick drivers had upwards of 3-7+ cones per run and cone counts in the teens for the two days - it was a busy course), but those cones cost me dearly. Even without those cones, and 2.4 seconds quicker times, my PAX placing would have still been "meh". I was 6 seconds behind STR and STU over both days as well - not a good finish.


Left: Terry, driving around a dirty sweeper sideways, like a jackhole. Right: Amy, driving in the same corner, was smooth and fast

My dirty driving and her smoothness allowed Amy to "skirt" me pretty badly for both days - around .9 sec. She had me by .4 sec on Saturday and .5 sec on Sunday clean. It was already frustrating enough but then every announcer in each run group on both days had to rub that it in continuously. "Terry's getting skirted!" comments were popping up every 5 minutes, even in the 2 heats we didn't run in... Ugh. Here's a tip - don't co-drive with your wife if she's fast and you have thin skin. ;) Amy was a good sport and didn't kick me while I was down, at least.



Amy drove some solidly quick runs but still barely won the PAXed "women's class" at the event (a class we have in this Division to avoid having a dozen 1 car entry Ladies' classes), and the win pushed her to the 3 event Division Series W class championship. She had to fight for it, beating some quick drivers/cars. My STX class win did the same for me, but with the Maxcy & Ledbetter STX cars not in attendance at 2 of the 3 SW Div events, it was a hollow victory. More important - our PAX times were NOT good , slotting us well down in the 29th and 34th places. Yeesh... This again points clearly how far back the car still is, better than anything else. We weren't keeping up with the two fast STX cars/drivers at regional events, and not PAXing well at these Divisional events, so why would we take this car to Nationals?



Long story short - we aren't going to take it to Nationals this year. Its more than just the poor performance of the car (which has been consistently slow over 3 drivers, all of whom have trophied or won at National SCCA events) that's keeping us from bringing the red Mustang to STX/Nationals this year. There's lots of other reasons, but the lack of performance in the car with 3 somewhat proven drivers, and the wacked out steering problem we haven't nailed down yet, are reason enough.

I'm also swamped for the entire month with moving Vorshlag into its new building. What I thought would be 8-10 days of construction is looking more like 20-25, including days, nights and weekends. We had to gut the commercial space to make the layout work for us, but at least now we'll have a pretty big shop - that's air conditioned. When its 100-107°F outside its still 100+ inside a non-climate controlled shop. Everyone here will be glad to get out of this crushing heat and into a well lit, spaceous, and air conditioned shop space.

I could point to a bunch of other reasons, like the continued allowance of the ST>STX "upclass jumping" (aka: poaching), which is finally supposed to end in 2012. Then there's the expense of going to Nationals; we'll drop $3000+ in entry fees, fuel towing to/from Lincoln from Dallas, hotel rooms, and food + each of us will lose a week of work. Mostly its the performance of the car and the timing with our shop move.

More preparation needed - Costas and I would consider the car about "half-prepped", at best. We still have the single adjustable shocks on there, and however good they may be, they are still single adjustable shocks and can only get us so far if conditions change or we need to alter the set-up. We do have the Moton Club Sport doubles revalved, and pretty much ready to go onto the car, as of last Friday - but its going to take 1-2 days of testing to get the car reliably fast, possibly including a revalve of the shocks, and we just don't have the days to attack that this month. We're out of time, and the car is just not ready.

We've had a dozen people say "just slap some Hoosiers on it and run ESP", but there's a lot more to ESP prep than big gumball tires, and I'm not fool enough to think we'd keep up with Madderash, Merideth, or Strano in an STX prepped car with Hoosiers thrown on at the last minute.

We're not giving up on the Mustang. I agreed up front to give it 2 years in STX, and that's what we plan to do. Next season we will have time to make a better lateral locating device for the solid rear axle, like a Watts Link, which the car needs for several reasons. Plus there are lots of rear suspension tweaks in STX, unique to a stick axle car, we can still exploit that we just haven't touched. We also never got a chance to swap in/tune/test with an aftermarket differential, which any autocrossed car with over 400 whp desperately needs, especially one that comes with a craptastic clutch-style diff like this car. The electronic steering "issue" is also pretty massive, getting worse, and Ford cannot seem to fix it at the moment. You don't take a broken car to Nationals. And the car isn't even competitive locally , yet. It's as simple is that, and all 3 drivers were in agreement for this year. We ran out of time with respect to testing and additional parts development, and just were not seeing the results we needed to see in the last 2 months of running events to then invest thousands of dollars to go get ~30-40th place in STX at Nationals, especially when ST cars were allowed to run in STX that weigh half as much as ours'.

I hate excuses, but we do have quite a long list amassed this time. :D We've had several choice co-drives offered for Nationals for Costas, myself, and Amy, and as much as those are appreciated, the business construction/move work is really where we need to be spending our time this month. So we'll spend August setting up the new shop instead of last minute testing, parts installation, and a week in Lincoln. We have the $2011 Challenge to prep for in just 2 month's time as well, and our crapcan E30 V8 needs a lot of repair and set-up work to get ready for that. After that event in early October, we'll jump back to the Mustang (and also the TTD 330 with it's new motor, the E46 LS1 Alpha car development, the black E36 M3 LS1 car, and many other project cars in the Vorshlag shop). Its a bitter pill to swallow, and I'm going to miss being at Nationals this year, but I've been enough times in a row to afford to skip this year.


Click the thumbnails above for HiDef videos from Day 1 (Amy , left) and Day 2 (Terry , right) from the Divisional

An opportunity popped up and we will have the Mustang in a booth at the Yellow Rose Classic car show Aug 13-14th in Ft Worth, if you happen to be going stop by and say "hi". Look for us right across from the SCCA Texas Region folks. I don't know if I'll be there both days, but the car and someone from Vorshlag will be. :)

Since we won't be at the Solo Nationals, please go here to request Vorshlag decals for your car. We can make them to order in a few different colors, but already have lots of 24" decals ready to mail out in black, silver and white. VTPP Testers at Nationals need to be running Vorshlag decals, per VTPP agreements. AST/Moton will have their trailer at Nationals and will have a limited number of Vorshlag decals on hand.

Good luck to all of the drivers at Nats this year!
Fair
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13 Sep 2011 01:02 PM
Project Update for Sept 12, 2011: Wow, haven't raced the Mustang in nearly 2 months. Took the last 60 days and got the new Vorshlag commercial space demolished and rebuilt, then we moved in. Very long hours and lots of work. During that time I only went to a karting event (Vorshlag Karting Challenge), the day after we did demo. The guys and I worked a little on the Mustang, installing the PC680 Odyssey Battery.

Lightweight Battery Install







As you can see, the OEM battery weighed 32.2 lbs (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-2011-Mustang-GT-build/i-BHPS42m/0/M/DSC4236-M.jpg
* PAX Results: http://autocross.com/tr/2011_7_pax.htm
* Photo and video gallery: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/SCCA-TMS-091111/

We are running in different run groups again, Amy in heat 2 (while I worked as announcer) and me in heat 3. She took a stab at some changes, after texting my in the timing trailer, but I touched nothing during my runs. Rear tires were overheating badly, as usual, and the steering was doing its Mad Shudder in all corners and slaloms - worse then ever before - but we just drove around all of these issues and still had a good time. Amy was quick and smooth; I was driving like an asshat, using too much throttle and steering input, getting the car crossed up too much. It felt really loose to me, and I was driving on the head of a pin to keep it on line. Too much throttle and it stepped out easily, even in 3rd gear (see it crossed up in my video, right before the finish; that was with gentle 3rd gear throttle). Too much steering input and it wanted to swap ends. We brought no tools to make swaybar changes (it needed that), so we played with the shocks a little and it helped.



As usual, Amy got faster each run , pretty much, yet always looked controlled driving it on video - even with a few cone issues and a DNF early on. I also got quicker on each run, but never felt like I put in anything remotely resembling a coherent run until my last. Watching video from all of my runs was hilarious - I was over-braking one run, then braking way too late and getting into ABS Ice Mode the next. One run I'm coasting through the tight parts, then over-driving them then next. Total mess - I felt extremely rusty. Only on my 4th run did it all seem to come together, and it felt half-way decent. Of course I chose then to hit my only cone of the day, running over the base of one in the slowest part of the course, and threw it all away. Bah! I had both the Ledbetter 328is (with co-driver Brian B at the helm) and Brad Maxcy's 328is beat, but could not do it clean. The cone pushed me back to a disappointing 3rd. Damn.

So while I had fun, this event was a stark wake-up call - if I can't get this big Mustang to the top of the leader board at a regional event like this, on a stupid-fast power course where the deck was stacked heavily in my favor, does it have no shot in STX at all? I'm having some doubts. Even without the cone, I would have only PAX'ed 8th, and even then, just barely beat the BMWs and ST/STS Hondas (with the cone I PAXed a dismal 15th, and didn't beat the top ST* cars). I'm not one to put too much stock in hero runs with cones, either.



Questions Linger

After a season of running it in STX, some nagging questions still remain: Is the Mustang just too powerful and too heavy for 265mm street tires??

The limited tire size in STX is probably going to keep holding this car back. Since there is never going to be a sliding scale of tire size vs weight in any ST* class, we're stuck with the same 265mm tire as a 2800 pound RX8 or BMW can run, yet have to carry around an extra 700 pounds that we can't seem to get rid of. All the extra power we can make is going up in smoke, and we're never going to have the cornering speeds of the much lighter cars in class. This extra mass and power is making the car a bear to drive, too. Then there are all of the "too new 2011 GT" issues (new 5.0 motor/programming, new all-electric steering/programming, and an ABS system that is still very unforgiving compared to the E36).

It is just that time late in the season where you have to think about prepping for next year. We're looking hard at which class we race the Mustang in for 2012: Does switching to ESP make more sense? Maybe another year of development can magically transform the car in STX?

We know the Watts link + new rear control arms + Motons + aftermarket diff will help forward bite, but can it fully tame the massive rear wheel spin? Maybe we can find some more weight in the exhaust and other areas, but we're running out of places to look. Sure, with more time we can get the all-new engine mapping tuned even better. Maybe with a steering fix (awaiting a valid TSB) the car gets less darty in transitions (where its violently shuddering) and easier to control? The 17" Dunlops and 17x9" rear wheels, which I only tried for a few runs at one event earlier this year, need to be further tested in action, and settings optimized to get more forward bite out of them. Lots to do.

We have the car about what I'd call "half-prepped" for STX now. Another year, and that list of items, will surely help. But will it be enough?? And would bolting on much bigger Hoosier gumballs make more impact in one fell swoop than all of that, combined? Well, since STX and ESP share a lot of the same suspension rules, we're going to try a quick little test at an upcoming autocross event - using two drivers, we'll run STX as-is, then slap some A6s I picked up on the 18x10" D-Force wheels and see how the car behaves in ESP, on the same day. PAX placings in each iteration should tell us a lot. We just want to see. Its a cheap and easy test, too. We can switch the wheels in about 4 minutes, if we need to.

Don't worry - we'll keep the focus on STX, and keep the car able to switch back and forth between classes quickly. It needs more preparation, more testing, and more modifications to be competitive in either class, in any case. If we make any significant changes or get to that Hoosier vs Hankook test this year, I'll post it up here!

edit: Hanchey of AST/Moton suggested this:
Quote:
STU, STU, STU!!

Why don't you slap some 285 street tires on it and see what happens there? You'll be closer in weight to those cars, in the same hp, etc.

If +20mm more street tire would make the car 2 seconds faster, I'd consider it. Even then, I'd still be a good bit behind the STU AWD turbo buggies. Unfortunately I don't think +20mm will help enough. We already did one test on 275s and it wasn't any faster.

But yea, maybe its worth a test? If we could round up some 285/35/18 Hankook R-S3s ($265 each) and put them on the 18x10s, and do the same back-to-back STX vs STU testing, it would be insightful. Anyone want to donate $1060 worth of tires? I'll give them back to you with only a few runs on them. :D

Thanks for reading,
jzr
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13 Sep 2011 02:14 PM
Not liking what I'm reading Terry. Any effort spent on STU or ESP prep is distracting you from the issues you need to be working on in STX. Get the steering fixed, and get the throttle mapping fixed. With ST's allowances you could intercept the TPS and re-map it with a magic box. You could make it so full throttle only equates to 60% throttle initially, and have it ramp up to 100% over time, the longer you hold it down. But then again, Amy doesn't seem to have the wheelspin issue...

I doubt your cornering speeds are much different than the other cars in the class. You should compare some quality data to see. I bet you're losing time because you aren't able to smoothly keep the car at its limits; not that the limits are too low.

You still have a long way to go in sorting the car out, and really shouldn't expect to be doing any better than you are at present, especially given everything else you've had going on simultaneously. Losing focus with alternate prep levels is only going to lower your chances for success in STX going forward.

Sorry for the tough love, but I'm going to be disappointed if I don't get to kick your ass next year... ;-)
47CP
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13 Sep 2011 02:57 PM
x2 with JZR. You have only done things to make rear traction worse, not better. Not exactly apples to apples but a 2 degree change in 3rd link angle on my car can make average forward acceleration numbers jump from .8g to 1.0+g. You have 3 or 4 major deficiencies at the back of that car which are unadressed and you still complain of forward bite problems. . .

Keep up the fight!

DaveW
Fair
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15 Sep 2011 10:41 AM
True, we haven't touched the rear suspension yet (other than shocks) - and that HAS to be addressed before we abandon STX. Don't worry, we will. There are so many extra options for a stick axle car in STX we have a lot of areas to explore. We need a miracle, but it might be in there. ;)

After we get through the $2011 GRM Challenge we'll jump back into the Mustang's rear suspension, swap on the Moton Clubsport doubles, and keep at it.
Cito
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28 Sep 2011 06:53 AM
This thread has been an enjoyable diversion this year. I am a bit puzzled that a better differential was not higher up on the list of modifications. It would have trumped a light battery in my book, but my book is a lot less written than yours in terms of competitive race/preparation knowledge.

I certainly appreciate all the work that you have put into your car and the amount of information you have shared with the community. Thanks for all the work you have done with the car and the extensive documentation.
Fair
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28 Nov 2011 03:25 PM
Project Update for Nov 23, 2011: To our USA friends, Happy Thanksgiving! After over 2 months off from autocrossing in the Mustang (GRM Challenge, a NASA track day, a Hankook Arrive and Drive, plus some other events were jammed in there) Amy and I managed to get it to the last Texas Region SCCA autocross of the year this past Sunday, the 20th. It was run at the Lone Star Park horse track parking lot, my "not so favorite" local autocross site. The site is big, less than an hour from my house, has some cool elevation changes and on-site restroom facilities, so I should love it. It just has a lower grip surface that comes apart badly. It makes for a very narrow "clean line" that you have to stay on at all costs.



Last 2011 Autocross

Overall, it was actually a very fun day, surface degradation notwithstanding. Jarrett Jan laid out a pretty fun course that was technically challenging, plenty long (60 seconds), yet well marked. The hard working SCCA crew spent some serious time cleaning the course surface before the first runs, using brooms and air blowers to move hundreds of pounds of gravel off line. So the first run group has some clean course runs. :) The weather was looking very iffy (high chance of rain), and due to a site-forced re-scheduling, the event was moved a week back from its original date, so we were expecting a very low turn-out - but 82 racers made it out and we had a great event, running in STU and STU-W.



New Tires, Wheels, DDP pistons in AST struts

So yea, if you were paying attention just then we didn't run in STX. Let me back up a bit to explain why. In July of this year Amy won a random drawing for a free set of Bridgestones at the NSTC event. One of those "fill out this survey" deals. Whatever the reason for the tires, Amy already had a great relationship with Bridgestone for several years, after winning a National Championship (STU-L) on them in 2007 and being sponsored driver in 2008. So we were excited to be running their tires again, no matter how we got them. :) They sent us a set of 275/40/18 RE-11s (the biggest 18" size they made, by the way) and a big box of decals, and we mounted them up on the D-Force 18x10" wheels on Friday before the autocross. I gladly put on all of the decals they sent - give me $1400 of free tires and I'll damn sure run your decals!



We've got pallets of these 18x10" wheels (5x114.3 mm PCD, fits '05-up Mustang and '08+ Subaru Impreza; I'm almost 100% certain it fits the RX8 as well - will know soon!) arriving at Vorshlag right around the end of this year ($300, 19 lbs!) so I really wanted to do an autocross and a track day on the wheels first, and fit them with something wide like these 275s - which fit the 10" wheels perfectly. Sure, a wider tire would work even better, and for a more serious STU effort we would go with a 285mm tire. It was just that the widest RE-11 was this 275, so that's what we asked for and received. We'll use them for street use, drag racing, maybe a random track day, and this last autocross of the year. Good test miles on the D-Force wheels, for sure. I was really impressed by these RE-11 - I think its just as fast and as competitive as the Dunlop, Hankook, or Yokohama. We drove that day in the cold and later when it warmed up a bit, and it was ripping up pavement.

I think the RE-11's higher price and "lemming effect" of the online community has given this tire a bad rap. I'm going to start keeping the RE-11 on my "go to" list for Street Touring choices. Also street drove on them Monday in the rain and I was able to use 100% full throttle in 1st gear . That's never happened before on this car... the Pirelli's are a joke in the wet. These RE-11s are stupid good in the wet.These wider/taller tires fit the 10" wide wheels and the car PERFECTLY, with the tall 40 series sidewall making for great ride quality on the street. Filled out the big wheel openings and were only 1/2" shorter than the mammoth 255/40/19 tires it came with. Anything we can do to lessen the effective rear gear ratio (3.31) is a plus, extending 2nd gear speeds even higher - into the mid 70 mph range @ 7800 rpm. So I was curious if the wider and significantly taller tires would be a significant performance improvement, going from the 18x9" wheel and 265/35/18 Hankook RS-3s to the 18x10" wheel and 275/40/18 RE-11s. The 265 Hankooks had so much shorter and stiffer sidewalls, I felt the 'Stones would be a big improvement. And I was right.



We also got to try out some brand new shock pistons from AST - their new Double Digressive Pistons, or DDPs, were installed into our 4100 front struts a few weeks ago. We have Moton Clubsport doubles ready to install for this car but have been waiting to try the DDP equipped (and renamed) 4150 AST shocks at both autocross and track events first, before we switch to the Mo's. I'm glad we waited! These DDP pistons are amazing - they ride even better on the street than before, but when you turn up the knobs they make some SERIOUS rebound forces. This piston is a game changer, and starting in 2012 all 4000 series ASTs will have these pistons (and a new shock name). Be prepared for a slight price increase on the AST 4000 series on Jan 1st 2012 - but the added costs will include these DDP pistons, improved top guides, upgraded seals, aluminum shock bodies, and several other innovations - all things learned from racing in GRAND AM in 2011 (where ASTs took 28 of the 30 podium positions in GS for the year!). The new 4150 is coming soon...

http://autocross.com/tr/2011_9_final.htm
PAX Results: http://autocross.com/tr/2011_9_pax.htm
Photo Gallery: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/SCCA-LSP-112011/
Videos: Terry Run 4 (60.404), Amy Run 3 (62.347), Amy Run 4 (no official time; hand timed at 62.3)

Obviously an STU car should have been a full second quicker than STX, but this was still a monumental showing, and I have plenty of excuses! :D One, this is hardly maxed out for STU - I'd be running an 11" wide wheel with a 285mm tire for that class. We also didn't have the race seats in for this event (took them out for the winter), which hurt us sitting in the barcalounger stock seats. Lastly the front camber was set to minimum on one side, which really didn't help. Long story there: basically there was a very busy week at the shop and the Mustang didn't get any pre-race preparation this week except for me mounting the wheels/tires and adding Bridgestone decals when I came into the shop for a bit on Saturday, between other fires I worked on that day. We had removed one corner of the front suspension this past week to take measurements for an all-new S197 camber plate design, and we never re-set the camber on that corner. Doh. It was set on -2.0° on the RF and -3.2° on the LF, so it cornered better one way than the other. I guess we push my cars down to a lower priority due to increased amount of customer service work. ;)



Anyway, it was an encouraging event when compared to STX and other classes with very talented drivers in them, more than the "near win" autocross in September, which was on the freagin TMS Road Course (where I should have easily won STX with the +200 hp advantage, but drove like an ass ). These STX cars I'm running against are FAST, and a good gauge. We had Mark Sipe in his STX RX8 there as well, running in "X" class (with a 60.5+1), and fast STS drivers running in the 59.5-60.0 range (also in X). So we are at least "in the ballpark" of where I think we should be, for STX. If we can get the rear suspension tweaked to put power down like this on the 265s, we might actually have a shot in this big pony car pig (40 series 265s).



Oh! We finally got the 3" 304L mandrel bent exhaust bends built and in stock this week, so we're busy building our first customer dual 3" mandrel stainless exhaust with the new bits. Ryan has TIG welded up a nice system so far, and I can't wait to let him loose on the Mustang here, which still has the OEM heavy/restrictive/stupid quiet "after cat" exhaust. Once that is on I will take the car back to True Street Motorsports for another custom dyno tune, and finally get the "street" tune" we didn't have time for before. I think it will exceed 430 whp, in STX legal trim (last dyno pull was done in 107°F August temperature). It could be knocking on the door of 500 crank hp, which is pretty cool. We're going to hit the 1/4 mile dragstrip right after that, and I better see some low 12 second ETs @ 115 mph (it ran 12.9@109 mph in bone stock trim). Then we have LOTS of rear suspension development and even some STX legal aero bits to build for the car over the winter. Hankook just came out with a big 265/40/18 RS-3 that needs a look and I still have yet to test on the rear 17x9/265/40/17 Dunlops. I'll check back into this thread as soon as we have something new to show... probably December. There's also a track at at ECR on Dec 10th we might take this out for a few laps in. PRI is Dec 1-3, and a LeMons race Dec 17th.. its looking like a hectic month.

Cheers,
Fair
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12 Dec 2011 08:06 PM
I am running out of patience with this train wreck forum formatting. It is taking me a huge amount of HTML coding to get even a basic post up here without it being one huge blob of text.

Project Update for Dec 9, 2011: There's an ECR track day this Saturday (ECR Toy Run) and AJ and Ryan have been wrenching this week on both our 2001 BMW 330 and the 2011 Mustang, to take these two cars out for one last blast around the track for the year. The BMW hasn't been on track or autocrossed in over a year, but its been running around with its fresh 2005 motor for a couple of months and and we've finally found all of the clunks and bangs and repaired them (the ball joints in fairly new front control arms had already sh!t the bed! Lesson learned: don't buy cheap, no-name replacement parts).



Before we got started on the exhaust, I had AJ swap the race seats back in, then align, corner weigh and corner balance the Mustang. The weights were looking good - this was before the exhaust work lined out below. The weight above (3483) was with the trunk junk still installed; it was 3472 lbs with low fuel (autocross weight) and the junk out, so it is slowly getting lower. Not too terrible for this big pig - the car started out life at 3563 lbs w/o fuel , and we've seen over 3600 lbs stock, with some gas in the tank. The 18x10's and the 275/40/18 tires are a bit heavier than the normal 18x9/265 tires we run, so knock off another 40 pounds out for the "STX" autocross weight. And we're going to get some weight out of the exhaust, today...



The Mustang is getting a new, 304SS, 3" mandrel bent, "after-X" exhaust here at Vorshlag today. It has been running around with the ARH 1-7/8" primary full length headers, the ARH catted X-pipe, but the stock rear exhaust section from just after the X. The drive-by sound test numbers didn't go up at all with the headers, which meant the stock mufflers were choking the the exhaust noise and flow down considerably. The stock mufflers looked heavy, too, and the over-axle section and resonators are "factory crushed" with crazy crimps and "clearance" bends. Its been bugging me for months, and we finally found time to attack the Mustang after our fabricator finished with McCall's Z3M dual 3" exhaust (which is incredible). Did I mention that Vorshlag is offering custom mandrel bent exhaust fabrication now?



I was right about the Mustang's stock mufflers - they are 25 pounds each! The after-X exhaust section with mufflers was 75 pounds just by itself. Factory exhausts are ALWAYS crazy heavy, and restrictive, and too quiet. We'll fix that!



While Ryan was TIG welding up the exhaust AJ was swapping to the dedicated set of track rotors and pads, plus giving the car a brake fluid flush.



This is the final routing, above. It gets within 2 inches of a fuel filler line so we wrapped that part of the exhaust with header wrap, just to be extra safe (there was zero issue with it after 2 drivers tracked it all day). To see how much weight the new dual 3" exhaust shed, we did a quick scale check as it came down - 3442 lbs. So it lost exactly 30 more pounds just in the rear exhaust. Most of that was in the mufflers, but some was in the larger diameter 16 gauge pipes, too.



After we got home that night, before we went out to grab some dinner in the Mustang, I shot a little video (below) of Amy in the Mustang starting it up, idling, and a little blip of the throttle. It sounds pretty subdued at idle and cruising around, but at WOT it is definitely "easier to hear the engine" now.


click for video of exhaust test


Next week we'll take the Mustang back to True Street and have it re-dyno tuned, and finally get the damned "street" tune, that takes out our weaker "autocross" throttle mapping. I will do another thread update after the dyno runs, with a report of how the track event went (Mustang was great!), what times it at ECR, etc.

Thanks,
Fair
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22 Dec 2011 10:52 AM
Project Update for Dec 21, 2011: So much has been going on with my racing schedule in the past 2 weeks, sorry for the delayed update. Dec 10th I drove my 330 BMW and our 2011 Mustang GT at the ECR Toy run on the 10th, then did a 4 hour karting enduro at DKC Dec 13th, then dyno'd the Mustang on the 15th, then drove 275 miles worth of laps in a 15 hour LeMons race at ECR Dec 17-18th . And December is usually a slow month on our race schedule?!

So the pertinent bits for this thread are the dyno number and the ECR track day in the Mustang. Yes, I said I wasn't tracking the Mustang anymore, but we had sold Amy's 1997 M3 already, she wanted something to run at this event (we both run it each year), and I wanted to get one more track day in with the new AST 4150 style DDP pistons and valving we were working with AST-USA to verify. The street ride on full soft was better than ever with the new pistons/base valving, and it worked extremely well at the last 2 autocross events. If we could get one track day in, with the knobs turned up, it would be a great data point. And not to mention, ECR is very bumpy. So I broke my promise to myself - we tracked the Mustang again. And OMFG, I'm so glad we did! :D

Track Day in Mustang + BMW

As I already posted about in the BMW 330 project thread , the folks who run the 2.5 mile road course at Eagles Canyon Raceway always put on a good "fun" track day every December. Its only $50 + a toy + some canned goods to run, makes for great donations to local families in need, and which brings out all sorts of casual racers that want to run on track for lower costs + a few serious track guys/racers that want to squeeze in a track event at the very end of the year. I guess we fell into the latter group, but barely.

Pictures and videos are here.

ECR put on another great Toy Run event, with 90+ cars in attendance on a cold 30°F wintery day. The track was mostly dry from previous rains and the weather warmed up into the mid 50s that afternoon, so we had a great time, peeling layers of clothing off as the day warmed up. The plan was to for me to primarily run sessions in the BMW 330 in Red group, logging its first track miles on the "new" 2005 M54 longblock, and its first miles driven in anger in over a year. Brought the transponder charged up, had sticker 285 R6s mounted (which we can just barely squeeze into the build for TTD use), so I planned on putting in a mild first session, coming in and checking everything. Then go out and pound out a lot of laps in it, steadily pushing the car and trying to put in a quick time.



Amy was to drive the Mustang in the same group all day, and just have fun. Towards the end of the day I was going to swap cars with her for the last session (each group had five 20 minute sessions on track scheduled), slap on the transponder, and see what the Mustang would do, too. I've driven literally hundreds of laps at ECR since my first NASA TT event there in 2008 (where I set the TTU record, and fastest TT time in the old E36 LSx Alpha car), so I knew the track and it would give us a good baseline for the Mustang. When we put the very-revised/DDP equipped/updated Moton Club Sport doubles on the Mustang (soon), we'll go back to ECR and re-test the Mustang with the same wheels/tires/power and see where we pick up time.


If you wanted to, the 275mm tires could be vaporized like this all day - in 3rd gear

The best laid plans... first of all they did not have the AMB timing system turned on, and wouldn't. It was a long shot, but I had hoped they would. So no "real" times. Damn it - should have pulled the trigger on that new on-board lap timer/data logger. Oh well, I figured I'd find someone to hand-time both cars for me towards the end of the day, when it warmed up and we'd be quicker anyway. So we both went out in Red, which was the very first session on track at 9 am, and it was frakking COLD. I warmed up the BMW's tires, trying to scrub them in, and put in about 9 trouble-free laps over 20 minutes in it. Never saw Amy in the Mustang - she was on the other side of the track each lap, running about the same times as me. The 330 felt fine, but there was some unusually SLOW traffic in this group (one of which was moved down to Blue group later, some to Yellow), so I just took it easy, shifted the motor early (5500 rpm), and just tried to scrub in the tires and not abuse the brakes. The HP+ pads on the 330 were fairly thin (the replacements we had ordered weeks before arrived the next Wednesday), so it wouldn't stop 100% for more than 1-2 lap bursts.



Got in-car video driving the BMW in this first session, but only ran a 2:07, with plenty of mistakes. Meh, not very quick, but that was already 3 seconds quicker than its previous best, which was a NASA TTD record. So it wasn't a totally wasted effort.Came in the pits and the BMW had developed a tiny leak at the coolant reservoir. Freak thing, where the OEM bracket flexed and let the tank rub a pulley, and didn't start to leak until I was already off track, and just a trickle at that. Long story short - it went onto the trailer. Amy had a blast in the Mustang, said it was working great, so I took the 5.0 out during the next Yellow group and she stayed running in Red, so we doubled up sessions in the same car. Car didn't care... just asked for more fuel, and more abuse!



Getting into the Mustang and driving it on track for the first time in 6 months... man, I had missed THAT! And now the car had more power than at any other track sessions before (we had 100% stock dreivetrain/power mods on it before). Every track event I've done since driving the Mustang last were in LeMons cars, the BMW, or something else with a lot less than 430 whp. Driving the Mustang on track with the newly added horsepower (ARH full lengths + cold air + tune + Vorshlag headers + ARH X-pipe) and 275mm grip on the 18x10s and new AST 4150 DDP pistons was a BLAST, even if it was on Amy's full street/daily driver set-up.



The new Vorshlag built dual 3" exhaust behind the ARH 1-7/8" full lengths sounded GOOD, and we had several drivers, spectators, and corner workers walk up and tell us that "that thing is the best sounding car on track today!", and it was. Sweet, sweet V8 sounds, but not terribly loud. The sound it made from 5000-7000 rpm... oh, it made my man parts tingle. I opened the hood in grid and a swarm of people came by to gawk at the clean, tidy engine bay. Got a lot of "That thing blew by me like I was STOPPED!" comments from Yellow group drivers.



So Amy and I kept taking it out in Red & Yellow and I led some "Lead-Follow" groups during a few Green groups as well (hazards on, about 60% pace, for to show the proper line to n00bs without freaking them out). All we needed for the car was fuel - but it averaged 11.8 mpg, running some hand timed 2:03 laps. Amy had some low 2:10s, and with a little coaching she'll find every ounce of speed I had. So yea, the Mustang on street tires was 4 seconds a lap faster than the TTD prepped BMW 330 on 285mm Hoosiers. Horsepower. 'Merca!

Current track impressions: This Mustang probably still needs some dedicated brake cooling ducts, as I could get the DTC-60 Hawk pads a little warm if I was pushing the brakes 100% for a couple of laps, but it still STOPS. Might switch to a Porterfield pad someone has put me onto. Some added aero wouldn't hurt, as it has the ample power to convert into some downforce. The car was pretty much just flawless on track, and too damned much fun. No temperature issues at all, even with 2 drivers driving it back to back to back. I could hoon it in 3rd gear in slow corners, or drive it nicer and put down some decent laps. Played with a certain hot TT driver's E92 M3 on similar tires and the Mustang came out ahead. I had it all on video, but all of the in-car from the Mustang was borked when we looked at it the next day. Gah! It was so good, with a passenger hooting and laughing the whole time. So, I think any more power in the Mustang and it would be begging for Hoosiers... Hell, its already begging for Hoosiers. I gotta quit tracking this still too-new car. Its just so much more fun to drive than my "dedicated track car" BMW with M54 power!

continued below
Fair
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22 Dec 2011 10:55 AM
(continued from above)

New Tune + Dyno Number

So we had hoped to get the Mustang over to the local tuner shop we use for this car (http://www.truestreetmotorsports.com/ Use your social media outlets as well - Twitter, Facebook, Google+. We are in love with these wheels. They are so light, so big, fit these cars so well, and I want them on all of my own cars. I can just only use so many myself, you know? Or order a set for yourself - you deserve a set of proper 18x10" wheels that do not weigh 30 pounds each!

Thanks for your help.
Kbreeze
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24 Dec 2011 11:09 AM
First off, thanks for all your hard work and for providing the mustang community with a nice option in a light weight wheel. However, I was a bit disappointed in a few things, starting with the final wheel weight. When you introduced these to the BMW community in 18x9 &amp; 18x10 sizes back in 2007, the weight for the 18x10 was only 18.5lbs: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/foru...p?t=765864

Your prototype 18x10 for the mustang was 19.2lbs if I remember correctly, and now you are saying the final production wheel is going to be 1lb heavier then that? So the same exact wheel &amp; size for the BMW is 18.5lbs but for the mustang it will be ~20.2lbs? What is the reason for that? Why was it necessary to make them rated for such a higher weight load? The mustang isn't THAT heavy. In fact it weighs a little less then a new M3.

Also, a couple points on maybe why these have not sold as well as you thought they would:

1.) As mentioned above, the weight turned out to be in the 20lb range instead of in the 18lb range

2.) Just my personal opinion that I think the price could be a bit better, or at least include free shipping. It's supposed to be a special introductory price for pre-order, but it's the same exact price other places charge for these same exact 18x10 wheels in the BMW fitment.

3.) Personally I think it's a nice looking wheel, HOWEVER, it would have been nice to have introduced this with a fresh new design/style, instead of just re-using an old style that's been around quite a long time already. Especially considering it's a wheel design that is associated with BMW. Some mustang guys may not want "BMW" wheels on their car if you know what I mean.

4.) Maybe you need to do more advertising of this wheel. Have you posted about it on all the mustang forums?

Please don't take offense to any of this...just one man's thought's &amp; opinions...
NJ Drive
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24 Dec 2011 12:33 PM
1 lb of wheel weight isn't going to win or lose a race. Just saying.
A strong, affordable 18" x 10" that weighs 20lbs should be commended.

Offset differences on wheels of the same size also plays a role in final wheel weight.
Kbreeze
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24 Dec 2011 12:42 PM
Yeah NJ DRIVE, I think I'll have to change my mind and agree with you on this. I looked into it a little bit further, and I'm not sure if it's true or not but I read the BMW ones were not JWL approved. I'd rather have the extra 1 to 1.5lbs wheel weight trade-off for the extra strength and 1800lb load rating, especially since I will be running these on the street.
Fair
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03 Jan 2012 06:45 PM
Good points you bring up. The prototype Mustang wheel was heavier than the BMW version because the prototype was a modified BMW wheel, with steel seat inserts drilled at a larger pattern. That added some weight that won't be part of the production Mustang 18x10. Then we upped the design load rating on the production wheel, since the Mustang is a bit heavier, so it should come in about a pound more than the 18.5. I suspect it'll be around 19.5 lbs. Should be nice, strong, yet still very light.

As for free shipping and a lower price, well, I do not have as much margin in these as I had initially planned on. If I had ordered 500 wheels, sure... but that's a LOT of cash outlay. As it is I'm getting $30,000 worth of wheels at once, which is a good bit more than my typical D-Force order. heh. As for shipping, well it isn't free for us. We also spend a good amount of time on each wheel order - we open each box, inspect each wheel, then pack the heck of each box, in triple layered boxes, with little shower caps then plastic fitted rings around the outer lips, all to ensure it gets to the customer in perfect condition. That eats up a lot of time and money. Its the best we can afford to do, but you won't be disappointed. The next closest 18x10 wheel in weight (that fits these cars properly) in this size is $673 each and 20 lbs. I think this is still a heck of a bargain. :)

Cheers,
Kbreeze
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03 Jan 2012 07:01 PM
Thanks for the response. One other question. In all these pictures with your red 2011 mustang and these new wheels, how much is your car lowered? One of the problems in choosing wheels for these new mustangs is they have a habit of making 18" wheels look small. In your pics I think they actually look pretty good, but was wondering if maybe that's because it's lowered a lot. My 2012 GT is only lowered 1" and I was concerned it might not look as good if you know what I mean...
Fair
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17 Jan 2012 01:33 PM
Kbreeze wrote:Thanks for the response. One other question. In all these pictures with your red 2011 mustang and these new wheels, how much is your car lowered? One of the problems in choosing wheels for these new mustangs is they have a habit of making 18" wheels look small. In your pics I think they actually look pretty good, but was wondering if maybe that's because it's lowered a lot. My 2012 GT is only lowered 1" and I was concerned it might not look as good if you know what I mean...

 

Our car is only lowered 1.5" from stock right now, in the pictures shown, using AST 4150 struts and shocks. We've run it lower than that but this makes the rear geometry even worse the more you lower it (pinion change). When we replace the upper control arm and panhard bar (which will allow us to re-adjust for proper pinion angle and lateral axle location) we test the car another .25" to .5" lower.
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