How to modify for Road Racing

Discussion in '2005 - 2009 Specific Tech' started by jlisle01, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. It's happened to me and I can tell you IT STINKS! It's not really one of those "how often does it really happen" things, it's one of those "it only has to happen once" things. Please, learn from my mistakes and mount one. Don't be on the side of the track one day saying "I didn't think it would happen to me".
  2. I forgot that I promised an update on the Kumho Ecsta MX. I've put two track days on the MX's and they are definitely stickier than the KDW's. The tire change alone has lowered my average lap time a second and a half. However, they are noisier than the BFG's, absolutely stink in the rain, and flat spot if left outside in the cold for more than a day. Overall, unless you're only concern is lap times, I'd still recommend the BFGoodrich KDW for an occasionally tracked street car.
  3. i just made this a sticky.

  4. For Autocross, I pop the head rest off & flip it around. That accomodates my helmet comfortably, and the head rest is still there, if a bit further back. A vertical headrest would be a nice item to have. :) Edit: with the headrest flipped, I sit a bit more upright, which I can't do with the headrest in the normal postition, even without the helmet.

    Brilliant! looks good, good idea.

    Edit:so that's in the front? I just realized that looking at the seat picture. :) makes sense with stock seats. Ideally that strap goes down through the middle of the seat, but that just isn't feasable with stock seats.

    Thanks for making this a sticky!


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  5. Yea, I know. I would absolutely love to have some better seats. I start drooling every time I see a an ad for those red leather Cobra Misanos.:drool: But, with the size of my posterior, by the time the seat is wide enough to fit me it won't fit in the car anymore. After years of ignoring my ever expanding waistline I'm actually on a diet so I can fit in a good racing seat. If I make it I'll have to post up a good "Open tracking my Mustang SAVED MY LIFE!!!!!!" thread. But until then the harnesses and stock seats will have to suffice. That's a great tip about turning the headrests around. I'll have to try that out next time. Thanks!
  6. I bought a set of STEEDA Ultra Lites(9.5x18) with NITTO 555 (275x40) shoes installed at STEEDA.

    I did five track days so far with this car and after the tires get hot, they get very sticky. People think I have R compound tires. I just rotated, because the rears were wearing faster. The wheel tire change, transformed the car.

    The car has 17k miles and I should get three more track days and 10k miles on these tires.
  7. I have the 18x9 ASA mesh wheels that Steeda sells with 275/40 BFG KDW. I have a similar responce. I suprised some people with R-compound tires my last time out at the track. Not sure on how they will wear yet as there is maybe 1K miles on the setup.
  8. first off, thanks again to the OP for this thread. more people should have these cars on track. it's a great car out of the box, just like you said.

    my experience after a few sessions at Virginia Intl Raceway and Summit Point Raceway:

    1. I cooked my REAR brakes. apparently the proportioning on the S197s can favor the rear brakes more than is ideal for tracking the car. I don't know if others have had this problem but my point is to monitor the health of your front AND rear brakes.

    2. my personal opinion is to basically leave the car alone until you can drive it at its limits...ASIDE from the brakes. pads, hi temp fluid, and/or ducts/braided stainless lines will keep you from cooking them if you haven't perfected your braking to preserve the stockers.

    3. stick with whatever tires that are round, black, and hold air. better tires will cover up MISTAKES in your driving. just my opinion. once you master your delicate monster on the KDWS tires, then move up to something stickier.

    4. this is in NO way to create an argument, but from what i've experienced and been advised to do safety-wise is ALL stock or ALL upgraded safety gear. in other words: stock belts plus a CG, OR rollbar/harnesses/seats all together. you are arguably risking injury to yourself with equipment that is not designed to work together should you need it. just my $.02.

    5. don't fork around with endlinks and sway bars. if you're Ross Bentley you may notice a difference, but for us normal guys/gals adjusting the sway bars will provide negligible results. it's basically putting the car before the horse [i speak from experience lol].

    6. but most importantly, DON'T SPEND MONEY THAT WILL KEEP YOU FROM GETTING TO THE TRACK!!!! spend money on SEAT TIME SEAT TIME SEAT TIME and then do your mods after you have paid for track time.

    check out to find High Performance Driving Events in your area. you can get out there for as little as $40 for a 20 minute hyperdrive before you commit $350 or so to a full on HPDE. or you can work grid/timing/scoring to earn 'credits' for a free HPDE!!! beware, you WILL get addicted and your bank account WILL immediately begin to hemorrhage!!!

    this is an AWESOME car on the track [even though i've decided to go with a hi mileage 94 gt as my track car 'just in case' something bad happens]!!!!

    keep this thread going!!! and thanks again jlisle for starting the conversation!


    ps: if you DO want to spend some money on suspension stuff, i have a 3 way adjustable swaybar, steeda x5 balljoints/hd strut mounts/street comp. adj. endlinks/GTrac brace and an Edelbrock 4 pt. strut tower brace for sale for CHEAP.
  9. Just covering the basics here, :) but didja turn off the traction control? I've read of people toasting the rear brakes specifically because of the traction control.

  10. To me the traction control really doesn't help anyway. My first time out my instructor said, "Let's just turn that off so you can learn to drive the car." The Mustang's traction control isn't too advanced anyway, I think it's better turned off.
  11. Great question Tom! I always turn it off when I get in the car [get in, close door, adjust wheel, put key in, press clutch, turn key, start car, turn off TCS, etc.]. There's a chance I may have forgotten for one session, but all the other sessions I'm 99% sure it was OFF.

    A new-ish GT500 had the same problem at summit point. I think it's partially [maybe] not turning off TCS combined with driver error that causes this, and maybe a small percentage of the factory proportioning settings being out of whack for track days.

    But I'm still learning all this stuff so take all this for what it's worth!

  12. I've never had a problem with the rear brakes getting hot, traction control or no traction control. Are you running the same pads front and rear? I've always run a "softer" pad in the rear. I chose my current pads by tracking the brake temps over a series of sessions. I've never gotten my rear brakes over 600 degrees. I wonder if a more aggressive pad would raise the temps.
  13. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not an expert so Northy, please don't take this the wrong way, but I'm not sure I understand the "all or nothing" approach to safety equipment. But safety issues aside, I am still a firm believer in harnesses for the benefits in car control. You simply can't drive a car to it's limit when you're using the steering wheel to hold yourself upright. You should be driving the car with a light grip on the wheel and I could never do that until I installed the harnesses. That said, there is a safety issue involved in using a harness bar instead of a roll bar. The problem is that the harnesses will not let you lean to the side like the stock seat belts will if you roll the car and the harness bar, of course, does nothing to help hold the roof off of your head. I suppose I should have mentioned that in the original post. To my way of thinking though, anything short of turning the car into a full blown track only race car is going to be a compromise and I consider the harness bar/ racing belts to have more advantages than disadvantages. I was really thinking more of the control issues and I'll bet you a set of tires that I'd turn a faster time in an otherwise stock car with harnesses than I would in a car without the belts but with $700 worth of engine or suspension mods.
  14. I most definitely agree with you. You said what I was thinking but couldn't articulate re: getting out of the way of a collapsing roof in a worst-case-scenario event.

    Agreed: if it's faster times you want and a more stable 'driving position', the harnesses do help. There are different opinions on this, some of them very strong. My racecar [obviously] has all the NASA CMC spec gear, but my 94 GT has stock safety stuff for the time being. I think I'll go with a bolt-in roll bar, seats and harnesses eventually... I digress...

    I'm really not sure what happened to my rear brakes! I guess it doesn't matter now that I don't track that car any longer ;-( I actually prefer the car ON the track vs. OFF the track.

  15. I know exactly how you feel. Did you say you race a mustang in NASA sanctioned racing? If so, I'm curious as to what kind of alignment settings you run; especially the camber. I've done a million searches for a good track alignment spec for this car and have come up with loads of specs for everything from spec miatas to Corvettes but zilch for a Mustang. This year I'm going to start charting tire temps and try to come up with a good track only camber setting but I'd like to get some input on a good place to start.
  16. Haha....Well at the moment I'm a 'poser'. I have purchased a 1995 Mustang GTS racecar that is a Camaro Mustang Challenge car. I haven't even driven it yet, nor do I have my comp license. I'm not in a hurry to get it, but I will probably attempt to have it by next spring, depending on this season.

    My daily/track car is at negative 2.5 for camber, and I think the CMC guys run somewhere around that...but my car's not an S197.

    My suggestion is to go to and also look on in the "American Iron" section; the SCCA's American Sedan series also runs these cars [one won last year at nats] so the forums there may help as well. The S197 can run in NASA CMC2 or AI/X. You certainly will be able to get some answers there through PM's/emails if the info is not already available by just searching the forums. Look for posts by Robin Burnett who races a Steeda American Iron S197 Mustang [holy ***** it's awesome!]. Also Matt ???? [aka "Radio Flyer" on the NASA forums] has been running his S197 for several years now as a track car so he may also have answers.

    I think this will be the best source of that kind of info that you could possibly find.

    If you don't have the Maximum CC plates yet [your sig says you have the Steeda ones which only afford you up to negative 1 degree] I'd say that's the best thing you could get next!!! Plus those damn Steeda ones are SO FREAKING NOISY. I had them on my car and couldn't stand them.

    Nice chatting with you!

  17. Thanks Northy, that's good info. I've spoken to Robin before about front alignment settings. He told me that if I wasn't in the two's I wasn't running enough. I'm just not sure my street tire equipped and mildly modified car needs as much as those guys do. That does kind of give me a ballpark figure though.

    As for your Mustang Camaro challenge car, dude, I envy you. I think I'm bumping Batman down a notch and making you my new hero. :hail2: Thanks again.
  18. Robin's great...I wish he'd buy my 07 GT. He didn't care for the Chamois interior.

    Anyways, sounds like you may be ready for some RA1s or the new R888s. You could even get some used ones cheap [as you probably already know] just to try em out. And this may be the year to buy cheap RA1s because the spec tire changes to the R888s 1/1/09. You can easily fit a 255 series tire on your stockers [that's what they run in CMC/2]. Although lots run 275 series tires, the 255 R compound will still give you far superior grip over any street tire no matter how wide.

    Well, as for the CMC car, I've seen NUMEROUS of these cars for sale in the $7-10k range READY TO RACE in the last 3 months. I won't say what I paid for mine [it's in that range] but Steve Poe gave me a fabulously awesomely smokin deal!!! These cars can easily cost 15-20 grand to BUILD if you're not savvy with the dollars, but USED they go down in price depending on the market.

    View attachment 333651


    07 GT For Sale!!!

    [for those of you that know Summit Point, this is going into turn one...I'm WAY OFF line now that I look at the picture and realize what I was doing...Oops.]

    Later folks,


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  19. I'm not really ready to step up to slicks yet. My best time is still a good four seconds slower that the car is capable of and I'd like to be as good as the car is before I step up to track only tires. Then there's the issue of how to get them out there.