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42
13
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Texas
I will say that I am absolutely happy with my newly acquired 2014 GT with Track Pack. The previous owner had installed SR lowering springs with Koni dampers of some sort and an adjustable PHB. I installed a MM bump-steer kit (I mean I paid a shop to install and align). Otherwise she’s stock.

The plan is to HPDE the Mustang four – six times a year (I would place myself with the intermediate category in my previous ride). I am planning to mod the suspension; I think I have a good feel for what parts are required, but I don’t know which brand and what model within the respective product lines. It appears that MM, BMR, Steeda, Cortex, and Vorshlag are the highly-respected purveyors in this forum. Interestingly, I don't read much about Kenny Brown's hardware.

I have three questions at this point:
  • Coilovers. Will a daily-driver with bolt-on mods benefit from corner balancing?
  • Other than the cost of tires, are 18” rims preferable to 19s for any objective reason (I find that weight-savings is negligible)?
  • Watts link. Mandatory or no ROI for an intermediate HPDE driver?
Thanks so much!

-Run
 
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Coilovers... good ones are north of $5K, and they'll need rebuilding every 20K on the street. The race proven Penskes are over $10K

18 vs 19 inch wheels.. the taller wheels will give you a bigger contact patch, however tires sizes for them are limited but continually improving, if you ever plan on running race take offs, then 18s are the only way to go.

Watts links... IMO are belched from the pits of hell, if you must do this go with Ricky at Cortex.

You failed to mention Ford Racing in your parts list. FR parts are designed to work together, well engineered, and come in a simple kit form with all bars, links, shocks and bits in one box. The SCCA mandates their use in many production classes, and therefore, tons of tuning info exists on the subject.
If you dig around on this sight, you will find a bunch of folks who are familiar with these kits and their use with track packs.
 

JDee

Ancient Racer
1,817
2,018
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
5 miles from Mosport
+1 for the Ford Racing kit. Their track kit for the S550 is stellar on track and still very streetable.
I run 19s, there are more 305 width tires available up here in 19 than in 18. Used takeoff slicks are pretty rare in the great white north.
 
42
13
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Texas
Thanks so much for the info, fellas.

Any other thoughts / opinions on the Watts link?
 
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Some of those kits are available with adjustable shocks as well. One of the guys on here running a PP car should chime in at this point because I have limited experience with that format.
 
1,207
1,209
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
I have a 2011 Brembo car since the track pack wasn't available yet. It is basically the track pack with a stock GT radiator instead of the Boss radiator. I didn't go with one with one of the Ford kits since I did most of those mods before finding this forum. I used mostly Steeda components with Vorshlag and Maximum Motorsports parts mixed in where they made a superior product. I really like the Maximum Motorsports relocation brackets for the rear and Vorshlag makes the best camber plates I have seen.
 
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To confirm, this is the FP kit that y'all like?

What brand of aftermarket control arms and relocation brackets would this group recommend?
Ford Performance trailing arms for the lowers, no relocation brackets and a Gt500 or stock center link.
 
1,207
1,209
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
The Ford Performance kits are good, but remember they are a collection of parts from aftermarket manufacturers that Ford engineers have chosen to work together for a desired outcome. There are numerous kits of parts out there selected to work together by various companies, some of which the OP mentioned in his initial post. They all put together good suspension kits and most are more budget friendly than Ford Performance. They also give you the ability to tailor kits to your use and budget. Here is just one example of a kit that is proven to work for far less money than the Ford listed in previous posts. It was assembled with the help of Billy Johnson and was developed as part of his Moto IQ budget track build series.

 
102
148
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Olsburg, KS
Some of those kits are available with adjustable shocks as well. One of the guys on here running a PP car should chime in at this point because I have limited experience with that format.
Unfortunately the M-FR3A-MGTAA kit with the adjustable dampers is no longer available. I got that kit back in 2014 and have been very happy with it.
 
42
13
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Texas
I have a 2011 Brembo car since the track pack wasn't available yet. It is basically the track pack with a stock GT radiator instead of the Boss radiator. I didn't go with one with one of the Ford kits since I did most of those mods before finding this forum. I used mostly Steeda components with Vorshlag and Maximum Motorsports parts mixed in where they made a superior product. I really like the Maximum Motorsports relocation brackets for the rear and Vorshlag makes the best camber plates I have seen.
Last night I read your build thread. I like your style.
Ford Performance trailing arms for the lowers, no relocation brackets and a Gt500 or stock center link.
Pappy (I presume blacksheep-1 is a reference to Pappy Boyington?), do you feel the RLCA does not need correction if the car is lowered, or do you feel this particular improvement results in degradation elsewhere?
The Ford Performance kits are good, but remember they are a collection of parts from aftermarket manufacturers that Ford engineers have chosen to work together for a desired outcome. There are numerous kits of parts out there selected to work together by various companies, some of which the OP mentioned in his initial post. They all put together good suspension kits and most are more budget friendly than Ford Performance. They also give you the ability to tailor kits to your use and budget. Here is just one example of a kit that is proven to work for far less money than the Ford listed in previous posts. It was assembled with the help of Billy Johnson and was developed as part of his Moto IQ budget track build series.

This is great information—thank you. 90% certain that I will get this kit and add Vorshlag camber plates and MM everything else.
Unfortunately the M-FR3A-MGTAA kit with the adjustable dampers is no longer available. I got that kit back in 2014 and have been very happy with it.
Thank you for confirming. I searched and searched and could not find this at the Ford site or at resellers.
 
42
13
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Texas
The FP aluminum driveshaft arrived yesterday. J&M stainless steel brake lines and SVE stainless steel clutch line on the way. She's getting all fluids exchanged.

A local Ford dealer had the FP engine oil filters... I bought three of them because their parts counter dude made it seem as though they are very hard to find. I paid $20.00 each. Good?
 
1,207
1,209
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
If you haven't read the Billy Johnson budget track build series on MotoIQ you really should. It has a lot of great information in a format that is easily understood. He really explains why he chose the parts he did and why he doesn't think a watts link is a good idea. This was written by someone who has more experience racing the S197 chassis than most.
 
1,207
1,209
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
A local Ford dealer had the FP engine oil filters... I bought three of them because their parts counter dude made it seem as though they are very hard to find. I paid $20.00 each. Good?
Which filter the FL1A or the FL820?. The FL820 is usually $18-$20 with the FL1A a couple dollars cheaper. You did fine on them since you didn't have to pay shipping. I have a local Ford dealer that discounts most things for me. I find it is often cheaper to buy from him when you consider shipping. It is also more convenient. Many online Ford Performance retailers can't tell me stock or availability since they drop ship from Ford. The dealer can usually tell me how many and where they are, so I know how long it is going to take.
 
42
13
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Texas
If you haven't read the Billy Johnson budget track build series on MotoIQ you really should. It has a lot of great information in a format that is easily understood. He really explains why he chose the parts he did and why he doesn't think a watts link is a good idea. This was written by someone who has more experience racing the S197 chassis than most.
Yes sir, will consume both sets of information right quick... thank you for pointing me to them.
Which filter the FL1A or the FL820?. The FL820 is usually $18-$20 with the FL1A a couple dollars cheaper. You did fine on them since you didn't have to pay shipping. I have a local Ford dealer that discounts most things for me. I find it is often cheaper to buy from him when you consider shipping. It is also more convenient. Many online Ford Performance retailers can't tell me stock or availability since they drop ship from Ford. The dealer can usually tell me how many and where they are, so I know how long it is going to take.
FL820. Woohoo!
 
1,207
1,209
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
I couldn't remember what the difference was between the two filters. I had to look it up again. They look the same but the threads are different. The FL1A is sae thread for the older push rod engines and the FL820S is metric for the newer engines. I used K&N filters for years with good luck and availability at my local auto parts store. I just recently switched to the Ford Performance FL820s.
 
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Last night I read your build thread. I like your style.

Pappy (I presume blacksheep-1 is a reference to Pappy Boyington?), do you feel the RLCA does not need correction if the car is lowered, or do you feel this particular improvement results in degradation elsewhere?

This is great information—thank you. 90% certain that I will get this kit and add Vorshlag camber plates and MM everything else.

Thank you for confirming. I searched and searched and could not find this at the Ford site or at resellers.
Boyington and when I was a firefighter.

I don't think you need to mess with the rear suspension attachment points at all.
BTW, I crewed on Billy Johnsons car in IMSA last year. His article was very good, I think he still drives that car, it was parked at Kohr.

img-79cc9230.jpeg
 
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@Run_Amok, lots of good replies on this thread. Here's another vote for Billy Johnson's article over on moto-iq, it's excellent. A couple more thoughts in response to your questions:

1. No, I don't think corner-balancing adds very much at an intermediate HPDE level. I'd put it lower on your list.
2. Some of the best advice I got was to pick your track tires first and then find track rims to work with those tires. The biggest decision here is that most true race tires for Mustangs come in 18" diameter but the majority of good 200tw "tweener" tires are in 305/30/19 or similar. So you sort of have to decide what type of tires you want to use.
3. PHB vs. Watts seems to be more personal preference than objectively one is faster than the other. Plenty of very fast cars using both. As true racers on here have explained (@Fabman etc.) my understanding is one of the biggest advantages of the WL is you can adjust rear roll center, and thus rear roll stiffness, pretty easily. I think a lot of the reported "improvement in driving feel" posts you see with a WL comes from what is sometimes a lower roll center. But you can get similar results and benefits by softening your rear roll rate, such as by removing or reducing the size of the rear roll bar which is easy to do. Billy's article has the details.

I'm not familiar with your SR springs but yes, I think you do want adjustable rear LCA brackets if you have lowered the car significantly. Which it seems you have if you were in need of a front bump-steer kit?

IMO your next best ROI upgrades are good wheels and tires and front camber plates.
 

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