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S197 JDMac's Autocross GT Build Thread Profile - S197 Mustangs

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Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
8,623
8,799
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Nice to see your build and I bet you get a lot of attention with your GT? I like your idea of some RT660s in your future as they are a solid Autocross tire, which also has shown it is quick on track too.
 
First round of mods have shown up. I'm super excited!

IMG_6209.jpg
SVE SP2 19x11 wheels in gloss black. I'm going with a square setup and the wheels fit on the front with a 1" spacer, but stick out a lot. I'm hoping that it doesn't look too goofy once the tires are mounted, camber is added, and the car is on the ground.

IMG_6210.jpgIMG_6211.jpg
Falken RT660 tires 315/30R19 square setup. I was originally looking for 305s but those seem to be impossible to find in stock right now. 10.5" is the most narrow approved rim width according to Falken, and I've seen a couple of cars with 315/30R18s on 18x11 wheels and they didn't look too wide for the wheel. Between that and the fact that Tire Rack had them for the same price as the 305s, I thought Go big or go home, right? These things are massive! I attached a picture to compare these tires to the 285 BFGs I have on my truck. Wheels and tires get mounted tomorrow (Wednesday). Hopefully they fit!

IMG_6212.jpg
Whiteline Adjustable Sway Bars (front and rear) are in. I took them for a spin with the old tires Saturday and they felt great with the front set to 4/4 (full stiff) and the rear set to 2/4. The rear is set to 3/4 in that picture. The car felt so much more balanced with these. My last car taught me how important adjustability can be, so I'm very excited to be able to dial these in.

IMG_6215.jpg
Maximum Motorsports Caster/Camber Plates are in...on the passenger side. My package came with 2 passenger plates, which really threw me for a loop when I couldn't get the driver side strut back in. LMR's customer service is top notch and they have already shipped out another kit so that I can hopefully get it in time for my alignment Friday morning.

I'm planning on using this car mostly for autocross, driving to and from the track, and occasionally to work when it's nice out. That being said, I'll list the alignment specs I'm shooting for below:
Camber: -2.7 deg (maxing c/c plates before messing with the camber bolt)
Caster: 7.5 deg (even left to right)
Toe: 1/8" out total (0.14 deg per wheel)

Not pictured is the BMR Panhard Brace that just got delivered. I'll throw that in sometime this week.

My biggest concern right now is the tires fitting. I'm worried about them rubbing the strut with all the camber I want and/or taking out my fender when I hit a bump. I guess that we will see!
 
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Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
8,623
8,799
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
There are a lot of us running 19x11 wheels with 315/30/19s and there seldom seems to be an issue with the majority of the owners. Most of us are running Apex Wheels and not sure of the offset on the SVEs and their fitment. I imagine there will be interest in your clearance as it is always good to know of other choices out there. I have run SVEs on some cars I owned in the past and they worked fine, but Apex Sponsors this site and has been pretty good about letting members know about size concerns and the bonus with them is their flow formed and forged wheels are really designed to fit huge brake rotors. The car looks great , exciting to see all the adds, and hope to see you on an Autocross course in the future!
 
Don't forget to get high strength/extra long wheel studs if you haven't already, once you're into big spacers you really should be running them.
I have a set of hub-centric spacers that I'm planning on using for now. They are the adapter style that has another set of studs pressed into the spacer. I know that those can be a hot topic but I haven't ever had a problem with them as long as they were properly installed. I have a friend with the same set on his rallycross car and he hasn't ever had an issue.

It sounds like front wheel bearings don't last long in these cars. I plan on swapping to a set of Ford Performance hubs with the ARP studs, ARP studs in the rear, and a pass-through (or whatever you would call it) spacer when that time comes.
 

JDee

Ancient Racer
1,861
2,074
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
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20+ Years
5 miles from Mosport
OK. Then I won't mention that you're doubling your points of failure by using those adapters.
Ooops, I guess I did.;)
Not sure they'll pass tech either, whereas spacers on long studs will.
I still have my original front wheel bearings and this car has been a track day car pretty much since new. It seems hit and miss with them, some last forever, some die young.
 
OK. Then I won't mention that you're doubling your points of failure by using those adapters.
Ooops, I guess I did.;)
Not sure they'll pass tech either, whereas spacers on long studs will.
I still have my original front wheel bearings and this car has been a track day car pretty much since new. It seems hit and miss with them, some last forever, some die young.
I had a set on my old Jeep and have a set on my current F-150. Probably about 100k miles combined with a decent amount of gravel roads and towing on both without a single issue. As long as you use thread-locker, torque to spec, and retorque after a little bit you should be fine. My secret is that I slap them and say "That ain't going nowhere" after installing them; just like you would when strapping something down!

I looked through the SCCA Solo Rules and didn't see anything that said they won't. My understanding is that as long as both sets of lug nuts have enough threads engaged then they are good to go.
 
99
112
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Southern Illinois
We are pretty similar in setup. This year I usually run about 2.5-3 second behind the top driver each event. I've had a few of the better drivers at my local events be my co-driver. They usually are amazed at how well the car performs. He was able to beat my times by almost 1.5 seconds on average. Shows the car has much more left than my skill set so far.
 
We are pretty similar in setup. This year I usually run about 2.5-3 second behind the top driver each event. I've had a few of the better drivers at my local events be my co-driver. They usually are amazed at how well the car performs. He was able to beat my times by almost 1.5 seconds on average. Shows the car has much more left than my skill set so far.
I did a little snooping and saw that you mentioned CCSCC a few times. I'm assuming you mean Champaign County? I ran my New Edge with them in July. Not much of a CAM class that weekend but I remember there being a guy in a [what I think was black] S197 that kicked butt.
 
99
112
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Southern Illinois
I did a little snooping and saw that you mentioned CCSCC a few times. I'm assuming you mean Champaign County? I ran my New Edge with them in July. Not much of a CAM class that weekend but I remember there being a guy in a [what I think was black] S197 that kicked butt.
I ended up missing June/July. You were lucky and got the event that STL guys came for a visit. That black s197 with orange numbers was @Dave Whitworth. A couple of our CAM member have been out this year. Bill and his wife have both had medical issues going on and their son has been traveling for work. I am actually on the board as a Safety assistant.
 
IMG_6264.JPGIMG_6266.JPG

Preliminary testing looks like they will fit! The sidewall just barely sticks out from the fender but looks like it might be able to tuck under compression. There was enough room for me to fit my finger between the sidewall and the strut with the camber bolt maxed out; which I didn't expect. I'm hoping to get the correct caster/camber plate in this afternoon, swap all wheels, then have the big reveal. I'm loving the look!
 
I just realized that it has been a while since I updated this thread. I'll make a few posts to catch everybody up.

After getting the alignment (2.7 deg of camber) my tires were still poking out the fender a little. This wouldn't normally be a big issue but the Eibach Sportline springs made my car sit so low that the fender would just barely rub on big bumps. Fitment guys would say that it looked funny, but I loved the little bit of poke. I ran a few autocross events on this setup and it did really well.

IMG_6296.JPGIMG_6304.JPG
 
After a few events, I realized that wanted to go with a stiffer spring and raise the front end a little. I had adjustable shocks on my New Edge and loved them. Being able to set them stiff for smooth fast courses and soft for bumpy short courses (or for the drive home) was a game changer.

A set of adjustable coilovers seemed to be an obvious solution. I got a set of Pedders coilovers with their camber plate (PN: PED-162052) and like them. I had to cut a larger hole in my strut tower to allow for full camber adjustment. I set the ride height, got it aligned with 3deg of camber, had to adjust the ride height a little more, and have been loving the new setup.
IMG_6418.JPG
I'd recommend buying an alignment bracket for cutting this hole. I made my own and it kind of works, but I'd think that Vorschlag's tool would give you a much cleaner cut.
IMG_6401.JPG
Here is how it sits now. It doesn't look as low and mean, but doesn't rub.

The only bad thing that I have to say about this kit so far is the lack of caster adjustment on the top plate. I think that I'm currently at about 0.8 deg of cross caster and my alignment shop (who has done me well so far) wasn't able to get that out. I don't notice it at all but considering a set of Vorschlag plates to help with that. Other than that, I love this kit. The stiffer springs make the car handle and respond much better on the track, the adjustable shocks allow me to adapt to the surface condition and track layout well, and the highway ride wasn't compromised that much.

I also noticed that my rear axle was tracking a little. After looking at the old alignment sheet, I had a couple of degrees of thrust angle noted. One wheel was centered in the wheelwell but the other one wasn't. Nothing seemed bent so I got a set of J&M Adjustable Lower Control arms to correct this. The NVH went up a little with these because of the steel heim joints taking place of the poly bushing on the axle end, but it wasn't anything serious.

I ran the last few events of the year with this setup and loved it. Here is the link to my Autocross Progress thread if you want to see how it performed
 
My list of projects over the winter isn't too long:
  • Fix the coolant leak - DONE
    • My car has had a very slight coolant leak the whole time that I've owned it. I saw that the level would slowly lower but couldn't ever find where it was going...which was scaring me. Luckily the leak got much worse at my last event and I could see that it was coming from the plastic Y fitting by the thermostat. Apparently that's a common thing for coyotes. I replaced that with an aluminum fitting, a new thermostat, and new seals for everything that I touched. While I was in there I noticed the left heater hose fitting was also leaking a little bit. I decided to put new heater hoses in too. I inspected the old thermostat to make sure that it was OEM spec and it was. It also had a chunk of something that made it stick open.
    • I did a few test drives after that and my coolant loss seems to be fixed! I also noticed that the car gets up to temperature much quicker. I was happy enough to give it a bath and put it away for the winter.
  • Quiet the exhaust
    • I got a set of Ford Racing mufflers to replace the annoying Roush axle-back system that I have now. It sounds good at full throttle but is obnoxious for most of the driving that I do, plus I'm way over SCCA's volume limit of 100dB. I haven't had an issue with this at my local events, but I'm hoping to get into some bigger events where it might become an issue. Apparently these mufflers aren't the same as the GT500 mufflers. The forum post that I saw said that they are "tuned to eliminate drone for the BOSS 302's NA 5.0L instead of the GT500's supercharged 5.4L." It seems like they will still have a good tone but be just a touch quieter than the GT500 mufflers, which works for me. Unfortunately the guy who installed the Roush mufflers decided to weld them onto the over-axle pipes instead of the usual clamp. Time to get creative!
  • Brakes
    • My brakes work well, but I feel like they should be performing a little better than they are. I cooked my brakes at a track day and think that has been causing most of the issues. My rotors are a little bit warped and have a nearly polished finish on them. I got a set of Hawk Tallon rotors that are waiting to be put on. I'll probably stick with Hawk HPS 5.0 pads for the street and autocross and get a set of DTC-60 pads if I ever want to go back to the track.
  • Build custom splitter
    • My current chin spoiler was knocked off a couple of times last year after hitting cones. I'd like to build a cone deflector...I mean splitter... that kind of copies the Laguna Seca splitter. I want it to be durable enough to take a cone impact or two as well as semi-functional at actually improving aerodynamics. I'm thinking either ABS plastic or aluminum that is chassis-mounted - still a work in progress.
 
My list of projects over the winter isn't too long:
  • Fix the coolant leak - DONE
    • My car has had a very slight coolant leak the whole time that I've owned it. I saw that the level would slowly lower but couldn't ever find where it was going...which was scaring me. Luckily the leak got much worse at my last event and I could see that it was coming from the plastic Y fitting by the thermostat. Apparently that's a common thing for coyotes. I replaced that with an aluminum fitting, a new thermostat, and new seals for everything that I touched. While I was in there I noticed the left heater hose fitting was also leaking a little bit. I decided to put new heater hoses in too. I inspected the old thermostat to make sure that it was OEM spec and it was. It also had a chunk of something that made it stick open.
    • I did a few test drives after that and my coolant loss seems to be fixed! I also noticed that the car gets up to temperature much quicker. I was happy enough to give it a bath and put it away for the winter.
  • Quiet the exhaust
    • I got a set of Ford Racing mufflers to replace the annoying Roush axle-back system that I have now. It sounds good at full throttle but is obnoxious for most of the driving that I do, plus I'm way over SCCA's volume limit of 100dB. I haven't had an issue with this at my local events, but I'm hoping to get into some bigger events where it might become an issue. Apparently these mufflers aren't the same as the GT500 mufflers. The forum post that I saw said that they are "tuned to eliminate drone for the BOSS 302's NA 5.0L instead of the GT500's supercharged 5.4L." It seems like they will still have a good tone but be just a touch quieter than the GT500 mufflers, which works for me. Unfortunately the guy who installed the Roush mufflers decided to weld them onto the over-axle pipes instead of the usual clamp. Time to get creative!
  • Brakes
    • My brakes work well, but I feel like they should be performing a little better than they are. I cooked my brakes at a track day and think that has been causing most of the issues. My rotors are a little bit warped and have a nearly polished finish on them. I got a set of Hawk Tallon rotors that are waiting to be put on. I'll probably stick with Hawk HPS 5.0 pads for the street and autocross and get a set of DTC-60 pads if I ever want to go back to the track.
  • Build custom splitter
    • My current chin spoiler was knocked off a couple of times last year after hitting cones. I'd like to build a cone deflector...I mean splitter... that kind of copies the Laguna Seca splitter. I want it to be durable enough to take a cone impact or two as well as semi-functional at actually improving aerodynamics. I'm thinking either ABS plastic or aluminum that is chassis-mounted - still a work in progress.
My advice on the last bullet point, shop around to see what bolt on solutions are available. It's taken me a good part of the off-season trying to build a chassis mount splitter on the weekends and I'm still not finished.
 
1,208
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Exp. Type
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Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Big Sky Country
Kazespec Engineering makes a great chassis mount bracket for the S197’s that uses the Professional Awesome quick release bracket on the splitter side. Here’s some pics for reference - the red portion is from KSE and the lower aluminum portion is from PA. Only requires drilling one small hole in the top of the frame rail.
E4FC73FA-5317-4C1C-AF24-709BF3C40A1A.jpeg

87749D46-B6D4-483D-94CD-61F680781164.jpeg

C0366846-9538-4DDD-9F28-F1F170327C70.jpeg
 
I found a splitter for sale on Facebook Marketplace the other day. The guy said it was LVA's splitter for a Roush chin spoiler. After contacting them and doing a little bit of research, this is what I came up with: The green line is where my current chin spoiler would sit, red line is LVA's splitter for Street Scene spoilers, and blue line is LVA's splitter for Roush spoilers.
1678797355384.png

What I was told by LVA is that the "larger outline is for the Roush". I think that's true for the front of the splitter but I probably have the sides flipped since the Street Scene should be wider.

Anyways, don't think that this splitter is actually for a Roush spoiler. When pushed as far back as it's supposed to be the front only stuck out about 1/2" but it was about 1/2" in on each side. If I move it forward a few inches (like shown below) then I think it looks good in the front but still looks too narrow on the sides. Looks like I'm back to square one.

IMG_6669.JPGIMG_6667.JPGIMG_6666.JPG
 
1,208
2,229
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Big Sky Country
I found a splitter for sale on Facebook Marketplace the other day. The guy said it was LVA's splitter for a Roush chin spoiler. After contacting them and doing a little bit of research, this is what I came up with: The green line is where my current chin spoiler would sit, red line is LVA's splitter for Street Scene spoilers, and blue line is LVA's splitter for Roush spoilers.
View attachment 84811

What I was told by LVA is that the "larger outline is for the Roush". I think that's true for the front of the splitter but I probably have the sides flipped since the Street Scene should be wider.

Anyways, don't think that this splitter is actually for a Roush spoiler. When pushed as far back as it's supposed to be the front only stuck out about 1/2" but it was about 1/2" in on each side. If I move it forward a few inches (like shown below) then I think it looks good in the front but still looks too narrow on the sides. Looks like I'm back to square one.

View attachment 84808View attachment 84809View attachment 84810

It’s made for this Roush chin spoiler.

9BF44025-DE72-4ACE-B9D1-DF62DB1FEACD.jpeg
https://www.roushperformance.com/2013-mustang-roush-front-splitter.html
 
6,674
8,774
I love the splitter bracket, keep in mind anything up front needs to be addressed at the rear of the car also.Did you get rid of those press in spacers? Because they really need to go. I'm surprised you didn't get busted at tech with them.
 

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