Autocross – August 16, 2008

It actually took me a bit longer to get back out to an autocross than I’d hoped. At the last event, the left rear axle ate the bearing. I knew the axles were bad, but the event finished them off, as well as causing some serious popping from the right front ball joint. After a few weeks of my mechanic not returning my phone calls (I’ve since found a new guy), I decided to do the work myself. I replaced the rear axles, bearings, and seals, rebuilt the a-arms with new ball joints and offset bushings, and gave the car a brake job with freshly turned rotors and pads from Maximum Motorsports. First, the axles had to be custom made since nobody stocks SVO axles any longer, and the offset bushings were on back order. After getting all of that taken care of, I dropped the car off at Fisher’s to have the chassis straightened, and the subframe connectors and strut tower brace installed. The previous alignment wasn’t all that great because of a slight twist in the chassis limiting the amount of camber and caster that could be dialed in. After all was said and done, the car was back on it’s own feet (or since it’s a Mustang, maybe hooves?) and I was ready for another event.

During the last event the car’s rear brakes were locking well before the front even with the bias adjusted fully to the front, meaning turning and braking had the car sideways in a heartbeat. For this event I’d put a fresh surface on the rotors and a matched set of pads from Maximum Motorsports. The first couple of runs the front was locking a little too easy. I backed off the front bias a little and the rest of the runs were much better – I was actually able to do a little trail braking. The front still likes to wash out if you overcook it though, which I guess is just typical for the breed.

At this point in the car’s development, it’s an excellent learning car. The chassis is stiff and straight, and the handling is actually pretty predictable considering how poor the fox platform handles in stock form. This ratty old Mustang is a pleasure to drive at this point, and is much more capable than it’s driver. With these last few mods, the car crossed the $5500 point, so I no longer think it can be considered a budget build.

 

In the final results, I finished 26 out of 52 cars, which isn’t bad considering I’m just getting my feet wet again.

More videos: www.vimeo.com/shortlinegarage

Car Setup
Unless specified, parts are stock on a well-used 128k mile high option 92 GT.
Chassis
Subframe Connectors: Maximum Motorsports XL Full-length
Strut Tower Brace: Ford Racing 3pt (93 Cobra R spec)
Weight Reduction: Removed sound deadening and tar from interior
Suspension
Springs: H&R Race f / BBK r
Struts/Shocks: Koni SA Sport struts f / Koni DA Sport shocks r
Brakes: sn95 13″ (93 Cobra R spec) f / SVO r, sn95 booster/mc, Maximum Motorsports stainless front lines and bias knob
Brake Pads: Hawk HP Plus f / Porterfield R4S r
CC Plates: Maximum Motorsports
Alignment: 0 toe, -1.5 camber, and ? caster (it used to be 1.22, but is now a bit more than that – didn’t get the exact numbers after alignment, but whatever it is, it’s maxed out)
Wheels/Tires: 17×9 Bullitt replicas w/S197 offset, 1/2″ Maximum Motorsports spacers (f), ARP studs, Sumitomo HTRZ II 255/40s
Drivetrain
Intake: BBK cold air/filter kit
Exhaust: Unknown shorties, 2.5″ h-pipe, and Flowmaster 2 chamber cat back (and some really stupid LX tailpipes modified to work with the GT rear facia)
Rear: Fresh Trac-loc w/carbon fiber clutches and 3.27 gears
Interior
Gauges: Assorted “boy racer” gauges: oil pressure and water temp in pod on a-pillar, Monster tach remounted to the side of the gauge cluster housing on the dash.
Seats: Corbeau VX 2000 f / rear seat delete (93 Cobra R spec)