As one scrotum challenged Miata driver was overheard saying, “That guy has some videos on YouTube of how not to drive a Mustang fast.” This event was apparently not much different with me placing 4th out of 6. The respective times were 47.322 (s197), 47.411 (4th gen f-body), 48.225 (sn95 “new edge” GT), 51.637 (my lowly fox), 51.792 (sn95 Cobra), and 52.066 (same sn95 GT – 2nd driver). Also of note was the fact that I was the only driver not on race compound tires. (Notice I didn’t say “slicks.” Slicks are used in the prepared and higher classes – they are not DOT approved. DOT approved race compound tires are not slicks.) Be sure to watch me in that video as I go through the finish lights. Every time I seem to jump up in my seat as if to try and lift the car over those last few cones. Good times.
The previous owner had bypassed the heater core and I’ve never fixed it, so the day started with me driving down the street poking my head out the window because I couldn’t see through the fogged windshield with the temperature in the 40s. A few miles down the road we made a quick stop by the coffee shop, then we were on the road to Zachary.
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. Continue reading
Due to the amount of cost and work it takes to do an a-arm rebuild, swapping bushings and ball joints, you can’t beat the price of a set of new Ford Racing arms with the low friction ball joints and stiffer bushings (part # M-3075-A). However, if you’re a glutton for punishment (as I seem to be), and you’re dead set on the improved geometry afforded by a set of offset bushings, prepare your self. Now, it probably would have gone a lot quicker and smoother had I worked on a cooler day, but I couldn’t change the weather and I was anxious to get the car to the next autocross. Continue reading
In an effort to lighten up the interior I’d removed all sound deadening, as well as the rear seat. For what it’s worth, the 93 Cobra R was sold without a rear seat, which makes this a legal modification for autocrossing my car in Street Prepared. The 93 R had a simple piece of carpet covering the rear seat area, but I wanted something a little bit more sanitary looking. Off to eBay I went, and ordered a set of Betr Rear Seat Delete (RSD) plans from MyPonyHauls. Continue reading
As the Mustang takes another step toward becoming a dedicated autocrosser and loses it’s status as a semi-daily driver, certain niceties are no longer a necessity. A little extra road and engine noise, a little extra heat, and the option of hauling around more than a single passenger become less of an issue. Insulation, sound deadening and the rear seat are sacrificed in an attempt to make this car compete for Biggest Loser. So, what’s it all weigh? Continue reading
It’s been a long time coming, and I’ve finally gotten my ducks in a row and got a car together so that I can go out and play. With my first event being a school, I started things off right.
The school was put on by CENLA Region of the SCCA. It was a great way to get some seat time, dust the cob webs off the driving gloves, and shake down any bugs in my car. They set a cap of 36 drivers, which were divided into three groups of 12. Each group of 12 was then divided into six drivers and six course workers, which would swap half way through the heat. The three groups each took turns on three different courses, and then everyone got a short autocross at the end of the day. As far as I’m concerned, I got to run the courses in the most favorable order, from good, to better, and finished with the best.
Always on the lookout for tools that make my wrenching easier, I ran across this Campbell Hausfeld cleaning gun at Summit Racing. It was less than $15 and looked pretty cool, so I decided to give it a shot.
Good old camber/caster plates.
Not all camber/caster (CC) plates are created equal. Having purchased a Mustang with a set of CC plates installed by a previous owner that ended up being too worn out to continue to use, I purchased a new set from Maximum Motorsports. Continue reading
Swapping big brakes onto a Fox is nothing new. Most people swap over the front and rear brakes off an sn95 and are done. In my particular case, I had a 94/95 V6/GT booster and master cylinder, 94/95 V6/GT spindles and hubs, and a complete SVO rear brake setup laying around. When I ended up with a set of sn95 Cobra rotors and calipers, I went ahead with my swap. Continue reading
The previous owner of my car installed some Corbeau 4-point harnesses and ditched the stock seat belts. Continue reading
I originally purchased my 92 GT with a bad AOD, with the intention of dropping in a DOHC modular motor and 4R70W transmission. To get the car going as a short-term solution, I was going to have the AOD rebuilt on the cheap. When a “friend-of-a-friend” deal went south and the jackass disappeared with my AOD and his cell phone was cut off, the car ended up sitting. After I decided to unload my CP autocross project, I realized I still wanted something I could autocross. Considering the parts I had lying around, making the GT an ESP car, as uncompetitive as it might be, was a great low-buck solution. Continue reading
The front clip and left front fender are replaced, and only need a little more aligning and tightening to be finished. The jackass that sold me the fender said it was a later GT fender, but it turned out to be the earlier model. I had to do a little impromptu fender modification to get the GT front skirt extension to mount. Admittedly not the best work, but it’s a quick fix, otherwise the fender would have been useless to me.
So, what’s going on with the swap? I’ve built up probably half a dozen shortblocks and the worst I’ve had were a mis-adjusted TV cable, failed to tighten an upper radiator hose, and a distributor that was 180 out. This one broke my streak, and my pride. Continue reading
There are a few things to know when swapping from a 302 to a 351 in a 90 F150. Continue reading