S197 vs The Venerable Fox - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-11-2011, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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S197 vs The Venerable Fox

The new 5.0 s197s are damn nice cars, and seem to make really good track cars. But it's also a lot of money to risk wadding up on a track. And people are almost giving away foxes right now.

So I was just wondering, for sake of wondering...

If you took a fox, added through-the floor subs, roll bar, Maximum Motorsports kitted IRS (based on test driver Dave Royce's comments here: https://forums.corral.net/forums/9664457-post3.html), MM k-member and a-arm (setup for maximum wheelbase), and an inexpensive aluminum headed headed 351w based stroker (or maybe a used Coyote 5.0 once they're more available on the used market), how would it compare as a track car to a mildly prepped s197 –#shocks/struts/springs/ECU tune/exhaust, maybe a BOSS/LS package... Equal wheels/tires between the cars for sake of comparison.

Hidley and Strano probably have the most experience with prepped fox/sn95's and s197 in track-type environments, but anyone with real experience have any idea how these two cars would compare?


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post #2 of 6 Old 05-11-2011, 10:46 AM
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Two things I would ditch off your list are the IRS and 351, both carry a hefty weight penalty and that's about the only advantage the fox has. A n/a 331 in a fox can easily get you to the wt/hp ratio of a boss S197 or 5.0 s197.

In race trim the cars are very close. I raced a former AI national champion who drives a S197 a few weeks ago at Buttonwillow. We ran under the same ruleset. He ended up beating me but our lap times were within 1.5s of each other but I was on a set of tires well past there prime. Assuming we had equal tires I would say the cars are so close that it comes down to the driver.


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post #3 of 6 Old 05-11-2011, 11:34 AM
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Are we talking about a dedicated track car or a street/HPDE/auto-x car?

I would think under equal race conditions, as stated, the stock HP of the 4v 5.0 should not be an advantage. While I can't speak from experience, I believe the power band, and more so the platform is still a big step for the Fox to overcome.

In a street/track car compared, I think the gap will widen considerably, giving the nod to the S197, due to it's inherent chassis and engine.

And yes, I would lose the IRS and go with a 331 to take advantage of the Fox's light weight.

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post #4 of 6 Old 05-11-2011, 11:45 AM
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Either can be just as fast depending on your investment and the tradeoffs you're willing to make.

The fox can be made faster for cheaper, IMO. But the tradeoff will be it's streetability/reliablity. The S197s will be a better platform and require less changes to make them as fast but you're starting at a much higher price point.

I've driven both in a track environment (though not on the same track) and I believe my Fox is faster than a STOCK 2011 GT. I have half the investment in it that I would in a new car. The problem is that I'm always messing with something and it's a pain to drive on the street.

Meanwhile, if I take the plunge and get a new GT or Boss, I'll be afraid to push it because it's too expensive to break. I also won't be drilling or welding on it, so the race seat and harnesses my Fox has wouldn't be in a new car. It's harder to drive when you're bracing yourself through corners instead of the seats/harnesses doing that for you. Though the steering in the new car is worlds better than my Fox steering.

You really need to ask youself what you plan to do with the car and what sacrifices you're willing to make. That's what will determine what the best car is for you.

I hope some day to have one of each, then I can take whichever I want with me to the track depending on the type of event and how I feel.

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post #5 of 6 Old 05-11-2011, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hipogt View Post
Are we talking about a dedicated track car or a street/HPDE/auto-x car?
A street legal HPDE car, but not a daily driver. I've given up on autocross. Way too much time spent not driving, class creep with the newer technology... blah, blah, blah.

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Originally Posted by Coupe de Surf View Post
A n/a 331 in a fox can easily get you to the wt/hp ratio of a boss S197 or 5.0 s197.
Maybe with a non-stock block. But too many stock-blocked track cars have cracked the blocks at relatively mild power levels. Then again, I guess a 331 stroker shortblock built in a decent block, a lot of used parts and the cost of swapping to a 351w based motor might be largely offset. (Though I'm already in the middle of swapping a 408w into my car.)

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Originally Posted by Coupe de Surf View Post
Two things I would ditch off your list are the IRS and 351, both carry a hefty weight penalty and that's about the only advantage the fox has.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hipogt View Post
And yes, I would lose the IRS and go with a 331 to take advantage of the Fox's light weight.
I'd referenced that other post comparing a prepped IRS to a torque arm car, and it seems that even with the extra weight the IRS is superior. My preference would be toward trying the IRS - less sprung weight, and even though it is a little heavier, it's low and in the back over the axle line. I do realize that most still prefer a non-quadra-bind solid axle, point taken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ91GT View Post
The fox can be made faster for cheaper, IMO. But the tradeoff will be it's streetability/reliablity. The S197s will be a better platform and require less changes to make them as fast but you're starting at a much higher price point.

Meanwhile, if I take the plunge and get a new GT or Boss, I'll be afraid to push it because it's too expensive to break. I also won't be drilling or welding on it, so the race seat and harnesses my Fox has wouldn't be in a new car. It's harder to drive when you're bracing yourself through corners instead of the seats/harnesses doing that for you. Though the steering in the new car is worlds better than my Fox steering.
This is sort of what I was getting at, and was wondering how the two chassis stacked up. I certainly didn't (and don't) want to start a "how to make a fox handle better than a ..." thread. Just a curiosity as to how far some chassis stiffening, better weight balance (IRS and forward offset MM front), and decent suspension geometry would take the car.

The new Mustang seems to be the pennacle of Mustang performance, but with the cost of the new cars you may as well be playing with a used C6Z (particularly against a new Boss).

This is all mostly a mental exercise though, as I don't think I've any serious intentions of getting my car this far – I'll soon be back in school full-time for 3 years for a master's. It's damn near 100% that the Mustang will get sold at some point along the way, as I doubt I'll have the money or the time to do anything with the car. Assuming it does get sold, I'll probably not get back into Mustangs when I'm back to that point financially. I think an early air-cooled 911, any number of Factory Five cars, a used C6 Z06, or even a LS powered 996 (Renegade is working on a kit) would be more fun.

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post #6 of 6 Old 05-11-2011, 03:48 PM
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Not exactly the same as requested by the OP, but when I bought my 01 Cobra, I put some suspension pieces on it and started autocrossing the car - mostly driving schools where one can get a lot of seat time in a day. The problem was that it needed more than I had on it and I really liked that car as a DD. Moreover, my Fox seemed to do a better job a/xing with similar mods primarily due to the weight advantage. There was also the breakage issue (not so much off-course excursions). I ended up retiring the Cobra to DD status and still use it as such. It is a very refined compared to the Fox; the mod motor idles and revs much smoother compared to the pushrod motor. As far as powering a Fox against a 2011 Coyote GT, I'd skip right to a 363 big-bore stroker using an aftermarket 8.2 deck block. Price is marginally more than a 331 with equivalent block.
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