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Discussion Starter #1
So I've got a 96 Supercharged Cobra. It has a Vortech supercharger w/ 442 rwhp. It is a blast to autocross.

I'm decently fast, but rusty. I run with the Triad Sports Car Club and am about 4 seconds behind the FAST SM guys and we have some FAST guys that go to Nationals, etc. so I feel like I have a good sample to test against.

It looks like the top National SM guys are about 2 seconds behind the top SSM cars. So, I've only got to find 6 seconds somewhere :).

I'd really like to compete for the NCAC (NC Autox Champs.) next year in SSM and be competitive. Right now, my car isn't prepped close to the max...

So, here's what's currently installed.

Front:

MM-CC plates (-2.3 degrees neg. camber, 5 degrees caster, 0 toe)
MM Bilstein HD coilover w/ 375lb springs
stock swaybar

Rear:

MM Panhard bar
MM Bilstein HD coilovers w/ 250 lbs springs
stock swaybar
MM rear LCAs

Misc. stuff:
stock diff
1" H&R spacers (rear)
subframe connectors

17x9 Cobra Rs on RE-01s (2 years old, but in good condition)

I am going to cornerweigh the car since it hasn't been weighed in a while. Last weigh in w/ full interior and me approx. 3600

I've also got a 4 pt. bar + ultrashiled + momo wheel w/ no back seat and most of the interior out of the trunk.

Things on my to-do list:

-move battery to trunk
-re-install Steeda tubular front bar (thinking it will help decrease camber loss and help in transitions)
-re-install Steeda adjustable rear bar (to balance the car)

Things I THINK I need to be competitive:

-275 r-comps
-wider wheels? 10" maybe...
-Koni yellows (adjustability) and stiffer rates
-Poor man's 3 link or some type of legal TA
-Tighten the rusty nut behind the wheel (I'm not as good as I was a few years back when I was autocrossing at least 10-12 events per year...)

Any of you autocross gurus have any ideas? It looks like an 04 Cobra placed 14th at Nationals this year, so I would think it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to make the car really competitive regionally.

DP
 

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So I've got a 96 Supercharged Cobra. It has a Vortech supercharger w/ 442 rwhp. It is a blast to autocross.

I'm decently fast, but rusty. I run with the Triad Sports Car Club and am about 4 seconds behind the FAST SM guys and we have some FAST guys that go to Nationals, etc. so I feel like I have a good sample to test against.

It looks like the top National SM guys are about 2 seconds behind the top SSM cars. So, I've only got to find 6 seconds somewhere :).

I'd really like to compete for the NCAC (NC Autox Champs.) next year in SSM and be competitive. Right now, my car isn't prepped close to the max...

So, here's what's currently installed.

Front:

MM-CC plates (-2.3 degrees neg. camber, 5 degrees caster, 0 toe)
MM Bilstein HD coilover w/ 375lb springs
stock swaybar

Rear:

MM Panhard bar
MM Bilstein HD coilovers w/ 250 lbs springs
stock swaybar
MM rear LCAs

Misc. stuff:
stock diff
1" H&R spacers (rear)
subframe connectors

17x9 Cobra Rs on RE-01s (2 years old, but in good condition)

I am going to cornerweigh the car since it hasn't been weighed in a while. Last weigh in w/ full interior and me approx. 3600

I've also got a 4 pt. bar + ultrashiled + momo wheel w/ no back seat and most of the interior out of the trunk.

Things on my to-do list:

-move battery to trunk
-re-install Steeda tubular front bar (thinking it will help decrease camber loss and help in transitions)
-re-install Steeda adjustable rear bar (to balance the car)

Things I THINK I need to be competitive:

-275 r-comps
-wider wheels? 10" maybe...
-Koni yellows (adjustability) and stiffer rates
-Poor man's 3 link or some type of legal TA
-Tighten the rusty nut behind the wheel (I'm not as good as I was a few years back when I was autocrossing at least 10-12 events per year...)

Any of you autocross gurus have any ideas? It looks like an 04 Cobra placed 14th at Nationals this year, so I would think it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to make the car really competitive regionally.

DP
Not sure how to say this all that delicately.... It's going to depend on who you run against and how you measure competitive. A Mustang was 15th @ Nationals in SM, that's true. It was also 15 out of 17, and the time was about 13 seconds or so from the class winner and a lot slower than what I ran in my stock category car. That car is listed as a 1995 also, not an '04 and not in SSM, but in SM... So I'm not sure what exactly you are seeing...

Flatly.... the car just isn't an ideal car for competitiveness at a high level. As you step away from Nationals, then likely your chances get better (there aren't as many 3 rotor RX7's and such, but the fact remains in that class you can take a small nimble car and add power--but it's hard to make a Mustang smaller. :)

The stuff you list will help, though 275's and 10's are smaller than what you find on an ESP prepped car. But basically you'll have a ESP suspension then but an engine that keeps you out of that class (where the car is otherwise competitive).

Hey, I sell parts---and I autocross. And I think it anyone can help you it's me. But I'm trying to be upfront here and tell you that if it's a really competitive car you are after, that's going to come down to what you determine to be an ok result.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Sam,

Thanks for the honest advice. I guess it is comforting to not see any "local" competition at Nationals, so I may be competitive in NC.

I'd love to chat sometime, I see your site and will try to give you a call this week...

I'm guessing that wheels and tires are probably my biggest area of opportunity.
 

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Well, you can make it faster, but there is a limit. When my 92 coupe was in SM trim, it had a little less power than your Cobra, not much, but weighed about 450 lbs less with me in it. It was the fastest Mustang in the DC region- the only one consistently quicker than Sam in his FS Shelby.

Compared to yours, I had less weight, better tires (still only 275s on 17x9s), stiffer springs (500 coil over F/500 conventional R), better shocks- koni double adjustables, better rear suspension - Steeda 5-link, and a bunch of other little things. Most of the time I'd have probably been faster in a stock Z06. But I still really enjoyed driving it.

Justin
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Interesting info guys.

Lots to digest. I really don't want to do anything to the car to "chop it up". I have removed some stuff, but nothing that can't be reinstalled in an afternoon.

I don't think there are any big time National cars in the area, so we'll see how it goes. I'm just kind of tired of finishing 4 seconds back of the top guys in the club when I know that I have the potential of being "right there" for FTD if I prepped the car a little more carefully.

I don't see myself driving to Topeka or getting a hotel room to autocross, so I think I will mostly stay in NC.

I guess I will just see how far I can push it against some really good drivers in the area.

Good news is that removing stuff costs nothing, so I guess this takes me to my next question.

What kind of wheels would I be looking for? I don't think I can swing something like forgelines, but it looks like something custom offset/width is what I'll be needing.

Any suggestions? Worst case scenario, I could just pick up some 275s and run them on my Cobra Rs.

Thanks for the info and input

DP
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Are Agent 47 SLAs legal?

I've been doing a little research and it looks like these could be legal.

I don't have a current rulebook, so I'm looking to the moutons.org SM2 classing as an initial guide.

It says suspension is free with the exception that the new suspension must bolt to the original mounting points.

I see what Sam means by the LTW/Big power/HUGE tires -
 

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hell, that's not the fast one. There is a 3 rotor RX7 with a big turbo and a Jerico. That one isn't slow but it's still *only* a 2 rotor with a single turbo and a stock gearbox. :)
 

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E. Suspension components are unrestricted as long as they use the
original attachment points. For the purposes of this rule, “suspension” is defined as any item that is designed to move when a wheel is deflected vertically. This includes shocks and struts, control arms, steering knuckles, uprights, etc., but not tie rods, steering racks, and subframes. In addition, shock absorber/strut upper mounts are to be
considered suspension components.
I'm no expert, but I think that rules out aftermarket K members and SLAs.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the link...can you tell how hard I looked (embarrassed). I thought that you still had to buy a hard copy from the SCCA....

Thanks!

David
 

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Last I knew, you did have to have a copy on hand at events above the local/regional level (National Tour, ProSolo, etc.). There may be an alternative.

You would not need absolutely that during car preparation.

Point being that for during car prep and at local & regional events, the information in the (current) electronic version will be good enough to let you class yourself properly or make sure that you don't go "in excess". "Tortured interpretations" won't be defined very well in either the electronic or hardcopy format, and is a whole 'nother can of worms anyway.


Norm
 

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Last I knew, you did have to have a copy on hand at events above the local/regional level (National Tour, ProSolo, etc.).
FYI - They have changed that rule (started in 2010) You no longer have to have a hard copy to register at National/Divisional events.

DaveW
 

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SSM=SM2=2 seater cars, i think a mustang belongs in SM not SSM/SM2, and if your car is solid axle then your better off in CP, but if your an IRS them SM it is.
 

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If it's otherwise eligible for SM but underweight, it goes to SSM.

Agreed that in general, CP is a better fit for stick axle cars.


Norm
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I can't.....step...away....from the boost....

Hey, it's fun. I know I'm not going to be a National level driver since I've got the wrong car and don't have enough time at this point in my life to go to 2-3 events per month.

I'll define success as being able to consistently win SSM in my area (NC) and get back to running in the top 10-15 in my area in raw time.

Sidenote - Thanks to Sam Strano:

I spoke to Sam on the phone about setting up my car. He's a GREAT resource for our cars. I would say anyone who is building or competing in autocross should be supporting this guy. He's got great insight at the highest level, which is valuable.
 

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Sidenote - Thanks to Sam Strano:

I spoke to Sam on the phone about setting up my car. He's a GREAT resource for our cars. I would say anyone who is building or competing in autocross should be supporting this guy. He's got great insight at the highest level, which is valuable.
That's a perfect explanation of why I only buy parts from Sam any more, his willingness to share his experience and knowledge has helped me a bunch of times to get the right parts on the first shot. I just wish I wasn't so broke so I could order from him more often :crying:
 
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