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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1992 lx 5.0 Mods below

Engine- mild mods roughly 270-290 horse
Ac delete
BBK specifics
KYB Gr-2's............I know :shakehead
steeda x ball joints
Steeda BS kit
MM panhard
MM cc plates, STB and 4 pt k brace
Lakewood rear lower control arms
373's w/ Torsen T-2 diff
4 wheel cobra brakes w/ ss lines
Old OZ 17x8's w/ 255/40 victos

The car is run in SM and is not driven except to events.
http://www.tcstangs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22622 I am #429
Here's my dilema. I have very little cash to spend this winter for mods. I know my suspension setup is junk. I also know I need more tire to be competitive (I lost to a Hoosiered/trailered M3 by 4 sec on an 80 sec course).

Do I

1- get some 17x9's and 275/40 Ra-1's?

or

2- Get MM valved bilsteins/coilover and MM rear lower control arms?


The car pushes in sweepers and tight turns. I can also feel one tire slip a little coming out of turns when I accelerate. I attribute this to a lack of rear roll stiffness.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The reason I wanted to hear a little discussion is; tires wear out......fast. V710 on will cost as must as a set of shocks/struts. I would have the trsut and shocks for years to come. Where tires burn up quick, but they immediately enhance perfrmance.
 

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92MNstanger said:
The reason I wanted to hear a little discussion is; tires wear out......fast. V710 on will cost as must as a set of shocks/struts. I would have the trsut and shocks for years to come. Where tires burn up quick, but they immediately enhance perfrmance.
If you're driving your car at even 9/10's, the tires will be the best bet. A set of V710's should last you an entire autox season. The right shocks/struts will only help as much as your current tires can grip.


You have WAAAY more mods than I do, and I still have the OE GT struts/shocks. I don't see shocks/struts picking you up over 2 seonds at autox, the way tires/brakes would.
 

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If you are trying to catch an M3 on Hoosiers, tires and struts aren't going to get you there. You do need better struts/shocks and the Lakewoods probably hurt more than they help. Tires will help some but until you correct the major deficiencies of your stock suspension you still won't stand a chance against the M3. To really move closer to the M3 you will need a torque arm or tri-link to get your power down on corner exits. Unfortunately the MM TA has to be mounted to the SFC's which make it illegal in SM. An EVM Tri-Link would be a legal modification for SM.

MM rear LCA's and better shocks/struts will free up the rear suspension so that it has better grip. The front pushing is an inherent trait of a Mustang and is very difficult to eliminate. Using offset delrin bushings in the LCA will help as will going with an SN95 arm. This will allow you to get something in the range of -3* camber and maybe 4-5* positive caster which will improve front grip. Going with an adjustable rear ASB and switching to a softer front bar with stiffer springs will help in that area as well. If you don't care about being in SM youcan do what I did, install the MM K-member and TA/PHB and just run in CP. If you do that you won't have to worry about M3's on Hoosiers.

Putting huge rubber on a Fox is difficult at best. If you want sticky go with the Kumho V-710 as suggested above. It is head and shoulders above just about anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The venues I run in MN have very rough (old) asphalt. They seem to chew up tires pretty quickly. I was thinking about the 710's, they seem to be a pretty big hit, but I don't want to buy them very often.

I see the tires as being a band-aid for the real problem. Crappy suspension (not to mention the driver). I am just wondering what others have done in this situation. I don't have much of a budget. And tires aren't a hard part like suspension components. It seems the consensus is that the V710's and 17x9's will make more difference than any number of suspension components. Should I try 275's??

I am also trying to look at big picture vs immediate gain. I would like to have both though.............
 

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92MNstanger said:
It seems the consensus is that the V710's and 17x9's will make more difference than any number of suspension components. Should I try 275's??
I wouldn't try any size LESS. If you wish to try a tire that MAY last longer(a season and a 1/2 or probably 2), you could try the Nitto NT555 R II's. Believe it or not, you could also run drag radials(preferably Nitto's due to sidewall)on all 4 corners. I believe you can get 4 Nitto's(either model)for about 60-70$ less per tire than the V710's.
I am also trying to look at big picture vs immediate gain. I would like to have both though.............
Well, in the big picture, if you want to go fast, your gonna hafta have R-compound tires, PERIOD.
 

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92MNstanger said:
The venues I run in MN have very rough (old) asphalt. They seem to chew up tires pretty quickly. I was thinking about the 710's, they seem to be a pretty big hit, but I don't want to buy them very often.

I see the tires as being a band-aid for the real problem. Crappy suspension (not to mention the driver). I am just wondering what others have done in this situation. I don't have much of a budget. And tires aren't a hard part like suspension components. It seems the consensus is that the V710's and 17x9's will make more difference than any number of suspension components. Should I try 275's??

I am also trying to look at big picture vs immediate gain. I would like to have both though.............
If your focus is autocross (and more specifically, being more competitive at autocross) and you don't want to pony up for the best tires you can buy, perhaps you should look at getting another car. Mustangs are power and grip cars and SM is, for the most part, a power and grip class. You need GOOD tires to go fast.
 

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Glenn said:
Unfortunately the MM TA has to be mounted to the SFC's which make it illegal in SM.

True. Unless you use the Griggs chassis t/a mount on a Fox. And, on an SN95, you can weld on the Ford TSB subframe connectors and hang the t/a there just fine. :)


FWIW, John in Huston (search) took a Fox to Nationals when SM was just starting off as a class. Had lots of tire and suspension, including the "blatantly illegal" Griggs k-member, and a 400+ rwhp 347. The car was not competitive. SM has gotten lots faster, Mustangs, by and large, have not.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Our SM class up here is incredibly competitive. That's why I wanted to stay in it. Competition Improves the breed. Our CP class, however, has just a few 3rd gen camaros that run the same times I did when I had Street tires. Maybe I should enter CP and shake things up a bit..........All of the Local MN clubs seem to be populated by Miatas and Rally cars. The American V-8's are few and far between.
 

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Another vote for tires. If you're serious about making a dent in that 4 second spread between you and that M3, tires are the closest thing to a silver bullet. Once you try a good tire, you'll never go back. You'll find a way to put it in your annual budget, believe me.

I also agree with Glenn regarding a good k-member that relocates suspension points. It's unfortunate k-members will never be an SM modification.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I've been putting some thought into competing in CP next year instead of SM. From what I get from you guys is a fox stang just won't compete with M3's, WRX's and Evo VIII's w/o spending a ton of cash. I agree, it's been really hard. Our clubs run tight Miata and Sprite style courses. Venue owners don't like to see speeds in excess of 60mph. In turn our club installs slaloms and >100* turns everywhere. This makes it very hard for heavier cars to compete with the small, agile rally cars.

I also think I could be very competitive in CP without spending too much, unless someone is building something crazy this winter.

I was thinking about getting some Tokico Illuminas, some MM adjustable LCA's and some poly bushings for the front end then Removing some serious weight and hitting CP. What do you CP people think??


Are there any advantages to the Adjustable MM arms versus the non adjustable arms? Besides the obvious ride height.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sorry, forgot to add. I have those.
 

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My car is not SM legal due to the K-member and the MM mounting for the TA. I have to run in CP for SCCA events but locally there aren't any built to the limit of the rules cars I have to deal with. I also run with another private club that has a GT class for pony cars. There I compete with other like modified cars like Camaros, Trans-Ams and Mustangs. I'm very happy with my local competition and how much more fun to drive my car is now. When I ran in ESP I could not compete with the rally cars by staying within the rules. I built the car the way I wanted it and just let the chips fall where they may. It's fun having a fast well handling street legal Mustang that can beat expensive exotics on an autocross course.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Do coil overs give that much of a handling advantage over conventional springs. I understang how the whole wheel rate vs. spring rat thing works and I see how a coilover set up better utlilizes the spring, but how much real world difference are we talking about? Also which roll cages are you guys running? I am looking at the Steeda and the MM 6 point cages. Are there others that may add more torsional rigidity?
 

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Coil overs will ride better at any given wheel rate because they don't add binding to the A-arm bushings like the conventional does. This also allows more compliance in the suspension that provides better grip on bumpy surfaces. Adjustable ride height is a nice touch as well. :)

As for the roll bars, I had the MM 6-point one and sold it without installing it. It was NHRA legal but did not meet SCCA standards. Not only that, but the side bars interferred with the seats. There was no way in hell the side bars would go in with my Corbeau seats. I wasn't about to pull them and go back to the crappy stock seating. I then ordered a 4 point bar from Kirk Racing Products and it fit perfectly and met SCCA safety requirements.
 
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