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S197 Handling Section For everything suspension related, inlcuding brakes, tires, and wheels.

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Old 04-18-2012, 07:42 PM   #11
safetyfastgt
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Thanks whiskey. I misunderstood that STU had to be over 5 liters. You've provided me a lot of good advice on here as well as Sam, who has received a bit of my cash for good reason.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:57 AM   #12
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Ask the experts, and sam will be the only one to insist that LCAs don't make a difference. The rest of the experts recommend them unanimously. But don't just take it from me. Ask around.
I'll even give you that ↑↑↑. But what I'd really like to know is the reason(s) behind the apparent consensus.

Given that drag racing or drag-racing style starts are a much larger part of the aftermarket than autocross or open tracking, it's easy enough to understand how that particular mindset might develop among vendor personnel who cater to the straight-line market more than to the corner-carvers among us. Chances are, that would be most of them. I can live with that.


I suppose that there is a tiny bit of lap time to be had from upgrading the LCAs, but I really can't make it out to be very much, short of having a car that wheelhops on corner exit. OE bushing stiffness is adequate to control rear axle compliance steer under any reasonable difference in rear tire forward bite down to very low values (I'm thinking under 0.1°), and since it would be a very mild understeer effect at the end that you don't have direct steering control over it would make the car feel just a tad more stable).


It's not that I have never driven a car with aftermarket-bushed LCAs and am making this all up from a purely theoretical standpoint. The Malibu that's in my sig runs with polyurethane bushings in the OE lower arms custom-modified to provide much less resistance to multi-axis motion than the out-of-the-box poly bushings would have, without giving up much fore/aft stiffness in the process. The car was autocrossed that way for a number of seasons.


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Old 04-19-2012, 12:21 PM   #13
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I'll even give you that ↑↑↑. But what I'd really like to know is the reason(s) behind the apparent consensus.

Given that drag racing or drag-racing style starts are a much larger part of the aftermarket than autocross or open tracking, it's easy enough to understand how that particular mindset might develop among vendor personnel who cater to the straight-line market more than to the corner-carvers among us. Chances are, that would be most of them. I can live with that.


I suppose that there is a tiny bit of lap time to be had from upgrading the LCAs, but I really can't make it out to be very much, short of having a car that wheelhops on corner exit. OE bushing stiffness is adequate to control rear axle compliance steer under any reasonable difference in rear tire forward bite down to very low values (I'm thinking under 0.1°), and since it would be a very mild understeer effect at the end that you don't have direct steering control over it would make the car feel just a tad more stable).


It's not that I have never driven a car with aftermarket-bushed LCAs and am making this all up from a purely theoretical standpoint. The Malibu that's in my sig runs with polyurethane bushings in the OE lower arms custom-modified to provide much less resistance to multi-axis motion than the out-of-the-box poly bushings would have, without giving up much fore/aft stiffness in the process. The car was autocrossed that way for a number of seasons.


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I agree with you but based on my experience the available engine power may also be a factor.

My first iteration was poli/poli LCA's, due to lack of knowledge, and a Steeda UCA with poli and the long link combined with the rubber axle bushing. I have 445 rated flywheel HP. The LCA's were later switched to poli/rod end. Later still the LCA's were dropped one hole from level in the LCA brackets. At no time have I noticed wheel hop but dropping the rear of the LCA's has improved getting the power down coming out of the corner. It has also made it a little twitchy.

Last spring my brother felt wheel hop on the 2nd to 3rd shift at Mosport. Would I have wheel hop with stock LCA's and UCA - I think so.

It would be interesting to know how the Boss 302's are for wheel hop. Are their LCAs and UCA different from the earlier years in either length or bushing hardness?
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:54 PM   #14
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I ordered my LCAs from Roush. They are open box billett style units that offer a nice bling appea. My research on Mustang forums led me to believe that it would be a factor for HPDEs. I really did'nt notice a significant seat of the pants feel on the road course tracks that I drive. It was a mod after my first HPDE and probably did'nt have the track time experience to determine an improvement. As time goes on I've noticed an on track feel with my Tru-Trac differential, coilovers and Watts link. I installed them one at a time and then tracked the car afterwards. My seat of the pants measurement technique is what is used. I don't race anymore, so lap times are not important.

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Old 04-19-2012, 06:48 PM   #15
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I agree with you but based on my experience the available engine power may also be a factor.
Absolutely, and when all of the control arms/trailing links are essentially parallel to the vehicle centerline like they are in the S197, available driveshaft torque is the overwhelming factor.

Purely lateral loads hardly affect S197 control arm forces (and hence compression in their bushings) at all. Little or no bushing compression = little or no stored energy that could suddenly release at a bad moment, and we've been through the effect on axle compliance steer.


When you lowered the LCAs, you dialed the axle steer back closer to neutral but probably not all the way into vehicle oversteer or we'd have heard about it. It's a sharper 'balance point' that you're trying to stay on top of, with less of a margin against "loose steer" such as when the tail rises slightly for any reason. With about 4 times the rate of axle steer (as vehicle understeer) as what the Mustang has, the Malibu in my sig is essentially immune to "twitchiness" that threatens to go completely loose. The Mustang, I have to be consciously a bit careful with in certain circumstances.


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Old 04-19-2012, 07:31 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Norm Peterson View Post
I'll even give you that ↑↑↑. But what I'd really like to know is the reason(s) behind the apparent consensus.

Given that drag racing or drag-racing style starts are a much larger part of the aftermarket than autocross or open tracking, it's easy enough to understand how that particular mindset might develop among vendor personnel who cater to the straight-line market more than to the corner-carvers among us. Chances are, that would be most of them. I can live with that.


I suppose that there is a tiny bit of lap time to be had from upgrading the LCAs, but I really can't make it out to be very much, short of having a car that wheelhops on corner exit. OE bushing stiffness is adequate to control rear axle compliance steer under any reasonable difference in rear tire forward bite down to very low values (I'm thinking under 0.1°), and since it would be a very mild understeer effect at the end that you don't have direct steering control over it would make the car feel just a tad more stable).


It's not that I have never driven a car with aftermarket-bushed LCAs and am making this all up from a purely theoretical standpoint. The Malibu that's in my sig runs with polyurethane bushings in the OE lower arms custom-modified to provide much less resistance to multi-axis motion than the out-of-the-box poly bushings would have, without giving up much fore/aft stiffness in the process. The car was autocrossed that way for a number of seasons.


Norm

You're a smart guy Norm. I've learned that when you talk, I need to shut up and listen.

You mentioned stability on corner exit. I can't remember if you read the article I wrote about my experience at Sebring last year. If not, I'll paraphrase my experience there in order to answer your question which I emphasized in bold.

Proving that this isn't just some ploy to sell UPR parts, I'll mention that this was a test of Steeda suspension products, which I conducted for 5.0 Mustang Magazine.

We A-B tested all of the parts so that we were able to accurately determine the difference between the individual parts. I ran three sessions on the factory LCAs and we installed poly/poly LCAs for the fourth session. Here are my remarks from the article:

The unexpected surprise from Session 4 was how dramatically the Steeda lower control arms improved the handling. Honestly, this was the most perplexing test of the weekend for me. I know the factory control arms are not conducive to performance driving, and I've upgraded the lower control arms on many of my Mustangs in the past, but none of that prepared me for the results of this track session. The car was much faster around the track on the Steeda billet lower control arms. The arms reduced the vague, floating feeling in the factory rear suspension and kept the axle planted through the rougher sections of the 61-year-old track. The added stability allowed throttling down sooner and building more speed exiting the corners.


More specifically, turn 7 is a sharp right-hand second-gear corner with a track surface that is inconceivably rough. As I recall, it was a late apex sort of corner, so all braking was done on the approach, and it was full throttle through much of the corner. I didn't realize how much I had to back off the throttle on the stock LCAs, but the rear axle was so much more stable over the rough stuff on the poly/poly LCAs, I was able to apply more throttle earlier in turn 7, which built more speed through 8 & 9 and going into 10.

Another corner (series of corners, actually) where I really noticed an improvement on the poly/poly LCAs was 15 & 16. I was hauling butt through 14 (115-120mph) and then I had to jam on the brakes going into 15. Then there's a kink between 15 & 16, so it's actually a really quick right-left-right series where the suspension is never really settled through that whole portion of the track. In that violent, almost autocross like series (wink wink), I didn't realize how floaty the rear end felt on the stock LCAs until we installed the poly/poly LCAs. The rear was so much more planted during that series of corners, I could actually feed it a good amount of throttle through the switchback between 15 & 16.

Mind you, these are just two areas of the track which I chose to highlight, and if you've ever run the long course at Sebring, you'll know what I mean about those corners. But anyway, the greater point I'm driving at is this:

When the rear end is more planted, less floaty, you can apply more power sooner in the corners. It might not be a monumental difference, but the difference is there. And it was all the more apparent to me since we A-B tested it at the track.

Here is the track map:
Click the image to open in full size.

Here is the article I wrote:
http://www.mustang50magazine.com/tec...ack/index.html
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:14 PM   #17
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I started with David Ray and HOD and have been running Trackmasters and NASA all last year. I will be driving with HOD predominantly this year. I decided I'm too old to pursue a race license and want to track for fun. I can ask David to drop me down to B Group and run with you at Infineon on May 17. I picked this one because of the weather.

My race mechanic is Tom Wickersham (Competition Autowerks) in San Ramon. He can install your suspension mods and corner weight your car too. David Ray hooked me up with him. He tracks a Spec Miata and is very experienced with S197 Mustangs as well as other race cars.

Filip Trojanek of Coretex Racing is located at Infineon Raceway. He might be a good source of information as he has developed suspension kits that are similar to Griggs racing. He is a great guy and offers suspension adjustment tweaks and support for your car while at any event at Infineon Raceway.

If you go with Sam Strano, Koni Yellows, springs and his sway bars mayl be your best bet and he can give you suspension adjustment advice too.
See ya soon. I have a Vista Blue Roush 427R, white strip kit.
I dropped an email to Sam... so we'll see. I think he's pretty busy in NC right now... so I don't expect to hear from him for a week or so.

Yeah... I really need an experienced guy to work with (like Tom). Unfortunately, I'm in southern cal. If you know anyone good down here, please drop a name.

Looking forward to talking to you (and Filip) in person. I have a lot of questions about brakes, tires... you name it. Just need to do a lot of listening before pulling the trigger on major upgrades. I think May 17 will be a productive day for me.

I'll be in the Kona blue 2010 GT.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:26 PM   #18
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I dropped an email to Sam... so we'll see. I think he's pretty busy in NC right now... so I don't expect to hear from him for a week or so.

Yeah... I really need an experienced guy to work with (like Tom). Unfortunately, I'm in southern cal. If you know anyone good down here, please drop a name.

Looking forward to talking to you (and Filip) in person. I have a lot of questions about brakes, tires... you name it. Just need to do a lot of listening before pulling the trigger on major upgrades. I think May 17 will be a productive day for me.

I'll be in the Kona blue 2010 GT.
I grew up in So Cal. Went to Eagle Rock High in LA. I bought my first Mustang from Galpin Ford and still think highly of them. I'll check my contacts base and see if I can help.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:32 PM   #19
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As other's have said, if you give Sam Strano a call he'll give ya solid advice and won't try to sell you anything you don't need. More than likely I'll bet he recommends a linear rate spring (aka Steeda Sports or Comps) and Koni dampers. I have Steeda Comp springs and Tokico D-specs and I'm more than happy with them through multiple autocrosses and track days, though if I had to do it again I'd go with the Koni Yellows. Both dampers are adjustable, so you can adjust them at the track, then put them on full soft for street driving. Sam also has some nifty swaybar packages that I've been eyeing myself for a while...

If you want coil-overs, I personally would go with the AST coilovers from Vorshlag for a good race setup. I've done some research and other coil-overs (i.e Eibach) will get the job done, but are more geared for looks/the tuner crowd. Plus Vorshlag designed some pretty kickass camber plates to go with their coil-overs.

Speaking of camber plates, that's another solid investment (i.e. Steeda Strut mounts, Maximum Motorsport Caster/Camber plates, or the Vorshlag ones). You can get the alignment for just what you need, and whenever I track or autocross the car I adjust the camber out to increase front end grip and lessen tire outside shoulder wear.

With lowering, I'd also recommend an adjustable panhard bar to recenter the axle. I originally went with a UMI piece with rod ends, but after a couple thousand miles the rod ends began to loosen up and made a lot of clunking noise. I then swapped in the UMI roto-joints and its been solid and noise free for almost 10k miles. The rotojoints are also rebuildable, so if they do start to wear out and get noisy, you can tighten them back up again.

As for the rear control arms, they will help but I'd focus on springs/dampers first.

And finally, if you haven't already, the two biggest things I'd say to do first to go faster on the track (besides the driver mod) is to get some good tires and improve your brakes. For tires I've run Dunlop Direzza Sport Star Specs, Bridgestone RE-11's, and currently running Hankook R-S3's. Of those three, the R-S3's are my hands down favorite on the track. When they heat up they stick like R-comps and the more heat they get in 'em, the better they seem to perform. They don't seem to get greasy like the others when pushed straight through a solid 30 minute session, and from checking out other cars in the paddock, a lot of people agree. Not the best wet tire, although this last weekend I drove through some torrential downpours going to Willow Springs and they seemed to do fine.

For brakes, I'd upgrade the pads and swap in some DOT 4 racing brake fluid like Motul. There are a lot of pad choices out there and you can do some research on that, but I'm currently running Hawk HP+. They're not especially great on the track, they'll get greasy if you push them too hard, but they're better than stock and have good cold bite so I feel comfortable driving them to/from the track. (I'd swap them out though soon after you get back from the track, they are not a quiet street pad)

I'm not nearly an expert, but I've been bitten by the track bug as well. This is just advice from one guy, and everybody will have different inputs, but I hope this helps!
Appreciate all the good advice here.
Yeah... also interested in brake upgrades and better tires.
I also use Hawk HP+ on track (and remove them a couple days later. That squeal really puts my teeth on edge!)... and have DOT 4 in the reservoir. Have not had any brake fade or other problems... but those stock brakes get a tougher workout with each track day. I should invest in a brake package before too many more.

The car came with Perelli PZeros... and I went through them in 6 months.
Now I'm running on Gooodyear F1's. Good for street... not so much for track. I need to figure out how to transport a set of wheels to the track (small trailer I guess). Then I can spend some money on some good tires... and not worry about going through them on my daily commute.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:35 PM   #20
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I grew up in So Cal. Went to Eagle Rock High in LA. I bought my first Mustang from Galpin Ford and still think highly of them. I'll check my contacts base and see if I can help.
Thanks! Appreciate that. I actually live in Thousand Oaks, and work in Camarillo. But it would be worth the drive to the valley for a good mechanic.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:35 PM
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