S197 IN THE RAIN, MIN 400 HP - MustangForums.com

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


Old 11-27-2011, 11:02 PM
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Unhappy S197 IN THE RAIN, MIN 400 HP

Hey guys, ive spent A LOT of money trying to make my fox take the curves in the rain and safety, however, even with a perfect alignemt,with camber plates, 4 nice new tires, and normal pressure,REDUCE GEARS TO 2:73, suspension overhaul etc,


I know, its light, stiff and fast.Hard to stop as well(no abs) in the rain,

1.So how are these newer stangs in the rain?, im not buying one until im confident, im not wasting my money on something I cant drive in the rain !

2.How well do the Electronic traction controls algorithm perform in slippery conditions?

3.How well can you see in heavy rain, ? do the wipers move fast enought in heavy rain? mine dont

Last edited by aode08; 11-27-2011 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:14 PM
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Well I only have a v6, but their characteristics in snow/ice/rain are fairly similar. I've found the stock pirellis to be half decent in rain (my new ones only have like 8K miles on them though). The old ones I had were around 40K miles and were a bit unnerving, and the car tended to slip and slide in anything worse than light rain if I wasn't careful.

They handle snow like any other performance all season, last winter in Indiana I had a terrible time keeping that car's rear end from staying put through stop lights, etc. And I always took great care not to come to a full stop, seeing as how they have a VERY hard time getting traction from a dead stop.

In summary, they are not that bad with inclement weather but low ground clearance will get you stuck in anything past a few inches. IMO they can handle any heavy rain you throw at them as long as you are very deliberate in your driving, and take it easy.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:15 AM
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Big Power Rear wheel drive and rain NEVER mix.
I don't care if you have a Mustang, Camaro, beefed up new Charger or Challenger, a Vette, whatever.

You have to get a good set of tires and drive ever cautiously.
End of story and there's nothing else to it.

And honestly if you really want to know how these Mustangs perform in the rain go for a test drive next time it rains.
Word of mouth is one thing but NOTHING will replace actually driving.
One person's description may not match what you "think" it means if you were to describe the ride with the EXACT words they used.

In general though.... these Mustangs DO handle better in the rain than your old Fox.
Hell with all the time that has passed by since they Fox's came out... they'd better perform better haha.

Last edited by Blacksmoke; 11-28-2011 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:50 AM
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I've done quite a bit of time on a wet skid pad and lapping around various tracks in the rain in both an S197 and in a C5 Vette. I found that the Mustang tends to understeer and then all of the sudden snap around while the Vette has a much more progressive oversteer before finally letting go. Of course some of the difference is due to tires and suspension but on a whole I'm not nearly as confident in my Stang's wet weather prowess as I am in the Vette's.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:54 AM
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Cool Dealership Mechanic Repsonse

I went to test drive a S197 and spoke to the mechanic, Ill sum up a 20 min converstaion.

FOX-Use analog technology to control timing,they have manual kickdwon to an AOD, no abs, no esc, no fast response time.

Apparently, when driving in the rain and I attemp to slow down, the timing retards slow, transmission kicks down slow.

What happening, ALL the torque being sent to the rear rear differential is staying there for a long time(seconds) , and when I attemp to slow down fast , the front brakes fights the rear end to slow down, resulting in a spin out !
A.Fix-big brembo brake and rotor kit, larger tires.

2.Response to the curves- the chassis length is short and stiff,all road have a natural index to the RIGHT if you add adjustable rear control arms, move the rear end back AND up, and extend the rear tires OUT 2 inches, the front 1 INCH this will correct that immediately.


B. All spot welds need to become FULL welds,a tubular k memeber is reccomended, and underbody welded brace, as there is too much flex and stretch in the unibody of the fox.

C.Be sure to get lower adjustable FRONT arms to aid in an agressive alignment.

Cost = around $3,800 parts and labor for just welding and alignment. He has a fox at home he says

1.Use digital systems to immediately retard engine timing and down shift the tranny fast.

2.The body length has been extended, to slow a spin out and control one if you have one.

The unibody structure, dampens road imperfections and allows a better overall CONFORMITY to the road.

3.The systems work IN HARMONY WITH the rear differential (via ABS SENSORS), so the power at the rear wheels do not fight the brakes, resulting in a catastrophic loss of control

4.The steering wheel and rod is bigger and stiffer to help prevent oversteer reaction from the driver.
5.Remove stock tires, and get a SOFTER TIRE slightly taller tire size = sticky

What do you guys think?

Last edited by aode08; 11-28-2011 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by aode08 View Post
1.So how are these newer stangs in the rain?, im not buying one until im confident, im not wasting my money on something I cant drive in the rain !
They're the best Mustangs ever made to drive in the rain assuming you have decent all-weather tires.

That being said....I drove a Fox for years with no problems whatsoever in the rain. You might want to modify your driving technique first before buying something newer.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:20 AM
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The dealer said, these newer mustang are fine with a set of winter tires for snow and rain/sleet.

I like the interior of the S197.

, not to mention a convertible was always on mind.

They have a black Saleen up there, HOT and the new 5.0;s, looks like ill buy one next year.
Pricing not bad either.

Ill probally keep the fox as a track,classic car, though, parts are cheap and easy when you break em as well.
Attached Thumbnails S197 IN THE RAIN, MIN 400 HP-017_0017.jpg  

Last edited by aode08; 11-28-2011 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:37 AM
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we had a nice rain storm last night, and I find it so easily to slide the ice end out. even when I am not trying to, I have to drive like its a yugo around corners... but fun as well when I do it on purpose.
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:48 PM
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Anything that is "REAR WHEEL" driven sucks in the rain!!! no matter how much HP you have. The more HP the worse it is.

For what it is worth. I feel more in control of my 93 331 stroked stang. I prefer this vehicle in the rain and snow over my SC 06.

FOX = smaller, lighter more nimble. I feel like I am part of the vehicle. In control.
S197 = larger, heavier. I feel like I have less control of this vehicle. Vehicle drives You instead of me driving the car if you know what I mean.

You would have to have had the experience with both to understand.

Anyone else feel the same?
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Wayno View Post
Anything that is "REAR WHEEL" driven sucks in the rain!!! no matter how much HP you have. The more HP the worse it is.
Yep...in general I agree with that statement, especially the part that the more HP the worse it is. Witness the Miata - a rear driver that is still pretty quick in the rain. There is a reason rain is called the "great equalizer" on a race track. I've seen it many times - when it's dry the Vettes, Stangs, 911s, M3s etc are blowing by the FWD GTIs, Mazda3s, Civics, etc. Then it starts raining and the lap times reverse themselves and suddenly Mr. hot shot in the Radical R3 is being passed by a little rice rocket (saw it in Oct during a rain day at Shenandoah).

Last year I was at VIR for a track day. In my run group there was a guy with a beautiful Nationwide stock car built for road courses. Brand new build, 600HP+. During our first on-track session it was dry. I was doing about 120 on the back straight and he blew by me like I'm standing still. About at the end of our session it started to rain and kept raining. During our classroom session the instructor said to the guy "I'll bet that stock car is quite the handful on a wet track". To which he responded "its a handful driving across a wet parking lot"

But on the other hand, more than anything else - driving competently in the rain is a function of a) the tires and b) the driver skill. The car plays a part in it but even a STI driven by a so-so driver is no match for something like a 911 Cup Car (~400 HP) with Hoosier wets and an expert driver.
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