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Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT + S197 Development Thread

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  • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

    Project Update for 28, 2014: In this project build thread update we will be showing more details of the repairs and upgrades to the TT3 Mustang after the shunt I had at RoadAtlanta in May. Next we cover another track day two weeks later at ECR, where Amy drove and tested out the repairs and brake system improvements. I talk a little about wheel bearings and have a video of what a bad S197 front wheel bearing sounds like. We also had a car show to attend in June with our Mustang to support a Vorshlag team member's custom Cafe Racer charity bike build. Finally I'll "weigh in" with more of my thoughts on the S550 Mustang's latest weight revelations. We'll save the NASA event at Hallett for the next installment.

    Injury Report and Car Repairs after Road Atlanta Crash

    When we got back from RA the car was a bit of a mess, but my back was in a little worse shape. I made a couple of doctor visits, where they X-rays and some pokes and prods, but not much else. I was determined to avoid any surgery and especially spinal fusion surgery. Both doctors said "avoid any load on your back, don't go to the gym, lets look at you again in about 6 to 8 weeks", so I've been sticking to that plan. I dealt with the pain by taking Aleve daily, used an ice pack at night to reduce swelling, wear a lower back almost brace every waking hour, and had to take Hydrocodone about a dozen times when the pain got really bad (all from my doc's advice). Never missed a day of work but there were probably a few times I should have gone home early. Pain makes me more of an a-hole than normal, but Sofi would just yell into my office "you need take a pill!" when I got too far out of hand.

    Sleeping has been very difficult, as all I had to do was roll on my side and the broken rib would spear me awake. I mostly slept sitting upright for the first 3 weeks and was getting about 2-3 hours a night. The rib finally felt like it was mended at about week 5 but the fractured vertebrae and nearby disc are taking a bit longer to heal. I don't have to exert myself or lift much weight to aggravate my back, so I keep the brace on most of the day. After 5 weeks away I finally made it back to the gym for some self-imposed physical therapy by week 6 and was off the pain pills and Aleve by then. It is week 7 now, I'm doing better, and have already completed two race weekends without any incident since the crash. It actually feels fine in a proper race seat and 6-point belts. With the next two months devoid of track events I can concentrate working at the gym to strengthen my back again.

    The damage to the car actually wasn't nearly as bad - after a lot of checks and measurements it is still perfectly straight and unbent, just taking some superficial, cosmetic damage. This level of vertical impact could have turned many chassis into a banana, but the S197 unibody is a tank. After 4 years of just calling it "The Red Car" around the shop, I think a nick-name of The Tank is more appropriate now.

    The gravel trap took the splitter off, and when that left the car it damaged some other bits that were bolted to or nearby it. The bottom edge of the front bumper cover was ripped off, which is a section hidden by the CS lower fascia but still integral to its attachment. The left side's black factory "side skirt" was also mangled and half torn off, plus the lower portions of the front flares were damaged.

    The splitter we built is stout, and when it pushed back and came off it poked a hole in the A/C condenser, so that was removed and the lines capped for now. A replacement isn't costly (less than $120) but we have only used the A/C system once this year, during the Optima Street Car road rally, and it is limiting airflow to the Mishimoto radiator. One step of the repairs were to make some templates for patches of red race roll (plastic) to fix the flares. These fender flares are going to be completely replaced at some point (likely with a composite front fender that a buddy's shop is working on) but for now we just patched the broken lower edges - you can't even see the repairs at speed, not with the unpainted black bumper cover on the front to distract you.

    A new front bumper cover and side skirt were acquired from Ford, then the bumper cover was modified on the upper edge to fit around the aluminum airbox we have built to route air from the lower grill opening to the (now) front of the radiator. This detail is hidden behind the upper grill block-off plate. We had a spare CS lower fascia (that a customer discarded due to a minor scratch) so that was attached to the new bumper cover and splitter before it was all re-installed. Some minor repairs to the radiator's aluminum duct work were needed as well.

    The same splitter that came off in the crash was virtually unscathed, save a couple of rear mounting holes that tore out along with the mounting bolts. We made some new holes to move the rear mounting plate 1/2 inch forward, sprayed some paint on the scratched lower face, and it all went back on. Nobody said 3/16" 6061-T6 aluminum plate was light, but it is damned sure strong. I've seen plastic and composite splitters that came off in similar crashes, usually doing as much or more associated body damage, but the splitter is almost always completely destroyed in the process. Not this beast - it also cuts grass like a mofo!

    Of course I am determined to not have this type of brake system failure again, and we've taken measures to that end, as shown in my last post. The 3" brake ducts, while more than adequate for so many S197 track drivers and racers, were not keeping the 14" front Brembos cool enough on our exceptionally heavy TT3 car (3802 pounds with driver). The Alcon temp strips indicating 490°F temps at the caliper should have been a BIG red flag, which I ignored (and we saw the results of that). That's near the boiling point of most hydraulic fluid and was just not a safe condition to leave the brakes at. So we have upgraded to larger 4" front bumper front duct opening using aluminum tubing and opening up the CS lower fascia from the 3" foglight hole with some careful cutting. You can see the new rear splitter mounting stanchion in the picture above right, and also where the old mounting holes in the splitter were torn out in the crash. That's all of the damage the splitter took.

    The new front brake cooling duct openings were routed with 4" hoses but necked down onto the old brake backing plates' 3" ducts. We ran out of time to make new brake backing plates before the ECR track event. I was also curious to see if the larger hoses and front openings would help the brake cooling when even with that smaller restriction at the rotor. Our guys here at Vorshlag got everything repaired, new brake pads/rotors/fluid, nut-and-bolt checked, re-aligned, weighed and corner balanced, and the front brake ducts/hoses upgraded in about 2 days time, then loaded the car into our trailer to verify the repairs at a local HPDE event at Eagles Canyon on May 24th - less than 2 weeks after the crash.

    Front Wheel Hubs - Diagnosis and Repair

    One of the common wear items on an S197 Mustang, and all cars for that matter, is the front hubs. We recently had to replace the fronts, so I made this little video to show what bad bearings sound like, and what it takes to replace them.

    The video above shows what you should do for quick diagnosis, and should be on your pre-track check list. Every. Time. We check the hubs whenever we do any track inspections here, and we've found bad front hubs on Mustangs a number of times. This is actually the 4th set that we've replaced on our 2011 GT since we picked it up in August of 2010. As the grip levels and brake heat go up the lifespan of the hubs goes down. 4 sets of hubs in 4 years ain't bad, considering the lap times this heavy beast puts down and the brake heat numbers we've seen.

    We actually replaced these hubs after the ECR event (detailed below) but before we went to Hallett. They were fine before ECR but they weren't afterwards. Vorshlag stocks and sells this FMS-M-1104-A motorsports hub kit, which comes with the 3" ARP hardened wheel studs installed plus new spindle nuts (which are one-time-use nuts that need 250 ft-lbs of torque to seat). This kit is cheaper than buying new hubs and wheel studs separately, and they are already pressed in place.

    We also have a variety of wheel spacers for the S197 and our reduced (17mm) hex/enlarged taper lug nuts for this chassis. These are the same 1/2"-20 right hand lug nuts a Ford uses, but with a smaller hex drive to fit inside aftermarket "lug wells" with a deep socket with more clearance to the wheel. The larger OEM (19mm) hex lug nuts often won't work with some wheels with a tighter lug well (like Forgestars). These lug nuts and wheel spacers are what we use on our car, and they are located in a new section of our shopping cart we have created here.

    continued below
    Terry Fair -
    2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
    EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


    • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

      continued from above

      Five Star Ford at ECR, May 24th, 2014

      We had planned on attending this event many weeks earlier and I was bound and determined to make it back out there in our car, even if I wasn't going to be doing any driving. A big chunk of the Vorshlag crew came out to this Five Star Ford sponsored event at ECR on what turned out to be a beautiful Saturday in May.

      We brought our 2011 GT test mule to test the new brake upgrades and to verify the repairs after RA. Amy was driving all day and gave lots of people ride-alongs. Our crew worked on nearly 20 cars during the day, doing a lot of brake fluid flushes (replacing crap fluid), Carbotech brake pad swaps and other various trackside repairs.

      Since Amy drew the short straw and didn't get to drive at Road Atlanta at all, this was to be her day of testing and track fun. We mounted up a set of 315mm A6 scrubs and had her on track for over 6 sessions that day - taking runs in all of the Red group sessions as well as some in Blue group.

      She took over a dozen riders that Saturday, which Jason and I kept funneling into the right seat of the Mustang - as well as funneling fuel into the Mustang's gas tank. I was also taking some pictures, talking to customers, and trying to help the guys work on a few cars (more on that in a second). Brad Maxcy, our shop manager and a racer himself, shot most of the pretty pictures in this write-up while working a long day fixing cars and brakes. You can see the images and video from this event in the gallery below.

      Vorshlag's ECR picture and video gallery:

      I was itching to drive but Amy was hearing none of it, and in truth my back wasn't up for the somewhat bumpy ECR circuit. That didn't mean I took it easy, oh no... I was seriously stupid and helped work on a handful of the 20 cars that needed brake flushes, brake pad replacements or other work that day. Fully one third of the cars at this event needed help from our crew, and I'm glad we were there with some parts and the technicians to help install it all.

      Brad, Kyle and even our sales manager Jon were busy all day wrenching on cars, from the moment we got there until we left at around 5:30 pm. We knew we'd work on a few cars but this was a bit more than expected. Luckily we brought two cases of Motul brake fluid, lots of Redline synthetics, and 4 sets of Mustang brake pads - and we sold and installed every single one. I had warned the entrants at the driver's meeting that ECR would eat stock brakes, and we always try to put the word out beforehand to warn people to upgrade at least their fluid, but it still happens. Stock brake fluid SUCKS and has no business on a race track.

      It ended up being a long day for our guys, and my back was killing me from even just working the jack or some other trivial tasks. I didn't drive or ride in any cars that day, which hurt me even worse, though. I was going nuts just watching all of these folks have fun. I am a terrible spectator and a worse patient, heh.

      Amy drove in fairly heavy traffic all day, and managed only one or two clear laps. She had riders on every session so she was only pushing the car 8- to 9/10ths but still managed a 1:59.0 on a lap shown in the video above. There's also some shots in there of Mike D spinning in his twin turbo 67 Camaro and some footage of my old ChumpCar teammates in the 1998 Firebird I helped them with for a bit before bowing out and letting them take over.

      This gutless 3.8L V6 powered 4th gen Firebird Chump racer looked pretty good out there and I was glad to see them finally get it back on track, as it hasn't run in about a year. The cage was welded in and completed by our friend Kurt at Janco Fab, using a cage kit I had purchased from Blainefab. Paul and Jason (shown above) took over the remainder of this build and finished up a lot of safety upgrades and other little odds and ends. It held together almost the entire day before the old transmission mount broke - and yet they kept driving it, heh.

      I won't give away their lap times but they passed a lot of cars and a few 5.0L Mustangs in this 200 hp behemoth. Above right you can also see Shannon's 5.0 S197 on track; she had just started working at Vorshlag as our summer Engineering Intern. Her new True Street built motor was roaring down the front straight and she ran strong all day.

      Mark C was quick, when he managed to stay on track and get a clear lap, heh. He had a quick off-and-on in Turn 11 and I barely caught the pic! Heather (Shannon's sister) was darned fast in the V6 5th gen Camaro, but she keeps burning the brakes off of this poor car. It needs a boatload more negative camber up front, as well.

      By the end of the day we were all exhausted but we had a lot of fun. Corey White and Jerry Cecco put on a heck of a good event and with 60+ drivers there were lots of smiles to go around that day. Thanks to Five Star Ford for sponsoring the lunch, too! A bunch of us went into town and ate dinner at Fuzzy's Taco Shop before heading home, which was delicious. The food was great and Jason somehow managed to keep the queso from that giant burrito out of his beard.

      We had some good test data and learned that the larger brake cooling ducts in the bumper cover and the 4" hoses made a significant difference, with max temps at the caliper seeing only 430°F all day, and Amy was brutal on the brakes. She actually finished off the rear pads we had on from Road Atlanta after her 2nd session and our guys put on a fresh set of Carbotechs to let her finish the day (and they are still on the car 2 events later). We also learned that we can NEVER bring too many sets of brake pads to an event like this held at ECR... it we would have had 4 more sets we could have installed them all for folks. This track eats brakes, and the car's wheels above were gold before the day started.

      Lots of fun and I'll post up the next time FSF holds an event at ECR. Great place to do your first event, and you'll see a lot of pony cars and other vehicles at this low key fun track event.

      continued below
      Terry Fair -
      2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
      EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


      • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

        continued from above

        GT Moto Bike Build Reveal at GMBG, June 15, 2014

        Vorshlag's own Sofi had an event we attended at Gas Monkey Bar & Grill. This place hosted her "bike reveal" where the Cafe Racer style motorcycle she and her dad hand built on June 15th, 2014. Many of the Vorshlag staff and friends came out to support this charity event, bought shirts and raffle tickets, and had a great time.

        "Texas Dave" was in town with his Pikes Peak EVO and he brought it out and showed it in the GMBG parking lot. We brought the Vorshlag TT3 Mustang and had it parked in the the small show area during the party as well. KC from the Fast-n-Loud show had his truck in the same area later that day, as he knows Sofi and came to the party.

        Sofi is our operations manager here at Vorshlag and schedules customer service work and supplies our shop guys with parts. She is also a decent fabricator and bike mechanic and races her various motorcycles as well, including her throw-back Cafe Racer style Honda (the blue one, shown above left). A lot of her friends and fans came out to support this event, and she's raised over $25K for charity with this bike build so far. We're all proud of her and respect the cause she's raising money for.

        She and one of our fabricators Olof built the exhaust for this new bike at Vorshlag a couple of weeks earlier and used the same ICE Engine Works kit we use to make custom headers for our V8 swaps.

        The bike reveal went really well and there were close to 100 people there to see the bike for the very first time. I hadn't seen it with the painted tank and trim work installed and it really came out looking amazing. This bike is being given away via a raffle, with a drawing on July 5th, and all proceeds go to St. Jude's hospital for cancer research. You can see more info about the raffle here: We all bought several tickets, and if I win it I'll do wheelies in our parking lot, then probably fall off and break my back.

        GMBG itself was actually really nice, even on this super hot day (it was well into the high 90s). There was a 90 minute wait to get a table inside but luckily for us, all of the folks who came for the Moto GT bike reveal had a private 2nd story air conditioned bar with front row seats to the bands that played on stage that day. The deck out over the pond surrounding the restaurant was also pretty nice. We ate and drank and had a great time. We've met most of the guys at GMG and they are all friendly, professional and passionate about hot rodding - and they provided the facilities for this party and raffle free of charge. He might be a little abrasive on the TV show but Richard Rawlings knows how to party and his bar and grill is a hopping place. I'm glad we could come out and bring a lot of friends to help support Sofi's charity. Again, if you want to purchase a raffle ticket the drawing is this weekend on July 5th, so good luck!

        The New 2015 Mustang - What Does The S550 Chassis Weigh?

        The last few weeks have been full of rumors and speculation about the new 2015 Mustang and what it will weigh. Steeda got a huge black eye when they "guessed" it the S550 would actually be gaining a few hundred pounds over the last generation, contrary to Ford's pronouncement of a weight loss. Motor Trend also had some guesstimations that were apparently pretty unflattering, and also not based on fact. Turns out Steeda never actually weighed a car, and the whole thing became an internet scandal labeled "2015 Mustang Weightgate".

        image above found on Jalopnik

        The automotive car websites were going nuts, and even I got a call from a reporter at Jalopnik looking for real data - of which I had none. Turns out they finally got to the root of all of the mystery, the car gained less than 100 pounds, which was shown after Ford leaked some semi-official weights, shown below.

        image above found on Jalopnik

        So it was much ado about nothing... of course the S550 didn't lose weight. That wasn't really a possibility, and few if any new car models are getting lighter than any older generations - due to rising crash standards, technology complexity, and customer demands for more creature comforts. The Mustang would have to make a radical change in the chassis goals to lose pounds (remember the Ford Probe disaster??). No, the S550 is staying somewhat the same in size and power but getting new features and upgrades - like the Independent Rear Suspension and bigger 15" front brakes - so it gained a few pounds in the process. The 3704 pound number being thrown around is still 130 pounds lighter than a stripped 2014 Camaro Z/28, a $75K track toy that comes with race tires but no air con.

        What strikes me as the most odd is the wild variety of car models that some folks are comparing the Mustang to, or trying to. Look at how much bigger the S197 is compared to a Genesis Coupe (which is fat and heavy too), a BRZ and an MX5, above. Am I supposed to believe that car people cross-shop Miatas with Mustangs? If they do, then they are VERY confused about what they want from an automobile. Even the turbo 4 and V6 Mustang will be so far removed from a flyweight 2 seat roadster like the MX5 as to be not in the same league. The S550 is really more of a new and improved S197, which itself was a RADICAL improvement over the Fox/SN95 chassis it replaced. The Fox/SN95 was based on a 1977 Ford Fairmont, and that's saying a lot.

        Of course Vorshlag will weigh several S550s when the first ones arrive at local dealerships, and our car will be here hopefully before the end of August. We have aggressive plans for track testing then upgrading the suspension, wheels, tires and more. Stay tuned for that new build thread, which I will link in this S197 thread.

        What's Next?
        • NASA at Hallett, June 21-22 - This event went really well, and we beat our 2013 lap record by 3 seconds, but I borked the splitter in an "off" during the first Saturday session!
        • Repairs and Improvements after Hallett - I'll cover the upgrades and repairs we made after this last NASA event. My hack driving knows no limits... not even the TRACK limits.
        • Lone Star Drift at TMS, June 29, 2014- Drifter vs Road Racer Battle, aka: Drifters go Derp!

        As the summer gets hotter here in Texas the track schedule falls way off, to keep drivers from overheating, so we don't have any NASA events scheduled again until September (unless we go to NASA Nationals East, August 31st at Road Atlanta). The "summer track break" around here means we have some openings on our service schedule. If you need some race prep, fabrication, seating, cooling, brake system or safety upgrades you've been putting off, let us know. Several of our long term development projects for V8 swaps are getting more attention as shop time is freed up, so we'll stay busy either way.

        That's all I have time for in this sitting, but I'll cover the Hallett event and the TMS road course "drift vs grip" event in my next write-up.

        Terry Fair -
        2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
        EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


        • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

          edit: oops blew up the page, dont know how you get them to show up shrunk...

          anyways; Car looks like bane now. I say keep it but add a black stripe from front to back. (his head strap)...
          Last edited by Fair!; 07-03-2014, 10:52 AM. Reason: resized picture


          • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

            Project Update for July 17th, 2014: Wow, I'm so behind. I wrote most of this entry two weeks ago but was waiting for some pictures and got busy doing other things. It ran long so I pulled a few events out and will show them in the next update. In this build thread entry we show upgrades to the TT3 Mustang after ECR, including a new driveshaft, new tires, new brake fluid, aluminum lower rear wheel spats added, and more. Then we cover the NASA at Hallett event write-up. the car was overheating (explained below), a bit pushy with too much wing, and we got rain in final CW session laps. Then we will talk about stuff for the next entry.

            More TT3 Mustang Updates + New Parts

            At long last we have ditched the stock 2-piece driveshaft and center bearing and replaced it with a 1-piece aluminum driveshaft. We used a Driveshaft Shop aluminum 3.5" diamet6er unit with a CV joint at the front, which is rated at 1000 hp.

            So, how much weight did this save us? Sadly, I don't really know. My shop guys forgot to weigh the new and old driveshafts when they did the swap - it was a hectic thrash to get ready for Hallett and weighing this was overlooked. The Driveshaft Shop website shows this to weigh 19 pounds, but you know how I trust everything I read on the interweb.

            The stock 2-piece driveshaft on the 2011-14 GT/Boss is HEAVY

            The old stock driveshaft was still here so I just had our guys weigh it today. A hair over 37 pounds, so this upgrade might have lost 18 or so pounds, if the stated weight of the 1-piece unit is correct. Driving the car after this mod produced no adverse effects, or any noticeable benefits. A customer sold this one to us after we did a Tremec Magnum XL swap for the stock Getrag MT-82, so it was a cheap upgrade for us. We actually sell Dynotech Engineering driveshafts and will get them on our website eventually.

            I've spoken about the upgrade we made to the 4" brake ducts at the front bumper opening and the hoses but before we ran the ECR test we ran out of time to make the new 4" ducted backing plates. Well now we had the time, and engineer Jason had procured a new Ford part number to test with. This OEM stamped steel backing plate is a different diameter than the one we used for previous batches of 3" ducted plates (based off the 14" Brembo equipped cars) and turns out it was easier to use with the 4" hole than the smaller 3" hole, plus it had some other advantages.

            This different OEM backing plate version has a deeper dish to the hub clearance area which allows for more even flow inside the rotor ring itself, and should get more air to the hub bearing. We have tried 4 different backing plates from various S197 cars and this one fits the tightest to the rotor and has more room inside to spread air to the right places, so we've switched ALL of our S197 ducted backing plates to this new part number. We have a big batch of the OEM back plates being bead blasted this week so we'll make a run of these 4" ducted plates soon and put them in the same section as the 3" plates. The production 4" plates will have an oval duct on the backing plate, and not round like the prototypes built for our TT3 Mustang.

            Again, unless you are KILLING your brakes and already have 3" ducted fronts, the 4" plates might be overkill plus they require some additional front fascia work to attach the 4" hoses. And the stock windshield washer bottle is not possible with 4" hose, whereas a 3" will barely fits around it. Some folks do like overkill, though. And you know me - I'm a hack driver and I tend to overdrive everything, so I use more brakes than most. We checked the front caliper temps with a fresh set of Alcon temp strips at Hallett, to see if we could reduce the max temp from 490°F we were seeing before with 3" and 430°F we saw at ECR with 4" front openings and hoses but the 3" backing plate ducts, and I will talk about the gains we saw below in the race report.

            Towing and Strapping Down an S197

            Whether you tow or drive your car to a race track, or what your choice of tow vehicles is, are two discussion I try NEVER want to wade into. These are no-win arguments that will put people against one another looking for blood, like the Hatfields and McCoys! But if you've made the decision to start towing your car to the track instead of driving it to the track, which does relieve a LOT of stress and allows you to focus on your driving and pushing the car rather than saving enough brakes and tires to get you home, there are some new things to learn.

            When towing one of my least favorite things after a long race weekend is loading the car into the trailer and strapping it down. Every car has a "trick" or two that you might learn from someone else. Like when it comes to E30/36/46 BMWs, which I have towed hundreds of times, I tow them via "T-hooks" slotted into the 4 factory under-chassis slots (hidden under 4 plastic jacking point pucks) and I will always cross both the front and rear straps. On the S197 Mustang, it has its own set of tricks to strapping the car down safely. I've seen some janky set-ups and have learned what to do (and not) over the years by watching others' tow their cars.

            The front is relatively easy, as we use 3" ratchet straps with a C-hook end and "hook" into some big slots in the front lower subframe structure. The same "T" hook ends also work here very well. But when towing inside an enclosed trailer it takes some finesse to throw the straps under the car to where you can reach them behind the wheel and then you have to hook them into the slots blind, but once you've done it before its fairly easy.

            Left: Mac's Custom Tie-downs are my favorite. Right: I hate strapping through wheels, but these padded axle straps "could" work

            We always cross the straps up front, to keep the car from shifting laterally on the bed of the trailer. I've seen the results of a poorly strapped down car inside an enclosed trailer... it can turn into a costly mistake to your bodywork or aero, especially on a long tow. I always like to check the straps, and tighten them if needed, during our first stop heading out of town to get ice and fuel for the outbound leg of any road trip. In 27 years of racing I've never had a car come loose in an enclosed or open trailer, or worse - had one fall off of an open trailer. I've known 2 friends that had that happen to them, though!

            Strapping the S197 down at the back is a bit trickier than at the front. There are several ways to do the rear straps, but for the past 4 years whenever we towed this stick axle Mustang we have been using 3 foot long "axle straps" wrapped around the axle tubes then using 3" ratchet straps hooked to these and securing them back to D-rings in the trailer floor straight behind. This was a compromise set-up, and we had to be careful not to wrap the axle straps over or near the rear axle vent or it could get knocked off - that happened once - made a huge mess.

            Left: With a Watts Link you need to keep the tow straps from bending any tubes. Right: This is the section to wrap the axle straps around

            When we made our remote axle vent catch can and hose, that hose and fitting had to be avoided with these straps also - which happened once and made a huge mess. The ratchet straps themselves have to route around, over and through the next of Watts Link tubes and rear exhaust pipes or you risk bending or at least scratching something under the car. And since axle straps just wrap around the axle tubes you can't "cross the straps" at the back, or risk having the straps slide inboard towards the "pumpkin" on the axle, which then makes the straps loose during your tow (not good). Some folks like strapping cars down by looping an axle strap through a wheel or around a wheel spoke, but that is a TURRIBLE idea and can both stress crack a wheel spoke, scratch the crap out of your $$$ wheels, or allow the wheel to rotate during the tow and loosen the car against the straps.

            So there are lots of "gotchas" on strapping the rear of a Mustang down. We have been fighting it for 4 years, but now we have a better way. We designed and built the tie-down brackets above for the S197 chassis and then tested them on our way to and from the Hallett, which was 10+ hours of towing. These new rear tow strap tie down brackets are made from beefy alloy steel and bolt to the rear lower control arm location. Olof hand cut this prototype pair based off of CAD drawings Jason drew up, but the production versions will be laser cut and powder coated red. The kit will come with a pair of new, 5mm longer, grade 12.9 bolts and nuts as well.

            These should be available from us later this summer and the 22° bend shown here will be the right way to tie down a Mustang with crossed rear straps. We will make them in flat (un-bent) form for those that want to orient the tie down straps straight back, too. Strapping the rear down went from a frustrating 5-6 minutes with my upper body wedged under the back of the car to a simple 30 second reach around behind the tie and clicking the strap ends into the new brackets. The 10 hour bumpy round trip tow was flawless, and the car didn't move a millimeter on either trip.

            Our popular GT500 rear brake upgrade kit has gone DOWN in price by $140. You heard that right.... out price on this kit just dropped over 27%. Why? We were previously sourcing the GT500 rear rotors from the only source we could find - Ford (read: expensive) - but have since found them made by Centric in their Premium line, which is the line we use on all of our race and street cars. This dropped our costs enough to be able to pass along this big savings. We have the replacement rotors available in this same S197 brake category location.

            We have our first batch of Vorshlag adjustable rear spring ride height platforms (aka: "rear ride height adjusters") that finally arrived. These were drawn up a while ago after the supplier for a similar style that we had been using dried up. Now we make this Vorshlag version and they work on several chassis including the S197 Mustang rear.

            We make these work on the S197 (at left) with a Nylon adapter and various BMWs (at right), also in the stock rear spring location

            These adjustable platforms and adapters allow us to remove the fixed length, stock "Beehive" style spring (or lowering springs of the same shape) and replace them with shorter 60mm ID coilover springs, which come in infinitely more lengths and spring rates. Then we can adjust the ride height at the rear corners independently, for corner balancing. We can use these in conjunction with coilover style front strut/springs or by themselves, to work with a budget racer who still has OEM style springs and struts up front but wants to play with new rear spring rates and adjust ride heights out back.

            Look for these coupled with MCS, Moton and other shock kits we sell as well as by themselves with the "Rear coilover spring kit" for the S197 Mustang.

            continued below
            Last edited by Fair!; 07-17-2014, 03:28 PM.
            Terry Fair -
            2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
            EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


            • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

              continued from above

              The last upgrade before Hallett was a simple set of rear lower tire spats. These are small little air deflectors that Ryan fabricated out of aluminum to smooth the transition from the flare to the side skirt, both visually and aerodynamically. He bent and welded this pair and made them attach to the back of the factory black plastic side skirt. These were painted black but the racing at Hallett took their toll on the finish (I shot the pics above after Hallett), so these will come off and get a stronger semi-flat black powder coating before we go to SEMA. Like everything else, the finish of much the exterior of this car will need some touch-ups before its ready for the week long SEMA show or the televised Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational event held immediately after in November.

              The guys here at Vorshlag had everything prepped before Hallett in about a day. The brake pads and rotors looked great but they pushed a little fluid through anyway, to make sure it was bled. The Carbotech XP20 pads were brand new before the ECR test day and they swapped in fresh Carbotech pads out back halfway through the day there. Car was nut and bolted, I drove down to the local Shell to fill the tank with 93 octane (and we brought 20 gallons more with us, as Oklahoma only has 91 octane for premium), and a sticker set of Hoosier 335/345 tires were mounted. This was the winnings from TWS, and I almost took a scrub set to Hallett and saved these.... but I got nervous at the last minute and had Olof mount the new sticker set.

              Why? I was worried about two things: getting beat in TT3 at Hallett -or- maybe barely winning but not resetting our old track record there. My main TT3 competitor Jeff Tan had just had new aero installed front and back, new suspension spring rates added, and a stroker 2.3 liter motor drinking E85 in his red EVO 9. Our friends at Evolution Dynamics had just put a new custom tune on Jeff's TT3 EVO that made 300whp from 3200rpm to 8000rpm, peaked at 326 whp and 410ft lbs of torque. In this much lighter car it could be a killer in this class. They use a boost trick to make constant "max power" across a huge rpm range, - and meets the letter of the TT rules. Nothing I can do about it except - build a similar turbo motor. Jeff was coming equipped for a battle! We also had 7 cars entered in TT3, including Boss302 driver John Scheier who I've known for 15 years and co-driven with at the Solo Nationals more than once. He's always fast. There were 10 cars in TT1, and I was worried about getting stuck behind some of the slower TT1 Corvettes if I didn't qualify well in the first TT practice session. And the 2013 TT3 National Champion was hinting on Facebook he might show up at Hallett, so I had all sorts of threats looming.

              The last mod we made was to my helmet - adding the D-ring hardware anchor mounts needed for the Simpson Hybrid Pro I was borrowing. I wanted to test this Simpson head and neck restraint system at Hallett, and the HANS quick-release post anchors I already had installed in my helmet were swapped out for these. No, you won't find these D-ring mounts at a local hardware store, like a friend told me, they have to be special ordered. I got a pair from RaceDaySafety over-nighted after we struck out at all of the local race shops.

              I have used a HANS branded device twice before (see above right) and absolutely hated the experience, so I was hoping the Simpson Hybrid Pro would work better for me - to actually allow me to turn my head, look down more than 1 degree while in the car and strapped in, etc. As an autocrosser I'm used to having my head on a swivel and looking way ahead, sometimes 90 degrees from the direction I'm traveling. I even autocross many times with an open faced helmet, for better visibility. The HANS I used back in 2012 was not a sliding tether style that allows you to rotate your head, so that was part of the misery. At Hallett there are a few corners where you have to turn more than 90 degrees in a very short span of track, so looking out the side window to check and set-up corners would be crucial.

              Still, I was determined to try to set a better example with my safety gear, vowing to run all of my sessions wearing my 3 layer suit, Nomex lined shoes and gloves; the Hybrid Pro attached and my Schroth 6-point belts secured tight. I was already sporting the back injury and this was my first event back, and I didn't want to make matters worse if I had a crash. Also, I was keeping an eye on the pain - if it got bad, I promised my wife Amy that I was going to hand off driving to my TT3 team mate (Amy). She wanted the seat time, too, so I had to watch my mouth and NOT complain unless it got really bad!

              NASA at Hallett, June 21-22, 2014

              Amy didn't have enough time off from work to go up a day early and run the Friday test-n-tune. That's a shame, as we both needed the seat time at this track. I had run the CCW 1.8 mile Hallett circuit all of about 15 laps that one day in 2013, and Amy had no laps at all. My friend John and another buddy of his (and MCS customer of ours) Garrett arrived on Thursday night and had a good paddock spot set-up for us outside of Turn 9 (aka "The Bitch"). TT1 racer Marc Sherrin was also on site and paddocked with them by Friday morning and taking laps, and TTU racer Paul Costas was there as well in his GT-1 Camaro.

              Vorshlag Event Picture Gallery:
              Note - these pics are by me/Amy, Paul Costas, or Hallett's photographer (I bought a CD of pics)

              We left Dallas plenty early at 2 pm, took our usual route north to Oklahoma City on I-35 and .... stopped. For an hour. There was massive construction traffic north of town that delayed our arrival by an hour, so we didn't get to the track until 7:30 pm. Luckily June 22nd is the longest day of the year so it was light until 9 pm, which allowed us plenty of time to unhook our trailer and... cart everyone to dinner 25 miles away. See, the Hallett Motor Racing Circuit is located in a remote part of rural Oklahoma and the nearest hotels are 25-35 miles away.

              Marc had heard of some restaurant "on a lake" called Freddie's Steakhouse that was supposed to be good - and once we found it, it was actually pretty awesome. Amy and I were joined by racers Marc, Costas and HPDE director Scott for a solid 2 hour dinner where we laughed ourselves silly. Since we drove them to dinner we took another hour of driving to take most of them back to the track, then we went off in the opposite direction to our hotel in Sand Springs, 30 miles away. It made for a long day and late night but we had a good time.

              Saturday June 21st - TT Day 1

              Back at the track by 7 am Saturday morning and we quickly unloaded the Mustang. Finally saw John and Garrett from Colorado, who were paddocked next to us and Marc. We did some quick checks of the car, mounted the vidcam and AiM Solo DL, then went up to the club house for the TT meeting at 8 am. We had 44 TT cars entered, which made for a huge field. We were to go out together in the first TT Practice as a group but then the TT group was split into two groups for the rest of Saturday: TT1/2/3/U in one group and TTB-TTF in another.

              There was ample coverage of the Passing Under Yellow issues we had at TWS and what was acceptable and what was not for this weekend. Dave B, Ken B and Scot Adams all put their foot down about PUY, not blocking, how to take a cool down lap without impeding, and where to safely pass at this track. It was a good meeting and I hope we can continue to have these open discussions amongst the TT drivers like this before each day of racing.

              All 44 TT cars went out in the practice sessions with me driving and Amy riding shotgun. We were on the sticker set of Hoosiers with a plan to set an aggressive lap time and try to grid ahead of as many TT1 and TT2 cars as possible, to avoid traffic in later sessions. Amy has never driven this track before and I have only taken about 20 laps or so, so it was still a learning experience. Not to mention the radical changes we had made to the car since we raced here in 2013 - new aero, wider tires, new suspension and more weight.

              This session started at 8:40 am, 77 degrees but humid, and I went out 3rd in grid (getting to grid early in these free-for-all first practice sessions is key!), behind Paul Costas TTU Camaro in front and Marc Sherrin's TT1 Corvette in 2nd. They both checked out and we were driving with a good gap in front and behind on the first lap. I was hoping I could show Amy a good line in this session without crashing, hitting a curb or going off track. Which did NOT happen, unfortunately! hehehe... I actually did go off track at Turn 6 in the 2nd hot lap.

              The TT Practice on Saturday is critical to get a good GRID PLACEMENT... which is why I was pushing so hard and went off, heh

              My first hot lap was a gentle 1:26 lap and then I was stepping it up in speed for lap two. We had the rear wing set at 12 degrees AoA which was a bit too much, and it was pushing at speed. There's also no more reference markers on track, as it had just been fully repaved about 6 weeks before. I turned in a little early in T6 and just got on the throttle a bit too early and just drove off the end of the turn. Not normally a big deal, as there's some smooth run-off here, but with the new paving there's a bit of a drop to the nicely mowed grass at the edge of the track and the "Drop" caught the leading edge of the splitter and pushed it back about 5 inches. Unbeknownst to me the splitter also acted as a mowing blade and gave the landscaping a closer cut, which packed up the lower grill's mesh with grass almost completely.

              What's wrong about the picture above? The grill is PACKED full of grass! #fairslawnservice

              This cuts off all airflow to the radiator. Amazingly we finished that lap and one more before it started to run hot. I was exiting Turn 9 (The Bitch) on this 4th hot lap and I was catching the back of the TT1/2/3 field. As I crept up on a C5 Z06 I starting seeing spitting of water on the windshield. I made it around the final Turn T10 and on the front straight I looked down and saw the temp gauge starting to move quickly into the red. I was already past pit in and going 100+ so I shut off the motor and pulled offline, pointing everyone I had just passed back by me. Got around Turn 1 and there's no good place to pull off, so I briefly re-fired the motor, got around turns T2-T3 and pulled off, track right. By now the radiator cap had popped and it was gushing steam out of the hood vents and onto the windshield. I went off slowly enough not to damage the splitter further but it was pouring smoke and for a second there I thought it was actually on FIRE.

              Saturday-Sunday's Hallett CCW track map. Ignore the "bunch up" and "go green" markers, which I royally screwed up on this version

              Luckily it was just steam, but we had both already bailed out and the car was a good 50 yards off the track. We walked over behind a tire barrier and a corner worked came trotting over from Turn 4 to check on us, fire bottle in hand. I was wishing I had a bottle in the car at that very moment (more on that in a bit). I assured him we were OK and would stay behind the tire wall until the session ended, and that we didn't need a tow. I was just going to let it cool off, cleared the grill mesh of grass, and would limp it back to the paddock. While we were standing that the corner worker got a call on his radio and went running back to Turn 4. We couldn't see what had happened but as the cars went streaking by we noticed Jeff Tan's red TT3 EVO was missing....

              One of our strongest TT3 competitors (Jeff) ended his day early with tire wall contact. Luckily this is a fully caged race car

              Shortly after there were black flags at all corner stations and the workers at T3 waved us back on track as a pair of wreckers went racing to T4. We drove around and saw that Jeff's EVO had plowed straight off of T4, went through/over the tire barrier and through the catch fence, and it looked ugly. He was out of the car and looked OK but the car looked pretty tore up. The course workers and wrecker crew spent a while rebuilding the tire walls here, something we saw another 3 or 4 times this weekend. Since Hallett is built in the rolling hills amidst a lot of trees, they have tire walls and barriers on many corners which you don't want to find your way into. I got a series of pictures of a BMW that had an off in Turn 8 and took out a tire wall as well, shown above and below.

              Boss302 entering Turn 9 (the Bitch) with the typical OEM suspension S197 brake dive

              I was wearing my full driver suit, gloves, shoes and the Simpson Hybrid Pro during this full session and I was miserable, hot and soaking with sweat by the time we got back to the pits. I could not turn my head AT ALL using this Simpson and I generally hated wearing it. The D-rings were rattling and driving me nuts, and I tried wearing it again in 3 other sessions but it was so constricting that I couldn't see from T2 to T3 and it negatively impacted my driving each session I wore it. I also gave up on the driving suit by later that afternoon, as it got DAMNED HOT at Hallett and racing in this entry level 3-layer suit was unbearable. At another drivers meeting I noticed about a dozen of the TT drivers were using cool suits, even in only 3-4 lap blasts, and now I see why. And we just became a dealer, so now we might add one of these systems to our car... even after I said I'd never do that for TT. The heat and that damned suit was sapping the life out of me.

              Hallett Eats Cars. I personally snapped pictures of these two cars destroying tire walls. With no run-off, that's what you tend to hit

              The front of Jeff's EVO is pretty much destroyed. That really sucks, but its another reminder of what can happen when you lose your brakes. Luckily ours worked great during that first session and the only failure was of my hack driving. We got to the pits and put about a gallon of water into the radiator and reservoir, then we thrashed on the car for an hour straight trying to fix the splitter. We had help from Patrick Lipsinic, Doug Worth, John and others. Time was running out and I was going to miss the next session if we didn't hurry, so we hooked up a strap to Doug's Raptor and pulled the splitter back into place.

              continued below
              Terry Fair -
              2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
              EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


              • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                continued from above

                My little "off and on" caused a good bit of damage. It took 4 people and a Ford Raptor truck to get the splitter pulled back out

                Amy got all of the front supports off first, which we easily straightened. It wasn't perfect but it was at least level and enough forward so that the front tires didn't rub on the flares/splitter. That would have to do. We had checked times in the TT Practice and out of 44 cars I was still 6th fastest, with the off and overheating? I was hoping to make it to grid and I jumped in the Mustang, drove up to the hot pits just before the field was about to leave. Costas had the field pretty spread out and we had caught the back of the field on the 2nd lap, where I ran a best time of 1:23.469 with a pass on that lap. This was a solid second faster than last year, but I knew the car had a lot more in it. I made a total of two hot laps in this session and the car started running warm, so I came in early.

                If you ever pop one of these radiator caps, throw it away. We now keep a spare in the trailer

                It was after this point that John Scheier mentioned that the radiator caps on these cars are a one time use cap - after they "pop" once from an overpressure condition, they never hold pressure again. Turns out he was right - we kept having to add water all weekend and it never would hold pressure again. Amy went out after that TT session in the HPDE3/4 group and made a bunch of laps, getting to a 1:29, but when it started to run warm she came in early. Since Hallett is remotely located in the "Oklahoma Outback" a quick trip top a parts store wasn't an option.

                After lunch it was over 90 degrees, but I went out in the 3rd TT session anyway to see if I could find some time. Tires got super hot, and I got stuck for 2 laps behind some TT1/TT2 cars gridded ahead of me, which was very frustrating. One of the cars holding up me and a train of cars behind us made a mistake in T1 so I made a pass on him into T2, outbraking this much lighter car. He immediately tried to take the position back and was making some VERY high risk moves for the rest of that lap trying to overtake, which were uncalled for - this is supposed to be TT, not W2W. This happens sometimes when Wheel to Wheel racers pay extra to also run in Time Trial - they don't turn that "attack for position" goal off and it has actually caused some accidents in TT before. Anyway, I finished the lap, with a pitiful 1:23.6 lap, then "pointed him by" on the front straight. I may have... used the wrong finger to point him by. I was pretty upset at the 5-6 near misses we had with him driving like a jackass behind me on the 2nd half of the lap after I passed him (cleanly). And of course the trackside photographer got a great picture of my angry "point by", which got me into all sorts of trouble with NASA officials. I won't get into all of that drama, but it was a dumb thing to do and I won't do it again.

                My "angry bird" point by got me in a bit of trouble. Stupid mistake and very unprofessional. DON'T DO THIS (especially next to a photographer)

                I won't be showing the video of this Lotus driver's ass-hattery because for one, all of this happened behind me after I passed him (I need a rear facing vidcam), and also because I lost my cool and the audio from my in-car camera was "too colorful". Due to the heat and massive traffic issues, this session ended up being a total waste of time and consumables. It only got hotter the rest of that day, so I sat out TT session 4 and let Amy make more laps in DE 3/4 and where she found two more seconds after finding some confidence. Before that session started she got stuck on grid belted in for 20 minutes (while yet another tire wall was being fixed after a Spec Miata smash-up-derby, wadding up one chassis) in 95 degree heat and she got overheated herself, with some signs of heat exhaustion after she came in from driving and got out of the car. We ended up putting 2-1/2 gallons of water in the car and we drank as much or more ourselves that day.

                Amy ran in DE 3/4 sessions all weekend but likely took more laps than me, at this, her first Hallett event

                Nobody went faster in TT sessions 3 or 4, and we wisely skipped session 4. Lots of crashed cars, and I got pictures of cars going through tire walls at T2 and another at T8. A Miata rolled after it was tagged from behind, Jeff's EVO, and our off and overheat. This track will really bite you in the ass if you go off in the wrong place, that's for sure. Big classes, with 10 in TT1 and 7 in TT3. We managed to win TT3 and ended up 7th overall in TT times, but it was not my best driving (or behavior) that day and we were really exhausted by the time the Saturday night party started at 6:30.

                After racing was over I broke out the beer and we hung out and cooled off with friends parked nearby in the paddock (John, Marc, Garrett) and saw Oklahoma residents Mark Council, Pat, and Brandon Jung who came to the track to watch the track side action. We stuck around long enough to get to the party, ate some good barbeque provided by NASA, drank some more cheap beer, then bowed out early to get Amy back to the hotel and cool her off. For some reason the Hampton Inn gave us a jacuzzi suite so I took a long soak that night and got cooled off myself, too.

                Left: its always more fun when you can paddock with friends - John (Tt3 Boss302), Marc (TT1 C6 Z06) and Garrett (TTB E36 M3)

                With as poorly as I drove that day -including the "off" in practice and "angry bird" session that nearly got me DSQ'd for the day I was downright LUCKY to pull off the TT3 win that day. My best lap was a 1:23.469, which was a solid two seconds back from the TT2 winner (Josh Dunn) and nearly four seconds back from the TT1 winner (Marc Sherrin). I'm usually not that far off these guys and had to wait for Sunday's TT event to try to better my overall placement. It looks like I won the class by 3.5 seconds but in reality I was chasing John Scheier, who had a 1:25.7 best lap but was switched to TTU for non-competition reasons. John had some off-track troubles in some sessions, but I knew he could drop 1-3 seconds if he found the right line here. With 7 in TT3 class at least I scored 2 Hoosier tires for the win. I vowed to Amy that Sunday would be "drama free" and faster.

                Official End of Saturday TT Results (link) are copied above. We had a NASA Texas record of 44 competitors in TT at this event

                Sunday June 22nd - TT Day 2

                Sunday went a lot better than Saturday. There was a bit of a panic in the morning when a "end of Saturday" TT results sheet showed me as DSQ'd but it was only a typo. Before the day started we refilled the radiator once again and finally adjusted the rear wing, to dial out a lot of the angle I had dialed in (went from 12 to 6 degrees), and the balance was a LOT better. I also removed the ballast plates in the trunk, which NASA's scales said were not needed. I went across the scales at Impound at 3864 pounds during a session Saturday (on a 3802 pound minimum), then after pulling the weight plates out and running less fuel it was 3812 pounds at another morning impound check on Sunday (that was close!), so I ran with a tick more fuel after that.

                I went out in the first session and put down a 1:22.4XX, which was already a second quicker than Saturday. It felt decent but I got held up a little on my first lap by a wicked little TT2 Porsche 944 LSx swap car, but he was cool and pulled offline to let me by on the next lap. Got my best lap in on lap 2, then came in to hand off the car to Amy, who immediately went out in DE 3/4 and dropped a second herself from Saturday.

                I went out again in a hot TT session 2 (92 degrees!) before lunch and ran my best time of the weekend, following Josh Dunn's TT2/ST2 EVO for a couple of laps. See the real "bitch" corner for me at Hallett wasn't Turn 9, which has always been easy to me, but Turn 4. When going CCW T4 is a tricky, decreasing, blind, uphill turn that totally dictates how you enter T5 and then T6 immediately after. You have to set-up out of T3 SUPER wide track left (on the rumbles) for the late entry to the right-hander T4, then give T4 a SUPER late apex. I hadn't seen anyone else do this turn as well as Josh had and following his line allowed my time to melt away - but some that have seen my video say it could have been even later, and I'm inclined to agree. My lines aren't ever perfect, I'm just a hack autocrosser, and I'll be the first to admit that I suck at Hallett. This car was capable of 1:20 or even 1:19 laps, but... I was a bit timid in my braking zones after having the off in my first session of the weekend and nursing the back injury.

                For you Hallett regulars, yes - I know my lines are not ideal and there is room left in the car

                Still, my second hot lap of a 1:21.751 in this 2nd Sunday TT session was good enough for a win and was a solid 3 seconds quicker than our best CCW lap from 2013. Josh Dunn ran his best TT2 time of the weekend in front of me, a 1:21.2, so I think we kind of pushed each other (you can see him pull away from me in the laps above). Running a 1:21 had been a secret goal of mine all weekend, and it felt good to hit that. The AiM's predictive timer kept showing me 1:21s but I couldn't seem to hit that until Sunday. I came in after this lap and called it a day for CCW laps and Amy went out once more in DE 3/4 after lunch and got down to a 1:26 lap. While she was out on track I rode along with James Wester (in his 5.0L S197, which he's modded with many Vorshlag parts) and did a check ride for him in HPDE3, and signed him off for HPDE4 - coming from an autocross background and previous track experience he was obviously fast and he was ready.

                Sure, TT1 was 3 seconds faster and even TT2 beat our times at this event as well, but I was still happy to walk away with the 2nd class win of the weekend against some tough competitors. John Scheier had moved his Boss302 to TTU to help the class count there but he was really the TT3 car I was pushing to stay ahead of. He runs TT3 in the Rocky Mountain region, I've known him for 15+ years, and he runs on AST double adjustable coilovers that came off of my 2013 GT plus seats and wheels he got from Vorshlag. Behind John's Boss302 in TT3 was a Porsche 930, a GT3, an M3 and a C5 Z06. With only a narrow 2 second gap to 2nd place Scheier on Saturday it had stretched to a nearly 5 second lead on Sunday, when I finally pulled my head out of my ass and drove a little better.

                Doug Wirth brought his TTB E36 M3 up from Dallas but broke a pressure plate and headed home on Saturday

                We skipped TT session 3 as it was even hotter at 94 degrees, and not many went any faster in this session. We did stick around for the TT trophy presentation, after the 3rd TT session. They handed out trophies down to 3rd place and we got to take pictures with the trophy girls who had some Big Texas Hair, hehe. They were good sports and we had fun, even sneaking our cars into the winner's circle for some shots. We all ate a bunch of ice cream from the clubhouse, and ice cream makes everything better.

                Final TT session on Sunday... "Reverse Skate!"

                There was a merged TT session 4 at the end of the day Sunday at 4:30 pm, that was to be run in the OPPOSITE direction. Going Clock Wise at Hallett is extra tricky, as entries into Turns T9, T7, T5 and T4 are all blind and the runoff at T3 pretty much puts you into the middle of T2 if you overshoot. Not too many folks race Hallett in this direction but it was a "non-points" session just for fun... but new lap records would be acknowledged. And you know from reading this build thread, I'm all about the lap records.

                Luckily I already held the CW TT3 lap record because it started raining as soon as we took to the track. 10 cars went out and I gridded up 3rd behind Raymond and Marc's TT1 cars, who were pitched in a heated battle all weekend - Marc won TT1 by .03 sec ahead of Raymond on Saturday, then they switched finishing positions in class on Sunday by .1 seconds but trailed a Lotus who took the win. Marc went out first and Raymond followed closely on his heels and the two of them flat out left me. I couldn't get the Mustang to stick in the spitting rain and I wasn't about to risk the car for a non-points session, especially since I already held this lap record. There was no driver confidence left once the rain started after this trying weekend, heh.

                continued below
                Terry Fair -
                2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                  continued from above

                  Left: The TT field was big all weekend, even split in half! Right: The clouds rolled and sprinkled rain in for the one CW Sunday TT session

                  After two laps behind a pace car to show driver's the unusual CW driving line before they went 10/10hs, Raymond's Viper put down a 1:23.3 and Marc was two tenths back, both of them driving like mad in the rain. I was very slow with a 1:27.6, and after 2 laps it started running hot again. The vidcam's SD card had filled up (Amy forgets to turn off the thing every time) and I forgot to turn on the Harry's Lap Timer video/data logging app on my Samsung S4 for this session, so there's nothing to see. That's probably good, as it was slow (results here), about a second slower than I ran in 2013 going CW. I wasn't about to stuff the car off into a tire wall in the rain, what with so little to gain in this "non-points" session (especially since we already have the CW Hallett TT3 track record).

                  Left: Front brake caliper temps were down 80 degrees from 3" ducting! Right: Our paddock was next to this picturesque pond

                  We let the car cool down while we hooked up the trailer to the F350, while it really started to rain. I was still a little baffled by the overheating issues after filling up the coolant, but John kept saying the coolant reservoir cap was indeed a "one pop then done" deal, so we have since replaced it and now keep a spare in the trailer. Good news - the 4" brake ducting really worked. The brake temps were way down, only peaking at 410°F on this brake intensive track (an 80°F drop from the 3" ducts/hoses/plates). The Motul RBF 660 brake fluid did great and I never once lost pedal pressure. We even had a LOT of brake pad left after this event - enough to do at least 1 if not 2 more track weekends, which is a big $$ savings. I've said it before but brake ducting pays for itself quickly, in saved brake pad/rotor wear and avoided crashes.

                  We used maybe 15 gallons of 93 octane Texas fuel all weekend and added 1/2 quart of oil over about 9 sessions driven. The tires looked great after all of this abuse and looking back we probably could have won both days on a scrub set - but hindsight is always 20/20. If 2013 TT3 National champ Chris Mayfield had shown up (as he threatened) I would have needed every bit of grip advantage of sticker A6s, and then some!

                  Our paddock space was perfect for the weekend as it gave us nice views of the track and the lush green hills of Hallett. The new paving on the track and infield roads was much appreciated and lap records fell left and right in TT and other classes.

                  New Hallett track records were set in all 10 TT classes going CCW and 5 classes going CW

                  The track folks served great food all weekend (awesome "track burger") and we ate some damned good catfish and Cajun jambalaya on Sunday, skipping our normal "lets make a sandwich" lunch. The rain let up quickly after the racing stopped and cooled us off while were loading up. We rolled out at 5 pm, so it was a long HOT day and we were ready to head back to Dallas. Marc took us on a new route home (highway 99 to 75 through Ada) using lots of 2 lane highways straight south, avoiding the bumpy, nasty Indian Nation Turnpike and the traffic of Oklahoma City and Denton in Dallas. This lopped an hour off our normal 5 hour I-35 route, which was nice.

                  Official end of Sunday TT Results (link) are copied above. We did a LOT better on Sunday

                  Anyway, with another win on Sunday we snagged two more Hoosiers for a total of 4 tires. It looks like we are the first TT entry in Texas to snag a regional championship for the year (the only team to place first at all 8 of the regional TT dates in 2014). We've had quite a streak of wins this year but we haven't "banked" any sticker tires yet, so this set will be saved for our next NASA event - which is unknown at this point (more on that below). Amy has been trying to talk me out of going to NASA Nationals, with the crash I had there and all. Might be a wise choice, but I've been fighting to get us there. The BIG event for us this year really is the SEMA/Optima Shootout November 8-9th and the next NASA Texas events after Nationals is Sept 20-21 at NOLA and Oct 11-12 at TWS, which I hope we can make.

                  Two TT3 wins, 4 tires, and resetting our 2013 TT3 lap record by 3 seconds works for me!

                  My back did great all weekend right until I wretched it working on the damned splitter repairs on Saturday. Once again I regretted not bringing someone else from Vorshlag to help, over did it, and had to deal with some pain that I could have avoided. The driving itself was fine, and caused zero back pain. Wearing the somewhat constrictive back brace, the constrictive Simpson Hybrid Pro, and the heavy/thick driving suit all added up to "too many layers" - which made it difficult to breath and my body got too damned hot in the 96°F heat we saw. I really have GOT to get a better 2-layer driving suit, soon, and will keep trying different Head and Neck Restraint Systems until I find one that allows me to turn my freagin head just a little.

                  Paul Costas had a good weekend, winning TTU both days and setting the fastest lap time of the weekend in his 1997 GT1 Camaro - you can see his write-up on his blog (when he gets around to adding it). It was fun seeing folks from 4 different regions all come together at Hallett as well as our Texas TT racers, who all did really well. Thanks to all of the NASA volunteers and race directors who put on a great event. The Hallett folks also went all out, were super nice and accommodating, had the track and grounds looking great all weekend, cleaned the bathrooms every day, had ice for sale at the track, and provided excellent food.

                  Left: Costas took home several trophies and had an epic shirt. Right: Dave and Will from NASA Texas

                  A lot of records were broken in TT and Spec Miata as well as some other classes. Yuri Kouznetsov made some laps in TT2 on Sunday to test his Pikes Peak set-up, then he and TT1 racer Raymond left Hallett and went directly to Colorado Springs. They both raced at the 92nd running of the PPIHC starting a couple of days later and both not only finished but good finish times, so congrats to them.

                  What's Next?

                  This write-up has gotten a bit too long so I am going to wrap it up. Here's a preview of what will be in the next S197 Build Thread installments as well as a final word about NASA Nationals.

                  + ST3/TT3 2013 Mustang GT Build - We will keep adding to this S197 build thread with new content, like the race prep we are doing to Jamie Beck's 2013 Mustang for NASA ST3/TT3. In the next few weeks this car is getting an AJ Hartman wing and custom uprights, custom end plates, then a cage and starting on a major diet. We've already got it down to 3276 pounds and haven't even touched the glass or removed any stock sheet metal - this is all from just removing factory interior parts. We will document every pound coming out of this car from here on out (and will show how it is already at 3276).

                  + Repairs and Updates after Hallett - After my simple "off and on" at Hallett I damaged a few exterior bits. The "pushed back" splitter was removed, some duct work was replaced, and we even added and upgraded some aluminum panels hidden under the bumper cover (a lower panel was added), the splitter mounts were fixed, etc. I tear up things and Vorshlag techs fix it. Rinse, repeat.

                  + Adding a fire bottle & quick-release mount - After seeing the smoke pour out of the hood on our Mustang at Hallett (luckily it was only steam), then seeing cars at Pikes Peak + Hallett get burned from small engine fires that turned into larger ones due to a lack of a fire bottle, I figured it was past time. We have rounded up an affordable 2.5 pound bottle and it will be mounted in the car on a quick-release mount at the passenger side of the trans tunnel. That way I don't have to drive a car ON FIRE to a corner station to try to find a fire extinguisher if something happens. The fireball below was from a car we worked on (aero work + cage mods) that since entered the 2014 Pikes Peak event. About $120 investment in a fire bottle & mount can potentially save you thousands in fire damage. Will cover this more in the next update (they just finished it an hour ago - looks great).

                  + New search for a HANS continues - I've scratched two off the list but there are many more. I know about all of the options, but what I would like is to borrow a couple more and try them out. So far I am thoroughly unimpressed with how much these restrain my head movement in the car.

                  + Two sets of prototype AST S197 coilovers - These just went up for sale today in our Clearance section. There's also some other new additions for slightly used S197 parts in there. Vorshlag is once again an AST/Moton dealer but the new U.S. distributor doesn't have any inventory in the USA yet (and might not for weeks or months). But we have recently taken in (on trade) a couple of special sets of prototype ASTs, including the first (and possibly only) set of AST 4200s for the S197 chassis as well as the first set of 4150 prototypes that we used on our 2011 GT for two years. Both sets have been checked out and are good to go, and you can add camber plates, springs and ride height adjusters to get a killer set of monotube adjustables on your car for a big savings over new AST or MCS prices. Details are at the links below for each set.

                  Left: Prototype AST 4150 shock set for S197 (from my car!). Right: Prototype (and only) AST 4200 shock set for S197

                  + MCS deal for BMWs and S197 from July 7th to August 4th - If you order an MCS set for any S197 Mustang, BMW E30, BMW E36 or BMW E46 during this time frame there is a $100 savings on the optional rear spring kits, to help introduce the new Vorshlag rear ride height platforms.

                  + New S197 Fender Flare Kit Under Development - Our friends at Heritage have taken what they learned making the custom steel rear flares on our Mustang and have replicated this for another one of our customers, but also added custom front flares and a lot of "Extra Aero Pieces" to finish the wide body look off. They are pulling molds off of this car below and will offer composite offerings for all of this "soon". I will cover more of this in my next update, when hopefully the car below is painted/finished and the molds are ready. The plan is to get them to make the first set of composite front fenders for our car before SEMA. Fingers crossed...

                  + Vorshlag Attends Drift vs Grip Event - I was going to cover that in this update but ran out of time. This was a Lone Star Drift event with a "5 lap battle" between the fastest drift cars and a few NASA TT drivers. It was UGLY, but we all had a lot of fun, and I'll show video and pics of this event next time. Here's some preview pictures of me driving like a jackass.

                  + Vorshlag Skipping NASA Nationals East

                  After a lot of internal debate we have decided to skip the NASA Nationals event being held August 31st at Road Atlanta. There are several reasons. First, this "split Nationals" (East and West coast) is kind of lame and winning either one only makes you a "half champion". It was a novel idea but I don't want to spend the money and take the risks to do just the East event. That's the second reason - Risk. After looking at the carnage from Hallett, which has very little runoff area but low overall speeds, I am not comfortable going to Road Atlanta without a cage. This is another track with little runoff but HIGH speeds. Too many concrete K-walls and rough gravel traps (there should not have been an 18" drop into/out of that gravel trap) will keep me away until we have a caged car, and a better reason to go back and risk breaking something on my body again. Third is - Car Damage. I have a buyer lined up for the 2011 Mustang after SEMA, and I cannot afford to wad it up at Road Atlanta and ruin the car and the buyers future plans for it.

                  Road Atlanta (left) is hilly, fast, and unyielding. The LVMS 2.4 mile outfield course (right) is flat, slower speeds, and much safer

                  Instead of spending thousands of dollars going to Road Atlanta we are going to focus on the 2014 Optima Ultimate Street Car shootout (which we snagged an invitation to after winning the March USCA event) at LVMS in November. We will go and do a test event there as well. After that event the 2011 GT will be sold so we can focus on other projects (like the 2015 Mustang) and to help expand our business. Selling this 2011 Mustang helps us get into a bigger building, which we badly need. Ideally we would go to NASA Nats and give it a shot, but the reward just isn't worth the risk this time. Sorry...

                  So that's enough for this time. Stay tuned for more!
                  Terry Fair -
                  2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                  EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                  • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                    Update for August 14th, 2014: In my last post in this S197 build thread (July 17th) I had a lot more written but it ran long, so I waited until I could get caught up on other projects, including several customer cars and our search for a new Vorshlag HQ, and here we are and its August already. In this installment I will cover 3 events we attended after NASA at Hallett in late June, which include an autocross, a car show, and the Drift vs Grip "5 lap" exhibition race. We will also start covering the race car conversion of Jamie Beck's 2013 Mustang GT, which is being transformed from a track day/street car to a Wheel to Wheel race car using NASA ST3 class rules. And I touch briefly on a customer's Fox Mustang Coyote 5.0 swap and another customer's Coyote 5.0 swapped BMW. But first, new Mustang parts!

                    More S197 Brake Cooling Products

                    The S197 Mustang is a heavy car, and has a lot of power and the potential to go fast around a road course. This means one thing: it is going to turn a lot of kinetic energy into heat, and that heat has to be dissipated or it can boil the brake fluid and then you will lose your brakes.

                    I personally feel that the factory optional 14" diameter (355mm) Brembo front brakes are a damned good set-up, and we've kept this on our car for all 4 years we've raced it. The move to larger 15" (380mm) rotors normally means you are most likely going to have to use at least 19" diameter wheels, which I am loathe to do for many reasons - namely weight, cost, and poor tire selection. We've recently found some 18" solutions for this brake, which I will discuss with our 2015 Mustang very soon (which will keep the 15" brakes). I feel that 18" wheels and tires are the sweet spot right now, and we do everything we can to keep the 14" front brakes cool (and have upgraded to 14" rear brakes as well, to help shoulder some of the load).

                    In a previous installment in this thread we showed a new 4" brake duct backing plate that we built for our TT3 Mustang, after the issues I had at Road Atlanta. This one-off set is shown in the first two pictures in this post. Now our 3" ducted brake backing plates are more than adequate for 99% of the S197 track crowd, but for heavier/faster cars or for race cars that run in longer stints/races than a typical HPDE session or 20 minute sprint race, the 4" ducts are the way to go. Here is our oval 4" ducted front brake backing plate for the S197 being built.

                    Ideally you want to keep the incoming cooling air going to the hub and inside the rotor face, which was easy on the 3" ducts but the 4" round tube had a lot of the air pointing right at the rotor itself. Our new 4" oval duct backing plates now force almost 100% of the incoming air towards the hub and inside the vented part of the rotor, which will allow the rotor to "pump" the air out through the vanes and cool more effectively. These 4" oval tubing sections were first hand rolled (slip roller), welded in round, then ovaled using a couple of custom made tools. It will probably make sense to just buy 4" oval tubing, but it was pricy and we wanted to make a small run of these first - we like the finished look on these first few sets and will make another production batch soon.

                    When we were making the 4" oval plates we also updated our 3" backing plate design, choosing a different Ford part number for the backing plate itself. This new backing plate has more "inset" area for more even brake cooling around the hub and actually takes a little less time to make, as big chunks of the plate don't have to be cut away from this design. The oval versions are more expensive and time consuming, and fewer of these will be built and sold, so they are priced a little higher.

                    Both the 3" and 4" backing plates are about 1.75 pounds for the pair, so the need for the super expensive carbon backing plates seems a little spendy, to me. But the backing plates and hoses are only part of the brake cooling solution - that cooling air has to come from somewhere. Ideally you want to get high pressure air from the front of the car that has a provision for the 3" or 4" hoses to clamp to. On the 2010-2012 Mustangs the factory fog light holes in the "CS" lower fascia (see below, left) are an ideal way to get the brake cooling air to the front rotors and backing plates. If your 2010-12 GT didn't have the CS lower, get one, and then just don't add the fog lights... this becomes an ideal place for getting inlet air for brake cooling. We've even modified these openings to accept 4" tubing and hoses on our car.

                    Left: Brake ducts on a 2010-12 via the CS Lower Fascia. Right: There are less elegant inlet ducts kits for the 2013-14

                    The problem is the GT500 style nose, which is also used on the 2013-14 GT and 2013 Boss302, doesn't have a good place for inlet air for brake cooling. There are some kits that use the add-on foglight housings, but they are located further outboard and don't get the same type of air (pressure) as the 2010-12 CS lower grill foglight holes do. And they have to be reworked heavily to attach the brake ducting hoses to, and the hoses have to make a lot of turns to get to the backing plates. We've seen some kits that just drill a big honkin' hole in the lower grill (see above, right) but we think there is a cleaner way to add brake inlet ducts on the 2013-15 or GT500 nose.

                    If you have been reading this thread for a while you will remember my black 2013 Mustang GT, shown above. One of the track upgrades we made to this car was a set of custom front brake inlet ducts behind the egg crate grill. We utilized an unused, outer section of the lower front grill opening, opening up 7 "hexagons" on each side (see above, right) to allow for air intake, then made some duct inlet brackets behind the grill and plumbed the 3" hoses to the backing plates. And it worked perfectly. These inlets were quite stealthy and if you didn't look closely you'd never know they were there, unlike the "just drill a big 3 inch hole in the grill" solution shown on the red 2013 above.

                    We did that one-off inlet kit for my black Mustang back in February of this year, and since then we have made several batches of the 3" backing plates and even our first run of 4" oval plates. People have been asking us - how do I get air to the backing plates on my 2013-14 GT? Well now we finally have an answer: our new brake duct inlet kit for the 2013-14 cars, shown above and below.

                    We took the old templates, transferred them to CAD and made a run of Laser Cut parts. The video above at left (also linked here) explains how this is built and installed. Look for these kits in our S197 Brake section, available now.

                    Fire Extinguisher added to TT3 Mustang

                    Most road race cars have a full fire system with multiple nozzles. Usually there are nozzles in the engine compartment, some more pointed at the driver, and often one or more near the fuel tank/fuel pumps. One of the things racer practice is what to do when a fire happens... normally its: 1) kill the main power 2) pull the car off track quickly 3) pull the fire system 4) BAIL OUT. Burning up inside a race car is not a fun way to go out. Sometimes tech inspectors will ask a driver to come to tech in their race gear, strap into the car and have the nets up and prove they can get out of the car in 15 seconds or less, which is the typical requirement.

                    "Pulling the fire system" is very unusual, and you won't be allowed to race again until you can prove that the system has been refilled and recharged. The common systems these days are ESS foam based, which can be refilled track side, but many systems like dry powder and Halon cannot be easily recharged. And the most common cause of fire in a race car is an underhood fire, hence the common practice of having a secondary, hand held Halon fire bottle mounted in the car within reach of the driver.

                    So if something like this happens (above) you can get the fire put out quickly and without blowing your fire system and potentially ending your race weekend. The Pikes Peak car above had the required fire system but no nozzles in the engine bay, and no secondary fire bottle, so there was considerable damage to the wiring and plumbing underhood before the fire was put out on the side of the road (with sand). I saw the results of this engine fire, and another engine fire at Hallett during the June NASA race weekend that torched a friend's ST Corvette, too.

                    Also, when I blocked the lower mesh cover for the radiator opening at Hallett and "popped" the radiator cap it released a lot of steam, which looked like smoke, and it kind of freaked me out. It was THEN that I realized... I don't have a fire bottle in this car anymore. It isn't required in Time Trial, but I used to have one (it was added to run a certain event a couple of years ago, but removed when we sold the harness bar it was bolted/clamped to). All of this got me thinking: I need something to put out a fire on the TT3 Tank.

                    We did some looking and found a nice CNC aluminum fire bottle mount with a spring loaded quick-release pin, which makes it come loose from the mount in one second. Pull, rotate, and go. I picked up a DOT approved, low cost A/B/C 2.5 pound fire bottle, too. I should have purchased a Halon bottle instead of this powder based version, but Halon costs 4-5 times as much. Powder based fire extinguishers make a MESS when used, which is why Halon (an inert gas that smothers the fire) is much preferred.

                    Now the "quick-release" mount and clamp that came with the fire bottle would have been sufficient, but those spring-loaded clamps always worried me and I liked the feel of this Drake Offroad quick release bottle mount. The black anodized mount felt nice and was made to mount to a roll bar or a flat surface. The mount is in 2 pieces and the bottle is clamped to one side and the other side is bolted to the chassis. Then there's one pin at the back you slide into and then swing the front over another pin, which has the red quick release pull. Olof drilled the holes, used some stainless countersunk bolts to go through the carpet and tunnel sheet metal, and used washers and nuts on the back side. This fire bottle set-up is now secure and gives me a little more reassurance on track.

                    This Week in the Vorshlag Shop

                    I started a new forum thread over at the Vorshlag Forums and every week or so I will update that thread with pictures of the strange variety of cars we're working on at any given time. Since we don't have much to cover as far as mods on our TT3 Mustang this time, here's a few of the Mustangs and/or 5.0 Coyote powered cars that are being worked on now. You can see more in the This Week in the Vorshlag Shop forum thread.

                    Steve is an existing customer who recently brought us his 2014 Mustang up from Houston area for ARH full length headers, catted X-pipe, K&N cold air, a track-worthy dyno tune (at True Street), and some other work. Steve currently tracks this car regularly in Houston running on D-force 18x10" wheels and 285 Michelin PSS tires. For suspension he has Vorshlag camber plates and Ford Racing shocks and P springs.

                    As I tell a lot of people, we're not a traditional "horsepower shop" and mainly focus on suspension, chassis, fabrication and track prep - but we do offer a few bolt-on power parts, like the K&N cold air kit shown above. This is an easy bolt-on cold air intake that complements the headers.

                    Another mod we did to Steve's car was installing ARH 1-7/8" Full Length headers and their catted X-pipe. We've done a lot of these but the install never gets easier, heh. Due to the massive girth of the 5.0 Coyote motor getting access to remove the stock exhaust headers is difficult. There's a half dozen ways to do this, but we've found that it goes easier (least time and least busted knuckles) by dropping the front crossmember down about 12 inches.

                    continued below
                    Last edited by Fair!; 08-14-2014, 05:15 PM.
                    Terry Fair -
                    2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                    EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                    • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                      continued from above

                      The factory service manual shows a custom engine hanger, but we use an off the shelf hanger, which sits on the front fender rails just under the hood. We set it forward, just above the front of the engine. After adding longer M8 bolts and chains to the only two access bolts at the front of the block (goes through the front of the heads, through the front cover), the front of the motor can be secured. Then you raise the car on the lift, remove the front motor mounts, starter, disconnect the steering shaft, loosen the front crossmember bolts, and drop the crossmember down while supported on a telescoping hydraulic jack. On this 2014 model we had to drop the A/C compressor (didn't have to on 2011-13s, so something must have changed slightly) to access the right front header bolt.

                      Once the crossmember is down it is a game of wrenches, extensions and patience, but the stock stuff comes out and the new bits go back in. We've done a half dozen of these and it always takes about 7-8 hours, with a lift and all of these specialized hangers, jacks and tools. But the results, the added power at all RPMs, there's just nothing else that adds this much horsepower for the money. We typically see peak gains of 35-40 whp with these headers and cats and low to mid RPM gains of 60 whp. No other single bolt-on can do that without adding boost or nitrous.

                      And as we show above, there is also a weight savings when going from the stock tubular manifolds, cats and H-pipe to the 304 stainless ARH long tubes, high flow cats and X-pipe. We call this a Win Win: a nine pounds drop isn't anything to sneeze at, and there's even more weight to be found in the axle-back exhaust, which we recommend MagnaFlow for. One question we get a lot when choosing the ARH header primary size is: Won't the larger 1-7/8" primaries give up power at low RPMs to the smaller 1-3/4" primaries? The answer is NO. We've seen the data, and talked to the owner at American Racing Headers, and they only offer the 1-3/4" version "because people asked for it", but the 1-7/8" version "always makes more power, at all RPMs. Its the obvious choice". We couldn't agree more.

                      Eric's Boss 302 powered BMW - Fabrication and Rework

                      Vorshlag has been known for V8 swaps for over a decade, and lately we're getting cars in that other shops have attempted a difficult swap on and didn't quite get the details 100% on, and we're asked to "fix it". We inspected this '07 BMW 335 for the owner over 3 months ago, where we documented 100s of errors in the fabrication and plumbing. It left our shop until last week with many of the safety and plumbing issues corrected, and a few longevity and aesthetics issues were taken care of too.

                      I'm not going to bash anyone here, and I won't even show some of the sins we removed, just wanted to warn people: do you research on any shop, and even ask for a list of customers you can contact to ask about the work they do. When it requires substantial fabrication or engine swap work like this, there aren't a long list of places that can do the work cleanly and make it safe for track use.

                      We had to remove everything and take this car down tot he tub, then re-do substantial fabrication work that included new motor mounts, almost a 100% replumb of fuel/oil/cooler/brake lines, aero rework, Lexan rework, cage removal/rework, and so much more.

                      Without trying to, we managed to lop 122 pounds out of this car, just doing fabrication rework and track worthy/safety related upgrades. The customer left with his BMW a rip snorting beast that will be safer, run cooler, and looking a lot cleaner than before.

                      Reney's Fox Mustang Coyote 5.0 IRS Swap - Fabrication and Rework

                      Reney's 1992 Mustang LX "5.0" is the real deal - Coyote V8, Saleen 17x9s, Cobra 13" brakes, 2004 Cobra IRS, Tremec T56

                      We just got another Coyote V8 swapped car in the shop and I am strangely excited to work on this. If you didn't know I owned and raced in a half dozen Fox Mustang V8s in college and after, and even worked at a shop in Houston for a bit that specialized in Mustang work where we did engine builds, dyno tuning, suspension work, fab work and cages and more. So this one... Hnnnggggg, it hits me in the gut!

                      Some of my old 5.0 LX notchback Mustangs - including a white 1992, similar in looks to Reney's notchback

                      The owner bought this in an eBay auction and it was built a couple of years ago by a shop up north, and again - it has a lot of short cuts and errors that we are being tasked to fix. Its got 99 problems, but a motor ain't one! Unlike the BMW above, this is not a track-only car but more of a fun street car that might see some track use in the future. We hope to get this one ready enough to go on track at the October 25th Five Star Ford track day at ECR and invite Reney to come out and do his first track event with us then. The BMW 5.0 above should be out there, also. That might be our last event in our TT3 Mustang at ECR, too.

                      The main concerns with Reney's notchback include fixing some heinous exhaust rattles, and it didn't take our shop long to find the contact points (3 places hitting badly). It has a tubular front crossmember, so the plan is to remove the aftermarket shorty headers (likely from an S197 chassis, that do not fit) and replace them wit the only Coyote 5.0 / Fox swap headers we can find, the ones from BBK.

                      After a year of tinkering with the car, Reney is ready for a shop like Vorshlag to take over and complete the difficult work that remains. We already have the BBK long tubes - which will fit much better than the shorties, strangely enough - and matching catted X-pipe. That's the first work we will tackle, then it will get some new front struts, swaybar rework, fender rolling out back, and lots of plumbing rework (fuel lines are beat to snot) and the battery relocated and wired properly. Lots of little things were noted in the inspection we did and it might be in and back a few times to get everything right.

                      The issues that this car has are all underneath - and they are many.

                      We neglected to weigh the car while it was here for a day but we will before we start work on the headers/exhaust, which should kick off in about 3-4 weeks. I know one of my old, nearly stock 1987 LX 5.0 notchbacks was light, and weighed it several times at 2980 pounds soaking wet - that was a full interior car, with A/C, an iron block and iron heads, and heavy cast wheels. Reney's car has a 5.0 Coyote and a T56, plus the IRS, so who knows? Reney has already repainted the car in a Lexus white pearl paint and it looks AMAZING! We are so overbooked at the shop right now we had him take the car back but it should return in September and get the first round up repairs. I will update this thread as we attack each set of issues.

                      Jamie's 2013 Mustang GT - ST3 Prep

                      I showed Jamie's GT briefly in my last S197 build post, as it was after we had received the car with much of the interior removed. We weighed it at 3276 pounds with one front seat, which was down from 3553 pound weight before the interior was removed (no back seat, race seats, AST coilovers, Maximum 4-point roll bar).

                      Jamie brought what he pulled out and we weighed 171 pounds of interior bits, not including the front seats, which consisted of the interior panels, carpet insulation, and 3 days worth of scraping of seam sealer from the floor pan. It has lost a lot of bits and pieces since then as well as gained a wing.

                      Let's start with the wing upright design and fabrication work. Ryan started off by swapping on another new Ford sourced rear trunk, as Jamie wanted to keep his stock one unmolested. The trunk rework on the inside will be shown in more detail in my next post, but we started by laying out the center line then measuring. The guys used a laser and measured the maximum height allowed in ST3/TT3, which was 8" above the roofline, and kept the top of the wing at 7.5" above the roof at maximum AoA.


                      These lower brackets are similar to what Ryan built on the Pikes Peak Subaru, shown at right above. Those worked so well and these were built with an eye towards a production kit with patterns made for laser cut parts. While the Subaru brackets mounted to the fenders, per the crew chief's request, the Mustang brackets are mounting onto the trunk structure itself - which we have shown is plenty strong with our AJ Harman wing mounted similarly and tested to over 160 mph. There will be some under-side trunk reinforcement, don't worry.

                      After Ryan made mock-up parts for the uprights, Jason scanned them and put them into SolidWorks to create CAD files. I emailed these to our friends at Friction Circle Fabrications and then I drove over and met the owner, Todd, who also is one of the principles at MyShopAssist (our service tracking and customer interface software we use) as well as a fellow Optima Challenge, GTA and NASA TT competitor. We used these uprights and trunk brackets to mount the AJ Hartman Racing carbon fiber wing, which Jamie ordered directly at 68" wide. We are an AJH dealer (his first) and we would have ordered it in the 14" chord and the full 72" width, because more is better here.

                      The finished uprights came out great, and have a lot of hand rework to bull nose the leading edges and knife edge the trailing edges, for lower drag. Jason and Ryan both fought me on the "windows" added to these uprights, but the mechanical engineer in me wanted to drop some weight with those holes, and it was worth 1.9 pounds. Will it add some drag? A small amount. We will play with this set-up and do some testing to see if blocking off these windows is worth any time, especially near the bottom of the wing where airflow is critical.

                      Brad removed the door panels, the side window glass and regulators he cut out the structure on the right side door. Ryan cut out the structure on the left side door, as both sides will have cage tubing in those areas. Next Ryan began removing the dash to be able to extract most of the HVAC hardware. The airbags were already removed.

                      Here is the interior - before (at left) and after (at right). In this last picture Ryan has reinstalled the tubular and steel sheet metal inner dash structure, which the factory "dash bar" is welded to. This structure will be replaced soon.

                      We are going to add a simpler and much lighter defroster, then the dash pad will go back on, as will the factory gauges and main gauge binnacle. The wipers, lights and a few other bits will stay but the A/C and a lot of interior and under-dash bits are coming out.

                      We've started removing and weighing lots of parts, and you can see the lightweight defrost unit that will go back in (above right). The glass is all out and weighed, as is the A/C bits. Look for more updates on this project in my next update in this thread with more weights and cage pics. The rear and side quarter glass will be Lexan in the final iteration.

                      continued below
                      Terry Fair -
                      2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                      EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                      • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                        continued from above

                        Lone Star Drift at TMS, Round 4, June 29, 2014

                        Lone Star Drift is a drift series here in Texas that is pretty popular. I will admit I don't know much about drifting, other than we used to practice this skill set after autocrosses in college, to learn better car control (notice the sideways silver Fox notchback in the post above? That was normal "autocrossing" for me back then). Still, the only time I have ever been at an actual drift events was when I was doing something like Global Time Attack events where they had a crossover with Formula D or something similar.

                        One of my buddies who does drifting with Lone Star Drift contacted me about a month before this Lone Star event, Josh Garcia. He races his 1UZ Toyota V8 powered AE86 Celica (shown above, left) in TT3 on street tires with both NASA and GTA and also drifts a bit in this car and some other cars he has. So Josh called and asked me to find a few NASA TT drivers that might want to participate in an exhibition race at TMS on the road course there.... running against 5 or 6 drifters. They called it a "Grip vs Drift" race, hoping to promote road racers to drift and drifters to road race. It sounded pretty crazy, so I called the craziest mofos I know. TTB racer KenO was going to be in Mexico that weekend and TTU racer Paul Costas was too buried with work, but I did manage to snag one crazy TT driver.

                        TT1 Corvette driver Marc Sherrin wanted to join us, so we showed up the day of the Lone Star Drift event not knowing a whole lot about what was going to go down, but we were down for whatever. This was a one day (Sunday) event, from 8 am until 7 pm, and lots of drift entrants arrived. They were using part of the infield road course for drift competition, and we used the entire 1.1 mile road course in our two sessions on track (practice and race). Yes, the same course Marc and I both ran at the Optima event in March, where I took 1st and Marc took 3rd place in the Time Attack portion of that 3 day event. My best time in 6 sessions in March on street tires was a 39.803 second lap and Marc had a 40.236 (but his day was cut short by a rotor that popped). We were curious what we would run on our normal NASA TT tires: Hoosier A6!

                        With good Hoosiers, real aero, and previous experience on this course we both had high hopes this day, but had no idea how a fast the lighter and more powerful drift cars would do here. We got to the track before 8 am and set up our trailers next to one another, unloaded our two TT cars, checked a few things (we both left the same set-up and tires on from Hallett a week earlier) and waited a bit. Shop manager Brad and his wife Jen (both SCCA racers) arrived and stuck around all day to help with car prep, taking pictures (see gallery below), checking fluids/tire pressures, and loading the car up at the end of the day. I was still in a bit of pain (and still using the back brace 24/7) from the Road Atlanta injury, so that help was much appreciated.

                        Event Gallery:

                        We went to the driver's meeting at 9 am. There we met Aaron Losey and Derick Rogers (who I knew already), who talked about the overall event then the "Drift vs Grip" exhibition. They admitted that this was the first time they'd done this and asked Marc and I what we thought should happen. We had discussed a 10 lap sprint race, we talked about passing and point-bys (which never really happened, heh!), and warned the drifters that our cars were not caged and asked them to "pass with care", but of course... be ready to be passed.

                        The 6 drifters chosen to join us were all veteran drivers with beastly cars that had lots of "tandem" experience - almost all of them RWD Nissans with 500 whp or more. I told all of them that their cars were much lighter and probably faster than mine, and maybe even Marc's TT1 Corvette (which is a handful of pounds form being TT2 legal), but that our tires... might give us an advantage in turns and braking. Marc and I took Aaron's truck out on course after the driver's meeting and set up braking markers into Turn 1 and looked for debris to move on the rest of the course, but we only had about 5 minutes so it was a quick look at best.

                        They had drifting going on until our Practice session started at about 10:50 am. We did a 20 minute practice session and I went out in two stints for most of that time. I first did a couple of "feeler" laps to check the set-up. The bleachers were pretty full and the crowd was having fun watching the three TT drivers and another 6 drifters sharing a small road course and making hot laps.

                        The practice was fun, but it was pretty hot. We were all asked to wear driving suits, and Marc and I both did, and were both boiling in no time. Speaking of boiling - the Hoosier A6 tires on the back of the Mustang got pretty hot, and I spun it pretty good on lap 3 of the practice. Of course I have excuses: first of all, the track was VERY DIRTY in a few corners, as the drifters tend to drag tires in the dirt and bring a lot of it on track with them. Second, my tires were fairly burned up from 2 drivers racing for 2 days on them at Hallett. And, well, its a solid axle Mustang... in these fairly low speed corners I had very little downforce to help add some rear stick. It handled about like it did in March with Optima on the street tires, just with better braking and more front end grip than back then. Still kept the rear tires on the friction circle on all corner exits, with a little bit of yaw.

                        "When in Rome..."

                        When I spun (see above) I was 3 laps into the practice, and had JUST ran my fastest lap of the day (39.02 seconds), so I was feeling a bit too confident and the rear tires were HOT. I was fastest on this tight, low speed track once again with a LOT of slip angle on the rear tires. The crowd was going crazy and the car was loose on the exit of the last turn before the bleachers, so I was show boating a bit. I managed a couple of good saves in the video above, but one time was just too much (not enough steering angle!) and I spun it like a jackass. I came into the pits to face Amy's wrath. She was NOT happy, as you can hear in that first video.

                        The crowd loved it and were all clapping and I was laughing, but Amy wasn't smiling one bit. No sir, she was PISSED. "Don't mess up this car at this event, now..." I went back out for a few more laps, calmed down, but didn't find any more time. The tires got hotter and hotter - these A6s are not made for continuous lapping on a heavy, somewhat powerful car like this. I've warned people countless times that A6s are for autocrossing and VERY short lapping stints (1-3 laps) for Time Trial only. Was it going to hold together for 10 full laps? I was also getting pretty hot, so I came in after about 15 minutes, talked briefly to Amy, then headed for paddock to let the car and tires cool off. I couldn't get out of that driving suit fast enough - it was HOT! It was only 84°F in that session but I got really hot anyway after 25+ minutes in the car (I sat in the car, belted in, for about 10 minutes before we were sent out). Marc was still out there trying to get me to do some lead follow laps but I was overheated and done.

                        After this practice session Amy was questioning my sanity, with the potential risk of spinning and tagging a concrete wall here (it happens) or having a drift car bump into our car, for an event that "doesn't count" towards our normal NASA TT or Optima goals. But the truth of the matter is we make a lot of LS1 V8 swap kits for various cars (see above), and a certain percentage of those are purchased by drifters, which I reminded her of. So it was our customers here.

                        We had a LOT people come by our trailers after this session to see the Mustang, take pictures of both of the red TT cars, and even had people ask if they could sit in the Mustang (and lots of requests for rides on track, which we weren't allowed to do). We even had this picture taken that showed up on the SOUTHERNFRESH Facebook page, where it got over 7000 likes and 164 shares - yowsa! This crowd loved the sinister look of the Mustang - so much so that I don't think we're going to paint the bumper red after all, but leave it black.

                        Drifting started back up right after our practice session and ran non-stop all day and into the night. They never really stopped for lunch, and it was getting hotter and hotter. We drank a lot of water, but never ate anything. By 12:40 when they had us go out for the exhibition race it was up to 98°F and humid. The heat was exacerbated when we sat in our cars, suited up, belted in, and engines running for a good 10 minutes before they had all of the drifters off course and the track set-up for us. Turns out only Marc and I wore driving suits, too.

                        About an hour before this race Aaron came by and told us a lot of the drifters were asking for a shorter race, so we all agreed to 5 laps instead of 10. This was a good turn for me, as the Hoosier A6s were getting really greasy after about 2 laps, but I figured I could nurse them to 5 laps. They asked the TT drivers to start at the back, to give the drifters a fighting chance. I was wondering if we could pass 6 or more cars in only 5 laps, as there was really only 1 or two good places to pass. As I noted in practice - we could WAY out brake these guys, most of whom didn't have ABS and were all on street tires. The safest place to pass would be into Turn 1, which was after the longest straight and had a WIDE turn-in area, and went from tight to increasing radius on the exit. Of the 7 turns on this course, maybe we could make some passes into the decreasing radius/off camber Turn 5 (right before pit in), but that would be tricky with a drift car that had flapping/disposable body work right next to you...

                        Aaron lined us up, and put me and Marc on the back row side by side. Turns out only 3 drift cars + Josh's Celica on street tires made it the race from the practice session. We were lined up 2 by 2 on a dirty patch of track at pit-out, just before the start-finish line. I was hoping for a good start, and as the green flag dropped the 345 rears dug in and I cruised by a couple of cars on the first straight.

                        I had a good run on the lone remaining car ahead, "Fielding" in his 500 whp 2JZ powered 240SX. He was going fairly deep into turn 1 but I had a lot more brakes left. He guarded the inside line, but I had my nose in place... but backed off at the last second. Glad I did because as the corner opened up on exit he was 45 degrees sideways and yawing a good bit. I got a better exit out of Turn 1 and clawed my way side by side with him towards Turn 2, expecting him to leave me room so I could pass him in the Turns 2-3-4 high speed switch back. Nope! He didn't see me and I had to drive 2 in the grass to avoid contact, but he saw me at the last second and gave me room and I got around.

                        Marc and I had devised a strategy when it was going to be 10 laps of slowly picking off the cars one by one, but with 5 laps I didn't think we had the time to wait. Marc wasn't as fortunate at the start and had to pick his way through a couple of cars for the first 3 laps. Meanwhile I got out in front by corner 2 of the first lap, put my head down, and pounded out a bunch of 39 second laps with zero traffic to deal. That put me about a 1/2 lap ahead of everyone else pretty quickly. The title screen of the video says my best lap was a 39.6 - I really ran a fastest 39.4 second lap and some more mid 39s, but once Marc's TT1 C6 Z06 was around all of the drift cars he was clipping off 38 second laps and running me down. I could see him back there but wasn't worried, as we only had 5 laps and I had a healthy lead. I figured he'd only be on my bumper well after the 5th lap.

                        Turns out the evasive grass move on the first lap packed the lower grill opening's mesh guard with grass, once again, and the engine started running hot by about lap 4. Damn! I've got to get our crew to fab up something that doesn't pack up so easily. I started nursing the car a little on lap 5 but was still enough ahead of Marc to get the win. But... where's the damned checkered flag? I had my AiM SOLO lap timer on the wrong mode all day so I couldn't see predictive timing or the Lap Counter, which is normally visible on my preferred screen. With the red mist of an actual wheel to wheel race and the damned heat I lost track of the lap count pretty quickly. I was looking for a flag anywhere but never saw a thing. By lap 7 I was already using 5th gear on 2 sections to keep engine revs down, and that let Marc was able to catch up and get my tail as my temps were too hot to push. So I let him go by into Turn 5 on lap 7, and it was another 3 laps before somebody put the flag out to where someone on track could see it and cars started coming in.

                        By then I was cruising around running 42-44 second laps, trying to keep the engine cool. I didn't want to "pop" the radiator cap like I did at Hallett (also when I plugged the grill mesh with grass), so I was just glad to have held on for 2nd. I didn't realize until days later that I had the lead through laps 1-6, heh. Oh well, Marc was definitely faster and he deserved the win. The crowd was going NUTS when we came in (I edited out a lot of the "Awards ceremony" in the video above) but we all had a lot of fun. I left the engine running in the pits and as soon as I piled out of the car I removed fistfuls of grass from the grill mesh and the coolant cooled down quickly (the electric fan was whirring and finally had a supply of air to cool the thing down with).

                        continued below
                        Terry Fair -
                        2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                        EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                        • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                          continued from above

                          Marc: "I'd like to thank biscuits and gravy, for giving me this sexy body. Cheap champagne and beer, and the crazy women who love fat boys!"

                          The top 3 finishers all got bottles of champagne and we sprayed everyone a bit, but I drank the better part of 2 bottles because I was so thirsty. Whoo! No food all day, hot and dehydrated, plus 2 bottles of ice cold champagne made me a little tipsy, heh. This is why there aren't a lot of road races in 100 degree weather - but we're a dealer for CoolShirt's products and I will add a cool suit to our next TT car, for sure. Even more people came by the trailer after the shootout and asked a million questions and took pictures of the car. I was glad that I didn't hurt the car, the event was a lot of fun, and seeing a cheering crowd was cool. We saw a lot of friends we hadn't seen in a while like Josh, James Evens, Ben Freedman, Derrick Rogers, Britney and Stephen, and other folks we hadn't seen in a while. I don't remember loading up our car or Marc's but we got out of there by about 1:45 pm with Amy driving the truck, went to lunch with Brad and Jen, and after a lot of water and some food we were in much better shape - and still had half the day to relax.

                          My biggest mistake at this event was the damned suit, once again. Marc was smart and brought a single layer suit, but my triple layer arctic rated suit was too much. I won't make that mistake again (I keep saying that, too). This would be our last track event for a couple of months, as Texas tends to take July and August off of track events due to the brutal summer heat. Oh well, we get to race in December and January, unlike a lot of the country, so it all evens out.

                          Cars & Coffee July

                          I drove the Mustang to Cars and Coffee Dallas the first Saturday in July and it was a beautiful day. There was quite a lot of people that came to check out the car, new aero, etc. Lots of fans of the Red Tank.


                          I don't have time to link to pictures in that Facebook gallery, but if you want to see a couple of shots of our Mustang and a LOT of Corvettes with giant American flags plastered all over them (it was around July 4th), click the gallery link above.

                          So I have been storing our TT3 Mustang at our home shop, along with a number of other project cars, until we get into our bigger shop space some time hopefully in October. We have a back log of customer project work about 2-3 months out lately and can barely take any "day work" at the moment, so to make room here I took the Mustang "off site".

                          A couple of days before the next event (autocross, below) I had to bring the Mustang to the shop for two reasons: 1) to prep it for this event and 2) to test fit some seats/brackets we were selling to a customer for his Mustang, who lived on the other side of the country. While the car was on Hoosier A6 tires it was only an 8 mile drive to work so I was just going to drive it there on a Thursday then load it into the trailer Friday for the tow to the autocross.

                          Of course the day I had planned to bring in the Mustang it was pouring raining, and a few inches came down that morning. Bald race tires, lots of rain, what could go wrong? Actually, it was pretty uneventful. These are "DOT tires" after all.

                          Texas Region SCCA at TMS Bus Lot, July 20th, 2014

                          I was actually pretty excited to go to this event, which would be our first on the 335/345 tire sizes. The last SCCA autocross we ran was on the 200 treadwear BFG Rivals so this would be a big step up in grip.

                          This event was being held at Texas Motor Speedway on their outside "bus lot", which is the best autocross site in Dallas and Ft. Worth. The sealed asphalt isn't super grippy but it is smooth, clean, flat and has a large enough space to make a decent sized course. We lost our bigger all-concrete event site earlier this year - a bank had sized it from the bankrupt owners, was still renting it to autocross clubs, but then sold it to a freagin junk yard and they abruptly deleted all previous scheduled event dates, ugh!

                          So we had convinced some other friends to join us on this beautiful, cool sunny day in July. 175 entrants showed up, which was a big number. Amy and I signed up in Street Mod and were lucky enough to be running first and working third heat, so we could skip the 4th heat and head out early. We got the Mustang to grid and walked the course twice (walked once then jogged once). I have probably done 300 autocrosses and set up 50 course in my life and I am super-picky about course designs, visibility, safety and crossover potential. I have even be accused of "moving a cone or two" before, but this time... nah, it looked fine. Better than most course I've seen here, and I've been running events regularly at TMS for about 13 years. Had a good flow, visibility was excellent, no crossover potential (when you have 2 or more cars on course), and the finish was straight, after a tight 180 to slow drivers down, and had a whopping 260 feet of braking zone after the finish lights.

                          The junior karts started first, and they always run separately from the cars - usually at the beginning of the first run heat. We were running right after the karts, and our car was first in line so I was getting the car ready and then .... silence. There wasn't the normal sounds of cars running, the announcer yammering away on the PA, nothing. Must be a timer glitch...

                          By now many of you have heard the tragic news. Turns out there was an accident. A freak accident that took the life of a young racer. I prefer not to talk about it much, but long story short the kart didn't stop and the driver hit something and was killed. There's been an accident investigation and I'm not privy to all of the details, and while the SCCA will be racing again at TMS next month, there will no longer be a junior kart program in this region. Several other regions have followed suit, or made new technical requirements to add an engine "E-stop" switch to the steering wheel (most karts do not have this) to be able to run their events.

                          The event was stopped almost immediately after Life Flight left, as the place was crawling with ambulances, fire trucks, police cars and TV reporters. Not many people knew the extent of the driver's injuries at that point, but we knew it was bad. It was on the local TV news later that night and even national news later in the week. Tragic, freak accident and it hit all of us pretty hard. The memorial service the following weekend was one of the toughest I've ever attended, but it was packed with her friends, family, students and SCCA racers.

                          Personally, I would appreciate not seeing any armchair quarterback comments about this incident in this thread, please. Thank you.

                          To Paint or Not To Paint?

                          So we're gearing up for the SEMA show and the Optima Challenge in November, and I know we need to do something with the front flares. They look too homemade and we have our friends at Heritage working on a set of front composite flares for us. When they add those we will repaint some bits on the car, and the front bumper cover was on the list to be reshot.

                          But... so many people have commented on the car's black (unpainted) front bumper cover, which we replaced after the crash... do we even reshoot it? Go over to Vorshlag's Facebook page and vote. Thanks!

                          What's Next?

                          There is a bit of a Summer Break now, which is nice. We're not going to NASA Nationals East (August 31st) but will be doing a number of events in September and October. We're probably moving into our new shop space in October as well, and then SEMA and the Optima Challenge is in early November.

                          + August 15, 2014 - The Optima Challenge event we ran at TMS is being televised on MavTV (7 pm CST and re-airings all week). I've heard the first episode was... a lot of interviews? I hope the 2nd episode actually shows some racing. Tune in to see!

                          + Sept 20-21, 2014 - NASA @ NOLA. This is always a fun event and I'm fairly certain we're going to this one. Its a solid 9 hour tow but with the track being 20 minutes from the French Quarter... its hard to say no. My best lap last year (1:50.5) was OK but what can the car do now with real aero and much wider tires?

                          I know I'm just a hack autocrosser that is getting fairly lucky in NASA TT, with a car that exceed my talents, but I felt like my drive at NOLA last year was my personal best event of the year. The lap time I managed to snag was one of the fastest of the weekend, it matched the fastest predictive time the AiM Solo showed me, it was my biggest win in class and my biggest gap to AI's fastest lap of the year. It was also one of the most fun racing weekends I've ever had - both on track and off. I'm really hoping we make it back here, but with the shop moving and other big ticket purchases in the works for the new space, it might get postponed. I'll know more in the next few weeks.

                          + Sept 28, 2014 - SCCA Autocross @ TMS Road Course. This is always THE most popular autocross in our region every year, not only because its the first event every year after the Solo Nationals and everyone is less stressed, but because we get to run the 1.1 mile TMS infield road course. Sure, they add some slalom cones and such, but its still a FAST autocross. Technically this was supposed to be on Sept 21st, but the date for the road course got bumped to the 28th. To keep it even more confusing, the SCCA is also having an autocross at the TMS Bus Lot on Sept 21st, on the old date. We'll be in NOLA that weekend but will make the 28th on the road course. Watch the video below to see how this course looks with a bunch of cones thrown in - and come join us!

                          There's so much going on in September and October (I have some commitment every single weekend) that I don't even want to list it out right now. I'll try to do an update soon with some more info about the various S197 Mustangs and Coyote swap cars we're working on, show the new shop as we begin construction next month, and of course any new race or product updates.

                          Until next time,
                          Terry Fair -
                          2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                          EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                          • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                            Update for August 26th, 2014: We were fairly well caught up in the last post, which was a big one, so this one should be a quicker read. Only one competition event (SCCA autocross in August), and still no news on our 2015 Mustang (we have 2 on order, to try to get one quicker). The USCA/Optima event from March was televised, so I will cover that, and of course we have worked on a number of Mustangs at the shop that I'll show progress on - namely Jamie Beck's ST3 Mustang build. Shop Manager Brad Maxcy has stepped up and is taking some good photos of this project (and all others) and we share a LOT of tech along the way - namely, weights of every part removed or added during the NASA TT3/ST3 class prep. But first I'll briefly cover some new parts and statuses on popular Mustang bits.

                            New S197 Products + Lead Times

                            If you've been reading any of my online forum posts for the past 21 years, you know I love to measure, weigh and test things. The goal for all of this data is to make a car lighter, handle better, run cooler, or lower lap times. Sometimes I even follow my own advice.

                            One key piece of data gathering I learned this year from fellow NASA racer, former autocross co-driver of mine and long time friend Paul Costas was... Alcon caliper temperature strips. These little heat-activated, mark-and-hold data logging strips are applied directly to the brake caliper to measure maximum temps reached there - where the sensitive brake fluid is closest to the brake pad and rotor. Theoretically you look at the caliper temps, compare them to this chart, and take actions as needed. Well as you know I had been running front caliper temps in the 490°F range, which is past the 475°F peak "Danger Zone" recommended by Alcon. We know what happened when I ran out of these strips, ignored previous data, and ran a long stint at Road Atlanta (boiled brakes + crash). So now not only do I keep enough on hand for our own cars, we keep a LOT of them on hand to sell to other folks. $45 gets you 14 strips, which is enough for several race weekends. Cheap and easy way to know how hot the calipers are getting, and reading them is good insurance.

                            We have been selling the cost effective Vorshlag Bilstein "StreetPro" suspension kits (monotube inverted shocks + choice of FRPP springs + Vorshlag camber plates, all pre-assmebled and ready to install without re-using any OEM parts) like they are going out of style, and that has meant that we've bought the entire continent out of stock of the specific front strut we utilize - the one that fits the S197 but is 1.5" shorter than stock, to gain bump travel when lowered. Over the summer we bought out Bilstein USA and eventually scooped up all of the inventory of every distributor that held any stock during August, and Bilstein says they will have more in late September. The popularity of this one part caught Bilstein short during a peak in the popularity of this kit, but these dampers are made in Germany and they make them on their own schedule. What can we do?

                            Another part that has been in and out of stock is our own camber plates. After a key piece was finally delivered from a machine shop supplier our Vorshlag S197 camber plates went off of backorder in July and we fulfilled every single open order. There were a lot. Word got out that we had this camber plate in stock again, and in just a couple of weeks y'all had bought us out of another machined part needed for these, ugh! The volumes we are seeing lately are simply unprecedented. For a market that is price sensitive (Mustang), and an offering that is admittedly one of the higher cost options, we sure have trouble keeping them in stock.

                            Running out of machined parts has always been a struggle for a small niche suspension shop like us, as we have to depend on outside CNC shops to make many of our parts to our drawings and specs. But being an engineer and a racer myself, I'm very picky about our specs and who we allow to make our parts. After 10 years and about 15 different machine shops we still struggle with unpredictable lead times from outside vendors - and that's after weeding out more than dozen shops that couldn't meet our quality expectations, lead times, specified tolerances or shipping concerns. What used to take 2-4 weeks lately is taking 3-4 months, and that's with 100% domestic suppliers (we will NEVER have anything made overseas that has our name on it). A lot of this has to do with the economic downturn of 2008, when we lost a big chunk of the smaller CNC shops across the country. Now we're working on a brand new solution that we will implement to hopefully alleviate this problem, or tank my business completely, one or the other. No risk, no reward, right? I'm going to cover this big change for Vorshlag in detail soon, but until then please be patient while we push through these growing pains. If you have any doubts about any big ticket item you might want to purchase from us, feel free to call or email us to check inventory status or to place a phone order vs an online order. Thanks.

                            S197 Battery Tray + Mount Under Development

                            At long last, we're finally moving forward with an easy kit to install a 14 pound Odyssey PC680 in the S197 Mustang.

                            Many of you that have been reading this S197 Build Thread since 2010 might recognize the images above of the custom battery tray I made for my own 2011 GT to mount an Odyssey PC680. For many years I have preached the advantages of using low weight, high output AGM style batteries in place of old school wet lead acid batteries. Unless you need the ballast, a heavy lead-acid wet battery is just... weight.

                            I've put these lightweight AGM batteries in all of my own track/autocross/street cars over the past decade, and they each tend to work great for 3-4 years without complaint, even in daily driven cars in Texas heat. It is a great way to drop 20 pounds off the nose of an S197, and in some BMWs it can be a whopping 40 pound drop (the BMW E46 comes with a MEGA sized 54 pound battery!). And while the textbook response might be "move the weight to the trunk!" that comes with some added hassles and complications. First, you have to run (heavy and costly) larger gauge copper cable to the trunk, then make a whole new battery box back there, and do something about the power distribution block on the front of theS197. So instead I took the easy route and just plopped the 14 pound PC680 right where the stocker was (which was over 33 pounds).

                            Many of you have asked us over the past 3 years to make a production version of the replacement battery tray I made for my own car (detailed in this instruction gallery), and last week Jason sketched up some ideas and Olof started cutting aluminum plate to make a prototype for a reproducible version using Jerry Cecco's 2012 Boss302 Mustang as the test car. Jerry's OEM battery sort of exploded, so we supplied him with a PC680 and will have this production installation kit available soon.

                            There are some elaborate, heavy and complicated battery mounting brackets out there (see above, right) but what we're working on is a battery mount + replacement battery tray. The battery will stay in the same OEM location, so it is easy to access/charge/test, but it will just be a lot lighter. Look for more pics of this finished prototype in my next post.

                            Jamie Beck 2013 Mustang GT - ST3 Prep

                            Last time we showed this Mustang we were just beginning to make the main hoop in the roll cage, after removing the interior, dash and door guts. After about 50 hours of work by Ryan on the roll cage, that aspect of this project is almost complete. We also have weighed a lot of parts that some of you might be interested in. We took pictures and will share all of this with you as we go.

                            Jamie's Project Gallery (250+ pics):

                            One step on almost all roll cage jobs includes removing the front and rear glass, so we called the pros at Titan Auto Glass to extract the windows. In this case the windshield was salvaged and will be reused, but Jamie had always planned on going Lexan on the rear and side quarter glass, so those were removed (intract) and thrown out.

                            The Windshield is going back in, and being that's its a multi-pane, laminated windshield there's no surprise that it weighs 29.0 pounds. Going Lexan here would save a few but having windshield wipers is a nice bonus with real glass (Lexan scratches fairly easily), not to mention the safety aspect of stronger OEM style windshield. The rear glass with integral defroster grid was still a hefty 24.3 pounds, and that is getting replaced with Lexan. I'll show the Lexan weights after they are trimmed, fitted, borders are painted, but before they go in for the last time.

                            The side, rear quarter glass is fairly light at only 3.0 pounds, but each one is relatively small. But we found some pounds in the A/C system removal, shown below...

                            To be honest, I thought the A/C compressor would weigh a good bit more, but it only tips the scales at 13.6 pounds. Likewise the condenser is a svelte 5.3, but removing this is more to help airflow to the radiator. We pulled the condenser off of my 2011 Mustang for similar reasons (and because it got busted at RA), but it will be reinstalled and functional for Optima event in Vegas. We gotta stay cool on the road rally, yo!

                            We had removed the guts from both doors when I wrote my last installment, but hadn't weighed all of it, which included: interior door panels, speakers, trim, weatherstripping, door glass, window motor, regulator/tracks, and inner door structure. As you can see it all weighs in at 67.2 pounds, but that doesn't include the door bars (which were left in place last time).

                            As you can see above left, the glass, regulators/tracks and motors alone were 34.2 pounds of that. And after the door bars were built it was shown that the OEM "crash bars" would be in the way, so 4 quick spot welds later those were both removed, for another 7.2 pounds of steel. All together, the door modifications for the roll cage installation have removed (67.2 + 7.2) 74.4 pounds. It is all adding up...

                            Cage Progress + Rules Interpretation

                            Whenever you build a roll cage for a given car for the first time, there are always some gray areas that pop up. In this case I wanted to use the Maximum Motorsports bolt-in angle brackets from their roll bar installation kits for this cage. Would this brace becoem a "roll cage mounting plate", and if so, would this be legal to use with the cage? Our hope was to remove the stamped steel OEM bracket at the B-pillar to rear seat bulkhead junction (shown below left in RED), replace them with raw steel MM brackets (shown below right in WHITE), weld the MM brackets to the chassis, then land the main roll hoop to this beefy support.

                            Ryan was skeptical of the allowance in ST, which uses the NASA CCR's 100 sq inch maximum plate rule for mounting plates for cage tubes. Sure enough, the MM bracket was much more than 100 sq inches on the outer surface and would seemingly violate that rule. Strangely enough the American Iron ruleset has an allowance that supersedes the CCR and does allow more than 100 sq inches, which is one of the only times the AI cage rules are more liberal than ST.

                            We were stuck, so I wrote a letter to the National ST series director for clarification and asked our local ST race director (Mike P) for his input. Mike seemed to think this "like for like" replacement would be legal, but we were still worried about the 100 sq inch rule if we welded it onto the chassis. Jason measured each face, input the many weird shapes into SolidWorks, and then had the software add up the surface area for one side of each external surface and it was over 188 sq inches, so it would easily violate this rule. After about a couple of emails, some input from other NASA directors, an official ruling came back a week later - this could be used, if it was bolted in. That... wasn't what we had wanted to do, as we'd always want to weld the mounting plates for cage tubes to the chassis, so we punted.

                            continued below
                            Terry Fair -
                            2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                            EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                            • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                              continued from above

                              That's a shame, as this MM brace is a very nice piece. We could have probably gotten away with it, but to play it safe Ryan just built a flat plate (about 80 sq in) and will weld that in place of the corner brace, with the OEM bracket removed. Once we tie the hoop into the B-pillar it will be plenty strong. Using some high tech methods (measuring tape, sharpie, radius gauges, and patience) Ryan made the main hoop then started knocking out the other tubes in the back.

                              The only tube I saw Ryan do more than once was the front upper tube shown above. The first bar he made was straight, but the slightly curved version shown here allows for another 2 inches of fore-aft head room, and every little bit helps. He TIG welded each bar in place with a tack at this stage, as many of the tubes have to be removed for final welding (when there are multiple tube junctions at a single node).

                              Ryan is no stranger to roll cage fabrication, as he has worked on several Pro level teams from World Challenge to Daytona Prototypes. He also has Jason and my combined 55 years of racing experience to get additional input from, and another fabricator in house (Olof) who has built roll cages here at Vorshlag. But for most of this, Ryan was just jamming it out with a minimal amount of input from Jason and me. We wanted FIA crush bars, which he did beautifully. We asked for additional head room at the roof diagonal, so he tweaked the front inner structure of the upper windshield frame to allow for more clearance. And of course added gusset tubes at the upper corners.

                              In the two pictures above you can see why Ryan went ahead and cut out the OEM door bars, as the new "NASCAR" style door bars he added reach out and almost touch the outer door skin. The extra 2 inches of room added after removing the OEM beam allows for more space for the driver and more room for deflection in a side impact. The tan splotches on the insides of the doors are where the OEM beams were glued in place, by the way.

                              There are hundreds of ways to route the various tubes on a given car's cage, and our job is to make sure they meet the specifications of the rules and are made with the best fabrication techniques possible. The door bar routing used here was based partly on the 302-S cages, with a few tweaks we felt were worth adding.

                              After about 5 days of work he was wrapping up and starting final welding. The front plinth blocks were removed, the cage was tilted forward to drop it down, and he could then get to the upper tube junctions to make 360° welds. There are still a few tubes to add (harness bar, one more diagonal in the main hoop), some "taco" gussets, and A-pillar reinforcement plates going in, but those happen last.

                              I will show more of the cage in the next installment, after it is finished, painted, and back at our shop for final assembly. Oh yes, the lightweight defroster/heater core we added. Have had a lot of folks ask me about this ($145 from here).

                              Some lightweight aluminum mounting brackets were made to mount this box to the firewall, low on the driver's side. I will show all of the heater hose plumbing changes needed to utilize this in my next post, as well as the vent hoses going to the defroster outlet in the dash.

                              Wing Progress

                              During the same time period Ryan found time to mock-up the wing once again, this time with anodized and powder coated Vorshlag built wing mounting parts. This was to help design and measure the custom wing end plates we are adding to the AJ Hartman Racing carbon fiber rear wing.

                              The finished wing uprights and trunk mounting brackets fit perfectly and look better with durable black finishes. The end plates shown are still cardboard, and this is the 2nd design. Jason has some aero tweaks he wants to do, and since Super Touring doesn't limit end plate size or distance behind the car, they will get even bigger than this mock-up shown. Look for these to be cut from .063" aluminum sheet and the final versions will be painted body color white.

                              SCCA Autocross at TMS Bus Lot, August 17, 2014

                              Due to the extreme heat and humidity we see in the summers here in Texas, NASA and a lot of other track organizations take off the month of July and August, which we don't mind one bit. We race 12 months a year here, and this "summer break" from road course events was welcomed. But after a couple of months we were getting an itch to go run the Mustang again, so we signed up for the Texas Region SCCA's local autocross in mid-August. The weather looked a little sketchy the night before, and we loaded up tjhe Mustang in the rain, at our house...

                              Driving across town to get to the event site we went through some of the heaviest rainstorms I can ever remember. On a toll road marked as 70mph we slowed down to 35 mph more than once, wipers on high, just to be able to see. We should have turned around and gone right back to bed at 5 am, when it was raining steadily at the house before we left, but we're masochists.

                              It rained off and on all morning, but the forecast kept saying it would stop by 8 am. During the driver's meeting at about 8:30 it started to DOWN POUR. It was raining so hard that our Solo RE's paper notes disintegrated and he had to go over all of the safety items from memory. There were some safety improvements to the site, shown above right, but all Junior Karts entries are on permanent hiatus after the events in the prior month.

                              Amy and I of course forgot all of our rain gear and had to borrow water proof jackets from friends. We still got SOAKED. She stuck with her original entry of Street Mod in the first run heat, and sloshed around in the rain on Hoosier A6 tires that were corded a bit from the Drift-vs-Grip thing I ran in at TMS in late June. I had really heat cycled out the tires at that event, and it was obvious to me later, after it dried out.

                              Vorshlag Event Photo Gallery:

                              She tip-toed around on bald tires in standing water, and somehow still managed 2nd in SMod class. Kudos to her! I didn't have the patience to run on these hopeless tires in these sloppy conditions, so I stupidly moved my entry to the "X" (Pro) class, which ran in heat two.

                              Every competitor got 5 runs that day, but in (only) X-class the first 3 are the only runs recorded. And while it dried out continually through this 2nd of 4 heats, it wasn't really dry until runs 4 and 5. So my official times were pretty bad, but by my 5th run it was drying and I posted a semi-fast time (8th quickest for the day). It was clean despite my wild sideways finish on that run (shown below).

                              By the 3rd heat the sun was out and it was not only dry but warming up, so tires were working better. By the 4th heat it was freagin hot! Our own order desk manager Jon Beaty beat all of the entrants in the large MAM class in his 3V 2006 GT, and dang near nipped the CAM winner Mike Dusold (Jon coned away the overall "American Muscle" win) in his twin turbo LSx powered 67 Camaro (Goodguys/Optima competitor). We need to at least get Jon some dang Vorshlag camber plates, sheesh!

                              Forgot to charge the vidcam so we got zero video. That's probably best, as it was a frustrating event for everyone in the first heat, who had times slowed way down by the wet. And even into heat 2, with mixed conditions, comparisons to other heats are pointless. We really should have been there on BFG Rivals testing for Vegas, but my replacement 18x12" front wheels (which I bent during my crash at Road Atlanta) were stuck at the powder coater so we just left the old (dead) Hoosiers on the car from before, which was a waste of time. But even a wet and soggy day autocrossing still beats a good day at work!

                              Where's Our 2015 GT?

                              This is the million dollar question - When will the 2015 Mustangs finally start hitting dealerships??? We've seen some Ecobomb pre-production "dealer trainer" Mustangs showing up locally, but not any normal production cars (Job 1 was August 15th), and no V8s. I want to weigh a V8 2015. Badly. Our dealer has two of the same car on order for us - one in "dealer stock" and one as a "custom order" - to try to get one early. The letter I read today is now pushing customer stock back unto late October/early November, which sucks. But hey, it is what it is. I have already sent in a letter requesting to purchase a 2015 Body in White as well, for another S550 build we'd like to build along-side our normal production 2015 GT Performance Pack car.

                              We've been doing a lot of research and have found the 18x10" Forgestar CF5 (ninja edit!) will clear the Performance Pack's 15" (380mm) Brembo front brakes, which is a relief. Anyone with the 15" GT500 front brakes can benefit from this as well.

                              I ordered a demo / lobby CF5 18x10" S197 wheel to test on our first 2015 GT PP car, and I have a feeling we'll be running wider 18x11 or 18x12" CF5s on our S550 Mustang very soon. You can see the extra room in the "barrel" of the CF5 (black 5 spoke) vs the F14 (silver mesh wheel) sitting below it on our lobby display, in the pictures above. I'll save the rest of that for our upcoming S550 Build Thread, which I will launch right after the car arrives (and I'll link to it in this thread).

                              That's all for this week, see ya next time!
                              Last edited by Fair!; 08-27-2014, 03:13 PM.
                              Terry Fair -
                              2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                              EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


                              • Re: Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 - auto-x/track build

                                Project Update for October 10th, 2014: Yikes, got a little behind on this build thread, mostly due to the construction and build-out of our new shop space over the past month. Lots of Mustang service and fabrication work has been going on at our shop, even on our own 2011 Mustang - which is about to go to SEMA and compete in the Optima Ultimate Street Car shootout. Have news on the 2015 Mustang as well. First, let's cover two events we competed in and won in in the last month.

                                SCCA Solo at TMS Road Course, Sept 28, 2014

                                Once a year the Texas Region SCCA holds an autocross on the infield road course at Texas Motor Speedway. Most of their events are normally held on a parking lot outside the Speedway (aka: the Bus Lot), and they had one the weekend before right there. But this Sept 28th event was a higher speed, more flowing course that is always a lot of fun, essentially for autocrossers that have never done a track event before. They have requirements in place (3 prior events) to make sure that this is NEVER the first autocross someone enters, both to prove someone's driving experience as well as course working background.

                                Sure, they throw a LOT of cones onto the TMS 1.1 mile road course's turns, to keep speeds in check (top speed is probably under 80 mph), because as we've shown in our videos before this road course can be pretty quick (120+ mph) if you run it as it is laid out. This year's SCCA Road Course autocross was one of the best I've seen - I've run this event every year since about 2005. This time we got 5 runs, and I was entered in MAM class (Modern American Muscle). Our crew had mounted up the same set of 315/335 BFG Rivals we used way back in March at Goodguys, then at USCA, then at a few other autocross events in between. The rears were kind of chewed up so we mounted them inside-out, which doesn't seem to affect the Rivals one bit.

                                I spent Saturday at the Texas Defensive Shooting Academy, instead of doing construction at the new shop

                                I probably shouldn't have entered this event on that Sunday, as Amy was busy painting at the new shop and I felt guilty. To make matters worse I had spent the entire day Saturday out at a shooting range for a friend's bachelor party blasting hundreds of rounds through my Glock 34 as well as shooting FOUR different automatic rifles. I had so much fun that Saturday shooting with 12 college racing buddies, and everything turned into a competition: shooting steels on two lanes side by side, comparing groupings, shooting AR15s at tannerite explosives, and then the king of them all: the driving shooting course! The video below was my best "drive-by" round, where I blew through 6 magazines and hit a lot of steel targets.

                                Driving + Shooting = Crazy but Fun!

                                I'm not a "gun nut", but this is Texas and its like an unspoken law that everyone here has to show mastery with their firearms. What's the saying? "Never tell a man he can't shoot, drive or f*ck." We all know I can't drive, and my shooting is marginal, but I'll skip that third one. This outing made for a really fun day, but I was wiped out from the sun (and too many drinks at dinner, and a stressful Texas A&M football game that they won in OT!) and then racing on Sunday, whew. Busy weekend during the middle of a shop construction thrash.

                                Anyway, so I was running this SCCA event without my normal sidekick Amy, for once, and that meant loading/unloading the trailer and working my assignment as announcer alone (Amy usually runs the computer), and I figured it would be boring. Wrong - there were 146 entrants at this event, 8 in MAM class, and the CAM class entrants were talking smack and challenged me to a bet (loser buys lunch): fastest MAM vs CAM class time!

                                Left: Mike and I parked our trailers side by side in the paddock. Right: Mike running his 67 Camaro at Goodguys the next week

                                Both of these classes (CAM and MAM) are very similar, and some SCCA regions merge them into one class (CAM). For once were running in the same heat, on the same style tires, so our times might actually correlate. Mike Dusold runs his twin turbo LS powered 67 Camaro in Goodguys events in the Pro class, and is once again going to Scottsdale for the annual Goodguys invitational shootout. We don't often meet up at the same autocrosses on the same street tires, so this would be fun.

                                My first run was pretty tame, as the layout had changed from previous years' courses (offsets and slaloms everywhere, but in new places). I liked the flow, but they managed to cone off all of my "green shortcuts" from the past, so there was no secret advantage to knowing this 1.1 mile road course layout, heh. I put in a timid first run that was clean and noted a half dozen places where I could go faster. One major slow-down was my 2-3 upshift, which didn't go at all smoothly, and I coasted for about a two count before I finally got it in gear. That cost me a LOT of time... and reoccurred on runs 2 and 3.

                                I was worried that I had messed something up, but after talking to several other S197 Mustang drivers in MAM, we were all having this issue. Turns out that the course layout was arranged just perfectly to load up the drivetrain in a high g lateral maneuver that is was not allowing the damned remote shifter to line up properly for the upshift. I've even got poly motor mounts and the trans bushing inserts, too. Literally everyone was missing the 2-3 here. One of our MAM class competitors and customer's partially exploded his pressure plate (locking the car with the clutch engaged all the time) trying to make that shift, and had to have it towed home (luckily it was still under warranty).

                                Slowing and pointing to a downed cone on an aborted run 4

                                So on runs 4 and 5 I short-shifted 3rd gear very early, but with the torque this Coyote 5.0 makes it didn't slow it down a bit, and in fact I dropped a lot of time by not coasting and cursing at the shifter. After installing one of these Blowfish Racing shifter "cages" in a customer's Boss302 earlier this week, I'm thinking this might be a good idea for ALL 2011-14 Mustangs with the Getrag MT-82 6-speed.

                                Left: We've done a lot of custom work on this green Boss302. Right: Installing the Blowfish Racing shifter cage was fairly easy.

                                Event photo and video gallery: (most of these pictures were taken by Brad Maxcy)

                                My 4th run was my fastest, but we noted that there was a mystery cone that got called in but never announced. And after checking the printed times it turns out I had a cone on runs 2-5 and never knew it! The announcer wasn't calling out all of the cones, and the times were posted about a 1/2 mile away from the grid/paddock area, and without Amy there to help check times I was clueless.

                                In-car video from my 4th run, with the "mystery cone!"

                                The weather was beautiful all day and since we ran in heat 1, worked heat 3, that meant I could leave early (skipped watching heat 4) and get home to try to SLEEP (haven't done much of this lately). In the end my 4th run would have beat CAM, which would have put me in 4th for overall PAX placing, but that cone tho. GRRR!

                                I had to sit on my first freagin run, the recon lap where I coasted for seconds trying to get the car to upshift. That run ended up still winning MAM class by a second, but I lost to CAM, so I owe Mike lunch. Oh well, can't win em all! Kudos to Mike and his crew at Dusold Designs.

                                There's the Final class results above, and the PAX results below. Again, hitting that cone cost me 12 spots in the overall PAX results. Gotta do it clean!

                                Goodguys at TMS, Oct 5, 2014

                                This was the event I was really prepping for when we mounted up the street tires, the weekend before. Of course any practice on street tires will only help our chances at the Optima shootout after SEMA, which is our "Big Event" of 2014, but there are always great PRIZES on the line at Goodguys for winning the All American Sunday (AAS) class. I've done 2 of these events in the past, and won the Spring event here in Texas. I really should have been spending the day painting at the new shop, but instead I entered and ran the Goodguys Sunday autocross - I wanted that cheddar!

                                Event photo and video gallery:

                                These Goodguys autocross events are particularly tight and often require the use of 1st gear. The last 2 events in Texas used the same course, which was about 70 seconds long and you had to drive one particularly nasty section twice per run. This time they chopped off the extra lap, changed a few things up, and made a much more enjoyable, and quicker to run, 40 second autocross course. Yes, it was still tight, yes it still had a pirouette cone, but it wasn't so long that it made the runs drag on forever. The shorter course made for quicker running and instead of 3 or 4 laps like in the Spring, we got 6 or 7 runs (with a larger entry list) and were done sooner (they stopped adding times to the results sheet at 11:30 am).

                                Normally these guys start at about 9-9:30 am, so we got to the host hotel to check in (can't check in on site) at 7:45, unloaded the trailer at 8:15 am, and rolled up about 8:30... and they were about to start! Crap, no chance to walk the course, but it looked the same. As soon as I saw a car go through I realized it was a different layout and I'd have to learn it on the go. Finally got the car teched (missed my 1st run) and got in line to go. 30 feet into my first run I went the wrong way around a lane change and DNF'd. I figured it out as soon as I did it and rejoined the course for a look at speed.

                                Next time up I had watched a dozen runs and knew the proper route and knocked down a high 39 second run, plus one cone, which was about 3 seconds quicker than anyone else (cone only counts as one second). Blanton Payne was there in his LS1 swapped Genesis Coupe and he was the fast time to beat after first runs - he's a local autocrosser and has won the AAS event before in this car. He also runs the Friday-Saturday events in the FUN class in his vintage Mini cooper, and is always pretty quick in that tiny Mini.

                                By run 3 my lines were getting better and I had abandoned going down to 1st gear in a couple of sections. This was the first time I had done a Goodguys event here without using 1st gear, and I wasn't sure how it would work. Well once again the prodigious torque of the Coyote 5.0L proved up to the task and I dropped significant time and fell into the high 38s.

                                Run 5 was my quickest with a 38.5 second run

                                Runs 4 through 6 were more of the same - clean runs with 38 second times. My 5th run proved to be my best with a 38.5 second lap. The next closest time in AAS was a high 40, so I won this event by 2 seconds, just like back in the Spring. Of course the provisional results posted on's forum are missing my times as well as about a half dozen others, but it seems like a glitch that will get fixed before the official results are put on the Goodguys website.

                                No matter - we got that stack of gift certificates and another free set of BFGoodrich tires for winning AAS, got to drive across the stage for the awards ceremony, and the whole nine yards. Josh Leisinger won the PRO class (Friday-Saturday pre-74 domestics) in a beautiful and nasty 800 hp 64 Corvette (see above). Robbie Unser (yes, of the Unser racing family) won the Street Machine (SM) class in his 64 Chevy II built by Speedway, and upon that win was bumped up to PRO class with Goodguys from now on. Both of those guys ran 2 days prior and were quicker than my runs, and 5 other Pro or SM cars beat my best time. That's frustrating, but with less than half the number of runs, and a car thats likely 600 pounds heavier than all of theirs (min weight in PRO and SM is 3000 pounds), I guess I should expect that.

                                For the 2015 season were building a lighter car that won't have to have these "its heavy" excuses any more. Honestly, the 3600 pound EVO X in the 2009 season and the 3600 pound Mustang from 2010-14 seasons were, by far, the heaviest cars I've ever raced. They were both great in many ways, and we developed a lot of good parts for both chassis, but I really miss racing in the car below...

                                Yes, I've showed this picture before. I really REALLY miss racing in a car like this!

                                After it was caged and had 2 seats, this BMW LS1 car tipped the scales at a whopping 2550 pounds. It made 490 whp with a mild LS2 based 7.0L, on 93 octane fuel. It had all of the factory metal and glass, save the door glass. THAT combination is what I miss, and I miss it dearly. I am building another for 2015 - a BMW E46 coupe with big LS V8 power, big aero, and big tires.

                                We learned a ton of tricks on this Mustang, but its time to try something else, and I have our red Mustang tentatively sold after SEMA. We will still get a LOT of S197 Mustangs in our shop every week and we will continue to develop products for these cars. Same goes for the S550 Mustang - its even heavier (3800 for the V8 car). Beautiful car, the new IRS should really help the ride/handling, and Ford is gonna sell a ton of these cars. Just not to me, at least not this year.

                                continued below
                                Last edited by Fair!; 08-13-2015, 11:59 AM.
                                Terry Fair -
                                2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
                                EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev