Vorshlag S197 Development Thread

Discussion in 'Vorshlag Motorsports' started by Vorshlag-Fair, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. Vorshlag-Fair

    Vorshlag-Fair Official Site Vendor

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    continued from above

    JAMIE BECK'S S197 - FROM STREET CAR TO RACE WINNER

    We have done a lot of work to Jamie's S197 race car over the past 5 years and I wanted to continue along with the upgrades we performed in this thread. In my last post from July 2015 I showed an upgrade on Jamie Beck's S197 Mustang where we went from AST monotube single adjustables to MCS Remote Doubles.

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    This was back when he was getting more serious about his dedicated track car, which we were converting into the W2W car it is today. He was running more and more HPDE events, getting faster each month, but still running on 315mm BFG Rival-S street tires and 18x11" wheels. This tire was chosen to give him more track time per set, and they were managed like a race tire (as the Rival-S and RE-71R should be). These are a little easier to manage than a Hoosier R7 or especially A7 (he uses both now for race and quali sets).

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    This car was still running the 14" 4 piston Brembos at the time, too. We had been managing the brake caliper/fluid temps with brake cooling but it was still going through front and rear rotors and pads very quickly.

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    The car was already converted from street car to W2W full safety gear. Full gutted interior, full roll cage, seats, harnesses, fire system, race defroster, remote power cut-off. We did the bulk of this work in late 2013, and he enjoyed running the car with the safety these upgrades provided at local tracks like ECR, MSR-C, TWS, etc. He was on track 1-3 times per month, getting more familiar with these tracks, and of course more seat time.

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    UPGRADED HALO STYLE SEAT

    When we first converted this into a race car we supplied Jamie with Cobra Sazuka seats. We had them in our car and in our showroom, and they are a great seat for an intermediate driver or dual purpose HPDE/street car. But as Jamie's lap times dropped he wanted a more secure seat.

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    The next step up from this seat is one with a head restraint built in, or a "HALO" seat. We moved up to this in our S197, even though it was a "street car" and only had a 4-point roll bar. I really liked the added safety of the Cobra Evolution seat we added - also moving up from the Suzuka seat. At the time we were selling more Cobra seats but we were transitioning over to more Sparco seats. We also use a smattering of RaceTech, Corbeau, and some OMP seats as well.

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    Cobra Evolution seat that we ran in our 2011 GT has head restraint built in with these "visibility" holes, which were handy

    Sparco make three series of seats with HALO style headrests. We keep two of these in stock so people can "test sit" and see which fits them better. As similar as these seats look, they are very different once you sit in them.

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    The Circuit (2nd from right) and Pro-ADV (far right) are 2 of the 3 common Sparco HALO seats

    For my torso length the Circuit seat style fits me better. For Jamie it was the PRO-ADV. The differences is in the base, with the Circuit having another 2" of height hidden in the bottom. We want to see the shoulder harnesses holes right at your shoulders - not inches above (bad) or below (worse), to get proper belt contact with your body.

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    So we upgraded Jamie to the PRO-ADV seat, which is a more serious seat for more serious race cars. His Suzuka was legal, but the HALO seats will crash better and they have more shoulder support for hard lateral turns. As he progressed up to Hoosiers it was a welcome bit of support, too.

    WEIRD REAR PAD WEAR = CLOCKED WRONG

    One of the many times we changed rear pads before his next event we saw the rear pads worn all kinda of crazy on Jamie's car...

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    Brad took these out and came to show me - wow! How did that happen?

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    Its actually pretty easy to do. As you compress the piston on the rear sliding caliper on the S197 Mustang it has to be turned with a tool that has two tits that fit into the slots of the piston. These must be "clocked" properly to line up with the pad, otherwise they will get into a bending moment and once they get hot they can warp like this. Somebody changed pads track side and they didn't line up the two tits. So if you ever see this (we have seen this several times since) just line up the piston.

    DIGITAL DASH UPGRADE

    The stock gauges in an S197 leave out a lot of data, and with a smaller diameter race steering wheel they can sometimes be blocked...

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    A Motorsports digital dash was an exotic thing just a few years ago, but it has become more mainstream - especially in cars like the late S197 that has CANBUS outputs from the engine computer.

    continued below
     
  2. Vorshlag-Fair

    Vorshlag-Fair Official Site Vendor

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    continued from above

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    These can be mounted in the stock gauge binnacle or right out on the column (more common), to give better visibility with a small steering wheel or altered driving position. This is actually more of a benefit than you might think. The bright LED warning lights and progressive color LED shift lights are very handy, too.

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    The AiM MXL we helped Jamie pick out also has an external GPS, data acquisition (acclerometers/GPS/CAN data), predictive lap timer and on-board memory - so it can display everything the CAN system outputs, you can set up warnings and alarms, the user can scroll through different screens to see more data on the fly, and of course you can see your actual & predictive lap times.

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    It took Ryan less than 3 hours to make a bracket, mount the digital dash, connect it into the CAN wiring, program the screens and alarms, and wrap up the install. Very easy compared to running discrete wires to all new sensors for individual gauges - which can eat up 8-10 hours or more. Keep that in mind when you are thinking of "adding gauges" to a modern car like this that has CAN... the factory sensor data is all there for the taking!

    TIGER RACING HOOD

    In this same round of mods we installed a vented Tiger Racing fiberglass hood and AeroCatch hood latches to secure the front - in place of the factory 2-step, cable release hood latch.

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    And I'll be honest - I'm not a huge fan of this particular hood. The vented openings are in weird places, too far back for proper ducted venting. But for a "bolt it on and go" hood (without the effort of adding a radiator duct box) it does a decent job of getting some heat out of the hood.

    Jamie bypassed some potential issues in two ways. First, he picked the fiberglass instead of the carbon fiber hood. We've heard of too many CF hoods from this company cracking. The fiberglass version is cheaper, heavier, but seems to be more durable over time. Second, he bought one pre-fitted, pre-painted, and used. One of the painters I use has installed a dozen of these and says they need to be left in the sun for a week to "stabilize" (shrink) before he will do the bodywork needed to fit these to a car. This one had already been on a car for a while, had "settled" and been painted, so a huge time savings.

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    We adding the AeroCatch lathes to this one, as we have a lot more confidence in these and have used them on dozens of cars over the years. The "push lock" style latches we used on a previous S197 are a royal PITA to line up every time you close the hood, and are finicky to open. These just work.

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    Ryan takes the time to install these right. First he marks the areas with painters tape so the alignment of the centerline and proper spacing for the four latches can be marked. The pack of the package has a cut-out template that is easy to trace onto the tape. He then uses the hole saws of the exac diameter to make the two holes, then connects them with a body saw and grinds out the oval to perfect. A shop vac is handy during cutting to keep dust from going everywhere - including your eyes and lungs! Still use a respirator and protective eye wear, as shown.

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    You have to cut an even bigger opening on the inner layer of composite, to be able to access the hardware to bolt the AeroCatch latch in place.

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    Left: On Jamie's Mustang we used the exposed flange, top mount AeroCatch version. Right: On our car we used the smooth mount

    We now always use the "exposed" upper flange version (above left) of the AeroCatch latch, not the "smooth mount" version. We used the smooth mount on my red 2011 GT (above right) and you have to be SUPER perfect on the install or there is a visible gap to the latch. The outer flange of the exposed style is also a bit stronger.

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    Adding and aligning the pins is tough, I'm not gonna lie. It takes a lot of mock-up, measurement, some alignment tricks, and some welding. Ryan uses four little raised spots from the radiator support that normally have rubber "bumpers" for the stock hood to weld in a nut that is threaded to fit the AeroCatch pins. These have to line up perfectly in height and angles in 2 axes to fit the hood latches when closed.

    NEW WEIGHT SETUP

    The new setup from the coilover swap and other mods listed above got the car into the 3400 pound range. The weight below is with half a tank of fuel (the lowest we can run in these cars with a stock tank) and driver.

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    The "ballast" of having a 1/2 tank of fuel you can never use became critical when the car and driver went into NASA ST3 class, which we solved with a surge tank. I will talk about this and more in a future post.

    WHAT'S NEXT?

    We will show more work on Jamie's ST3 build in the next installment, as well as some other S197 Mustangs we have tackled.

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    This track driven S197 got a similar Tiger racing hood (it fit the needs of this car) but instead of a rear wing we built a spoiler for this car. I will show the steps in that next time.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  3. zquez

    zquez Death Dealer

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    I'm looking forward to reading about the surge tank you installed on Beck's car.