Sky Render's Build Thread

Discussion in 'Corner Carver Racing Tech Discussion' started by Sky Render, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Sky Render

    Sky Render Stig's Retarded Cousin S197 Team Member

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    EDIT: For anyone reading this thread, the Great Photobucket Fuckery of 2017 decimated many forum posts that used Photo-suck-it for image hosting. Although many of my pictures are hosted elsewhere, some are now missing. Please let me know if you want to see an image that isn't showing up; I can re-post it.

    This thread will chronicle the build of my car, known as the "Evil Pony" among some circles.

    Part 1: Inception

    I purchased the car brand new, with about 200 miles on the odometer, on February 14, 2011. It is a Mustang GT Premium, with every option except Brembos, Navigation, and those tacky stick-on scoops and wing:

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    I saved up for almost 2 years to buy this car. It was the first new car I ever bought for myself and the first long-term goal I ever set.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  2. Sky Render

    Sky Render Stig's Retarded Cousin S197 Team Member

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    Part 2: I Can't Drive 55. Or stock.

    With less than 800 miles on the odometer, I bolted this on:

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    Mustangs are supposed to be loud and frightening to small children, so the stock exhaust wasn't cutting it. I opted for the Magnaflow Competition cat-back system because I wanted "that Mustang sound" and more power.

    I got the sound, but spending the extra money on the over-axle pipes was pointless. Magnaflow claims a gain of 17 horsepower. I claim they're full of crap.
     
  3. Sky Render

    Sky Render Stig's Retarded Cousin S197 Team Member

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    Part 3: Drive the Piss Out of It

    I bought the car to corner-carve. I used to be into drag racing, but I wanted to try something different. With barely 1,000 miles on the odometer, I went to my first autocross.

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    I was bloody terrible.

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    But I had fun. LOTS of fun. And I was hooked.
     
  4. Sky Render

    Sky Render Stig's Retarded Cousin S197 Team Member

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    Part 4: Stickier Tires

    The stock Pirellis are great tires. Scratch that. They're great tires for tooling around town in all sorts of weather. I completely sucked at driving, but by the third or fourth autocross, I was at the limits of the stock tires.

    This car is (almost) daily driven about 10,000 miles a year, so I wanted to get one set of wheels and tires that I could use both for driving and racing. Fortunately, I was able to work a bunch of overtime and sprung for a set of 18x8 TSW Nurburgrings wrapped in Nitto NT555s from American Muscle.

    I also write for a car magazine, so I of course began to write articles about the build-up of the Evil Pony:

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    Project Mustang 5.0, Part 0: The Physics of Tires

    At the time, I thought those tires were the Bee's Knees. They were certainly better than the stock Pirellis (235/50R18 with a treadwear of over 400): The Nittos were wider and had a lower treadwear (255/45ZR18 with 300 treadwear). The TSW wheels are also less than half the weight of the depleted-uranium stockers.

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    I hate chrome, so I wanted to eliminate it as much as possible. I ordered those wheels in gunmental (which just happened to match my car's exterior color). I also replaced the chrome "5.0" fender badges with black ones and ditched the fake chrome "gas cap" on the trunk.

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  5. Sky Render

    Sky Render Stig's Retarded Cousin S197 Team Member

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    Part 5: I'm (Still) a Bit of a Ricer

    I left the car like that for the remainder of the 2011 season, as I had some financial troubles and didn't have the coin to do much more than attend events. But I had fun, and learned a lot.

    At the beginning of the 2012 season, I felt the need to make the Evil Pony look more distinguished and "modified," because I'm still a recovering rice-aholic.

    I put a billet grille on the car (to eliminate the rest of the chrome, mainly that atrocious chrome pony on the stock grille) and the Raxiom tail lights (because I honestly hated the stock tail lights and think the Raxiom ones look more OEM and "Mustang-like")

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    FUN FACT! The customer install guide for those tail lights on American Muscle was written by me and features my car.

    See, I'm a celebrity!
     
  6. Sky Render

    Sky Render Stig's Retarded Cousin S197 Team Member

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    Part 6: Getting Serious with Adjustable Suspension Goodies

    After the "show," it was time for more "go," in the form of some goodies to make my car handle better. I ordered the following and headed up to Evolution Performance to let them handle the install.


    • Steeda Ultra-lite Springs
    • Koni "Yellow" adjustable sport shocks
    • Maximum Motorsports Caster/Camber plates
    • Evolution Performance panhard brace
    • Some off-brand used adjustable panhard rod
    Here's an article detailing the suspension install:


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    Project Mustang 5.0, Part 1: Suspension Adjustability on a Budget


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    I was very impressed with how the car was handling, and I liked the lower "stance," too. (I'm a ricer, remember.)
     
  7. Sky Render

    Sky Render Stig's Retarded Cousin S197 Team Member

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    Part 7: Learning the New Setup

    I drove the car like that for the majority of the 2012 season. The car handled so differently, so neutral, so "Sports-Car-Like" that it was like a completely different vehicle.

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    Towards the end of the season, I was getting good enough to notice the body roll of the chassis. The springs were stiffer than stock, but not stiff enough. Because I still drove the car almost daily, I didn't want to go much stiffer than the springs, so I turned to Whiteline for help...
     
  8. Sky Render

    Sky Render Stig's Retarded Cousin S197 Team Member

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  9. Sky Render

    Sky Render Stig's Retarded Cousin S197 Team Member

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    Here are some pictures of the sway-bar install. Note that this was all done in my garage, with the car on ramps and/or jack stands.

    The first step is removing the aero tray and "Z"-brace. The front aero tray is held on with like 10-12 small bolts. The Z-brace is held on with 8 larger bolts. Both are easy to remove, though somewhat awkward to handle if you're lying on your back under a car on jack stands.

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    Stock sway bar and end link:

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    Comparison of stock and adjustable Whiteline end links:

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    Comparison of stock and Whiteline front sway bars:

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    So this is the annoying part. If you want to re-use the stock bushing saddles, you have to cut the fuckers off. Thanks, Ford. You bunch of schmucks.

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    At this point, I should note that it helps if you have a friend who has access to a full diesel machine shop. And can get in at like 0630 on a Saturday morning.

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    You need to reuse the backing plates, so we cut off the side tabs, cleaned them up, and hit them with some rust-proof enamel to keep them clean:

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    Anti-seize applied to EVERY SINGLE NUT AND BOLT. Because screw Northeast winters:

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    End links installed on front struts:

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    Pro-tip: Wrap your bar in teflon tape before applying the grease and bushing. The Teflon adds an extra layer of lubrication and squeak reduction:

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    The bar is set full-soft for now:

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    And the front bar fully installed:

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  10. Sky Render

    Sky Render Stig's Retarded Cousin S197 Team Member

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    Moving on to the rear. The rear bar is a slightly odd design. It connects directly to the axle behind the wheels:

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    It pivots on these blue things that I have termed "Drop Links":

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    The problem with this setup is that it is difficult to have any sort of adjustability in terms of bar stiffness and/or preload. Additionally, the bar's location directly behind the wheels gets in the way of running super-wide tires inboard. The Whiteline bar solves these issues by going in the reverse direction: it mounts directly to the axle and places adjustable end links where the drop links were previously.


    The OEM rear bar is held on with six bolts and is removed in less than 5 minutes:

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    The Whiteline bar attaches to the axles via U bolt...

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    ...and places end links where the drop links were previously:

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    Here it is fully-installed:

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    For those of you who are afraid of corners and only go fast in a straight line, you'll be happy to know that the Whiteline rear bar easily lets you clear 15x10 Racestars or whatever without that kludgey setup of a "sway bar relocation bracket."
     
  11. Sky Render

    Sky Render Stig's Retarded Cousin S197 Team Member

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    So the body roll reduction with those sway bars is epic and earth-shattering. It became almost impossible to upset the chassis, even when doing glorious, smoky powerslides. However, the rear end still fights you when cornering, due to the inherent roll-steer characteristics of the three-link suspension, which is made even worse by lowering the car.

    For an explanation of all that corner-carver/engineering gobbledygook, read that article. We fixed that problem using the Whiteline control arms and relocation brackets.

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    FUCK YOU, SCIENCE! I'M OUT!
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  12. Sky Render

    Sky Render Stig's Retarded Cousin S197 Team Member

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    First things first, I replaced that tired old Brand-X panhard bar with a more solid Whiteline one and made sure the rear axle was perfectly centered.

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    You can sort of see how the stock control arms are angled upwards due to the car being lowered:

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    Sexy, sexy tubular arms:

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    Tubular steel > stamped steel Also, note the lack of voids in Whiteline's synthetic elsatomer bushings:

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    Aww, yeah. Much better geometry.

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    The change in roll-steer characteristics is immediately apparent; the rear end follows the front (instead of crab walking), making the car more composed. The best way to describe it is the car feels smaller. Unfortunately, I only had one remaining event in 2012 in which to test out the new components. But the fact that I was using 300 treadwear tires and beat an M3 on slicks is pretty dang telling.

     
  13. Sky Render

    Sky Render Stig's Retarded Cousin S197 Team Member

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    Part 9: Sticky Icky

    Those 300 treadwear Nittos were starting to hold me back. Unfortunately, tires are expensive. And so are wheels. Although I wanted some stupid-wide 305 BFG rivals and some forged 18x10 wheels from Vorshlag, I couldn't afford to.

    First, I found a sale on some Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercars in 285/40ZR18 and 180 treadwear. (For reference, 140 treadwear is considered "R comp.")

    Being a bachelor means you can stack your race tires in your kitchen.

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    I ordered a set of 18x10 AMR wheels from American Muscle, because it's hard to argue with their price. Sure, they're heavier than my current forged wheels, but they're inexpensive. And I have 380 torques. Screw lightweight wheels.

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    Mounted and balanced:

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    Size comparison:

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    I also got a better alignment. Zero toe, and more camber. I had the caster lowered to attempt to reign in some of the tramlining I was experiencing.

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    First autocross of the 2013 season is Saturday. I'm looking forward to testing out these new tires!
     
  14. Mike K

    Mike K WANNA BE FAST

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    Great write up.
     
  15. RideThePony14

    RideThePony14 Member

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    Nice build man! I'm looking to overhaul my suspension soon, how are the Whiteline components compared to say Eibach or BMR?
     
  16. Sky Render

    Sky Render Stig's Retarded Cousin S197 Team Member

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    I haven't used either, but I can say the Whiteline parts are very well designed and built.

    I will also say that, in my "expert" opinion, Whiteline makes the best sway bars and bushings on the planet.
     
  17. 302

    302 Senior Member

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    leave it up to an engineer to include an excel plot... lol nice write up
     
  18. SonicBlur

    SonicBlur ]V[EGADET]-[

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    Saving up for some Whiteline suspension parts..........................NOW!
     
  19. GrabberBlue5.0

    GrabberBlue5.0 Gold Member

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    Good write up! Looking good!
     
  20. Sky Render

    Sky Render Stig's Retarded Cousin S197 Team Member

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    Yes, the geek is strong in me.

    :crazy: