Ewheels Road Course Build

Ewheels

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
962
Reaction score
924
Location
SoCal
First Name
Eric
Vehicle(s)
2018 GT PP1
Vehicle Showcase
1
I've always been a car nut and always admired road racing though I never thought I would ever get to that point nor did I know where to start. I knew basic mechanics from tinkering on my first car but never did anything major. Once I was in the financial position to buy a new car, I jumped on the opportunity. I purchased this Mustang new in April of 2018. I wanted a car that was fun but also something that I could learn from. I had the intention of taking some advanced driving class of some sort somewhere along the way.
One day, a friend of mine tells me about NASA and an open track day they had at my local track. I looked into it and was instantly hooked on the idea of HPDE. I finally found where and how to start.

Here's my progression in driving and what I've learned along the way.


Track History:
Autoclub Speedway - 5/18/19 - HPDE 1
Buttonwillow 13CCW - 10/19/19 - HPDE 1
Buttonwillow 14CCW - 10/20/19 - HPDE 1 (2:16)
Chuckwalla CCW - 2/16/20 - HPDE 2 (2:17)
Big Willow - 2/29/20 - HPDE 2
Big Willow - 3/1/20 - HPDE 3 (1:42)
Buttonwillow 13CCW - 10/10/20 - HPDE 3 (2:13)
Buttonwillow 25CCW - 10/11/20 - HPDE 3 (2:12)
Big Willow - 1/17/21 - Super GT Cup TA (1:33.9) - 3rd place in Street Class
Autoclub Speedway - 3/20/21 - HPDE 3 (1:58.5)
Autoclub Speedway - 3/21/21 - HPDE 4 (1:55.2)
Buttonwillow 13CW - 5/9/21 - Super GT Cup TA (2:07.2)
Advertisement

 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Ewheels

Ewheels

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
962
Reaction score
924
Location
SoCal
First Name
Eric
Vehicle(s)
2018 GT PP1
Vehicle Showcase
1
DAY 1

This picture was sent to me from the dealer as they received the car.
2018 Mustang GT, Performance Package 1, 301A Tech Package, Manual Trans, Orange Fury paint. I was in love.

upload_2019-6-6_8-47-53.png


I had to take it out for a drive with my friend's 65 K-code

upload_2019-6-6_8-48-18.png
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Ewheels

Ewheels

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
962
Reaction score
924
Location
SoCal
First Name
Eric
Vehicle(s)
2018 GT PP1
Vehicle Showcase
1
TOW HOOKS

While obsessively reading everything I could about track days and what to expect your first time out, I came across tow hooks. I read stories that if you do happen to go off track and you do not have these, the tow driver will hook onto anything he can find on your car. I personally don't like broken bumpers and suspension components so tow hooks were ordered!
Most S550s I've seen with tow hooks had the removable one in the front and one that goes in place of your license plate in the rear. I didn't like that. I wanted something that I could install once and forget about; and I didn't mind the look of driving around with them on the street.
I found Vorshlag. Their tow hooks didn't require removing the license plate and fit my "set and forget" goal.

My full installation guide can be found here:
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/vorshlag-tow-hooks.120438/

upload_2019-6-6_9-2-0.png


upload_2019-6-6_9-2-19.png
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Ewheels

Ewheels

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
962
Reaction score
924
Location
SoCal
First Name
Eric
Vehicle(s)
2018 GT PP1
Vehicle Showcase
1
BRAKE COOLING DUCTS

***In hindsight, I should have done this mod AFTER my first track day to quantitatively see the difference it makes. I got too caught up in track prep and I thought I needed a bunch of mods to track at all. Lesson learned.***

This ended up being more complicated of an install than I originally anticipated. I had originally purchased the 4" kit from Vorshlag but after reading their build thread, talking with their customer service, and taking measurements on my own car, I realized that this kit was not what I was looking for. The 4" ducting does not fit well in the wheel wells. (There really isn't enough room at all for brake ducts on this chassis.) The ducts get crushed by the tires (OEM fitment) at full lock and quickly get torn and worn out and need to be replaced. I did not want another consumable. I wanted a set-and-forget system.

Later I found Full Tilt Boogie Racing's kit. They use a 3" duct that can be routed in a way that does not get destroyed by the tires.
So I ended up using Vorshlag's 4" bumper inlets, Mishimoto 4" ducting, some aluminum couplers I found at Home Depot, Mishimoto 3" ducting, and finally FTBR's 3" backing plates. I checked fitment on both sides at full lock and there is zero rubbing.

My full installation guide (and planning process) can be found here: (post #29)
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/vorshlag-brake-cooling-ducts.120415/page-2

I plan to 3D print some covers for the inlets for daily driving to keep water/debris out but for the time being I'll use tape.

upload_2019-6-6_9-42-9.png


upload_2019-6-6_9-42-45.png


TESTING

I know the proper way to test the performance of these would be to use thermal paint on the calipers or at least get an IR gun but for now I'll use the "feel" method.
I directed a leaf blower into the duct and felt the air leaving the rotor with my hand. I felt almost no air flow at all. A bit discouraging. Then I tried the same scenario but with the rotor off the car and placed my hand directly in front of the duct exit. There was a substantial amount of air flow coming through.
My guess as to why the first test did not yield promising results is due to the rotor acting like a pump while in motion. I'm sure when stopped, the rotor simply blocks air flow. Either way, I know that decent air flow is getting to the back of the rotors.

12-14-19: NEW DISCOVERY

I went to Buttonwillow to watch a friend race. He has a 2018 as well. I was telling him about my brake cooling testing and he wanted to try his ducts out as well. We performed the same test: leaf blower into the duct inlet and put your hand over the rotors vents. His setup had A LOT of air moving through the rotor!
This tells me my previous theory that the car needed to be moving for the rotors to pull air through was false. My friend has Specfab backing plates and AP Racing rotors.
Though the AP rotors have directional venting unlike the factory rotors, the car was stationary so the directional venting wouldn't have made a difference. I don't think that was the solution. The Specfab backing plates sit much closer to the rotor vanes than my FTB ones do. I think that is the key to getting proper air flow through the rotors. Looks like I'll be buying more parts soon...
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Ewheels

Ewheels

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
962
Reaction score
924
Location
SoCal
First Name
Eric
Vehicle(s)
2018 GT PP1
Vehicle Showcase
1
FIRST TRACK DAY

05/18/19
I signed up for HPDE 1 with NASA at Auto Club Speedway on their Sports Car Course (Roval).
I had done a few minor driving courses before in other cars but nothing substantial enough to really learn from. So this would be my very first "true" road course experience. I was brimming with excitement and nerves and could not wait for the experience.

I'm glad in HPDE 1 you get an instructor in the car with you; I had no idea how hard I could push the car and no idea of the track layout. The instructor was a lot of help and provided great input.

Full breakdown of my first track experience here:
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/first-track-day-experience.122537/

upload_2019-6-6_9-56-56.png


upload_2019-6-6_9-57-12.png


upload_2019-6-6_9-57-33.png


Things I noticed:
1. The car does roll over onto the sidewalls quite a bit. I was at about 35-37psi (hot) on the stock PS4S tires.

2. I was always impressed with the suspension feel on the street but a road course is another animal. Now I see why everyone says the PP trim isn't all that great on the track. The suspension is quite soft and there is a good amount of body roll and nose dive with the PP1 trim.

3. The PS4S tires gripped well but did get slippery when they got hot. On the last session of the day, the car was oversteering a bit on corner exit. At that point, I was feeling more comfortable with the car and was giving it more Go-Pedal so maybe that was the cause? I had read these tires get greasy when they get some heat in them.

4. Several times throughout the day, I would miss a gear (usually 3rd). Again, on the street, I never noticed this but trying to do everything faster on the track and having first-timer nerves, the shifter just wasn't confidence inspiring. It felt like a noodle, if that makes sense; it felt sloppy.

5. No overheating issues of any kind. Woohoo! Though it's very likely that I simply wasn't pushing the car all that hard. I hear tons of S550 people say that the engine and diff are very likely to overheat. I'll have to keep an eye on the temps as I get faster.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Ewheels

Ewheels

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
962
Reaction score
924
Location
SoCal
First Name
Eric
Vehicle(s)
2018 GT PP1
Vehicle Showcase
1
TRACK WHEEL/TIRE SET

I had been looking into a set of wheels and tires for some time now. I wasn't completely sure if I wanted double-duty tires that I could daily and would hold up on the track or simply get another set purely for track days. Either way, I wanted a square setup. I knew square was better for track handling and it's better for the street as you can rotate them.

I spent A LOT of time calculating offsets and making sure I had enough clearance for the strut. Also finding a rotatable setup was proving to be difficult. The front and rear offsets are SO different. I tried to get everything perfect as to not change the overall tire diameter too much, wheel fitment front and rear without rubbing, scrub radius, ect. It seemed likely that the easiest path would be to get a less aggressive offset and put spacers up front.

I came across Apex EC-7 wheels. I was looking at their 19x10 +40mm wheels. Flow formed, so they're strong and perfect fitment in the rear and with a 5mm spacer up front, they would have enough strut clearance. That was my plan; more expensive than I would like, but my plan.

Down the road, I was talking with a fellow M6G member who road races and I noticed he uses SVE wheels from LMR. He said they are well constructed and he has had zero issues with them. He drives his car hard, so I trusted his word.

Come Memorial Day, I saw LMR was having a sale on their SVE wheels. ALMOST 40% OFF!!!! I had to jump on it. So I purchased a set of SVE SP2 19x10 ET35 wheels in bronze. I think normal price is $1200-$1300. I got the set for $810.
The offset was perfect for strut clearance without a spacer, not too much change in scrub radius, was a bit aggressive for the rear offset, but would fit. And I could rotate them!

upload_2019-6-6_10-12-30.png


upload_2019-6-6_10-12-56.png


I decided on going for the track-only path for these wheels. It would be cheaper in the long run and I could eventually get much stickier tires that wouldn't be well suited for street use. I chose to go with Bridgestone Potenza S007A in 285/35/19 size.These are Bridgestone's replacements for their RE11 autocross tires. I have read very good reviews for these so I'm hoping for good results. They are a 240tw tire so better than OEM but nothing crazy. I thought I should progress through tire grip rather than jumping into a 200 or 100tw tire.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Ewheels

Ewheels

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
962
Reaction score
924
Location
SoCal
First Name
Eric
Vehicle(s)
2018 GT PP1
Vehicle Showcase
1
PICTURE UPDATE

I got all four tires for $900, installed and balanced. I wanted to see how they fit and looked so I drove around on them for a couple days before shelving them for the next track day.
No rubbing from what I can see. They poke out just a tad in the front and a bit more in the rear. I'm hoping that isn't an issue at the track.
LMR's website says these wheels are 24.1 lbs while factory PP wheels are around 33 I believe. I could definitely feel the weight difference when putting these on.


upload_2019-6-8_12-41-25.png


upload_2019-6-8_12-41-49.png


upload_2019-6-8_12-42-19.png
 
Last edited:

NotMarc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2015
Messages
369
Reaction score
51
Location
DMV
Vehicle(s)
18 GT 401a
I think I may have to copy your brake duct solution. Subscribed!
 
OP
OP
Ewheels

Ewheels

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
962
Reaction score
924
Location
SoCal
First Name
Eric
Vehicle(s)
2018 GT PP1
Vehicle Showcase
1
I think I may have to copy your brake duct solution. Subscribed!
Go for it! I wish I did a before and after track event and added some temp stickers on the calipers to see exactly how much they help.

I may add fans to the ducts as well so I can force air through while the car sits.
 
OP
OP
Ewheels

Ewheels

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
962
Reaction score
924
Location
SoCal
First Name
Eric
Vehicle(s)
2018 GT PP1
Vehicle Showcase
1
SEAT MOUNTED FIRE EXTINGUISHER

Safety first! This was a very easy and straight forward install. I purchased a Brey Krause seat mount (R-2160) and a fire extinguisher and bracket from Grainger.
The install instructions that came with the Brey Krause mount were very easy to follow and quite detailed; simple screws and bolts and everything goes in place. The seat mount has pre-drilled holes that line up perfectly with the Brey Krause quick release. Because I used the fire extinguisher bracket rather than their quick release, I had to drill some new holes.
Note: the mount is made of some tough steel. I thought maybe I could get lucky and an electric drill could get through it. Nope. So I took it to work and used a drill press instead.

upload_2019-7-27_17-19-58.png


I may switch the bracket out for the BK quick release (R-9520). The bracket that comes with the fire extinguisher does not seem all that secure.

UPDATE: 1-6-2020

Other than the clamp the bracket comes with, I was using a hose clamp to hold the bottle in place. This was meant to be temporary as you cannot quickly and easily remove a hose clamp during the event of a fire. Though the BK quick release is gorgeous and I'm sure works perfectly as designed, I did not want to spend $250 on this. Instead, I got a nice velcro strap to secure the bottle for $7. Works just as well, it's easily and quickly removable, and it doesn't cost $250. Win win
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Ewheels

Ewheels

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
962
Reaction score
924
Location
SoCal
First Name
Eric
Vehicle(s)
2018 GT PP1
Vehicle Showcase
1
STEEDA HEEL/TOE GAS PEDAL

I'll admit, I am not the best at heel-toe down shifts and now after getting some track time, I see the necessity for the skill.
I was originally looking into purchasing an AutoBlip to get easy and consistent downshifts but at $400, I thought I should look into other options.
The issue for me was that the gas pedal felt very far (laterally) from the brake pedal and I could not easily roll my foot onto the gas pedal. Enter Steeda. This $25 doo-dad definitely helped me out. I find it much easier to get my foot onto the gas during braking now. Will this get me perfect downshifts every single time like an AutoBlip would? Maybe not, but that extra $375 in my pocket feels pretty nice.

As far as installation, I think it's easiest to completely remove the gas pedal altogether. Three 10mm bolts and removing the electrical plug and it comes right out. Physically reaching these items is not so easy though; they're tucked pretty deep under the dash.
Once the pedal is out, just drill some holes, assemble some nuts & bolts, and put the assembly back in the car, and done.
I'll update with a picture later on.

UPDATE

After a few months of practice, heel-toe downshifts are second nature now. Like they say, practice makes perfect. I am very happy I went this route rather than spending $400 and not learning a useful skill.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Ewheels

Ewheels

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
962
Reaction score
924
Location
SoCal
First Name
Eric
Vehicle(s)
2018 GT PP1
Vehicle Showcase
1
TRACK DAY #2 PREP: BRAKE UPGRADES

In preparation for Buttonwillow in a few weeks, I wanted to beef up my braking system. I wanted to flush my fluid and replace it with Motul RBF 600. Cheap upgrade and combined with my brake ducts, this will ideally further prevent any brake fade on track.
I felt confident in doing this flush myself but thought I might as well have a professional look over my car to make sure everything is in order. So I went to my local Mustang shop for the service.
The owner said my rotors look fine but my pads looked partially glazed, which is apparently not uncommon for OEM pads after a track day.
I could sand the pads down to eliminate the glaze or buy another set of OEM pads to 1) be safe on track and 2) prevent having to cut my track time short. After giving this situation more thought, I figured I would be pushing my car even harder than last time and if I cooked the pads on my first event, I might do more damage this second time out. Therefore, I decided to get a set of Hawk HP+ pads. From the reviews I've read, these should hold up just fine for my skill level. I'll find out for sure in a few weeks.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Ewheels

Ewheels

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
962
Reaction score
924
Location
SoCal
First Name
Eric
Vehicle(s)
2018 GT PP1
Vehicle Showcase
1
FIRST PAD CHANGE

Changed the brake pads out for the first time on this car. (For reference, these pads have 13,000 miles total and one track day.) Very straight forward but this was my first car to have fixed calipers so it took me a bit longer as I learned the process. It was interesting to see the condition of the OEM pads; as my previous post stated, I was told my pads were at least partially glazed. I had no idea what glazed pads were supposed to look like though I was told they should look shiny.

upload_2019-10-14_8-10-35.png


upload_2019-10-14_8-10-54.png


They looked beat up and definitely shiny. Though the new Hawk HP+ pads also looked shiny but maybe that's only because they're new. These OEM pads felt great for my first track day but they don't appear to hold up to the abuse. Glad I pulled the trigger on new pads.

upload_2019-10-14_8-15-2.png


The top pad is the Hawk HP+ and the bottom pad is OEM. I'm excited to see how these feel at Buttonwillow this weekend.

Side note: I didn't know till it was late at night that the rear caliper piston is a twist to compress type. I'll rent the kit from AutoZone today and finish the rear pad install.

Day #2

Rear pads done. Forgot to add a picture of the rear pads last time. These DEFINITELY look glazed, almost mirror finish.

upload_2019-10-15_7-31-59.png


Bedding process was simple too. (Again, new experience for me. I'm sure for many readers, this is all quite obvious.) During the first two "stages" of bedding, the pads actually felt relatively soft. I figured this was normal. Then the last portion before letting them cool was at the fastest speeds. At this point the pads had significant bite. There was already way more braking potential than OEM.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Ewheels

Ewheels

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
962
Reaction score
924
Location
SoCal
First Name
Eric
Vehicle(s)
2018 GT PP1
Vehicle Showcase
1
TRACK DAY 2/3: BUTTONWILLOW

This was my first time at Buttonwillow Raceway and it was epic! I now see why people rave about this track, much more technical and much more involved compared to Auto Club.
My last track day (also my very first track day) was a lot to take in. I was overly excited/nervous and was more focused on having fun and not crashing. This time out, I had a few goals: advance to HPDE group 2, track some minor data about the car and my driving, and ultimately improve my driving skill (braking later, smooth transitions, being more consistent.) I can gladly say I accomplished all my goals.

DAY 1: 13CCW (10/19/19)

I drove up early Saturday and got to the paddock around 6:30am and started getting my car ready for tech. Not much to do, just empty my car and put my track wheels/tires on. (Side note: you can indeed fit three wheels in the back seat.) My friend arrived a bit later with his American Iron-prepped Fox Body. We went through the usual driver's meetings and waited for our group to be called. My friend had already advance to group 2 and thought I was likely to get bumped up as well after this weekend.

upload_2019-10-21_14-48-11.png


The first session had SO much traffic and with the limited passing zones in the beginner group, it was difficult to get some free space. I focused on getting the proper line down while I was stuck behind slower traffic.
Driving at Auto Club had me used to long straight, turn, and repeat. This course required much more finesse; I had to practice taking each corner correctly to set up the next corner.

During the third session, my instructor asked me if I wanted him to take a lap in my car to show me the line and to show me what my car can do when driven near the limit. This was humbling to say the least. I knew I wasn't fast but after that, I really knew just how slow I was. I needed to get smoother, consistently follow the line, and brake harder. This also showed me that I DO NOT NEED MORE PARTS. I had a list of crap I wanted that would improve the car, but now I'm going to change that list to more seat time and consumables ONLY. Need more driver mod :)

After the last session of the day, my instructor said I was much smoother and consistent and had no problem with me moving on to group 2, though he wanted me to get a different instructor the next day just to have another opinion.

upload_2019-10-21_15-0-14.png


upload_2019-10-21_15-0-43.png


After all sessions had ended, they opened the track for anyone to walk. My instructor took my friend and I out to walk the track. This was a very cool experience and really let me see where people cut corners, how much camber the track has at certain locations, and see the driving line from a new perspective.

After walking the track, the party began! I did not know at first but in hindsight it now seems obvious that everyone parties after the day is over. Bbq, music, beer, it was awesome and the people there were so friendly. I met some really cool people and got to hang out with the NASA organizers outside of the teacher-student manner.

DAY 2: 14aCCW (10/20/19)

I arrived early again this day to once again, put my track wheels back on. (I had put my street tires on to drive to the hotel for the night.) When I was tightening my lug nuts, I noticed a small crack in my front passenger wheel near the hub......DAMN! Did this form from the previous day or had this been there since the day I bought them?? These are SVE SP2 wheels from LMR. I know a few other people who use SVE wheels @Flyhalf and they drive HARD so I know these should hold up to abuse. Maybe I got a defective wheel? Who knows.
I knew I shouldn't drive on this but I wanted a second opinion from someone more experienced. So I found my instructor from the previous day and showed him the picture. He said "Do Not Drive On This" so it was back to my street tires for this second day.

upload_2019-10-21_15-20-13.png


upload_2019-10-21_15-21-18.png


During the first day, I had noticed my brakes felt "jerky" and didn't know exactly why. I remembered at this point when changing wheels for the second time that day that when my instructor was driving my car, he mentioned the same thing. He said I have multiple pad compounds on my rotors and that is what's causing the "jerky" feel. I must have not sanded the rotor surfaces enough when switching pads. I learn something new everyday.
With the wheels off, I could get a good look at the rotors and I could see the "splotches" of differing pad compounds.
Other than this slight issue, my new brake setup felt fine. I want to say these Hawk pads had more stopping power than OEM but it's hard for me to say.

upload_2019-10-21_15-28-23.png


I may end up getting another set of rotors to have dedicated for my track pads so things like this don't happen.

First session out with a new instructor went very well. I actually got my same from instructor from Auto Club back in May. He said I did great and would sign me off to group 2 the next session. Goal achieved!

upload_2019-10-21_17-34-39.png


Throughout these two days, I tried to gather some simple data as each session passed. I was concerned with diff and engine oil temps but I never noticed any high temps. Granted, it was a cooler day and the sessions are only 20 minutes.
I wanted to record ECT and oil temp but since they are only displayed in a bar graph rather than a precise numerical readout, I skipped over those.

upload_2019-10-21_17-49-26.png


I packed up and left early before the last session; I was so tired and had a three hour drive ahead of me. Shame on me, I know. I paid for eight sessions, I should utilize all that time.
Temperatures never got too hot; ambient was around 75-80° both days. And after reading the g meter data, I see that my consistency could use some work as well as accelerate harder out of turns. Work in progress.

I had the intention of timing my laps before I left for this weekend but did not think to consider the traffic on track until I got there. I didn't end up timing myself for most of the sessions due to the traffic. If I remember correctly, I think the below results are from my 2nd session on the second day.

upload_2019-10-21_17-59-50.png


Not very good comparatively but it is what it is. Have to keep improving.
I saw the lap times for the HPDE 3/4 group and they were between 1:58 and 2:16 so at least my best run is as fast as the slowest HPDE 3 guy haha!

Next NASA event I plan to go to is Chuckwalla in February. I'll see you out there!

TIRE REVIEW

Looking back, I realized I never said anything about my impressions of my track tires. Before I start, I want to clarify that in my case, the driver behind the wheel is absolutely the limiting factor. I have very limited experience here.

The first day, using the 285/35 S007A tires, it felt like I had plenty of grip. I did not slide around at all and it seemed I could be a bit more careless with the brakes and the tires would hold me through the turns. It seemed no matter how fast I took a turn, the tires would maintain grip. Now, is this due to the rubber compound or simply a result of having 285 at every corner?

The second day, I was using my factory PS4S tires. These are great tires but I notice I slide around a bit after a few laps. If I took a turn fast or gave it too much gas too early, the rear end would kick out a bit. Mid corner grip seemed a bit less than the S007A tires as well.
 
Last edited:
Advertisement

 
63 - Late Model Restoration - 2
Advertisement
Top