WItoTX

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All,

This is my first OP on this forum, and the first time 've ever posted anything like this, so go easy on me. I wanted to document the performance modifications and progress improvements in times as I upgrade my GT350. So first, what's my big plan with this thread? Well, I enjoy the hell out of autocross. I started with a Focus ST, moved up to a Hellcat, and then finally to my GT350. It finally felt right in my GT350, so I decided I am going to build this car more than I had my other cars. The purpose of this thread is to document my road from effectively a bone stock GT350, to SCCA Nationals run in the SST class. I plan to post all upgrades I do, what does and doesn't work, my skills as a driver, as well as what I learn while driving it.

This first post will be me trying to catch up on progress since I purchased in April 2021 until January 2022. Sorry as it is sort of long.

First, the car. I picked up a 2017 GT350 in June of 2021, after owning a 2020 Hellcat Charger Widebody. The reason I ditched the Hellcat and moved to the GT350 was simple, I loved the HC, and it carried my family well, but I realized quickly that it would never be the track car I wanted it to be without serious modifications. Pic of the Hellcat because let's face it, its a super cool car (The photos don't do that blue justice):

20200523_170337.jpg
20200523_184407.jpg


So I sold it (For more than the car cost me, plus insurance, plus fuel, plus registration!), and picked up my GT350 (For much less than my HC sold for!). I dreamed of a GT350 white with blue stripes, (which I personally believe is the only acceptable paint scheme :crackup: ) and found two reasonably close to Houston. Went to check this one out in Dallas, and was immediately sold on it.

PXL_20210501_144929571.jpg

I bought it used, with ~3,000 miles on it, and had it delivered. It is white with the blue stripes, and the previous owner added the red pinstripe on the outside of the blue stripes, and colored the Shelby badges red. I fixed the badges almost immediately. The previous owner also installed one hell of a stereo, and it sounded awesome. Beyond that, he also replaced a handful of interior panels with the carbon fiber version, and had to put a different frame around the center stack. Otherwise the car was completely stock. No scraping underneath, signs of a well maintained car everywhere, panels all spotless. The car was babied.

PXL_20210507_215548590.jpg


Bits of Stereo:
PXL_20210511_223943752.jpg
PXL_20210511_012921009.jpg

PXL_20220119_020240272.jpg
PXL_20220119_020300639.jpg

That's right, you can see 4 different channels in that second photo. There is a 5th channel installed up on the dash, in front of the A pillar, blocked in this view. The speakers are supposedly something really special, and was told the lower door speaker is something like $2k. I don't know, never confirmed it, but when I took the car to the audio shop and told them I wanted all of it removed, they looked at me like I just ordered them to shoot their dog. Long story short, they talked me into leaving it for the time being, and as we had #2 on the way in June 2021, I figured I could at least cruise around in the car with a thumpin' stereo until I got the go ahead to start going hard after our daughter turned 6 months old. And if those speakers really are that valuable, well I just got that much more money for modifications.

Anyways, when I got the car in April, I got a catch can installed, that I will be swapping for something more substantial, and before our daughter was born in June, I got it on the autocross track twice, and even took it to the strip once. Mind you, this car was still on the factory PSS from 2017, and they were absolute garbage. I finished mid field in autox, and didn't launch hard on the strip to put down a good 1/4 mile time, but I left both places with a much better feel for what the car could do with some quality rubber and suspension upgrades.
GT350.JPG


I should have upgraded tires first. But I went about upgrades ass backwards. First upgrade was a DSC tuner, which some other folks on another forum, said was really good out of the box. Well I didn't do my due diligence (I'd like to say it was my kids fault, but I really just dropped the ball). I should have known better, but live and learn. I spent more than a month trying to tune it myself, to no avail. I actually had the controller sent back to DSC, where they supplied me with a new controller. They are a great group to work with, and more than understanding. With the tuner as it sat, the car was wallow-y, like the shocks were basically doing nothing. It was tough to get loose, and tough to get to turn in.

I wasn't making headway with getting the suspension dialed in, and was getting close to throwing the factory controller back on when I discovered M6G and another Mustang forum. After discovering M6G and sleuthing threads for two weeks, I was pointed to @TeeLew to help with the suspension tuning. On top of that, in January 2022 I added some hella sticky Falken 660's (Compared to the rock hard PSS) in 305/30 and 315/30 and got back to the track, with a better car # (trying to channel Ken Miles and his flying GT350R!). The benefit, I moved to upper 1/3 of the autocross event in January 2022. The car could still do way more than I was capable of. The car became very balanced. Sorry I don't have a good photo of the new tires, but they are massive, and an impressive upgrade.

PXL_20220129_193226701.jpg
PXL_20211217_225549927.jpg


One thing to note. While I mention in my opening I am planning to run SST, I have CAMC on my car. At the time I ordered the letters, I didn't understand the SST rules. I believe my car will fit better in SST. I am talking with some track friends that have done nationals before to get their opinion. The foregoing upgrades are progress through January '22. As you can see, "relatively" minor modifications so far have brought me from mid field to upper third by January '22.

Before I wrap this up, I did want to say thank God for my wife. She is an angel. She is the most understanding and easy-going wife in I could have ever asked for. Whether I spend the whole night in the garage, buy something stupid for the car, scouting for elk, or take my bow for a walk on the side of a mountain in Colorado, she has always supported whatever hair-brain idea I have running through my head. I am so thankful for that. Without her, none of this is possible.

Anyways, there is more to come later today or tomorrow, but likely this weekend. Going forward, I have video's of my runs that will be included, and more of a discussion of upgrades done at how the car handles, as well as changes in driving style. Thank you all for following along. If there is more info you want, just reply and I will get it to you.

And a shout out to @DSC Controllers.

 

Muligan

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Welcome to the fun - looking forward to watching you and the car progress.
 

Järn

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Subscribed. I love autocross also...
 

Egparson202

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Awesome to see you embarking on an adventure with your car. Looks like you’re well on your way.
 


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WItoTX

WItoTX

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So to follow up from my first post. After my January 2022 event, based on tire temps and tire wear, it was obvious the front needed more camber on the front, and most likely the rear. I knew the factory set up wouldn’t get my camber to -3 degrees on the front. I had heard guys could get to -2 on the rear, but I had two shops tell me my car had no adjustment left in the rear. If you are in Houston, PM me and I will let you know the shops so you can steer clear.

I had Vorshlag camber plates installed. Unfortunately, I did not take a photo of them before the install. And the install photo doesn’t show much other than they are already maxxed out, at roughly -3 degrees.
1647658921195.png
1647658929611.png


But the results of the camber plates are below. Without widening the top of the strut tower, I was able to get to just about -3 degrees on both sides.
1647658954375.png


I also had the shop put as much camber in the rear with the factory set up as they could, and unfortunately was told they could only get to basically -.09. I don’t think they even tried. The Vorshlag plates are very well made, and definitely a high-quality product. There is no clicking, grinding, or other odd noises coming from the front that I have experienced with cheaper products. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to install camber plates.

Also, I did not install the Vorshlag plates myself, but took them to a shop here in Houston. This was because I do not have a spring press at home, and the janky ones from the auto parts stores just scare the hell out of me, even though I’ve used them before.



So back to the car. February 2022, I ran with SCCA. With the new camber plates, the grip from the front is astonishing. The GT350 is not a light car, but I am able to come into corners with much more of a point and shoot approach, as opposed to having to get the car set up just right to get it around the corner. In addition to the camber plates, I dropped weight. I pulled the subs in the rear seat, pulled the deep cycle battery, and pulled one of the amps. With the DSC tuner, I saw my rear ride height go up 5 mm in the rear. The subs, amp, and rear seat weigh in right at 70 lbs. The battery another 27 lbs. Nothing like 100 lb weight reduction with minimal effort.

The results are exactly what I was looking for. 29th out of 159. Top 20%.
1647658993673.png


Here is a video of that run. As you can see, I left a lot of time out there. Even at that, I was impressed with the newfound responsiveness of the car (My video quality will improve, I promise)


Most of the February event was learning the car with the grip in the front, and weight loss in the rear. While the front gripped extremely well, the rear, at ~-1 degree camber, left a lot on the table. After the February event, I had a better feel for the car, and began researching what to do with the rear of the car. This meant sleuthing M6G again, as well as other forums, for the best options. In the mean time, I left the car alone, and focused on improving my driving. If anyone knows about Texas u turns, they are a good test of grip!

I get to the March event, feeling good about how the car reacts both on the throttle and let off, having found some open parking lots to “practice”. Well that is perfect because this course has a lot of shrinking radius corners that really exacerbated the let off oversteer. I also showed up with water to cool the tires this event, as last time they got pretty warm and I could feel the grip fading. The following video is my “two” best runs. I in the first run, I caught up to the car ahead of me (transmission issues, in a 2022 Caddy CT-5 V). I am certain the 1st run was faster, but I also thought I clipped a cone, so I stopped, for “safety”, and got a rerun.


Well that got me 17th place (of 187), top 9%!
1647659090699.png


Better yet, it got me closer to the competition in CAMC, where I was 2.76 seconds back in February, I was now 1.43 seconds back, and I ended up in third place in CAMC.
1647659105225.png


Eric and Chris who beat me, also share notes with me, so would be lying if I said their advice, tips, and tricks haven’t helped me immensely. Eric also drives a 911 that is an absolute monster, and has been co-driver in an NSX, GT350, GT500, and plenty others I can’t remember. Chris has pulled about 400 lbs out of his car and done a lot of work to the suspension. It’s something to watch it at the track, absolutely planted around corners.

Back to my car. I still had issues with rear grip. So I reached out to my suspension guru, who said my car SHOULD be able to get to -2 degrees rear camber in bone stock format. He also suggested AAD camber arms for the rear, and all my reading and research was leading me towards AAD anyways. So I ordered a set, and waited for their arrival.

In the meantime, I continued weight reduction. I pulled the remaining two amps, the welded brackets and everything that held the amps in place, the crossovers mounted in the rear dash and the controller, and most of the power cable. What I thought would take me two days to do ended up taking an entire week, from pulling panels, labeling wires, organizing wires for future use, and keeping everything from damage so I could sell later. All said and done, I pulled another 60 lbs out of the car. The car had 160+ lbs of audio equipment! The following photo is the result, looking from the drivers side door into the trunk.
1647659135155.png


That has got me caught up to about two weeks ago. Since then, I received my camber arms, and got them installed. I ended up with the AAD camber arms, as well as the vertical link and toe link. First to go on was the camber arms, since I’ve heard and read they are pretty rough to get on without dropping the rear cradle. The AAD system is pretty simple, and I wish I would have took more photos of the various bits. As I said in my first post, I am learning. Basically there is two lockout washers that are offset, so if you are drag racing you can get your camber more vertical, or if you are roadcourse/autox, you can flip them 180 degrees for more camber. These lockout washers go where the camber arm mounts to the subframe, and then you slide the camber arm right in the middle. Then there is a simple dish shaped washer (Sorry, don’t know the technical name) that bolts to the spindle. The camber is then adjusted by loosening the middle bolts, and installing a new shim plate (The silver piece in the following photo) which has the hole drilled in a slightly different spot, left or right depending on if you want to add or remove camber.
1647659149105.png


The set up is pretty slick. While it lacks the infinite adjustability of a threaded type camber adjustment, the arm also doesn’t have threads at point where the arm feels the most bending force. This is just my opinion, but it looks incredibly strong compared to the others I researched. And camber adjustments take maybe 20 minutes from when I start jacking the car until I am climbing in the drivers seat to go for a ride. And with shims, you know exactly where the car will be at before you even set it back down. Here is the arm compared to the factory arm. It is about 2.4 lbs, where as the factory arm was around 5 lbs.
1647659209471.png


So the car went up on jacks, beginning on the driver’s side, started unbolting, easy-peasy. In my head I thought what were all these guys complaining about? This came right out.
1647659229456.png
1647659239459.png


Well I spoke WAY too soon. Getting out was no big deal. 2 hours into trying to get that freaking bolt on with the new camber arm, covered in blood sweat, dirt and grease, with my hand jammed between the bolt and a gas line, the shock, spring, sway bar, ride height sensor, and various brackets removed, I finally got that stupid bolt in! Lesson learned, the drivers side is brutal. Here is the finished install.
1647659267724.png


The passenger side only took an hour, and that was mostly trying to get the top bolt in again. I didn’t have to remove the shock or anything else, and it really was significantly easier without that gas line in the way.

With that, I got the string lines out, and figured out how much I had jacked up the toe, and where I was at with camber.
1647659592375.png


The toe is massively off, at 7mm in both sides (I am looking for 2 mm toe in), the camber was at -2.9 (I wanted approx. -2). So new shim in, and I got it back to -1.8 degrees. Toe still not right. Close enough for now. Here is the final install, without fixing the toe. That will be done once I put the toe arms on. (Yes I could have done them at the same time, but due to time constraints, and my wife wanting her half of the garage back, they are on hold until next week).
1647659288308.png


It's difficult to tell in the photo, but the front is at -3 degrees, and the rear at -1.8. My next autox is April 24, so I have some time where I will install the rear seat delete, vertical links, and toe links.

Finally, I want to give credit to @AADPerformance for an awesome product. The arms and the bearings are tight, and the paint held up perfect even after the beating the drivers side took last night trying to get it in. Not to mention the red looks awesome. And Parker over there has been incredibly helpful with purchasing, and quick delivery. In fact, all their S550 parts are in stock (Except for blue camber arms, which was my first choice), which is rare these days.

I appreciate everyone reading. I will follow up at some point next week with the next bit of install. Many have reached out, and I promise I will respond. Just trying to keep my head above water at work right now.
 

Jbraun2828

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I was able to get -2.5 of rear camber with everything stock. I’m actually going to dial it back to around -2. I have steeda camber plates on the front and I’m maxed out exactly where you are.
 

azshelby350

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Great thread so far! Looking forward to more!
 

JAJ

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So to follow up from my first post. After my January 2022 event, based on tire temps and tire wear, it was obvious the front needed more camber on the front, and most likely the rear. I knew the factory set up wouldn’t get my camber to -3 degrees on the front. I had heard guys could get to -2 on the rear, but I had two shops tell me my car had no adjustment left in the rear. If you are in Houston, PM me and I will let you know the shops so you can steer clear.

I had Vorshlag camber plates installed. Unfortunately, I did not take a photo of them before the install. And the install photo doesn’t show much other than they are already maxxed out, at roughly -3 degrees.
1647658921195.png
1647658929611.png


But the results of the camber plates are below. Without widening the top of the strut tower, I was able to get to just about -3 degrees on both sides.
1647658954375.png


I also had the shop put as much camber in the rear with the factory set up as they could, and unfortunately was told they could only get to basically -.09. I don’t think they even tried. The Vorshlag plates are very well made, and definitely a high-quality product. There is no clicking, grinding, or other odd noises coming from the front that I have experienced with cheaper products. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to install camber plates.

Also, I did not install the Vorshlag plates myself, but took them to a shop here in Houston. This was because I do not have a spring press at home, and the janky ones from the auto parts stores just scare the hell out of me, even though I’ve used them before.



So back to the car. February 2022, I ran with SCCA. With the new camber plates, the grip from the front is astonishing. The GT350 is not a light car, but I am able to come into corners with much more of a point and shoot approach, as opposed to having to get the car set up just right to get it around the corner. In addition to the camber plates, I dropped weight. I pulled the subs in the rear seat, pulled the deep cycle battery, and pulled one of the amps. With the DSC tuner, I saw my rear ride height go up 5 mm in the rear. The subs, amp, and rear seat weigh in right at 70 lbs. The battery another 27 lbs. Nothing like 100 lb weight reduction with minimal effort.

The results are exactly what I was looking for. 29th out of 159. Top 20%.
1647658993673.png


Here is a video of that run. As you can see, I left a lot of time out there. Even at that, I was impressed with the newfound responsiveness of the car (My video quality will improve, I promise)


Most of the February event was learning the car with the grip in the front, and weight loss in the rear. While the front gripped extremely well, the rear, at ~-1 degree camber, left a lot on the table. After the February event, I had a better feel for the car, and began researching what to do with the rear of the car. This meant sleuthing M6G again, as well as other forums, for the best options. In the mean time, I left the car alone, and focused on improving my driving. If anyone knows about Texas u turns, they are a good test of grip!

I get to the March event, feeling good about how the car reacts both on the throttle and let off, having found some open parking lots to “practice”. Well that is perfect because this course has a lot of shrinking radius corners that really exacerbated the let off oversteer. I also showed up with water to cool the tires this event, as last time they got pretty warm and I could feel the grip fading. The following video is my “two” best runs. I in the first run, I caught up to the car ahead of me (transmission issues, in a 2022 Caddy CT-5 V). I am certain the 1st run was faster, but I also thought I clipped a cone, so I stopped, for “safety”, and got a rerun.


Well that got me 17th place (of 187), top 9%!
1647659090699.png


Better yet, it got me closer to the competition in CAMC, where I was 2.76 seconds back in February, I was now 1.43 seconds back, and I ended up in third place in CAMC.
1647659105225.png


Eric and Chris who beat me, also share notes with me, so would be lying if I said their advice, tips, and tricks haven’t helped me immensely. Eric also drives a 911 that is an absolute monster, and has been co-driver in an NSX, GT350, GT500, and plenty others I can’t remember. Chris has pulled about 400 lbs out of his car and done a lot of work to the suspension. It’s something to watch it at the track, absolutely planted around corners.

Back to my car. I still had issues with rear grip. So I reached out to my suspension guru, who said my car SHOULD be able to get to -2 degrees rear camber in bone stock format. He also suggested AAD camber arms for the rear, and all my reading and research was leading me towards AAD anyways. So I ordered a set, and waited for their arrival.

In the meantime, I continued weight reduction. I pulled the remaining two amps, the welded brackets and everything that held the amps in place, the crossovers mounted in the rear dash and the controller, and most of the power cable. What I thought would take me two days to do ended up taking an entire week, from pulling panels, labeling wires, organizing wires for future use, and keeping everything from damage so I could sell later. All said and done, I pulled another 60 lbs out of the car. The car had 160+ lbs of audio equipment! The following photo is the result, looking from the drivers side door into the trunk.
1647659135155.png


That has got me caught up to about two weeks ago. Since then, I received my camber arms, and got them installed. I ended up with the AAD camber arms, as well as the vertical link and toe link. First to go on was the camber arms, since I’ve heard and read they are pretty rough to get on without dropping the rear cradle. The AAD system is pretty simple, and I wish I would have took more photos of the various bits. As I said in my first post, I am learning. Basically there is two lockout washers that are offset, so if you are drag racing you can get your camber more vertical, or if you are roadcourse/autox, you can flip them 180 degrees for more camber. These lockout washers go where the camber arm mounts to the subframe, and then you slide the camber arm right in the middle. Then there is a simple dish shaped washer (Sorry, don’t know the technical name) that bolts to the spindle. The camber is then adjusted by loosening the middle bolts, and installing a new shim plate (The silver piece in the following photo) which has the hole drilled in a slightly different spot, left or right depending on if you want to add or remove camber.
1647659149105.png


The set up is pretty slick. While it lacks the infinite adjustability of a threaded type camber adjustment, the arm also doesn’t have threads at point where the arm feels the most bending force. This is just my opinion, but it looks incredibly strong compared to the others I researched. And camber adjustments take maybe 20 minutes from when I start jacking the car until I am climbing in the drivers seat to go for a ride. And with shims, you know exactly where the car will be at before you even set it back down. Here is the arm compared to the factory arm. It is about 2.4 lbs, where as the factory arm was around 5 lbs.
1647659209471.png


So the car went up on jacks, beginning on the driver’s side, started unbolting, easy-peasy. In my head I thought what were all these guys complaining about? This came right out.
1647659229456.png
1647659239459.png


Well I spoke WAY too soon. Getting out was no big deal. 2 hours into trying to get that freaking bolt on with the new camber arm, covered in blood sweat, dirt and grease, with my hand jammed between the bolt and a gas line, the shock, spring, sway bar, ride height sensor, and various brackets removed, I finally got that stupid bolt in! Lesson learned, the drivers side is brutal. Here is the finished install.
1647659267724.png


The passenger side only took an hour, and that was mostly trying to get the top bolt in again. I didn’t have to remove the shock or anything else, and it really was significantly easier without that gas line in the way.

With that, I got the string lines out, and figured out how much I had jacked up the toe, and where I was at with camber.
1647659592375.png


The toe is massively off, at 7mm in both sides (I am looking for 2 mm toe in), the camber was at -2.9 (I wanted approx. -2). So new shim in, and I got it back to -1.8 degrees. Toe still not right. Close enough for now. Here is the final install, without fixing the toe. That will be done once I put the toe arms on. (Yes I could have done them at the same time, but due to time constraints, and my wife wanting her half of the garage back, they are on hold until next week).
1647659288308.png


It's difficult to tell in the photo, but the front is at -3 degrees, and the rear at -1.8. My next autox is April 24, so I have some time where I will install the rear seat delete, vertical links, and toe links.

Finally, I want to give credit to @AADPerformance for an awesome product. The arms and the bearings are tight, and the paint held up perfect even after the beating the drivers side took last night trying to get it in. Not to mention the red looks awesome. And Parker over there has been incredibly helpful with purchasing, and quick delivery. In fact, all their S550 parts are in stock (Except for blue camber arms, which was my first choice), which is rare these days.

I appreciate everyone reading. I will follow up at some point next week with the next bit of install. Many have reached out, and I promise I will respond. Just trying to keep my head above water at work right now.
Just a heads up - the rear toe and camber interact. Expect your camber to change when the toe gets fixed. They need to be adjusted together if you want an accurate setup.
 

BadHabit2Break

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Great thread. Glad to see another local SCCA person in Houston.

I missed the February meet, but was there for March. I also have a 2017 GT350 in white with blue stripes. #72 is my number.
 

Tomster

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Very nice writeup. I share in your frustration with the rear camber. I think your solution is best for the easiest adjustment. That shop that told you rear camber isn't adjustable is just either stupid or lazy. I still have the factory parts and adjustment can be accomplished, but it is not as easy as your solution.

Well done.
 

AAD Performance

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Ya the Driver side camber arm is a pain, good thing you'll only ever have to touch it that one time, another benefit of the tab adjustment system, look forward to seeing you cut them track times down even further!

For those looking for blue (we're supposed to have already had our next batch of blue) our anodize guys have been held up with other customers so its slightly delayed, but were looking at sending another 50 full sets of S550 stuff for blue. So they will be very limited again


Thanks again for the support kyle!

-Graham
 

Bluelightning

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So to follow up from my first post. After my January 2022 event, based on tire temps and tire wear, it was obvious the front needed more camber on the front, and most likely the rear. I knew the factory set up wouldn’t get my camber to -3 degrees on the front. I had heard guys could get to -2 on the rear, but I had two shops tell me my car had no adjustment left in the rear. If you are in Houston, PM me and I will let you know the shops so you can steer clear.

I had Vorshlag camber plates installed. Unfortunately, I did not take a photo of them before the install. And the install photo doesn’t show much other than they are already maxxed out, at roughly -3 degrees.
1647658921195.png
1647658929611.png


But the results of the camber plates are below. Without widening the top of the strut tower, I was able to get to just about -3 degrees on both sides.
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I also had the shop put as much camber in the rear with the factory set up as they could, and unfortunately was told they could only get to basically -.09. I don’t think they even tried. The Vorshlag plates are very well made, and definitely a high-quality product. There is no clicking, grinding, or other odd noises coming from the front that I have experienced with cheaper products. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to install camber plates.

Also, I did not install the Vorshlag plates myself, but took them to a shop here in Houston. This was because I do not have a spring press at home, and the janky ones from the auto parts stores just scare the hell out of me, even though I’ve used them before.



So back to the car. February 2022, I ran with SCCA. With the new camber plates, the grip from the front is astonishing. The GT350 is not a light car, but I am able to come into corners with much more of a point and shoot approach, as opposed to having to get the car set up just right to get it around the corner. In addition to the camber plates, I dropped weight. I pulled the subs in the rear seat, pulled the deep cycle battery, and pulled one of the amps. With the DSC tuner, I saw my rear ride height go up 5 mm in the rear. The subs, amp, and rear seat weigh in right at 70 lbs. The battery another 27 lbs. Nothing like 100 lb weight reduction with minimal effort.

The results are exactly what I was looking for. 29th out of 159. Top 20%.
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Here is a video of that run. As you can see, I left a lot of time out there. Even at that, I was impressed with the newfound responsiveness of the car (My video quality will improve, I promise)


Most of the February event was learning the car with the grip in the front, and weight loss in the rear. While the front gripped extremely well, the rear, at ~-1 degree camber, left a lot on the table. After the February event, I had a better feel for the car, and began researching what to do with the rear of the car. This meant sleuthing M6G again, as well as other forums, for the best options. In the mean time, I left the car alone, and focused on improving my driving. If anyone knows about Texas u turns, they are a good test of grip!

I get to the March event, feeling good about how the car reacts both on the throttle and let off, having found some open parking lots to “practice”. Well that is perfect because this course has a lot of shrinking radius corners that really exacerbated the let off oversteer. I also showed up with water to cool the tires this event, as last time they got pretty warm and I could feel the grip fading. The following video is my “two” best runs. I in the first run, I caught up to the car ahead of me (transmission issues, in a 2022 Caddy CT-5 V). I am certain the 1st run was faster, but I also thought I clipped a cone, so I stopped, for “safety”, and got a rerun.


Well that got me 17th place (of 187), top 9%!
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Better yet, it got me closer to the competition in CAMC, where I was 2.76 seconds back in February, I was now 1.43 seconds back, and I ended up in third place in CAMC.
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Eric and Chris who beat me, also share notes with me, so would be lying if I said their advice, tips, and tricks haven’t helped me immensely. Eric also drives a 911 that is an absolute monster, and has been co-driver in an NSX, GT350, GT500, and plenty others I can’t remember. Chris has pulled about 400 lbs out of his car and done a lot of work to the suspension. It’s something to watch it at the track, absolutely planted around corners.

Back to my car. I still had issues with rear grip. So I reached out to my suspension guru, who said my car SHOULD be able to get to -2 degrees rear camber in bone stock format. He also suggested AAD camber arms for the rear, and all my reading and research was leading me towards AAD anyways. So I ordered a set, and waited for their arrival.

In the meantime, I continued weight reduction. I pulled the remaining two amps, the welded brackets and everything that held the amps in place, the crossovers mounted in the rear dash and the controller, and most of the power cable. What I thought would take me two days to do ended up taking an entire week, from pulling panels, labeling wires, organizing wires for future use, and keeping everything from damage so I could sell later. All said and done, I pulled another 60 lbs out of the car. The car had 160+ lbs of audio equipment! The following photo is the result, looking from the drivers side door into the trunk.
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That has got me caught up to about two weeks ago. Since then, I received my camber arms, and got them installed. I ended up with the AAD camber arms, as well as the vertical link and toe link. First to go on was the camber arms, since I’ve heard and read they are pretty rough to get on without dropping the rear cradle. The AAD system is pretty simple, and I wish I would have took more photos of the various bits. As I said in my first post, I am learning. Basically there is two lockout washers that are offset, so if you are drag racing you can get your camber more vertical, or if you are roadcourse/autox, you can flip them 180 degrees for more camber. These lockout washers go where the camber arm mounts to the subframe, and then you slide the camber arm right in the middle. Then there is a simple dish shaped washer (Sorry, don’t know the technical name) that bolts to the spindle. The camber is then adjusted by loosening the middle bolts, and installing a new shim plate (The silver piece in the following photo) which has the hole drilled in a slightly different spot, left or right depending on if you want to add or remove camber.
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The set up is pretty slick. While it lacks the infinite adjustability of a threaded type camber adjustment, the arm also doesn’t have threads at point where the arm feels the most bending force. This is just my opinion, but it looks incredibly strong compared to the others I researched. And camber adjustments take maybe 20 minutes from when I start jacking the car until I am climbing in the drivers seat to go for a ride. And with shims, you know exactly where the car will be at before you even set it back down. Here is the arm compared to the factory arm. It is about 2.4 lbs, where as the factory arm was around 5 lbs.
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So the car went up on jacks, beginning on the driver’s side, started unbolting, easy-peasy. In my head I thought what were all these guys complaining about? This came right out.
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Well I spoke WAY too soon. Getting out was no big deal. 2 hours into trying to get that freaking bolt on with the new camber arm, covered in blood sweat, dirt and grease, with my hand jammed between the bolt and a gas line, the shock, spring, sway bar, ride height sensor, and various brackets removed, I finally got that stupid bolt in! Lesson learned, the drivers side is brutal. Here is the finished install.
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The passenger side only took an hour, and that was mostly trying to get the top bolt in again. I didn’t have to remove the shock or anything else, and it really was significantly easier without that gas line in the way.

With that, I got the string lines out, and figured out how much I had jacked up the toe, and where I was at with camber.
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The toe is massively off, at 7mm in both sides (I am looking for 2 mm toe in), the camber was at -2.9 (I wanted approx. -2). So new shim in, and I got it back to -1.8 degrees. Toe still not right. Close enough for now. Here is the final install, without fixing the toe. That will be done once I put the toe arms on. (Yes I could have done them at the same time, but due to time constraints, and my wife wanting her half of the garage back, they are on hold until next week).
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It's difficult to tell in the photo, but the front is at -3 degrees, and the rear at -1.8. My next autox is April 24, so I have some time where I will install the rear seat delete, vertical links, and toe links.

Finally, I want to give credit to @AADPerformance for an awesome product. The arms and the bearings are tight, and the paint held up perfect even after the beating the drivers side took last night trying to get it in. Not to mention the red looks awesome. And Parker over there has been incredibly helpful with purchasing, and quick delivery. In fact, all their S550 parts are in stock (Except for blue camber arms, which was my first choice), which is rare these days.

I appreciate everyone reading. I will follow up at some point next week with the next bit of install. Many have reached out, and I promise I will respond. Just trying to keep my head above water at work right now.
If you're in Houston, Juan at BFS can get the alignment done right.
 

Tomster

Beware of idiots
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If I may add, the strut nut should not contact the strut tower. You need to leave a small amount of room otherwise it will contact the inside portion and rub.
 

 
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