Mach 1 as a dual purpose street-track car (DE)

VictorH

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Thoughts on the Mach 1 as a dual purpose street-track car (DE)


Street, everyone has their preferences, I think it’s a really quite comfortable street car, but not really intending to discuss this in any detail.


Track impressions based on the following.

Mach 1 with Handling Package, 6-speed Tremec

Still running Michelin Cup 2, start my day at 28 psi cold (usually 33-34 psi hot coming off track, with equal temps all-around)

Suspension, -2.5 degrees camber front, zero toe, -1.7 degrees camber rear with 0.2 toe in. (could use more front negative camber but stock plates only go to -2.5)

Modifications

AAD vertical links

Kelltrac IRS sub-frame lock-out kit

BMR adjustable rear camber arms with derlin bushings and lock out box

Ford Performance Toe arm bushings

J&M Front Tension arm mono-ball

PFC V3 Front and Rear Rotors

Pagid RSL-29 pads front and rear

PFC 665 brake fluid


So far have run Road Atlanta and VIR, total 3 days both tracks.

First impressions, it’s a pretty big car, but the size shrinks a bit on track. Nonetheless, it’s still easy to place accurately in the corners. The steering feel could be a lot better but the mono-ball front tension arms have helped quite a bit. I can feel the road surface now through the steering wheel.

The initial turn-in and bite on corner entry is really good with high levels of grip. On faster corners it’s easy to induce understeer if you come in a bit too hot, but the feedback is good so you feel it right away. Mid-corner is also very nice and neutral. Despite the somewhat soft springs (more on that later) the car corners very flat. I’ve seen track photos of my car fully loaded in the corner and it’s really quite flat in relatively stock form. Corner exit is another place where the car is better than expected. The rear grip is quite high. I have never gotten the rear end really loose except once during a pretty rainy session. No surprise there. In theory, particularly with the weight distribution F:R of the Mustang you wouldn’t think you have so much available rear grip but it’s pretty impressive.

Springs. The car is a bit “soft” for full-on track use. This is where you can easily convert your car from pretty good on street to terrible. Sure people will say, “I run 550 lb springs in front and 1,000 in back and the ride is still really good.” I’ve done that too, but when you take that car and put it back to stock you see how huge the difference really is. Anyway, saying that it’s soft is true and how it manifests is two ways. Number 1; transitions. Now, it’s a big heavy car and right to left transitions are always going to be a bit lumbering as that’s a lot of weight to move from one direction to another. However, number 2, where I felt it most was when the car is unweighted. In my prior, much more track focused car, when you reached a crest you felt the top right away, you were up, then you were down. The Mach 1 is more like riding a wave. You climb up to the crest of the wave, the top is a bit flat, meaning the car feels like “you’re at the summit” for a while and then you come down. The peak and valley of the unweighting and then back to flat process is more gradual and indistinct. Not really a bad thing but takes a bit of getting used to if you are accustomed to a more track-focused car.


Gearing- Probably not as big an issue as it could be. I have learned to use the torque of the car and leave it in a higher gear. Second gear is too short for anything but the very slowest corners. Third gear is really strong, but I’d really like it if it topped out at 105mph. I have learned though, you really don’t need to row as many gears as you might think because the engine is so good and the low-end torque is good enough to pull you out. Every gear change while on power is time lost so fewer changes are better and less wear on the car as well.


Brakes: In stock form they are really good, but with better, light weight rotors and real endurance race pads the braking is really outstanding. The car will generate more than 1.4g of braking force and they are consistent, predictable and absolutely no fade at all. Really like the brake set up a lot, it’s even better than my old car with a PFC 4 piston aftermarket track kit. I know the rear calipers are ugly, but they work. I think perhaps a more aggressive rear pad could be added if you wanted a bit more bite for rotation while trail braking. I might try that as I don’t think the rear brakes are working very hard at all based on the very minimal pad wear I’m seeing. I suspect more rear brake bias would be nice but then you’re talking about something aftermarket or maybe the GT350 rear brakes (not really a simple conversion).


Overall, it’s an impressive car and very track capable. We’ll see how good the cooling systems are once we get really-hot weather here. With 60-70s temps there is no issue whatsoever, with engine, trans or diff.


Other comments:

The car, at least with Cup2s needs a bit more negative camber. I think -3.5 up front and -2.0 in the rear is probably optimal for track. I will change my camber for street use (and probably need to adjust toe too), the front is easy, I guess I’ll see how the rear tire wear is before going to the more challenging issue of switching rear camber back and forth from street to track. My next set of tires (mine are by no means worn out yet), will be a set of the Goodyear Supercar 3s (currently out of stock until June). The 3R is in stock everywhere but it’s a 100 treadwear and evidently only good for one full weekend at most.

The motor is really good. It’s really quiet though, all the noise comes from the exhaust, and it’s pretty loud. Haven’t run any tracks with noise db limits but I wonder if it would pass at the tougher ones.

The gas tank is too small. Two full-on sessions is all you will get out of the tank if you are really running at max before you get the low fuel warning.

Those are my thoughts. For the money, it’s a really excellent, all-around car. You can absolutely stomp at the track, then peel off your numbers, roll up the windows, turn on the AC and stereo and head home. Nothing beats that! No trailers for me!

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Great write up!
 

Rael

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Agreed. Thank you.
(The blue painters tape on the front end--is that a transponder?)
 

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The SC3 tires are fantastic, hard to find another tire with a 220 TW that performs like they do. The only issue I found was heat tolerance, especially if you are pushing hard for the full session. Its easy to cook them. Definitely have to learn to manage them later in the session.
 
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VictorH

VictorH

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(The blue painters tape on the front end--is that a transponder?)
[/QUOTE]
No transponder, the painters tape is to keep the tow hook cover from flapping around. Just taped it to the front bumper.
 
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VictorH

VictorH

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This might be common knowledge but I just changed my transmission oil and diff oil today. The transmission oil is actually pink ATF. It's thin like ATF. I guess this is for mileage.
Replaced the fluid with something more oriented for manual trans and it now shifts a bit smoother and nicer. Just an FYI if you have manual trans and wondering what you can do to make the cold and warm shifts a bit less notchy.
 

Epiphany

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I like to disassemble things.
VictorH said:
The gas tank is too small. Two full-on sessions is all you will get out of the tank if you are really running at max before you get the low fuel warning.
That's twice as good as what you see in a GT500...
 

murick

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This might be common knowledge but I just changed my transmission oil and diff oil today. The transmission oil is actually pink ATF. It's thin like ATF. I guess this is for mileage.
Not that common as far as I can tell. When I broke my trans cooler to the point it started leaking the fluid, not a one from the other Mustang owners nearby was considering it being oil (me included, though I did know nothing at that time :)). Most were speculating it was a coolant, because it was, as you noted, very thin, almost non oily, and pink.
Only after I brought the car to the shop, they, after some research, confirmed that it was indeed an oil cooler and the oil that was leaking. Now I am waiting for the cooler, which seems to be hard to get.
 

MLO 351

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(The blue painters tape on the front end--is that a transponder?)
No transponder, the painters tape is to keep the tow hook cover from flapping around. Just taped it to the front bumper.
[/QUOTE]

Out of curiosity are you running on track with Traction Control and ESC On / Off?
 
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VictorH

VictorH

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I'm just running whatever "Track" mode gives you. No other adjustments. I don't find the system intrusive, never see any dash lights blinking at me, and seems to just stay in the background where I like it, and it permits a bit of a slip angle without intervening.
 

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I've had 6 track days so far, 2 in January on 265/285 PS4S because it was cold and the rest on the cup 2's, all at Sebring.

After the first 2 track days, decided a bit less roll and dive would be nice and fitted Steeda's dual rate springs, those worked out really great for both the track and street. Also added sway bar drop links, rear camber and toe arms. Aligned -2.5f & 0 toe, -1.5r & 0.3 toe, tire wear on the track has been OK but like you, probably could use a bit more camber for the track.

Started out with 2 piece rotors up front, Hawk DTC60f/DTC30r pads. Rear pads toasted the rotors and pads, went to a 2 piece rotor in the back and DTC70f/DTC60r, worked OK but wore out kinda quick. For our last track day, added Vorshlag front brake deflectors and G-Loc R12f/R10r. Great bite, but I haven't pulled the pads yet to see how these survived our 3, 25 minute sessions yet.

Also added the Schroth quickfit pro harnesses early on which are really nice at holding you in since we have the comfort leather seats. 10R80 trans which works nice on the track.

We burn 9.5-10.5 gallons during a 25 minute session.
 

shogun32

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We burn 9.5-10.5 gallons during a 25 minute session.
eek! does that mean you bring a 50 gallon barrel with you on the trailer or you pay whatever the asking is for on-site fuel? At places like VIR there are no gas stations nearby at all. But maybe the on-prem Sunoco isn't priced to the moon? I've never checked because 2 5 gallon jugs covers an entire day on my SV650...
 

Knockdown

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eek! does that mean you bring a 50 gallon barrel with you on the trailer or you pay whatever the asking is for on-site fuel? At places like VIR there are no gas stations nearby at all. But maybe the on-prem Sunoco isn't priced to the moon? I've never checked because 2 5 gallon jugs covers an entire day on my SV650...
Fortunately, there are gas stations near by Sebring so it’s no problem at this track.
 

WCRookie99

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Agree with everything you said. Mostly taking weight out of the car is huge without making it look 👀 chopped up.
 
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VictorH

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Agree with everything you said. Mostly taking weight out of the car is huge without making it look 👀 chopped up.
What did you do for weight reduction? My plan is to maintain 100% street-ability but would consider some weight reduction that's not too much of a compromise.
 

 
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