S550 Torture Test Complete: 5 days, 2k Miles, 10k Feet Mountain Passes, 10hrs "Track", 4hrs @ 120mph

Discussion in 'Mustang S550 General Forums' started by Roadway 5.0, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. Roadway 5.0

    Roadway 5.0 Strassejager

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    #1 Roadway 5.0, Nov 12, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
    Did my 2016 Mustang GT PP 6MT survive? Short answer, yes! ...but something didn't make it

    Last summer I decided to do an "Alpine Tour" that spanned four countries (Germany, Austria, Italy & Switzerland), 2000 miles, and covered the Alps' five best roads: Austria's Grossglockner, Austria's Hahntennjoch, Italy's Stelvio Pass, and Switzerland's Furka and Susten Passes.

    I wasn't sure how the Mustang would hold up, frankly. While I know Ford's engineers battle-tested the S550 (as seen on Netflix's "A Faster Horse"), I wasn't sure if their testers mashed the Mustang like how I was planning. In my route I would drive on Germany's Autobahns, drive upwards of 10,000 feet on Italy's Stelvio Pass, and essentially "track" the car for over 10 hours on the twistiest roads in the Alps. Either way, the show had to go on, and here is my feedback on how the S550 did:

    120mph for 4hrs: The S550's engine handles speed well for long distances. I had zero temperature issues, misfires, or oddities when stopping for fuel and starting the engine again after long pulls. To note: my engine is bone stock (even the air filter). The chassis, on mine improved greatly via suspension modifications (see signature), enjoyed going fast and taking turns at 120+mph. I admit, the bone stock S550 gets a bit nervous on large bends at these sorts of speeds, but a touch of modification goes a long way. A front splitter, installed just before the drive, really helped keep the steering heavy and responsive; anything over 110 or so, in stock form, had the handling a bit floaty.

    2000 Miles in 5 Days: the S550 has zero issues here as well. Not once did the engine not start on the first push, nor did the car sputter at all. The Steeda dampers retained their effect, and all of the fluids (trans/rear OEM; oil Castol Edge) did their job flawlessly.

    10hrs "Track": I have track in quotes as I didn't hit dedicated racetracks; I hit the five Alpine Roads as mentioned above. Either way, these bits of road are indicative of a track setting, and REALLY test the brakes when approaching a downhill hairpin turn at speed. The S550 again impressed, and had zero mechanical issues. The OEM PP brakes and pads never faded (I used a good deal of engine braking fyi), the fluids did their job, the manual transmission shifted flawlessly (it seems to get better with heat), and the car really dug all of the twists and turns with the beefed-up suspension. I've driven these roads with the OEM PP suspension as well and had no issues (just went a bit slower).

    Altitude (up to 10k feet): here is where the S550 did lack a bit. The weight of the car really showed itself when hitting the steep grades of these mountain roads (especially the Stelvio Pass). Pair the weight with the OEM low-torque-at-low-RPM-tune and the car struggled a bit in 2nd gear on the exiting apex. Yes, the aftermarket can fix this easily; I've just shied away from 93 tunes, for now, as my endurance runs often take me to places where 93 isn't always readily available (ala Romania, Hungary, & Czech Republic).

    So what didn't stand up to the test? The factory Pirellis. I had about 8k miles on them when I left, with nice tread, but the intensity of the 2000 mile trip turned these tires into rubber paper weights. I suppose I can't knock the tires too much; the amount of heat and grip used was well out of spec for what most PP GTs see. Either way, it's time for new tires.

    So that wraps up my torture test. Other than tires and stopping to refuel often, the S550 Mustang is awesome for this sort of driving and was damn comfortable while doing so (love the a/c seats!!!). If you've done some torture testing yourself please post up and let me know how your car did; I'm very interested to hear if someone in a GT350 or 2018+ GT has undertaken such a trip and how they did.

    On a side note: if you're interested to see some of the roads I drove during my Alpine Tour, you can check out my YouTube channel. Below is my most recent video/road review of Austria's Hahntennjoch. Have a good one,

    - Mike


     
  2. rayban1

    rayban1 Rayban1

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    Cool post Mike, 4 hrs at 120 mph, makes me jealous. I'm lucky to get 4 seconds when i'm driving in Mexico. What kind of tires are you thinking of going with.....
     
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  3. OP
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    Roadway 5.0

    Roadway 5.0 Strassejager

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    Thanks bud. I’m strongly leaning towards the Michelin PS4Ses, though I’m still lurking for an underdog that would excel in endurance drives at a lower price point. Any recommendations?
     
  4. Faceme

    Faceme MOCJ JAPAN

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    awesome! sounds like alot of fun. Honestly, this was a piece of cake for the 5.0. These things havee sooo much more potential.
     
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  5. rayban1

    rayban1 Rayban1

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    Michelin PS4S great choice, I am running Michelin PS3AS Plus.
     
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  6. sdiver68

    sdiver68 Well-Known Member

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    Both great choices, I have both...AS3+ are my winter tire. Got the first test in slushy conditions yesterday. 70 in the left lane not a hint of nervousness. In the dry they feel responsive not soft like most A/S.
     
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  7. DrGrabster

    DrGrabster UK Member

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    At altitude I wonder if the Ecoboost might show the GT a clean pair of heels.
     
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  8. BmacIL

    BmacIL Enginerd

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    PS4S is probably the best performing tire in the non-track summers. That said, I'd strongly consider the Continental ExtremeContact Sport.
     
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  9. 2morrow

    2morrow DesignR/DriveR/RiceEatR

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    Wow Mike, That's a helluva test for both car and driver!
     
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  10. NoVaGT

    NoVaGT Well-Known Member

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    Firestsone Firehawk Indy 500s. Read the reviews on Tirerack.com. Absolutely the best value, and amazing in the wet. Good ride, very sticky.

    Of course I have no idea if you can get them in Europe.
     
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  11. Hack

    Hack Well-Known Member

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    Especially at part throttle.
     
  12. EcoVert

    EcoVert Well-Known Member

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    Everything worked with out a problem and nothing overheated :ninja: :rockon:
     
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  13. NoVaGT

    NoVaGT Well-Known Member

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    I do get a laugh out of even mentioning all of that. The temps, starting, etc. Yes, cars work now, even Mustangs.

    And really, it was just a nice 5 days driving through the mountains, with a blast on the Autobahn for 4 hours. You can do that in lots of places, except for the Autobahn part. Hell, you can drive up to 14K+ feet in Colorado.

    I hope you had fun OP, I bet it was an extremely beautiful and fun drive. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
     
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  14. OP
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    Roadway 5.0

    Roadway 5.0 Strassejager

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    Thanks brother!

    Drive to the Stelvio Pass, from the Swiss side, and we’ll reengage this conversation.
     
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  15. Weasel1

    Weasel1 Well-Known Member

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    ...Mexico........yeah ok.......
     
  16. DrGrabster

    DrGrabster UK Member

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    I've done it in a motorhome!
     
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  17. Bull Run

    Bull Run Well-Known Member

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    Great write up! I went with Steeda Ultralite springs and Pro Action dampers after reading one of your reviews and they sure are great on the twisties.
     
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  18. OP
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    Roadway 5.0

    Roadway 5.0 Strassejager

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    That is pure insanity and awesomeness!!! I really can’t imaginge; that road leading to the Stelvio (Umbrail Pass I believe) was SO thin and the drop-offs were like peering off the top of the Empire State Building. Well done!

    Glad you like them @Bull Run! This setup was perfect for this trip and you’re right: great in the twisties!
     
  19. RaceHorseV8

    RaceHorseV8 Active Member

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    Thanks for the nice write up. I would add a second vote for the Firestsone Firehawk Indy 500s. I've had them on 2 mustangs and they are a great tire, especially in the wet. Slightly better wear rating than the PS4S. Not an extreme track tire but checks most of the boxes for an excellent road tire and the price for 275 35 19 is almost half as much as the PS4S. Not knocking the PS4S as I have them on my 19 GT and like them a lot.
     
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  20. RaceRed5.0

    RaceRed5.0 Well-Known Member

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    Haha for 120 mph for 4 hours + a 2000 mile trip through hills and mountains your going to be losing your tires really almost no matter what tires your using. Haha

    That is pretty awesome trip though I would love to do something like that one day here in the States.
     
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