TicTocTach's 2018 EB Premium PP "Build" Thread

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TicTocTach

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Wheel spacers for the 19x11 setup ordered today.

In a plot twist, I also ordered camber plates in anticipation of not being able to get the alignment I need with the 11" wheels and 305 tires.

Camber plates will put me into the non-stock AutoX classes, but I'm having less heartburn over that now than I was in the beginning. It takes a huge effort to really extract the best performance from the stock suspension, and I really want to end up with a great driving car more than a great race car that I can drive to work. I may never be competitive in CAM-C, but I can do whatever I want with my car and fit in there just fine.

More on these items as they come in.





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Wheel spacers for the 19x11 setup ordered today.

In a plot twist, I also ordered camber plates in anticipation of not being able to get the alignment I need with the 11" wheels and 305 tires.

Camber plates will put me into the non-stock AutoX classes, but I'm having less heartburn over that now than I was in the beginning. It takes a huge effort to really extract the best performance from the stock suspension, and I really want to end up with a great driving car more than a great race car that I can drive to work. I may never be competitive in CAM-C, but I can do whatever I want with my car and fit in there just fine.

More on these items as they come in.
Good call!
 
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On Sunday, I spent a little time on the car, testing how the 11" SVE GT-7 wheels are going to fit next to the strut with the 25mm spacer that is needed to use the same wheel front and rear. This lets me rotate the tires front to rear and get a little more life out of an expensive 305/30-19 tire. It was a pretty simple operation - up on jack stands, pull a wheel, pop the spacer on, and measure the gap between the wheel lip and the strut. Pics:

The GT350R wheel studs are plenty long for the extra 25mm spacer...
50261241846_4efe7da587_c.jpg
Spacer and 11” Wheel Fitment -01 by clair_davis, on Flickr

Hub-centric spacer from Optimum Performance installed:
50260583643_38d0556c1e_c.jpg
Spacer and 11” Wheel Fitment -02 by clair_davis, on Flickr
50260583653_555c8e3627_c.jpg
Spacer and 11” Wheel Fitment -03 by clair_davis, on Flickr

Plenty of clearance:
50261241946_3cb1810ec5_c.jpg
Spacer and 11” Wheel Fitment -04 by clair_davis, on Flickr

How much clearance? 11.69mm... enough that I'm going to order a 20mm spacer and see if that one will also work as well, tucking the tire and wheel under the fender a little bit better.
50261433887_96d8dc3c41_c.jpg
Spacer and 11” Wheel Fitment -05 by clair_davis, on Flickr

At full droop and the suspension unloaded, the wheel is about 3/4 of an inch outside the fender.
50261433837_710363d730_c.jpg
Spacer and 11” Wheel Fitment -07 by clair_davis, on Flickr

It will draw up under the fender a bunch with the full weight on the car, but it will still need a chunk more negative camber. This not only pulls the top of the tire in a bit more, but also gives more lateral grip when cornering, a win-win. I'll document that operation when I get the parts lined up.
 

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On Sunday, I spent a little time on the car, testing how the 11" SVE GT-7 wheels are going to fit next to the strut with the 25mm spacer that is needed to use the same wheel front and rear. This lets me rotate the tires front to rear and get a little more life out of an expensive 305/30-19 tire. It was a pretty simple operation - up on jack stands, pull a wheel, pop the spacer on, and measure the gap between the wheel lip and the strut. Pics:

The GT350R wheel studs are plenty long for the extra 25mm spacer...
50261241846_4efe7da587_c.jpg
Spacer and 11” Wheel Fitment -01 by clair_davis, on Flickr

Hub-centric spacer from Optimum Performance installed:
50260583643_38d0556c1e_c.jpg
Spacer and 11” Wheel Fitment -02 by clair_davis, on Flickr
50260583653_555c8e3627_c.jpg
Spacer and 11” Wheel Fitment -03 by clair_davis, on Flickr

Plenty of clearance:
50261241946_3cb1810ec5_c.jpg
Spacer and 11” Wheel Fitment -04 by clair_davis, on Flickr

How much clearance? 11.69mm... enough that I'm going to order a 20mm spacer and see if that one will also work as well, tucking the tire and wheel under the fender a little bit better.
50261433887_96d8dc3c41_c.jpg
Spacer and 11” Wheel Fitment -05 by clair_davis, on Flickr

At full droop and the suspension unloaded, the wheel is about 3/4 of an inch outside the fender.
50261433837_710363d730_c.jpg
Spacer and 11” Wheel Fitment -07 by clair_davis, on Flickr

It will draw up under the fender a bunch with the full weight on the car, but it will still need a chunk more negative camber. This not only pulls the top of the tire in a bit more, but also gives more lateral grip when cornering, a win-win. I'll document that operation when I get the parts lined up.
Need more camber!
 
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Need more camber!
I thought about trying the camber bolts I bought a while ago just to see, but I know I'm going to end up with the camber plates anyway... Since they're single-use bolts, it's a shame to throw them away just for shits n giggles. I'll have an appointment set up at the alignment shop as soon as I can get the plates installed.
 

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I thought about trying the camber bolts I bought a while ago just to see, but I know I'm going to end up with the camber plates anyway... Since they're single-use bolts, it's a shame to throw them away just for shits n giggles. I'll have an appointment set up at the alignment shop as soon as I can get the plates installed.
The plates and the resulting alignment will pull the top of the tire in. Base on your clearance, 20 mm spacers would still be a good idea.
 
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Confirmed today that the 20mm spacers leave a fat 1/4" clearance to the strut, so I'm going to start out with those when I get the 305 project going.

I had the front wheels off to swap out my grille - a project that has been waiting for months - and to install the PP2 splitter that I picked up a couple weeks ago. Having the nose off the car was going to help both projects, so off it came.
50336526758_786af3344b_c.jpg
Grille and Splitter Install -01 by clair_davis, on Flickr

The grille is the Bullitt-style plain unit found on eBay for $130 or so, and the goal was to get rid of the pony in the center. I bought the grille over a year ago, and had some special badges made by a local shop I found on Etsy. These are a slightly tweaked version of the Terlingua Racing Team jackrabbit The badges are cut from 14ga steel and powder coated, so simple and specific, but pretty obscure as well. Really like how they turned out. I did the trunk finish panel swap a while ago:
50239418537_4f92afa650_c.jpg
Terlingua Trunk by clair_davis, on Flickr

After popping the original grille out using some nylon trim tools and my thumbs, I dropped the new grille in place and snapped it down to the original tabs. Everything lined up well and proceeded as expected, but it took some real force to push the tabs through the holes in the grille.
50336526643_3204035a16_c.jpg
Grille and Splitter Install -02 by clair_davis, on Flickr
50337373177_e603227e62_c.jpg
Grille and Splitter Install -04 by clair_davis, on Flickr

After the grill was taken care of, I started on the splitter by removing the stock lower air dam. The goal was to fit that to the PP2 splitter so I could mark where any holes had to be drilled, etc. Pretty straight forward removal, but there are a mix of trim clips and screws holding it in place:
50336526703_0a4c538fc5_c.jpg
Grille and Splitter Install -05 by clair_davis, on Flickr

Unfortunately, it appears that the EBPP and GTPP don't use the same lower air dam piece, or perhaps the PP2 lower air dam is unique. I'm not sure which it is right now, beyond that the EBPP does NOT fit. It's obvious once you look at a GTPP lower next to an EBPP - the GT has a flat surface on top that the EBPP does not, and the leading edge is just a different shape that doesn't match the PP2 splitter:
50337373272_474a798de7_c.jpg
Grille and Splitter Install -07 by clair_davis, on Flickr

After that project took a dump, it was time to put everything back together again and be happy with the progress I made. Overall, I'm really happy to have my Terlingua Racing tribute complete, and at least have a path forward on the splitter project. Here's the finished grille:
50337214926_709e1e7c63_c.jpg
Grille and Splitter Install -09 by clair_davis, on Flickr
50336526553_f0d5904856_c.jpg
Grille and Splitter Install -10 by clair_davis, on Flickr
50337215031_285c77f251_c.jpg
Grille and Splitter Install -14 by clair_davis, on Flickr

Enough for now...
 
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I figured that if I'm gonna do camber plates to get the alignment I need for the 19x11 + 305/30 combo, I'm 75% of the way to a spring upgrade soooo... a set of GT350R springs arrived today courtesy of @TRAC WPN. Thanks, man!

For reference, the PN's of these springs are:

Front (L&R) - FR3Z-5310-M [tag = FR3V-5310-RB]
Rear (L) - FR3Z-5560-X [tag = FR3V-5B859-ME]
Rear (R) - FR3Z-5560-W [tag = FR3V-5560-ME]

Different PN's for the rear springs due to the Magneride requirements for counter-wound springs. Not sure why that's not a deal on the front, but whatever. My only concern is that the stock Performance Package Magneride tuning may not be fully up to the GT350R spring rates. We'll see how this goes.

The goal is for a spring rate upgrade with a very minimal drop, and the R springs should do the trick. My car is slightly heavier than a R (sadly), so I'm expecting the final ride height to be about the same as the R. That's probably as low as I can go without rubbing the stock splitter on the driveway every day.

The PP2 splitter may be a no-go after I get the springs installed, so that project is on hold for a bit longer. I do have all the rest of the parts for the PP2 install short of the GT PP1 splitter, so that's ready to go if everything works out.
 
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After searching here and on the Vorshlag site, I was able to confirm that the PP1 splitter is the part needed to adapt the larger PP2 splitter to my car. The PP1 splitter is already larger than the base GT / Ecoboost splitter, so that may be a challenge with my driveway. I'll try that first without the additional PP2, but will go ahead and install all the other pieces needed for the PP1 splitter - the under tray and a couple braces as shown on the Vorshlag list. All of those parts are waiting in the garage, so I'll give them a go when my eBay PP1 splitter arrives.

The GT350 springs are going to go on first, and then we'll see just how much ground clearance I lose before taking the PP2 splitter plunge.
 
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Springs are now installed - took a lot longer than I had hoped, but I have to be careful to not break my daily... even in COVID times. As tragic as breaking my car might be, it's not as bad as forcing my wife to leave her car outside overnight... twice... It all worked out well in the end - no broken parts beyond a clip for a sensor wire on the pass side strut. Details of the task:
Job 1, getting the into working space with the new Quickjack:
50776305088_56623d3172_c.jpg
GT350R Spring Upgrade by clair_davis, on Flickr

Before I tore anything apart, I marked the location of the strut in the tower so I could get as close as I could to the stock alignment.
50776305038_f110c9925e_c.jpg
GT350R Spring Upgrade by clair_davis, on Flickr

Then the fun began:
50776305593_25528eeaa5_c.jpg
GT350R Spring Upgrade by clair_davis, on Flickr

The Magneride struts are really unusual under the dust boot:
50777061266_25cc587534_c.jpg
GT350R Spring Upgrade by clair_davis, on Flickr

The front Shelby springs are significantly shorter than the EBPP+MR springs:
50777174557_b46ed6c436_c.jpg
GT350R Spring Upgrade by clair_davis, on Flickr

The J&M caster/camber plates were really nice and were an easy install:
50777062511_4689241f6e_c.jpg
GT350R Spring Upgrade by clair_davis, on Flickr
50777062546_3d1c56f85f_c.jpg
GT350R Spring Upgrade by clair_davis, on Flickr

In the back, the Shelby springs were again much shorter than stock - and a lot thicker, too:
50777062441_d1447db041_c.jpg
GT350R Spring Upgrade by clair_davis, on Flickr

I was hoping to use a spring compressor to get the stock rear springs but there wasn't enough space to make the compressor work. Ended up dropping half the rear cradle anyway, but it wasn't a big deal.

After I got everything buttoned back up, I dropped her back down on the ground expecting a tiny drop from the Shelby springs - a half inch would have been OK to help keep the PP2 splitter off of the driveway incline. I drove her around the block to settle things down, and then measure the drop. It definitely looked pretty mild:
50777062026_2279fe06f1_c.jpg
GT350R Spring Upgrade by clair_davis, on Flickr

When I measured the drop, I had to do a double-take on the measurements. Zero drop. As in exactly the same in front, and about 1/10" in back. Wow. This car weighs a few pounds MORE than a GT350R, so I figured the drop would be about the same as the R, but I didn't expect the stock EBPP+MR suspension to be the same as the R as well. I can live with that, but it does mean that the wheel well gap will be that much larger when the 305's go in.

The time I put into locating the strut in the tower paid off and the car felt exactly the same as before the swap. I still needed to get a proper alignment, since the extra camber up front is what I need for the 305 swap. I took the car to Lonestar Elite Automotive to take advantage of his new Hunter alignment equipment. Bonus, he's an S550 owner as well:
50818694012_2f50189d2a_c.jpg
At the alignment shop by clair_davis, on Flickr

Results were spot on with the specs I gave him - real close to the GT350R track numbers:
50817186178_e17eef34af_c.jpg
2021-01-08_Alignment-Front by clair_davis, on Flickr
50818028907_1c9019b0ba_c.jpg
2021-01-08_Alignment-Rear by clair_davis, on Flickr

The new alignment feels lighter - it's easier to steer, even in Track mode. Not sure I understand that, but I like it. Need to put some more miles on it and learn the new feel.

Enough for now... but the FedEx truck should be dropping off some PP2 sway bars today. That's a project for later.
 
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Sway bars arrived - 2020 PP2 from a salvage yard ePay store:
50821900406_4b08a2d768_c.jpg
PP2 Sway Bars by clair_davis, on Flickr

Front PN JR3C-5482-DA:
50821900476_9a38bd0cbf_c.jpg
PP2 Sway Bars by clair_davis, on Flickr

Rear PN JR3C-5A772-DA:
50821996867_f14cdbacd1_c.jpg
PP2 Sway Bars by clair_davis, on Flickr

Hopefully they'll go on next weekend.
 
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Getting ready for the sway bar swap this weekend, I checked the bars that were on the car from the factory. I was under the impression that the EBPP cars came with something similar if not exactly the same suspension as the GTPP (minus the Brembos) - but it's looking more like just the base GT suspension with 19x9 wheels. Pisser.

Front 32mm bar:
50829738381_6620e8d7e3_c.jpg
Ecoboost Performance Package Front Sway Bar PN by clair_davis, on Flickr

Rear 21.7mm bar - lucked out and found this tag in the driveway after it fell off the car:
50833037643_c152162f49_c.jpg
Ecoboost Performance Package Rear Sway Bar PN by clair_davis, on Flickr

And for yet another wild card, I found a Magneride VDM from a 2018 GT350 for a good price - well below $100. Will it work? Don't know, but the risk was worth a few bucks. The GT350 has shocks/struts similar to the EBPP and GTPP units, not the reduced slots found in the GT350R. Hopefully this VDM will have a calibration a little more refined than the EBPP. For what it's worth, the EBPP calibration seems to work just fine, perhaps a little underdamped. We'll see.
50833080908_8a6bab74dc_c.jpg
2018_GT350_Magneride_VDM by clair_davis, on Flickr
 
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Installed sway bars from a 2020 PP2 yesterday.
[EDIT] I meant to add a link to this LMR video that was really helpful in doing the job - the rear bar went on in about 15 minutes, but the front bar was a workout. The key is releasing the brake lines that are clipped to the chassis inside the engine bay, and I wouldn't have done that without the hint I got here:

[/EDIT]
Along with the GT350R springs I installed over Christmas, the car is pretty tight now. Still pretty amazed how well Magneride does at taming the ride - normal feels about like Sport+ now, but even Track mode is still totally manageable for driving around on decent paving. Not enough time to test anything, I finished her up just in time to drive down to the BBQ joint to pick up dinner. Will put a few more miles on her today.

Interesting thing was that the front bar I got (ePay auction from a salvage company) had one bent end link and some nasty undercoating on the bar. I have heard that the factory end links are prone to bending, but wasn't sure how big a problem that might be. but the bend on this one was obvious:
50843588462_433eaefd70_c-jpg.jpg

PP2 Sway Bars by clair_davis, on Flickr

Granted, this is from a wrecked car so who knows what happened. I kept my original links for now but will keep an eye on things.

I'll push the car a little harder while I get a feel for tail-happy she might be, and think on how the EBPP MR controller is handling the higher rates. In the meantime I'll research a bit more on whether or not the GT350 controller is truly plug-n-play.
 
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