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Old 04-13-2013, 04:32 AM   #36
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Sorry if this post appears in duplicate.

I came to this thread late but since it's likely to remain relevant to anybody who may stumble across it in the future, I decided to add my own $.02 to it.

I'm in a similar situation - whether to buy a GT or a 302 for a lighter, more balanced car for street and track than my GT500s and am in a position to go either way. While the 302 is intended to be more track-biased from the factory, the simple truth is virtually ALL S197 Mustangs of related trims are so similar as to allow any car to be easily and relatively cheaply made into whatever you want it to be.

Unless your primary goal is the 302 look which has been altered and changed (for the good and bad) from '12 to '13, appearance would be the very LAST aspect of the car I'd modify - if I'd modify it at all. In the meantime, you can make the car whatever you like - you needn't settle for the combination of compromises Ford decided would be the marketable products.

The 302 trades off some torque for horsepower which is a little more consistent with track use. But you can easily make many of the manifold and other component modifications to the engine - or go whole hog and add a supercharger (or even a turbo) to raise things to a new level entirely.

No matter what I'd do, the very FIRST step I'd take would be to upgrade the front brakes to the 6-piston Brembos from the '13 GT500 which can be done soup to nuts for about $1,500.00.

But even the motor isn't the biggest difference between the two. Getting the suspension in line would be the first place I'd focus, bearing in mind the OE-spec BOSS components may not yield the best combination of handling characteristics available from Ford. For example, the FR-3 Adjustable Handling Pack is a longstanding favorite among GT AND GT500 tracksters, which makes a terrific foundation for everything else you may choose to do.

If you prefer the Laguna Seca adjustable dampers, substitute them instead.

You may then choose to add the BOSS front lower control arms. For the rear, going to tubular or billet will be in improvement upon anything even the hottest OE Laguna Seca sports. One essential element is the Torsen differential which makes cornering an entirely new ballgame. You can even choose to add the rear seat delete and cross brace to firm up the chassis a bit - and every little bit DOES help.

You can also do things like replace the K member with one that will lower the engine substantially to improve the CG even beyond the 302. The trade-off is some additional NVH - one of the combination of compromises Ford made FOR you. Adding a Watts Link can make the rear even more planted and predictable - further improving the weight distribution to boot.

Again, recreating a 302 is one thing - and a car certainly won't suffer on the track for it if you go part-by-part and swap them out. But even 302 owners improve upon their cars vastly (and inexpensively), and GT owners have a chance to get there in one step. It's why a (supercharged) Shelby GT350 performs so well on a track - even versus a 662HP GT500.

Once you have the chassis tamed (either replicating the 302 or improved upon it), I'd then move to the powertrain. You can do the basic manifold swap or supercharge. Either way, a handheld tuner will substitute for your track key. You should ensure you have 3.73 gears (at least), and may even consider going shorter if you find the shift points more amenable to your style and speed of track driving. This would be the time to do it. I'd also look at singe-piece CF driveshafts if you're going to be driving the track in earnest - for both performance and safety.

You can then modify appearance to your heart's content. You needn't settle for cloth interior or forgoing navigation. You can have your choice of interior colors - exterior too, for that matter. The majority of the body changes are fascia swaps which, in some cases, can even be gotten prepainted. You can choose the LS brake cooling ducts in lieu of flog lamps or even mix years by using the new 13 tail lights with a 2012 CS front end that has cooling duct apertures molded into it which choosing the grill you prefer.

It will remind people of a 302 without screaming copy cat or "poseur". You can even find the 2012 "C" stripes from sources like American Muscle VERY cheaply which DON'T include the "BOSS 302" branding.

Again, it's entirely up to you, and there are very few "wrong" answers as long as you don't spend the same money twice and try to pass-off your car as something it's not. Even if you simply prefer the 302 paint schemes, there'd be nothing wrong with striping (or re-striping) your car to match either year of 302.

I personally missed the boat and should've bought a Red on Black LS back in '12. On the other hand, I'd have forgone HIDs, SYNC and every other feature option Ford decided the 302 shouldn't have - for reasons both real and perceived. I now have the option of buying a '13 or '14 GT configured as I want and making it into the LS (or "LS Plus") I always wanted, which I'd rather do than buy an actual '13 302 LS because I like neither the blacked-out nor the taxi cab look.

Remaking your GT won't give you a car you can call a "live axle" 302 five or ten years from now. On the other hand, with investing just a little time, effort and money, you can have a car that's far better - that you'd love even more.

As far as what anybody ELSE thinks about YOUR car, if they're not paying the note on it, screw 'em.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:30 PM   #37
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Hate to tell ya the Bad News man
But your stuck with the GT $$

As Soon as you drove your GT off the lot, it lost $5000
plus the dealer prep charges and taxes you ate.

So if you trade it in for a Boss that you thought wasn't worth the Money before, wait till $7000 plus is added to the $43,000 sticker on the Boss, your now trading your GT in towards

Heres some Great advice
Take that $7000 and put a Supercharger on your GT and tell the Boss to shove it ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:32 PM   #38
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You can make your GT a Boss for less then $7k
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:42 PM   #39
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You can make your GT a Boss for less then $7k
Yeah...if you manufactured them yourself maybe. The parts alone would be around 7k, not including the installation for everything. Lets see...

Completely different suspension 2k maybe
Different cams, forged internal, boss manifold ect... 3-4k right there. Boss stripes $500, boss splitter $600, quad exhaust, rear diffuser ect... All of this is well over 7k just in parts.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:44 PM   #40
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Yeah...if you manufactured them yourself maybe. The parts alone would be around 7k, not including the installation for everything. Lets see...

Completely different suspension 2k maybe
Different cams, forged internal, boss manifold ect... 3-4k right there. Boss stripes $500, boss splitter $600, quad exhaust, rear diffuser ect... All of this is well over 7k just in parts.
Only if you're talking about the kind of "conversion" meant to fool a concours rather than anything having to do with how it runs or turns. In those respects, you can surpass the 302 for one hell of a lot less than 7K.

If someone wants a BOSS, he should buy a BOSS. If he wants a car that can drive as well as BOSS (or better), there's a LOT of options for improving a GT VERY cheaply by comparison - unless you just can't live without a lopey idle or knowing not every internal is forged.

Hell, there's A LOT of ways to spend a few grand making a bona fide BOSS an even-better car.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:12 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Mikeyt03 View Post

Yeah...if you manufactured them yourself maybe. The parts alone would be around 7k, not including the installation for everything. Lets see...

Completely different suspension 2k maybe
Different cams, forged internal, boss manifold ect... 3-4k right there. Boss stripes $500, boss splitter $600, quad exhaust, rear diffuser ect... All of this is well over 7k just in parts.
Are we talking about a standard Boss or a Laguna Seca?
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:16 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by BIGHOSS5.0 View Post
Are we talking about a standard Boss or a Laguna Seca?
most of that is standard boss but a few things are from the laguna seca. Like the 600 dollar splitter. The standard boss is the 160 dollar splitter.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:37 AM   #43
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This is a topic that could not apply more to me. I am in the market for a GT mustang. I am wrestling with used w/ low miles vs new.
I pretty much wrote off the 302 after visiting 2 dealers in the Norcal area that have $10k markups on the stickers...The bay area is notorious for idiots overpaying for cars.
However, I have read so many times about how the 302 is the car to get because of the way it drives. Which led me to this posting. I figured that even with the 302 that there were concessions made, and that the aftermarket should be able to provide better for less.
The motor in the 302 means nothing to me...aside from use of forged parts...the loss of some low end is meaningless for the street and not something that I am looking for. The look means nothing to me as well. Rear sear delete? NOPE, got two kids, and besides, I am most likely going to end up in a vert anyway as this car will be with me for a long time (I have fond memories of a friends in high school whose dads had 68-69 stang verts and I want my kids to be "that kid")
So, the suspension. The ride of a stock GT is what I would want to be 302 like or better. I realize that a vert is not the car for track days or Auto-x, but I do not care. I raced motorcycles for years, and far to many times i was on what was supposed to be inferior bikes and I would still put the pass on guys with double or triple the money in their bikes. But most of all, I just liked being on the track and going as fast as I could on what I had. Same for the vert -who knows, I may end up with a coupe...the practicle side of me says coupe.
Back on topic: 302 handling. What are the "go-to" suspension mods to get the car to start, stop and turn equal to or better than the 302? I am new to solid rear ends, and all the little bits needed to tame such a rear end. I even read about an air suspension, but doubt that would work on a car that I would keep for 20 years...vs something from KW or H&R.
As for keeping the rear in check, is an adjustable the way to go, or is it overdoing it? UCAs, LCAs and relo brackets, panhard bars with and w/o support bars? How does the 302 do it?

Brakes: I already have my eyes on the Wilwoods, or Brembos, even possibly stop-techs or Roush, so that will be dealt with first thing (same time as first suspension mods and rims). Oh, I could care less about the 302 rims, as there are so many nice wheelsets out there, that I am certain to end up in something non-Ford...
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:50 PM   #44
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Yeah don't spend the $8k or whatever to turn your car into a poser. A poser that's not any faster than a Boss.

Get an SC and whoop the Boss's *** at least until the next turn lol
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:03 PM   #45
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Again, I am most interested in the drive dynamics. Looking at the aftermarket for the 5.0, there does not appear to be any shortage of go fast parts (power)...I guess you could say the same for the handling. The confusing part for me is what handling parts are essential for a better handling car? Just the coilovers, or do you need Watts, PHBs, LCAs, etc?
Then there is the front end...do you need new ball joints, -I assume adj camber plates are a given...
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:21 PM   #46
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Thinking about selling my 14gt brembro pkg 28,000$ 3200 miles 3:55 gears...Ohio..
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:43 PM   #47
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There was a guy on here that did what your trying to do but i cant find the thread he started. Heres a rear pic of his car that i saved
I was trying to figure out what was different, but now I see it's a '12 with '13 tail lights. I realize because of this that I like the '12s license plate area way better.
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:20 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Remford View Post
Sorry if this post appears in duplicate. I came to this thread late but since it's likely to remain relevant to anybody who may stumble across it in the future, I decided to add my own $.02 to it. I'm in a similar situation - whether to buy a GT or a 302 for a lighter, more balanced car for street and track than my GT500s and am in a position to go either way. While the 302 is intended to be more track-biased from the factory, the simple truth is virtually ALL S197 Mustangs of related trims are so similar as to allow any car to be easily and relatively cheaply made into whatever you want it to be. Unless your primary goal is the 302 look which has been altered and changed (for the good and bad) from '12 to '13, appearance would be the very LAST aspect of the car I'd modify - if I'd modify it at all. In the meantime, you can make the car whatever you like - you needn't settle for the combination of compromises Ford decided would be the marketable products. The 302 trades off some torque for horsepower which is a little more consistent with track use. But you can easily make many of the manifold and other component modifications to the engine - or go whole hog and add a supercharger (or even a turbo) to raise things to a new level entirely. No matter what I'd do, the very FIRST step I'd take would be to upgrade the front brakes to the 6-piston Brembos from the '13 GT500 which can be done soup to nuts for about $1,500.00. But even the motor isn't the biggest difference between the two. Getting the suspension in line would be the first place I'd focus, bearing in mind the OE-spec BOSS components may not yield the best combination of handling characteristics available from Ford. For example, the FR-3 Adjustable Handling Pack is a longstanding favorite among GT AND GT500 tracksters, which makes a terrific foundation for everything else you may choose to do. If you prefer the Laguna Seca adjustable dampers, substitute them instead. You may then choose to add the BOSS front lower control arms. For the rear, going to tubular or billet will be in improvement upon anything even the hottest OE Laguna Seca sports. One essential element is the Torsen differential which makes cornering an entirely new ballgame. You can even choose to add the rear seat delete and cross brace to firm up the chassis a bit - and every little bit DOES help. You can also do things like replace the K member with one that will lower the engine substantially to improve the CG even beyond the 302. The trade-off is some additional NVH - one of the combination of compromises Ford made FOR you. Adding a Watts Link can make the rear even more planted and predictable - further improving the weight distribution to boot. Again, recreating a 302 is one thing - and a car certainly won't suffer on the track for it if you go part-by-part and swap them out. But even 302 owners improve upon their cars vastly (and inexpensively), and GT owners have a chance to get there in one step. It's why a (supercharged) Shelby GT350 performs so well on a track - even versus a 662HP GT500. Once you have the chassis tamed (either replicating the 302 or improved upon it), I'd then move to the powertrain. You can do the basic manifold swap or supercharge. Either way, a handheld tuner will substitute for your track key. You should ensure you have 3.73 gears (at least), and may even consider going shorter if you find the shift points more amenable to your style and speed of track driving. This would be the time to do it. I'd also look at singe-piece CF driveshafts if you're going to be driving the track in earnest - for both performance and safety. You can then modify appearance to your heart's content. You needn't settle for cloth interior or forgoing navigation. You can have your choice of interior colors - exterior too, for that matter. The majority of the body changes are fascia swaps which, in some cases, can even be gotten prepainted. You can choose the LS brake cooling ducts in lieu of flog lamps or even mix years by using the new 13 tail lights with a 2012 CS front end that has cooling duct apertures molded into it which choosing the grill you prefer. It will remind people of a 302 without screaming copy cat or "poseur". You can even find the 2012 "C" stripes from sources like American Muscle VERY cheaply which DON'T include the "BOSS 302" branding. Again, it's entirely up to you, and there are very few "wrong" answers as long as you don't spend the same money twice and try to pass-off your car as something it's not. Even if you simply prefer the 302 paint schemes, there'd be nothing wrong with striping (or re-striping) your car to match either year of 302. I personally missed the boat and should've bought a Red on Black LS back in '12. On the other hand, I'd have forgone HIDs, SYNC and every other feature option Ford decided the 302 shouldn't have - for reasons both real and perceived. I now have the option of buying a '13 or '14 GT configured as I want and making it into the LS (or "LS Plus") I always wanted, which I'd rather do than buy an actual '13 302 LS because I like neither the blacked-out nor the taxi cab look. Remaking your GT won't give you a car you can call a "live axle" 302 five or ten years from now. On the other hand, with investing just a little time, effort and money, you can have a car that's far better - that you'd love even more. As far as what anybody ELSE thinks about YOUR car, if they're not paying the note on it, screw 'em.
You mentioned GT owners upgrading in 'one step'. Did you mean buying the FR-3 package?
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