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Old 12-01-2014, 12:07 PM   #1
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Weight reduction: front end focused

So I've already decided I'm going to buy an aluminum 1-pc driveshaft for weight reduction and a little bump in "freed up" hp (and easier reving).
I'm also going to take my spare out to save a few lbs. That's going to help me lose weight, but off the middle & rear of the car.

Problem is I really need to lose weight off the front end. So I'm considering the options below. Not sure which ones are best bang for buck or most worthwhile. What are your opinions on the 4 options below.

Options:
Lightweight tubular radiator support (Steeda or BMR) $190 (- 9 lbs)
Lightweight radiator: Mishimoto $250 ( ? lbs)
Aftermarket sway bars: $300 (-10 lbs) - balanced weight savings, but also improve handling, so bumped it up
Lightweight K-member: BMR $434 (-18 lbs)


I listed them in the order that I would think they would help the most.
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:11 PM   #2
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Go with this
First relocate battery to the trunk.
Remove all the black felt from under the hood, and engine compartment.
Tubular K member and sway bar dellete.

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Old 12-01-2014, 12:16 PM   #3
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I wouldn't touch the radiator. But the BMR radiator support saves a little. I would also ditch the front sway bar altogether. The k-member will save a lot of weight.
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:51 PM   #4
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Not doing 1/4 miles. Plus I drive the car "hard" even on the street. ie: I like to take turns fast, so I'll need to keep the front sway bar.

I also plan to take the car to a road course, once I have it completely tuned to my liking. I think the sway bars might even get pushed up to #1 on the list, the more I think about it.

I wasn't sure about the weight savings on the radiator, but it does have the added benefit of better cooling which may come in to play for 20-30 minute driving sessions at the track.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:26 PM   #5
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My teachers always preach do things in stages and as they need to be done. First step go to the track give it hell take some notes make a change. Repeat. I think you will be suprised how capable your car is. Address the glaring weaknesses first. You will save money and have a boatload of fun while you do it.

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Old 12-01-2014, 06:03 PM   #6
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For a road course weight savings do the battery relocation, also do a tubular k member and A arms. Carbon fiber hood and front fenders also.


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Old 12-01-2014, 08:03 PM   #7
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Just so we can better help you dial in a few questions....

Have you ever tracked a car before?
What suspension modifications have you done including tires /wheels?
Do you plan on competing with this car (goals)?
Budget?

One of the most effective ways to reduce weight in the front is pick up some lightweight 18 inch wheels for the road course. You could save 10 lbs per wheel.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by BigJay View Post
Just so we can better help you dial in a few questions....

Have you ever tracked a car before?
What suspension modifications have you done including tires /wheels?
Do you plan on competing with this car (goals)?
Budget?

One of the most effective ways to reduce weight in the front is pick up some lightweight 18 inch wheels for the road course. You could save 10 lbs per wheel.
I used to track my 2006 Cayman S with TPC stage 2 turbo kit a few times a year, the past 4+ years. I run in the Blue solo group in the PCA club. The problem is my last car was very light (approx. 3,000 lbs), nearly perfectly balanced (approx. 50/50 weight, low center of gravity), and much faster (about 420hp @ 3,000 lbs) SO my Mustang feels like a fat slow beast.

I have not taken the Mustang to the track yet. I have driven a 2013 Boss 302 on the track and it had acceptable performance. Basically, I'm trying to get my GT Convertible close to the Boss 302's performance or better if I'm lucky. I can feel I'm not there yet, but the springs and lighter wheels helped.

Mods so far: C-RIZZ :: 2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium Convertible
Steeda 1" front/1.25" rear lowering springs
FRPP non adjustable LCA's
Steeda adjustable panhard bar
TSW Nuhrenbring wheels (about 4-5 lbs lighter per wheel than stock)

I do not plan on competing. In fact, I don't even like running in the NASA groups b/c those guys are more hardcore. (most trailer their cars there, etc.) I just like to go out to the track push my car to the limits and learn to drive faster/better a few times a year.

Budget: I really don't have one per se. I dropped $13k just on the turbo kit & install on my last "toy car" and already dropped about $5k on this one in the first 4 months of having it. That said, I want to keep the car streetable as the goal with this car is more dual purpose. My last "toy car" was purely my weekend fun & track warrior car - only got driven about 2,500 miles/year b/c it was 2-seater, manual, and low & stiff suspension.

This car I got an automatic so the wife can drive it also. That and 4 seats makes for a better family vehicle that can be driven on a lot more occasions and I'm on track to put about 5,000 miles/year on it.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:11 AM   #9
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Did you do dampers with the springs?

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Old 12-02-2014, 12:29 PM   #10
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Did you do dampers with the springs?
No, I know the stock dampers will wear out faster, but I didn't think it was really necessary with only a 1" drop and having basically brand new shocks.

I figured I'd wait & figure out exactly what direction I would ultimately go with my suspension. I may even get rid of these springs & go with some type of complete handling (matched parts) package. The lowering springs were just an immediate much needed stop gap fix for the squat & go and brake nose diving, etc. I can't believe Ford delivers a GT / sports car with such soft springs.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:39 PM   #11
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No, I know the stock dampers will wear out faster, but I didn't think it was really necessary with only a 1" drop and having basically brand new shocks.

I figured I'd wait & figure out exactly what direction I would ultimately go with my suspension. I may even get rid of these springs & go with some type of complete handling (matched parts) package. The lowering springs were just an immediate much needed stop gap fix for the squat & go and brake nose diving, etc. I can't believe Ford delivers a GT / sports car with such soft springs.
Springs are half the equation. A good set of dampners will make a world of difference. Since you have a dual purpose car in mind Koni Sports are a popular choice for the adjustable rebound. In setting up your car I would put on the Koni's or similar and your spring of choice or steeda sports are a good match, linear not progressive. Add some camber caster plates. Add a adjustable watts link like a fays2 or similar. Start everything in the low settings and start making adjustments to dial in the feel the way you like it. Next would be some adjustable sways front and rear if needed and so on from there.

You will likely find you can make the car feel balanced without having to lighten the front end. Spending money to add light weight parts with your current setup is not bad just should be done after everything else above and then if you feel that it is still necessary. Hope that all makes sense and helps. The setup I mentioned is a good daily driver without harshness then you can crank down the dampners and drop your roll center on the watts and tear up the track on the weekends.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_rizzle View Post
No, I know the stock dampers will wear out faster, but I didn't think it was really necessary with only a 1" drop and having basically brand new shocks.



I figured I'd wait & figure out exactly what direction I would ultimately go with my suspension. I may even get rid of these springs & go with some type of complete handling (matched parts) package. The lowering springs were just an immediate much needed stop gap fix for the squat & go and brake nose diving, etc. I can't believe Ford delivers a GT / sports car with such soft springs.

Then why are you worried about weight savings? Doesn't seem like your worried about handling if you kept the stock struts. What exactly did you spend 5k on already?


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Old 12-02-2014, 11:42 PM   #13
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Your best weight savings would have been to get a coupe instead of a convertible.


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Old 12-03-2014, 08:32 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mikeyt03 View Post
Your best weight savings would have been to get a coupe instead of a convertible.
Yeah, I know. I seriously was considering a Boss 302, but I wanted a convertible this time around and the '14's had huge rebates + full warranties.

I've already had a super track car, but to be honest that was useful 4-5 days a year. The other 360 days a year that I might take the car out I love having the convertible. I use it all the time.

The weight savings was more about trying to make the car more balanced first (trying to get closer to 50/50 from 54/46), then lighter is always better for handling, easier on brakes, etc. My last (mid-engine) car was like 49.x/50.x and you could just feel that balance when pushing hard in corners. When you lost grip it just wanted to slide horizontally, not spin one way or the other. It was very neutral, which I guess most of that can be dialed in with the correct suspension & settings. I'm thinking I'll order some struts & adjustable sway bars. The stock sway bars are still making the car feel soft on turns (and thats just on the street, not a perfectly clean / sticky track at high speeds.)
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:45 AM   #15
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What exactly did you spend 5k on already?
Since July 25, 2014 when I bought the car:

Escort 9500ix $500.00
Weathertech Floormats $187.00
GT500 axle backs $330.00
LCA's $135.00
Ceramic Tint $326.25
Steeda springs $219.99
jounce $27.00
Steeda Panhard bar $150.00
Spring install & check alignment $470.00
Cam spoiler $166.00
Paint $175.00
WPT pigtail $26.00
Program Nav $140.00
Oil Separator $75.00
Wheels/tires $1,973.04
TPMS & tool $194.99
GT500 steering wheel $190.00
Painted hoodstruts $143.00
Shaftmaster DS $600.00 (ordered yesterday)

I have it all in a spreadsheet. Technically, its about $6k, but I got about $700 for my stock wheel after fees. Potential 2nd buyers of cars like full documentation.

I've got all the cosmetic and creature comfort stuff out of the way now. So I'm now turning my head towards the performance & handling.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:04 AM   #16
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Don't forget the watts don't forget the watts don't forget the watts!

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Old 12-12-2014, 01:58 PM   #17
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Well, I installed the Shaftmaster Aluminum Driveshaft today. It too me about 3 hours with a lift. The problem was I did it by myself and had to raise & lower the car several times, then I got tired of doing it and left it lower and used a creeper.

Notes that weren't included in the instructions:
1. remove passenger side over axle pipe, to get old DS out & new one in. Passenger side is easier to take on & off b/c there's more room to move it around above the axleback mufflers.
2. have a 2nd person that can sit in the car while up on lift to put in & out of gear so you can turn or lock driveshaft in place. (need it in neutral to rotate to get to other bolts, but need it in Park to keep in place while tightening bolts)

ALSO, don't use a (non-reversable) closed-end ratcheting wrench on the pinion side bolts. I was backing one up to get it out & put the lock tight on it, then it hit the joint thing in the way, problem is... its one-way... to use it the opposite direction you have to take it off & flip it over. The problem was... I couldn't take it off, b/c it was backed all the way in to the coupler. SO I had to cut the wrech off with a dremel!!

Now on to the performance. I can definitely feel it. The tires are spinning easier, its basically feels like less lag... which is that there's less mass to accelerate / getting moving. This is another one of those.... "the car really should have come this way" things. It does come this way with the Boss 302.

I think all I need now are stiffer sway bars and I'll be ready for the track.
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:22 PM   #18
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You've got a very nice car and I love the blue!
I raced SCCA for years in various classes and the one thing that always helped me more than other mod's I did, was a set of coilovers. Yes, they are expensive, but you can dial the ride height and if you have adjustable sway bars front and rear you can change the way the car handles depending on the track conditions...........it's a matter of preference and pocket book.
Like the others said, I'd relocate the battery to trunk and a panhard bar would be nice. I have installed a couple custom ones and done some modifications to the Rover system, but one thing to keep in mind especially on a street driven car is that you don't want the system hanging down below the axle, there are too many things on the street to catch it on. I have liked the Rover design for over 20 years and it bolts directly to the rearend cover housing much like the Whiteline system, again it's the better part of $1000 and doesn't hange below the axle. Is it really needed, probably not for the limited amount of track time you will see, but sure looks neat. Also, don't forget a good set of brakes, you can use up the stock ones really quickly on the track......IMHO
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:25 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by c_rizzle View Post
Well, I installed the Shaftmaster Aluminum Driveshaft today. It too me about 3 hours with a lift. The problem was I did it by myself and had to raise & lower the car several times, then I got tired of doing it and left it lower and used a creeper.

Notes that weren't included in the instructions:
1. remove passenger side over axle pipe, to get old DS out & new one in. Passenger side is easier to take on & off b/c there's more room to move it around above the axleback mufflers.
2. have a 2nd person that can sit in the car while up on lift to put in & out of gear so you can turn or lock driveshaft in place. (need it in neutral to rotate to get to other bolts, but need it in Park to keep in place while tightening bolts)

ALSO, don't use a (non-reversable) closed-end ratcheting wrench on the pinion side bolts. I was backing one up to get it out & put the lock tight on it, then it hit the joint thing in the way, problem is... its one-way... to use it the opposite direction you have to take it off & flip it over. The problem was... I couldn't take it off, b/c it was backed all the way in to the coupler. SO I had to cut the wrech off with a dremel!!

Now on to the performance. I can definitely feel it. The tires are spinning easier, its basically feels like less lag... which is that there's less mass to accelerate / getting moving. This is another one of those.... "the car really should have come this way" things. It does come this way with the Boss 302.

I think all I need now are stiffer sway bars and I'll be ready for the track.
Thanks for the info, I will be doing this after the first of year, I just want to get rid of the 2 piece drive line.
Can I ask which driveline you used and did you have any issue with the body seams being too close to the drive shaft.
I just looked a carbon fiber drive shaft which is really small, 3" in diameter, but the $1800 price is just a bit much for me to swallow.
Are you going to put in a drive line hoop?
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:43 PM   #20
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Damn dude amazing ride


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Old 12-12-2014, 04:11 PM   #21
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Thanks for the info, I will be doing this after the first of year, I just want to get rid of the 2 piece drive line.
Can I ask which driveline you used and did you have any issue with the body seams being too close to the drive shaft.
I just looked a carbon fiber drive shaft which is really small, 3" in diameter, but the $1800 price is just a bit much for me to swallow.
Are you going to put in a drive line hoop?
Shaftmaster's aluminum shaft is 3.5" and $600 delivered:
Ford Mustang 2011-2014 Aluminum Driveshaft 3.5" V8 GT Direct Bolt-In

No plans on a hoop at the moment. But I'm going to look at the stock one that came on the 2-piece shaft, maybe I can take it off, modify it & reuse it.
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Old 12-12-2014, 05:31 PM   #22
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Shaftmaster's aluminum shaft is 3.5" and $600 delivered:
Ford Mustang 2011-2014 Aluminum Driveshaft 3.5" V8 GT Direct Bolt-In

No plans on a hoop at the moment. But I'm going to look at the stock one that came on the 2-piece shaft, maybe I can take it off, modify it & reuse it.
Great, thanks for the info, I didn't realize there were any that didn't use an adapter plate.
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