Run, Forest, Run! - 95 GT Open Track Build

v6mustang94

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Three years ago on July 13th, 2012 I started my work day with a quick spin through Craigslist. For several months, after owning a 94 V6 for 7.5 years and being Mustang-less for almost a year, I had been looking for a 94-95 5.0. 30 minutes after being posted, I pursued the car I was looking for... minus the Deep Forest Green paint. What I ended up with was a bone stock '95 GT. It had 67,214 miles, 5-speed, Mach 460, leather seats, matching VIN numbers, and stored every winter. Though the color wasn't my first choice, I knew I couldn't pass it up.

As I mentioned before, I made phone contact with the gentleman selling the car only 30 minutes after posted. I scheduled the first meeting for that evening after work:
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The car ran well, and the body was nearly flawless. And turns out that clean Deep Forest Green paint ain't half bad. I was hooked. We parted ways as this was a short introduction. We scheduled a test drive a couple days later. At this point, I can barely drive a manual. Just enough to get where I need to go. It goes as well as it can, but I wanted a second opinion from a friend. I asked if we could schedule another test drive with my buddy who can actually drive a manual and tell me what he thinks. This ended up being a great decision. The car ran like crap when you tried to actually drive it. There was no power.

We cruised it back to the guy and let him know something wasn't right, asked him to look into it, contact me if he finds anything, and we parted ways. My buddy and I looked around online to find other GTs for sales,and managed to find a 4.6 at a dealership. I had no interest in the car, but we wanted to drive it for comparison's sake. We faked interest and got a test drive (the car is still for sale at the same dealership to this day; 3 years later). The 4.6 ran like we expected, confirming our concerns on the 5.0. Sad face.

The next day I get a phone call. The seller figured out the timing was off 10 degrees. I'm guessing someone set it to 0* instead of 10*. We met up for another test drive and the old 5.0 was alive. I told him I was ready to buy, but needed to get the cash. That week the car became mine.

In less than a week I installed Flowmasters. Because V8 Mustang.

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Since then I've continued to destroy this originally all original car. Something that could have been a great ode to the '90s is now my race car in progress. Now, I didn't always know I wanted to road track this car. I started off with mods that I loved on my V6. Pro kit springs and some other goodies were installed (Detailed mod list will be listed below).

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Fast forwarding to today, a lot of changes have happened to the car, and more importantly, my addiction to the open track opened my mind to something awesome. I started with some budget upgrades. SVE seats, a 4 point harness, and harness bar. Finally! No more gliding across my old, flat, grey leather seat. Sorry, but I lack an interior shot at the moment.

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Now, with my new found passion, it's time to start focusing on what I want. I have some gauges for better monitoring on the way. While running the Donnybrooke course at BIR (3.1 mile course with a couple long straights) my temp gauge was making me a little nervous. Brake cooling may be on the list as well. There are some mods I'd like to improve on as well, but that will all come with time.

Here are a couple videos from my first track day on BIR's 2.5 mile Competition Course:

[video=youtube;lDUbYzihFBE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDUbYzihFBE[/video]
[video=youtube;nYjsPKDPnHg]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYjsPKDPnHg[/video]

Mod List at this point:
18" Saleens
285 rears
3/16th Rear Spacers (IIRC)
265 fronts
SVE Cobra Front Brake Upgrade
SS Brake Lines
Tokico Shocks/Struts
MM CC Plates
Eibach Pro Kits - No Isolators
Steeda Bumpsteer Kit
Steeda X2 Balljoints
Smog Pump Delete
Manifold back o/r exhaust
CAI
Advanced Timing
MM Full Length SFC
J&M Adjustable Rear LCAs
3.55 Gears
SR Performance Short Throw Shifter
SVE Racing Seats
4-point Harness and Harness Bar
Removed Rear Seat - No delete kit
Front Tow Hook
 

ElrodKTPQ_89

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I'm interested in seeing some pics of the interior with the harnesses and harness bar. Also what is your opinion on the SVE seats? I've been on the fence about them for a while now. They sound like a really good deal if they are really that good of a seat. I'd like to see some pics of them too if you have any.
 

v6mustang94

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Pros: Cheap.
Cons: Cheap.
Would I recommend: Yes.
Summary at the bottom.

The are a great BUDGET seat. As a person who has never owned racing seats, I went into my purchase wanting the cheapest seat that could get the job done. These do that perfectly. If these things spontaneously combusted one day and I needed to replace them, would I buy the same seats? Probably not. Don't stop reading here. Let me explain.

I really like these seats. I've done track days in which I spent a very large chunk of my day on track with them, and, on top of that, I had a 2 hour round trip commute to the track and back. My butt never got sore. My hips didn't feel like they were compacted 5 sizes smaller. My spine didn't shoot through my skull. Truthfully, I feel like I've got my money's worth out of them. The bolsters hold you in place. So they already accomplished their job as far as I'm concerned. Included in the insanely cheap price were pre-installed tracks. The beauty of these tracks is my 6'2" stature gained leg room. The slide back further than stock. I also really like the look of the seats, and you can keep the stock belts for street legal-ness.

Now for the bad. You likely noticed why they're so cheap when you remove them from the box. I don't know how long the suede (or whatever it is) material will hold up over time. So far it's been fine, but seems too thin to last forever (I've also never sat in a suede seat before). The leather on my drivers seat started to pull out from under the headrest belt loops (see last picture). I was able to push most of the material back into place, but as you can see on the left side of the pic, there's a part that bulges out that I couldn't get back in. I also haven't spent much time trying. There's also no slot cut into the seat for a submarine belt.

The backrest seems a little to flimsy. If I push my weight into it, like if I was lifting my butt up to grab my wallet from back pocket, it seems to bend back pretty far. Now, I don't recall how far back the stock seats bent back in this scenario. So it might just be in my head. I think what makes it so noticeable to me is I have the seat pretty far back and it bumps my harness bar. In conclusion, it might not be a problem/bad thing at all. I also wish the seat would lean forward more. I have it leaned all the way forward and my arms are just long enough to reach 5th gear when I'm harnessed down. I could scoot the seat forward more, but my knees pretty much rest on the dash at that point.

The tracks don't slide the smoothest. My passenger side track is particularly difficult. I have to sit in the seat and throw my weight around to move it. The driver side is much easier, but still more difficult than it should be.

The harness bar makes a great GoPro mount, but so would a roll bar. And the roll bar would make things safer. The 4-point harness is nice to have. I really like it under braking, but when I do it all over again I will get a 5-point. The 4-point I have also mounts to floor under where the rear seat used to be. Kind of a pain if you want to put in a rear sea delete. Personally, don't waste your time keeping the rear seat with the harness bar. It's nearly impossible to get back there, and I would feel like a bad person letting my friends sit back there with that bar in their faces. With that said, some day in the future I will upgrade to a roll bar and 5-point harness. This gets the job done for now.

To summarize all of this, for the budget minded, mostly street driver, auto-x driver, the setup I have is a very cheap way to get the job done. I feel like I completely trashed the SVE seats and harness combo in my review above, but it's really not a bad option for someone that wants a better interior for occasional track use. My local track doesn't mind letting me use this setup for track days. I don't know if all HPDE events will like it. I reached out to the driving instructors before going to the track with it to be sure. All they wanted was that the passenger had the same setup as the driver. It's not perfect, but you can't beat the price. If you are serious about tracking (I wasn't sure what direction I was taking the car when I did this), you may want to fork up the cash on a real racing seat, harness, and roll bar setup.

Perk: I keep my helmet behind the passenger seat where the rear seat used to be (the red blob in the pic). The belts keep it from rolling around so you can daily drive or drive to the track without worrying about it rolling all over the place.
 

wmfateam

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What do you have in the way of sway bars? In regards to your understeer comment, a bigger rear sway bar or stiffer rear springs can help. I run spring rubbers in my Steeda full comp springs to increase spring rate. I see you have cc plates as well. If you can get them at max negative camber, that will help as well.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
 

v6mustang94

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Stock bars at the moment. I did some reading on sway bars, but at the time I wasn't ready to commit since I was first experiencing most of my understeer in wet conditions. I started to feel it again this past weekend when approaching a flat 80* corner at 100 (turn 2). Normally I'd take it at 90, but decided to step it up. I think I had a bad line, but I definitely scrubbed off speed as I felt the front end going away on me. I think a better line alone would have made a huge difference in the cars ability to stick it.

Here's the measurements on BIR's Donnybrooke course. I prefer the short Competition course (see below).

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ElrodKTPQ_89

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They do look really good in there with the bar and harnesses. Appreciate the review on them, I'll keep it in mind when it comes time to make a choice on some.
 

v6mustang94

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No problem. Hit me up if you have any questions or anything.
 

hotmustang95

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I've been meaning to ask you, is water an issue with the gt500 hood vent? Is the mod actually beneficial?
No and Yes

The vent is just forward of the alt. When it rains water falls straight down in between the rad and the pulleys. The vent works. Not as good as say a Tiger racing hood but it works. Got a few buddies who race in NASA's AI who run it. You could do without it for regular track days really. I just wanted that cool look. If you haven't already check out my build on here. You might find some useful info.

http://www.sn95forums.com/showthread.php?67772-Swords-Evolution
 

RichV

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What does your car weigh with you in it?

Good write up, lets get some more people on the road courses! They have no idea what they're missing!
 

v6mustang94

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I don't have a weight yet. I never think to find a scale until someone asks me about the weight.

The original owner must have had the dealership put them on when they bought it. I decided to leave them on because they've helped keep the paint clean. The paint chips on my old V6 were awful. I'm trying to keep the car as clean as I can while it still looks nice.
 

v6mustang94

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See I was assuming it was redneck installed but there is a chance we are both right. :)
I assume mine have been on the car since day 1. I've left them on since the paint is so clean still. Trying to preserve it while I can.

Anyways, minor update:
Started my gauge install. Mock up picture below. Almost at the point I just need to install the sensors. Hoping to get the water temp and oil pressure ready before the 31st; signed up for a track day that day. I don't think I'll be able to make an appointment for the a/f gauge weld-in bung install before then.

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v6mustang94

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I had time to finish up the water temp wiring. I'm hoping to do the oil pressure and lighting next weekend. I'm thinking I may just skip keeping the stock gauges working for now, and figure out something for that this winter.

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