White95's Autocross thread

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I will be following this thread. I'm looking forward to hearing about (and seeing videos of) your autocross adventures!
 
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I watched a few of your run videos. It was hard to see the course with the camera mounted behind you.

If possible, can you mount the camera high on the inside (or outside) of the windshield at the next event? When I'm giving tips on a course I haven't actually driven, being able to have a centered view that shows the front of the car helps. That allows me to see where you're placing the car in relation to the cones.
 

white95

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I watched a few of your run videos. It was hard to see the course with the camera mounted behind you.

If possible, can you mount the camera high on the inside (or outside) of the windshield at the next event? When I'm giving tips on a course I haven't actually driven, being able to have a centered view that shows the front of the car helps. That allows me to see where you're placing the car in relation to the cones.

I have just the camera..

 

ttocs

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EXCELLENT! what even ya doing? That is RIGHT around the corner. You have been making great progress but if your gonna go thrash on it you better start thrashing on it now.
 

white95

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We had a blast on the first outing with the Unicorn. The made me a corner captain, which was pretty cool. Made a bunch of new friends and was overwhelmed with advice. Even had to dodge a Miata that got lost. [#Corner4neverforget]

51523980523_50ed934f70_o.jpg

As you can see, I applied some of the stuff I learned from watching some @Warhorse Racing videos and chalked my tires to figure out what pressure the tires wanted.

51524460769_fcfe8a5a92_o.jpg51524662510_5108f36ecd_o.jpg51523753051_c0c79c2da1_o.jpg51523752601_2523241ce3_o.jpg51524664910_8e63d54022_o.jpg51522940927_f6b944bfb7_o.jpg51524663255_a4f4bb5175_o.jpg










I am become cone killer.

51522947717_fe1de98c8f_o.jpg

I have learned a bit about the car and a bunch about myself. My plan is to make no adjustments to the car and to continue improving the driver.
 
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ttocs

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Good thinking I agree that a driver mod/swapping drivers probably would net the best gain :)

Somebody had to say it
 
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Thank you for posting your videos! They will help inspire other people to get their Mustangs out on an autocross course. It's great to see the car finished and out there attacking the cones. You did a really nice job of chopping time off over the course of the day! You seemed very comfortable out there, and it never looked like you were at risk of getting lost on course.

It's always tough to give advice on a course I didn't actually drive on myself, but I noticed a few things in the videos that might help you find more speed out on course:

1. You can be 1 or 2 degrees more aggressive on the throttle just about everywhere. There was a lot of open space on that course. It looked like you were attacking cone-to-cone in some places, instead of looking ahead at long stretches that were "fast-into-fast" elements. You also could have stayed on the gas through multiple widely-spaced elements (especially leading into the finish). In addition to being more aggressive on the throttle, increasing your duration of acceleration (getting on the gas a little earlier, and staying on the gas longer) will shave a lot of time off your runs.

2. You can move your inputs closer together. It sounded like there was a lot of time between when you let off the gas and when you got on the brakes. Ideally, you want those inputs to be right next to one another (use the gas until you HAVE TO use the brakes). Generally, any time you're coasting, you're losing time.

3. At times your line was really tight (which is very good), but at other points, you were too far off of the cones (which isn't ideal). You can find a lot of time in sweepers and slaloms by being tighter to the cones.

At your next event, take some time on your course walks to identify sections of the course, not just elements. Determine if they are "fast-into-fast" or "slow-into-fast", etc. That will help you string elements together. Once you've identified the fast sections, find the hidden straightaways in those sections, and go a little faster for a little longer (increasing by safe degrees on each run). And, if there are long sweepers, try to find a point in the middle of the corner (or sooner, if possible) to start rolling on the throttle (your aggression exiting the sweeper will depend on the elements after the sweeper). Think of sweepers like a highway on-ramp: if there's no traffic on the highway (an open element after the sweeper) you can exit faster; if there is traffic on the highway (a tight element after the sweeper), you'll have to brake or lift a little to get through it.

You did a great job of keeping the car composed on most of the runs. That will get more difficult to do as you push the car harder. But, you've got good instincts for not driving yourself into trouble (overdriving/overlapping inputs).

It was really cool to see another awesome Mustang out on an autocross course. If you have any questions leading into your next event, please ask. I'm always happy to help.
 

white95

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Thank you for posting your videos! They will help inspire other people to get their Mustangs out on an autocross course.

Of course! There will be more following each subsequent event. I'm already trying to coax more of my local Mustang buddies to attend the next event with me. The more the merrier right?

It's great to see the car finished and out there attacking the cones. You did a really nice job of chopping time off over the course of the day! You seemed very comfortable out there, and it never looked like you were at risk of getting lost on course.

My goal for this event was to take it easy and try to add more momentum without excessive braking in each run. This was also a suspension, steering and braking shakedown trial. Everything is new and I'm still learning the car.

I took my time walking the course and I even went on the novice walkthrough with experienced drivers. Hell, I even studied a print out in my car between passes to mentally commit to trying a new line through the sweepers. Seems I need to work on what you mentioned later in you post, but we'll get to that.

It's always tough to give advice on a course I didn't actually drive on myself, but I noticed a few things in the videos that might help you find more speed out on course:

1. You can be 1 or 2 degrees more aggressive on the throttle just about everywhere. There was a lot of open space on that course. It looked like you were attacking cone-to-cone in some places, instead of looking ahead at long stretches that were "fast-into-fast" elements. You also could have stayed on the gas through multiple widely-spaced elements (especially leading into the finish). In addition to being more aggressive on the throttle, increasing your duration of acceleration (getting on the gas a little earlier, and staying on the gas longer) will shave a lot of time off your runs.

You're right. I did get fixated on the pointer cones too much and you can see the car drift towards them. The 51.841 pass was the only real time I was more aggressive on the throttle. Speaking of that pass, there was a cone down from the previous car and I should've stopped to point it out but my mind was already through the next corner.

2. You can move your inputs closer together. It sounded like there was a lot of time between when you let off the gas and when you got on the brakes. Ideally, you want those inputs to be right next to one another (use the gas until you HAVE TO use the brakes). Generally, any time you're coasting, you're losing time.

I will work on this.

3. At times your line was really tight (which is very good), but at other points, you were too far off of the cones (which isn't ideal). You can find a lot of time in sweepers and slaloms by being tighter to the cones.

Yeah, this goes back to figuring out what the car wants but I feel the rear tires still needed to drop another PSI to be totally settled. Speaking of settled, it felt like the rear stuck the harder I pushed but the front would roll harder. I believe the sway bar to be too soft and I have an adjustable bar on the way. This was always what had been suggested to me with my setup by the previous owner but I focused on the engine swap.

At your next event, take some time on your course walks to identify sections of the course, not just elements. Determine if they are "fast-into-fast" or "slow-into-fast", etc. That will help you string elements together. Once you've identified the fast sections, find the hidden straightaways in those sections, and go a little faster for a little longer (increasing by safe degrees on each run). And, if there are long sweepers, try to find a point in the middle of the corner (or sooner, if possible) to start rolling on the throttle (your aggression exiting the sweeper will depend on the elements after the sweeper). Think of sweepers like a highway on-ramp: if there's no traffic on the highway (an open element after the sweeper) you can exit faster; if there is traffic on the highway (a tight element after the sweeper), you'll have to brake or lift a little to get through it.

This. This is what I will study the hardest. You did a good job with that analogy and I will look at the next course through that mindset.

You did a great job of keeping the car composed on most of the runs. That will get more difficult to do as you push the car harder. But, you've got good instincts for not driving yourself into trouble (overdriving/overlapping inputs).

It was really cool to see another awesome Mustang out on an autocross course. If you have any questions leading into your next event, please ask. I'm always happy to help.

The driver who rode along with me praised my hand work and focus. He said I seemed to have the basic fundamentals in place and was very smooth on track. Not fast, but smooth. My buddies kept begging for a "hero pass" and now I know what that means. SEND IT!!

The other Mustang that was out there with me was this 86 GT and it was 2.9 seconds faster. She has a 347, a full cage with a Steeda 5-link in the rear but stock K with coilovers in the front. He had the classic Fox chassis inside front tire lift and brake lock issue all day. Nice guy who offered up advice all day.

43595ADD-DB36-46F9-ABE3-CCA14D8DBD8C.jpeg
DC4F462A-31FD-4B22-BA4E-29E95177A47D.jpeg
 

white95

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Speaking of tire pressures, I started at 36 psi and worked down to 31 psi. Here are pictures of the tread from the end of the day. While I probably could’ve went further with them both, I’ll know where to start at the next event.

Front:

7B93A2F9-33D4-4418-9465-941BCEFDDC52.jpeg

645C76BB-4C85-44DA-85AD-4EA254061E02.jpeg

Rear:

A30B6209-3F23-45D7-A277-A5434CA2DE04.jpeg

246DACC7-D58E-4221-8DF4-FE01138D02D8.jpeg
 
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Your approach to the event was great: focus on fundamentals, learn the car, make sure all the new parts are working properly. Building a strong foundation early will pay off exponentially going forward. Course walks, and guided novice course walks, are incredibly important. It was great to hear how much time you put into making sure you were prepared to attack that course. I still do at least 4 course walks as I prepare to lead the guided novice course walk at my events.

Most experienced autocrossers are willing to provide advice to a novice on their course walks. As you saw at your event, the autocross community is welcoming and helpful. The Mustang drivers in my area have always been wonderful mentors. I try to follow their example as best I can. In a year where overall attendance has been down, I've seen more Mustangs showing up at events. Thank you for recruiting more Mustang drivers in your area!

The best front sway bar for autocross has always been an interesting debate. A larger front sway bar adds understeer (which can be really bad, depending on your setup). I actually prefer a larger front sway bar (35mm) on all my Mustangs (SRA/IRS/V6/V8), but many people prefer a smaller front sway bar. You want some roll, but it should feel controlled/composed. And, obviously, you don't want understeer at the limit. While I haven't used an adjustable front sway bar on my cars, I'm an advocate for having adjustability in the car. You'll be able to tailor the car to your driving style. I'm not sure how long your season runs, but it might be better to wait for a Test N Tune event to start adjusting the front sway bar. Right now, you're better off not making major suspension changes. As you build up your aggression on course, you might find your current suspension settings are fine.

Starting at 31 PSI at your next event is a great plan. Do you know the minimum tire pressure for those tires? I run 25 PSI in my Rivals. But, some manufacturers don't want you going down that low. For some tires, you can actually wear the edge down to the bottom of the triangle. That would be something to check with someone running the same tires.

I'm looking forward to seeing the videos from your next event!
 

white95

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The best front sway bar for autocross has always been an interesting debate. A larger front sway bar adds understeer (which can be really bad, depending on your setup). I actually prefer a larger front sway bar (35mm) on all my Mustangs (SRA/IRS/V6/V8), but many people prefer a smaller front sway bar. You want some roll, but it should feel controlled/composed. And, obviously, you don't want understeer at the limit. While I haven't used an adjustable front sway bar on my cars, I'm an advocate for having adjustability in the car. You'll be able to tailor the car to your driving style. I'm not sure how long your season runs, but it might be better to wait for a Test N Tune event to start adjusting the front sway bar. Right now, you're better off not making major suspension changes. As you build up your aggression on course, you might find your current suspension settings are fine.

I have a 25mm front bar at the moment, which came from a 1995 Cobra. As you might already know, I already have an adjustable rear bar [1"] in place. The only other suspension change I intend to make down the line it switching from the MM panhard bar to a Cortex Racing watts link. That has just been a project goal for many years.

Starting at 31 PSI at your next event is a great plan. Do you know the minimum tire pressure for those tires? I run 25 PSI in my Rivals. But, some manufacturers don't want you going down that low. For some tires, you can actually wear the edge down to the bottom of the triangle. That would be something to check with someone running the same tires.

I'm looking forward to seeing the videos from your next event!

I have an email in to Federal to figure this out.
 
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I know a few people who have been happy with a 27mm front sway bar on their coil over cars. They came on different 94-04 models. If you have one in your spare parts collection, it might be worth trying it out.

I'm also looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the adjustable front bar once you've tested it.

I'm a big fan of the Watt's Link. I instructed students in a couple of s197 Mustangs with Watt's Links, and I was very impressed with how well they handled.
 

white95

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I know a few people who have been happy with a 27mm front sway bar on their coil over cars. They came on different 94-04 models. If you have one in your spare parts collection, it might be worth trying it out.

I'm also looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the adjustable front bar once you've tested it.

I'm a big fan of the Watt's Link. I instructed students in a couple of s197 Mustangs with Watt's Links, and I was very impressed with how well they handled.

I’m hoping to install the front bar next week (over a few days, as my work schedule just changed to 6A-6P for a few weeks plus I have an hour drive) and get some street time in before the next event.

71C45059-2945-4B94-9B4E-D9621B490330.jpeg

Still haven’t heard back from Federal but internet wisdom tells me 25 psi is the lowest I should go.

Speaking of S197’s, I fully intend to install a watt’s link in my wife’s when she gets her new DD and relinquishes more upgrade control to me.

BBEE321A-0214-4A26-9651-5C59441D58C2.jpeg

*evil grin* These look right at home.

DBBAE4BF-1FB0-41B4-A88E-0CB81AC27B5C.jpeg
 
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Will you be at the same site for the next autocross? If the course is going to be open and fast, I'd start on the middle setting.

It might be worth timing how long it takes to swap positions on the bar to see if you can do it between runs.

I agree; I wouldn't go lower than 25 PSI.

I've seen that s197 in some of your other posts. Nice car! Every Mustang should be autocrossed at least once.
 

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