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The_Jed UberDork
4/27/14 9:32 p.m.

If you weren't concerned with weight I'd say you need to mount some spares in the back like a Baja truck.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ HalfDork
4/27/14 9:41 p.m.

berkeley the Police, berkeley the State, and berkeley the Feds

This is a bit out of chronological order, as these things all happened at different times. In reverse order from the title:

The Feds (ok, I don’t actually know what government agency) took back DC Region’s Summit Point venue. This was not a good thing for the Mustang, as Summit Point was grippy and had long straights, exactly what this car needs to be competitive. I was pissed, but what was I going to do, I already had the damn car.

The State of Pennsylvania’s Department of Motor Vehicles somehow concluded that the clean Maryland title this Mustang was sold to me with netted it a Salvage certificate upon registration in PA. I still don’t fully understand how.

The Police arrived within 5 minutes of my first test drive of the Mustang, despite the fact that my immediate neighbors are all trees. I learned a new thing- one of the people whose homes I definitely did not drive past was the Sheriff’s brother. Oops.

But, while [allegedly] tearing ass all over the “closed course” I learned that I had a fuel pressure issue- my noisy fuel pump had finally E36 M3 the bed. A new one was installed, and I found that the tank was pretty damn rusty, but being a massive cheapass, I ordered several extra fuel filters and strainers instead of spending the money on a new tank. The issue seemed to be fixed after this replacement, but then I topped up the tank, which caused the new strainer to clog. Strainer replaced, the fuel pressure was finally happy again and the pump was silent.

On another test drive that absolutely took place on a racetrack, my lights were on, and the car barely made it back to the driveway once I realized what was happening. The alternator was cooked, but a remanufactured replacement had the car charging nicely again.

4/27/14 9:48 p.m.

I have to call it quits for now, competition recaps and hopefully bringing this up to current day tomorrow.

irish44j PowerDork
4/27/14 9:54 p.m.

To Be Continued.....

Sky_Render Dork
4/28/14 8:17 a.m.

I've never seen a rallycross Mustang. I love it!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Dork
4/28/14 8:47 a.m.

In reply to The_Jed:

In a perfect world, with infinite fab time, this thing would have all sorts of Baja/Stadium Truck style modifications. Spares in the back, radiator in the back, huge long travel suspension, roof light bar, etc.

irish44j wrote: To Be Continued.....

I believe in this picture I am actually in the middle of an explanation of the car: "When you have an idea this dumb, you just have to follow through..."

Petrolburner New Reader
4/28/14 4:07 p.m.


fidelity101 Dork
4/28/14 4:15 p.m.

What rallycross region are you in? We have a guy who runs a foxbody in the DET region semi frequently who basically did what you did. Buy someone elses beat up race car, then proceed to race the E36 M3 out of it.

dropstep New Reader
4/28/14 4:39 p.m.

i wouldnt even have risked my 4cyl/auto notch with a dent in every panel for this, but its cool to see someone else doing it with a foxbody!

4/28/14 5:15 p.m.

In reply to fidelity101:

Philly region technically, but I have typically run with DC region in the past. I think buying someone else's race car is the only way to do this with a Foxbody, the mods to mine would be super expensive new and I'm not sure it would survive without at least the rear suspension and all the braces.

irish44j PowerDork
4/28/14 5:27 p.m.
fidelity101 wrote: What rallycross region are you in? We have a guy who runs a foxbody in the DET region semi frequently who basically did what you did. Buy someone elses beat up race car, then proceed to race the E36 M3 out of it.

Chris is one of the guys who we are discussing coming to the Great Lakes Regionals, mentioned in my thread.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ HalfDork
4/28/14 5:50 p.m.

WDCR Frostburg Test n’ Tune 3/15/14

So, the first event for the Mustang- I hitched a uHaul trailer to the Suburban and set off at 3:30 AM (Frostburg is ~4.5 hrs from home). Upon arrival, I noted that this venue was about as different from Summit Point as you could ever get. Almost no dirt, lots of heavy gravel, and nothing like a predefined course; but DC region made the best of it with a rental skid steer to fix any major problems.

This was the first time I had stood near the car running out in the open- in my driveway I had thought the sound was reverberating off the garage, but it was clear that hadn’t been the case. Just standing near the thing while it was idling caused a distinct rumbling in my chest, and several people remarked on its’ ability to interfere with their heart rate when standing directly behind it. I spun the back tires several times just letting off the clutch to move it around grid.

For the first time in the last couple years of rallycross events, I was nervous.

I was the first car off for the Test n’ Tune, and it quickly became apparent that 1st gear was useless. Shifting to 2nd, the car rocketed forward, and actually turned in very crisply with a slight lift off the throttle. Modulation was the name of the game, full throttle was just an automatic-spin switch. Course workers visibly moved away as I approached, ejecting 100 lbs of gravel per second from the rear of the car. After my 1st run, I was informed I had hit 5 cones. I had no idea where a single one of them was, I was working so hard to keep the car on course.

It’s important to note here that I’ve driven about 8 different MR-class rallycross cars, and I’m typically up to full speed in them almost immediately- in fact, I usually beat the car owner’s first run when codriving a car for the first time. But NOT this one. This thing was hard to drive- not that it isn’t fast, my times were on par with Josh and Nick, but it makes you work for it.

On my second run, my fuel issue returned. Back to paddock for a quick fuel strainer swap; the inside of the tank looked much cleaner this time, so I buttoned it up as quickly as I could and headed for the course again. The remainder of the Test n’ Tune was uneventful, with me learning the car and posting times on par with the rest of MR, but with lots of cones. I was always a cone-heavy driver, but this was just ridiculous! In addition, the car popped out of second on a couple of the larger bumps, but I didn’t think much of it, as many rallycross cars I’ve driven have done this, and resorted to my standard technique of holding it in gear when I suspected a hard hit might pop it out.


Check out the flying cone at the end of the first run- I got some hang time on that one! *edit: the cone UFO is in the next post's video. The in-car view from the last run gives a good picture of how frantic I was trying to drive this thing.

Photos (credit: Jon Kramer)

I got some excellent Mexican food with my fellow rallycrossers, and settled in for a cold night in the Suburban before the event the next day.

*edit Oh, also, I almost spun at one point when Nick mooned me- photo courtesy of irish44j:
I can only assume there is an X-rated image from moments before that Josh chose not to post to Facebook.

4/28/14 6:19 p.m.

WDCR Frostburg Rallycross 3/16/14

I woke up in the Suburban with terms my fellow racers had coined in an attempt to describe the Mustang running through my head: “Gravel Propelled Rocket,” “Cone Seeking Missile,” “It berkeleying sounds like it eats babies,” etc. Today was real competition, no more 5 cones per run… well, that was the plan anyway.

My first run was decent, and I only hit one cone! But I was off pace, Josh had been faster by 2 seconds, and clean to boot- I was right on top of Nick though. Much the same for the second run, but two cones this time. This trend continued, with 3 cones on the third run and for many of the other runs thereafter. At the start of my fourth run, the starter informed me that I had knocked over one with the roostertails coming off the rear tires (which counts in DC region). By the end of the morning session, it was clear I wasn’t catching Josh and Nick, since they had very few cones between them and I was already well into the teens.

The afternoon course was faster than the morning’s, and formed deep ruts almost immediately. This turned out to be a good thing for the Mustang, it felt like a short wheelbase trophy truck bounding over the ruts, and my average cones per run dropped from 3-ish to 2-ish. In the end, I was 3rd, with Josh leading by a significant margin and Nick splitting the difference. Surprisingly, the other Josh (bluej) was right behind me in his all-season shod turbo e30.

Total cone count for me: 21
The rest of the class: 22


After this event, I actually didn’t have a ton to do- video from the front wheel well on the Test n’ Tune day indicated I should do something to get some more droop out of the front suspension, and the rear video showed very little deflection in my rear tires, so I figured I could stand to drop the pressure a bit. Also, my competitors, tired of being blasted by gravel, requested that I purchase some mud flaps.

At this point, it was also clear to me that this car would require me to develop some self control. My technique of “balls out, if you tag a cone or two don’t sweat it” was a recipe for disaster instead of success, although it sure was fun.

irish44j PowerDork
4/28/14 6:37 p.m.
NONACK wrote: I can only assume there is an X-rated image from moments before that Josh chose not to post to Facebook.

sadly, no.....that was my first event using my phone instead of an actual camera for photos, and I wasn't used to the delay or long focus time yet...

irish44j PowerDork
4/28/14 6:50 p.m.

might I suggest this method for avoiding cones......it's kind of like rallycross voodoo. "Be one with the cone, do not hit the cone...."

and for the record, until you have photographic proof, I still hold the distance record for a cone-punt

midniteson Reader
4/29/14 4:54 a.m.

Amazing build thread! I race a 79 trans am on a 3/4 mile dirt track in the pure stock class. fox body's are really hard to beat on the dirt with a good driver behind the wheel.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ HalfDork
4/29/14 7:22 a.m.
irish44j wrote: and for the record, until you have photographic proof, I still hold the distance record for a cone-punt

I'm sorry, what was that? I couldn't hear you over the sonic boom from this near-orbital cone breaking the sound barrier...

fidelity101 Dork
4/29/14 8:03 a.m.

In reply to NONACK:

If you want mudflaps for that thing find a junkyard that does big rigs. Nice and cheap and HUGE.

edizzle89 Reader
4/29/14 8:45 a.m.

or you can use ikea flexible cutting boards, total of $8 will get you a set of rally red mud flaps with a back up pair of vomit green mud flaps:

ikea mud flaps

bluej SuperDork
4/29/14 10:13 a.m.

That's a neat idea, except Chris would have to laminate a few packs of them per wheel.

Can I call "Not-it" to grid behind this thing next time? I have more paint chips from the mustang launches than my own runs. Not sure if you could see it, Chris, but I "saluted" your launches when you had the rear cam setup

4/29/14 4:40 p.m.

WDCR Frostburg Rallycross 4/13/14

Having removed the front spring isolators (to lower the front slightly and gain droop travel), mounted a pair of rear mudflaps, and reduced my rear tire pressure 6 psi, I was ready for the next event. I still don’t have my own trailer, so I rented another uHaul unit.

It was actually nice out, and lots of people gathered near the Mustang this time instead of huddling in their cars until the drivers’ meeting:

The course was on an entirely different part of the lot, one we would soon find out was a bit more prone to erosion than the area we had previously used. I began by laying down a fast run, but hit 3 cones- dammit, still had to work on that. My second run was a disaster, a fast disaster, but a disaster nonetheless with 7 cones. For the two runs following, I backed off about 10% and really started to find what the car wanted- both runs had a cone, but the car felt much more composed, and my raw times were the fastest in the class by a decent margin. It’s clear that driving this car through the course at what feels like a slower pace can actually net faster times, unlike the lower powered cars where you have to really push the limits to maintain speed. In addition, my extra ground clearance was coming in handy as there was now a series of whoops in the back section of the course.

Then, the car decided it had to make up for all of the cones I missed. It popped out of gear on a midcorner bump and hooked in towards the inside cones, and I was pissed enough after hitting those 3 or so that it broke my concentration and I hit a ton, taking out part of the finish as well. At the end of the morning, I was yet again behind Nick and Josh, but at least this event I had put in a few runs which were actually competitive and not multi-cone.

In the afternoon, when parked in grid idling after the parade lap, the car overheated. The cooling fan was not on, and when shorted so it would engage, the relay would not send power to it; I hardwired it on, topped up the coolant, and returned. They sent me straight to the starting line, and I took one more typical 3 cone run, but upon returning to grid was told I wouldn’t get all of my runs since I took too long to fix the car. Knowing I was out, I decided to put the car back on the trailer, in case there was still air in the cooling system.


Excellent Photos courtesy of Isaac Anderson:

So, now I had a fan, and possible engine and gearbox issues to fix. Wonderful.
On the bright side, I had figured out how to drive the car faster, and was confident that with a few more runs to figure it out, I could have had at least one cone-free, fast run.

Upon returning home for the second time (I had to return the uHaul trailer after unloading), I decided I would only attend Frostburg events if they were at least 2 days long. Waking up at 3:30 AM, burning $100 in fuel to tow the car there, another $100 to get it home, and finally getting back home at 11 PM is a bit much for a rallycross event.

irish44j PowerDork
4/29/14 7:06 p.m.

so since I'm a numbers geek, I added the raw times for the morning up, just out of curiosity.......and you did have the fastest two raw run times of the morning of any of us, for sure. But the total raw times are what is pretty amazing....

Me: 332.9 (fastest single raw time run: 64.8)

You: 332.9 (64.4)

Nick: 333.2 (65.9)

what are the chances....??

irish44j PowerDork
4/29/14 7:20 p.m.

Also a thought on the popping out of gear: could it have either something to do with your engine/tranny mounts (not sure what you have), or the fact that you put your hand on the shifter on hard bumps? In 3 seasons I have never had mine pop out of gear (and I never hold the shifter). There's gotta be a way to get rid of that issues (hell, even some kind of tension strap holding you into whatever gear you usually stay in for runs?)

Junkyard_Dog Dork
4/29/14 7:35 p.m.

After lookng at your pictures I'm going to suggest a second full car width flap behind the red flaps. Which don't seem to be doing much other than screaming for mercy.

NGTD SuperDork
4/29/14 8:18 p.m.
edizzle89 wrote: or you can use ikea flexible cutting boards, total of $8 will get you a set of rally red mud flaps with a back up pair of vomit green mud flaps: ikea mud flaps

Don't use them in the cold. I did and I have 1 flap left intact. The other 3 snapped off at different times this winter.

The new Subaru is getting ones made from a semi flap. One flap made 4 flaps.

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