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grunyon
grunyon New Reader
4/28/14 3:34 a.m.

Side-graded from a full bolt on '08 BMW 135i to a '12 Mustang GT Premium because I figured it has more aftermarket support, is cheaper to break, and less high strung in general. After watching this season's first few HPDE events and autocross, I think that the Mustang GT (even though its great) isn't what I want to be driving to participate in these kinds of events.

Considering I can probably get 23-35k for my Mustang still, and don't necessarily need to spend it all again, what should I consider? A Miata would be great as well as an M3 e36 or e46 but I'm trying not to drink the cool-aid on those just yet. I have a company car and no kids/wife so it doesn't need to be super practical. My car can sit in the garage for a month before it gets driven, especially in the winter. I'm trying to stick with naturally aspirated power right now and I'm trying to not just right into a high power car so I can learn to drive a bit better (momentum).

I dismissed the idea of an RX8 already but the 350z seems like a nice package for the money. Also highly considering an s2000 but I hear they can be a bit twitchy?

What options am I forgetting?

jmthunderbirdturbo
jmthunderbirdturbo Reader
4/28/14 4:40 a.m.

ecoboost mustang with the 4cyl turbo and a 6 speed manual. you bought the right car, just the wrong engine.

-J0N

bigfoot21075
bigfoot21075 New Reader
4/28/14 5:11 a.m.

A properly set up and DRIVEN Mustang GT is a formidable opponent on the track.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltraDork
4/28/14 6:02 a.m.

I just helped put on an autocross for a pile of mustangs. They were great. Huge power, tons of fun. Every car has something about it from the factory that you can't really fix. Lots of cars (Miata anyone?) lack power. People spend idiotic amounts of time and money trying to make up for that.
Mustangs don't have that problem. Sure, they're a little nose heavy and that affects their dynamics, but that doesn't mean they're BAD. At least go autocross the car and have fun. Every single one of the Mustang owners I rode around with and instructed left with HUGE grins on their faces.

maj75
maj75 Reader
4/28/14 7:33 a.m.

I can't comment on Autocross, but I can tell you that an E36 M3 is fantastic at an HPDE event. I just got back from Sebring and I love my E36 M3.

The coolaide is that is isn't cool to have an E36. Don't believe it. I sold a mint 944 Turbo, and took the money, bought a beat on '95 M3 for $4000 and spent the balance on new suspension, brakes, flywheel/pressure plate, rear main seal, engine and trans mounts, header, tune, radiator and every maintenance item. The car is a joy to drive, I know what's in it and I passed a new Boss 302 Mustang as well as Boxsters and Z4s. It just does what I want, goes where I point it, stops like I need it to, let's me get on the gas early in the corners. It isn't pretty but it makes me happy every time I take it to the track. It has a couple of issues, but I will get them sorted.

I think if you get a chance to drive one, you will see why they are popular. There are certainly cars out there with more power, better handling, but not many for what you can build a E36 M3 for.

Sky_Render
Sky_Render Dork
4/28/14 7:41 a.m.
grunyon wrote: What options am I forgetting?

Keeping the Mustang and doing a few well-thought-out upgrades to fix its shortcomings?

xflowgolf
xflowgolf Dork
4/28/14 7:58 a.m.

You said it's a Premium, but is it a track pack / Brembo car? I know the behavior of these cars can seem a lot different without the aggressive gearing.

I'm with the others here, I'd sort your car and just go run it before writing it off.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
4/28/14 8:01 a.m.

What is it you don't like about the Mustang? All you say is 'isn't what I want to be driving to participate in these kinds of events' You don't say why. Do you feel outclassed, do you feel the consumables are too expensive' Is it beyond your ability? Are you beyond it's ability? (Unlikely on the last one unless your last name is Alonso or HAmilton)

The loss you're are going to take on selling a late model car is probably more than enough to fix any (perceived) shortcomings, or even buy a dedicated track car. You can pick up old IT cars or Spec Rx7's etc for less than what you'll loose.

Details details.

Don't worry, we will help spend your money one way or another, we're very very good at that around here.

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler Dork
4/28/14 8:06 a.m.

Nothing to add except that if you do end up selling the Mustang, I know a guy that's in the market for an 11-12 GT.

JtspellS
JtspellS Dork
4/28/14 8:08 a.m.

I agree with everything said about the e36 m3, amazing car with enough power to have lots of fun but not kill immediately.

Why no RX8 though? They can be had for cheap, plenty of aftermarket and support, miata like handling with more power, in fact the NC miata and the rx8 share many of the same parts.

Sky_Render
Sky_Render Dork
4/28/14 8:22 a.m.

The only significant differences in a track pack Mustang are tires (easily remedied), Brembo brakes (also easily remedied with used takeoffs) and a Torsen limited slip unit.

gjz30075
gjz30075 Reader
4/28/14 8:29 a.m.
grunyon wrote: After watching this season's first few HPDE events and autocross, I think that the Mustang GT (even though its great) isn't what I want to be driving to participate in these kinds of events. What options am I forgetting?

Sounds like you haven't even tried the car yet. True?

yupididit
yupididit New Reader
4/28/14 8:32 a.m.

Buy suspension bits for your Mustang. They already handle surprisingly well. Cool thing is. You can buy parts and turn it into what ever type of driving car you want. Not many cars come with that kind of power from the factory and then one of the largest aftermarkets to support it.

z31maniac
z31maniac UltimaDork
4/28/14 8:35 a.m.
maj75 wrote: The car is a joy to drive, I know what's in it and I passed a new Boss 302 Mustang as well as Boxsters and Z4s.

That's the driver, not the car. Always curious why this gets overlooked when people are trying to justify one thing over the other.

A stock BOSS is much more capable than even a lightly modded E36 M3, make = modifications and it's not even a fair fight.

grunyon
grunyon New Reader
4/28/14 9:29 a.m.

It's not a Brembo package although it has the Brembo package wheels and tires. Story is the dealership advertised it as a Brembo package car but it wasn't and they gave me a killer deal on it.

I haven't tried yet, but I figure it needs suspension bits to cure the body roll I can actually feel now. Also better brakes because they can really disappoint me sometimes. Actually, the body roll doesn't disappoint me just yet but I have tried to stop quick a few times and been disappointed. The only other thing I can really notice on this car that I am afraid I won't be able to get rid of is while I an cornering and hit a bump, the whole back end jumps a bit sideways. I am thinking this is because of the live axle. Which I'll never be able to get rid of. It was never as bad in my 135i.

Point being once I put this thing on full suspension with a big brake package, I'll have to keep this car with a live axle for a long time.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
4/28/14 9:30 a.m.
z31maniac wrote:
maj75 wrote: The car is a joy to drive, I know what's in it and I passed a new Boss 302 Mustang as well as Boxsters and Z4s.
That's the driver, not the car. Always curious why this gets overlooked when people are trying to justify one thing over the other. A stock BOSS is much more capable than even a lightly modded E36 M3, make = modifications and it's not even a fair fight.

To add to that, remember that Car and Driver got round VIR in a V6 Mustang with the performance pack faster than they did in an Evo or STI. Just let that sink in for a moment. The secretary edition Mustang was faster than the rally refuge boost buggies.

Sky_Render
Sky_Render Dork
4/28/14 9:34 a.m.

Have you actually tracked the Mustang yet? Have you tracked any vehicles before?

The rear end can be improved easily. Take a look at my build thread: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-threads-and-project-cars/project-2011-mustang-50-the-evil-pony/52984/page1/

skierd
skierd Dork
4/28/14 11:37 a.m.
grunyon wrote: I haven't tried yet, but I figure it needs suspension bits to cure the body roll I can actually feel now. Also better brakes because they can really disappoint me sometimes. Actually, the body roll doesn't disappoint me just yet but I have tried to stop quick a few times and been disappointed. The only other thing I can really notice on this car that I am afraid I won't be able to get rid of is while I an cornering and hit a bump, the whole back end jumps a bit sideways. I am thinking this is because of the live axle. Which I'll never be able to get rid of. It was never as bad in my 135i. Point being once I put this thing on full suspension with a big brake package, I'll have to keep this car with a live axle for a long time.

I know what you mean about body roll, my stock '13 base model felt like it wallowed all over the place. My Mazda6 feels more composed for the most part... but I know it's not the faster or better handling car.

With a S197 Mustang the fixes are easy and relatively cheap: just call Sam Strano or Vorshlag or Steeda or any of the other good Mustang companies. A new UCA, springs, good dampers, and sway bars will probably fix most if not all the suspension ills. Add a set of long tubes and good performance exhaust will make you forget about the live axle. Swap on your favorite track pads and good fluid, hit the track, rinse, repeat.

I regret getting rid of mine if it weren't driving me broke with the gas mileage and insurance using it as a daily driver, and I will own one again as a toy.

yamaha
yamaha UltimaDork
4/28/14 12:46 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote: To add to that, remember that Car and Driver got round VIR in a V6 Mustang with the performance pack faster than they did in an Evo or STI. Just let that sink in for a moment. The secretary edition Mustang was faster than the rally refuge boost buggies.

And didn't they say it would have been even quicker if it weren't for the speed limiter?

If you must sell it, in the 23-35k window, you could get a Z4M coupe.

Rusnak_322
Rusnak_322 Dork
4/28/14 12:56 p.m.

Car and Driver (I think) put a Mustang GT vs a M3 at the track. the author was considerably faster in the Mustang. The pro driver was like a tenth of a second faster in the M3 then in the Mustang. Stock cars, street tires.

bluej
bluej SuperDork
4/28/14 1:18 p.m.

If you do end up parting with it, it sounds like the Frisbee twins and maybe a cayman should be on your shopping list.

Choppa87
Choppa87 New Reader
4/28/14 1:59 p.m.

I once ran at a track day hosted by a mustang club.. Trust me on this one when a say a coyote powered mustang is a force to be reckoned with. I was shocked how fast some of the cars with minimal modifications were going. As mentioned before, upgrade the brakes and do supporting mods and see how well the car does. Or get a corvette and call it a day :)

ultraclyde
ultraclyde SuperDork
4/28/14 3:00 p.m.
grunyon wrote: The only other thing I can really notice on this car that I am afraid I won't be able to get rid of is while I an cornering and hit a bump, the whole back end jumps a bit sideways.

Grow a big hairy pair and learn to drive a car that has a slight tendency to kill you.

Learn to ignore the Bimmer fan-boi brainwashing about live axles. Bolt on a Watts link and some brembo take-offs and slay all takers.

z31maniac
z31maniac UltimaDork
4/28/14 3:10 p.m.
skierd wrote:
grunyon wrote: I haven't tried yet, but I figure it needs suspension bits to cure the body roll I can actually feel now. Also better brakes because they can really disappoint me sometimes. Actually, the body roll doesn't disappoint me just yet but I have tried to stop quick a few times and been disappointed. The only other thing I can really notice on this car that I am afraid I won't be able to get rid of is while I an cornering and hit a bump, the whole back end jumps a bit sideways. I am thinking this is because of the live axle. Which I'll never be able to get rid of. It was never as bad in my 135i. Point being once I put this thing on full suspension with a big brake package, I'll have to keep this car with a live axle for a long time.
I know what you mean about body roll, my stock '13 base model felt like it wallowed all over the place. My Mazda6 feels more composed for the most part... but I know it's not the faster or better handling car. With a S197 Mustang the fixes are easy and relatively cheap: just call Sam Strano or Vorshlag or Steeda or any of the other good Mustang companies. A new UCA, springs, good dampers, and sway bars will probably fix most if not all the suspension ills. Add a set of long tubes and good performance exhaust will make you forget about the live axle. Swap on your favorite track pads and good fluid, hit the track, rinse, repeat. I regret getting rid of mine if it weren't driving me broke with the gas mileage and insurance using it as a daily driver, and I will own one again as a toy.

Except leave the UCA stock and replace the LCAs and get some relocation brackets for them.

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave MegaDork
4/28/14 3:24 p.m.
grunyon wrote: The only other thing I can really notice on this car that I am afraid I won't be able to get rid of is while I an cornering and hit a bump, the whole back end jumps a bit sideways. I am thinking this is because of the live axle.

You want a Watts link. Fays2 is my preferred one.

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