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jranaudo

Need advice on track car

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jranaudo

I currently own a 2004 mach1 and I'm not crazy about the way it handles and looks. I am thinking about swapping it out for a corvette or 350/370z.

 

Can anybody add some opinions on whether I should do the swap?

 

My complaints about the mustang besides not being crazy about the looks is the handling. I just don't feel confident throwing into turns. I could upgrade (already running Maximum Motorsports starter kit) but isn't a corvette just a better platform to begin with? I mean the hood on this thing weighs like 200+ lbs. Not exactly "track" material but then again it was never designed for that.

 

Appreciate the comments!

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ILIKETODRIVE

My $.02

 

If you ever plan on doing Time Trials or wheel-to-wheel racing, definitely go C5 Corvette or 350Z. (TT2/TT3 or ST2/ST3 or Spec Z would be perfect options)

 

If you really only plan on getting to HPDE4 and having fun track days, definitely go C6 Corvette or 370Z. (higher initial cost but better platforms)

 

Definitely ditch the 'stang. Heck, if anything, get a Miata. willy_nilly.gif

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aaronsti

as a track car the mach 1 isn't a great car. however, i love those things. stepping to a c6 vette or 370z is alot of money ontop of the stang. i would keep the stang and get something like an older bmw or miata or 240sx for track.

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kbrew8991

+1 to getting a cheaper more disposable track car - if that's C5Z06 money to you then fantastic!

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jranaudo

No way am I in that range.

 

I am thinking more along the lines of a C5 FRC or Z06. Again I am only doing HPDE 3-4x per year. I might end up in HPDE 4 eventually but that probably a 5 year plan. Busy with kids and other hobbies.

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ILIKETODRIVE

In that case I say 350Z and sticky-icky tires.

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obzezzed350

The 350z is a great platform, and parts and cars are pretty inexpensive. Its a very forgiving and balanced car and plenty fast with a sticky set of tires and some good pads. They are incredibly reliable, just keep feeding them consumables. Feel free to PM if you have any questions on them.

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kbrew8991

one vote for the FRC here...

 

just say no to mac-struts

and with the Z don't any of the non-brembo package cars have inadequate brakes for track use even with upgrade pads/fluid?

and what about all this stuff I see with SpecZ people adding oil & diff coolers all over the place?

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Diller

As a guy that is building an AI Mustang and helping a friend build a dual purpose HPDE 2003 Mach, I say keep the Mach. Unless you just want a different car, the Mustang can be extremely fun and with the right parts, a great dual purpose car. The Mach comes with some very track friendly features like the bigger brake package, factory chassis stiffening, 3.55 gearing, and pretty supportive seats (way better than the V6/GT seats).

 

A Mustang will never be a Vett or a well mannered euro car but that doesn't mean it can't be very capable and very fun. Plus, it is hard to beat the sound of that 4 valve V8.

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jranaudo

linky to worky

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jranaudo

touche

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wheelhopper

Since you are only going to do 3-4 HPDE events per year, I say stick with the stang. There are a lot of second hand and used parts to improve the braking and handling of your car. The Mach 1 already makes plenty of power for the road coarse. Some good springs, struts/shocks, sticky tires, and good alignment will allow you to give many vettes and Z cars a hard time, especially in HPDE. Just don't go to far with the stang. If you get to the point of wanting to install racing seats and a cage, sell it and get a Vette. It is much easier/cheaper to go fast in a Vette than an older style Mustang. Now the new 5.0 Mustangs are bad ass.

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RACER-X

I'd say to stick with the Rustang and learn. Put sticky tires and better pads on and just have fun with it.

 

Now decide what your goals are???? What would you ultimately like to do, stay in HPDE, move to TT or a race group???

Be honest with yourself now. Also remember that the heavier and faster the car is, the more cost in consumables.

Once you figure what your goals are you can start to narrow your list of cars down.

This way it will save you from buying several different cars and putting thousands in them for upgades.

Good luck!!!

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n80
and with the Z don't any of the non-brembo package cars have inadequate brakes for track use even with upgrade pads/fluid?

and what about all this stuff I see with SpecZ people adding oil & diff coolers all over the place?

 

The earlier non-Brembo Z's had single piston front brakes that were not too good. The later years have two piston fronts which are okay. The Z is a heavy car but I find the oem non-Brembos on my 07 are adequate. I'm sure a BBK would be better but probably not a worthwhile expense for occasional DE.

 

The Zs, other than base model, have viscous LSDs which are probably not adequate for racing but mine does fine at CMP.....DE-2 level, averaging 2:00 laps there...not great but it keeps me entertained.

 

The Spec Z guys seem to be struggling with the WaveTrac rear diff. Nissan Sport article on the subject suggests waiting for the rules to change to allow something else.

 

Not sure about oil coolers, doesn't everyone say that everything on a track needs an oil cooler?

 

I did not buy my Z for the track so I'm just driving what I have but it seems to be holding up and its fun. I'm finding brake pads to be the priciest consumable. About $315 for a set of Carbotechs.

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brkntrxn
Since you are only going to do 3-4 HPDE events per year, I say stick with the stang. There are a lot of second hand and used parts to improve the braking and handling of your car. The Mach 1 already makes plenty of power for the road coarse. Some good springs, struts/shocks, sticky tires, and good alignment will allow you to give many vettes and Z cars a hard time, especially in HPDE. Just don't go to far with the stang. If you get to the point of wanting to install racing seats and a cage, sell it and get a Vette. It is much easier/cheaper to go fast in a Vette than an older style Mustang. Now the new 5.0 Mustangs are bad ass.

 

 

Doug nailed it. If you are only going to do a handful of DEs a year, stick with the Mustang and give it a few upgrades. Don't spend any more than a few thousand. Once you get serious enough to start desiring more than your stock Mustang can deliver on sticky tires and some upgrades, then sell it and get a Vette.

 

I owned Mustangs and Mustang Cobras for a looong time. Daily driven, weekend fun, and track only. After finally making the decision to upgrade to a better tool for the hobby, I sold one Cobra and bought a C5Z06 for my track toy. I can absolutely say that I have NEVER once been on track at speed and thought, "I miss the Cobra(s)". I can however say that I have been on the street and thought, "I miss the Cobra(s)". Different tool for a different past-time.

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mhoward1

Pretty much agree on what has been said. While the C5's and 350Z's are good track cars, that don't necessarily make them better learning tools. As a matter of fact the C5 Z06's make a worse learning car because they are so quick out of the box that you can get in trouble pretty quickly.

 

I can pretty much sum up my thoughts like this. I would only change what you have if:

 

1. What you have is breaking all the time

2. It costs too much to run in consumables

3. What you have does nasty unpredictable things

4. It is unsafe for yourself or an instructor.

5. You have decided to move on to a competitive group and you need the proper tool for the group you have decided on (TT or W2W).

6. You have reached the maximum the vehicle has to give. 99% of the time this isn't the case for 99% of us.

 

To upgrade just to become faster in HPDE is not a great reason though. HPDE is all about learning techniques and getting experience, going faster doesn’t mean better learning, or that the driver has improved to make the new speed. If and when you decide to move to another vehicle I will advise think about where you want to be in a year or two. It may not be in a C5 or C6 oriented class or group. There is a lot to be said for slower, but great track cars out there. Too many times I have seen someone buy a monster, only to replace it in a year or so with an E30 or Spec Miata. The C5 cars are great cars though if you go that way and I think Spec Z has a LOT of potential.

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jranaudo

#1 one for me is feeling confident in my car. I do not at all "feel" the mustang. I fear it's one easy mistake away from a bad scenario. Yes it could improve but platform is platform.

 

I certainly am NOT looking for something faster. I am a huge fan of learning slowly. So if I get something more powerful I intend to "learn" and not always try and beat the track record. I don't need a Z06 for sure. I could but its not required for what I want to do. Right now I am leaning towards a vette or a 350z.

 

I have the mustang up for sale now so I am definitely going down this route. I really appreciate all the great replies. The decision to sell was the first step. Now I gotta decide what to get.

 

Stock C5 and 350z's are going for similar prices. 350's seem to be a little less. Z06's are at least 7-10k more. So cost is an issue.

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mhoward1

Feel is an important factor, and not feeling comfortable is a good reason to change.

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drivinhardz06

you have to get rid of all the OEM rubber on a C5/C6 to get it to "talk" to you. After that, they talk very well.

 

dunno how old you want to get, but E36 M's are fantastic little cars. E46's are great cars as well

 

a base C5 Z51 car can be had very cheaply

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bukit

I have a friend who is selling a 99 E36 M3. It has a roll cage and may fit into your budget. Car is located in Macon, GA.

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hoki06

I'm a little late to the game but I'll throw in an argument for the E36 M3. I did my first HPDE weekend in a C6 and while fun, I was timid and not fully comfortable. After some discussion my dad and I picked up an E36 M3 with the intent of making it a street/track car for HPDE and eventually TT. I think the M3 is perfect for someone starting out on track and wanting to learn slowly. They are incredibly balanced and give great feedback, quick enough so you don't feel slow, consumables aren't bad at all, have a huge aftermarket so it's very easy to pick up used parts to slowly upgrade as you learn, and they are competitive if you ever get to TT or racing. There is a ton of knowledge out there on these cars and they're easy to work on and maintain. You shouldn't have a problem finding a track prepped E36 M3 for 8-10k depending on what's been done to it.

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wheelhopper
#1 one for me is feeling confident in my car. I do not at all "feel" the mustang. I fear it's one easy mistake away from a bad scenario. Yes it could improve but platform is platform.

 

I certainly am NOT looking for something faster. I am a huge fan of learning slowly. So if I get something more powerful I intend to "learn" and not always try and beat the track record. I don't need a Z06 for sure. I could but its not required for what I want to do. Right now I am leaning towards a vette or a 350z.

 

I have the mustang up for sale now so I am definitely going down this route. I really appreciate all the great replies. The decision to sell was the first step. Now I gotta decide what to get.

 

Stock C5 and 350z's are going for similar prices. 350's seem to be a little less. Z06's are at least 7-10k more. So cost is an issue.

 

If you want to be confident get a GTR. Those cars will correct every mistake you make.

 

Confidence comes from experience. If the car you drive is safe and solid you simply need more time in it to learn where the limit is. Every car is only 1 mistake away from a bad scenario. I am willling to bet that even if you get a ZO6 you will reach a point where your confidence is tested. Even if the car will go faster initially the confidence is coming from the car being more capable out of the box. I think your better off sticking with what you have.

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jranaudo

ok I am referring more to "feel" than confident. The Mustang is just not communicating the road to me in a good way. I have driven other cars on the track and I know what it feels like.

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