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Discussion Starter #1
I have been trying to decide what car to buy and autocross with. I am going to spend $5,000 and then modify it for autocross. I also like drag racing some, so I am leaning towards getting a Mustang.

Is it worth getting a Fox Body Mustang and running it in Street Prepared? It seems like the car has a lot of disadvantages. I was going to buy the car get some Summer Tires, upgrade the shocks and springs, and improve the exhaust.

My main concern is the stiffness of the car, due to not being able to install Subframe Connectors. Is it possible to make the car stiff enough in Street Prepared to take advantage of modifications? Or would I just be wasting my time with an uncompetitive car?

I am also considering a 94-95 Mustang, but would prefer a Fox Mustang due to it being cheaper, and a lighter\smaller car.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

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I found ESP to be a complete joke with this car and just moved into Open Street when I get bored and turn out.
The rules are way to restrictive to make it competative against the other cars in the class, race tires are mandatory to make any comparable time.
If you are serious about racing for 3minutes a weekend I would look into the cars that do well in the sport, miata, neon, honda or maybe even the corvette or camaro which would be beyond the price you stated unfortunately.

SN 95 would start out miles ahead of the FOX3 for autocross though. You'll blow half your budget on brakes and wheels just to compete with the SN 95.

Our local ORG's website is www.wwscc.org where you can review some track times with the type of car and it's class.
 

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I hate to say it here but if you want to be competitive in ESP on a budget like that you're better off starting with a Camaro or maybe even an AWD Talon/Eclipse. The Fox mustang is out-suspended by the Camaro, outbraked by both of them and out-tractioned by the Talon/Eclipse.

You don't *need* awesome brakes to autocross but they make it easier, and what's more, your wheel and therefore your tire options are limited by the Fox's 4-lug setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
MFE,
I am from KC also.

I was thinking of ESP, because I wanted to limit the money I was going to spend on the car. I could run in CP or SM, but then I will constantly be thinking, “What if I put that mod on my car?”

This year I bought a WRX and autocrossed it some at the Crown Events in KC. I just hate the idea of abusing the car so much by autocrossing it. When I autocross I don’t hold back at all, so eventually I know I am going to screw something up. So, I thought that it would be better to get a second car that I could beat on by autocrossing it and drag racing it. It would also give me an excuse to buy a car and modify it, and do some work on it. I am going to try to run every event this year, with whatever car I am using.

Unfortunately there aren’t many rear wheel drive cars that autocross and drag race well for under $5,000. I wouldn’t mind getting a 3 rd generation Camaro, but I have to have a 5 speed. That limits me to getting a 305/ 5-Speed Z28. I have been looking for cars the last couple of months, and haven’t seen any 305/5-Speed Z28s or Trans Ams. The good thing about the Fox Mustang is that they are plenty of manual ones at decent prices. However it seems the Mustang isn’t as suited for Autocrossing, as well as the Camaro, even though they are smaller cars.

I guess we will see what happens.
 

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How do you mess up a car autocrossing?
Everytime I OT there is a wreck but autocross I've heard of one incident a year. Both of them due to driver "error" to put it nicely.
One was a borrowed Vette that jumped a curb since the driver tried to "save it" by flooring it.
The other was a Miata that spun and the driver kept their foot in it doing donuts until it hit a light pole.

Just autocross the WRX and you'll have a $5,000 emergency repair stash. Use the interest to buy tires when they wear out.
 

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OK, i'll be the one to disagree here.
first, on this board, when people read "trying to decide what car to buy and autocross with," their brain reads "and win at the divisional and national level"
second, when they see "I am going to spend $5,000," they'll tell you to buy an SN95 ... good luck.
1. a fox is a blast to own and drive.
2. at an dec. 1 event in jacksonville, there were 4 ESP cars: david linberry (a corral guy) won with his mustang in 63.658; two 97 Z28's with race tires followed with 65.5 and 66.4; and another guy in an open-track prepared mustang had a 67.0.
me in my F stock fox body had a 64.542, so i would have trophied in ESP in a stock car. and that was after 13 events on my tires; i threw 'em away after that.
3. slap a nice intake and a panhard bar on it, get some nice wide wheels, and i don't know why you can't have yourself a blast.

sure, you'll lose to top-notch camaros, but i have news for you ... you ain't gonna beat top-notch ANYTHING with $5,000!
pick a car you like and have fun, and you also might pick up some hardware along the way.
:)
 

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Well...since I'm familiar with the crowd here in KC I guess I can speak to it a little bit. Seems to me a lot of the fast ESP guys have moved out or moved to CP (red Talon is one that comes to mind) or will be changing vehicles. It's only a matter of time and not much of it before FOx bodied mustangs are hopelessly outclassed in SM but locally I figure I have a couple more years of at least top-3 local competitiveness before I'm drummed out by M3's and Z28's and turbo civics.

Roger Walker of local ESP Lightning fame will be running his ex-Bondurant Mustang GT this year and I know he's considering running it in ESP but he may run CP instead. If he runs it in ESP no Fox mustang stands much of a chance without some significant mods, because they'll be up against a panhard bar and a torque arm and a wider track and better brakes driven by a guy who's good enough at it to make up for the weight disadvantage.

Let's take stock of the situation. KC region is fairly full of pony cars whose drivers have a good time. You can get out and have a blast for cheap in a fox-body mustang, and be at least competitive with not a lot of mods. Give you an example: At the last event of the year we did some fun runs and I drove Dan Correll's aging and relatively unmodded (maybe bone stock) white '84 GT to give him some pointers to think about off-season. I was within 2 seconds of my best time of the day from my own car. It is safe to say that my car is a lot more capable, given the fact that it has at least 60 hp on his, plus chassis bracing and suspension work. But first time ever driving his car, less than 2 seconds difference. Point being you don't need a high-bucks car to get out there and be in the chase for good points. The two cars are at nearly opposite ends of the development spectrum (at least for daily drivers) and yet time-wise not far apart.

But on the other hand, Joe Silva in his red Z28 consistently beat me by 2 seconds and sometimes up to 4. If he'd showed up to more events I wouldn't have had a chance at 1st place. He's very good AND he's got a more capable platform to start with. Luckily he's running something else in a different class next season. Now Chris Conant in his M3 is going to give me fits, he's as fast or faster than me right out of the box. And the guys from Nebraska in that red Talon could run that VERY quick car in SM instead of CP without changing a whole lot. De-mod it some more and sweep ESP like it used to. Anyone else can do the same thing. I don't know who's planning on running what in ESP next season but it has the potential to smack the **** out of a Fox mustang. To make it competitive you need suspension work and lots of it and it adds up.

So...if you plan on doing the SCCA Solo tour or doing divisionals or nationals, you're really better off doing it in a different car because the Fox mustang is outclassed in virtually every class, and the future of the one class with the most hope for us (SM) is being heavily influenced by people who want flyweight 600-hp trailer queens to show up in the hopes of "attracting today's import-driving youth".

But if you plan on sticking around KC and enjoying the varied competition, you could do worse, it just depends on who shows up in what and whether or not they can drive it...because at the end of the day a good driver in a subpar car can beat the pants off a subpar driver in a better car.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was planning on just running at the local level. Only have two years of autocross experience, off and on, I know that I won't be competitive any further for a while. Mainly, I just compete with my friends that autocross with me. One has a 3000gt VR4, and the other just got a Nissan SE-R Spec V.

I will probably just run in the Street Tire class, unless I decide to buy some race tires, which I am not right now. I was just going to buy the best Summer Tires I could get and run with the Street Tires. The discouraging thing is the PAX will hurt me the more I modify the car. Mainly I just want to have fun now and get into autocrossing, although I am competitive.

I looked at a Miata this weekend to buy instead, but it just wasn't any fun to drive. I need to feel some torque when I hit the gas.

I may still just get new tires and autocross the WRX, but I would like another car to be able to modify mainly for Autocrossing and having fun on the street and not have to worry about it being my daily driver.
 

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I hear you on the miata power but they are a hoot to drive, it's like your ass is a joystick they're so responsive. They might not have a lot of power but that doesn't mean they won't do a power-slide with the best of them and all you have to do to get them to rotate is lift the throttle and turn the wheel, vs heavy-handed trail-braking like most mustangs. Hard to find one for $5k, but one guy has a yellow one with a cheapo paint job, bought the car for $4k, put tires and brakes on it (cheap, everything's small), and went racing right away.

Anyway, if you're just looking to have a good time, then sure, you can get a 5.0 cheap, join the party, and have at it. They're easy to work on and goodies are abundant. And having a toy that isn't your daily driver sure takes some stress off, I know that.

The PAX is definitely a consideration. I managed to win Crown's old Street Tire I ("power", as opposed to II, "handling) championship 4 years ago in my car running it in ESP, and when I did a couple minor mods that put it into the then-brand-new SM class the updated pax hurt me more than the mods helped and that's why I decided to just run SM open even though I remained on street tires. I can not be competitive against the Boxters and M3's and Subie's on the SM PAX.

But it's still a hoot, and that's what counts.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The miata I looked at was a 1994 M Edition with 89,000 miles. It was the Montego Blue color, and looked pretty good. It was at Sunflower Dodge and they were asking $4,995. They really wanted to sell it, and it seemed like a good deal, but it just didn't feel right.

I took it out with my wife, and drove it for a while to see how it felt. It did seem to have pretty neutral turning, but the power just wasn't enough. I tried to get the rear to come around on some right hand turns, but the limited slip kept it from happening.

I will probably end up buying a car that I find a good deal on, and think that I like at the time.
 

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The Mustang can be very competitive in ESP. Talk to Dave Schotz.. He is probibly one of the top Mustang drivers out there.. He had a blown shock at Nationals. Dropped him a bit... He just purchased a 95 R to race in SP.. You can have frame connectors in SP, they just have to be Ford off another Mustang.. The R's had them, so you could purchase the replacement models and install them. For the $ I would get 94' to convert to SP. They can be had for a good price. I saw one for $4500 in the paper the other day.. You get the four wheel disc and a pretty good platform. I have done some research on the SP for a move up in the future. i run a 01' Cobra though.
 

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Having been a 6 year Miata owner who just recently switched to a GT, I feel I can comment on both cars.

I have been autocrossing for about 3 1/2 years now and most of that was in the Miata. They may not have tons of torque but I can assure you that you can gt the car to swap ends VERY easily in a corner.

The two cars are different kinds of fun. The Miata has the handling and light weight. Great turn in and goes through corners like it is on rails. The Mustang however, may not handle as well stock, but it has all of that torque and will power down straights like a bat out of hell. (One thing to keep in mind is that very few auto-x courses have long straights.)

On the ESP subject, a friend of mine races a fox body in ESP and is VERY competitive. He has been racing for a while and knows what he is doing. His car has the 6-pt cage mentioned before and lots of suspension mods. After alot of money (probably more than that Miata you looked at), he has a car that is hard to beat in ESP.

Sorry this is so long. I hope it makes sense.

ToddB

Edited because I apparently can't spell.
 

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ESP Mustang Comments

Well this is quite a string. I am in New Mexico and have just spend about 18 months building a 87 coupe for ESP. I just hit the 7k dollar mark. I did this on a budget and started with a 4cyl car. Since, the car has been gutted & brought back with a complete sn95 5 lug disc set up & 95 cobra engine. For cost purposes I went carburated as allowed. I have gathered all the basic "hardware" such as Eibach springs, Tokico Iluminas, MM caster/camber plates, mac upper & lower rear control arms, Kumo Vicotracers, Tenzo seats, 5 point harness, BBK headers, Mac power pipe & more.

Based on where I am at now with the car. I know could do it again for for less next time, if I was able to find a decent price on a complete 5.0 car to begin with.

In my opinion I do not think you are so far off to start with a 4K budget, If you do all your own work & shop like a broke man you could have some fun & be competitive. The 5 lug conversion can be done a few ways now & is not all that bad. Heck I bought my 17" 5 lug rims for a paultry 69.00 a piece.

How will my season go? Only time will tell. I can tell you this though. When I autocrossed my old 93 cobra I wasn't afraid of any Camaros. Especially when I was bring home those trophys!

If you do decide to go ahead as planned & want some help locating suppliers for parts, drop me an e-mail! [email protected] http://www.geocities.com/coneklrlx/
Good luck.
 

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fox in ESP

I just read the thread. I've got a '90 GT factory delete (no ac, no power loks/windows) that was raced in factory stock before I bought it. I hear what a lot of you guys are saying, but if my interpretation of the rules is right, I can modify my car to the specs of a '93 cobra R--cobra motor, sub frames, strut brace, rear discs, ect. I probably won't win a championship, but I'll have a lot of fun.
 

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CONEKLR-
Technically, those sn95 brakes aren't ESP legal on a fox, and unless that sn95 Cobra longblock is the same as the 93 Cobra, it isn't legal either.

Adam90GT-
Yes, you can upgrade to 93 Cobra R gear, but you need to make sure you have every part number documented.


I think a fox can do better than most, but you've got to take advantage of the rules. Pick the right chassis and get it as light and stiff as possible. I've heard of an SM fox weighing in under 2800lbs. Is this possible in SP trim?
 

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markfhp said:
2. at an dec. 1 event in jacksonville, there were 4 ESP cars: david linberry (a corral guy) won with his mustang in 63.658; two 97 Z28's with race tires followed with 65.5 and 66.4; and another guy in an open-track prepared mustang had a 67.0.
me in my F stock fox body had a 64.542, so i would have trophied in ESP in a stock car. and that was after 13 events on my tires; i threw 'em away after that.
Drivers make a world of difference.

MFE said:
If he runs it in ESP no Fox mustang stands much of a chance without some significant mods, because they'll be up against a panhard bar and a torque arm and a wider track and better brakes driven by a guy who's good enough at it to make up for the weight disadvantage.
I would like to see the mounts on that TA. There are very few that are "legal" in ESP that fit within the wording of the rules.

CobraSVT2001 said:
He just purchased a 95 R to race in SP.. You can have frame connectors in SP, they just have to be Ford off another Mustang.. The R's had them, so you could purchase the replacement models and install them.
Um...we've been through this before. There is a TSB that approves the installation of XR3Z-76101W09-AA(left) and XR3Z-76101W08-AA(right) subframes on 94-98 SN-95's.

vicbaby said:
CONEKLR-
Technically, those sn95 brakes aren't ESP legal on a fox, and unless that sn95 Cobra longblock is the same as the 93 Cobra, it isn't legal either.
Thanks vic. I was thinking the same thing.

Josh

edit: more info
 

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Foxin ESP

Yea, you're right about the part #'s, but I'll probably never get that far. I was going to put the T-bird brakes on, keep it four lug, I've got adj shocks/subframes, and springs and do some power mods for drag racing. Now here's a question when I do power upgrades--t body, maf, ect. do they have to be FMS to fit with the 'factory' definition????
 

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Re: Foxin ESP

Adam90gt said:
. . . Now here's a question when I do power upgrades--t body, maf, ect. do they have to be FMS to fit with the 'factory' definition????
Section 14.10.C (Street Prepared Category) of the Solo II rules (2002 edition, though I doubt that this has been changed for 2003) reads in part:

Carburetors, fuel injection, intercoolers and intake manifolds are unrestricted.

IOW, it's not just the intake manifold that can be swapped. Consider the parts you mentioned above as being portions of the EFI equivalent of a carburetor (which is unrestricted) and it may be a little clearer.

Norm
(edited for cold fingers/bad spelling)
 

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Unless the T-Bird discs are the same part numbers that came on the rear of the 93 Cobra, they aren't legal. Also, subframe connectors aren't legal on foxes either, only the convertibles (and 93 Cobra R) rocker panel braces.

And I'll bump Norm - you can do anything you want with the exhaust and intake.

ESP is a *****, isn't it :D
 
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