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Willow Springs Crown Vic & S2000

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  • Willow Springs Crown Vic & S2000

    Drove the crown vic again! This time with video, data, and the owner/builder as a passenger.

    Still great, much easier to drive this time around, particularly shifting. The brakes fooled me a bit. After the initial bite I'd push harder and not get more stopping power, but then on the cooldown lap I tried hitting the brakes hard as I could and the abs will engage, you just can't be shy about pushing the pedal way down.

    Best lap time in the vic I believe was a 1:39. In my S2000 the best lap was a 1:38.04.

    We'll have to wait on Drew to post video.

  • #2
    Spec Cop Car?

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    • #3
      here it is

      I don't know why I've been having so much trouble with Harry's Lap Timer and my gopro and this is what I got with my phone after I realized the lap timer app was gorked and before the battery died..

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      • #4
        Hi Drew:

        I am sorry i did not get to visit. I was kept busy with my guests.
        To the right of The Sheriff. Isn't everyone?

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        • #5
          no worries Oli! I was checking out your car and getting some good ideas. Where can I get some of that wide tape that you have on the splitter? and was that an insulating wrap on a cold air intake that I saw through the hood vent? I've been thinking about what I can do to minimize the amount of air that gets under the car as a way to increase grip..

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by slodrew View Post
            I don't know why I've been having so much trouble with Harry's Lap Timer and my gopro and this is what I got with my phone after I realized the lap timer app was gorked and before the battery died..

            Best lap starts from turn 9 around 8:45 and has seriously compromised turn 9 and isn't the cleanest lap. Can probably get it down to the 1:37s with hard braking and more practice knowing when I can keep the gas down. Maybe 1:36 if I start dropping tires in earnest.

            Afternoon:
            Vic: Min speed 54mph, max speed 110.
            s2000 (chickening out in 8): min 55mph, max 119.


            Thanks again Drew! Loads of fun!

            Comment


            • #7
              It was a pretty fast day. We had a naturally aspirated BRZ in our group running low 1:35s in the morning, with just a header/coil-overs/225 AD08R.

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              • #8
                it was slow as hell for me although it felt like my times were going to be faster than they were. .. my fastest lap of the day was 4 seconds slower than my best lap and I know I was carrying a lot more speed through turn 8 this time. The splitter was longer before and it had more negative camber the last time out .. I screwed things up at Buttonwillow and haven't had quite as much grip since.. So I'm going to max out the negative camber, do a gear change so 4th gear will redline at 124 instead of 110, drop the whole car another inch or so, flat bottom (what's cheap, light, and stiff?), redirecting airflow from the engine compartment up through the hood instead of down out the bottom so it makes downforce rather than lift, bring the exhaust out the sides in front of the rear wheels so it's no longer trying to lift the ass end of the car off the road, and maybe some rocker skirting to help exploit the cars size and create a huge pocket of negative pressure underneath.. and i should easily be able to do all that for under $500.. Next will be the teksid block swap which will bring the compression up to 12.5:1 and take 80 lbs out of the front of the car and is also right around $500.. The next and final phase will be more involved and will require a tubing bender (anybody have a JD2 for rent or for sale at a reasonable cost?), some light weight composite body panels, seats, harnesses, lexan, a fuel cell, and fire supression system.. I might have to fit a harness bar and try to find some Mustang GT Recaro take outs that utilize the factory side impact air bags before all that, but that's more or less the plan..

                Comment


                • #9
                  What are the specs on the car again?

                  I understand the appeal of driving an uncommon car, and driving a cop car around a track is a novelty that will never get old as long as the crowd stays fresh. But, you're achieving Miata lap times with mustang levels of wear on wear items and consumables. The value to fun ratio seems hard to justify. This isn't a criticism--people are into what they into--but it seems your money could go further with a Miata, or a Spyder, now that their prices are down.
                  Last edited by SDSUsnowboards; 12-15-2015, 12:04 PM.
                  2001 MR2-Eleven
                  Experience Points: 21
                  Youtube Channel.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by robburgoon View Post

                    Thanks again Drew! Loads of fun!
                    Thank you! It was more fun riding with you than it was when I was driving myself. I was late to lineup both times I went out and I never caught up to anyone or got caught up to and that's when I have more fun.

                    I'm curious Rob, how would you rate the crown vic compared to the smaller, lighter cars on the fun factor?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by slodrew View Post
                      Thank you! It was more fun riding with you than it was when I was driving myself. I was late to lineup both times I went out and I never caught up to anyone or got caught up to and that's when I have more fun.

                      I'm curious Rob, how would you rate the crown vic compared to the smaller, lighter cars on the fun factor?
                      Fun is tricky to measure. The crown vic scores a lot of points for the sound of the v8, stability over bumps, corner speeds with the downforce, and the general novelty/absurdity of it all. The detroit locker makes it a smidge harder to be precise in technical stuff, but it's not at all bad.

                      The biggest flaw is not having a nice hard brake pedal. That's something that will make you worry and wonder a bit. The max speeds were surprisingly low, more power or less weight would be welcome. Like you say, gearing to get rid of 5th or going to a much shorter final drive to set top speed in 5th to 130-ish would help a bit, but I generally don't drink the gearing kool aid and unless it's cheap and easy. I would work on weight reduction and firming up the brake pedal instead and come back to gearing last.

                      Would I recommend converting a vic to stick over a miata or s2000? No way. Is your car fun to drive? Absolutely. Would tire&fuel&brake costs frighten me off from owning one? Quite possibly.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SDSUsnowboards View Post
                        What are the specs on the car again?

                        I understand the appeal of driving an uncommon car, and driving a cop car around a track is a novelty that will never get old as long as the crowd stays fresh. But, you're achieving Miata lap times with mustang levels of wear on wear items and consumables. The value to fun ratio seems hard to justify. This isn't a criticism--people are into what they into--but it seems your money could go further with a Miata, or a Spyder, now that their prices are down.
                        It really wasn't a conscious decision. When I did my first track day in March 2014 I knew nothing about track cars and track days and all of that. I just wanted to try it once and my only expectations were to be able to drive faster than I can on the streets and not worry about getting arrested. For most of the time since then the car has been my daily driver and I've used it like a work truck. I can put a small cement mixer, an electric jack hammer, and enough bags of cement in it to go out and do a flagpole installation with no problem at all. The flagpole itself either goes on top of the car or on a little trailer I built that has a long tongue and a support at the hitch that holds the top of the pole up over the back of the car. It pulls a trailer pretty nice lol!

                        To answer your question, I really don't know. I haven't driven a Miata or mr2 or any of the other popular track cars. My 540i speed hauls ass and handles pretty good but the brakes fade fast compared to the crown vic and I'd have to spend a fortune on it and hack the fenders to be able to fit big enough rubber under it to be faster on the track than the crown vic. Everything is ridiculously expensive for that car and it's a PITA to work on.

                        But back to your question lol.. Rob says a spec miata engine is good for 50-100 hours of track time and I didn't ask the cost.. A crown vic engine can be put together with junk yard parts that will make over 300 lb ft of torque to the rear wheels from 3000 - 6000 rpm and maybe 325 rwhp at 6200, and make it reliably for hundreds of hours for easily under $2k.. brakes are cheap, cooling system is fine, 315/35ZR17 NT01s are $240 each compared to ? They seem to be holding up really well.. I've had them for almost a year and a half. Gas is probably a lot more but I get as much as 24 mpg on the freeway..

                        I guess this question would better be answered by Rob.. Rob how fun is it making the fat girl dance? How fun would it be to dance with a pack of fat girls on the track?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The gears are cheap, Ford Racing 3.73:1 for $144 delivered and easy to setup.. I've never had to adjust the shim stack or any of that as long as I stayed with FRPP gears. The first time I went out the brakes were so much better than they have been since then and I didn't have special fluid in them or anything then.. I really think I need to get someone to help me bleed the ABS module.
                          It definitely needs more power and weight reduction and if I had to do the trans swap again I would probably go with a Jerico 4 speed.. they only weigh 74 pounds and they shift good and they're super durable.. also a hydraulic clutch would be nice and make it a lot more simple..

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by slodrew View Post
                            It really wasn't a conscious decision. When I did my first track day in March 2014 I knew nothing about track cars and track days and all of that. I just wanted to try it once and my only expectations were to be able to drive faster than I can on the streets and not worry about getting arrested. For most of the time since then the car has been my daily driver and I've used it like a work truck. I can put a small cement mixer, an electric jack hammer, and enough bags of cement in it to go out and do a flagpole installation with no problem at all. The flagpole itself either goes on top of the car or on a little trailer I built that has a long tongue and a support at the hitch that holds the top of the pole up over the back of the car. It pulls a trailer pretty nice lol!

                            To answer your question, I really don't know. I haven't driven a Miata or mr2 or any of the other popular track cars. My 540i speed hauls ass and handles pretty good but the brakes fade fast compared to the crown vic and I'd have to spend a fortune on it and hack the fenders to be able to fit big enough rubber under it to be faster on the track than the crown vic. Everything is ridiculously expensive for that car and it's a PITA to work on.

                            But back to your question lol.. Rob says a spec miata engine is good for 50-100 hours of track time and I didn't ask the cost.. A crown vic engine can be put together with junk yard parts that will make over 300 lb ft of torque to the rear wheels from 3000 - 6000 rpm and maybe 325 rwhp at 6200, and make it reliably for hundreds of hours for easily under $2k.. brakes are cheap, cooling system is fine, 315/35ZR17 NT01s are $240 each compared to ? They seem to be holding up really well.. I've had them for almost a year and a half. Gas is probably a lot more but I get as much as 24 mpg on the freeway..

                            I guess this question would better be answered by Rob.. Rob how fun is it making the fat girl dance? How fun would it be to dance with a pack of fat girls on the track?
                            Gotta keep this apples to apples, the 50-100 hour life is for a SM engine where we would happily cut the engine life by 3/4 if it means we get to make 2% more power.

                            Emilio can better answer how long a super miata engine should last. That would be a better comparison.

                            Driving much faster can dramatically increase tire consumption.

                            In my s2000 the cheap r compounds lasted for about 5 days (10 hours) and were $450 a set shipped and taxed. The braking question for your car won't be fully answered until the car visits ACS or Laguna and we really beat on the brakes. (I would avoid those tracks for that reason).

                            As far as wheel to wheel in the vic goes, other than brakes I see no reason why not. It handles fine, should handle fine in traffic too (unlike thunder roadsters, bleh!) The big problem with driving in a pack is if/when the brake failures start happening and you get struck from behind. It's probably pretty tanky for a little smashy smashy.

                            Try the car at buttonwillow and try getting into the abs in most every braking zone.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by slodrew View Post
                              It really wasn't a conscious decision. When I did my first track day in March 2014 I knew nothing about track cars and track days and all of that. I just wanted to try it once and my only expectations were to be able to drive faster than I can on the streets and not worry about getting arrested. For most of the time since then the car has been my daily driver and I've used it like a work truck. I can put a small cement mixer, an electric jack hammer, and enough bags of cement in it to go out and do a flagpole installation with no problem at all. The flagpole itself either goes on top of the car or on a little trailer I built that has a long tongue and a support at the hitch that holds the top of the pole up over the back of the car. It pulls a trailer pretty nice lol!

                              To answer your question, I really don't know. I haven't driven a Miata or mr2 or any of the other popular track cars. My 540i speed hauls ass and handles pretty good but the brakes fade fast compared to the crown vic and I'd have to spend a fortune on it and hack the fenders to be able to fit big enough rubber under it to be faster on the track than the crown vic. Everything is ridiculously expensive for that car and it's a PITA to work on.

                              But back to your question lol.. Rob says a spec miata engine is good for 50-100 hours of track time and I didn't ask the cost.. A crown vic engine can be put together with junk yard parts that will make over 300 lb ft of torque to the rear wheels from 3000 - 6000 rpm and maybe 325 rwhp at 6200, and make it reliably for hundreds of hours for easily under $2k.. brakes are cheap, cooling system is fine, 315/35ZR17 NT01s are $240 each compared to ? They seem to be holding up really well.. I've had them for almost a year and a half. Gas is probably a lot more but I get as much as 24 mpg on the freeway..

                              I guess this question would better be answered by Rob.. Rob how fun is it making the fat girl dance? How fun would it be to dance with a pack of fat girls on the track?
                              I'm not trying to convince you away from your current setup because, if we're being honest here, seeing a vic on track is pretty awesome. You would be a god if you would just put lights on top and pull people over when you catch them on the front strait.

                              But, there is nothing special about the Ford motor. If a Miata engine lasts 100 hours, then your Ford motor won't do better, especially not if you're sourcing used parts from a junk yard. You're equating hundreds of hours of street driving with track driving. In stating that the Ford motor is good for hundreds of hours, you are comparing walking vs sprinting. In terms of cost-effectiveness, I doubt the Vic has any advantage over the Miata. Cost effectiveness comes down to weight and engine power. The less you have of both, the cheaper it will be for you--unless you have an Alpha.

                              I've never actually corded a set of RS3 tires. They last so long that they heat cycle out long before they wear. If I kept them long enough, the rear would probably last 12+ full track days before cording, and the fronts even longer. OEM brake pads lasted about 8 full track days--I haven't gone through my first set of Carbotech pads yet. I haven't found out how long rotors will last. It was 100,000 miles and 2 years worth of track days before I replaced the OEM factory original rotors--and I only replaced them because I moved over to a brake compound that required a fresh rotor surface. I get about 12 mpg on the track. My car with 119whp, at 1850 lbs runs WSIR 2 seconds faster than the Vic, and Rob is probably a faster driver than I am. I'm not boasting--these are the facts I have in mind as I consider the cost-benefit of tracking a heavy car versus a lighter car. My annual track day budget is about $1,700, and I can get 6-7 track days out of that, which includes lodging, wear items, and towing expenses. Tracking a light car is literally the ramen rice noodles of racing, and you get more noodle for your dollar. Something to consider.

                              I sure wish I had a v8 though.
                              Last edited by SDSUsnowboards; 12-15-2015, 03:38 PM.
                              2001 MR2-Eleven
                              Experience Points: 21
                              Youtube Channel.

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