TWS is on life support, so if you want to go and say goodbye, better do it now. That was my thinking as I have spent the last couple of months taking my Boss from being a storage shed inside my garage to being a living, breathing track car again. The tires were shot, the left rear brake was metal-to-metal and had machined a wide groove into the rotor, and the car hadn’t even been registered for two years. I addressed those items and just to show the car some love, I installed some suspension bits and got a good alignment.
Six of us rented the track for three hours. I won’t wax nostalgic for TWS just yet, because I plan on getting out there at least one more time. There will be plenty of time for cryin’ later. Anyway, here is the rundown of our track day:
* Our cars: S550 GT PP with lots of track mods, a Cobra race car, another mostly stock 2012 Boss 302 with the rare CO/White color combination, my mostly stock KB 2012 Boss 302, a “Mustang-curious” Z/28 that somehow found its way to the track, and my friend’s ’72 Opel with a Chevy LS motor and a bunch of other weird stuff.
* Heat was the story of the day. It was 92 F, which is stupid hot when you are in a huge bowl of asphalt. This kept our stints short. We got too hot. The cars got too hot. The tires got too hot. I tried to collect oil temperature data during my stints, but I only remembered to turn on the datalogger for two of my six stints. It didn’t matter, because I forgot that you have to turn off data collection before you turn off the car or it doesn’t record anything. But my video clearly shows the oil temperature gauge pegged and flashing, which means temps were in excess of 280 F. I tried to manage the temps by driving the whole track (which is admittedly a fast track) in 4th and 5th (for the front straight). Using 3rd made the temps skyrocket, but the one time I dipped into 3rd, I turned my fastest lap. An oil cooler will be installed immediately. I already have half the parts.
* I had trouble with the high-rpm lockout when trying to shift from 4th to 5th on the front straight. Does the Blowfish part fix that? This isn’t acceptable.
* I need to be more disciplined about collecting tire temp and pressure data. My “that seems like a good number” method isn’t working.
* I once talked to a Ford suspension engineer at the track and I was asking all kinds of questions about suspension hoodoo. He was very helpful, but at one point he said, “Just put some springs on it and go drive.” He was right. The very minor suspension upgrades I did (basically P-springs and camber plates, but see the list at the bottom of this post) transformed the car. I did not like how the Boss handled out-of-the box. I blame most of that on the lousy tires, but it also flip-flopped around like a fish out of water. Not anymore. Just calming that body motion made all the difference. I had some trouble with the front washing out, but that is because the tires got hot, I was running pressures too high, and I would occasionally over-drive the car. Out back, I had all the grip i have ever wanted. If I ever got into a little trouble, I could throttle my way out of it. So much rear grip. Yes, I will continue to make changes and improvements. The car still feels too “tight” to me and not compliant enough. But for now, I’m very happy with my setup.
* I turned my fastest lap ever at TWS: 2:06.194. Terry Fair doesn’t have anything to worry about, but I know I can beat this and get closer to that magic 2 minute mark. And when I get out there again, I will try to do just that. I have a plan. Video of the fast lap is here:
I had so much fun! The track was perfect in its dilapidated imperfection, the Boss availed itself well, and I didn’t do anything too terribly stupid. That’s a good day. Here is one of my sessions in full. I’m having trouble with my data overlay workflow, so there is no data for this video. But I got a little footage of the other Boss and Charles’ Opel here:
And here is Charles in his Opel getting some footage of me and the other Boss (who wasn’t running the frenetic pace that we prefer, so we get separated):
A bunch of nerdy info:
2012 Boss 302
TracKey, AdvanceTrac OFF
P-springs, stock struts/shocks (set to 5/5)
MM CC plates
MM RLCA and panhard bar
FRPP RLCA relocation brackets (middle adjustment)
F: 255/40ZR-19 SUMITOMO HTR Z III XL
R: 285/35ZR-19 SUMITOMO HTR Z III
GoPro Session 5 (1080p/30 fps/Wide/Stabilization: ON)
AiM Solo DL
A little Gallery. Not much time to take photos:
A version of this story was originally posted here.
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