Dec 13, 2016 update to the Ford Mustang GT project car

Project Mustang: Ride the Lightening

One of our top goals for 2017 is to trim down the curb weight of our S197 Mustang. While it will never be a Lotus, there are a few easy paths to less mass in our wide-open CAM ruleset that we can take advantage of without sacrificing much usability.

CAM rules say that the car has to weigh 3200 pounds (without driver) in competition trim. At the 2016 Solo Nationals, our Mustang weighed in at a portly 3600 pounds. That’s a lot of distance between us and minimum weight.

So one of our paths to drop weight is through the use of alternate materials. We’ve replaced our heavy glass windshield and rear window with lightweight polycarbonate panels from Shields Premier Windshields. Shields cuts and shapes these panels to OEM contours, so they install just as regular glass would, but with only around half the weight. We dropped over 30 pounds by swapping out the front and rear screens.

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Comments

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/14/16 8:48 p.m.
Robbie
Robbie UltraDork
12/14/16 11:12 p.m.

30 lbs down, 370 to go.

How liveable is that poly windshield on the street? (Noise, scratches, glare, etc)

captdownshift
captdownshift PowerDork
12/15/16 6:57 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens:

Cars and coffee edition

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltimaDork
12/15/16 7:53 a.m.

Huge thanks for letting us know about these guys. They have windows for the RSX and we need new back glass to replace the old cloudy plastic that's in there. Getting a piece that is curved like stock might make it waterproof-ish which would be helpful. It's now on our list of upgrades.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
12/15/16 11:22 a.m.
Robbie wrote: 30 lbs down, 370 to go. How liveable is that poly windshield on the street? (Noise, scratches, glare, etc)

That's the million-dollar question, isn't it?

Shields has an optional coating (which we employed) that is supposed to the the bee's knees when it comes to abrasion resistance and longevity. Apparently the Disney Monorails use something similar for their windscreens. Just sitting in the car and looking through it, it actually seems more transparent than the glass it replaced.

As for weight, we helped and hurt ourselves with the poly panels. CAM rules state that if you use Lexan panels you carry a 150 lb weight penalty, bringing our new minimum to 3350. Our feeling was we were never going to get to 3200 anyway, but I think we have a pretty realistic path to about 3400 while still being able to retain a/c and a stereo. That 3600lb figure is also with the roll bar, which is an easy 60lbs that we don't need for non-track events.

Thinkkker
Thinkkker UltraDork
12/15/16 12:49 p.m.

There is a lot of difference in the 05/06 and then all the others. In STU setup the '06 sat at 3200 even in race prep. I always am amazed at the range of weight on the S197's.

jstein77
jstein77 UltraDork
12/20/16 11:14 a.m.

Did you check to see if a Lexan front windscreen was street legal?

ultraclyde
ultraclyde UberDork
12/20/16 12:49 p.m.
Thinkkker wrote: There is a lot of difference in the 05/06 and then all the others. In STU setup the '06 sat at 3200 even in race prep. I always am amazed at the range of weight on the S197's.

For real. My '05 GT 5spd with full options (leather, power, dash trim, etc) weighed 3400 without the jack and spare and 1/4 tank of go-go juice.

kb58
kb58 Dork
12/20/16 1:54 p.m.

I used the coated Lexan in Kimini. It works fine if you clean it gently with a micro-weave cloth, but don't think about using wipers on it.

pirate
pirate Reader
12/21/16 3:23 p.m.

There is a product called Plexus (spray can) that is very good for Plexiglass/Lexan/Polycarbonate. Its fairly expensive for a glass type cleaner but works well with a soft towel or microfiber cloth. I would agree that wipers are the kiss of death with or without the anti-scratch coatings. I have been told RainX will put a permanent haze on Lexan/Polycarbonate but do not know that for sure. Would like to find a product similar to RainX if anyone knows about one!

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
12/21/16 3:30 p.m.
kb58 wrote: I used the coated Lexan in Kimini. It works fine if you clean it gently with a micro-weave cloth, but don't think about using wipers on it.

Wow. IMHO, this equals "not livable on the street." This is barely livable for "streetable enough to drive to events."

Wonder where "car wash" falls on the spectrum, and how long a rear window would last...

TIGMOTORSPORTS
TIGMOTORSPORTS HalfDork
12/21/16 7:49 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens:

I highly approve this post

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/21/16 8:00 p.m.
TIGMOTORSPORTS wrote: In reply to David S. Wallens: I highly approve this post

Thank you.

Also, regarding Plexus.

JG can probably remember the story better than I can, but like 20 years ago someone from Plexus bugged us about their product. It's awesome, they said. Fine, we said, we'd try it out.

Wow, that stuff kicked all the butt. Plus it has a pleasant fragrance. Since then, I've always had a can in the garage.

MulletTruck
MulletTruck Reader
12/22/16 11:22 a.m.

I jave been using Plexus long before it hit the automotive/motorcycle markets. It started out for aircraft windshields and has been great on my Piper Aztecs windows all these years.

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