As we continue our build of the Lethal GT500 we had a few things that still needed to be addressed. One of them being the weight of the car and second the upcoming installation of the 3.4L Whipple Supercharger.
The first item which definitely needed to be addressed was the weight. Ford claims the 2007-2008 GT500 coupe weighs in at 3,920 lbs. That's a good 250lbs more than the previous 03-04 Cobra which was heavy enough. For many people that's not that big of a difference but keep in mind that the 3,920 is about 400lbs heavier than the 05+ GT. When trying to build a car to run good times weight and HP are the 2 major concerns. You can add as much HP as you like but the weight will always be a factor in going faster. That's why the GT500 in stock form really isn't that impressive at the strip as it's HP to weight ratio is out of whack.The fix.. BMR front suspension!!BMR Fabrication located in FL is one of the largest suspension companies in the industry. Making very high quality performance suspension parts for most Ford and Gm cars these guys had what we needed. The ability to drop weight and improve handling over the stock setup is what we had in mind. BMR's 05-08 Mustang Tubular K-Member, A-Arms and Radiator Sway-Bar Delete are just what the doctor ordered. Starting with the stock K-Member which weighs 44lbs it can easily be replaced with BMR's Tubular K-Member for a 20lb weight reduction. The BMR K-Member is made of strong DOM Tubing and can be installed in a mere 2 hours. Their K-members also come in many different configurations which include using OEM or Windsor style motor mounts as well as Manual OE or Pinto style steering racks. The BMR K-Member will also house the stock or BMR A-Arms. So whichever route you feel like going there's a K-member from BMR for your application. One of the features we also liked in the BMR K-Member was that they offer a version (KM011) which has the motor mounts in a position where it drops the motor height by 3/4 inches. This was a plus for us as we wanted to keep the stock hood when we install our 3.4L Whipple Supercharger. Although the 3/4" drop isn't enough by itself to make the blower fit under the strut tower brace or stock hood it was a great start. http://www.lethalperformance.com/pages-productinfo/product-17208/km011-bmr-07-09-shelby-gt500-tubular-k-member-with-3-4-engine-drop.htmlThe next BMR item which we added was their tubular A-Arms (AA010). The BMR A-Arms are a perfect match to their tubular K-Member and helped us to take some more weight off of the front end. They're made from 1.25" DOM tubing and include ball joints which are sourced directly from a Ford OEM supplier. The BMR Tubular A-Arms show below are lighter and stronger then the OEM stamped steel A-Arm. Each BMR A-Arm is 11.2lbs lighter than the stock A-Arm so when adding the pair you're looking at another 22lbs in weight savings. Their also offered in Street (Poly Bushing) or Adjustable (Sperical Rod End) versions. We chose to go with the street version as we wanted to keep the stock feel of the front end and the rod ends tend to transfer noise more than a softer poly bushing does. http://www.lethalperformance.com/pages-productinfo/product-17211/aa010-bmr-07-09-shelby-gt500-non-adjustable-a-arms-with-poly-bushings.htmlThe third item from BMR which we added was their Lightweight Tubular Radiator Support/Sway Bar Delete (RS002). The 05+ Mustangs all utilize a chunky metal bracket to support the radiator. It's not needed as crossmember was built extra strong to support the sway bar. So since we were removing the sway bar as well the crossmember only needs to support the radiator. With the removal of the Sway Bar and stock radiator support we saw a weight reduction of 26.5lbs.http://www.lethalperformance.com/pages-productinfo/product-17001/rs002-bmr-07-09-gt500-tubular-radiator-support-swaybar-delete.htmlThe last BMR piece which we added to the front end was the front A-Arm Support (AAS001). This brace mounts on legs of either the stock or BMR A-Arms tying the legs of the K-member together. We felt it was a good idea to add this piece to add extra support for the added hp and street driving we do.All of the BMR parts were installed at the same time we installed our exhaust. The reason for this is that it's a lot easier to install the longtubes on the car with the K-member out of the way. So we basically killed two birds with one stone by removing the stock k-member to install the headers and then re-installed the BMR K-member after the headers were in.REVIEW- After having the K-member/A-Arm setup in the car for a few months now and have driven several hundred miles with all of us are really impressed. Not only does the car drive great but we shed just about 70lbs of unwanted weight off of the front end. Before putting the K-member in we had heard several people say that we would lose streetability with the aftermarket K-member and would notice a considerable amount of noise vibration over the stock setup. This is not the case with the BMR K-Member. The car feels solid and smooth. Steering and handling is the same as it was before and it's definitely helped us to shed some of the unwanted weight that the GT500 comes with. We took the car to the track twice since the new front suspension was installed and ran faster each time we went out. To this date our best time is a firstname.lastname@example.org.
We definitely feel that the BMR front suspension will show a lot more benefitial later down the line as we make our way into the 10's and then push further to the 9's.
We'd like to say thanks the entire crew over at BMR Fabrication for not only participating in our build but supplying us and our customers the high quality suspension components. You guys have been great and we're glad to be part of the crew.For information about any of BMR's parts please feel free to give us a call. 1-877-2LETHALRemoval of the stock K-Member
INSTALLATION: 1. Lift vehicle and support with stands positioned under the frame rails. Remove both front wheels/tires. 2. Using a 18mm deep socket, loosen both outer tie rod ends. Knock both tie rods loose from the spindles. 3. Remove the power steering line retainer located in the center of the rack. This requires a 8mm wrench. See Image1. 4. Using a 18mm socket, remove both rack mounting bolts. Mark a line on the steering shaft at the front connection point to insure proper re-assembly location. Remove the front steering shaft bolt using a 13mm socket or wrench (See Image 2). Leave both power steering lines attached but move the rack out of the way to gain access to the front A-arm bolts. 5. Remove all 4 rear A-arm bolts using a 21mm deep socket. Using a 18mm socket, remove both front A-arm bolts. 6. Loosen and remove the A-arms’ ball joint cross-bolts using a 15mm wrench and a 18mm socket. Knock or pry the ball joint loose from the spindle. NOTE: It is not possible to remove the A-arms until the K-member is lowered. 7. Using a 15mm socket with an extra long extension, remove both motor mount nuts from the top. 8. Support the motor from below with a block of wood on a hydraulic jack. Lift motor slightly. 9. Using a 18mm socket, remove all 8 K-member bolts and lower the K-member/A-arm assembly. 10. Insert one of the polyurethane motor mount bushings and sleeve into both motor mounts stands on the K-member and lift the K-member up into place. Insert all 8 mounting bolts but do not tighten.
11. Line up the motor stands with the mounting bushings on the K-member. It may be necessary to shift the K-member or the motor slightly to get the holes lined up. Once lined up, position the other polyurethane bushings and supplied 2” washers on the bottom of the K-member mounting bracket and insert the supplied 3/8” bolt. The bushings should “sandwich” the K- member mount when installed correctly. Tighten the bushing mounting bolts to approximately 35 ft/lbs. using a 9/16” wrench and 9/16” socket. 12. Tighten all 8 K-member mounting bolts to 85 ft/lbs. using a 18mm socket. Lower jack and remove. 13. Install the A-arms using the supplied aluminum spacers and hardware (See Image 3). Tighten the front A-arm bolts to 100 ft/lbs. using a 22mm wrench and socket. Tighten the rear to 110 ft/lbs. using a 13/16” wrench and a 7/8” socket. 14. Insert the ball joint into the spindle and insert the cross-bolt. Tighten to 40 ft/lbs. using a 15mm wrench and 18mm socket. 15. Using the supplied bolts and washers, mount the rack to the K-member. When installing, verify that the steering shaft is positioned according to the previous mark. Tighten both mounting bolts to 85 ft/lbs. using a ¾” wrench and socket. Tighten steering shaft cross-bolt to 20 ft/lbs. 16. Mount both outer tie rods to the spindles and tighten to 85 ft/lbs. using a 18mm socket. 17. Re-install wheels/tires, double-check all mounting bolts and lower vehicle. 18. Due to production tolerance, an alignment is recommended after this installation.
INSTALLATION: 1. Lift vehicle and support with stands positioned under the frame rails. Remove both front wheels/tires. 2. This step is not necessary for installation but makes the work area more accessible. Using a 18mm deep socket, loosen both outer tie rod ends. Knock both tie rods loose from the spindles. 3. Using a 15mm wrench and 18mm socket, loosen and remove the spindle bolt that clamps the ball joint to the spindle. 4. Using a 18mm socket, loosen and remove the rear A-arm bolts on the K-member. 5. Using a 18mm socket, remove the front A-arm bolt on the K-member. 6. Remove A-arm. 7. If you are installing BMR non-adjustable A-arms (AA010), proceed with the installation using steps 1-6 in reverse. If installing BMR adjustable A-arms, adjust the rod-ends to the approximate length of the OE A-arm and then install. DO NOT TIGHTEN THE FRONT A-ARM BOLT UNTIL THE SUSPENSION IS LOADED, FAILURE TO DO WILL CAUSE BUSHING PRE-LOAD RESULTING IN PREMATURE BUSHING WEAR. 8. With the A-arms installed, torque the bolts to the following specs: 1. Rear A-arm bolts – 95 FT/LBS. 2. Tie rod stud – 85 FT/LBS. 3. Ball joint cross-bolt – 40 FT/LBS. 4. If using BMR adjustable A-arms, tighten the jam-nut on the rod end at this time. 9. Repeat steps 3-8 for the other side. 10. Re-install wheels/tires and allow the vehicles weight to rest on the suspension. The suspension is now loaded and the front bushings may be tightened to 95 FT/LBS. If not on a service lift, this step may be done on ramps or blocks. 11. Grease all bushings on the A-arms with a grease gun. For optimal wear qualities and minimal noise, a silicone, polyurethane-specific grease is recommended.
Radiator Bracket/Sway Bar Deletehttp://bmrfabrication.com/INSTALL/RS002.pdf
1. Lift vehicle and support safely with stands under frame rails. 2. Using a 18mm socket, remove the sway bar end links from the strut on each side. 3. Using a 15mm socket, remove the sway bar cross member mounts and lower the swaybar/endlink assembly. 4. Locate the plastic bumper cover support and remove the 7 screws using a 7/32” socket. Remove cover. 5. Using a 10mm socket, loosen the nut that retains the AC line clip to the top of the factory radiator cross member. 6. The brake lines are attached in two areas by clips on the cross member. One is located on the vertical section of the passenger side and the other is on the horizontal section of the driver’s side. Pop the brake line out of these clips. 7. Place a jack stand under the radiator to prevent it from moving when the cross member is removed. 8. Using a 18mm socket, remove the 4 bolts and lower the cross member. 9. Remove the two rubber isolators from the factory cross member and install them into the BMR cross member. 10. Install the BMR cross member and tighten nuts to 110 ft/lbs. 11. Remove jack stand from under radiator. 12. If using the factory bumper cover support, re-install it to the bumper cover and zip tie the back portion to the new cross member. Zip tie the brake line in the middle as shown in the image below 13. Lower vehicle.
We're real proud of the results we got last night up at Moroso. Derek was driving the car and was blessed with some nice cool air which came trough yesterday afternoon.
Not only did we get a change to run our best time but we also had the chance to prove that the 265/40/18 MT ET Street Radial's were worthy of some sick track times. The car as it stands still has the stock blower,stock pulley, stock gears and stock rims on it. Mods are:
JLT CF Intake
AFCO Heat Exchanger
Canton and PFAB Reservoirs
BMR K-Member/Brace and A-Arms
Radiator Sway Bar Delete
Steeda Upper and Lower UCA's
CHE Anti Squat Brackets
MT 265/40/18 ET Street Radials
Our best time to date was an 11.71@108.XX. The reason for the low MPH and time was due to us bracket racing and trying to advance to the next round so our driver was on the brakes so not to break out.Last night with some nice cool weather we headed to Moroso. We got down into the low 40's which helped quite a bit especially with the cool downs.
With that said here's proof that the 265/40/18 MT Drag Radial is more than adequate!!
NEW BEST email@example.com BEST RUN firstname.lastname@example.org
The week before we ran our new best Derek somehow missed 2nd gear not once but twice in the same night. Derek didn't notice anything different with the car but for some reason had a hard time finding the gear that night. After that we felt it necessary to ditch the stock shifter for a better performing aftermarket piece. ( I'll note that I was personally impressed with the way the stock shifter and transmission felt as it was definitely the smoothest shifting mustang I had ever been in. Going from an 03 Cobra T-56 to the new GT500 TR-6060 it's a night and day difference.)
Onto the shifter we called upon our good friend Scott Boda from Steeda Autosports. Steeda has been making the very well known and top performing Tri-Ax shifter for years so we figured it would be a no brainer to use one on our GT500. Scott hooked it up and had a shifter at our door the next day.My initial impression when I drove the car for the first time with the Tri-ax was just what I thought. There was no more slop and selecting gears was much more precise. The throw of the Tri-Ax was much shorter than the stock shifter. During a slow cruise I was definitely impressed with how the shifter felt and knew it would show it's positive characteristics at the track.Note: The Tri-Ax shifter does transmit some drivetrain noise over the stock shifter. It is noticeable but is in no way overbearing or annoying. The increased noise is due to the design of the aftermarket billet shifter which remove the stock rubber bushings and mounting positions. That's why shifting is improved so much with the aftermarket shifter as there's just too much flex with the stock shifter due to all the rubber bushings and mounts.The next test was the track. We took the car out to the first Mustang Challenge event of 2008 at Moroso Motorsports Park. This time we had our good friend Jeremy Martorella from UPR Products with us. Jeremy has driven our car down the track several times before so we knew he would be able to give us a good comparison on how the shifter felt compared to the stock one. The night went very well for us running consistent 1.75 60ft's and 7.58 1/8th mile runs. Our best of the evening was an impressive 1.73 60ft with a 7.53 1/8th. No doubt this was the best performance we've seen so far from our 08' GT500.
After the night came to an end we asked Jeremy what he thought about the Steeda Tri-Ax and just like I mentioned earlier he confirmed that it felt great. He mentioned that there was no more slop while the car was in gear and that hitting gears was much more precise. He also noted that the throw on the shifter helped him to hit the gears much quicker and gave him a lot more confidence to shift faster. Throughout the entire evening Jeremy didn't miss a gear at all. Mission Accomplished!!
To sum it all up we are very impressed with the Steeda Tri-Ax shifter for the GT500. For any GT500 owner that's looking for a better performing shifter we definitely suggest the Tri-Ax. It not only feels great on the street cruising but performs great at the track. We know as we continue our build and our quest for quicker track times the Tri-Ax will play a large role as quick and precise shifting of the car is imperative to lower ET's.
A big thanks goes out to Scott Boda and Steeda Autosports for taking an interest in and contributing to our GT500 project car. We really appreciate the support!Steeda Tri-Ax Shifter for the GT500http://www.lethalperformance.com/pages-productinfo/product-13426/555-7307-steeda-2007-plus-gt500-tri-ax-shifter-free-shipping.htmlRemoval of the stock shifter
We first started by putting the car on a lift. This gave us a lot better access to the underside of the car. Before raising the car we unscrewed the shift knob by turning it counterclockwise. After the knob was removed we also took off the leather boot that houses the stock shifter handle.
Next step was to remove the 2 bolts that keep the shifter handle connected to the shift lever.
We then removed the insulation material at the base of the shift lever as well as the rectangular steel plate and boot.
The next step was to loosen and remove the driveshaft. So we raised the car and removed the 4 bolts that connect the driveshaft to the flange as well as the bolts at the driveshaft center mount. We made sure to mark the shaft and the flange so that when we reinstall the driveshaft all of the bolts would go into the same holes they were removed from. This is very important as if you neglect this process you may cause the driveshaft to be out of balance and vibrate while driving.
The next step was to remove the nut that secures the factory shift rod to the shift lever. Then remove the shoulder bolt and pull the shift rod out of the way.
Remove the pins that attach the shifter arms to the transmission. The pins have to be rotated up in order to release the clips before they can be pulled out.
Remove the two nuts that attach the rear shifter mount to the chassis just above the driveshaft flange on the transmission. Now the stock shifter can be removed from the car.
Installing the Steeda Tri-Ax
Remove one of the front shifter bushings from the OE shifter arm for use on the Steeda shifter arm. Press the rubber bushing into the Steeda shifter first then press in the white nylon tube.
Attach the arm of the shifter to the base with the provided Socket Head Cap Screws.
Press the two grey bushings in the lower hole of the lever. Use the provided
Aluminum spacer to offset the bushing on the drivers side Picture 6. This will
require a small press or vice.
Assemble the rear shifter mount. Sandwich the rear hole in the shifter with the two provided urethane bushings. Then insert the flanged tube from the top with the round edge facing forward. Bolt the assembly together as shown using large washer, then the lock washer, and provided hex bolt .
Fit the new Tri-Ax shifter into the opening in the chassis and attach the transmission arm to the passenger side of the transmission using the factory pin removed.
Attach the rear of the shifter to the factory studs on the chassis using the
Grease the new bushings and the shoulder bolt for the factory shift rod,
Reinstall the nut and shoulder bolt using thread locker.
From above reinstall the steel plate with rubber boot. Then place the
insulation back into position.
Install the shift handle by bolting it to the shift lever. It is recommended
that the handle be installed in the higher position for the greatest driver comfort.
For the shortest throw, install the handle in the lower position. For
Clearance purposes it is recommended that the handle be installed on the
passenger side of the shift lever offset away from the driver.
Be sure all bolts are tightened securely. Thread locking compound is
Re-install the shift boot and knob. Important: Always use an anti-seize
compound on the threads when installing an aluminum shift knob onto the Steeda shift handle.
Additional Tech Tip:
Variation in the transmission height may cause the shift to be extremely tight and very difficult to move. If this is the case, use two of the four washers (shown below) between the rear of the shifter body and the chassis. If problem persists, add the second set of washers.
Fresh off the press from Jonas and Derek at Moroso Motorsports Park. We're taking another crack at some times just before we start the suspension mods. The car as it stands now has an AFCO Dual Pass Heat Exchanger, PFAB Intercooler Reservoir, Canton Radiator Reservoir, JLT Carbon Fiber Intake, VMP Custom Tune and Hoosier 315/35/17 Drag Radials!Stock suspension, Stock Pulley and Stock Exhaust!
Derek just drove the car on his first pass to a email@example.com. The weather unfortunately still warmer than we would like it to be. We saw a cold front early in the week which left us today with a warm and humid evening. Temps at Moroso are 72deg with humidity at 63%.
Just getting started with our 2008 Shelby GT500 we wanted to address a very important part which some take for granted. Cooling!! Cooling of not only the motor but the intercooler system will help in the performance and efficiency of the car. In this instance we're starting with the intercooler system by adding the PFAB Intercooler Reservoir/Ice Tank.
The intercooler system circulates coolant through several different places including a reservoir, heat exchanger, intercooler and pump. The whole point of the system is to get the temperature of that fluid as low as possible as it will help with the intake temperatures as the air is pushed through the intercooler and into the engine. The cooler the temps are the better performance you'll see. By adding more fluid into the system it will help dissipate the heat and allow for better cooling. Best of all is that you can pack the PFAB tank with Ice at the track for extra cooling which has been proven to improve ET's.
Our first step in improving this system is by adding the PFAB tank. This is the reservoir part of the system. The stock plastic piece holds .90 of a Quart of fluid. The PFAB tank holds just under 1 gallon of fluid which will help to dissipate heat in the system. The stock tank is also not the most attractive piece and one you see how nice the PFAB tanks looks it's just another reason to do the upgrade.. The PFAB tank is made of high quality aluminum and tig welded by hand with some of the best looking welds we've ever seen. It also uses a fuel cell style cap which has large opening which will allow you to put ice in the tank. In addition to that there's a Parker drain valve so you can easily drain the fluid.
The PFAB tanks fits in the stock location and should take less than 30 minutes to install. Below is the actual installation of the PFAB tank on our 08' GT500.
The tools needed for the installation are: Pliers, 8mm open ended wrench, 8mm socket and ratchet. razor blade and 50/50 yellow coolant.
The first step of the installation is draining the stock reservoir. This can easily be done by siphoning the fluid out with a 4 ft section of rubber hose or by disconnection the lower hose off of the stock tank and allowing the fluid to drain into pan. We found that siphoning the fluid out of the reservoir was the easiest and cleanest way to do this as there's too much stuff located below the tank which keeps the fluid from properly falling directly into a pan.
Once the stock intercooler reservoir is drained you use the ratchet and 8mm socket to remove the one bolt on the bracket holding the tank to the fan shroud.
Then by using a set of pliers you can loosen the hose clamps on both hoses that attach to the tank. Pull each hose off of the tank and remove the stock reservoir.
Now we can observe the size difference between the 2 which is definitely noticeable. Like I mentioned earlier not only are you improving the efficiency of the intercooler system the looks of the PFAB are enough to make you want to upgrade itself.
At this point you are ready to install the PFAB tank.
Sit the PFAB tank in place where the stock tank was. Connect the lower hose on the right side of the PFAB tank by sliding the hose over the tube on the tank. Then by using the pliers loosen up the hose clamp and then clamp it securely on the hose.
Line up the upper coolant hose to the upper tube on the PFAB tank. You will need to cut a small amount of the stock hose off in order for it to properly fit over the tube on the tank. Use a utility knife or razor blade and carefully cut the hose as illustrated in the image below. Once thehose is cut t he proper length reconnect it to the upper tube of the PFAB tank by sliding the hose over the tube and securing it with the hose clamp.
Once both hoses are secure on the PFAB tank position it so that the tab on the bottom sits in the same position as the stock tab did on the fan shroud.
Line up the tab on the front mounting bracket and use the 8mm wrench to tighten the bolt down. Make sure not to over tighten the bolt as if youdo you may break the plastic tab that the bolt mounts to.
Make sure that the valve on the bottom of the tank is in the closed position and refill the tank using a 50/50 mixture of yellow coolant. Fill the PFAB tank with the coolant leaving about 1" from the top of the tank. Tighten the cap and start the car. Let it idle for a few minutes then turn the vehicle off. Open the tank and make sure the tank is still filled to the same level and add fluid if necessary. Do the same thing but this time after about 5 minutes of driving just to make sure there's enough coolant in the tank and the system is working properly.
For more information about the PFAB Intercooler reservoir/Ice Tank please feel free to give your Lethal Performance sales associate a call today. 1-877-2LETHAL