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Pedders eXtreme xA Coilover Kit (S197 2005-2014 Mustangs) First Impressions & Installation

If you've been following me, it's no secret by now that I recently got a sponsored set of Pedders eXtreme xA Coilovers to test, thanks to American Muscle. I have been wanting to do something about the stock suspension on my 2012 Boss 302 for a while but budget didn't allow. When the opportunity came knocking, I couldn't be happier. The kit includes coilovers only up front to replace the stock struts but maintains the separate "divorced" damper (shock/shock absorber) and spring setup in the back, a common solution for plenty of entry level/budget coil over options as well as more established brands like KW and Eibach until you get to their flagship or race kits. Even the Maximum Motorsport (MM) JRi coilover kit - a package that is far from a budget or mild street option - retains the divorced spring/damper mounting.
While a true coilover setup in the back would be better, it would be more expensive and at this price point, I think the money is better spent on t…

Understeer vs Oversteer: Which is Quicker?

There are no shortage of automotive journalists praising neutral handling balance, sliding a car half way around a track, and condemning understeer as the enemy of speed. It's not just journalists, either. Forums for all sorts of cars are filled with people who hate understeer and try their best at exorcising every last understeering demon out of their cars. But is understeer actually that bad?


Drifting vs Hot Laps

Everyone seems to categorize the three distinct traits at the limit - "understeer", "neutral", and "oversteer" - this way: Understeer is bad. Neutral is good. Oversteer is slow but fun. And since most people don't get to drive a multitude of different cars, let alone push them to their limits, most opinions are formed based on professional reviews. That's fine in general, but there is a distinction between "fun" and "fast". Drifting is a lot of fun, yet everyone knows that drifting is not the fastest way around a…

How would a Mustang 3.5L EcoBoost compare to the 5.0L V8?

Ever wonder how a 3.5 litre EcoBoost might fair against the 5.0 litre V8 in the Mustang? Of course you have. Ever since Ford dropped it in the F150 (and perhaps well before), everyone has been wondering how it would perform. There are basically two camps; those who think it would be awesome because of tuneability and power potential and those who think it means the death of the V8 in the Mustang. If you are in the latter group, we seem to be good so far with continuous upgrades to the 5.0 litre Coyote and the brand new Shelby GT500 which still uses a supercharged V8 as it has been for over a decade and multiple iterations. But what if...

Well, it seems we are closer than ever to finding out the answer to that question. American Trucks recently got together two crew cab, short box, 4x4 F150's but one has the 5.0 litre V8 and the other has the 3.5 litre EcoBoost V6. There has been a few comparisons between 5.0 litre and 3.5 litre EB F150's, but this seems to be the most direct …

Exedy Mach 600 clutch and Billet Flywheel Review (S197 Mustang)

This is a bit overdue (okay, long overdue) but I figured it's better late than never. If you're following me on Instagram or Facebook, you already know that I had to replace my clutch in 2018. It wasn't so much because the clutch failed. It was actually the clutch slave cylinder. Why would I need to replace the clutch if my slave cylinder went? Well, Ford had the genius idea of putting the slave cylinder inside the transmission. Ok, this isn't entirely fair. Putting my engineer hat on, I can see how this makes sense. If you put the slave cylinder in, it's outside of the elements and should theoretically last longer. Unfortunately, Ford should have invested in a better slave cylinder for this to be a great idea, not one that can't make it past 22,500 miles (36,000 kms), albeit with track use - which probably exacerbates the problem because of the additional heat and higher temps. But I digress.

At any rate, the slave cylinder went. Most people would replace the…

Limited Slip Differential Types Compared

A few weeks ago, I posted about traditional clutch-type limited slip diffs (LSD's) and how they work. You can read about those in the previous post: How Limited Slip Diffs Make You Faster on Track. But as you might know or have learned from reading the article, they aren't without their faults, which means engineers are always working to get around those limitations.

You may not be surprised to learn that something like the Ferrari 488 GTB doesn't use a traditional limited slip diff, but it's not limited to super cars, far from it. Cars like the Golf GTI, the Civic Type R, various Mustangs, Corvettes, and BMW M cars, and even the Lexus RC F and GS F, all avoid a traditional limited slip diff in favour of one of these technologies. To keep things simple, I'll focus on two wheel drive vehicles. The vast (vast) majority of principles apply to all and 4 wheel drive vehicles, but there are some subtle differences that I'll cover in a future post.


Gear-type Limited S…






Does An Aftermarket Grille Really Increase Airflow?
I put a Saleen S281 grille to the test to answer that question.

Stock Suspension S197 Mustang With Square 305/30/19's
What you need to fit a proper size square tire setup.

How Limited Slip Diffs Make You Faster on Track
What you need to know about how they put power down and pros and cons.

Can Telemetry Explain Schumacher's Talent?
A comparison between Schumacher's and then team mate Herbert's data.






Cayman GT4 Track Review
The first Cayman with proper (911-challenging) power.

Is an EcoBoost Mustang any good on Track?
Two days at the track in a Mustang short 4 cylinders.

2016 BMW M4 DCT Track Review
It's quick (properly quick). But is it fun?

Can a stock Golf Diesel handle a Track Day?
Not your every day track beater.




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Michelin Pilot Super Sports vs Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 - Street Review

I've been a huge fan of Michelin PSS tires and exclusively bought them for the Mustang over the last four years. So how did I end up here? This year, I was hugely interested in trying an "R-comp" tire. I had my eyes set on Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R's for two simple reasons: price and reputation. Although not a true "R-comp" tire on paper, it performs like one by the account of every single test and review I've read (down to wear rates...). They seem like they're easily the most affordable (from a big brand) R-comp tire and combine that with a reputation for having tons of grip, it was an easy top contender. I had my concerns, though. For one, I'm told and have read that they are an autox tire, not really designed for high speed, pressure, and temps associated with open track. For another, the Mustang is a heavy car (as far as track cars are concerned) being roughly 3,800 lb. (including driver), which will amplify the unwanted open track loads.…

Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R Track Review

For better or for worse, I have heard and read so much about RE-71R's. Everyone swears by the grip but complains about the wear. Generally speaking, the pros are:

1. They grip as well or better than most R comps.
2. They don't wear as quickly as R comps if driven occasionally on the street.
3. They work better in the rain than R comps.

The cons were limited to overheating quickly when used on track (being an autocross tire) and wearing too fast on heavy cars like mine.

In the popular 200 TW category, they are faster than the popular Hankook RS-4's and BFGoodrich Rival S's according to published Tire Rack Tests. According to plenty of reviews, they are also faster than well established R comps like R888R's (which don't seem to work too well on heavy cars anyway) and the venerable NT01's. But I was still hesitant for a while until I talked to a tire tech support gentleman at Tire Rack who has gone faster on RE-71R's than NT01s. In a Mustang (his own, not…

Stock Suspension S197 Mustang With Square 305/30/19's

If you've had any doubts about whether or not they will fit, fear not! You absolutely can run square 305/30/19's. I had a lot of doubts before pulling the trigger, even more so when the wheels where on the car. The tires do poke out a bit and I figured rubbing is all but guaranteed at full compression but I couldn't be happier I trusted APEX and those on here who have run it.

Here's what you need:

1. Camber plates: I have MM C/C plates and they are maxed out at -2.3 deg with the stock struts. I have been running them for years with many track days without issue.

2. 1"/25 mm spacer: I have Motorsport-tech 1" spacers and they look like high quality units. There is maybe a 1/4 inch clearance in the back so you can't go any narrower than 25 mm. http://www.motorsport-tech.com/adaptec/car/ford_s and you want Design 2.


3. Elongated studs: your best bet is to get the FPP hubs with elongated studs instead of reusing the old one. Bearings are consumables anyway so…

Koenigsegg Gamera: 4 Seats, 4WD, 3 Cylinders, and 1700 hp

Meet the Koenigsegg Gamera. This car brings so many firsts, not just to Koenigsegg, but also to the entire automotive industry. For Koenigsegg, it is the first car to have 4 seats, the first to have 3 cylinders and the first to have all wheel drive. Koenigsegg calls it the world's first mega-GT (gran touring) car, and I think they're right. For the world, it brings the first four seater, mid-engine, hyper car. Koenigsegg says it wants to bring the "exciting performance traits of a mid-engine two-seater megacar with the practicalities of a four-seater car with more luggage space" so the experience can be shared with "family and friends." Clearly, I need better friends...

With 1,700 hp on tap, you are sure to impress those lucky enough to be your family and friends if you own one of those. Of course, a three cylinder engine with 1,700 hp is likely to have all the driveability and flexibility of a farm tractor so Koenigsegg doesn't rely on it for all the …