Continuing our Bullit Studies, or BS for short, today's topic is; "Love the one you've got." The Bullits we drive are already ~3/4" lower than a GT. How can we optimize what we've got without re-inventing the wheel. (literally)
Chassis dynamics: Make it stiffer, upgrade your sub frame connectors (01) or add jacking rails or SFC 2008.
Add a strut brace. (01) An adjustable panhard bar is a nice addition. If you measure from edge of fender to outside of tire you will find that one side is quite a bit further in than the other. With an adjustable bar you can yank the suspension straight so the front and back wheels line up. At the road course, more right turns than left, you pull the rear end left 1/4 to 1/2" to help the car turn right. The Nascar boys used this to the extreme, pulling rear ends far right. Car's were called "twisted sisters."
Alignment: Set of camber bolts for bottom of strut mounts. ($60) Will allow you to dial in more negative camber. Very cheap way to get noticeable improvement and minimize understeer.
Adjustable shocks: Another great tool for chassis tuning (cheap MagneRide) The Adjustable shock can give you a nice cruising ride and with the twist of a wrist, you are in race mode. Bilstein, Tokico, Koni, all good. If your shocks are toast upgrade to adjustable.
Tires: In the past 20 years there has been no bigger improvement in car handling than with tires. My first car had bias ply tires, they were awful. When radial tires became popular in Europe in the late 60's, "Dunlops" were the hot set up. Today, there are a lot of great tires both domestic and off shore. Read the literature, a softer compound tire can transform your car. And, like on the track you can achieve handling gains by tweeking your air pressures for better balance.
Other tricks: Adjustable sway bar end links. Allow you to get the sway bars parallel with the control arms and remove the pre-load. (Energy suspension) Just find the length you need and dial it in.
Rear gear swap: This is a secret weapon for road course improvement. Get those 3.27's out of your 01 and put a set of 3.73's. You'll think you've got another 50 HP. You'll be in the power band coming off the corner without having to rev in the low millions. In Trans Am we used to have about 5 different diffs. depending on the track.
Lighter wheels: Lighter wheels have a number of positive effects. They relieve some strain from your brakes. Slightly better acceleration, and quicker suspension reaction due to reduced unsprung weight. (weight not cushioned by the spring and shock)
Move your seat closer to the pedals: Most drivers sit back too far and you tire yourself wrestling the steering and pedals. Sitting in the driver's seat, put your left foot on the floor behind the clutch pedal. Your leg should not be straight out, but with a good bend at the knee. If you track with standard seat belts, buy yourself a "CG-lock." It's a little clip that allows you to snug up your belts and slide the clip to hold you there.
Next time; To hell with it, let's lower this sucker!
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