Is the 4th gen still competitive in AutoX? - LS1TECH



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Is the 4th gen still competitive in AutoX?

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Old 09-07-2016, 05:31 PM   #1
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Default Is the 4th gen still competitive in AutoX?

As the title says, is the 4th gen still a competitive autocrosser? I refuse to buy a miata or Beemer and I've heard new mustangs are kicking ***. Can the 4th gen still pull a podium win occasionally or is it an uphill battle no matter what?
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:40 PM   #2
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I'd say so. Last autocross I came 1st in time only class which included loads of Mustang's, a few Challenger/Charger SRT8's, Evo's, your typical swarm of S2000's and Miata's even a few Corvettes. Main reason is that the aftermarket is so huge for these cars that with the right choice of mods you can completely transform how an F-Body handles.

It was interesting how as the day went on more and more people started stopping by my pit to ask me about my car. That's actually part of the reason why I haven't "graduated" on to a Corvette as most people do. I love it when people don't expect your car to be competitive then you pull an insane lap time. If I were in a Corvette or S2000 it would be no surprise if I finished at the top of my class, but in an old GM pony car? Now that turns heads. I enjoy building a sleeper almost as much as I enjoy racing it.


Now prepare for the incoming "Just get a C5 and be done with it" posts...
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:45 AM   #3
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I see you are in Dallas, so I can say that you could be competitive in a 4th gen. A large part of what's competitive is the driver though... I run my stock 2002 Firehawk with 500TW tires at autocross events once in while and I do pretty good in it- again it's completely stock.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:28 AM   #4
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Well ive drag raced forever but im just tired of it. Im tired of the guy with the deepest pockets wins. Like M4N14Cs sig says , I think corners make for better drivers. Im tired of buying speed, I want to develop myself as a driver but naturally I want to win at anything I do. Wasn't sure if these cars could still hang or not, sounds like they can! Thanks for the responses guys.
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:24 AM   #5
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Yeah you can be very competitive. The cars are still fast, I'm in the top 3-5 of 50 cars in my current region, or top 8 cars in my old 100 car region. I've beaten new and older Vettes. My car is 01 TA with headers, Koni shocks, Strano springs, watts, bars, and 315 Hoosiers, with Carbotech AX6 front pads.

Being FTD depends on other cars in your region, at a different region's event this year, a _very good_ driver in a prepped 15 Mustang killed us all in ESP by 3-4 seconds, and the rest of us are not slouches. I think the new Mustangs are overdogs for ESP, with the low gearing and extra 50-90HP advantage. But a good driver in an Fbody can beat a poor driver in a 'stang easily.
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Old 09-08-2016, 01:53 PM   #6
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i typicall win or come in 2nd behind a S2000 at our local AutoX
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarrettM View Post
Well ive drag raced forever but im just tired of it. Im tired of the guy with the deepest pockets wins. Like M4N14Cs sig says , I think corners make for better drivers. Im tired of buying speed, I want to develop myself as a driver but naturally I want to win at anything I do. Wasn't sure if these cars could still hang or not, sounds like they can! Thanks for the responses guys.
All forms of racing will have this as a factor. In autocross it's not SO much about the parts/power as it is about the driver. Seat time and tires are your biggest factor. I don' have the wallet to be running on new A6 or A7's which would for sure put me in podium positions within my ESP class. Add the ability to run CCW's or another light wheel and things get that much better...but again $$$$$.


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Originally Posted by Chris Paveglio View Post
Yeah you can be very competitive. The cars are still fast, I'm in the top 3-5 of 50 cars in my current region, or top 8 cars in my old 100 car region. I've beaten new and older Vettes. My car is 01 TA with headers, Koni shocks, Strano springs, watts, bars, and 315 Hoosiers, with Carbotech AX6 front pads.

Being FTD depends on other cars in your region, at a different region's event this year, a _very good_ driver in a prepped 15 Mustang killed us all in ESP by 3-4 seconds, and the rest of us are not slouches. I think the new Mustangs are overdogs for ESP, with the low gearing and extra 50-90HP advantage. But a good driver in an Fbody can beat a poor driver in a 'stang easily.
Watch those hubs on 315's!! lol. My goal is to go to the SKF race hubs and 315's over the winter.


OP, IMO Fbodys can be competitive for sure. If I did it again I would go LS1 car since right out of the box they make more power than LT1 cars in stock form. Add headers/exhaust/tune and you are still ahead of LT1 cars with the same mods. Shocks/springs/swaybars and good tires completely transform these cars.

BUT if you have ANY desire to keep with autocrossing and want to be fairly competitive then I would look into a C5. The benefits of a Fbody is that parts are cheap. But I feel you will always be one step behind a Corvette. A C5 is the best bang for the buck next to a Miata...just cost more to buy and mod.

You will need shocks/spring/swaybars wheels/tires, full exhaust, tune, and a good driver to TRY and hang with a stock-ish C5 with tires only...name of the game.

My goals for autocrossing is to be fast...not fast within a class, just fast. SO I build my 95 Z in a manner that gets my raw times down. I'm constantly at the bottom of top 1/3 cars in raw times. Last sunday I was 22nd of 73 cars. Majority of the cars ahead of me are C5's, Miata's, S2000, Subarus. All of which have good drivers in them.

I remember one member saying that the Fbody taught him how to drive a car. When he went to a C5, he was able to push it that much more and be quicker but that a C5 is "easy" to drive. The Fbody is a little more rough around the edges and you need to stay on top of it.
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:34 PM   #8
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Anyone saying "well a good driver in an f-body can..." is admitting that the F-Body isn't the superior car.

You will be fighting an uphill battle. Doesn't mean you can't make it work, but yes, you are at a disadvantage.
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:41 PM   #9
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good driver in a heavily modified f body = average driver in stockfish c5 IMO
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Old 09-16-2016, 07:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DietCoke View Post
Anyone saying "well a good driver in an f-body can..." is admitting that the F-Body isn't the superior car.

You will be fighting an uphill battle. Doesn't mean you can't make it work, but yes, you are at a disadvantage.
Not when comparing prices. Fbodies are one of the fastest and most reliable cars you can get when considering speed per dollar.
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Old 09-17-2016, 01:36 AM   #11
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Not when comparing prices. Fbodies are one of the fastest and most reliable cars you can get when considering speed per dollar.
Too bad you don't race speed per dollar

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Old 09-17-2016, 11:32 AM   #12
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I autocross a truck, so any 4th gen, even in stock form will do better than what I'm starting with. But, I autocross for fun. I do it because I got bored with "power parking" at car shows. But also, Miatas, Evos, Subarus, and civics are small, lightweight cars that are purpose built to handle. My mindset is different, and I don't find it a challenge to make something handle that was already built for that. I'd rather take something that was never meant to be driven in that manner and make it work. It also pushes your limits as a driver.

I can tell you, that if you go into autocrossing for the all out competitive nature, you may not enjoy it as much. I gave up trying to beat everyone else and focus on beating my own times. Each of us are different, though, and like different things for different reasons, so do what make you happy.

I'll make a endorsement, here, though. Ryan Kirkwood and Ramey Womer from UMI autocross a 4th Gen Camaro and do quite well with it. It was also the test mule for their suspension systems.
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Old 09-17-2016, 01:53 PM   #13
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I find myself being competitive at almost anything. That being said, like was mentioned earlier, I think competing in an fbody for a couple of year will make me a better driver. No easy wins are given woth these cars. After a couple years I can put her back on weekend driver duty and move to.something else to be more competitive.
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Old 09-17-2016, 04:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DietCoke View Post
Too bad you don't race speed per dollar

Unless money is not an issue for you, everyone races speed per dollar in some way. If not we'll all be running LS Miata's

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Originally Posted by Slick68 View Post
I can tell you, that if you go into autocrossing for the all out competitive nature, you may not enjoy it as much. I gave up trying to beat everyone else and focus on beating my own times. Each of us are different, though, and like different things for different reasons, so do what make you happy.
Exactly my mindset. I autocross for fun, not to win trophies. Surprising a few people along the way is a great bonus though
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:49 AM   #15
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Unless money is not an issue for you, everyone races speed per dollar in some way. If not we'll all be running LS Miata's
Lets be serious if money was no issue, you would be in a C5 or C6Z and be done with it. A Miata is too small for me since I like to DRIVE my cars on the street so it's a tad impractical with 2 dogs LOL.

If you like being a slight underdog (people often underestimate the Fbody), can't afford a Corvette, and like to tinker/upgrade/learn as you go then a Fbody is great choice. Like I said, parts are much cheaper an there is still a big aftermarket for them. Just find a clean LS version. I keep seeing guys having issues finding someone to tune LT1's lately.

People KNOW Miata's are good at handling. Miata's and Corvettes are the two most popular cars were I race.

OP, to be competitive is relative to the competition in your area, competitive to a specific class? Or do you want to be FTD? Those to approaches steer you in certain direction for mods. IMO you are looking at simply happy with middle of the pack, reliable, and fun then the following mods will get you there:

Race seat/5 pt harness
Shocks/springs/swaybars
decent set of dedicated race tires.
If LT1 car, swap to LS1 front brakes with blank rotors and good pads.
TrueTrac diff or Auburn racers diff to hold up to said better tires.
Adj pan hard bar at a minimum (Watts Link optimal)

All comes down to setting a "autocross goal" and moving toward it. Best in class or FTD?

Last edited by smitty2919; 09-18-2016 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 09-18-2016, 11:01 AM   #16
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Smitty what is FTD? Guess I'm not catching that. As far as being happy middle of the pack i don't really operate that way. Right now I've got an 02 Z28 ttop 6spd. Current mods are adj, PHB, LCAs, LCA relocation brackets, SFCs, BMR springs, SLP Bilstiens, Strano sways on 18" C6 wheels. All fresh bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends etc, SLP lid.

The wheels have got to go, just not a fan. Next two thing that need to be addressed are howling l, clunking 10 bolt and PS pump puking. After that Corbeau Forza and 6le harness bar.

I really don't figure I will roll out this car until season starts again in February. But when i do I want it to hurt feelings.
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Old 09-18-2016, 11:15 AM   #17
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FTD is Fastest Time of the Day (raw times). I don't give a crap about PAX times.

You are on a good start for mods. I would stay with 18's as tire selection is better. Also allow you to run CTSV brakes if you want later.

One you get a seat/harness and tires...the rest will be seat time. You would have a capable car. If you have never autocrossed, it will take you at least a season to get to know the car in that aspect pushing it to the limit and keeping it there to cut down times. DON'T expect to do amazingly well the first season lol.
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:58 PM   #18
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hard pressed to ftd anything that weighs 3k
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:30 AM   #19
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Watch those hubs on 315's!! lol. My goal is to go to the SKF race hubs and 315's over the winter.
Ha ha yeah I know ALL about them - I had a set of 'custom made' units fail at HDPE. Now I have SKF x-tracker corvette hubs with adapters. You can read my long story of woes at FRRAX.
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Old 09-23-2016, 10:04 AM   #20
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I was very competitive in my 00 WS6 when I was running that car a couple of years ago, again it was heavily modded to ESP specs like Chris's car. I took it out to the road course this year and it was really good on the track! just needs more power, but ESP specs won't allow that.
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