February 1, 2009

Last month we kicked off our Camaro-Mustang Challenge road race project with an introduction to the class and an overview of the selection and preparation of the donor '95 Mustang GT chassis. This month, we start building it. If you missed Part 1, you should know that the CMC is a bucks-down series designed as the ultimate grass-roots level of road racing. And even if you don't plan to build an all-out racer, most of the build will transfer to any Fox Stang. With that said, we'll get started.

Last month we did the deed of stripping and repainting the interior and front clip from the firewall forward, so now we can begin the fun part of bolting on the suspension and brakes.

The CMC rules make selection of chassis and braking components relatively simple, as the modifications allowed are minimal and require retaining mostly stock parts and geometry. Major components that can be upgraded are shocks, springs, and bushings, but suspension geometry and major control points and components must remain stock. With a few years of experience in the class with our previous car, we had a solid baseline setup already figured out and knew just where to turn for the needed parts-Maximum Motorsports.

Most readers are familiar with Maximum's full-on road and drag race suspension components consisting of tubular K-members, coilovers, and torque arms-but none of that stuff is legal in CMC. If you dig a little deeper into Maximum's catalog, though, you'll see that the company has a starter suspension kit called the Road & Track Box that is ideally suited to CMC. Consisting of upgraded shocks, springs, caster-camber plates, aluminum rack bushings, a bumpsteer kit, K-member braces, upgraded control arm bushings, a solid steering shaft, and rear lower control arms, these parts form a solid suspension foundation and are essentially a turnkey suspension system for a CMC Mustang.

You can tailor the spring rates and shock selections to the intended use of the car, and for our race-only setup, we selected MM's race-valved Bilstein front struts and Bilstein heavy-duty rear shocks to match our 1,000-pound front and 250-pound rear spring rates. Installing the parts is pretty straightforward, and the photos and captions hit the highlights. We'll get into suspension setup and tuning in future installments.