Firebird Nation banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm fairly sure I'm posting this in the wrong place, but I couldn't find a forum better suited to it, so here goes.

I have a '99 3.8 automatic in pristine condition. Has no mechanical issues, clean air intake, ect. I had everything serviced and cleaned a few months ago, so it should be making as much horsepower as its capable of with this small engine. :/

My buddy just bought a '03 3.8 Mustang 5-speed, and he wants to race me.

My question is...which car is faster? I have him by about 10 horsepower and a few more pounds of torque, but his car is roughly 300 pounds lighter. In a quarter mile, which is more likely to win?

Both cars are bone stock, and again, mine is an automatic, and his is a 5-speed.

I'd like a few good opinions before I agree to go to a track and humiliate myself unnecessarily. :)

Thanks so much in advance.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,465 Posts
Either forget about it, or go have fun. Consider this a drivers race. The cars are pretty much equal. The only way you'll be humiliated is if you've spent all your time trash talking Mustangs to your buddy, or, trash talked his driving skill. This is goimg to come down to tires, gears, lane choice, his shifting ability, etc. You're afraid to be humiliated? Imagine how he'll feel burning out his clutch, or missing a shift, etc. Especially if he's been trash talking Firebirds to you.

Stop thinking and GO HAVE FUN!

If you lose, be cool about it. If you win, be cool about it. Period. ...between real Sportsmen, there is no humiliation, only "next time".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Agreed. :)
But I'd still like to know if anyone else here had ever had a comparable race...
Also any tips would be nice. I don't race too much.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,465 Posts
What I'm getting at is: Nobodys experience will be comparable to yours. Just conditions on track day make all the difference. Tires make all the difference, lane choice makes all the difference. Even if you both had identical Firebirds, the above conditions factor in and give someone an advantage.

You want some numbers? Your vehicles are within about .3 seconds of each other in the 1/4, and in your favor. You can lose that advantage the millisecond the light goes green. Got crappy but new tires? Worn tires? Dragging brakes? Sensor slightly out of wack but still within spec? Fuel choice, tuning, rear gear, transmission gearing, temperature, humidity, blah, blah, blah. All factors. No two cars are the same even when they are.

Again, it's drivers race. Nobody here drives like you or your buddy. Your times are your own. There is no comparison, or advice other than HAVE FUN!

...What's the point in racing if you're not going to do it if you think you'll lose? That mindset ain't right man. Here's a better one. When you're at the track, race yourself, forget about the other lane. Most guys at the strip couldn't care less about the other guy, only that they best themselves. *correct* mindset.

Get out there and prove yourself to yourself. Have fun with it. You lose? No such thing. You're racing yourself. You need to learn how to handle your vehicle at the strip. As you make more passes, you'll hone your skills. When you're running consistent times, it's time to get serious and start buildinbnthe motor, or walk away. By the time you know your car at the track, you'll know if it's a sport you wish to persue. Or, this will be a one-off thing. Either way, just have fun. At the end of the day, it's about timeslips, not make and model.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,465 Posts
All I'm goimg to say is I've lost two races in my life. Both in my '80 Camaro (350ci). One was to a Camaro with a 383 Stroker, and the other was to a Camaro with a turbo and nitrous. Both smoked me like I was driving a Geo Metro, ok, probably too young to get that reference, so, they smoked me like I was inca Smart car.

I have raced *a lot* of mustangs. Nothing from the current gen though. I'm over the whole Ford v GM thing, have been for years. I respect all "Muscle" now, don't care if it's American, German, Japanese, whatever.

Truth is, in my opinion, straight line, GM. Back roads, Mustangs are more fun... The two breeds have more or less always been "equals". I prefer GM's styling. I love first gen 'birds and camaros, prefer 2nd & 3rd gen camaros over the 'birds, and 4th gen, hands down the 'bird. Hated Mustangs since they became little boxes that look like a 2 door Dodge Aries.

Love the current gen of Mustang though. They have finally refined the "box" into something with style again. Repeat, *my opinion*.

I at one time had a 1996 4.0L single cab 2WD Ranger (Splash) with the 5-spd manual. It walked all over '90s "GT's" and "Cobras", so, I'm not someone impressed with the brand. ...my LT1 is a pussy-cat compared to my '80 Camaro, but, I'm happy with it. Shy of a C6 z06 vette or better, it's a tough car to beat (stock-4-stock).

The T/A is actually impressive for it's measley 300HP. It still holds its own at the track and on the street with cars 20+ years newer and equal to more horsepower. Get the right tires on the rear and sub 5-second 0-60 times are easily reached. Just about any tire is a drift-tire on my 6-spd T/A. ;)

Go to the track, meet some folks, make a few passes, have a good time. ...Just stay off the wall and you're a winner.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KeyKeeper

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Zump TA is 100% correct, have fun!!! It sounds like you are a bit worried about it, which is certainly understandable if you haven't raced before or much. My first wheel to wheel race I just about crapped myself. My advice would be to practice. Go to your local strip and see have your car reacts to various RPMs before releasing the brake and hitting the gas. Look to beat yourself. An auto, while maybe a bit faster with a good driver, is often slower with most drivers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Lemons Racer...yeah, I've never raced on a strip before. Thanks for the encouragement and the advice...I'm really looking forward to this now! :)

And ZumpTA...I know that no matter what the outcome of the race is, my Bird is still a better and more fun car than his, just all-around. :)
Oh, and also, any mechanical or engine stuff I need to check on my car before I go racing, just to make sure it stays safe and damage-free? Like I said, I haven't raced before, and I don't think I've ever even taken it past 5k rpms on the street.
 

·
Administrator
1994 Firebird Formula 381ci LT1 / TH400+GV O/D
Joined
·
14,404 Posts
The best thing you can do is learn what to do at the track.... staging lanes, water box (avoid it), the operation of the tree, the protocols for staging, where the staging lights are (want to be embarrassed - screw that up), which light to leave on, where the finish line is, how to use the decel lanes, where the turnoff lanes are, and who goes first into the turnoff lane. Go to the track with a buddy who has some experience and let him walk you through the process while watching others. Then make a few practice passes.

I ran my best time on straight motor (11.5 @ 117) and lost to an older Mustang, with a supercharger, by two full seconds.
 

·
']['exXxas']['itan
Joined
·
759 Posts
IMHO, being an auto, you should be able to destroy him out of the hole if he bogs it(very possible with the weight/torque ratio of the mustang). If he completely kills the motor, then you will for sure win. If he blows the tires loose dumping the clutch then its iffy either way.

Like they said, the best part of drag racing at an established track is just being there and participating. Seeing all the bad ass cars, smelling the race gas, ethanol, vht, ect. Also as Fred pointed out, screw up the tree deep staging or constant double staging and that will be more embarrassing than loosing to a pony car :)

Whats even worse then that is blowing a coolant hose, or oil out all over the track.....big no no.

when I line up on the 1320, all I think about are the cars instrumentation, and the tree. Once you leave the line there's no going back.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top