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ChampCar 98 Contour

krispykritter

New CEG'er
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
13
Location
Florida
Hello everyone!

My team and I have used this site extensively to research our race car and learn about what others have done to extract some performance from these cars. While most of what we've done isn't something you want to do for a street car, I figure you all would enjoy reading about our never-ending project to extract more performance from our race car.

First, here she is at Daytona International Speedway last April:

DaytonaContourSmall.PNGDaytonaContourSmall2.PNG

History: We bought the car from another chumpcar team back in late 2015. There was no reason other than it was for sale, it was close-ish, and it seemed easier than buying a new car and building it ourselves.

After we got ahold of it, we spent a lot of time cataloging the parts we got with it, and 'cleaning up' the wiring and installation of everything. We ran our first race at Sebring in 2016 with the car nearly identical to when we bought it, and though we managed to finish, we did have to replace a wheel bearing halfway through the race. We've learned a ton about the car and racing since then - our first year at Sebring, we had a best lap of 3:03.xxx; last year we did a 2:50.xxx.

Since then, we've run Daytona and Sebring every year, and have made longer trips out to Road Atlanta (twice, but the first attempt our motor blew up) and Carolina Motorsports Park (where we had our highest ever finish - 14th, and we were the 2nd highest placing FWD car).

At Daytona, we've seen a highest top speed of around 125 mph. Our usual max sustained cornering forces are around 1.1-1.2 gees.

With with the 2.5L on a dyno, with a microsquirt, underdrive fluidampr pulley, and gutted LIM, we made 165WHP and 155WTQ.

That brings me to this year - we've got a duratec 30 we're in the process of swapping into the car as we speak. Along the way, almost all the original car has been reworked or replaced. Last summer we finally went to a microsquirt EMS and replaced the entirety of the OEM wiring in the car. Everything is on our own relays and wiring, down to the headlights and wipers.

On to the modifications:
  • Ford reman 2.5L short block, non-svt (after we blew the engine at Road Atlanta)
  • Ground Control coilover kit with 500F/225R spring rates
  • Bilstein strut inserts made for a 3000GT on all four corners (inside original BAT strut bodies)
  • 240sx front strut mount pattern into strut towers with...
  • Ebay pillowball upper strut mounts on the front, homemade steel ones on the rear
  • Home-made extended front lower control arms
  • Massive rear toe links
  • 15 gallon fuel cell with 1/2 gallon surge tank. One low pressure lift pump to fill surge tank, and high pressure pump to feed engine.
  • Microsquirt engine management system with homemade wire harness, home grown tune
  • Ditched water/oil cooler for oil/air cooler in front of radiator
  • Aluminum radiator for a mondeo, special ordered from Britain
  • Two oil catch cans
  • PCV from a 240sx
  • Fuel filter from a 300zx
  • 17x9 wheels from a Foxbody mustang, and rolled/pushed fenders
  • Secondary butterflies and shafts removed
  • Re-greased CV joints with 50/50 mix of swepco moly and bel-ray anti-seize (these were blowing up ALOT before we discovered this)
  • Gutted all cats, straight-through exhaust
  • Ditched front sway bar, running SVT rear sway
  • Home-designed, Xometry built adapters to mount new edge mustang aluminum 2-pot calipers to contour spindle with SVT Focus rotors
  • Home-made LEDs fitting inside stock headlight housings
  • RaceCapture telemetry system, with in-car tablet display with live lap timing
  • Home-made sequential shift light, with large backup tach and secondary shift light driven by MS analog output
  • Converted trans over to using Focus MTX shift tower, cables, and shifter. They still make new shift cables for the focus
  • Ford 24# injectors (from a navigator)
  • Honda civic intake tube (O'reilly special)
  • Fluidampr crank pulley
  • Home-made y-pipe optimization, straight-through exhaust
  • Two sets of brake ducts, plus two sets of air diverters to help cool the front CVs and brakes
  • Original gas tank gone, underbody aero added to cover massive hole
  • Homemade splitter, under-engine tray, and spoiler
Currently working on:
  • 2004 Duratec 30 oval port installation, with
  • New rod bearings and ARP bolts
  • Fidanza flywheel with ARP bolts
  • Luk clutch and slave cylinder
  • Home-made poly rear engine mount (burned out old rubber and poured new poly into the shell)
  • PRG? Solid front subframe mounts
  • Energy suspension rear poly control arm bushings
  • New-edge mustand 2-piston calipers with SVT Focus rotors
  • FPR in trunk next to fuel cell to simplify fuel line plumbing
I'm sure there's a ton of stuff I'm forgetting, but if anyone is gonna geek out over an old contour-turned-touring-car, it's you guys. If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know! I'll try and attach more pictures after this post.
 
Last edited:

krispykritter

New CEG'er
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
13
Location
Florida
More Daytona:
DaytonaContourSmall3.PNG

Shift light missing in this picture but the rest of the stuff is there:
20210307_152110.jpg

Before the 3L swap began. You can see the 'new' strut mounts, the fire nozzles, and the civic intake tube:
20210309_175314.jpg

Putting the 3L together:
PXL_20211114_151949490.jpg

3L in waiting on manifold and fuel line parts:
PXL_20211114_183341796.jpg
 

krispykritter

New CEG'er
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
13
Location
Florida
Here's the caliper adapters we designed:

IMG_2589.jpg

IMG_2587.jpg

We ended up not using the spacer washer you see here, and just grinding away some material until everything fit without the washer.

IMG_2588.jpg

IMG_2586.jpg
 

krispykritter

New CEG'er
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
13
Location
Florida
Ever heard cross-drilled rotors can crack? Live evidence. These were brand new before racing 14 hours around daytona in July of this year.

signal-2021-05-21-170207.jpg


signal-2021-05-21-170254.jpg
 

krispykritter

New CEG'er
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
13
Location
Florida
Side note - this is the 'same' chumpcar contour that has a few threads posted in this same forum. It's had a ton of work done and a new paint job, but is the same chassis. We bought it from John back in 2015.
 

krispykritter

New CEG'er
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
13
Location
Florida
Pretty hard to find performance parts for this thing, so we've gotten pretty good at making them ourselves. I've always heard drilled rotors cracked but never seen it before. I generally stick to slotted but they wanted $30 extra each for plain slotted, where the cross-drilled and slotted were cheaper. Rotors are generally one-time-use so I figured why not. Glad they didn't fail on track.

We also ended up using the 3.0 valve cover on the front bank and the 2.5 cover on the rear. The PCV baffle is much better on the 3L and we suck a LOT of oil into our catch cans. But it's also nice to have a secure location for our coil, so we stuck with the 2.5 on the back.

It's officially in the car and running and idling. Need to do a lot of work on the tune though. Dyno day is planned for December 3rd, so we'll see how the new engine compares to the old.

Non-svt 2.5L with SVT ecu = 154HP/153TQ
Non-svt 2.5L with microsquirt = 165HP/156TQ (massive increase under the curve too - much flatter power curve)
2004 Tribute 3.0L full oval port with microsquirt = ?????
 

krispykritter

New CEG'er
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
13
Location
Florida
Short "test drive" with the new engine...smokey burnouts in first and second and chirps into third. In a straight line. With 255/45ZR17s on it.

Can't wait to dyno tune it Friday. I'll post up the graphs once we're done.
 

krispykritter

New CEG'er
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
13
Location
Florida
Expanded our hood vents a little too. Heat is always a problem. They used to just be the lifted front parts, but the new engine gives us a little more space where the SVT intake manifold used to be in the way, so we added the rear, bend-down parts.

signal-2021-11-27-17-03-35-289 (1).jpg
 

krispykritter

New CEG'er
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
13
Location
Florida
Well dyno day done and it's not as good as we'd hoped. We spent a solid two hours on the dyno tweaking and stuff and ended up with a best of 188hp @ 5600 and 196tq @ 4500. Took a lot of playing to get those numbers too. Ended up raising our fuel pressure, changing our injection timing, messing with ignition timing all over the place (was happiest at 29 degrees at 3k+ rpm).

Anyway, graph attached!

SmallerDyno.PNG

PS still have lots of work to do, like fixing the crazy lean condition when we lift at 6500 rpm. Just don't need to be at a dyno to do that. Might just be fuel cut or might need to clean up the VE table a bunch.
 

willenium

New CEG'er
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
12
Location
Lakeridge, Virginia
Wish I had time to chronicle this. I am world famous for tractor pulling. Heading to Florida to film my winter circuit down there in mid-January. Would a shop tour be out of the question?
 

krispykritter

New CEG'er
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
13
Location
Florida
Haha shop tour! Our 'shop' is actually a split between my garage and a friend's hurricane shutter business! Unfortunately, I'm moving away from Florida to Colorado in two weeks, and will be doing the fly-in-to-work-on-car-and-race thing from now on. I can certainly put you in touch with the guys that'll still be around though if you ever want to check out the car. We're racing Sebring this weekend and Daytona in early April.

I'll be sure to update ya'll with the results of this weekend's race. We've got a practice/test-n-tune day Friday, then 9am to 4pm races Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully the test-n-tune lets us fine and resolve any gremlins prior to the start Saturday morning.
 
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