Ten Questions with: Jamal Hameedi


djs

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Question #13. Riot!:rofl
 

PeakCompletions

Boost is an addiction...
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Great stuff and thanks for your time and information Jamal!

:cheers
 

Nardo GT

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Jul 15, 2006
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Jamal....I just want to thank you for all you have contributed to the Ford GT. It is my alltime favorite car. It is an honor to be the owner/caretaker of the Nardo car. You are a first class gentleman! Nardo Chris
 

AtomicGT

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Jamal

I have a question that arose this last week, from a dead battery and having to unfortunately get a California Smog certification at the same time. My battery went dead. It was 6 years old. I used the dash board trickle charger device provided with the car all the time. Are there any external battery terminals on the GT that a standard Battery Tender Jr. can be connected to use a standard battery trickle like charger connected to an AC outlet? Right now the only other option ofr continuous low voltage charging is to remove the batter cover under the front compartment and connect charger leads directly to the battery terminals. Perhaps in the engine compartment there are bolts or terminals that could be used? Once the battery is exchanged, the onboard computer and O2 sensors need to be reset, and this take a lenghty drive at 60 MPH to solve the reset the sensors, with the tank between 1/4 and 3/4s full of petrol.

http://www.fordgtforum.com/forums/showthread.php?24792-California-GT-Smog-Story
 
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Kingman

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Jamal

I have a question that arose this last week, from a dead battery and having to unfortunately get a California Smog certification at the same time. My battery went dead. It was 6 years old. I used the dash board trickle charger device provided with the car all the time. Are there any external battery terminals on the GT that a standard Battery Tender Jr. can be connected to use a standard battery trickle like charger connected to an AC outlet? Right now the only other option ofr continuous low voltage charging is to remove the batter cover under the front compartment and connect charger leads directly to the battery terminals. Perhaps in the engine compartment there are bolts or terminals that could be used? Once the battery is exchanged, the onboard computer and O2 sensors need to be reset, and this take a lenghty drive at 60 MPH to solve the reset the sensors, with the tank between 1/4 and 3/4s full of petrol.

http://www.fordgtforum.com/forums/showthread.php?24792-California-GT-Smog-Story
I understand that Kendall/Cooltech LLC has an elegant solution for your needs.
 

GTJack

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I really enjoyed reading this and gaining new insights into the decisions in developing this super car. Thanks to Dave for organizing it, Jamal for providing the answers and Ford for approving what was posted. What a great new chapter to the legend of the GT40 in what so many are able to enjoy. Thank you.
 

AtomicGT

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Grazie Mille
 

BigsGT

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Thanks for the insight, information and effort!

What a great car and experience. It goes on and on... Thankfully!
 

standj

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Thanks to all concerned for this great information!!!
 

GTdrummer

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Fascinating--can't get enough of the historical stuff. Good work, Dave.
 

fjpikul

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Ha, ha, ha, he dodged my questions about his best buddy being a Chevy guy.
 

Cobrar

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Ford GT Forum (9): As a business case, did the GT make money for Ford?

Jamal Hameedi: We made a little money.

Ford GT Forum (10): What would have to happen to make a similar business case for a
follow-on exotic in todays market?

Jamal Hameedi: Supercars are dessert for a company like Ford. They always have been and always will be. It's nearly impossible to convince anyone to invest in dessert when a company is just starting to come out of one of the worst cash flow situations in its history and as a result - your balance sheet is carrying more debt than you want. So to answer your question, we need to be making money consistently and we need to have a healthy balance sheet before we can consider dessert.


Ford GT Forum (16): Knowing where you grew up, what made you decide to do this and
what schools did you attend to get there and build your career?

And when I hired into Ford, I told myself I would leave when I had a job that wasn't fun anymore. I figured it would only be a matter of time at a big company. 19 years later, I'm still waiting for that to happen...


Great Q&A- Thanks Jamal, DBK and Ford for letting us look under the hood !!

I happened to take my GT out for a long overdue ride yesterday, and had some 'quality' time to think a bit about Q's 9 & 10. It is simply amazing that this car was built at all, much less covering its' cost. Programs as such may be 'dessert' for Ford, but six years later, A. Mulally and B. Ford, are still autographing Ford GT posters that make the claim "A Pace Car for an Entire Company". And, if you walk around inside Ford's (PDC) Product Development Center today, these posters are in peoples offices everywhere around the building.

Halo cars may be more important in tough times than they are in good times. A little dessert, went a long damn way for some of these folks (in response to question #16).

Great work guys!!
 

FB GT40

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What a wonderful read! Thanks for the insight - and your contribution.
 

jsalomon

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Jamal, thanks for being a good friend to us FGT owners........It's these types of connections that keeps Ford a head above the rest!
 

PL510*Jeff

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Thanks Jamal & DBK.

Always good to hear some new insight to the making of the our GT's.

Who's next? Biill F, Jay, Fred, Edsel F., Kip........?
 
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H

HHGT

Guest
Great reading...Thanks...
 

Joehand1

Tungsten GT Owner
Sep 20, 2007
592
Hattiesburg, MS, USA
Just like the old racer, this car changed the public's perception about Ford, and maybe led the way for Ford to become the most popular American car company here and abroad.
 
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DBK

The Favor Factory™
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For round two of the ongoing Ford GT Forum "Ten Questions Series", we're moving on to: Ten Questions with Jamal Hameedi.



Jamal Hameedi was the Program Manager for Ford GT. He's an engineer by trade, and is currently SVT Chief Nameplate Engineer, but his role at Ford GT could best be described as being the hub of the wheel that held together the many spokes of the program.

As a bonus, I let the maintenance guys into Jamal's pad last week so they could fix his hot tub, so we get to play 20 questions. :biggrin

Ford GT Forum (1): Why was the specific engine size selected instead of something
larger?

Jamal Hameedi: The 5.4L architecture was off the shelf (bore and stroke) and there was some history with it from the Cobra R (heads) and the Lightning (forced induction). It was a high confidence solution.

Larger? That displacement can support 1000 hp with forced induction. Plus larger displacement = longer wider engine = more weight. We exceeded our power target with 5.4L so I think going larger would have just increased fuel consumption and weight.

Ford GT Forum (2): Regarding Goodyear Tires: 1) What performance attributes were a) must have b) nice to have and c) don't care one way or the other for the review team? Was, for instance, mud/snow traction actually in the evaluation equation?

Jamal Hameedi: We benchmarked many suppliers (Pirelli, Goodyear, Michelin) and
went with Goodyear. Dry performance, high speed durability, limit handling progressivity and wet performance where the main criteria. There seems to be a hidden question here: "Why did you go with the Goodyears - there are better alternatives out there".

One thing to keep in mind is that tire technology (and especially the productionization of racing exotic compounds) has come a LONG way in the past 5 years. The Goodyear is a 6-7 year old tire. Comparing it to an modern aftermarket Pilotsport is an apples to oranges comparison. Put a Supercar G:2 tire on the GT and I'm sure the result would be mind boggling. The another area that the Supercar F1 tire blows away the competition (still very competitive today) is in wet handling. Very few people have experienced the limit handling capability of a GT in the wet. It's impressive...

Ford GT Forum (3): If you had to name one item that you fought for/against that
brought you the most grief, what would it be?

Jamal Hameedi: Doing a non standard key (for - lost), covering the passenger airbag with leather (for - lost), the roll down windows (for - won), the 90 degree door (for - won), dual fuel fillers (against - won), the belly pans (for - won), Nardo (for - won), Nurburgring (for - lost) but probably the biggest item: convincing people within Ford that if we built a car deserving of the Ford GT nameplate, people would pay more than $100,000 for it (for - won). Several people wanted it to be priced at $99,995 and it would have been a VERY different car at that price. Trust me - you wouldn't have liked it.

Ford GT Forum (4): The Ford GT development program was (from memory) an incredible 18 months from concept approval to production. What, if any 'lessons learned' from that abbreviated process were later adopted by Ford for it's vehicle development processes?

Jamal Hameedi: Probably this biggest thing we learned that we practice today is learning how to be flexible. No matter what the timing challenge, you can always get over it by using creativity, flexibility, and perseverance. We have that mindset everyday at SVT but only use it when needed. Having said that, an 18 month program clean sheet car is a massive compromise from ideal. I think engineers need more time than that to develop the product and suppliers need more time than that to learn how to build their parts consistently. But we got it done nonetheless and turned out an incredible car.

As an aside, there was a time when (early 2000's) when there was a race to see who could bring a car to market the fastest. Certain Japanese companies where leading that charge and everyone else was chasing them. Today companies have settled on an aggressive but not ridiculous timeline. The measure of success is not time to market but happy customers, meeting your business plan, quality and no recalls.

Ford GT Forum (5): Did (or will) any of the GT (business or engineering) processes
find their way into SVT (e.g. Raptor or future products)?

Jamal Hameedi: See above.

Ford GT Forum (6): And for extra credit - Was Fred easy or difficult to work with -
most days?

Jamal Hameedi: I like to say the Ford GT program was the biggest collection of Type A personalities ever. So yeah, Fred had his days. I had my days, Coletti had his days, etc. Pretty much everyone had their days when the Type A was in full bloom. The only exceptions to this rule that come to mind are Reichenbach and Ressler. Those 2 guys were steady Eddies...always calm and collected.

Ford GT Forum (7): Did you guys ever consider an exhaust configuration similar to the
original bundle of snakes found on the original Mark I's which the current FGT seems to have been birthed from? If you did consider it, why wasn't a bundle of snakes exhaust configuration used?

Jamal Hameedi: Where did the catalysts go on a Mark I? And the muffler? You need both for a street legal car. Sad but true.

Ford GT Forum (8): Also, did you guys ever consider a wheel configuration to permit more original style wheel styles (e.g. Halibrand style) with 3 eared faux spinners? If so, what happened. If not considered, why not?

Jamal Hameedi: We needed to go with a lightweight modern wheel that we knew would work. Halibrand wheels can be very heavy by today's standards...the base wheel does have a pseudo faux spinner (inspired) center cap. That's what Camilo kept telling us at least...and that thing was the most expensive center alloy wheel hub cap in the history of
mankind.

Ford GT Forum (9): As a business case, did the GT make money for Ford?

Jamal Hameedi: We made a little money.

Ford GT Forum (10): What would have to happen to make a similar business case for a
follow-on exotic in todays market?

Jamal Hameedi: Supercars are dessert for a company like Ford. They always have been and always will be. It's nearly impossible to convince anyone to invest in dessert when a company is just starting to come out of one of the worst cash flow situations in its history and as a result - your balance sheet is carrying more debt than you want. So to answer your question, we need to be making money consistently and we need to have a healthy balance sheet before we can consider dessert.

Ford GT Forum (11):
Not sure how to ask this, but do the suppliers contribute development "at cost" in order to be included in a Halo project like the GT? If not, what manner do they help out to be selected to supply systems or parts?

Jamal Hameedi: In today's economic reality, it is MUCH more difficult to find suppliers for high profile low volume vehicles than for high volume vehicle programs. And FYI: no one ever contributes development "at cost" - no matter what the car program. Suppliers are businesses and they need to make money just like any other businesses.

Ford GT Forum (12): When can I get a focus rs?

Jamal Hameedi: They are on sale in Europe as we speak so right now :) You can't homologate a low volume European car after it has been designed for the US market. The EU and FMVSS safety standards are just too far apart. It's way too expensive to do after the fact and there are NO shortcuts for a company like Ford. Trust me, we looked at it. More than once.

Ford GT Forum (13): what were the names of the two girls I saw your picture with in DBK's computer, and may I get an invite to the next event

Jamal Hameedi: Nice Dave...

Ford GT Forum (14): Does the Ford GT have the least amount of aerodynamic drag in it's stock configuration with the belly pan absolutely parallel to the ground? With the belly pan level would drag increase or decrease as the car is lowered? By lowering just the front end 1/2 inch, so the belly pan is no longer parallel to the ground, are we increasing drag and hurting our one-mile times?

Jamal Hameedi: I went straight to the expert one this John Pfeiffer. He worked
on GT aero and still does GT500 aero at SVT:

The drag increase doesn't come from the slight change in the pan being off parallel the drag comes from the pitch angle of the leading edge of the splitter. Also don't ignore frontal area. Lowering the car reduces frontal area and drag by forcing less air under the car and more around and reduces drag by decreasing the gap around the tires. More pitch can increase frontal area. Regarding lift always err front down versus rear.

A small pliable air dam at the leading edge of the splitter should reduce drag at the expense of increasing effectiveness of the rear diffuser. Think of a thick splitter versus thin.

Other drag reductions:
Solid disc wheels or very large brake rotors.
Tape off as much cooling as you can afford for the "run"
Obvious stuff like cutlines and mirrors.
Tape off HVAC and door air extractors
As narrow of a wheel/tire as you can afford with the offsets so the
rears are in the shadow of the fronts (frontal area).

Ford GT Forum (15): Were there particular times in development when Carroll Shelby
was brought in to provide feedback / 'bless' certain stages of the project.

Jamal Hameedi: Workhorse phase, in the studio, and nearing production. On the Ford GT, Carroll was more of a mentor than a product consultant. We use him much more on the GT500...

Ford GT Forum (16): Knowing where you grew up, what made you decide to do this and
what schools did you attend to get there and build your career?

Jamal Hameedi: I've been a car freak ever since I was a kid. I went to Washington University in St. Louis and worked on a couple of SAE student design competitions: the Methanol Marathon (where we built a M85 Chevy (er sorry Chevrolet) Corsica). Then we did the Natural Gas Vehicle Challenge where we built a lean burn, twin turbo small block 12.5:1 compression Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that ran on natural gas. Those projects really brought engineering together with my love of cars.

And when I hired into Ford, I told myself I would leave when I had a job that wasn't fun anymore. I figured it would only be a matter of time at a big company. 19 years later, I'm still waiting for that to happen...

Ford GT Forum (17):
Did Ricardo take a need as presented for the Team at Ford and
then present to the Team the transaxle and clutch package or was Ricardo given design specifications and then simply asked to create it?

Jamal Hameedi: We chose Ricardo based on the transaxle they had already designed, and then worked with them to adapt it to our application. There was significant development but we didn't start from scratch which we didn't have time to do.

Ford GT Forum (18):
Why did they go with dual blade throttle body, rather than a large
single blade?

Jamal Hameedi: Less throttle plate deflection and more robust sealing.

Ford GT Forum (19): Can we get a Mark II GT?

Jamal Hameedi: See question 10.

Ford GT Forum (20): Did you or anyone else ever envision that so many GT's would end up making 700, 800, 900, 1000+ hp or did you think they'd more likely be garage queens?

Jamal Hameedi: Given the price and the finite population, I (and I think everyone else) never imagined that the car would be modded (amount of mods and the number of people modding them) as much as it has been. But it's pretty consistent with our SVT Mustangs/GT500's: half of them end up being modded.

******************

Well, there you have it. Hopefully you find that interesting and enlightening or at least entertaining. Until next time...:cheers
 

gtinmyblood

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Excellent set of questions and answers. I am thrilled with my GT and extremely proud to own one. It has been my dream since I was a little kid. I can't thank the entire GT team enough!
 

Fubar

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Cool, thanks to Dave and Jamal for taking the time to enlighten us a little more.

Who would mod a GT? That's just crazy.