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Archive for May, 2009

gm_rest

Yes at 8am tomorrow GM will declare bankruptcy.

Now if only we could get some of those billions back… you think they could cut us a check?

Read all about it here:

GM Goes Bust

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Every time someone compares a Corvette to a GT500 I can’t help but shake my head.

They are two cars that are very different, with very different goals and very different clientele.

A Vette is a two-seater, a GT500 is a four-seater.

A Vette is a “sportscar” , a GT500 is a “muscle car”

Hell even the reviewer said, “The Vette is a true sports car.”

Well YEAH!

I’ve driven a Vette, not a Z06, just a regular Vette, and it probably outperforms my GT500 in handling by FAR.

It’s lighter and feels lighter, the thing sucks the road up like a crack addict that needs his fix.

The GT500 is nose heavy and doesn’t feel as secure in a corner without a doubt.

But here’s the question the reviewer should be asking… Would a GT500 owner trade his car for a Vette?

My answer would be mmm NO.

The cockpit is fairly tight, it’s a two-seater, it’s got a REALLY long hood, and for all its performance advantages I simply prefer driving my GT500.

I’m more at home driving it. I’m more comfortable driving it, and that’s what each owner / driver has to decide for themselves. Which car do YOU want.

In short… you want a sports car that is undeniably the best super car you can buy for under 100k? Get a  Z06.. no question… buy one TODAY!

You want a muscle car that’s bad ass in a straight line, capable in corners, and a four-seater get a GT500… TODAY!

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clutchI am a new proud owner of a 2007 GT500… YAY!

My Cobra had just 37 miles on the odometer when I bought it. Still had the sticker on the window. The guy I bought it from basically purchased the car and drove it home, covered it in his garage and there she sat for about a year and a half.

So my two-year-old car is basically brand new, which is nice since I didn’t have to pay through the nose like many of the early owners of the “Shelby” Gt500. I believe, and am fairly positive, that the enormous markup on this car that occurred from early ’07 through the middle to end of ’08 is specifically because the “Shelby” name resides on the decklid… but that’s a whole other story 😉

Anyway, like any Mustang nut the first thing I did after I purchased my car was to go over it with a fine-tooth comb… not just any fine-tooth… like one of those combs you use for the crabs…. FINE is what I’m saying here…. not that I’ve had the crabs… just saying.

Well I found there was a “TSB” (Technical Service Bulletin) out on my baby that involved the clutch and flywheel.

Ford’s design of the clutch and flywheel from ’07 to late in the year of ’08  was and IS FLAWED!!

The flywheel is made of iron which warps when the clutch heats up. And the clutch heats up because Ford neglected to put lube on the input shaft of the transmission which causes the clutch to “drag.”

Note to Ford… you ALWAYS LUBE THE SHAFT! (And this applies to pretty much life so there’s your tip of the day)

So there you have it. A design flaw which was corrected after Ford completely redesigned both the flywheel (which is now NICKLE and not IRON) and the input shaft (which, thank heavens, is now lubed and polished).

Easy fix right? Go into your nearest Ford dealer and tell them you have the flawed flywheel design and faulty input shaft and you’re golden. NOPE!

After owning a Mustang since 1991 and dealing with SEVERAL Ford dealerships, I have come to the realization (came to it YEARS ago) that a Ford service department and a Ford Warranty just don’t mesh.

I’m not sure WHY dealerships don’t like performing warranty work, but I’ve always suspected it was because they were trained to deny warranty claims at all costs. Believe me… take your car which is out of warranty to a Ford service department and they’ll FIND something wrong with your car even if there isn’t anything wrong with it!

Take it WITH a warranty and your wheel could fall off, engine could catch on fire, and a small child could be stuck in the intake and the service advisor will tell you, “Oh that’s normal… perfectly fine!”

Ford just issued a release to all dealers regarding this TSB, which basically tells them that if they perform it and Ford finds no fault with the parts that were removed, the dealership will have to eat the cost.

THANKS FORD for making it even MORE difficult to get service… and for affirming my suspicion that dealers are simply following your lead regarding warranty work.

Despite all this… like the optimist I am (COUGH… NOT) I drove to my local Ford dealer and tried to get some clutch relief. As suspected… I didn’t. I was told there is nothing wrong with my clutch, it is “normal” and blah blah… blahbetty BLAH!

And now I’m in the same boat with many of the other GT500 owners, who by the way paid LOTS more than I did, with a clutch that will eventually die and I most likely will have to pay for the cost out of my own pocket.

With the peril that American domestic car makers find themselves in I would think they would want to do their best to retain customers…. I don’t know if they will ever learn.

Here’s are links to the TSB for any of you GT500 owners out there… and for anyone else who is interested 😉

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Ow.

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I dig detailing cars… I dig it so much that I detailed my friend’s sweet-ass Shelby GT while I was in L.A.

I dig it so much that I’m writing about this wax… so… in short… as the kids say… I feel it is quite “off the hook!”

Anyway, I’ve used a lot of different waxes and sealants and I have many that I like depending on the color of the car.

moose

But I must say Clearkote’s Carnuba Moose has been my “go-to” wax for about six months now.

The stuff is amazing. It’s easy to apply, easy to remove, doesn’t stain trim (in fact can be used on trim if you so desired) and just plain looks awesome!

I might have a new favorite in a week but for now this is it.

Understand this wax is for cars and is not to be confused with Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax, or any other type of wax which is not car related. If used on a surf board this wax will probably make you shoot into the ocean like a wet fart through a fat man’s bathing suit.

So if you’re looking for a sweet wax for your ride and not your surfboard check it out!

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NoLeftTurn

So whilst driving my lovely rented 2010 Mustang through the hills of Hollywood, I was pulled over by a very stoic motorcycle cop.

Turning off of Mulholland onto Outpost (a very small road that goes down toward Hollywood Blvd.) I was met by the dreaded flashing blue lights.

You see I was all ready to go hiking in Runyun Canyon which is my old stomping ground. I used to live about three blocks from the entrance and go hiking in the canyon frequently.

So I woke up early and decided to go get my hike on. Well for some retarded reason I guess you’re not supposed to turn on Outpost from Mulholland between the hours of 7-10 am. I suspect it’s because all of the extremely rich people that live on that road decided they didn’t want traffic that early on their road since they are the masters of their universe and snub their noses at the peeon slag that is the rest of us.

Now you would think I would KNOW this richie rule since I lived in L.A. for nine years. Well I never lived in Burbank and drove to my hood in the morning in those nine years… I lived in my hood sooo– hence the hub-BUB.

So this guy pulls me over and they also have another truck pulled over, I suspect for the same thing. There are two cops working in tandem to pull over the maximum amount of fish in a barrel that they can pull. The cop that got me was cleverly hidden behind a little bush in a driveway… YEAH they’re just doin’ their job… they’re not generating funds for the broken California economy with some mickey mouse bullshit ticket…. NOOOOO.

Well I pull over, get my license out, and get my ticket. The officer was very abrupt and didn’t say much… I guess he needed to hurry up with me to get back to his little hiding spot and snag another dumbass making this very dangerous left hand turn at 9 am?

You’re probably wondering if I still went hiking. HELL YES! And I if I could have taken a dump and thrown it like a spider monkey on the tops of the very houses lining Outpost from my lookout in Runyon I would have. But I’m much too civilized for that… well, let’s not kid each other here… no I’m not, but I didn’t want to get TWO tickets in one day!

p.s.

Note to anyone that happens to be driving on Mulholland between 7 and 10 am… DON’T turn left on Outpost… in case you didn’t know 😉

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FORD-MUSTANG-2010-2COLast week I arrived in Los Angeles to see some friends and hang out for a few days.

I lived there for nine years in a one-bedroom apartment in Hollywood, which is to say I lived in the very heart of LA LA Land, right next to an insomniac video weirdo that liked to edit drum rolls at 2 am and a couple that frequently enjoyed having sex with both the lights on and their doors open for all to see and hear.

But enough of re-living the salad days.

I landed at LAX and was shuttled off to the nearest Hertz to rent my car for the week. Little did I know it would be a 2010 Mustang!

I suspected that I would putter around in a smoke-infested three-cylinder box that had bad tires no alignment and a window that wouldn’t roll down– but NO!

The very nice man at the Hertz counter hooked a brotha up with a 2010 Mustang. Now at first he said, “I have a Mustang if you want it.” to which I replied, “Sure sounds good.” He punched a few numbers in on his mysterious keyboard and after a few moments said,”Ok, I have it down and it’s a new one too.”

Now understand, my expectations were not high, so when he said, “new” I figured at the most we were talking about a 2009 Mustang. So I thanked him and went on my merry way into the sea of rental cars in the parking lot.

I walked from one row to the next trying to find my number “B-6.” As I turned down the “B” aisle there it was, a shiny new 2010 Mustang with a really cool gray paint job!

I was stunned that it was a 2010 and I had never actually seen one before except for magazines and online photos. So I spent a good ten minutes walking around it checking out the changes from the 2005-09 Stangs.

“Hips… love the hips… front end looks ok… not GREAT… but ok… hood, the hood is nice… antenna, like the antenna…wheels are sweet… the Rea— EWW.”

mustang-rear copy

The rear of this car is just plain wrong. It sticks out, bulges out, and has a huge black plastic girdle (that’s the best description I can give) that lines the whole bottom of the rear. The fake gas cap medallion is HUGE and the tail lights just look weird not to mention the fact that the front and rear of the car seem to be “scrunched” or “pinched” to, I’ve read, make the car appear smaller.

It doesn’t appear smaller… but it does appear pinched.

So I pop the trunk put my bag in and climb into the cockpit.

The interior is REALLY neat at first glance. The seats seem to be a little more comfortable than the 05-09 seats and the steering wheel is nicer than the GT version as it has thumb grips like the GT500… VERY nice! This was a V-6 Mustang as well so compared to the V-6 steering wheel this was absolutely amazing!!

The dash has softer plastic, not that I really cared about the harder stuff in the 05-09 but there you have it. The center arm rest is nice too and they put a door over the cup holders which is really nice as well. I always hated the cupholders in the 05-09… just doesn’t seem like a car that should have cup holders.

It also has the nifty colored LED thingys that the 08-09 models have… neat… but I can live with/without it.

The first thing I knew I didn’t like about the interior?

The center console.

They have replaced all the knobs for the AC, with buttons. Now at first you might say, “Hey Jamie… what’s so bad about buttons??”

Well nothing as long as you have the time to look down and see which button (of the MANY on the console) that you want to press. There are A LOT of them and the main problem is the functionality. It’s easy to reach down and turn a knob for your AC or heater for that matter, but you can’t really do that with buttons unless you look.

It’s not very asthetically pleasing either. It looks VERY busy with all those buttons and just an unecessary change that should not have been made. Nothing wrong with knobs guys…. switch back!

Speaking of buttons… Ford has added a trunk release button. YAY! A lot of people wanted one for the 05-09 Stangs. I really didn’t care but I know there were a lot of folks that wanted that button.

TrunkReleaseBut the problem with said button is the placement. They put the darn thing right next to the gear shift so guess what happens when you’re driving along and happen to put your hand down next to the gear shift? POP…. DING DING DING — trunk opens.

Now at first this was a minor annoyance. But let me tell you after a week it was a ROYAL PITA!!

I probably popped that damn trunk five times that week! I would suspect that this could be an easy fix for Ford by simply not allowing that button to function unless the car is parked… but I don’t know. Either way it’s a nice feature that’s poorly executed.

The center rectangular vents… well don’t like ’em. Makes the car look like a Honda or something… go back to the round vents. Also they put the chromy plastic around the vents and they’re angles so that when the sun hits it just right, it can blind you for a few seconds…. not good.

As for performance, I’ve driven other V6 Mustangs (rentals) and this car seemed to perform about the same. Maybe marginally better, but that’s just a guess since I don’t regularly drive a V6 (I have a GT and a GT500).

Steering was nice and snappy, accelleration was decent for a V6, and the ride comfort was outstanding… those seats are lovely 🙂

The gauges in the new Stang, though pretty, are kind of hard to read. They made the hash-marks smaller on the dial face and so it’s kind of difficult to tell if  you’re going 50 or 55… 40 or 45… you get the idea. They’re white-face gauges which are kind of neat, but they really should make those middle hashes bigger.

So there you have it. My week in a 2010 Mustang was, for the most part, very very nice. I didn’t want to run out and get a new one to replace my 06 or 07 but hey it’s a pretty sweet car and aside from that rearend (SHUDDER) it’s pretty damn cool!

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