STILL SHOTS FROM ALCATRAZ TV SHOW

Yep, the obsession is coming on full bore……………..I’m really powerless against it now. Might as well go with the flow.

I grabbed these screen shots from the Alcatraz TV show. Possibly these could represent me on my way home from work.   Of course all the shots show the car getting air or making smoke……..

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TURNING TIME INTO CASH

I got approval for 60 hours for converting earned time into cash for July 2013 and 60 for December 2013. Good chunk of change. I might even make the July one work towards a down payment on the Mustang if I can go that late.

NICER SOUNDING MUFFLERS

I told my brother I was considering having nicer sounding mufflers on the car.

He wrote:
Have you checked into the different Flowmaster mufflers? They make different series depending on what type of sound you want.

At this point I’ve spent an incredible amount of time listening to a lot of brands.

Apart from the Bassani a lot of these tend to be snarly and loud, not really what I’m looking for. Plus I’d have to pay out of pocket for anything other than Ford Racing, as I’m pretty sure I can get that from Grappone and make it part of the loan. That way it’d be only $6 a month. I do like the sound of the Shelby equivalent mufflers.

I don’t like the popping, nasal sound. A lot of people like a raw sound like a drag car, I like a full sound like a larger block. The stock mufflers are kind of thin in a way, especially during acceleration. Smooth, but thin. The Shelby’s are smooth and robust.

The reason a lot of modern cars tend towards raspiness is that the muffler is at the rear of the car instead of being in the middle of the car with a long pipe after it.

I’d mentioned possibly buying a beat up Subaru for $2000 for the winter in place of snow tires and wheels.

He said:
I was going to say, if you going to get a second car for the winter, you may as well keep the Buick. I know it means saving up more but at least you know the history of the car.

If I can pull off NOT trading in the Buick, definitely.

WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN

MY BROTHER WROTE:

Interesting about the model changes for the ’13’s to the ’14’s. I got the impression there was a body change.

Shows how the Internet can fool you. I know I told you that I saw a PHOTO of what was CLAIMED to be a 2014 test mule at a track from the rear of the car. Maybe it was really a ’15 and not a ’14. All other pics of the ’15’s are artist conceptions with a fair amount of variability, but a very general trend for the styling.

I saw something somewhere where someone said the chassis for the current Mustang was originally the same for the Lincoln LS. I remember that from when it was shared with the cheapest Jaguar back when Ford owned Jag. So the Mustang chassis has something in common with the “American” Jag. I think that cheap Jag was introduced by Ford to intentionally share Ford parts and to be able to put out a cheap Jag. That Lincoln and the Jag looked a lot alike except the front and rear were different, of course, and the Jag lines were smoother overall.

Just watched a YouTube vid of someone test driving the Ford police cars. The Taurus based one has 365 hp and will do 148 mph. Don’t know if that is the very same Coyote Mustang engine or not, but I think not. The SUV seems to be the same engine as the V6 Mustang and will do 113 mph. The SUV has special software so that a driver cannot tip it over during hard maneuvers, so they can drive it hard and not be too risky.

In any case, it looks like police cars are getting fast again. On NH roads even a guy in a Shelby would have a hard time getting away from one of these Taurus’s.

That V6 Mustang is speed limited to 119 MPH, but with the limit over ridden it goes to about 150 or so. The V8 as I probably said before is 147, good for at least 170.

I decided for sure the best snow tires would be the Bridgestone Blizzaks or the Goodyear Ultra Grips, which are $200 cheaper for a set ($686 vs. 886).

By the way, the Ultragrips are directional. You can’t cross rotate them, only front to back, back to front, on each side.
It looks like in general, any top end tire is directional, summer or winter. The Blizzak is directional, too. All you can do with directionals is pop them off the rims and mount them on what was the opposite side rim. This way you don’t have the same outside edge on the same side on a given side of the car.

I’ve done that in the past a few times when I had the Michelin HydroEdge (which had very good treadlife and is an ultimate rain tire, worked decent for my car in winter). I figure at the very least you have to do that 50% of the way through the life of the tire regardless of how many times you flip them front to rear. I’d say ideally it should be done every 25% of the way through the life of the tire (3 times altogether, the last time you’d be tossing them). That’s my opinion.

The standard size for Mustang snow tires is a 235 by 18, but if I go a half inch narrower for tread contact, it’s a 225 that’s very little shorter. I did the math and when the speedo says 70 mph, I’d really be going 69.1 mph. So that’s nothing, have dealt with worse than that before. Let’s hope I can figure out a way to skip snow tires altogether, but I’m preparing for snow and salt anyway.

In the owner’s manual they have good advice for storing the car if I wind up with a winter beater. It’s very close to what I’d do anyway, in fact surprisingly close to what I had in mind: start it up every 2 weeks, move it forward and backward 25 feet. I think I’d make my own “shaped” wheel chocks to keep the tires round and not flat (see attachment). They make them but they’re expensive. I could make my own out of a bunch of pieces cut from a timber, 6×6 or whatever glued together. I’d set them up so I could drive in and out of them without them sliding around. The other problem I’d really have to deal with is keeping out mice nests. I can get a professional Ford cover made for the car as an option in the loan.

BIG UPDATE

I’m distracted by a Comcast notification telling everyone to change their email port settings to improve security. Their instructions were clear but didn’t work, so will have to phone them. Fortunately no deadline for this.

In the meantime, here’s yet another post. Pour yourself a cigarette and light up a drink………….

This starts with an email to my salesman a few days back and his response, then my commentary.

I wrote:

 Hi, Robb-

 I never really knew, but I assumed the 2013 Mustang came out around last April. Tonight I saw a YouTube vid showing one on the road at least 3 months earlier according to the poster.

 I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to miss the window of opportunity for ordering from the factory. I think when we last talked about this we said maybe the deadline would be mid February give or take a month. Do you have a sense what the possible window might be now? I just didn’t want to be too late getting in touch with you, etc.

 Things are going okay for me getting up my down payment, things are on track.

 Thanks,
 Chuck

Hello Chuck,

just to update you.  The 13’s are balanced out.  We are getting allocation for the 14’s this week.  If we ordered one now it would land sometime in February.  This will be the last version of the current body style.  So when you are ready to rock so am I

—Robb

Commentary:

So I go down there yesterday simultaneously expecting everything to be what I think it is, or the absolute worst case scenario.
Turns out it’s as I thought, I’m okay. I can’t get 2013’s anymore, but 2014’s are the same car. WHEW!! Only thing changed is they dropped a few colors and added some. Plus some group packages had some minor alterations, but I’m not getting any of those packages anyway. As they had originally promised, Ford dropped the Boss 302. It was produced for 2 years and was meant to be a collectible.

There is no transitional Mustang before the 2015’s come out. Again, WHEW!!

Robb and I talked for 90 minutes (if I include maybe 10 minutes I waited while he wrapped up some other business, and talked to his manager about some of my questions). I still like this guy a lot as a salesman. At first I was prepared to be mad at him if I walked in and he told me that he forgot to tell me when the 2013’s were gonna disappear, but I think he found out what was going on right about the time I sent the email.

There’s still a lot he needs to find out exactly about the ultimate timeline for ordering 2014’s. Probably safe to say a year but he didn’t want to say that, especially as we talked about how Ford has this car’s model year stretched out a freakin’ full year in advance in stead of the usual 4 months. I speculated to him that maybe it was some marketing thing to celebrate 50 years of Mustang or something, but even that doesn’t fully make sense since I don’t think we’ll see the 2015 for a year. But since the 1964 Mustang was actually a 1964 1/2 Mustang, maybe that plays into things somehow. But this makes my head hurt so I’m dropping it. I get the impression it’s making the dealer’s heads hurt, too.

We had a good talk, and I got to ask a bunch of questions I’ve been accumulating over time. I left things with him saying I’d be in touch with him late December to see what the view looks like for ordering 2014’s. He definitely knows for sure I don’t want to take delivery with salt dust on the roads and also to give me time to get the best down payment possible.

He showed me a breakdown printout of the new packages and order codes. I happened to stumble across it last night and also downloaded it for myself.

I found out what winter wheels will really cost. Basically about double the very cheapest ones I find on Tirerack.com. However they are all OEM and factory spec and warrantied. I also found out the prices of the wheels varies according to supply and demand. The plain wheels at this moment are almost twice as expensive as one of the optional nicer wheels! So when I order I can look to see what’s the cheapest. At least I know any Ford wheel will be smooth and safe up to 170 mph.

He also advised me to be wary on my timing for buying wheels from any retailer or dealer in regard to the time of the year, as I might wait a long time for something if my timing is off. He suggested that ideally I buy before December as January the winter season is effectively over as far as inventory is concerned, as warehouses don’t want to hold stuff until next October-December. Made sense to me, but I’m not in a position to pay out of pocket. I’ll take my chances on timing. I told him I still want to incorporate wheels and tires into the loan. Turns out this will likely cost me $36 a month, an expensive option! But I live in NH. I’m not screwing around with increasing the odds wrecking the car for the sake of a few thousand bucks.

I told him about my research and plans for preserving the car. I told him I really didn’t want the transport showing up in the middle of salt season. I much prefer immediately driving the car to my brother’s, putting it up on a lift, spraying the bottom with Gibb’s, then POR-15. These are not undercoatings and are metal treatments that can be covered in another text. Also told him I found likely the best electronic rust killer in the world (Australia) and hope to install that before actual salt driving ($530 plus shipping).

Did more research last night for other stuff. Depending on which model year from 2011 until now, the (factory programmed) top speed is 147-155 mph. If I reprogrammed the chip the top end would be at least 170 but no more than 181. I think it would be 171-175 based on things I observed that I won’t cover here. I don’t think I’d reprogram the chip as I doubt I’ll find any spot in NH that’s long enough to do better than 150 mph. oOOPS, excuse me! I meant to say I don’t think I’ll find any private track that’s long enough to do better than 150 mph.

Reprogramming costs $99 if you already have a $500 handheld device. The one other good thing about reprogramming is you can adjust how firm and fast the automatic transmission shifts.

I talked to Robb about how I’m still partially dithering between an automatic and manual transmission. I think Ford fixed the problems, but I told Robb I can’t find anyone who’s had the car for high mileage to report about the transmission. I’d like to get the manual but still feel nervous, though I’m less anxious than I was. I also told him the shift smoothness was neither good nor bad, and I was spoiled by the butter shift in my 442.

Serious guys who drag Mustangs always use automatics. My further research seems to show that under hard attacks, the auto may shift just as fast as the manual would let me shift. Reviewers tend to say you can’t really hurry the manual.

All this brings me back to the automatic, and I decided IF it was really important, I’d reprogram the auto tranny. Not likely I’ll ever do that.

Robb and I also discussed how I’d use the car, and we both agreed that there are situations where an automatic might be the better choice all around, especially as he said most of his customers have it as a second or third car and don’t even drive it in the winter!

From other research:
For snow tires it didn’t take too long in the past to narrow it down to Bridgestone Blizzaks or Goodyear Ultra Grip. I looked hard at all the other popular true snow tires. A set of Blizzaks are almost exactly $200 more than the Ultra’s. I decided for sure last night I’m doing the Ultra’s. I read a lot of pro and user reviews. I decided that the Ultra is at least the equal overall compared to the Blizzak. The Ultra will be better in rain and slush, and the Blizzak might be better in snow deeper than 4 inches. But only barely. The Ultra will be quieter. The tread pattern doesn’t LOOK as impressive at first glance compared to the Blizzak, but the science is there. Fortunately I found people who’ve used both tires, too.

I found out that real snow tires use compounds that are designed to stay pliable under very cold temps, and all season can’t be designed that way. All season compounds get too hard at temps even as high as freezing. Below zero degrees they’re as useful as hockey puck rubber, literally.

I’m still sitting here amazed at what I’m gonna be paying for winter rims and tires. If I had some older bucket, a set of plain steel rims and tires would be $650-$750. I have no choice with this big boy toy, gotta do things right. People with this car (or almost any other rear drive car) talked about how scary all seasons were to drive (forget about useless summer performance tires). Then they talked about how the Blizzaks and Ultra’s were practically miraculous in comparison.

I told Robb it appeared to be impossible to set up a Mustang with studded tires. By the end of our discussion it became apparent that studs are really only good for special situations with certain cars, and that in the case of me driving the Mustang in NH, studs would actually be detrimental to the performance in most bad snow conditions. He’s had a lot of experience driving all kinds of cars with all kinds of rubber in different weather. Not surprising in his line of work. He pointed out that his large, heavy Gran Marquis has studs because it makes sense for that car, but not his other car for his wife. And not for me and how I’ll use this car, even in the winter. The studs would actually reduce contact area for the “good” part of the high tech rubber to meet the snow or slush, and are also obnoxious the 99.9999% of the time you’re not on true glare ice. And the high tech rubber does well on even crazy ice in some cases.

I found out it won’t be a problem to get a size one size smaller for width, about a half inch less than the standard tread width. This will get me better traction in bad conditions.

ELECTRONIC RUST KILLER RESEARCH

I still have my original Rust Evader from the Saab Turbo. However the anode sticky pads are destroyed after taking them off, naturally. Some time back I bought some thickish tape that might work, though I have to wonder if the dielectric properties are right compared to the original pads. Plus I buried the tape really well so now I have to find it.

I’d like to use the original stuff, but may have to spend about $530 plus shipping from Australia to get a current state of the art system.

I was gonna get their pads for about $76 US dollars plus whatever shipping, but realized they’re meant for their system and I have to wonder if I could just use one lead. The Rust Evader leads are only single wires coming from the anodes. Their system uses two leads.

All over the Net you read how these systems “can’t” work, etc., but I know the Rust Evader did. The proof was when my brother spotted some rust showing up in a spot, I checked, and the battery terminals were dirty and I wasn’t getting a blinking light on the head unit. Fixed that and the rust was frozen, and no other rust appeared.

The WORST CASE scenario for the Rust Evader system is that the scavenging winds up in the nooks and crannies under the vehicle, but at least doesn’t show on the outer car surface, and that’s worth a lot to me.

This Aussie system is similar but has technical differences. They’ve been around for a while and have tons of testimonials from fisherman, salt mines, etc. You can scout the site, doesn’t really take that long.

A complete system would be $528 US dollars plus whatever the shipping would be. I don’t think anyone on the planet can do better than this outfit. I would purposely order extra anodes, too, about $76 each. All prices before shipping from Australia. I’d contact them first to see what to expect for shipping by slow boat. I’m also going to try to find an American dealer for their stuff, but doesn’t look likely.

http://www.erps.com.au/how-erps-works.html