SOUND SYSTEM RESEARCH

I told my brother I wasn’t gonna pay extra for the Shaker 1000 sound system, which is the same as the Shaker 500 that comes standard in the Premium GT. The difference is an added subwoofer in the trunk and a separate amp to run it, plus an improved crossover network to run it.

He says:

I wouldn’t pay for the 1000 system unless you want to blow your ear drums out and let them hang on the side view mirrors while you driving. Plus you’ll get blood all over your new car.
No, no, the blood would just be on my car seat! That’s as far as I want to go!

The Shaker 1000 is a LOT more money than the 500, and I’m not convinced it would be worth a vague sense of deepness being felt. Plus I know how most modern music is recorded. A lot of it has little response below 60 Hz, and really nothing below 40 for almost all music. I like full frequency USEFUL AND AESTHETIC response when I record, and my software lets me see exactly what’s going on for response. But I sharply cut off frequencies below about 30 or 35 Hz generally as almost no one has a system that will let them hear it, plus it robs overall level for APPARENT volume. When you get the spurious energy below 30 Hz, you have to compensate for it in the mix by doing things you don’t really want to do, otherwise the mix lacks punch. Anything below 30 Hz really is quite low. I could prove it to you with energy sweeps through my studio monitors. My sub is rated for 26 Hz but has useful response down to about 22! I’ve measured it. I used these sweeps to find objects hanging on the walls down here in the basement that rattle. Then I put little pieces of foam under them to stop the rattle! However some portions of the sweep also buzz the wood wall paneling and ceiling strapping for the tile!

Modern music is not really high fidelity, certainly not pop. Television was traditionally limited to 50 Hz. The only thing that’s really well recorded nowadays is movie soundtracks and some certain genres of music. I’ve been studying a lot about peak and average volumes, perception, limiting, compression, all that.

Back to a car environment:
My whole thing is not volume, I don’t want pain and I don’t want loose fasteners all over the car. What I want is when I have the volume where I want for those “special mood” times (maybe 105 dB for about one song), I want no distortion, and I don’t want the amp bottoming out and running out of headroom because it doesn’t have enough juice to run unlimited bass at a given bottom. You’ve heard this yourself, no doubt. Lower volume you have the bass where you like it, then when you pump the volume, the bass thins out. You can have loudness with little bass, or bass with lower volume. For car systems you can pretty much take the stated rating and divide it by 4! So my Buick is about 5 or 10 watts RMS a channel for real. The speakers are typically rated for about 4 times that.

If the Mustang is, let’s say, is 360 rated watts over 8 drivers, it’s really probably 90 RMS total with electronic crossovers going to subs, mid drivers that cover high bass and low treble, and tweeters, probably a 3 way system. The Shaker 1000 probably has an additional crossover for a very low sub with its own amp.

But 90 real watts going through a 3 way crossover (at the crossover points I think they’re using) works out to listening to stereo home speakers with a bass and tweeter with a single passive crossover between them, and putting about 150 watts a side into them (would sound like 150 a side, or at least 100 as side, into average 2 way stereo speakers with a tweeter and an 8 inch woofer).

So in the Mustang (much smaller space than a small bedroom), even just 90 watts through all that electronic path would be more than enough. Certainly for me. I know the formulas for converting electronic bandpass signals into passive equivalents. You get quite a boost in efficiency. The drivers also work better and tighter because their getting very specific frequencies only, plus it just plain sounds better, usually with steep crossover slopes. Each speaker sounds tighter.

The biggest challenges for car audio is the interior of the car itself in terms of its shape and materials and getting the sound to the listeners without too many weird reflections, etc.
What helps the power aspect is neodymium speakers and Class D amplifiers, which both are smaller and lighter. The Class D amps need less battery power, too, and can put out a pretty amazing amount of power. What I don’t know is if car manufacturers are using neodymium and Class D. Neodymium costs more, but Class D doesn’t really. I bet a lot are using Class D, and maybe some more expensive systems use neodymium speakers. Don’t really know or care at this point.

My Mustang research says regardless of whether you have the standard exhaust system or even put on the Shelby axle back mufflers on a regular V8, people say the Ford mufflers have no “drone” effect, which is a good thing in general, including listening to music. I guess some after market mufflers, axle back or cat back, sometimes have droning which of course people find annoying.

I’ve toyed with the notion of different mufflers but will never have the money. I think I can hear a difference if I was to put on the Shelby mufflers, but then again, I have to think of the car idling in the winter during warm up and bothering the neighbors. The standard mufflers would be okay, but the Shelby’s seem deeper, so that sound would carry farther.

Of course all my speculating is premature at least until a month or so before I’d be likely to buy the car. But I can’t help getting at least a little excited about the prospects, even knowing that something stupid could come along and blow my plans.

PRESERVATION RESEARCH

 Subject: Re: POR-15 DISCUSSED WITH MY BROTHER IN ITALICS

ME:
 I’ll be doing more research in general. I’ve already collected some comments about this and that product.
 
HIM:
 Yes, auto restorer’s have been using this stuff for years. I have not heard of or read any bad reviews of this stuff.

This is still “on my list”. Don’t know exactly what my approach would be, but I’ve decided it’s a good product.

 I’m sure when the time comes, as long as I haven’t started dismantling the truck, which at the rate I’m going with things, won’t happen for a while, you could bring it down and put it on my lift to do this job.

That would make things easier, thanks.  

 As you have figured out though, any type of oil or “sticky” stuff is going to attract dirt to stick to it. This does not harm you but the guy that has to work on it won’t care for it. Make sure there are no statements in the corrosion warranty that will disqualify you from making a warranty claim for rust. Chances are though, you won’t need to before the warranty is up.

There’s plenty of stuff around that qualifies as sticky, according to my research. The best piece of wisdom thus far from my research is to use something for rust prevention that has no stickiness at all, that is totally dry to the touch and can’t attract anything. I will be sending you some very interesting “finds”, and you may or may not know about them. The next round of quotes (once I get done editing them) has some interesting things to say about WD-40.
 
 Yes, we get it at GE in 55 gallon drums. The floor people fill hand pump “WD-40” spray bottles with it.

Basically it seems people’s success comes down to their expectations and how they use it. Frequent users in dry areas indoors do best. People using it for any other application and/or infrequently have poor results. It would appear what it’s really for is displacing water initially, then once the water’s displaced you use something else to accomplish a particular task. I’ve read the history on it, how and why it was originally developed in 1952, etc., the formula. Displacing water is it’s biggest “success” as an application. Once it dries it leaves essentially a mineral oil residue, which is why I’ll never use it on my car anywhere. Looks like a very poor candidate for the bottom of a car, unless you were gonna wash the bottom then spray it every 2 to 3 months, more likely monthly. Then it would actually inhibit rust to some extent.

Someone did a very good test of a bunch of stuff. Along with that, my other research comes down to 2 really good candidates for the bottom of the car, and fortunately they don’t just come in 55 gallon drums or are tremendously expensive. This weekend I think I can boil this info down and send it to you. I looked at quite a few web pages, technical histories, forums, etc.

CAN I KEEP TWO CARS?

Here’s my current scenario. I did some more number crunching last night. I’m still playing with the notion that I’d like to keep the Mustang out of salt, versus having to start spending real money for real bodywork in 8 or 10 years. I’m assuming gasoline will still be around by then and won’t cost more than $10 a gallon in today’s money (I’m serious).

Last year I determined that insurance for two cars isn’t too bad for me. I could also manage registering and inspecting two cars if I paid attention to when April was coming up!

If I keep the Buick for winter driving (ideal), then not counting the above, it would cost about $100 a month extra give or take $10, for losing that part of a down payment by not trading it in. The more I spend on the Mustang, the more likely I might have to cut back on an option or two. But I would not have to spend money for extra wheels and snow tires for the Mustang which would save at least $1300 regardless of whether that was in the loan or direct out of pocket. And I know it would be at least $1300 and maybe as much as $1500 as I did a lot of research for that Mustang.

So that helps. As time goes on I refine the numbers more and more. In December I’ll call Allstate again to get the latest numbers for the scenarios I mentioned to them last time, which are the Mustang off the road for at least 4, maybe 5 months, and the Buick off the rest of the year. The other scenario is both cars’ insurance set up for year round driving, which I recall wasn’t a drastic difference as you still pay for vandalism, fire, any kind of loss and all that, plus I’m the sole driver, etc.

If I keep the Buick I’ll get the optional factory cover for the Mustang, and start it up every 3 weeks or whatever and roll the tires to a new position. I might possibly be able to get a set of those tire savers. Maybe you’ve seen those. You set the car down on them. They’re like one piece wheel chocks that are shaped like the tire so there are no flat spots. Or maybe best to put it on jack stands, I don’t know. But I know I don’t want the tires to sit on pavement for even as little as 4 months. Those tires and wheels are too high tech for that; it’s not a pickup truck with monster mudders.

At this point it’s a 25% chance I could keep the Buick. Then there’s the issue of where to park two cars. No sense in spending too much time thinking about this until December and I have a better idea how much money I’m gonna have.

RUSTPROOFING DIALOG WITH MY BROTHER

DIALOG WITH MY BROTHER WHO TEARS APART CARS AND PUTS THEM BACK TOGETHER.
HIM:
Well, I agree on the car being sealed with rust preventative, but not from a dealer.
ME:
Do you mean from the factory, or from who?  Do you need it on today’s cars?

 Not really. The new cars have galvanized lower panels and the main body’s are dipped at the factory in statically transferred epoxy primer.

Good to know. I know in a vague way factory techniques are better, but don’t know exactly what they do or how impressive the results are. Warranties are typically 6 years the way I remember it. That would indicate some effort on their part, but 10 years would actually impress me more in a New England climate.  

 If you are concerned about rock chips…….

Not really rock chips. I may think about this in terms of some other parts of the car, don’t know if wheel wells would be important to me or not, would have to think about that, or what other parts would be worth thinking about.  

 Again the word “epoxy” is the key. I use POR-15 and will be using it on the truck to cover the rust. Again for restoration purposes.

I’ve heard of POR-15 in the past and don’t know much about it. I can’t believe it would look the same as the original factory Ford Deep Impact Blue as far as the depth is concerned, though I imagine the color hue, saturation and darkness could be matched.  

 Could you or should you put “under-coating” on a new vehicle? If you did, it would work if applied when the vehicle is brand new and clean underneath. Do you need to? No.

Yeah, I wasn’t too sure about undercoating seeing how over the years the attitude is changing on that.  

 Should you apply “rust preventative”? It won’t hurt, but the factory already sprays the “waxy” coating on it.
 Drill holes to get in panels? I wouldn’t. The inside panels are already treated and drilling holes just invites rust.

By the time I got done researching stuff, I was thinking that drilling holes is a bad idea. I didn’t really know or was sure about the factory already spraying waxy stuff in fenders and doors. I didn’t know if that was done on just luxury cars or if it was done on cars like Mustangs.  

 The main key is to keep the undercarriage washed during the salt season. That will greatly reduce the rust.

Yeah, I usually spend money on that after especially bad salt loads.  

 My ’72 Cutlass was sprayed with oil and driven on a dirt road. If you rub away the dirt it looks brand new.  
 Again the key here is “oil”. This procedure is illegal today though.

Okay, I was definitely gonna ask you next about oil. I remember hearing about or seeing about some guy in Chichester who does it, but if it’s illegal (I didn’t know that), then I guess that’s out of the question. I’ll assume that during a yearly inspection someone might give you shit about seeing the entire car bottom covered in oil, or report it. I don’t know.  

 Spray stuff underneath with WD-40. This was actually designed as a rust preventative. When it dries, it turns “waxy” so it is okay to use to loosen bolts or clean oily dirt off but for a permanent lubricant, it is a no-no.

I didn’t know WD-40 leaves a bit of waxiness, good to know.
So you’re saying that, for example, when my car was on a lift and we were looking at all the bare metal under the car, some bits rusted more than others, that spraying WD-40 over all of that would be a good way to go?

[TO BE CONTINUED]

RUSTPROOFING RESEARCH

FROM PEOPLE ON THE NET:
Each entry is all on one paragraph. I’m not fixing ALL their typos!

Undercoating is not a good thing. However rust proofing is. There two completely different things. Undercoating is a tar like product applied to the bottom of a car. Rust proofing is a film like nearly clear product that is statically applied to the end side panels of doors fenders etc. I take the rust proofing and fabric protection. I tell them to forget the under coating and paint sealer.

I worked at a Buick dealership back in the early 90’s. The package that people are talking about is a joke. Let me tell you about the undercoating. We got it in a 55 gallon drum. A green color liquid that I was told to fill a paint sprayer with and spray all exposed areas in the trunk, spray the strut towers and be sure to spray the exhaust. I asked why and was told so the customer smells it and knows we did the job. Now when I was a kid, my father had a 76 Buick Century that he had rust proofed at Ziebart. They drilled holes in the doors and removed the trunk carpet and did a really good job. The car never rusted, we got rid of it when the motor died (Wish I knew how to fix cars back then) The “Paint protection” came in a little bottle called Vesco paint proof, all I did was to wheel it on. The “fabric protector just came in a different spray can, same ‘ol Scotch Guard. Took me maybe 45 minutes to do all three and using less then $50 of supplies. They charged $500 + back in ’92 for all this. I disagree with people that don’t think you need rust proofing, the doors on my ’92 Cavalier are rusted apart. But my ’91 T-bird has just started to rust on the doors. A good quality rust proofing with a written warranty is a good investment.

Properly applied rustproofing with a quality product will extend the life of any vehicle. Stay away from rubberized undercoatings (what the dealer offers) as they dry and chip, letting in moisture. find someone that applies Waxoyl, I have it on two of my classic cars and the frames look like new.

I wouldn’t bother with an undercoat, but taking the vehicle to Krown or whatever the trusted rust proofing company down there is to have it rust proofed once a year is definitely worth the 150$. Up here [CANADA] we have Krown, and by getting it done with them the positives are two-fold. First, if you go every year you will never have to pay more than the first rate you paid. If prices go up, you still pay the same as you did last year. Secondly, if its rust proofed from new and anything starts to corrode its covered under the Krown rust warrantee and they will pay to have it fixed or replaced. It’s a new car, don’t second guess things like this.

Otherwise… for every other car it’s just part of the painting process. So many cars get scraped on the rockers and subframe that paint will come off and rust will still happen. My 91 Toyota Supra I am restoring had no undercoating and I am so lucky that it has not rusted underneath over the past 20 years. First thing I did when I got it home was take off the exhaust and drive shaft, removed the engine and transmission, put the car on a rotisserie, and I ground off all the paint on the underbody and frame. I then used por-15 rust proofing on the whole underbody, inside the subframe,in the wheel wells, and bottom part of the firewall were you can’t see behind the motor. I then applied a good primer on top of the POR-15 I reapplied new seam sealer over all the joints. I then towed the car to the local line-x shop and had them spray the entire underside of the car, and in the wheel wells. It has a nice smooth finish. Is way more durable than any rubberized undercoating and works as an excellent external sound deadener.
I honestly think that the only cars available these days 100% rust proof are the new German cars that go through a rust proofing dip before being painted. So it gets all the internal chambers.

no mater what speed the drill is spinning or what material the bit is made of, avoid like the plague.never let them drill holes in your car. ALL my past experiences with holes cause rust around the holes.And they didn’t charge much because I had the car stripped down on a rotisserie. So it made their job very easy.Once I put the car back together I took it for a drive with no interior carpet or trim and just the line x made my car a lot quieter especially at hwy speeds.