Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mustang Road Trips

One of my favorite things to do is go on a nice long road trip. Cruising the highways in the Mustang is enjoyable, and can be a lot of fun if you have some friends along with you. I've only taken one road trip in the Mustang and I hope to do it again soon.

Last summer me and some friends decided to go to Cedar Point for my best friends birthday. Cedar Point is about 7 hours from where we live, so it made for a nice trip. As many of you probably realize, Mustangs are not the most roomiest of cars. Two of my friends left early to get a head start and get the hotel early in the day, while the rest of us left later that night. There were three people riding with me. That leaves two people crammed in the back . I kind of felt sorry for them because I am only six foot and it is merly impossible for me to fit back there, let alone ride for seven straight hours.

Some how the two in the back managed to survive, and it ended up not being all that bad. The trip to Cedar Point is for the most part easy to navigate even if you've never been there before. But that's if you are driving in complete day light. We left kind of late so darkness set in about half way through the trip. After that things got a little bit interesting once we left the interstate and got on the two lane highways. I didn't want to admit it but for a little while I was just a tiny bit lost. Everything looks so intimidating at night when you have no idea where the heck you are!

I eventually got back on the right track after I had to back track for about five miles and we got there safe and sound. But it was the trip to the hotel the night after we left the park that was the most interesting. We made a last minute reservation for a hotel a little more than an hour away. But the catch was that we had to be there by midnight to get the hotel, and it was just after eleven.

Once again not knowing where I was going, we had a blast trying to find the place. We got directions there and I had to get on the ball if we were to make it. I booked it pretty much all the way there making the trip about fifteen minutes faster than what it should have taken. We were almost there, on the right track, and oh SO close when the most random thing happened. We came to a train crossing in the middle of nowhere on a country road, and there was a train just sitting on the tracks blocking the road! This could only happen to me, right?

I ended up back tracking a few miles to get around the train, and luckily I had a good sense of direction and found the highway we wanted. Now we were running a few minutes behind schedule. We arrived at about 12:05, just as the manager was walking to his car to go home. He ended up letting us get the room. We cut it really close. It would have been one huge disappointment if we were too late after all that.

Though it seems like it was a frustrating situation, we all made the best of it and had fun. Now that we look back we can laugh at ourselves. All in all it was one heck of a road trip. I am planning on taking one or two road trips this summer. One to see my grandparents and another to Florida to visit a friend. I don't know who will go with me, but as long as its me and the stang I'll be just fine.

whats in store for black ice?

When I first got my Mustang, it was basically just an ordinary v6 Mustang just like the thousands of others just like it cruising the highways. Mustangs are cool the way they are and everything, but there's just so many of them! I wanted mine to be different, so thats why I got into customizing it.

The first thing I wanted to concentraite on was appearance. Speed and performance are nice to have, but I don't foresee the speed limits jumping above 120 mph any time in the near future. So performance is second priority for me right now. So far I have put around 1,300 dollars (after parts and labor) into my car just for appearnce. I added a roush hood hood scoop, upper and lower billitt grill, hidden foglights mounted behind the lower grill, front chin spoiler, rear window louvers, GT rear decklid pannel, and crome tailight trim. After all this was finished i didn't even recognize my car anymore, and I was completely satisfied.

Even though I am for the most part happy with the appearance of my car, there are still some things I want to do in the near future. First thing's first. This summer I am looking to get some new wheels. The kind that I am looking at are black, 20 inch, deep dish billitt style with wide back tires. They will probably run me more than 1200 after rubber but the 20 inch black on black should look phenomenal against my black Mustang. Really as far as looks go, the only other things I think I might do would be to lower it an inch or two and maybe get the side window louvers also.

That pretty much wraps up what I plan to do to the appearance in the future. As far as performance goes I have looked into a few things. I was thinking about getting a dual exhaust system and a cold air intake kit and I found a pretty good deal from Ford Racing. Ford Racing has a v6 performance package for about a grand that includes dual exhaust, a cold air kit, and a electronic programer. I think that if I decide to do the exhaust and cold air that this will be the kit I will look at first.
Now if I decide that I am going to keep my car for several more years, and I really get carried away, I would love to turbo charge my car. A twin turbo charged system would really smoke the tires. It would put me back several thousand dollars but this would probably not be in the near future. It would be a couple of years for this to happen.

I think that I have a pretty good tast in cars so checking out cool accessories I can put on my car is a lot of fun to me. Customizing my car has become one of my favorite hobbies, if you consider that a hobby. But all this gets REALLY expensive. Especially for someone in college. For me being in college and trying to get my priorities in line, it is very hard to follow through with all the stuff I intend on doing to my car. But hopefully my new job this summer will give me a hand!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cops, Don't Be Profiling My Ride!

Have you ever heard the saying that cops target certain types of cars? A lot of people think that if they drive a certain type of car or certain color of car then they are most likely to be pulled over. Well there may be a little bit of truth behind that.

The most common example would be the red car. I've heard this one a lot. People think that because they drive a red car that they are automatically targeted and have no chance if they are breaking a traffic law to get away with it.

I do think, along with many other people, that you are more likely to get pulled over if you are speeding if you are driving a red car. Also if you are driving a car that stands out among others. But also, I do think that most of the time this is unintentional and not just an unfair case of profiling.

If you think about it, the color red stands out to the human eye. It is bright and doesn't blend in very well with surroundings. It makes sense that if you are driving a red car that you will be noticed more among other cars, therefore the cop with the radar is more likely to see you first. I don't think this is the police officer's fault, but rather just a perfectly normal human reaction.

For example, just think of a person with severe A.D.D. They are walking along a boring sidewalk talking with their friend about a dull subject such as...political views. When all the sudden there is a brand new shiny penny on the side walk, and instead of finishing the sentence about the new Obama presidency, they blurt out, "Oooh shiny!!!" But they didn't even seem to notice all the other old dull pennies lying around. I think that this is the same sort of concept but maybe exaggerated a bit.

But I don't think that this only applies to the color of the car, but also what type and if it is customized or not. Obviously a Corvette or a Ferrari will stand out in traffic amongst minivans and sedans. Also cars that have been customized with cool looking aftermarket accessories and effects. If you are breaking the law I think that it is obvious you are more likely to be caught if you are more noticeable. So if you do drive a sweet ride that is different, or just stands out because its red, be careful! Or just don't be like me and speed and get two tickets in a year. Trust me, that is not fun!

More Power!!!

There's one thing in particular that most die hard Mustang owners always want more of. Can you guess what that is? One word pretty much wraps it up. POWER. It seems like you can never get enough horsepower under the hood of one single muscle or sports car. Lets just face it. The measly 210 horse power our v6's put out and the 300 the v8's put out just tease us and make us want even more power. Adding power is definitely easy to do now days, if you have the budget to do it. But there are so many different ways to add that extra little (or big) boost of power.

Your two best bets to really vamp up the power under the hood would be either a supercharger, or a turbocharger. But there are several questions that come with choosing one of these. First off...which one is better? Also budget comes into which one is more realistically priced?

First off you should understand what exactly these systems are and what they do. They are both types of forced induction systems. Which is another way of saying they push more air and fuel into the combustion chamber. The more air and fuel you have shoved into the engine, the bigger the explosion the spark will cause and that's what gives you more power.

Superchargers are a very popular way to increase the power of your car. It is said to be an easier installation than that of the turbocharger system. Another advantage of a supercharger over a turbo charger is that they usually seem to be more reliable than a turbocharged system mainly just because they run cooler than turbos. But this problem can easily be corrected by adding an intercooler to the turbo system.

But on the contrary, superchargers have to first take power away from the engine to actually make more power. The way it works is that it is hooked up to the belt drive or pulley system of the car, where it initially takes the power from the engine. Turbochargers on the other hand use wasteful exhaust gas to power itself, not taking power from the engine. The one big advantage the turbo system has over the supercharger is that it puts wasted kinetic energy to use, thus making it the more efficient choice.

As far as pricing goes most superchargers and turbochargers I found seemed to be around $5,000 to $6,000. Some were as low as $3,000 or as high as $9,000. Some of the turbo kits seemed to be on the expensive end. Turbochargers seem to be the better choice to me, because they are capable of producing more horse power, if tuned right. And also they use wasted energy from exhaust flow to create its own power rather than first stealing it form the engine. But turbos are known to be more expensive and are harder to install. So which is really the best choice? I think it is all up to personal preference and how much money you are willing to spend.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Foose on the Loose

Many of you have probably seen the show Overhaulin on TV before. If so then you know who Chip Foose is. Chip Foose is an incredible car designer with years of experience starting at a very young age. On the show Chip and his crew "The A Team" take a week to design a car for a deserving and oblivious client. What happens is the person's family or friends enter their car in the show without their knowledge and they think that their car has been stolen all the while it is in the hands of one of the best car designers around. And Chip Foose and the Foose design teem spend a week completely redesigning what usually starts out as a rust bucket and turn it into a one of a kind piece of art. They "Overhaul" the entire car inside and out and that usually includes a new engine under the hood.

Chip Foose doesn't just show off his designing for the TV show though. He has designed his own version of several different cars. One of these just happens to be the Mustang. Chip spent a lot of sweat and time into the design of the Chip Foose Edition Mustang Stallion. He did everything from drawing up the sketches, to shaping the clay, to adding the additional power adders to the car.
The list of things the Chip Foose Edition Mustang has to offer include:
1) Foose designed Mustang body which includes the redesigning of pretty much every body panel on the car including the hood and front and rear facial.
2)Aerodynamic rear spoiler
3)Custom graphics
4)Foose designed 20 inch rims
5)Racing shocks, coils, and sway bars
6)Performance breaks
7)Ford Racing parts including exhaust
8)Custom interior
With the supercharger and all the performance upgrades the Foose Mustang puts out about 425 horse power. There aren't very many of these cars out there, they only make a few thousand a year for a limited time. The Foose Edition Mustang Stallions start at about 40 thousand dollars, that is if you are one of the lucky ones who can get your hands on it.

Beer Can Mustang!

I don't really have anything to say about this except this is a Mustang made of 5,000 Budweiser cans. And I thought it was funny!

My Top 3

The Mustang is one of the most known cars in the world. Ask pretty much anyone if they know what a Ford Mustang is and they will most likely say yes. Well at least I would hope so. Yea everyone knows what a Mustang is, but not everyone knows that there are so many different types.

Shelby Mustangs^

Lets start with the basics. The stock Mustangs come in only two main forms. Those two different variations would be the v6 and the v8, also known as the Mustang GT. The v6 is usually known for being the more basic of the two with less power, and frankly looked down on by a lot of v8 muscle car enthusiast. The v8 is of course more powerful and usually the one we would pick out of the two. But if you have a broader knowledge of Mustangs then you realize there is so much more to choose from!

I'll start with my all time favorite Mustang; the Shelby GT 500 KR Mustang. The KR stands for King of the Road. The GT 500 boasts its power in its name. Its has over 500 horse power, hence the name GT 500. The new ones have a 5.4 litre supercharged engine that push out over 540 horse power. That would be enough to get the adrenaline going for me! The 1967 GT 500 was made an icon of muscle cars when it played a role in the movie Gone in 60 seconds. The power and the classic nature of this beast puts it at the top of my list.

^ Saleen Mustang

My next favorite is the Saleen Mustang. Saleen was founded in 1983 by a racer named Steve Saleen who produced the first Saleen Mustang in 1984. Saleen's worries at first were just looks and using the stock Mustang engine. But things have changed quite a bit. Aside from the amazing looks of the Saleen Mustang it has some power that will kick butt. The Saleen Mustang can make about 465 horse power with its 4.6 litre supercharged V8. Saleen also makes another version using a Saleen built v8 engine that has about 550 horse power. The Saleen Mustang is the one used as the police car in the Transformers movie. I think that car is really awesome in the movie and is one of the reasons it is my second favorite Mustang.

^ 2005 Roush Mustang

The third favorite on my top three is the Roush Mustang. Jack Roush knows plenty about racing. His race career goes years back. He not only owns a Nascar team, but he has been dealing with Mustangs for more than twelve years too. To start off with the Roush Mustang just looks amazing. It has a sweet looking body and wheel kit. But the performance is the what makes it. Under the hood you will find a Roush made supercharger (Roushcharger) that gives the v8 enough juice to make up to 435 horses. It also has high performance shocks and struts and high performance tires for the road courses.

Take a look at all three of these beasts and you can see why they aren't just your every day Mustang. They are truly works of art and pure power. If you never realized there are other Mustangs out there besides your basic v6 and GT Mustangs, now you can broaden your view to see what the Mustang really has to offer.