The Truth About Cars » Fox http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:56:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Fox http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Piston Slap: to Mark VIII the Mark VII Air Suspension http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/piston-slap-5/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/piston-slap-5/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 11:44:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=908513 TTAC Commentator furiouschads writes: A Mark VII is in my sights.  I like the Mark VIII air suspension control that lowers the car when it hits 60 mph.  Will a Mark VIII suspension control box work in a Mark VII? Sajeev answers: WOW: you mean someone actually can afford to spend the $300-2000 in new/used/aftermarket/OEM […]

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Click here to view the embedded video.

TTAC Commentator furiouschads writes:

A Mark VII is in my sights.  I like the Mark VIII air suspension control that lowers the car when it hits 60 mph.  Will a Mark VIII suspension control box work in a Mark VII?

Sajeev answers:

WOW: you mean someone actually can afford to spend the $300-2000 in new/used/aftermarket/OEM replacement parts to make a functional Lincoln air suspension system on a fully depreciated hooptie? You mean someone else out there doesn’t pigeonhole these systems with the nightmares made by manufacturers in a more European locale?

So sure, why not lower a Mark VII air suspension at speed?  I poked around the wiring diagrams for a 1988 Mark VII and 1993 Mark VIII and wasn’t totally horrified at what I saw.  Matter of fact, I’d be tempted to integrate the 1982-83 Fox Continental variable ratio steering system into it, as the Mark VIII’s air suspension “control box” also controls its speed sensitive power steering.

But being a complete Fox Body geek isn’t a great idea –welcome to my hell!– and adding the Mark VIII’s lowering capabilities is already challenging.

1988-1989 Mark VII LSC

It isn’t easy because the Mark VII air suspension is a different beast: boasting the same number of ride height sensors (two front, one back) but each sensor has an extra (4th) wire. The reason escapes me, as someone ran off with my Mark VII service manual. While it might be possible to convert to Mark VIII sensors, hopefully that isn’t necessary.

The “hard” part is actually the easiest: the lowering feature comes via communication to the VSS (vehicle speed sensor), readily available at the engine computer (in the kick panel, tough) or speedometer (easy).

If you get a Mark VII that isn’t hopelessly in need of attention, get a Mark VIII suspension computer and mock it up. After you get the shop manuals for both and do a good job with RTFM…son!

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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Junkyard Find: 1975 Audi Fox http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/junkyard-find-1975-audi-fox/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/junkyard-find-1975-audi-fox/#comments Mon, 31 Mar 2014 13:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=783865 No, this car isn’t this kind of Fox, though it is a sibling of the first Volkswagen Passat aka Dasher. The Fox was the name given to the Audi 80 for the United States market, and we can all be forgiven for not knowing this (as very few were sold). This completely used-up, not-so-quick brown […]

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10 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNo, this car isn’t this kind of Fox, though it is a sibling of the first Volkswagen Passat aka Dasher. The Fox was the name given to the Audi 80 for the United States market, and we can all be forgiven for not knowing this (as very few were sold). This completely used-up, not-so-quick brown Fox jumped over the lazy junkyard dog after a life spent almost entirely in the East Bay, and now it rests in a self-service wrecking yard about two miles from its owner’s longtime place of employment.
02 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI know this because of the thick stack of Oakland Airport North Ramp employee-parking permit stickers on the bumper.
03 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinLooks like at least 30 stickers here, so we may be looking at a one-owner car.
17 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI thought I might pull this Motometer clock for my car clock collection, but it turned out to be a case full of broken gears. Sadness.
07 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe interior was completely cooked, which suggests that the car spent its entire life unprotected from the California sun.
09 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAccording to Audi tradition, the timing belt should be located where it’s the first thing to get crushed in a minor crash.
05 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinOther than the usual California surface rust around the back window, this car is fairly solid in spite of all the bent metal.

I couldn’t find any US-market TV ads for the Fox, so we’ll go back to Germany.

01 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1975 Audi Fox Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Piston Slap: You’ve Got to be All Mine…Foxy Lady! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/piston-slap-youve-got-to-be-all-mine-foxy-lady/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/piston-slap-youve-got-to-be-all-mine-foxy-lady/#comments Mon, 31 Mar 2014 11:50:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=784545   TTAC Commentator Thunderjet writes: Hello Sajeev, Last year I picked up a ’91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC for $800. It’s in decent shape for being a Chicago area car and having 153K on the clock. The body has no major rust issues except for the front fenders, which have rust holes due to the […]

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Mark VII

TTAC Commentator Thunderjet writes:

Hello Sajeev,

Last year I picked up a ’91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC for $800. It’s in decent shape for being a Chicago area car and having 153K on the clock. The body has no major rust issues except for the front fenders, which have rust holes due to the sunroof drains, so the car will eventually need new fenders. The under body and frame are rust free and very clean. The car sat for several years before I purchased it and over the last year I have put about $500 into the car replacing various wear/tune up items (water pump, hoses, belt, cap, rotor, plug wires, spark plugs, and the starter). The car runs well and I’ve always wanted one, being that I have been a Fox Body nut since I started driving.

I would like to keep the car as I enjoy driving it. My daily driver is a 2011 Ford Focus SE bought new. It currently has about 28K on it and I’m hoping to keep it another 10 years or more. The Mark VII needs several things to make it more presentable including a paint job and the replacement of some of the leather panels on the front seats. In addition I would like to replace some wear items on the car such as the air springs so I won’t have to worry about failure in the future. I can do the repairs as time/budget allow and probably get a pretty nice car in the end.

??????????

The issue I’m having a problem with is that I already have a fun car that I tinker with: a 1988 Ford Thunderbird LX. It’s a factory 5.0 car with Edelbrock aluminum heads, a GT40 intake, .533 lift Comp roller cam, AOD with 2800 stall converter, and a 3:73 Traction-Lok differential. It’s a fun car and it’s the first car I ever bought. It’s not going away as the improvements I’ve made to the Thunderbird in the last 12 years I’ve owned the car make it too fun to part with. Also being my first car the Thunderbird is special to me.

I’m wondering if it makes sense for me to have two project/fun cars or if it’s overkill? A little background on me: I’m in my late 20’s and I’ll be getting married later this year. My fiancé doesn’t mind cars and in fact likes them as her daily driver is a 2012 Mustang V6 in Grabber Blue. I own my own house outright and I only have two sources of debt: about $15K I’m paying off in student loans for my master’s degree and the other two years on the loan for my Focus. I bought a new car as a daily driver as the dealer offered me 0% for 60 months. Who am I to say no to free money from Ford Credit? I am saving for retirement and put 15% of my yearly salary towards that. I make in the mid to upper five figures so I’m not poor but I’m not rich. As of right now having the Mark VII is only costing me about $300 a year in insurance. Does it make sense for a late 20 something to have two fun cars or should I ditch the Mark VII and just keep the Thunderbird?

Sajeev answers:

Before I go completely bonkers over a Fox Body question, a question back: do you have adequate parking for everyone’s cars???

Thunderjet writes:

The parking situation is good with the extra fox. The Thunderbird and my fiance’s Mustang reside in the garage while the Focus sits in the driveway. I usually keep the Mark in the driveway as well but if weather is bad my parents have let me drop it off at their house. They have space in their garage they are not using.

I should also note that I purchased the AOD floor shifter from your 1988 Cougar XR-7 on foxtbirdcougarforums several years ago. I think you sold it to me for ten bucks. I still have it if I ever get the desire to remove the column shifter from my Thunderbird. And yes the graphic EQ in my Thunderbird still works. It’s wired through a JVC head unit and the factory amp.

Sajeev answers:

Since normal people won’t understand this graphic EQ hack, a photo from my Cougar to clarify:

Not only is the Fox one of the most customizable vehicles on the planet, the truly insane among us convert the Ford EQ’s wiring into RCA connections; making it work with any aftermarket stereo. And it sounds kinda great, too!

What a small world it is: you knew me back when I was a Fox UBB forum fiend!  Times change, but multiple housebound projects are doable for these reasons:

  1. Your intelligent and enviable debt-to-equity ratio.
  2. Ownership of a new vehicle as a daily driver.
  3. Enough space at your residence for cars, without pissing off your significant other.
  4. Intimate knowledge of the vehicles in question, with a great track record for success.
  5. Readily available parts and low-cost of ownership inherent in Fox Body (resto?) modification.
  6. A strong internet community to help you when needed. And a sympathetic resto-mod Cougar owning schmuck on TTAC too, if that helps.

You are one lucky duck. How do I know? This is kinda how I co-exist with my old Fords. BAM SON!

A final note: since you showed me yours, here’s mine. Getting rid of my shifter opened up room in the Cougar for a manual gearbox. Thanks for that. And best of luck with the LSC, I am jealous.

photo

I really, really want an cherry 88-89 LSC, just not with Porno Red leather. One of these Foxes is enough.

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice. 

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Ford Fairmont Futura http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1980-ford-fairmont-futura/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1980-ford-fairmont-futura/#comments Mon, 30 Dec 2013 14:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=689442 The Fairmont was the Fox platform-based cheap midsize Ford that replaced the Maverick, and nobody ever paid much attention to the Fairmont sedans. However, the sporty coupe version of the Fairmont— the Futura— had a certain style, much like Mercury Zephyr Coupe, and so I decided this ’80 was worth photographing when I spotted it […]

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13 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Fairmont was the Fox platform-based cheap midsize Ford that replaced the Maverick, and nobody ever paid much attention to the Fairmont sedans. However, the sporty coupe version of the Fairmont— the Futura— had a certain style, much like Mercury Zephyr Coupe, and so I decided this ’80 was worth photographing when I spotted it in a San Francisco Bay Area wrecking yard a few months ago.

There’s a little bit of ‘bird in every Futura!

The result of computer modeling!

Buy smart— it makes you look good.
10 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Fox platform was fairly advanced for Malaise Era Detroit, and these cars weren’t bad to drive.
07 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 200-cubic-inch (aka 3.3 liter) straight-six wasn’t the engine of choice for dragstrip domination, but it was reliable.
16 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinAir conditioning!
18 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe horn button was pretty classy.
01 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe psychedelic City of Hope sticker is a nice touch.

01 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1982 Ford Thunderbird Town Landau http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/junkyard-find-1982-ford-thunderbird-town-landau/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/junkyard-find-1982-ford-thunderbird-town-landau/#comments Wed, 09 Oct 2013 13:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=615545 Ford may have squeezed even more vehicles out of their Fox platform than Chrysler got with their roughly contemporary K platform and derivatives, and the range of cars was just about as broad. Though Foxes are very plentiful in high-turnover self-service wrecking yards, I let most of them go to The Crusher undocumented. We’ve seen […]

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10- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinFord may have squeezed even more vehicles out of their Fox platform than Chrysler got with their roughly contemporary K platform and derivatives, and the range of cars was just about as broad. Though Foxes are very plentiful in high-turnover self-service wrecking yards, I let most of them go to The Crusher undocumented. We’ve seen this ’79 Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car, this ’80 Mercury Capri, and this ’82 Mercury Zephyr so far in this series, and today we’ll add another Malaise Era Fox. Yes, there was a Fox Thunderbird with squared-off, Fairmont-style body, available for the 1980 through 1982 model years. Not many of these cars were sold, so today’s find— in Denver— is a rare one.

1982 Ford Thunderbird Commercial

Ford’s marketers did their best, but the Thunderbird name had fallen on hard times. Again.
01- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Old Car BrochuresHeritage split bench seats in Midnight Blue!
04- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThese Midnight Blue seats have lost some of their luster after 31 years, but you can imagine how Barcalounger-like they must have been when new.
11- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinDetroit stuck with the “wire wheel” hubcap concept well into the 1990s, but the middle 1980s were the pinnacle of the style.
03- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Town Landau emblems are gone, but the landau roof remains.
13- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe interesting thing about these Foxes is that just about everything mechanical, plus unexpected stuff like dash panels, is bolt-on interchangeable between cars. You can swap in the drivetrain and suspension out of, say, a ’93 Mustang SVT Cobra into an ’82 T-Bird with a minimum of modifications. Or you could install the Heritage Split Bench seats out of an ’82 T-Bird into your Mustang.

01- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1979 Ford Mustang “Indy 500 Pace Car Edition” http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/junkyard-find-1979-ford-mustang-indy-500-pace-car-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/junkyard-find-1979-ford-mustang-indy-500-pace-car-edition/#comments Thu, 11 Jul 2013 13:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=494813 1979 was the first year for the Fox Platform Mustang, and Ford celebrated by grabbing the rights to show off their new machine at the 1979 Indianapolis 500. You could buy a street version of the Indy 500 Mustang pace car, and many did. Many others, a few years later, bought the galloping-horses-and-tape-stripes decal kit […]

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05 - 1979 Ford Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin1979 was the first year for the Fox Platform Mustang, and Ford celebrated by grabbing the rights to show off their new machine at the 1979 Indianapolis 500. You could buy a street version of the Indy 500 Mustang pace car, and many did. Many others, a few years later, bought the galloping-horses-and-tape-stripes decal kit for their non-Pace Car Edition Mustangs. I’m pretty sure that this car— which I found in a California self-service yard— belongs in the latter group… but not completely sure.

This car was so much better than the Pinto-based Mustang that preceded it (not to mention the bloated early-70s monstrosities that preceded that car) that Jackie Stewart had no problems finding nice things to say about it.
08 - 1979 Ford Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe true pace car ’79s were all painted in “pewter,” which this suspiciously primer-looking paint might have been, 34 years ago.
01 - 1979 Ford Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou can see a bit of the crazy op art upholstery that was used in all the 1979 Pace Car Editions.
06 - 1979 Ford Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinPace Car Edition ’79 Mustangs came with a choice of the 302-cubic-inch V8 or the turbocharged 2300 “Pinto” engine. This here is the non-turbocharged Pinto engine. You decide— is this a garden-variety four-banger Fox Mustang, worth scrap value, or a genuine special edition pace car, worth twice scrap value?

01 - 1979 Ford Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1979 Ford Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1979 Ford Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1979 Ford Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1979 Ford Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1979 Ford Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1979 Ford Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1979 Ford Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1979 Ford Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1979 Ford Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1979 Ford Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Piston Slap: One of “Those People…” http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/piston-slap-one-of-those-people/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/piston-slap-one-of-those-people/#comments Wed, 17 Apr 2013 10:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=485139 TTAC Commentator MNM4EVER writes: A mechanic friend of mine has a 1993 LX 5.0 w/AOD in slightly rough condition he is looking to get rid of. I can pick it up now, complete but not running, for $1800. If I do not buy it, he plans to get it running but otherwise not fix it […]

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TTAC Commentator MNM4EVER writes:

A mechanic friend of mine has a 1993 LX 5.0 w/AOD in slightly rough condition he is looking to get rid of. I can pick it up now, complete but not running, for $1800. If I do not buy it, he plans to get it running but otherwise not fix it up and sell it for $3k or so.

My goal for my potential Mustang is to resto-mod it… 4.6L Cobra motor, track suspension, Cobra disc brakes all around, restore the interior but replace the seats, maybe even swap in a later 94-2004 dash, etc. Since I am looking to replace much of the major components of the car, a rough project car is a definite option for me.

But this rough car needs a lot of other things replaced too… all of the exterior moldings are weathered and degrading thanks to sitting in the Florida sun, the interior is trashed all around, paint is very bad, the body has dings and cracked plastic bumpers, surface rust has set in on many places and a little rust appears on the hatch edges, etc. I am guessing I would need to strip it completely and spend around $2k on bodywork to get it fixed, but then it would be showroom new. But the idea of replacing all those moldings and interior parts scares me… sh!t adds up fast.

So my long drawn out question: Is this a good buy at $1800? Or should I keep looking for a closer to mint Mustang for $5-7k that only needs minor restoration and mechanical upgrades as I see fit?

Sajeev answers:

So basically NOTHING on this Fox Mustang is up to your standards.  Honestly, it’s a horrible example of Fox-aliciousness for anyone at $1800. Even if it had a T-5 (stick), this is a $1000 Fox as it sits…on a good day. $1800 if it was complete and fully assembled? Somewhat likely.

You are one of “those people” that demands a nice car and will pay big money to make it right. For you people (what do you mean YOU people?) there’s no substitute for buying the cleanest, most pristine example you can afford. $5000 or more for a clean Fox Mustang isn’t unreasonable, and that’s right for you.

Once more: buy the cleanest, most pristine example you can afford.

And when you do, you better not put the later model dash in there…that’s just wrong for the rest of the body and a complete waste of a nice car.

MNM4EVER writes:

Well, since I consider you the expert on Fox bodies (too bad 5.0 Mustangs are lamesauce and Fox Lincolns/Cougars/Granadas/etc. rule – SM) , I figured there was no one better to help with my decision. I have been considering picking up a 90-93 Mustang hatch, preferably an LX 5.0 with a stick. I don’t want a convertible, I don’t like the GT look, and I don’t want a notchback. I remember back in the day the notch was considered super rare and therefore more desirable, but today it seems like they are everywhere. I know they are lighter, I don’t care, I like the hatchback look.

This will be a long term project/driver, and will definitely get upgraded suspension and brakes, wheels, seats, and I want 300-350hp. The dilemma is that nice LX 5.0 hatches are hard to find, especially in the condition I want it. I want a nice clean interior, I don’t want a beat on drag car or a rusted banged up body, in the end I want this car to be better than new and bodywork is very expensive. I can do most mechanical and all interior work myself, but I can’t paint or fix rust and dents. Down here in Florida it seems to be easier to find mint condition 4-cyl Mustangs, many owned by elderly people with low miles, and definitely never beat on. And since they are not V8s, they are CHEAP, much less than the V8s I see for sale.

So how hard is it to do an engine and trans swap into a 4-cyl Fox body and build it up the way I want it, compared to starting with a 5.0 platform? I don’t know how many differences there are in the chassis between them. I know even 5.0 cars need chassis bracing, I am going to change out the suspension and brakes anyway, etc. And no, I don’t want to turbo the 4-cyl, I want a V8 this time. To compare, I found a pretty nice all original LX 5.0 hatch with an auto and 68k miles for $7k, but I also found a just as nice, newer 4cyl LX hatch with 48k miles for $3k.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Sajeev concludes:

When it comes to Fox bodies, always remember the first rule of modification: chassis bracing uber alles. That means subframe connectors (get the ones that bolt to the seat bottoms, weld to the subframes) a G-load brace for the front subframe and a 3-point strut tower brace.  Not much extra weight, and it changes the car for the better. You will notice the difference behind the wheel in a matter of FEET, not miles.

If you only want less than 400hp (at the wheels), stick with the stock small block Ford (SBF) and upgrade the heads/cam/intake to make that up. For a street car, I’d recommend a power adder (Whipplecharger) and the appropriate camshaft to make it sing. And apparently Mr. John Kasse is finally making a set of heads that will put the 5.0 V8 a little closer to your garden variety LSX motor.** If you buy your parts wisely, the SBF will be a good fit for your needs and not be a huge money pit. If you plan on paying someone for the motor work, save yourself the expense of a non-SBF motor swap and build a good SBF that will drop right in with zero drama.

Now about the 4-cyl to 5.0 swap: it’s a huge pain in the butt because the wiring harness must be changed (alternator, interior stuff, etc.). Not fun. But if you have the two Mustangs side-by-side and a long weekend ahead of you, you can do it.  And be miserable…in the short term.

Good luck in your hunt.  But take heed to my parting shot, son:

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

**Obviously the all-aluminum LSX-FTW swap is the ideal answer, but sometimes its cheaper (parts and labor) to accomplish almost the same thing with the factory correct engine block.  I am always torn between a 5.0 or an LS in a Fox Body, in cases where less than 400 horses is needed on a reasonable budget. The stock SBF is still a good motor in certain applications, and I am pretty sure this is one of those cases. This ain’t no wheezy four-banger or a gutless V6. And the SBF sounds better than any LSX, so there’s that.

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Super Piston Slap: The Life and Death of a Proper LeMons Car http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/super-piston-slap-the-life-and-death-of-a-proper-lemons-car/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/super-piston-slap-the-life-and-death-of-a-proper-lemons-car/#comments Mon, 25 Mar 2013 10:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=482191 Sajeev writes: One of the more (in)famous vehicles in junk car racing recently visited the big boneyard in the sky. It’s particularly sad for me, as this vehicle helped me back into the driver’s seat when I needed all the help I could get. The tenacious handling, phenomenal power complete with a BULLITT-worthy soundtrack in […]

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Sajeev writes:

One of the more (in)famous vehicles in junk car racing recently visited the big boneyard in the sky. It’s particularly sad for me, as this vehicle helped me back into the driver’s seat when I needed all the help I could get. The tenacious handling, phenomenal power complete with a BULLITT-worthy soundtrack in a brown station wagon; it was all positively insane. A sad tale indeed, but worth sharing from start to finish. So here’s Mr. Brian Pollock, owner of this brutally competitive Ford Fairmont Wagon, to tell the tale.

Brian writes:

It started by accident: I was killing time browsing a local Mustang forum and saw a post titled “The 24 hours of LeMons is coming to Texas”. I confirmed the information and called my friend Dave, who bluntly told me, “I won’t let you not do this.” Next call was to another friend, Marty, because he’d been autocrossing before and we needed a guy who had some idea how to make a car turn. We applied for the race and started talking about potential cars. We settled on the world’s rattiest fox Mustang. The car was terrible in every way, but it finished the race in a remarkable 35th place and we were hooked.

By the end of the second race we had figured out how to make the car stop and turn and were talking about building a second car instead of a V8 swap in the Mustang. The hunt was on for a cheap, unusual Fox body. I really had my heart set on either a fox LTD, a Fairmont sedan, or the holy grail of oddball foxes, the 1980-82 fox-box Thunderbird. I ignored the guy who contacted me with the wagon while I waited for something else, but time, the lack of a better (worse?) option and the wagon’s steadily lowering price convinced me otherwise. One trip to Waco and $150 made it mine.

Click here to view the embedded video.

(Start the video at 2:15 for maximum effect.)

Now we needed parts, lots of them. How do you build a fast LeMons car on anything resembling a $500 budget? You do research, lots of it. You figure out what parts from what depreciated wrecks will make your depreciated wreck better. You figure out who the nearest car crusher is and you follow the fluctuating price of scrap steel. You live on Craigslist. You buy cars from sketchy tweekers so you can get the right master cylinder. Then you list that car on Craigslist so his buddies can buy a fender, or window, or something, so when it makes its final trip across the scales you get back in the black. You do that a lot. I stopped counting, but my running guess is we’ve been through somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 parts cars to build three LeMons cars.

Sometimes you’ll be forced to buy used car parts instead of used parts cars. Try to avoid this. If you can’t, buy in bulk. I needed a set of pistons and found what I was looking for in a damaged short block. I bought the whole short block, two aluminum intakes, a pair of wheels, a nitrous system, and a Mustang. After selling what I didn’t need, I got what I wanted for free and turned a profit.

Now you have to figure out how to assemble these bits into a car. Learn to weld. You’ll need piles of metallic detritus. Our seat brackets are made from frame sections from a wrecked trailer. Rear spring locators are old header collectors. The sheet metal covering the fuel cell is a ’69 Camaro hood. The access door has been a tool box, a fruitcake pan, and a metal box from a nut and bolt assortment. Another team covers their cell with the top of an old dryer. License plates are invaluable, we use them for everything, including the switch panel.

Your labor is free. Use it: we put around four-hundred man hours a year maintaining the car when we’re not racing.

We debuted the Fairmont wagon in October of 2009. We blew up the motor in practice Friday. We worked all night assembling another and getting it in the car. It blew up mid-day. By Sunday morning we had a borrowed car repaired and through tech, but I was too tired to drive. We won the LeMons “I Got Screwed” award.

For what seemed like forever, the Fairmont spent more time with the engine out than it did on track. It took until November of the following year to finish a race. When it did, our 22nd place finish came with the top prize in LeMons, “The Index of Effluency” and a check for $1501.

2011 Racing Season: it started with a series of unpredictable oil pressure issues. In three races we had one oil pump seize, one break, and we mysteriously lost oil pressure on the track but got it back while putting the car on the trailer. By June we had the Fairmont in pretty good shape but our “Arrive and Drive” drivers were lacking. By the end of the year we had our act somewhat together. We finished the year with a class “B” win and 11th overall.

2012 Racing Season: the year we almost made it. At Texas World Speedway (TWS) in February we led for the first four hours and had two laps on the field when a rear shock broke. One driver spun, and a control arm bolt broke. We finished 4th and won class B again this time with a $500 check. In March, we were in 2nd place in Chumpcar on the first day (Saturday) when we burned through the brakes: we finished 7th overall. We were leading day two’s (Sunday) race when another weird oil pressure issue popped up. We parked the Fairmont and found a cracked pick up screen swinging in the pan.

May brought LeMons to Eagle’s Canyon Raceway (ECR). We did an emergency re-ring job instead of practice, and had driver issues. I never looked at the final results. September in Houston had rain. I should mention that a heavy, stiffly sprung station wagon is undriveable in the rain. In the wet we were fighting to stay in the low 20s, when it dried up we dragged up to 8th place. Chumpcar came back to TWS in December. We just weren’t competitive there with that series: Saturday 12th place, Sunday DNF with a broken T-5 transmission.

Which brings us to the end of the line: Lap 2 of the 24 Hours of LeMons season ender at ECR. After a minor in-and-out penalty for going 2 wheels off, we were in 3rd place and about to lap the leader. We came up on him fast and spooked the driver into missing his turn in point.

Click here to view the embedded video.

He went wide and looked like he was giving up the inside line. He lost control and came across the track in to the Fairmont’s left rear tire. The crash did extensive damage to the rear end and rear suspension mounts. We limped the car around the track until mid-day Sunday when it finally became undriveable.

In the end it wasn’t the crash that took out the wagon. The 1978 Fairmont was Ford’s clean sheet design during a fuel crisis, and the nationwide 55 mph speed limit. I doubt the fox chassis was intended to peg its 85 mph speedometer, certainly not to come down the steep banking at Texas World Speedway at a stomping 135 miles per hour.

Three years of racing just wore out the car. Everything from the cage forward bent, shifted, and sagged. The car droops when it goes on the lift and collapses when it comes down. It’s just not safe to drive anymore. Marty summed it up best while disassembling it:

“I’ve had more fun with this car than anything else in my life.”

We built the car, not as a joke, per se, but to be preposterous. We knew we could make it fast, and we knew we didn’t want another Mustang. There were 11 Mustangs in our Mustang’s last race. From the beginning we set out to have a winning car, but mechanical issues held us back for a long time. We prided ourselves on being able to out run the sports cars.

Loaded with junk, the last remnants of the Fairmont wagon went over the scales for $200, $50 more than I paid for it.

One of my favorite moments was coming up on a pack of three 944s and two Miatas just before a multi-turn complex at ECR. It took me two corners to pass 4 of the cars and one more to get the 5th. I don’t consider myself to be anything more than a competent driver, so I loved being able to get off line and pass cars that have some business being on a race track.

People generally loved the car…but some hated it.

We were even accused of cheating! Ratted out for our roller rockers when the motor was disassembled on the trailer, in a race where we didn’t complete more than 25 laps, of all things! We had the fox body’s historical successor, the Taurus SHO teams vote us for “The People’s Curse,” which Jay Lamm quickly, logically ignored.

I guess people couldn’t understand how a station wagon could out handle a Porsche.

They didn’t figure the hundreds of hours we put into the car in a year and our creative ways of solving problems, they assumed we were throwing money at it.

We did get a lot of positive comments on the car. At every race we would meet new people who wanted to introduce themselves and talk about the car.  (including myself – SM) I heard a number of people laugh as it rolled out on the track, only to be amazed once they saw it run. We got word from strangers all over the country who loved the car and wanted to drive it someday.

The comments from friends who heard of its demise meant a lot to me.

Todd Nelson: This is a sad day indeed…for you. For the rest of us, we will no longer have to live with the image of being overtaken – often rapidly – by an old, brown, beat-up relic from yesteryear…with tremendous horsepower. I’ll pour one out with ya at the next race.

Douglas Narby: I remember the first time I saw the wagon (from our 240SX) I said on the radio “I am going to pass this wagon”. A more experienced teammate came back with something along the lines of “good luck with that”. He was right. Great job while it lasted, y’all!

Mark Da Silva: The wagon was amazing! You guys know the huge amount of time that damn boat made our BMW E30 work overtime just to keep up! I had the privilege to drive it at ECR too, so it’s a shame to put the car into retirement!

 

 Good bye, Fairmont Wagon.  We’ll miss you. – SM

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Piston Slap: Putting the HO in your Colony’s 5.0! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/piston-slap-putting-the-ho-in-your-colonys-5-0/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/piston-slap-putting-the-ho-in-your-colonys-5-0/#comments Thu, 06 Sep 2012 12:01:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=458966   Joe writes: Dear Sajeev, It was a mild winter here in Minnesota, so it promises to be an early spring. And with spring comes the promise of new automotive projects. Right now we are in the pre-spring thinking and planning stages. Attached is a photo of my possible project. Some background would be helpful. […]

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Joe writes:

Dear Sajeev,

It was a mild winter here in Minnesota, so it promises to be an early spring. And with spring comes the promise of new automotive projects. Right now we are in the pre-spring thinking and planning stages. Attached is a photo of my possible project. Some background would be helpful.

The car is a 1991 Mercury Colony Park. I purchased it in February of 2002 for the bargain price of $4,500. At the time it had 51,000 pampered miles. It had been rustproofed when new, and sat in a garage during every Minnesota winter. Not a hint of rust anywhere when I bought, and almost none at this time. It was purchased to pull a folding camper trailer. A $4,500 panther was a bargain compared to the cost of an SUV or other “modern” vehicle, and far more eye catching and unique. It ended up doing more than pulling a camper. It has been to Disney World 3 times, was displayed at Ford’s 2003 centennial celebration in Detroit, and has moved 2 kids off to college, along with countless camping trips and miscellaneous chores. As such, it has become a family heirloom and my wife and three daughters will not allow me to sell it.

It has 105,000 miles and remains quite stock except for the Keystone Klassics, some Bilstein shocks, and an aftermarket rear sway bar. Given its unique nature, and the fact that so few remain on the road in this type of exceptional condition, I want to keep the car looking and behaving as stock as possible, with the exception of the wheels and some more power. It needs some help under the hood. The stock 5.0 is what it is. The same basic engine could be found in a Mustang GT producing loads more fun. What would be your suggestion for extracting maximum fun from the basic platform that is here, while preserving the character of this final model year station wagon without spending boat loads of dollars and doing the work as a DIY project?

Despite my day job, I have very good mechanical skills. I have replaced head gaskets on a 3.8 litre 1993 Thunderbird, intakes on a 1996 Thunderbird, have completely refurbished the suspension, exhaust and external mechanicals on a 1979 Mazda RX-7 among many other projects.

It seems to me that a starting point would be cylinder heads and exhaust manifolds. What Mustang GT 5.0 litre bits will bolt onto the base 5.0? What about the engine control modules, something I have zero experience with, and what about transmission shift patterns.

Ultimately, I am looking for something that will never be raced, is not out to impress anyone but myself, but when I slide behind the wheel and put my foot into the throttle, it produces a kick in the backside like a 5.0 has the potential to provide.

Any thoughts on where to begin would be most helpful so that the spring planning session can get off the ground.

Regards,

Joe

Sajeev answers:

Thanks for your entertaining letter, Joe. And sorry for the delay in writing back, such is the way this Piston Slap thing works. But I love the Keystones on the Colony Park!

On the plus side, your query is very quick to answer.  On the minus side, you’re making me feel very, very old.  Because I (patting myself on the back) wrote one of the best 5.0HO (i.e. High Output) swap articles for Panthers.  It didn’t feel like this article is 8 years old until I googled it…and formally present it to you all right here.

The “regular” 5.0 in the Panthers (and my favorite Fox bodies) are pretty sluggish by today’s standards.  Plenty of off-the-line bump, and fuel economy better than most carb’d machines to boot. But converting to a 5.0HO from a 1987-93 Ford Mustang makes these 5.0s somewhat more appealing with no real downside. And, to your point, the HO swap is a period correct upgrade that anyone will appreciate.  So just do it.

When the stock 5.0HO’s 225 horsepower isn’t cutting it, slap on a set of aftermarket aluminum heads (watch for piston to valve clearance) and the biggest 5.0 Whipplecharger kit you can find. It will make your Panther fast enough for damn near anyone.

For the record, I did the 5.0HO swap over ten years ago to the vehicle that’s currently my TTAC avatar: a 1988 Cougar XR-7. It’s still running strong. Ish. But everyone (and I mean everyone) loves the sound of this 5.0HO coming up the street. It will do…until I find a deal on those aforementioned heads and supercharger.  Evil. Grin. ON!

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Mercury Capri http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/junkyard-find-1980-mercury-capri/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/junkyard-find-1980-mercury-capri/#comments Sat, 07 Apr 2012 13:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=438815 The Fox Platform was one of Ford’s biggest postwar success stories; a (relatively) modern, (sort of) lightweight unibody design that could be used for everything from economy commuters to rubber-burning factory hot rods to plush luxury sedans. Sure, Ford kept the Fox on life-support a few years too many, but that’s how they roll in […]

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The Fox Platform was one of Ford’s biggest postwar success stories; a (relatively) modern, (sort of) lightweight unibody design that could be used for everything from economy commuters to rubber-burning factory hot rods to plush luxury sedans. Sure, Ford kept the Fox on life-support a few years too many, but that’s how they roll in Detroit. We often forget about the Fox Capri, since it looked even nearly identical to its Mustang sibling (and because everyone thinks of the earlier Euro-Ford-based Capri when they hear the name), so it took me a second to realize that this inhabitant of a Northern California self-service yard wasn’t a Mustang.
The Fox Mustang/Capri with the 5.0 engine became quite fast by the mid-1980s, but the early ones were much more Malaise-appropriate sluggish.
For the 1980 model year, the Capri could be purchased with the base “Pinto” 2300 (88 horsepower), the 200-cubic-inch I6 (91 horsepower), the 255-cubic-inch Windsor V8 (119 horsepower), or the 150-horse turbocharged 2300. The hood release was busted on this car and I didn’t feel motivated to try to pry it open, so there’s no telling which engine it has (I’m guessing it’s the cheapo NA 2300, judging from the manual transmission and general lack of bling).
Here’s a very nice Field Expedient Ashtray, made from a Vienna Sausages can and some wire attached to the heater controls.

16 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 01 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 02 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 03 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 04 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 05 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 06 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 07 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 08 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 09 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 10 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 11 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 12 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 13 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 14 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 15 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Motor Trend Fools Robots And Spiders, Misses Disturbing New Motor Trend http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/motor-trend-fools-robots-and-spiders-misses-disturbing-new-motor-trend/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/motor-trend-fools-robots-and-spiders-misses-disturbing-new-motor-trend/#comments Sun, 01 Apr 2012 14:53:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=437412 More and more of the daily news we consume is not written by people, but by robots and spiders. The people at Motor Trend will be painfully aware of that fact when they come back to work on Monday. Today, MT reports that “General Motors is investigating complaints that XM radios installed in Chevrolet Volts […]

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More and more of the daily news we consume is not written by people, but by robots and spiders. The people at Motor Trend will be painfully aware of that fact when they come back to work on Monday. Today, MT reports that “General Motors is investigating complaints that XM radios installed in Chevrolet Volts do not pick up the satellite radio service’s Fox station.”

Motor Trend goes on to say:

“The apparent defect was first revealed late Friday on the Fox News television broadcast, “Your World Cavuto.”

“Viewers of this network have called in to complain that Fox’s XM channel is not available on President Obama’s car, the Chevrolet Volt,” host Neil Cavuto asserted on his TV broadcast, which is simulcast on XM 114. “Does this sound to you like payback time to Barack Obama from Government Motors?”

“How dare Government Motors?” responded Ann Coulter, a guest on Cavuto’s show. “But I’m not the least bit surprised. This is a liberal car for left-wing liberal socialist Marxists.”

A read all the way to the end reveals that “a GM spokesman said Chevrolet engineers would continue to test Volts through the weekend to see whether they could pull in Fox XM and would issue a report by the end of the day today, April 1.” This, and careful consultation of the calendar, makes a halfway assertive human reader doubt that the article is real news.

The trouble is that a lot of the daily news is collected by robots. In the early hours of April 1, the alleged news item  already is  all over the Internet. Many publications that are proud of their editorial oversight carry the April fools joke as real news. The story is in AOL Money’s Daily Finance, and in the Businessinsider. Untouched by human hands (or aggregated by morons,) the story runs on Topix right underneath Jalopnik’s  “What April Fools Day Automotive Headline Do You Want To Read?”

Most lazywebs from Carnewsarchive to Car Newsticker run the piece and pay the price for automatically scraping automotive sites in the hope for Google dollars. Even AOL News has the story. It is only a matter of minutes before the story will be eternalized in “verifiability, not fact” Wikipedia.

The sad part is that Motortrend’s persiflage already is way behind the times. Other observers had noted a puzzling U-turn at Fox. Usually, the channel poured vitriol over the car. A month ago, Fox drove a Volt and ran out of juice in the Lincoln Tunnel.

Then suddenly, a few days ago, Fox loved the Volt. Fox lauded the Volt as a car that can “help win the war in terror.” Steve Doocy, drove a Volt and attested that the drive was “smooth as glass.” A few days earlier, Foxbusiness declared the Volt the best electric car on the market” and could find only one flaw: The price.

Speaking of price, some people point to the fact that GM had started running Volt ads on Fox.

Truth is funnier than April fools jokes.

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Fox Tests Volt, Runs Out Of Juice In Lincoln Tunnel http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/fox-tests-volt-runs-out-of-juice-in-lincoln-tunnel/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/fox-tests-volt-runs-out-of-juice-in-lincoln-tunnel/#comments Mon, 06 Feb 2012 18:23:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=429739 GM noted that Fox has issues with the Volt. They give Eric Bolling a Chevy Volt for a week. And this is what GM receives in return. Ingrates.

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GM noted that Fox has issues with the Volt. They give Eric Bolling a Chevy Volt for a week. And this is what GM receives in return. Ingrates.

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New or Used: Cefiro! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/11/new-or-used-cefiro/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/11/new-or-used-cefiro/#comments Thu, 10 Nov 2011 18:17:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=417131   TTAC commentator bumpy ii writes: It’s definitely going to be used in this case. Anyway, I’m looking to pick up a fun weekend car in another 3-4 years. I like to plan ahead. Here’s what I want: * 4 doors * RWD * manual transmission * normally aspirated inline 6 * (the kicker) curb […]

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TTAC commentator bumpy ii writes:

It’s definitely going to be used in this case. Anyway, I’m looking to pick up a fun weekend car in another 3-4 years. I like to plan ahead. Here’s what I want:

* 4 doors
* RWD
* manual transmission
* normally aspirated inline 6
* (the kicker) curb weight under 3,000 pounds
* preferably built after the Reagan administration (most everyone had their emissions stuff sorted out by then)

From what I can tell, this narrows the list down to 4 cars (in order of preference):

*Nissan R32 Skyline
*Nissan A31 Cefiro
*M-B 190E 2.6
*BMW E30 325i

Am I leaving anything off? Any particular reason to favor or discount one versus another? Budget: I dunno, up to $10k if necessary. I’m in Virginia, and I’m willing to wait until the Nissans hit the DOT import exemption.

Sajeev Answers:

Why narrow your focus to I-6 motors? They are a bit slow by modern standards and are pricey to make more palatable, unless they are fitted with factory turbos. Oh, and they tend to wiggle like a wiener dog when they overheat, eating head gaskets and warping (aluminum) heads in the process. While I understand the premise of your quandary, all of these vintage racers will get their asses handed to them by a Fox Mustang (or LTD, since you want four-doors) with a full Griggs suspension, late model brakes with ABS and a souped up Windsor motor. Hell you don’t even wanna pick a fight with a 265hp, 6-speed (auto) Camry SE with a few chassis mods. There’s no better bitch slap than Toyota’s best Q-ship, especially from a 70mph dig: the 6 to 3 downshift is just nuts in that car!

And to be a real jerk, let me also tell you what 10 grand will buy in a tastefully modified 4th-gen Camaro or Firebird. They are the most underrated piece of “cheap” iron out there, even with the awful interior and terrible reputation from their collective owners. Buy one, twist the key and be better than 90% of the vehicles on the planet, even box stock.

That said, I am importing a brown Ford Sierra Ghia from the UK, so perhaps I need to encourage you. With the Sierra in mind, the only one from my list would be the Cefiro. If you are gonna be spanked by a new Camry, why not do it with class and style?

Hot Rod Griggs Fox Body LTD, son. Think about it.

Steve answers:

Inline 6? My good God man! What on Earth makes you want to drive an engine from the middle ages? Do you have some type of unique fetish for old Celica Supras and E-Classes?

Actually, I think a late 80′s MB W124 four door would actually be quite close with the weight and engine specs… but why? I’m sorry but I just have no love for the inline 6′s other than their supposed ease of maintenance (which is not nearly the entire equation when it comes to these old engines).

I would think about it some more. Years, many years. Maybe to the point of near death. If an inline 6 is a must have then just get yourself a nice old Merc or BMW for about 2 to 3k and just play with it for a while. There is no good reason to blow $10k on a proverbial Reagan era spec sheet.

Need help with a car buying conundrum? Email your particulars to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com , and let TTAC’s collective wisdom make the decision easier… or possibly much, much harder.

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