The Truth About Cars » G6 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 26 Jul 2014 01:30:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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 (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 » G6 Piston Slap: It’s Not A Fox Body… So What Is It? Wed, 10 Aug 2011 18:03:42 +0000

TTAC’s personal window into the CAW, mikey writes:

Sajeev, as spring approached our frozen north, I couldn’t face another summer sans convertible. As a proud, retired UAW and CAW member, my choice was limited to domestics. What to buy?

The Sebring? No way. New is out of my reach, so rule out a 5th gen Camaro. Having owned a 4th gen F-body…one was enough. Did I really say that? A Solstice or Sky, maybe?  Can a 50 something couple pack up and go for two days? I couldn’t find a place to store a cell phone, never mind two suit cases, and a Beer cooler.

I looked at a used “Pontiac G6″ hardtop convertible. Wow! all that mechanical stuff that runs the retract? Hmmmm, lets put it this way: too many years on the assembly floor, tells me to give that baby a wide berth. Draw your own conclusions.

So today we find ourselves the proud owners of a 2008 Mustang convertible. In my way of thinking, knowedge rules, and I have zero experience with Fords, except a 1969 Marquis that was a POS when I bought it, 35 years ago. So I need to update. So I’m asking the B&B to help me out.

Its not a Fox body, so what is it? What other Fords, if any, share the same platform? It’s a 4 litre automatic, without a lot of options. So I guess it’s a base model? Were Pirelli tires standard equipment? How about the “Shaker 500″,it can’t really be 500 watts? Why the phone button on the radio? I don’t think its got Bluetooth, or does it?

So it’s a 4 litre sohc? Where’s the camshaft? Does it have push rods? Why three valves? Two intake one, exhaust? 210 HP, is it me, or why do I feel that my old Firebird 3800 had a lot more cookies?

In all, the Mustang is far more comfortable, for a couple our age. It’s roomier, and quieter than the Firebird. It certainly has less rattles, and squeaks. That being said, I don’t find the Mustang as much fun to drive. That might change with time eh.

So any input/knowledge, negative, or positive, from you guys would be welcome.

Sajeev answers:

As much as I hated the 4th Gen F-bodies, I gotta admit they were a ton of fun and better than the 5th Gen in so many ways.  Plus, your particular Firebird was one of our first Piston Slaps, so pardon me for my nostalgia.

While Wikipedia has most of your answers, let’s try to put a more interesting spin on the facts. Yes it’s an D2C (a.k.a. S197) platform, and while it is the most authentic platform in Ford’s passenger car lineup, they chose to run the Volvo-D3 platform for their premium sedan and crossover offerings.  This platform is an evolutionary dead end…for now.  But could you imagine if Ford came out with a “foxtrot” lineup?  Can you imagine the sweetness of a 5.0L coyote powered Ford Flex or Lincoln MKS?

The Cologne V6 in your Mustang also has a well-documented wiki page, and Pirelli tires were indeed standard equipment: not so surprisingly, the timing of the Ford-Pirelli deal was soon after the Firestone tire debacle.  I haven’t seen the rubber on the new Mustangs, but many new Fords roll on Hankook donuts.  Not that I put much faith in a tire’s brand name, but some brands go for more green…and sometimes damage control is very important. More to the point, lucky you: you got yourself some fancy eye-talian tires, man!

The rest of your questions are good fodder for the B&B. If they don’t answer ‘em all, owner’s manuals are rather cheap on eBay.  If you have a manual but didn’t read it, well, shame on you and RTFM!

One last thing, if you feel the Mustang doesn’t have the balls of your old Firebird, remember that V6 Mustangs (except the latest model with the performance pack) are tuned for softness in throttle response, power delivery and overall suspension mushiness.  That whole “Mustangs are secretary’s cars” thing from the 1960s never really left.  Luckily, an SCT tune is pretty cheap and easy, people with Mustang GT’s dump their stock sway bars on a regular basis, and shock upgrades are plentiful. If you really care.

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

]]> 28
Piston Slap: A Panther Lover is a Folding Hardtop Lover Mon, 23 May 2011 20:17:58 +0000

Frank A. writes:

It’s been a while since you advised me on Town Car engine cleaning.  I’ve still got the TC, but I’ve got an itch to add something less practical to the fleet–a retractable hardtop.  Probably anybody who is old enough to have been frightened by a Ford Skyliner as a child has had this impulse now and then.

I’m interested in the Pontiac G6.  They were made ’06-’09 and are percolating down into a practical price range.  I can’t spend the bucks on a high dollar retractable, so the VW Eos and Chrysler Sebring would be my only other choices.

Gee whiz: Pontiac quality, Volkswagen quality, or Chrysler quality: what are you gonna choose?

So, what do you think, of retractables in general and the G6 in particular?  Are they reasonably reliable?  What kind of maintenance does the top require as it ages?  (Assuming Pontiac dealer support is going to recede into the past.)  And how loopy an idea would buying one be?

Before you reply that this is too bizarre a kink for a Panther guy to take up, just remember–the Skyliner is a direct ancestor of the Big Cat.  It must have left a few retractable genes in there somewhere.

Sajeev answers:

Having recently spent time in a restored 1958 Skyliner, these systems aren’t exactly the stuff of rocket science. And my goodness, the Skyliners are one of the high points in Detroit’s history: when you consider the historical implications of Panther Love.  It is a truly stunning machine.

I get it. You need a folding roof.

And a few unique hinge pieces, custom rubber bits and the appropriate electrics is all that’s in play. That said, retractable tops will be a nightmare if a greenhorn with a wrench and a shop manual gets their hands on it. As time goes by, the rubber bits are my biggest concern. Unlike most droptops, I suspect the G6’s folding hard top has a fair bit of unique molded rubber that will be tough to find. But this won’t be a problem if Steele Rubber Products stays in business for the next 30 years. If they go away, start crying: I know I will.

But go for it, life’s too short to drive nothing but a Lincoln Town Car.  Compared the out-of-warranty repair costs of a VW and the stunning crappiness of Chrysler, the Pontiac G6 is a smart move. If any vehicle shall be blessed with an overabundance of replacement bits and service expertise, it will be a GM product. But that’s discounting the G6’s unique folding roof.

Whatever.  Just do it, but much like your Town Cars dirty engine, be proactive about cleaning the hardtop’s moving parts.  Get the dirt out of the rubber and finish them off with a touch of silicone spray lubricant. Clean and lubricate the hinges, conservatively. Overdoing it might let more dirt and grime build up. Buy the GM factory service manual, read the specifics about the folding top and learn how the experts tune and tweak these things as the ravages of time do their duty.

And if you get into a significant accident, don’t get too attached: I suspect any insurance company will total a depreciated G6 with a jammed roof.  This ain’t a valuable Mercedes SL, as you well know.

Good luck, the Town Car and the G6 will be a fun Detroit pairing.

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

]]> 52