The Truth About Cars » modified http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 15:25:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 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 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 » modified http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com 2015 Ford Mustang “Body in White” Coming w/ Ford 9″ Axle http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/2015-ford-mustang-body-in-white-coming-w-ford-9-axle/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/2015-ford-mustang-body-in-white-coming-w-ford-9-axle/#comments Tue, 17 Dec 2013 19:32:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=682578 2015 Mustang

I was there when Ford debuted its new-for-1999 Mustang Cobra with its “revolutionary” new independent rear suspension. The IRS was a first for the Ford Mustang, and it was a move that Ford’s brass believed would allow the “new edge” Cobra to compete with cars like the BMW M3 for supremacy in the budget super car market. I also remember the very first question that was asked: Will a Ford 9″ bolt in? It was the first question, right out of the box … and it seems like someone at Ford remembers. The new-for-2015 Mustang is going to hit dealers with a new independent rear suspension late next year, and it seems like Ford Racing will have a 9″ live axle option ready.

According to a Ford Racing employee at PRI, the live-axle version of the 2015 Ford Mustang is expected to debut at next year’s PRI show as part of a new “body in white” program intended to attract serious racers to the platform. The body in white 2015 Mustang will also serve to take some of the shine off of bitter rival Chevrolet’s current COPO Camaro and body in white Camaro programs.

Once the live-axle 2015 Mustang racers are out “in the wild”, the parts needed to convert street-going Mustangs from independent rear suspensions to the 9″ setup should become available through Ford Racing and participating dealers. Back in 1999, SVT engineer Eric Zinkosky said the “new independent rear suspension (was packaged) in not only the same space as the solid-axle design, but we had to use the same suspension mounting points. We virtually ‘reverse-engineered’ the IRS from the known suspension hardpoints, and we had to keep everything inside the same box.” Assuming similar thinking went into the upcoming Ford Racing 9″ suspension for the bodies in white, getting a solid axle to help get a high-horsepower Ecoboost Mustang’s power down should be a lot easier than many have feared.

 

About my source: While I have opted to not give his name, this information came to me from a Ford Racing employee on-hand at the 2013 PRI Show yesterday, 12DEC2013, when I asked if I could look under the hood of the (supposedly) 4 cyl. Ecoboost Mustang spinning on the big lazy Susan at the Ford Racing stand. He said no. I told another PRI old-timer the story about the 1999 Cobra IRS reveal, which the Ford Racing rep overheard. He laughed and said, “Yeah, that’s not ’til next year. We’ll probably announce it at the same time as the body in white program …” but he got called away before he could say “That’s off the record.” Take that how you will.

 

Originally published on Gas 2.

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Piston Slap: The Re-Stocking Fee? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/piston-slap-the-re-stocking-fee-2/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/piston-slap-the-re-stocking-fee-2/#comments Mon, 20 Aug 2012 11:02:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=457371


Aaron writes:

Sajeev,

I currently own a 2007 WRX Wagon with a little over 100,000 miles on it. I love this car, even enough to overlook getting merely 21mpg. Anyways.
As is true with many import car owners who love too much, I started modifying the car almost as soon as I got it. It currently has a 3″ exhaust, a tune, and some miscellaneous other engine bits, with suspension components on order. The car is my current project, and I plan on keeping it for some time. There’s a slight problem though.
My problem is easy to spell: BRZ. Probably in a year or 18 months, I will give into temptation, and pull the trigger on a BRZ or FR-S (or some other cool thing that exists by then). So here’s my question (I’m getting to it, bear with me): Is it worth returning the car to stock? By the time I sell it, it will be 6 or 7 years old, and probably have north of 140,000 miles on it. The exhaust may be worth a few hundred bucks, the sway bars might be worth something, but very few other things will net any money at all. The real question is about the resale value of the car. I’d expect to get maybe 8k at best for a 140k+ mile Subaru, and that’s probably optimistic. Will the bolt-ons really push it down further?

Thanks in advance,
Aaron

Sajeev answers:

I hope there’s a good power adder for the BRZ/FR-S at that time, because you are taking a serious hit in performance from your current Subie.  I haven’t had time to rant about the new RWD wonder, but since you opened that door for me…at least I’ll be brief:

  • 2012 Subaru BRZ torque peak = 151 lb-ft @ 6000 rpm
  • 2011 Ford Ranger Duratec I-4 torque peak = 154 lb-ft @3750 rpm
  • BRZ-LSX-FTW:  think about it.

Well then! One way or another, the next owner of your WRX needs those stock parts.  They add value and show that you aren’t a stereotypical WRX hackjob type of person. You know, one of those warranty-voiding, drive line punishing type of owner.  Even if you are! But that’s not the point…

I don’t know which parts are the most valuable on the Subie forums’ classifieds section, but I’ll wager that the swaybars and the exhaust need to go up there.  If you want the next owner to have the opportunity at having them, first offer it for sale with the stock parts in the cargo area.  If that fails, return back to stock and offer the aftermarket parts for another $500-1000…or whatever sounds right to you. If that fails, sell as stock as possible and offer the bits to the forum.

Now if you’re just gonna trade this into a dealership or Carmax, forget everything I said: return it to stock. They always lower the value when they see non-stock stuff.  Perhaps you should just give the aftermarket bits to someone so you can enjoy the better karma…why let the dealership give someone else that pleasure?

 

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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World’s Most Grotesque Volkswagen Phaeton For Sale http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/worlds-shittiest-volkswagen-phaeton-for-sale/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/worlds-shittiest-volkswagen-phaeton-for-sale/#comments Tue, 07 Feb 2012 16:55:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=429827

The Volkswagen Phaeton is supposed to be the definition of understated refinement, a Patek Calatrava in a world gone mad for Hublot Big Bangs. Someone in Toronto, Canada didn’t get the memo.

Sporting some truly awful accouterments, like a black-accented hood, Canadian Tire-spec 20″ alloys and a home-brew red brake caliper paintjob, the Phaeton would be nothing more than a tacky oddity if it weren’t for the fact that it’s, well…a Phaeton. Poorly modified luxury cars are nothing new, but a Phaeton is absolutely bizarre given its discretion and bloated-Passat looks. In a world all about image, this would be the last choice for the kind of underclass yob that modifies 4-door sedans in this style.

What possesses someone to buy a Phaeton with the intention of making it look like a Yardie drug dealer’s 1994 Acura Vigor? With 77,000 miles and an asking price of $19,000, this Phaeton would be a good deal if it were a clean, one-owner car not being sold at a sketchy “Buy Here, Pay Here” lot in one of Toronto’s crappier neighborhoods.

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New or Used: Wagon + Stick = Trouble? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/new-or-used-wagon-stick-trouble/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/new-or-used-wagon-stick-trouble/#comments Fri, 13 Jan 2012 13:32:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=425712  

Aaron writes:

Hi! I’ll try to be concise.

I have a 2003 A4 manual sedan with 78K. I wanted a wagon but couldn’t find one and was in a hurry for wheels. Well, now I found one: 2003, manual, 107K. It’s at a dealer lot. Plus it’s got some desirable performance modifications, including exhaust.

The question: what will the dealer think of a trade? If my mechanic likes it i wouldn’t object to a straight trade, maybe even a (very) little cash from me if the timing belt is new. But are wagons with sticks and rumbly exhaust desirable? What’s it worth relative to mine? It seems like the similarity of the cars (same drivetrain, options, etc) should make this comparison location- and current market- independent.

I’m going to take the car for an inspection tomorrow, and offers may be made thereafter.

Steve Answers:

It depends on the condition and the history.

On the surface you would assume that a wagon with a stick would be a less desirable vehicle. But when it comes to a sporty oriented vehicle, there are plenty of buyers willing to row their own gears and go for the ‘unpopular’ body style.

Unfortunately for you Audi wagons aren’t popular. Just expensive.

When it comes to premium brands like Audi, I always look at condition first. Why? Because when it comes to picky buyers the condition is what sells it. I can convince a buyer to move from a station wagon to a sedan if that vehicle comes with something that most others do not.

Dealer records. A clean car with a perfect history. You may chuckle at all these dealer derived cliches, but the ease of sale and extra cash these models bring is very real in the retail marketplace.

Which brings me to the prior owner for this wagon. Do you know him yet? Do you plan on getting to know him? A thorough inspection will always uncover a few things. But the most important question to consider is, “Why did the guy get rid of his vehicle?”

I would strongly suggest that you try to get in touch with the prior owner and weigh it all in. Many dealers will tell you what you want to hear. But the prior owner can tell you what you need to know.

Good luck!

Sajeev answers:

Steve covered all the dealer angles of this, except for one: modified cars are death for resale and a nightmare on floorplan costs on a normal dealership.  This car is excellent fodder for a specialty tuner/hot rod shop, because they have an appreciation and the patience to wait for the right buyer. I am sure this car is awesome, it sounds like it’d certainly ring my bell. But I will play devil’s advocate for one reason: personal experience.

Even a Hot-Rod Lincoln fanatic like myself was a little put off when a supposedly “mint, granny driven” Lincoln Mark VIII at a local Hyundai lot actually had Flowmaster mufflers upon closer inspection.  Very few grannies want to hear the rumble of “flowbastards” in their ride, no matter how sweet it may sound on a 4-cam Ford V8. It seemed like a proper granny car that was bastardized by a second owner. My gut suggested I didn’t want to be the third owner of such a machine.  Which isn’t totally relevant to your situation, but there’s more.

The mufflers made the other minor flaws (interior trim abuse) a little more worrisome. The Mark VIII I wound up owning was truly stock, had a bona-fide service history (with recent repairs on typical fail points) but had cosmetic issues the flowmaster-Mark did not have…even then, I bought it. I modded it to my tastes and was much happier. And almost 10 years later, I have no regrets. Zero.

So when you combine these things:

  • Station Wagon
  • Old Audi, no warranty (i.e. this isn’t a cash cow like a CamCord, Tacoma, etc)
  • Stick shift
  • Modifications, including a “louder than stock” exhaust

You wind up with a vehicle that’s very hard to shift off a car lot. Odds are you are one of the few people interested in this vehicle.  But, if the car is as cool as you make it sound, the dealer might have you by the short hairs. That is, if you showed any interest in the modifications.

For your sake, I hope you frowned upon those modifications. I also hope the mods don’t imply that the car was abused: many a modified Audi is driven hard, making for a powertrain that’s frightfully expensive proposition to keep running. Clutches, axle shafts, transaxles, you name it! If you haven’t already, be a regular on the forums and get good with tools and service manuals.

My advice? Unless you are totally amazed by how it sits, get a stock one and modify it later.

 

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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