Question: How do I know if I need to upgrade my spark plugs?
These days it seems there are ten different spark plug variants for every one vehicle application – what’s up with that? What happened to the days when a car had more cylinders than spark plug options? When I started researching this topic I soon found myself up to my eyeballs in new and different spark plug technologies and pages upon pages explaining how they would indeed make your car better, faster, and stronger. Many brain cells were sacrificed trying to distill the abundance of information into something concise and effective but fear not! Those little neurons didn’t die in vain!
Are you going crazy trying to keep up with the dozens of sites you and all your friends are on? Do you check pages four or five times a day? Do you live in fear of missing an update? If that’s the case, let us ease your mind and lighten your load a little. Email updates are available for the AmericanMuscle blog, so you can sign up and be notified whenever there’s a new post. There’s no need to check dozens of times per day, and no need to worry about missing anything cool.
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Fluid Factoids Part I: The Mystery of Motor Oil – Synthetic vs Conventional
Question: How do I know what type of engine oil is right for my car?
If you Google this topic you’ll get thousands of different answers from thousands of different sources. The debate over engine oil has been raging for decades and spans far beyond the age-old “synthetic vs. conventional” dispute. Oil is the lifeblood of your engine and without it–well… you know what can happen. So if you’ve ever found yourself standing in front of the “wall ’o’ oil” at the local parts place with a blank stare and a puddle of drool slowly accumulating under you, then hopefully this article will help make your next oil purchase a little less er… drooly.
For most of us, the weather has turned pretty hostile. And while working on your Mustang in the middle of a snow storm may not be a great plan, the cold weather doesn’t mean that your ‘Stang has to stay penned up in its corral until spring. There are plenty of easy mods you can do in a few hours when the weather happens to give you a break.
Universal Winter Preparation
Whether you’re in California or New England, these tips for winter preparedness will serve you well.
Check your tire pressure. The change in temperatures will affect your tires, and they need to be properly inflated in order to grip the road. Not sure what your tire gauge should read? Check the side of the tire or the driver’s doorjamb for the recommended psi.
While you’re at it, check your fluids. It sounds like a minor thing, but making sure that you have the correct amount of washer fluid (one that’s designed not to freeze in cold conditions or includes a deicing agent is ideal), coolant, etc. will not only help your ‘Stang cope with the cold weather, it’ll help prevent maintenance-related breakdowns.
Wash your car, preferably about once a month. Instead of looking at all the road salt that’s crusted on your car and thinking ‘well, that’s gross!’, take it to your local car wash. If you’re doing it yourself, make sure you clean the undercarriage, too. It sees its share of salt and is just as vulnerable to rusting as the body.
Consider a car coverif you’re not going to be driving your ‘Stang for a while. It will protect your investment from the snow, salt, slush, and environmental contaminants until you’re ready to hit the open road again.
Question: I want to lower my Mustang; do I need anything other than lowering springs?
Lowering springs are one of our biggest sellers, and if you want to slam your Stang to the pavement and tighten up your handling they’re undoubtedly the way to go, but installing just springs could lead to a slew of other problems down the road. Check out our article on suspension basics and terminology, it will help you visualize what’s going on with your suspension from stock to slammed.
A Shocking Revelation…
$200-$300 for a 1”-2” drop seems like a steal, but in a few thousand miles your OE shocks and struts will be crying for help – aftermarket shocks/struts are a must. Lowering springs are shorter than factory, so they compress the factory shock/strut beyond what it’s designed to handle. The additional pressure will eventually break through the seals, resulting in a “blown” shock/strut. Lowering a car over stock shocks/struts causes the suspension to react uncharacteristically and can result in bottoming out and/or loss of control of the vehicle. Tokico HP shocks/struts are a great match for any aftermarket spring and would be my recommendation for a daily driver or non-track car. Adjustable shocks struts are great for street/track use, but keep in mind that they donot change the ride height – they allow the dampening to be fine-tuned for race applications.
Not everybody can be home for the holidays. It’s sad but true, especially for the people who are deployed far from home while serving in the military. There are a few ways to help deployed military personnel make the best of their situations, including sending care packages. Two of the members of ModdedMustangs.com, a forum AmericanMuscle has worked closely with for years, decided to put together care packages for any deployed member of the forum who would like to get one. The organizers, Bob and Brandon, have both been deployed themselves, so they knew exactly what would be most useful and most appreciated.
Several members stepped up to the plate and donated cash or supplies, and AmericanMuscle was among them. We decided to send radio-controlled Mustangs, since the folks getting the packages hadn’t seen their ‘Stangs in a while. They were our favorite contribution, but we rounded things out with some coffee, beef jerky, and other provisions that are generally in short supply when you’re overseas. Other donations followed the same pattern and mixed the fun and the practical, too.
Carroll Shelby is an icon in the Mustang performance world. Today, he’s celebrating his 87th birthday. His main goal in life has simply been to move faster,whether it was in the airplanes he’s flown or the cars he’s raced. Shelby’s legacy is one defined by the many roles he took in the automotive world and by the legendary high performance Mustangs he created.
Shelby has worn many hats over the years, and one of the very first was an aviator’s cap. He was a flight instructor and test pilot in Texas during WWII. When he returned to civilian life, he started farming chickens and driving in local races, often neglecting to change out of his work clothing before a race. The odd racing uniform didn’t seem to discourage major racing teams from asking him to drive for them.
Shelby’s racing career lasted from 1952-1960. During that time, he raced for some of the most famous teams of the era, including Cad-Allard, Aston Martin, and Maserati. In the 1959 season, he and Roy Salvadori won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is one of the racing world’s most grueling, challenging events. Shelby’s racing career ended shortly after this win, however, because of health reasons.
This Promotion has ended! Thanks for entering, we hope you enjoy your wicked cool calendars!
Ah, the 2010 AmericanMuscle Calendar. It’s both practical (you can use it to keep track of things like days, weeks, and even months) and sexy (hot chicks, hot Mustangs). And best of all, we’re giving it to you for free.
You’re probably thinking ‘there must be a catch’. You are, aren’t you? Well, you’re right. If you want one of our sweet calendars, you have to send us a picture of a part you got from AmericanMuscle installed on your Mustang. It’ll take you a couple of minutes, and you’ll reap the rewards all year!
Let’s be frank; words are tiring. Sure, they’re useful, but they’re also exhausting. Unless you’re a hermit who lives in a remote mountain cabin, you’re expected to read and listen to words all day, every day, and even put forth some of your own. We know how much this takes out of you. And friends, we’re here to help. Welcome to My Mustang FotoFix, where all you need to do is sit back, relax and check out some really cool pictures of the best car to ever hit the street. While you’re at it, check out our fox body Mustang parts.
The only thing cooler than taking your Mustang to the track is gaining a little altitude while you do it.
Michael asked: “I purchased a Vortech V2 supercharger for my ‘98 Mustang GT. What can I do to install it on a budget? I bought it second hand, and like so many other people, I don’t have money burning holes in my pockets. I was told to invest in an intercooler, MSD ignition, headers, and to remap my computer. It is a weekend driver so it won’t see any track time, only the road. The engine is a mostly-stock 4.6-liter V-8, just a chip and Borla exhaust. Any other info or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!”
Answer: With the economy in the crapper, it seems we’re all on a budget these days. Many of our customers are taking the Do-It-Yourself route, which is saving them big bucks on install fees. However, Mustang supercharger kits are NOT a DIY project for anyone without years of hands-on experience with cars and performance mods.
Doing engine work like this “on a budget” is risky. It’s imperative that everything be installed correctly or you could wind up with a connecting rod poking through your engine block. No one wants to see that. If you don’t have the dough for the best parts and the best shop, then putting your money in the right places can make all the difference.