Married to Mustangs

Mustang ring

Love is a wonderful thang. When you find love in all the right places, it can be a lot of fun, as a pair of Mustang enthusiasts in Florida recently discovered. And their mutual love of Mustangs apparently sealed the deal:

Ford Mustang lovers Vickie Sue Kilpatrick and Ronnie Cox found the perfect way to mix two loves — they got married at the Bozard Ford Lincoln Mercury dealership in St. Augustine.

…At the conclusion of the ceremony the Coxes were introduced as man and wife.

The band kicked in.

The song that launched the marriage: “Mustang Sally”.

Differential Differences

Question: What is a Traction-Lok differential and how will it help me?

A clean looking differential

Picture Courtesy of MustangHeaven.com

Answer: This is a great question! A differential upgrade is practically a requirement for anyone looking to tear it up at the strip, so let’s start with some basics: the differential (aka “rear end”, “rear”, or “pumpkin”) is that roundish thing that sits between your rear axles; it’s responsible for transferring power from the driveshaft to the rear wheels and allowing the wheels to spin at different speeds when going around turns. With a job that important it’s easy to see why having a bullet-proof rear is so crucial for serious racers.

Video: Petty Paces Daytona in 2011 Mustang GT

2010 Daytona 500 Pace Car

Carl Edwards & Kasey Kahne chat
w/ Richard Petty (From foxsports.com)

For one lap yesterday at the Daytona International Speedway, a 72 year old driver led the NASCAR pack.

Racing legend Richard Petty was back in a familiar position at the start of the Daytona 500 on Sunday. But rather than strapping into a ride stenciled with the fabled #43 and doing 200 laps on the Daytona oval, Petty piloted the pace car, a 2011 Ford Mustang GT.

Richard Petty Motorsports, which recently acquired Yates Racing, has returned to the Ford Racing family for the 2010 Sprint Cup season.

Prior to the race, the record holding seven time winner of the Daytona 500 told fordracing.com:

“There’s nothing like the Daytona 500,” Petty said. “It’s one of the biggest races in the world and to be a part of it in this way is the next-best thing to actually being able to race. Who knows, maybe I’ll just stay out there for a few laps and see what those guys have got.”

At the end of the first lap, the green flag waved, and the field split around the pace car. King Richard eased the Mustang down pit row, and the strange race that followed, marred by long stoppages for track problem repairs, was underway.

2/25/10 update: Here’s a video from Ford Racing of the pace lap, and comments from Richard Petty – pretty cool!

NASCAR Rebirth: 2011 GT Pacing Daytona 500 on Sunday

Roush Fenway NNS No. 16 Mustang

Roush Fenway No. 16 Mustang (From aussiev8.com)

Even before Roush Fenway Racing unveiled their entry into the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series, buzz was building about Ford’s official release of the deets and specs on the 2011 Mustang GT. When the presser was held for the No. 16 Con-way Freight Mustang this past October, it was clear that Ford’s marketing team was working overtime with its FRPP division and racing partners, such as Roush Fenway, to breathe new life into the Mustang brand. There was a potential Catch-22 though: would the CIA-level secretive work of Ford’s design and engineering teams match the enthusiasm of the PR effort? Muscle car junkies around the world waited for the word. Think of it this way:

Cue up your favorite road warrior music, and close your eyes for a moment. Take a deep, dual-exhaust cleansing breath. You’re standing in line at a world-class amusement park, waiting for your turn to board the newest and most awesome roller coaster ride on the property. Remove those earrings, eyeglasses, and loose jewelry. Anticipation, anticipation. You’re itching to be shot out of the barrel of a cannon. Now, open your eyes. It’s 2010.

Your ride has arrived — and it’s pacing the kickoff of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season this Sunday in Daytona…

Green Wheel Weights?

Image from ecocenter.org
Image from ecocenter.org

Absolutely! No, they’re not a special color to match green Mustangs. But they are environmentally friendly! Most of the weights used to balance wheels these days are made out of lead. As anybody who’s ever hit a pothole knows, those lead weights can fall off your wheels. This means that not only are your wheels unbalanced, but there’s a big ol’ chunk of lead sitting on the street. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, until you realize how many millions of cars are on the road everyday, and how many of those are hitting potholes and losing weights.

What Kind of Spark Plug is Best for My Mustang?

Component Confusion Part I: Spark-ing Controversy

Question: How do I know if I need to upgrade my spark plugs?

Answer:

NGK Iridium IX Performance Spark Plugs
NGK Iridium IX Performance 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!

Stay in Touch With E-mail Updates

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.

To sign up, just follow these three quick steps:

  1. Click on the envelope icon in the top right corner of your screen.
  2. Fill out your email address and a quick anti-spam verification.
  3. A confirmation email will be sent to the address you used. As soon as you confirm your subscription, you’re set and ready to receive a notification any time a new post goes up.

AmericanMuscle, helping simplify your life.

Engine Oil

Which Engine Oil is Best for My Mustang?

Mustang Question & Answer With Heather - Engine Oil

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?

Answer:

Image from Lawnsite.com

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.

It’s Never Too Cold to Modify Your Mustang!

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

Image from justinmatson on Flickr
Image from justinmatson on Flickr

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 cover if 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.

What Do I Need to Lower My Mustang?

Question: I want to lower my Mustang; do I need anything other than lowering springs?

Answer:

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 do not change the ride height – they allow the dampening to be fine-tuned for race applications.