In EP007, we talk around the walk-around you should do when you take your ride out of mothballs. Plus, a Mustang upgrade that gets you Bullit-worthy, a latest Speeder of the Week- and oh boy, did they speed, then in Segment two we’ll talk to the owner of an amazing pony pedigree- the first Mustang every bought. Hint- it’s a one-owner car.
11 checks to make before your first springtime drive
Freedom is ALMOST here. If you haven’t already rolled your baby out, probably ought to check a few things first.
sit, the list below should be pretty good.
Check the pressure of all four tires. If they need some air, add it and see what they do. Listen for the demon hiss, and if it’s got that loooooong S going on, see whether the leak deflates the tire over hours or days. If it was flat already before you checked the pressur- that means it’s leaking somewhere, period.
Also inspect the tire sidewalls for cracking. Odds are that if the car is stored indoors, the tires aren’t going to get much worse over a single winter, but it’s easy for 10 years to go by one winter at a time and the tires to cross from old-but-OK to sheeh-I-don’t-want-to-drive-farther-than-to-the-gas-station-on-those.
We’ll come back to the battery in cranking (below), but here’s where I talk about what you should’ve done when you put the car away last fall. If the battery has been on a tender or trickle-charger for the winter, it’s probably fine. If you can’t store them with electricity, you should unhook the negative battery terminal over the winter. If you didn’t do either of these things, you’ll probably have a problem. You can take a multimeter, set it to measure voltage, and put the two probes on the battery terminals. If it reads 12.6 volts, or near it, the battery is fully charged, and if it’s in good health and the cable connections are good, it should turn the engine over. But with every 0.2-volt drop, the battery loses about 25 percent of its cranking power, so if it’s reading closer to 12 volts than 12.6, it’s unlikely to crank the engine over without being connected to a good three-stage battery charger for several hours. So measure it, and if you need to charge it, charge it.
Check the oil, coolant, and brake fluid levels. I’m pretty bad at keeping track of which car had an oil change when, so I do it more by the seat of my pants. If the oil looks black, I make a note to change it soon. I give a quick look inside the radiator or expansion tank to both check the level and see if there’s any oil in there indicating a weakening head gasket.
Next, look under the engine compartment for evidence of leaks. Hopefully all you find is a few dots of oil from where the car’s been leaking out the front timing cover for the last 40 years and nothing more. Anything green is antifreeze, and its source should be identified before you drive the car, as a minor leak can quickly mushroom into a gusher. Blue liquid can be either antifreeze or washer fluid. Clear liquids are usually power steering or brake fluid.
Move to the back of the car where the fuel tank is, skooch under, look, and sniff. Vintage cars have metal fuel tanks, and they can leak from age, particularly with Ethanol’s propensity for attracting water. Since it’s good practice to store a car with a full tank of gas (this eliminates the chance for humid air to get into the tank and contaminate the gas with water), if you find the tank leaking, it ruins your day, since you now need to drain it. Gas can also leak from rotted or cracked rubber fuel lines. Gasoline isn’t like oil or antifreeze; there should be a zero-tolerance policy for any amount of fuel leakage. You should also sniff in the engine compartment to be certain gas isn’t leaking there.
The critter check
If your garage has an affinity for rodents and they’ve made your car home, they can deposit a lot of material in the air cleaner in a short amount of time. It’s good insurance to pop the top off the air cleaner and have a quick look.
Hoses and belts
Give the hoses and belts a quick inspection. Squeeze the hoses. If any of them are pillow-y soft, order replacements. Inspect the belts for cracks and cuts and put a thumb on each of them to check the tension. If they’re obviously loose, take a moment and tighten them.
If the car has passed the above checks, the engine is ready to be cranked. As I said above, if the battery is fully charged and registering about 12.6 volts, it should crank when you turn the key. If it doesn’t crank, clean the battery and cable terminals and try again. If the voltage is a little low, you can jump-start the car, but if the battery is deeply drained (turn the key and you get a click of the starter but that’s all), or worse, flatlined (less than 10.5 volts, or the car’s dash lights barely even turn on), it’s best to replace it before you drive the car. Alternators aren’t designed to charge deeply discharged batteries.
If the car is fuel injected, it will likely start in just a few seconds when the starter is cranked. If it doesn’t, the fuel pump may not be running, either due to a popped fuse, stuck relay, or the pump itself. Carbureted cars often take much longer to start due to the lower fuel pump pressure, the need to refill the float bowls, the far less precise air/fuel metering, and the lack of direct spray into the cylinders. A short blast of starting fluid into the carburetor throat can coax the engine to life. If a carbureted car still won’t start after sitting, the problem is often that an old fuel line has become dry-rotted and is sucking air rather than fuel.
The eyeballs-on idle
Once the engine is running, let it idle for about a minute. Then shut it off and look under the engine for any fluid dripping or streaming out.
Twice around the block
It’s common for brake pads to stick to rotors from sitting. If the car has been stored indoors, the rotors probably won’t have rusted much, but still you want to scope it out. Take the car for an easy lap around the block. Brake gently to verify that the brake pedal is firm and functional, then more firmly. Pick up speed and do it again. Note any brake pedal shudder (pulsation), pulling to one side, and steering wheel shimmy. Pull back into the driveway and check again for any fluid leakage.
A real test drive
Take the car up onto the highway or other road where you can build speed. Verify that it comes up to operating temperature in about the middle of the gauge and stays there. Continue to test the brakes for shuddering or pulling. If the brake pedal is still pulsating, there are still unwiped deposits on it. A series of hard braking exercises (first verifying that no one is behind you) may wipe the rotors clean, or you may find that it doesn’t go away and you need to buy new rotors. If there’s steering wheel shimmy that wasn’t there in the fall, it’s likely the tires are flat-spotted from sitting. It may go away. It may not. Come home, recheck for fluid leakage, and check again the next morning.
Keep in mind this doesn’t mean that the car has been healed of any known problems. But at least it gives a baseline from which to start.
S550 MUSTANG GT GETS A CHEAP UPGRADE FROM FORD PERFORMANCE
19 Horsepower And 42 LB-FT Of Torque Is A Huge Improvement
Ford Performance is bringing some upgraded firepower with a new Mustang GT Performance Package.
Listed as the Cold Air Kit with Calibration, this new option from Ford Performance offers a 19 horsepower and 42 pound-feet of peak torque increase over the standard 2018-2020 S550 Mustang GT figures.
That brings the totals up to 479 horsepower and 442 pound-feet, which falls in line with the movie-inspired Mustang Bullitt models. While the McQueen-derived pony car’s do come with a bit of specific hardware, they also carry a MSRP $10,000 higher than a standard GT. This package listed as part number M-9603-M8B is quite a bargain by comparison, carrying a sticker price of only $1,275. Ford also offers power upgrades for the Ranger via a similar kit.
In order to find those extra ponies inside the 5.0L Coyote V8, the Cold Air Kit with Calibration includes a cold air induction system, a new 87-millimeter throttle body with an adapter plate for fitment, and of course a new engine calibration to make everything play nice. That package can be installed at any Ford dealer, and when installed it will not void any factory warranties. The package is even 50-state legal, though it does require 91 octane to be used for optimal performance.
180 MPH on Michigan Freeway; Predictably Gets Caught by Cops
going 110 mph over the speed limit!
A Michigan driver was just ticketed for going 110 mph over the posted limit.
As reported by MLive, the driver was clocked by a stationary Michigan State Police patrol traveling 180 mph on I-75 in Monroe County, south of Detroit near Toledo, Ohio, on April 19. The speed limit there is 70 mph.
Any guesses on the car?
Before we go any further, we must put our adult hats on and remind everyone that flagrantly violating traffic laws is something we don’t condone and something you should not do. Also, approaching 200 mph on public roads is insane and wildly dangerous.
The Michigan State Police also posted a partially redacted photo of the actual ticket it issued to the offending driver.
Also, it lists the car. McLaren? Bugatti? Aston Martin?
Nope. They just list a “2016 Dodge.”
No model or trim is specified.
According to the article, in 2016, the only Dodges factory capable of at least 180 mph were the 707-hp Charger SRT Hellcat, the equally powerful Challenger SRT Hellcat, and the V-10 powered Viper sports car. Lesser “392” versions of the Charger and Challenger topped out at an estimated 175 mph, and we’re assuming the driver in question here wasn’t top-speeding their Dodge down a slight hill on a public road. The Hellcats and Viper would have no issue achieving 180 mph, and according to Dodge, the former duo boasted top speeds of 199 mph and 204 mph, while the latter could achieve up to 206 mph.
Somebody is going to pay one heck of a fine- and imagine how much this idjit will have to pay in insurance from now until EVER. We get that roads seem open now, but this is nuts. Take it to your nears speedway. Pay them all that money. And if you smear against the outer wall, they have professionals at the ready to scoop you up and rinse you away. Keeps the rest of us safe, ya know.
That being said…180 in a 2016 Dodge? Dayam. Wonder if they were slowing down after seeing a cop?
Gail Wise of Park Ridge, Illinois is the first buyer of a Ford Mustang. She bought it on April 15, 1964, off the showroom floor, at the age of 22.
What makes this story so amazing, is that Gail STILL OWNS THE CAR TODAY. A one owner, 1964 Mustang convertible.
With her husband’s terrific help, this car is a running, driving piece of history. Gail & Tom Wise, welcome to Road Muscle Radio.
So many of us wish we’d hung onto “that car” from our youth, and it’s satisfying to hear about your ability to do so, and with such an amazing piece of Pony History. Gail & Tom, thank you so much for being on Road Muscle Radio.