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  1. Just an unqualified dyno operator
  2. The QA is poor...both from the factory & the dealer!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. beechkid

    MKZ Problem

    Push for the loaner....that is typically a dealer issue- meaning if the customer wants or has concerns, they have "good-will" funds just for that even if Ford/Lincoln doesn't provide for that particular situation. It sounds like both the dealer, shop staff & F/L are being pro-active and direct on addressing the situation. Paying for the gas, well, even the BMW, etc depending on the issue are having the borrowers pay for the gas they use. In 2006 when my Lincoln Mark LT was new, I felt what I thought was the tranny slipping at freeway speeds and the trans oil had a slight burn odor to it...after only 800 miles. I took it to a local dealer who put in writing (believe it or not) driver is hearing his aftermarket exhaust. I took the truck to galpin Lincoln, the 1st tech advised he could not duplicate and IMHO I might just be hearing the exhaust note change with engine load.......ok, a little more politely stated but, I spoke with Assist Service Manager...I pulled the tranny fluid level stick, he smelled the burn odor as I did...the service adviser agreed as well..........they asked if I could leave the truck for a MSE & tranny tech to assess...I agreed...they provided me a mustang as a loaner......although they kept me informed, I got my truck back 5 days later.....the MSE & Tech both agreed that what I was experiencing and smelling was "real", they did a series of on the road diagnostic tests with Ford/Lincoln to verify there were no other/obvious issues.....the engineers at Ford/Lincoln advised the new software programming for this tranny induced the feeling of the tranny "slipping" and as break-in of the tranny was completed in the next few hundred miles it should be totally eliminated with the help of a software update (it was) and the burn odor...well, that turned out to be an additive that Ford/Lincoln spec'd for the tranny fluid.....all new stuff for everyone. Galpin not only addressed the issue but filled my 34 gallon tank on the Mark LT.......I was very very surprised at that since they had only put about 15 miles on it.
  4. beechkid

    Lincoln service stinks

    If I may....... SouthBay Ford/Lincoln in Hawthorne is excellent in terms of mechanics (13 master techs IIRR- one of the largest quantity in SoCal), and customer support is very good...Mike Pendleton has been with the dealer for 10+ years and always takes care of me...I do most of my own repairs, etc but when I need to have the dealer take care of an issue, this is my #1 choice. Mikes contact info is Direct 310-706-6125 & Cell 310-629-1901 Another excellent dealer is Galpin Lincoln....visually a more higher end dealer but good as well. From LB, it would be a short drive to Hawthorne but I can assure you one that is well worth it....from the other side of LB, Tuttle-Glick had a very good rep (no personal experience) as well.
  5. beechkid

    Another MKZ problem

    ahhhhh key point......."Made in Mexico"
  6. Yokohama YK 580's!!!!!!!!!! I cannot say enough good about these, been running them on several vehicles for several years- a square/perf look/design, excellent traction (wet/dry), nice ride, nice steering control/feel and really great wear! I run these on my wifes 1997 Cougar Sport (V8) & my Mark LT.....I use to be a BFG fan until the mid 90's, then the QA bit the dust...switched to Yokohama sport series (AVID, etc) and have been very pleased. I have run the cougar up to 80 mph in road courses & 117 mph on the straights....very stable....I would run them next to comparable Michelin/Pirelli's any day of the week. IIRR America Tire Company is the main distributor for these....they are also about 20-30% less than Michelin/Pirelli
  7. beechkid

    Backup Lights

    I took a bit of a different approach.....while I do periodically tow (my 65 mustang on a tandem trailer), I wanted something a little stealthy that would work and look as if it was oem-.....while the flash on the camera reduces the actual effect, I mounted 2- 55 watt lights under the rear fenders, mounted in a manner to project out at a 45 degree angle down & away from the vehicle, activated by a relay to the OEM reverse light system. Total cost, $50 including relay, oem style relay wire harness connector, lights, oem style wiring sheath & wire. http://www.f150online.com/forums/illumination-lighting/439140-share-your-exterior-lighting-modifications-13.html
  8. beechkid

    Carroll Shelby a Ford ICON is dead

    While I am responding to add to the "Icons" true and actual heritige, it must also be remembered................. IMHO...CS = Madoff..........just as corrupt but with a much better public relations/marketing plan!!! Sued many times for fraud (including but not limited to the Series I Shelby's), came within a "inch" of having Shelby Car Company shut down by the State of NV, Oklahoma & Texas for fraud & falsification of VINS (back when they claimed to have found unfinished Mustangs and were going to sell them as new- ooops, they were all previously owned cars with existing vins), hired people (mgt) with less than ethical reputations to run his company's, took people’s money for his "foundation" only to be audited by the IRS in 2007 (IIRR) and found that less than 1% was ever spent outside of the foundation. Yeah, and there are people who today champion Carol Shelby and Bernie Madoff who were both “Leaders, Entrepreneurs & Champions” who “just made few mistakes- something we can learn & grow from”….look at their accomplishments, please!!!!!! Their staff, friends and select family members are today, finding ways to take someone’s money and put in their pockets too using the same successful public relations/marketing scheme!!!!!!!! Carroll Shelby’s Children’s Foundation Pays Out Bupkis By Robert Farago on July 23, 2007 Automotive News writes that Carroll Shelby's Children's Foundation– set-up in 2002 after The Man's heart switch– has doled-out less than one percent of its $2.9m stash. (The money is supposed to help children who need organ transplants.) The revelation is bound to embarrass FoMoCo, as The Glass House Gang have provided four new Shelby vehicles for Carrol's charity to raffle and auction. It could also reduce the Foundation's ability to raise funds, as donors learn that their money's destined for a charitable parking lot. Although there are no implications of financial impropriety, and the Foundation now promises to "professionalize," it is worth mentioning that the Texas legend hasn't donated a single dime to his own cause. LA Times: A review of the foundation's tax documents shows that from 2002 through 2005, its net assets grew from $1.6 million to $2.9 million. Yet in each of those years less than 1 percent of assets was given out as grants - a level that charity professionals say is embarrassingly low. Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20070723/SUB/70720066#ixzz20GFjXRGq July 8, 2010 Matt Hardigree: Oklahoma-based Classic Recreations — the company behind the Shelby GT500CR and other continuation series Mustangs — was raided today by the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigations over suspected VIN-plate swapping. It sure feels like Unique Performance all over again Nov 5, 2007 Matt Hardigree: The walls are coming down around Dallas-based Unique Performance, maker of the Shelby-sort-of-endorsed Mustang GT500E Super Snake replicas and other specialty vehicles. Apparently, people have been fronting extensive chunks of change for their pricey Eleanors and not getting them for years. But that isn't why the cops raided the place. It gets worse (unless you're out $250K) after the jump. When Farmers Branch, Texas police raided the place they found 61 vintage cars (the video report from the local CBS affiliate shows mostly Mustangs) in various levels of construction. After lifting the hoods, cops found VIN plates to be fake. And underneath? You guessed it. They found signs of significant scratching where the old ones were. Shelby Sued, $20K GT500KR Hoods Really Only Cost $4K January 5, 2012 Matt Hardigree Shelby's latest lawsuit, involving the supplier of $20,000 GT500KR carbon fiber hoods, makes us wonder if expected legal fees are included in their prices. The original cost of those carbon fiber hoods? $4,000. Now that's one serious up-charge. Win on Sunday, sell on Monday, get sued on Tuesday — is that the Shelby way? You can check out the legal papers here, but it breaks down to a few key points. 1. According to the lawsuit, Shelby was so anxious to get the new carbon fiber hood for the GT500KR they offered Plasan Carbon Components (the supplier) a bonus of $50 per set if they were delivered early. It wasn't possible so they, the suit claims, agreed to half the amount when the products were delivered a week after the deadline. The hoods arrived but they were never paid. 2. Plasan created five Knight Rider hoods, of cheaper quality for stunt work, and were never paid for these. The most interesting fact? Those $20K replacement hoods cost only about $4K to make according to details in the suit. Shelby will explain this away by saying they had to develop and test the new hoods, which is true, but they're still amortizing the developments with their customer's checkbooks. Lawsuits are an old tradition between manufacturers and suppliers and this one, like most, will probably be settled out of court. Upfront: Upheaval at Shelby Parts supplier takes over, customers riled over Series 1 price hikes. June 2000 BY STEVE MAYER-STEVE SPENCE Carroll Shelby's long-running struggle to fill orders for his highly publicized Series 1 supercar got a shot in the arm in March when a major parts supplier took over the job of manufacturing them and set in place a new management team. But while this booster shot has energized the fragile operation and seems to guarantee that the first batch of 500 Series 1 sports cars will be produced, upwards of 225 buyers may view it as a slap in the face. They are being informed that the price they must pay has gone up as much as $29,975 -- take it or leave it -- and a bunch of them are threatening to take Shelby's company to court, further entangling the project. The parts supplier, Larry Winget, owner of an array of automotive manufacturing and engineering companies under the Venture Holdings Company umbrella, propped up the company with a $10 million injection and brought in a former GM plant manager, who has worked for Venture for 11 years, to run the Las Vegas assembly line. In return, Winget's company got an undisclosed equity share of Shelby American. In response to questions from Car and Driver in late March, Venture explained that it has been the supplier of the plastic interior and exterior of the Series 1 and that when "Shelby got into operational and financial difficulties," Venture, "rather than allowing a terrific program to disintegrate . . . arranged for Shelby to have sufficient capital to complete 500 Series 1 vehicles." The problem is that there are buyers who are still awaiting delivery of their Series 1 cars -- most have put up deposits of $25,000 or more and signed contracts they believe are binding -- for prices that are well below what Shelby and Winget's people, stuck with rising costs, can reportedly sell them for without losing money. Sources say 27 cars have been delivered at the original asking price in 1997 of $99,975, but as many as 225 customers with contracts will be asked to pay premiums of up to $29,975. Venture told C/D that "buyers who do not want to pay the increase are being offered a full refund." That is being interpreted as take it or leave it. So far, about 285 buyers have signed on for the sports car at varying sticker prices. In January 1997, the car was offered for $99,975, which increased in March 1998 to $106,975, then to $113,975 in December of that year, and finally to $134,975 in September 1999. Some observers feel Shelby American is now trying to get out of those contracts, and that position is supported by Venture's declaration that "Shelby American anticipates being able to resell these canceled vehicles for considerably more than $129,750." Others view Venture's take-it-or-leave-it stance as simply business as usual and necessary to keep the project afloat. Venture said the costs of producing the car have increased "significantly" as a result of "the changes related to final certification" and the costs of production startup. Venture apparently has deep pockets -- Forbes magazine listed it in December 1999 as the 50th largest privately held company in the United States, a $2.3 billion enterprise based in Fraser, Michigan, a tier-one supplier doing business with almost all major global automakers. But the experiences of one buyer, Graham Dorland of the Seattle area, demonstrate the potential for a legal imbroglio. Dorland signed a contract to buy a Series 1 car in August 1999, a contract he says Shelby American also signed, for $113,975. On March 17, the company informed Dorland that "we believe that we will be able to deliver a vehicle to you for a price of $129,975," blaming the increase on certification and startup costs that were "unexpected." Dorland threatened legal action and still has not been given a delivery date for the car. - Steve Mayer and Steve Spence You also have to remember, back when Shelby "took Credit" for the Cobra/Mustang concept, it was actually done 5+ years earlier by Chrysler using a Ace type car from europe......Shelby had just completed a racing contract with GM.....they were soooo happy with the way he worked with them they (GM Senior Execs) would not allow CS past the lobby of the corp offices...he went to Chrysler who knew him well, same response.....he went to Ford as a last resort......Ford was in major financial trouble & that was the only reason CS & Ford went together...and the relationship was in trouble from the beginning......by year 3, CS wasn't even building the remaining end of the mustnags...100% of production was shipped to an aftermarket speciaility car builder in Detriot. think about every one of those critically ill/dying children we saw in ad's PR materials, etc whose families were promised support & recieved NOTHING...... Honest, ethical...you decide, a man with no conscious.....yes....
  9. beechkid

    Car Care Products

    Ford/GM/Chrysler/MB/Porsche all have service directives that specifically refer to paint correction/contamination procedures and clay bar is not a referred procedure and specifically identified as a method which only removes the surface level paint contaminants and as such, the "root' of the contaminant remains continues to destroy the paint from underneath the surface layer of the paint. Just remember, Mequire's clay bar is rated at 3500 grit. There much better clay bar products out there rated at much finer grits- so if you are comfortable and believe your paint needs to be wet-sanded, and that is the only and safest way to correct the flaw/issue, then do so but remember, for 90% for all paint contamination issues there are products designed to relieve/remove/neutralize the contaminants without reducing the mil thickness of the clear coat These procedures date back to 1990 and are still published in current oem paint maintenance publications/service manuals.
  10. beechkid

    Car Care Products

    Megs are not bad products but they just don't hold up or work as well as commercial/professional grade products (that actual cost the same or less). Here are my recommendations... 1. The absolute best washing device known to man is a long boar hair brush....yeah it's stiff when dry but when wet, it is softer than any cotton towel you could find & because of the tips only touching the paint, the swirl marks are almost 100% eliminated. Available at griots garage or Erie Brush & Manufacturing Corp, 860 W. Fletcher, Chicago (but you need to have a company name to purchase, no individual sales) . The next best option, 100% cotton diaper (Babies r' us has em- about $20 for a bag). wash them 2-3 times with fabric softener before using them for washing & drying. For washing, without contact dirt on the vehicle, use the open butt of a garden hose, on low to apply water just ahead of the wash diaper....it almost makes the towel float and the remaining dirt float off the paint without touching. 2. Soap...I recommend: No7 Car Wash Concentrate Available at any True Value Hardware; Mfg by RainDance/ArmorAll Corp. It has been around for 40+ years, is a powder, very inexpensive and us about 1 tablespoon per 3 gallons. It also has anti-water spotting agents which until you try it the first time, you would not believe the advantage of drying a black car. 3. General paint maintenance General paint cleaning (if required) - use a 50/50 mix of denatured alcohol & water (denatured is available at any hardware store & is oil free). It will remove any wax/polish and most all environmental contamination & ensure you are starting with a very clean surface. For specific swirl mark issues I use BAF/Pro Car Care Beauty Products P21 Swirl Eliminator & Polish- although for 30 years I used 3M products specifically, recently I have not been as pleased with the quality of 3M’s hand glaze. I typically do not like "combination" type products but P21 is very, very impressive & effective from end result, ease of use & overall effectiveness. Wax/polish... The absolute best ($ for $) IMHO is "Satin Cream" (for dark colors), it is made by BAF & distributed through Pro Car Care products. It is very easy to work with either by hand, orbital or buffer. It has the same acrylic hardener as the high dollar paint sealants but it has 30% German imported carnauba....no, your arm will not fall off putting it on or taking it off & it has a very mild polish in it as well. Even parking the vehicle outside, the MFG gives a 6 months warranty before another application is required. I use this personally on my toys & daily drivers (which include a 1997 black Cougar sport) and all I can tell you are not even bugs like to stick to the paint- most of the time when water is applied they just float off- bird poop is just as easy. No smeary look either- very clean clear deep look. On my toys, I give them a fresh coat about every 2 years (literally, even for a show), my daily drivers (I have one that sits outside), I apply to the entire vehicle every 6 months, and do the hood, roof and trunk every 3 months (probably overkill, but I know it is well protected from the elements including industrial fallout) BAF Industries 1910 S. Yale Street Santa Ana, CA 92704 800-437-9893 An excellent alternate product is 3M Perfect It Show Car Liquid Wax- a silicone wax/polish but excellent results as well, just maybe about 90% of the quality of the satin cream. From both a washing, drying, wax/polish removale apsect, I have tried every microfiber product made over the past 15 years...many free from Megs, etc as samples to use, I have yet to find anything that compares to 100% cotten flannel (or diapers for washing/drying)...whether you look at it from a price aspect, absorbion or final finish...nor whether the paint is lacquer, Acrylic enamel, laytex or urathane.
  11. beechkid

    Is Fiat leaving US dealers high and dry?

    Many reasons for sales figures...... 1. Fiat still has a reputation of building a crappy (mechical/electrical) vehicle (rated #34 of the 35 vehicles sold in EU) 2. This is the 1st time in years FIAT has had vehicle it thought could be sold in terms of quality in the US 3. It is butt ugly and the paint quality , well, the cheapest Honda has a better paint job on it and that's not saying very much. 4. For the price, I can buy almost any brand vehicle that is faster, better quality (in every aspect) & looks better than this for the same or less money 5. Given the economy, the price of this car is targeted for the 20 something crowd who likes JALO...just one little problem, her personal life is being proudly displayed in public....many parents just aren't buying (and kids today) her "Personal viewpoints"; 2ndly her professional singing career was on the skids year ago which is why she left the US market for overseas, even then only selling 700,000 units internationally at best.....which means regardsles of her marketing, her followers are dimished proportionly, and the remainder of the blind following 20 somethings who in good times would typically buy a product because JALO has it, well, they don't even have a pot to pee in (so to speak)....they can't get a job, their parents are just scraping by if they are lucky and oh, school....that isn't happening either as collee loans just about don't exist anymore.........so who needs a small car, and a crappy looking one at that marketed by a "Professional Singer" who on their own websight professesses to be something that 99% of people when they read that go.........is she "nuts"
  12. We still own our 1997 Cougar Sport- a car that was highly criticized by internal Ford execs at the time.... This car represented everything the mustang for that year should have been but was not! That's why we ordered it...because we were so disappointed with the Mustang at the time! Lincoln needs to provide the mid level sport luxury sport coupe, sedan and truck/suv line that is now missing- looking specifically at V8 rwd power and 4/V6 power plants that can knock BMW, Lexus, Infinity & Mercedes off their mounts. Ford has already started, it's time for Lincoln to begin the attack and mop up the aftermath of the imports inferior products.
  13. Over the weekend I decided it was time to change the plugs (2006 Mark LT 4x2, 5.4, 35,000 miles) with the Motorcraft SP 515’s. Although I knew about the carbon build-up/plug removal issue, I decided not to change the plugs until there was a replacement plug that I was comfortable with…meaning I knew it was a good quality plug in terms of component design and construction. Although I did following the most recent TSB, I also relied on my experience back in the 1970’s when aluminum heads & intake manifolds were just entering the street scene and never-seize did not exist. Here are the exceptions to the TSB that I did… 1. I ran Lucas fuel injection cleaner, mixed at 3 times their recommendation in 1 full tank of gasoline. Purpose…if I was lucky, it would dissolve or loosen any carbon buildup (although many do a real fuel injection cleaning also- and it is probably a best practice to do if you have more than 45-50,000 miles on the plugs) 2. Although I am a fan of PB Blaster, I used a product called ChemSearch “Yield”. The issue I have with using carb cleaner is the lack of lubrication…..in the old days of removing steel plugs from aluminum heads, we use to mix up acetone & ATF…or of we needed more lubrication, kerosene & ATF, “Yield” provides this lubrication- much better IMHO than even PB Blaster. 3. Yes, I put anti-seize on the plug threads (I know the TSB says not to) 4. Of course…a lot of patience, I really doubt if I ever put more than 20-25 lbs of force during removal (purposefully) The end result, only one plug even “squeaked” coming out (but it basically unscrewed like a regular plug- literally). Plug #4 was initially a little stubborn, but after the second try, then waiting about 30 minutes, it came out with very little effort…just kept wiggling the plugs (tightening/loosening) by 1/8th or even less of a turn- and they all came out without a single one breaking or any issue really. Actual working time: 2 hours…..including washing my hands, total time was 5 hours. FYI- Why I choose Motorcraft. In the 1970’s I ran (like many) Champion’s in just about everything (even had the gold palladiums), but stopped in the early 1980’s when they changed their copper-core design and the resulting quality problems that IMHO still exist today. Since then I have run Splitfire (non-platinum) in my old world (1960’s) cars, Bosch in my late 1990’s vehicles (both because the cylinder head design really prefers these types of plugs), but I really had hesitation because of the construction/component quality of the non-Motorcraft plugs and really questioned the durability in this application about the Motorcraft SP508 or SP 509’s which are single platinum. Given the types of loads and burn/flame promulgation rates in the chambers, I really had doubts about the style of the plug with single platinum having the ability to “survive” as long as they engineers said. What do ya know…the SP 515’s are double platinum.
  14. beechkid

    How long before Nascar becomes a negative?

    To me, Jr's management of NASCAR just parallel most of today's drivers....cry babies who 1. Don't want to be required to qualify for each race 2. Cried because the cars aren't build equal- someone got creative and built a better one! 3. By design, pushed out the no-name teams who could provide a real challenge to the existing, new drivers & owners clubs I bet it's on youtube, but ESPN interviewed David Pearson (my personal hero along with Holman-Moody), asking what he thought of the new rules....... Oh did he let them have it! GOOD FOR DAVID!!!!! NASCAR has already lost it!
  15. Holding a spark plug from a Ford 5.4 (late model), he stated his shop uses the following procedure: 1. Remove COPS 2. Loosen the spark plugs 1/8 of a turn max 3. Reinstall COPS 4. Start engine and shut off immediately 5. Remove COPS & plugs His theory..... by loosening the plugs then firing the engine, this burns the carbon off the end of the plugs that can get on the threads and of course cause the broken plug. Ok, Since I can't picture in my mind how this would work, unless by loosening the plugs a tad allows the "fire" to travel up, burning off the carbon. Ok techs- your thoughts? has anybody heard of this?