Sunday, April 15, 2018

Spring Still Hasn't Sprung in Canada

I seriously had hoped to take the Shelby out of storage and switch the RS to summer tires this weekend.  Then southern Ontario is hit with a freezing rain ice storm that  so far has lasted two days.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Focus RS Recall Letter

So Ford has finally admitted they screwed up some of the head gaskets on the Focus RS cars.  As I understand it the story goes that the 2.3 L is the same engine  that Ford uses in the Mustang EcoBoost car.  But unlike the Mustang the RS produces much more power and has a slightly different head.  But someone on the Ford assembly line didn’t get the memo so they were using the Mustang head gasket on the RS engines.  This causes under high pressure this causes the head gasket to allow coolant to get into the cylinder causing coolant loss, misfires, white smoke, and in extreme cases hydro lock.

At first it seemed Ford was trying to ignore the issue often blaming the problems on aftermarket performance parts or heavy driving.  However with multiple owners destroying engines as well as individual shops doing their own investigations it became clear the problem was on in Ford’s lap.  This issue was made even more clear when you looked at the part numbers for head gasket replacement.  The Mustang 2.3 head gasket and the RS head gasket replacement were totally different part numbers.  So finally the recall letters happened.

Ford said it really only affected around 45 vehicles so I had my fingers crossed that mine was not one of them.  However a few weeks ago I received my letter.  Now this doesn’t necessarily mean my car has the issue.  It is to be pressure tested to see if they can detect the problem.  This worries me a bit because what if they pressure test it and stress the engine but don’t see a problem, then the test creates issues that appear later. 

Either way it's going to have to wait until the Shelby is out of it's winter storage.  They say in the letter the process could take up to two days.  So if the worst happens I'll need to have something else to drive.  So I'll keep everyone up to date when the time to do it draws near.

Wish me luck.  

Friday, January 19, 2018

The 2019 Shelby GT500 is Coming They Say

So there’s going to be a new Shelby GT500 in 2019.  Ford is saying 700+ horsepower and some speculate it will be more like 750 hp.  Rumours have the engine as being a supercharged version of the 5.2L voodoo flat plane crank V8 but nothing has been confirmed.  Ford just promises it will be street legal.  Well I certainly hope so.  Hard to say who they are aiming for, the Dodge Hellcat or the Dodge Demon but looking at the horsepower numbers I would guess Hellcat.  Ford usually has a Cobra Jet version for drag racing.

As an owner of a 2014 GT500 I’m not thrilled about the news.  I was kind of hoping my model year would be the last since it would certainly help keep the 2014 value higher.  Mine is at least the last Shelby Carroll Shelby had input in which they can never take away.  My Shelby has 662 hp and it would take little more than a cold-air intake and tune to match numbers with the 2019 model.  Also my 5.8L while not a flat plane crank could certainly compete with the 5.2L without much trouble.  However my car has a solid rear axle with is not ideal compared to the 2019 independent rear suspension. 

I don’t really have any plans to purchase one.  That of course may change once the details and reviews start coming out but for right now I don’t see the point.  My ’14 Shelby is still quite a handful to master and I’m finding a car that spends 6 months out of the year sleeping in the garage is rather frustrating 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Okay Winter, Now I'm Ready

Things are certainly cooling off here in Canada.  So with that I reluctantly put away the Shelby this weekend which consists of jacking up the the car and putting jackstands under all four corners.  Every year I dread doing this because of my small one stall garage doesn’t allow much wiggle room, so I don’t feel very safe.  I can’t get to the right side of the car which makes the front passenger side a sketch procedure.  I have to get under the car to do it.  Scares the crap outa me.  But now it’s up and safe from the winter salt and bad drivers.

To also combat the winter issues my wonderful girlfriend bought me an early Xmas gift.  She ordered me some WeatherTech floor mats for the Focus RS.  They have a perfect fit and she even picked up the cargo mat for the back.  So now I have the electronic rust protection, the clear film on the nose, and some WeatherTech mats to keep the winter woes at bay.  So even though I’m driving the RS daily I think I’ve done as much as I can do to protect it.  Now if I can just keep the bad drivers away.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Fall / Winter Update

old pic without newly painted garage
I guess car season is sort of over.  Well at least for the Shelby.  I kinda put the GT500 away for the winter.  I still need to get it up on jack stands and put the trickle charger on.  Secretly I hoped we’d get another warm day but I don’t think it’s gonna happen. So it's pretty much in hibernation.  I switched the RS over to snow tires because in Ontario you never know when the snow is gonna start flying.

The Daily Drive video creation has slowed accordingly.  I might get in a autumn leaves drive in the RS and I’m definitely going to record any heavy snow days to see how well the RS performs in the snow.  There really hasn’t been much automotive news that has any interest for me so not much to talk about lately. 

My job has also been in “crunch mode” so a lot of late nights which doesn’t leave a lot of time for anything else.  Only really fun thing has been that now that it’s been getting dark earlier I’ve been able to use my radar detector on my way home.  They are illegal in Ontario so you’ve got to be a little sneaky.  It's fun because in general the police don't expect people to have them so it's a HUGE advantage.

So things are slowing down here at American Motoring but will not stop.  The frost has started so look forward to the RS snow videos. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

I Left Wheelwell

Just wanted to explain why I left Wheelwell.  First off I'm not going to lie, I wanted it as a way to feed interest in my American Motoring blog, YouTube, etc and but when I post a new YouTube video or article and really didn't receive any traffic from there.  But I'm willing to accept that maybe there is no interest in my content from Wheelwell members.

The big reason I'm leaving is that I was once a member of the automotive site  They were trying to be a kind of YouTube for the automotive community and it worked pretty good for a time but it started to suffer from the same advertising plague that is creeping into Wheelwell.  At first there was a "shop" page, then ads start to show up on the borders of the site.  Next they started to allow advertising video which soon turned to non automotive ads.  Then the site eventually was overrun and it was difficult to find anything automotive on the site.

Wheelwell is going the same direction.  When it first started it was all about the members and their cars, then ads and shop page, then ads showing up in your "garage page" around your car which I'm sorry is total BS.  You make a cool car, post pics on their site, which draws views that makes them money.  But I was fine with all this until today.

Today I got a direct message from a Wheelwell "Creative Director" reminding me that there is a shop.  Then she asked what's on my "to buy" list of parts I have planned for my car.  That was enough.  Ads I can choose to click on or not.  Stores I can choose to buy from or not but don't send me direct messages.  That's like telemarketer calls. I can create my own garage page here on the blog and it will be ad free.

I understand Wheelwell needs to keep the lights on but when it's in your face all the time you just don't want to go there.

So I wish Wheelwell luck and I hope they don't end up going down the same path as Streetfire.  I'll do my own thing here.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Here is a kind of silly video showing the interior lighting of the 2017 Focus RS at night.  Super short, but SUPER sexy.