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An Open Letter of Apology to My Car


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I have to apologize to my car.

 

I watched my boss, who got his blue/white '07 coupe six months before mine, lose interest in his car rather quickly. (Perhaps paying $68K for a car now worth in the low $30s helped.) I was afraid the same would happen to me. Month after month went by, and I still got the ear-to-ear grin every time I fired her up. I started with a few cosmetic mods, and was quickly smitten with making my car uniquely my own. This was the first car I washed more than once (the others were only washed before they were sold or traded in). I actually enjoyed spending hours in the hot sun making it shine.

 

Then I ordered my suspension mods. Now I was beside myself with excitement. No more cosmetic mods -- time for better handling! A co-worker offered to install the mods with me in his garage. I could get my own hands dirty climbing under my car and installing stuff!

 

Then the problems started. We messed up the pinion angle, which led to unusual vibrations and a trip to a shop to fix. Then I noticed lots of new squeaks and creaks (I know a performance suspension means more NVH, but somehow I naively assumed it wouldn't happen to me). Then, suddenly, I noticed one of my rear wheels was further forward in the wheel well than the other. Took it back to the shop -- consensus? Bent axle.

 

Now I was quickly moving into the pissed realm. Stupid car couldn't even drive straight. Shoddy parts. Noisy. I began to drive it less. (Not at all once I noticed the "bent axle.") I started getting concerned that the car wasn't worth much more than I owe. The biggest sign? I stopped turning around at the garage door to sneak one last look before closing it behind me. I really felt for a while that the honeymoon was over. I even said to my wife, "Maybe we should sell the car." She was stunned, and tried to talk me out of it, but eventually said, in a wonderfully supporting way, "If that's what you really want to do...."

 

With a heavy heart, I took her (the car, not the wife!) to the dealer to have the axle looked at. I knew that based on all the suspension mods, there was no prayer of having the bent axle covered under warranty. As they took in inside, I perused the 2011 Mustang catalog, reasoning that a 2011 5.0 would have almost as much power/weight, and cheaper, so maybe it would be worth the trade.

 

Imagine my shock when my tech came out five minutes later and said, "Your axle's fine!" Turns out the BMR LCA relocation bracket bent, and threw off the alignment of the axle. I'm still not sure how that happened -- I don't drag race the car, I didn't hit a curb, and I don't even recall hitting a worse pothole than usual. An hour later, the brackets were off and the axle is perfectly straight.

 

For the last few weekends, my wife and I have climbed into the Shelby and driven on back roads all over MD and PA, seeking out scenic routes showing off some of the most beautiful countryside I've ever seen. I've fallen in love with the car (and my wife!) all over again. The suspension turns this car into a real corner-carver, and it handles (pardon the cliche) like she's on rails! The creaks and rattles are endearing now. I don't even notice them. My new brakes are coming in next week.

 

I actually apologized to my car. Out loud. I was talking to my car in the garage. I almost hugged it...but I didn't want to mar the paint! So this is my open apology to my car. I said I'd keep this car until I die, and I really mean it. I'll never make the mistake of taking my car for granted ever again.

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now that is funny! Do you mind if I copy and print? I would like to reword just a little bit and give the same apology letter to my wife, not the car. I think her rear end may be out of whack! Might be her lca's...... :hysterical:

 

:

 

Ut oh, She gonna whoop you! :hysterical:

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I got hitched to this hell on wheels red head last summer after screwing up potential relationships with two other sexy, but older gals. Now just one year later, here I am trying to land a younger racy version of the red head with many more attractive features... but only if I can get her for the right price. And I thought women were expensive...hysterical.gif

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Most satisfying part of that read was the fact the English is proper. Thanks for not aborting our spoken language and putting some effort into your writing.

 

As to the BMR brackets, I'm glad to hear you removed that garbage.

 

As to your four wheeled love affair - you are not alone. I'm guilty of stealing glances whenever I can as well. To give up on that is commensurate with abandoning a puppy in need, as far as I'm concerned. I truly believe there is some kind of soul resting with the confines of our 4,000lb hunks of inanimate iron.

 

Don't ever stop turning back for a look.

 

Tob

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Regarding the pinion angle, and the noise/vibration. How did it sound, and what was wrong with the angle, too much put on it? I had my suspension upgraded, and ever since it was changed, I just hear more noise from the rear than I ever did before, sounds like its coming from the passenger rear wheel, I am taking it back to the shop next week, but I fear its the pinion angle adjustment.

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Regarding the pinion angle, and the noise/vibration. How did it sound, and what was wrong with the angle, too much put on it? I had my suspension upgraded, and ever since it was changed, I just hear more noise from the rear than I ever did before, sounds like its coming from the passenger rear wheel, I am taking it back to the shop next week, but I fear its the pinion angle adjustment.

 

 

My co-worker and I installed it ourselves, so we have no one to blame but each other! For some reason, we turned the adjustable UCA all the way in (that's how it appeared to fit), without noticing right away that it pulled the axle closer in the wheel well to the front of the car. When I took it to the shop, they checked the pinion angle. Recommended is -2. Mine was +10. Oops!

 

The noise sounded like a slightly louder, buzzier exhaust. I reasoned (stupidly!) that since the car was now closer to the ground, it was creating more resonance for the exhaust noise. Or...the driveshaft was flopping around like a landed fish! Either way!

 

So, lesson learned - always check your pinion angle!

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Great letter :)

 

Yeah, I think until you've gone through the whole modding thing you don't realize that every mod has its tradeoff.

 

And I'm glad you kept her because I seriously doubt the 5.0 would make you as happy.

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Great! Makes me feel better about stepping out into the garage at night, just to check on her (car) before I go to bed. Remember that scene from Days Of Thunder when Harry was talking to the race car he built for Cole? I have those conversations with my cars often. When my son pounded the rear of a school bus with his Jensen Healey I apologized to the JH and thanked it profusely for taking good care of him....that's her job.

 

I once started a dissertation on comparing women to cars, but was afraid I'd get lynched if it was published........you treat them nice, give them pretty things--sparkly, flashy stuff--take care of them, dress 'em up nice, feed them what they like and when it comes time to perform for you......they'll give you all they've got......

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OK, I am going to show this letter to my wife, as she thinks there is something seriously wrong with me that I go to the garage EVERY night to look at my 500, before we turn in.

 

She has told me on occasion that she has never heard of anyone ever being this nutty over 'A CAR'! I have assured her that she just doesn't get it, and that there has to be lots of us out there. Yes.....redemption!! :)

 

Thanks for the post!

 

Bikeboy

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My co-worker and I installed it ourselves, so we have no one to blame but each other! For some reason, we turned the adjustable UCA all the way in (that's how it appeared to fit), without noticing right away that it pulled the axle closer in the wheel well to the front of the car. When I took it to the shop, they checked the pinion angle. Recommended is -2. Mine was +10. Oops!

 

The noise sounded like a slightly louder, buzzier exhaust. I reasoned (stupidly!) that since the car was now closer to the ground, it was creating more resonance for the exhaust noise. Or...the driveshaft was flopping around like a landed fish! Either way!

 

So, lesson learned - always check your pinion angle!

 

How much did you drop the car, how many miles did you drive it like that, where did you get the recommendation from on the -2, and does it drive OK now?

 

Thanks for your help on this!

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How much did you drop the car, how many miles did you drive it like that, where did you get the recommendation from on the -2, and does it drive OK now?

 

Thanks for your help on this!

 

 

I installed the FRPP Handling Pack (M-2007-FR3SVT), and I think it lowered it about 1" in front and 1.25" in the rear. I bet I drove it about 200 miles with the pinion angle set at +10. I've seen the -2 recommendation on this board several times, and the shop (Springfield Motorsport in Lorton, VA) recommended -2 as well. With the pinion angle corrected, it drives perfectly - no noise at all, no vibrations.

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I installed the FRPP Handling Pack (M-2007-FR3SVT), and I think it lowered it about 1" in front and 1.25" in the rear. I bet I drove it about 200 miles with the pinion angle set at +10. I've seen the -2 recommendation on this board several times, and the shop (Springfield Motorsport in Lorton, VA) recommended -2 as well. With the pinion angle corrected, it drives perfectly - no noise at all, no vibrations.

Glad you got your Shelby fixed and running fine now.

 

Regarding the feelings about the car if something is wrong, its good to know I'm not the only OCD Shelby owner out there. And right now I in that zone with this little noise I keep hearing...

Its all love or all stress when it comes to an issue with this car.

 

Also mods are fun, and as one guy said their do present tradeoffs, I think I've had all the mod fun I can handle for a while.

 

Our suspension mods are pretty much the same, and except for this little metal noise I have, the suspension mod was a good thing

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