NC gets some snow!


TruckLowFront_BG

Originally uploaded by Moody03SVT

yes we did, we actually saw close to 6″ of snow. It happened over night so it was truly one of those times where you go to bed and nothing is happening but then you wake up in the morning and everything is white, I mean EVERYTHING! it is something you just don’t see down here and it happened Christmas night! When I was young this would have been something I dreamed about because school will be closed tomorrow and I get to play in the snow as much as I want.

Well…. to be honest I still am that kid. Instead now I already had the week off and I have Big Joe to play with in the snow as much as I want. We went for a drive around Raleigh and side roads and took many shots.

It was beautiful, we saw sledding spots, cars spun out, Bojangles was still open, parking lots were snow covered fields, roads were quiet, and we even found some side roads that were untouched!

I hope to remember this because this probably won’t happen again for a very very long time!

Installed 6″ ProComp Stage2 w/ rear MX-6 Shocks & 5.5″ block – 35″ Trail Grapplers

This was actually done a couple months ago but just getting around to blogging again. Although the next challenges we face are getting in and out of it, in and out of the bed of the truck, and in the future getting a baby seat in and out of it 🙂

So as Scott knows, my love for big trucks was muffled or distracted by the Mustang.  First came the black rims and slightly bigger tires with the 2″ leveling kit. That was great for me to try out and experience but I wanted to see if I could go higher.

I just wanted to document this lift and for all to see. If you have any questions or want more pictures of different pieces let me know below in thread.

*All pictures taken with iPhone 4*

Before

BigJoe StyleSideShot F150 XD Series Monster Rims 18×9 Nitto Dune Grapplers by Moody03SVT, on Flickr

After
– with 600Ibs of tires in back, with the 5.5″ block it actually still has a rake to it. see below..

07 f150 6inch Pro Comp Stage2 lift – side with 600Ibs tires in bed by Moody03SVT, on Flickr


I love it and it was worth every penny. I had a shop install it in 3 days and now it rides 200% better than stock, looks awesome, and the truck feels high.

07 f150 6inch Pro Comp Stage2 lift – sitting in parking lot by Moody03SVT, on Flickr


I went with the Pro Comp stage2 for the coilovers and adjustable rear shocks. I also went for the Pro Comp 5.5″ block in the rear vs the stacked blocks, I also think this added 1″ to the rear because the U-bolts that came with the Pro Comp kit no longer fit.

07 f150 6inch Pro Comp Stage2 lift – coilovers nitto trail grapplers by Moody03SVT, on Flickr


07 f150 6inch Pro Comp Stage2 lift – 5.5" block and mx6 shocks by Moody03SVT, on Flickr

I added 35″ Nitto Trail Grapplers on 18″ XD Monster Rims with a 4.55 backspace (or -12mm offset). I used to have 33″ Nitto Dune Grapplers and as you can see they are a bit smaller!!

35inch Nitto Trail Grapplers vs 33" Nitto Dune Grapplers by Moody03SVT, on Flickr

I also should comment that the Trail Grapplers DEF feel more like off road tires than the Nitto Dune Grapplers. At very slow speeds you can feel the nubs and there is a bit of a hum on highway but its barely noticeable usually.

07 f150 6inch Pro Comp Stage2 lift – side undercarriage by Moody03SVT, on Flickr

I will be adding a tuner but as of now I am running the factory 3.73 gears with factory tune. I do have a K&N Cold Air Intake and an exhaust. I think the truck can handle these tires, I don’t tow, but every day driving I do NOT Feel the truck is searching for gears. Now of course if I want to give it very little gas going up a hill in 4th gear then yes it will downshift quickly but that is all I need.

I LOVE the stance the truck has. It is dirty in these shots but I will update them with clean shots later.

07 f150 6inch Pro Comp Stage2 lift – fron angle – Adjusted Lightened UpMoody03SVT, on Flickr by

Close up of the Strut Rods that are included with the kit to help stiffen the front crossmember and suspension upon heavy impacts.

07 f150 6inch Pro Comp Stage2 lift – strut rods by Moody03SVT, on Flickr

Undercarriage close up with no skid plate. I never liked the design of the Pro Comp kit skid plate (the old design) but now that this one is on my truck I love it. Maybe that will change if it rusts… **Update – I have seen the new Skid Plates for this kit and they are very pretty, maybe next year for my birthday I will add it.

07 f150 6inch Pro Comp Stage2 lift – front undercarriage crossmemberMoody03SVT, on Flickr

So far after a couple days of driving:

Truck is so much smoother and takes bumps a lot better! I can’t believe it to be honest. Still love the tires, they are not that loud at all. Only way you know they are off-road tires is when you are going 1-5 mph you can feel the nubs.

The truck still corners well I think but when I take off from a stop I can feel the tires just slightly give a little like they are biting into the road.

Oh and… It’s high off the ground. Getting in to the bed of the truck is a bit of a challenge. I am 5’10” and the bed of the truck is at about waist height. I might need to find something to help me with that.

I did end up getting the new tuner and finally the custom tune. The video below only is of the tuner with the default 87 tow tune. This was used so the truck was safe (aka rich in fuel) until the custom tunes came in. They finally came in when I put on the 93 performance tune I DEFINITELY felt the power increase. The instant throttle response and much more aggressive part throttle power is very nice to have. I have not really given it the beans yet (for all the brits out there) but I will probably do another post.

If there ever was a reason to sell my 2003 Mustang Cobra

It would be to do something like this. I really like how different this is and how you just don’t see this on the road these days. I mean I know its not practical, I know its not user friendly, and there are a few things or a checklist you have to go through each time you drive it. But let’s be honest that is why I love cars, customizing cars, and pushing them to their limits. I go through those same things today with my Mustang. Once I swapped out the supercharger for a Kenne Bell, put in Ford GT fuel pumps and methanol injection, and installed the roll cage it was not the same car. But I love it, its a totally unique experience going for a ride in the Mustang.

In fact recently one of my co-workers wanted to go for a ride. He had heard a lot about my car and what it had but he just did not know. I took him for a ride…… and he clearly felt what the car could do. His heart rate skyrocketed, so did mine, and he was completely taken back by the shear power it has. Days like that make me LOVE the car and remind me why I did what I did with it. I WILL miss that straight line, neck whiping, shear monster torque on tap power if I were to ever sell. But something like this below is just beautiful and rare these days.

We will see what happens in the next year. Timing is tough right now as my family is growing and having this car in the garage may be harder to drive or maintain over the next few years. It may be something I hang on to in order to keep that enjoyment and once the family situation allows for more time I may start up a project like this.

I see friends right now with their families and I really can’t wait until that time when I can share my love for muscle cars and big trucks with my little ones and perhaps we can even start working on a project car!

You know video games are big when state gov. plans emergency broadcasts around it

So there have been plenty of examples of how video games have truly become mainstream.  The millions of dollars being spent on advertising, the holiday size rush of excitement around launch dates, and the re-working of many video games into board games, food, drinks, action figures, cartoons, etc., etc.,  But this is a little different. 

 

Basically in summary, the State of New York has recognized the volume of Xbox Live users and has integrated their emergency broadcast system into that experience.  This makes total sense because other than showering, watching a movie, and driving there is not much else that requires as much or more attention, ie not paying attention to TV/radio emergency broadcasts, than playing video games.

New York State will issue emergency broadcast alerts via Xbox Live

Played a little with Droid – Nice stuff, “kind of jealous” says iPhone users

So I had a chance to play with a Droid the other day. I was happy with it and me being a tech junky was kind of wishing I could use it as a new toy. It was really my first experience with the Android platform and it seemed smooth. Obviously there were differences between the iPhone and it, but overall it was just as nice. It has the apps, the touch screen, the speed, functionality, web browsing, and GUI to compete. On top of that the 5mp camera and slide out keyboard give it even more versatility.

I think the only downside I could see was the weight. It was a bit heavy and the sides were not “grippy” enough when holding it. I thought I was going to drop it if I was not careful.

But otherwise it was a very nice phone. In fact, I saw an app on the phone that was downloaded from the Android marketplace that I did not see before. This is huge when a unique app catches my eye that Apple has not already blasted across their TV commercials. I then of course went to the Apple App store and tried to download the same one.

Side note: the same app was not there but I did find 5 other apps that all did the same thing with different levels of functionality.

Way to go Android, if you were on AT&T then I might be testing you out because I am up for an early upgrade.

Xbox360 Elite Console – Microsoft’s oversight and Data Migration Kit Failure

So quick and to the point. If you play video games and are thinking about upgrading your hard drive or moving to a new system keep reading. Otherwise… how is the weather?

So Microsoft wants you to believe that transfering data from one xbox hard drive to another is extremely difficult and you need special cables and CDs.  I too fell to this misconception and was calling around trying to get a hold of said cable and CD.  Well, you can’t find them… anywhere. Why is this? Microsoft no longer allows private retailers to sell them.  Not only this but if you upgrade to one of their premiere systems then you can call them up and ask for one.  If of course you are willing to spend another $15 and wait 1-2 weeks for it to ship, which is exactly what you want to do after just spending money on a new console.  So because of my impatience and curiosity, I looked even deeper.

I called Microsoft’s customer support, they were helpless. They were not sure what to do, how to do it, and what the limitations were if certain things were done.  I had an idea of how to get most of what was needed accomplished for the data transfer but they just read off of their scripts.  (And to be fair one rep was seemed to know her stuff and gave the okay on recovering gamertag to get most of the content over.) Basically there are three things that need to happen:

  1. Gamertag needs to transfer to new machine
  2. Get data (game saves, videos, downloadable content, etc. to new machine hard drive
  3. Transfer licenses of said content “in order to view on new hard drive without being logged in to xbox live

*note I put quotation marks around step 3, this is their major sticking point for using their method*

Microsoft wants you to believe that you NEED to get the data transfer cable, the old hard drive, AND a NEVER used new hard drive to make this happen. This means pay Microsoft $15 for some cable and CD and wait 1-2 weeks.  Oh, and a computer to be on the web for license transfer.  They want you to plug the data transfer cable in to USB slot on old xbox with old hard drive still plugged in and then plug the new hard drive into data transfer cable. This seems easy, and then install the CD and transfer data.  Then go to xbox.com and log in to xbox live and then start license transfer.  You have to make sure the licenses are registered to your xbox live account (perhaps they are on multiple machines) and you are okay with losing them on those machines.  You can only do this once a year and it has to happen close to when the data is being transferred and the new hard drive is plugged in. If you don’t do all of this you will lose all of your data and will have to start over (they don’t give details.)

Well, this is crap.  All you need is the computer, a memory card, and an internet connection.  I know because I just did it!

  1. Memory card to transfer all saved game data and gamertag profiles to new hard drive
  2. Internet connection for new xbox hard drive to download all marketplace content (map packs, car add-ons, other game add-ons) once you are logged in with your gamertag

It really was that easy, the only time consuming part was the 3gigs of downloads I had to do to get all of my content back. As long as I signed in to my gamertag profile this was easy, nothing I wanted to download gave any issues about not having licenses.  In fact, most said “I had already downloaded but do I want to download again,” and I just chose “Yes please.”

and 3. Transfer licenses using computer connected to xbox live website

I actually still did this just for piece of mind.  The only downside I think I saw was that if for some reason I was not signed in to my profile then I could not view my videos, pictures, or whatever.  But to be honest I have NEVER logged in to my xbox and not signed into my profile. Perhaps if there were multiple users of an xbox then to see certain videos you would have to be signed in to that person’s gamertag profile (IF you did not transfer licenses.) but come on, how often would this happen? really?

Point being, they should make this a lot more clear. You don’t need to spend any money on another cable. Just use a memory card to transfer important stuff and while logged in download the content again. But IF you have multiple users on your xbox then you might want to include a license transfer in your steps to make sure everyone can see your content if not logged in to your profile.

That’s it, that is my rant. I am glad I did not wait for the cable, spend the extra money, or had to deal with any more Microsoft customer service script readers.

Next challenge: Using both of my Xbox’s at the same time on home network with both having open NATs….

 

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Rollcage install Part 1 – 2003 Mustang Cobra convertible

RollCageInstall_11012009_087

So the past three weeks have been a frenzy of stuff going on including football, travel to CA, and this…. roll cage install.  Once I increased the power of the car most recently, I quickly decided to add a roll cage.  Here is the story.

Started about three weeks ago Bryan and I tackled the task of installing roll cage. We knew it was not hard but were hoping it would take a long weekend.  Well, like I said it was not a hard install but we had limited chunks of time to work on it after we missed the first weekend deadline and the weather was not helpful.  On top of that it was tedious at times as Ford’s levels of tolerances are quite large ie: we had to “make” a few parts fit.  We had the tools but we were not metal workers by trade.  But in the end we got it done and it looks beautiful.

So the first part was tearing out the seats and interior and getting the car prepped. We also laid out the roll cage to see how it looks mocked up. The interior was not too difficult but as usual we did our best to keep the screws, plastic tabs, and bolts organized by sides. Last time I had to do this was with the ’87 White Mustang GT back at Andrew’s Limo shop.  It was not that bad this time.

Next came the manipulating of the interior floor pan to get the base plates to fit flush so we could weld.  That was a huge task as Ford’s tolerances are very loose and many of the metal base plates did not fit quite flush.  So we had to bang, hammer, hit, bend, etc. to make it work. It was a challenge and tedious but we got it done and it looks beautiful! The most important part was making sure wherever there was going to be a base plate welded to the floor there had to be VERY LITTLE gap for the weld to hold strong.

So after this challenge we moved on to figuring out how the bar fit inside the car with the top up, down, doors open, and closed.  This went very well, thank God, because I was not going to be modifying the bars themselves! Maximum Motorsports definitely did a good job coming up with a general size that fits most Mustangs, even with Ford’s tolerances.  This was also exciting because we got to see how the bar would look inside the car.  It was a bitter sweet moment because it looked great but we would only have to remove the bar again to paint it and drill holes for base plates just behind the front seats and at the front kick panels.

Then came probably the hardest part of the build, mocking up the rear braces, tack welding them, and making sure they were even.  Not only this but we also had to make sure the rear braces were at least 30 degrees from vertical to meet SCCA regulations, within 5” from top of main hoop, and flush with both the main hoop and the rear base plates.  We quadruple measured and cut about 4 times per side to make this work. In the end they are even to the eye.

Next everything had to come out for paint. So we each took turns cleaning, sanding, priming, priming, sanding, cleaning, painting, painting, sanding, cleaning painting. This was tough because the weather was not cooperating and we had to do this in chunks of time. Really thank Bryan for helping me out on this without me being there.

Once all was painted it was time to put back in and measure the holes for the bars to go through and cut the carpet. This was fun for some reason, maybe it was because it was not dealing with metal but how the carpet would look “hugging” the metal.  In the end, I think they came out perfect. The carpet is really tight to the bars and looks as if they should have been there.

So we torque’d the base plates to the floor, bolted in the main hoop and rear braces, set in the swingout bars, and prayed. It all was good. There is a little bit of an issue on the driver’s side where the swingout is hard to remove but that is okay with me for now, more importantly passenger side is easy as pie to remove J

Thank you to Bryan for helping me out with this, I had a great time. I also really enjoyed getting to know the little man Chase, he is amazing!  Also thank you to Amy for allowing me to take Bryan away for the weekends and the extra time it took to get this done.

Oh so along with the bar, here are some other loose ends we tied up.

  1. Removing broken bolt that was stuck in floor for the front driver’s seat
  2. Shaving the rear sub frame bolt to allow even more clearance for the 315/35-17 Drag Radials
  3. Spraying the underside of rear base plates and rear inner wheel wells with rubberized spray paint to protect from welding points
  4. Re-glued rear speaker covers to plastic panels
  5. We loosened up exhaust from behind headers and back so we could tuck the exhaust under the car as much as possible to gain ground clearance. I think I gained at least 2”!!
  6. Plugged open holes left from not using rear seats anymore unless there were bolts to fill them.