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.

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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!

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.

Quick update

So quick update for the family:

1. Work is good, challenging in a few ways but can’t complain

2. House is doing just okay. It has started to show it’s age with the AC failing twice this week and the microwave giving out two weeks ago. I hope that’s it for a while

3. Decided to do some major stuff to mustang, will update on that later still not sure how far I will go

5. Had a cookout at the house with everyone Bryan and Amy and Keith and Julie. We were only missing Scott but understandable. We had good food, had a great time catching up and seeing Chase at 2 years old and Trent at about 7 months I believe. Then we broke out the Wii for some couples competitive bowling!! Good times!!

6. Travel is light for work, I think our company is tightening screws on spending so that we show the most profit we can. But… I will be heading up to NY in October around my birthday for a search engine conference. After that we will be flying back to NC and then spending weekend in the mountains for my birthday. It will be like a mini vacation.

Anyway that is a quick update.. Love you all

Auto-X Racing in Greenville, NC with the Tarheel Sports Car Club in the Mustang Cobra

Update: found some wet footage from someone else with me driving as well as others, like I said it was wet.

THSCC@USL auto auction in Greenville,NC from B-rad on Vimeo.

THSCC@USL auto auction in Greenville,NC from B-rad on Vimeo.

Update 2: included course map

So this weekend, despite the rain, and the sun, and a few other things I went autocrossing. According to Wikipedia this means:

Autocross is a form of motorsports that emphasizes safe, low-cost competition and active participation. An autocross is a timed competition where drivers navigate one at a time through a temporary course marked by traffic cones, rather than racing on a track with multiple other cars, as in road racing or oval racing. Autocross tends to place more emphasis on car handling and driver skill than on sheer horsepower, and events typically have many classes which allow almost any vehicle, from economy sedans to purpose-built vehicles, to compete.

My Car:03CobraDriveway005 060208
2003 Mustang Cobra
600 HP
Rear wheel drive
Front Tires: All seasons
Rear Tires: Drag Radials
3850Ibs
Sub-Frames, Tune, Springs, Exhaust

Keith’s Car:IMG_0166
2006 Audi A4 Quattro Turbo
EDIT by Keith: 265HP/295Tq
All wheel drive
Front Tires: Michelen Pilot Sport
Rear Tires: Michelen Pilot Sport
3700Ibs
Tune,  EDIT by Keith: Stock suspension for Audi S4

It was Keith, Bryan, and myself that took the ride down. An early morning start around 6am preceeded a 1.5 hour drive to Greenville.  When we got there I was surprised to see the number of cars, close to about 40. Most of them being Mini Coopers, Mazda Miatas, BMWs there were a few Mustangs, Porsches, a Corvette and some others.  We were not sure the turnout with it being Memorial Day weekend and all, but they came and they brought fun cars! Most of them had separate sets of tires to race with.

I had some butterflies and the adrenaline was keeping me very excited.  We walked the course, listened to the rules a couple times, looked over the course map AutoX Course Greenville 052409, and started to take mental notes.  I was able to convince Bryan he should race with my car.  This was a surprisingly hard thing to do, he really didn’t want to worry about if anything happened.  I told him that if anything was going to happen while he was driving it probably would have happened with me instead, the parking lot was very wide open and nothing really to hit except some fences off in the distance.

It started off dry but then it went south. After halfway through the first group it started downpouring and the parking lot we were racing on became a big puddle.  It was rediculous for most cars, including myself and Bryan, to try and stay straight. This made for a fun and challenging day.  However Keith was smiling ear to ear, he brought his Audi A4 Quattro and was welcoming the rain.

See we made a small bet as to who might win, loser pays for lunch and Keith had a 1 second advantage given the horsepower I had.

Well the 2nd half of the day switched 360 degrees.  It was hot, pavement was dry, and we got to see what the cars could really do.  In the end Keith’s car was amazingly balanced in both water and dry. He only had about a 6 second difference between completely wet to dry as a bone in his times.  The All wheel drive system in the Audi was impressive.  Whereas everyone else was seeing about a 10 or 11 second difference between wet and dry.

I had one extra run because Keith and Bryan convinced me to speak up about the fact during my 3rd run a worker was still on the course fixing a cone as I came close to him. I should have stopped, according to the ruling judges, but they gave me another run 🙂

These are not official but from our memories:

Keith (Audi – STX 4) Bryan (Mustang – SM 50) Jon (Mustang – SM 5)
Round 1 Wet 57.6 64 66
Round 2 Wet 56.8 62 64
Round 1 Dry 52.8 54 54
Round 2 Dry 52.3 52 52
Bonus for Jon 50.2!!!!

The end.  Lunch was Good!


Me Driving 2003 Mustang Cobra Sideways around big turn 2 – good time but major understeering


Me Driving 2003 Mustang Cobra for a smooth clean best run of the day for me


Bryan Driving with Me holding the camera in the passenger seat – well I tried (check out the cone box at the end, or wait Bryan drove through it! hehe)


Bryan Driving around with me holding camera – Good run on some nice dry pavement


Keith Driving around the track on dry pavement for a smooth run

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Dennis Police update fleet with Lamborghinis

I saw this blog post by Jim’s Garage: News flash Dennis police update fleet with Lamborghinis and thought it was clever

The Cape Cod Today web site has posted this news flash:

Dennis Police lambo design

Dennis Police lambo design

“The Dennis Police Department has just announced it has received the first five of 25 Lamborghini Gallardos it ordered to modernize their fleet of police cruisers. This is the first time that a Lamborghini will be used by any American police department.

Each car, at a cost of $165,900 US, has a 5-liter, 10-cylinder engine, and puts out 500 horsepower. It can do 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds, with a top speed of 190 mph, and has permanent four-wheel drive for top performance in the New England winters.

Because of its speed, each car is equipped with first aid equipment including defibrillators, electrocardiagram equipment, and the ability to quickly transport plasma and human organs for transplant.

When I talked to Chief Michael Whalen, I asked how the Town Finance Committee reacted to the $4,147,500 price tag for the new cars.

“They’re not paying for it,” he said. “We’re a member of the ATTF–the Anti-Terrorist Task Force–the Department of Homeland Security is footing the bill.”

“So they’re happy about it,” I remarked.

“Not quite,” said the Chief. “They never waited for me to finish my sentence. One had a stroke on the spot and is in the hospital, but he is expected to fully recover. Another one, well, he is heavily sedated in a straitjacket in Bridgewater. The doctors say it is a permanent condition. We’ll never see him again. And you’ve probably noticed a third one walking around town with the 1000-yard stare, mumbling to himself.”

“He mumbles?” I asked.

“Yes, mumbles. We’re thinking of running him for mayor of Boston.”

“Have you tested one of the Gallardos at 190?” I asked.

“I haven’t done it myself,” said the Chief. “but Captain Bill Monahan volunteered. Right up Route 6, at 190!”

“That’s a state road,” I said. “Did the State Police notice?”

“At first they gave chase,” said the Chief, “but they gave up. Now they just keep sipping ther coffee and eating their dougnuts as we whiz by.”

“Congratulations on the new fleet, Chief,” I said. “Is there anything more we can look forward to in the near future?”

“Yes, we’re having an open house in the Spring. The whole town’s invited. It will be to welcome our three Blackhawk helicopters.”

“Blackhawks?” I asked.

“Yes,” said the Chief. “They’ll be landing right in our front parking lot. It’ll be quite a sight. And they’ll have those little machine guns on them that spit out 3,000 rounds per minute, you know, for those special occasions when we’ll need a little extra firepower. ”

The message here is very clear: If you’re thinking of committing a criminal act, take it elsewhere, don’t do it in Dennis. By the time you look in your rear-view mirror to see if the cops are behind you, they’ll be in front of you. And you might feel the skids of a Blackhawk crushing in your roof at the same time.

Chief, can I get a ride in one of those Lamborghinis? Front seat of course–not the back seat with handcuffs on, please.”

And if you believe all that I have a Cape Cod Canal Tunnel pass to sell you.

German tuning shop puts out an Audi RS6 named – “White Power,” really?

Avus Tuned Audi RS6 named "White Power"This is interesting… AVUS Performance just launched a 580-HP customized Audi RS6, sounds great to me. I love the way the new Audi’s look and an RS6 is borderline supercar status.

Oh wait, they named it the “White Power Audi RS6” let me repeat that!!! A German tuning shop named its new performance powerhouse “White Power.” Come on this is just a little ridiculous.  Now knowing the way Germans think I am sure there is some lost in translation going on and they didn’t care to check how it sounds or translates in other countries. But I really would NOT want to be caught buying this one.

Even if the specs are juicy

Avus Performance – WHITE POWER Audi RS6With its 580bhp and an impressive 650Nm ( 479.35 lb/ft) of torque the actual Audi RS6 is the perfect symbiosis of an estate and a super car.

For AVUS Performance, based in Berlin, that starting basis was not enough.

As the importer for Sportec products in Germany they equipped the RS6 with a new high performance exhaust system with a diameter of 70mm, racing catalysts and a new ECU software.

The maximum power increased up to 700bhp and an astonishing 800Nm (589.97 lb/ft ) of torque are now tearing all 4 wheels.

The results are 0-60 in 3.9s, 0-120 in 12.1s and the RS6 is electronically limited at 211.27mph to not overstress the tires of the V10 biturbo. To get the power to the ground at best Avus Performance mounted a set of 22″ wheels in the classic Sportec Mono 10 design.

Besides the better grip these have great impact to the overall look.

The already good standard factory suspension with electronic settings was only slightly modified with lowering springs which help to lower the car by 40mm. The handling improves noticeable and the car gets much more agile. On the other hand it fits perfectly to the complete look of the car and makes sense in combination with all the other options. Last but not least a carbon front-lip and a rear diffusor are also offered and are the icing on the cake.

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