The Road to a 750HP Home Built 2V Mustang

Hello all you Mustang fans and 2V enthusiasts, I am proud to share a quick breakdown and story of my good friend Daryn’s current 665 horsepower, built, 2V 4.6 Mustang! There is a lot to this build and I would like to cover some of the finer details on what makes this a rock solid build compared to others.

Daryn’s mustang started out, like many relatable projects, relatively stock, and horsepower-by-horsepower reached the end of the factory rotating assembly’s capabilities, hitting failures around the 400-500hp mark. He did not stop there, though, doing an entire rebuild complete with an Eagle 4340 crank, Manley rods, and Wiseco pistons, topped with a set of Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads. Daryn constructed the engine itself in his own personal garage, sourcing his machine work from Bernie Thayer of Thayer’s Automotive in Hermon, ME. The whole project consumed about 1.5 years. The most difficult part of building this fire-breathing 2V was fitting the 8 rib pulley for the Vortech V7 supercharger.

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Why Is My Power Steering Making Noise This Winter?

Whining or squealing noises from your power steering system are common problems in cold weather.  What causes this?  Is your power steering simply fed up with the bad weather?  I know I do a lot of whining and squealing through January and February.  Actually, though, these noises can indicate problems with your power steering.  Fortunately, these problems are usually pretty easy to fix.

First of all, how do you know if the problem is with your power steering?  Well, simply put, you’ll notice the sound gets worse when you’re turning.  The sound could be coming either from your belt slipping on the power steering pulley, or from the power steering pump itself.

Your serpentine belt or accessory belt is made of rubber, which becomes less pliable when it’s cold.  The stiffer belt has a harder time getting a good grip on the pulleys, and the belt might slip over the pulley a bit.  That will cause a squealing noise.  Now, that’s somewhat typical in cold weather, and will be worse the colder it is.  It may not represent a huge problem, but you might want to check your belt anyway.  Belts get stiffer with age anyway, so a newer belt might keep its pliability better in the cold.  If your belt looks stiff or cracked, you should probably replace it with a new one.

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Beginner Car Tips You Need to Know

Starting your first car project can be a tall order, even for the smallest of tasks. Here are some tips you’ll wish you knew before you started.

1. Start Small, Take It Slow, and Go One Step at a Time

Project cars take time you don’t have and money you aren’t comfortable spending. If the day comes when you decide to build a purpose built race car or restore a ‘55 Chevy, the budget and time frame you have in mind won’t cut it. It all takes time, patience, and an understanding of your goals.

We’ve all seen ads online of projects being sold by the dozen—“Lost interest;” “No time, could use the money;” “My loss, your gain… need garage space.” The ever-so-common broken dream project that you thought would take one year is now going on its third, and it cost you a small fortune and at least one relationship.

My best advice for a first time project is start small, especially if you have a perfectly good car you want to tear apart. Nothing is worse than partially building a car that ran and drove until you touched it and are now selling it for a fraction of what you purchased it for. Instead, do small bolts-ons or visual modifications, and slowly move towards more time consuming projects. Complete your initial work before deciding to take on a “while I’m in here, might as well” type attitude. When you go down that rabbit hole, you will not come back.

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Can an O2 Sensor Cause a Misfire?

oxygen sensor engine misfire

My most recent automotive repair started where most do, the dreaded check engine light. In this specific case, my 2004 Nissan Titan was running a little rough and, to be completely honest, when the light came on, it wasn’t a huge surprise. What was a surprise was the number of fault codes the ECM (engine control module) threw. In total, my OBD reader found five fault codes.

The identified fault codes were:

  • P0300 – Cylinder Misfire Detected Random Cylinders
  • P1288 – Air Fuel Ratio Sensor 1 Circuit Slow Response Bank 2
  • P1289 – Cylinder Head Temperature Sensor
  • P1168 – Closed Loop Control Function Bank 2
  • P0430 – Catalyst System Efficiency below Threshold Bank 2

At this point I was a little overwhelmed. Typically if you have 1 or 2 faults codes show up, it can be easy to identify your issue but this was something different.  I had to make a decision: was I going to drop it off at the shop and spend hundreds of dollars just to have them tell me what’s wrong or dive in and try to figure it out myself? Seeing as it was winter here in new England and I didn’t have a garage to work in, sending it to the shop was very appealing, but I just couldn’t justify spending that kind of money on something I more than likely could do myself.

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Why Your Gas Mileage Gets Worse in Winter & What to Do About It

poor gas mileage in winter

Cold weather can take a real toll on your gas mileage.  As I pointed out in an earlier post about winter gas prices, gas companies sell a different fuel blend in the winter, which produces less power.  That’s not the whole story, though.  There are a number of other reasons why you have to gas up more once it gets cold out.

The Impact of Frigid Temperature on Your Auto

The first is that your engine has to work harder in the cold.  First of all, the oil that lubricates your engine gets thicker when it’s cold, which means there’s more friction on the moving engine parts.  You also probably use more electric accessories during the winter.  Think of your heating fan, lights, defrosters, windshield wipers, and all the other parts that draw on the battery.  You run a lot of these more often in the winter.  That drains the battery (which already drains more easily in cold conditions) and means the alternator has to work harder.

The grip of your tires also contributes to your fuel use.  As tires roll, they actually flex a bit to make a contact patch with the road.  That helps you get more grip.  Rubber gets stiffer in the cold, so it doesn’t flex as well.  That means they’ll have a smaller contact patch on the road and less grip.  That means you have to use more power just to get going.  If your wheels slip, then you’re really wasting power.  The engine’s pushing but you aren’t getting anywhere.

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Why do Car Batteries Die in Cold Weather?

cars covered in winter snow

Imagine this. It’s the coldest day all year.  You go out to start your car so it can warm up.  When you turn the key, maybe the starter runs for a couple seconds and quits.  Maybe it doesn’t even try at all.  If you live in a cold climate, this has probably happened to you.  Why do batteries go dead in cold weather?  Is it just bad luck?  Is the electricity frozen?  What’s going on?

As it turns out there are a number of factors that make winter especially tough on your car battery.  Batteries don’t discharge as well in cold weather, they don’t charge as well in the cold, and you probably put more demand on the battery in the winter.

The Science Behind Batteries Dying in the Cold

A car battery works through a chemical reaction.  There are plates of lead dioxide and plates of lead, immersed in sulphuric acid that’s diluted with water.  The sulphuric acid breaks up into hydrogen, with a positive charge (basically, it’s short an electron), and sulfate with a negative charge (it has extra electrons).  The hydrogen reacts with the lead dioxide and more sulphuric acid to form lead sulfate and water.  In that process it has to take on an electron to make up for the one the hydrogen was short of.

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Formula Drift: The Next King of the True Grassroots-Gone-Mainstream Motorsport

Ryan Tuerck’s Toyota FRS at NHMS
(Ryan Tuerck’s off season Toyota FRS at NHMS during an HIN event)

Drifting is an uprising motorsport that has grown enormously in the past five years – a sport that has made a handful of professional driver’s careers and furthered the reputation of others. Drifting has a large presence within the younger community, bringing regulated off-the-streets motorsports back into a common youth sport. The Formula Drift league has a firm grasp on its media presence, live-streaming current-season events, and threatening to take air time from other cable television motorsports.

You may be wondering why I call this the next true grassroots motorsport. Other basic motorsports, like autocross and drag racing, have always been open to the public; however, taking your car to the next level while feeling like you are competing at a near professional level without large brand funding has never felt farther away, at least until drifting gained traction. The use of mass production chassis and rules on suspension and drivetrain orientation make it seem like the car in your driveway has a chance against the pros’ cars. Don’t let this fool you, though. Major brands still back the budget on those big name, tire-shredding monsters you see on your screen during the season.

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