Saturday, March 29, 2014

Tomorrow is March 30th, 2014... the 8th Anniversary (or Birthday) of my Stampede.  March 30, 2006 she rolled off the line as a completed Stampede Edition Mustang.

I've had to do the responsible thing and put my 'hobby' and associated activities on hold due to the decrease in our funds.  I love my car, I love showing it, and I love taking care of it but is does get expensive.  Modifications, cleaning, maintaining, car shows, travel to shows, food at/after shows, hanging out with folks at/after shows, road trips, club dues, entry fees... It adds up.

I do miss it, a lot.  I miss hanging out with our friends at the shows or at dinner afterwards.  I miss the whole thing but I'm not sorry that I've backed away.  My responsibility is to Susan and to our financial future.  I'm not making the money I was before; I can't spend money like I did before.  Its basic math and truthfully the logical response.

I'm working from home now and I have to admit I do love it. I'm with my dogs all day, I don't have the stress and political BS of a corporate office and the constant pressure of someone stepping on your neck as they reach for the ladder rung above you.  The money isn't there yet but I just started.

Funniest thing about all this... being laid off and barely working since July 2012... is that my credit score is increasing.  Highest it has ever been.  Susan gets all the kudos for that.  She makes sure everyone is paid, before it is due and more than is due.  Accounts are being paid off as quickly as possible.  Maybe someday, if all the planets align themselves correctly again, I'll be back where I was before financially and we will be in a better position to actually feel this crisis is over.  Until then, I keep the car in shape, I clean it, and I try to drive it occasionally.  I finally gave up and replaced the Optima battery because the car would be dead if I didn't drive it regularly.  If it sat for one or two days it would not start.

So... I guess that is the only 'modification' I can say I've done to the car lately... I replaced the Optima yellow top battery.

I know that this is a boring post compared to past posts.  Good news is that we are still under 50K miles! So there are some bright sides to this.

Take care everyone!
Reba

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

2013 is winding down...

There's not much left to the 2013 show season and I've yet to make a single show.  My unemployment issues that began in July 2012 continued until May 2013 however that position was short-lived and, due to no fault of my own, I left that position on September 5, 2013.  The job itself was $20K **less** per year than what I was used to making so obviously car shows and changes to the Stampede for 2013 were again moved to the bottom of the priority list.  (Housing, Food, Bills and Gas being more important of course)

The only thing on my "What I'd love to change in 2013 (cash flow permitting)" list from the 12/21/12 post that I did accomplish was:

  • Door leather inserts - repair/replaceThis was accomplished with a bit of creative thinking and desperation on my part.  I gave up on the 3M adhesive spray and just glued it all down with super-glue.  :) Amazingly enough, I think it worked better, faster, and nicer than some of the more expensive alternatives I've seen out on the net.

Of the things that were completed for the 2012 season I've made these changes:

  • Fixed passenger front quarter panel damage This needs to be repaired again. I was hit by a rock on the highway on my way to a job site.
  • Replaced Pony-Package ponies with Chrome ones I've painted the center stripe (normally white if Red/White/Blue) with Vista Blue leaving the others chrome.
  • Added 1/4 inch chrome "C Stripe - Removed in June/July 2013.
  • Blue lug nutsNot yet removed but the "blue" is about all gone.  These need to be taken off and the originals put back on.
  • Blue valve stem coversThe original ones faded so new ones were put on.

Other minor changes/issues:

  • I did not remove the old CAI but the AiRaid filter was replaced with a Blue filter (Thanks Sarah Vidrine!)
  • Trunk LED lights are not functioning... Probably something easy but I haven't looked for the problem yet. 
  • I did remove the larger iPad PadHoldr mounting bracket and using just the universal adapter and some Velcro I was able to easily mount my iPad Mini in its place.  Like the previous install, it is easily removed when exiting the car. Unlike the previous setup, there're no obvious bracket there to suggest there 'might' be an iPad hidden in the car. Win-Win... Did I mention the velcro? Cost was nominal so that was a Win-Win-Win!

Standing back and looking at this Mustang it is hard to believe that she is now 7 years old. The driver seat is showing some wear but there are no rips/tears, sagging leather or etc.   The carpet has minor items that wouldn't take me but an hour or less to clean with the proper cleaner. Everything else is perfect.  She is on the 3rd set of tires - first were on it when I bought it 6/19/2006. 2nd set went on 6/19/2010 and the 3rd set on 6/19/2013.  Oil changes and maintenance have been done on time at the dealership and records are kept.  

The only external things I want to fix are: 1) the damaged front quarter-panel, 2) some hail damage (small), 3) rock chips in the paint and 4) the stripes. Back when the car was covered in paint overspray and we buffed it off the process obviously damaged the clear over the stripes. The stripes need to be removed and replaced or, preferably, painted on.  Other than those items, you'd never know the car has never been garaged.   

So obviously I still have a laundry list of things to add, fix, and tweak so I guess I'm no where close to being "done" with this Mustang.  In truth, I hope I never really am.  I've enjoyed every single day that I have owned, driven and shown this Mustang.  Recently she rolled over to 47K miles... I keep saying I will retire her to "Occasional Driver" status before 50K but I don't see that happening financially but more importantly, I can't imagine NOT driving her. 

I can only hope that at this time next year I'll be writing about the changes I've made to the Stampede, my improved financial stability and whatever new job I have.  Surely 2014 will bring a bit more success my way, right?  :) 

Until next time. 
Reba
My Customer Pictures on AmericanMuscle.com

Friday, December 21, 2012

Going into another off-season

This is normally the time where we (we being owners of show car Mustangs) begin our planning and preparing to improve the car over the previous season or just to give it "something new". Trinity will be 7 in June and although she is still less than 42K miles she is at a point where one may have to look at what needs replacing over what needs to be modified or added.

Having been laid off in July, not driving much even after taking a three month contract position in September (mostly working from home), the Mustang has sat in the driveway for extended amount of times. Enough so that yesterday she wouldn't start at all. The Optima is now two years old. The only times it has given me trouble was after a long day of car shows and I had run my stereo and LED's.

So... The sudden restriction in income, and the looming needs to begin replacing existing parts (tires are going to need replacing soon) will negate the list of items I would LOVE to add on for 2013.

To cover what we did for 2012:

- Added GT Bumper
- Added V6 Chin Spoiler
- Fixed passenger front quarter panel damage
- Fixed damage over passenger wheel well
- Replaced Pony-Package ponies with Chrome ones
- Removed blue skull caps from side mirrors
- Added chrome covers to side mirrors
- Added new blue skull caps over the chrome mirror covers
- Added chrome door handles
- Added chrome antennae base
- Replaced chrome lock pockets with ones that fit better
- Replaced blue LED lighting in lock pockets
- Removed STAMPEDE banner
- Removed Stampede Edition decal from back window
- Added 1/4 inch chrome "C Stripe"
- Added chrome fuel door with lock
- Added NGK Iridium Spark Plugs gapped to Live Wires specs
- Replaced worn set of Live Wires
- Removed chrome SCT emblem
- Added chrome Ichthys (Christian Fish Symbol)
- Chrome tailpipe accents (Scott Drake)
- Blue lug nuts
- Custom painted/engraved MGP caliper covers
- Blue valve stem covers

What I'd love to change in 2013 (cash flow permitting):

- Remove AirRaid CAI
- BBK CAI or more advanced (tune needed)
- Add BBK throttle body
- Pypes pipe bombs mufflers
- High flow cats
- Door leather inserts - repair/replace
- Matching inserts for rear sears
- Update leather seats.
- Shifter knob for TCI

I'm sure there's more but I'll have to add them later. I'll have to go through my "modifications" list and do some editing. :).

Here' s a few pictures showing the items mentioned above.

Goodnight!





Saturday, December 15, 2012

OPTIMA® Digital 1200 Charger 12V Performance Charger :: OPTIMA® Batteries

OMG!! I think I'm in love!

Digital 1200

12V Performance Charger and Battery Maintainer


The OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 1200 Battery Charger enhances the performance of 12V AGM and flooded OPTIMA batteries as well as other high-performance AGM batteries, recovers deeply discharged batteries and helps extend battery life. With an easy-to-read, bright, backlit LCD gauge that displays battery charging, fill rate, mode settings and fault messages, this charger offers one of the best user interfaces. Available now.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

2012

I only did a hand full of shows this year and all were early in the Spring. My father-in-law became ill and my attention rightfully shifted towards my family. During this time my dog of nearly 16 years, Nicholas, passed away. My father-in-law, like Nicholas, fought a hard and relentless battle that, perhaps, ended our time with them before we wanted it to but also put an end to their pain and discomfort. My father-in-law passed early on 11/13/12. I still haven't accepted that he's gone. I keep hearing his cough, his voice or something familiar from another part of the house only to find it is my brother-in-law. So... That is why my great excitement for the 2012 season simply stopped in its tracks. Maybe Trinity will make one more year of it.

Here are some updated pictures taken in a short trip to Mabank Texas at the beginning of November.

Updated photo

Taken at a show at College Station this spring: 

New change is the chrome "c stripe". Goes well with the chrome handle, chrome ponies, chrome mirrors (with blue skull caps) and more.  Won best interior at the show. Folks liked the iPad, the Shelby Kicker upgraded sound and the wifi. :)  

-rw

Thursday, March 29, 2012

New door...

I put it on real quick at lunch today and still need to make final adjustments. Chrome... Cool. Lock? Awesome!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Almost ready for the 2012 show season.

Time to hang out with our friends, touch lives where I can (1.1.Six!) and enjoy my hobby with like-minded folks. :)

Profiling

Before more recent touches...

Night time blues

Interior with iPad mounted and blue LED lighting. :)
http://padholdr.com/

Interior shot

Posted on Instagram

iPad mount: http://padholdr.com/

Teaser

Been making some changes... some big... some small... here's a teaser shot.

Monday, September 19, 2011

MGP Caliper Covers

Ever painted your calipers? Then repainted them only to repaint them AGAIN later? Yeah, me too. Well, actually my friends painted them but you get my point.

I absolutely LOVE the look of body matched calipers and, unless your car is red or black, it isn't easy to come by. If you want it to look Good? Well, that's when you do your research, a little planning and invest in some MGP Caliper Covers.

The possibilities of customization are mind blowing or, if you want the popular red, black or silver, you can pick those up at a distributer like AmericanMuscle.com. I being the girl that I am had to go the more creative (aka expensive) route but do not regret it.

We required spacers which MGP was happy to supply. Once we had those the install was easy and quick. We finished up in about an hour total (had to take photos too) which isn't bad considering our extreme heat in Texas this August and that we are not 20 anymore. :).

All in all, I LOVE my MGP Caliper Covers and highly recommend them. Oh, and before the install I had my Ford Service department at Bankston Arlington remove the Hawk Ceramic Pads, resurface the rotors and install OEM pads. No squeak, no sound, and with the covers in place,them out at http://www.calipercovers.com

Pics below!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Found another Stampede

This one came in the dealership as a trade in and one of the employees snatched it up. Smart girl. I finally caught up with her and got some pics. I've seen a black one in person now, a Vista Blue Metallic like mine, two Red fire Metallics but no Tungsten. I've seen pics just not in person. This one is #411 and she just needs a little TLC. She's fully stock. Hopefully the owner realizes that it is a keeper.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Slow Summer

I haven't been feeling myself this summer and just don't have the "get up and go" I need to do all the shows I normally do.  I have only done the Palestine trip in April then one SVT Cruise, and three of the NTMC Cruise Nights.  I took a Class Award at SVT in the Open Class and First Place ("Class Winner") in the V6 Class at the NTMC events.  Palestine is a given.... I've yet to see one of the NTMC cars win there.  So, out of the five shows I've done this year I've come away with four awards... three of those being First.  Not bad.  Just wish I was more involved this year.  Maybe next year.

Until then...  The caliper covers came in and are GORGEOUS.  Just what I wanted.  I also put in chrome door strikers, a chrome hood latch and a chrome hood prop (for those windy days when hood lifts don't cut it).  (Will have to add pics later)

I have more on the horizon, of course.... stay tuned.  :)

Reba

Monday, July 11, 2011

Quality, not quantity

Usually by mid-July I have already participated in a lot of shows, suffered from heat exhaustion every weekend, and spend more time with my car than with Susan or my family. I promised myself that this year would be different. Including the NTMC Cruise last Saturday, I've gone to five shows this year - Palestine, three NTMC Cruises and a SVT Cruise - and with the exception of Palestine (where no one from NTMC wins) I've taken awards every time. SVT was a Class Award, the other three are First Place/Class Winner. Better than that though, I've spent some wonderful quality time with Susan. We will be celebrating our 15th anniversary this year. She's more important to me than this hobby. So, you haven't seen me posting much and the above is why. There are additional changes on the way. I just placed an order for some MGP Caliper Covers in Vista Blue. They will have my custom touch added of course so I'll add pictures when they come in. I was going to order a shifter from GrabberPony.com but they don't seem to respond to emails or voicemails. Not sure I want to throw money that way if I can't feel confident in who I'm working with. I have some other ideas though to do instead. Until then! Reba

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hey Everybody!

Sorry for the lapse in posting...  :)

The season is well underway and the temps are already in the 100's.  You really have to love this hobby to do car shows in that kind of heat.  Really.  (Right Justin?)  :)

Last off-season I went more of the "Go" route than the "Show" route by converting to Pypes True Duals with X Pipe, adding Pypes headers and a SCT Tuner with Bama Tunes.  I'm now running the 93 Octane Race tune and although it is more expensive when I fill up I must say I truly enjoy the difference in performance.  I still have a few "wish list" items to add in the Go department but remember, I have already replaced the coil with a Screamin' Demon racing coil, added Live Wires and the Air Raid CAI.  I would like to add a BBK Throttle body, larger MAF and maybe replace the CAI with something else... a BBK unit maybe?

On the "Show" side,  I decided to add my iPad to my Mustang's stereo setup... granted, it had to be removable as well as look like it belonged there...   After a lot of searching and pondering, I settled on PadHoldr and the vehicle specific kit for the 05-09 Mustang.  Of course, I purchased chrome. :)

I still have a few things left on my To Do list but I'm kinda running low on steam lately.   I don't know.

More later.
Reba




Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hanging out

It's a good day to hang out with the clubbies at Palestine!!