Pete Epple Technical Editor
May 19, 2009

MM&FF command center in Tampa, Fl is where our fleet of project vehicles now call home. Although the move from the New Jersey office went relatively smoothly, some of the projects need a little post-move service.

I don't know if the climate change has played its part on the cars (and truck) that have made the move, but just about all of them seem to have sprung a leak of some sort. The Fridge (our '99 Lightning) has had quite a substantial transmission leak that we attributed to a trans-pan gasket. The ugly broken fog lamps have also been removed and it is enjoying some light duty on a day-to-day basis.

Project Superfly, Destroyer Of Hideous Camaros, (our '97 Cobra) was up next. If you have read the July, 09 issue of MM&FF, you know Superfly was part of a 1200-plus mile tire test with Nitto's new NT05 Ultra-High Performance tire. Even though the trip from NJ to FL went off without a hitch, Superfly also was not so eager to settle into the Florida lifestyle. Part two of the tire test found the MM&FF staff getting ready to take Superfly autocrossing. Unfortunately in the days leading up to the event the rear swaybar decided it had had enough and broke into two pieces. Not a major catastrophe but not the problem you want three days before an autocross event. Although a call to MPS netted us a new swaybar, we did not receive it in time to have it installed for the event. In an attempt to salvage the day at the autocross the decision was made to weld the bar back together in the hope that it would last the duration of the event. After a little grinding and some test fitting, the swaybar was back together working good as new. We all watched as our Editorial Director, Jim Campisano carved his way through the cones putting both Superfly and the Nitto NT05s to the test, and both made it through with flying colors. The tires held up great all day and had some awesome grip, and Superfly never missed a beat! Ironically, two days later the welds on the swaybar gave up as Campi made the turn out of his driveway. Time for the new swaybar!

The Fridge heats up the tires at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown New Jersey.

Once the autocross was done and over with, a small exhaust leak started to develop in the engine bay of Superfly. Over the course of a short week, that small leak turned into a gaping hole. Unfortunately with the limited room in the engine bay of a '97 Cobra, we simply assumed it was a header gasket and ordered a set from Brandon Ford. We took Superfly to Ramsey's Performance in Lutz, Florida to have everything swapped out. A day or so later a call from Dennis Ramsey would confirm that we were very much wrong and broken header was causing the problem. Ramsey's installed a new set of FRPP shorty headers and Superfly now has a clean bill of health.

MM&FF's 2001 Mustang GT, know to most of our readers as The Ice Box, has been problematic to say the least. The woes involved with The Ice Box go back to before the move to Florida was even considered. Electrical demons have plagued The Ice Box for sometime. My first experience with her was based around trying to find the drain that would kill that battery in a short day or two. Having sat for a few months in the cold New Jersey Winter, The Ice Box was not happy being woken up from her slumber. Cold street tires and even colder NJ pavement coupled with 575rwhp inevitably results in tirespin. Long story short, The Ice Box decided that it didn't want to hold on to the blower belt anymore. Even though this is an easy problem too fix, the belt ended up wrapped multiple times around more than one pulley and broke in three places. Luckily for me I have some great friends. Bill, Walter, and Anthony at W&W Auto and Truck Repair in Bound Brook, New Jersey took The Ice Box and me in and made her good as new. I don't know what I would have done if these guys didn't come to my rescue.

Moving to Fl, I opted to sell my unreliable transportation in NJ prior to the move and buy something better once I got settled in Tampa. In the meantime, The Ice Box became my everyday driver, and for the most part she runs with no problem. About a week ago, as I am driving home from the airport the clutch becomes very hard to operate. When I finally get home, the clutch grabs about half an inch off the floor. After checking the adjustment, it is very clear that the cable is broken. The outer coating was split and most of the metal cable was exposed to the elements. Again, Brandon Ford comes through in a pinch and gets us a FRPP adjustable clutch cable. The installation went nice and easy and The Ice Box shifts like it should once again.