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  1. #1
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Want a car magazine recomendation

    I am finaly learning about cars in an intro to auto mechanics class, and to help me along in the learning proccess I think I should probably subscribe to a car magazine. My interest is learning how to pump up different types of muscle cars which is sure to be a major hobby of mine after I get out of college. Also, I wouldn't mind doing a few things to my Crown Victoria.

    I am learning about basic maintainance, and will learn more, but I would simply like to know more about the different mods that are available. I am not real interested in learning about 4 bangers, I used to have a civic and tend to think rice burners are best suited for gas milage.

    Can anybody recomend the perfect car magazine for me to subscribe to?
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  2. #2
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    Hotrod.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    If you're looking specifically at the Crown Victoria, there's various books that focuses on upgrading those cars specifically. Then you don't have to wade through months and years of numerous magazines to glean one or two paragraphs from various articles spread out all over the place.

    In addition, I recommend these magazines:

    Automotive Engineering - SAE International
    Racecar Engineering - IPC Media UK

    Personally, I think the most efficient is searching the online forums. You learn the most, only the exact pertinent info you're looking for, in the least amount of time. Check out http://forums.corner-carvers.com , doesn't get more hardcore than these guys. A quick search for "crown victoria" finds this list of hits.

  4. #4
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Hot Rod is a good source for all-round Hy-Po mod ideas. Fuel injection & turbo chargers work the same way wether on a Crown Vic or Corvette

  5. #5
    blithering idiot jhota's Avatar
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    +1 for Hot Rod.

    also see:

    Car Craft
    since you said you had a Crown Vic, Mustangs and Fast Fords is a good Ford-centric mag.
    Grassroots Motorsports is good if you want to go around corners.
    and, though it's a trade magazine, not a rod magazine, i'm a fan of Motor. especially for anybody interested in mechanics.

  6. #6
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    I was a staff artist for this magazine in the 80's......


  7. #7
    Senior Member midgie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander
    I am finaly learning about cars in an intro to auto mechanics class, and to help me along in the learning proccess I think I should probably subscribe to a car magazine. My interest is learning how to pump up different types of muscle cars which is sure to be a major hobby of mine after I get out of college. Also, I wouldn't mind doing a few things to my Crown Victoria.

    I am learning about basic maintainance, and will learn more, but I would simply like to know more about the different mods that are available. I am not real interested in learning about 4 bangers, I used to have a civic and tend to think rice burners are best suited for gas milage.

    Can anybody recomend the perfect car magazine for me to subscribe to?
    Call and order form jcwhitney and they offer you 3 months free of 3 magazines. Pick the one you like and cancel the other 2. And your 1st years subscription is at least 50% off, sometimes up to 75%
    Check out the website www.jcwhitney.com for something to order and then phone in your order. pm me if your interested and I'll give you more details
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  8. #8
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    GrassRootsMotorsports
    http://www.grmotorsports.com/


    My favorite car mag.
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  9. #9
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    5.0 and Super Fords would probably be my choice for modern magazines catering to Fords. Especially for the subscription price. MM&FF is just too rich for my blood, for over half of it being advertising. Currently the only thing I get now is Car Craft, I bought a 3-year subscription to it about 2 1/2 years ago for like $7. That ain't bad. You can pick subs to that and Hot Rod up cheap enough.

    The ones I really miss are the ones from the 80's like mentioned above. Cars Illustrated and spin-offs were my favorites. I could read Tony DeFeo's writings over and over again. They were raw, in your face rags that had entertainment value. A lot of them came out of NJ and many modern magazines owe their start to them.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody. Hot Rod it is.

    Like I said, I just want to expand my knolege about muscle cars in general. I already know what I want to do with my CV, the problem is that I won't have the money until I get out of college. What I want is new rods and GT headers, a supercharger, a new gearbox, some fatter stabilizer bars, and of course a chip.

    In the near future I will be installing police type double action shocks and perhaps I might straight pipe it, at least for the summer when I wouldn't have to wake up my neighbors warming it up. Its also possible I might instead install a high performance exaust system, just as long as it sounds louder.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    heh, heh.. .what's your goal with the upgrades? At some point it's going to be easier and cheaper to just pick up a Mustang. Or a C4/C5 Corvette's one of the best deals in bang-for-the-buck performance out there. I've always found that additional costs in upgrades reaches a diminishing return somewhere that could've been better spent to purchase a higher-performing car instead.

    Like those ricer kids buying crappy $2000 cars and adding $6000 in upgrades like rods & pistons, headers, CAIs, cams, exhausts, turbos, intercoolers, injectors, EFI-programming and dyno-tuning. The end results of performance could've been obtained by buying a stock 5.0 Mustang for less money to begin with.

  12. #12
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    That's my question... Why a Crown Vic? What's that weigh about 2 tons?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Yeah, thats definitly true, but the point is that nobody suspects a crown victoria of being fast, like when my dad had a Shelby modified Maverick. There is something to be said for a stock looking sedan that can keep up with a Viper. From a practical standpoint, I think the main nice thing about crown victorias is that they aren't cop magnets, but they have a fair amount of power.

    Again, I have other plans than my crown victoria when I get out of college. I very much like Camaro's, and I intend to get one with a 350 someday. And of course I'll probably get whatever else fits my fancy if/when I have extra money and garage space.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Actualy Stacey, its more like 2.5 tons. But its a durable car with a strong engine, and plenty of room for upgrades. Its held up to a lot of crap in the 10,000 miles I've had it. Its also one of the cheapest possible cars to insure if you're 19. The only problem is gas milage.

    Danno, I'm going to take a wild guess and say you have a Porsche, or at the very least you like them. If you are concerned with spending as little money as possible, why pay for hideously overpriced Porsche parts?
    Last edited by Michigander; 02-12-06 at 05:46 PM.
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  15. #15
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    That's the thing, at 2.5 tons you'll NEVER build a streetable motor that will give you a decent power to weight ratio. Accelleration will be pig slow, stopping takes forever and steering response is sluggish at best. The best you can hope for is bodacious top end. Too much risk there.

    Much more fun to build and drive a car that will hook up nice when the light turns green, keeping the front wheels JUST on the asphalt and getting up to the speed limit in an eye blink. There are (expensive) laws that regulate how fast you may go, but none that restrict how long it takes to get there... as long as you don't break traction and squeal the tires or lift the front ones off the ground.

    Want a sleeper? AMC Pacer, worked small block brake & suspension mods. Probably 2000-2500 lighter. Big fun

    Bigger fun... use a Gremlin!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Yes the steering is aweful, its pretty unstable, and it would be horribly expensive to get it to the point where it was the equivilant to a Marauder or cop car, but the way I see it is, for about $10,000 you can make them formidably fast, (maybe not as fast as something lighter, but still quite fast) and $10,000 or so is coincidentaly about how much a used corvette would cost. And there is far less chance of getting a bunch of tickets. But like I keep saying, my Crown Victoria is not something I am going to do too much with, I certainly have bigger and better plans.

    A guy I used to work with has a Gremlin with 500 HP. Its a neat car. An old friend of mine has a 1966 Toronado. I'd really like to build up one of those. Especially if I could have one like Jay Leno's.
    Last edited by Michigander; 02-12-06 at 06:36 PM.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    I just got some new info. Stock a crown victoria weighs about 4,500 pounds, and if you really trim the fat, you can get them down to 4,100 pounds or so. I was thinking about it last night, and the way I see it is, if I was rich and really wanted a "decent power to weight ratio", the way to do it would be to install a Roush 427. Sure it would be way more expensive than getting a mustang or something, but it would unquestionably be faster than hell.

    I think for reasons of practicality, rather than do all that sillyness, I'll just get a Camaro after I graduate. I could almost offord one now, but 2 C's on my report card last semester talked me into working 3 days a week instead of 4. So I'll just live with a few mods to my CV in the mean time.
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  18. #18
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    One of the GRM readers has a modded Mercury Marquis(same as a Vic) that gets around an autocross course pretty good. I used to own a Vic, it was ex FBI, full police/taxi package. That bigboy would move.
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  19. #19
    Am I the only car-guy? BradC's Avatar
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    Someone ran a blown EFI (4.6L i reckon) CrownVic in the Car and Driver "One Lap" and did very respectably!

  20. #20
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I just think it's best to define the goal before embarking on the upgrade journey. I've been there way too many times and a tonne of others have as well where you reach a point of diminishing returns. If you want a fast straight-line car, then throwing on a supercharger in the CV's probably the best bang-for-the-buck value out there. All of the other upgrades like headers, intakes, cams, ignition, exhausts comes nowhere close to the HP/dollar value of the supercharger. Ultimately, it has to be judged based upon dollars spent for the performance-level. If you wanted a sub-7s 0-60 time, it's cheaper to buy a used Mustang 5.0. With mild mods you can go sub-6 even.


    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander
    Danno, I'm going to take a wild guess and say you have a Porsche, or at the very least you like them. If you are concerned with spending as little money as possible, why pay for hideously overpriced Porsche parts?
    My goal was to go track racing. I live just a couple hours away from Laguna Seca, Sears Point, Willow Springs, Buttonwillow and California Speedway. I spent 9-months researching cars for track-racing and just about every single make needed major upgrades to get on the track. My Supra that I owned for 10 years was gonna need suspension, brakes and engine-mods. Corvettes would need brakes. My buddy with a Mustang fried his stock brakes within 5 laps and needed a $3500 upgrade to Brembos to last a whole day. The Porsche comes with 4-piston Brembo brakes as stock equipment. In the end, the Porsche was the only car I could take directly from the showroom floor to the racetrack without any upgrades needed. And it was also the cheapest for the level of performance delivered, upgrading any other car to those specifications would've end up costing more than the Porsche.

    The Corvette was a close contender with identical performance figures, but it didn't have the feel. The brakes didn't have the same feel and feedback; they also got spongey after 10-laps. The steering was vague and required brute force, you had to muscle the car into turning and sawing at the wheel through the corners was needed to maintain the desired line (the too-stiff Z51 suspension-option was probably responsible for this). The Porsche's brakes are already world-famous. The steering was much more precise and required much less steering corrections; you just aim it and go. The feedback feel was also much more distinct, you could feel the difference between running over a nickel vs. a dime.

    And the durability under racing conditions can't be beat. Take any other car and run it at 80% of the time at full-throttle, 20% under full-braking/cornering and you'd be hard-pressed to find anything else that'll survive lap-after-lap, day-after-day of racing. In the end, on a dollars/hour of racing basis, the Porsche is actually cheaper to run than just about any other car out there for racing. That's why if you look for the make that's got the most racetrack victories in the last 50-years from fun weekend club-races all the way to LeMans, there's only one name that stands out, Porsche.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 02-15-06 at 11:48 AM.

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