Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mustang Arm Rest Cover – Long-Term Review

mustang arm rest cover american muscle review 2005 - 2009


Mustangs are the AR15s of the automotive world. There are so many customizable options. From performance parts, to dress up parts, you name it, someone has made an aftermarket version of it.

Readers may know that I have a 2005 V6 Mustang. It’s my daily driver, and I’ve had it since 2009. Yes, it’s only a V6, but I still love it, and have done many things to make it mine. One of them was an arm rest cover from American Muscle. They offer a few different versions. I opted for the running pony one.

Installation was pretty straight forward. You have to remove the arm rest/top of the center console, fold the cover over it, and use a staple gun to get it into place. The first issue I had was with fitment. The rounded corners at the front seemed too thick, and it started to pull and separate the cushion of the arm rest from the plastic. No big deal. It wasn’t bad enough for me to care.

Once I got it on, it looked fantastic! It really dressed up the car, and I was super happy. That was in 2012.

As time went on the, the stitching started to get dirty. You expect that. What I didn’t expect was for it to start vanishing. Not pulling, but parts of it would simply disappear. Then the leather started to crack and peel. That caused it to poke into my arm. Now, five years and 46,457 miles later, it looks like absolute garbage.

I also can’t just take it off, because remember that pulling I mentioned? That won’t settle back down, so I’m kind of stuck with it.

At this point, as I mentioned, it has been on my daily driver for five years 46,457 miles, and sat in storage at one point for six months straight when I put my car in a garage while I left for a long term contract. It did start to fail after a year or so and got progressively worse.

I attempted to bring this to American Muscle’s attention, but I was ignored. That is highly surprising as they have fantastic customer service. I hate to talk bad about products, especially when they are from companies that I like, but I figured that I would warn anyone interested in this product that it won’t last. 

I put about 75 miles on my car per day, it stays outside in the Florida sun, and I open and close the console a lot. However, I would have expected this to hold up a little better, especially considering it started to show signs pretty early. Oh well. I guess you get what you pay for! 

Like these kind of reviews? Don’t forget to check out our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for some exclusive content and updates. Thanks for stopping by!

mustang arm rest cover american muscle review 2005 - 2009

mustang arm rest cover american muscle review 2005 - 2009

mustang arm rest cover american muscle review 2005 - 2009


Saturday, February 25, 2017

One Rusty Torino - Torino Time!


1971 ford torino 500 rust restoration random automotive florida 302 v8














Yes, I am alive. For the die-hard readers, you know the story: I’m working all the time, and have little time to dedicate to this kind of stuff. Anyway… This video was actually filmed when I fixed my door, but I never got around to editing it.

This 1971 Ford Torino 500 is plagued with rust. One of the first areas I decided to tackle was the trunk. I have never attempted rust removal and treatment on this scale before, so I figured the trunk would be best. Why? So if I mess up, no one will see it!

The right way to do this is replace the gas tank (since it has nine holes in it), grind out all the rusted metal, and weld in new metal. Since I’m cheap, I will be doing none of that. I will be plugging the holes with gas tank putty, sanding down (by hand) the rusty metal, spraying the area with Rust Fix, going crazy with fiberglass patches, and finally priming and painting the area.

1971 ford torino 500 rust restoration random automotive florida 302 v8

1971 ford torino 500 rust restoration random automotive florida 302 v8

When I started this, it proved to be much more challenging than I originally thought. There will be multiple parts to this trunk fiasco. 

Basically, this time around was just the sanding and Rust Fix. I got buzzed off acetone and the Rust Fix, and discovered another hole in the gas tank. I did make a lot of progress, but I have so much more to go. If you’re so inclined to see me inhale vast amounts of rust dust before submitting to the common sense of acquiring a mask, please watch the video. 

1971 ford torino 500 rust restoration random automotive florida 302 v8

1971 ford torino 500 rust restoration random automotive florida 302 v8

There is still so much more to do with this car, but I would hope that you join me in this adventure. Want to find out what I do next? Follow the series on this blog, or check out our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for some exclusive content and updates about what will be happening to this car next! Thanks for stopping by.




Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Fixing My Door - Torino Time

1971 ford torino 500 v8 302 restoration zip tie door florida abandoned

For the first restoration/repair work of Torino Time, featuring my 1971 Ford Torino 500, I tackle that damn door. As I mentioned in the Torino Time intro, the driver side door stopped working from the outside while the engine was being worked on. I assumed this would be an easy fix, and something that I really wanted fixed soon, so that’s what I tackled first. 

First step was removing the door panel. It was a couple screws and some bolts. I was not prepared for the bolts holding the armrest in, but, whatever! I got them off after some time. 

I knew that something had just come disconnected. When I finally got the panel off, I found out that this had happened before, because the zip tie holding the mechanism in place from when it became disconnected in the past had broken. If it was good enough for the previous owner, it was good enough for me! One zip tie later, and I could use my door again. 

It wasn’t as good of a zip tie as the one that broke, so it will break again, but at least I know it can be fixed again! Aren’t old cars great? Check out the video for the full adventure. 

There is still so much more to do with this car, but I would hope that you join me in this adventure. Want to find out what I do next? Follow the series on this blog, or check out our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for some exclusive content and updates about what will be happening to this car next! Thanks for stopping by. 




Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Torino Time!

1971 ford torino 500 302 v8 restoration florida classic muscle car














Well, here’s a different one for you. I bought a 1971 Ford Torino 500. I have actually had this car for about seven months now, but I have really only been driving it for about a week. Why, you may ask? Because after about a week of owning it, she burst into flames. Yeah.

Anyway, here we are. I hope that you follow me on my path to restoring this car. It’s not going to be a full top to bottom restoration. There is too much to do, and I don’t want to put that much money into it. However, much of this stuff I have never done before, and I’m new to carbureted engines to being with, so this will be a learning experience. 

The good news about this car is that it runs and drives. That’s pretty much where the good news stops.

Rust has plagued this car. The trunk pan is rusted through, which includes the gas tank (I plugged eight holes in). The floor boards don’t exist. The roof is starting to go, though thankfully that is only surface rust for now. Also, there are rust holes here and there throughout the body.

1971 ford torino 500 302 v8 restoration florida classic muscle car

1971 ford torino 500 302 v8 restoration florida classic muscle car

1971 ford torino 500 302 v8 restoration florida classic muscle car

After the car caught on fire (due to a leaky fuel line), to did get some engine work done before I started this little series. The 302 V8 now as an electric HEI distributor, a new carburetor, new air filter, new spark plugs, and new spark plug wires.

1971 ford torino 500 302 v8 restoration florida classic muscle car

1971 ford torino 500 302 v8 restoration florida classic muscle car
There is still some work to do under there: new battery terminal to replace the one the fire department broke off, fix or replace the fan shroud (probably fix since a new one costs too much), and just tidy it up and clean it. 

The interior, besides the rust, needs to be looked at for small and big things such as the passenger window crank knob, dome light lens, gauge lights and glass, and stuff like that. Also, the driver side door no longer opens from the outside ever since I left it for the six months. 

There is a lot to do with this car, but I would hope that you join me in this adventure. Follow the series on this blog, or check out our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for some exclusive content and updates about what will be happening to this car next! Thanks for stopping by. 




Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Removing Fuel Drip Marks

fuel drip marks removal polish buff














Fuel drip marks are ugly, but pretty common. However, they are very easy and cheap to remove in less than five minutes, if you don’t let them get too bad. Here is a quick and easy way you can remove them by hand with one trip to Walmart and $15. Everything you buy, you can use again for other projects as well. 

For this, you need three things: 
  • Polish (or a compound, depending on the severity) 
  • A microfiber applicator pad 
  • A microfiber towel 
fuel drip marks removal polish buff

Out of all that, the polish will be your most expensive at probably around $8, while the rest will run you just a few dollars. 

Step one is to wash the area. While you won’t be able to wash the marks away, you will be rubbing the polish in. The last thing you want to do is rub any sand or dirt into the paint. Even though the polish will get rid of it, it’s best to work with a “clean” surface. 

Step two is to apply the polish to your applicator pad. A nickel sized amount in the middle is a good starting point. NOTE: Make sure you are using a polish, not a wax. Wax is for protecting, but a polish actually contains abrasives that cut into the surface. A rubbing compound is even stronger and may be needed if polish doesn’t work. 

Rub the polish coated pad in circular motions over the stained area. Don’t push hard enough to bend metal, but don’t be light enough to have the pad slip past your fingers. A moderate amount of pressure will do. Keep working the polish in. The area/polish will begin to haze. Let it sit for about thirty seconds or so. 

Step three involves some buffing. Take your clean microfiber towel, and with those same circular motions, buff the polish away. Perhaps a little more pressure, backing off to a little less. You should see that the marks are gone. If they are not, repeat the process again. If they really don’t seem to go away, try the same steps, but with a compound.

fuel drip marks removal polish buff
fuel drip marks removal polish buff

It’s really that simple. No special tools needed, and this literally takes less than five minutes. The results: looks brand new! 

Check out the video below for me doing this to my car. What to see more stuff like this? Make sure you head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for some exclusive content! Thanks for stopping by. 




Monday, October 17, 2016

Removing Hidden Rust


rust removal treatment body work sanding sealant














It’s been while (I think every recent post has started like that), but here is something different for you guys. I noticed a while back that the floor mat of my trunk was wet. I peeled it back, and sure enough, there was a pool of water and some nice rust. Thankfully, this was in an area that didn’t need to be made looking pretty, so my goal was to remove the rust, neutralize what remained, seal the leak, and call it a day. 

This is what you will need: 
  • Rough/low grit sandpaper 
  • Rust remover/neutralizer 
  • Primer (optional) 
  • Sealant 

Now, I am not a professional, and this was my first time doing this. Also, again, this was not meant to be a professional job. It was supposed to be quick and dirty. 

The first thing you want to do is find out where the leak is coming from. If you don’t stop that, your problem will keep happening. For me, I narrowed it down to two spots. One was an alignment hole for the real valance/bumper, and other was some damaged sealant. I took my sealant and smeared it over the alignment hole. That was simple.


The CORRECT way to tackle the other area would be to remove the old sealant with a wire brush, but I opted just to clean the area, and apply the new sealant over the old stuff. Preparation is everything. In the long run, this could bit me in the butt, but I just wanted to get this done quickly.


After that, you want to start sanding down the rust. I found some 80 grit sandpaper, so I attacked it all with that. Again, it doesn’t matter how this area looks for me. After you sand the area down as best you can, you have to clean it. A shop vac would be a great tool. I didn’t have one, so I managed with fingers and paper towels.


Now it’s time to treat the metal. An epoxy primer is probably best, but again, for quick and dirty, it was suggested I use Dupli Color Rust Fix. This stuff chemically converts whatever rusted metal is left into a black primer. It was pretty cool to see it work. Just follow the directions on the can. You might have to use a couple coats.


When that is dry (a full 24 hours would be best to wait), you might want to hit the area with a good primer just to tidy it all up. If you want it to look really good, apply some body filler to the area and sand that down to a smooth and factory looking finish, and follow it up with some more primer. I just left it at the Rust Fix state. Again, this is not in an area I care about.


If you see rust in an area like this, do your best to stop it as soon as you can! Rust spreads like a virus and can kill cars. Find the leak, stop the leak, remove the rust, treat the metal, and you’re good to go! 

To see me tackle my car, in a perhaps not so informative way, check out the video below. What to see more stuff like this? Make sure you head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for some exclusive content! Thanks for stopping by. 



Sunday, June 12, 2016

Action Gator Tire – Casselberry, FL Review

action gator tire casselberry florida review orlando mechanic oil change














Action Gator Tire

980 N Semoran Blvd

Casselberry, FL 32707


Story One – You Win Some 


When I find a shop that I like, I tend to stick with it. If I am looking for a new one, it’s because I need a specialty service done, the previous shop I went to messed up, or simply somewhere else has a better price. The main reason I go to shops is for an oil change. I don’t like changing my own oil as it takes time I don’t have, and it’s cheaper to do it at a shop. 

My reason for stumbling across Action Gator Tire in Casselberry (Florida) was because I needed tires. They were running a sale on Pirelli P4 all season tires, and I was currently driving on dry-rotted, rock hard, cheap-o-matic things that resembled tires. I generally buy cheap everything (as I’m on a budget) and can usually make things last that are not supposed to. Anyway, these tires were about $40 each! How could I say no? 

Well, I couldn’t. I went to the shop one morning and asked for the tires. The price I was told was not the price that came up online. That should have been my first flag. The man behind the counter wasn’t aware of the sale, so I had to pull up the ad. After a bit of negotiating, we got the price for four new tires, mounting, and all that to something I could agree to. Negotiation is rare, but they worked with me. 

I sat in the lobby and waited. It was what you would expect from an older shop: basic chairs, a little dirty, and so on. Nothing disturbing or anything. It had the expected look and scent. 

It really didn’t take that long, and I was on the road. 

Story Two – You Lose Some 


I always went to the same shop to get my oil changed. However, after my brakes had a catastrophic failure after they touched them last and assured me that they were fine when they started to rattle, I decided to try out Action Gator Tire, since my tire experience went well with them. I looked online and saw that they had a coupon for $19.95. 

I called and asked to make an appointment. I was met with a questioning rebuttal stating that they don’t accept appointments. Strange, but okay. I decided I would go in one morning a little bit after they opened. Here is where things get interesting. 

First off, I was told that they could not get me in because something broke in the shop, and the technician that would do my oil change was out taking care of that. The man behind the counter said, “This is why we don’t like to allow appointments, so when things happen like this, we don’t let customers down.” While this seems sincere, that leads me to believe this happens more frequently than they would like to admit. 

Fair enough though, right? Stuff happens. I asked when I could come back, and they said that a few hours should do it. Not what I wanted, but okay. I decided to inquire about the price of the oil change with the coupon before I left. Good thing I did because the final price (and this is WITH the $19.95 coupon) came out to over $30! What? Well, apparently you have to add on shop fees and things like that. That’s normal and expected, but generally just a couple extra bucks. 

At that moment, I walked out to their parking lot, looked up a new shop, and have not been back since. 

Bottom Line 


This is classic case of “you win some, you lose some”. Their service and price with the tires was really pleasing. Their service, lack of dedication, and obscure pricing regarding oil changes was not. Did I overreact by not coming back? I don’t think so. There are dozens upon dozens of shops begging for business. You mess up on one of my first encounters with you, I’ll simply go to another. 

I would recommend these guys for tires in Florida, and their other services may be great, but in a very competitive market (mechanic shops), it’s not hard to find another. They do have plenty of coupons online (that may or may not have your total price be reasonable), and they do run lots of sales on tires. They are a chain, so again, this one is only talking about the one in Casselberry, Florida. 

Have you been to this shop? Let me know what you thought about them in the comment section. Thank you for reading, and I hope that I helped! 

Want to learn about more shops like this? Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter!




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