Archive for February, 2009

Bright Atlantic Blue 98 SVT

By Stevestang sunset

This is my first long over due post concerning my 1998 SVT Cobra. My plan was to document the modifications as I progressed through them for the sake of having a reference if I ever need to repeat a procedure and to inspire those who are not confident enough to work on their own cars. If I can do it, you can do it. Seriously.

Here’s the brief history so far. I moved down to San Diego in December 07 with the help of my loving (soon to be) mother and father in laws and when they departed they left me with their 1992 Dodge Caravan with somewhere near 210,000 thousand miles on it. I can’t even tell you how grateful I was. It had a peppy little 4 cylinder and along with squirrels and a built in aquarium it had soul. You can tell when it was really struggling and in many ways it reminded me of the little engine that could. It delivered me to my first of many job interviews and when I finally landed one I celebrated by blowing out both speakers (unintentionally) on my way home. It was a great little van, but soon after landing my dream job it was time to full fill another dream. I was cruising craigslist one day when I came across the work of art that is the 1998 BAB (Bright Atlantic Blue) Cobra Mustang.

I miraculously convinced my girlfriend that we (I) needed this 8 cylinder, gas guzzling, environment murdering,  sports car and a few days later I was the proud owner of my dream car.  Unfortunately, the car had seen better days. With 125K miles there are many imperfections in the paint, dings, dents, scratches, cracks in the hood, the list can go on forever…

It’ll take some time before it’s in the condition I’m aiming for, but it should be a fun learning experience along the way.

The first couple of upgrades I made included installing new Cobra head lights with clear (not euro clear) corners. I paired these with krypton bulbs for both the head lights and fog lights. I replaced the ugly amber bulbs in the corners with titanium dioxide coated ones which looks like chrome but still shine amber. I deleted the antenna with a billet aluminum replacement nub and Alix installed a sequential tail light kit. (Even Alix has fallen under the spell of modifying the Cobra)

Last weekend I installed and gapped new spark plugs, replaced the spark plug wires and installed a JLT True Cold Air Intake. It may not sound like much, but I have had no prior experience working on cars without the help of an experienced mechanic. I bought a new PCV valve and a fuel filter for the next oil change. I also plan on flushing the coolant and taking apart the intake manifold and either cleaning of deleting the IMRC’s. (More on this later) This weekend I’ll be buying the parts to build an oil separator that will be placed between the intake and the valve covers along the PCV line to prevent oil from entering the intake and gumming up the inside.

Unfortunately on the way home from Thanksgiving dinner the cluster gear snapped and we no longer had 5th gear or reverse. $2,000 later we had a rebuilt transmission with a Steeda Triax shifter, Steeda adjustable clutch cable, billet quadrant and a King Cobra Clutch installed while it was open. I wish I had just bought a new 6 speed transmission. *slams head on desk*

Alix and I also ran some seafoam through the PCV valve which created a cloud of smoke comparable to the blast from a small atomic bomb. I wish we had taken a video of that…

Next thing on the list is some H&R Sport Spring and some Tokico Hp struts and shocks to get rid of that nasty 4X4 look and to improve handling. Yes, the car has the original shocks and struts on it still. Yes, the smallest bump feels like an earthquake.

Stay tuned for more mustang stories.

Praying Mantis

By Steve

Tonight when we arrived home from work we found a package of praying mantis egg sacs (also known as ootheca) in our mailbox! I ordered 6 from ebay for about $10 including shipping and the friendly seller included 7 instead! I have been doing some research here and there and decided that praying mantis’ would be a geat way of naturally controlling pests in our garden. We have a small yard and an even smaller garden so 7 egg sacks is definitely overkill as eachootheca can produce as many as 300 praying mantis nymphs . I’ve always loved manti as they were very rare where I used to live (Massachusetts) so I thought this experience would be a great opportunity to raise a few of them while I’m at work. I’m hoping to find many egg sacs in our yard in the late fall after they mate so we can always expect to see them when we’re out gardening.

I’m planning on hatching one egg inside and then keeping 3-4 manti in containers and bringing them to work to keep me company. I’ll be feeding them a combination of wingless fruit flys and cat food at first until they reach a large enough size to eat crickets and grass hoppers.  Hopefully I’ll choose a few males and females so they can mate and I can begin the whole process again in a few months.

Well that’s it for now. I’m expecting to wait at least 2-3 weeks before these guys hatch so look for updates around then.

mantis sacks mantissacksclose

One in the morning..

I snapped a few shots a few weeks ago of One sleeping with Steve.  After the constant pestering he and Zero inflict on us in the morning after hearing our alarm go off…and after his belly is full of delicious nutritious kitty kibble…he likes to meander back to the bed where Steve is usually still snoozing away and Steve will lift up the covers and One will squeeze on in next to him.  He does this to me too.  Its unbearably cute and i had to get a few shots:



Planting the Seedlings!

I decided to spend the few hours  I have of a life outside of work tonight planting my indoor seedlings!  I planted tomatoes, onions, two types of peppers, bell pepper and jalapeno, and broccoli too!

seedlingcontainer oneseekingseedlings

And in a futile attempt to cat-proof the seedlings, I set up a little paper wall to hopefully prevent them from stepping on the flimsy plastic cover over the soil.

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