Thursday, March 24, 2016

12,500 Miles

Tonight, the Mopar 10 hit 12,500 Miles!  Not a huge milestone on its' own, but it is half-way to 25,000 which is a big one!

The occasion you ask?  Just running routine errands...yep, it remains a daily driver outside of hail and ice situations.

Another attribute was the M10 earning a 10 minute conversation from the kid who brought the groceries out.  Not bad for a Challenger that had just been out in 3 days of heavy, heavy Texas dust.

Friday, January 15, 2016

5 Years of the Mopar 10

Another year, another milestone!

It is VERY hard to believe that 5 Years ago today, I flew down and picked up the Mopar 10...I would have rolled into town just a few hours ago.

The Mopar 10 has remained an absolute join to pilot and there have been no significant issues, although the factory tires are finally getting close to their last tread.  The car hasn't been driven as much these past few months as I have had a few projects in-line for it that have been held up by other obligations.  It got parked and treated to the black lug nuts in early September mainly due to TWO tires having nails in them.



I have never been a fan of Goodyear tires...this is solely based on my experience with the factory Wranglers on my 01 Ram.  They had the worst tread wear I have ever seen.  Looking at the mileage, 12k is about where they really started to run empty and that is about where these F1s are.

However, despite the abysmal mileage on these factory treads, I have found that they actually do hook quite well...the downside to that is they pick up rocks very easily due to the softer compound...it isn't as bad as the Mickey Thompson Indy Profile S/S tires on the Duster, but it is not far behind.

Needless to say, I am pretty sure that some point in this year I'll have to spring for some new tires.  Last I checked, F1s were very expensive, so I will likely look elsewhere, but aside from the wear rate I can't complain about these F1s.  For anyone wondering, my likely choice will be a set of Nittos.  I've had very good luck with them in the past...

Also of note, I drove the M10 home from work tonight with NO HEADLIGHTS.  I mean technically they were in there, but neither side was connected.  It wasn't dark, but it was probably within the "sunset window."  Work got out a little later than planned, but the park lights got me home (I like the sinister look just the park lights lends pretty much any vehicle).  Nonetheless, I got back with enough daylight to snap a few pics before pulling the Chally in...

Interesting enough, at this time last year I was talking about a "Bright Idea" essentially an idea to upgrade the factory headlights, which are very lackluster.  If you haven't put 2 and 2 together yet, that is exactly why the factory bulbs are out...well the passenger side anyway...and the driver's side is there, just disconnected.  As soon as time allows (possibly tomorrow?), I will get out and finish up that upgrade.  It will be a big difference and I will finally be able to see down the road.  If you have anything past a base model Challenger, you likely have better headlights than the M10.  They are just the standard halogen bulbs like the 01 Ram has.  For some reason, likely the front fascia, the light output is abysmal.  I drive a lot of back roads (see also, no street lights) and the factory headlights perform slightly better than the sealed beams the Charger use to have...or in other words, I could tape Maglites (the flashlight...no one talks about those anymore) to the fenders and have an upgrade.

Given that this is now 2016 and lighting technology has progressed big time, I find that unacceptable and took action, as promised, last year.  As with most things, plans didn't exactly go as planned with the parts...I have come across quite the situation, one which I've not seen documented anywhere.  The case in point is that components manufactured to a certain spec. are in fact not compatible.  Imagine if you needed (2) 1/2-13 x 2 1/2" Bolts for a project.  You have (1) in your stock pile and it fits great...you go to the store and buy one and it doesn't fit.  You then go to another hardware store and they sell the same one that is threaded differently.  You hit up a 3rd store and ask for a 1/2" x 2 1/2" with coarse thread...take it home and no bueno.  The bolt fits each stores nuts, but you are left wondering why your old bolt, that specs out on the thread gauge as the classic 1/2-13 threads in perfect and the "new" bolts don't.  It wasn't a bolt that gave me this trouble, but rather a connector and I've yet to get an answer from anyone.  In my opinion this is classic outsourcing coupled with a lack of quality control.  People will run into this issue over time and I'm sure across other models, but my big hope is that it is corrected at the source!

Anyway, I have found a fix and naturally, it requires the end user to modify beyond reasonable measures, the aftermarket parts...I will do just that and we will make it work.

That is all for now...I still can't believe it has already been 5 Years, but I look forward to even more time with the Mopar 10.

If you are a Mopar 10 Owner, are you on the Registry?  If you are an Original Owner, you should be, or already have hit your 5 Year Anniversary!  What did you do?  Any upgrades?  How long did your factory F1s last?  Check these links out and I hope you are enjoying your Mopar 10 as much as myself.

Mopar 10 Registry: http://www.mopar10registry.com/
Mopar 10 Forum: http://www.lonestarmopars.com/mopar10/forum/
Mopar 10 Twitter: http://twitter.com/Mopar10Registry
Mopar 10 Facebook: Click Here
Mopar 10 Forum's 5 Year Thread: 5 Year Anniversary


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Gorilla Black Chrome Lug Nuts

Tonight, I rotated the Mopar 10's tires and swapped out the factory lug nuts for black lugs from Gorilla.  This was exasperated by having a screw in the Driver's Side Rear tire dropping about 5 lbs. a day and a nail in the Passenger Side Rear Tire that surprisingly held air after the initial impact.

Check back for pictures and videos!

Friday, August 7, 2015

12,000 Miles

As of this morning, the M10 officially rolled up on 12,000 Miles!



It was nice timing as I just started using the UVS Covercraft 100 Sunshade yesterday, have some parts I plan to order, and maybe most importantly hope to get the oil changed this weekend.  Things have been quite busy as of late, so while it seems simple, it will be a big accomplishment.

If the M10 stays in the shop, I'll likely proceed with the next upgrade in the coming weekends!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

CoverCraft UVS100 Custom Sunscreen

What: CoverCraft UVS100 Custom Sunscreen
CoverCraft Part Number: UV11079BL
Fits: 2008-2014 Dodge Challenger
Sourced from: SummitRacing.com
Summit Racing Part Number: CVC-G64000B
Price: $54.64 plus Shipping

Unboxing and Overview of CoverCraft
UVS100 for 2008-2014 Dodge Challenger



Well, this was not an anticipated purchase.  Given that I drive the M10 daily for the vast majority of the year, I put a priority on landing a good sunshade back when I got the car.  I had sourced a really nice looking sunshade that was a "True Blue" color and looked great with the M10's Blue Side Stripe, you can check it out here: Sunshade Blues

Sadly, a few years of the Texas sun baked this sunshade...I'm still puzzled by that given that I've run a similar sunshade in the truck for probably 10 years now and it has never "melted" like this one did...the blue has not faded much at all.  One of those mysteries I suppose, or perhaps a lesson I should use more reflective colors...

Anyway, most sunshades are of the same quality...You can roll into any auto parts store, specialty shops, Walmart, or Target and you basically have the same sampling of sunshades.  Some prefer the pop-out boxy kind, some like the roll out (although I can't say I've ever personally known of anyone that does), and most, or at least based on what I've seen, like the accordion style that offers a bit more substance and a compact design.

Since I still  have the opportunity to protect the Mopar 10 from UV Rays (opportunities you don't have with old cars), and more importantly the fact that my current sunshade is melted after 3 or so years, I didn't want to re-order it.  The other options are of the same similar quality, but with lame color choices...I personally am just not a fan of silver sunshades for the M10.  If I had a silver, or white Challenger yes...but a bold black and blue combo needs something to compliment it!

So, thus enters the UVS100.  They are pricey, but if I factor in another sunshade at $10-20 with $10 or so in freight, I'd basically hit this price point with the second iteration of my initial purchase.  Plus, given the fact so many shades claim to be a deep, dark blue and turn out to be teal, or seafoam green is further incentive to bite the bullet and make the investment in CoverCraft's offering.



I had looked at the UVS100 when I first got the car, but they didn't offer a dark blue and I had never really had issues with the shades I'd run in the past...They held up, stored easily, and made a noticeable difference in interior temps when leaving work....The UVS100 and similar priced offerings just seemed a bit overkill.  I'd rather put the extra $30 into some other upgrades, custom work, or even detailing supplies.

However, after ordering this thing and getting it in, I can see where the extra price comes from...although I still think a $29.99-$39.99 price point would be much better and likely result in more products moving to offset the price drop.  That aside, this is rigid!



You know how you can bend, roll, or contort your typical Auto Zone sunshades?  This UVS100 is made with foam panels.  Not only are they a better insulator, but they make for a solid product.

While the generic sunshades come in small, medium, large, and even Jumbo that seem to be one-size fits all (you know, Small and Jumbo both fit your 01 Dodge Ram), the CoverCraft UVS100 is custom cut from a pattern for an OE type fit.

One really big upgrade, and a nod to the overall quality of the product, is the felt back.  It might seem minor, especially in a car like a late model Challenger but let's put this in an old B-Body with a painted dash..Would you rather have a hot and rough foil dragging across your paint, or a cool-to-the-touch rigid board with a felt backing?  Yep, made my point didn't I?  It does seem overkill, but hey...when you are paying this kind of cash for a sunshade, it is nice to see something substantial to reflect that.

Speaking of reflect, the sunshades are triple laminated and stitched...In fact, each one is made by hand!  Pretty impressive!

I opted to spend the extra $5 to get the Storage Bag.  It is just a simple vinyl-like bag that the sunshade slides into when not in use...There is no "velcro" wrap around on these shades, so the bag is nice choice.  If you are super budget conscience I don't envision one opening up in the backseat, but when you're spending $50-$75 on a sunshade, it makes sense to invest in its protection as well.

As of right now the jury is still out on longevity.  I can't imagine it NOT lasting longer than my previous shade, but we will see...I didn't think it would burn up in 3 years either.  The first day I drove to work with the UVS100 I left to a 104 degree car.  Before you panic, the car was 110 the day before and it was actually cooler that day.  I suppose the Texas sun is a pretty good measuring rod for this type of product so I will keep you posted.

The fit is fantastic though...there is a slight gap along both a -pillars, but you can keep it uniform, or simply slide to one side to close it off completely.  The top has a slight gap as well, but it is held up by the visors.  The only real point I found heat coming in was from around the rearview mirror and that is to be expected with any sunshade.

The shade either slides right into the bag, or requires me to coerce it a little, but again...this is just insurance on the investment if you will.  While stored, it disappears into the black abyss of my back seat, or passenger side floorboard.

The blue metallic I opted for sets it off very subtly.  I would have no doubt preferred a Mopar Blue, but this is alright...It is just enough to catch the eye of any car guy, or gal and let them know the shade is something special.  I hope it holds up and doesn't color fade, but again that is something I will monitor.

There really isn't a lot to say about a sunshade...you run one or you don't, you like this style or the other, and you want a certain color or are indifferent.  I think pictures would do an adequate job showing this product off, but most folks gravitate towards videos so I opted to showcase it there and for one additional reason.  Prior to shelling out $50-$75 for a sunshade I personally want to know it is worth it, or why it is priced that high.  Plus, manufacturer colors are often misleading...I could find nothing outside of promotional videos on these shades so I figured if someone was in the market for one and wanted to research it, this might help you out.

I can honestly say I don't feel ripped off, but I still think the price is a bit high...That said, the initial quality is outstanding and the fit-and-finish is top notch.  If the Mopar 10's seats last a bit longer and I don't get tattooed by the shifter handle, I reckon we've made a good decision.

If you have any questions, or would like follow up information, feel free to post up on the forum:





Friday, April 17, 2015

11,000 Miles

Today, Friday, April 17th, 2015 I hit the 11k Mile Mark coming home from work in the Mopar 10!




There was also a very ominous cloud overhead that I tracked via a few pics on the way home...I think a they are pretty cool!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Four Years of the M10

Today was a big day for the Mopar 10; it was the 4th Anniversary!

Hard to believe that at this time four years ago I was booking a one way flight and then driving home in the M10.  This of course took place Friday night into Saturday, but the date falls on a Thursday this year.

The weather has been quite cold this year, but more importantly we had a few ice storms and some snow...While I drive the M10 a lot and thru all kinds of weather, I'm always leery of ice for the simple fact someone could slide into me.

All of that coupled with shorter days and the cold weather left the M10 parked for awhile with its' stable mates.

I took care of that tonight by opening up the gates and letting the M10 stretch its legs.

I also came clean with an idea I have had a for awhile now...I wonder if the new projector beam headlights you see on 2015 Challengers will retrofit to the "older" models.  The factory headlights aren't all that illuminating when you get right down to it.

You can read more on the "Bright Idea" on the Mopar 10 Registry Forum:
http://www.lonestarmopars.com/mopar10/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=191

I usually like to treat the M10 to something special around the Anniversary date and this would be another upgrade that would not only enhance the aesthetics and night time driving, but also keep those original factory housings pristine!

It is something I am investigating at this moment.  That said, as fate would have it, this weekend and early next week are shaping up to be some very nice January days...Days in which I will be enjoying the services of the M10!

If you commemorate your Mopar 10 Anniversary, be sure to post up on the forum:
http://www.lonestarmopars.com/mopar10/forum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=190