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Farewell MACA... its time i moved on...

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic Cobra Association' started by Red Poison, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. Red Poison

    Red Poison Over it Established Member

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    Where do I begin... well, for starters, this is the last thread I ever thought I would be posting on this forum. I bought this car with all intent of keeping it forever, which is why I went to the extent i did to make it what it is. That aside, let’s get right to it...
    My car is 03 Redfire vert with ~69k on the clock. I am the second owner - purchased it at 37k. The first owner was an older gentelman who took great care of it and i continued the care. Car (in my hands - shop let it sit outside) has always been garage kept.

    $22,500

    List of Mods:

    Engine (less than 700miles on shortblock)
    -MMR 5.3L Ford Racing BOSS 302 Stroker Mod 1000S
    -9:1 Compression
    -JE Pistons
    -ARP Main studs / ARP Head studs / ARP 2000 Rod Bolts / MMR Side Bolts
    -Manley High Performance 4v Springs and Titanium retainers
    -MMR Stage 3 Custom Turbo Cams
    -Triange Speed Shop (TSS) Oil pump
    -ATI Balancer 6.75, 6 rib, Aluminum center, steel outer
    -Cometic Head gaskets
    -Moroso Power Steering reservoir (powdercoated black)
    -Moroso Fuse box cover (powdercoated black)
    -Black Powder coated Valve Covers

    Turbo
    -Hellion Single Turbo kit
    -76mm Precision CEA Billet Wheel Turbo
    -Ceramic coated hot side
    -Ball Bearing upgrade
    -Turbosmart E boost 2 controller
    -Blow through conversion
    -SCT MAF sensor
    -99/01 Intake Powder coated black
    -MMR Intake Spacer
    -Accufab Mustang Cobra 99/01 Throttle Body
    -Fore Boost Vacuum Manifold

    Transmission
    -Spec 3 Clutch (~2k miles)
    -Fidanza Flyhwheel
    -Ford Racing Throw out bearing
    -MGW Short throw Shifter

    Suspension
    -Maximum Motorsport K member
    -Maximum Motorsport Coil over kit
    -Maximum Motorsport Camber Plates
    -Maximum Motorsport Front Control Arms
    -IRS Brace (Redfire)
    -HR Race Springs in rear
    -Low Profile IRS Brace
    -18” Black Chrome FR500
    -Toyo R888 Rear (~1500 miles) / Nitto 555s Front (15k miles)

    Interior
    -Speed of Sound Gauge Pillar
    -Speedhut Gauges color matched factor gauge cluster
    -Oil Temp
    -Fuel Pressure
    -Wideband (Air/Fuel)
    -Boost
    -Raptor Shiftlight (blue)

    Fuel System
    -Return Setup
    -Walbro 465 pumps
    -Fore SN95 Fuel Hat (dual)
    -Fore Fuel Filter
    -Aeromotive Y Block
    -Fore Fuel Rails (black)
    -Fore F4i Fuel Pressure Regulator
    - 8an Stainless Steel Braided Fuel lines (Feed and return)
    -Bosch 105 Fuel Injectors

    Cooling
    -Fluidyne Performance Radiator

    Exhaust
    -Bassani Polished Catback
    -Stock Manifolds and Bassani Turbo piping

    Car made 700/681 on 93 and 857/831 on E85
    20141012_162707_zps1wcw7lbl.jpg

    20141012_162733_zpsvvespqst.jpg

    Now for the story...
    I bought this motor from MMR and had it dropped shipped to DGR for the install. After about 2 months, I get the call that the car is running and because I wanted to follow the directions provided by MMR, I came to pick it up and put 400 miles on it. The car had a basic break in tune (600/600) which I drove it on. The shop is 90 miles from my house so between picking it up, running a couple errands and driving it to work for 3 days (60 miles round trip) I was back at the shop in a week for my high boost tune. When I arrived, I was just over 400 miles and we strapped it to the dyno and made some power.

    [youtube_browser]tIhARnBKFXs&list[/youtube_browser]

    After draining the tank, we moved on to the E85 tune and made more power.

    [youtube_browser]BYlNawK_usI&list[/youtube_browser]

    Drained the tanks, put 5gals of 93 back into it and babied it home due to the mixed blend of fuel. On my way of course I was about to run out of gas so I had to stop and put more gas into it – another 5 gals. That gas got me right home (gas light on) where I immediately went to the gas station and filled it up. That night I went out with a buddy of mine and enjoyed the car. The next day I took a buddy for a spin and the car was blowing a bit of white smoke out of the exhaust, which I didn’t think much of because it did the same on the dyno. On the way home I did a 2nd, 3rd, 4th gear pull and when in fourth I heard a puddering sound, the car fell on its face with power and a huge cloud of smoke came out the exhaust. I didn’t understand what happened so I immediately parked it and left it until I spoke with DGR. That Monday I spoke with Dave and explained what I experienced. He told me that the smoke is blow by and is a common adjustment that needs to be made with a nitrous jet in the oil turbo feed line. As far as the sputtering sound, he’s not sure. I told him my buddy suggested that maybe I mis-shifted from 3rd to 6th, which didn’t really sound plausible but possible, so he told me to drive it again just to be sure. I took the car out that following weekend with my wife to see some houses and boosted the car… same sound… same drop in power. I knew something was wrong so after returning home from house shopping, I put the car up and waited to tell him what happened. After speaking to him, he told me to bring the car back to him. After dropping the car off, I received a call after a few days to some terrible news… the motor was detonating and the 7 and 8 pistons were shot. (only gave me back 7… said he didn’t know where the other one was)

    20141012_154551_zpsfkejenlu.jpg

    20141012_154609_zps9b9rtevk.jpg

    Dumbfounded how this happened and the cause of it, I asked him what are we going to do about this. I just spent close to $5k having this motor put in and it broke the very next day. He told me he found things that were very surprising to him about the MMR build, but because my warranty was voided when he took it apart, it needs to be rebuilt and he would cover the entire thing. He said it would be great if I covered the parts but he would take care of the entire labor charge. Because I didn’t want a shop to cut corners and put used stuff in my car, I offered to cover the parts, which was quoted to be around $800 (half a set of pistons, ARP2000 rod bolts, gaskets and misc parts). Over the next 6 months, my car slowly made its way back together and everything was done through DGR… install, motor rebuild, installation, break in and tune. Before getting the car back, I was told the car was overheating sitting in traffic with the A/C on after doing a pull. It was recommended that I do a bigger radiator, which I did. When I came to pick the car up, it was all back together, running fine and after another $2,200 I was ready to put this behind me… or so I thought.

    I picked the car up on Saturday, cleaned it up and prepared for a great Sunday on the road. The next day, I went out with a few friends and enjoyed some spirited runs. I ran a buddy of mine’s STI 3 or 4 times – won each one and went to a sports bar to watch some football. We went our separate ways from the sports bar and I went home. As the night fall approached I went outside to put the car in the garage and after starting it, I heard this knocking sound:

    [youtube_browser]cjSQFxeYkaM&list[/youtube_browser]

    Of course I’m totally unsure of myself now since I’ve been through so much with the car, so I made the video above and planned on calling DGR the very next morning. I got a call in the morning from Dave looking for some feedback on how the car was running and to his surprise, all he got was an earful about the sound I’m now hearing. I explained to him that I ran a buddy of mine 3 or 4 times back to back – 2nd, 3rd, 4th gear pulls, each ending with me ahead… slowed down to do it again. If you’re wondering why I raced him several times… his STI is also built so I wasn’t out there beating up on a completely inferior car. He told me if I think something is wrong then bring it back and he’ll take a look at it. I took the car back up there the next day and waited to hear from him. Turns out the cars compression is right where it was when he dyno’d it (145 all cylinders), pistons looked new, spark plugs were fine, oil is fine (no metal) but it was knocking. He said the next step is to take the transmission apart from the car and start the motor to eliminate the possibility of the sound resonating from the tranny, which it wasn’t. So the next time we spoke, he had no answers, just a theory that “the motor overheated after doing those runs and messed up a piston skirt, now the sound is coming from piston slap.”

    I told myself if I had anymore issues with this car, I was not taking it back to DGR and the car was going bye bye. Well, that’s where I am and why you’re reading this. I’m done, moving on… it wasn’t in the cards for me. Whatever the cause, who knows… what I do know is I spent over $27k over a year ago building this car and never got to enjoy it.

    So for the car:

    Exterior 8.5/10
    Interior 9/10

    -Rag top is 10/10... no leaks
    -Couple of small impressions around the car
    -Front bumper/Hood rock chips
    -Brand new OEM front bumper that comes with the car along with everything else listed:
    -California Car cover (Dust)
    -7 VP Racing gas cans
    -Convertible boot
    -SCT X3 Handheld
    (don't want anything)


    20141012_155006_zpsgnpg8v9y.jpg


    The car is easily worth over ~15k in stock form (refreshed stock shortblock) and for .50 cents on the dollar for all the mods, the price is more than fair.

    Whatever comes of this, I will be buying an investment property so I’m done with cars for a very long time. If the car doesn’t sell in its current form, I’ll be pulling the MMR block, put the stock motor back in, and sell for $26k.

    20140814_122925_zpsdh3bwvvf.jpg

    20130914_162916_zps6a993e66.jpg

    20141012_172041_zpsdc4eiyk9.jpg

    20141012_172055_zpssforrueq.jpg

    Ill post more pics of the car when its cleaned up... its raining out here now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2014
  2. IronTerp

    IronTerp Mid-Atlantic Cobra Assoc. Moderator

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    Wow Mustafa.......Heckuva story. Really sorry to see you let her go. I know how much you have loved this car.
     
  3. itSSlow98

    itSSlow98 Active Member Established Member

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    Location:
    Abingdon, Md.
    I can sympathize with your exact situation bud. Bought my low mile cobra with a built motor and turbo setup...also built t56. Motor hurt 4 pistons on the drivers side(mainly #7) after about 1,200 mile of ownership. Had that engine rebuilt with all new stuff and started the car to hear the t56 making a horrendous noise.....rebuilt the t56 and drove it for a few hundred miles. Put a th400 in it and then the new motor hurt the #7 piston again. Wound up selling the car about a month ago.

    Good luck with the sale. Trust me, you will be glad its gone. Instant weight off my shoulders when I saw it leave on a trailer.
     
  4. GT500RedStripe

    GT500RedStripe More Power! Established Member

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    Location:
    Darnestown, MD
    Mustafa,

    That's a very bad story. I'm sorry you've had such hard times.

    What did DGR find that was very surprising to him about the MMR build? Please help us out here. I'm looking at motors and want to know.

    If all this damage was detonation, isn't that a tune issue?

    How do you loose a piston? That's baffling to me.

    Thanks for the details.

    Ben
     
  5. FISHTAIL

    FISHTAIL Will Work For Mods Established Member

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    LaPlata, MD
    Damn man, that sucks. You don't have to bail on the club though..I still lurk here even though I haven't had a cobra in close to 4 years now. If I ever get a couple of hours to myself one of these days I'll finish up the last few things I need to do on my 92GT and bring that out to a cruise or something. You might as well tag along in whatever you're driving at the time too. You've still got friends here, the car is just a car..

    Sorry about that stretch of bad luck though. Good luck with the sale.
     
  6. Snakesvt04

    Snakesvt04 SCREW THIS Established Member

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    Bowie,MD
    Good luck. Been there and know the feeling
     
  7. Riddick

    Riddick MERICA Established Member

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    Sorry to hear about your misfortunes. Your car seems very well put together and its a shame things turned out the way they did. The noise in your last video was definitely more severe than just "piston slap". The multiple consecutive WOT pulls you did were you on pump gas or E-85? Good luck with the sale, have you thought about parting the entire car out?
     
  8. Red Poison

    Red Poison Over it Established Member

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    Dwight, and the thing that makes it so bad is i didn't cut any corners... everything that was recommended to me, I went with... only to have it end like this.

    Thanks for the input. Hopefully the day will come soon. Its a bitter reminder every time I go in the garage.

    Ben, I couldn't tell you. Everything I was told I question at this point. Going backwards, when I picked the car back up on September 6th, I also collected the things that were removed from the MMR block. In the box was only 7 pistons. After not having my car for 6 months since the first incident (dropped it off the last week in March), I didn't care to put much effort in tracking the other one down. The answer to my inquiry was "the machine shop only sent back 7". Since they are "only paper weights," at that point, I didn't give it much interest.

    Regarding the tune, I was told it wasn't of course. "Boost is (this)... timing is (that)"... I didn't know much about detonation until after my experience back in March so how could I argue. He said he would stand by his work and he'd fix it, so I let him. From what I was told he doesn't measure boost with an actual device when tuning, but that's hearsay so take it for what it is. However I do notice there isn't a boost reading on my DGR dyno sheets - HBH and John Lund dyno sheets do have it.

    Regarding the MMR motor things... main bearings or rod bearings have slits in them and were carving up the crank, the oil holes in the cranks weren't "champfered/chaffered" (i don't the actual word - when they drill holes in the crank, instead of leaving them sharp with edges, they are sanded/ground down to be smooth), the wrist pins that came in motor are thinner than the stock 03/04 wrist pins - the thickness is less than the stock motors wrist pins and "for a motor that’s rated at 1000hp, its..." peculiar, and there is some sort of black tar like substance that goes on (the end of the) rod bolts. There was only one that had it and all the others were naked. I was told it was incredibly sticky and doesn’t come off in oil so the absence would mean they never put it on.
     
  9. Red Poison

    Red Poison Over it Established Member

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    Thanks Mike. You know I wont be far... but i don't think the Prius can keep up with yall. I'll be back... got my eye set on something big, but right now I'm going to focus on my family and investing. I spent enough money... its about time i spend some to make me more.

    It was on 93.

    Whatever yields me the most will be the way i go. Right now I'd rather dump it the way it is so I don't draw this process along. I'm ready to move on, so hopefully someone will make me an offer that gets me what I'm looking for and even for the price of a brand new shortblock, they'll still make out better than trying to build the same car.
     
  10. FISHTAIL

    FISHTAIL Will Work For Mods Established Member

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    I have a spare. I have two 92 mustangs, and the second one is a redfire convertible. You'll feel right at home...kinda. lol. If it's investment properties you want, I have one I'll gladly sell you..I'm tired of it. Besides, even if the mustangs don't come out, you can roll with the rest of the 4cylinders at the back of the pack with me, Tim and Jason.
     
  11. gcassidy

    gcassidy One more lap! Established Member

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    Also sorry to hear about the bad luck with the car. Sometimes things just don't work.
    But enough about the car-we'll miss you. I remember getting to know you at the Howard Co Cruise to that Ice Cream place in Clarksville, when your car wouldn't fire. Typical MACA synergy, everyone pitches in to find the problem, and I think it was the fuel pressure reg if I remember, which someone else had a spare of.
    It's always been fun hanging with you, and while everyone is bonded to MACA for Life, I know you'll have other, more lucrative interests.
    Good luck with the sale, either way someone will get a good car.
     
  12. jiu-jitsu99

    jiu-jitsu99 Member Established Member

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    Another negative experience from DGR! I have my own story to tell. Feel free to contact me so I could share with you my own experience.

    I am so glad that I went to Evolution! Jon found major issues with my previous tune. I am glad I had that tune on my car for a very short period of time.
     
  13. Red Poison

    Red Poison Over it Established Member

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    Pm'd
     
  14. 04yellowcobra

    04yellowcobra Active Member Established Member

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    Mustafa,

    Sorry to see you selling ol' girl. Good luck in your future endeavours!
     
  15. Bonefish

    Bonefish FKNGFST Established Member

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    Yeah what a sad story...especially since you did not cut corners. Like Mike said though....number of people have sold their cars and still hang out with the group! You can too!
     
  16. hook982

    hook982 Suicide Blonde... Established Member

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    pm'd
     
  17. RDJ

    RDJ ZERO shits given Established Member

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    sorry to hear man. first mistake was buying an MMR engine. they have a horrible rep and there are a LOT of horror stories about them. Personally I would never buy anything from them or buy anything with their shit in it.
     
  18. Red Poison

    Red Poison Over it Established Member

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    Sold the car today. Ready to move on to something new.

    Hope to be in something more practical and usable more than just on the weekends. Stay tuned :beer:
     
  19. Bonefish

    Bonefish FKNGFST Established Member

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    Good for you! Keep us updated!
     
  20. gcassidy

    gcassidy One more lap! Established Member

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    This looks quite practical.....

    Audi_R8_transporter.jpg
     

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