2011 Ford Mustang GT: TSB in AZ, Part 3
January 19, 2011
"JDP, how would you like to take an all-expenses paid trip to Phoenix?" Seeing that I was already in sunny SoCal, I was a bit suspect at Executive Editor Michael Jordan's question. (I didn't yet know about the Mustang GT saga). He clarified: "Our new Mustang GT is at a Ford dealer over there and needs to be picked up."
It would be a quick, one-day deal. Fly in, take a taxi to the Ford dealer, hop into the new 'stang and aim it west for 400 miles. Well, we were talking about the new GT 5.0. The pick up could've been in Hades and I would've jumped on it.
As you've already read, MJ had logged only about 600 miles on the odo when the new pony lost its giddyup. A faulty fuel pump system was to blame, and our new GT was taken to Earnhardt Ford (no relation to the racers) where the TSB for this glitch was tended to. When I arrived at the dealership the friendly service advisor told me the car was all set.
Five minutes later I was outta there. I fueled up right before hitting the 10 Interstate -- love the capless fuel filler. After turning right onto the vacant on-ramp, I leaned on it, taking it to about 4500 rpm on each of the 1-2, 2-3 and 3-4 upshifts, windows halfway down so I could enjoy the crisp, urgent bellow of the exhaust. No, I didn't light 'em up at the mouth of the on-ramp nor chirp the tires on the subsequent upshifts. The 5.0 had less than 700 miles on it and even though there's no official break-in procedure, I don't believe in driving a car hard (hence the non-redline upshifts) until the engine's components have gotten to know each other a bit better.
I soon had a companion for the trip -- rain, which stayed with me nearly all the way to L.A. But apart from 8 miles of stop-and-go traffic just outside Phoenix where the 10 went from two lanes to one, it was easy cruising. A fairly quiet cabin, supportive seats, satellite radio and a Bluetooth connection helped pass the miles -- all that was missing were heated seats (though they're optional).
All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable trip, despite the rain.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ around 1,100 miles.