Oversold New Car Features

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There isn’t a new car on the market that hasn’t already got all the basics covered.Homer car picture

And then some.

It’s hard to find a new car – any new car – that isn’t at least air conditioned. That doesn’t have – at least – a four-speaker stereo with a CD player, power windows and locks and an electric rear defroster.

“Basic” transportation is not what it used to be – if you’re old enough to remember when things like AC, power windows and locks and electric rear defrost were premium features that were almost always optional – and defined a loaded car.

This is nice, but of course it doesn’t come free. The least expensive new cars – models like the Nissan Versa Note, Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent and Ford Fiesta – have starting MSRPs in the $12-$15k-ish range. And most people end up paying a lot more than that – even for those cars. Because they end up buying a car – often one “in inventory” – which has additional equipment. Features such as an upgraded audio system with six or more speakers, climate control air conditioning, GPS (often “bundled” with other features, such as a sunroof) seat heaters – and so on.

Per Seinfeld, there’s nothing wrong with buying such features. The issue is whether they’re worth the additional cost to you. Let’s tale a quick look at some of these “extras”- and then you can decide:

* Climate control – climate control pic

The range of cooling – and heating – is the same in a climate controlled car as it would be if the car had regular (manual) air conditioning. Both use the same compressor and other hardware. The difference is that with climate control, you can fine-tune the cabin temperature exactly.

Most have a digital display and a knob or button you can use to dial up (or tap in) 68 degrees, say – and the system will maintain that temperature for you. Most also have separate temperature controls for the driver and passenger, enabling each to adjust the temperature to their individual preference.

With manual AC, you set the temperature manually, using a rotary knob or slide controller – for warmer or cooler, as you prefer. And it’s typically “one size fits all” – same temperature for everyone.

How much is it worth it to you to be able to set an exact (and individualized) temperature? And given the close confines of a car, does it really make a difference if the driver’s outlet is set for 68 degrees while the front seat passenger’s is set to 72? Maybe. But then again, maybe not.manual AC pic

Keep in mind that climate control – if it’s not part of the car’s standard equipment package – can add several hundred dollars to the price of a new car (perhaps thousands, if it’s “bundled” with a “package” or you must buy the higher trim model to get the climate control AC). And you should be aware that because automatic climate control is electronically controlled, there is a possibility that – at some point down the road – you may face an expensive replacement/repair of the electronics that control the system. Manual AC is mechanically controlled – knobs and levers – and so, simpler. Thus, less likely to need repair.

And if repairs are needed, they will usually be cheaper.

* Premium audio system –

Here the choice is between very good – and even better. Not – as it was once – between nothing (no radio at all, or maybe a primitive AM-only set) and not much better (a crappy factory AM/FM stereo with manual dial and maybe two marginal speakers). With a handful of utilitarian-intended exceptions (e.g., the Ford Transit Connect and Nissan NV van) pretty much every new passenger car – and truck – comes standard with at least a decent four-speaker stereo with CD player. Better than decent, actually.audio pic

Adequate, certainly.

It is nothing like it was when I was a kid back in the ’80s – when even higher-end cars often came with lousy stereos and the first order of business was to visit a car stereo store (remember those?) and get it replaced with an aftermarket head unit and speakers. It is almost never necessary to buy the optional audio system today. Decent reception/sound quality and features are already part of the deal, as is. Most new economy cars’ standard-issue stereos are better than the stereos that used to be optional in luxury cars; some of them even include a USB port to pipe in tunes from an iPod – a feature that was hard to find even in very high-end cars as recently as five or so years ago. So don’t assume the upgrade/optional audio rig is a gotta have. Try the standard rig first. It might be all you need. And it won’t cost you an extra penny.

* Factory GPS – 

It’s nice to know where you’re headed – and how to get there. Paper maps used to be the means by which people traced their routes. In-car GPS systems have largely replaced paper maps, for all the obvious reasons. But factory GPS can be orders of magnitude more expensive than a paper map. More to the point, factory GPS can be – usually is – a lot more expensive than an aftermarket GPS unit.GPS pic

There are other considerations, too.

A factory GPS system is physically part of the car. It cannot be taken out of the car – or used in another car.

Aftermarket systems can be used in multiple cars. A two-fer (or three-fer). Most are also able to operate on battery power, which means you can use them when on foot, too.

But perhaps the biggest downside – of factory GPS systems – is their shelf life relative to their cost. Electronics (and software) get old quickly. It’s possible – in most cases – to update the mapping info that your prospective new car’s factory GPS system came with, but the unit itself can’t be updated. And after four or five years, it might – like an aging PC – have become a virtual relic, leaving you pining for the latest/greatest thing. But it’s hard to replace the factory GPS without also replacing the car.

Meanwhile, if your Garmin or TomTom is getting long-in-the-tooth, tossing it is easy. And getting a new one – with all the latest bells and whistles – a lot less expensive.

* All-wheel-drive –

Some cars pull themselves along (front-wheel-drive) while others push themselves along (rear wheel drive). There are upsides – and downsides – to either layout. Same goes for all-wheel-drive. The upsides include better traction in all conditions, most especially when it snows. The downsides include the higher buy-in cost as well as the increased maintenance costs that come with having more parts in the car. AWD-equipped cars are often heavier, too (having more mechanical parts) and that often results in notched-down performance/fuel economy.AWD pic

How to know whether the downsides outweigh the upsides?

The answer is a function of two questions: How do you drive? And: Where do you drive? If you drive moderately, using your car for transportation rather than high-speed entertainment – and if you don’t live in an area that gets a lot of snow – then AWD’s advantages may be mostly theoretical and of little practical value to you. On dry/wet roads, the handling advantage of AWD will only manifest if you’re really moving. On dry/wet roads when cornering at speeds around the posted speed limit, a FWD or RWD car will not be noticeably less grippy (or prone to sliding) than an AWD car. And if there’s no snow on the ground, the AWD car’s traction advantage in a straight line is functionally irrelevant.

For some, the peace of mind is worth the cost. But it pays to think about what you actually need – and will be able to actually use – before you lay your money down.

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34 COMMENTS

  1. Climate control has been around for at least 40+ years, but it was mostly for higher end cars. It was an option for my ’68 Olds Delta 88, and was standard on the ’68 Olds 98 LS. IIRC, it was called “Comfortron” and was available on Cadillacs too. The Fleetwood Brougham sedans and limos had front and rear zone climate control, with controls in the back.

    It worked by turning a big central dial marked in 5-degree increments to the temperature you wanted. It was a mishmash of electrical, mechanical and vacuum-operated mechanisms. Basically, it worked like a house thermostat that sent electricity to solenoids and servos which routed vacuum to more soleloids and servos. These electric and vacuum solenoids/servos did things like turn the compressor on and off and open or close vents. The blower speed and air direction were still manually controlled.

    I don’t recall many problems, but it was an incredibly complex system, and after looking it up in the shop manual for 1968 Oldsmobiles, I was glad mine didn’t have that…its manual HVAC system was enough trouble!

  2. Having AWD was fun. Upon reflection, though, I found I probably used it all of 3-4 days per year, and that’s in NY State.

    It definitely was not worth the fuel economy and tire hit.

    When looking for my current car, I made sure to filter out by the GPS head unit option. I could figure out no compelling reason to have it, my phone can do all of those things and can play out of the cabin speakers due to the standard bluetooth integration that I had no choice but have anyway. I had to buy a $20 window mount to make it be a device Affixed to the surface of the vehicle. Also, the maps are dynamically updated over-the-air for where I am and have other conditions. I’d really prefer the head unit not be there, because I could get an Android one that would be much more versatile.

      • Oh yeah, ancap51. Me too. The one I own is the last one I will ever own. Bless it’s analog-no-antenna-screen.

        Occasionally I’ll watch a VCR tape or a DVD, Occasionally. But the sheet ain’t hooked up to the Matrix.

        Question is, are you being plugged into the Matrix when you open the car door? Or, will you be?
        Or, when you enter the hotel room and flip on the TV?
        Or, when you try to enter the doors to the store?

        …Someday. Someday soon?

        Ugly Hell that’ll be.

        In the Soup Nazi voice: “No Opt Out for you!”

        Or, maybe you get the ‘lock out’?
        You walk up to one of those sliding doors at the Wally World and you try to enter but the doors won’t open for you.

        A Wally World “greeter” at the behest of NSA/DHS appears out of nowhere and escorts you away….

        Maybe “they” think you’re an illegal or one of those terrists?

        The mindless mass-man, he cheers this.

        To be continued…

        • @Helot – Why do you think the Internet is going all in for individual addresses called IP version 6? Each car door will have its own address.

          Compared to IPv4, the most obvious advantage of IPv6 is its larger address space. IPv4 addresses are 32 bits long and number about 4.3×109 (4.3 billion). IPv6 addresses are 128 bits long and number about 3.4×1038 (340 undecillion).

      • We ditched ours about two years ago, but my wife was unhappy about it and so now it’s back. I do not watch it myself. The relentless juggernaut of pushy ads, shit-stinking politically correct propagandizing and chirpy vacuity is insufferable.

  3. eric, I remember everybody of a certain age, like 20-40 buying new cars back then like I did, maybe $8-10K and spending $4K on a stereo system. They were seriously so expensive it was easy for the carmakers to compete and those really expensive units are what led to those high dollar(but not nearly so expensive)stereo systems from the factory.

    I mentioned this before but GM had this killer stereo system with Bose speakers and other name brand tuner/amps and a built in CB too. Not only did they sound good but the CB’s were exceptional. Know anyone who has one for sale?

  4. I sure remember those days back in the eighties, being disappointed when the folks brought home a new car without a radio, ha ha ha. They were never in a hurry to get one put in either. I think one car was going on three years old before they put one in. That horrid Renault Alliance never ended up with a radio at all.

    My old man must have been one of the few people buying cars with few options even back in those days. The last car he bought without power windows was a 2002 focus, try finding a car with manual windows now. Even he has given up on that.

  5. Having your own private transportation, or privately hired transportation(uber/taxi/friend) is essential if you have a job or need to be somewhere on time.

    Blocking low cost transportation alternatives is pure evil.

    At least in Vegas, public transportation is useless, if you need to be somewhere at a set time. From what I hear…

    Sometimes a scheduled bus never shows up. Or it won’t stop because its filled over capacity. Now your half an hour or an hour late, and all you’ll hear is? You ride the bus? ARE YOU CRAZY?

    If there’s a handicapped person, the bus driver will end up spending ten or more minutes getting the guy on the bus. And then again off the bus. You never know when this will happen.

    The bus driver ends up in all kinds of altercations with drunks and belligerent poor people, this takes 5 minutes, 15 minutes, sometimes involves waiting for a new bus. Sometimes a guy with no money stands in front of a bus and won’t move. Things like that.

    If a drunk pees, or throws up on your bus. You’re screwed. The passengers are made to wait for a new bus, because its a homeland security hazardous materials emergency. This might mean a delay of half an hour or more.

    Places like Japan, Scandinavia, and so on. I imagine you can count on public transport. It many areas of the US, it’s a complete joke and useless unless you don’t need to be anywhere at a specific time.

    There’s a deliberate attempt to sabotage things we’re all used to counting on. Even with your own car, they often shut down roads and highways. In Vegas, this happens for 8 or 16 hours at a time after an accident. Even if its a busy thoroughfare.

    Interstates and highways are also closed for all manner of bogus reasons. If there’s no alternate route, too bad. Nobody cares.

    • ancap, I had a Silverado with rotted carpet from non-stop irrigation. I ripped out the carpet one day and installed Miller High Life case boxes duct taped together. I tried to buy the full cab rubber mat and they had none. I ordered one and waited 3 months for the company that made them to have another run. I like quiet but that floor mat was really thick and as quiet as carpet plus you could wash it out. I do require a stereo since I used to spend a great deal of time in one. Oh, and electric windows. When you have a dog, electric windows are a must…..and cruise control ha ha…..and a cargo light……and an engine heater…..and those two little hidden switches under the dash to turn off running lights and brake lights, and yep, I expect to have to do that myself. 2-4 hrs twice a day for windshield time isn’t uncommon in Tx. Nothing worse than a truck with no radio or stereo of any kind.

      Here’s a thing I’d like to find…..again. Remember when GM had those great stereos and CB’s in one unit? The CB would cut off the stereo and you had the control to adjust when or not to have it do it. Those things not only worked nearly as well as an old Pioneer SuperTuner but the CB’s were awesome….and all with an electric antenna so nobody could rip it off.

      I’d put one in my big rig tomorrow if I could find it.

      • I don’t remember the cb’s you’re talking about. I was a child in the 80’s.

        Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just order the gear you wanted and only pay for it though? Instead of having leather seats, automatically coming with most other options. If I want all the shit, I’ll buy a Lexus. If I want a truck to work with, I want it stripped down, except for leather and a/c.

        If the government didn’t have the car companies locked inside of the statist box, I bet you’d have stuff like that. When the government is adding to your overhead, you have to start being cookie cutter. That’s what the car companies–like so many other businesses, sadly–have become.

        • ancap, but you just don’t understand the great deals they offer….like the Texas package and the (oh god, dare it say it?)Oklahoma package. These are really great deals. So great I don’t have a clue as to what they include, probably a decent stereo, cruise, electric windows and locks and a power seat for the driver. So what’s underneath this stuff? Who cares? You have a Texas package and that’s what counts. How much will it carry or tow? Irrelevant since you never intend to do anything but haul people around.

            • I can only guess you either drive like a drunk Indian or the vehicle is already set up that way. I look at the driver to try to determine origin…..pointy toe cowboy boots and highwater jeans…….uh huh…Does it come with a “blow and go”? Gonna give you barley, carrots and taters….ah hell, barley will work for now.

              The biggest question is Why in hell would a Texan want to have a pickup with “Oklahoma” in big letters on it?

              • I have seen the “Texas package” trucks here in Idaho. I have never heard of the “Oklahoma package”…..didn’t even know it existed.

              • “Pointy toe cowboy boots” is redundant. If you can’t kill a cockroach in the corner, you ain’t wearin’ cowboy boots.

  6. Lexus has just announced the availability of new maps for the navigation system in my GX470. But there’s a catch – since it uses the old DVD data storage system, Lexus is not adding information about any new roads that have been built. So while the disc is labelled 2014, the data is from 2013.

    This really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone – computer technology moves faster than auto design, so it becomes obsolete faster. Try and get support for Windows XP (released about the same time my nav system was being designed) and see how successful you are.

    Mercedes now offers the Becker MapPilot pluggable module for some of their vehicles (GLK, Sprinter, perhaps others), where navigation can be added after the car gets purchased for not a lot of extra money (in the $350 range, IIRC). And the module can be hooked up to a computer for updating, so you get the latest maps. But even this has limitations – the MapPilot module may run out of memory and be unable to hold info about newly constructed roads. Or computers may stop using the USB connector it needs (unlikely, but in 10-15 years, it’s possible).

    The only answer is to make the navigation system as a whole (not just the data) exist outside the car so that it can be painlessly swapped. And that means a small tablet or large phone.

  7. Having been on motorcycles since 1982, I couldn’t stand climate control in a car. I’d need temperature variability just to stay awake. Besides, most with climate control leave the damn thing on all year round. This often uses the aircon compressor in slightly warmer weather for no reason except to waste fuel. The only reason for it is because the wife is always “cold”.

    As with car stereo’s, I doubt that a deluxe factory outfit would have any better features than aftermarket, except maybe the fit and colour scheme – but it’s not going into a Veyron. I remember the 2 speakers in the rear parcel shelf that were primarily designed for children to spill their thick shakes into.

    AWD is far better suited to my driving style and providing it can be dialled back to RWD would be perfect, but pure RWD is perfectly adequate for most occasions. FWD is like the car’s got some dirty little secret that’d make you fall to your knees and scream at the heavens “WHYYYYYYYYY??” if somebody found out about it.

    You can literally see your friends asking you “What fresh new Hell is this?”.

    For pure performance and no bullshit, probably the only place to find something bare bones is Ferrari and Zonda. Who needs a stereo when you’ve got that wondrously impeccable noise to massage your auditory system – and aggravate the legal system? My window would always be open, screw the temperature outside.

    Just a thought – What’s the deal with those pretend SUV 4WD’s that are only 2WD? Emperor’s new clothes with sow’s ear stapled on. Pretend status symbol for parents trying to keep up with the Jones’ at parent/teacher night. It’s all about the high seating position, so mothers can thumb their noses at the lowlifes and not get caught wanking at the lights – unless an Army truck pulls up along side. Yup 🙂

    Besides, it’s just a wagon with extra ground clearance so the kid’s bike in the driveway don’t get crushed as flat. Might as well get it lowered with 22″ chromies for all the good it does in standard trim.

  8. More important than AWD is having a good set of snow tires. “All season” tires are not the same thing. Snow tires have soft rubber and tread that can take advantage of the snow’s packing ability to get grip. All season tires are harder and usually have much less aggressive tread (for fuel economy). If you really have to get there, keep a set of chains in the trunk too.

    AWD is overkill for most drivers.

    • Agreed, people underestimate how important having the right tires can be.
      I ran all-terrain drilling equipment for about ten years in some of the worst crap holes imaginable. We kept an old ’77 F150 around (hauled it on the trailer with the drill rig) for a support vehicle that had some agressive 31 x 10.5 mud tires that were probably worth more than the truck. If you got that thing stuck you were doing it wrong.
      We were doing geotechnical borings in some Missouri farm fields after a lot of rain then snow followed by a thaw and our consultant kept giving us crap about that “P.O.S.” Ford until he gets stuck in his new (rental) 4wd silverado (complete with all season rubber). My helper jumps in the ford and drives to the trailer to pick up supplies (going past the stuck chevy), brings them back to the rig, then goes by him again to fetch a load of water, unloads the water to the rig, then drives over to our stuck consultant and drives two circles around him before asking him if he needed to be towed out.
      Didn’t hear another peep about what a P.O.S that ford was the rest of the job. LMAO

      • Haha. Nice.

        Tyres are the most important component as they’re the only thing in contact (or not) with the ground.

        The Army Mercedes Unimog’s (6.25 ton empty) I had to use were gutless crap (5.8 litre turbodiesel) on the road, but in the bush they were brilliant. We could go most inclines/declines and places where only armoured personnel carriers held sway, BUT..

        Oz’s Army decided to get a deal on crap Dunlops that are mostly used on mobile cranes and nowhere near as good as the intended original Michelin balloon tyres. Even though we reduced PSI, there were still disadvantages with the Dunlops. Bet it all came down to cost, not functionality.

      • DBB, of course I’m biased to GM since their limited slip is much superior to Ford’s TracLoc and they turn much tighter with better front to rear weight distribution but I’d agree on the right tire for sure. I used to keep a set of mud tires in the barn and changed them for my less aggressive tires when rain finally came for a while.

        Of course you can always find those places it simply sinks to the frame, time for the big 4WD tractor. And then there are those people who can drive a 2 WD vehicle identical to the 4WD one somebody else is stuck in and never get stuck.

        A friend and I were stuck in the shinery sand and called on the CB for help. A guy shows up with his 4WD Chevy and backs up to us. I say “Well, 4WD certainly makes a lot of difference”. He says “I haven’t used it yet”.

        When we moved to the shinery and had no driveway, people would get stuck all the time. Other people who knew “how” to drive would go right around them in just about anything. My dad would drive his PA around them and come tell me to go pull them out.

        A friend has his Wagoneer not 40 feet from the house and got stuck. I stopped him before it was a big deal and said let me try. I rocked it back and forth a few times and backed it right out. He looked put out. Why don’tcha get that 4WD thingy fixed? That Wagoneer would go just about anywhere when the Selectrack of whatever it had on it was working. That was a comfy ride before a dumbass bent it badly.

        • Wasn’t plugging for Ford, I’m more of a B.O.P. fan myself. Not a fan of the GM gov-lock limited slips though. Seen more than a few of them grenade under abuse. Also managed to disintigrate a couple of Auburn (cone style) posi units in the past (3rd gen Camaro). The TracLocs can also grenade but not nearly as common as with the gov-locks. Biggest problem with the factory TracLocs is that the clutches wear out way too fast. I’d rather see a torsen style diff or locker since they don’t have clutches to burn up. FWIW I am not impressed with most factory installed posi units but I am biased towards the dragstrip.
          Having a limited slip at least in the rear (added bonus if it has one in the front too) makes a huge difference off road as does driver skill/knowledge. Was always “fun” educating the new help on how to drive in mud etc…
          Once you put 350 gallons of water and 1500 pounds of sand & bentonite on the back of the truck your weight distribution is pretty well FUBAR. Just have to deal with it (and add a few leaves to the spring pack and beef up the frame lol). We used to beat the crap out of that truck and it just took it. I’d bet anything made more recently in the 1/2 or 3/4 ton variety would fold up and die under that kind of abuse.

          • Oh, the cone style were weak, the entire rear-end but Posi-Trac was the best performing clutch pack in the industry for decades. I still have some bottles of additive that would make keep them smooth. I have used a non-clutch pack lsd and hated that jerk and bang they do. I don’t really think that would last over 300,000 miles any better than Posi-Trac though since they band hard and you know that piece that slips over and into the next slot is taking some abuse.

            Really high horsepower will kill all of them though but who’d want to have an open rear-end. I have never used an air-locker but suspect this might be the best set-up for the long haul since you can turn it on and off.

            I have driven very new Ford one ton dually trucks that stayed fairly much overloaded and their rear-ends would crater when one of those Trac-Loc jobs started to jerk.

            I was never a Mopar fan so I have little experience with those.

            • “I don’t really think that would last over 300,000 miles any better than Posi-Trac though since they band hard and you know that piece that slips over and into the next slot is taking some abuse. ”

              I have never seen a Detroit locker let go but they are noisy and jerky. I don’t mind the harshness but it is definitely not for everyone.
              Richmond makes a “lunchbox” locker that is considerably less harsh/noisey but also not as strong as the Detroit nor as smooth/quiet as a factory LSD. I ran one in a 9″ ford diff underneath a V8 swapped S10 pickup for 6 years + of street/strip abuse without a problem (well except for chewing up rear tires 🙂 ) but I know other people that have had trouble with breakage.
              Been wanting to try out a torsen/truetrac diff but it hasn’t happened yet. Silky smooth but not as forgiving of uneven traction from one tire to the other. I.E. it will go to one wheel peel mode if you have one tire on dirt and one on pavement. Applying the brakes helps even things out but I dunno about dragstrip use.

              • I have seen reviews of Torsen’s that tend to make me think they really will shift power to the wheel with the most traction and some cars come standard with them although right now I can’t remember where I’ve seen that. Dammit, don’t remember the car but it came from the factory with Torsen front and rear. I’d still like to try and air locker though.

                I have never seen a DL go either but never saw one get that many miles. Personally though, they drive me crazy. I might get used to it but it’s a pain in loose sand when it jerks and causes problems you wouldn’t normally have as in making those tires dig tiny divots and that can get you into trouble in really loose sand.

                I might try Air Lockers in my next one ton single wheel. I like the idea of an open diff when traction isn’t a problem. The thing I despise is 4WD and neither axle locks.

              • I know spools are the ticket in drag racing but I’m almost sure some cars do better with open diff’s. Seems like AA Fuelers have open diffs. I have seen cars with fairly large slicks and open diff that seemed to work perfectly at the drags.

                Funny things one day on my cousin’s drag truck(LUV). He asked me to observe what might be going on with his front end brake lock. He locks the fronts, heats the slicks(and it’s sliding)and then revs up against the converter. It just pushed the truck along with front tires locked. I said I thought I could tell what his problem was. Oh yeah. Yep, your slicks are hooking up and sliding the front tires. Aha, says he, I think I can fix that. next thing I know that button was attached to a tranny brake and that DID fix it.

                • I always assumed the alcohol/top fuel boys are running spools but never actually checked. Too much power to run the risk of a one wheel peel IMHO. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody running quicker than 12s that didn’t have a posi/locker/spool/etc.
                  Trans brakes are great fun as long as the rest of the drivetrain is up to it, funny how shock loading will break stuff.

                  Drove a few 30+ yr. old DLs in the service but am unsure of the mileage on them. The last all terrain drill rig I ran had them front and rear (CME 750X).

                  IIRC a few of the 4th gen F bodies were available with torsen diffs, military spec Hummers have them front and rear, and I suspect dad’s ’13 Rav4 has one in it (fwd with limited slip).

                  • My ’76 TA – like most secondgen. Firebirds and Camaros – has the “c-clip” 10-bolt axle… which is a usually fine/durable piece until you reach a certain hp level – and dump the clutch, as in a 1/4 mile drag. Then the c-clips are prone to letting go… and lots of fun ensues!

                    • eric, the 10 bolt unit was good enough for most things but slicks. A good set properly warmed and sticky will grenade that unit. The 12 bolt was a decent choice for something like that although a Ford 9″ substitution is common. Some aftermarket place builds those Ford rears for anything you want, a direct bolt in for your car…..and they’ll narrow them to your choice of tire size/wheel offset so you can use the largest tire in a stock wheelwell.

                    • That should be an 8.5″ 10 bolt, far stronger than the 7.5″ 10 bolt used in the more recent F & G bodies plus S series pickups.
                      I would trust it with slicks into the low 12’s (assuming an auto trans and about a 1.60 60′ time). Adding aftermarket axles/stud girdle/ etc.. should make it live deep into the 10’s.

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