Talking Cars: Soup up your Shelby

Junior Damato

Question: I am interested in a new 2008 Ford Taurus X and would like your opinion.  

Answer: I spent a week in the Taurus X and thought it was a really good crossover vehicle. Our test model had all the options including navigation, DVD family entertainment system, chrome 18-inch wheels, moon roof and second-row heated bucket seats. The 3.5-liter V/6, coupled to the six-speed automatic, delivered more than one needs. The ride was not harsh and with all-wheel drive this vehicle can handle everything you give it. Fit and finish have come a long way. The interior has ample storage bins and the seats were firm and very comfortable. Gas mileage will vary depending on driving habits and conditions. Our mileage averaged in the low 20s; EPA 15 city, 22 highway. Base price $32,185; as tested $39,505.

Question: I own a 2007 Shelby GT 500 convertible and would like to install some high performance parts. What parts would give me the most for the money? I can do a lot of the basic installation myself. I found a lot of companies on the Internet that all claim to have the best performance parts.

Answer: There are many companies that offer a variety of performance upgrades for the entire Mustang line. As for your GT 500, you can make big improvements for less than $3,000 and still have a great street car. My suggestions are to replace the super charger pulley with a smaller one (you will gain about three pounds of boost), replace the fresh air intake system and the muffler, and get a set of lowering springs and 3:73 rear axle gear set. You will also need a download flash programmer. Your 505 hp GT will now be around 600 hp. Steeda Performance, located in Pompano Beach, Fla., is a good company when it comes to Ford high performance parts.

Question: I bought a 1994 Buick Century last August with only 84,000 miles. At speeds between 63-78 mph, there seems to be shaking that I think comes from the front end. I took the car to two shops and they replaced the struts, tie rods, brake rotors and tires. They also flushed the transmission fluid. The car drives the same. What can I do next?

Answer: You will need to find a qualified technician to diagnose the problem. Contact the local AAA office and ask them for a list of AAA-approved repair shops in your area. Both shops missed the problem. It would seem that there is something out of round or balance. It could even be a bad inner c/v axle joint. 

Junior Damato writes weekly about cars. You can send questions to him care of the Old Colony Memorial, 182 Standish Ave., Plymouth, MA 02360.