April 2019 Newsletter
March 25, 2019
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That’s how many shop days I have to complete the work on
#ETCGDadsTruck. It seems like it should be just enough time, but if I’ve learned anything building hot rods, it’s that time is always your enemy, not your friend.
Granted, I don’t have a ton left to do, but I suppose that’s relative (see above paragraph).
I still need to pull the engine and transmission. I still need to rebuild the engine and hope it runs after I get it back in. I also need to remove the dash so that I can install and set up the new gauges and radio.
Is 21 days enough time to complete that work? That is the question now isn’t it?
Wish me luck.
I just talked about the work I still need to do on the truck, but here is a list of the work I’ve completed in the past month.
The rear suspension is now complete and I love where it sits. It still feels like a ‘usable’ truck, yet it has a bit more attitude than when I got it. This is exactly what I was going for.
The rear end has been rebuilt with its new 3:73 gears and limited slip differential. I’ve converted the rear drum brakes to disc brakes. I’ve also installed the new master cylinder and deleted the ABS.
I almost have the front suspension and brakes complete. I ran into some issues with the front spindles. Apparently, there are 2 types of brakes that came on the GMT400’s which ran from 1988-1998, light duty brakes and heavy duty brakes. The light duty brake rotors are 1” thick, the heavy-duty rotors are 1.25” thick. Each brake set up uses different spindles. My truck has light duty brakes, I ended up with heavy duty spindles. This means that my rotors will not go onto the spindles I just installed.
The correct spindles were shipped to me last weekend, thank you Summit Racing! I’ve checked them to make sure the rotors I have will fit on these new spindles, and they do. I should have everything installed early this week. Once that’s complete, the work on the front suspension and brakes should be done and I will finally see the stance of the truck for the first time. I hope the front looks as good as the back does.
This just leaves the work on the engine and interior I mentioned. I’m going to take a break from the truck as soon as I finish the work on the front end. You’ll find out why in the next section of this newsletter.
I’ve finally dialed in the carburetor on the Fairmont. It starts nice, idles nice, and no longer dips into lean air fuel ratios at full throttle. There’s no stumble or hesitation, it runs great, and it’s a little scary. I love it.
Now it’s time to start all over.
It’s been proven that carburetors make more power than fuel injection in most applications, albeit not by much. Fuel injection depends on a computer program, and it can be limited by that program. A carburetor is dependent on how it’s set up. So long as a carburetor is set up correctly, it will allow the engine to make as much power as it can.
The biggest advantages of fuel injection are consistency, efficiency, and tune-ability. If I want to retune my carburetor, I often have to take it apart. It’s not fun spilling fuel all over a hot intake manifold during this process. I do what I can to minimize it, but there will always be some fuel spilled. Then, after I put everything back together, I have to hope the changes I made to the carburetor have a positive effect. If they don’t, I’ll be taking the carburetor apart again, likely on the same hot intake manifold.
I love my carburetor, but it’s time to move on. I drive the Fairmont mostly on the street, not the race track. Maximum power is not always necessary in that scenario, it’s trumped by drivability. For drivability, there really is no beating fuel injection’s capabilities.
So, I’ve gone to Summit Racing and they’ve provided me with a Super Sniper EFI system from Holley that I plan to install on the Fairmont. The system supports up to 650hp, which should be plenty for the Fairmont. With it, I’ll have complete control over the fuel delivery system. I’ll be able to change the tune whenever the mood strikes me. I also plan to upgrade to the new Holley HyperSpark distributors when the controller becomes available. With that, I’ll have timing control as well as fuel control all in the same interface.
To say this is a big upgrade is an understatement. I’m really looking forward to it.
I plan to install the new fuel injection system on the Fairmont after I pull the engine and replace the lifters. Yes, you read that correctly. The new lifters I installed last year got trashed when the adjuster nuts on the new shaft rockers I installed worked loose. The extra clearance was not kind to my new lifters. Or it might be better to say, some lifters were destroyed and require replacement.
To sum it all up, I have 3 shop days to pull the engine, replace the lifters, and install fuel injection.
Why do I need to pull the engine to install new lifters? Because the old lifters require the removal of the cylinder heads to remove them. Given the issues I’ve had getting the exhaust manifolds to seal at the cylinder heads, I’d rather do that work outside of the car where I can keep the exhaust manifolds attached to the cylinder heads.
All this adds up to; “I’ve got a long way to go, and a short time to get there.” Three days in fact. Wish me luck.
I’ve been working at the shop 3 days a week lately. I’ve also been spending 3 days a week editing. This makes for a very busy schedule, but it’s totally necessary if I want to be able to do any traveling this summer.
You still want your weekly videos, and so does the YouTube algorithm. So, I’ve been doing extra editing to keep the channels stocked with fresh videos that I can release on a weekly basis.
Some of you have probably noticed that some of these videos are of the Fairmont build from 2 years ago. It might seem moot to post these videos now, but I feel they contain great information on how the Fairmont came into being. Also, it would be a shame to let that footage disappear after all the hard work I put into getting it.
Anyway, I plan to continue with this schedule until my car show season starts. Hopefully I’ll have enough videos stocked up to cover the time I’ll be traveling this summer.
Premium Members got another 3 Exclusive Videos this month. “First Ride in #ETCGDadsTruck After Rear End Work (Exclusive Video)”, “#ETCGDadsTruck Axle/Differential Rebuild (Full Version) (Exclusive Video)”, and “#FairmontProject Final Assembly (Part 6) (Exclusive Version)”.
The Premium Member (Exclusive & Extended Video) library is growing every month! As of this writing there are over 200 (Exclusive Videos) for Premium Members! That’s like having an entirely new ETCG channel to watch.
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I’m keeping this month’s newsletter short. I want to get back to editing. I lost a little ground last week due to a cold I caught after visiting the doctor for an annual check-up. If you want to avoid getting sick, don’t go to the doctor is what I say.
Despite the fact I’m burning the candle at both ends lately, I’m feeling pretty good. I don’t feel the same depression I felt last December. I’m not sure I can put my finger on exactly why that is, perhaps it’s a change in attitude.
I’ve given up. That seems to be the key. It’s amazing how liberating letting go of things can be. I’ve decided to let go of any worry about views or comments going forward. I’m just going to focus on my art, which is making automotive videos.
I know I’m good at what I do. I also like what I do. I like watching the videos I’ve been putting out lately, and I’m just not going to feel sorry for myself because they aren’t being watched as much as they used to be.
I’m on a mission, and I plan to complete it. If it takes the rest of the world a hot minute to catch up, that’s on them, not me. I’ll be here when they’re ready.
Latest videos below.
#FairmontProject Final Assembly (Part 6) Oops..:
The #1 Cause of Fuel Pressure Problems:
#ETCGDadsTruck Axle/Differential Rebuild (Part 2):
Get Organized – ETCG1:
What Happened to General Motors? -ETCG1:
Video Title: The April 2019 Newsletter Video Description: If you’ve never read an ETCG newsletter before, you’re about to find out what you’ve been missing. The ETCGs April 2019 Newsletter.}