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December 22, 2017

For the full newsletter click here, or click the image below. If you’re just interested in one topic, click the image or “read more” link and you’ll be taken directly to that part of the newsletter on EricTheCarGuy.com.

If you’re reading this on the website, you’re already reading the full newsletter, and you’re awesome.

Past newsletters and the ETCG Blog can be found here.

January 2018 Newsletter 850

Looking Ahead to the 9th Year of EricTheCarGuy

Well, another year has passed, and time continues it’s relentless march forward. Time is funny that way. It just keeps going. Before you know it, you find yourself in a place far away from where you started. Time is sneaky that way. It ticks away behind the scenes while you’re not paying attention.

On January 27, 2018 my EricTheCarGuy channel will begin it’s 9th year of existence. Yep, it’s been 8 years since I started the EricTheCarGuy channel. In that time I have produced and uploaded more than 800 videos to that channel. That’s an average of 100 videos a year for those of you keeping track.


2017 was a special year, as it marked the 1,000,000 subscriber milestone for EricTheCarGuy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for that. When I started the channel 8 years ago, I had hoped to one day reach that benchmark. Now that I have, I’m looking ahead to future challenges and milestones. 2 million subscribers…?

The first challenge will be getting the views back. It seems many of those subscribers have moved on. I take most of the blame for this. What started out as an auto repair channel, changed into a ‘build’ channel featuring a car not many people were into.

YouTube also played a part. The changes to the algorithm have made it so that my subscribers often aren't even aware that Ive posted a new video. It almost feels like subscribers aren't relevant anymore in the eyes of YouTube. It’s all about watch time and engagement these days.

That said, it almost feels like I need to earn my audience all over again. I’ll be honest. I’m going to give this the old ‘college try’. I like doing YouTube, and I’d like to continue for another 8 years at least, but there’s only so much energy you can put into something before you start asking yourself if you’re getting a proper return on your investment.

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I guess what I’m saying is, if I can’t get the views up by the end of the year, I’m going to redirect my focus to something else other than YouTube. I’m not saying I’ll quit YouTube for good. What I’m saying is that if I can’t get the views back up, then I’m going to look for some other way to make a living and put YouTube on the back burner. That means I’d only post to YouTube occasionally instead of trying to post every week.

In other words, I’d look for another way to put food on the table that wasn't focused on YouTube and just post to YouTube when time allowed.

To bring back the views, the plan is to go back to what most of you subscribed for in the first place, repair videos. As I mentioned in my “The Return of ETCG Videos”, I intend to start Fixing it Forward back up to bring in a variety of repairs to the shop. This should bring in plenty of opportunities for new repair videos. Not to mention, it could potentially help a lot of people in need.

I don’t just want to do Fixing it Forward though. I’d also like to do some videos with my dad’s truck and possibly my GSR. Despite the fact that the Fairmont videos weren't that popular, I LOVED building that car. I’d hate to have all the new skills Ive learned go to waste.

I want to start the year on a positive note though. As many of you know, Ive already started posting new videos. I also have plans for future videos that I think you’ll enjoy. In summary, I’ll keep posting as long as you keep watching.

Here’s to a successful 2018!

PRI 2017

PRI stands for Performance Racing Industry. It’s a convention held in Indianapolis in early December. 2017 marked the 30th anniversary of the PRI show.

For me, I like PRI more than SEMA. Both shows are loosely affiliated by the way. I like PRI because it’s all about the serious racer. SEMA has a lot of racing stuff too, but it also has just about every other aspect of the automotive world covered. In my view, this makes SEMA a bit less focused than PRI. SEMA is also a lot bigger.

For me, PRI being smaller and more focused is a good thing. I can walk the entire show in one day. I also see a lot of engines at PRI, really cool engines too. I like engines. My interest in automotive performance is often centered on engines. I love engines and what they do. To some they may look like hunks of metal. To me, they are high art that can physically move you.

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I had a great time at PRI this year, but I also learned something about the history of Indianapolis this time out. The hotel where I stayed is across the street from a tragedy that happed in that city 30 years ago.

It’s an empty parking lot now, but there used to be a Ramada Inn located there. On October 20,1987 a military aircraft crashed into the front of the hotel, ultimately killing 10 people. It was a freak accident, and the pilot did everything he could to avoid the tragedy, but fate seems to have had other plans.

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I made a video detailing my experience that I’ve made available to Premium Members of EricTheCarGuy if you want to learn more.


I’m not sure if I’ll ever be done with the Fairmont. Many people have said it,“You’re not done with a project car until you sell it”. Based on my experience, this is a very accurate observation.

Just for the heck of it, I took the Fairmont to the drag strip in November. It was the last day they were open for the year, and I wanted to see how the car would do when I opened it up ‘for real’. This is something I haven’t done on the street for obvious reasons.

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Well, the results were less than impressive. 16 second quarter mile times. At least it’s 4 seconds faster than where the car started, but pathetic by performance car standards. What went wrong? Traction, I couldn’t get any.

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In part, I think that’s because the track and my tires were cold. I also think I could greatly benefit form a set of drag radials. I hope to get a set of those in the spring.

One more thing happened at the track that made for more money and work. I forgot to open my exhaust cut out when I did my second run, and at the end of the track during deceleration, I had a backfire that was too much for my muffler and it exploded. Sigh.

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I’ve replaced the muffler with one I like a lot better. I also put a flange on one end so that I could remove the section of pipe below the transmission for easy clutch changes.

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I’m also working on the perpetual exhaust leaks I have at the cylinder head manifold connection. I made another attempt to repair it last week, this is the 4th time Ive worked on this issue. This time I removed the gaskets completely and just used copper RTV instead. This worked on the drivers side, but the passenger side is still leaking.

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To be honest, this is my fault. When I ran the manifolds on the belt sander I was able to make them square in one axis, but not in the other. In other words, I took too much off and I will have to go back and weld up and grind some areas in order to get the manifold to seal properly. It’s either that or buy a new manifold. Did I mention I also need drag radials? I think you see where I’m going with this. $$$$$$……….🙄

Once I get the exhaust sorted out, the next steps are to work on the suspension. I never set the ride height properly. I also need to do the alignment. Ive put those things off because I need to find 230lbs of ballast to simulate my weight in the car to do it properly. Or I could just lose some weight. I should probably also lose some weight.

In addition to the suspension, I also need to sort out a weird electrical issue. It’s strange, sometimes there’s a ‘pop’ that I can hear when listening to the radio. Also, my dash cams won’t record anything beyond a few seconds. It seems like there’s a pulse going through the electrical system at weird intervals. I suspect a problem with a diode in the alternator. It may have something to do with it’s location. The alternator is mounted up against the hot turbo and may have gotten ‘cooked’ as a result. I did make a heat shield, but that may have come too late.

You’re not done with a project car until after you sell it.

Heading to Finland Again!

Yep, I get to go to Finland again in January 2018! This time I get to go with my good friend HumbleMechanic! Yes, that’s 2 exclamation points in the first 2 sentences of this section! Now 3/4!

Nokian tyres has once again invited me to Finland to check out their latest snow tyres. I’m spelling it “tyres” because that’s they way they spell it in Europe where Nokian tires are quite popular, especially their winter tyres.

Yes, I realize it’s Finland in January, and that Ivalo is well above the arctic circle, but Finland! The cold be damned. I’m looking forward to this experience.

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I even got some new cameras to help document the event. Keep an eye on my social media for some of those pics. Links to those at the bottom of the email or the top of each page of my website.

Premium Member News

Premium Members got 3 exclusive videos this month and 2 were related to the latest ETCG repair videos.

This month Premium Members of EricTheCarGuy.com got, “LED Headlight Install Inside Element Projector Beam Housings (Exclusive Video)Install Inside Element Projector Beam Housings (Exclusive Video)”, “Honda Odyssey Sliding Door Repair-Real Time (Exclusive Video)”, and “PRI 2017 and the Story of a Tragic Plane Crash (Exclusive Video)” which I mentioned earlier in this newsletter.

LED headlight install
Odyssey sliding door repair real time
pri 2017 and plane crash story

If you are a Premium Member of EricTheCarGuy.com I’d love to get your feedback on what types of exclusive videos you’d like to see. Feel free to comment to the videos you get, or you can use the Premium Member forum. Either way, I look forward to your input.

Premium Members get up to 4 exclusive videos per month. They also get additional perks on the website, and they help support the site with all of it’s useful, free, repair content.

Details on the new Premium Memberships here.

In Closing

Are we ready for another 8 years? I am. No matter what happens over the next year I know things will be OK. After all, I was able to make EricTheCarGuy into what it is today and I’m very proud of it. If it turns out that it’s run it’s course, no worries. It was an amazing run. If it turns out that I’m able to turn things around and grow the channel again, great!

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I’m just grateful to have spent the past 8 years with all of you. It’s been an amazing ride. Ive met fantastic people, Ive seen beautiful, far away places, and Ive had experiences that most people only read about. People like you 😉. Not to mention I haven’t had to work a real job for almost a decade. Winning!

Seriously, thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I didn't do this alone. In many ways my success is your success. I wish you and your families a safe and prosperous new year.

May we all, live long and prosper.

Latest videos below.

Be safe

Have fun

Stay Dirty


Related Videos:

What Happens to Bondo Bodywork After a Couple of Years?:

Honda Odyssey Sliding Door Repair the 'Easy' Way:

Is Traction More Important Than Power?:

The Return of ETCG Videos!:

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