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If you’ve never read an ETCG newsletter before, it’s OK, I forgive you. Here’s how it works.

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

If you’re reading this newsletter on the website, you’re already reading the full newsletter, and you are of above average intelligence! Well done you.

If you’re not reading it on the website, you are also of above average intelligence because you’re still reading it.**

Past newsletters and the ETCG Blog can be found here. (These are good too)

ETCG August 2018 Newsletter

Things Are Finally Winding Down

It’s been a very busy summer for me, and it’s not quite over yet. We’re moving into a new house at the beginning of August. This has been a long time coming. About 11 years to put a number to it. When I lost my job back in 2007, I never dreamed that 11 years later I would end up where I am today. To be honest, I was more concerned about how I was going to pay for groceries that week. There were a lot of those weeks during those 11 years.

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Now, a decade +1 later, I’m moving my family into a house of our own once again. To say it’s been a long strange trip would be an understatement.

The reason I bring this up is not just to illustrate my success in overcoming foreclosure and bankruptcy, but to offer hope to those of you that may still be out there struggling. Like the Bend Sinister song goes, “It might take forever, but things will get better.

It took me more than 10 years to claw my way back into the world. It was a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck, but we managed. If you’re struggling, I hope that your hard work pays off too, and one day you can look back on those challenges as a part of your past, not your future.

I also hope that the videos and information I provide can help you get by during difficult times. Keep in mind that’s what I used to get where I am today. You can do a lot with tools and determination.

Thank you and good luck.

UTI Shoot in Phoenix AZ with Humble Mechanic & Bogi

In late June I went to Phoenix AZ to shoot some video for UTI with Humble Mechanic  and Bogi from All Girls Garage.

The push here is to help those that are looking to get into an automotive career. We shot a round table discussion where we talked about what it was like to get into the auto repair industry, what it was like to work in the industry, what it’s like to own and operate your own shop, and where we think the industry might be going.

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Honestly, I think this material would make for a great podcast.

We’re also shooting some of our own videos on these topics that will be featured on our respective channels in the coming months.

I hope this goes well because I’m very passionate about the automotive industry, and I seek to help those looking to make it their career. 

A Brief Stop in Detroit

Last week I was in Detroit briefly for a shoot with MAHLE. MAHLE makes a lot of stuff, including shop equipment. Humble Mechanic and I have been retained as their spokespeople. Mainly for their AC and Shop Equipment.

We met up in Detroit to do a video/photo shoot. I was only there for a minute, but we had a blast with the people at MAHLE.

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HumbleMechanic and I will also be at their booth at AAPEX later this year.

If you happen to be attending AAPEX or SEMA this year, stop by and say ‘hi’.

I Just Made it to the Iola WI Car Show

I started with a short block on the morning of July 11. By the end of the day,

I had a running car. I was tired and sore, but happy I was able to get the Fairmont up and running again. More on what I did, and how I made that happen, in the #FairmontProject section of this newsletter.

A little less than 24 hours later I was on the road to Iola WI. That’s about a 530 mile drive from where I live just north of Cincinnati. The car made it there without a hitch, with cold AC! I’m so glad I put AC in that car.

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However, when I went to start the car Friday morning to head to the show, it wouldn’t start. More on that, once again, in the #FairmontProject section. I did manage to get it started and I headed to the show.

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It was my first time at the Iola Car Show, and I was impressed. It’s a big show, but not too big. You can walk it in a day depending on how long you ‘linger'. They also have a sizable swap meet that you could spend your second day in.

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Iola is a unique car show. I’ve never seen anything like it. I saw more obscure things I’d never seen before at that show. I also got a great education from some of the owners of those vehicles.

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The people were very open and friendly, and if you let them, they would talk your ear off about their vehicles. Something I’ve come to enjoy about going to car shows. I’ve learned so much!

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They also had a few celebrities. Some of them I know personally, Jo Coddington and also Bogi from All Girls Garage. Some of them I didn’t know personally, Henry Winkler, Cristy Lee, Rachel De Barros,Gene Winfeild, the RingBrothers, KC formerly of Fast n’ Loud, and Butch Patrick who played Eddie Munster.

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It was a great show, and a great experience. I hope they invite me back again next year.

The #ETCGMiniSeries is Coming to a Close

So what was wrong with it? A few of you may remember that I had parked the car in frustration in last months newsletter.

I was able to get the hood open, which wasn’t too bad. You can unlatch it from underneath with a pry bar or long screwdriver.

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I found the engine performance problem to be caused by a bad spark plug. I replaced all four at a cost of $60. These cars are stupid expensive to maintain.

It runs great now, and after modifying the hood cable with a zip tie hold down, the hood now opens when you pull the latch.

I still have more videos to share on what I did with my 2007 Mini Cooper S, but for the most part, the car is complete. I have a couple of videos left to shoot with the car and then I’m selling it.

I need to shoot a video on painting brake calipers which I hope to do this week. I also wanted to do a wrap up video as well as a comparison between the Mini and my 2001 Acura Integra GSR. They seem to be very closely matched even though they are a few years apart.

I’ve been driving the Mini for a few days now. I admit that I do enjoy driving it, but the parts and repairs are just too costly for me. I simply can’t justify the expense, even doing my own labor.

Whoever buys this car will get a great deal. I’ve done just about every major repair these cars are subject too. Granted, there are still a few minor repairs that the next owner will need to deal with, but those are mostly cosmetic.

If the parts weren’t so expensive, I’d address those issues now, but I’m already up-side-down in the car and don’t want to spend another cent on it. Not unless I have to.

I’m hoping next month I report about getting what I wanted out of selling the car.

The #FairmontProject is Not Currently Running, but It’s Better Than Ever

Yesterday after some carburetor tuning I took my youngest son out for a test drive in the Fairmont. We got a couple of miles from the shop and it just died. I diagnosed it as an ignition system failure. I’m not sure what the exact cause is yet, I parked it and went on with my Sunday. I have other cars to drive.

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Before that it did great on the 1000+ mile trip to Wisconsin and back. Well, almost great. As I mentioned earlier in the newsletter, it wouldn’t start the morning I was on my way to the Iola Car Show from my hotel.

I kept losing the fuel pump and the ignition when I would crank the car over. I have them both wired up on separate switches. However, they both share a common ground through my kill switch. Turns out that kill switch was bad because when I bypassed it, the car started no problem. Stupid Chinese parts! Seriously, the switch was made in China.

I don’t really need a kill switch anyway. There are other things I can do to the car to ‘disable’ it. Also, it has a manual transmission. Something that would deter a ‘younger’ would-be thief. I hear 3 pedals confuses the youth of today. Old men like to comment on such things.

Before all of that, I had a lot of work to do in a very short amount of time. You may remember that I had broken a piston on cylinder #8. Well, with the help of Kalvinator Engines, I was able to get that fixed. While the engine was apart however, I decided to do some upgrades.

The first upgrade is my new 67mm turbo with ceramic ball bearings. This is one of the best upgrades I’ve done to the car. The spool up is dramatically quicker. The car just ‘goes’. Everything mounted up to the new turbo just like the old turbo. I have a small exhaust leak at the outlet going to the down pipe coming out of the turbo, but that will be a relatively easy fix when the time comes. I’ve gotten very good at modifying exhaust pipes.

Speaking of exhaust pipes, I also upgraded the ‘hot side’ (headers and cross over pipe) to stainless steel parts. On3 offers this option when purchasing one of their turbo kits.

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After seeing and using the stainless parts, I wonder why they even offer the regular steel parts. The difference is night and day. The quality of the stainless parts is far superior. If you’re getting a turbo system from On3, get the stainless upgrade.

Also this time I didn’t wrap the hot side. Instead I painted the pipes with ceramic paint. I was told this is a better option over wrapping. I still wrapped the down pipe and part of the exhaust after the turbo though.

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Installation of these new hot parts did not come without it’s challenges. Once again I had to modify the left crossover pipe to clear my front stabilizer bar. Why On3 doesn’t do this to begin with is beyond me. However, as I mentioned, I’m getting quite good at modifying these pipes.

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Another significant upgrade is my 90º oil filter mount. This solved sooo many problems. Not only did it get rid of that stupid leaking divorced unit I had mounted to my frame rail, my oil psi went up 8psi. Yes, 8psi! Something else to keep in mind if you’re purchasing an On3 turbo kit. Do NOT get the divorced oil filter kit they offer. It’s garbage.

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I also upgraded the valve train. For starters, I went with a new style of lifter. Some of you might remember my old lifters and the trouble we went through to modify the retainers to make them work in my World Productsn Man O War block. I never felt good about that so I upgraded to a new style lifter with a different type of retainer that didn’t require any modification.

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Lastly, I went with a shaft mounted rocker system. To some this might seem like overkill, and it is, but the extra rigidity allows for higher RPM’s which can equate to more power. If nothing else it means I have a rock solid valve train in the engine now.

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Of course the valve train upgrades came with challenges too. No good upgrade comes without punishment. This I’ve come to find is a Hot Rod Law.

When I went to install the pushrods, I noticed that the pushrod would not sit in the cup of the rocker arm. The reason, the cylinder heads needed to be machined to accept the new pushrod angle. This meant that I had to drive to Wapakoneta OH and have Kevin at Kalvinator Engines machine the openings for the pushrods so the new shaft rocker system could work.

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One last note about the pushrods. Apparently, when the length was measured, the pushrod was not sitting in the cup either which equated to an incorrect measurement.

That little mistake cost me. Because of the time crunch to get to Iola WI, I did everything I could to get the parts in time. Shipping cost be damned. Because of that, I ended up with not one, but 2 sets of pushrods that were too short.

I’m able to send them back, but the shipping cost went bye bye. The irony, I ended up using my old pushrods and never needed new ones to begin with. Yea, I think next time I’ll do my own measurements.

The result of all this time, money, and effort, is nothing short of fantastic. I absolutely LOVE driving the car now. It’s smooth, it’s fast, and it doesn’t leak a drop! A few more tweaks and tunes and I should have one heck of a nice car. The one I dreamed about from the start.

Let’s be real though, project cars are never done, but for me, part of the fun is the ongoing engineering and mechanical challenges that need to be overcome. With each one of those, I become a better builder, and those of you that have been paying attention know that I love to build things.

The Civic is Next

At one point I mentioned that I was going to use the 1999 Honda Civic I purchased as a loner car for Fixing it Forward. My plans have changed on that.

My oldest son, who is 28 and has a 9 year old son of his own, needs a reliable vehicle that’s good on gas. The Civic fits that bill perfectly. So instead of fixing the car up for Fixing it Forward, I’m going to fix it up and give it to him.

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I don’t think I’ll have much trouble finding a new candidate for a Fixing it Forward vehicle. I’ve already had a couple of viewers offer me their old vehicles for the program.

I don’t want to drag these repairs out. In fact, I want to turn the car around ASAP. To that end, I already have some of the parts collected and in the trunk.

I’m thinking of just doing an overview of the repairs that I perform rather than videos on every repair. This will make things go faster for me. I also think I’m going to adopt this style of video going forward.

Let’s be real, the views on my ETCG videos are down. Way down when you consider the amount of subscribers I have. I think in part that’s due to the long videos I create. Also, repair videos are really only good if you own a vehicle similar to what I’m working on, and you have the same issue. Otherwise, you’re just watching for entertainment, and for that I thank you.

However, times are changing, or rather, have changed, and I need to change with them.

The Civic must have known it’s time had come because when I arrived at the shop the other day, it had a broken front passenger window. I think the landscapers did it accidentally. Good thing I’ve got friends in the salvage business, and good thing I caught it before it started to rain.

The Conclusion of the #Mobil1YearOilChange

The second part of the #Mobil1YearOilChange series is probably the most anticipated video I’ve ever done. I’ve been getting emails and comments about it for more than a year now.

Well, the wait is over. Here is that video and the results of that test.

Can You Go a Full Year Without Changing Your Oil 400

Premium Member News

During the very busy month of July I was still able to crank out 3 exclusive videos for Premium Members of EricTheCarGuy.com.

"Shop Update 7.6.2018 (Exclusive Video)”, “Behind the Scenes ETCG’s Office (Exclusive Video)”, and “ETCG Update July 2018 (Exclusive Video)” where they exclusive videos Premium Members got in July 2018.

Shop Update 7.6
Behind the Scenes ETCG27s Office Exclusive Video
ETCG Update July 2018 Exclusive Video

The Premium Member (Exclusive Video) library is growing every month. As of now there are over 200 (Exclusive Videos) for Premium Members! That’s like having an entirely new ETCG channel to watch.

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.

But wait! There’s more! Premium Members now get a 5% discount on all orders from J&B Tool Sales!

Get your membership today! Details on the new Premium Memberships .

In Closing

This is the last newsletter I will write in this house, in this office. Am I sad about that? Not really. The new house and office is better than this one, but more importantly, it will be mine. I won’t be renting anymore. For me, that is the real difference.

Yes, I’m aware that everything is now my problem. I won’t be able to call up the landlord and say this or that needs to be repaired while I sit back and wait for it to happen. Instead, I know it will be coming out of my own pocket.

That doesn’t deter me, because I’m the type of guy that strives to stay on top of things with regular maintenance. I’ve found this to be important with houses as well as vehicles.

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Pretty much anything lasts longer if you take care of it, and I intended to take care of our new house in the best way possible. Heck, it took 11 years to get it, and it’ll take 30 more to pay it off. To say I’m invested would be the mother of all understatements.

With all of that said, I know I would not be at this point in my life if not for the viewers of my channels, the followers of my social networks, my Patreons, and most of all, the Premium Members of my website.

Sure, I put in the work, but it was your support that took things the rest of the way, and for that I’m grateful.

I hope that if you’re not already at this comfortable place in life, that you’re well on your way, and that your victory will be just as sweet. #Winning

Thank you!

Latest videos below. 

Be safe

Have fun

Stay Dirty


**Intelligence is not based on your ability to read the EricTheCarGuy newsletter or how you read it. This was meant to be a joke. If you didn’t get the joke I apologize if you were offended. It’s an interesting world we live in these days where trolls can say whatever they want, but if you’re an ‘influencer’ like me, you have to choose your words very carefully or risk losing everything. We are now a nation of pansies. Also a joke! Have a great day!

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