July 2019 Newsletter
June 24, 2019
If you’ve never read an ETCG newsletter before, that’s OK, it’s good to try new things. Who knows, you might just like it.
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 already reading this newsletter on EricTheCarGuy.com, you are fancy and smell like clean laundry.
Since I last sat down to write a newsletter, I estimate I’ve driven about 2500 miles. That’s only about 200 miles shy of driving from NY to LA. As a result, I have a lot to cover in this months newsletter. So let’s get to it.
Likely, I’ll never do the Indianapolis 500 again. The reason, I’d never be able to do it as good as I did this year.
I want to start by thanking Shell for such an amazing trip. At the end of May they launched a new formula of their Premium VPower Nitro+ fuel. As part of their promotion, they brought together me, HumbleMechanic, Engineering Explained, Matt Maran Motoring, and ChrisFix for a road trip to the Indy500.
Amazing doesn’t begin to describe it. How often do you get to do a really cool road trip with your friends to one of the greatest racing events of the year? Did I mention there was also a police escort from the hotel to the track?
We kicked things off in Cincinnati with a Meet Up at a local Shell station. The turn out was great considering that it rained most of the time. Still, we got to meet a lot of great fans who braved the weather. Thanks for coming out guys!
Then we filled up with Shell Premium VPower Nitro+ and set off for Indianapolis. We took the scenic route for part of the trip. The highlight was doing the drive with some of my closest friends. #FunWithFriends
In Indy we did a bunch of cool stuff in the days leading up to the race. We attended the awards dinner where we got to see the Borg-Warner Trophy up close and personal. We also got to meet Johnny Rutherford, Josef Newgarden, Helio Castroneves, who is a great dance teacher BTW, and the legend himself, Mario Andretti. Mario was not giving dance lessons, he was just hanging out being his awesome self.
We also got to park our cars out in front of the Indianapolis 500 museum for a second Meet Up. After that Meet Up, we got a tour of the basement of the museum where they keep a lot of cool stuff we weren’t allowed to take pictures of.
Did I mention they drove us for a few laps on the track? Well, they did, and it didn’t really feel real. I’m glad I got pics because otherwise I wouldn’t believe it.
On race day we got to tour the garage, and also spent time on the track just before the race. Like, on the track, standing next to the cars on the starting line. We got to watch the race from a catered suite and after the race was over, we went down to the winners circle.
Yea, the Indy 500 will never be that good for me again unless I’m racing in it. BTW, I’m too fat to be an Indy driver. Just being honest.
The #FairmontProject has gotten a lot of attention since I finished it. It was featured in the February issue of Hot Rod magazine, and now it’s been featured at the Ford Nationals in Carlisle PA in the “40 Years of Fox Bodies” exhibit. The first car on display to boot!
Not bad for my first build. I’m deeply honored by these accolades. I mean, the Ford Nationals!
I also got to spend some time with fans at the show. Although I still owe Beau a drink at next years show because I took a longer nap than expected. Sorry about that Beau.
Still, it was an honor to be featured and I’m looking forward to going back again next year.
One last thing, while walking around the swap meet, I found something I’ve been looking for for a long time. A truck button! Still new in the packaging. Given that my fuel tank is in the trunk of the Ford, this will be a nice upgrade.
Unless you’re very new to the ETCG universe, you are well aware that I’ve been working my butt off in preparation for the 2019 Hot Rod Power Tour. Mainly getting #ETCGDadsTruck ready for the trip, which for those of you not familiar with the Power Tour, is driving to 7 cities in 7 days in a classic or modified vehicle.
I was successful in getting the truck ready in time for the Power Tour, but just barely. Literally hours before we left for Charlotte NC the truck was completed. Once I finished it, I handed dad the keys and we set off.
It’s one thing to worry about one custom vehicle on a trip like this, it’s quite another to worry about 2. I can say in all honesty though, things went very well. The #FairmontProject only had one minor issue. A small fuel leak that was easily repaired.
The truck however had a couple of issues, but nothing that stopped it from getting from A to B. I’ll cover that more in the #ETCGDadsTruck section of the newsletter.
This years Power Tour was filled with lifetime memories for me. I loved the time I got to spend with my dad. I know he loved the cars, and the drive. He really likes what I did to the truck. I couldn’t be happier. It was worth all the effort and stress that got me there. I’d do it all again without hesitation.
Dad didn’t do the entire tour, but he made it all the way to Sparta KY with me, the halfway point. Well, he drove past Sparta KY and headed back to my house in Cincinnati which is only a little more than an hour from Sparta. He would have done Indianapolis IN with me, which was the next stop after Sparta, but the oil leak in the truck said otherwise. He was happy to head home when he did which is still another 430 miles from my house. He easily put the first 1300 miles on the truck after the rebuild which I think is very fitting. It is #ETCGDadsTruck after all.
As stated I had a few minor issues with the truck. Mainly an oil leak that was aggravated by a compression leak into the crankcase. I haven’t removed the engine to find the root cause yet, but I know that’s what’s next, pulling the engine and disassembling it.
Even with an over pressurized crankcase, the truck still runs great. I love how it turned out. I also love the new Monster Transmission and the ability to control it with the same tablet I use to control the fuel injection system. Changing shift points on the fly is really cool.
At one point on the Power Tour, dad said he didn’t like the way the truck was shifting. With a couple of clicks I had a whole new shift strategy set up and we were on our way. Dad said the changes made the truck much more drivable. Modern tech is cool.
With the exception of pulling the engine again, the truck is pretty much done. Right now, I’m focused on finishing the edits of the videos of the build. Once I get a few of those taken care of, I’ll turn my attention to finding out what’s causing the crankcase to build up so much pressure. I’ll keep you up to date on all of that. Social media first, then videos.
What can I say, the Fairmont is awesome. After installing the fuel injection system, I really haven’t had to worry about anything with that car. It did 2500 miles since the last newsletter without complaint.
Oh yea, did I mention that I did a 12.3 in the quarter mile at zMaxx Dragway in the Fairmont? Well, I did. I think with some sticky tires and more practice I’ll have the car deep into the 11’s in no time.
I did develop a small fuel leak at the fuel pressure regulator. In particular at the fuel pressure gauge I installed. A little teflon tape and it’s all better now. Here’s my wishlist for the car as it stands now.
I’d like to sort out the noise when I steer the car at slow speeds. It’s a clunk I’m getting from the steering column when turning the wheel when the car is stopped. I have a feeling that will require modifying the steering column with some support bearings.
A trunk button!
At some point I’d also like to redo the crossbar on the roll bar. The one I have on it now is too high. I want to cut the old one out and move it a little lower.
Project cars are never done.
One of my favorite partners in the automotive space is Peak. Not only have I used their antifreeze for years, but I’ve also done some really cool things with them. Things like attending the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals and hanging out with John and Britney Force.
Both John and Britney are dedicated to what they do, and the fans that follow them. It’s a real pleasure to get to spend time with them and their race teams.
Thank you Peak!
Because of all the travel this month, I’ve fallen behind on Premium Member videos. In fact, I also didn’t post an ETCG1 or ETCG video the week of June 3. I’d like to apologize for this. I was hoping to have time to get some editing done before leaving for the Power Tour, but work on #ETCGDadsTruck went right up to the last minute and I fell short of that goal.
I’m going to work extra hard in July to make up the difference. In fact, I have a few videos in the cue, they just need to be edited. I’ll bring you those as soon as I can. Very sorry for dropping the ball in June guys.
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I’ll be honest, as I mentioned, there have been a lot of miles between now and the last newsletter. There’s also be a ton of work in the months leading up to all of those miles as you may remember from previous newsletters. It’s left me feeling a bit worn out. Stress can do that to you.
Sure, I’ve loved every minute of everything I just described in this newsletter, and I’m grateful to be able to do those things, but tired is tired, and that’s what I’m feeling now.
I tried to take a couple of days off after I got back from the Power Tour. One of those days was Fathers Day after all. It was a great phone call with my dad that day BTW. One of our best ever.
I just don’t think a couple of days is going to cut it. So, after I get these edits done, I’m going to take a little time to collect myself and think about what’s next. Sure, there are videos about many of the things I mentioned above that will keep me in content for a while, but I’m talking big picture stuff. I have a lot of options, but I need to pick a direction.
Perhaps you can help. If you’re reading this newsletter, you are a true fan of EricTheCarGuy. What would you suggest I do going forward? What would you like to see more of, or less of? I’d love to hear about it.
One last thing. I did give away a bunch of t-shirts during all of that travel. I really like the new shirts, and I’m thinking about selling them on the website. So if I didn’t get to hand you one personally, you’ll get your chance to pick one up for yourself real soon.
Latest videos below.
How To Remove a Chevy Truck Interior 1989-1999 #ETCGDadsTruck:
Chevy 5.7L Engine Teardown #ETCGDadsTruck:
Chevy Truck Engine Removal GMT400 #ETCGDadsTruck:
What Caused the Dipstick to Blow Out On #ETCGDadsTruck ?:
Are Mistakes the Best Teachers?: