June 2019 Newsletter
May 17, 2019
If you’ve never read an ETCG newsletter before, know that my words will not hurt you. My goal is to inform, entertain, and possibly enlighten you.
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 have achieved moksha.
It’s not likely I’m not going to achieve my goal of having the truck done before I go to the Indy 500 next week (please note the date I wrote this). That’s OK. I actually built in some days that I could use to wrap things up before the Power Tour, and I’m glad I did.
If you’ve seen my car show schedule this year, you know that it’s about to get real for me, but I do have a couple of days between some of those shows where I believe I can wrap things up with the truck. It may be close, but I’ll get there. Dad won’t have to walk the entire Power Tour. I hope…
Something I’m very excited about is happening for me on Memorial Day Weekend. (I realize you’re reading this after that event, so bear with me).
I’ve never been to the Indy500, but I get to go this year. Not only that, but I get to go with some good friends of mine, HumbleMechanic, Engineering Explained, Matt Maran Motoring, and ChrisFix. Not only that, but we are taking an epic road trip from Cincinnati to the Indy500 in the cars we’ve featured on our respective YouTube channels. And this is only the beginning of my summer. Oh yea, did I mention we’re also having a Meet Up in Cincinnati before we leave?
All this has been made possible by Shell and their new VPower formulation with SmoothGlide technology. As a part of that promotion, they have brought the 5 of us together to help bring awareness of this new formulation of their fuel.
I can’t wait till next month’s newsletter to share with you the highlights of this event.
Yesterday, May 16, 2019, was not only my oldest sons 29th birthday, but it was also the day I got the engine and transmission installed in dads truck. To say this was a major milestone is beyond understated. This was a real turning point for me. I feel like I’m on the other side of this build now and heading for the finish line.
I hope this 383 stroker engine is as powerful as it is pretty. I thought the Fairmont engine was pretty, but this engine is on a whole new level. In fact, this truck is on a whole new level for me. It’s pretty, I normally don’t make pretty things. I’m more focused on how they work over how they look, but this build is different, and I think that’s a good thing. It feels good to expand my horizons.
As I so often say, it’s not just the engine that makes a vehicle, it’s the supporting systems as well. I’m referring specifically to the Monster Transmission that is bolted to that pretty engine. Not only does it have a torque converter named “Thor”, but it also has a really trick PCM from Compushift. I now have a ‘mode’ button that I can program to put the transmission in different modes such as, “towing”, or “race”. Between that, and the new B&M shifter, I’ll have many options when it comes to handling what the 383 puts out.
In addition to having a mode button, I’ll be able to customize and control the transmission from the same tablet I’m using for engine management.
I’m pretty much done with the interior, although it doesn’t look like it. Everything is wired up. All I need to do is put all the trim back together and install the seat. I’m waiting to verify that everything works before I put it back together.
I still have 2 major issues to sort out. I need to work out my exhaust now that the engine is back in the truck. I also need to sort out some new AC lines. The new AC compressor has different fittings than the old one did. Because of that, I need to have some new custom ones made. I’m going to use a local place, Ohio Hydraulics, for that.
Last week I dropped off the trucks driveshaft at Cincinnati Driveline and Hydraulics. They finished up shortening it by 1.75” yesterday. I took it to them after figuring out that my new transmission is the exact same size as my old one. I figured I could go with the measurements I made before I removed the engine and transmission from the truck. I plan on picking that up on Monday when I have the AC hoses made.
Dads truck is my second build. It’s not as ambitious as the Fairmont was, and I feel my skills have improved immensely since then. For me, it was all about expanding my skillset. I feel that in the long run, these skills will make me a better mechanic, and also to give you more insight into how vehicles are put together with the videos I’m making of this build.
If nothing else, the look on dads face when he drives the truck for the first time should be more than justification for all this effort.
I really haven’t done anything to the Fairmont after I got the fuel injection installed. In fact, I haven’t really messed with the tuning at all since I installed that system. I hope I get some time soon to work on that. Even if I don’t, I must say it’s running better than ever. Although at times it will stall when coming to a stop. I think this can be ironed out with some tuning. I’ve already adjusted the throttle plate, which did help, but it still needs more work to smooth things out.
I did do one thing. I changed the oil. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it’s made a huge difference with the top end noise that I’ve had since the beginning. While picking up the engine for dads truck, my machinist, Kevin Frische, mentioned that they don’t run 20W50 in engines with roller cams anymore. Instead he recommended 15W40 which is what I changed the oil to. Apparently the 20W50 is too thick to properly lubricate the top end. I’d say the reduction in engine noise after the oil change would confirm that theory.
I hope to replace the upper radiator hose with a metal one I had specially made. Well, my exhaust shop put a 90º bend in a piece of straight pipe I had. The reason is because I’ve had to trim the upper hose so much to fit. The final result is it’s wedged between the alternator and it’s shield. I don’t like parts rubbing together like this, especially something as critical as a radiator hose.
While the coolant is drained, I also plan to replace the thermostat gasket. This is a leak that’s plagued me since I drove the car for the first time. Not sure why this continues to be an issue.
Although, I will say this, if the AFR heads and ProFlo4 system work out as well as I hope in the truck, I might just decide to switch things over to that set up on the Fairmont at some point next year.
For now, the car is running great, and that’s good because I’ll be putting a lot of miles on it by the time you read this newsletter.
Premium Members got 4 Exclusive Videos in May. Featured were, “Full Suspension Footage #ETCGDadsTruck (Exclusive Video)”, “GMT400 Front End Rebuild (First Part)(Exclusive Video) #ETCGDadsTruck”, “GMT400 Front End Rebuild (Second Part)(Exclusive Video) #ETCGDadsTruck”, and “#FairmontProject Final Assembly (Part 7) The Fuel Pressure Regulator and Power Steering Cooler (Extended Version)(Exclusive Video)”.
As with last month I already have a couple more PM videos in the cue for June. So if you’re not signed up as a Premium Member of EricTheCarGuy.com yet, you might want to consider it.
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.
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.
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I’ll be doing a lot of cool things during the month of June. Not to mention the cool things I’m doing now. Each month I struggle with the words to express my gratitude to you for helping me to get to this point with EricTheCarGuy. Sure, I put in the hard work, but all of you had a hand it it also. ETCG would not exist as it does without you, and I’m eternally grateful.
In fact, whenever I open the shop door for the first time that day I say, “Hello shop!”. I do this to remind myself that things like my shop don’t come easy and should be appreciated. I hope I never lose that perspective. I think it’s important to know just how good you have it. Me, I’ve got it pretty darn good.
Hope to see you while I’m out on the road. In case you missed it, here’s my car show schedule. BTW, dad should be at all the Power Tour events with me driving the truck, so if you want to see us in person, head out to one of those shows! I just might have a t-shirt for you.
Latest videos below.
#FairmontProject Final Assembly (Part 7) The Fuel Pressure Regulator and Power Steering Cooler:
GMT400 Front End Rebuild (Part 4) #ETCGDadsTruck:
GMT400 Front End Rebuild (Part 3) #ETCGDadsTruck:
Are Deadlines Good or Bad? -ETCG1:
383 Stroker Engine Parts #ETCGDadsTruck:
Video Title: June 2019 Newsletter -ETCG Video Description: Will I finish #ETCGDadsTruck in time? The car show season begins, and possible upgrades for the #FairmontProject if I get time. #ThankYou Thumbnail: http://www.ericthecarguy.com/images/newsletter/June/2019/ETCG_June_2019_Newsletter_Placecard.jpg