March 2019 Newsletter
February 22, 2019
If you’ve never read an ETCG newsletter before, I’ll forgive you. This time.
For the whole enchilada, the full newsletter, click here, or click the title image below. If you’re only interested in one topic, you should think about expanding your horizons then, 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, your intelligence is above average.* Keep up the good work!
Past newsletters and the ETCG Blog can be found here.
2019 ETCG Car Show Schedule
Instead of doing ‘Meet Up’s’ at my shop like I have in the past, I’m now traveling the country to different car shows and holding mini ‘Meet Up’s’. This change came about mainly due to the logistics of holding meet ups at my shop. So if you’re looking to meet me in person in 2019, this would be the best way to do it.
Here is my car show schedule for 2019 so far. Some dates are tentative and will be marked as such. The confirmed dates will also be marked. I will post updates on my social media, as well as in future newsletters on the shows marked “Tentative”.
My biggest disappointment this year is that there is no show at Jekyll Island GA this March! I LOVED that show. It’s also where the Fairmont had its photo shoot for Hot Rod last year.
Some of these dates will feature the #FairmontProject and others I plan to drive #ETCGDadsTruck to. During the Power Tour, both vehicles will be at those shows unless something changes. I’ll announce on social media what vehicles I’ll be taking to what shows.
Here’s the schedule so far.
April 28 Sharonville OH Car Show (Confirmed)
May 25-27 Indy 500 Indianapolis, IN (Tentative)
May 31-June 2 Ford Nationals Carlisle PA (Confirmed) The Fairmont is actually featured at this show celebrating 40 years of the Fox Body. https://carlisleevents.com/events/events-detail/index?id=ford+nationals
June 8-14 The Hot Rod Power Tour 2019 (Confirmed) I’ll be doing this with my dad this year who will be driving the truck I’m building on my channel right now. So you’d be able to see #ETCGDadsTruck and the #FairmontProject all in the same place!
June 8 zMAX Dragway Concord, NC
June 9 Martinsville, VA (venue to be announced)
June 10 Bristol Motor Speedway Bristol, TN
June 11 Kentucky Speedway Sparta, KY
June 12 Lucas Oil Raceway Indianapolis, IN
June 13 Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Fort Wayne, IN June 14 Summit Motorsports Park Norwalk, OH
June 29 Drag Radial Challenge Edgewater Sports Park Cleves, OH (Tentative)
https://www.facebook.com/events/2286256168093599/ July 11-13 Iola Car Show Iola WI (Tentative) https://www.iolaoldcarshow.com July 19-21 Syracuse Nationals (Tentative) https://syracusenationals.com
August 1 Street Rod Nationals Louisville, KY (Tentative) https://www.nsra-usa.com/2019-events.html August 16-17 Back to the Bricks Flint, MI (Tentative) https://backtothebricks.org/main-event-week-options/
That’s what I have for now. I’ll also be visiting my local track, Edgewater Sports Park for a few test and tunes which often happen on Friday nights during the summer.
Keep an eye on my social media for those.
Yes, I Have Heat in the Shop!
Many of you have commented to recent videos about the heat, or lack of it, in my shop. I do have heat in my shop in the form of a 125,000btu torpedo heater from Mr. Heater.
The problem is, we can’t run it while we’re shooting because of the noise it makes. So we run the heat for a few minutes and then work for a while.
Recently, during the “polar vortex”, temperatures dropped well below 0ºF. During these times I lose heat quickly. Hence the reason you see my breath in some of the most recent videos.
Please stop telling me I need to get heat in my shop.
As of this writing I am deep into the truck build. I’m glad for that because I still have a lot of work to do before the Power Tour in June. Here’s what I’ve done so far.
The new wheels and tires look great! Also, I have the rear suspension pretty much nailed down with the exception of connecting the driveshaft. The rear differential is built, and I’m almost done with the rear disc brake conversion. Once I’m through with all of that, I plan to move to the front suspension. After a test drive to check out the new gears, of course.
There have been a couple of snags, but for the most part things seem to be moving along nicely. This project is less ambitious than the
#FairmontProject was, and I’m grateful for it. I’m trying to learn to work smart instead of hard. I didn’t say I was successful at it yet.
Once the suspension work is complete, which I hope to have done in the next week or so, I plan to move to the engine and transmission. Monster Transmission is hooking me up with a built 4L60E to replace the TH400 that’s in it now. In case you didn’t know, the 4L60E is the updated version of the TH400 so fitment shouldn’t be an issue.
As many of you know, my plans for the engine are to make it into a 383 stroker with multiport fuel injection. I have most of those parts sourced, but I’m waiting until I get the engine out to confirm those parts. I don’t want to make commitments on those until after I’ve had a chance to see what kind of shape the engine I have is in.
I’m also planning on upgrading the gauges with units from Speedhut. I used their gauges in the Fairmont and I love them. I’m very happy to be teaming up with them again for the truck build.
Bottom line here is that I’m hoping to keep things simple with this build. At some point down the road, I hope to do more of an ‘appearance restoration’ to the truck, but that will be after I’ve sorted out all of the mechanical work. I hate drilling holes in freshly painted metal.
I got a car cover for it, but that’s about all that I’ve done to the Fairmont lately. All of my energy has been focused on #ETCGDadsTruck.
I do hope to get the opportunity to roll the rear fenders and install the drag tires as soon as possible. Once that’s done and the weather gets better, I hope to get back to the track to try and put down a respectable quarter mile time. Hopefully redeeming myself. Keep an eye on my social media for that.
In the mean time I’ve been cranking through the edits of the build. We’re up to Episode 4 now. I plan to continue this trend and provide the complete Fairmont series to you in the coming months.
I’m Learning To Hack Cars
A few weeks ago I traveled to California State San Bernardino to meet with Dr. Coulson and his students. My good friend HumbleMechanic also made the trip. Dr. Coulson teaches a class on cyber security there. He’s also the person I was referring to in the video I posted on ETCG1, “Weaponizing the Vehicle Fleet”.
We were tasked with helping remove a wiring harness from a 2007ish, sorry I don’t remember the exact year, Hyundai Sonata.
We were doing this to help create a working practical that the students could use to ‘hack’ into in the classroom. I’m happy to say we were successful in that endeavor, and the class now has a working wiring harness they can practice on.
Next the students supplied us with some hand held computers, Raspberry Pi’s, a really cool little machine that apparently all the kids are learning to hack with. Yes, this is a computer marketed to kids to learn programming and other computer skills. I think it’s brilliant.
After some assembly and installing a custom program one of the students made, we were off to the rental car to see if we could hack into it. Sadly we couldn’t use our new computers for this because it requires a power supply that we didn’t have at the time, so we took one of the students laptops out to the car instead. It was running the same program.
We were able to hack into the car and see data, but we couldn’t identify what the exact lines of code meant. We did try and send a command to verify some of the code, but sadly the battery in the laptop died before we could send it.
No worries, I still have the Raspberry Pi and I plan to try it out on my wife’s van when I get the chance. I’m also planning on making a video about how all of this works so that you can try it for yourself.
I could write for days about my experiences with the students and staff at CSUSB, but I don’t have the time for that now. Let’s just say that I hope I’m able to go back and do more one day.
Special thanks to Dr. Coulson and his students for having us out.
Premium Member News
Premium Members got 3 Exclusive Videos this month. “Final Ride in Dads Truck (In Stock Form) (Exclusive Video)”, “#FairmontProject Final Assembly (Part 4)(Extended Version)(Exclusive Video)”, and “#ETCGDadsTruck 4” Rear Suspension Drop (Full Version)(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.
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For me, my family and my health are my greatest assets. Those of you that have read past newsletters know of my recent struggles with depression. I’m happy to report that I’m doing much better than I was when I wrote the January newsletter. I think it’s a combination of your support, a better outlook, vitamin D, and a bit of Zinc.
That said, during the month of January my youngest son had some serious health issues that landed him in the hospital. To say that was a challenging time would be a gross understatement. It was all hands on deck in our house for a tense few weeks.
I’m happy to report that my son is now feeling much better and is totally on the mend thanks to the expert help of the people at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
During that entire ordeal my problems were pushed to the side, practically everything was pushed to the side. If you’ve ever had a sick kid, I know you know exactly what I’m talking about here.
It’s during those times when you learn what’s really important. You also learn about the things you take for granted. I think we take so much for granted in our daily lives. Perhaps I needed a refresher on that. Had things turned out differently, I’m not sure if I’d have that same outlook, but I’m grateful things turned out as they did, and that I’m able to reflect on it now.
My point is, don’t let a family tragedy take you to that realization. Take a moment to appreciate the life you have. Appreciate your family and friends, and most of all, appreciate the health that you have. None of it won’t last forever. Every day is a gift. Treat it that way and you’ll live a happier life, I guarantee it.
Latest videos below.
#ETCGDadsTruck 4” Rear Suspension Drop (Part 1):
#FairmontProject Final Assembly (Part 4):
Dad’s Going on the Power Tour!:
BTS #ETCGDadsTruck Videos With Cameraman Brian: