October 2016 Newsletter
Welcome to the ETCG October 2016 Newsletter!
If you’re reading the email version of this newsletter, it’s not the full version, there’s a lot more! The email version has been slimmed down to just the main topics. Click on an image, or ‘read more’ link, and you will be taken directly to the topic of choice at EricTheCarGuy.com where the full newsletter is displayed. It’s fun and it’s free!
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Past newsletters and the ETCG Blog can be found here. (those are also excellent)
I recently did a video about blowing the budget on my #FairmontProject. This followed up previous videos where I talked about how “Project Vehicles Nickel and Dime You to Death” and “Deadlines=Stress”.
I knew what I was getting into, and I had a good feeling I’d go over budget when I started the project 2 years ago. Especially after I added the turbo. That’s why I saved up and set aside a good part of this year to finish the project.
Despite all that, I find myself growing a little impatient with the whole thing. With every new part I fit, with every new fastener I install, I just feel like I want it to be over. I dream about driving it down a back country road on a sunny day. Or taking it to the drag strip to see the improvements in the quarter mile. Even taking it to the track I drove the C7 on in Bowling Green KY.
Thing is, I know when the build is ‘over’, it’s ‘over’. I’m not saying I won’t be tinkering with it forever. I realize that’s how most project cars are. The part that will be over is the part before I drive it or fire it up for the first time. Once that moment happens, it’s gone forever. It amazes me to think that I’m spending all this time and effort for that moment of elation when all that work comes together. I hope…
Sometimes it’s about the journey itself. I just hope that when all is said and done, I enjoy it half as much as I think I will. If nothing else, I’ll have a kick butt video series about how I did, or didn’t do it depending on how it plays out.
The new rear suspension is installed! Finally. I’ve spent the past 2 and a half weeks putting it together. You may remember in previous newsletters where I talked about my conversations with Jack Hidley of Maximum Motorsports. Some say he’s a great salesman. I say, he know’s what he’s talking about when it comes to Mustang suspensions. After all, that is what he does for a living.
Most of the problems I ran into were about the car, not the new parts. It appears Oliver may have been a ‘Friday Car’ as it’s called. What is a ‘Friday Car’?
A ‘Friday Car’ is a car that was made on a Friday back when we used to do most of our manufacturing by hand. In 1978-79 robotic automation was a very new technology and not widely used. Therefore, most vehicle assembly was done by humans. Truth be told, humans are not consistent, especially on a Friday when they want to leave work and start their weekend. It’s often been said that vehicles made on a Friday were not assembled with the same care and precision as vehicles assembled earlier in the week. Hence the term, ‘Friday Car’.
Specifically with Oliver, the rear upper control arm mounts were not welded in straight. Well I should say, the one on the left wasn’t. As a result, I had a heck of a time lining up the rear stabilizer mount so that I could weld it into place.
I also struggled a bit with the pan hard bar. I couldn’t quite get that into alignment as I would have liked. I suspect that is also the result of a chassis that is not exactly true.
The torque arm went in fairly well, except for the bolt I broke for the center pivot. THAT was likely the result of my torque wrench and had nothing to do with the new part, or the assembly of Oliver at the factory. I was using my torque wrench at the top of it’s range. Clicker type torque wrenches don’t work well under those conditions and as a result, I broke a very stout bolt trying to get it to the specified torque.
My new torque wrench works great over it’s entire range. It’s a beam type. Those are very consistent across their entire range and traditionally less expensive. Thing is, when they go out of calibration, they’re done. You need to replace them.
Despite all the struggle, I now have a killer rear suspension for the #FairmontProject. I can’t wait to get it on the road and try it out.
Next up, I need to figure out the mounting and placement for the power steering and AC on the engine. Once that’s complete, I’ll be taking the engine and transmission back out of the car so I can install the new K member and front suspension. I also plan to gut the interior so I can rewire it. I’ll likely install a roll cage as well.
Oh yea, I’m going to make a custom HVAC too. So much to do….
Some of you are loving the new GSR videos. Some of you want #FairmontProject videos. You can’t please everyone I suppose.
I find it to be a nice break from the #FairmontProject videos.
No matter what camp you’re in, I’m going to run these for a couple more weeks. They’ve already been edited and uploaded. This gives me some freedom to do some traveling which I have quite a bit of over the next couple of months. The more travel I do, the less time I have to edit.
Once the Integra videos are complete, I plan to jump back in to the #FairmontProject videos. This time with the engine series. I know many of you are anxiously awaiting that.
For those of you in the “I love #FairmontProject videos and nothing else from you right now Eric” camp, think of it as the cookie you’ll get for eating all your vegetables.
I’ve just closed a deal to partner with WD-40 Company and attend SEMA – on the 50th anniversary of the show – on the brand’s behalf. For this year’s trip, I’ll be spending most of my time at SEMA in the WD-40® brand booth – #62129 – out in front of the main building – South Hall. It’s going to be awesome.
There will be a spray station in the booth where you can test WD-40® Specialist® Spray & Stay Gel Lubricant and the Industrial Strength Degreaser. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the SEMA Show and the Camaro, WD-40 Company will debut a custom built 1967 Chevrolet Camaro and will show off the many uses for WD-40® Multi-Use Product® and WD-40 Specialist. WD-40 brand will also be featuring a custom-built Yamaha XS650, dubbed the WD-40 Specialist Athena Motorcycle, in the booth.
This will likely be my most epic year at SEMA yet. Not only because of my partnership with WD-40 Company, but also because I’ll be staying for the final celebration after the show concludes on Friday. Something I haven’t done for the past 2 years I’ve gone to SEMA.
I realize that SEMA isn’t open to the public, this is why I’m going to try something new this time around. Instead of making a wrap up video weeks after the show, I’m going to be creating short videos on the spot that will be posted to my social media. This way you’ll be able to hang out with me at the show as it happens. WD-40 brand’s show hashtags are: #WD40atSEMA and #WD40SEMACamaro.
If you are attending the show, look for me in the WD-40 brand booth. Be sure to stop by and say ‘hi’. In return, I’ll load you up with as much swag as they’ll let me give away.
In case you were wondering, SEMA is November 1-4 this year.
Just this week I met with my accountant and an attorney to get the paperwork in motion to make Fixing it Forward into a non-profit. This will open up a lot of doors for the program so I can grow it beyond EricTheCarGuy and help a lot more people in the future.
It’s already starting to gain momentum. In fact, just a few weeks ago, OTC sent a brand new Encore scan tool to Joe Mikos in Atlanta. I’ve been working with Joe and his wife Susan for some time now with Fixing it Forward. Joe volunteers at the McEachern Ministry Car Care facility in Atlanta. OTC’s contribution will certainly help them with their diagnostics going forward. Thank you OTC!
I’m very excited for the future of Fixing it Forward. I know it’s going to help a lot of people in a lot of places, and that’s exactly what I set out to do when I started EricTheCarGuy. It’s nice to know that all the work I’ve done over the past 7 years has led to this. I couldn’t be happier about the direction this program is taking.
I just got back from Las Vegas where I spent some time with my friends at Nokian tyres. Yea, I spelled ‘tyres’ that way because that’s how they like to spell it.
Anyway, I was there to check out some new products Nokian is planning to release in early 2017. I’m not at liberty to share the specifics with you just yet, but let me say this, it’s likely to change Nokians brand recognition in the coming year. Meaning, the tyre brand you may never have heard of, is going to get a lot more popular in north america in the very near future.
I will say this, I did have a great time driving around Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I also learned more about how to drive on a track. That’s something I’ve wanted to do for some time. So the next time I go to drive something on a track, I’ll be much better prepared, and faster too.
That’s right, I’ll be headed to the Bank of America 500 in Charlotte NC on October 8. I’m going to be hanging out with my friends at Shell again this trip, and I just found out my friend Humble Mechanic will be there too.
I’m also hoping to get more information that I left out of the last video I did with Shell about the 25% increase in performance from Ferrari’s F1 cars as a result of using Shell/Pennzoil products.
These events often leave me very little time outside of the event to meet with fans unfortunately. But if you’re at the race, look for me where you see the Shell pectins. You might also get hold of me via Twitter.
Because you read the newsletter, I’ll let you in on a little secret. My dad is giving me his old 1990 Chevy 1500 in October. I’ll be driving up to get it in a few weeks. The bonus is I’ll get to see my oldest son and my grandson while I’m up there.
The truck is in amazing shape. Dad really took care of it. I’ll be posting pictures and videos once it’s back at the shop.
To be honest, it was a rocky start with the new format for live shows. First, I have to use a 3rd party software in order to broadcast the show. Then I need to link that up with YouTube.
It’s not impossible, or overly difficult, but it is cumbersome. Mostly because there’s a significant delay between what I broadcast and what is seen on YouTube. The real challenge with this is timing the closing of the show. If I cut the feed right after I finish, it will cut the YouTube video short. If I let it go too long, there’s dead air.
It was my first show, but the response to the picture quality and sound has been good. Most people like it better than Google+.
Hopefully the next show is better. It should be out at the time this newsletter gets posted. I hope it went well.
The pricing for new Premium Memberships on EricTheCarGuy.com is going up significantly October 1, 2016. For those of you not looking at a calendar, that’s tomorrow. You have been warned. Existing members are not subject to the price increase. If you’ve already paid your membership for the month or the year, your subscription will continue at it’s current pricing even after the change over.
The main reason behind the price increase is our new video streaming service. They have been excellent and many members have commented on the improved picture quality of the videos. This improved quality comes at a price however, and we need to cover the operating cost.
Yes, there have been some reports of difficulty getting access to the Premium Content. Most of these issues have been resolved by clearing your cache and resetting your browsers. My developer has also found, and corrected, an issue with the site that was contributing to this problem. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work with you to get any issues resolved for you.
Here’s a bonus. We will now be offering all existing Streaming VManuals as a subscription. That means you will have access to all 11 Streaming VManuals currently available for one low price. If you’re an existing yearly Premium Member, or a new yearly Premium Member sign up, you’ll be eligible for a $10 discount on your purchase of a Streaming VManual subscription.
The new pricing is as follows.
1 Year Premium Membership: $35
1 Month Membership: $15
1 Year VManual Membership: $35
Premium Member VManual Membership 1 Year: $25 (only available to yearly Premium Members, monthly members will pay full price)
1 Year Premium Membership+Streaming VManuals: $60
Details on the new Premium Memberships here.
Premium Members got 3 Exclusive Videos last month. “New Camera Test & Troubles Installing the #FairmontProject Suspension (Exclusive Video)”, “How To Diagnose & Fix an Integra Rear Hatch That Won’t Open (Extended Version)”, and “The Complete Guide to Honda Power Antenna Repair (Extended Version)”.
I already have more Premium Member videos ready to go to be released in October.
I’ve needed to hire someone for some time now to help out with my work as ETCG. Now that I’ll be taking on the added responsibility of running Fixing it Forward, I’m going to need that help more than ever.
I’m only putting this out in this months newsletter for a couple of reasons. The main reason is that I want to find someone who’s willing to read these newsletters. If you are reading, you’re a dedicated fan of ETCG and I thank you for that. The second reason is that I honestly don’t have the time to go through a bunch of applications right now which is what I’d suspect I’d be up against if I posted this to social media.
Here’s what I need help with.
- Social media. I’ve come to the realization that I’m not the best at social media and I could use improvement. Thing is, with everything I have going on, it seems impossible to find the time, or the desire to utilize it better. That’s where you would come in. I’d like to find someone who could take the reigns of my social media and help take it to the next level.
- Office assistant. As I mentioned, I have a lot going on with the business of EricTheCarGuy. One thing I’d like help with in particular is email. I’d like to find someone to help me sort through the email I get so that I can just focus on the important ones. In addition I need someone I can trust to take over when I’m out of town or on vacation.
- This part is hard to define. I do a lot as EricTheCarGuy as you might image. Running 2 separate YouTube channels is a challenge. In addition I have a lot of opportunities that come my way that I need to manage. In short, I need someone to help me through these tasks to make it so that I can focus on what I love doing most, making the best videos I can.
If you’re interested, please email me at email@example.com and include your qualifications, a brief summary about what you might be able to offer, and a resumé. Salary is negotiable based on skills and availability.
To say it’s really cool to what I do would be a gross understatement. I couldn’t even put everything into this newsletter. One thing I missed was that there is talk about doing a ‘Drive To SEMA’ with a few popular automotive YouTubers. My network, GarageMonkey, is looking to put that together. If the trip happens, it will be epic. I didn’t put that in the body of the newsletter because it hasn’t been confirmed and may not happen. If it does, I’ll be sure to let you know.
Still, it’s nice to be considered for something like that. I’m friends with a lot of great YouTubers and it would be fun to do a cross country drive with them. I know that opportunities like this are only possible because you’ve supported me all these years. Thank you for that.
So, as I so often say, it’s really cool to do what I do, and I have you to thank for it.
As always, thanks for reading. Latest videos below.
The Complete Guide to Honda Power Antenna Repair:
How To Replace U-Joints 2 Ways:
The Story of My Friend’s “Stealership” Experience:
ETCG Answers Questions Live #74 (AMA) 9/28/2016:
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