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Saturday, October 30, 2010

SEMA 2010

I won't be attending SEMA this year, but I will be posting later about something that is currently "top-secret" that will be revealed at the SEMA show. Eitherway, for the people attending SEMA, hope you guys have a good time! Take lots and lots of pictures!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Music for the soul

I recently purchased a new album from the iTunes store, The Sea Brings Rivalry. It's a collection of some very nice electronic genre music, makes for very good driving music. Some of the singles are featured on the hit show Mighty Car Mods. For those who don't know about the show, it is really just a show for car lovers and modders, hosted by our two mad turbo-charged Australian friends Marty and Moog. Be sure to check out their show if you haven't already, lots of various things you'll learn from them.

The album is made by the above mentioned Moog. It's always nice to see people with many talents. As for the album itself, I can't really be one to judge whether it's good or bad, I'm not really an audiophile. However, I do know good music when I hear it. Like most albums, there are some really great tracks, and some that are just 'okay'. The meat of this album is really just a couple of songs. "Overdrive" and "Sew It Seams" are my two favorite tracks. I find myself enjoying this music mostly at night, driving in the city or on the highway with very free flow traffic. Overall, the album is nice on the ears, nice beats, good melodies, and excellent vocals. The only criticism I have for this album is that there are too many repeats and remixes of the same track. It felt like the artist was just trying to fill up the album.

I recommend you guys to purchase some of the songs, definately hear the previews if you are really strapped on cash. In the end though, the album is only $9.90 in total, $0.99 per track, great deal! I purchased the full album because I like the music, but mostly because I want to hear more original songs in the future.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Welcome ladies!

I had come to a conclusion lately, the Ford Mustang has held the crown for too long. So long infact that almost 40% of the Mustangs I have seen on the road are driven by women. Now please do not get me wrong, I do NOT think there is a problem with a woman driving a muscle car. I just find men in general picking up muscle cars before women do.

I don't think the Camaro has made quite a return like this since the Iroc-Z. You can actually see the 2010 Camaro line-up actually stirring up the competition. The 2010 Camaro was released with a V8 version that has a large LS3 engine putting out 426HP at the crank, and the slimmer lighter V6 version isn't too shabby either. When Dodge, Ford, and Chevrolet released the big three in 2009, it was clear that Chevy had done good.

Not to bash on any of the cars above. I've been in all three, so eventhough I bought the Camaro, don't think I am at all biased. Okay maybe a bit. The Challenger had the most masculine look out of the three. Classic enthusiasts would love to have the Challenger. Although the interior isn't impressive, it still retains most of its heritage. The power isn't too bad, but with its heavy weight, huge size, and non-aerodynamic lines, it really makes this car just a nice cruiser. The Mustang is the lightest of the three, and it also has the best interior design of the three in my honest opinion. But sadly, the 2010 Mustang line up was extremely poor. Their V8 version had just as much power as the 2010 V6 Camaro, and their V6 counterpart was only producing a shockingly low 210 HP. They released their 2011 cars with upgraded power as soon as they could. Technically, the 2011 Mustangs are competing with the 2010 competitors. Good job Ford (insert sarcastic slow clap here).

I guess Ford had to up their game if they wanted to keep up. Nothing healthier than a little compitition eh?

Well, I guess I've diverged from my original point: Women used to go to Mustang if they wanted straight line power. Now? I see Camaros being driven by lots of women. Actually suprised me that it caught on so fast. But if there are any ladies reading this, GOOD CHOICE! The Camaro is a handsome car, delivers tons of power, cheap to buy, and it comes with a better warranty than Ford and Dodge!

In my honest opinion though, all three cars deserve a round of applause, and for the men and women who drive them, cheers!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thinking of some changes next year

Well, it's been a while since I've last posted. It has been pretty busy for me, and I haven't really had any new stories with the Camaro, until last night.

I was driving out to the gym, and when I parked, I pulled up too close to the curb and bumped my front splitter. The splitter came off... again...

I know splitters detact to save your bumper... but at the same time, I want a splitter that stays on. The V6 Camaro is such a small market, there aren't too many manufacturers coming out with true racing splitters. All manufacturers make products for the V8 models. The situation now is, the V8 bumper is slightly different from the V6, and the V8 bumpers just have a lot more splitter options.

Right now, I am considering changing my bumper to the V8 bumper and just get a true functional splitter. We'll see though.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My thoughts on Rear Wheel Drive

For most everyday drivers, people tend to buy front wheel drive (FWD) or all wheel drive (AWD) cars. The FWD cars are usually more economical, and AWD cars are usually for off-roading and safety. The Camaro is none of those things, it is rear wheel drive (RWD). Yes, the V6 Camaro does a rated 29 miles to the gallon, but it is by far not the most fuel efficient. Is it as safe as an AWD car? The answer to that is "No" as well. Then why RWD?

In most sports cars, RWD is a must, and here's why: Imagine yourself at the grocery store, and you have taken a shopping cart for your shopping needs. You load the cart with lots of groceries. Now pull the cart, instead of pushing it. You will soon realize, pulling the cart causes undesirable effects, but I'll let you figure that one out yourself.

Okay scrap the whole grocery cart theory, that doesn't actually work on cars lol. Well to make things as simple as possible, FWD cars are cheap to manufacture because there is no need for a driveshaft, rear axle, and differential. Everything moving is in the front of the car, which also makes maintainence and repairs cheaper. Also, not having anything reaching to the rear wheels of the car means less parts, so the car weighs less and has more rear passenger space. Since all of the weight is in the front of the car, pushing down on the moving wheels, traction is a lot better than RWD. However, if you wanted to take your FWD car up to a performance level, the results may be catastrophic. Surely you are thinking, "Having everything in the front reduces overall weight, so my car should be faster." Well, FWD cars are just not meant for performance driving, the weight distribution will always be heavier in the front end of the car, making the back very light. This makes cornering much harder because the front wheels have to do the steering, accelerating, and braking the car. Therefore, FWD cars are much more prone to understeer.

AWD cars are the most expensive cars, which is pretty obvious, because essentially you have more moving parts. Weighs just as much, or sometimes more, than a RWD car, so gas mileage isn't a strong point either. Maintanence and repairs are also the most expensive out of the 3 types of cars. The benefit of paying for AWD is mostly safety, but also tons and tons of grip, if you are a track day fan. Also because all four wheels grip, speed and acceleration isn't a problem either. However, when it comes to hard cornering, AWD cars can be quite tricky. It really depends how much power goes to which wheel, but essentially AWD cars can get understeer or oversteer, and sometimes both in the same turn. I've realized, it's based on which car you buy, and how you set the differentials.

So by now, if you haven't already known the major differences, you should have a pretty good understanding of the different drivetrains. I didn't want to sound too boring there... but what I really wanted to talk about is the Camaro's RWD system. Theoretically, the Camaro should have pretty good handling capabilities. It has the chassis from the Pontiac GTO, or the Vauxhall Monaro if you are from the U.K. The V6 Camaro also has an almost 50/50 weight distribution, weighing 52/48. GM put the battery in the back of the car to even out the weight, giving the better weight distribution and freeing up lots of space in the engine compartment. Supercharger anyone? Just had to give GM a high five for being a smarty-pants there. All in all, if you want fun, you get RWD, because it can kill you.

This morning I was doing some light driving. It was pouring rain all early morning, but by the time I was heading home, the rain was just sprinkling. The roads were still fairly wet though. I drive up to a red light. About 200 yards after my red light, there is another intersection with a dedicated left turn light, which is where I wanted to go. My light was still red when the green left turn light ahead of me had gone off. About a full second had passed before my light turned green (believe me one second makes a huge difference when driving), I hit the gas and aimed for the left turn. Much to my suprise, I lost traction on the spot and wheel spinned. Tires were squealing and I could feel the back of my car trying to get grip, then BOOM nailed into my seat, I made it. Now I want to back up here... My traction control had not been turned off, if it had, I would have had a much longer delay in traction. I've always heard RWD cars are really bad in the rain, and I have to say, after today, I really know how much power is needed before I lose control: Not much power at all. SO MUCH FUN! Drive safe everyone.

Another learning experience on my way home; I was in an empty culdesac, and I decided to see how much speed it would take for me to lose traction if I went around in a circle. Around I went, and just when I hit 25-30 MPH my car started to lose traction. Much to my suprise, I lost traction in the front wheels. ALL UNDERSTEER. Understeer is no fun at all, oversteer is where the fun is at. Oversteer looks "cooler" and is also easier to control. Understeer usually steers you into a tree, whereas oversteer can be handled with good steering control and proper acceleration.

Eitherway, to be brutally honest, and I know Camaro owners may hate me for this, the Camaro is very soft in the corners (A.K.A. Can't corner). Hey! an American car that can't corner! Suprised? No. But seriously, GM did a very good job delivering us a very comfortable ride. However, I bought this car to be more about fun and games you know? SPEED, EXCITEMENT, ADRENALINE! If I wanted comfort, I would have bought a sofa, would have saved me a lot of money too.

Before you think I'm hating the car, you're wrong, why do you think I bought it? I've said this before in one of my first or second posts, GM did a very good job on the little details. Quick example, the battery thing I talked about, I haven't seen many cars who do that. I bought the V6 version, and 312 HP is far from shabby either. If you own a V8 Camaro SS, you are pretty much in Super car category! Best of all, they are affordable! All I'm saying is, all cars have faults. My V6, I'll admit, didn't have the sound I thought a pony car should have, so I bought a new intake and exhaust system. Suspension, super soft? suspension upgrades! The way I see it, GM built a handsome looking base car for me to start making my own. At such a cheap price, it makes for an awesome project car.

I took my grandfather, which is 82 years old by the way, for a drive in my Camaro one day. He looked like he enjoyed it, it was comfortable for him, other than the super low passenger seat. With the large spongey tires, soft springs, and branch-like sway bars, the car was riding like a pillow with lots of body roll. Cheers to an awesome base car then. Wheels, coilovers, and sway bars, HERE I COME!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Adam's, absolutely astonishing

This is going to be a fairly long post, mostly because it took me quite a long time to finish what I am about to talk about: taking proper care of your car. When it comes to maintaining your car, proper cleaning is a big part of it. When I first got my car, I wanted to make sure it was kept as perfect as possible, so I bought a proper detailing kit. Obviously, over the months, I've gotten rock chips in the paint, and other damages, so it was far from perfect. This made me a bit less motivated to keep it nice. However, since winter is coming, and my car is mostly parked outside, I wanted to make sure it was properly protected, so I spent the weekend detailing my Camaro.
Soon after I bought my Camaro, I joined a Camaro forum, and many of the members swear by the Adam's Polishes line of car care products. So I thought, "Hey, why not give them a shot?"

Conclusion? I love it.

The full detailing process took me about 20 hours, spread over three days. I took some pictures of my process, hope this may be helpful for some people:
Friday - I gave my car a proper wash. Hosed down the whole car with water, knocking off all the loose debris. Secondly, I used my foam gun and soaked the whole car in soap. I let all the soap soak and drip off the car. This lubricates the whole car and as the suds slides down the car, it brings more dirt off with it. Rinse all the soap off with water. Then foam gun the car again, and wash the whole car with the two bucket car wash technique with Grit Guards (You can search this online). Make sure you use two seperate wash mitts: one for the top half of the car, and the other for the dirtier bottom half. Rinse again with water, and dry.
Saturday - I spent half the day using the claybar on the whole car. Look at the above picture: Clean claybar on the left, and the dirty claybar on the right. That crap is what came off the car AFTER my long car wash! If your car doesn't feel as smooth as glass after you are finished claybarring, then you didn't do it properly. After the claybar process, my car felt so clean. You don't know clean until you have claybarred. Also, do not forget to claybar your windows, it makes all the difference. You'd be suprised at the amount of crap that stays on your windows after your wash.
Sunday - This was my longest and most tiring day. I spent the day cutting, polishing and waxing my finish. I won't really get into the details of this, but let me tell you, this is the first time I've done this, and there is nothing to worry about. If you do this properly, you won't screw up your surface. Heck, I own a black car, so if I'm not scared, you shouldn't be scared either.
Look at this picture, no trick photography here. This photo was taken with my iPhone 3GS, it doesn't even have a good camera, and it can pick up the scratches in the 'Before' picture. After cutting and polishing the finish, it looked flawless. Wow, thumbs up for Adam's products!
After the polishing, I went into the final step: waxing the car. With Adam's Machine Super Wax, it was a breeze. I waxed the whole car in 30 minutes.

Results? 110% satisfied.

I'm not getting paid for praising Adam's Polishes, it's purely beneficial for you readers. If they had sold me some bad products, believe me, I would be on their tails, especially if it had ruined my car. The honest truth though? Adam's Polishes has MY trust, and MY loyalty from this day forward. Great products, great customer service. Like I have said before, I am 110% satisfied, and the only way I feel I can pay them back is by spreading word of mouth. Also, if you need any more convincing, just remember that this is my first detailing attempt, and I did it on a black car.