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Saturday, January 29, 2011

The RWD experience

I've said time and time again, that RWD cars are dangerous and fun at the same time. The only line between the two is how the driver drives. Interestingly enough, my brother, who drives a Honda Prelude, asked me, "What's the deal with RWD? Everyone says it's the most fun, but I don't understand how."

To be honest, I couldn't really answer that question completely. It's kind of like falling in love... people can ask you what it feels like, but you can't really explain it. You can only understand it if you've driven one. The way I explained why it was fun was that it's dangerous. Instead of FWD, pulling you forward, you get a sensation of being pushed with RWD. Of course, if you are talking about red light, intersection driving, then you probably can't tell the difference. However, under extreme speeds and turns, these aspects begin to emerge. I would say RWD is the most fun, then AWD, then FWD. I leave room for argument here, but just to be clear, I love and respect all cars.

Last night, as I was driving home in the rain, I had another one of these RWD close calls. At a green light, I picked up speed, and around second gear, my car just started to lose traction. The traction control kicked in, and it took at least a whole second before the car was stable enough to go. The feeling I got was that my car could fishtail for no reason at all... but it was exciting because I couldn't tame it. As the power transfered to the pavement, my body was knocked back, and I could hear the engine roar. It was a feeling that is nearly indescribable; the relation between man and machine.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Options for Forced Induction

Supercharger and Turbocharger kits were available for the 2010 Camaro SS before the Camaros were even for sale. Companies spent lots of money and time for R&D for this new beast that was to be released the summer of 2009. However, all efforts were put into the Camaro SS, because it was the V8, and the only car that would have been taken 'seriously'.

For a year now, the Camaro V6 owners, me included, have begged and pleaded companies to develop FI options for their cars. The first FI option that was made to the market was developed by STS. I didn't look into that option because it was a single turbo, and I either wanted a twin turbo (would make more sense for a V6 anyway) or a supercharger. Yes, superchargers wouldn't pump out the same power as the turbos, but I've always liked supercharged cars a bit more than turbos. Well, with no sign of a supercharged V6 insight, I kind of gave up that option. So the options looked bleak.

However, a new breakthrough has come to pass, and I was given early info from our man Tracy. Yep, the guy who I keep talking about, and buying stuff from lol. Apparently, he and another Camaro5 forum member have been working together to develop a twin turbo'd V6 Camaro. Here is the thread that Tracy started:

It looks very promising, and most of the modding V6 community are waiting on it. I know I am. That will be my long term goal... I'll be saving up for this baby. I'm drooling already. Can you dig it? ;)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

RX Breather

It took around three LONG weeks to ship, but it's finally here. My first mod of 2011, WOOHOO! Presenting another beautiful product from the guys at RevXtreme, the RX Breather.

At first glance, this product looks good. When I held it in my hand, it felt solid, and definately not cheap. However, when I shook it, the breather rattled. I asked Tracy what the rattling was, and he said that is was "the integrated checkvalve. It keeps vapors from escaping into the atmosphere from the breather, and only allowing the flow of air to travel in."

I quoted him, because he knows what he's talking about. =D

Aesthetically speaking, the breather adds more flare to the engine bay. As you can see in the images above, it basically replaces the engine oil cap. So the install is a no-brainer. Last subject for this product review is price and function. For price, this little breather costs around $50. Some of you may be asking, "Why would I spend $50 on an engine oil cap with a filter on top of it?"

Well, here is Tracy's description of what the product does:

The oil ingestion/contamination into the intake air charge comes mainly from the PCV system, which the catchcan takes care of, but the stock crankcase make up air comes from the tube that connects to the air bridge and at WOT operation some reversion or "back-flow" results in oil being drawn into the intake via this route. The breather gives a more direct filtered source for this make up air eliminating the possibility of oil entering the intake via that route.

There you go folks, $50 for a small aesthetically pleasing, and helpful mod for your engines health. As seen in the catch can post, you can see how much oil was being injested into the engine. This mod helps prevent oil from being pulled through the other side. Sounds good to me.

On a side note, I have ordered the Le Mans, or Grand Sport, fender stripes from Reggie today. So more on that later.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Plans unfolding

Okay, to start off, I finally got the small mod I was talking about a couple weeks ago. I will post a product review and install over the weekend. As of now, I have found out my financial position is pretty well controlled, which means mods for this year are on their way for sure.

For now, I have these mods in order planned: Le Mans Stripes (previous post), Trifecta Tune, Caliper Paints, MPD1 Spoiler, and Window Tints just around summer time. Those are the mods I plan for this year. Last year was a big year, since the car was new, and this was the first car I had modded. I got a little too happy with my credit card. As of now, the projected total costs for all the listed mods would come to around $1500. Last year was far worse, but then again, I'm trying to control and pace myself now.

Like I have said before, suspension mods will be later, because I want to enjoy the stock suspension for a bit longer. I had highly considered getting new wheels and tires for the summer, but turns out, it was way too much of an investment for now. So that will be pushed back as well.

As of the paddle shifters I have mentioned, they may be coming to me somewhere near March.

One thing's for sure though, mods just never stop. My list goes on... but more on that later.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Playing with some Crayons

For a while now, I have been trying to add splashes of red to my black car, as seen in my engine bay. From the get-go, I didn't exactly want to make this car a full blacked out car. You know, full window tints, black wheels, blacked out lights. For one thing, it would be too hot over the summer lol. But the real reason is, I like contrast. I think blacked out cars are awesome, and they look so stealth you sometimes wonder what car it is. One time I was driving home on the highway, and I see in my rear view mirror, this shadow of a car. I really had no idea what the make and model of that car was, and this intrigued me. It wasn't till the car passed me, that I realized it was a Mazda 3. From that day on, I realized what a blacked out car can look like, and it looked good.

Personally, however, I wouldn't want my Camaro to be a full blacked out car. I think there is beauty in its lines and shapes, and to black it out would be sacrificing some of that edge. So far, I have left all of the chrome trimmings in place, just so I could have some contrast. Well, like I have mentioned in the beginning, I have been wanting to introduce red to the car. I plan to paint the brake calipers red for sure, for that sporty look, but I also felt like it needed more. I came across an old website, Camaro Decal Store, where I originally got my tail light black outs, and the side marker black outs. I remember dealing with the vendor, Reggie, and he was just an awesome guy to work with. So I decided to check and see if he had any new inventory. Turned out, stripe kits were available now! Then I saw it... he had these fender stripes that would be perfect in my mind. You see, while I want some red on my car, I also want to avoid putting too much red. The OEM style rally stripes was a no-go for me, they occupied too much space. These fender stripes, however, were perfect for my needs. I made a concept drawing on what I hope the final product would look like.

The red stripe on the door isn't part of the package though. I just added that to balance out the fender stripes. Also, I took the liberty of painting the calipers in this concept. Personally, I think it looks more aggressive, but at the same time, it looks like a completely different car. That's what's stopping me from doing this, I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with different yet...

In the meantime, I am still waiting for that mod I purchased a couple of weeks ago, so stay tuned.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A new year and thoughts on Gas

Welcome to 2011 ladies and gentlemen, I have a feeling this year is going to be a good one. I have some mods in mind for this year lined up. However, I will see how my financial situation is every step of the way. To start off 2011, I have ordered a small mod again from the RevXtreme guys. I won't get into it too much right now, but I am excited where this year will take me.

Originally I wanted to start modding suspension this year, but I might be holding that off. I think I want to enjoy the stock setup a bit more before I stiffen and lower the suspension. However, by the summer time, I plan to have the windows tinted, and perhaps paint some calipers and wheels. I am also considering a tune in the near future, simply because I want to tweak a couple of aspects of the car, since I've got some bolt-ons installed.

Well, as John Lennon once wrote, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

Who knows if these mods will even happen this year lol.

On a more realistic note, gas prices are at an all time high, again. I can see a huge difference driving the Camaro in the winter versus the summer. It seems that the colder the weather, your car uses a lot more gas. Someone mentioned that it has to do with your Air to Fuel ratio. Which is actually, for most of the time, the reason why you have bad fuel economy. For example, bad mods, or an un-tuned car could cause a bad A/F ratio, resulting in bad gas mileage. But back to how cold weather effects gas mileage. Cold air is much denser than warm air, this triggers the oxygen sensors to think that there is too much air, so it injects more fuel to balance out the ratio. Simple enough I suppose. However, as always, if you drive with saving gas in mind, you can still shed a couple of dollars off per mile with a couple of good driving techniques.

- Don't open your windows at high speeds, it causes drag.
- Don't turn on heat or A/C if you don't have to, energy ultimately comes from your fuel.
- Don't plug in too many electronics when you don't have to (GPS, Radar detectors, cellphone, etc).
- Don't accelerate too hard.
- Try shifting at lower RPMs.
- Avoid roads that require frequent stopping.
- Keep your maintanence schedules in check. Cleaning filters, and changing oils will do wonders.
- Keep your tires pumped to the recommended tire pressure.
- Keep junk that you don't need at home, and not in your car. The more weight you have in the car, the more energy it requires to move at the same speed.

Those are just the ones on the top of my head. However, most of this stuff is common sense anyways. If you fail at following those steps, or others, don't complain about the gas prices! More on mods later.