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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

DIY: Applying Grand Sport Fender Stripes

Phew, what a week. I've had so much stuff on my plate lately, I haven't had any downtime at all. I applied my vinyls on Sunday, and I knew it would turn out to be a disaster. The following day, my friend, the owner of the Orange Camaro "Outrun", came by to help me sort out my mess. lol. If you are reading this man, I really appreciate it lol.

I was partially fond of the idea of completely scrapping all of the vinyl... that's how bad it was. Anyway, I have everything documented on video for you guys to watch. Hopefully this will help you guys, if you guys are planning on DIY.

That's it folks. I am now going to edit the video for the Hurst Paddle Shifters... hopefully get it up for you guys soon. =)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hurst Paddle Shifters Installed

As promised, I got onto the paddle shifter install today. In my opinion, it looks great. And no, they are NOT too big, they are the perfect size for shifting when the steering wheel is turned.

My initial thoughts and the review itself will be coming soon in video form. I also took the opportunity to record the install of the shifters for you guys to see. However, because there is so much on my plate lately, I will have to post that video up at a later date.

Coming soon, I'll have videos of my Vinyl Striping process up and running in the next day or two. If you want stripes, make sure to look for my blog post on the special Spades V6 coupon code with the Camaro Decal Store.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hurst Paddle Shifter Teaser

Okay guys, one of my most visited blog posts was my Post Sema Show post. If you haven't read it, feel free to read it, and you will understand how much I appreciate this product.

First off, pictures, fresh right out of the deliveryman's hands.

Great feeling material. Hard, it will not bend easy.

Sorry for the unprofessional shots here. Not really glorifying, especially when you can see my Pajama Pants... O_o

I am honored to recieve such a package, sponsored by Hurst Shifters and B&M Racing. Kenji, Vice President of Engineering and Quality Control, has been working his butt off to get these to the prototype stages. It was not an easy feat, R&D took eight months I believe, and Kenji was kind enough to keep me updated all the way. Now, as I am writing these product reviews for YOU guys, and not to satisfy sponsors, I will give you my initial thoughts and impressions.

First, the product quality is great. Nothing feels cheap, and everything seems to be feel tactile and solid. I could not wait to put these on, so I did that right away. However, since this is a prototype, it did not come with complete instructions, and I failed to see how it mounted. From what I understand, this is product could have room to be improved or modified.

Second, pricing? I have no idea... so technically, there is no second. This is just a teaser for you guys, to get you guys excited, or not excited, whatever lol. I'm excited. =D

I am in contact with Kenji at the moment, soon I will have a full review, whether video, or plain old written style, you guys will get the full scoop before you decide to buy it or not.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Big, The Bad, and the Camaro

Feels like I can't do things fast enough. With work and daily life, I feel like I've been locked up, and I really want to burst out of this cage of excitement!

For those of you reading and coming to this blog on a regular basis, I appreciate it, and it will only get better. How much better?

My friend and fellow Camaro owner and I were hanging out yesterday. I tuned his car via the Trifecta tune, free'd up some locked ponies, and got rid of the nasty Check Engine Light left from his BBK Long Tube Headers. All in all, I think he was satisfied with the tune. Although, we are waiting for results of the tune's datalog. The video above was just a test video we shot with the GoPro HD Hero. In my opinion, the quality is top notch, though the Mic is crap. After my superior editing skills, and some epic background music, I thought it would be best if I made it into something more fun. Thus, I made it into a teaser for the upcoming videos.

For those of you who haven't yet, please subscribe to the Spades V6 Youtube Channel, and Join the Facebook page as well. For those of you who have, thanks!

Outrun and Spades

In other news, B&M Racing's own Kenji has e-mailed me this morning, telling me the paddle shifter paddles has shipped, even gave me a tracking number! It could possibly be arriving tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow. At that time, I will post teaser pictures for you guys, but no review. With consent from Kenji, and the B&M Racing team, I will do a full video review and install for you guys.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Going Pro, being a Hero

A couple of days ago, my GoPro HD Hero camera came in the mail. I've been trying to get used to it, so when I amp up the Spades V6 youtube channel, I'll know what I'm doing. Off the bat, the camera is super compact, and very impressive for such a small device. Frame rates, Angle of View, and Image quality are all top notch.

Yesterday, my family and I went to the local Auto Mall and checked out some cars. I used this time to try out the camera. Got a couple of pictures here to share with you all.

Whether you are a Camaro lover or not, who could deny the beauty of expensive cars? I had a good time, and fun experimenting with the camera.

Anyway, I haven't had time to really update any substantial Camaro posts these days; all in due time though.

I have a couple of things on my list I will be working on soon. I have to do an oil change, tune a friend's Camaro, wash my car, and apply my Grand Sport Stripes. All of which, I will be video documenting. In other news, I am expecting two more packages in the mail. Kenji from B&M Racing, has contacted me and told me that their prototype paddle shifter paddles have been successfully made, and he is sending them out to me for my thoughts and review. While the other package is a secret... only a select people I trust know what it is. I can tell you right now, some people will hate me for it, and some will love me for it. You'll have to stay tuned to find out. =D

If you haven't already joined the Spades V6 Facebook page, or subscribed to the Spades V6 Youtube channel, please do, and you'll be getting any updates I shout out.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Heart's out to Japan

Yeah, a bit late on my end, but do to the recent Japan Tsunami and Earthquake incident, I can't help but think a lot. The incident has caused all the headlines around the world to be plastered with stories of this disaster. However, with this still being an automotive blog, I'll get to the point. I just needed to say, even though we are fortunate enough to be driving our cars, modding, and reading this blog, you are in our minds, people of Japan.

Now, if you want to help, you can always donate money to any relief organizations, but as everyone knows, the 'economy' is a global one. With this disaster, Japan has lost many lives, businesses, and obviously money. This will lead us into a few years of financial imbalance. With this, I say, "You want to help Japan? Buy a brand new car."

See what I did there? I made this into a car related post. No, but seriously, if we continue to spend money, it will make the world a better place. More money being spent means, more opportunities for jobs, etc... but what the heck am I telling you this for? This is Eco. 101.

Two main points I want to personally make. Doesn't matter where you live, some natural disaster can strike at anytime. Everything you own, may be lost... so why are you working so hard? Saving so much money? Spend it! Spend it on yourself, your loved ones, I don't care! DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY, RIGHT NOW! Seize the moment, life is so precious, money is just paper. I am personally considering buying another car, JUST because of this tragedy. Selfish? Maybe. But if I'm spending, believe me, it's going to help Japan. Money travels around the world you know.

Okay guys, I'm half joking here... obviously don't dump all of your money into cars just because the world might end tomorrow. I am especially talking to the teenagers reading this blog lol. I know what it's like to dump all of your savings into your car, don't use this blog post as an excuse to Mom and Dad. =p

Anyway, just something to think about. Pray for people around the world tonight.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thanks for supporting Spades V6

I know this isn't a Camaro post... but I just wanted to say thanks to all you guys who have been following and leaving awesome comments and messages for me to read. I would still be doing all the things I've been doing, but I probably wouldn't have spent the extra time to perfect each aspect of this long term project car if it wasn't for you guys.

The blog has hit 10,000 views since yesterday! That number amazes me, especially as this started out as just a personal blog, and even more specifically just about ONE make, ONE model, and ONE trim sub model V6! A couple of months ago, searching "Spades V6" on Google would get you no where. Now, Spades V6 has been established as a brand.

I'm about to up the ante on Spades V6. I'll be investing in better equipment, and begin to do more video documentations, DIYs, tests, reviews, and all the stuff I've been doing in writing. This being said, it's really just a test, seeing how the audience responds. Very much like this blog, if there is a need, I will fill the void.

I am very excited to see the transformation of my car, as well as the transformation of this blog and social network.

So again, big thanks you guys for sticking with Spades V6! ;)

Monday, March 7, 2011

DIY Changing Rear Differential Oil

Yesterday was a gorgeous sunny day, and I just had to seize the moment... to work on my car. It's been a great 4000 miles now, and I haven't flushed out the Tranny Fluid, and I hadn't flushed out the Rear Differential Fluid either. It is recommended that you do these oil changes, including the engine, after breaking in the car. It's not the end of the world if you don't change these oils, but it can cause damage, and shorten the lifespan of your auto parts.

Well, as always, keeping you viewers in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to make a DIY tutorial on how to change your Rear Diff Oil. Let's get started.


Hope you've enjoyed the video. I think that pretty much sums it up. The following are just some more detailed steps, my personal experience, and tips.
Tools you will need: Rear Axle Fluid (Check your owner's manual for proper part numbers), Oil pan, Floor Jack, Axle Stands, Torque wrench with 3/8" drive, or adapter to 3/8" drive, Breaker bar or Socket wrench with 3/8" drive, Paper Towels and Towels.

The proper fluid for V6 Automatic Camaros without Limited Slip Differential. Need only 1 qt of oil (946 mL). One bottle is enough. Notice that this is a Synthetic Lubricant. No need to go Royal Purple or other brands. Infact, using GM specified fluids and oils is the only way to keep your warranty. Keep that in mind.

I chose to use a coffee filter, to see how much crap I can filter out on my first oil change. This is not needed, just for satisfying my curiosity. Use a regular Oil Pan in this case.

NOT mentioned in the video. But this should be a no brainer. ALWAYS block off the wheels incase the car rolls.

After the car is lifted, make your way to the Rear Differential housing. You will see two plugs on the Driver's side of the housing. The top one is the Fill Plug, and the lower one is the Drain Plug.

I put my axle stands on the ramps I have made for my engine oil change, to get maximum height. Make sure you know where to place your stands. I have made a post on stand positions, look for it if you need a guide.

Both plugs removed, and both cleaned off. The plug on the RIGHT is the Fill Plug. The plug on the LEFT is the Drain Plug. As you can see, your differential is trapped with tons of metal shavings, I was happy that I got all that crap out! As mentioned in the video, both plugs are magnetic plugs, keeping the larger metal shavings from moving around. Both plugs also have rubber O-rings, make sure that you do not lose those.

Look at the color of that oil! It is completely black and gray, full of metal shavings! The original fluid itself is somewhat 'Apple Juice' colored. Clear and a bit yellow.

If you do not own a fluid pump. Then you are in for a treat... NOT. This was the hardest part of the fluid change. You have to squeeze the bottle of oil into the fill hole. Remember, by this point, your Drain Plug should be screwed in, and torqued. You will have to find a good angle to work this oil into the fill hole. It's not impossible, just a lot of work. Fill to the brim, when the oil starts to drip out of the hole, you can stop. I had a bit of oil left in my bottle when I was finished, which I'll save for another day.

After you are done filling the oil. Place the Fill Plug back in, and torque to the right specs, 24 lb-ft.
Clean up and you are done. Last thing, always make note of the date and odometer reading of your service. Keep track of it so you know when to service it again in the future.

Okay guys, so this was a pretty easy thing to do. This took me a good 1.5 hours to complete. However, this being the first time doing it, plus taking pics and filming videos for you guys, I would say I could do it in 15-20 minutes the next time around. If this is your first time doing it, take your time, and follow the proper steps. Don't rush, it's not a race. Always work at your own pace. In summary though, I would say, do this as soon as you hit your break-in point. As you could see in the videos and pictures, the oil gets pretty filthy by 4000 miles. NEXT UP, TRANNY FLUSH!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Trifecta Tune for V6

Okay guys, so here is the full scoop on the Trifecta Tune for the 5th Gen V6 Camaro. Trifecta is currently the only tuning solution you can get on your V6. Purchasing is very easy, fill out a form, and pay. Vince from Trifecta is the tuner, and he pretty much custom tunes your car to your needs. For the automatic transmission cars, we get more goodies than the cars running manual. Vince can remove GM's torque management system from your vehicle to your liking. I currently have 10% removed on Drive, and 30% removed on Sport mode. Vince doesn't really recommend the user removing anymore, unless you want to shorten the life of your transmission, but he is still willing to remove more, only if you tell him to. Obviously he holds no responsibility for your actions, so don't go blaming him if something breaks!

There is pretty much a $400 charge for his tune and services, and you can choose to buy and own the tuning cable for an additional $200. This is referred to as the "Full Kit". I bought the full kit lol.

The image above is pretty much what you are paying for $200. Ridiculous as it sounds, that is actually worth it, in the long run. Especially if you are tuning your car non-stop, or plan on going forced induction in the future. Right, forgot to mention, Vince is currently the only one tuning the V6 Forced Induction cars. Another reason why I went with Vince ;)

Okay, so if you want my full review, as always, I am brutally honest, so here goes:
For what you are paying for, a total of $600, you had better have a whole lot to tune. The price isn't cheap at all. However, if you look at the cold hard facts, doing a dyno tune isn't always cheap either. Yes it could be cheaper than $600, but paying Vince, means a life-time support from Vince himself. Now, I haven't actually made sure if he charges extra later on for when you go Forced Induction, but as of now, he'll tune your car until you are satisfied. Keep in mind, this is remote tuning, and also the only option currently open to the V6 Camaros right now. To get your car running to its maximum potential, Vince's tuning software also allows the driver to datalog various input and output data from the car. You can then later e-mail him the files and he can fine tweak the tune, and e-mail it back to you. Basically, it's all really simple. You pay for the tune, he gives you instructions on how and where to download the tuning software. He then e-mails you the tune file, and you plug the laptop into your OBDII port via the Cable you purchased, or rented, and upload the tune! From here on, Vince can control a number of variables on your car, and make your car run to its full potential. Again, as I have said earlier, the automatic transmissions have more play time. Vince can also tune the car so it can have firmer shifts. This makes tap shifting a LOT of fun =D Basically having the firmer shifts makes it feel more like how a manual shifts the car. There is a split second right before the gears are changing, it will feel like the car is in Neutral, and then changes gears. At a more open throttle, these feelings are intensified... just saying, I've been losing some gas mileage these days lol. Summary of the product, it's good, just might be expensive for people who aren't really hardcore. Again, a tune is NOT necessary for your car, especially if you don't have any bolt-on mods. However, if you have bolt-ons and an Automatic, I really think a tune is well worth it.

Service wise, Trifecta is doing an excellent job. Trifecta isn't just tuning Camaros, there is a list of cars, and who knows how many customers Vince actually has. With all this in mind, Vince still finds time to e-mail you back ASAP. If you have any questions, he answers it right away. I believe he's been doing this for 10 years plus, and he has an excellent professional attitude. Many people say the same thing, no doubts here whatsoever. With the 5 star customer service, the amount you pay for the tune is fully justified.

This was a long post. The very last thing I want to show you guys, is just a small video I put together. Giving you an idea what tuning with Trifecta is like. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lift Positions

Well, it's spring time, and summer is just a couple of months away. We are now in modding season. For those of you who are doing your own work on your car this year, you might be finding yourself jacking up the car quite a bit. If you are a bit uncomfortable or unsure of the positions to lift from, fear no more!

Remember to always, ALWAYS use Jack Stands/Axle Stands when you are working with your car lifted. Your life is more precious than your car, always remember that!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Camaro Decal Store Coupon Code

I've been doing business with Reggie from the Camaro Decal Store for a while now. Started with just purchasing stuff from him on eBay, and I realized that he was an excellent salesman. After doing more business with him, I realized, I really want to work with this guy. =D

So starting today, Camaro Decal Store is giving a brand new discount in the name of Spades V6. I've noticed an increasing number of people who frequently stop by, read, and comment on the blog. To show my appreciation for Reggie and your support, I have formed a solution that I think will sweeten the collective pot.

From now on, if you shop at Camaro Decal Store, enter the coupon code: spadesv6camaro for an awesome 12% discount on all items!

Don't say I've never done anything for you guys out of the kindness of my heart LOL. I get no commission for any of this. =)

Oh and by the way, please join the Spades V6 facebook page for instant updates on mods, reviews, videos, and anything else.

Happy spending you guys!