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Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Oil Knowledge. What would you do?

Hey guys, this morning, ROD1 from the C5 Forums posted an interesting thread about oil and filters. You guys should have a look. Please don't skim, read the whole thing.

Okay. I'll start the discussion. While most of the stuff in that article is contradicting what we know, I do see some truth behind it. However, another very well known oil expert, Bob the Oil Guy, seems to have different views. Most of what Bob says is what we sort of know. Anyway, I'm not sure what to think, because I am no scientist, and I can not prove one theory over another. Therefore, I'm left kind of stumped.

However, I will say this though, I kind of like the idea of the Pure Power oil filter. I am considering buying one to test out on my next oil change. $200 is still chump change for an experiment, and I'm willing to try it out.

So questions of the day: Are you going to start using 10w30 oil instead of 5w30? Are you going to continue to use synthetic? Let me know what you guys think, leave a comment here, or feel free to post on the Facebook page.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

God Save my Camaro

If you have been following every post so far, you would have seen that my coolant reservoir bottle is leaking. While I appreciate you being bombarded by my array of my constant right jabs and left hooks, my posts, I have yet another dissapointing review.

As you may know, I've been running Oracle H.O.D. H13 bulbs for my halogen housing for less than a year now. I've installed them on August 10th, and one of the bulbs fried on me recently. Tsk tsk tsk.

However, there is a bigger deal going on here than just a burnt lightbulb. Apparently, this bulb has quite a few negative testimonials. One member on the C5 Forums stated that this bulb melted his stock harness! I'm glad in my case, only the bulb died. For $40, I thought it was a good deal, but it is not worth the risk. Frankly, I'll tell you guys right now, I'm not going back to AAC and Oracle products. There are lots of options out there guys, you just have to look. AAC Style seems to have dominated the Camaro community because of their marketing.

My verdict? This is a piece of shit. That's right, I said it. The color isn't even white. It's just a bit whiter than the stock. Don't be fooled by the pictures... it's still tinted slightly yellow. DO NOT BUY!

I'm back to my OEM halogens right now. However, I plan on getting something new soon.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Coolant Leaks

I'm tired... tired of chasing down bullshit breaking on the Camaro. Here, long story short, I took some pictures.

It seems, for a while I've had an empty coolant recovery bottle... Yeah, that's right. I have no idea what kind of damage, if any, I may have caused. The thing is, my car is mostly parked outside, and it rains non-stop here. Even if I had been leaking coolant, I would not have noticed it right away. This kind of thing should be sturdy for a good year and a half. It's only been a year since I've owned this car, and it's doing stuff like this. HEART BROKEN!

Eitherway, I went to a local Walmart, bought some Dex-Cool coolant, and filled it up. Then I see drops starting to trickle onto the ground. This is possibly the leak, but to give the benefit of the doubt, I just assumed I may have spilt a bit on the outside. In my HONEST opinion, GM screwed up here. I believe there is an 80% likelihood that there is a leak somewhere I can't find, otherwise how else would you explain an empty reservoir bottle?!

Anyway, my advice? Always double, triple your check your fluids from time to time. You have no idea when you may be running low, or when the fluid needs changing. Since I am still under warranty, I'll drive the car for another week or two, and check my fluid levels. If it goes down too much, something is broken, and I'm not going to spend a dime fixing it, GM will have to keep their reputation in good name here. Oh right, last thing... if you are checking your coolant, make sure you are checking it when the engine has cooled down and on a level surface. Otherwise you might get different readings at different temperatures. Also, NEVER OPEN THE RADIATOR CAP WHEN THE ENGINE IS HOT. You will get scolded!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Shaving off milliseconds - 0-60MPH Test

Alrighty, some of you guys have been waiting for this. I know I have. It's been pretty much a year since I've last done a 0-60 run. A fast re-cap:

Bone Stock - 5.44 Seconds
With Injen CAI - 5.42 Seconds
Injen CAI, Corsa Catback, and Trifecta Tune - 5.22 Seconds

However, most would argue the Dashhawk is not accurate. You are probably jealous >=D. Okay, let's be real here, let's say the Dashhawk isn't accurate, but you can still see the improvements. Each and every mod has shaved off an X number of milliseconds. Beyond that, they are pretty accurate milliseconds I would honestly say.

Someone have a horse power calculator? There are websites out there that calculate your car's overall weight, with the speed and time you made a 1/4 mile or 0-60MPH, and give you the result of your RWHP, or BHP. Someone find it, and post in the comments or on facebook please =D. I would like an estimate of the HP without having to pay for the dyno right now lol.

Anyway, lets talk technical stuff right now. My first bone stock run was driven on June 25th, 2010, at around 61 degrees, if my mind serves me correctly. Where as this newest run was ran on April 24th, 2011 in the morning at 55 degrees. If my knowledge is correct, then the colder air is denser, giving more air molecules per cylinder, which means higher octane needed, and could result in more power. HOWEVER, on June 25th I was running 94 octane, and April 24th I was only running 87 octane. I'm too cheap to fill high octane right now, especially with the gas prices so high lol.

Therefore, we are lead to conclude more power could have been had for this newest run. Let's list out the other factors here. I DON'T have any after market headers at this moment and I still have both pairs of cats, so I already have crappier airflow than some of the other guys. I am running stock 1LT 18" wheels and BFGoodrich all season tires, meaning crappy grip. I weigh around 140 lbs right now, 5 lbs heavier than last year. Don't overlook each pound, with our car's Power to Weight Ratio, every 16 lbs you shed, you gain an equivalent of 1 HP. My goal before I go forced induction? 5 seconds flat, so another 0.2 seconds shaved off.

My options? Weight loss, both my car and I - lol, more power, more grip, lower center of gravity. This is where the next couple of months/years will come into play. I am currently doing research on wheels right now. TSW Nurburing are rotary forged wheels, meaning they are light and cheap in price! With some new rubbers, and hopefully no bigger than the current wheel diameter, we will gain the speed needed from three angles: Better grip, lighter unsprung weight, and a better final drive ratio!

HOPEFULLY, that is enough to shave off those milliseconds. If not, I am planning on buying RX's new Throttle Body, and perhaps some Doug Thorley Headers. However, wheels come first, then suspension.

This is pretty nerdy, and pretty exciting. I can't wait to see this car change even more.

I am planning on racing this car. Drag, AutoX, and Track Days

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Oil Change and RX Catch Can final review

With summer coming up, everyone is preping their sexy cars for the nice warm pavement. Your car may have been in your garage for the past 6 months, or you've been driving it daily. Whatever the case, it is a good time to do an oil change. With this video, you should feel confident enough in doing it yourself!

This is my third oil change at 5000 miles, and it just gets easier every single time. Seriously you guys, it really is as simple as it looks. There are tons of benefits to maintaining your own car. Number one reason, it saves money. (Unless you screw up and end up causing hundreds of dollars in damage.)

Secondly, once you get to know your car, you also get to learn what it needs, when it needs it.

Well, I've already done a write up about this, AND a video, so there should be no excuses for you NOT to do this.

NOW! The RX Oil Catch Can. As you have all seen with your own eyes, that was a lot of oil caught in the can, and only after 3000 miles! If you don't have one yet, buy one, especially if you own the V6, because apparently the LLT injests tons of oil.

I hear people saying stuff like, "Well, if GM made it that way, then there's nothing wrong and I won't need an oil catch can."

To this, I reply, "You obviously don't know how an internal combustion engine works."

Because of environmental laws, car manufacturers had to re-design their crankcase ventilation system that, in the past, released gases and oils into the atmosphere. Their solution was an enclosed system where the oil is re-routed as part of the intake stream. Therefore, oil in the crankcase is fed back into the intake manifold. This way, the engine 'burns' away that oil in your combustion cycle. However, only two things should be present in the combustion chamber, AIR AND OCTANE! By adding engine oil into the mix, you will LOSE power, and slowly, but surely damage your engine.

Finishing off the RX Oil Catch Can review: It is a really great product! It is well worth the money. Obviously, there are other options out there, and I never had a chance to review them. Therefore I'm biased, sue me.

Eitherway, the important thing is, pick one up today. If not RX, you better hope the one you buy works just as well. But you guys got a first hand view of what the RX Catch Can can do, so all of my cards are on the table.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Long weekend

To start off the long weekend, I have recieved some new Spacer Screws from Hurst Shifters for the paddle shifter prototypes. Turned out the stock spacer screws that I recieved were too short, and there were some clearance issues. However, if you have ordered your set of paddle shifters, don't worry about it, you guys will be getting the proper screws.

Again, I truely thank the B&M Racing and Hurst Shifters team for their sponsorship. They have excellent customer service, so that's a plus one in my books. Hopefully, I will be able to work with them again in the future.

Now on to other stuff. Tomorrow, Good Friday, will be a busy day for me. I will be shooting a new DIY episode for Spades V6: Engine oil change, and the final review of the RX oil catch can.

Saturday, I plan on just giving my car a good clean.

Sunday, or Easter Monday, I plan on doing a video for a revised 0-60 test run with the new bolt-ons and tune.

That's it for now, stay tuned!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Camaro V6, in a nutshell.

Ah, the LLT, a 3.6L, Direct Injected, DOHC with VVT. A wonderful engine. Actually I have the utmost respect when it comes to engines. Every part has their part to play, and every part is developed through hours and hours of sweat and blood. Cheers to those hard workers. Click on the image to get the full scope of the engine... I just love it, and I think I would like to make that into a poster.

Anyway, lets take a moment to really appreciate all the nuts and bolts that make our V6 power machines.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Papa's got Swag

Well, one of my biggest achievements to date has come and gone: Reviewing and taking part in a product from a company as big as B&M Racing and Hurst Shifters.

I thank Kenji, and the rest of the team from the bottom of my heart for this opportunity.

To show me their appreciation, they sent me a hat and a T-shirt. Check it out =D

Awesome! Now I have a T-shirt and hat from Stillen, and a set from Hurst. This will become a thing now, I'll be sure to collect clothing from brands of aftermarket car parts. lol.

Anyway, it has been a blast. Doing these reviews, and helping you guys decide what to buy or not has become something I like doing. Hopefully there will be more opportunities like this in the future.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Let's Talk Tires

This week, hundreds of Camaro owners from all over the country are gathering in Phoenix, Arizona for the second Annual C5 Festival. Since I am not attending, and have some time to blog, let's all wish them a safe and fun trip!

The season is getting warmer, and everyone is breaking out their sports cars from underneath those car covers. One of the fundamental times of the year where everyone re-stocks on car wash supplies, wax, rim cleaner, and other things to polish our rides into full on head turners. If you've garaged your car during the winter, then there is one less step you need to perform before getting your car up to summer specs -- swapping your tires/wheels.

If your car is a daily driver, and also your guilty pleasure, then you are most likely the kind of person who keeps two sets of wheels: One with winter tires, and the other with summer tires.

If you are driving in all-season tires, and you are doing that consciously, then you don't need to continue reading. However, if you are driving in all-season tires, and you've never really questioned why, or why not, then please continue reading.

Most car manufacturers selling you a regular, fuel efficient, compact sedan will sell them with all-season tires. Why? One answer -- price. The rubber compound in all-season tires are made with cheaper materials. The lower the cost it takes for the manufacturers to get their cars on the road, the easier it is for them to sell to you and me. Don't get me wrong though, cheap doesn't mean your tires are more or less prone to blowing up. The simple fact is, all-season tires will do decently on most occasions, but will not exceed in anything except being the cheapest in price. Of course, if you are the regular Joe who drives to work every morning at 8 AM and gets off work at 4 PM, all-season tires is all you will ever need.

Then can you tell me the difference between all-season, winter, summer tires?

Why yes, of course I can. As mentioned above, all-seasons are the cheapest out of the three, but there is more to it than that. There are a couple of things you can look out for visually to give you hints on what kind of tires your buddy is running on his station wagon. If they are winter tires, they usually have a lot more treading slits and cuts. Also, if you push your fingers on the tread itself, it will feel abnormally soft. All of these designs are to prevent your car from slipping on ice, snow, and water. All of the slits and cuts on the tread prevent your tires from hydroplaning by allowing water to escape out of the treads. The softness is to provide more grip on slippery surfaces. Have you ever tried ice-skating with your rubber sneakers? Doesn't work as well as ice skates.

However, running winter tires during the summer is an extreme waste. The rubber compound that make up our tires are also directly effected by the ambient temperatures. Due to the winter tires rubber compound softness, running it in the summer would cause abnormal wear and reduce your tread life. Therefore, you should swap your winter tires for summer tires when summer time comes, hence the names.

Summer tires are made of a much harder rubber compound that can take heat and friction a lot better than winter tires and all-season tires, giving it a longer tread life. If you take all of the rules on how to visually spot winter tires, then you can reverse them for the summer tires. Treading on summer tires is few, to non-existent. The reason for this is maximum grip! Race cars usually put on Ultra High Performance Summer tires, Drag Radials, or even Super Slick tires. By having few to zero treads at all, ensures your horse power is transfered to the pavement 100% due to the amount of contact it has to the ground. Street legal summer tires must, by law, have treading on them. The reason for this is, you can still run into water puddles, oil puddles, or heavily graveled roads on an extreme hot sunny day. Having no treads while running into those hazards could cause your car to lose control, spin out, or worse. When you push on summer tires, they seem to be rock solid. Again, this is because of the compound in the rubber, it preserves the longevity of the tires in the hot summer sun.

All-season tires is the most mediocre of the three, and because it has the flaws of both summer and winter tires combined, it also has the benefits of both as well. In the end, it is about money, taste, and preference.

I'm the one to talk right? I'm still running the stock all-seasons on mine lol. However, I am looking at a couple of good summer tires for my new wheels.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Prices are set!

Okay you guys, short post.

It seems that B&M Racing and Hurst Shifters has come out with the MSRP on the Paddle Shifters.

They will be $259.95 USD, available near the end of May and early June. For those of you who want in on a special "Pre-Order" deal, they are willing to sell for $199.95 PLUS SHIPPING!

Get your hands on it TODAY!!! Only if you want =p

Here is the direct link, follow it fast, it may not be on there forever!

Hurst Paddle Shifter Follow-up

Okay you guys, here is the follow-up review. It's been around a week and a half since I have installed and reviewed these paddle shifters for you guys.

Since then, I have probably driven with these paddles for a good seven or eight days. They really make city driving a lot more fun. I mean, you aren't really pushing these babies to the max with all the traffic, but you definately get more variety with downshifting and upshifting. With these nice big paddles, changing gear is a breeze.

They are so tactile, and feel great. Initially I said that the paddles could be slightly thinner. However, I somewhat retract that statement. These "beefy" paddles feel REALLY good. This is what happens when I get into my car, EVERY SINGLE TIME: Open the door, legs go in, head tilts to slide into the seat, close the door, STROKE these paddles (Yes, sounds very sexy, it feels sexy), then turn on the ignition, fasten my seat belt, set the car in gear, and my hands go straight back onto the paddles!

If it wasn't for clearance issues, I would totally leave the paddles as thick as they are. Incase you couldn't see how thick they were in my videos, please try to rewind, and look at them now. There should be enough time for you to see the thickness. However, if you can not eyeball it, the thickness is around a good quarter inch thick, more or less.

As you saw in the video, it's impossible to activate your washer fluid, and flash your highbeams. You can NOT pull the stalks towards you, unless the steering wheel is turned. It's a small loss, but some of you may think that's bull crap. I mean, we spent our money on this car so everything would be functional. To me however, this isn't a problem, because the sacrifice is for something much cooler. First off, they look great, secondly, they actually do make GM's crappy design a lot better.

I really hope GM slaps itself in the face, and realize the buttons are shitty. I mean, Honda Fit's have paddle shifters, and better ones than ours. Yeah, that's right, I said it, and if you don't believe me, go to your local Honda dealer and check it out right now. This has always been the beef I have had with GM. You make one of the best looking cars in the world, cheap price per horse power, and you go lazy on something as important as a shifter? NO! SLAP YOU! >=(

Sorry for the rant. Back to the review.

Eitherway, there is not much more wrong with it. Again, it's all in the eye of the beholder. Some people will like this setup, and some won't. Keep in mind, this mod is a bolt-on. Nothing is glued, or permanent. All it takes is your tool box and you can put it back to stock anytime you want. Also, Hurst has told me the allen key I used to tighten the spacers, will be included in the final kit as well. Which makes things so much easier for you guys! Yay =D

Anyway, Hurst has done an exceptional job by giving us an easy way to turn crap, into gold. No bias here, just because Hurst sponsored me on this, doesn't mean I sold my soul. I am giving you guys the full scoop, good and bad, the way I see it. Heck, if I had to pay for these, I'd do that in a heartbeat, which I'm sure some of you will also do the same =) In all honesty, Hurst has no room for error here, they are only making the flaws of this car better. But that's just my opinion.

Let me know what you guys think yeah? Either leave a comment here, or comment on the SV6 youtube channel, or feel free to join the facebook page and leave your comments and requests there. =)

Sorry for the quick and dirty video, I was really tired LOL. =D As always, see you guys next time!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Transformations, but not a Transformer

A lot has been going on in my mind lately, mainly where I want my car to end up. A couple of months ago, I made some Photoshop concepts of my "finished" project car. I ended up with something like this:

Not much has really changed in my plans. I got my fender stripes applied, which looks fantastic. I have the red caliper paints to do soon. With those red colors in the picture, the Camaro really draws more attention. Good and bad. The last things left to do this summer is swap out the rotors, tint the rear windows, and POSSIBLY Spoiler. However, just because there are so many options out there right now, and the mere fact that it costs more money, I am going to wait until all of the above mentioned mods has been completed.

Then it occured to me, instead of adding stuff to the car, what about taking stuff away? To this, I mean, debadging. Don't get me wrong, I am not going to debadge my front and rear bowties, I wear those Chevy badges proudly. However, the fender emblems has never really tickled my fancy. I mean, I don't mind them, but I've always wondered if the car would look better with them off. I'll tell you one thing, it's not an easy thing to wax around the fender lettering. Well, I had some time off today, and I decided to do some more photoshopping and de-badged the car digitally. Perhaps I will add this to my list of stuff to do for this summer. I mean, it's not costing me anything, but it can change the look, drastically.

Friday, April 8, 2011

One year with the Camaro

I took delivery of this car on April 6th, 2010. It's amazing how much I have done to the car, how much I've learned, and experienced with this car in just one year. Time flies when you are having fun right? Then I suppose I really had a lot of fun with the Camaro.

It's very interesting how this blog has evolved as well, as you can see compared to my very first post. Hopefully, my car will continue to change in good ways, same as the blog and the rest of Spades V6.

For this one year occasion, I have ordered something very special, a secret weapon so-to-speak. It hasn't arrived in the mail yet, though I am expecting it in the next week or so.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Front Bumper Removal and Front Plate Mod

Like I said in the video, I have had two counts of "no front License Plate" violations. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't trying to be a rebel. After the first warning, I was already going to do this mod. However, I was waiting for the magnets to arrive in the mail, and I was eventually caught on the week I was going to put it on, but it was too late =( I was charged $85, as my second warning. Otherwise, the officer could have fined me for $600 as a driving violation, revoked my license, and impounded my car.

I really wasn't going to take another chance and gamble with those odds.

Anyway, I have driven the car for a week and a half now. Mixed driving styles: Fast and slow, and on the highway and in the city. The front plate mod seems to be holding up really well. I don't think I am going to worry too much about it falling off. What I really love about it, is that you can take off the plate anytime to take some awesome pictures, or videos. Of course at car shows, with the front plate off, you can really show off those aggressive lines at the front end.

Of course, removing the bumper doesn't just have to be about the front plate mod. Use this for when you are removing your head lights, changing out your grill, or whatever you have in mind. So pick your poison.

Special Thanks to Jerry (C586)! Awesome idea sir! =D

Monday, April 4, 2011

2011 International Autoshow

On Thursday, March 31st 2011, my friend Allen (2010 Subaru STI) and I went to the 2011 International Autoshow. It was only open for a few days to the general public. Luckily, one of my dearest friends, hooked me up with free tickets to this thing, so I happily enjoyed my field trip. Thanks Yan!

The show itself was held at a brand new convention center, and the place was confusing... My friend and I went in, took an escalator downstairs, then one more upstairs, only to get to the same floor we came from. On the way, we literally only saw five cars, and we were already at the exit of the show. LOL. /facepalm

I have heard that the show wasn't great, but I had no idea it was only five cars! Luckily, a nice lady who worked there asked us how the show was, to which we replied, "Wtf? It's OVER? That sucked, five cars?".

She then soon realized, we actually missed the entire autoshow, which was being held in this doorway that we had not noticed along the way. Long story short, we found it eventually, and went in lol.


Okay, if you watched the ENTIRE video, I applaud you, and I would like to offer you a gold star, because frankly, that video was boring. I'll tell you this, when I was watching the video post-edit, I fell asleep... My foot kicked, and jolted me awake. Then I realized, "Wow this video is still going?"

I suppose it's a mix of the camera's non-stop circling, and the smooth music. Next time I have insomnia, I'll give this video a shot =D.

On to the car show itself.

Notice I've skipped a couple of makes. I do not have Hyundai, Kia, or Toyota in the video. Please do not be offended if you like any of those makes, they just don't interest me, and I had limited data space to record on my GoPro. The overall show was okay... A couple of new cars, mostly fuel efficient cars, and a couple of highlights. Like I have mentioned above, due to limited data space, I did not film EVERY single car at the show. I only shot the ones that interest me, or the ones that I felt was worthy to film. However, I do believe I caught the essence of the entire show with the video. It was no carnival... everyone was pretty quiet, talking amongst each other, and some people took turns sitting inside various cars. Allen and I did sit in a couple cars, mainly seeing the differences in the manual gear box and clutches of various cars. Out of all of the manual transmission cars I sat in, I have to say the three cars that had the best gear box and clutch combination were the Mazda 2, Fiat 500, and the Nissan 370z. The Mazda 2 for having such a sporty gearbox and clutch for such a small car. The Fiat 500 for having the softest clutch and buttery smooth gearbox. The Nissan 370z for having an easy sliding gearbox, as well as having, in my personal opinion, the perfect throw for the shifter.

Of course, my favorite car there was the Firebreather Concept car. Man, I love that thing. That would be such a badass thing to drive. I mean, over 600HP is really awesome, but mostly, the look is just so wild. It really does look like a phoenix!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hurst Paddle Shifter Prototype Review


There you go guys. The full scoop on the Hurst Paddle Shifters. Sorry for the super long video, although I think it was fully necessary for you guys to see as much as possible before deciding on buying this product.
I have mentioned this in the video description, but I shall say it again here: When I say "Flimsy" it does not mean cheap or easily breakable, I just simply meant it is flexible. =)
Some things I've noticed while driving since the installation, I had a hard time accessing the DIC controls on the signal stalk. I mean, it's no big deal, but little things like that would make you wish the design was different. However, I fully understand that this isn't Hurst's fault. The root of the problem is GM's design, leaving us very little room to improve on the stock setup.

For those of you who want to know the process, please feel free to read the Post Sema Show post. This, I feel, gives you guys more background knowledge, and what I had to do to get this opportunity.


Oh yeah... She's there.

Just a sneak peek for you guys. If you have been following my twitter updates, you would know that I was at the 2011 International Autoshow. One of the first cars that I saw, was this:

Yeah, this is the sex right here: The Firebreather concept car ladies and gents. An Edelbrock Supercharged car, producing over 600 Horse Power! I have to admit, when this car was first released, I wasn't too impressed with the pictures. I mean, yeah, it's really cool, but I didn't know what all the fuss was about.

However, that thought soon changed, when this car was staring at me in the face. A gorgeous piece of machinery. If I was driving this on the road, not even Ferraris and Lambos would phase me. It's just magnificent. If you have not yet seen this car up in person, make it one of your goals.

Again, this is just a sneek peek and update for you guys. I have a lot of video to process from the Auto Show, so expect the video out sometime next week. More on the show later ;)