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August 24, 2015

The EricTheCarGuy monthly newsletters are set up to be easy and convenient for you to find the information you’re interested in. Just click on the topic or image that interests you below, and you’ll be taken directly to that part of the newsletter. If you’re looking for the complete newsletter, just Click Here. No matter what you decide, thanks for reading.

Back From Vacation

As some of you know, I took the first week of August off for a family vacation. Time seems to move quickly in my world these days. It’s sometimes hard to imagine where I started out. But now that I’m here, I’m finding that taking periodic breaks can be very beneficial. Taking breaks with my family is even better. Getting daddy away from the computer can be a challenge in my line of work. Family vacations are a great way to get daddy away from the computer.

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If you’re wondering how I like to relax and recharge on my vacations, I like cooking with a campfire. It’s challenging to control the heat with a campfire. It is fire after all, and in many ways has a mind of its own. It makes timing your cooking more of an art. You can’t just set the temperature and the timer like you do with an oven. You have to get the fire just right, and then let it burn down to coals. If you get it dialed in, it can be some of the best food you’ve ever tasted. IF you get it dialed in. This year, I cooked steak, chicken, and of course, bacon & eggs for breakfast. Between that and the beer, I think I gained 10 pounds. Worth it.

My Shop is Getting Ridiculous

Last month I talked about some of the new additions to the shop. My new compressor & air system, new tire changing machine, tire balance machine, and also my new brake lathe. I’ve been using all of them lately.

I’m struggling to find words that describe what it’s like to work in my shop these days. I never want to leave. Sometimes I go there just to sit and tinker with stuff that doesn’t even need fixing. With that in mind, I intend to bring you along to share in my joy, and make some great videos with this new equipment in the process.

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The video of the air compressor and air system is set to go live on Wednesday September 2nd. It got moved back in the schedule because of my vacation at the beginning of the month.

I’ve already shot video of machining drums and I’ve almost completed the edit. I also have plans to shoot a rotor machining video, and an overview/review video of the lathe itself.

I plan to take a similar approach with the tire equipment. A couple of weeks ago, I got new tires for the Vigor, so I’ll be shooting those videos very soon.

Since my shop is so dusty, and I want to keep my new equipment looking good as new.  Some of you suggested using BBQ grill covers to protect them. I guess great minds think alike because that’s exactly what I’ve been using. I got a new shop grill for the ‘Meet Up’ this year. At that time I also got a grill cover for it. I thought, why not use grill covers on the new shop equipment? And I did. They work perfectly. Like I said, great minds think alike.

Getting back to shop equipment, there’s only a few more items I need to have a ‘complete’ full service shop. Those items are a shop press, 20 ton should do it, and an AC recovery machine. I’m working on those now. Once the shop is complete, and I make the videos I mentioned, I think it’s time to take things to the next level. I’m still working on that plan, but rest assured, when the time comes, it will be epic.

New ‘Day In The Life’ Video

There was a lot of positive response to the last “A Day At The Shop With EricTheCarGuy” video I did, so I decided to shoot another one. In fact, I used the brake lathe I talked about above in the video that day. Also, it just so happened that the Accord in the last video came back to get it’s AC repair done. This means you’ll get to see what caused the AC problem, and what the fix was, in this sequel. That may air in September, it just depends on how things pan out with the rest of the video releases in September. Repair videos get posted on Friday’s, so look for it then, Thursday’s if you’re a Premium Member.

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Fixing it Forward

Barbara came and picked up her van! And then it came back. And then came back again. Yes, that Chrysler is the bane of my existence right now. I feel like an auto mechanic Dutch boy trying to plug holes in the dike that is the 1998 Chrysler Town & Country. Every time I plug one hole, another opens up. Honestly, I knew what I was getting into, I did it anyway. No good deed goes unpunished as they say.

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Here’s the latest. When it first came back, I repaired the instrument cluster because it was freaking out and not allowing the van to start. Video forthcoming. Last month, Barbara brought the van back because the AC quit working. Come to find out, the high side fitting was leaking. Something you can’t detect when you have the AC gauges hooked up. In my experience, this can sometimes happen after AC service. That said, I couldn’t just replace the valve, I had to replace the entire AC line to repair the leak. That was no easy task. I had to remove the side engine mount as well as the alternator to replace the AC line. Then I had to deal with finding the part. This also presented it’s own challenges. Several challenges that took about a week to resolve. No good deed goes unpunished.

The line and receiver dryer have now been replaced and there are no more leaks in the system. Except…. now it’s not cooling as well as it should. Based on the pressure readings, I think it’s an issue with the expansion block. I could really use that AC recovery machine about now. I’m working on that.

Barbara is very grateful for the work that I’ve done, and for the parts that have been donated to the cause. She understands that the van was not doing well when she brought it in. She also understands the work that’s gone into it and appreciates it very much.

Fixing it Forward is about helping people. I plan to do that no matter what with Barbara’s van. Sooner or later I figure the thing will just give up and stay fixed.

I’m still on the lookout for the next Fixing it Forward project. This time, I’d like to help some veterans. I’ve been trying to get in contact with my local American Legion, without much success. That said, if you’re in the Cincinnati OH area, and you’re a veteran or spouse of a veteran in need of auto repair, I’d love to hear from you. Just send an email to eric@EricTheCarGuy.com.

The Fairmont Project

The time has come to pull the engine and transmission out of the Mustang. This should be happening in the next couple of weeks. Keep an eye on my social networks for pics. Links at the top of the page, if you’re reading this on my website. At the bottom of the page if you’re reading the email newsletter.

Don’t worry, I’ll also be shooting plenty of video, but the social networks are usually where you see what’s happening at the shop before anywhere else.

Once I have the engine and transmission out, I plan to go through them so we’ll have some videos on engine and transmission rebuilding for performance applications.

Recently, I’ve been researching my tire and wheel combination for the build. As I said in “The Fairmont, The Plan” video, the tires and wheels are one of the most important choices for any build. Originally I was going to use Nitto NT555’s on the car, but I’ve changed my mind. I now want to go with a set of Mickey Thompson Street Comp tires. 235 45 R17’s to be exact.

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The overall diameter of the wheel and tire is roughly the same as what I have now with the existing 14” wheels at 25.4”. The tires are much wider at about 8” compared to the 4.5” that are on it now. A bigger contact patch means more traction. Power is nothing without control as the ad goes.

I also found out that the steel wheels found on late model Crown Victoria’s and Grand Marquis will work perfectly for these tires. They’re 17” with a 7.5” width. I just need to make sure that my 5 lug conversion bolt pattern will work with those wheels. If they do, it’s a total score as those wheels are readily available just about everywhere. Not to mention cheap!

The wheels come in black. I’ll try them with that color first and then see if I’d like to paint them body color as I’ve mentioned in the past. Remember, stealth is key for this build. I want it to look like an old man’s car. Although anyone that knows anything about tires will know something is up when they see them.

I Sold My Old Odyssey, & Got a New One

I know this was sudden, but I have my reasons. What are those reasons you ask? Well, I’ve spent the past 7 years climbing out of bankruptcy and I’ve been working on rebuilding my credit. I’m hoping to buy a house again one day.

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Thing is, I don’t have any debt. In order to build credit, you have to go into debt. It’s a screwy system in my opinion. I figured if I was going into debt, I might as well get something useful.

So, it was just last week that I bought a 2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L to replace the 2001 Odyssey EX I’ve had for the past 10 years. I really shouldn’t say “I” had it, so much as my wife had it. It is her vehicle after all.

The new van is Honda certified which means it has a warranty that will last until 100K. I won’t have to do anything other than service to it during that time. It has about 51K on it now if you were wondering. The old van had 167K and a little more than a year left on the transmission warranty.

The old van went to my sister-in-law who desperately needed reliable transportation. We sold it to her for a little less than the down payment on the new van, $2500.

There’s already interest in a video introducing the new van and I plan to shoot that in the next couple of weeks. Look for that on my ETCG1 channel. ETCG1 videos are released every Monday, Sunday for Premium Members.

The best part, my wife, who cares little about cars or just about anything I do in my shop, hasn’t stopped saying, “I love my new van”, since she got it. I just may have converted her into a ‘car girl’, or ‘van girl’ in this case. No small feat if you know my wife. It only took 13 years.

EricTheCarGuy and Advance Auto

By the time you read this, I will have concluded the last hour long live show with Advance Auto Parts. In the past couple of shows, I had help from Jim Bates who is a master technician and hybrid expert that Advance hooked me up with. He’s been a great addition to the show and it was nice to have a second opinion on many of the topics that come up.

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The “Jeep Stabilizer Link Repair and Suspension Inspection” video was released Friday August 28. I think this video turned out very well and has a lot of useful information in it. Including a suspension inspection overview. Also, parts went flying during the video which is always good in my opinion.

I’m slated to do one more sponsored repair video with Advance. I’m waiting to hear about the details on that. As soon as those are in, I’ll schedule the shoot and get to work.

Find an Advance Auto Parts store near you : http://bit.ly/AdvanceStoreLocator

Buy Online at Advance and Pick-Up in Store in 30 minutes: http://bit.ly/ShopAdvanceAutoParts

Check out Advance Monthly Specials: http://bit.ly/AdvanceMonthlySpecials

EricTheCarGuy and Pennzoil

Earlier this month I was contacted about doing a sponsored video for Pennzoil. They were looking to showcase their Platinum PurePlus engine oil.

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I’ve done oil change videos in the past, and wanted to try something different this time. Instead of doing another step by step oil change video, I decided to do a video about my “Top 5 Oil Change Tips”. I think it turned out really well. In fact, Brian the cameraman and I had a little fun with this one. We tried to put the oil container in each shot of the video. Sort of like a ‘where’s Waldo’ kind of thing.

The video has already been shot, edited, and approved. If all goes to plan, it will release on September 9 as a special release video.

Premium Member News

Premium Members almost got 3 videos in August. If not for moving the compressor/air system video into September, they would have. No worries, they’ll get that video along with the compressor/air system video when it comes out the first week of September as I mentioned earlier. The video is a companion to the compressor/air system video. In it, I do a bit of pipe fitting and a few repairs to my new compressed air system.

The 2 videos they did get were and extended version of the Vigor Suspension Repair, and an exclusive video of a repair I did on my Element’s Fog Lights. One of the lenses was filled with water and I needed to reseal it. So if you have a light on your vehicle that’s full of water, this video may give you some useful information. As usual, there were ‘complications’ when I shot the video. It’s all part of the fun with auto repair.

Vigor SuspensionElement Fog Light Repair Exclusive Video

I’m always working on new ideas for Premium Content for Premium Members of EricTheCarGuy.com. If you’re a Premium Member, and you have suggestions for what you’d like to see in your Premium 
Content, you can post them here.

Keep in mind that if you sign up for a Premium Membership for a Premium Membership you have access to all the previous Exclusive Content for Premium Members as well as anything new that comes out. At this time I think theres just over 100 videos in there.

Premium Members get at least 2 exclusive videos per month in addition to early releases of all ETCG and ETCG1 videos. They also get $2.00 discounts on VManuals. Memberships are $1.99 per month and $9.99 per year. To get more info and sign up, click here.

In Closing

Well, you’ve stuck around this long, you deserve a cookie. If I could send you a cookie electronically, I would. Since I can’t, go get your own cookie and pretend I gave it to you.

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Reading back over this newsletter, it’s a lot of stuff. It’s hard to imagine sometimes the work that I do. Mostly, I focus on the things I’m doing right now. Sure, I plan the big picture, but I spend most of my time trying to figure out the next 5 minutes. Apparently, it adds up. Next thing I know, I’ve got more than 2800 words in my monthly newsletter even after I’ve cut a bunch out.

So now it’s time to thank you not only for reading the newsletter, but for your continued support of my YouTube channels, website, and various social networks. It all adds up. For me it’s added up to the best job I’ve ever had, in the best shop I’ve ever worked in.

To repay you, I will continue to work at brining you the best and most entertaining auto repair videos I can produce. I’ll also continue to do everything I can to help you with the automotive issues you might be having both with the videos, and with EricTheCarGuy.com. 5 minutes at a time.

Check out the latest videos below.

Be safe
Have fun
Stay Dirty

Related Videos:

2004 Jeep Wrangler Stabilizer Link Replacement & Suspension Inspection:

ETCG Get's a 2012 Odyssey -ETCG1 :

Vampliers Tool Review:

EricTheCarGuy & Jim Bates Answer Questions Live #49 8/26/2015:

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