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September 23, 2015

For those of you not familiar with the new ETCG newsletter format, here’s the 411. What you see in this email is not ALL of the newsletter (unless you’re reading it on the website). I’ve paired things down so that you can pick and choose the things you’re interested in. All you need to do is click on the picture or topic that interests you. You’ll then be sent through a magic digital portal into the land of EricTheCarGuy.com where you will touch down directly on the topic of choice. If you want to read the newsletter in it’s entirety, and you should, just click here and start reading. Whatever decision you make, thank you for your time.

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Now, on with the show.

Busiest Month Ever

Things seem to be moving at an accelerated pace lately. I’ve had a lot of work to do with ETCG in the past, but the past month has ranked as one of the busiest ever. What have I been doing to stay so busy? Read on and see for yourself.

New Shop Tools

Right!? It seems like every newsletter I’ve been talking about new equipment showing up at the shop. Last month was no exception. Now, these weren’t big ticket items like tire machines and brake lathes, but there were a lot of useful shop tools that showed up. There were 2 major brands responsible for this, Sunex, and OTC.

Let’s Start With Sunex

Sunex has been awesome. Earlier this year they supplied me with a fantastic transmission jack to use for installing Barbara’s transmission in her 1998 Chrysler Town & Country. This month they sent some more great shop tools which I’ve already put to use.

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The first of which I’m most excited about, a 20 ton shop press. I’ll no longer have to fight with wheel bearings! What’s even better is that I’ll also be using it to rebuild the Fairmont transmission. I’ve already used it to install new bushings on the lower control arms of my Honda Element. Truth is, there’s a LOT of good uses for a shop press, and I’m happy to have this made in USA Sunex to help me out whenever I need it.

Sunex sent some other great tools as well. A new engine stand, an engine hoist, a work table, axle nut sockets, and a low profile floor jack. I’ve already had a chance to use the engine stand, engine hoist, and floor jack when I pulled the engine and transmission out of my Mustang. More on that later in the newsletter.

I’ve also shot reviews on both the engine stand and engine hoist which come out on the same day as this newsletter. Links below.

Tool Reviews FYI

People often perceive that I get paid for reviews, this is not correct. I’ve never accepted any money to do a review. I do however, get to keep the tools.

Before a review goes live, I send an advance copy of the video to the company that sent the tool or product. I do this so they have the ability to review my review, and decide if it’s something they approve of before it’s released to the public.

After watching the reviews, Sunex asked to have a phone meeting to discuss the video reviews I had produced. They wanted to know if I was truly happy with the tools and if I saw room for any improvements. I gave them my feedback and it was very well received.

It’s so nice to know that a company like Sunex is willing to take that feedback to make their products better.

Well done Sunex.

OTC Tools

OTC is known for making some unique and useful tools. One tool I’m looking forward to using most is The Hub Grappler. Remember that wheel bearing I fought with on Cameraman Brian’s Toyota? I think a tool like this would have been great to use for that application. In fact, I’m hoping to find out if it will work on a 2005 Ford Explorer wheel bearing I plan to do in the near future. Of course I’m making a video!

To be honest, I’m not sure when I’ll have the opportunity to use the other tools that OTC sent as they’re rather specialized. They also sent a set of brake slide pin removers that remove stuck caliper slide pins. An inner tie rod tool, an updated Drain Plug Pro set, and a set of tools used to move wires and other cables through hard to reach areas. Think of tools electricians use to fish wires through walls and stuff.

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I’m looking forward to trying these out. Thanks OTC.

Other Items Sent For Review

Since I’ve been doing reviews, it seems that everyone is sending me products to review. In the past few months I’ve been sent so many things for review, I’m not sure how I’ll ever get them all done. So, to give these companies some exposure before I’m able to complete the reviews, I’m going to post pictures of them here along with links to those respective products so you can check them out ahead of time. If you have an interest in one or more of these products let me know and I’ll see what I can do to move that review up in the cue.

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Fixing it Forward

Fixing it Forward took some BIG steps forward in August. In fact, I took in 2 new projects. The first is a 1998 Ford Contour or Mondeo depending on where you’re from, owned by Jeff & Emily Schmidt. Jeff has had some serious health problems and his wife is on disability. In fact, I learned about Jeff through Barbara Waterman. You might remember her from the first FiF series on the 1998 Chrysler Town & Country. She drives Jeff and his wife around from time to time in the van we fixed in the first FiF series.

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His car has been sitting for some time because it wouldn’t start. I had it towed to the shop earlier this month and I’ve been working on it ever since. I’ve nicknamed it the ‘spider car’ because it’s covered in spider webs. I’m actually almost finished with this car and hope to have it wrapped up in the next couple of weeks. One of the last pieces I needed arrived today thanks to Cory from Pull-A-Part. I also had a LOT of help from CarPartKings on this one.

All of my Fixing it Forward partners are awesome.

I know some of you are going to be VERY excited about this next vehicle. It’s a 2003 Nissan Altima SE-R. This one is owned by Jerry Hall who’s a disabled Vietnam veteran. His son, Bryan, emailed me about his father and their issues with the car after last months newsletter.

I haven’t started work on this one yet, but I’ve had a chance to look it over. Looks like this one will be getting a timing chain as well as some suspension work. The power steering rack is also leaking as well as the high psi power steering hose. There might also be a wheel bearing issue. Don’t worry, they’ll be videos on all of it.

If you, or someone you know, might be a good fit for the Fixing it Forward project, send me an email at eric@EricTheCarGuy.com and we’ll see if we can get you into the shop. For now, I’d like to stick with participants in the Cincinnati area as it makes the logistics easier. As the project grows, I plan on expanding the reach of Fixing it Forward to other areas.

GoFundMe for Fixing it Forward

Last month I started a GoFundMe for Fixing it Forward. Many of you had asked if there was some way you could donate to the cause and this was my solution. We’ve also created a page on EricTheCarGuy.com with a direct link to donate. 100% of the donations will be used on Fixing it Forward vehicles.

I also have a PayPal account associated with Fixing it Forward if you want to go that rout. The email is FiF@EricTheCarGuy.com.

There’ve already been several very generous donations. For all of you that have donated, THANK YOU! Unfortunately the way GoFundMe is set up, the only way I can send a direct thanks is by linking it to my personal Facebook account. I’m not willing to do that for obvious reasons, so please accept my apologies for not thanking you personally.

If you’d like to donate to Fixing it Forward, just click this link.

The Fairmont Project

As many of you know, I pulled the engine and transmission out of my 1982 Mustang donor car last month. I’m sad the Mustang is off the road. I LOVED listening to that car run, but lets face it, it was very unsafe in it’s current condition. It’s best it’s not on the road anymore. Besides, it’s not the Mustang project, it’s the Fairmont project.

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The plan is to focus on rebuilding the engine and transmission to get it ready to install in the Fairmont. In fact, I’ll share a little surprise with you. I’ve contacted Paul Cangialosi who happens to be one of the foremost manual transmission builders in the world. In fact, he’s written the book on rebuilding T-5 transmissions and has a great YouTube channel of his own showing how to rebuild manual transmissions. He’s agreed to help with the rebuild later this fall. THAT will be a heck of a video, you won’t want to miss it.

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I’m really stoked about this. Paul, you’re awesome.

EricTheCarGuy.com Now Faster and Better Than Ever

The website has been getting a LOT of traffic this year. So much that we were overloading our old server package and needed to upgrade. Earlier this month we did just that and we now have our very own dedicated server with plenty of RAM to keep up with traffic.

Since the upgrade, the site has been faster than it’s ever been. Page load times are a fraction of what they used to be.

You’re welcome.

EricTheCarGuy and Advance Auto

Last month I wrapped up the last of the hour long live shows with Jim Bates and Advance Auto. These videos were taken from my live events where I answer your automotive questions every other Wednesday.

Advance Auto

In the near future I’ll be shooting another repair video featuring them as the sponsor. If I have my way, it will be a rear wheel bearing replacement on that 2005 Ford Explorer I mentioned earlier. I’ll keep you updated with my progress on that.

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 Speaking at SEMA

By the time you read the next newsletter I’ll be headed to Las Vegas for SEMA. This will be my second trip there and I’m very excited to say I’ll be speaking at the event. In fact, I’m told it’s a very difficult gig to get, and I’m honored to be doing it. Think about it, last year was my first year at SEMA. This year I’m a part of the event. To say it blows my mind would be a monumental understatement.

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If you’re going to attend SEMA I’ll be speaking on Wednesday from 11am-12pm upstairs in the main building room N256.

ETCG Project At SEMA

I’m not going to say a lot here because I don’t fully know the details myself. In addition to speaking at SEMA I’m also meeting up with some of my YouTube friends.

https://www.youtube.com/user/HumbleMechanic 

https://www.youtube.com/user/EngineeringExplained 

We’ve been kicking around the idea of creating a project together and we plan on working out those details while we’re in Las Vegas. Let’s just say this would be super-cool-awesomeness if it actually came to pass.

DieselGate

This week social media and the automotive industry have been abuzz with talk of the most recent scandal with Volkswagen’s diesel vehicles. The short of it is that VW altered the programming on their ‘clean diesel’ vehicles so the would act differently and ‘detune’, when their emissions were tested. There were a lot of requests for me to do a video on this topic, and on Monday September 28, I delivered this video on the topic.

DieselGate slideshow

Premium Member News

Premium Members got 2 exclusive videos last month. The first was a video that I made about how I fitted the pipes in my new shop air system, ETCG’s Air System Repair with a Lesson In Pipe Fitting (Exclusive Video). Not only does it go into more detail about the air system, but it also shows how I actually built it from the reclaimed pipe my landlord provided.

ETCGs Air System with a Lesson in Pipe Fitting

A Day At The Shop 2 Full Extended Version

The second was a full extended version of the ‘Day At The Shop with EricTheCarGuy 2nd Installment’. A Day At The Shop With EricTheCarGuy 2nd Installment (Extended Full Version) contained more detail than the YouTube release and included parts 1&2 combined into one video. As a result, Premium Members got to see the video in it’s entirety before it was released on YouTube. Because of this, they knew of the struggles I had with Barbara’s AC system long before the rest of you did.

I’ve already got videos ready to go for next month. One where I almost machined the rotors on my Honda Element. In fact, it started out as a regular repair video on machining rotors up until the point where I found out the rotors were too thin to machine. From that moment on, it became a Premium Member video.

I also have an exclusive video on the replacement of the outer tie rod ends on my Acura Vigor. I’ve done several videos of this type for YouTube so I held this one back for Premium Members. I had a little fun with it as you’ll see. That is, if you’re a Premium Member.

In addition, I’ve been shooting more of these exclusive videos for Premium Members of EricTheCarGuy.com. I may up the amount of exclusive videos to 3 per month. However, I’m likely to increase membership pricing to cover the increased cost of hosting all these videos. That means you may want to sign up now before the price increases on new memberships. Don’t worry, existing members will stay at the pricing they signed up with until they decide to move on.

Consider yourself fair warned.

Keep in mind that if you sign up 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 exclusive videos ready to watch.

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 (for now). To get more info and sign up, click here.

In Closing

I did mention it was a busy month. Next month looks to be no different. It leaves me looking forward to my break in December for the holidays. Please don’t see that as a complaint. All you had to do was read through this newsletter and know that things are awesome at EricTheCarGuy right now. Between the Fixing it Forward project and the Fairmont Project, I’ve got plenty to keep me busy for some time to come. And it’s the best kind of busy to be if you ask me.

I hope you see what I’ve done with ETCG as an example of what is possible when you work hard at something and make it happen. It hasn’t been easy getting EricTheCarGuy off the ground, but it’s been worth every bit of blood, sweat, and tears that came from it’s creation.

Thank you for reading this months newsletter. Thank you for watching my videos, and thank you for all the support you’ve given over the years. Words can never express how grateful I am to be able to do what I do today. I owe that in part to all of you.

Latest videos below.

Be safe
Have fun
Stay Dirty

Latest Videos:

A Day At The Shop With EricTheCarGuy 2nd Installment (Part 2):

DieselGate -ETCG1:

Sunex 2 Ton 5222 Engine Crane vs Harbor Freight 2 Ton Engine Crane:

Sunex 8400 1 Ton Folding Engine Stand Review:

EricTheCarGuy Answers Questions Live #51 9/23/2015:

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