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November 23, 2015

Hey there kids. Here’s the ‘new’ newsletter format. There’s just links and pics here. If you see a topic of interest, or a picture that you like, click on it! You’ll then be taken directly to the text that is associated with those links. If you want to read the newsletter in it’s entirety, pictures and all, just click here. If you’re reading this on the website, click on stuff anyway. Go ahead, it’s OK, they still work.

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Now, on with the show.

Gearing Up For SEMA

I’m writing the newsletter a little early this month. (Strangely on the same day I wrote it last month). The reason is that I’m working on the presentation that I’ll be doing on Wednesday November 4 in room N263 at 11am local time.


At first when I agreed to speak there, I thought, cool, this seems like it would be fun. That was some time ago. Now, I’m pooping my pants a little thinking about it. Sure, I know everything will be fine, but this isn’t something I’m used to doing. I make videos, I don’t really consider myself a public speaker.

As they say though, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Wish me luck. I’ll give you an update in next months newsletter.

My New OTC Hub Grappler

I got my new Hub Grappler from OTC just in time. Just after I got it, it seemed like I was using it every week. I know it didn’t completely work out with the Ford Explorer wheel bearing replacement, but that thing wasn’t coming out for anything which is why I resorted to fire in the end.

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I also used it on the Nissan Sentra SE-R project I’m working on. On that car, it worked like magic. I didn’t even have to remove the knuckle from the car! All I can say is, I really like this tool and I’ll be using it more in future videos. Check out the review.

I Love My New Wilton 4600 Vice

I friggin love this thing! A bench vice isn’t something you often think about, until you use a good one. This month I decided to replace my ailing bench vice. I’ve had it for many years and it was never the best vice to begin with. Earlier this year when I did the pipes for the air system I had a LOT of issues with it.

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This month I decided to replace it with a Wilton 4600 Mechanics Vice. As far as I know, Wilton is the ‘king’ of vices.

Now, the new vice isn’t the entire story. After removing my old vice, there were many holes in my work table from previous bench vice installments. Not wanting to have a table that looked like swiss cheese, and as someone who looks for any excuse to practice welding, I set to work filling the holes. I think they turned out great. My welding has improved and now I have a work bench without holes.

I’ll be doing a review on my sexy new vice as soon as I get the chance. Special thanks to J&B Tools for hooking me up with it.

Fixing it Forward

In last months newsletter, I screwed up a little bit. I had said my next FiF project was a 2003 Nissan Altima SE-R. That is incorrect, it’s actually a 2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R. I also messed up when I said that Jerry Hall was a disabled veteran. Yes, he did have an airplane fall on him during his tour in Vietnam, and he’s suffered nerve damage as a result, but he has not been designated ‘disabled’ by the military. His son Bryan pointed that out to me after reading last months newsletter. Sorry about that.

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Jeff Schmidt drove his Ford Contour home last month and it’s doing great. In fact, I talked to him by phone just today. He says it’s running fine and the AC still works! He also said he’s taking his wife out for dinner tonight in it and if it passes her approval, it’s all good.

There will be videos with both the Ford and Nissan over the next few months. I’m going to mix them in with other videos along the way.

I’d like to give a special thanks to CarPartKings for all there help with the latest projects. They’ve stepped up big time, and have donated many of the parts I’m using to repair these vehicles.

Special thanks also goes to Tom Brown who is an AMSOIL distributor. Here’s his website. He’s supplied oil and filters for the past 2 FiF projects. Thanks Tom!

Fixing it Forward Donations at Work

The real heroes are those that have donated to Fixing it Forward. Last month I started a GoFundMe for Fixing it Forward and many of you stepped up and donated. Some of you VERY generously. In fact, there’ve been over $1300 in donations so far! I can’t thank those of you enough who have donated, and now that I’ve figured out how to thank you with the GoFundMe app, I’m able to thank you personally.

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100% of the donations will go toward Fixing it Forward. So far, you’ve bought brake pads for Jeff’s Ford, tie rod ends and brake pads for the Nissan, and whatever else comes up along the way with these repairs.

Having these funds is great. This way I don’t have to wait for sponsors to ship parts. If something breaks, or comes up during a repair, I can just get it without having to dip into my own funds as I have in the past.

If you’d like to donate to Fixing it Forward, click here.

Thanks again!

The Fairmont Project

Many of you have been clamoring about Fairmont videos since I posted the engine removal from the Mustang last month. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about it. In fact, I’m slated to meet with Paul Cangialosi at SEMA to discuss rebuilding the T-5 out of the Mustang with me. For those of you not familiar with Paul, he’s one of the foremost transmission builders in the world. In fact, he wrote this book on it. I’m honored that he’s interested in helping me with the project.

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My plan is to work back to front on the Fairmont. In fact, I’m working with Pull-A-Part to source a new rear end and aluminum drive shaft. I had originally planned to use the rear end in the Mustang, but upon closer inspection, I found out that it’s been shortened and modified, and won’t work for the Fairmont as a result. No worries, I have Pull-A-Part on the case. In fact, They’ve already tracked the parts down and now it’s just a matter of getting them. Once I have the rear end, I plan to build it and swap it out with the one in the Fairmont along with the rear suspension.

Last month I believe found someone who can help me create the custom exhaust I’m going to need for the Fairmont when I’m done putting the new engine in. I’m not going to say why I need a custom exhaust just yet though.

Lastly, I’m going to be on the lookout for an engine builder while I’m at SEMA next week and at PRI in December. It’s been some time since I built an engine for performance, and I’d love to find someone similar to Paul Cangialosi to help walk me through it and make a video of the process. If you’re one of those people, feel free to contact me at biz@EricTheCarGuy.com.

Secret SEMA Project a Go

Yea, I suppose it isn’t a secret if I’m posting about it here. Let’s just say that I’ve been working on a collaboration between Humble Mechanic and Engineering Explained for some time. We’re all meeting at SEMA this year and hope to start making that a reality.

I’m really looking forward to this project. We all met last year and have become very good friends since then. It’s always great when you get to work with your friends. Stay tuned.

VManual Sale on Cyber Monday

For those of you not familiar, I have several ‘VManuals’ available on my website. These are long form videos covering detailed repairs such as timing belt replacements as well as clutches. There’s also some ‘full’ versions of some of the episodic YouTube videos like the Sonoma Engine Series. So, on November 30, 2015 (cyber Monday) all VManuals will be 20% off. This will include both the streaming and downloadable versions. More information on VManuals can be found here. Details about the sale will be posted to my social networks the day of the sale.

Accord Clutch VManual

Premium Member News

Last month Premium Members of EricTheCarGuy.com got 2 new Exclusive Videos. The first was a video that started out as an EricTheCarGuy video that later had to be changed to a Premium Member video titled, “2004 Honda Element ‘Almost’ Rotor Machining (Exclusive Video)”. The second video, “1993 Acura Vigor Outer Tie Rod End Replacement (Exclusive Video)” came out a week later. This was a fun video as I felt a bit more relaxed like I was hanging out with my friends in the shop instead of making a repair video. Brian and I had a lot of fun filming that one.

Almost Rotor Machining Vigor Tie Rods

I’ve already got the next Premium Member video lined up which covers work on the rear suspension of my Element along with some welding. I’m also intent on creating Premium Content while I’m at SEMA. Plenty of stuff to keep your eyeballs busy.

At the beginning of next year I’m going to raise the price of Premium Memberships. Don’t worry, if you’re an existing member your pricing will remain the same until you cancel your subscription. The price increase will apply to new and returning members. The reason for this move is the increased cost of hosting these videos as well as the website. In addition, adblockers have put a dent in the website’s income, and as a result, it’s harder to make ends meet. In fact, I may be moving more things behind this paywall in the future to help offset cost.

Don’t worry, I plan on keeping as much of my content free, but even YouTube is moving more toward this model with their ad free pay service, YouTube Red. It’s all part of market trends as they say. I just wanted to give you all a heads up before the price increases came to pass so that you could be aware and prepare.

In Closing

This was the shortest newsletter I’ve done in a while. I don’t consider that a bad thing. I’ve been needing a break. In fact, I’m looking to take some time off in December for the holidays. Between everything happening at the shop, the SEMA presentation, the Fairmont Project, and Fixing it Forward, it’s been a very busy year. I love what I do, so it doesn’t really seem like work. That said, you still need to take time for yourself now and again as many of you have pointed out to me. That’s exactly what I plan to do at the end of the year. For now, it’s all hands on deck till I get there.

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Wish me luck in Vegas, and thank you for being the best YouTube fans around. I appreciate each and every one of you.

Latest videos below.

Be safe
Have fun
Stay Dirty

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