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November 25, 2015

Welcome to the ETCG monthly newsletter. If you’re new to the newsletter, or you need a refresher, here’s the 411. This is not the complete newsletter. For the complete newsletter, click here. Otherwise, scroll down and pick a topic or image that interests you and click on it. Once you do, you’ll be transported through the matrix and you’ll end up on the complete topic or article you chose over at Simple and efficient, just the way I like it.

Thanks for reading!

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SEMA 2015 a Complete Success

I was stressing over my SEMA presentation for the past few months. On November 4, 2015, I did the presentation for a packed room. I must have done well because I got a 4.67 out of 5 rating. Given that it was my first presentation, I’m quite proud of that number. Perhaps SEMA will have me back again next year. (I really don’t need an excuse to go back to SEMA though).

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If you missed the presentation and want to see it for yourself, I happen to have a video of it for Premium Members of my website. Click here to check that out.

ETCG Meets Sung Kang & Kenji Sumino

This was an unexpected surprise. While at SEMA 2015, I met with my friends at GarageMonkey. They’re a network backed by Fox sports. They asked me if I was interested in interviewing Sung Kang, who was ‘Han’ on The Fast and the Furious, and Kenji Sumino of GReddy about their freshly built 1973 240z. Let’s just say they didn’t have to twist my arm.

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It was an honor to meet them both and I hope one day to visit Kenji at his shop in southern CA. His shop has made some exceptional cars over the years. It would be really cool to see them in action.


While at SEMA I participated in a ‘secret project’ with my friends EngineeringExplained, HumbleMechanic, and ChrisFix. We’ve started a new channel, BlownHeads.

Blown Heads

While we were at SEMA, we shot the first videos for the channel. It was so much fun working with my friends, we had an amazing time. In all, we ended up with 3 videos while we were there, 2 of which have already been released on the BlownHeads channel. Click here to go to the channel and subscribe.

We have plans on producing more videos in the upcoming year. I think you’ll like what we have in mind.

ETCG Speaking at PRI December 12, 2015

In addition to presenting at SEMA, I’ve also been asked to present at PRI (Performance Racing Industry) on December 12, 2015 8am room 242 in the Indiana Convention Center. It’s the same presentation I did at SEMA. So if you missed me in Las Vegas and you’re going to PRI, you still have a chance to catch it live.


Hope to see you there.

ETCG Gets a 1992 Acura Vigor 5 Speed!

Late last October a viewer sent me a link to a Craig’s List ad for a 1992 Acura Vigor 5speed in my neighborhood. I said, “what the heck?”, and went to check it out. It wasn’t in the best of shape, it didn’t have a battery and didn’t run for starters. It’s also an LS which means it has a cloth interior and no sunroof. It does however have a 5 speed transmission which is cool.

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The owner wanted $500 for the car, but by the time I got done paying for towing and whatever might be causing it not to start, I could have been in pretty deep, deeper than I wanted to be that’s for sure. I offered $300 and he countered with $400 and delivery of the car to my shop. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse as they say.

Honestly, this car creates more problems than it solves. Yes, it does have a better body than my existing Vigor, but it seems to be far behind in the maintenance department. It also had an aftermarket security system wired in that messed up the wiring harness.

Many have suggested I do the manual swap into my red Vigor. I’ve thought about it, but most people don’t realize the amount of work that involves. It would make for some good videos, but I’m just not feeling it right now.

For now, I got it running and I can move it around when I need to without pushing it. I’m going to leave it at that until some point in the future where I figure out what I want to do with it. I have no immediate plans for the car. It’s not registered or insured so it’s not even going on the road. It’s just hanging out at the shop keeping Oliver company until I decide it’s fate.

Fixing it Forward

I’m closing out the last Fixing it Forward project of 2015. This would be that 2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R I spoke about in the last newsletter.

Last week I finished up the timing chain replacement on it’s 2.5L. I still need to replace the water pump and also solve an oil leak from the valve cover. Other items on the todo list are, new tires and fixing the CEL for the evaporative emissions leak. I believe it’s the canister vent valve that’s bad. I still need to confirm that, but that’s an easy test to perform.

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Once the work is complete, I’ll be bringing the owner Jerry Hall back in to pick the car up. We’ll shoot some video of that event and send Jerry on his way.

I’d like to once again thank 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!

Amsoil Web Banner

I’d also like to thank CarPartKings. They’ve been the biggest supporter of Fixing it Forward since the beginning and have supplied many of the parts for these repairs, including the timing chain for the Nissan.

I can’t forget about thanking you, the fans of Fixing it Forward who have so generously donated to the cause. I must say, having funds on hand when you need a part now, or I need to tow a Fixing it Forward vehicle to the shop makes things SOOO much easier.

Once again, my heartfelt thanks goes out to you the viewers who have donated to Fixing it Forward. You guys are awesome.

If you’d like to donate to Fixing it Forward, click here. 100% of the proceeds go to the vehicles in the Fixing it Forward project.

Paul Cangialosi Stops By The Shop To Rebuild the T-5 for the Fairmont

Paul Cangialosi is a world renowned transmission builder working out of Florida at his company He’s been at it for over 30 years. So when it came time to rebuild the transmission for the Fairmont, I wanted to reach out and ask if he’d be willing to help. He agreed, and I couldn’t have been happier.

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Not only did Paul bring his years of expertise to the build, he also brought his T-5 transmission rebuild kit that he sells from his website.

Don’t worry, we shot video of the entire rebuild. Part 1 of that video should air on January 1, 2016 with part 2 coming out on January 8, 2016.

In addition to the rebuild video, Paul and I shot videos on “How a Manual Transmission Works”, “A Brief History of the T-5 Transmission”, “An Easy Way To Determine Axle Ratio”, and lastly, “What Speedometer Gear is Right For You?”.

It was great having Paul at the shop and I loved shooting all of those videos with him. I hope we get to do it again sometime.

The Fairmont Project

Well, the transmission is done. OK, almost done as you’ll see in the video I mentioned above. There were a few parts we didn’t have on hand the day we shot the video. Paul was kind enough to send those parts to me last week. I’ll be going back in to replace those in the not too distant future. Likely I’ll be making a Premium Member video of the process.

My friends at Pull-A-Part have hooked me up again with a differential out of a 1986 Mustang for the project. The one that was in my black Mustang had been shortened and I didn’t want to use it as a result.

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The good news is the new differential has a posi in it. There really isn’t any bad news, but I plan to rebuild the posi and install a set of 3:55 gears in it when I get the chance.

While Paul Cangialosi was visiting we worked out what final drive would be best and 3:55 is the number we came up with. Theoretically with the tires I’m running, and the overdrive in the T-5, I should be at about 2300rpm when cruising at 70mph.

The first order of business next year is the Fairmont project. Once I finish with the differential build, I plan to install it in the Fairmont. Should be fun to drive the 6 cylinder with 3:55 gears. You know I’m going to. Of course I’ll make a video.

Once the rear end is installed, I plan on tearing down the engine and checking out what I’m going to be rebuilding there.

The overall plan is to work in the Fairmont till it’s done, or close to it, early next year. I’m hoping to have it on the road and running by spring. Don’t worry, I’ll be making videos of ALL of it. Just don’t expect them to come out all at once. They’ll be sprinkled throughout the year and possibly into next. Yea, there’ll be a LOT of videos with this project.

Premium Member News

Premium Members got 2 exclusive videos last month. The first was a “Bonus Interview with Kenji Sumino”. While doing the interview with Kenji and Sung Kang, I found myself picking his brain a bit more about the 240z he and his crew had just built.

Premium Members also got a video of the presentation I did at SEMA. I mentioned that one earlier in the newsletter.

Bonus Interview Kenji Sumino Exclusive Video ETCG SEMA Presentation 2015 Exclusive Video

If you have an interest in a Premium Membership, I suggest you act before the end of the month. On January 1, 2016 the price of Premium Memberships is going up. I’m also looking to add value to the membership to help justify the price increase. More on that in the next newsletter.

If you’re an existing member no worries. Your pricing will remain the same as long as you remain a member. However, if you cancel and come back, you will be subject to the new pricing.

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.

VManual Sale on Cyber Monday (Today!)

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.

On November 30, 2015 (cyber Monday) all VManuals will be 20% off. This will include both the streaming and downloadable versions. Use coupon code Vmanual20 to get your 20% discount.

Offer good from 12am EST November 30, 2015 to 12am PST December 1, 2015.

Click here to check out the VManuals

More information on VManuals can be found here.

ETCG Vacation in December

If you’ve been reading these newsletters, you know that I’ve been working very hard this year. Not that the hard work hasn’t paid off. This has been the best year yet for ETCG.

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That said, I plan to take a break starting December 14, 2015 and ending on January 4, 2016. It’s the most time I’ve taken off from work, ever. I’ve been working since I was 15 BTW.

There comes a point where you’re just working and going through the motions. I’ve been feeling that way for a while now. The easiest solution seems to be to take some time off. That’s exactly what I intend to do. Kick back, de-stress, and spend some much needed time with my family.

While I’m on break, videos will still be released on their normal days just like always. I just won’t be doing live shows, social media, or participating on the forum during that time.

If you have automotive questions you need answered, please use the extensive resources at in my absence.

More ETCG Videos in December 2015 Than Every Before!

As mentioned above, I’ve been doing a lot of work lately. Mostly in the video department. At this time I have an overstock of videos that I plan to release during the month of December. That means you’ll get more ETCG videos this December than I’ve ever released. Consider it your holiday gift from ETCG.

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You’re welcome.

In Closing

Well, that wraps up this months Newsletter. You’re officially up to date. I want to personally thank you for watching, commenting, social media-ing (if that’s even a word), and most of all, for your support and donations to the Fixing it Forward project.

Fixing it Forward has been a dream of mine for some time. Not only is it nice to have it  become a reality, but the fact that it’s been so well received also fills me with great joy. I owe you all big time for that.

I know I’ve said it several times in the past, and I’ll never say it enough, ETCG fans are the best. Thank you for everything.

Latest videos below.

Be safe
Have fun
Stay Dirty

Related Videos:

What Speedometer Gear is Right For You?:

A Quick Easy Way To Determine Axle Ratio:

Safety & Emissions Inspections -ETCG:

AutoGrip Pliers Tool Review:

EricTheCarGuy Answers Questions Live #55 11/25/2015:

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