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October 22, 2018

If you’ve never read an ETCG newsletter before, it’s OK, I forgive you. Here’s how it works.

For the full newsletter, click here, or click the title image below. If you’re only interested in one topic, click the image in that topic, or click the “read more” link in that section and you’ll be taken directly to that part of the newsletter on EricTheCarGuy.com.

If you’re reading this newsletter on EricTheCarGuy.com, you don’t need to do anything except read on.

Past newsletters and the ETCG Blog can be found here. (These are good too. Feel free to spend the next few hours soaking in the ETCG words that make you happy.)

November 2018 Newsletter

It’s Working

Last month I began my newsletter with a statement, “It’s Time To Get Serious”. I was looking to change some things up with my EricTheCarGuy channel. Some of you reached out directly with some great suggestions. Thank you for that!

What seems to be working is posting more than one video per week on EricTheCarGuy. During the month of October I posted 2 videos a week on that channel. As a result, not only did the views come up, but it seems that many subscribers that haven’t been notified when I posted a new video started getting notified. I’m basing this off of comments like, “It’s great to see that you’re posting videos again ETCG.”

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It’s frustrating to think that the YouTube algorithm works this way. Subscriptions simply aren’t enough it seems. It’s like they’re throwing content creators on the hamster wheel while cracking the whip yelling, “More content! We need to keep feeding the machine so we can make more money!”.

I don’t think it will be long before Skynet becomes self aware and decides that we humans are the real problem and need to be eliminated.

That said, in order to post 2 videos a week, I’ve changed my strategy for content creation. Instead of long documented repairs, I’m going to focus more on ‘quick tips’ that I can easily edit and upload. This makes it easier to produce videos, but also because these videos are shorter, they get more views. The YouTube algorithm seems to like 2 things in particular, content, and engagement. Watch time = engagement. With this new strategy, I cover both items and it seems to be getting traction.

This may disappoint some of you that are used to the long form style of video that I’ve been producing. I’m not saying I’m quitting that altogether, but I won’t be doing nearly as much of it going forward.

The take away here is that I plan to keep at it to see if I can bring the views more in line with my subscriber base. I’m not going to make that my only focus. I’m also going to continue to look for new opportunities outside of YouTube. I think that will be the best approach for the long term growth of ETCG as a company.

Facebook Videos

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been posting some of my YouTube videos to my Facebook page. Facebook actually reached out to me and asked me to do this. They offered financial incentives as well as promotion of my Facebook page.

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Since I started doing this, I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in Facebook followers. It also seems to have created a nice supplemental income.

So if you’ve wondered why you’ve started seeing some of my old videos on Facebook, this is the reason.

The Civic

Yesterday my son drove the Civic back to New York. It didn’t give him any issues, he got great fuel economy, and he’s very happy with his new car.

It’s great to see the Civic finally found a good home. I’m also happy to have gotten to use it for some video content. It seems my audience really enjoys my Honda content, especially Civic content.

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There will be a couple of more videos from this project. Most notably a timing belt replacement video that will likely air about the time this newsletter goes live.

I think when I start Fixing it Forward back up in 2019, I’m going to look for Honda vehicles. They seem to be popular with my audience and I have a few spare parts lying around. Seems like a logical choice based on that criteria.

Great news if you’re looking for more Honda repair content. Bad news if you’re looking for more Mercedes repair videos.

The #FairmontProject

I did some minor work to the Fairmont this month. I was able to finally fix the exhaust leak where the down pipe meets the turbo. I did this in the usual way by cutting the pipe, installing it, and then bending it into place. Once it’s where I like it, I tack weld it into place and remove the pipe. I then finish the welds and reinstall it on the car.

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While I had this pipe off I decided to weld in a new O2 sensor bung. This way I’d be ready if I ever decided to go with fuel injection.

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Now that I’ve finished that work, the pipe can be removed and installed with ease, AND it doesn’t leak. Those of you that have been following the #FairmontProject know that this is a big deal because I’ve been fighting exhaust leaks and this down pipe since day one. That fight is finally over.

While I had the pipe off I decided to remove the valve covers and inspect the rocker arms and lifters. I might have mentioned that I had a great deal of top end noise, tapping while the engine ran, after I got back from my last run at the track.

It turns out that the adjuster nuts on some of the rocker arms worked loose. This allowed the adjusters on some of the rocker arms to back off all the way which in turn, beat the crap out of the new lifters. Several were destroyed. The new lifters were $600 if you were wondering. The best part is that the cylinder heads need to be removed in order to replace the new roller lifters. The head gasket set is another $300 for this car. 🙄

I’m not going to fix that just yet though. The engine runs fine and only has a little bit of noise. I think I’ll be fine if I don’t abuse it too much.

I also took some time to re-fit my upper radiator hose. I was never happy with the way it was routed. I had originally intended to install a new pipe and use part of the existing hose to connect everything. Then I discovered that the pipe was too big for the hose and it was easier to just shorten the hose. It’s a little stretched, but it fits a lot better just having removed part of the old hose.

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The real issue that keeps coming back is that the engine keeps running lean despite my carburetor adjustments. At this point, I don’t think the carburetor is to blame. I think the fuel system is not delivering enough fuel to the carburetor under boost. #DarkMatterPikachu is a very thirsty entity it seems. Yes, I am running an Aeromotive boost regulated fuel psi regulator. I suspect the fuel pump is the issue.

This problem may be the main reason I switch to fuel injection. With the higher fuel pressures fuel injection uses, fuel delivery is much easier to control.

Back in Atlanta for a Quick Video Shoot

At the beginning of October I went back to Atlanta to shoot some videos with my friends at Pull-A-Part. I got to hang out with Humble Mechanic and MotorCity Mechanic while I was there. They were also a part of the shoot.

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I also got reacquainted with Conor Murphy, who was the lead cameraman on the Pull-A-Part challenge. He was the cameraman this time out also.

We were shooting more ‘pull’ videos for Pull-A-Part’s website. These videos are designed to walk people through the steps needed to remove parts when going to the salvage yard.

My NHRA Experience with Pennzoil

During October I went to Charlotte NC for the NHRA race at zMax Dragway. As usual with Pennzoil, it was an all access experience. I got to meet Leia Pritchett, as well as Matt Hagan. I found both of them to be amazing people dedicated to their sport as well as their fans.

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The best part was being able to film the crews tearing down the engines and transmissions after a run. This is something that has amazed me about top fuel racing. I never realized that after each race the engine and transmission are torn down and rebuilt. It only takes them a couple of hours and is really amazing to watch.

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I’m putting together a video about my time and experience there that includes this footage. It should be coming out in the next few weeks on ETCG1.

The Fairmont’s Last Car Show of 2018

With frost on the ground almost every morning, and snow in some places, I think the 2018 car show season is over. Last weekend I attended what I believe to be the Fairmont’s last car show of 2018. It’s ironic because it was the first car show that Smyth Automotive held.

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The turn out was a little sparse if I’m being honest, the cold weather didn’t help, but the people that did show up were great. The people at Smyth invited me to be one of the 4 judges of the show. We picked winners from each decade starting in the 20’s and ran through the 2010’s.

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No, the Fairmont didn’t win. I wasn’t expecting it to. I didn’t even wash it for fun sake.

Still, I had a great time at the show and really enjoyed talking to the people I met. I’m looking forward to next year.

Dad’s Truck

My dad drove my son and grandson down from New York last weekend. It was great to see him and get caught up. During his time here I pitched the idea of he and I driving together in the Power Tour next year. I suggested that he drive the truck, and I would drive the Fairmont.

He’s in. I love my dad. Now I need to get started on that thing. I have a plan that I’m going to cover in a future video, but the overall plan is to get the truck up and running by the time the Power Tour comes around in 2019.

Yes, I will be making videos of the build, but I don’t want to do what I did with the Fairmont and completely dominate the channel with truck build videos. To that end, I’m working on finding production/post production help for the videos of this build. Once I get that sorted out, I’m going to start the project.

Summit Racing has already stepped up and offered to help with the suspension and brake parts. I’m very excited about that. If there’s anything I’ve learned about building project vehicles it’s that they always costs more money than you expect.

Premium Member News

Premium Members got 3 videos during the month of October. Most notable was the ‘full’ version of the Civic Timing belt replacement video. The rest of you have to wait until Friday to see the completion of that video. That is, unless you decide to sign up for a Premium Membership today. You know you want to watch that video in it’s complete form without ads. Trust your feelings…

In addition to the “Civic Timing Belt Replacement Video (Full Version)”, Premium Members also got, “BTS Salvage Yard Shoot (Exclusive Video)”,  “Shop Update 10.15.2018 (Exclusive Video)”, and "".

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The Premium Member (Exclusive Video) library is growing every month! As of now there are over 200 (Exclusive Videos) for Premium Members! That’s like having an entirely new ETCG channel to watch.

Premium Members get up to 4 exclusive videos per month. They also get additional perks on the website, and they help support the site with all of it’s useful, free, repair content.

But wait! There’s more! Premium Members now get a 5% discount on all orders from J&B Tool Sales!

Get your membership today! Details on the new Premium Memberships here.

In Closing

Owning a business is so much different than working a job. Both have their good and bad points. For me, owning a business is the way to go. I think at this point I would have a lot of difficulty going back and getting a ‘job’. Of course if I had to, I’d get a job to support my family no matter how I felt, but only as a last resort.

Being your own boss is great, but it has it’s challenges. First on that list, everything is your problem. My latest problem has been dealing with the YouTube algorithm. It’s been challenging, but I think I’m turning a corner on that one. Once again, thank you all for your input.

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I did a video on ETCG1 about this a couple of years ago, “Think Like a Boss”. Even if you’re an employee, I recommend you think outside your job from time to time and try to take in the big picture. How do you contribute? What is it that you do that fits into the overall goals of the company you work for? What is it that you add to the bottom line? You might think what you do is insignificant, but I assure you, it’s not. If it was, you likely wouldn’t have that job in the first place.

Take an engine for example. It’s made of parts both big and small. Each part is necessary to the operation of the engine. If any one of those parts were to fail, the entire engine could stop running.

I see my business the same way. All the parts need to work together in order for things to run smoothly. They require periodic maintenance and upkeep. Neglect your engine, and one day it will fail you.

I hope to keep the ETCG engine running for as long as I can. With your help, I have little doubt that my little engine will run for as long as I can run it. Perhaps even beyond.

Thank you for reading this newsletter. I really appreciate your support and insight.

Latest videos below.

Be safe

Have fun

Stay Dirty


Latest Videos:

Honda Civic D Series Timing Belt Replacement (Part 1):

Mini Series Wrap Up:

Do You Like Hanging Out in Salvage Yards?:

Are You Thinking of a Career in Auto Repair?:

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