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November 19, 2018

If you’ve never read an ETCG newsletter before, no worries, we all have to start somewhere. 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. Keep up the good work!

Past newsletters and the ETCG Blog can be found here.

December Newsletter Card

Final Newsletter of 2018

I took some time before I started writing this newsletter to check out last years December Newsletter. It was an interesting read.

In that newsletter, I talked about making the “Return of ETCG Videos” video. I also talked about my time at SEMA as I often do at the end of the year. Lastly, I touched on the Pull-A-Part challenge.

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What strikes me is that all of that stuff doesn’t seem like it happened a year ago. It seems more like it’s only been a couple of months. Time has a funny way of ticking away when you’re not paying attention I guess.

Well, the reality is, it’s been a year since I started posting videos to my EricTheCarGuy channel again. During that time, I’ve stayed away from posting #FairmontProject videos, and instead, tried to stay focused on what people started watching my channel for in the first place, ‘how to’ auto repair videos. More specifically, Honda repair videos. The response has been positive. At least for those who’ve been tuning in. I’m still struggling with the YouTube algorithm. I’m still getting the occasional “welcome back Eric” in the comments to some of my most recent videos. At times it feels like I’m starting over.

In many ways this past year was an experiment. Many people complained about too many Fairmont videos. I could see their point, and it’s the reason I’ve limited the amount of Fairmont videos over the past year. However, I loved building that car. I love it even more today now that it’s up and running. Honestly, all I want to do is build more.

I’m not going to say I’m never posting repair videos again, far from it. However, I’d like to do more build videos. In particular, I’d like to start a series on building my dad’s truck.

So, in the coming year, I’m going to do just that. I’m going to start a video series building my dad’s truck. I’m also hoping to start Fixing it Forward up again, this time with a different approach. I’ll talk more about that when the time comes.

The ETCG channel will be different in 2019. I plan to take a different approach with my upcoming videos and manage viewer expectations better. I won’t be focusing on any one thing. Meaning, I don’t want any one project or vehicle to dominate the channel. I’d like to have a nice mix between repair videos and build videos. This will likely involve posting more than once a week on EricTheCarGuy. For that, I’m going to need some help. I’ll talk about that later in the newsletter.

The truth is I love building things. If you’ve been reading these newsletters you know this. For me, fixing things is OK, but nothing gets me up in the morning like the challenges a build brings.

I realize this might affect my channel in a negative way. I say, so be it. I’d rather go down doing something I love, rather than try and keep something alive that I’m not really interested in. It’s my hope that when I write next year's December 2019 Newsletter, I’m talking about what a success these plans have turned out to be.

Let’s circle back next year to see how things turn out.

New ETCG and ETCG1 Swag!

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for the ETCG fan in your life? Look no further! You can now purchase the latest EricTheCarGuy and ETCG1 designs in T-shirt form. Nice, soft T-shirts at that. Get yours today!

ETCG Swag 600

Road to SEMA 2018

For the 3rd year running, a bunch of us automotive YouTubers collected in Los Angles to drive to Las Vegas for SEMA.

I feel this was the best year yet. We had pretty much the same participants as in years past, BustedKnuckleFilms, ChrisFix, EngineeringExplained, HumbleMechanic, MattMaranMotoring, BriansMobile1, Rob Dahm, Erica Schrull and SaabKyle04.

We started with a fan meet up in Venice Beach CA. Several of our fans turned out and we stayed until the cops came. No worries, they were cool about our impromptu car meet up in an area where that’s not allowed.

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Once again Dodge hooked us up with some very cool rides. The most notable to me were the Challenger Hellcat Redeye and the Fiat 124 Abarth. I ended up loving both of those cars more than the others. The Fiat was awesome on twisty mountain roads, or cruising through LA with the top down. The Redeye was just savage, and a ton of fun to drive. Although at $92,000, the Redeye seemed a bit out of reach.

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We left LA and went to Lake Arrowhead up in the mountains. Going out for a morning walk in the clean mountain air was dreamlike. It was a beautiful sunrise.

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After that we set out for Las Vegas via Death Valley. I’ve never been through there, but I’ve always wanted to go. I had the privilege of driving the Hellcat on some of those long straight roads. That’s all I have to say about that.

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Shell and Lexol were also sponsors of the trip, thanks guys. Special thanks to my friends at GarageMonkey for putting that together for us.


This was my 4th year at SEMA/AAPEX. I’m not saying I’ve grown numb to all the cool stuff you see at SEMA, but I didn’t feel as taken in by it this year. I’ll admit that I didn’t get to explore SEMA as much this year because I was splitting my time between that show and AAPEX.

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AAPEX is in a different location and is mostly for buyers and sellers in the automotive industry. AAPEX doesn’t exclusively focus on the performance side of things like SEMA does.

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I’ll describe it like this. SEMA is like the daycare where mom and dad leave the kids for the day. AAPEX is where the ‘grown up’s’ hang out. You see a lot of suites at AAPEX. You see a lot of racing t-shirts at SEMA. I’m not saying one is better than the other, I’m just trying to paint a picture of the differences between the 2 shows.

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I spent the majority of my time at AAPEX in the MAHLE booth. Both HumbleMechanic and I are spokespeople for MAHLE. It’s an awesome gig. I get to spend time with one of my best friends, and I got to meet a legend, Richard Petty. Not bad for a day's work.

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The #FairmontProject

I haven’t done much with the Fairmont lately due to the travel I just mentioned. I did get to play with the carburetor a little before I went to LA and Las Vegas.

Some of you commented that my air fuel ratios were too lean at 14:1. I agree, and I have things closer to 12:1 where the engine seems happiest. Thing is, the richer jetting is starting to compromise drivability. Meaning, I’m a lot richer at idle than I’d like to be because I have things jetted for better top end performance.

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As much as I hate to admit it, I feel I’m going to have to switch to fuel injection to get things where I want them to be. Fuel injection will be great for drivability and should also help me give the engine what it needs at wide open throttle, more fuel.

One thing I did do with the Fairmont last month was to mount the drag tires on the new wheels. They look so pretty. I can’t wait to roll the rear fenders and fit these things, so I can go to the track to put down a decent time. At least that’s the plan. I still need to work on my driving at the track.

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I’m only hoping to do a good run and then call it a day. I built the car for the street and I intend to keep it there. Otherwise, I get on the fast track to an empty wallet. Once you put sticky tires onto a car as powerful as the Fairmont, you start to break things. I don’t want to break things.

I just want to drive the car and have fun. Although I feel I need to put down a good track time with the car or it’s a failure. Not a complete failure mind you, but the kind of failure that comes up when I brag about how cool the car is. That’s a lot of money for a car that only goes 14’s in the quarter mile. It should be in the 12’s at least. Perhaps with these new tires I’ll get there and I can brag about how cool the car is with confidence.

One last thing on the Fairmont. Remember that Car Craft article I talked about so long ago? Well, the Fairmont is actually going to be in the February issue of Hot Rod. This is indeed my “cover of the Rolling Stone” moment. In fact, I won’t believe it’s real until I’m holding the issue in my hands.

Dads Truck

This is my next project. I’ve partnered with Summit Racing on this one. I’m not ready to reveal all of my plans for the build just yet, but trust me, it’s going to be cool. Maybe even cooler than the Fairmont.

I’m in the planning stages of a video I’m going to make about the build. That video should be coming out in late December or early January.

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Don’t worry, I plan to stay on top of these build videos. In fact, I’m talking to a production company now about producing that content for me so that I can focus on what I’m doing with the truck, and not have to worry about making the videos as well.

Where is Cameraman Brian?

Many of you have posed this question to some of my recent videos. As it happens, Brian stopped by the shop in November and we got caught up. I made an ETCG1 video about the visit you might want to check out if you’ve been wondering where Brian has been.

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Premium Member News

In November Premium Members got 3 Exclusive videos. “Fun in the Desert (Exclusive Video)”, “Cameraman Brian Rides in the Fairmont 2.0 (Exclusive Video)”, and “Shop Update 11.21.2018 (Exclusive Video)".

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Cameraman Brian Rides in Fairmont 2.0 400
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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

I’ve worked hard to bring the EricTheCarGuy channel back over the past year. I’ve had some success with that, but I will admit, not as much as I’d hoped. I have seen the views start to tick back up, but I still feel like many of my viewers aren’t being notified when I post new videos, or they’ve left for other channels.

This won’t stop me from making more videos, or continuing to try and bring back the channel, but I’m not going to be trying as hard. I’m going to do what I want to do and make the videos I want to make. I know my core audience will follow along. Don’t get me wrong, I plan to put the same effort into the videos that I always have. I don’t want to put out anything I wouldn’t watch myself. I just don’t feel like killing myself for an audience that may never come back.

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To put a finer point on it, I’m not going to worry about the YouTube algorithm as much. Or where my audience is. I figure, if you want to watch, you’ll watch. If you don’t, you don’t.

Me, I’m going to focus on building new things and making good videos that I would enjoy watching. If the world follows along, excellent. If they don’t, I’ll be just fine.

For those of you who have stuck with me through all of this, thank you. Seriously, thank you. I realize I haven’t always made it easy for you, but you’ve stuck with me. Words cannot express how much I appreciate that. If I end up sticking around just for you, so be it. I’m totally fine with that.

Latest videos below.

Be safe

Have fun

Stay Dirty


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