Car Updates & Adventures

When I embarked on my Corvette adventure I really had no idea what I was getting into. I’ve touched on this before and even asked the question “Would I do it again?” The human capacity for hope is incredible. I keep waiting for a positive outcome and, despite numerous setbacks and disappointments, I still believe that success is just around the corner. I write this post mostly to put my thoughts in order. And, in general, I think I’d like to blog in a more balanced way- include both the wins and losses, so to speak. A blog filled with only the good is simply a fantasy and provides no real value to a reader (unless the reader is just the author).


The initial engine and drivetrain installation took much longer than I expected. I was okay with that, because there was periodic progress. The first round of tuning and tweaking also took longer that I wanted and I got the car back after three months in mostly drivable condition. But after the injector blew out things just haven’t been the same (there are blog posts on events up to this point if you happen to be interested) …

Premier has now had my car about four months and I just can’t figure out what the hold-up is. On the one hand, it’s not a big deal- I don’t really have a place to put the car right now. And I want the work done right, not quickly. On the other hand from a customer service point of view this is not the right way to handle a job. I have been assured over and over that it’s nearly done, it’s their top priority, etc. but they just don’t make any headway.

I know there are issues that have popped up, but the resolution speed is, to put it nicely, slow. When there was an issue with the methanol kit I felt like I literally had handle it myself and after weeks of “I’ll get to it” I dragged my own mechanic up to resolve the problems. I like the guys at Premier, I really do. But if they have so much business they need four months to work on a car then maybe they need to tweak their business model.

For the final tune they are planning to have the car reflashed back to stock and start the tuning process over again (gotta start fresh!). But, I had thought this was the plan months ago. So to be at this point now is frustrating. And I hope that this strategy doesn’t result in another month of dealy. When I get my car back in great working order all will be well. But if they keep up this pace I might go mad before then…


I thought I would be embarking on a fun new adventure with this car. And I guess I am- just not quite the way I expected :).  After getting the car back from EVOMS there were still issues with the idle and the tachometer would hang when rolling in neutral. I should have paid more attention to those things from the get-go, but I was obsessed with another issue- emissions. Despite assurances that the car would be OBDII compliant the onboard emissions diagnostic tests wouldn’t initially run.

To their credit EVOMS did update my tune with missing OBDII components and was very responsive to my issues. However, the car was still unable to run it’s tests and when the engine light came on that’s when I really started realizing there was something else going on. It’s disappointing to get your car back “ready to go!” and have problems. I tried to troubleshoot some things on my own (even spending an entire day pulling out engine parts) but didn’t have any luck. I needed some expert help!

I took it to a company in Tooele called RaceCo. My initial impressions of them are excellent. Thus far they have found a hole in one of the intercoolers. It’s large enough that they can’t even do any other testing until it’s fixed. Unfortunately they are not able to weld it so it’s going to be new intercoolers for me.


And, after more research, I have determined that my Sport Button is not functioning correctly. That coupled with intercooler hole means that I may not have even been experiencing the car’s full potential. I wish EVOMS’s inspection had caught these issues and they could have been handled then and there. But at least I found a competent local shop and we’re getting to the bottom of it.

Update (July 12, 2013): Turns out the sport mode doesn’t work because of the aftermarket head unit (stereo). The car still makes full boost in normal mode so no complaints from me. Also, RaceCo was able to locate a couple more leaks – things that vent internally so I’ve got my fingers crossed. 


I had been planning to sell this car, but it’s become my daily driver now (you know, since my other cars are kaput). Unfortunately it’s also become the victim of my carelessness. I rammed the front side of the car into a shelf in my garage and it’s sustained a bit of body damage. Oops! I need to send to a body shop… I’ll bet I could just do it myself though (update: I did do it myself).


Some General Thoughts…

I try to keep things in perspective. I’m sensitive to the fact that these “problems” are not life threatening and pale in comparison to to what many others face. But in the end, even though I’ve brought it upon myself, they do cause me some distress. I’m learning to work through the annoyed feeling feelings and I think I can still manage to enjoy my hobby even when nothing is working quite right.

One for the road: Ripped off part of the front spoiler why trying to load the car onto a trailer. Whoops!

One for the road: Pulled off part of the front spoiler why trying to load the car onto a trailer. Whoops! Easy fix, but the kicker was that we couldn’t ever get it on the trailer. I had to limp it down to RaceCo. This is the fun stuff I live for 🙂

2 thoughts on “Car Updates & Adventures

  1. Since I have learned a lot from reading your blogs I would like to offer a few thoughts in return. In the old days we would have called your dilemma the “Super Shop” syndrome. A customer would go to his local performance store and order the biggest four barrel carb available, with the impression that bigger is better. Then he would add the most radical cam and tricked out exhaust, resulting in a poor idling, rich running, backfiring piece of motorized frustration. Every engine has a volumetric efficiency based on production specs. Granted this efficiency can be changed, but each time one aspect of the engine is improved it is usually at the expense of another. For example wide open throttle performance is usually acheived at the expense of a suitable ide during around town driving. I understand that this is outdated theory, especially in the computer age. however, even computer tuning has its limitations. An example would be found in a typical modern car problem. The typical ECM in a car or truck uses a fuel tuning algorithm with 254 squares. If the perfect mixture is acheived at square 127, anything higher commands the ecm to shorten injector pulse width to bring the fuel trim back to 127. If it is less than 127 then it is commanded to lengthen pulsewidth and return to 127. If your intercooler has a large hole and is creating a large intake air leak it might be creating a fuel trim reading less the the 0 block in the grid. The result is the computer cannot compensate enough to solve this problem and check enging light comes on. I am starting to ramble. In conclusion, calm down, have your guys go back to basics and make sure that all changes are compatible with what you want in your car. YOur desire for 1000 bhp might have pressured your shop into “super shop” mode. An engine is a group of systems that have to interact with each other. If one is not keeping up the others have to try to adjust to cover the flaw. You wouldnt accept that in business, so you shouldnt in your cars. Good luck

  2. Thanks for your insights, Gordon. My frustrations mostly stem from guys telling me “it’s ready!” and then I find out it’s not actually ready. In some cases it’s a legitimate oversight, and in other cases it’s just disinterest or sloppy workmanship. With cars (and business) I don’t think cutting corners is ever a viable or good long term solution. I’ll get it all figured out eventually. Staying calm and getting back to basics are two very good pieces of advice.

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