Hughes Family: July 3, 2013 – July 8, 2013

This is kind of a bonus installment. There’s a lot going on right now and I didn’t want to fall too far behind.


Summer. Lots of trips. Lots of food. Summer. When a young boy’s fancy turns to mud. Summer. Lazy walks along dusty roads and under leafy canopies.


Yet another trip for Fran and the kids. They found this spiffy creek and spent a good part of the day playing in it (as far as I know).


Fran took Gabe & Chloe on a walk through the gardens at Thanksgiving Point. I have to admit those are some pretty gardens!


The garden trip was actually a clever cover for Fran’s real mission – securing seats at the outdoor concert in the gardens. It was a semi-delightful evening as we listened to the orchestra, fed hungry children, restrained unruly ones and prevented massive emotional meltdowns. After the concert we were treated to a lovely display of aerial fireworks in the gardens.


And speaking of fireworks- this year I decided to go a little bigger. I got my own pile of aerial fireworks and the big Costco box. The kids were pretty excited. Chloe had no idea what she was in for…


We decided to hold the pyrotechnics in the front of the house this year. Don’t we look patriotic! I don’t think kids under 16 are supposed to light fireworks. But I also don’t believe that anyone in American (North or South) respects that rule.
The ground fireworks are fun enough, but after seeing a dozen of so sparkle showers it was time for something new. The aerials were a ton of fun – they are loud and visually stunning. You hardly even think about how you’re basically lightning money on fire. As we lit of our Chinese made fireworks to celebrate America’s independence we relished in the beautiful irony.


Our neighbors put on some amazing shows as well (a few even made our offering to the fire god seem paltry). Chloe didn’t seem as enamored with the fireworks at the others even looking afraid some of the time. I’m sure she’ll come around.
And then it was all over and our streets were littered with the remains of the day…


I took the boys to see Despicable Me 2. I think they will make good movie buddies in the near future.


Meanwhile Fran and Claire went to see the Sound of Music at the Scera theater. They said is was very good (except that they got rained on a bit).

Eh, but who am I kidding. Just by virtue of not being current I’m already “behind.” I’m like a blog caboose.

Hughes Family: June 17, 2013 – July 2, 2013

Some of these captions are going to be really short. I’m hoping I can get Fran to swing back through and fill them out a bit. It’s harder to write about events that I wasn’t present for. Also, it would be nice to have her share some feelings from things like her birthday. She’s pretty busy (mostly doing the stuff here on the blog) but I’ve got my fingers crossed.


Fran’s birthday started out with some Flowers. Later we took a trip to Rodizio Grill. I’m pretty sure I asked the kids about a million times to clean the house for Mom’s birthday but they were much too busy being… well, kids. Claire did make some very sweet cards for her mom though.


For her birthday Fran wanted a fridge / freezer combo with no ice maker. That’s not an easy thing to find, but she pulled it off (she picks practical “house stuff” so later she can announce “it didn’t count” and get something else).  For the birthday finale we ate cheesecake and watched Oz: The Great and Powerful. She later locked herself in her room and wept for her lost youth.


A few days later it was Gabe’s birthday. He scored some sweet binoculars and a basketball hoop & ball. He was quite ecstatic to be six.


He had a wet & wild birthday party with some friends. Water fights ahoy! I spent most of the day putting together his basketball hoop (there was some swearing). At least Gabe spent some time shooting hoops- that made me feel like my day wasn’t totally wasted.


Here’s some evidence of my sensitive side. I did Chloe’s nails with a nice yellow top coat and then added some accents. She was quite interested while I did the first hand, but it degenerated into uncontrollable squirming after that. The results were quickly transferred to various pieces of furniture.
And here is my obligatory picture of the large moon. It really was quite stunning; it looked like a pearl resting on a black sea.


And then it was time for another birthday! This time around it was Rachel’s youth that was on the line. The Sabins treated their friends to wild rumpus at the Provo Beach Resort. We played on the ropes course, dodged lasers, danced badly and had a grand time.


Afterward Rachel and Jason took everyone to Malawi’s Pizza! Delicious. After dinner we went back to the Provo Beach Resort and played some croquet. There were some verbal skirmishes and trash talk but in the end it was Lee who walked away the victor. Look at those happy couples. What dark secrets do they hide… Thanks Sabins!


Work recently got another warehouse (for storage and a new manufacturing division of our company). I have commandeered a section of this warehouse in honor of the fallen “Cam’s Corner” of yesteryear. I put in a couch to show people I was serious. Then I parked Fran’s trailer in there to show people I was really serious. No need for a storage unit now.


Shortly thereafter Fran and the kids went camping at Cherry Hill with the Wilsons.


They spent a day at Lagoon too. I got a text letting me know it was hot. This was helpful because I had stayed home and was was nice and cool at work.


We decided to try out the Lehi Rodeo. I’m sure it takes a lot of skill to rope a calf, ride a bucking horse and be a perverted clown, but ultimately we decided we’re probably not rodeo people. Still, it was fun to try something new (I think I wrote that last sentence because I waned to believe it…).


The kids picked cherries from our tree. I think these are tart cherries, so they’ll end up in a pie. Kids picking fruit is cute to me.
And I leave you with this wonderful picture of the hardware that came with Gabe’s basketball hoop. It says “Hardware is actual size.” I was really happy about that.

Carmageddon Blues

Well… I wish I had something good to report. Sadly, we haven’t made much headway as of yet.

I got my Corvette back from Premier a few days ago. While it was exciting to have it back I have to confess that I’m a little disappointed. As I have said before I like the guys at Premier, but even though they had the car for four months this time (over seven months total) I feel like the car just wasn’t ready.

To be fair they did an outstanding job adjusting my alignment. They noticed my steering linkage were loose and corrected that as well. The steering wheel is aligned now, no dead spots, the car drives straight and feels nice and tight. It’s a huge improvement and it’s a blast to drive.

I understand that I’ve essentially built a race car and some drivability elements have been compromised but some things could be better. After driving my Corvette for a few days I’ve identified several issues that I consider “in need of a second look.”  I feel like these things need to get fixed for me to really enjoy the car.

1. RPM surging & Stalling

Sometimes when the car if moving and I push in the clutch (e.g., to shift) the RMPs will swing between 500 and 1200 before stabilizing at around 800. Once in awhile when the clutch is pressed the RMPs drop to 0 and the car stalls:

I realize I’ve got the RMPs pretty low in this video. At first I was just coming off the freeway and let my RMPs get low before shifting and the car died. I tried to replicate it by keeping the RPM’s down (seemed like it sort of worked).

After talking with some people and giving this some thought I think I’m experiencing cam reversion. Since the car has a MAF tune some of the engine air is getting pushed back up (I have a pretty big cam) toward the sensor and this affecting the car’s ability to meter air correctly, especially as the car transitions into neutral / idle RPMs. Considering I have a MAF tune the car runs really well, but I think I may need to switch it to a speed density tune.

2. Dieseling

After breaking the car in I had new Injectors installed (ID 1000s) and that’s when I noticed the engine run on. Premier did swap out the injectors and try to address it in the tune but the problem persists.

Personally I think it might be related to an air leak, possibly the spark plugs, or maybe carbon build up on the internals (creating a hot spot). I will keep working on it. I guess it’s not really a big deal- if I clip the throttle up to 1500 rpms it shuts off just fine.

3. Long Term Fuel Trims (LTFT) are rising:

Probably out of paranoia I checked my LTFT and noticed they were at +18%. When I checked the LTFTs the next day they had risen to 24%. I suppose the only real downside to this is that the car is mighty smelly and mileage is wicked bad.

This could be related to an air leak. It seems like running that rich could certainly contribute to engine run on too. It might also be in the tuning- seems like that would be negligent tuning though.

4. Boost Controller

This is really the only thing I have to get fixed. I have an AMS-1000. Lung and Premier worked to set up the boost controller, but it’s having some issues. After doing a few runs with the boost controller I noticed there were several issues. With the unit “off” the car boosts to 6psi (wastegate spring is 6 pounds). On each subsequent WOT run the car looses boost (maybe a pound or so). That shouldn’t be happening. If “high boost” mode is activated (13psi) it seems to work okay. But then when the system is shut back off the car only boosts to around 2psi.

I looked over all the connections (that I could see) and I didn’t find any lose hoses. I think this issue could be related to an air leak or it’s either plumbed wrong or the decrease solenoid is having an issue (which seems unlikely, as it resets okay when the car is restarted). It’s annoying that it “worked” for Premier. They must not have done much testing…

I actually unhooked the AMS-1000 a few days ago since it was misbehaving. The car seems to work much better and boosts to at least 6 psi now on every pull. However for a brief period of time the car was boosting to 10psi… I don’t have any explanation for that at the moment.

I did decide to give the Vette a little love. I replaced all the interior lights with LEDs (I like how LEDs look way more than incandescent lights). And even though it’s not perfect the car makes 1000+ hp now so I upgraded the car’s badge.


I took the Vette up to RaceCo today and swapped it for the Porsche (I don’t feel like Premier can do any more at this point). I’m hopeful that they will be able to identify any mechanical issues the car has (i.e. air leak) and we can go from there!

RaceCo said the Porsche was ready to rock and roll. The intercoolers were replaced, the long term fuel trims were holding steady and the car was running great. I picked it up earlier this afternoon (well, swapped it) and it was running great for about 25 miles or so.

I stopped and got gas and after a few minutes the CEL popped on. Doh! I thought about turning around, but hoped that maybe it was just a gas cap issue since the car seemed to be running fine. But after another ten miles or so it was clear it wasn’t the gas cap. The RMPs were going nuts when the car was in neutral. By the time I got it home the idle speed had jumped to nearly 1600 RMPs.
I pulled the codes from the car and it was like dejavoo!

P2279 (Intake Air System Leak), P0507 (Idle Control System RPM Above Expected), P2177 (System To Lean Off Idle Speed Bank 1) and P2179 (System To Lean Off Idle Speed Bank 2). I’m pretty sure the last three codes are caused by the first though. The long term fuel trims were both over +31%. Do I have a gift or what? Back it goes!


The only thing I can think that might have causes the issue was the the road leading to the gas station- it was extremely bumpy. I guess it’s possible something popped off. Going home I never had the car over 4000 RMPs (no crazy WOT pulls or anything). I hope it’s just something simple.Update (July 11, 2013): There’s no more leaks that they can find. RaceCo talk with EVOMS and they are hammering out a battle plan to find the problem. Fingers crossed.

At least I have the Camaro (old faithful, I call it). I was considering doing a street tune on it, but have since decided just to leave it totally stock (and these days I’m starting to feel glad I wasn’t able to buy the modified Camaro I had my eye on). I don’t see any reason to mess with something that’s working, especially given my propensity for car problems. I do want to get the damage to the front of the car repaired, so I’ll need to address that at some point. I may even try and pop the dent out myself, but that can wait for now.

Here’s hoping next week is better! And yes, for the curious, I have “real” problems too. Perspective, perspective.

I leave you with this video on my dancing tachometer: