Chevrolet C8 Corvette- Not Bad… Not Bad at All.

Wow. I wasn’t prepared for how awesome the new C8 turned out to be. A mid-engine Corvette that looks like a Ferarri and that starts under $60K? Bravo Chevrolet.

Thus far they have released the Stingray model (the basic coupe) and have rolled out a Z51 performance package. Despite “only” having 490 HP the performance statistics appear impressive (0-60 in less than three seconds). At some point Chevrolet will release a higher horsepower model (maybe a Z06?) and that’s when I’ll start taking a serious look again at the Corvette.

I really like the customization options Chevy is offering. A blue interior would be fun. Here are a few pictures from the configuration tool:

 

Antigravity Lithium Battery Install – Porsche 991 Turbo S

Freak, Cam. Is every post on your blog about some car crap! Hey, thanks for noticing. But it’s not just about cars- it’s about health. Many of you know I’m big into weight loss. I think this video may help people lose weight quickly and safely. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.

So you want to lose a bit of weight, eh? A lithium battery might be just what you need! They’re not cheap, but the weight reduction is legitimate. Spoiler: I knocked off forty three pounds by switching from a lead-acid to a lithium battery. Forty three pounds!  This video also demonstrates the removal & installation process of the battery in a Porsche 991 Turbo (as always it was more difficult than I thought it would be):

If you watched the video then you’ll know I had to do a bit of cosmetic surgery, but I’d call the operation a success. So far the battery works as advertised- weighs less, starts right up and the car drives great. I have negated he additional weight added by with methanol kit (& actual methanol) and my fire extinguisher. As I mentioned before, they are pricey, but a lithium battery is a pretty easy win!

7/13/2019: I decided to remove the battery when there’s no current concern about weight reduction. A couple of times in the last month I’ve had the PCM cut out followed by multiple dash errors (i.e. steering fault, PDCC fault, etc). I think this may be related to the battery but I’m not certain (seems like some type of power surge / drop). I removed it today and reinstalled my tune so we’ll see how things play out.

Antigravity H7 Lithium Battery
Guardian Tactical OTF

Rennline Fire Extinguisher Mount Install – Porsche 991

Safety first! I have never kept a fire extinguisher in any car I’ve owned. Even though I’ve never had a car fire I’ve often considered installing in some type of fire suppression device. With the addition of methanol into my car I figure I’d better not push my luck too and so…

I picked up a Rennline fire extinguisher mount for my 991 along w/ a 2.5 lb H&R Performance extinguisher w/ Halguard (if you’re interested you can get your own here). I opted for a Halguard model – this shoots out a fire suppression gas as opposed to a fine powder (not big on powders after I had a fire extinguisher blow up at work once).

The install was a bit more complicated than I imagined but I’m pleased with the results:

Helpful Hint: If you install a similar setup in your car I’d recommend a bit of practice. You’ll need to be able to release the holding clips and remove the extinguisher from its cradle quickly all while sitting in an adjacent seat. When fighting a fire, remember the P.A.S.S. acronym. Pull the pin. Aim at base (closer proximity is better). Squeeze the trigger. Sweep side to side. Hopefully you don’t have a fire in your car (or anywhere you don’t want one) but it never hurts to be prepared.

MACarbon Seat Belt Buckle Repair

These MACarbon seat belt buckles have been a bit of a headache for me. I had to modify the covers for the two rear buckles before they would fit. A recurring warning light forced me to replace the front passenger side buckle altogether. And then the new buckle promptly “broke” apart (the two parts of the housing separated and it’s much worse where the belt is attached and there’s tension). I’m not sure if I’d buy / install these parts again.

Regardless, I’m a guy that looks for solutions. The first thing I tried was epoxy. I glued the halves back together but they came apart again shortly after transporting a  passenger. I considered a number of different options before settling on some 3M adhesive- the same stuff you might cover the exterior of your car with. I cut out a couple of sections and did some test fitting.

Originally I had just intended the fitting to be temporary but the 3M seemed to be exceptionally strong and the installation went fairly well (you can see the lines in the pictures but in real life it’s very hard to see where the film is at all).

One of the back seat belt buckles also had a case that was coming apart so I applied the 3M there as well. I suppose my next step will be to see how well the film works over the coming months (I’m worried about its ability to stick and the potential of stretching). In the meantime this appears to be a quick and elegant solution for anyone with a similar problem (and not just limited to seatbelts folks– you can wrap this clear 3M film around pretty much anything).

Collecting Cars: A Practical Guide

If anyone actually reads my blog you may have noticed that I have a thing for cars. Many of you might not know this, but a few years ago I made a rule for myself: One car, one truck. I’d like to unequivocally state that this has been a fantastic rule and keeps things really simple for me (thinking of you, warehouse full ‘o cars). Right now I’ve owned my truck for over four years and my car for nearly three years- that has got to be some kind of a record for me!

Now and then I still get tempted by vehicles (new & used) but I’ve found a much cheaper and space efficient method to collect cars: behold, the 1:18 scale model. I don’t have too many at this point but my collection is growing little by little. I started it off with a Turbo S Exclusive Edition and have added a few here and there:

Takumi Fujiwara’s 1986 Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT Apex AE86 from the Initial D comics / TV series. I love the detail on the interior and engine bay. This is an excellent quality model.

This is the Porsche 991.2 Turbo in metallic white. It’s similar to my car but it’s the newer generation (physical differences between the 991.1 and 991.2 include the engine vents and rear lights). The quality level on this one is okay but it’s a notch down from the others and a bit slower than my 2016 991.1 😀

The McLaren 720s is a car I have seriously considered but, as with the 991.2, this seemed like a much more economical way to own one. The detail on the carbon fiber parts and interior is fantastic (although it’s worth mentioning the doors and rear hatch don’t open). The actual color is a light grey but it photographs more like an off-white.

As you can see from these pictures my iPhone 7 doesn’t take great photos (or you may be tempted to think I’m not a particularly good photographer… I would not necessarily argue). I may try and set the cars up and take some better shots with my DSLR eventually… but for now it’s just fun to pick up a “new car” for the price of a tank of gas.

Next on my list: Lamborghini Aventador!

3/1/2019: Look like I lied! I found this little guy and a pulled the trigger (I’m keeping it at work since my house is already overloaded with white cars). This is a British exclusive so the steering wheel is on the right side. I couldn’t get a good shot of the interior but it’s incredibly detailed. This is a resin model (doors don’t open). Hot!

4/11/2019: Lamborghini Aventador acquired. This is the Mansory licensed “Carbanado” edition with carbon fiber additions (the model does not have real carbon fiber). I love how this one looks.

Something Goes Bump in the Night (and Day). Porsche Repair

It’s been awhile since I made this adjustment, but I wanted to a second and memorialize just what I’d done. It’s probably been a year since I first noticed the bumping noise coming from behind me. It was a rapid and systematically occurring thumping sound aggravated by uneven roads. I accused the seats, seatbelts, various tools stored in the back of the car and even my imagination before I finally found the real culprit. I wedged myself into the back seat and tapped on everything until I finally discovered a piece of interior trim knocking against the car’s frame.

For context: You’re looking at the A-pillar that holds the rear right seat belt (the belt is still attached to the frame). The back window of the car is visible in the top-right.

Removing the interior trim along the right A-pillar was unpleasant. Even after I found the parts that were hitting each other I wasn’t able to determine what parts of the parts were making contact. I tried various sound deadening fixes like felt, molding tape and strong language. Eventually I hit the sweet spot and the noise was radically reduced. Zipping things back up was even more work than taking them apart but I got it done (and it was done right). One less noise in the cabin – easily the largest offender – has been eradicated! This makes me want to revisit my efforts to cap off the engine noise being pumped into the car. One day.

2020 Porsche 911 (992) Unleashed.

I was hoping to get around to this post yesterday but, as always, time got away from me. I watched Porsche’s live 992 launch event and found it quite enjoyable (was it just me or did everyone seem slightly uncomfortable)? It was fun to see all the different 911 models parading around and listen to the designers’ thought processes and inspirations.
My initial impressions are mixed. I recall not being particularly awed by the 991 when I originally saw it, but now I think it’s far and away the best looking 911 ever made… so there’s probably some hope for me.

When the 991 replaced the 997 it didn’t seem like much of a jump. Initially the exterior changes required a double take to figure out which model you were looking at. In comparison the move from 991 to 992 feels eve smaller-  just a hop…until you see the back of the car. Good or bad, no one will mistake that light bar for anything but a 992. While the light bar feels okay to me the third brake light seems like a bad design choice. The car itself has a slightly more hatchback feel, reminiscent of the Panamera. There’s definitely something less cutesy about the 992 which makes it an additional step removed from it’s cousin, the Beetle. I will be extremely curious to see the Turbo version of the 992.

The interior has changed more dramatically. At first glance I thought the changes added additional elegance. As I studied the interior further I started to wonder what the impression would be like in person. I loathe the new shift knob. Do they think guys want to shift with their shaver? I think those center vents must be for the people in the back seat; I know I’m not interested in having air blown on my stomach. That being said, I’ll withhold final judgement.

Now that the car is officially unveiled I’m excited for the onslaught of reviews that will provide user-related insights and driveability impressions. It’s conceivable that this car could grow on me. And yet… would it ever be enough to make me trade in my current car? In the meantime the McLaren 720s has planted a few roots in my heart.

991 Leather Gauge Trim Upgrade (Maybe?)

This may be the best upgrade that I’ve done yet! Okay, fine… maybe it’s the silliest upgrade yet. I’m running out of ideas for little tweaks. I’ve got some ideas for big ones, but I’m just not sure I want to commit the funds or emotional pain to them.

It turns out the trim surrounding the gauges on the 991 is actually plastic. I watched a YouTube video a guy putting in a gauge trim piece covered in leather. I actually went out and checked my car. Plastic! I was shocked and immediately ordered the part to remedy this horrific oversight.

The summary version is that is looks the same. I will never get my money, time or dignity back. Viva la leather!