Monday, December 22, 2008

Slow Couple of Months

It's been a slow couple of Months for updates & modding.
Work has been taking up 99% of my time lately and time, money & other sources of parts have been in short supply! Also I noticed that after a few fairly inexpensive mods the list grows exponentially more expensive to get more performance etc.

A Cold Air Intake runs about 300 or so which is very do-able for most people. CatBack exhaust is around 700, and full headers you're looking at around 1700 which is already a good 5 times more than the CAI. Go Twin Turbo, or SuperCharger and you're looking at over 5000 + install. OUCH!

Luckely I do have some goodies coming my way (just don't know when they'll all get here or when i'll be able to have them installed). Here's the list of what's to come:

  • HST GTS 20" Wheels
I've wanted these wheels since I first saw the concept pictures of the G8. The wheels are standard on the Australian Commodore HSV VE GTS and with the low exchangerate it was a perfect time to get these.

  • HSV GTS Fenders
Once I learned more about the HSV VE GTS I really liked part of it's styling better than the G8. The Fenders were one of those items I really loved. The front is great too, but the boring plain hood is what kills it for me. Perhaps one day i'll pursue that and slap on a Walkinshaw Power Hood
  • American Racing Headers in 1-7/8"
After reading a WHOLE bunch and seeing people's experiences with all kinds of headers like Kooks, SLP, JBA etc one company to me stood high above the rest and this was American Racing Headers. They make a great product and they have fantastic customer service! It was on my 'must-have' list for awhile, but they're finally on their way!
  • Circle-D 2800 rpm Stall-Converter
Just like ARH, there are some companies that have just proven over time they deliver a superior product. Circle-D is to the Converter market what ARH is to the header market. Amazing workmanship & quality and topnotch service. I can't wait to get this one in the car. We didn't go too high a stall since 'down the line' (whenever that may be) I do plan on a supercharger .
  • Pedders 'Street II' kit with Xa Coilovers
Much has been said about Pedders. Some people think they just push their plastic bushings and that they are too expensive. Almost every single person who has driven in a 'pederized' car though has changed their mind afterwards. I had been looking at a Track II or a Street II package with a drop. Since I don't go to the track the Street II was a more logical choice but i always pushed it back since I really wanted coilovers eventually. Since pedders just came out with an introductary sale on their NEW coilovers it turned into a great deal I couldn't pass up and by adding their 'Street 1' Kit bushings I basically ended up with a Street II with Coilovers.

January is promising to be an exciting month!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow with Eagle RS-A Tires

So I already figured that the GoodYear Eagle RS-A tires were pretty bad in just about any condition. Dry, Wet all gave mediocre performance & handling at best. We've had a TON of snow over the last few days and with about 8 inches on the ground I decided to pull out of the garage and see how they'd handle the snow. This insane move was partially driven by my employer who's been giving me sarcastic comments about why i'm not able to show up to work when he is able to make it there (he lives 5 minutes down the street, which happens to be the MAIN street of the entire area so it's always iced/sanded etc). Gotta love passive-agressives...

Anyway, I parked nose in so I had to back out. As I start going and almost as soon as the rear wheels hit the snow I already notice the traction control light going crazy. Tires are spinning, snow is blowing everywhere, Ok, not a good sign. I easy of the gas and try again. I Get some traction somehow and manage to pull straight back out. Now I have to turn the wheel to see if I can make it up the driveway (which is pretty steep in places). As soon as I manage that and try to apply some throttle all hell breaks loose again. Tires spinning, the back end going back & forth.
Also I notice the car is just 'sunken' in the snow with the bottom basically scrapping/sitting on top of the snow. Bad move indeed!

Ok not to panic , we'll just try to go straight back into the garage on my existing tracks I think. Straighten out the wheels , try it in 2nd gear and.... nothing but spinning wheels.. Try starting in 3rd gear - same story but this time the engine sounds like it's actually protesting. At this point I almost decided to say "F*** it!" and leave the car outside , but with more snow coming I figured that wasn't a good idea after all. After brushing some of the snow away around the wheels and sprinkling some snow-melting stuff (that barely works) I try again.

This time i stay on the gas and i manage to inch my way forward but the back end is fishtailing like crazy. As i get closer and closer to the garage door i'm getting more and more sideways and for a minute there I think i'll hit the sides... then FINALLY i manage to straighten it out at the last second and with the momentum i had built up just roll into the garage. My wife is standing there with the classic "you dumbs**t, I told you so!" look... and yeah she was right :)

This really makes me doubt any all-season for any winter driving, but we'll see what we end up with once I get some new wheels on the car.

In short: If you have Eagle RS-A's on your car, take'm off , burn'm and do a dance around them because they are the WORST tires EVER!