Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Winter 'Fun'...

Well we had some 'interesting' weather here the last couple of days in WA State.. usually we have fairly mild winters, and once in a while there will be a nasty one.. like apparently this year. We already got a little preview of that this Monday. I think most people weren't prepared for it (including me).

Monday morning driving to work there was a little snowfall - which while early by at least 2 months - was nothing major so I figured no big deal. On the way I passed several spun out cars already and even a pickup truck that apparently had flipped over. So much for the 4x4... guess people forget that doesn't help much with stopping when there's ice on the road.
By around 10:30 I happen to glance out of the window at work and HOLY CRAP it's a freakin blizzard!

Quick checkup on the weather (which I rarely do, hence my surprise at the whiteout) and discussing with my coworkers and it seemed they were expecting this to keep up until at least 10pm or so, so I figured I'd try to make a run for it instead of sticking it out at the office and hoping it'd get better in the evening.

Now the 'fun' part is i'm running only All Seasons - Bridgestone Potenza RE960 AS's with 285's in the back.. not really what I'd call a 'Winter setup'. Last time I tried anything in the snow was with the Eagle RS-A's that came stock and that was a nightmare. Now I was running better tires but also a good amount more HP because of my stroker. First problem was getting out of the parking lot. Luckily I had the foresight to park close to the road so that ice-skating rink was actually not that much a problem (much to my relief).

Now the main road to the freeway was already crawling with traffic and as the cars kept driving over the snow they were compacting it into solid ice. SUVs and Pickups alike were spinning their tires on this stuff, yet like lemmings people kept driving over the icy tracks. I pulled into traffic and could instantly tell that was was going to be a butt clenching ride... I had to drive over fresh snow to have ANY traction but luckily because most people didn't do this there was plenty left for me. Still several times I end up sideways even going as slow as 5 mph because zero traction! I almost decided to pull over and wait it out, but I was stubborn.

Several accidents already along the way (rear-ended, slid into a pole etc) it took me over half an hour to get to the freeway moving inch by inch which normally takes just about 10. It felt like an hour though since my tune is still not 100% when getting on the throttle from a standstill (you need to give it a little extra otherwise it may die) which obviously is NOT something you can afford to do on a sheet of ice.. But with some fenagling of the shifter between M1,M2 and N I was able to manage and keeping plenty of distance since my ABS was going crazy...

Just when I thought I made it to the freeway I noticed a semi had scissored and was blocking the onramp. A whole bunch of people got stuck behind him and had nowhere to go. Luckily I noticed and was able to take a detour to get on the freeway at another location. Usually the freeways are pretty clear because of maintenance and the amount of traffic, but as luck would have it - barely any traffic and no sanding or anything yet, so they were just as bad as the other roads!

Finally though it was to feel like I was getting somewhere.. doing a whopping 10-20mph. As I cautiously made my way down the freeway I passed at least another 6 accident scenes with people having slid off the road, collisions, another rollover.. just overall nastyness...

All in all it was a nightmare driving scenario and not something I'd be looking forward to do again in the G8.. I think having a High HP Car is great in a warm State Like Nevada or California, Texas Etc.. but up here it's not that practical in the winter time.. Perhaps it's time for a dedicated winter driver, even if it's beat-up truck or something..Or maybe invest in some rims & winter tires instead of this 'all season' stuff.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rebuild Stroker - 234/242 114LSA+2

OK so as you may have read previously on here my first adventure into cam/stroker land went horribly wrong and I had to get it rebuild.. Last Sunday Ellis from Speed Secrets was kind enough to personally come drop the car off. This was great as it was perfect final 'test drive' for him to drive it down and that way we could drive it together for a bit to go over everything.

The Cam-Shaft was a 'Patrick G' spec-ed
234/242 .602”/.605” 114LSA +2 advance 

Obviously quite a bit more agressive and more lift than my 228/228 115 LSA .

The only two things that still are 'amiss' are that:
a) The tune is a little touchy about applying throttle from a standstill - if you do it too slowly the RPMs seem to drop and I got it to die on me. But apply a heavier foot and you can work around this.

b) I have an obnoxious rattle going on that sounds horrible especially when cold. At first I thought it was the engine running rough, but luckily that turned out to be not the case.

I also was able to switch back to the stock GT Mufflers since the Stolen Fox's were just too loud on my old setup (and I didn't even want to think about what it would do with this cam!). The car sounds very nice warmed up and not too loud at all.. if anything I seem to have more noise coming from the front-end than the rear mufflers ;)

Other than that the build is pretty much the same as before with the same rotating assembly but slightly longer pushrods (7.425).

How does it drive though? Well let's just say I'm getting used to it again.. After having driven a practically silent 90hp gutless wonder for the last 6 months (Yes that's how long it's been) this thing rumbles & shakes like there's a wild animal under the hood waiting to get out... which if you step on the throttle takes off like crazy! I definitely feel its faster than my previous build when doing WOT runs (only did a couple so far) and Ellis commented on how much it pulls too.. 

So far I'm getting a whopping 11mpg lol.. guess I NEED to add a supercharger now to get some fuel economy back ;)

Ellis took pictures throughout the build and once I get those I'll post them up and once I clear out my video camera I'll try to shoot some video of it idling/reving etc

Thursday, November 4, 2010

First Signs of Life

Well, we have first Start-Up...

It's been over six months now since I first starting having this issue and at times it seemed there was no end in sight, but yesterday Ellis was nice enough to send me a quick cell-phone video of First Startup. Hard to tell how it sounds with the sound quality, but at least we have oil pressure above 0 ;)