Saturday, March 22, 2014

Texas People are awesome

Just a little tribute to some awesome people (who amazingly always seem to be in TX):

I never met Charlie in Person, but we started our G8 site back in '08. With his larger than life personality he was the face & voice of our site. Unfortunately last year he passed away after a long battle with cancer. You will be missed buddy! :(

Beau / Trevor / Jason @ Texas Speed:
Without these guys I probably would have ditched my car after the last disaster. They were awesome and got me a great deal on a new engine AND delivered it real fast too! Thanks a million!!

Patrick Guerra:
Always patient with my ever changing set-ups, he keeps delivering top-notch tunes for my car and he's never even seen in. Very Impressive!

Anybody else in Texas that I haven't mentioned - you know you are awesome too.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Battery Replacement

It was bound to happen  'someday' and judging by what I've read it was long overdue: My stock battery has finally died. Yes that's right - the STOCK battery, from 2008, finally died on me.. and in my opinion really only because of the numerous months it sat without a charge in the last couple of years. It seemed most people get 3-4 years tops out of their battery, so for it to last a good 6 was pretty nice.

I had noticed it was getting harder to start the car - would take quite a few cranks to get going. Also when doing a 'hot-start' or multiple starts in quick succession it would have issues (think going to the gas station down the block etc). At first I figured I'd try charging it. It would hold the charge, but just sitting overnight the battery capacity would indicate it would lose 20%+. Based on that I knew it was time for a new one.

Taking the old one out was easy enough - just popup the plastic trunk strip that holds the cargo net, pull out some push fasteners in the left portion of the trunk and you have access. Then with IIRC some 10 and 13mm wrenches it took just a couple of minutes to get the old battery out. My battery tray looked in good condition still - I was concerned I would find rust and other 'wear' like others had reported, but it was totally fine.

The Old Stock Battery
Battery tray looking nice and clean still
Only 640 some CCA? wow
For the new battery I looked around online and locally trying to find a good deal. I noticed however that for some reason online shop don't feel like shipping a 50 pound battery.. go figure! I ended up settling on the local AutoZone, and they had a DuraLast 'Gold' (standard Lead-Acid) and DuraLast 'Platinum' battery (AGM). I decided to go with the 'AGM' (absorbed glass matt) battery since I head read a lot of good things about them.

New Battery ready to install

800 CCA, that's more like it!
Basically taking the reverse steps of the removal process, installation was a snap and the entire replacement was done in about 20 minutes. As far as starting etc, the car now starts up right away without any hiccups or hesitation. I have been monitoring the battery status and it's hovering around the 90% mark most of the time (lots of short trips etc, no real highway driving). So thus far I'm quite pleased with it!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Replaced Front Pedders XA Springs

So Back in August 2013 (yeah that long ago), before I dropped off my car over at Ellis's to work on my engine, I had ordered some replacement springs for my Pedders XA Coilovers. Luckily I was able to get them without any problems before any of the recent issues with Pedders USA took place. We figured Ellis could swap them out while he had the car there and raise it a bit as well since I was scraping once in a while.

Front - Nasty!

Rear Springs - Still Fine
As you can see from the pictures, the rear ones looked fine, but the front one looked old, rusted and just plain nasty. The ride quality was also horrible, no matter what settings I used. It always felt like I had barely any 'travel' and it was bottoming out or the spring was compressing all the way. Based on that and comparing some pictures with other G8 members who ran the XAs, I figured out that the shop I had last used in an emergency to raise my car, didn't properly raise it with the lower ring, but simply tried to raise by moving the middle/top ring. BIG No-No! That left me with virtually NO movement and any pothole or bump in the road slammed the spring to the max.

So with the new springs in, and adjusted a bit better, the ride quality is now MUCH improved. Any bumps in the road now actually don't cause fillings to pop from teeth, or spleens to burst, and I actually like the stance of the car better now as well. I have not yet had the problem of scraping either so I am quite pleased with how it turned out. The difference is very subtle and I have a hard time finding a 'before' comparison picture, but the 'after' looks quite nice.

After new springs & readjustment