Engine health update (and the transmission, too!)

Followers of this blog will know I periodically send samples of my engine oil to Blackstone Labs for analysis. It’s the only way outside of a teardown to really see what’s going on inside your engine. For instance, after using the Period Correct Tow Pig to tow my car to Las Vegas and back last …

Swilling the corn juice (E-85/Flex Fuel install)

When I rebuilt the engine back over the winter of 2017/2018, I selected things with an eye towards eventually getting back to E-85. I had run it for a few years back, while still on the stock turbo. Once I upgraded my turbocharger, I no longer had enough pump or lines to run E-85. But …

When things melt, your events get scrubbed

This post should have been a recap of the 2019 Midwest Muscle Car Challenge hosted by Bowler Performance Transmissions. This event is a ton of fun, hugely supported by sponsors (which means awesome door prizes and a fantastic swag bag), and all the money left over goes to a fantastic charity. But that is not …

An episode in the life of living with a TurboTweak ECU-GN

Last year I installed a TurboTweak ECU-GN in my Grand National. I had really reached the limit of what could be done with the original ECM. Even with a Powerlogger added on, I didn’t have enough inputs for all the sensors I needed. And mailing chips back and forth to deal with changes to the …

2019 Charlotte Champ Tour at ZMax Dragway

Racing season has sprung! This past weekend, the Period Correct Tow Pig hauled the Buick and myself to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the 2019 SCCA Champ Tour/CAM Challenge in the parking lot of ZMax Dragway. Unlike last year’s event, which was a Match Tour format, this was a full-fledged Champ Tour. Two hundred ninety eight …

On the subject of fiberglass bumpers

Well, I have a composite front bumper now. The stats: Material: Fiberglass impregnated resin Weight: 7.3 pounds naked Aluminum bumper support weight savings over stock bumper shocks: 3 pounds Total installed weight savings over stock bumper (also weighed naked): 46.7 pounds I could drone on about how to refinish a fiberglass part, but I’ll just …

On the subject of hood vents

Many cars, mine included, have issues with air management under the hood. As speeds increase, the ability of air to pass through the radiator opening and then out of the engine compartment becomes somewhat troubled. In almost every instance, the high pressure that builds up inside the engine bay can actually stall airflow through the …

2018 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational – Part 3: OUSCI

The actual event! After 21 days of prep, three days of driving, four days of the car in the SEMA show, where I also walked nearly forty miles, it was finally time for the actual event. The invitational follows the same multi-segment format as the regular season events, but runs are somewhat limited, and the …

2018 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational – Part 2: SEMA

After getting the invite to the Optima Ultimate Street Car invitational, I faced a daunting task. I got the invite on October 8, 2018. Load-in for SEMA was 8pm on October 29. I had 21 days to secure lodging, make sure the car was set, clean the car, make sure the tow vehicle and trailer …