Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rear Seat Delete

After taking my back seat out, which I might add is really simple to do, only five bolts.  I was left with a big gap where the seats used to be.  One of my friends suggest a rear seat delete, I checked online and the only one for the Camaro cost $250 before shipping!  There was no way I was going to pay that much.  So after about a week of trying to figure out what I was going to do, my buddy suggested we make a rear seat delete our self.  I was very hesitant at first, especially since our only cutting tool at my house was dremel!  However, being a college student with a lot of time on my hands I figured why not, so with that my friend and I set out for materials.

We took VERY rough measurements for the bottom and back part of the rear seat delete. 21x47 and 20.5x46, with these dimensions we set out for Home Depot and bought a large sheet of wood about a quarter inch thick.  Once we got back we traced out the design onto the wood and cut it out.  After several test fittings, cutting and sanding we finally were able to get the sizes right.  For the back panel we made one hole on each side near the bottom and used similar bolts (same diameter but longer) as the ones used to hold the OEM seat into the car.  For the bottom part of the seat we used four bolts I had laying around to clip into the bottom of the car.  I called a local fabric / foam store and they had told me they had carpet that a lot of automotive companies use.  I made my trip down and found a color that was nearly exact to my carpet / floor mats.  Once I got home my friend and I traced out the carpet to a size we liked and used an industrial strength spray adhesive that the fabric shop had to attach the carpet to the board.  The finished product, in my opinion looks amazing.  I am still surprised how closely I was able to match the OEM carpet.  One thing to note is the U shape inlet we had to make on the bottom portion because the battery cable the comes from the trunk to the front of the car is fed right under the seat.  If you don't make the cut for this the bottom will not lay flat.

 Anyone that doesn't use their rear seats (and who really does?) and is looking for a unique look, I suggest trying this.  It is easy to make and I only spent about $75 on the entire project, which is much cheaper than the "professional" version.  However, let me warn you and make sure for the bottom part you attach the carpet to the correct side.  Since the U cut is off centered it won't work if you mess up and we know because we messed up and had to re-do the bottom....

The Back board cut out

Fitting the carpet.  We originally spray painted the board, but as you can see it looks terrible.  Carpet is the way to go!

Spraying the adhesive on the carpet.  NOTE you must spray it on both surfaces not just the carpet.

Cutting triangles is necessary to be able to glue the carpet around the curve of the board.

Gluing down the carpet on the curve of the board.

The back portion complete.

All down and installed in the back.

Notice the bolts on the bottom that clip the bottom board into place and the U inlet cut for the battery cable.

Note the bolt at the bottom corner that holds the back board into place.

Be sure to check out my YouTube channel here:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Special Centennial Corvette as Chevrolet turns 100

Chevrolet turns 100 years old this year, and to celebrate they are making a special edition Corvette.  The Centennial Corvette looks really good with Carbon Flash Metallic paint and satin-black graphics and red trim.  You'll be pleased to hear the package will be available on all Corvette models, not just the expensive Z06 or ZR1.  However if your pockets do run deep, you can try and pick up the 100th Centennial Corvette at the Barret-Jackson event in West Palm beach, Florida on April 9.  The Corvette looks great no doubt, but also has a slight performance advantage to its non Centennial brothers.  The special edition Corvette sits on light weight satin black wheels and magnetic selective ride control comes standard.

 Read more at car scoop

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Camaro ZL1 laps the Nurburgring in lightning speed

There has been a lot of hype building up over the past couple of months on how Chevrolet's monster Camaro would perform.  For as far back as anyone can remember the Camaro has always been about going as fast as you can in the shortest amount of time in 1320 feet, and everything past that didn't matter.  However Ford has really set the bar with their Mustang.  Despite still using an ancient rear axle set up, some how Ford manages to make the Mustang handle incredibly well for what it is.  The result?  A 580hp 556tq supercharged LSA motor which is borrowed from the CTS-V.  Maybe if it was the 70's this would suffice and GM would be done.  However it isn't, and now handling is a must have.  The ZL1 has not only borrowed the CTS-V's engine but it also took the magnetic ride control, and that sure has payed off.  The combination of monster horsepower and a suspension that can adjust a dozen times in a blink of an eye has resulted in the Camaro ZL1 delivering an unbelievable time around the Nurburgring at 7:41.27 

Photo of Mark Reuss, talking in LA.  ZL1 in the background

Click For ZL1 Lap Video

For referance here is the current lap times:

Pos Make / Model Time Speed (km/h) Year Power (hp) / Weight (kg) Driven by
1. Radical SR8LM 6:48.00 182 0 455 / 650 Radical
2. Radical SR8 6:55.00 179 '05 363 / 650 Radical
3. Gumpert Apollo Speed 7:11.57 172 '09 700 / 1200 Gumpert
4. Dodge Viper SRT-10 ACR 7:12.13 172 '08 600 / 1536 Dominik Farnbacher
5. Lexus LFA Nurburgring Package 7:14.64 171 '12 570 / 1509 Lexus
6. Donkervoort D8 RS 7:14.89 171 '05 350 / 600 Michael Duechting
7. Porsche 911 GT2 RS 7:18.00 169 '10 620 / 1370 Porsche
8. Radical SR3 Turbo 7:19.00 169 '03 320 / 500 Phil Bennett
9. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 7:19.63 169 '08 647 / 1530 General Motors
10. Dodge Viper SRT-10 ACR 7:22.10 168 '08 600 / 1536 Motor Trend
11. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Z07 Package 7:22.68 168 '11 512 / 1394 General Motors
12. Lexus LFA Nurburgring Package 7:22.85 167 '12 570 / 1509 Lexus
13. Gumpert Apollo Sport 7:24.00 167 '07 700 / 1200 Sport Auto
14. Nissan GT-R 7:24.22 167 '11 530 / 1736 Nissan
15. Maserati MC12 7:24.29 167 '04 632 / 1335 Marc Basseng
16. Pagani Zonda F Clubsport 7:24.65 167 '05 650 / 1230 Marc Basseng
17. Ferrari Enzo 7:25.21 167 '02 660 / 1365 Marc Basseng
18. Nissan GT-R 7:26.70 166 '08 479 / 1740 Toshio Suzuki
19. Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 7:27.00 166 '11 500 / 1360 Porsche
20. Ferrari 458 Italia 7:28.00 166 '09 570 / 1485 Scuderia Autoropa
21. Porsche Carrera GT 7:28.71 165 '03 612 / 1380 Marc Basseng
22. Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 7:30.00 165 '11 500 / 1360 Sport Auto
23. Porsche 911 GT2 7:31.00 164 '07 530 / 1440 Auto Motor und Sport
24. Porsche 911 Turbo S 7:32.00 164 '10 530 / 1585 Porsche
25. Pagani Zonda F 7:33.00 164 '05 602 / 1371 Sport Auto
26. Porsche 911 GT3 RS 7:33.00 164 '10 450 / 1400 Sport Auto
27. Koenigsegg CCX 7:33.55 164 '06 806 / 1456 Marc Basseng
28. Koenigsegg CCR 7:34.00 163 '04 806 / 1418 Sport Auto
29. Audi R8 GT 7:34.00 163 '10 560 / 1520 Sport Auto
30. Nissan GT-R Spec-V 7:34.46 163 '09 492 / 1680 Best Motoring
31. RUF RT12 7:35.00 163 '05 650 / 1573 Sport Auto
32. Porsche 911 Turbo 7:38.00 162 '06 480 / 1585 Porsche
33. Lexus LF-A 7:38.00 162 '10 560 / 1609 Sport Auto
34. Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera 7:38.00 162 '10 570 / 1430 Sport Auto
35. Ferrari 430 Scuderia 7:39.00 162 '07 510 / 1402 Sport Auto
36. Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 7:40.00 161 '06 640 / 1805 Auto Bild Sportscars
37. McLaren Mercedes SLR 7:40.00 161 '03 626 / 1693 Auto Bild
38. Porsche 911 GT3 7:40.00 161 '09 435 / 1376 Walter Rohrl
39. Porsche 911 Carrera S 7:40.00 161 '11 400 / 1415 Porsche
40. Porsche 911 GT3 7:42.00 161 '06 415 / 1395 Walter Rohrl
2012 Camaro ZL1 7:41.27
41. Radical SR3 7:42.00 161 '02 205 / 495
42. Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce 7:42.00 161 '09 670 / 1664 Sport Auto
43. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 7:42.90 160 '05 513 / 1437 Jan Magnussen
44. Porsche 911 GT3 RS 7:43.00 160 '03 381 / 1360 Motor
45. Pagani Zonda C12 S 7:44.00 160 '02 555 / 1250 Sport Auto
46. Audi R8 V10 5.2 FSI 7:44.00 160 '09 525 / 1620 Sport Auto
47. Mercedes CLK 63 Black Series 7:45.00 159 '07 507 / 1745 Berndt Schneider
48. Gardner Douglas GD T70 Spyder 7:45.00 159 '10 710 / 900 Dario Margutti
49. Porsche 911 GT2 7:46.00 159 '00 460 / 1430 Sport Auto
50. Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera 7:46.00 159 '07 530 / 1520 Auto
51. Jaguar XJ220 7:46.37 159 '92 549 / 1470 John Nielsen
52. Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano 7:47.00 159 '06 620 / 1748 Sport Auto
53. Wiesmann GT MF5 7:47.00 159 '08 507 / 1380 Sport Auto
54. Porsche 911 Turbo 7:47.00 159 '09 500 / 1570 Sport Auto
55. Porsche 911 GT3 RS 7:48.00 158 '06 415 / 1375 Sport Auto
56. BMW M3 GTS 7:48.00 158 '10 450 / 1543 Sport Auto
57. Lamborghini Murcielago 7:50.00 158 '02 580 / 1800 Sport Auto
58. BMW M3 CSL 7:50.00 158 '03 360 / 1385 Sport Auto
59. Porsche 911 Carrera S 7:50.00 158 '08 385 / 1425
60. Mercedes SL65 AMG Black Series 7:51.00 157 '09 670 / 1870 Sport Auto
61. Lamborghini Gallardo 7:52.00 157 '03 500 / 1613 Sport Auto
62. Ford GT 7:52.00 157 '04 550 / 1538 Sport Auto
63. Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 7:52.00 157 '08 560 / 1530 Sport Auto
64. Mercedes CLK DTM 7:54.00 156 '04 582 / 1678 Sport Auto
65. Porsche 911 GT3 7:54.00 156 '03 380 / 1380 Sport Auto
66. Ferrari F430 7:55.00 156 '05 489 / 1450 Sport Auto
67. Caterham R500 1.8L K Series 7:55.00 156 '99 233 / 450 EVO
68. BMW M5 7:55.00 156 '11 560 / 1870 BMW
69. Porsche 911 Turbo 7:56.00 156 '00 420 / 1540 Sport Auto
70. Ferrari 360 CS 7:56.00 156 '03 425 / 1280 Sport Auto
71. Ferrari California GT 7:56.00 156 '09 460 / 1787
72. Porsche Panamera Sport Chrono Turbo 7:56.00 156 '09 500 / 1974 Auto Bild
73. Porsche Panamera Turbo 7:56.00 156 '09 500 / 1870 Walter Rohrl
74. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 7:56.00 156 '02 411 / 1414 General Motors
75. Porsche 911 GT3 7:56.33 156 '99 360 / 1350 Walter Rohrl

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Trifecta Tune Step-By-Step How to

I've been using Trifecta for about a year and a half right now.  When I first bought Trifecta my tuning options were limited.  They were so limited in fact that only Trifecta offered a tune for the 2010 V6 Camaro.  First off I'd like to premise by saying this tune won't do too much for you if you're a stock six banger.  GM tuned these cars really well from the factory, so I'd advise against this being your first mod, or second mod for that matter.  However a couple months ago Vince at Trifecta was able to dyno tune a stock V6 and was able to muster 13rwhp out of it.  So  it is possible that you can get some power if you're completely stock.  Now before I convince you that the Trifecta tune is worthless let me tell you why you need it down the road.

If you're looking into a tune odds are you aren't going to just lightly mod your car and call it a day.  I'm assuming (yes I know that's dangerous to do!) that if you're going to buy a tune that you are planning on or already have done some heavy moding.  There are a number of reasons why Trifecta is a great deal:

1) One of the best things about the tune is the tuner.  Vince is amazing at what he does, I've never received customer service as good as I have from Trifecta and Vince.  Emails are replied to almost immediately and if you have a problem Vince is willing to help after hours.  I'm so impressed with the customer service that this, IMO makes the tune worth twice as much as it is.

2) If you buy the OBD II cord that connects your lap top to the car's ECU you can take unlimited number of data logs (within reason of course!) and email them to Vince (Trifecta) and he will check over the logs.  If for some reason you're running lean or rich he will adjust for it and send you back an up-to-date tune.  This is all at no extra cost.  Almost all tunes you pay for three pulls on a dyno and that's it.  The flexibility with Trifecta is amazing!

3) Like I explained above, you can get the tune on your car update multiple times without paying extra. However, if it is going to be a major tune like E85 or you're getting a turbo installed you will have to pay extra.

4) NO dyno needed!  Most other tunes require you to go to a performance shop, strap your car down and get it dyno'ed to be able to tune it.  This is all fine and dandy if you have a local performance shop.  Also if you're tuning your car to specifically be a drag car it's better to dyno tune.  However since most people use their V6 as a daily driver, being able to take data logs while driving on the road provides the benefit that Vince can tun your car more for daily driving than only for Wide Open Throttle (WOT).

5) If you ever plan on getting long tube headers and high flow cats you WILL get a check engine light.  The only way around this is to get your car tuned for it.

6) E85, E85, E85!!!! Did I mention our cars can be tuned to run on corn?  Besides supporting American farmers, E85 gives the added benefit of burning cooler and eliminating knock retard thus making more power for your car.  It is equivalent to using about 110 octane.  This is a great option and as a few members have shown on our V6's can easily be mid 13 second cars, possibly even low 13 second cars.

The only down side I see with using Trifecta is that you aren't getting tuned for true Air/Fuel ratio, like you would on a dyno tune.  Rather Vince is adjusting your commanded Air/Fuel ratio.

So that was my long winded summary of Trifecta for those of you who didn't know what it was, or weren't sure about the details.  I see some people post on the forums asking how hard is it to use Trifecta?  Do I need to know a lot about cars to be able to do this?  etc etc.  I asked the same questions when I was first looking at the Trifecta tune, and let me tell you it couldn't be easier!  There is hardly required "car knowledge" to be able to use the Trifecta tune so the good news is anyone can use it successfully!

So once you order the Trifecta tune from their website ( you have to download their tuning program which will be emailed to you.  Once you do that you will get emailed a generic tune that you will load into your car and then you data log your car by driving around, going to the drag strip or on the dyno it's really up to you.  Once you email Vince your data log he'll look it over and if changes need to be made he'll adjust for it and email you back the updated tune.  Below is a step-by-step guide how to load a tune into your car.

When you click the Trifecta program this is the first box that comes up.  It is your typical terms and conditions that you must agree to.  This comes up each time you run the program.  Click "I Accept" to continue.

This is the next screen you get.  Here you are given the option to Program your vehicle (install a tune), take a data log (under vehicle info tab) and many more things.  Click the Program tab at the top and then in the drop down bar click "Program Vehicle"

After you click "Program Vehicle" you are taken to this screen where you need to select the file (tune) that you want to load into your car.  As you can see here I have four different "tunes" I can install.  The stock ECU tune the stock Trans tune, an E85 tune (ECU tune) and the gas tune (ECU tune).  For this example I'm going to load in my gas tune.  (To make things simple make a folder to place all of your tunes in).

Once you select the file (tune) that you want to load into your car your will be brought to this screen.  Once you get to this screen you need to make sure your computer is connected to the OBD II port under your steering wheel.  After you've made sure that it is plugged in, turn your ignition to the ON position but DO NOT start the engine.  Click OK to continue.

Once you have clicked OK you will be brought to this screen.  Here you need to select what it is you're loading into your car.  I.E. is it a stock (factory) engine or transmission tune, or is it a custom (aftermarket) engine or transmission tune.  Almost always you will select custom tune.  At the bottom you can have the transmission auto programmed, I usually leave this unchecked since I have my own custom transmission tune.  Once you've selected the correct tune that you're loading in, click "Accept"

This next screen is just telling you some info about your car (I.E. your VIN #), click "ACCEPT" to continue

Once you click "ACCEPT" on the previous screen, the Trifecta program will connect to your cars ECU and install the tune and then you're all done!  This last step can be as fast as 10 seconds or as long as 20-30 minutes, it depends how much software the tune is rewriting.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Pictures of removed DRL

So in my previous post I discussed how I removed the DRL and other than my non scientific method of the butt dyno, my Ultra-Gauge readings did show it made a difference,  Granted what I did isn't something you would want to do if you get a lot of rain in your area, but since we haven't had serious rain in central Texas in God knows how long I think it's OK.  The other issue you might run into is that you might have objects directly hitting the filter such as rocks or large bugs.  Over the next couple of weeks I plan on making some sort of protective barrier to protect the filter yet allow direct air flow.  Currently I'm thinking about some sort of wire mesh set up.  Someone on did something similar, and it looks like it works well.