Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
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  • The Mod Bug has Bitten!

    Posted on August 30th, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    I was not going to do any performance mods to the G8, but that didn’t last long! I’ve really wanted to get the exhaust note of the G8 GT sounding more aggressive… and it has snowballed a bit.


    So I decided to get a Corsa cat-back exhaust system after taking a ride in a G8 GT that had them. I’ve heard the car at idle and with the throttle revving, but I wanted to hear what things sounded like from inside… at various speeds. The last thing that I want is an exhaust that makes lots of noise (drone) when doing casual driving around town or on the freeway. The Corsa system sounded really great at all speeds and is just what I am looking for!


    Once I was going to do the exhaust system, I figured that I’d do some JBA shorty headers as well. The car that I rode in also had these headers and it sounded perfect. I could have gone with a long-tube header, but it relocates (or deletes) the catalytic converters… leading to issues with law enforcement and/or smog… this is just not something that I want to get into.


    Now that the G8 will be exhaling better, it needs to breath better. This leads to a cold air intake. I decided to go with the Volant system because of the enclosed filter box… the other ones have open tops and use the hood to seal, and I’d rather it just always be closed-off from the hot engine gasses. Also, the Volant uses a dry filter so I shouldn’t have to worry about getting filter oil on the MAS or other engine electronics (which dealers supposedly look for when it comes to voiding a warranty).

    And because it really wakes-up the G8 GT, especially with the aforementioned mods, I’m going to get a custom tune for the ECU. This tune will allow me to optimize the fuel system for 91 octane. I should also be able to have various transmission settings for ‘Drive’ and ‘Sport’ modes. And my main goal is to keep the car from wanting to stay in 6th gear all the time… and shifting first to 5th and then to 4th when you put your foot down. As it stands now I can’t get onto a freeway without getting mad that the car wants to jump to 6th gear all the time (which is why I now just use ‘manual’ mode).

    All in all, this should give the G8 GT a great sounding exhaust note… fix the downshifting issues… and a bit of a performance gain. Now I just have to get it all installed, which should be fun in itself!

  • G8s and GTOs go to Half-Moon Bay

    Posted on August 15th, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    This cruise has been in the makings for quite some time. After the last G8 cruise, there was a little break… then people started getting antsy for another. I was spending too much time on the East Coast, but knew I’d be back in August. Well, it worked-out that I was able to attend!

    Total Distance: 142 miles

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    The group of G8s were scheduled to meet in San Jose, but after the great times we had driving Patterson Pass Rd. a few weeks ago… the GTO folks had a pre-cruise from Tracy. There was some question if Patterson Pass Rd. would be open due to a fire on Corrol Hollow Rd (just a few miles South). Before heading out we stopped to get some two-way radios (which put us a little behind schedule).

    The drive on Patterson Pass Rd. was great (it always is), but wasn’t as spectacular as the last time. There was some additional traffic on the road (and there was some question about law enforcement pretense).

    Going through Livermore there was a real sense of caution placed on speed-traps. I was moved-up to #2 in the line because of my V1… and once again it paid-off! Heading South on Hwt84 (which is no fun anymore) there was a CHP officer sitting on the blind side of a turn with his rear-facing radar blazing. I was quite impressed that the V1 picked up the reflections of the radar… allowing me to radio out “Ka ahead” before he came into view. The V1 did it’s job and we were able to make good time to San Jose.

    We reached the Winchester parking lot about 15 minutes late (I hate being late) and needed to take some time to re-group before the cruise. Unfortunately, the other G8 folks seemed to want to hit the road (and I can’t blame them, I’m sure they’d been waiting around for a while already). After a short time what I thought was the group was ready to head-out and people started to get into their cars… but it turns out there were a few people still re-grouping and one GTO (driving from Sacramento even) who was a few minutes out. The first-half of the group headed to Santana Row while the second-half got together and headed-out.

    After a trip down Santana Row everyone headed out on the cruise. There was quite a long line of cars… and while impressive to watch, it made staying as a group very difficult! I was the last car in line to make sure no one got left behind and actually got stuck at several lights as cars headed out on CA-17. I found myself so far behind that the radios would no longer work and I had to call the lead car (thank goodness I asked for his phone number). The group waited in Saratoga for everyone to get back together… unfortunately, this would be a trend for the cruise.


    Once we made it to CA-9 (which was quite a chore in itself) things started to get more fun. The last three cars in the line got stuck at a one-way traffic signal (you know, those road construction ones). While putting up way behind the rest of the heard, it did allow for some nice open roads. The drive was very enjoyable (one of the better ones) and we caught up with the rest of the group by the time we reached the Skyline (CA-35) junction.

    Unfortunately, there was a Mustang GT between the last three of us and the rest of the group… and it was driving too darn slow (like under the speed limit). After a few miles, much to our surprise, the Mustang pulled-off the road… at 35mph… into a bunch of gravel. There was quite a bunch of radio chatter about that maneuver… “The GTOs scared the Mustang off the road”, etc. The Mustang followed for a few more miles and then turned around (and ran away).

    The group stopped at the Mountain Terrace parking lot in Sky Londa (intersection of Skyline and CA-84) and prepared for the second half of the drive. The cars did get some attention, but most of the drivers were over checking out a pair of new ’10 SS Camaros. While really impressed with their power, the insides looked really cramped and the trunk was choked by a small opening… definitely not the of similar size to the G8, despite being built on the zeta chassis.

    Once the group got back on the road, it was more of the same. I was at the tail-end of the line to make sure no one got left behind… and found myself (and a few others) being split-off from the rest of the pack. There were a few more Mustangs driving really slow (I was caught by a Suburban of all things!), and there were very few passing opportunities. While one or two cars could get around the slower traffic, it doesn’t do much good when there are a dozen cars trying to pass. But overall, the roads were great and the tree cover made for a different drive than the ‘normal’ California dry grass.

    When we reached CA-1 the group was able to stretch its legs a little, but not too much before we entered into Half-Moon Bay. Once again me and a few others got left behind, so the group pulled into a shopping center to let us catch-up. Unfortunately, getting out of the shopping center with so many cars proved to be a difficult task… not being helped by a left-hand-turn signal that would only let a handful of cars through at a time. There was a lady in a Prius (smug smug smug) that made a real stink when she couldn’t back out of her parking space… oh well, wait your turn!

    Eventually we all made it to Half-Moon Bay and parked at the Half-Moon Bay Brewery for lunch. While several of us had called to make reservations, we didn’t think it was appropriate to require a credit card to hold one. Because of this, it was going to be over an hour to be seated… something that most of us didn’t want to wait for. We decided to take a walk around and see if there were other restaurants around that could seat us quicker.

    We chose to eat at Crab Landing, which turned out to be a poor choice. I won’t dwell on it, but the service was so bad that most of the group did not even get served their food. Hours of waiting for nothing is not a good way to do business, but at least they only charged us for drinks. While we were there there was some great talk about our cars and modifications (coincidentally, all the G8 owners sat at one table and the GTO owners at another).

    Unfortunately with the lunch fiasco, half of the group was ready to head home and the other half was still looking for food. After showing-off the in-dash GPS and Back-up cameras, iot was getting late so I decided to head home. Three of the G8s headed up CA-92 together, but I would have really liked to had more of a group heading back towards the East Bay.

    I planned on taking CA-92 to Skyline and then Page Mill Rd. down into the bay. While driving on CA-92 the other two G8s in front of me did a great job moving through the traffic. It was quite spirited, so much so that I missed the turn-off for Skyline… thankfully the G8 has great brakes!

    The drive on Skyline was very enjoyable and there was little slow traffic… I actually had an Acura MDX (SUV/Crossover type thing) keeping pace for me! I could really see why Skyline is such a popular drive for cruises… great sweeping turns through the redwood trees.

    The top of Page Mill Rd. is very tight and not very wide, but the road condition is perfect. The decent is nice and the curves are tight, they definatelly keeps you on your toes. Farther down the road there are many loops/hairpins with elevation changes that are a blast. Unfortunately, if you get a slower driver in front of you (like I did) they more than likely will not pull-over (stuck-up, slow, BMW drivers). Eventually the road runs into I-280 and I blasted home.

    It was for sure a long day of driving, and some of the headaches of being in such a large group of cars (well, at the back of it) made it even longer… but the day was definitely fun! I’m really glad that I was able to enjoy most of the drive on Skyline and the surrounding roads with some great people. I really hope that we can do it again soon (there is talk of re-doing the Santa Cruz Cruise because of the rain-out before).