Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
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  • GM Service Manual

    Posted on January 27th, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    Today I received the GM Service Manuals for my ’09 G8 GT!


    Some may think that $150 is too much for a manual, but the amount of information that are in these books is just shocking. At first I thought they made a mistake and sent me more than one… stacked upon each other they are almost a foot thick! There is enough information in these books to take my car apart and put it back together again.

    Looking inside there are very detailed descriptions and figures for everything. I really wished I had these when doing my GPS install… the manuals show the proper way to remove each of the pieces, where all of the clips are on all the panels (including the hidden pin that caused me to break a piece).

    I’m sure I’m going to get a bunch of use out of these in the future!

  • Wiper Blades & Rain-X

    Posted on January 25th, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    I finally had enough! The driver’s side windshield wiper on my G8 (and many others as well) has been leaving about a 3″ streak directly in my field of view. It has been doing this for almost the entire time I’ve owned the car, but since it rains so little in California it’s not been top on my list to work on.

    The recent week of rain has been getting to me, and I became fed-up with the streaking. When the wiper went up it was great, but it was the downward pass (the one that should make things perfect) that was a problem. Because of this I had to run the wipers faster than I’d like just to maintain visibility.

    I went to the dealer to order the re-designed set of wiper blades (they should be here tomorrow, given they make it over the Sierra’s with all the bad weather). I’ll see if the work will be covered under warranty (the parts guy suggested it), but if not it’s not that expensive.

    The other thing I did today was apply a few coats of Rain-X to the front windshield. I’ve never used the product before, but I’ve heard lots of good things about it.


    After a good cleaning I applied the first coat, let it haze-up, and buffed it clear. I could really tell the difference in the way the towel slid over the glass after even one coat. I then repeated the application just for good measure.

    When I went out for dinner it was raining lightly and able to see the difference the Rain-X made… WOW! When driving the rain just shot up the window… it reminds me of the ‘starry night’ screen saver. The wiper blades moved quickly and smoothly across the glass and there was absolutely zero streaking. When it stopped raining it was obvious the difference between the windshield (no drops at all) and the other windows on the car. I really want to put an application on my rear window, as when it rains there are always water drops that never seem to go away, and the other glass.

  • NCG GTG: Marin Brewing Co.

    Posted on January 23rd, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    Today the NorCal GOATs has a get together at the Marin Brewing Co. for lunch. As always, there were caravans from various areas of the bay to the meet. I connected with a few people from the central valley and a new CGM GTO owner from Castro Valley.


    After a brief stop to get some fuel, the gang headed out. The drive up went smoothly (some random person in front of me even paid my toll on the bridge) and we made good time.

    The rain that hammered this area over the past week was sticking around just long enough to rain on our parade. It wasn’t too hard (nothing compared to this past week), but it was consistently sprinkling over most of the drive. I didn’t wash my car for this meet (again), and was glad of that when the rain was coming down. But on that note, I really need to spend a couple of hours washing and detailing my car!


    When we arrived at the Marin Brewing Co. the rest of the group was already in the restaurant. It was a little disappointing not to get there earlier for the typical talk in the parking lot, but we were able to get some of that done after the GTG. We went in and joined the rest of the group just in time to order food.

    After a GTG at the Marin Brewing Co. a few of us headed to the Golden Gate Bridge to take some photos. The drive to the bridge was terrible… being the leader, trying to keep everyone together, and not knowing the area is just a nightmare situation. After driving around and circles (at least three times) trying to get everyone together… I was finally able to find an area to pull over and regroup. From there, things went a little smoother, which was nice.

    The parking area at the Coast Guard harbor was very wet and full of many puddles. One nice thing is that the center ‘road’ portion of the lot is paved, so despite having dirty puddles, it wasn’t too much of an issue. The parking lot was quite wet/muddy and I was really surprised that everyone came in for photos. I think it was the dirtiest place most of these GTOs have ever been!

    The lighting was far from ideal (everything was backlit), but I don’t really think you can take a bad photo with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.


    Because of the earlier rain, people’s cars were dirty… so I wasn’t too worried about getting the perfect picture. I mentioned to people that we need to be here at sunrise to get the best light, and didn’t get many people who seemed interested. I totally understand not wanting to make an hour (or longer) drive before the sun is up just to take some photos, but sometimes that’s what it takes to get the really spectacular images.

    The drive home from the Golden Gate Bridge was typical Northern California driving… patches of really heavy traffic even on a Saturday! A few of us stopped briefly at the Dublin Hooters to deliver a NCG jacket and calendar to a member who was unable to make the cruise.

    The day was very enjoyable. Great conversations as always and really good to see everyone and what they have been working on since the last time. I think there should be a few good photos for those who made the trip to the Golden Gate, so that was cool too.

  • Traffic School

    Posted on January 20th, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    I’ve been putting-off taking the traffic school to keep the point from appearing on my driving record for too long… so today I bit the bullet and got it out of the way. The ability to do things online is MUCH nicer than the classroom sessions (driver’s education) they I had to do when getting my license. The information was basically the same, but being able to go at my own (faster) pace was nice. I more than likely could have just taken the final test and passed with the 80% required, but I do like to know the specifics of the laws (ie that it is legal to make a left turn on red, as long as it’s not a red arrow). Took me ~3hrs to read through all of the sections… and I actually learned a couple of things. It wasn’t a fun use of my time, but it could have been worse!

  • $300 later and the G8 is fixed

    Posted on January 12th, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    Cutting to the chase… when I installed my Volant CAI I started a chain reaction that resulted in where I am today.

    The problem ended-up being a damaged wire harness leading to the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor. The wire was damaged when it came in contact with a pulley on the front of the engine. The resulting damage caused a short and damaged the fuse block. The second time the car died the fuse block wasn’t damaged, but the PCM (ECM?) went into a fail-safe mode (not letting the car restart).

    To fix things the damaged harness was repaired and the PCM was re-programmed. The new harness is shorter and is being routed in a different position such that it will not contact the pulley.

    So the problem is solved, but it wasn’t (really) covered under warranty. What am I talking about? Well, the car is covered under warranty, but only against factory issues. Installing after-market equipment (like the cold air intake) starts to get into the gray areas of warranties. Because the damage was caused due to the install of the CAI, it wasn’t covered… but the dealership worked with me and only charged me for the parts that were replaced ($300).

    I tested out the car in the acceleration department on the way home and there is definitely a stock tune in the ECM. I haven’t been able to determine if the TCM was re-programmed as well. I would tune the ECM again, but (thinking they were being nice) the dealer filled-up the car with half-a-tank of 87 octane (Yuck!). Looks like I’ll have to burn-off what is in the tank before I can get things back the way I really want them.

    In the end, I’m actually kinda glad that there was something that was fixed. When they first said that it was ‘just the fuse block’ and that everything would be OK… I still had some doubts that everything was going to be OK. Knowing that there was something broken (the MAF sensor harness) that was repaired gives me greater confidence that there will not be a problem in the future.

  • Picked-up and Dropped-off

    Posted on January 11th, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    Today the dealership called me to say that the G8 was ready to be picked-up. I dropped the car off last week because it died and wouldn’t restart. They replaced the the fuse block and everything was ready to go. I asked the question if the issue was a malfunction in the damaged part, or if it was caused by something else. They assured me it was the caused by the damaged piece and everything would be good to go.

    So I pulled-out of the dealership and decided to go down the street to shake things out before driving home. The drove down the street slowly, and everything seemed to be working properly. I reached the end of the street and turned around… when I started to accelerate, a little more aggressively (~50% throttle), the G8 just died again. I guess they didn’t fix the problem! The car came to a stop across the street from the dealership so I walked back and told them what happened.

    So it looks like it will be a few more days before I get the G8 back. I’m really curious what they determine the problem is… as it’s clearly not JUST the fuse block. Fortunately for my piece of mind, I didn’t have the DashHawk installed… so it couldn’t have been the issue the first time (it was the only thing that I had changed recently). Right now, I really want to get back behind the wheel of the G8… these rental cars are just terrible.

  • Towed to the Dealer

    Posted on January 7th, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    Today I was leaving my house and all of a sudden the G8 just died and wouldn’t restart. I really hate when stuff like this happens. I understand that it’s part of the deal, but it sucks. Thankfully everything will be covered under the factory warranty.


    This morning I started-up my car (remotely as always) and drove out of my parking garage. I headed down the street (~15mph) and stopped at a red light. While accelerating away from that light the engine just died. I pulled to the side of the road, parked, and tried to re-start the car… nothing, no cranking or anything. I still had power to the radio, GPS, etc, but wasn’t getting anything from the starter.

    I figured that I’d give OnStar a shot… so called them up and requested service. They said that the nearest service truck was in Oakland and would be at least 45 minutes away. I figured it was stupid to wait for a truck to drive from Oakland, so I gave AAA a shot. I called them and they had two trucks there (at the same time) in about 15 minutes.

    I hoped that a jump would be enough (maybe the DashHawk that I installed last night drained the battery or something), but it didn’t do anything… still nothing from the starter. I had the G8 towed down the street to the (ex-Pontiac) Chevy/GMC dealership to get looked-at. After a tech worked on the car in the parking lot for a couple of hours, they pushed it into the garage and got it on the lift.


    They traced the problem down to a malfunctioning fuse block (the whole thing that holds all the fuses). They have to order parts, so it looks like I’ll be stuck in a (crappy) rental car for a couple days. Oh well, hopefully it gets fixed soon!

  • DashHawk Installed

    Posted on January 6th, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    I just finished making a custom bracket for installing a DashHawk in my G8.


    I really like the way it looks from the driver’s seat. It is clearly readable, and doesn’t block the view of the road. I thought about ways to mount the DashHawk on/around the stereo, but it seemed like it would just get in the way. When the DashHawk and mounting hardware are removed all that is visible is a small ball. The bracket mounts behind the side panel to the dash using two factory screws.

    The custom bracket was a fun project. Over the last few weeks I was able to make a template out of cardboard, transfer it to sheet metal, and form the sheet metal to conform to the side of the dash. I ordered a Pro-Fit VMS G3 bracket for a Toyota 4Runner that I figured could be modified to work with the bracket that I was making. It required some drilling (the metal was really tough), cutting, grinding, and re-shaping before being riveting to my bracket.

    I still have a little work, like painting the little bit of exposed metal, and it should be good to go. I’ve posted some information on the G8 Boards and other are interested in the bracket I made. Looks like I’ll have to get some details for people if they decide they want to make something similar.

  • NCG Pyzano’s Pizza GTG & Cruises

    Posted on January 2nd, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    The Pyzano’s Pizza GTG has been on the books for a while, such that we could distribute calendars, but I figured that it would also be a great day/location for a cruise. After talking with a few NCG club members I planned both a Pre- and Post- cruise.

    The Pre-cruise met in Martinez and headed south along some of my favorite roads.

    View Larger Map


    There were between 10-14 cars with me on the cruise, unfortunately the weather wasn’t very cooperative. While it wasn’t really raining, the ground was wet and it was quite foggy. Because of this I kept the pace a little slower than I would have liked, but safety first! I was surprised to see there were even quite a few bicyclists out on the roads in the sub-par weather.

    The trip through the Berkeley Hills was really hampered by the fog (and the bicyclists), so wasn’t all that much fun. When we made it to Redwood Rd. and dropped in elevation a little the fog cleared out and allowed for some fun. I was really happy with the way the route turned out… we never really found ourselves split-up too much and didn’t have to deal with much other car traffic. I think quite a few of the people on the cruise enjoyed the roads, and I hope we do something again when the weather is better.

    After the Pre-Cruise the gang arrived at Pyzano’s Pizza. Everyone was really impressed with the number of people who made it out.


    The gang headed into Pyzano’s for some really great pizza (their sauce is awesome and their crust is nice and chewy). After eating, we handed-out the 2010 NorCal GOATs Calendars that people had ordered. I was surprised to get a couple from the club in gratitude for all of the hard work that I put into the project. It was really not necessary, but greatly appreciated.

    After talking-shop with the GTO owners the group headed-out on a Post-Cruise towards Hooters in Dublin.

    View Larger Map


    The group left Castro Valley and headed to Palomares Rd. The weather had cleared-up a bit and visibility was better. The temperature was still cool, but the roads were dry. Again I tried to keep the pace a little conservative, but we were still able to have fun. About half-way into Palomares Rd. we caught-up with a slow moving Honda, who was nice enough to pull-over and let two of us by, but didn’t want to pull-over to let the rest of the group buy. We tried to get the Honda to pass us but he just didn’t get the clue (I actually had to pull off the LEFT side of the road to get him to go by me). We stopped for a little before proceeding, but by that time there was only a mile left before we hit Niles Canyon. Once we left Sunol we had the road to ourselves, but Foothill just isn’t that exciting of a road (sure beats I-680N though).

    Overall, I was happy with the way the cruises went. I wish the weather was better and people had more of a chance to experience the roads to the fullest. I tend not to have as much fun when I’m leading a cruise, as I spend my time thinking more about the pace and keeping everyone together, but it was OK.