Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
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  • RIP Marco Simoncelli

    Posted on October 23rd, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Marco Simoncelli, a rising star in the world of MotoGP, died Sunday at the age of just 24 at the Sepang International Circuit.


  • RIP Dan Wheldon

    Posted on October 16th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Dan Wheldon was killed in an accident today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

    “INDYCAR is sad to announce that Dan Wheldon passed away from unsurvivable injuries. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dan and his family. INDYCAR, its drivers and teams have decided to end the race. We will run a five-lap salute in honor of Dan.”

    You will always be remembered…

  • P2135 and “Limp Mode”

    Posted on October 13th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    During my Cross Country Drive I was having a reoccurring P2135 Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) accompanied by the car going into “Limp Mode”. When I returned from my trip, I dropped the G8 off at Synergy Motorsports to get things looked at.

    It was determined that the “drive by wire” system used on the throttle of the G8 is “very sensitive”. As I understand it… there are two sensors (A and B) that measure the voltage going from the peddle to the throttle body, and then back. If the voltages going to/from are not the same the car throws the P2135 (TPS/pedal position sensor/switch a/b voltage correlation). Basically, the car goes into “Limp Mode” so there isn’t a chance of a run-away throttle condition (eg. Toyota).

    With the installation of the TVS1900 Magnacharger, there were a few modifications made to the wiring harness under the hood. Some of these changes are done with connectors… and the theory is that one of these connections might be loose, resulting in the DTC. To remove the chance of a loose connection, we removed the connectors and directly wired everything.

    I’ve only driven the G8 a couple hundred miles since the re-wiring, but so I’ve not yet received a DTC. Time will tell if this is the fix, but I’m fairly confident we are on the right path.

  • Cross Country Drive: Wrap-up

    Posted on October 5th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    I’ve spent the last month driving all over the United States, and it was an extremely enjoyable experience. The specifics of the drive are covered in the daily updates, but there are a few topics I’ve been wanting to cover.

    I’m quite proud that over 9218 miles, I did not receive a single ticket! As I spent quite some time driving on back roads (with posted limits well below the “fun” speed), one of my major concerns through-out the drive was receiving a speeding ticket. I also spent many hours driving on perfectly straight interstates just begging for high-speed runs.

    While the Valentine 1 and smart driving couldn’t have hurt, the main reason for no tickets was that I nearly spent all of my time on the interstates driving at the posted speed limit. The easiest way not to get a speeding ticket is just not to speed… and I found it relaxing not to need to worry about LEO’s all the time. Never the less, it was fun finding all their speed traps.

    As I was making the drive, I kept asking myself if there was anything I would have done differently…

    Having made the drive in September, I was constantly taunted by the colorful metamorphosis that was to soon happen.

    Doing the drive through the Appalachians only a few weeks later would have been accompanied in an explosion of color along the roads. Unfortunately it would have also come with cold/rainy weather and loads of tourists (and I’d not have been able to make it to Las Vegas in time for GoatRun).

    Having made the trip with my own car was great, as I’ve not been able to spend as much time driving it as I’d like, but a “sporty” rental car would have had its perks. Being in a rental car would have allowed me to “skip” several of the boring sections by flying. It would have also been nice to “trade-in cars” when I was having the “Limp Mode” issues. Not having to “skip” sections of the planned route due to mechanical problems would have been really nice.

    While I came prepared, I captured very little video footage along the road trip. Most of the time I was driving unfamiliar roads, so I never really know when I’d want to be recording. There were many times where I thought to myself, “That would have made a great video”… but I didn’t want to backtrack just to take one. It also takes a fair amount of time to setup all the video cameras, and when driving so much… adding extra time makes things daunting.

    Despite driving for a month, I felt like I didn’t have enough time to truly “explore” as I was driving. Because of the route, and staying in free hotels, my schedule was fairly strict. My goal was to drive roads, which was accomplished, but there were many interesting sights that I would have liked to have seen if I wasn’t on such a per-determined route/schedule.

    I was really lucky with weather, not having to drive much in the rain, but if the weather had been different it could have thrown a big wrench in my plans. Having additional time in the schedule for delays would have been a great idea… I was really lucky that the one time I was to spend two nights in the same hotel just happened to be the day I was having a package shipped to me.

    In the end, the road trip was a great success. I’m sure some things could have gone a little better, but I’m sure they could have been worse. Now the only thing I need to do is plan for next year and GONE 2012!

  • Post-GoatRun

    Posted on October 4th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Since I only had 2 hours of driving today, I decided to really sleep in this morning. I checked-out of my hotel just before noon and set-off on the road without eating breakfast (or would it be lunch at that point?).

    After last night’s “Limp Mode” fiasco, I didn’t want to take any chances today. Generally, the G8 does OK the first time it is started… and only starts to have problems after stopping. Because of this, I decided to drive all the way home without turning-off the car.

    I also took some extra measures to make sure I’d make it home… the entire way I was talking to the G8. I talked to her (all cars are female), providing encouraging words, promising that I would take good care of her once we made it home… get the oil changed, a nice car wash, etc. Apparently this tactic worked, as I made it all the way home without going into limp mode once!

    Entering the San Francisco Bay Area, I decided rather than just sticking to I-580 that I would take the scenic route along Altamont Pass Rd. Quite fittingly, this route is part of the old Lincoln Highway (“the first named automobile road that crossed the United States”). Along the way I decided to stop briefly and take the last photos of my road trip.

    Having spent so much time away from California, it was quite refreshing to see the golden rolling hills again.

    The remainder of my drive was uneventful, and I pulled into my parking garage to finish my trip in the same place it began. Total distance traveled… 9281 miles!

  • GoatRun: Day 4

    Posted on October 3rd, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Today was the final day of GoatRun 2011, and started out with the traditional brunch at the Bellagio. I packed-up my car, checked out of the hotel, and headed over to the Bellagio. I arrived a little early, so decided to take some photos.

    One of the great things about the brunch at the Bellagio is that we have a reserved parking area on the top of their structure. With all the GTO’s and G8’s lined-up, it is quite a sight.

    The Brunch was incredible, as always, and I’m sure I ate way more than I should have! I’d have to say that my favorite part was the eggs benedict with a side of prime rib (and horseradish)… ‘drool!

    Normally a few of the NorCal GOATs members try to get together for the return trip to the Bay Area. This year a couple people are staying a few extra days, and a couple others needed to do some repair work on a GTO. I really wanted to drive with everyone else, but I decided to get on the road early… and it really was a good thing I wasn’t part of a larger group.

    During GoatRun my car has been behaving very well, only going into “Limp Mode” on the trip to my hotel in the evenings. I was really afraid that I was going to have issue on the cruise, but I made it with no problems…

    … well, that was not the case with my drive home. I set-off from the Bellagio and made it two blocks before my first DTC. I was able to clear it out and get moving again, but only a few minutes later I received another DTC… This would be the theme for the rest of the day…

    I had a 546 mile drive to make, and every 10-25 miles the G8 was going into Limp Mode. Sometimes it would make it farther, other times it wouldn’t make it a mile. While I had to pull-off the interstate quite a few times, I was also able to recover without stopping the car.

    By the time I was driving through the Fresno area the sun had set, and the car was going limp every 3-5 minutes. I never needed to pull off the road (thankfully), but I just couldn’t take it any more. I pulled-off at a hotel I’d stayed at before in Madera, Ca and decided to call it a night.

    Despite getting a good night sleep last night, driving over 400 miles with an unhappy car took a toll on me… I was exhausted!

    Hopefully tomorrow my drive will be less stressful… I’m only 135 miles from home!

  • GoatRun: Day 3

    Posted on October 2nd, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    This morning I woke-up early enough to get to the Palace Station for the breakfast buffet with a few NorCal GOAT members. Last night I went to bed around midnight, and thought that I had done a good job of staying awake, but this morning I looked on Facebook and saw all sorts of “evidence” of the crazy activities that went on after I had went to sleep!

    The past three years I’ve stayed at my own hotel, because they are free, but I think next year I’m going to have to stay with the rest of the group. There are so many activities that happen spur of the moment, and I know I’m missing out on some of the fun that GoatRun has to offer.

    After breakfast, there wasn’t much going on until later in the afternoon. I didn’t want to go back to my hotel and miss any of the action, so headed to the parking garage to take a few photos.

    In the afternoon a group of us headed to Fast Lap for some indoor go karting!

    I must say that, while I’ve done some of the “kiddy karts”, this was a totally new experience for me. Just how serious is it? You have to wear a helmet, gloves, and a neck brace! The karts are gas powered, and much faster than any that I’d driven before.

    The first session out I had a very slow kart (which wasn’t helped by my added mass), so I spent most of my time trying to keep out of everyone’s way. The second session they gave me a much faster kart… and I was immediately able to take 3 seconds (10%) off my lap time. This new kart was a blast to drive, but it didn’t take long for my arms to get really tired (there is no power steering in these things), and my lap times started to slip. While I was one of the slower people on track, I still had a total blast!

    After the Go Karts there was a poker tournament scheduled, but I didn’t feeling like loosing my money… so, I headed back to the Palace Station for some lunch, then visited the casino’s sports betting area.

    Unfortunately (for me) they allow smoking in the casino, so it wasn’t the most refreshing area, but I had fun. I wasn’t placing any bets, but it was really cool to watch everyone else get into their sports. I was mostly watching the NHRA event, but when the Jets vs. Ravens game cam on things got really exciting. Half the room had Jets fans, the other Ravens fans, and with every play one side or the other would be cheering. At one point the Ravens recovered a fumble for a touchdown, and on the ensuing kickoff the Jets ran it back 105 yards for a touchdown… the place was going nuts!

    In the evening all of the NorCal GOATs headed out to the Hofbräuhaus for the traditional Sunday GoatRun dinner. While I’d love to share all the details… “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!”. All I can say is that someone bought me a shot… resulting in some paddling… and me officially having “The Numbest Butt”!

    While most of the gang headed for a wild night on The Strip, I decided to be an “old man” and head back to my hotel to get some sleep. Tomorrow is a long day of driving, and I want to make sure I have enough energy to make it home safely.

  • GoatRun: Day 2

    Posted on October 1st, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    The first official event of the day wasn’t until the afternoon, but there were a few other activities going on in the morning. The first was a breakfast at the Palace Station buffet, but I decided to sleep in. The second event was an Adam’s Polishes detail clinic. I stopped by to pick-up a 1 gallon refill of All Purpose Cleaner to replenish my supply (I used all of mine getting the bugs off the the G8).

    After filling-up on gas, I headed to the Palace Station to prepare for the GoatRun cruise! While I was relaxing, several other owners came out and started prepping their cars.

    At 1:30pm all of the GTO (and G8) owners gathered in the parking lot and headed out from Las Vegas towards the Lake Mead and The Valley of Fire.

    View Larger Map

    The cruise route this year was awesome. Last year I was a little disappointed, but that was totally not the case this year. Not only was the scenery incredible, the roads were a bunch of fun too!

    The roads was fairly empty of other vehicles, so we were able to move quickly along the route. Because the area requires paying a fee, everyone had to stop at the main gate. As people paid, they set-out on the road… it almost felt like a time trial where they space-out the cars… like they wanted us to drive fast!

    Most of the curves on the route were sweepers, and with the space between cars, everyone was able to cruise at a nice pace. It was really great to do some “spirited” driving, but at times I had to hold-back a little due to flexing of my Carbon Fiber Hood (again, I’m not going to speed test this thing).

    After the first part of the drive everyone pulled-over to take a breather, regroup, and to take some photos.

    For the second section of the cruise I found myself behind another heavily modified G8. Both of our cars have engine mods and completely modified suspensions. I know my car is a well balanced machine, but it really stands out when driving with others who also have fast cars. While I wasn’t pushing as hard on the straights, I was able to carry much more speed through the corners… there were many times where I would let the other G8 “run away” from me, only to dive into a curve (without even touching the brakes) closing right-up on his bumper. I was really impressed how well my G8 was able to take the corners… even at 1/4 mile trap speeds, the turns were no problem!

    I have to say that the best compliments I received were when the owners/drivers of the cars I was following told me that they felt they were holding me up. I told them not to feel bad, as I was having a great time (heck, it wasn’t like they were going slow). It was awesome to know that when others were pushing their cars to the limits, I still had a bunch left on the table!

    The end point of the cruise put us at the location where the car show, BBQ dinner, and other events would take place. Everyone lined-up and started to check-out all of the cars.

    Like always I was really impressed with what I saw others had done to their cars. Many of them I’d seen only a year before… but everyone brings out their best for GoatRun!

    The NorCal GOATs really cleaned-up at the car show awards ceremony! We took home “Best in Show”, “Best Exhaust”, “Best Engine Bay”, and I came away with the “Numbest Butt” award (aka. who drove the farthest to GoatRun)…

    There was some debate about the “rules” for this award, but no one could come close to the 8,499 miles that I drove from my home to GoatRun. Even just considering the distance from my farthest East location (Virginia) or where I was officially heading to GoatRun (Tennessee), I had the competition beat (the next farthest was from Missouri, via San Diego).

    After the car show, one of the GTO owners put on an incredible fireworks show. I’m not talking about a few sparklers and bottle rockets… this was a FIREWORKS SHOW! There were all sorts of things being shot-up into the air, and it rivaled several of the shows I’ve seen put on by cities for the 4th of July. Definitely impressive!

    The last activity for the day was the raffle drawing for various GTO related accessories. I wasn’t really paying attention, but it turns out I won something… an “Air Splitter” from West Coast Speed! I guess I’ll need to find a deserving member of the NorCal GOATs to take it off my hands.

    I really have to say that I was extremely impressed with the way today went… especially with how I felt after the cruise at last year’s GoatRun. Big props go out to everyone who put in the work to make the day’s events happen!