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This was a good Car Weekend™.

Let's start with the virtual and end with the most manly. I'm finally getting the hang of GT4. At first, making money was virtually impossible, even with transferring 100k credits from GT3. I must have rerun the Roadster race six or seven times for a paltry $19k each series. Finally, I got sick of the Beginner races and tried out a few of the rallies. The second rally, which doesn't even require dirt tires, was only two races for the series and gave you roughly $275k! I've since picked up the B and A licenses (even though I got those transfered from GT3 as well) and then the iB and iA licenses (passed the Nurburgring test in my first try, thank goodness). After that, I got pretty bored with the game. It's GT3 with some polish and some stupidity (screen shake?! How did this game get released?).

Ok, on to my spring detail. It's not really spring yet, but the weather was nice and I just bought all those new detailing supplies. It's a long process!

  • NXT Tech Shampoo wash and dry: 30 minutes
  • Sonus clay and NXT rewash: 30 minutes
  • Bug, tar and spot cleaning and full dry: 25 minutes
  • P21S Gloss-Enhancing Paintwork Cleanser: 65 minutes
  • Klasse All-in-One: 50 minutes
  • NXT Tech wax: 55 minutes
  • S100 (AKA P21S) Carnauba wax: 50 minutes

No after pictures yet since I just finished the carnauba wax this morning! I found a few spots I will need to touch up so I'll probably take care of those and add another layer of S100 this weekend.

Finally, I did some work on my car. No, I didn't finish installing the horns. Now that I have one mounted, I'm not really challenged by the project so I just don't seem to care anymore. I should finish it just so I can torture the horrible drivers in front of me. Anyway, I purchased an SCT reflasher from Hypnotic Illusions Auto (ignore the horrible web design) for the SVT. The process was pretty darn simple. Pull out two fuses, plug the flasher into the OBD-II port, press a few buttons to start the process and twenty minutes later, it's done! I got quite a scare though. After the flash, you are supposed to disconnect the flasher and then fire up the car for the first time. I held a bit of trepidation and this was confirmed as the starter wouldn't turn over! Key in, turn key, nothing. I knew I had power as the alarm-armed light was still flashing. At this point, I realized I had replaced the fuses! After that, it fired right up!

I could tell the difference immediately. Normally, the SVT will idle at 1400 RPM for a few minutes (depending on the ambient and internal temperatures) and then drop down to the normal 950 RPM. This tune brings the revs up to 2000 for a couple seconds then drops down to 900 RPM. I let it idle for a few minutes, letting the ECU start to learn the system. I took her out and didn't wring it out much, but I could already feel the difference. Just starting from a dead stop, you can feel the increased torque. After letting it completely warm up and driving around for awhile, I took her onto the highway. The increased torque from 1500 RPM to 4000 RPM is just immense. The car pulls and pulls! After that, the improvement is not as noticable, but I bought the flasher for the low end torque anyway! Take a look at a few dyno plots of stock cars with the stock flash and then the SCT flash:

It's less than a 5% increase in max torque, but now 95% of that torque is available from 3000 RPM to 5250 RPM!

On those first few trips, I did notice quite a bit of pinging. I usually drive around with the radio blasting, but once I started to hear it, it was immistakable. I kept the radio off and only noticed pinging a couple more times. One was when I was in a high gear at low RPM and was trying to get up a hill. The second was on a WOT push from 3000 RPM to 6000 RPM in third. No matter as the ECU seems to have learned and I no longer get pinging. It's possible the tune was for 93 octane and we can only get 92 octane around here. The ECU corrected the problem and I shouldn't see that again.

I love cars.