July 18th, 2004:
Just posting up the pics of the trophy, along with a few pics showing what a Sunfire
GT looks like with the side skirts and door skins removed. Since I haven't had any
money to spend, this has become a rebuilding year for the car and I'm currently
in the process of making the RK Sport sides fit better than they did with the double-sided
tape. I'm molding in the plugs and tabs from the stock skirts so it will install
in a similar manner. I just figured these pics would be of interest to anyone wondering
if they could shave the skirts just by removing them as you can with a 3rd gen Cavalier
or a Sunfire SE.
July 10th, 2004:
With the wedding plans in full swing, I really haven't had any time to update this
page lately but I just wanted to make a note that my second PIAA bulb burned out
on Thursday, the 8th. I'll be replacing that one with a Sylvania Cool Blue bulb
as well and keeping my fingers crossed to see how they do. If they last less than
a year then I'm going back to PIAA's.
Driver's side Cool Blue installed at 62,067 km.
Also notable is the fact that I won 2nd place in the JCO Bash bracket races back
on June 13th. It was only my second time running on a drag strip and lady luck was
definitely on my side! I broke out three times against opponents who broke out worse
and finally got disqualified by red-lighting in the final. It was a bit of a let-down
because it was my only red-light of the entire day, whether racing or testing, and
I only jumped the light by 0.004 seconds. I'd been running good lights all day (best
of .506) and must have staged a little too deep for that last one, getting a .496.
If not for those 4 thousandths of a second, I'd have otherwise won the race.
Even more impressive to me than the 2nd place trophy (I'll post a pic as soon as
I have time) is the times I was running. My goal at the track was to break into
the 15's since I was never able to do so in my previous attempt. A 15.999 would
have made be happy. I was there with my second run, with a 15.955. I then went on,
getting faster and faster, to a best run of 15.629 at 85.75 mph which was far better
than I ever hoped for.
Hopefully things will only get better going forward. While I don't anticipate getting
to a track again this year, I will make it my goal to break into the 14's next year...
June 11th, 2004:
First off, the WM3 was chosen as the Car of the Month for June on the
GM Tuner Tour website so I'm pretty excited about that!!
Secondly, I just replaced the stock passenger side headlight with a Sylvania Cool
Blue bulb. At first glance it doesn't seem as bright as the PIAA beside it but it
also doesn't seem to have the yellow tint that the stock bulb had. Now the real
test will be in how long it lasts. It was $20 as opposed to the $60 for the PIAA
but if it lasts less than a year then clearly the PIAA would have been the better
choice. Time will be the judge now.
Mileage is 58637 kms.
The first PIAA Platinum Series Super White blew on Feb. 20th after about 3 years
of use. I don't have a note here of the date they were installed but the first mention
of them is on March 26th of 2001 and they were probably already in for a few weeks
then. The second is still going.
April 16th, 2004:
The weather was nice and I had the day off work so I cleaned the interior and took
off the decals on the side windows. The first pic shows how much salt is ground
into the carpet. I just thought I'd show that salt is fairly easy to get out, no
matter how sure you are that your carpets are ruined. That pic was taken after I'd
ground away at the salt with the vaccuum attachment and vaccumed all the excess
residue. What's shown is what's firmly ingrained in the carpet.
April 11th, 2004:
I took the car in for an oil change and noticed two small cuts on the rear tire.
I turned the rear collars up one turn and will continue to monitor it. I expect
that I won't see another mark now until next year when I put new tires on. The extra
tread on a new set of tires might be just enough to make contact but only time will
tell. I still have two full turns left to go though, which is over an eighth of
Anyhow, here's some new pics I took just because it was nice and sunny outside and
I finally got the car washed.
March 5th, 2004:
So far there hasn't been a single mark on the rear left tire and the ride has very
noticeably improved all around. I no longer fear minor potholes or train tracks
and have basically been aiming for a lot of the holes I used to avoid just to test
the limits. I'm quite happy with the overall feel.
I measured the height from the center of the hub to the bottom edge of the fenders
and confirmed that the height is still even all around. It is currently 14.5" all
around. With the older springs it was 14" all around so the new springs have given
me an extra half inch. It's interesting what a dramatic difference that half-inch
has made. When next I get a chance, I intend to drop them down at least a quarter
inch all the way around and continue to monitor that back tire for damage. The car
looks a little high to me right now.
I may actually drop the front the full half-inch to try and quantify what sort of
difference the bump stops themselves are making. Since the spring rates are the
same, if I set the front to the same height as it used to be then I figure I can
attribute any benefits in ride quality directly to the bump stops.
February 29th, 2004:
Yesterday Bruce and Craig helped me with installing the new springs I ordered last
year to replace the ones that came with the Ground Control kit. We also took the
opportunity to put in a set of front bump stops, which I haven't had since originally
installing the GC's nearly a year ago.
The main reason I originally chose the Ground Control adjustable coilover kit over
the Eibach Sportline springs I originally had was to be able to adjust the ride
height, providing me additional clearance for the new skirts and bumper valences.
With the kit installed however, the car when adjusted to its highest point was about
even with what it was with the Sportlines. The higher spring rates meant less scraping
over things like speed bumps but it didn't give me the extra height I needed for
things like somewhat steep sloped driveways. The lack of bump stops also made for
some harsh hits when bottoming out. Everyone bottoms out now and then but bottoming
out without bump stops can be painful.
With those issues outstanding, I got in touch with Ground Control and ordered some
bump stops and new springs for the kit which would be the same spring rates but
exactly 1" higher all around. The new rear springs are 8" tall, 250 lb rate. The
front springs are 7" tall, 375 lb rate. I honestly believe these are the springs
GC should include with the kit to begin with and recommend that anyone ordering
the kit order it with these. There is no extra charge for changing the springs included.
Another issues that needs addressing is the fact that since installing my brake
kit, I've been cutting my rear left tire on my fender when bottoming out. The brake
kit extended my rear track by almost an inch and due to the lackluster tolerances
GM allows during assembly, that was enough to cause a problem on only the one side.
It appears that my rear axle sits about a half inch to the left which resulted in
my cutting issue. I had it checked out by a tire shop and they assured me that it
wasn't cutting deep enough to be a safety issue but it was certainly an eye sore
and needed to be fixed. With these new springs on, I may have gained enough height
to prevent the tire from making further contact. I've done a front-to-back tire
rotation and will be keeping a close eye on that unmarked tire to see if it shows
any signs of cutting. It would be a nice bonus to have solved that problem.
I've only taken the car out for one short test drive so far but the ride quality
has definitely improved. I can't judge whether this is due to the extra available
travel or the addition of the bump stops though. I will provide another update in
a few weeks time once I've had some more experience with this setup. In the meantime,
here are some pics of the new setup.
October 3rd, 2003:
I just took some pics today because I had nothing else to do and had the camera
on me. I think they turned out better than yesterday's so here they are. I know
most look the same but I was trying to get a good shot for my forum sig.
October 2nd, 2003:
We started installing the brakes last Saturday and after a few snags, it's just
about complete. Here's some pics of the finished product!