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I didn’t have as much time as I hoped at the weekend but I did look at the car again.

The CDM is finally located. It’s tucked right up underneath the glove box (My car is a ’91 and I think that’s the same for ’90-92). There’s a big but though – accessibility. You can just about see the back end of the CDM if you lie down with your head at the narrow end where the door hinges are. I could see some connectors just about but can’t tell if these are the ones I need to pull to connect to.

You can also see the CDM from below. This requires contorting yourself onto your back with your head in the passenger foot-well. That isn’t the end of it though, there’s also a plastic shield of some description that you need to remove or free up to gain access to the box And even that doesn’t help a lot).

Neither of these routes has Continue reading

I unpacked the head-unit a week or so back but hadn’t powered it up because I was thinking more about getting the old Bose unit out of the car. My “buyer protection” was close to expiring though so I thought I better power it up and make sure it worked.

Luckily I had a mains – 12v transformer that was left over from an earlier car computer project that didn’t work out as planned. This was perfect for a simple plug-in test to make sure the new android unit powered up properly. After a few turns of the screwdriver to connect the main wires the unit purred (actually it was entirely silent!) into life and presented me with the main “desktop” display.

My first impressions of the unit were Continue reading

Originally I planned to install a Sony head unit to replace the dead Bose unit in my ‘vette but after thinking about it I decided to take things a step further and install an Android car computer instead. This is a bigger project but basically gives me a toy for my toy and that’s what Corvettes are about really. There are some practical reasons behind the decision:

  • I can carry my entire MP3 collection to hand (I don’t listen to the radio and CDs are just too much of a pain)
  • Built-in navigation through android apps
  • Access to any number of other apps through the app store
  • Ability to connect to OBD monitoring and diagnostic information
  • Wireless and/or 3G internet connectivity
  • Almost infinite customization possibilities
  • Not forgetting the sheer coolness of it!

The unit I chose I found through an online forum and was recommended by several people online. Things being what they are it was only available direct from Continue reading

So the new C7 Z06 has been launched. There’s some great technology in the new C7s so it’s no surprise that the new uber-vette looks like an amazing deal (prices haven’t been announced yet). Yet I have to say I feel dissappointed, though not exactly surprised.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, increase engine capacity and you increase power. Add a supercharger to increase volumetric efficiency and you get more power. It’s been the easy solution since the 1920s and sadly I don’t see anything here beyond that thinking. It’s the same-old same-old. More power, more cubes, who cares about real efficiency gains…

I felt kind of embarrassed for the whole GM presentation and especially Mark Reuss. There was the thumping rock track (okay not too thumping, let’s keep it safely corporate…) and then Reuss climbs on the stage looking old, tired and bloated. I got the idea that they were trying to do something like the Stark Expo from Iron Man 2 but without the style, panache or balls. And Mark sorely missed the presence of some “Ironette” equivalents.

Chevy has won both the truck and car award for 2014. Great news and a big boost for GM as a whole. But the whole show fizzled like a wet firecracker searching desperately for gunpowder. And a fuse. Next time maybe GM could bring in Robert Downey Jr – I’m sure he’d be available at the right price.

And by the way. Those tail lights are still butt-ugly…

The C4 Corvette was a big step up from earlier generations but one area that always seemed a little weak was the lighting. Even when first introduced, the lights were probably best described as “adequate.” With the great innovations seen in auto lighting in the twenty plus years since, it all looks just a little bit meager.

Luckily most of the lighting technology updates are now available as retrofit items and prices are dropping all the time, making this a relatively painless and inexpensive upgrade that can improve the appearance, functionality and safety of your vehicle.

The three main areas I am interested in are:

  • Daytime visibility
  • Night driving illumination and
  • Efficiency.

The need for daytime visibility is Continue reading

Recently Corvette Online released some “spy pics” of what could well be the new C7 ZR1 engine. The photos show what appears to be a supercharged fifth generation LT1; inside information suggests it’s a 6.2 liter engine and will be pushing out 650+ hp.

I find myself with strangely mixed feelings over this idea. As a C4 ZR-1 owner I can’t claim to not like power, but to me this represents yet another instance of more brawn and less finesse.

When the ZR-1 was released in 1990 it represented a huge leap in performance Continue reading

In my earlier post I discussed tackling the under-plenum updates. Here I cover the drivetrain updates which turned out to be more significant and challenging in unexpected ways. Early on Sunday we were back at Jim’s for the drive-train work. Again the WAZOO guys were in full attendance. Darrin was back too to help the transmission pull – this after working all night at his “day’ job.

Jobs for this day included: Continue reading

After the drive down to Baltimore and meeting up with David (including a fun visit to the local Tilted Kilt) we were ready to get stuck into the job at hand: updating the Dragon.

DSCF6040Saturday was warm and sunny, almost a shame to waste it on the WMD (Westminster Maintenance Day), but the WAZOO guys are dedicated to building bigger and better ZR-1s and I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to complete several of the jobs that had been on my “to do” list for far too long.

Jim’s place (the then ZR-1 Registry president) is the garage a lot of people dream of having – me included. Spacious, a  four post lift, hydraulic bridge jacks to lift one end of the car up in seconds. What else could you ask for? Continue reading

I just received the latest copy of Vette magazine and it was nice to see a multi-page feature on the C4 generation of Corvette, including (of course!) the legendary ZR-1. There’s scant coverage of the C4 these days and it sometimes feels as if I own “The Corvette That Time Forgot.”

The article discusses the history of the C4 including the reintroduction of the convertible in 1986, certainly a momentous event. However Vette mistakenly says that Dave McLelland designed the C4 vette with a convertible in mind and due to this, minimal changes were needed to encompass the roofless model. This doesn’t line-up with Dave’s own account in his book “Corvette From the Inside.” The real story is even more amazing. Continue reading

C7-1So I’ve finally seen the new 2014 Corvette “Stingray” in real life. It was on display at the Niagara Corvette Club show recently, giving me (and many others) the chance to compare what I’d seen in pictures with the real thing.

My first impressions of the 2014 were very favorable. GM has obviously put a lot into restyling the car to bring it bang up to date in terms of looks, while still retaining at least some vestigial features to remind you it’s a Corvette. The new design is meant to “appeal to the younger buyer”, something that I think GM has said about every new generation of ‘vette.

The front of the car is a visual treat with lots of features to keep you interested and looks very much like a Ferrari 599. Apparently GM has heavily borrowed from the 599 under the skin too, which isn’t a bad place to start, and it looks like it’s created one of the best chassis in ‘vette history.

Okay they’re missing Continue reading

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