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Old 03-22-2015, 08:56 AM   #29
rocknroll_jeph
 
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Drives: 11 Camaro V6 RS, 03 BMW Z4
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This weekend has been truly epic for me and my Camaro! First off I need to thank my wife, because without her I wouldn't have my car and even though its not her ideal car, she helps me to purchase the parts I want and is patient with me when I want to wash the car or just stare at it. Anyway, she surprisingly let me go to the open track day two days in a row! The first day I was keeping a safe line and not really braking hard because I didn't want her to complain when I need to get new pads, but she told me to go all out and don't worry! Wow!

Anyway, yesterday was very fun and educational as it was my first time on the track with my Camaro. All of the modifications I have done worked together so perfectly. I was thinking about getting better tires but I don't feel that way after being on the track. The P-Zero's are really really sticky, I was very impressed. I did most of the runs with T/C off and never felt loose at all, the limits were apparent and overall the car was pretty forgiving if i made a mistake.

Today I messed around with the suspension settings and felt more planted as I adjusted it. I was feeling pretty confident as well, but I know that I still need to work on shifting the weight and getting the right braking zones. There are 2 hairpins and a hard left hander out of the straightaway that always make me second guess myself. I like sweeping turns best, going near flat out is much more interesting than hard braking. I don't know how my times stacked up with others, best time was 1:05 and slowest was at 1:10, which was my first run.

There were all kinds of cars out, from tiny 1.4L european city cars to GT-Rs all sharing the track. My car got a lot of attention because there aren't many Camaros in China and I was the only white guy there too. I had a lot of pictures taken and had some very pretty girls lining up to go on a hot lap. I must have taken 4 strangers on a ride today, I'm married so I didn't even ask their names, just being a nice guy. I can't wait until next time... going back to my normal life will feel strange after living out my fantasy of being a race car driver all weekend.
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Old 05-02-2015, 03:12 AM   #30
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Yesterday my wife and I drove 300KM to the sea side to a city where the Great Wall of China meets the ocean. I got my best ever fuel usage on the trip with an average of 9.9L/100KM. That is much better than a few weeks ago when after an entire day of racing I got 26L/100KM or 9MPG.

Toady is a beautiful day, the weather is great, so gave the car a wash and wax and detailed the interior a bit. The joys of Camaro ownership never ends!
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:17 AM   #31
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Update.

I have had the car for nearly 2 years and I have loved every minute of it. In another post I bared my feeling for all to see. Over the summer vacation I did get some new goodies for my car, but have not taken any pictures. Lighted door sills, to cover up some scratches on the inside and for the pursuit of power and to sooth my modifying needs I bought a Vmax ported throttle body and and Iceolator.

Those seem to be pretty good mods. It feels like it is driving in "S" mode all the time now and I even dialled back my throttle controller to the E2 setting while in traffic today. Keep in mind I am in Beijing, on my way to my inlaws house today (over 2 hours to go 30KM) I was on the brake more than the accelerator. So the dulled down throttle response eased the throb that was starting up on my foot. Times like this are the only time I am glad I have an automatic (gasp!)

Other news on my car- my first day back in Beijing I got hit by an idiot driver. It happened in slow motion. I was going forward at like 1KM/h and slowly, ever so slowly a red blob fills my mirror, I really didn't believe what I was seeing as the the red shape just kept getting closer and closer. I leaned over to get a better look in my door and see a car slowly entering my lane and before I can do anything there was contact. If I was moving or not the outcome would have been the same and that driver just really wanted to get into my lane and couldn't wait. Moron. The police officer told him off for being such a poor driver and he paid me so we didn't have to involve insurance and then we went on our ways.

After getting my car back from the paint shop (they did a great job) I washed it with the blood of our spiritual enemies to purify it and wash away the bad memories and to bestow upon it good vibes, and good fortune.

Not really. I just bought a bottle of car wash with a Mustang on it. And washed it with it.

Well it has been an interesting 2 weeks of being in accidents, modding my car and getting back to the rhythm of life after a long vacation.

I love how my car has an exasperated expression in the first photo, the car is like, "really? I can't believe how you could be so dumb as to hit me like that..." Like when someone accidentally steps on your toe, it doesn't hurt but you just have to shake your head and sigh.
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Old 10-25-2015, 01:22 AM   #32
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It is fall in Beijing. The leaves are starting to change color and it was time to take a trip to the mountains. This weekend my wife and I went up to the Lakeside Great Wall. The park is located just around an hour away from my house. It is a great place to go hiking, look at scenery and get some fresh air. The weather was perfect, the park was beautiful and since I stayed off the highways I missed China's infamous traffic jams and we had a smooth drive out there and back.

Before I had my Camaro driving up the mountain roads was always really exciting because of the lack of power in my old car. With the Camaro it is not so much of an occasion. Even though I drive the often looked down upon V6, it has more than enough power for me and pulls up the hills extremely well and it is faster than almost every other car that was on the road.

Interesting point, I did see one yellow 2014+ Camaro going up the mountain as I was going down. It looked like a ZL1, but I think it may have been a clone...
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Old 10-25-2015, 01:13 PM   #33
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Awesome stories... Your Camaro looks Great...........
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Old 01-13-2016, 01:53 AM   #34
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New Year update! I was back in the states over the winter holiday so I had an opportunity to buy some more goodies for my car. I am running out of things to bolt on, so that is kind of sad because I like my car to be in a constant state of change.

I will be replacing my Vitesse paddle shifters with a used Hurst set I bought off a fellow member here on Camaro5 as soon as I can find the tap shift buttons. I am currently moving house so I have my stuff spread out... pretty excited for that because the Vitesse paddles are always falling out.

I went to the Chevy dealer in Adrian, Michigan and had a very pleasant time with the staff who were all very friendly and helpful. I needed some parts that the Chevy dealer in China don’t have access to, like replacing a tire valve cap and those little rubber plugs under the spoiler inside the trunk. My sunroof air dam also broke a while ago so I bought a new one too.

I also bought Apex Speed's scoop and washer bottle kit. I am so far very impressed with the kit, but pre-reading the instructions really terrified me. I must have read through every member's how-to as well as the wordy instructions on the Apex site every day for a week before I went to install, and I still didn't get it. More worrying was the fact that I had to translate it all to the guys at the shop I go to as don't have access to many tools so I took my car to my favorite speed shop to install the kit along with getting the oil changed.

The mechanics there know me and we have a good relationship, but I didn't feel confident translating all of what was on the Apex site. I can say all my worrying was for nothing, in the end it was very straightforward install once you get in there and see it in person. It would have been less stressful for me if there were no instructions, the fitment and placement of the scoop were obvious once took the fender liner off and everything lined up perfectly. I am glad that I didn't have to be the one bending my hand in unnatural ways to put in some bolts and in the end, the final product looks great too. Whether or not it really boosts performance is up for debate, but I feel like the car has lost weight and more responsive on the highway. The high temps all week have been below freezing, so I've been getting cold air anyway.

Here are some highlights from the install. I like the fact that had 3 technicians helping me at any time and with the oil change and install plus car wash I was only charged about $35 in labor.

As I said it is really cold here in China so I don’t plan to be going on any exciting road trips soon, and I don’t have winter tires so “spirited driving” or track days are a no-no for me too. Anyone want to bring me a set before spring?? Snow removal in China is also known as “the sun”… which is good because I am not afraid of salt rusting m car away, but bad because the roads remain slippery and snow covered for a long time. Fortunately, it has been sunny and pollution free for nearly 2 weeks! Much better weather than back in Michigan.
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:34 AM   #35
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I had a great opportunity to join a local car club's meet on Friday. Because in China it is illegal to organise large groups there are no car shows and meets are not widely advertised. Every week this club meets up in different places. The event I was invited to was in the lowest floor in a mall's underground parking garage. It was very cool to get to meet some others that love American muscle cars. The guy who invited me has a few Mustangs that he all imported from the states. The 2011 GT he took to this meeting cost him around $150,000 in then end! It is pretty much stock except for the Boss front ends, rims and side pipes. That was the first time I saw a V8 Mustang in Beijing, they are super rare. The other Mustangs are all made for China edition 2.3Ts, and 2 of them had turbos leaking. There were many European modified cars like VWs and Audis but I wasn't too interested it them as well as a few Mitsubishi Evos, Toyota GT-86, Nissan GT-R... I was the only Camaro there. They told me that not many Camaro drivers take part of these events. I think that most people with a Camaro in China only have it for showing off, and not daily driving like me. Fun times!
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:23 AM   #36
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This week's chapter is all about the first ever American Car Meet in Beijing.

I am fortunate enough to have a friend who passed me the information about the American Car Meet a few weeks ago. I passed the info to the guy who is in charge of the American Muscle Car China (AMCC) group. At first he said it wasn't going to be worth going, but after a while many of group members decided to attend. And it is good that they did because with the addition of the AMCC group we probably doubled the amount of cars. The pictures I have posted wouldn't be all that interesting if it were in America, but in China importing cars is a huge challenge. First off, only the fifth gen Camaro and the newest Mustang are officially imported. Any older car was most likely imported by foreigners years ago, or has gone through some shady channels . In other words you have to really want a specific car and expect to pay over 125% tax to get it in the country to get the process started. I was most impressed to see a Fox body Mustang GT convertible. The black licence plate shows that it is owned by a foreigner and the low numbers must mean it was one of the earlier cars imported into China when they started to allow outsiders to own cars. I would just love to imagine what that would be like to cruise around Beijing in a convertible Mustang in the early 90's. Also, not pictured there were some 90's Cadillacs, WW2 era Jeep, a very random faux wooden panelled Buick Electra Estate Wagon. Why anyone would want that car is beyond me but it was proudly displayed. It was amazing to see all of these cars together in one place. The meet only lasted a few hours because it was freezing and windy. I can't wait for warmer weather and for more people here to get into the American Car scene. The culture still isn't as solidified as it is in the states and it is cool to see the car scene here adapt, change and grow right in front of my eyes. I hope this is the start of a strong solidified scene here.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:17 AM   #37
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Hongjing Road

Recently I discovered one of the most strikingly beautiful roads I have ever seen, and it is in the Beijing city limits as well. Most people think of Beijing as a city, which it is, but the land surrounding the city is also classified as part of Beijing. This amazing road, Hongjing Road, is near the very western edge Beijing and about 2-3 hours drive from the city proper. The weather was beautiful and there was so much to see and do on the way there and back so this trip I took was more than some hairpin turns. There are spectacular views, hiking, historical landmarks and huge underground cave networks to stop and check out on the way. What a great day that was...!
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Old 04-14-2016, 02:02 AM   #38
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Did you "initial d" some of those turns?
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:08 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splat View Post
Did you "initial d" some of those turns?
Haha! I wish I had the skill- or money for new tires! No, I just drove quickly, but safely. You may notice the second to last picture that I had turned traction control off and the tires didn't break loose once. i'd post a video but it is actually very boring to watch. I think the top speed was 80km/h but mostly around 20-30km/h.
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:09 AM   #40
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Nice read
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:08 AM   #41
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Brembo Brake Upgrade!

i have spent my summer away from China and that means away from my Camaro too. While I was back in the states I enjoyed my time in the Z4 I keep there. I got around to 3 autocross events and a road trip to Maine. The 133K mile BMW didn't miss a beat! Now that I am back in Beijing it is time to play with the Camaro again!

Yesterday I went to get the oil changed and the transmission fluid flushed and changed, put on new windshield wipers and oiled the drivers side window mechanism. I also replaced an ageing Detroit sticker... Mundane stuff.

The big upgrade of the season is the ATS Brembo front brakes I put on. After a few days of finding all the right pieces and tools I just finished installing the Cadillac ATS Brembo front brakes on my Camaro a few hours ago. I bought the set from ZZ Performance and it was sent to my house in Michigan much sooner than quoted and everything I needed was in included package. Bringing it into China I was so worried that customs would check my bags so I had packed them in my carryon... Fun fact time! In China only authorized companies are allowed to import car parts, individuals are not. My friend had his racing simulator shipped from England and customs confiscated the seat because it looked like a car part.

The Brembo brakes are a direct replacement but for some reason the banjo bolts on my callipers were too big. In my research I have never come across another person with that problem but after calling in some favours with my good friend he had a pair of banjo bolts overnighted to me from a Cadillac dealer.

While it is not really a difficult procedure to do in a driveway I was fortunate enough to have my father-in-law as well as all 3 of my wife's uncles give me hand today with the installation. They are all very good with mechanical things and have much more experience than I do (growing up in the Cultural Revolution had its benefits) so I let them do most of the tricky parts like bleeding the brakes and checking the lines. Plus they honestly like doing jobs like that. Only downside is today it was like 95 and 100% humidity. I will shower 3 times today.

Like I said earlier, these brakes are a direct replacement from the stock GM single piston sliding callipers. I just unscrewed the 2 bolts to take the calliper off, disconnected the brake line, and did everything in reverse with the new parts. The dust shield needed to be trimmed to fit the bigger calliper as well. I also flushed and changed my brake fluid while I was at it.

Most V6'ers want to upgrade their brakes to the SS 6-pistons or better, but for me this option was the best. First it was very cheap- $350 for all brand new parts including the Power Stop brake pads and shipping. Second, I get to keep the rotors and stainless steel brake lines that I invested in. 3. Most important I could take them in my suitcase and not risk having them confiscated or have pay over 100% tax importing them legally. We'll see how they work after the pads are bedded in. I am hoping that I will have the best stopping Camaro in Beijing!!

Now what mod is next... any ideas? Headers? LSD differential- can I fit any of that in a carryon suitcase?
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:00 AM   #42
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Hey Jeph,
Thanks for your story. I have have a 3 hour commute to New York City. Great stories like yours make the train ride go by quicker. Really interesting. Keep it coming. Rich
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