Author Archives: bowtie6

New Set of Tires for My 2014 Camaro 2SS

BFGoodrich G-Force Comp-2 A/S

So the factory Pirelli P-Zeros finally gave up the ghost – time for a new set of tires for my 2014 Camaro 2SS.  The TireRack is my favorite tire supplier and I used their website to see what’s available…

Given the Camaro is my daily driver and it won’t be tracked, I made the decision to view all options on what tire choice to make.  You see, the P-Zeros are summer-only and given the temps fall below freezing here in the Upstate of South Carolina, I decided to buy a set of “ultra high-performance all-season” tires.  BF Goodrich G-Force Comp-2 A/S fit the bill.

I’ve purchased BF Goodrich tires in the past with good results.  Specifically my Honda S2000 is wearing a set of the summer-only version Comp2’s (you can read about it here). The S2K is a garage queen and seldom (if ever) has been out in anything that would remotely be called “bad-weather”, so the summer-only tires is not an issue.

I made a few calls to find a place that would mount and balance the new tires.  I was quoted several prices and settled on Costco:  they told me they would do the work for $15 each.  After locating the proper locations for the jack stands I lowered the Camaro and eventually got the tires over to Costco.  About 3 hours later, I had them back.

Several things I realized:

  • They boys at Costco don’t have a clue how to read a tire pressure gauge:  I had four freshly mounted tires with four different tire pressure readings!.
  • The rear tires are w-i-d-e!!  275/40ZR 20’s are huge.
  • The rear tires are h-e-a-v-y!!  Came close to giving birth to my colon lifting these things.

It is way too early to tell anything – hell I only have about a week so far on these tires.  I barely have scuffed them but they are very quiet and the car feels sure-footed once again.  I haven’t pushed them yet but so far I am very pleased.

And finally…  I found this:

This is the brake cooling duct mount.  Turns out the 2014/15 Z28’s came (from the factory) with a duct mounted in this area that enables cool air routed into the front rotors.  Pretty nifty.  I checked on this – the kit is not too expensive.  The kicker is the install:  it requires removal of both front fender liners as well as the entire front fascia.

I think I’ll pass.

New tire mileage…


2017 Mileage Roundup

Time for the 2017 mileage roundup for the fleet.  I started this type entry a year ago when I summarized the mileage totals to start collecting history on mileage traveled.  I made it a point after acquiring RedRock to create an account at and then installed the app on my iPhone.  With a little discipline, I’ve recorded every fuel-up and the results are interesting.  The website provides a yearly totals view and that is where these screenshots came from…

Here is my 2017 mileage roundup:

Totals for: RedRock

Totals for: S2000

Totals for: bowtie6

Comparing to the totals from last year, I must drive MORE!!!

Finally, like I did last year, here is a gallery of the three dashboards taken on New Year’s day, 2018.


This might be one of the few times I post a picture of the mileage on bowtie6.  It shows 23,519 miles and this is a bit misleading (adding this as a reminder to myself too!):

  • I’ve driven my 1972 TR6 for 23,159 miles since I put it on the road after the full restoration.
  • The first engine – a 3.4L V6 from a Camaro –  ran for 14,513 miles.  That is when we discovered an irreparable frame failure with stress cracks and my cousin Jim built the new frame from scratch.
  • The 2.4L Ecotec engine/gearbox came from a Pontiac Solstice with only 8 miles on the odometer.  This powertrain was then installed in a new frame built at Jim’s shop.  On October 15th, 2011, bowtie6 left Jim’s shop and has been a hoot to drive.
  • The new Ecotec powertrain has 8,998 miles so far.


Chevrolet Volt Fuel Stats

2013 Chevrolet Volt

My friend Lee purchased this 2013 Chevrolet Volt about 2 years ago.  Lee’s goal from the beginning was to achieve as much efficiency as could be obtained by driving as smooth as possible (more on this later, see below).  He has made it a priority to avoid gas stations!!

I’ve read much about hybrids and from my research there is a mind-shift one must make to meet the highest level of efficiency.  For yours truly, this would certainly be a steep learning curve but I digress.  Back to Lee’s Volt and the subject of this story.

You see, this week Lee texted me the following pair of photos when he filled the Volt’s tank with regular unleaded for only the third time since he bought the car!!  

Mileage since last fill up

This is the first photo of the Volt’s dashboard.  It shows mileage since the last fill up.  Lee explained he only resets the “B” odometer every time he fills up with fuel.  And here is the follow-up on the note in the first paragraph:  notice the indicator with the ball framed between the two brackets on the right of the picture.  Lee explained that is the indicator that helps you drive as efficient as possible:  the goal is the keep the ball in the middle the majority of the time.

Mileage since purchase

And this photo shows the “A” odometer, displaying total mileage since Lee purchased the 2013 Volt.  15,734 miles on exactly 23 gallons.

How the 23 gallons were used is an interesting story in itself.  Once the batteries are exhausted, the 4 cylinder engine kicks in and generates power to replenish the batteries.  During winter months, the engine helps provide heat and during summer months the engine provides help cooling the car.  The Volt’s computer also engages the engine when it “needs to run”.  On several occasions Lee has told me of the indicator that reminds the driver of this.  Pretty cool, huh?

Finally one of the neatest stories Lee has shared was shortly after purchasing the Volt.  You see, he bought the car in Asheville NC and drove around town a bit on electric power.  Then, on the way back to Greenville SC, the steep drive down I-26 provided enough braking (energy recovery) to recharge the battery almost to capacity.  Pretty cool stuff…

Needless to say, driving a Volt takes discipline.  Lee has proven with these results that a hybrid car is a very practical and real alternative.  I am a big offender because my Camaro is the complete opposite to the Volt.  It is downright embarrassing:  Lee has owned his Volt for almost 2 years and has filled up 3 times.  I have owned my Camaro 2 years (on the 10th of December) and I have filled up 70 times to travel almost the same distance.  Granted, we are missing the electric part of the cost of ownership but I think these stats are remarkable.

Thoughts?  Comments?

New Honda Battery

“Genuine Performance”…

My 2003 S2000 got treated to a brand new Honda battery today.  A couple of days ago when I tried to start-up the S2000, the old battery seemed a bit weak.  And it makes sense because the prior owner had replaced it before I took ownership and that was 5 years ago!

So today, I made a few phone calls.  My heart was on a new Optima dry cell battery (like the one in bowtie6) but damn!  These batteries have become very, very expensive these days.  Just for shits-and-giggles, I called the local Honda dealer and was very surprised with their answer:  they had a genuine new Honda battery for less than what I would have to spend at a generic auto parts store.  And, it comes with a generous 100 month replacement guarantee.  Hmmm…  Can’t go wrong with that.

Note leakage on the top seam… Not good!

The dead battery was an aftermarket generic replacement from the home-town of the original owner.  Fair enough…  Upon closer inspection the battery was certainly past its expiration date because the battery had leaked some of that oh-so-wonderful-acid that wreaks havoc on battery trays…

Plastic battery tray saved the day!

Fortunately the good folks from Suzuka designed a plastic tray fitted over the battery box holding the battery.  Funny because this is one of the most common “issues” on Triumph TR6’s – the battery leaks right on the battery box and 9 of 10 TR6’s show acid damage in this area.

Old battery gone. Here is the battery box saved by the plastic tray…

New Honda battery installed and ready to go…

Not wanting to leave well enough alone…  You know me!  The battery is held in place by two metal rods that hook to the bottom of the battery box.  The rods are not originally painted and this looks unfinished.  So, I cleaned each rod with a little Scotch-brite and sprayed them with low-gloss rattle can paint.  I think they turned out right nice…

Rods painted in low-gloss black…

And finally, today’s mileage…

Not bad for a 2003 model S2000!


Refining the Stance

Back to bowtie6’s birthplace for a few suspension tweaks..

First a Little History

If you look at enough TR6’s as I have through the years, you will notice very few (if any) have consistent gaps between the fenders and doors.  To help solve this problem, factory workers at the Triumph factory, added spacers between the TR6 body and the frame.  Quality back in the UK in those days was not great and on top of that, after years of use the frame would sag and the gaps had a tendency to get really bad.  Next time you go to a car show, pay close attention at any “original” TR6’s and you’ll see what I mean.

When Jim and I worked on fitting bowtie6‘s body shell on the new frame, we took a long time carefully fitting the body shell, fenders, doors, bonnet and boot lid.  I remember we actually spent HOURS doing this.  The effort was well worth:  all body gaps came out very consistent.  The downside was we had to make thicker body-to-frame spacers for the rear half of the car.  This essentially slightly “bent” the body and caused the rear half of the body shell to come up and thus exaggerate the distance between the rear tires and the rear fender.

My first set of tires on bowtie6 consisted of four Kuhmo 215/55 tires mounted on those sexy Panasport wheels.  The rears fit just fine; however the edge of the front tires rubbed the edge of the front fenders. I really didn’t any body damage so I found a pair of matching 205/55 tires for the front.  This solved the rubbing problem.

But since building a custom car is not an exact science and one must make compromises, this resulted in the car having a bit of a “rake”.  Not too bad, but when looking at bowtie6 from the side, one would notice the rear tire and fender gap was not ideal.  As a matter of fact, I remember my friend Michael reminding me the rear suspension needed some tweaking.

“Drop it down an inch”, he said.  Yeah, umm-hu.

New Tires

As noted in a previous blog article, this summer I bought a new set of tires.  This time I ditched the staggered sizing in favor of a square setup:  I bought from The Tire Rack, four 205/55 Yokohama summer-only tires.  Well, with the different tire height (remember, we went from 215/55’s to 205/55’s) the rear fender gap got really bad.

Before… (for the “after”, see the last photo at the bottom)

See what I mean?  The rear gap was not quite right.  Well, I was not about to go digging out the body/frame spacers because this would throw the body gaps all to hell.  Fortunately, Jim was able to come up with a small but effective solution to the problem.

Solution and New Stance

When Jim modified the rear axle to handle the coilovers, he made vertical mounting pads for them to bolt on to.  You can see the outline of the pads in the photo above.  Today, we took all this apart and added an extender to the pad.  This extender basically moves the axle about an inch upwards.

And the result is amazing!

Before the tweak…

After the tweak…

And there you have it!  The rake is almost gone.  Jim and I measured the end result and there is about a quarter of an inch difference between the and of the front fender and the start of the rear frame along the center of the body shell.  The gap has been reduced dramatically and overall bowtie6 has a much more refined stance.



After… (see above for the “before” version)