How to make decal design onto an old 79 Corvette – Check it out!

Hey everyone,

I’m sort of showing and talking about the happenings around this Corvette in reverse – now I’m showing you the photos of the decals design we did while I still haven’t shown you the photos of the work we did all winter with the engine, interior and other stuff. I’m sorry for doing this but I just couldn’t resist sharing these photos. It took us a lot of effort to create the design since thinking how to do it was already a special task (especially since it’s our own car!) and then all the preparation and final installation… Here you go!

First of all we had to use paper tape on the car just to get the right shape for the decal. We drove the proper cut lines onto the paper while it was still on the car and then hanged the papers onto the wall. We took the photos of the figures, wrote down all the necessary measurements and finally put it all into the computer. There the design was vectorized and everything was equalized and re-drawn since it would have looked awful on the car the way we drove it by hand!

The installation was done by a 3M-certified specialist who is a partner of our company and often does work for us. I’m sorry I don’t have any specific pictures of the installation progress. I thought I took them but now I just can’t find those. What a shame…

Last photos are of the same Corvette in its new suit. I’d say it’s still work in progress since I’m still not sure about the sponsor stickers but the orange will stay as it is – that’s for sure.

 

My Audi is now officially sold!

So I decided to sell the Audi. The contract became effective officially on Friday. Me and my girlfriend loved the A6, so why did we sell it? Well, it was indeed a very good car. Saying good, I mean good to drive and with great performance. It wasn’t as reliable as I expected, though. I had never owned a German car before and didn’t really know what to expect. I probably spent around 1500 EUR on its repairs over the one and a half years I drove it. Even before selling it to the new owner, I fixed all the important things that had come up and he got a nicely running car without remarkable flaws. I wanted to make the deal so that I knew I was selling a working car and that I could sleep well after giving the car over to the new owner. We had a 14 day return period which ended on Friday and if I had left some issues unfixed, they certainly would have come up sooner or later.

Reliability wasn’t the main selling reason. I’ve had the Chevy Suburban for several years and altough I have tried selling it once, I finished that process before it really went to a deal. I’ve decided that this Suburban is a car I want to own for years to come since it’s a car with good history and it sure is remarkably reliable. However, when I had the Audi I was always missing the driving experience of the Chevy which I do love. It just has its own specialities which attach me to this car so strong. It doesn’t have full time 4×4, it doesn’t have all the electronics, it doesn’t have the same fuel economy FOR SURE, but it’s still awesome. It is one of those cars which has a soul and it felt like the Audi didn’t. The Audi messed with my nerves a lot of times in situations where you just didn’t want any trouble. I don’t even want to get to the details cause I’m not sure how many of you are interested in them, but well, I hadn’t had any other car behaving like this. The Chevy has had its problems which have always been fixed but none of its issues have been so urgent to fix that I couldn’t even drive the truck and most of the things have always been an easy repair. The engine was messing up last winter by not starting up properly and consuming too much fuel with Check Engine light on also. I remember I thought that it might be something serious with the electronics. However, it ended up being the water temp. sensor located on the thermostat housing. Disconnect the single cable, take the wheel wrench, screw the old sensor off, install the new one and that’s it. 13 EUR well spent. The truck ran a bit rough right after and then stabilized shortly. The check engine light later went off and haven’t seen it ever since. I think the only very serious issue with the truck was this Summer when the intake manifold started to leak coolant quite rapidly and I had to drive it to the service shop where it was fixed for 200 EUR.

Don’t get me wrong – I loved the Audi and it served us well during the period we had it. Basically, I decided that since I already owned the Suburban, the Audi didn’t really have a proper status in our fleet of cars anymore as we are now living in town again and the distances driven are not so long. Good luck for the new owner and happy new kilometres!

Things going on with my cars these days:

The Suburban is working nicely and we serviced it a couple of days ago which included oil change and replacement of air, oil and fuel filters. The usual stuff.

Today I bought new tires for the Suburban. Since the winter is coming, it was about time to find a good replacement for the current Cooper Discoverer M+S tires which don’t have much tread left. So I was able to acquire four little used BF Goodrich All Terrains! They are basically like new and I got them for like half the price of new ones. What a nice deal, really. Will be installed next week and I will then post pictures, too.

The Suburban is still lacking some fine audio equipment. Tomorrow I will be testing an Alpine subwoofer with a friend and I will probably buy it to improve the bass effect in the car. It will certainly improve it a lot, that’s for sure.

The Corvette is in its garage and the yearly inspection has expired. I won’t inspect it this year anymore, it’s put away for Winter and waiting for next Spring. Meanwhile I am planning some engine work during winter since the engine is sometimes puffing out some blue smoke and I will check other items as well. I will work on the interior and try to fix some paint issues. I will be updating you fellas here on my blog.

So, that’s it for now. Enjoy a memorable picture of the Audi taken last winter. It looked nice:

Winter in Estonia - Audi A6 C6 3.0 TDI Quattro

Update on my 3 cars

Hey all,

Summer is a busy time and in addition to personal life I also have to do multiple jobs. However, I thought I’d give you an update on how all the 3 cars are currently doing.

Corvette:

This must be my most reliable car of them all. I can say that after the new brakes were installed in Spring, we’ve driven this car around whole summer without any need for maintenance. Well, ofcourse I do the oil changes and filter changes as necessary, but nothing has broken or worn out. Somehow everything just works. Recently though the starter began to demand a bit too much energy and is rotating the engine slower than it did. Just need to take it off some time and send to rebuild. Nothing serious anyway. The retractable lights are having some vibrations when going over bumpy roads and this is a rather usual thing with such lights on any car. The construction and retraction mechanism wears out and causes a play to some degree in the whole construction. We tried to tighten the light systems and had some luck but to make them perfect I have to remove the front bumper assembly and disassemble the lights a bit for better access underneath. This car is certainly turning heads around the city every time we drive it. Some people want to race and the others just want me to spin the tires from traffic lights. The exhaust is really loud now and in the combination with manual gearbox you really get the greatest bang for the buck. All I have to do is take the foot from the gas pedal when the RPM is somewhere around 4500 RPM and the rumble which then comes from the engine is absolutely stunning. I must record it one day for you to hear.

We also attended the end of July American car cruise in Tallinn and we took some nice photos, too. It was rather enjoyable, although I really prefer driving the Vette a bit stronger than just idling in the convoy :)

1979 Corvette C3 in front of Estonian Parliament Building
1979 Corvette C3 in front of Estonian Parliament Building

See more photos of the cruise…

Audi A6:

Our newest family member the year 2005 Audi A6 is behaving nicely. It’s a really economical car with around 31 MPG (7.5 liters per 100 km) average from my experience. Sometimes in the pure city driving it rises a bit but not significantly if you don’t utilize all the 165 kilowatts. I did find out an issue with the car shortly after purchase and it was in the transmission – apparently the torque converter lock was worn out and therefore began causing RPM jump and later really noticeable torque jump at constant speed. Fortunately there are still some nice car stores around – they agreed to fix that issue themselves no questions asked and some time ago I got the car back from the repair. Now everything is perfect. By the way, the torque converter issue seems to be a typical problem on these vehicles when I made a quick search in Google.

All in all, I am VERY glad that I decided to buy the Audi. It’s a very good car in every aspect – nice looking and elegant, very well made interior, great handling, 4 wheel drive, economical yet powerful diesel engine, perfect factory audio system etc. I really recommend it!

Chevy Suburban:

When the Audi came the Suburban was replaced as my daily driver. Since I moved a bit away from the city we have a lot more driving and the fuel economy of the Audi is about 3 times less. At the moment the truck is certainly the least driven of all our cars and sometimes we just take it out for fun. It’s a cool vehicle to drive but I must say that if I just want to go around and drive for pleasure, I prefer the Vette and for all the other needs I use the Audi because it’s just so comfortable and also cheap to drive. We also use the Suburban to tow a trailer when we need to. Sometimes just around the horse farm.

The car itself runs fine and the only issue with it is the steering pump which is leaking. It’s a new (refurbished) pump and it basically began leaking after just a few months from installation. Quite sad, really…

Corvette failure on the road – did the 220 mile trip give it a “push”?

Yesterday I had to use the Vette to get some things done in the city since the Suburban’s alternator was in repair. We were driving normally at 35 mph and suddenly I noticed that the GEN light went on and the voltmeter dropped to 12 volts. Car was still running fine and although my girlfriend told me before the GEN light came on that she heard a strange knock sound, we both thought it was probably a road bump or something. I decided to pull over to the next fuel station but Merlin suggested to drive to her father’s workplace which was also close, just in case something had to be repaired at location. When in the car, I thought that probably the generator plug disconnected or some wire went bad. However, when we finally stopped, I came out of the car and noticed smoke coming out under the hood. I immediately stopped the engine and pulled the hood open to see whether there is something burning under there. I immediately saw that it was actually the coolant boiling from the overflow tank and actually it had been dripping onto the road for a few hundred meters on our way to the destination. I really don’t know how I did’t look at the water temperature at all since I kept looking at the voltmeter all the time. I guess you just overlook certain things which are “always” so normal.

So, ofcourse, what had happened was that the alternator – water pump rubber belt had broken and didn’t pull things around anymore. We managed to get a new belt in a couple of hours and after replacing it, we were happy to see that the engine was still running fine and everything began behaving normally again. Had I driven it longer like that, the engine could have gotten hurt. So, next time you notice a voltage drop, CHECK THE OTHER GAUGES TOO!

1979 Corvette C3 Coolant Leaked 1979 Corvette C3 Engine - Belt Broken

Longest trip this year so far – 220 miles

Yesterday me and my girlfriend Merlin had a wonderful trip on our Corvette to Southern Estonia. We had a wonderful time and although the weather wasn’t sunny, it was at least not raining! I must say that it’s tiring so take a long trip in this car, especially as the driver, because it does not handle like a new car on the road, you constantly need to be prepared to make instant corrective actions with the steering wheel and there’s no cruise control on our Vette. The noise is enormous – I can say as a pilot that it’s at least the same as in a piston-engine aircraft. All the wind noise, engine noise and everything else is so loud that you really have to almost yell to speak to each other understandably. Nevertheless, it’s a C3 Corvette and that’s just the way it is. You just have to enjoy everything that comes with this experience and hope your ears forgive you one day. Will see what I will be writing 40 years afterwards, though. And, stopping at a gas station and coming out to the car seeing people walking around it with happy faces and taking photos – well, it’s something that just makes you care even more about the car – simply to show something nice and different to people who see such cars mostly only in the Internet.

The reason we took the long trip was not just about driving – it was to go and see our two months old horse baby who’s still with his mother and has to stay with her till the end of this Summer. Then we can bring him home. Our new horse is called Calvados and he will become a beautiful grey stallion.

We took a few photos and they are here for you to see: