American Beauty Car Show 2012 Drag Race – Gallery


Corvette Club of Estonia - Corvette C6 Shown

We ofcourse participated at the annual American Beauty Car Show in Haapsalu, Estonia and we took it full power this time. Since me and a few other guys are now running the official Corvette Club of Estonia, we set up two tents with three Vettes under them, a TV screen with GoPro on board camera footage and I was also doing stickers sales there under my company Red Rock Decals. The event was very successful for all of us. Corvette Club of Estonia and Red Rock Decals 1979 CorvetteUnfortunately it was the first year in the event’s history when weather still somewhat ruined it – we got several heavy thunderstorm rainfalls and strong winds. The drag race was also almost cancelled but I had some great weather information from the weather radars we use at work and therefore I said to the staff with confidence that the rain will stop in 30 minutes. And it did :) It was the first time for me to try my Vette on the track. Since the engine build is still underway and I’m estimating around 270-300 HP at the moment from this engine, I got 15.27 secs for quarter mile which is not good but satisfactory for me considering the remarkable wheel slip on take-off and bad gear shifts.

Anyway, below is the gallery of the event! Photos taken by my girlfriend Merlin.

American Beauty Car Show Drag 2012 - Plymouth Barracuda
Click the image to see the full gallery!

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

Spring is HERE!

Hey all,

Winter was a very busy time for me and I didn’t have much time to write in my blog. I’m so sorry about this. It’s still good to see you’ve been visiting me and plenty of e-mails have popped in during this time despite the lack of new posts.

But finally, Spring is here! We are all just SO happy about this since this Winter was extremely painful. There was so much snow, a lot of cold and that means a lot of pain in the a** for just about everyone living here. Cars don’t work too well in such conditions, on newer cars it’s easy to break the bottom frame protection plastic with the snow and so on. Those of you who don’t see Winter very often and are jealous at us – don’t be! Really, it’s not as good as you might think. Yes, there is snow. I think I can still find it from somewhere and I can send it over to Abu Dhabi in a box if you wanna see it so much :) Everyone should experience snow in their life just to see what it’s like and experience the winter “pleasures” like skiing and such. But having all that junk for almost half a year is NO GOOD. Alright, enough of this snow talk.

So, how did our cars live through the Winter? Well, first of all the Vette was ofcourse in the garage so she didn’t really mind. It was cold, yes, but what harm does that really do… However, the Audi and also Suburban were in constant use (especially Audi) and these did experience a few issues.  I can remember that in the beginning of Winter Audi showed its battery light and after some while the systems began messing up and everything died quite suddenly. All the electronic systems inside began to switch off one by one like in a crashing jetliner (yea, it was night in my case, too!) and soon even the transmission and engine began acting real weird. They are completely electronically controlled so what else would you expect… Anyway, I recharged the 110 Amp battery and drove it to service the next day. I first thought that the battery had finally died down in the cold and the systems didn’t want to charge it anymore. However, it wasn’t the case. In fact, the alternator brushes were gone so they had to replace those.

We also cracked the bottom protection a bit and managed to hit an ice ball so hard that a bit of the front bumper paint came off from one place. Should have it fixed soon I guess…  Although that didn’t break anything, I once drove off the road into the snow on a street simply because it was a curve, suddenly such a huge cloud of snow came at night during snowstorm that it just blocked my view completely and since I saw lights of another car coming towards me, I decided to keep to the right and that’s when I hit the snow wall. And there was no help of the Quattro there! We were so stuck that I asked a plow truck driving by to pull us out and he broke his towing rope. Then soon a Dodge RAM passed by who was gladly willing to help us and pulled us out with no big effort. The next time (well, 20 minutes later) I got stuck while just driving in the middle of the country road. The snow had blowed onto the road so much that it got really tough there. Ofcourse I didn’t push the ESP OFF button soon enough so the traction control didn’t let me push gas anymore which brought the situation to a stuck end. There was absolutely no way to get out of there by ourselves since the Audi was sitting completely on its bottom. Soon enough a tractor drove by and although we didn’t have a rope, he drove to the next fuel station, bought a rope for us and came back to pull us out. There are some nice people left in this world, huh?

We didn’t get stuck much more but it was just a lot of pain all the time trying to live your life normally.

But anyway, the spring!!! It’s here, just like I said. As you see, I can’t be happy enough about this fact. It’s a very important milestone this year, I’d say :)

Corvette C3 Daytime Running Lights LED

The Corvette is out of the garage and just before I took it out, I installed the high quality LED daytime running light bars to the front. They are invisible when they are off and nicely glow under the grilles in the nose during the daytime. Although the law requires them to switch on and off automatically depending on the headlight switch setting, I decided to wire them through a separate switch in the “cockpit” so I can always decide myself when I want them on. Interestingly, there is a feature on these lights which automatically dims the lights by about 50% if you shoot 12 Volts to one of the additional wires. S


o, I decided to configure them in an interesting manner somewhat resembling the new Audis. Whenever the turn signal is blinking, the LED light dims to 50% while the turn signal lamp is glowing. It’s a really nice effect and probably also adds a lot to safety. I’ll try

to get a video of that for you in a short while.Corvette C3 Daytime Running Lights LED with Sidemarkers

The Vette passed the technical inspection without issues and we’ve been driving it around for a couple of weeks now. The radiator was leaking from last Autumn so I had that repaired and the driver’s side electrical window had lost the last teeth from the moving mechanism so it wouldn’t move totally up and instead made terrible noises. The teeth were repaired and now everything is OK. Ofcourse I’ve been also configuring the carburetor but seems like I can never get it perfect…

The Suburban decided to fail big time… Driving it a week ago we noticed there was something dripping to the asphalt all the way behind our route and I figured out it was coolant. Firstly I thought that it could be the rear heating system pipes since the leak seemed to be near that area. However, it happened to be the typical Vortec engine issue instead – the intake manifold gasket. G

ot it from the shop yesterday and now it’s OK.

A year ago I had the starter and flywheel replaced on the Chevy. However, where I had that job done the guys apparently didn’t know how to properly install the starter on this car and by now the flywheel looks a bit like an elderly grandma with not much left of her teeth anymore. That was found out yesterday in the shop, as well. I was really mad about this because now I need to replace the flywheel AGAIN. And probably from my own pocket. At least I won’t take any of my cars to that shop from now, that’s a FACT. It was close to my home so it was always comfortable to take the cars there, but their job quality is now beginning to show itself. When fixing the starter a year ago they also managed to mess up the distributor clamps which hold the distributor cap in place. They had fixed that with a pair of cable straints and called it done. Now the distributor housing probably needs replacing, too. How can someone work like this? And how could I be so stupid not to act on these things earlier? Should have complained about their distributor solution at least!

Anyway, a  couple of photos from weeks ago of the Vette with the new lights installed :)

Oh, and a little Winter memory from a couple of months ago…

Estonian Winter Road

How’s the Corvette doing…

Alright, I’m ready to share some updates on the progress of restoring the floor pans and carpeting in my ’79 Corvette. Things have been speeding up in my garage again after a pause of a couple of months due to cold weather. After cleaning the floor pans, I went through the whole process of POR-15 protection. It means that I cleaned the pans with Marine Clean, then applied Metal Ready, cleaned it up and finally painted two coats of POR-15 black rust preventive paint. Now these floor pans should be good to go for at least several years to come and they fortunately hadn’t caught any serious rust damage before I began the restoration.

Here you can see some photos of the floor pans after being painted with POR-15. I must say that painting the pans was basically very enjoyable as a job and certainly nicer to do than cleaning the pans with wire brush which I did some time ago throughout several evenings.




As you can see on the second photo, the bird cage part behind the floor pans is a bit uneven on the lower side, but this is not bad painting or rust – it’s some kind of compound used between the floor pan and the bird cage. I’m not sure if this was the method used in the factory or if the floor pans have been replaced at some point in the hands of the previous owners, but such kind of compound sealing is visible also in other parts of the floor area. Since the bird cage was already painted with some good rust protection paint and in the areas where the old paint had come loose I didn’t notice any sort of rust damage to the bird cage at all (it was shiny metal), I decided to paint over it and consider it good. The old paint was still so good in most places that I didn’t feel like brushing it all off and doing the same job again. Since the car has been restored approximately 10 years ago, I think this is one area which was certainly taken care of.

Since people have been complaining in the forums that the floors are transferring a lot of heat into the cabin thanks to the exhaust pipes running underneath them, I decided to completely heat-protect the floors. I used a certain kind of heat/sound insulation material which I bought from a car audio store. It came with its own glue already on the mats so it was a rather comfortable job to make the mats fit and glue them to the floors. In some places their own glue wasn’t enough so I used a spray glue especially made for such purposes. Helped a lot indeed! I was told by certain experts that it’s not necessary to COMPLETELY cover all the surfaces of the interior in order to repell heat and noise. It’s ok to install the mats in pieces, too, so that’s the method I used in more difficult areas like the transmission housing. Should keep most of the heat away.

I wasn’t too critical about sound insulation and didn’t buy extremely expensive mats for this purpose, because it’s NOT my intention to make this car a subwoofer-hut and I want to keep it closer to the state it came from the factory while also taking into consideration certain personal wishes of mine. It’s a hobby sports car which I take out on sunny summer days and I want to enjoy the V8 rumble.




I must say that although the carpet is already in the car and almost completely installed, I don’t have any pictures to show as of yet. I want to finish the interior completely before showing new pictures. I’m hoping to get the car ready tomorrow but my time schedule hasn’t really been very accurate the last days.









Oh, and remember this center console piece which I had professionally leather-covered?


The grey color is somewhat off and doesn’t fit the seats or the whole interior. I sent it back to the shop for re-painting and I will receive it tomorrow. It should be an exact match with my white leather seats and I’m very anxious to see the result.

Finally a video clip for you. I just wanted to start up the car too much and couldn’t wait till it’s all done. So I put the driver seat loosely into the car and started up the engine. I must say that it cranked up almost like new, although it hadn’t been started since late Autumn 2008. Hopefully the engine won’t give me any troubles when the time is ready to go driving.

How to remove 1979 Corvette C3 headlight switch

Here’s my first contribution to the do-it-yourself guys who are not so familiar with their Corvettes yet and want to fix the typical things. I am now going to explain how to remove the push-pull type light switch that controls headlights and dims the dash lights. It’s a fairly easy job. My car doesn’t have the driver-side heat duct installed which goes above the feet so I don’t know how to remove it. I’ve read it’s quite simple to remove and if you can’t figure it out, try searching Corvette Forums.

Disconnect the battery!

1) Firstly you need to open the screws which attach the front gauge plate to the dashboard. They go around the lens and all of them need to be removed.

2) Now reach under the dash and find the large plug that goes into the instruments block. There are locker buttons on both ends of it, try to squeeze them and then pull the plug out. In case you can’t do it right now, wait until you have pulled the instruments out from the dash a bit. Might be easier to reach then.

3) You need to remove the speedometer cable. It goes into the middle of the speedometer and there is a knob that has to be pressed in while pulling it out. You need to do this with one hand and this is one of the most annoying things in this process. You will feel the moving tab above the cable and push it fully in. Now pull the cable out. You may have to rock it slightly but too much force is not necessary.

4) Go under the dash again and find the two big bolts which hold up the steering column. Remove those to lower the steering column a bit. Don’t worry, it will not fall when the bolts come off. It just drops down by an inch or so.

5) Now start pulling the instruments block out from the dash. It slides straight towards you, skidding a bit on the steering column. In case you haven’t disconnected the electrical plug yet, now is the right time to do it. You will probably find that the instruments will get a bit stuck at the steering column and you will have trouble getting it out from there. I managed it by pushing the steering column downwards with just gentle force so it lowered enough to get the instruments out.

6) You will be able to see the light switch through the dash hole. In order to get the switch off from the dash plate, you must pull out the knob to its fully open position. Now put your finger under the light switch inside the dash and try to find a small round button. It has to be pushed up (towards the roof of the car) and while holding it in, you can fully pull the light knob out and remove it.

7) You can now use a big flat screwdriver to open the bolt that can be seen from the front side of the dash and light switch area. The switch will come loose.

8) There is a huge white plug connected to the switch with a bunch of wires going into it. Gently disconnect it by applying nearly equal force to the opposite sides of the plug.

9) There are two vacuum pipes going to the right side of the switch. Pull those off. Make sure you mark them somehow in order to correctly connect them back later.

Congratulations! The switch is now removed. The easiest solution would be to replace it with a new one (priced around 50 US dollars). In my opinion this is the way to go and I’ll be doing it myself, too.