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March 2018 in review

volvo with engine replacement in progress

Welcome back to another installment of the monthly blog! March was all about engine swaps at Stew’s Self Service Garage. We had four different cars all do engine swaps this month, which is our highest amount of swaps in one month to date. We always love seeing engine swaps happen as they are deemed one of the more complex jobs for one to DIY. One of the swaps was even live streamed on Twich, which was certainly cool to be able to check in on and see the progress happening live.

We have been working hard since January on bringing the single biggest update to Stew’s Self Service Garage since opening. I am going to leave you guessing as to what’s going on here, but this is the reason as to why we have a CNC router at the shop. The white tables in the middle that are under the large grey object are vacuum tables that we designed ourselves. To be able to fully hold the material down we had to use vacuum to keep the material from pulling up in the middle off the machine table. I’ve spent the past 3 months spending over 60 hours per week learning CAD (computer aided design) and CAM (computer aided machining) to keep to our true spirit of DIY. You’ve likely seen a lot less of me lately because I’ve been so focused on getting this working. After months of testing, we are finally ready to start cutting into the actual material. 

I am expecting that you will be seeing the big reveal sometime in April or early May. So be sure to stay tuned to Facebook to see the reveal as it happens! I will also be taking you on an in-depth behind the scenes tour on how it happened. 

Mclaren 570gt on challenger lift

I of course have to briefly talk about the McLaren 570gt that was in during the month. I was super excited to get this car onto our new Challenger 2 post because I was confident we would be able to get it onto the lift without needing to drive onto blocks. No blocks required, and we just spun the pucks right up onto the jack points, which was super easy! The McLaren was in for just a quick inspection, but it was certainly a brief distraction for everyone. 

Like I mentioned in the last blog, I not only want to take you behind the scenes of happenings at the shop, I also want you to know me a little better. This means I need to talk about Mariners baseball returning as Opening Night was the 29th. I have been a huge baseball fan since as long as I can remember, and I played baseball through high school as well. I became a Mariners season ticket holder in 2015, and have attended more than 50 games each season. I also will attend my 1000th MLB game later this season, which I am excited about. My goal is also to visit each of the 30 MLB stadiums before I turn 30. Last year I went to St. Louis and Atlanta for baseball to check off 2 stadiums. This year the plan is to attend games in Arizona and San Diego when the Mariners travel there in August

Also in March Formula 1 returned! My other favorite sport is the pinnacle of auto sport. I’ll watch every race, and a few of them live even when they are on at 5am. I am not at all a morning person, so waking up at 5am for anything, let alone a race is pretty rare. I of course have to cheer for American Team Haas, but my favorite drivers are McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. I think Team Haas is likely a year or two away from being serious competition to the top 3 teams, but they have been competing better than expected as a new team. I’m debating trying to attend the USA Grand Prix in Austin in October, if you’ve been to an F1 race, convince me to go!

 

That’s it for this blog post! Check back next month for another update, and hopefully a real behind the scenes look at our biggest update since opening.

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