I've posted the first half of the first DIY Guide for installing Aston Installations' Android Auto/Apple CarPlay kits. I realized as I was taking pictures for the specific components and how they connect that I was using an augmented kit rather than the normal one, and ended up confusing the bejesus out of myself in the process because it wasn't going together the way it normally would. My plan was to have the first DIY Guide done earlier today but that's not quite the case as of right now. I've prepared myself to burn the midnight oil and may end up getting it done by sunrise, though.
In the meantime, here's a video giving an overview of the installation job.
The scariest part of the job is removing panels. Once you've done that, you just need to run the wiring looms and then connect everything. There are a lot of connections, which can get confusing quickly - the problem I had writing the DIY - but it's actually easier when doing it in the car because the connections are lined up in ways that are hard to mix up.
I've been completely buried and I'm still way behind on numerous write-ups for both Redpants and Redpants Unzipped. I feel like saying "I'm behind on things" is just beating a dead horse, but it is what it is. One of those write-ups is for the AMOC Canada West event that I spoke at about a month ago. Steve McEvoy over at Aston1936 uploaded a video showing the event to his YouTube channel.
That event was awesome and I want to attend more of them. I got invited to Dubai for some events out there, coincidentally bookending my birthday. I would absolutely love to go, but I'm way too short on time and money to do it this year. I'm dumping every penny I have into making some big things happen, so unless an airline and hotel decide to sponsor the trip, I wouldn't be able to do it this year (I hate having to say that because I've always wanted to go to Dubai).
Since it's relevant: That lovely brake squeal you hear from the DB11 around the 1:30 point in the video above is getting sorted. I've got prototype pads already shipped and on their way to someone for testing right now. They're for the DB11 and New Vantage with iron rotors (not carbon/CCM rotors). Quite a few people have asked me about fixing the brakes on those two cars and I'm really happy to say that I'm not too far off from having it sorted for you.
Another product getting sorted is the GMR Supercharger Kit that's still in the works. I first announced that I was bringing GMR to the US in a blog post on July 2nd. I was hoping to be much further along by now, but that didn't quite pan out. Let's go over what's happening.
I've been told that I was a major influence for Aston Installations going back to the drawing board to completely redesign their offerings to be exportable and install-friendly. The result was the Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Installation Kit that is now available, which gives people around the world the ability to have their cars updated with more modern technology than was offered by the factory - or still is, since the new generation of cars doesn't have it, either!
Previously, all of Aston Installations’ work was done bespoke for each car, which meant they needed to have their hands on the car to get it sorted. GMR has been in the same position as Aston Installations used to be. The only way to get their kits installed was to either ship your car to them or fly them out to wherever your car is - either way an extremely costly thing for anyone not in the UK or Europe. I found this out myself when I first sent them an email asking for details about their products a few years ago. But last year I met with them while I was in England, test drove their GMR 600 Vantage, and started the conversation of making export-ready kits.
I've been told that, again, I was a major influence in them going back to the drawing board to redesign their offerings. Damn, I wish I had that much sway on Tinder...
Over the last few months, GMR have been making some major revisions to their supercharger kits. Among them are additional built-in safety measures, components for a simplified installation, and more performance upgrades.
Graham's background is in aerospace, so redundant safety systems are second nature to him. There haven't been any issues with safety thus far, but going to an export-based business model means they need to double down to make sure they consider as much as possible. The new electronics also eliminate the need for cutting and splicing wires, making installation a much less stressful affair. And the performance upgrades, well, that's the main reason for the delay. It isn't just for performance, it's also for necessity.
The previously utilized milled aluminum intake manifold is no more. The manufacturer is no longer making these for GMR so they had to look elsewhere. They ended up getting manifolds made in carbon fiber. The bad news is that this will surely make the cost rise. The good news is that the redesigned intake manifolds make installation easier, reduce weight, and allow for better airflow. That last one is where the real performance benefit comes in. GMR expect the new intake manifolds to make the same amount of power with less boost, meaning the engine will be less stressed even under full boost. They were previously seeing a peak cylinder pressure increase of 10% with their supercharger kits compared to the factory setup. By needing less boost to make the same power, that cylinder pressure increase compared to stock should be reduced, leading to an already-safe system becoming that much safer.
The new manifolds are in testing and, once approved, we'll be able to move forward. I know a bunch of us are waiting for these to start shipping but GMR and myself are both going to do things the best way we can, which means making sure everything is perfect before we start taking orders.