My name is John.

I’ve been a professional mechanic and tuner for the better part of 14 years, a hobby turned lifestyle as it were. Back in 1997, there was no way you could have told me working out of my garage and street racing with friends would lead me down the path it did.

Having owned a shop and worked in the field of aftermarket performance parts, I can tell you it’s not glamorous or highly profitable. Many consumers or enthusiasts look at the import models, flashy cars and rims and wish they were a big part of it. Trust me… it sucks for the most part.

Dre had it right when he said “Best friends and money, I’ve lost them both”

So now instead of working in my own shop and dealing with customers, I’ve returned to the roots of my hobby, working in my garage once again on cars at my leisure.

I dyno tune using my own personal Dynojet 448x and provide these services for those interested, you can email me for details at stockspyder@gmail.com

In the end, I’m just a normal guy with a weird sense of humor who is happily married to the only woman in the world that can put up with my constant BS.

I’m also a huge hockey and football fan, and have worked for several professional sports organizations in several different positions. I also spent some time writing for Bleacher Report, which exposed me to the great blogging platform that WordPress is.

While my experience with Bleacher Report was a pleasant one, I left because there is little to no quality control there, and a lot of the writers and readers are just moronic. Writing about hockey and about the San Jose Sharks in particular can lead to some pretty ridiculous comments from Bay Area “fans”

My writer profile is located here under my pen name “John Phen” and my twitter account “SharkPhenSoup” http://bleacherreport.com/users/161635-john-phen

While I bleed teal and my roots with the Sharks goes back to their inception, my girlfriend team happens to be the Montreal Canadiens. Quite the odd combination I’m aware.

I left B/R on less than desirable terms, and while my writing there helped my writing style tremendously, I wouldn’t recommend it for the serious sports blogger. Still, without Bleacher Report I would have never met so many tremendous sports fans and writers.

For a short list of some writers I still follow, please take a look at my links page.

While I have written about several teams and sports there, I have a favorite article which I would like to share with you here :

Top 50 NHL Goaltenders of All-Time

You can stay posted with what’s going on with me by checking out my links on the sidebar!

Friends of Stockspyder.com


18 thoughts on “About

  1. Bleacher Report does kinda suck donkey balls. I go there just to check out if there is anything to read A’s wise as a last resort. The writers there don’t really seem to know much of anything regarding the A’s.
    Remember, although you’ve lost money and some friends, you haven’t lost them all. And if you didn’t live in EFFING Tracy, we’d still kick it.

  2. Hey john i dont know if you remember me but my name is dave smottz and i had a 99 gsx that i brought to the old pro street on winton sometime after your article. maybe 2001?

    i thought i had popped my motor but after you diagnosed it with a leaky front seal u just sent me on my way instead of charging me for inspection or any labor.

    anyways wanted to say thank you for everything, u always had the rep of a good tuner but your an even better person bro. gl to you.

  3. When using the Apexi NEO, is it a guaranteed thing once installed, with no other issues to cause it, that the MIL light will be on after install? I live in Texas, and the yearly testing says no SES lights on at all to pass, so if that is the case, I couldn’t install it on my car. Thanks for the help in advance.

    • There should be no check engine light on your car, unless its for something like secondary 02 failure or threshold error. When you say MIL I assume the vehicle is OBDII?

      What car is it? MAF or MAP?

  4. Thanks for the reply! It is a MAP system. The car (and please continue to reply after I tell you, haha) is a 1997 Saturn DOHC 1.9 liter. I’ve completed the install of a turbo kit on it using a Mitsubishi T25, and the side mounted intercooler.The injectors are 27lb currently, but at 5500rpm and up (redline is 6800), the wideband reads ‘RCH’ and power falls on its face. I’ve installed the Walbro 255hp, and am using the BEGI rising rate regulator, but the regulator is all the way out at 1:1. I’ve got the stock WG (8psi) venting at 10psi instead, in the hopes it would lean me out up top, but it didn’t. I won’t go over 10psi because of it is a stock head gasket, stock head bolts along with stock rods (the pistons are 8.5:1 forged). Can you tell this was a budget build? haha. I’ve ordered 25lb injectors in the hopes that a little bit smaller flow rate will lean me out on the top end to help. If not, I’ve already bought a NEO and am just waiting to see if these injectors solve the problem. In my state, if the SES/MIL light is on, it won’t pass so that was the basis of the question. If it left the light on, then that wouldn’t be a viable install for me. Any suggestions (yeah, yeah, I know…trade the Saturn for something else)? If you care to waste your time and take a look, I’ve got a small website up with some of the install catalogued there. http://www.saturnpioneer.webs.com. Thanks for your help!!

    • Kurt, interesting project you have there. So your check engine light is which code? do you have a scanner? Post your code here.

      From the sounds of it, your CEL is probably secondary 02 related, as your overly rich condition is dumping fuel and causing your rear 02 to freak out and think your cat is missing or dead.

      What is the static fuel pressure of the rail at idle? I am not familiar with your rising rate style regulator, but a 1:1 seems AWFUL rich. At this stage though, you need some sort of management, and the NEO should work just fine.

      You can either move to a rising rate regulator like the one here : http://www.prostreetonline.com/x/blox-adjustable-fuel-pressure-regulator.asp

      These regulators are 12:1 usually, and are universal. If you set your stock fuel pressure, you should be able to get away with this kind of rough solution until you get your NEO installed.

      But really, if you have a NEO on the way, you really have no use for the 25# injectors, as you will be able to lean out the mixture. I would also check your MAP sensor voltage, to ensure it is within the range of the NEO 0-5v.

  5. The code I am seeing primarily focuses around rich upon initial startup, that is expected especially right now. The stock injectors rate at around 19-20lb’s so I’m hoping the drop from the aftermarket 27’s, to 25’s, will help that situation a bit. I’m also going to replace the bank one 02 sensor with a denso unit, as opposed to the bosch I have in there now. I saw the switching differences between the two on the wideband gauge and the denso was much faster. Of course, until closed loop, there isn’t anything the o2 can do about pulling fuel out so at that point, I think the NEO would help.

    My PCM doesn’t have any tables for fuel or ignition changes under boost. The stock Saturn’s PCM can’t be programmed either. Its a funny one and a good challenge for those of us that like to get outside the mainstream. The stock pressure (which is handled with the stock regulator) is at 40psi right now. That is factory set, and non-adjustable. Otherwise, I might turn down the pressure a bit to help with startup up richness and overall pressure at WOT.

    The original goal was to turbo this car, on a budget, do as much myself as I could, all without aftermarket engine management. I know the Megasquirt is out there, for both timing and fuel, along with the AFC, but I really wanted to see if what I was going to do would work without it. Thus, the attempt to get an injector small enough to not cause overly rich conditions at most engine operating points, while also having enough fuel for WOT conditions and not overpowering the stock pump.

    As for the top end lean condition, I’m hoping that with the rrfpr I have, (cartech/bell engineering unit) will do the trick. The reason I’m running this one is I’ve had issues in the past with another project I did on a Saturn where it was crackling from detonation at only 3psi of boost. Turns out that this particular regulator has an onset of gain feature where it will start to bump up fuel pressure before the manifold sees it, to offset a lean condition that comes about, particularly with smaller, early-spool turbos like my T25. Once it’s in full boost, the rising rate side of the regulator kicks in. I’m okay with the onset of boost lean condition, its tuned out at 11.5 or so, but the top end, full throttle richness is from the injectors being too large. The regulator is turned down to its lowest setting, but still there is too much fuel.

    If the 25lb injectors don’t take care of it, I’ll install the NEO. At that point, I’ll also lean out the startup enrichments with that. I am with you, I knew the NEO could tune my setup out, it was only that if I used it, would I then have a check engine light from the NEO’s interception, and change to, the stock injector’s feedback, etc.

    • It really just sounds like you need to wire in a NEO and lower your duty cycle at idle. Considering your specs, I see no reason why the NEO couldn’t do this for you.

      What are you using to datalog the car? do you know what duty cycles your injectors are at now when the car falls pig rich? All things considered, if you are not approaching the IPW threshold, the NEO seems to be a far easier and concise method to achieve your goal.

      Hope that helps! Let me know how it all turns out! Best of luck.

  6. As for datalogging, I work at a repair shop so I do have the TECH2 factory scan tool to use but have not tried to log yet, as I thought a simple stab of a set of large enough, small enough injectors would do the trick. I just got ‘TORQUE’ on my android and bought a chinese bluetooth obd adapter. It just came today as a matter of fact and from what I can tell, it will be great for AFR’s, datalogging, etc., code reading etc., all wireless and for a total of about 30 bucks!

    As for duty cycle of the injectors, I’m not sure. I can see if TORQUE has that reading but if not, the TECH2 should be able to tell me.

    The fact you told me that from your experience the NEO will not throw a check engine light by intercepting and changing the values, that is very encouraging and i will pursue that if it comes to it.

    Thanks so much for your willingness to help! I will report back when I can to let you know.

  7. One last question if I dare to take any more of your time. I looked through the pictures of an event on your site (tremendously well done pics by the way) and I saw a Datsun 510 with some fender flares on there. They appeared plastic. Of course the Saturn’s panels are plastic so I thought I might get a set and see if they would fit the wells good enough. Do you know of which ones I’m talking about. They were on a green datsun, old-school. Very nice looking car.

    Thanks again!

  8. By size, I take it you mean how wide I need them to extend from the body, correct? My answer earlier was surrounding perhaps what size the actual wheel well was, and I would have to measure that. Sorry for the miscommunication.

    If its how far from the vehicle it extends out, I’d say about the same as the one pictured, or 6″ might be good. Would that be doable?

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