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  • Mark Gilbert 3:09pm on Friday, September 27, 2019 Permalink |
    Tags: article,   

    Miata Is Always The Answer…. 

    From humble beginnings in the form of British roadsters, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has grown through four generations to establish itself as the widely accepted king of cheap, easy, fun to drive cars.

    Ease of maintenance and modification built the MX-5 Miata into the garage tinkerer’s dream, and its lightweight chassis, 50/50 weight distribution, and and terrific handling have cemented it as the unofficial SCCA track car king.

    Remember, no matter the question, Miata is the answer.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tA3ZxRRkdd4

     
  • Mark Gilbert 7:02am on Sunday, September 8, 2019 Permalink |
    Tags: , showdown, sports car   

    Miata Is Still Always The Answer! 

    https://www.tflcar.com/2019/09/sports-car-showdown-review-2019-mazda-mx-5-miata-vs-toyota-86-trd-special-edition/

    Two seats, rear-wheel drive, a manual transmission, some sticky tires, and enough power to light em up when the urge strikes. The basic ingredients of a sports car haven’t changed much over the years, and if you’re lucky enough to have a large pile of cash, there are quite a few brilliant examples available today. Unfortunately, for most of us, these pinnacles of automotive performance are all but out of reach.

    Sure, we have plenty of sports sedans, hot hatches, muscle cars, and even SUVs that claim to be sporty—all of which are also available for less than a fortune. But a true sports car for the masses is sadly becoming rarer.

    Luckily, Mazda continues to build the torchbearer for affordable performance. Now in its fourth and arguably best generation, the MX-5 Miata is pretty much the go-to answer for driving enjoyment on a budget.

    Not to be outdone by their Japanese neighbor, Toyota and Subaru entered into a partnership over a decade ago to develop their own small, affordable sports car. Sold as the Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S, and now Toyota 86, the Toybaru has gained a loyal following of enthusiasts, many of whom take advantage of a thriving aftermarket to mod their cars.

    The recent introduction of a TRD Special Edition model to the 86, as well as an updated engine for the MX-5 Miata, provided an excellent rationale to test these two cars and see which is best.

     
  • John Morris 3:42pm on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 Permalink |
    Tags: Motor Trend Story, opinion   

    Road & Track Article – Cars Are Nothing Without People 

    Short Opinion Piece From Motor Trend:

    Road & Track Article – Finding The Human Element /Cars Are Nothing Without People.

     
  • Andrew 7:12pm on Saturday, June 15, 2019 Permalink |
    Tags:   

    Mobile Tire Install 

    As an option for those who rather not take their car to a dealership or tire shop and wait, today I used a mobile tire installer associate with Tire Rack.

    Given that the front suspension on our Miatas is quite sensitive to wheel weight and balance, Goodwin Racing recommends that you have your tires balanced using a Road Force Tire Balancer. Road force balancers, in addition to performing a traditional spin balance, measure both the wheel and tire by pressing a large roller against the tread of the spinning tire. The roller applies 1,200 to 1,400 pounds of pressure to simulate the weight of the vehicle on the tire as it rolls down the road.

    There are not many places that have this machine typically your premium cars dealerships. According to Tire Rack, there were only a small number of installers using this machine. For any other car this is probably an overkill, but for a small extra cost I think its well worth it for the Miatas.

    So, I ordered a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S in 215/45 17″ size, the suggested limit for a the stock 7″ wide wheel. Tires were delivered to the MobileTireExperts.com in 2 days, Tire Rack even called up last week to ask if I would prefer delaying the order as Michelin was starting a $70 rebate this week (which dealer would tell you to wait on buying so you can get an additional $70 off?). This mobile installer was the highest rated installer in the area, but being skeptical, I called Tire Rack and confirm the company’s quality installs and reviews.

    Once delivered the mobile installer called me and set a next day appointment. As you can see from the photos, they did the work on my driveway. A peek inside the trailer shows all of the needed equipment. Everything was operated via a quiet generator. The tires were installed to my pressure specifications and hand torqued. They used care in manually removing my McGard lugnuts.

    Overall very pleased, will use them from now on.

     
    • Mark Gilbert 5:41am on Sunday, June 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Will be needing tires soon too as I reached 25,000 miles on my original set. Going to opt for the new Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS I think. Always have had good luck with that brand and the tread width on their 215’s is the widest I’ve found.

    • Andrew 7:10pm on Sunday, June 16, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      GOOP – After the tire install, the removal of the old tire weights left quite a bit of gummy adhesive on the wheel. The installer advised me to use GOOP. I did not fully believe him as I use it for oil, grease and paint removal from my hand, but after trying adhesive removal liquid with limited result, I tried GOOP.

      I should have trusted the installer, its works. Although you still need some elbow grease with a paper towel to rub the adhesive off, each wheel took about 5-10 minutes minutes to do as each wheel had about 3 inches of thick sticky residue. The GOOP is also good for clothing stains as reed on the packaging; never would have thought.

    • Steve and Tracy Dillon 9:02am on Thursday, June 20, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’ve had great experience with TireRack. Having done a TrackNightInAmerica i get $70 for that. My last set of tires I received 3-$70 rebates (SCCA Member, Factory Rebate, TNIA Rebate).
      Between the 2 Miatas with track use, I’m ordering 2-3 sets of tires a year.

      When ordering some autox tires (245/40-17) I had tire track call and say “That is listed as ExtremeTrack Fitment” and ask if I was sure.

      I also had an issue with a TireKingdom install. They were listed as HunterRoad Force but did a terrible job balancing and they charged more than the RateCard listed at TireRack. TireRack called TireKingdom, got me a refund, they then called another shop, Firestone Complete in Coconut Creek, verified Hunter Road Force Availability, and setup an appointment for a re-balance.

      For the 17×7 standard wheel and Street/Track use I really like the Continental ECS (Extreme Contact Sport) , They come in 205/45-17 and 215/45-17 are priced well and currently have a $70 rebate through end of month.

      I had Mixed feelings about MobileTireExperts, I used them once, After tire delivery, it took 4 days to get an install appointment. They day of the appointment he was running a couple hours late (he texted and so not that bad of deal), but he was late because ‘a bunch of people had their tires arrive yesterday and wanted them installed today’. What about me and my appointment?

      He’s a little more expensive but convenient. I’m at a point where I have multiple sets of wheels for the Miatas and now just throw wheels in the back of the truck, take it to firestone, and come back later.

    • Andrew 7:27am on Friday, June 21, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Originally I was going to use the Firestone dealer (a Tire Rack recommended installer) in Pembroke Pines who had the Hunter Road Force balancer. However, when they tried to convince me to buy the tires from them (would match Tire Rack prices), that put me off and decided to try the mobile installer given the excellent ratings (Firestone did not have any ratings, but I had dealings with them years ago). Plus I was concerned that unless I watched them do the install they would damage either or both the painted wheels cap I have and the McGard lugnuts which could be damage with an impact driver.

      My experience with the mobile installer was with the weather to which I canceled the initial appointment due to heavy rain and lightening. He was gracious to come the following day on Saturday morning. According to the owner, he puts in 10-12 hours daily and works 6 days weekly. I believe him as his phone kept ringing during the install. He normally works with his son during the weekdays and alone on Saturdays. He had expanded and franchised to various locations in Florida and plans on selling his business and retiring off the royalties. All of this started one day at the Homestead race track (he competed) when a bunch of drivers were lined up with a guy and his beat up truck to swap out tire; no balancer. He thought he could do it better.

      Like everything else in life, your mileage will vary. I plan on having a second set of tires/wheels primarily to deal with colder weather, have as a backup and facilitate installation.

  • Arnie Schwartz 7:30pm on Friday, June 7, 2019 Permalink |
    Tags: Body work, ,   

    Body Work on Miata 

    Members…

    I had PALM BEACH COACHWORKS in West Palm Beach do work on my Audi. Minor damage and cleanup. They worked on my girlfriends Jaguar and it came out beautiful.

    I decided to bring them my Miata (love of my life … in addition to my girlfriend) to repair scratches, and dings from stones. Also needed the car buffed out to bring back the color. OMG! The car is spectacular. They removed the pin striping (I hated from day 1). See pics below. All I can say is this is the place for any restoration work on the body. They work on high end cars from dealers but will take your car.

    See you at the next meeting. Contact grandpaarnie@comcast.net if needed.

     
    • Andrew 9:52pm on Friday, June 7, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Its looks beautiful, excellent and a great to know for when I need work.

  • Mark Gilbert 11:46am on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 Permalink |
    Tags: , touch-up   

    Scuffed Rims 

    For those of you who own NDs in the Club model trim — which has the dark graphite wheels — I found a resource for touch up paint, in case your wheels get scuffed. It is Testors paint #1153. It can be found in any hobby/craft store for $2.00. The match is pretty close to perfect.

     
    • Robert Burr 3:05pm on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      great recommendation, inexpensive and does the trick.

    • efrida auston 3:20am on Thursday, May 9, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for sharing this hepful info.

    • Andrew 8:44am on Thursday, May 9, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      You may want to thin down the enamel paint before applying and apply it in several thin layers. Testor also sells a thinner and you normally mix it in a very small tray and not in the same paint bottle. Also you will need very small/tiny brushes, found at hobby/craft stores.

      Additionally and assuming the damage is more of a nick/chip than curb rash, brush painting would work. Curb rash will require filing/sanding down the damage surface and spray paint since you are going to cover a larger area where brush painting will most likely not turn out well.

  • Andrew 7:50am on Thursday, February 28, 2019 Permalink |
    Tags:   

    Another Modification 

    I love to build things like models, furniture, bikes, landscape, etc.. My Miata is no different and even somewhat special as I can enjoy the benefits of a modification every time I drive. Since owning the car, I have made many changes, mainly for safety reasons, some for esthetics, comfort and others for performance or maintenance. Generally most of the modifications are not immediately noticeable.

    Until the 2019 models, you could not get the Club specs along with the GT features; the 2019 gives you both in the GTS. I opted in 2016 for the GT figuring it would be cheaper to add the Club specs (Bilsteins, LSD and STB) improvements later as needed vs the other way.

    Between this past weekend and yesterday, I added the STB (shock tower bar) to the GT. There is no clear definitive answer on the forums as to whether it improves steering response (mostly vague “feelings”), but since Mazda includes it on its Club model and Long Road Racing list this modification as standard on its Ultimate MX-5 spec, there must be a performance reason.

    If you have the ND GT and thought about adding this, it is an easy install only requiring hand tools. The cowl bracket has to be changed since the GT bracket does not have the two bolts needed to secure the brace. That part cost about $60 and up plus shipping depending on where you get it. I got mine from Amazon for $60 shipped and that was the cheapest I could find by at least $30. Its an OEM part from Mazda and uses the existing bolts from the old cowl bracket. Install is around 30-45 minutes.

    Adding the bar takes another 15-30 minutes. You need to know the torque specifications to avoid breaking the two cowl bolts. Note: If you have a Club, you can easily just change out the bar for another one.

    The brace (bar) comes in many flavors and price ranging from $90 to over $500 for the LRR brand. I did not bother with the OEM bar. They vary in materials and construction. In the end I choose the cheaper one from Mega Racing (out of CA and Japan) mainly on price. Picked it up from Ebay for $90 including shipping.; normally list for $120. Its well made, light (aluminum) and fits perfectly. There are several positive reviews on Miata.net regarding this model, but nothing that stands out. Other reviews on STB in general tend to state it reduces NVH in the ND (noise, vibrations and harmonic sound) front end, but they could not notice if it improved handling. All the more reason that I went with the lower cost option. I am betting that the construction of the Megan bar provides at least the same benefits as the OEM stock bar but with a nicer appearance in the engine bay.

    See attached photos.

     
  • Rosalyn and Brian Scherf 2:06pm on Sunday, August 12, 2018 Permalink |
    Tags: hotel, Naples,   

    Westin Naples Inn and Suites – near Revs Institute 

    We saw a nice hotel less than 2 miles to the Revs Institute – Westin Naples Inn and Suites.

    Roz

     
  • Mark Gilbert 12:29pm on Saturday, August 11, 2018 Permalink |
    Tags: 2029, ,   

    Great Reviews By Cars.com & Jalopnick 

    Here is the new review by Cars.com of the 2019 MX-5 with the added horsepower and other enhancements. You can tell the guy is definitely in love with the car. Aren’t we all!!
    Also a new Mazda commercial coming soon.
    https://jalopnik.com/the-2019-mazda-miata-s-extra-power-and-improved-cuphold-1828264024?utm_source=jalopnik_facebook&utm_campaign=socialflow_jalopnik_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

    https://www.cars.com/articles/2019-mazda-mx-5-miata-rf-increases-in-price-power-1420700934154/

     

     
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