Updates from February, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

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

    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.

  • John Morris 3:03pm on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Plant City,   

    Strawberry Festival 

    Join me Saturday at 8AM at the Lantana Turnpike Rest Area if you wish to convoy up to Plant City with me

    • Robert Burr 6:36pm on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      John, text me 305-439-1376 when you arrive. I may be there earlier.

    • DJ 11:15am on Thursday, February 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      My wife say every year that we want to go to this, but we always have a conflict. This year, picking up some furniture Saturday morning. GRRRRR.

    • DJ 11:20am on Thursday, February 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Doesn’t look like I can edit my previous post….

      My wife and I say every year that we want to go to this, but we always have a conflict. This year, picking up some furniture Saturday morning. GRRRRR.

  • Robin Burr 8:13pm on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: meetings road trips   

    Denise and Jim just put together the Railroad… 

    Denise and Jim just put together the Railroad Museum Road Trip. I think all of our members contribute in one way or another. Not every event is for everyone, and I think it is nice whether we get a large or small turn out. I think everyone should throw things they are doing out there and if someone wants to go, they will! But certainly no one should be offended if you end up going by yourself.

    I know for Rob and I it is very difficult to drive 90 minutes to go to a meeting and then another 90 minutes home – unless we are just up for a drive and feel like doing that. Personally I would like to see the meetings rotate around so we have one towards the south once-in-a-while. Honestly, you are never going to make everyone happy!

  • Rosalyn and Brian Scherf 2:53pm on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply  


    I have suggested many events to attend and about 99% of the time, no one attends. This past Saturday, I invited members to come as my guest to the U of M donor family picnic at Lion Country Safari. It was a nice long ride to get there. The cost was $15.00 which included park admission, parking, and all-you-can eat for lunch if you arrived there by 12:30PM. We had a great day at the park, the animals were awake and doing all sorts of things, saw baby giraffe’s, and then went out to dinner at the Texas Longhorn restaurant and had a really good meal. Only 2 people from the Miata Club came. In November, when I hosted the reception at Anne Kolb nature center, I did a lot to prepare for a nice buffet dinner and not even one representative came from the club. So please don’t say we aren’t trying to schedule things. I know not everyone can come to all events and John shouldn’t have been held accountable for the low turn-out in February. He can’t control who comes and who doesn’t. Now on March 10th, there is a Fun, Furry, Festival for Abandoned Pet Rescue. It is 12N to 4PM. I will be there. So if anyone wants to stop by before you go to the Miata meeting, you are very welcome to come. Rosalyn

    • Doug Quara 3:07pm on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate your comments, Rosalyn. Unfortunately, you may be a victim of scheduling. I know at least one of your events was on the same day as a scheduled Miata club event. And again the FFFestival you mention above is in conflict with the monthly meeting. Bad timing? Maybe more club members would attend if your suggestions were considered the “official” non-meeting event for the month. In the past, we had two events: the monthly meeting, and a “road trip” event. I don’t recall exactly, but I don’t remember any of your suggestions being the “road trip” event. Maybe it doesn’t need to be that formal, but two events per month is more than enough for Tammy and me. I am also a member of another car club, and we both have numerous interests, usually limiting us to less than one Miata club event per month.

    • Robert Burr 3:43pm on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Karl also posted an animal rescue event. Although we are a car club, anyone is welcome to post a somewhat related event if club members might reasonably be interested.

      Some of the most successful events require a bit of extra organizing. Don’t be discouraged by the process. If you have an idea, see if others are interested, but don’t cross the line to being frustrated if you don’t get the expected response. If three people attend a nice event, that’s just fine.

    • jim 6:03pm on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Perhaps the club would like to participate in the parade celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in Wilton Manors. The date is June 16th. If you would like more details, contact me via email.

  • Mark Gilbert 7:35am on Monday, February 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply  


    Fellow members,
    Our club is at a crossroads. Over the past 3 months I have been unable to lead the charge in coordinating events due to illness in my family. John has reached out to everyone for help but other than Gary who planned some events, not a soul seems interested in stepping up to help. We have 175 members in this club. You signed up for a reason which I assume was to participate in the club yet no one now wants to give a hand. John and Rob sent out a note in this months newsletter imploring folks to step up. Sadly, if no one does I fear our club will go away. Certainly out of 175 people we can find 12 who are willing to handle the planning of one months event/road trip. Please take the time to get involved. It is a great club and would hate to see it disappear.

    • Doug Quara 8:02am on Monday, February 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry, Mark, I understand you are under a lot of stress in your personal life with your family illness, but I’ll be blunt: I call BS.

      We had discussions at meetings on getting people to volunteer to conduct events. We solicited and received many, many great ideas for road trips. I suggested and volunteered to organize trips to Pelican Harbor Seabird Station and Corkscrew Sanctuary. We even discussed that the best month for the latter would be March. You yourself even suggested that we can combine it with another event in that area (I believe it was some sort of seafood event, or maybe the Strawberry Festival?). But there was never an official schedule of upcoming events that included this suggestion and confirmed “yes, Doug, please go ahead and make those arrangements”.

      The club never published an official event calendar. It might be a situation where the club is waiting for someone to say “This is the date for this event”, and the person chairing an event is waiting for word from the club “This is the month your event would best fit in the schedule.” That is certainly the case for my Corkscrew Sanctuary suggestion.

      (I’ll ignore the fact that you are regrettably not remembering that over the last few years I organized track days at Sebring, Homestead, and Palm Beach International Raceway, as well as encouraging participation in SCCA Track Night America events.)

      Please step back and take another objective view of this situation. Yes, we need people to chair individual events, but we look to the club leadership to orchestrate from month-to-month.

    • Robert Burr 9:11am on Monday, February 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not sure we need to ring the bell of dire and doom. We have lots of members involved in planning and executing events. Yes, there are problems with Lester’s Diner so we’ll meet at 84 Diner again as we have in the past. They are welcoming and appreciate our business.

      • Mark Gilbert 10:50am on Monday, February 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Doug, Gary and whomever else I may have overlooked in making my statement, I sincerely apologize. I want the club to be the best it can be and that is why I pushed to a fault most of the time to try to bring new and exciting things to the table for our members to do. It just frustrates me that things seem to be backsliding some in my absence. I’m sure it will get all sorted out and things will be great. Sorry for my rant. I did not mean to upset anyone.

    • Robert Burr 2:42pm on Monday, February 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Mark, you are a beloved and valuable member of this group. Your concerns are appreciated and respected. You don’t owe anyone an apology. Let’s find the best ways to move the club forward, develop great programming and have more fun.

      • DJ 5:01pm on Monday, February 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Mark, first I want to thank you and everyone else that puts a ton of effort to volunteer your time to organize events. I would like say it again, thank you for volunteering. However, please keep in mind that you are volunteering and that you cannot force people to volunteer.

        That being said, I am also sorry that I cannot attend the meetings any longer as Sunday dinner is family time for us.

        Maybe with the change in venue, we can return to a lunch schedule and I may be able to attend the meetings again. I do not want to volunteer for stuff and make suggestions if I am not able to attend the meetings, as I do not want to step on toes or make waves.

    • Doug Quara 3:20pm on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I have been a member of socially-oriented clubs, many of which were car-related. I was secretary of the Fort Lauderdale Mustang club back in the mid-80’s. I am a member of the NSX Club of America. I have participated in and volunteered for track and autocross not-for-profit clubs and and for-profit companies. Nearly universally, the successful ones had one thing in common: a benevolent dictator. A club such as ours needs such a person to steer the club, set the tenor, organize and follow through. Not saying he or she needs to do everything; quite the contrary. A good leader knows how, when, and what tasks to delegate. Lou and John shared this responsibility for as long as I have been involved, and it worked incredibly well. After expending much effort, Lou requested less involvement. John already is heavily involved in the local British car club. I understand that in the past Karl fulfilled this role. I don’t know the history prior to that, but from what I understand and have viewed myself, these three did a wonderful job. But maybe it’s time for a new person to fill this role.

  • Osvaldo Suarez 4:03pm on Friday, February 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , black, ,   

    2016 MX5 Club For Sale 

    Hi to all, and I hope I’m doing this correctly. I’ve been on a few meets with the club for the last year or so, and I just registered. I have something to offer to the members here.

    I’m selling my 2016 MX5 Black On Black Club edition with manual transmission.

    The car is very clean with only 5560 miles. I bought it brand new at Greico Mazda in May 2017. It now rides on 949 Racing 6UL wheels wrapped by Yokohama S drive 235 tires. It’s got a Willwood big brakes kit, and rides on a fully adjustable set of JRZ two coilovers with Karcepts sway bars. Plus a stainless muffler from road sport that I bought from another member here.

    I have all the original parts which go with the car as well. This car is still under the 36 month bumper to bumper warranty for one more year. This car rides like a proper sports car which has been garage kept and babied.

    I don’t know how to post pictures, but I can text or email anyone interested any pictures they want.

    I’m asking $23K and can be reached at 305-898-0163

    • DJ 5:26pm on Monday, March 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      This is a REALLY clean car. It is basically brand new with so few miles. I have driven this car, wish I was in the market for a ND.

      Good luck with the sale, you porcupine!

  • John Morris 7:13pm on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: May Event or Road Trip ?   

    May event or Road Trip ? 

    There is no event planned for May if anyone who would like to lead an event of interest to the club. Please let me know or post it on our web site.

    • Anonymous 8:41am on Thursday, February 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Folks need to step up and help out by hosting one event/road trip each year. This club should be more than just eating dinner at Lester’s.

  • Andrew 10:14pm on Saturday, February 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Back Up Camera and CarPlay Install 

    If anyone is interested, today I installed both Carplay and the OEM backup camera in my 2016 GT. Overall it took about a few hours requiring only fours screws and two 10mm bolts to be removed. The rest of the dash comes apart like a Lego set. The bumper requires cutting with a utility knife and drilling of the dense foam to make space for the camera.

    The two scariest parts was doing the firmware update (could brick the CMU) and cutting the rear bumper for the camera. Note, the OEM camera requires a much larger hole than the Ventura camera.

    Saved myself a bit of money as the dealer wanted $400 plus tax for the Carplay and probably another $200-$300 in labor for the camera. If you do the Carplay, you really should do the backup camera since you have already removed all the parts you need. To me, that was the easiest thing to do.

    Ordered Carplay parts from Ebay (Mazda OEM parts) for $155 including shipping and the camera and cables from Amayama for around $326, although is could have been $16 cheaper had I waited another week or two. Both arrived within 2 weeks.

    Last weekend, I added sound proofing material to the trunk and rear bulkhead wall. About a five to seven pounds of material yet it makes a significant difference in reducing noise in the cabin with the top up, about 5-7 dB per my meter. That doesn’t sound like much, but it is quite noticeable. Planning on doing the floor boards and doors soon.


    • Robert Burr 10:45pm on Saturday, February 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, what difference to use google maps and waze rather than the MX-5 built-in navigation system. And, the upgraded USB port charges the phone much faster. I’d like to see it at the next meeting.

    • John Morris 7:32pm on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Andrew that sounds like some precision work. I hope you can be at the next meeting and tell us all about your installation. Looking forward to seeing it. I also installed a new radio unit in my NC. I put in a Pioneer with car play,siriusXM radio and a backup camera. I did not install it myself. I have a great radio installer if someone is not as brave as you.

    • Andrew 2:08pm on Thursday, February 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Hi John,

      I plan on being at the March 10 meeting and willing to go over the procedure for anyone interested. The install of both items was fairly easy to do, just requiring a bit of care and taking your time. Its mainly plug and play. I held off on both items as I was weighing the difficulty of self install vs dealer cost.

      I could not justify paying the dealer and with the help of many on the forums who have posted videos and detailed instructions, I took the shot. I think the videos and instruction come across being more difficult than it really is. Don’t get me wrong, one can easily make a mistake and break or scratch a part due to the wrong tool, being impatient, etc..

      I actually wasted over an hour trying to figure out why the camera was not displaying, taking things a parts and rechecking everything. Had to walk away to check the forums and found out that the CMU had to be reset by holding down three buttons on the center console for 20 secs, not the 3-5 seconds I was doing. Others had to disconnect and reconnect the battery cables for the same thing.

      So, live and learn from other people’s experiences.

  • Rosalyn and Brian Scherf 3:49pm on Saturday, February 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Abandoned Pet Rescue, Fun Furry Festival, Sanctuary Church   

    Come join us at the Fun Furry Festival 

    Come join us at the Fun Furry Festival on March 10th, before the Miata monthly meeting, from noon to 4pm on the grounds of Sanctuary Church, 1400 N Federal Hwy Fort Lauderdale FL 33304.

    There are crafts, things for the children to do, and pets up for adoption, all benefiting Abandoned Pet Rescue.

    Is that one time a year event that connects Animals For Adoption, Animal Rescue or Rocks, Artisan Battle Live Children’s Paint, Children’s Bounce Houses, Art Jewelry and Crafts, Mobile Groomers pet Photo Booth and Pet Fashion Show.

    tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/furry-fun-festival-tickets-55439358614

  • Mark Gilbert 7:35am on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Congrats to Bruce Winter – 30th Anniversary MX-5 

    South Florida Miata Club member Bruce Winter was able to secure one of only 500 of the 30th Anniversary Edition cars. Can’t wait to see it.

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