Updates from July, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Blas Rolando 3:11pm on Monday, July 1, 2019 Permalink |
    Tags: ,   

    My SFMC T-shirt (Personalized) 

    I ordered my T-shirt at Vista Print as shown.

    I ordered my t-shirt at Vista Print as shown.

     
    • Anonymous 4:10pm on Monday, July 1, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Nice sailboat…..Perfect South Florida personalization.

  • 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 7:16pm on Friday, June 7, 2019 Permalink |
    Tags: Club Tee shirts and Tags, name badge,   

    New Club Tee Shirts and Name Tags 

    I have ordered shirts and name tags for some of our members. Looks really cool and gets us all on the same page.

    Shirts will be $28.95 for 2 sided and $22.95 for just the back. Your choice. No tax or ship charge.

    Name tags will be $11 each and I will group under 1 shipment as I get orders. Will collect money owed at the monthly meeting.

     
  • 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.

     
  • Robert Burr 9:49am on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 Permalink |
    Tags: automatic transmission, , recall   

    Mazda MX-5 Miata Automatic Transmission Recall 

    Mazda is recalling 2016-2019 MX-5 Miata sports cars with automatic transmissions because an electrical problem could cause the cars to suddenly lose power and potentially result in a crash.

    More than 14,000 cars are affected. Mazda says it’s not aware of any crashes or injuries related to this issue.

    Vehicles recalled: Approximately 14,370 model year 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata sports cars with automatic transmissions.

    The problem: A software problem in the transmission can cause an unexpected downshift, which may cause the vehicle to slow abruptly.

    The fix: Dealers will update the transmission software in affected vehicles at no charge to owners, a Mazda spokesperson told CR.

    How to contact the manufacturer: Owners can call Mazda at 800-222-5500. A Mazda spokesperson told CR that the automaker would notify owners of affected vehicles by March 29, 2019.

    NHTSA campaign number: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has yet to issue a recall number for this campaign.

    https://www.mazdarecallinfo.com/

     
  • Mark Gilbert 7:23am on Sunday, January 6, 2019 Permalink |
    Tags: ,   

    Vista Print Semi-Annual Sale 

    VistaprintVista Print is running their 50% off sale for anyone interested in designing their own t-shirts for club activities.

    Use promo code: exclusive

    Tees start at $4.99.

    https://www.vistaprint.com/

     
  • Andrew 3:07pm on Saturday, December 29, 2018 Permalink |
    Tags: , , repair   

    Dr. ColorChip Review 

    With all the fun we had driving the Tail of the Dragon, my car came home almost without any insult from the road. The PPF did its magic, but since there is no film on the doors, I did sustain three very small scratches; I heard the rock hit (graze was more like it) while on the highway).

    Anyway, the point of this post is to demonstrate the value of Dr. ColorChip. From what I have read and viewed on YouTube, its only designed to color in the chip/scratch and not give you a blemish free repair. For that you will need to sand/fill and spray paint the area.

    The primer coat of the Soul Red paint is white as you can see in the photo. I did 3 applications of the paint in an attempt to fill in the scratches. its goes on very easily and a bit scary when you first put in on as you essentially smear small dots of paint around and over the damage area. You end up over painting quite a bit. That is how it is applied, without any precision and minimum skill. Then after a 2-5 minutes to dry, you wipe over the area with the sealant to remove all the access paint using the enclosed lint free towel and using a flat light wiping action. You wipe with light pressure to remove the extra paint while not pulling the paint from the scratches.

    The process worked as instructed and took the access paint off while leaving the damaged area painted. Afterward letting it dry some more I applied my detailing spray to remove any remaining sealant and leave a high gloss.

    I had a hard time finding the scratches afterwards to take a picture. Although the shot is a closeup where you can still see the edges of the scratch, once you step back a foot or more, you can’t see it. The high gloss on the door creates enough reflections that makes the scratches invisible; it filled in the white primer paint.

    I plan on doing another 2-3 applications in a month or so and see if I can do a better job. Overall, I am very pleased with the product. I bought the basic kit and added the small squeegee, approximate $49 with shipping/sales tax. There was a 15% holiday discount that helped.

     
    • Anonymous 3:18pm on Saturday, December 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I also used Dr. Colorchip on my RF. It works great. Like Andrew said, it doesn’t fill the chip completely but covers it so the chip is almost unrecognizable. Great product!

    • Robert M 7:37am on Thursday, January 3, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Where do you buy it. I have chips on my reflex blue, only black shows thru on the rear bumper

      • Anonymous 11:56am on Thursday, January 3, 2019 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Online via their website. Google them. You will need the color code found on the label located on the driver’s side door frame.

  • Andrew 3:55pm on Thursday, July 5, 2018 Permalink |
    Tags: error, failure, , Screen   

    Alert – Infotainment Center Issue 

    Heads up for anyone with a ND:

    On Monday, I noticed that the LCD screen on my 2016 GT was displaying 4-7 white thin horizontal lines (see attached photo). It is most prominent on startup and fades a bit with use of the applications. I noticed when I was using the Nav and saw that parts of the map was broken up by the lines.

    I usually set the display to off unless I am using the Navigation system or listening to music. So perhaps it might have started earlier. The car is garage kept and although I was driving it for about an 1hr in the sun, the display was not too hot to the touch.

    Off to the dealer I went, knowing that most likely the display will need to be replaced (not in stock) under warranty. On a computer system its either the video card or the monitor. Plus the dash will need to be taken apart to replace the unit (it would be nice if I could get them to pre-wire the display for a backup camera – wishful thinking).

    Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on the outcome. There is some chatter in the MX-5 Miata forum discussing the screen going completely blank. This has not happened to me, but for anyone with a hack, I would start to consider on a way to remove it should the need arise to have the display replaced. Not sure if they would argue that the issue is due to a hack and voids the warranty. I have not hacked my system, its what some were saying on the forum.

    The entertainment center still functions it’s just the lines are annoying and indicative of pending failure.

     
    • Robert Burr 4:12pm on Thursday, July 5, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks, will keep an eye out for such issues.

    • Andrew 10:02am on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      July 10 Update: All fixed; zoom zoom again. Gunther replaced the display unit (list for approx $1100 plus labor) under warranty and they did it an hour. Yesterday I received a call from Teri (service rep) advising they received the part. Set appt for 8:30 today, arrived early and it was done; no hassle or issue.

    • Mark Gilbert 6:25pm on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Glad you got it fixed without any issues. Guess Cathy made it there without a problem.

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