Tag Archives: Flyin’ Miata

Mazda MX-5 Miata Maintenance Day

This father’s day my friend Bill and I decided to fix another issue both of our NC Miata’s were having… my rear stabilizer links were making a clicking sound ever since we installed the Bilstein shocks. His Miata seemed to have aftermarket end links where one of them was ripped out of it’s socket because of possible incorrect install to his massive Flyin’ Miata rear stabilizer bar. So Bill ordered the parts online, came over and as soon as we got the car up on the RhinoRamps it started raining… so we went to the Diner for breakfast. On the way we also stopped by at CarQuest to pick up some more new end link nuts because the old ones on my car were showing signs of wear and I didn’t want them to get stripped. He paid $3.30 apiece at the Mazda dealer… I paid $3.30 for a box of 4 Dorman aftermarket pieces. They looked the same.

Fast forward to some better weather and replacing the end links turned out to be a rather quick job. We did Bill’s car first. Taking them off was easy. But placing new ones on seemed to look weird because they went in on an angle when attached to the stabilizer bar… I was worried if we fastened them in this condition, it was possible that they might fail again.

Luckily we had my car nearby to see exactly what they were meant to look like in correct condition, as installed from factory.

So another idea was to take mine off. Replace them with new ones. And use my old ones as guinea pigs on Bills car to see if they would last. If no failure happens after a few weeks of driving we’ll go ahead and replace them with the new ones. So that’s what we did.

Ironically though, the clicking didn’t stop once we installed new end links on my car. Turns out they were not the problem I was experiencing. Instead it appears that the actual stabilizer bar was bending in such a manner that it was making noise when the chasis of the car twisted on various road conditions, particularly when going onto uneven surfaces, like up a driveway or into parking lots, or hitting pot holes.

I was disappointed that the problem didn’t get fixed, but as we were tinkering under my car I discovered that my differential was covered in fluid and grime. It turns out that the last time I did Castrol Syntrax flush to replace the Mobil 1 75W90, I did something wrong. It’s possible I didn’t tighten the bolts enough. Or that I overfilled the differential. Or that my car didn’t like the Castrol product. I was so concerned about it, I ordered another jug of Mobil 1 since it was proven to work well for a good 20k miles, and did the flush later on in the day. So far after the test drive the car feels smooth. There’s no whine at cruising speeds. And all is well. What I’m concerned about now looking at the old Castrol that I drained from the diff, is a bunch of small aluminum shavings. That doesn’t seem normal to me.

But I guess time will tell if there’s a bigger issue.

Today was a very productive Sunday!

Miata Fiata Radio Meeting Daniel Cooper in Atlanta and Talking NC Miata’s, Track Builds, Experiences

Woo Hoo, we got our first real guest on the Miata Fiata Radio podcast: Daniel Cooper who moderates the NC Miata Group on facebook with over 1.3k members.

Daniel did a lot of work to his personal 2006 True Red Miata. The car looks absolutely amazing and very aggressive… it is primarily a track car at this point with plenty of laps around Road Atlanta and Atlanta Motor Speedway in this area of Georgia.


Miata Fiata Radio – Chat with Daniel Cooper in Duluth, Georgia… about NC Miata’s, Track Builds, Road Trips and Stuff

We recorded in Daniel’s garage looking out on our two cars parked outside… here’s some pix:

And the recording set up, a table we made with NC wheels:

And the best part of the podcast… dinner after at a local BBQ joint:

Miata’s at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca 2016 is a GO!

Happy to report that I’ll be attending the Miata’s at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this October (10/1 and 10/2). I won’t have my NC with me but the flights have been booked and hopefully my rental car is something cool… as much as I can’t afford this trip I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see this event first hand, check out the big MX-5 car show, and watch a bunch of owners take to the famous track with their Miata’s. I also missed the opportunity to sign the Millionth Miata when it was in Germany at TidM or closer to home at Wayne Mazda on their NYC stop of the tour or the Easton Mazda on the Philly stop. Hopefully I’ll get to autograph it myself.

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I’ll also be staying for the week after until Pirelli World Challenge takes to the same race track for their season finale. I can’t wait to marshal at Laguna Seca again… I’ve done the Corkscrew corner before from several different stations and different points of view, hopefully this time I’ll get to experience another vantage point.

Either way it’ll be extremely exciting.

So far I’ve used some frequent flyer miles to fly JetBlue from JFK to Oakland and Virgin America from San Francisco to Newark. The flights weren’t as cheap as I would hope to find them, but about $129 going and $159 back if converted to cash. The car rental from Hertz was similar amount, though I’ll keep checking to get a lower rate. I’ll also try to rely on CouchSurfing to keep my accommodation costs down.

This is going to be a blast and a fine way to end my marshaling season… what an adventure it has been so far!

Cars & Croissants in Morris Plains, NJ Feb 2016

It’s a great time to be a kid growing up in America! As corny as it sounds when I was a kid, little die-cast model cars were the closest I had come to exotics, sports cars, muscle cars, classic cars, etc. Today, I went to a local Cars & Croissants event at the Dunkin Donuts in Morris Plains, New Jersey and the turnout was incredible. By my count up to two hundred maybe 100 cars were on display for all to see, many rotating in and out during the morning as fresh people came in to see what the fuss was all about.

This was like church for car enthusiasts. A Sunday morning get together in a little suburban strip mall parking lot with cars coming from as far away as Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New York. There were even a few Lambo’s with Montana plates but i’m sure they live in a Jersey garage somewhere and only come out on sunny days.

My goal was to see other NC MX-5’s in the lot… and I found a beauty with abig Flyin’ Miata sticker just before I left the event:

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Mission accomplished! But there was so much more to see… Miatas:

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There were NA’s with the standard round pop-up lights.

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There were NA’s with custom rectangular pop-up lights.

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There were NA’s with custom dual-round pop-up lights.

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There was an NB Mazdaspeed version with the factory Turbo.

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There was also a lot of snow still on the ground residue of “winter”

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There were Motorcycles all over the place.

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Plenty of classic and historic cars in attendance.

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Right hand drive JDM imports like two of these Skylines.

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American muscle, sports and touring cars.

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Italian sports, classic and touring cars.

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Lexus has an HQ nearby and brought plenty of “F” show specimens.

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The finest British cars…

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Lots of fast German cars…

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even American electric sports cars…

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Race cars!

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…and of course Coffee & Donuts… no  croissants though 🙁

But for a kid it was like being in a candy store… I absolutely love these type of mixed car events!

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Who says the Acura NSX is a rare car? Here’s about half a dozen…

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So much similarity between these Italian’s from FIAT.

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I’m looking forward to attending more of these C&C events locally and when I travel to volunteer around the country. What a great way to see awesome cars new and old… variety galore!