Tag Archives: k&n

MotoAmerica Superbikes at NJMP Championship of New Jersey the debrief

It was a gorgeous weekend at NJMP Thunderbolt to watch some bikes racing. But the freezing cold overnight in my tent camping at the track kicked my ass. Much like Mosport in Canada last weekend my foot began to hurt a ton after freezing my toes off and I had a hard time walking on Friday… which sucked. It was so cold Thursday night I went out and bought another sleeping bag which improved my comfort the next two nights but not enough to make the arthritis subside and I limped my way through the weekend.

I didn’t let the injury dampen my weekend and soldiered on. The station assignments were fantastic this year. Like last year I worked Turn 12 on Friday and Turn 7 on Saturday and Sunday. It was fantastic! Probably as good as it gets really.

Turn 12

Turn 7

Looking towards Turn 6, where we had the first red flag of the weekend with a high side bike on the opening laps of the first race.

One of my British marshal friends was surprised I’m actually working an event in my home state… voila! It’s true.

NJMP got a new toy to add to the fleet of their Subaru’s… this nice looking (and sounding) Audi S3 safety car.

If you’re a bike fan, there was a lot to look at this weekend. And every time I work a bike event I really am tempted to go out and buy a bike of my own. Of course the sport bike that I want would require me to lose my gut to at least look normal on it.

Not much was out yet when I arrived on Thursday afternoon.

And a lot of familiar bikes were on display, but I was a bit disappointed to find out there is no visual spotter guide to help marshals distinguish the bikes. Or to help the fans for that matter.

Arriving on Thursday my goal was to go to the training/refresh meeting, which was neat. Dave does a great job. I was happy to see Dave using a pic of me Blue flagging (an IMSA race at Mosport a few years back) in his training material. I was surprised that there was only a handful of us in attendance though.

As cold as it was overnight, during the day it was super comfortable and warm weather. So much so I went out for ice cream one night.

It was delicious.

Big thanks to Brittany at NJMP for making this event possible for me, and I’m very much looking forward to another weekend down there soon for the NASCAR K&N East series. Interestingly enough the MotoAmerica Championship of New Jersey was presented by K&N also… whose filters I use on my marshaling rig both oil and air.

It’s going to be awesome…

Mazda MX-5: Oil Change Deal Castrol EDGE + K&N Wrench-Off Filter $22.99

Memorial Day oil change deal alert at your local Advance Auto Parts store… while I’m not due for an oil change and I still have a perfectly good jug of Castrol EDGE 5W20 from a previous purchase, along with a bunch K&N HP-1002 and PS-1002 filters for my Miata, at this price I decided to stock up on a few more.

The deal is $22.99+ tax for a 5QT Jug or 5x 1QT bottles of Castrol EDGE full synthetic oil plus a K&N Wrench-Off high performance oil filter… which at Advance Auto typically sells for $36.99 just the oil and $16.99 just the filter. Of course I like to shop around and have purchased oil and filters cheaper individually but in this case the combination of the two work really well, I’ll explain why.

Advance Auto is currently running a promo through American Express also, where you get $10 rebate on your AMEX card for a $50 purchase. Similarly, Advance Auto SpeedPerks rewards program allows you to earn $5 (coupon you can apply to a future $20 purcahse) for each $30 you spend. Naturally the $22.99 deal is after rebate, so the $32.99 you shell out upfront qualifies for this deal.

The Castrol EDGE Extended Performance oil is also on sale, a 5QT jug of that is $24.99 after rebate with the K&N filter included. So what I did was purchase both, sending my total with tax to $70… I quickly got an e-mail confirming my AMEX rebate. I’m hoping SpeedPerks comes through for at least $5 maybe even $10 since I spent over $60 (2x – $30) and in the end it will be a fantastic deal.

Almost as good as those end of fiscal year clearance sales where Advance Auto or AutoZone clear out their oil supply and sell 5QT Jugs of various oils for like $5 bux. But alas those deals are hit or miss and sometimes only apply for specific oils. For example two years ago I managed to buy Mobil 1 for $5 a jug, except it was only the 0W20 weight. I read about Pennzoil Platinum going on sale for a similar price but out of the three oils I have used in the Miata, the Castrol EDGE goes on sale least. And I found out it’s the oil that performs best in my car, yielding the best gas mileage!

So I’ll stick with it for a while.

Mazda MX-5: K&N Air Filter Recharge Kit #99-5000

Took advantage of the beautiful weather this winter day to do some maintenance on the Miata. Today’s project was to clean and recharge my K&N air filter. I bought the K&N #99-5000 recharge kit some time ago with a nice discount from Advance Auto Parts, but didn’t want to do the recharge too soon. Some said it shouldn’t be done before 25k miles others 50k miles. But since I don’t drive my Miata nearly as much as other people with K&N filters on their daily cars (anotherwords that 25k or 50k miles would take me forever) I decided to do the cleaning today.

I’ll say upfront that I didn’t put the K&N panel filter back into the air box after cleaning it, instead I popped the WIX paper air filter back in that only has about 5k miles on it, and left the K&N in the box so that the oil nicely absorbs into the cotton fabric of the filter.

I also took a look at my throttle body and it doesn’t look too oiled up. So that’s a good think, the biggest complaint about K&N air filters is that the oil goes all over the place causing problems. It doesn’t.

This job is fairly simple, though I decided to unscrew a few things to get to the filter easier.

People say that if you don’t take the car offroading than it’s OK to keep the filter in for 25k to 50k miles without cleaning. I obviously never went offroading in my car. But looking at this air box shot and under the hood in general you can clearly see a ton of grime that made it’s way into the engine compartment and that fine grit definitely finds it’s way into the air box.

Interestingly enough there were two large leafs inside the air box.

Doesn’t look too bad, you can see a bit of oily residue on the edge.

The most visible stuff on the dirty side of the filter were dead bugs

The 5k mile WIX air filter went back in while I was doing the cleaning, and it will likely stay in the car for a while, I’ll explain a bit later on as to why…

I followed the cleaning instructions. First I used a soft tip paint brush to get some of the dust and larger debris off the filter before spraying it with the cleaning solution. Left it outside for ten minutes and went in the basement to rinse it off. I used a bucket full of water to dip the filter in first, and then rinsed it under water. But looking up to the light it was clear there were tiny bits of dried lefts still stuck to the metal mesh.

I did not want to leave those little debris in there, so I got a soft plastic stick and gently picked those debris out of there, without poking through or anything just gently brushed up the debris out of the mesh and cleaned it against a rag. Was very happy I did that because I didn’t see any of the YouTube tutorials talking about this.

The tutorials suggested to let the filter dry outside for about an hour. But since it was still a cold day and getting colder towards the evening I decided to leave it outside for a few hours until it was dry.

Final step was straightforward but a bit worrisome for me. How much oil do you actually spray without over spraying? It’s definitely not good practice to put too much oil because that oil would end up in the MAF and throttle body. Which isn’t good… So I gave it sufficient (I think) but not overwhelming spray on each side of the filter. Then put it in the box and will let it sit for a while so it soaks in well before I put the filter back into the air box. I figured this is how the filter was when it was sold to me, who knows how long it sat on the shelf before I bought it, so I’ll leave it out of the car for a while, until I use up my WIX filter and throw it out when I put the K&N back in the car… (probably after the Florida road trip).

Easy peasy!

Mazda MX-5: Oil Change at 5,000 miles with Pennzoil Platinum 0W20 and K&N Filter HP-1002

Update: (Feb 2017) I wasn’t sure what was causing the car to act weird after this maintenance session at Chris’s house. Now that some time and mileage have passed I think I figured it out. And the result is a few issues. 1). part of the problem was the fact we overfilled the transmission fluid during the flush. There was an issue we found with proper checking of the level (which required running the car to get it warm, and then opening the check valve). 2). my car doesn’t seem to like 0W20 weight oil. I posted a few times that I don’t like Mobil 1 and now I can add Pennzoil Platinum 0W20 to the list. Both Mobil 1 and Pennzoil Platinum 0W20 turned real dark at just about 5k miles which shouldn’t happen. This makes me believe I should totally stick to 5W20 from now on. I’ve changed out the Pennzoil from this post with Castrol EDGE 5W20 and car feels absolutely perfect!


I don’t think I’ve ever had an oil change party with friends until this weekend, where my buddy Chris with a 2008 Silver NC1 GT PRHT offered to help me flush most of the fluids on my car while performing the same service on a bunch of cars in his household.

The plan was to flush the power steering fluid and fill it fresh with Mobil 1 ATF. Flush the Automatic transmission fluid with Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage ATF, and finally change my oil with Pennzoil Platinum 0W20 that I’ve had sitting at my home since about this time last year when I got the crazy deal from Advance Auto on two sets of oils (one 5W20 which I used up during spring, followed by two more Pennzoil Platinum 5W20 changes that I bought during the summer and now for the winter decided to go with thinner 0W20).

I’ll make separate posts for each maintenance item, so click on whatever interests you most:

I must admit that after doing all these fluid changes the car feels a bit weird and I can’t really pin point what the issue is. I’m sure it is fluid related because there’s a faint drone coming from either the engine or the transmission. Note to self: next time do one fluid flush at a time so if there is an issue like this it is easier to narrow down.

But back to the oil change party at Chris’s house.

The day started with a trip to the Subaru dealership to pick up an oil filter for his XV… then Chris changed his ’08 NC’s oil using Castrol Edge 5W20 Extended which I’d like to try in my car at some point in the future once Pennzoil stops being so cheap with all of their promos. While Chris’s brother Eric did an oil change on his Mazda RX-8 Rotary with Castrol Edge 10W30.

My car was last and oil was basically the last thing we did to it, but since it was the easiest job I’ll write about it first.

I was curious to see how Chris does his oil changes and for someone so meticulous as he is, he does it very differently than I do. He jacks the front, keeps the oil cap on, undoes the drain plug, the filter, and re-installs the drain plug with a new bolt that I picked up at a local Mazda dealer for $7.99 accompanied with a $1.65 crush washer. In all the oil changes I’ve done to my car to date I never changed the nut and the washer, but since Chris was doing my car for me, I had him do the same thing he does to his car, so mine also received the new bolt and crush washer. I typically jack the car up and put it on jack stands and when the fluid drains, I lower the passenger side so more of the dirty oil comes out. Chris doesn’t do that himself, which I found to be pretty interesting. Chris was surprised that his car took more Castrol Edge oil than it normally does using Mobil 1 oil which he has used in the past. Mine took the standard amount of Pennzoil that I typically use, which is just above 4.5 QT.

Some pix from the day:

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-0

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-16

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-17

My supplies, Pennzoil Platinum 0W20, new Mazda bolts and washers and a K&N HP-1002 filter.


pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-7

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-8

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-20

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-21

Chris’s supplies Castrol Edge 5W20 Extended Performance oil with Mobil 1 M1-102 filter.


pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-12

Eric’s choice: Castrol Edge 10W30 Extended Performance oil.

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-11

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-10

Seeing the RX-8 up close and personal made me appreciate that car a bit more, it’s surprising how massive it is compared to the Miata

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-9

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-13

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-22

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-23

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-25

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-24

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-26

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-27

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-28

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-19

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-18

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-15

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-14

Also pretty incredible how tiny yet thirsty the Rotary engine is.

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-3

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-6

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-1

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-2

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-4

pennzoil-platinum-0w20-oil-change-at-chris-booth-house-5

It felt good to finish up the day with the easiest job of the evening, the oil change… (which happened around midnight… Yikes!)

Now if only I could figure out why is my engine running louder on 0W20 compared to 5W20 and why there’s this faint shimmy going on that I could feel at highway speed which seems to come from the front of the car, around the engine area. (or possible the trans).

Click here to read about the tranny fluid flush or here for power steering fluid flush.

Mazda MX-5: Oil Change at 5,000 Miles with Pennzoil Platinum 5W-20 and K&N HP-1002 Filter

I’ve been looking forward to replacing my Mobil 1 synthetic with something different. This season I will be trying Pennzoil Platinum to see how it wears in my Miata. I bought two jugs last time there was a good deal on this product, a 5W-20 weight and a 0W-20 weight that I plan on using for the winter season. The deal came with a K&N HP-1002 oil filter that has a few neat features: 1). the top of the filter is nicely sealed in plastic so no crap finds its way in there while it’s in the box and 2). it has a convenient spot on the bottom for a wrench to slide in and tighten or un-tighten it which makes a world of difference in a tight space where the MX-5 has it’s oil filter.

The oil change has been done at 42,459 miles which is 5,162 miles since the last one and just a week since my 3k mile road trip to Florida. I was not terribly surprised to see how dark the Mobil 1 synthetic got after just 5k miles. They advertise extended range performance of 10k and even up to 15k miles, but I wouldn’t use it much longer than my 5k. I noticed after draining the old oil to return it to Advance Auto Parts for disposal, there were a bunch of tiny metal shavings at the bottom of the pan. That’s not very nice to see. And finally, I must be good at draining all the oil out of the engine because when I refill the car with new oil and crank it up I get a little sound of a knock before the oil spreads through the engine properly. I’ve been following my dad’s advice to false start it a few times for the oil pump to spread the oil, but obviously the few false cranks I did weren’t enough. That had me a little nervous about damaging the engine by hearing that noise which happened for a fraction of a second, but long enough for me to hear it.

mazda mx-5 pennsoil pureplatinum 5w-20 oil change 2

mazda mx-5 pennsoil pureplatinum 5w-20 oil change 3

mazda mx-5 pennsoil pureplatinum 5w-20 oil change 4

mazda mx-5 pennsoil pureplatinum 5w-20 oil change 5

mazda mx-5 pennsoil pureplatinum 5w-20 oil change 6

mazda mx-5 pennsoil pureplatinum 5w-20 oil change 1

Hopefully the next oil change will be around October time at the end of the year so I can put the Pennzoil 0W-20 for winter use and not keep this oil much longer than I’ve had it already.