Tag Archives: MX5

Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Wheel Bearings Replacement

This week I took on a project that totally kicked my ass, mentally and physically. My friend Bill started experiencing a grinding sound and wheel vibration on the right side of the car after having new wheels installed. Since he gave me his old used tires I went on a test drive with him after COSTCO did his tire install and quickly diagnosed it as a broken wheel bearing. Fast forward to Saturday Bill and I attempted to do the replacement of his 111k mile MX5 hubs to new Timken RX8 hubs from Rock Auto.

I did the same job on my car a few years ago. It was tough but I got it done in an afternoon. http://myroadtrip.net/2007-mazda-mx-5-miata-grand-touring-prht/rx-8-front-wheel-bearing-hubs-timken-ha590360-oem-f189-33-04x/

Bills hubs however took much longer and a ton more effort because of rust and the hubs were seized to the base they bolt in to. So over the course of the next four days I kept on spraying the hubs with PB Blaster repeatedly, used up a big bottle of that, not to mention a couple of more CRC degreaser I borrowed from my dad, and pounded the shit out of them using a rented slide hammer from Auto Zone.

On Monday the left side gave way. But the right side, the actual broken bearing would not budge for two more days. Bill researched a few suggestions on the forums. I tried them all and they all failed:

  1. Using a stubby screwdriver to pound from the inside the wheelwell around the plastic ABS cover. Nope!
  2. Pounding the plastic ABS cover, breaking it and hitting the bearing directly. Nope!
  3. Going to Home Depot to buy longer bolts and banging them from the inside to push the hub out. Nope! The bolts sheared immediately and went right thru the hole like thru butter… Argh!

What finally worked was banging from the inside behid the wheel studs to push the thing ever so slightly. I used a chizel on one side because the metal brake duct was very much in the way. Plus more banging with the slide hammer of course. Eventually that worked millimeter by millimeter. A few times I hammered the hub back in place from the front just to move it back and forth, and after a total of maybe 12 or 14 hours of banging over 4 days it worked. Reassembly was very quick maybe half an hour. But after all that banging every bone in my body, every muscle, every cell hurt!

What a project!

Miatas at Laguna Seca 30th Anniversary Invitation

Extending my invitation to all of you for end of 2019:

Mark your calendars!

The Miata turns 30 next year and you’re all invited to the celebration at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on¬†October 11-13th.

Now that we have a firm date, we’re working on all the various details including adding special things to commemorate the 30th anniversary. We will also be sharing information via¬†Facebook,¬†Instagram¬†and¬†Miata.net¬†as in previous years. You can also subscribe to our¬†YouTube channel¬†to catch our latest videos. If you have any Miata friends who think they might be interested in attending, please have them sign up for the email list via the home page at our website as these emails are our primary channel for reaching out to you.¬† In the meantime:

Lots of track time?  Yes!
Parade laps?  Yes!
All the top suppliers of cool Miata goodies and services all in one place?  Yes!

Stay tuned for more…….

As always, the website remains the official source of information for the event, where you will also find the link to register when registration opens.

Event registration will open at 9am Pacific time on Saturday, June 15th.

We’ll also send out a reminder before registration opens to provide you with further information.

See you in October!

The Miatas at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Team

Hot Wheels: From Hobby to Obsession

I think it’s time to pump the brakes on this hobby a little. Since I started to obsess over this idea a month ago I think I’m about $200 bux all in already, because I keep sweeping my local supermarkets of the models I want. And it’s a good time for a reality check.

The good news is that historically Hot Wheels do go on sale closer to the holiday season. They are a great stocking stuffer, and a good gift to give. But by that time the selection will dwindle in stores or there will just be random models I have little or no interes in.

Over the past month I have hoarded about 75 Miatas! There’s 5 different kinds. The two 2016 red Miatas I ordered on eBay at $5 each. Since I posted about trying to find a white Mad Mike MIATA I’ve added 40 of them to a shoebox I keep them in. I bought 16 of them today alone. Probably should take a breather on that one. I used to get so angry at assholes that snatched up all the red Miatas so that all i could do is pay five fold for it on ebay. Now I’m the asshole for doing the same thing in the 20 mile radius around my home, from all the supermarkets in sight. Not all were $1 either. I notice stores do a 29% to 49% markup from week to week. Only Wal-Mart is consistently charging 94 cents for both Hot Wheels and Matchbox which brings the total to roughly a dollar with tax. Im glad i also found a few more of the baby blue Eibach spring model, I had the least of that one.

I have been unsuccessful finding a Mazda 787B or Porsche 962 from the Real Riderz Car Culture Circuit Legends line. Visited several Walmarts twice this week alone, no luck just wasted fuel.

But I did pick up a bunch of the Euro Speed cars including another Audi R8 LMS, BMW M1 Procar, Mercedes Benz 190E and an Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA.  Ordered them in one shot from Wal-Mart and they arrived in one day to the store. Wish ordering a Mazda 787B was that easy. I have a feeling there may be a recall on them since people that bought the preorder in September complained on Reddit of a deformed rear wing, which on a $6 dollar 1/64 scale premium model is kind if insulting. I’ll be on the lookout. Still. While the rest is on pause.

I did get a ton of cars I really wanted, like the blue Ford GT or the #33 Lamborghini Super Trofeo. I even got the full Fiat 500 line up, including a short card version from a local mom and pop store called Ton of Toys. Got my first 2019 Hot Wheels Mercedes Benz Unimog at Wal-Mart too. And a few Lamborghini Miura specials at Kmart whom now charges $1.09 for 2018 models and $1.29 for 2019 and 50th anniversary cars like the Ford Escort RS 1600.

Some pix:

And that’s what $200 bux in little toys looks like, money I’ll never see again ūüėČ but I have to say I do enjoy looking at them with admiration, a lot of the cars bring back fond memories from my racing days.

 

Check out my Hot Wheels collection: click here

How I Got Scammed Buying a Miata on eBay

It’s not the first time I got scammed on eBay. Some five years ago I won a bid on a gorgeous Miata in torch red from a Miami seller only to find out it had three major/moderate damage accidents on it’s CARFAX report. Obviously I didn’t pay for/buy that car.

But more recently I did shell out $12 bux on a 1:18 torch red NC2 PRHT model that turned out to be a scam. Maybe the selling price should have been considered, other die-cast models from China sell for $95. But I figured the Bburago NC1 I wanted to buy forever was typically $9.99 before people figured they could get at least $40 for them on eBay. So yea, that red flag was missed. Didn’t see any negative reviews either. Until everyone started crying wolf and I realized I’ve been scammed too.

Anyway… here’s some pic of the car I thought I was buying, but now have to wait another month before I could file a money back guarantee claim;

Sure is pretty ain’t it?

Screw you to the Chinaman that scammed me… karma is a bitch.

Single-Make Fiata Series? Yes, please! Spy Shots of Abarth Fiat 124 GT4 in Italy

This is pretty awesome news from the motorsport spies in Italy. Fiat really is developing a GT4 version of the Fiat 124 Spider.

SportsCar365 says so

And so does Daily Sports Car:

This was either just picked up from a translation of a French fan site of Italian machinery. Or reporting of further sightings of the car being tested.

I’m really happy to see this.

I’m a huge fan already of the Fiat Abarth Rally car that came out a while ago:

The GT4 which apparently will be seen racing in a single-make Italian series, would be an amazing addition to the American version of the Global MX-5 Cup as well as the Japanese Miata series and European MAX5 series.

The Fiata is not dead yet!

Donut does Top Gear esque “Celebrity” Hot Lap in a Miata RF and I Love It!

I’m a fan of Donut Media on YouTube/Facebook and for those of you stumbling onto my little blog that haven’t heard about these videos yet, I think you should totally check them out!

The idea is simple and familiar to most “motorheads” as it was blatantly ripped off the British Top Gear show’s Celebrity in a sensibly priced car or whatever Jeremy Clarkson called that segment. But instead of some random real celebrities driving a POS KIA C apostrophe D, we get YouTube “celebrities” driving a Miata RF, and I enjoy watching that more.

They’re only a few episodes deep and since the project hasn’t been shut down by a seize and desist order from the BBC, I’m sure each future episode will only get better and better. The first few are bloody brilliant in all sorts of comical ways not least of which include a minivan having no issue of keeping up with a Miata on a racetrack, because let’s face it… it’s not really a race car lol

I wish the chubby bearded guy and his crew the best of luck with this project, not that they need my wishes as the channel has reached a million subscribers. But they are clearly doing an awesome job! Keep it up. I am especially looking forward to future episodes… hopefully nobody crashes the Miata (I would hate to see it replaced by another random donation from a manufacturer or a cheap rental to keep the show goin)

Link: https://m.facebook.com/donutmedia and

Episode 1: https://youtu.be/dneftF_IMF4

Episode 2: https://youtu.be/eUqwBaCy9dQ

Episode 3: https://youtu.be/2VA6tjQrjxc

Kyalami or Bust!

I’ve been researching the possibility of participating in a new endurance race for a few years now: the South African 9 hour. And with recent news of SRO adding a round in Africa to their Intercontinental GT Challenge, this may actually happen for me.

Like most other events SRO hitch their wagon to an established event, and the South African 9 hour has been run for years. While it’s not huge in it’s current form there is some variety like CN prototypes among GT3 field and other support classes. Kind of like the Gulf 12 hour in Abu Dhabi but more locally focussed. The California 8 hour was small too last year. But it was fairly exciting. News of Kyalami being bought and refurbished last year sort of hinted at bigger and better things to come. And this is pretty awesome.

While there’s no guarantees anything will actually materialize, it certainly gives me something to look forward to and plan out. The race won’t be until the end of the 2019 racing season, early November. Plenty of time to save up money with my new job, and request the time off I would need for the 16 hour flight from NYC to Johannesburg. Sign up for some rewards cards to optimize my hotel and airline redemptions. Research the MX5 Miata community to organize a meet. And maybe even plan a side trip to Madagascar or the Seychelles. Who knows? The possibilities are endless.

But for now I’m excited to see what pans out from this. I have participated in most SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge events, Spa 24 hours a few times. Bathurst 12 hours, Sepang 12 hour, California 8 hour at Laguna Seca… Suzuka has rejected me for my first event in Japan but I’m hopeful the South Africans would be more welcoming.

Kyalami or bust!

Wanna rent a Miata?

Good news!

If you were ever in a market to rent a new Miata, there’s a brand spanking new RF at my local Enterprise in Paramus, NJ

To be perfectly honest I was quite surprised to find it on the lot while casually passing by…

Why?

Because on my recent travels to Hawaii, or Florida or even California last year I was amazed to find no Miatas at airport rental lots. Ford Mustangs, Chevy Camaros were the most common convertibles. And the duo was joined by the bulky Dodge Challenger in the hardtop coupe category. But no Miatas in busy touristy spots.

Having a new RF in NYC suburbia is a bit puzzling. Granted it is a more affluent area but even then the car is wearing a very pedestrian gray paint job that will blend in easy with the other beige cars on the roads. I would think RED would be an obvious more attractive choice for a highly rentable vehicle, but what do I know?

A few businesses down the road: Avis/Budget had a new Mazda CX5 too. I would love to take that one home for a day or two to see if I really want to buy one for my mom in the near future.

Good to see Mazda’s at my local car rental places!

Mazda MX-5: Miata Maintenance Day

Great day to work on the Miata this Memorial Day weekend. Sunny, 90 degrees… too hot to put the top down but quite pleasant in the shade. Bill stopped by for an oil change and to try running Mobil 1 high mileage 5w30 in his car, which I may do myself in the future.

Glad to see everything nice and clean on Bills car since the last time we did an oil change. One thing that stopped working though was the LED license plate bulbs that we replaced last July. Mine also burned last winter so I ordered some new ones. As soon as we plugged it in Bills car it started flickering, so we decided to go to the store and get a traditional non LED bulbs… which are surprisingly expensive at $5/ bux a pair.

Lickily the Walmart we went to had some Mad Mike ND Miatas in the toy aisle…so I bought every one they had. Will be since gift to someone someday.