Tag Archives: RX-8

Wanna buy a Race Car? SpeedSource Goes Belly Up Grand Am & IMSA Mazda’s and Equipment Auction

Another famous race team has gone belly up… and now’s your lucky chance to buy a race car at auction “probably” for less money than it would cost to get one built! The online auction will run December 19 by Key Auctioneers: click here. Get yourself a gift for the holidays… Merry Christmas!

Thanks to Marshall Pruett from Racer.com for sharing the news on facebook. It sucks for SpeedSource to close it’s doors, especially for the team of people that make that place run. But having seen a few of their employees at the HSR event in Daytona last month, I think many of them will do just fine. It wasn’t that long ago that SpeedSource was hiring people… imagine some desperate schmuck like me spending all the money he’s got left to move to Florida for a job that went “poof!” in just a few months. That would of been nuts.

But it’s a good time to be rich in America. And some of the bargains available at this auction will surely end up at the race track near you. I am surprised that Mazda North American Operations hasn’t snagged the two P2 race cars… or the tube frame diesel Mazda6’s… but maybe the auctioneers have a higher reserve than they’re willing to part with. Still I think this is great opportunity for someone:

Photo credit: Key Auctioneers
Photo credit: Key Auctioneers
Photo credit: Key Auctioneers
Photo credit: Key Auctioneers
Photo credit: Key Auctioneers
Photo credit: Key Auctioneers

I can’t believe they kept the crew guy’s shoes and are now selling them in used condition… who’d buy this?

Photo credit: Key Auctioneers

And the auction list:  http://www.keyauctioneers.com/2017/12/19/171219speedsource/

On-Site Auction and Online Bidding – Rings 1 & 2: Tuesday, December 19 at 10:00am
Online Only Bidding – Ring 3 (soft close): 
Tuesday, December 19 at 12:00pm
Preview: 
Monday, December 18 from 10:00am – 2:00pm
Removal: 
Wednesday, December 20 & Thursday, December 21 from 8:00am – 4:00pm
               *Note: No Removal Will Occur the Day of the Auction
Auction Address: 4150 NW 120th Avenue, Coral Springs, Florida 33065

Join us on December 19th as we offer surplus rolling stock, equipment and parts from SpeedSource. This is the end of the year event you won’t want to miss! 

Race Cars
2013 Mazda6 GX, Speedsource/Riley Chassis No. 012, Red & Black Color Scheme (Engine included)
2013 Mazda6 GX, Speedsource/Riley Chassis No. 004, Yellow & Orange Color Scheme (No Engine)
Mazda6 GX, Speedsource/Riley Chassis, Matte Black Color (No Engine)
Lola Cars Chassis No. MM07 (No Engine), has run in the IMSA
Lola Cars Chassis No. HU06 (No Engine), has LM24 history as Ex Status GP car and IMSA

Rolling Stock
2010 Ez-Go Golf Cart, Gas, Roof, Upgraded Wheels & Tires, Rain Cover, Rear Seats fold out flat
Taylor-Dunn Flatbed Utility Cart, Fold-up Seat, Upgraded Wheel & Tires, LED headlights
2002 JLG Scissor Lift w/ Extendable Platform
Clarke Focus II Floor Cleaner w/ built-in smart battery charger

Garage & Pit Equipment
(2) Caseliner Fiberglass LED Powerhoods, w/ Flight Case, Mounting Pole & Power Cables
Caseliner LED Sign/Timing Board w/ Flight Case, Tripod, Cables & Cover
Display Truss System w/ enough equipment for 2 cars
Stainless Steel Bodywork Carts
Caseliner Foam Boards with Flight Cases and Aluminum Poles
(2) Breda Racing Air Jacks, Model: 500/600, Mfg Year: 2017
(4) Arnold Machining Air Jacks, 100 psi
(2) CAMOZI Air Jacks
Robinair Refrigerant Recovery, Recycling & Recharging Station, Model: 34988, Mfg. Date: 08/16
Airflow Systems Exhaust Extractors, Model: VES3 Portable
The Hot Setup Engine Water Heater
Longacre Scale Set with ComputerScales DX Electronic Chassis Scale, (4) Scale Pads, Monitor, Wiring & Cart
(2) Longacre Turn Plates
Longacre Digital Tire Pressure Gauges
Intercomp Temperature Gun
Longacre Tire Pyrometer
Krontec Lances
Satubli Dump Jugs w/ SS Stands & Probe Covers
ATL & Jazz Dump Jugs
AC Hydraulic Engine Hoist, Capacity: 2,200 lbs., Collapsible
Paoli Dive Tank Set
LISTA, CTECH and Assorted Tool Chests
Pneumatic Pit Guns
Milwaukee M18 Impact Guns
Cabinets FULL of Aerospace Grade Hardware, Electrical Components, Fittings, Plugs, etc.
Port-a-Cool 60” Fans, Drum Fans, Folding Tables, Nitrogen Bottle Cages, Torque Wrenches, Heat Guns, Testers, Tap & Die sets, Crimpers, Borescope kit, etc.

Shop & Fabrication Equipment
Sunnen Precision Honing Machine, Model: LBB-1699
Chassis Setup Plate, 8’ x 20’
Elevated Chassis Setup Plate, 6’ x 14’
Eastern Precision Ultrasonic Parts Cleaner
HYD-MECH Horizontal Band Saw, Model: S-20M, S/N: 6C11111260
(2) Enco Vertical Bandsaws, Model: 01712009
Dake Cold Saw, Model: 315-1PH
Birmingham Lathe
Miller Syncrowave250 DX TIG Welder
Miller Millermatic150 MIG Welder
(2) Bridgeport Mills w/ Digital Readout Controls
(2) Drill Presses, Baleigh & Ryobi
Cyclone Sandblasting Cabinet, Model: 3824
Pro-Tools Electric Bead Roller on Stand
Pexto Shear, Model: 152K, Capacity: 18 Ga.
Pexto Shear
Enco 50” Slip Roll, Model: 130-5501, Capacity: 16 Ga., Mfg Year: 2005
ProFormer Manual Break, Capacity: 16 Ga.
Manual Break, 48”, Capacity: 16 Ga.
Dake Arbor Press, No. 1 ½
Beverly Throatless Shear, Model: B2
Conquest Disc Grinder/Sander, Model: 20ARCH, 3 PH
NORCO 2-Ton Shop Press
Dewalt Cutoff Saw, Makita Cutoff Saw, Pedestal Grinders, Disc Sander, Horizonal Boring Drill on Stand, Clamps, Vises, Slide Hammer Puller Set, Gas/Acetylene Welding Carts, Torch Gauge Sets, Welding Hoses, Welding Helmets, Welding Tables, Butcher Block Top Shop Tables, Parts Organizers, Ladders, Rolling Tool Cabinets, etc.

Inspection & Test Equipment
Dynojet Dynamometer w/ CPU, Electronics and Cart
Engine Dynamometer w/ Superflow Controls and Electronics
DCM Magnetic Particle Checker, Model: MPI 3062, S/N: 35101, 1 PH/230 Volt
ASNL Injector Tester, Capacity: 8 Injectors
FaroArm Platinum CMM Inspection Arm, Length: 8’, Mfg. Year: 2010, S/N: P08-05-10-08515
Kwik Mark Dot Peen Marking Machine, Model: KM-64
Rockwell Hardness Tester
Height Gauges, Assorted Testers, Micrometers, Digital Protractors, Laser Levels, etc.

Race Accessories, Radio Equipment & Hospitality
Race Car Simulator, approx. 6’ x 2.5’, includes: Ultra CPU Tower, Logitech Surround Sound System, ProCar by Scott Race Seat, Panasonic Flatscreen TV,
Crew Helmets, assorted types (25+)
Crew & Driver Shoes, New Balance
Moto Sport Goggles, Oakley & Scott
Sparco Fire Resistant Under Garments; head socks, shirts, long underwear, socks
Grizzly & Coleman Coolers
Pop-up Tents, various sizes
Folding Chairs
Folding Tables
Catering Equipment
Glass Door Display Coolers
Poly-Flooring (1,000’s of Square Feet in various colors)
Retractable Rope Dividers
Kenwood NX300 Radios (30+), Batteries, Charging Banks, Headsets
RCI Headsets w/ Bluetooth & Dual Radio Ports (15+)
Kenwood TK Radios (8+)
Radius GR1225 Repeater Unit with Travel Case, Antennas and Wires
Car Radio Harnesses

 

Key Terms
Full Payment is Due at the Conclusion of the Auction.
Accepted Forms of Payment:  Cash, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Wire Transfer
A check will ONLY be accepted with a Bank Letter of Guarantee
12% Buyers Premium Will be Collected for on-site Buyers, 18% for Online Buyers
Complete Terms can be found under the documents tab.
License Information: AB3686; Seth Seaton AU4902
Seller: SpeedSource, Inc.

*Shipping for this auction will not be provided by Key Auctioneers. Key Auctioneers will gladly facilitate shipping with third party moving/shipping companies. 

Mazda MX-5: Miata Shopping in Canada: Montréal, Québec

I failed once again to meet any local Miata owners in Québec on my visit to Canada for the Formula E events on the streets of Montréal. Can’t say I was surprised. After all I had failed to meet any Miata owners on my previous trips to Mosport, Ontario as well. Just like on the last trip to Bowmanville I also failed to see a Canadian-spec Miata at the local dealership in Montreal as well.

However, I was very much impressed with the Amount of Mazda dealers in the greater Montreal metropolitan area and there surely are plenty of Mazda’s on the streets of the city… they just aren’t the little Roadsters. So here are some pix from my experience.

The closest dealer with easy public transport system access was Mazda Gabriel St-Jacques… I took the Metro, walked over to where it should have been, didn’t see it and walked around the block lost between a highway and a hospital. But on the second pass I found it! Lots of construction on the streets of Montreal, the orange flowers (orange cones) are in full bloom this summer!

At first… no Miata’s to be seen on the lot!

Oh putain…

But that’s no different from the Mazda dealer I visited in Ontario. So I went in to have a chat with the staff and see if I can get a Canadian-spec Miata brochure at least… surprise! they didn’t have any. The receptionist managed to find a 2016 spec sheet, and sent me on my way. I also visited their parts department to inquire about the Canadian-spec window washer fluid bottle, which is a different design, and much bigger than the American-spec. They didn’t have any in stock… no surprise there. But they could order one for $137 bux… YIKES! However, a stripped down version without a motor (which could be transferred over from the original on the car) was only $66 CAD… phew!

The staff were super helpful it’s just a shame there wasn’t any Miata’s on the lot I could sit in and look around.

I remember reading a Miata.net post that complained: Do they want to sell cars or not? It appears if you want to buy a Miata in Canada it’s a long term process with possible multiple visits to the dealership, ordering and waiting for the car to arrive.

I was so focused on looking for a new ND on the lot that somehow I missed this colorful combination of used-Mazda’s a yellow RX-8 which is probably my favorite color for this rotary car and a red NB… How do you miss something so bright? Glad I spotted them on the way out of the dealership.

Initially I didn’t even see any Miata’s on the streets of Montreal… but then I was proven wrong Thursday night where I spotted half-a-dozen, mostly NB’s in all different colors roaming around downtown Montreal… I suspect they drove in from the suburbs to get a front row view of the fireworks that were scheduled to start after dark on that night. The next day I saw a beautiful NC3 PRHT in white with the top down that came up behind me and left too quick for me to snap a shot of it. Here’s a few Miata’s I did spot on the streets of Old Montreal:

Ironically there were far more Porsche’s on the streets of Montreal than Miata’s.

I even spotted a right-hand-drive Nissan Figaro… twice!

Anyway… while the Miata community of Quebec is very hard to spot, other Mazda’s are all over the place. Tons of CX-5’s and Mazda3’s roaming around. Even used for official city business:

The older Mazda’s make it seem obvious why people hide their precious Roadsters… the rust isn’t kind in this part of the world:

I suspect the salt use in the winter eats right through the metal.

Anyway, I had such a blast in Montreal for the Formula E event even though I completely failed to make any contact with the local Miata community… and I even researched several Quebec MX-5 Clubs and sent them facebook messages asking for help.

Maybe I’ll get more lucky in the future…

Mazda Car Wash Day and Detail Clinic

This weekend Chris hosted a car wash & detail clinic day.

I joked that I was preparing for this day by not washing my car for at least two weeks… and several road trips on some rainy days for Motorsport events like the visits to Lime Rock. But in reality every time I do wash my car it seems to rain the next day messing things up. All the pollen in the air, the dust, and it’s a pain in the ass to keep the car clean. I don’t think I’ve ever actually detailed my car, until this weekend!

Chris has a collection of various detailing products that were put to a good use. One of my favorites was the one that turned my headlights that have started to get cloudy to bright and clear again.

Some pix:

This yellow RX-8 was my favorite Mazda at the event… I love the color. I think my next MX-5 will be some shade of yellow!

Yea, please don’t suck Mazda!

Good to see Bill show up with his 2007 GT soft top… I think in the past I’ve assumed it was the first model year NC but I was wrong.

Isn’t that yellow gorgeous?

My turn…

Tackling the headlights…

This is what they looked like before, very cloudy on top…

and this is what they look like after:

as compared to Bill’s car:

and compared to Chris’s car:

and even without washing or detailing Chris’s car looked the best:

To end the day we had the bright idea of attempting to adjust Bill’s new Tokico’s… and then Chris dropped one of the brace nuts into the engine bay… that was the last time we saw it. Even though a lot of time was spent looking for it, it was never found. Luckily the Advance Auto nearby stocked just the right size bright and shiny new ones which I went to pick up to finish the job.

It was a great and very educational day…

Thanks Chris!

Sunday Fun Day Part 1! AutoX Motorsport NE at the Meadownlands

Today was a good day!

The threat of rain didn’t dampen my automotive adventures… I slept in pretty late, woke up 9’ish which was a good change from last year when I volunteered Detroit Grand Prix and had to be up at the crack of dawn to drive down to Belle Isle. So that was a plus. I did get to see some racing today, if you could call Autocross racing… all 50+ seconds of it at a time where various Miata’s, Porsche’s, Vette’s, Rotary RX-7’s and RX-8’s and a shitton of other cars took to the track… err parking lot at the Meadownalds.

I was surprised to see two concurrent AutoX events happening at the Met Life Stadium (the former Giants Stadium) one at Lot L and another at Lot E. I’ll share my observations below, knowing full well that many will not agree with my opinions… and since I took a hell of a lot of pictures I’ll break them up into three parts, the Sunday Fun Day series if you will.

So first stop was at Lot L where Motorsports North East were running their Autocross… I learned about it at Miata.net where several owners posted a plan to “race” and hang out, spectate and proceed to lunch at a famous hot dog joint nearby.

I came. I saw. I took some pix. And I got bored rather quickly. Now I understand why I prefer circuit racing to solo. Especially if I could be a part of it as a volunteer.

So here’s some pix:

As you can see people run what they brung… I had a hard time choosing a cover photo for this post because it was definitely a hard choice between the beautiful Alfa Romeo Giulia which I was delighted to go flat out for the first time, or that cobbled together Mazda MX-5 Miata NA with a turbo and a big wang in the back.

But this event was definitely the “budget” version of the next stop on my automotive adventures today… the Sunday Fun Day series continues…

Mazda DPi looks like a real production Mazda the 1st Gen Mazda RX-8

I made a post a while back wishing prototypes looked more like production cars (e.g. Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR, Porsche 911 GT1, McLaren F1 GTR). I think this year’s Mazda DPi platform came fairly close at resembling a production Mazda… though you have to squint just right to see that resemblance.

I think, and I could be wrong, but to me the current SpeedSource Mazda RT24-P looks a lot like the 1st Generation Mazda RX-8 especially the very early models of 2003-2008 vintage.

Just look at it:

And compare it to this picachu yellow RX-8:

To me, the narrow grille, the almond shaped headlights, the big wheel arches and even the fog light openings all resemble one another on the new prototype and the old street car.

Granted there are plenty of differences, like the fact the RX-8 was Rotary powered being the most obvious. And the fact that few things about the MRT24-P (besides the sponsorship money of course) actually come from Mazda Motors, the car was built by Multimatic in Canada, the same company that builds both the race and the street versions of the Ford GT for Ford Motor Company, engines are AER, etc. Still I would say they did a great job creating a vehicle that at first look does resemble a real Mazda! This is obviously not the case with the Cadillac DPi’s for example, or even the Tequila Patron Nissans (although they did a great job modifying a nose of the Ligier to look very Nissan-like).

Way to go Mazda!

Mazda MX-5: Grease your Miata Sway Bar Bushings! Car Feels Like New Again

Public Service Announcement: grease your sway bar bushings Miata owners… I remember Miata.net forums light up when most of the US was experiencing freezing temps including Southern states like Georgia, the Carolina’s and Texas where owners started complaining about loud squeaking and creaking noises coming from their suspension even on basically brand new / late model NC MX-5’s of the 2015 vintage. I had experienced those noises every winter time including when I first bought my car. I was convinced that was the result of the bump stops being worn out like I saw on the forums. But boy was I wrong. I discovered I was wrong when we replaced my stock suspension with a set of Bilsteins from a newer Miata GT PRHT. I figured it was not possible for the bump stops to get work out on such a low mileage car. But it turns out the bump stops have nothing to do with this squeak.

The problem was much simpler and much easier to fix. The front and back bushings on the sway bars get squeaky with wear and age. And it only takes a little bit of synthetic grease to lubricate them to make the car sound like new again. If you don’t think my claim is reasonable, consider the fact that the PRHT top squeaks and creaks when the two pins that go into the area above the windshield isn’t lubricated. When you experience the squeaks even a brand new car feels like a worn out horse buggy. And with just a little lubrication it feels like a different car, a brand new car!

Special thanks to my buddy Chris for doing the work for me in his garage. It is greatly appreciated! Some pix:

Thanks to Stephen from Ohio for sending me his used RX-8 sway bar end link to help me diagnose a possible issue with clicking which appeared after we did the Bilstein install. Unfortunately this wasn’t the problem, but I’m glad we eliminated that possibility.

There are only four bolts, two on each side, front and rear to loosen the sway bar. It helps to remove one of the bolts on the sway bar end links to release the tension on the bar. I also took the opportunity to swap out one of the end links for a used unit one of the fellow owners from Miata.net sent me from Ohio to help me diagnose a clicking problem that appeared after the Bilsteins install. His was an RX-8 sway bar end link that is identical (part number the same) to the MX-5 model. Unfortunately the end link didn’t seem to be the problem to my clicking noise. But I’m happy with this replacement.

Mazda MX-5 & RX-8 Bear Mountain and Seven Lakes Drive Winter Tires Cruise

Thanks to Chris for organizing another excellent Bear Mountain cruise this time featuring Mazda’s almost exclusively (there was a Toyobaru BRZ that infiltrated the group of all the RX-8’s and MX-5’s)

This day had all the ingredients of making a fantastic weekend! There were cool cars, cool roads, a little spirited driving and good food with friends. What more could one ask for?

Sleep… perhaps!

After the midnight finish of all the fluid flushes at Chris’s house out in western countryside of New Jersey I didn’t get home until 3am. Since the engine and transmission sounded different than before the flush I spend another hour or so researching what the proper technique is of checking the level on a sealed transmission. Went to sleep at 4:30am woke up at 6:30am to meet up with the group in Sloatsburg New York to go on a cruise organized by Chris.

I knew there would be some spirited driving involved so I was shitting bricks worried sick that I may damage the transmission. But all went well. I had to go because I had agreed to make my first Facebook facilitated purchase: a set of Bilstein shocks off of a 2012 NC2 Miata that would also be attending the event. And I really wanted to hang out with Chris in his MX-5, his brother Eric in his RX-8, Sakshik in his Miata and whomever else would show up. Luckily we had a good crowd in attendance reaching 10 cars at one point.

Enough talk, here’s the pix:

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I’m now the proud owner of a set of Bilsteins for my Miata!

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And this is the car they came out of at only 14,800 miles apparently!

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That’s a sweet looking ride!

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The last time I’ve seen so many RX-8’s was when they were racing with the Grand Am series.

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First stop at the top of Bear Mountain to add two more cars to the group. Another RX-8 and a Toyobaru BRZ.

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Lots and lots of bikes out today, was a really beautiful day for a ride!

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(apparently not part of our group… hmm!)

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Since there were a lot of hikers and bikers on the roads, many of our cruises were at a snail’s pace, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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Some poor biker flew off the road, luckily it wasn’t a steep cliff down

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Optimized parking at the Barnstormer BBQ joint…

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Pretty convenient maps showing all the interesting twisties especially geared at the bikers visiting the restaurant

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Last but not least the excellent food… finger lickin’ good!

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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:

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


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


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

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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

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

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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: Wheel Bearing Hub Replacement with RX-8 (F189 33 04X) Timken Part#: HA590360

Today’s project involved replacing the stock MX-5 front wheel bearing hubs with an upgraded RX-8 hub from Timken part #: HA590360 (OEM part #: F189 33 04X which is ironically stamped on the back of the Timken product along with a Mazda logo – mind you there was no Mazda logos on the original hubs I took off the car). And it’s all thanks to fucking Detroit… and Jessie who diagnosed the problem simply by hearing the symptoms.

So long story short I went to volunteer for Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix completely forgetting how fucked the roads are in Michigan. Some of the pot holes I hit on this trip were teeth clenching and made me curse myself out for doing it. I love Detroit, but it’s a city you fly into and rent a car and not destroy your personal one. Lesson learned $206 dollars later. I was lucky enough to find a deal through RockAuto.com who was selling the Timken parts for a good 3rd less than the competition. Plus I found a 5% coupon online and there was no tax, with free shipping having the part arrive the day after I ordered it. How cool?!

I was volunteering in Pennsylvania the day the part arrived, doing my first IndyCar event at Pocono Raceway, and driving there confirmed something was amiss as the front end of the car was making some humming noise. It wasn’t terrible. There was no vibration that was annoying, but it was in the background.

Today I stopped by AutoZone to rent some tools I’d need for this job including a slide hammer and a torque wrench (which was broken) all in $120 dollars deposit, which I got back upon returning the tools a few hours later. I also stopped at Lowe’s home improvement store to pick up some Loctite blue thread locker in addition to the anti-seize I picked up at AutoZone with the tools.

The job was fairly straightforward. There was no videos to watch on YouTube of someone else having done this, and frankly I wasn’t really going to do it myself because I lack the technical experience to do the job. But it was simple. Few things went along stubbornly but otherwise it was a quick job. I took a shit ton of pictures of most of the process which I’ll share below.

Unlike the right hub being bad, it turns out that the bearing in the left hub was damaged. It was making some noise when turning right especially so you can see how I was tricked. But I think the failure was at the very early stages because everything felt pretty tight on the car when I tried to diagnose it (besides hearing the noise).

I did both sides simultaneously so it went along pretty quickly.

I’ll let the pictures tell the story:

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Notice how the Timken product has Mazda stamped on it with the OEM part number on the back of the plastic ABS sensor cover.

I still can’t believe this box arrived by FedEx in one day!

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Beautiful day to tinker with the car!

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First order of business was to spray every bolt and nut with CRC degreaser… that stuff works like magic!

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After I sprayed everything I went to the store to pick up my AutoZone rental tools for the job… $120 deposit later, they’re here:

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Notice that the slide hammer and the axle puller are separate parts.

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Then started spraying the CRC some more, and more… the screws holding the rotors/disks on were a pain to get going!

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A couple of angry yanks on the slide hammer and the hub popped out, this was actually the easy part!

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And the other side:

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Comparing the OEM MX-5 hub on the right with Timken RX-8 hub on the left side… similar but there are obvious differences like that dimple in the center of the RX-8 hub.

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I used some plastic baggies I had laying around to cover up the ABS sensor which was the first thing I unbolted in this job.

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The old hubs:

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Another side by side between MX-5 and RX-8 hubs:

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Time to lube them with anti-seize and do the easy work, installing the new part:

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Perfect fit, and so much easier to install then uninstall:

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I dabbed Loctite thread locker on every bolt I put back in.

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Job done… took the car on a test drive on the way back to AutoZone to return the rental tools. Sounds so much better! And feels tighter too. I thought the car wasn’t loose to begin with but now the steering is much much tighter than when it was with the shot bearing. Very happy with this install and will get to try it out on my next road trip to VIR in a couple of days. I hope the gas mileage improves because lately it had dropped from 34mpg I typically got going to Watkins Glen to just about 31mpg. That’s a big difference!

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Racing Beat Shop Visit in Anaheim, California

The first time I heard about Racing Beat as a Mazda tuner was when I was searching for my Miata to buy and a guy in Connecticut was selling one with the Racing Beat exhaust. (He was also selling the car with two sets of wheels for summer/winter which I ended up doing myself so maybe the guy was onto something).

Having some time to kill before my flight home to the East Coast post-Long Beach Grand Prix I decided to pay Racing Beat a visit, and check out their facility and products. And to my surprise the guys behind the counter were more than willing to show me around, both in the sales office and the manufacturing facility a few buildings down the street.

Racing Beat specializes in Mazda rotary performance parts but is also one of the few American tuners to offer stuff for the MX-5, and for that I support them.

Check out the pix;

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Oh and while in Anaheim do visit Roscoe’s Fried Chicken n’ Waffles restaurant about 10 minute drive from the shop. The food was pretty fantastic…. and much like Racing Beat I learned about it thanks to Motorsport advertising… the #54 Dodge Viper in PWC had a very colorful paint scheme advertising Roscoe’s during the Long Beach Grand Prix race… what a place!

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roscoe's fried chicken n waffles 2 fruit punch and lemonade