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mazdeuce PowerDork
3/2/15 6:27 p.m.

The one in the 911 flashes and dances like some crazy 90's digital slot machine. Look at me! I'm a radio! berkeley you radio. Nobody cares.
Sorry to hijack things Woody, you know how we are around here.

ssswitch Reader
3/2/15 10:55 p.m.

The Blaupunkt Toronto also looks really cool, but ironically Crutchfield Canada doesn't carry it.

Your thread really makes me want to either paint my corroded valve cover or install the ricey chromed one I took in part trade years ago.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/3/15 7:56 p.m.

I got an email from Lime Rock stating that they've added two more dates to the calender and also have openings for two days this week. As much as I'd like to get there this week, I've been hitting the Benedryl pretty hard lately and I don't think I'm going to feel up to it. I've registered for next Friday instead.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/4/15 5:17 p.m.

I'm running out of things to do to this car...

I had a few minutes to kill this afternoon after moving snow all morning, so I decided to install the rear tow hook. Unfortunately, it was more of a PITA to install than the ones that I had on my '96 Miatas, and nowhere near as strong. But at least it's there in case I go nose first into a snow bank next week. Hopefully, that won't happen.

 photo Tow hook 001_zpsx3jthky0.jpg

 photo Tow hook 002_zpsdlbw9o2c.jpg

Petrolburner Reader
3/4/15 6:19 p.m.

Tow points seem like good insurance for that type of driving.

mazdeuce PowerDork
3/4/15 7:14 p.m.

You should un-upholster the seat and install a heater pad and then put it all back together. Heated seat in the wintercrosser would be sweet.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/7/15 5:17 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce:

Actually, the heater works pretty well in this car. The temperature was in the low single digits the last time that I was at Lime Rock and I was still pretty comfortable. I suspect that I might have felt differently if the car had leather seats, but it wasn't bad with the cloth.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/7/15 5:26 p.m.

I took care of a little more maintenance and changed the oil in the transmission and rear differential.

I used two quarts of Red Line MTL in the transmission and a quart of Valvoline Synthetic 75-90 in the differential. The lift wasn't absolutely necessary for this job, but it sure made things a lot easier, especially when you take into account that you really want the car to be level so that you get the volume right.

Always make sure that you can remove the fill plug first before you drain the old oil out.

 photo Transmission oil 005_zpssntkkbj9.jpg

 photo Transmission oil 001_zpss9gaqf2m.jpg

If you don't own one of these little bottle pumps yet, go out and buy one. They make the job so much easier than trying to fill it from above with a long funnel.

 photo Transmission oil 003_zpsalebssbi.jpg

 photo Transmission oil 004_zpsuxgjrsjx.jpg

The procedure is the same at the other end of the car.

 photo Transmission oil 007_zpsxvqzstht.jpg

 photo Transmission oil 008_zpswz9vjqic.jpg

In combination with the shifter refresh that I did last week, this car now shifts like it was brand new.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/7/15 5:51 p.m.

If you're going to try to pump trans fluid in the winter, keep it in the house for a while first

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/7/15 5:53 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: If you're going to try to pump trans fluid in the winter, keep it in the house for a while first

That's exactly what I did! It was inside on one of the heater vents for a few hours this morning.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/8/15 7:56 a.m.

Remember those Moog sway bar end links from Page 3?

When the car was up on the lift, I discovered that when the suspension was at full droop with the steering at full lock, the end link's lower grease fitting would just barely come into contact with the steering arm. For normal street driving, full droop / full lock would be an unlikely occurrence, but when playing in the snow, it became a real possibility.

The solution was simple: with the joints filled with grease, I removed the lower fittings and replaced them with rubber caps like I did with the upper ends of the rear links.

And...as you'll see from these photos, the car has been getting some exercise out in the winter slop.

 photo Transmission oil 009_zpsxh40y8h8.jpg

 photo Transmission oil 012_zpsnajg4e52.jpg

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/8/15 5:54 p.m.

As you may have read elsewhere, I was starting to get a strong smell of fuel inside the car. Fortunately, the solution was cheap and easy.

I removed the metal panel in the trunk that covers the fuel filler hose. The filler hose hides behind this panel and the metal cover behind it (three bolts):

 photo Fuel 004_zpsvyclmmwn.jpg

Below the connection to the fuel tank, there is a big rubber seal and there was a small pool of oily, gas-smelling sludge. It's pretty obvious that with the tank completely topped off, gas was sitting in that near-horizontal section of hose, weeping out past the clamps and accumulating on that rubber seal. The light solvents would evaporate off and the sludge stayed behind. I cleaned it up, aired out the trunk and tightened up the hose clamps, which were fairly loose as the old hose wasn't as pliable as it was when it was new. I think that should take care of the problem. I may replace the hose just to be safe.

You can see the little pool of sludge below the hose. There wasn't a lot, but it was enough to stink up the interior. Hopefully, a few turns of the clamps will take care of the problem.

 photo Fuel 001_zpshlpblkn6.jpg

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/9/15 2:31 p.m.

Damn this stupid beautiful weather we've been having...

After a miserably cold and snowy winter, the past two days have been sunny and in the mid 40's. I've actually been able to work on the car outside and I've got it pretty much where I want it to be. There were two events added to the Lime Rock schedule for last week when it was still in the teens everyday, but I was too sick to get up there. I'm signed up for this Friday.

I just opened this email:

Dear Participants

Well looks like Winter is nearly over here at Lime Rock, and that means one thing, sunny days and warmer temperatures. While I’m sure we’re not the only ones who are enjoying the end of winter, these sunny days are wreaking havoc with the Lime Rock autocross. Our crews are furiously at work trying to keep up, but we’ve already lost half of the course due to melting. That’s not a huge issue yet because we can run the lower half, but here’s the forecast we’re looking at for the coming week, attached.

As you can see, this week is going to be pretty warm and we just don’t know what the conditions are going to be like when we finally get to Thursday and Friday.

This is an ongoing situation, we’ll know more when we get to tomorrow morning and expect updates from us every day this week as we know more.

Thank you for your patience. Lime Rock Park

The nights are forecast to be in the 20's, but the days will be sunny and in the upper 40's all week. The snow is disappearing fast. What really bums me out is the fact that I just bought a Go Pro camera specifically for this event.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for more miserable weather.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/12/15 8:21 a.m.

Lots of rain this week and 60 degrees and sunny yesterday. Season over. I may apply my registration fee toward a couple of their open autocross days, which I was curious about but doubt that I would have tried otherwise. I may do that in a different car though.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/13/15 3:05 p.m.

Skip's thoughts on winter autocross:

Skip Barber

Bubs Reader
3/13/15 3:45 p.m.

Miatas continue to be the jack-of-all-trades sports car. Absolutely love it!

I also just noticed that GRM used pictures of you and I on a post today!

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/13/15 8:18 p.m.

In reply to Bubs:

Thanks, I hadn't seen that!

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/25/15 10:39 a.m.

It appears as if I've fallen in like with what I thought was going to be my Disposable Winter Miata. The nice lady from FedEx stopped by yesterday with four of these:

 photo Miata Wheels 001_zpsrwmgqpre.jpg

I haven't decided what kind of summer tires I'm going to get for them, but but the size will probably be 205/50-15.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/1/15 9:49 p.m.

The car was still smelling like fuel after filling the tank.

I finally broke down and ordered a replacement fuel filler hose, figuring that it has gotten old and brittle and was probably the source of a vapor or liquid leak.

I had a hard time finding the the right part number, as it wasn't as obvious as you might expect on the parts diagram. I called Mazdaspeed, confirmed that I was ordering the right item and they had it in my hands the next day for $31.

 photo Miata Fuel Hose 001_zpsn2uem4o3.jpg

FYI, my car is a 2000.

 photo Miata Fuel Hose 004_zpsjldewszj.jpg

I removed the trunk panel and fuel hose cover and loosened the clamps on the old fuel hose. I should note that the fuel gauge was reading about 3/4 full at this point. If you're doing this, make sure it's a bit lower than that.

This was the first sign that I might be on to something...

The fill pipe that feeds the hose is galvanized but there was a bit of rust at the seam where it was welded. Hmmmm...

 photo Miata Fuel Hose 008_zps5hfb44rr.jpg

When I pulled the other end off of the fuel tank inlet, here's what I found:

 photo Miata Fuel Hose 010_zpsq6nr0fcs.jpg

Also note that you can see the fuel level just inside that pipe. I got very lucky that it was just low enough that I didn't end up with a trunk full of fuel when I removed that end of the hose.

I'm not sure whether to blame ethanol, age or some combination of both, but it was pretty clear that no amount of clamping force on the fifteen year old hose was going to result in a good seal.

Here's a good look at the inside of the hose ends:

 photo Miata Fuel Hose 019_zpslmhugdrz.jpg

 photo Miata Fuel Hose 020_zpszmun7tgc.jpg

I cleaned the tube ends up as well as I could with gray Scotch-Brite (I didn't want to make any sparks) and then coated them with grease to ease installation of the new hose, help it seal better, and to keep future corrosion at bay.

 photo Miata Fuel Hose 012_zpsyyvsyphn.jpg

With the new hose in place, all I have to do now is reinstall the cover and carpet.

 photo Miata Fuel Hose 016_zpsturgzx1r.jpg

 photo Miata Fuel Hose 005_zpsrztnfh2b.jpg

 photo Fuel 004_zpsvyclmmwn.jpg

I'm not ready to proclaim "Problem Solved", but I have a pretty good feeling about this.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/2/15 4:38 p.m.

Installed new wheels and tires today.

 photo cc5fc291-faf4-482f-bacd-3f9336e8ccd3_zpsoydxzmxp.jpg

mazdeuce PowerDork
4/2/15 6:26 p.m.

What tires did you decide on?

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/2/15 6:51 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce:

The cheap ones. Dunlop Direzza somethings. 205/50-15. Although I may do a non-competitive autocross or two, this car will serve no real purpose to me beyond being a daily driver. New tires were more about getting the wheels on the car than anything else.

And I'm weird when it comes to tires. 90% of the time I go with Yokohamas for daily drivers, mainly becaues I loved A008s back in the 80's. Miatas came with Dunlops, so it just seems right to put Dunlops on them. American cars get Goodyears. European cars get Michelins or Pirellis, though if they're Swedish, I would make an attempt to find Scandinavian tires.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/2/15 6:57 p.m.

Dunlop Direzza DZ102 SL

Mr_Clutch42 Dork
4/3/15 12:30 p.m.

Where did you get those wheels? Also, I found those tires to ride too harshly for me on my 328i.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/3/15 12:41 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Clutch42:

I got them directly from Konig.

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