The Miata has morphed from daily driver to weekend warrior, seems like the only time it gets to come out from under its blanket is on Fridays and Saturdays. That’ll be changing soon as the BKR is wrapping up. Tomorrow the counter top goes in and Monday the back splash goes up. Also on Monday the last bits of plumbing should get wrapped up, sink and garbage disposal hooked up, ice maker line run and the dishwasher all buttoned up. Tuesday the dumpster that blocks access to the garage goes away and then the Emperor will once again be allowed back into his throne room.
Plus, spring appears to be finally here and the weather will now be nice enough to actually enjoy riding with the top down for at least the evening trip home from work.
Even though today was Friday, it was a weekend day for us because the Valve Store ™ considers Good Friday a holiday, so we uncovered the Miata and drove it when we did our running around. After we got home for the day I took advantage of the nice weather and changed its oil and rotated its tires.
Started up, went down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1207
The Emperor has a new right rear shock.
He didn’t need it though.
The one that came out is perfectly fine. I made an assumption and you know the old saw about what that means.
At around 60,000 miles I replaced the worn OEM shocks with some Koni Yellow Sport adjustable shocks. When it came time to to replace those worn Konis, I went with some Koni Orange STR-T non-adjustable ones. I had two reasons for this, one, I adjusted the yellow sport shocks once, to the mid-point where they felt fine and two, the orange non-adjustable shocks were half the price at $70 vs. $140 each.
Because they came from the same manufacturer I thought they would be plug & play, but nope. The yellows because the adjusting mechanism runs through the shaft it is slightly larger in diameter at 12mm, than the stock shaft’s 10mm, so the hole in the top plate of the shock mounts had to be enlarged to accommodate it. The new orange shocks are meant as a slight upgrade to the OEM units, so its shaft is 10mm in diameter.
What I thought was shock failure was really the new smaller shaft poking through the enlarged mounting plate hole. My mechanic used a metal shim/washer with a 10mm hole in it to make things work. We are good for now, but we’ll take the car back to him next week and let him do the other three prophylactically.
Started up, went down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1168
One of the Emperor’s recently (6/19) installed shocks has flat-lined.
In hind sight it is no surprise. From the first few times driving the car on the new shocks it didn’t feel like much of an improvement over the old ones that were replaced. After I cured the socket rattle things were fine for a couple weeks, but then started noticing a slightly lower pitched sound from back there when hitting certain kinds of bumps. I kept meaning to tear apart the trunk and check for other loose tools or stuff that I keep back there, but never did.
Last week a high tone rattle appeared to go along with the occasional thunks, so Friday I did what I should have done before. I removed the faux carpet, the fiber board spare tire cover, the small tool kit,the air pressure gage, the flashlight, the small bottles of quick detailer & glass cleaner. I pulled out the pair of mechanic’s gloves, the paper towels, the umbrella, the rolled up Zoom Zoom picnic blanket and the cargo net holding the Garmin GPS & Cool Breeze Scoop. I pulled out the 10 disc CD changer and the plastic cubby holder on the left side. I then removed the three plastic beauty panels, 2 sides and back exposing access areas to the shock mounts.
I found nothing extraneous, but if you grabbed a hold of the big nut holding down the top of the driver’s side rear shock it was easily shook. And when you did shake the shock, it sounded off with that tinkling cymbal sound that I had been listening to for the last few days.
I filled out the contact form on the Moss Motors site, where I bought the shocks, and within an hour someone from there called. The shocks have a lifetime warranty and the way they handle a situation like this is I have to buy a new shock, but if it does turn out to be a manufacturer defect, they refund the money. Moss also is paying for the shipping of the new shock to me and the return shipping of the defective one to them, so not bad.
The new shock arrives tomorrow and gets installed on Thursday. Hopefully things will be a lot smoother (pun intended) after that.
The Emperor’s new shocks are just what his subjects needed. The last few months his majesty had a tendency to wander in his lane. I tried to tighten things up by adjusting the Koni Sport shocks firmer, but that just ended up making the car bouncy. We picked up the car on Tuesday, didn’t drive it on Wednesday, but Thursday and then again Friday we did. On both days, me first, then Donna, noticed a kind of metallic rattle from the left rear when hitting sharp bumps. Wondering if maybe someone didn’t tighten something up during the shock change, I decided to check it out today.
First thing I did was put the front of the car on jack stands. Front? Yeah, I also needed to change out that burnt out fog light bulb. And while it can be done while laying on your back under the car, but it is much easier to jack it up and take off the tires. Even though only one was out I opted to change them both because with my luck if I did just one, the other would fail within week. Seriously Sylvania, fifty-four bucks for a pair of SilverStar Ultra H1 bulbs?!? I went with $7.75 ea Plain Jane H1.
With the front done I jacked up the back end and pulled both of those tires. A visual and shake check revealed nothing loose or out of place under there, so it was time to check in the trunk. My first thought was to just flat out empty everything out of the trunk and take the car for a spin to see if the noise remained. As I pulled out the faux carpet covering the spare I noticed something, a 3/8 drive, 14mm deep socket sitting on top of the rim of the spare tire. That just might be it. Just in case I hunted around for anything else that didn’t belong and found nothing. Buttoned everything back up and did a quick run around the block running over every imperfection and manhole cover. Didn’t hear a rattle.Big test will be the next time we go over some railroad tracks.
I guess I’ll give Steve a call on Monday and see if he wants his socket back.
Since we last spoke a week ago*:
The Miata has gotten a bath to wash last Saturday’s bugs off only to put some more back on yesterday when we took the MMC to Sardis.
I’ve got the new shocks for the Emperor in the garage which will probably get installed this week some time. Went with the non-adjustable Koni SRTs this time, because why spent twice as much for the adjustable Sport models.
The FRS have won 3 games and lost 4 which is pretty much on par for the way this season is going. Unfortunately the MFY won all seven (now nine in a row for them) putting the Red Sox (who are still in last in their division) 8 games out.
Mad Men is over for another year and we now have absolutely nothing to watch on TV except for The Big Bang Theory and we only have 4 episodes of that to watch before we are all caught up with all the Season 5 shows.
*Where the heck did it go? Seems like yesterday…
Started down, went up, back down, back up, down again, up again, down once more, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1152
When we left the Kroger store parking lot to go buy some gas for the still fanged Emperor, Donna asked, “Are the lights on?” I said, “Yes. It just looks like they aren’t on because we are in a well lit parking lot.” We filled up with gas and headed home. About halfway there I noticed that we seemed to be missing the right headlight. That was confirmed when we pulled into the garage.
This is the first time I have ever had a burnt out headlight in a Miata. Not just this one, but in the first two either. Twenty two years without a headlight going bad. Watch, one of the new ones will burn out in a week and I’ll never go another year without one or the other headlights going bad.
Went back out in the Purple Whale and drove to Advanced Auto to buy a new bulb. Before I went I checked the Owners Manual to see what bulb I needed, low beams on my year car are HB4. At the store there is an aisle full of bulbs and I searched and searched , but couldn’t find an HB4 bulb to save my life. I checked a cross-reference guide they had there and it said I needed a 9006 bulb for that application. Those they had plenty of, just not in single packs. I ended up buying a pair of Sylannia Silver Star 9006 bulbs and left the store $38 poorer.
I sure hope I’m wrong about what I wrote in the 2nd paragraph.
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The Emperor returned to his throne room this afternoon after a 2 day trip to the spa. His timing belt and water pump were changed, along with all his vital fluids at 122,970 miles.
Notes to self:
Call the embroiderer tomorrow.
Pick up the dry cleaning.
Schedule the Purple Whale’s 7500 mile service.
Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1074