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Archive for June, 2007

Fresh power steering fluid; 90K coming up

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

I flushed the power steering fluid in the Miata today. After checking miata.net I found the reservoir and replaced what was in there with Mobil 1 ATF, which is apparently Dexron II compatible. I did a siphon/replace, then drove around for a bit, then siphon/replace, then drove around a little bit, then siphon/replace again and a small test drive. The steering feels a wee bit weightier now, which is a good thing I think. We’ll see if this cures the “power steering feels really gummy for the first minute or two” issues I’ve been having.

In other news, the 90K maintenance is overdue. What’s involved, you ask?

http://www.miata.net/garage/maint.html

  • Replace engine oil and filter;
  • inspect drive belts;
  • replace air cleaner element;
  • replace spark plugs;
  • inspect idle speed adjustment;
  • inspect fuel lines;
  • inspect cooling system and replace coolant;
  • inspect brake lines, hoses and connections;
  • inspect brakes and pads;
  • inspect steering operation and linkages;
  • inspect front suspension ball joints;
  • replace transmission oil;
  • replace rear axle (differential) oil;
  • tighten bolts and nuts on chassis and body;
  • inspect exhaust system heat shield;
  • lubricate locks and hinges.

So I guess my shopping list is:

  • air filter
  • coolant…?
  • transmission fluid (mt90: http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=213617&highlight=mt-90+mtl)
  • diff fluid (75w90)

Not bad, just have to get around to it.

June WDCR event… a sweep in STX!

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

With a fresh autocross class under their belt, BDR headed to Fedex again for the June event.

In STX, John’s car was finally dialed in. At the last minute, fellow NASIOC moderator Eric G needed a ride, with his swapped RS still having problems. So, John, Brandon and Eric waged war against the Minis. The end result: an unprecedented Subaru 1-2-3 in STX! Eric kept the Curse of the Codriver alive, finishing 1st in John’s WRX. John finished three tenths behind in 2nd. Brandon, showing up to his first event in 2007, finished two tenths behind in 3rd place. After a loose skimming of the WDCR archives, this appears to be the first time in STX (and maybe the first time period) that Subarus have taken all three of the trophies in a class at a WDCR event.

In STS2, Slava narrowly won the spouse battle, finishing 4th to Mei’s 5th place. In STU, Ben finished 13th in an incredibly tightly-bunched STU class.

Getting our throttle steer on… BBQ…

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

June 15: Autocross school!

Here at BDR, we strive for ego-less driving. Or at least, pretty much ego-less driving. One should always be comfortable with the idea that they can learn more. So, we try to keep our skeeulz sharp by going in for some formal instruction every once in a while. So, using the winnings from last year’s Crossroad Racing Autox Series, eight members and one fiancee attended a WDCR Autocross school at Ripken Stadium.

The new Courtyard Marriott on Long Road was an excellent staging area. The rooms were really nice, and only $100 with the AAA discount. After some Yuengling and a few hours of sleep with some questionable sleeping arrangements, everyone awoke to do battle with themselves. Oh yeah, and John can’t use one of those automatic wafflemakers to save his life.

The instructors were Brian Garfield and Greg Olsen, with Craig “Benevolent Dictator” Garfield operating as the safety steward.

After clearing some large, random hunks of turf off of the driving surface, the school began. One group ran the slalom while the other ran the figure eight, then vice versa. The second half of the day was devoted to a fast, fun ~50 second course that used 3/4 of the Ripken lot. If only they could all be like that!

There were a few notable victims on the day:

victim one: The MR2′s coilovers. After hearing a noise in the slalom drill in the MR2, Slava switched to his hot-spare Miata to finish out the drill. Upon further inspection, the swaybar bracket had disconnected itself from the strut at the welds. With the Miata as a spare, and with some fun ride-swapping, everything continued on just fine. Do I smell… strawberries?
victim two: Kevin’s brake quasi-ducts. Apparently if you hit enough cones, some stuff starts coming off the bottom of your car. For Kevin, these were the brake ducts on the underside of the car. No biggie really.

victim three: John’s gas tank. “Oh, I can run with the light on”, he thought. Whoops. When it came down to the very end, the WRX was verrry low on gas and fuel starving in any hard corners. The school was not lacking for seat time, with about ten slalom runs, 10-15 minutes of figure eight drill, and then at least ten runs on the course.

The Ripken lot is definitely much better for these schools than Harry Grove. if you get a chance… do it!

June 16: BBQ!

Slava and Mei invited most of the universe over for a BBQ at their place in Frederick. There were serious cookies and serious’er brownies, as well as funeral cake.  Dan finally got to take a day off. It turns out he IS alive.

Unfortunately, Dan did not bring a TIG welder with him. (Why do we keep him around, exactly?) This would mean that Mei and Slava would have to run the Miata instead of their more thoroughly prepped MR2. It would also mean that “You’re the best” would not be played in grid.

And now, a musical interlude…

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Try to be best
‘Cause you’re only a man
And a man’s gotta learn to take it

Try to believe
Though the going gets rough
That you gotta hang tough to make it

History repeats itself
Try and you’ll succeed

Never doubt that you’re the one
And you can have your dreams!

You’re the best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you dow-ow-ow-ow-own

Fight ‘til the end
Cause your life will depend
On the strength that you have inside you

Ah you gotta be proud
starin’ out in the cloud
When the odds in the game defy you

Try your best to win them all
and one day time will tell
when you’re the one that’s standing there
you’ll reach the final bell!

You’re the best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you dow-ow-ow-ho-how-ho-own

INSPIRING GUITAR SOLO

You’re the best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you dow-ow-ow-ow-own

Fight ‘til you drop
never stop
can’t give up
Til you reach the top (FIGHT!)
you’re the best in town (FIGHT!)
Listen to that sound
A little bit of all you got
Can never bring you down

You’re the best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!