Tag Archives: mx5

Drive down to Robertson’s pie shop

On a nice sunny day we went for a drive down to Woollongong (well Robertson to be precise) to check out a pie shop known as Robertson’s Pie Shop. The drive is about 1.5 hours from my local area and passes through the Royal National Park and Macquarie Pass (now you know why we’d make this trek down :P).
Unfortunately for us Sunday traffic through the national park meant cyclists blocking the road while they struggle with the uphill and family sedans moving at a snail’s pace.

photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography

Fortunately though Macquarie Pass was a little better and to my surprise, it was a bus that was leading the pack, man that bus driver was a gun. So we eventually arrived to this pie shop, plenty of bikes and cars parked out front so we knew it was where we wanted to be.

photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography

Looking at the map below you can see how much fun Macquarie pass can be, a bit scary at times as there’s a section with no line dividing the two sides of the road.

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The shop front is just your local pie shop/cafe looking kinda place, plenty of awards and articles about the shop were scattered at the counter.

photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography

Plenty of pie choices but I went for the Volcano, a chunky beef pie with a kick.

photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography

I was too busy munching on the pie to get a photo of the pie itself (odd I know) but damn it was tasty. Definitely a lot of kick but the filling was thick and flavoursome. The pastry flaked well but wasn’t overly crispy, a nice balance between softness and crispiness.

photos by ntranced photography (facebook.com/ntrancedphotography

Well priced and overall pretty damn good pie and a lovely drive to get there. For takeaway we bought two large pies, a beef and mushroom for savoury and a blackberry and apple pie for dessert. Popping that into the oven at home was delicious, the apple pie pastry broke well and wasn’t a hard biscuity mess and the filly was just divine.

Definitely have to head back here.

 

HSV/NSCC drive day

Another track day at Wakefield had popped up and I decided (at last minute) to join the crew and sign up. The day was hosted by the HSV club of NSW in conjunction with the Nissan Sports Car Club (NSCC) – 8 sessions on the track for $200, not a bad deal, so off I went.

This time round there wouldn’t be much difference from the first track day with JDM yard – only difference was a set of tyres, instead of some aged Goodyear F1’s, I’d have fresh Bridgestone Potenza RE002s. With NatSoft timing as well, I could be sure that the laps I was putting down were real and timed accurately. Continue reading HSV/NSCC drive day

A spoiler and some carbon fibre

Well not real carbon fibre 😉 but decided to add some touches using the 3M carbon fibre vinyl wrap. The first point of attack is the centre console, just the bit that surrounds the gear stick.

The stock form for the titanium edition MX5 is a silver trim.

The plan was to wrap it in the carbon fibre vinyl which has the nice fibrous texture as well. Here’s how it looks wrapped.

Process wasn’t as easy as I was expecting as the adhesive wasn’t as strong as I had thought, tricky corners were hard to wrap nicely. Pretty happy with the end result and the flaws are almost invisible when re-installed. Need to buy myself another sheet to do the stereo surrounds.

The other mod that I had put off for a while is the install of my spoiler, it’s an OEM Mazda one, I was deciding what to do with it but thought I might as well install it as is while deciding.

The instructions aren’t the best, with dodgy translations, but it’s pretty simple. Stick on the template for the middle hole, drill til it’s about 10mm wide. Line the two side templates into the spoiler and lightly attach, place the spoiler onto the boot and stick the templates down. Remove and the location to drill is there.

The most difficult bit was the replacing of the tension balancers which push the boot up, I was a bit careless when taking them off and didn’t realise how they sat exactly. However, once I realised there was a groove for them, it was exactly the same as removal.

Here’s how it looks from the rear.

And another shot.

New shoes for the MX5

I was starting to need some new tyres for the MX5 as I hard forgotten to rotate them and the rears are now rather worn, the fronts were still okay but the tyres were getting a bit old and hard. Looking around on some forums I found a rather good deal, $675 for a set of 4 Bridgestone Potenza Adrenaline RE002’s.

Not only that, but they came with a set of original NB8B rims as well! To top it off, when I came to pick them up, the rims were spotless, hardly a mark on them at all, very happy.

Initial impressions was they’re pretty grippy compared to the old Goodyear Eagle F1’s which were originally on. Did notice it was harder to slip starting from standstill and they just seemed to have that little bit more edge around corners. Will have to do a proper trackday to put it though its paces and report back.

I’m a bit torn about the rims though, I do prefer the look of the Enkei rims which came with the Titanium edition, but I don’t think I’m bothered enough to switch the tyres over.

Yes, the dent from months ago is still there when some tard reversed into it at Canley Vale and never left a note.

Few things for the MX5

I actually bought this a while ago but never put a photo of it up, decided I need some more body support during track days, I bought a Sparco Sprint V fixed bucket seat. Off the MX5 forums, it was a decent buy at $450 with side holsters as well as being already mounted on stock rails. This means it’s about a 10 minute process to swap out the seats; having a soft top means it’s a simple job.

I do like the snugness of the seat, it sits a bit lower than stock and actually gives me enough room to heel-toe in shoes, I find with the stock seat, I’m lacking a tiny bit of room to be able to swing my heel across. Gives you a bit more confidence with spirited driving as you’re snug and feel the car. Being a fixed bucket though, it’s a pain in the arse to get in and out, with that in mind, I ended up switching back to the stock seat.

While buying the used seat, I did get a glimpse of the owner’s Malibu gold car and one thing I especially liked about it was a black duck tail spoiler he had, interestingly enough it was a Mazda OEM part but I had never seen one before. A while later, I decided I wanted one too and searched on ebay, without too much difficulty I found one.

And even better? It was a Titanium coloured one! This was brilliant news, it meant I could buy it and have it installed in the original colour as well as giving me the option to vinyl wrap it to provide that black contrast! Plenty of options, I haven’t had a chance to install it yet as it does require drilling into the boot lid.

Here’s a mock fitting.

Wakefield Park track day

One of the things I had really been dying to do (and one of the reasons I wanted to buy an MX-5 was to hit the race track and feel what it was like. Before actually getting there, had to do some prep on the car and this would be the first time I’d be doing anything to it more advanced than an oil and oil filter change.

The parts:

Elf Excellium synthetic oil, oil filter, NGK spark plugs, fresh brake fluid (not pictured), new Hawk HP+ front and rear brake pads and K&M Air filter recharger, also shown is a mate’s helmet which I will be borrowing for the track.

A DIY day at Steven’s house was the perfect time to get together and learn a bit more about what it takes for a track day the to-do’s and not-to-do’s. Oil change was straight forward with the oil filter still being a pain to reach on an MX-5. Turning the wheel’s to the left would leave more room to reach in but it’s not as simple as most FWD cars. Air filter was just a quick clean with an air compressor and then giving it a nice layer of oil and next was the replacement of spark plugs, pretty simple.

Next was to jack the car up and change the front pads, simple task but the lack of a g-clamp to push the front caliper back in meant that sheer manpower would be required to slowly force it back in. Not fun but we eventually got there, popped them back in and it was time to bed in the pads. Starting off with lower speeds, 50-60 km/h then hard braking to a gentle roll, after a few of these, the brakes really started to bite, and wow, what a difference! These brakes were amazing, the force pushing you was immense! Time had the better of me and it was time to head to Assiette for dinner. Post dinner drove back to quickly finish off the job, bled the brakes and changed the rear. In our noobness, it took us a while to figure out how to adjust the rear caliper and in our haste didn’t realise you need to adjust it back! This meant I was left without a handbrake! Luckily we figured it out and it was a quick job to set it again the night before heading to the track.

Tuesday night we headed down so we could stay in a motel and be fresh and awake in the morning without being drained from a two hour drive. It was nice and warm in the motel, but damn! It was freezing outside! Being a private day, things were rather casual, in my first session, it took a while to build confidence and to really go hard out in the corners. That first time you’re on the track and you think you’re going quick, you’re definitely not! It certainly takes balls to push the limits of grip, not like when you’re on the road where a tiny chirp meant you’re going quick, those tyres need to be squealing the whole way! First proper session netted a time of 1:27:8. By the end of the day, my fastest lap would be a 1:21:2, not as quick as I was hoping for, but I’m happy enough :D.

All in all, definitely a fun time and seriously keen to go again!

Here’s a quick video of my noob driving.

Few notes to self, need to go much harder in the first corner, losing way too much speed and secondly need to practice the fish hook a lot! Still not exactly sure how to tackle it so definitely need another session. Last bit of a to-do is to learn how to embed the lap logs and map into the video.

Fixing a 2002 Mazda MX5 cup holder lid (NB8B)

So one of the problems I’ve faced so far with the car is a rather common one where the lid for the cup holder loses it’s springyness, well it’s just the rear one. The cause of this is rather simple, the movement the spring on the rear lid moves as it opens and closes and over time, weakens the plastic tab which holds the spring in. With it loose, it can’t provide the force to spring it open, it also only happens on the rear one as it uses a different spring clip for some reason (it’s bronze instead of black).

So how do you fix it? You simply need to find a way to hold the spring close to the cup holder itself again. To do the fix, you’ll need some simple tools:

  • Flat head screw driver
  • Phillips screw driver
  • Some thin metal wire
  • Masking tape (optional)

One thing that was great with working on the interior of an MX5 is the fact you can take the top off! Makes for so much more room to work with despite being a small car.

First thing you need to do is a. remove the gear shifter knob, simply turn anti clockwise until it comes off, if it hasn’t been taken off in a long time, a bit of initial force will be required to crack it. Next cover the edges of the power window switches with masking tape (so you don’t scratch the trim) and b. dig a large flathead screwdriver in and lift the switches.

Once it’s lifted out completely, remove the white clip from the power window switch module and place aside.

Grab your phillips screw driver and there will be a single screw underneath the power window switch (mine didn’t have one there) and also remove two more in the centre compartment.

On either side of the middle console trim are two screws with plastic covers, gently pry them open and undo the screws on each side. Once removed, lift upwards from the front of the piece and pull forward to take out the centre console.

Looking underneath you can see the issue with the rear cup holder.

Here’s a closer look, see the plastic tab holding the spring in is broken?

Now to fix the issue, I tackled it by drilling a small hole in the plastic and simply wrapping some metal wiring around it (twice). It doesn’t need to be tight, just enough so that it won’t become undone and it holds the spring close enough. You could probably also superglue the plastic tab back on but for some that won’t be practical as the tab is long lost and there’s no guarantee it won’t break again.

That’s pretty much it, to re-assemble the centre console piece, simply follow these instructions in reverse.

Eastern Creek Sports Car day

So May of every year Eastern Creek has a little sports car day where quite a few varieties of cars come out to race. The Saturday is free to watch and that’s when Vo and I come down to practice some of our panning and automotive photography.

First up is the Radical group of cars, to me they look like a downscaled version of the Le Mans cars.

Secondly is the PRB clubman group:

Next was the Production car group, plenty of variety here with lots of MX5s (from all ages), Silvia’s, Skylines, Porches and much more!

There was this one car which I don’t have any idea as to what it is, never seen it before. Anyone know?

Last but not least are the Group S cars which I believe are race cars based of production vehicles manufactured from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

The rest of the pictures can be seen by clicking below:

Click here for more sports car carnival pictures