October 30, 2008


Tonight was a nice get together with Josh, James, and Oleg, along with some new faces (Scott and his brother Tony). I had decided to swap out the black and tan leather for either all black leather or the dark gray and black cloth. I really preferred getting cloth because the racing seats I'll be getting at some point are cloth, and the interior not only feels more comfertable then leather, it all also has a nice color to it I think. Got someone who was interested in trading black leather, but when I got a message from someone I met at a car meet not long ago, ready to do cloth ASAP, I was on the scene.
Got to Scott's brother's house a little after six where Scott's car was ripped apart in the garage already with Josh there. They started working at it at around five apparently, but were stuck at the steering wheel, in which we needed a steering wheel claw tool (the RX8club DIY said we didn't need it originally). I'm going to list the steps of everything we went through so incase someone runs into this you can follow the steps. The only things I can't provide is socket sizes but I'm sure you can figure that out.. It can't be that hard.

1. Roll up one of the cars to the garage and disconnect the negative on the battery. Let it stand for 30 min (At least that's what we did) so that when you're playing with the front seats and steering wheel, the airbag won't blow up in your face.

2. Meanwhile, waiting for the front seats and all, you can start with the rear seats. Pull up at the bottom cushion and literally pull out towards you. Then unbolt the two bolts holding down the backrest cushion at the bottom. After doing so, lift up on the cushion and push upward to "unhook" then pull away.

3. The front seats are held in by four bolts on the ground that are covered by plastic coverings. Just pull away the coverings to get to the bolts. First though, you want to disconnect the connectors under the seats to make sure the Airbag's are unplugged and heated seats (If you have leather). Then unbolt the seats one by one and lift out.

4. The steering wheel is relatively easy, just be careful. There are screws under the steering wheel that hold the horn/airbag into place. Unscrew those, then carefully pull out the horn assembly. You will then need to unclip the orange and yellow clip that power off the airbag. Once that is done, you can use the steering wheel claw tool to pull out the steering wheel. James knew how to do it, and even watching him I was still a bit confused, but I'm sure if you have time and play with it, you can figure it out!

5. The body panels themselves are held on very easily. The back one you just pry off, just be sure to lift the scuff guard at the bottom up enough and the rubber seal about the door. The rear door is held on by 3 screws. one is behind the door opener handle (lift the small circular guard) and the other behind the grasping handle, just need to take the top off of the handle. After that, lift and pull hard because of the body clips. Lastly, the front, you need to unscrew the door opener handle, then pull back on the panel. Be careful, you have a lot of connectors behind it for the windows, the door lights and all. So do this with your partner and unhook everything before lifting up on the panel and removing it the rest of the way.

6. Lastly, if you are swapping for heated leather seats (Like Scott did), you will need to remove the small center console where the shift boot and heater buttons lie. Simply turn the shift knob until it comes it, then grasp the shift boot and pull up hard. This will remove that panel and reveal the two small black and white connectors for the heated seat buttons.

There you have it! Now just go backwards and swap everything out. The whole process took us a little over 5 hours...including pizza, good laughs, and cold weather. Well worth it in the end! All pics are taken from Josh and posted at Mazda's 247, right here.

October 25, 2008

Detail Bonanza

The annual NEPOC "Fall Clean Meet" was held today over at Mark's house in West Bridgewater! Not only do These meets seem to get bigger and bigger, but the fun just never ends. Mark (as usual) was working on his car instead of cleaning it, installing a transmission cooler that he has had lying around for awhile now. James was trying to install his new REALLY stiff Progress Tech sway bars (same sway bars used by the SpeedSource RX-8 in the Rolex GT series) but had no luck as he unfortunately snapped the bolt off in his rear somewhere. Poor guy had to drive home with a sway bar half on at the end of the meet!
Josh did some talking with Poorboy's World and they sent us a ton of great detailing supplies for the meet! Things ranging from wax, to detail and polish. Unfortunately I did not get to use the "Black Hole" product but from what I saw, it was an impressive product.

With the good times, seeing new faces and hanging out with the usual buddies, it was a hell of a meet. Pictures taken by Josh can be viewed here few while pictures from Chris can be viewed here! Thanks a ton guys!

October 14, 2008

Oil Change And Maintenance

Got my excellent oil filter and oil the other day. The Knight Sports Oil Filter I purchased over from Corksport (they have all of Knight Sports catalog, just not posted on the internet) which is apparently a high quality racing oil filter that is strictly for rotary engines. If you look in the picture below, the size compared to OEM is a huge difference.The oil filter is specially designed to work with premixture oils and synthetic oils, as opposed to the old 5 w20 that Mazda recommends. The oil is a 10 w40 Synthetic oil by RedLine and is some of the highest quality stuff you will find on the market right now. I was very hesitant to even go synthetic at first, but after reading various reviews on the rx8club.com boards, I had heard numerous good things, especially with a higher number like 10w 40.

My understanding is that the way RedLine oil is made, it has certain properties about it that make it so the apex seals wear and tear much less then normal. And since the viscosity is higher in the oil , as the oil heats up and thins out, it won't be thin to the point that seals could start rubbing against the housing, making this oil one of the best choices. Granted, most tuning companies in Japan are running their own premixture oils of 10w 50, but this will do for now.

I just want to add that after changing my oil and oil filter to this, my engine feels a lot happier and more at home when revving. Before it felt great, peppy and lively, but a slight bit "upset" with small rumbling. Now, when revving the engine, it feels smooth as butter, and I already noticed a slight increase of MPG. Idling is still similar to before as I have done the airbox modification, but it was still noticibly better, by both me and the mechanic. I highly recommend this oil and oil filter to anyone who is serious about maintaning their RX8 to it's fullest, as this really was worth the extra money. I don't know about you readers, but I disagree with using a OEM filter that is used on all of Mazda's cars, as opposed to a special oil filter for a special engine.

October 4, 2008

Last Event Of The Season! 1'35 CLEAN!

Today was the last day of Autocross for the Renegade Miata Club. It had ended with a full loop around the Airbase, with a lot of high speed sectors that ended with quick pinches. I have to admit, this course really taught me a lot, but also taught me how to start looking ahead more. Starting next season, I'll have videos of my runs as I've already decided to buy a camcorder and all.

For the day, I co-drove with Mike (has been doing autocross for 9 years, drives a nicely prepped Miata). He is REALLY good and gets excellent times whenever he runs. He had mentioned he wasn't feeling so good with his back so he did not want to carry the tires up the stairs and all that, so was asking around if he could co-drive with someone. He gave me really interesting feedback, explaining that he did not understand why when he turned the car, everything was right, especially the turn in, except the whole car slid from under him. We played with different tire pressures, and luckily, by the end of the day, he figured out the right pressures (sadly, this was after my last offical run). Apparently I was running much too low, and we put the pressures to 37 in the front and 39 in the rear. How odd is that? He ran a 1 32 clean for the day, and I ran a 1 38 clean for the day.

Fun runs came, and I had the legendary John Mac take my car out with the new pressures and all for a spin to see if I could learn something. Other then wanting to scream and literally holding on for dear life, I learned I can go a lot faster and push my car harder then I have been... So I did. John had run a 1 30 clean on his run, so I went and did my fun runs (after taking a quick run in my buddy's little Civic...that was a blast) and suddenly ran a 1 35 28 +1 cone and a 1 35 04 clean. I can't even began to explain the joy and feeling that was running through me as I ran such low times. Sadly, they don't count, but thats okay because next season I'll be ready to kick some tail.

Thanks for the good times everyone, thanks a million Mike and John MacDonald for teaching me so much, can't wait for the next season.

October 1, 2008

Best Motoring International - Civic Type R Returns

Took me a bit to get to reviewing this, sorry about that everyone! Getting down to this video, this video is loaded with a boat load of information regarding Japan's new Honda Civic Type R that we will, unfortunately, never see in America. Granted, the closest we have is the four door Civic Si, but it's not just the same. They go into extensive explanation on the car as a whole, ranging from Chassis, to suspension work, custom tires and more. If you really wanted to, you could possibly convert a American Civic 4 door into a JDM one, and this video would certainly help you achieve that, but I'm not familiar with how far you could go. I really don't have a lot more to say, other then if you are a Honda guy, I recommend picking this video up just to see the great comparisons and new equipment on the Civic.

Thanks to Brendan for getting me this for my Birthday not long ago.