Volume 3, No. 5September 96

Fourth Annual "Find the Founder" Rally!
On Saturday, September 28th, we will meet at Andy Jones Mazda at 10:00 am. After a brief meeting, Bianca will explain the rules of the event and then we will be off to Find the Founder! In this event, we stay in the CSRA, but we go our separate ways competing for cards. Where could Jerry be? If you have any questions, please call Bianca at (706) 855-0323.

Appreciation for a Delicious BBQ
Many thanks go out to Andy Jones, our sponsor, for a great BBQ last month. Steve, the parts manager, can cook a mean burger! The Mazda dealership provided us with a parking lot and facilities to wash and wax our Miatas, and then some great BBQ food: hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, potato salad and sodas. We would also like to thank the people from Georgia Auto Magic and Enviro-tech for their demonstrations and freebies. Thank you!

Weíre Famous!
by Judy Arrowood
Did you see our club in the Augusta Chronicle on August 11th? Brad Shrade wrote a great piece about us after attending our meeting July 27th at the SC Welcome Center. It was exciting to see ourselves in the paper and the article caused many people to call the Prez inquiring about the club. After Brad interviewed us and Michael Holahan shot some photographs, we all took off to the Zoo, or at least some of us, but thatís another paragraph!

As the snake of eleven Miatas headed up I-20 toward the zoo, I slipped in the rear (I was driving a non-Miata). What a day! Not only were my kids going to get to enjoy the zoo, but many people were along on the rally who havenít experienced our club rallies often, one of whom was named Tom. Bonnieís husband drove his red Jeep, another non-Miata, so that Bonnie could enjoy the company of her young daughter, Madelaine. Being respectful to the line of Miatas, he too stayed to the back of the line, right in front of me. After we exited to start the back-road journey, it was time for a few of the Miatas to turn around as they were not going on the remainder of the rally. In the Miata in front of Tom was Brian Bogardus and our friendly reporter, Brad Shrade. As Brian made his U, Tom followed, not realizing that the rest of the group, including Bonnie, drove straight down the road! I caught up to inform Bonnie, then I was off on my hunt for lost Tom. In my quick tour of I-20 and beyond I found Brian, the Godbees, even the reporter, but no Tom. I gave up and went on to meet the gang. After a quick lunch at Shealyís, we lost another Miata due to time restraints. Now there were five Miatas and one non-Miata. On to Columbia! Just as we pulled into the Zoo, the sky opened up. It poured so hard that we lost two more Miatas, the Garners and the Delionbachs! On the bright side we met up with Ernestís wife, Cheryl. While greeting her in the down-pour we noticed someone in the horizon . . . it was Tom ! Now there was four Miatas and three non-Miatas. Those of us who stayed for the fun stood under an umbrella, just laughing! The wet troop included Ernest and Cheryl; Bonnie, Tom and Madelaine; Tim; Shawn, Zachary, Nicholas, and me. Then, as sudden as it came, the storm left. We had a great sunny afternoon at the zoo, and a good dinner afterwards. What a fantastic rally, Ernest!

Charging to Charleston
by Tim Johnson
No . . . itís not what you think. No American Express, Master Card, not even a Dinerís Club in sight. Only one long line of low slung Miatas winding their shiny bodies through the tree-shaded turns of the road. Blue skies above, grey concrete below. A nimble roadster holding you snugly, the top is down. Youíre heart feels like itís floating. The lights, sounds and shapes cascade through your mind as you fly past the sundappled meadows. At least thatís the way I remember it!

Come on! Itís been two months! The mind starts to go at 35. Is there such a thing as "early onset Alzheimerís"? What could I say when the Newsletter Editor asked me to "please" write an article on the rally to Charleston I organized back in June? Sure! Then I stopped to think about how long ago that was and I looked in the mirror to see the grey hairs I never knew I had. So here is a list (Iím good with lists!):

The People:
Barbara "The Prez" Blatter
Brian "The Chronicle Kid" and Donna "Rescuer of Lost Blue Lizards" Bogardus
Leroy and Hilda "Pack Leaders for the Fall Leaf Tour" Delionbach
Hank and Mary "Easy going" Jones
Shawn "Map Master" Arrowood
Gloria "Smile" Weston
Ernest "Miata Maniac" Van Horn
Tim "VP" Johnson

The Event:
Drove to Charleston via I-20, then backroads through Williston (NO TICKETS!!!) Watched the speed limit (CLOSELY!) Sailed on THE PRIDE, the finest schooner in the harbor! Had dinner at CALIFORNIA DREAMINGí, while enjoying a fantastic view of the bay. Had fun with friends and enjoyed ourselves!

If I missed anyone or anything, please forgive me! In a nutshell: after the unexpected exit and U-turn, the trip to Charleston was Great!

Miata on the phone.
by Brian Bogardus
If you live in Aiken, you could be one of the lucky 100 people that can spell Miata with your telephone number. Business does this sort of thing all the time. They will make a word out of their phone number using the letters assigned to each number on the dial (1-800-COLLECT means dial 1-800-275-5328). So if your number is 642-82XX, you are a winner. For example if your phone number is 642-8296 you can tell everyone that if they want to call you, just dial MIATA96.

Of course this also works elsewhere. There are probably "642" exchanges in every area code in the US. And all you really need are the digits 64282 in that order anywhere in the number to spell Miata. X64-282X or XX6-4282 will work too (I think some of the Augusta exchanges are XX6.) How many people have MIATA in their phone number and donít know it?

If you are not among the chosen few, there may be one or more of those 100 possible numbers unused, and if you are so inclined you can request one. Call the phone company and ask to change your number. Of course there will be a charge for doing this. And if you request a number, donít tell them it spells anything, because I think there is a charge for that too.

Has all this talk has gotten you curious as to what your phone number might spell? There are two ways I know how to do it:

  1. You can sit down and write out your phone number on a piece of paper. Then look at the phone and copy right under the number, the letters from the corresponding number key. Now make words. Or
  2. If you have access to the internet, a site is available on the World Wide Web that will print out every possible combination once you have entered your phone number. The URL is "http://www.dfw.net/~kjg/phone.html"
The numbers 1 and 0 have no letters associated with them, consequently it kind of makes forming words impossible. So if you are doubly bummed like me because you donít have Miata in your phone number or it wonít spell anything because of 1ís or 0ís, call me at 642-0767 (MIA-0-POP). Iím thinking of forming a support group.

Greetings From the Prez...
Since our last newsletter, July 1996, we have had two rallies, a barbecue with several demonstrations for car cleaning products and an article with pictures of the Masterís Miata Chapter in the Augusta Chronicle. It has been a busy time!
I am delighted with the response from the Chronicle article. Several new Miata owners have called asking about our club, have had request for information on mechanical problems and availability of used Miatas and a request to demonstrate care cleaning products and to join another car club in one of their activities.

'Find the Founder" Rally
Our next rally, September 28th, will be our fourth annual "Find the Founder" rally. This was the second rally I went on with the Masterís Miata Chapter back in 1993 in my brand new Ď93, red named "Ruby". I really didnít know the North Augusta-Augusta area very well or how to drive "Ruby". Fortunately, I had a navigator so we found all the places with minimal problems. Coming back to Andy Jones Mazda I was behind "the man", Jerry, our Founder. It was great to follow him, as he knew how to drive the car, that is until I took a wrong turn and proceeded to get lost. Since then, I have gone to the Miata Performance Driving School and become more familiar with the roads around the area so I now know how to drive "Ruby" more like the super sports car that she is and how to get around in the CSRA! This is a fun rally. Since we all go different directions, it is great to see another Miata trying to find the "Founderís" card or at least a picture of their own car. I know Bianca is going to have another great rally set for us as we honor Jerry Godbee, our Founder! I recommend each driver bring a navigate to share the fun!

New Leadership
It is time to think about new officers for next year. In fact, we are late in determining a slate and voting. I will be taking nominations for the following offices at the beginning of the "Find the Founder" Rally, September 28th: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Historian. So, please come with nominations for the 96-97 slate or call me (706-868-9377) with your recommendations. Please talk to the people you recommend to get their approval before you nominate them. We will do a ballot by mail to all paid up members in October and announce the new officers at the rally to Caesarís Head Park, November 3rd and in a bulletin to all members. Duties of Officers, Article VII of our Bylaws:

1996 "Miata Games"
So far we have 5 cars going to the "Miata Games" in Atlanta, October 3-6th (Barbara, Anita, Jim, Ernest and Bonnie). I will be leading a rally through the back roads of SC and GA to the Games headquarters, Crowne Plaza, Ravinia in Perimeter Center. We will meet at the SC Welcome Center, Thursday, Oct. 3rd at 1 PM and plan to be on the road by 1:30 PM. I figure it will be about a 4 hour drive through Northwestern Georgia. Registration is from 3-7 PM at the hotel. If you have not received further information on Games schedule, give me a call (706-868-9377).

I want to thank the officers/executive board who have helped me guide the Chapter this year: Tim, Anita, Shawn, Gloria, and Bianca (past President). You all have given your time, ideas and energies to help us have a great year. Thanks to Judy, our newsletter editor. She has been the key person in communicating with all members and has done a terrific job on the newsletter. Thanks to all the "rally masters" who have and continue to provide us with exciting driving through great countryside. On behalf of all of us, I thank Andy Jones and his crew at Andy Jones Mazda for their sponsorship and a GREAT barbecue August 24th. And lastly, I thank all of you for your participation, ideas, laughter, and love of the greatest sports car, our Miatas! Letís keep rolling.

See you all at the rallies and remember the "Miata Wave"!

by R. Shawn Arrowood
Alignment is crucial to the well-being of your car. It is very easy for $30 worth of maintenance to destroy $450 of good, sticky rubber. Letís discuss the parts of an alignment and the optimum settings for near perfect handling without ruining your tires.
Oversteer is the propensity of the car to want to turn in faster than the input being given to the steering wheel. That is, if you aim the nose of the Miata at a given point (apex of a turn), it will feel as if the rear end is sliding towards the outside of the turn. Too much and a spin results.
Understeer occurs when the car turns in slower than the amount of steering input would normally cause. This feels as if the nose of the car is "pushing" toward the outside of the turn. A well handling car should feel neutral with respect to over or understeer, with a touch of understeer in high transition moves.
Camber is the tilting of the top of the tire in relation to the point it touches the ground (contact patch). Positive camber: top of tire further out than bottom(\ /). Negative camber occurs when the top of the tire is inboard of the bottom(/ \). When positive and negative camber are in balance, the size of the contact patch can be increased during a turn. As the rear tires are stationary, they can use more negative camber than the front tires.
Caster is the position of the contact patch in relation to the tires axis of rotation. Positive caster occurs when the contact patch is further forward than the axis of rotation. Negative caster occurs when the contact patch is rearward of the axis of rotation. On the Miata, the best way to set up the caster and camber is to dial in as much positive caster as possible, then dial in the maximum negative camber.
Toe refers to how the front of a tire relates to the rear. The toe of a tire, or how the front sits in relation to the rear, is one of those adjustments where a little goes a long way. Toe can alter whether a car has oversteer or understeer more than any other adjustment and can drastically affect the wear of the tires. On the front a little toe out is desirable, while a little toe in is desirable in the rear. Toe in on the rears can help to counter the effects of heavy rear sway bars to induce under steer. Below are the desired results:
Caster+4.7 to +5.5
(or what ever the max. achievable)
no adjustment possible
Camber-0.6 to -0.8
(this will vary with the achievable caster)
-1 .1
Toe1/16" per side, or 1/8" total toe out1/16" per side, or 1/8" total toe in
(or to be really conservative zero)
***Also try to be sitting in the drivers seat when the alignment is performed or have the equivalent weight in the driverís seat as the driverís weight will significantly affect the alignment.

The above was condensed and edited from Alignment by Miq Millman on the Miata.Net

[ current newsletter | home page ]

Last updated January 9, 1997