Those CFMC members who participated in Tech Day at Stevenson Mazda may remember that Ken had complained that he was experiencing a vibration while driving his Miata. He learned that day that it was rooted in two of his aluminum wheels (see the March issue of Ragtop Tales). Below is his follow-up to that event.
Two of my wheels appeared to be oval when we ran them on the balance machine at Stevenson. That would have explained the vibration I was feeling between 45 and 55 mph. So I had Stevenson get them straightened. It was cheaper with the club discount than if I took them to the wheel guy myself, probably due to the professional discount that Stevenson gets but cheaper is cheaper (Thank you Stevenson Mazda). Anyway that pretty much solved the vibration issue but since I needed tires anyway I went ahead and replaced them with fresh balancing and four wheel alignment. Now there is no vibration at all.
On the subject of tires; I had Falken Z912’s on the car for the past 19,000 miles. They are a great high performance tire. They stick well but I don’t tend to drive that aggressively so the short comings of a harsh ride, noise and complete wear down to the wear bars in 19,000 miles seemed an excessive trade off. I have replaced them with General Altimax RT 43 Grand Touring tires. They are MUCH quieter, ride better, especially over tar strips and other uneven surfaces but are slightly slower to respond to steering inputs. But only slightly and they tend to stick tight enough for anything I do with the car.
I’ll give you an update on the tires in a year or two when I have 5,000 or 10,000 miles on them