Tech Column – Ken Schiess

In March of 2017 I was complaining about a vibration between 45 and 55 mph. I had put the wheels on the balancing machine during tech day and discovered that two of the wheels appeared to be out of round or slightly bent. I proceeded to have them straightened, by Stevenson Mazda (thanks Howard) – which by the way was cheaper with the club discount than if I’d taken them to the wheel guy myself.

The straightening seemed to work but there was some concern that the Falken-Z912’s tires may have been worn unevenly. Since I knew I was about to need tires anyway, the Falkens were 19,000 miles old and the wear bars were becoming visible. They had been a great performance tire, very sticky and very responsive. But I don’t tend to drive aggressively so I was looking for an improvement in wear, ride and especially noise.

Howard (Stevenson Mazda) hooked me up with a full set of General Altimax RT 43 Grand Touring tires (for my Grand Touring Miata).  He was able to beat the Tire Rack price so I was thrilled. That was 18 months and about 6,000 miles ago. I can tell you that the Altimax RT 43 tires are a lot quieter, a little softer ride, a little less responsive (but my driving style isn’t especially aggressive so I don’t care). They make driving the car more enjoyable for my copilot without diminishing my fun quotient.  At 5,000 miles they still look new so I’m guessing that they will last longer than the 19,000 miles the Falkens turned in.

Ken Schiess – 2006 Miata (NC) Grand Touring

President’s Message – April 2019

Spring and April are here!  That means better weather for all types of outdoor activities including top-down motoring for the CFMC!  We have a number of great events planned for the coming months.  On March 30, Judy and I hosted an informal/impromptu visit to the Blue, Brew and Que Festival at the Duplin County Events Center in Kenansville.  Event headliners included several nationally and regionally known Bluegrass Bands, as well as several outstanding local BBQ, craft brewing and winery vendors.   This was the third year in a row that CFMC members attended this event.

We will have our quarterly business meeting on Saturday April 13 at the Niche restaurant in Carolina Beach.  Ken and Patty Badoian will be our hosts.  Details including the luncheon menu are included in this month’s Ragtop Tales.  A meeting agenda will be sent to all members the week before the meeting.  Other upcoming events include a Sip, Sit and Socialize event on Sunday April 28 and CFMC’s participation in the 2019 Brits at the Battleship event on May 4.  Because of the Brits event, there will not be a Bitty and Beau’s social on Saturday May 4.  See the Activities column for more details on these and other upcoming events.

As you will notice, the Ragtop Tales has returned to its earlier format.  Due to other priorities, Ken Badoian has relinquished his duties as Editor.  Ken (and Patty) put a tremendous amount of effort into publishing the RTT over the past 15 months.  We are very appreciative of the work that they have done for the Club.  We will continue to publish the Ragtop Tales but in the meantime, we are going to use this period to experiment and evaluate modifications to the newsletter.  The Ragtop Tales will be published on a quarterly basis for the next few months.  Monthly updates on Club activities will be included on the CFMC website and via blast emails to members.  We appreciate your patience and understanding during this period of transition.  We will evaluate changes and solicit member feedback later this year.  Let’s all enjoy the newness that Spring represents. Zoom-Zoom!

Ron Carmichael