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Beta Don

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Beta Don last won the day on November 15

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About Beta Don

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  1. Beta Don

    Center Bore Diameter

    I had a set of basket weave BBS wheels on my Miata that I really loved - They weighed 9 pounds and the Mazda dealer price for them was over $800 EACH . . . . and another $200 for the hubcap Bought a FWD Protege 5 which was 5 bolt (the Miata was 4) and I discovered quite by accident that Mazda had used a nearly identical wheel on their RX7 Convertibles for 2 or 3 years back in the '80's . . . . and they were 5 bolt, same pattern as my Protege 5 . . . . but the RX-7 had a slightly smaller center bore. It was rear wheel drive and the Protege was FWD. Same ridiculous price for those wheels from Mazda, but the convertibles were old enough you could occasionally run across the wheels on the used market and sometimes at very reasonable prices. There often isn't much demand for used OEM wheels, especially if they're 20 or 30 years old Long story short, I found a very pristine set with the centercaps for $200 and snapped them up. Took the wheels to a local machinist along with a stock wheel off the Protege and he chucked them in the lathe and bored the centers out a few millimeters to match the Protege wheel for me - $50 for the set of 4 . . . . only took him about half an hour, total So, if you're looking for OEM wheels off another car and the lug pattern matches up with what you want to put them on, but the center bore doesn't, it's still do-able. There are plastic rings you can buy to make a too large center bore still be hub centric on your car, and if the center bore is too small, it's not that big a deal to get that fixed either For me, I actually prefer a good used set of OEM wheels off another model car to the el-cheapo aftermarket wheels that routinely sell for 3X or 4X what they're actually worth. In most cases, the OEM wheels are considerably stronger than the aftermarket ones (car manufacturers can't afford accidents caused by suspect wheels) and no doubt, they're cheaper too. Many times, some bozo took off a brand new set of OEM wheels so he could install an ugly, el-cheapo set of aftermarket wheels and he's looking to sell is OEM wheels for about 1/4 what the dealer wants for them . . . . or even less I found a like new set of 16X7 Ford Focus wheels for my TC and paid about $250 for the set - Not a scratch on them. Stock steel wheels from Tire Rack cost about the same. Shop around . . . . there are plenty of nice looking used wheels out there and they can be had for very reasonable prices Don
  2. Time for some basic troubleshooting - Remove the bulb, turn on the lights and measure the voltage on the socket pins with a voltmeter. If there's no voltage there (and if you're 100% sure the new bulb is good, it's very likely there's no voltage there) then it's very likely the fuse that the other bulb uses isn't the same fuse for both headlights. Sometimes (rarely, but sometimes) when an incandescent bulb burns out it creates a momentary short which can blow a fuse and then when you replace the bulb, you still have no light But . . . . if you do measure 12 volts or something close on the pins of that socket, it's very likely your 'new' bulb was defective right out of the box - That doesn't happen very often either, but it does . . . . sometimes If it was me, and I didn't own a voltmeter, I would have already swapped the bulbs side for side before I went to a forum asking for ideas - If the not lit bulb swaps sides when you swap bulbs, you've found your dead bulb Don
  3. Beta Don

    Kumho's, WalMart and Goodyear Viva 3's

    . . . . and when you 'do the math' that makes them the least expensive tires you can buy - Moral of the story - You don't have to buy cheap junk tires and change them every other year to save money Don
  4. A quick Google check shows Colorado, Virginia and New Jersey have similar laws too - Looks like there are more than I thought Don
  5. An ophthalmologist explained the detriment of hanging anything from the rear view mirror of a car to me about 40 years ago - I've never forgotten what he told me He said that although we humans *think* we 'see' with our eyes, we actually don't. Our eyes just collect data which is sent to the brain where it's assembled into an image. Like most other bodily functions, the brain controls everything - It tells your eyes where it needs input from and moves them (and your head) accordingly, constantly assembling new images to consider all the while When you hang something from a mirror, that creates constant movement as the object swings around as the car moves and that movement is very distracting to the brain . . . . so it pretty much just ignores it - Any movement in that area is written off as being the object hanging from the mirror, so no need to pay any attention to it. That effectively creates a dead spot in your vision encompassing the area just below your mirror - Any movement near that area gets overlooked, so if a car, a child, a deer or anything else which is moving in that general area and would otherwise alert your brain that there's something over there that needs to be checked out, you may very well end up not seeing it, for all intents and purposes - Even if the movement there does eventually register in your brain as something other than what's hanging from the mirror and alert you that you might be about to hit something, that alert is much delayed and the inevitable collision probably still happens - You didn't 'see' it soon enough to do anything about it My daughter has hit 2 or 3 deer over the years - To hear her, they hit her as they 'just came out of nowhere' and she didn't have time to take evasive action . . . . but she's still pretty sure the crap hanging from her mirror had nothing to do with it! You may have noticed that about a quarter to a third of all vehicles have something hanging from the mirror. Oughta be a law against it, IMO. Some gals (mostly) like to drive with a little multi-faceted crystal ball hanging there, reflecting light all around the interior of the car! I honestly don't see how they're even able to keep it on the road with all that distraction . . . . and beware, many of them can't! Don
  6. Beta Don

    "Ladder" Noise

    If it doesn't do it without the ladder up there, but it does when you strap on the ladder, I think you've found your culprit for sure. Maybe you could try swapping the ladder end for end - That should make it better . . . . or worse, but at least you'd know for sure it's the ladder causing the problem I had a little Mazda wagon that had roof crossbars which I very seldom used and just the front crossbar made an unusual noise that I wasn't at all happy with. The very next year on the same model, Mazda addressed the problem by adding little rubber 'spoilers' on the underside of the crossbar. When I complained to my dealer about the noise, they ordered and installed the newer model crossbar for me and while it didn't eliminate the problem entirely, it did lessen it to the point that nobody but me noticed it any longer Pretty much anything on the roof at freeway speeds is going to make some noise - Some of them more objectionable than others. All the more so in a vehicle with little or no insulation in the headliner , , , , or in your case, no headliner at all Don
  7. Nice find!! They do help (just a little) to draw your eye away from all the 'stuff' stuck all over the back of your van 🤔 Don
  8. I once towed a '66 Corvair Corsa on a tow dolly (backwards) 1100 miles from Iowa to Biloxi MS with a '93 Mitsubishi Expo LRV, which is a mini, mini van - 4 cylinder automatic. The two keys are . . . . take your time getting up to speed and leave LOTS of extra room in front of you because (in my case) the car and the dolly outweighed my tow vehicle by several hundred pounds, so stopping distances are measured in yards, not feet! 200 miles with a Gen 1 TC and a car as light as a TR-3 would be a piece of cake! Don
  9. Beta Don

    Mi exterior and interior lights flicker

    Since it's both the exterior and the interior lights and they only do it when the engine is running, I would suspect a common ground, likely one in the engine compartment which would be more susceptible to engine vibrations. The TC uses the chassis as the ground connection for EVERYTHING, even the starter and the most important one is a short battery cable between the negative terminal on the battery and the chassis nearby - They left a post where it grounds to the chassis as a handy place for connecting jumper cables and charging cables - Check that area thoroughly for anything loose Don
  10. Beta Don

    From Mazda Miata to Transit

    I sold my Miata a couple years after I bought our TC - I owned a 1994 R package for 20 years . . . . it just got too difficult to get into and out of for an old man! 😋 The 'other reason' for the sale was . . . . I was just out of garage space and no way was my Miata going to sit out in the weather - It never did in the 20 years I owned it. We have 4 cars and a motor home, so garage space is at a real premium around here! Don
  11. Beta Don

    Curt Hitch Class 2 or 3?

    It's about flush with the back of the bumper, but it's tucked up very tight with the bottom lip of it If you have a need for the 2" receiver, by all means go that way - It is more versatile, though they do make bike racks for the 1 1/4 receivers too - My daughter has one on her car and she never pulls a trailer. Otherwise, I actually prefer the smaller Class 2 for 4 cylinder cars which will never tow anything heavy where you don't need the extra tongue weight rating Don
  12. Beta Don

    Curt Hitch Class 2 or 3?

    I bought the class 2 mainly because I've had them on other small cars and I already had an assortment of hitch receivers to fit it . . . . and, because in more than 20 years, I've never had any accessory (bike racks etc) which require a 2 inch receiver. Also, the smaller hitch adapter is easy to stow away - I wrap mine in an old tee shirt and stow it in the rear drivers side compartment But . . . . it's true that the 2 inch receiver *is* more versatile, *if* you have need of accessories which will only fit a 2 inch - Not a consideration in my case Don
  13. Beta Don

    How many miles?

    How long anything automotive last for you vs anyone else would not be a valid comparison - There are TC's out there with 200,000 miles on them still running fine. Much depends on HOW you drive it and how it's maintained. If you drive it 'briskly' (or worse) then it needs more maintenance than if your normal zero to sixty time is 15 or 20 seconds. A gently driven TC gets 26 to 30 mpg - One driven briskly (or in lots of city traffic) gets much worse . . . . and needs more frequent maintenance. I'm pretty darned gentle with mine and am averaging right at 29 mpg . . . . and I drained and flushed my transmission at 25,000 miles Don
  14. Beta Don


    It's definitely different - Nobody uses that high paraffin crap today, but it did destroy many engines before everyone caught on. I'm sure their modern oils and synthetics are probably about as good as most others . . . . I just don't use them 🙄 Don
  15. Beta Don


    Havoline has been a premium grade oil for half a century or more - I would have no qualms about using it in any engine of mine. Everything I have is now using synthetic, so the super priced stuff you found from Amazon wouldn't do me much good though. One time years ago, I found Purolator Pure One oil filters to fit my Mazdas (and also my Kubota diesel) on Amazon for less than $3 each, so I bought a case of 24 - They were 7 or 8 bucks everywhere else. Those lasted me several years. Every now and then, Amazon has something at a price almost too good to be true, but it is. Those sales usually only last for a few days, so if it's something you use, buy up a ton of it while you're getting it for half price or less Other than Exxon and Mobil products, the only other brands I shy away from are Pennzoil and Quaker State. Old timers here may recall that both of those were originally made only from Pennsylvania crude oil (hence the names) which was very high in Paraffin (wax) which was thought in the old days to be the cat's meow for engines with babbited bearings. When it came time to do any engine work though, you literally needed a crow bar to pry the valve cover off the engine because it was full of solid wax! I'm sure in this modern age, both Pennzoil and Quaker State are now making very good products, but my thinking has always been that the other manufacturers have about 30 years experience on them, because in the old days, they weren't researching any good oil molecules . . . . they were just peddling that waxy crap! ☚ī¸ Don