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Thread: 2000 Special Edition #2441

  1. #46
    1,000 rpm - releasing the clutch lifebyevan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnaha View Post
    How do you like the Clearwater speakers? Worth the money? Looking to upgrade the speaker system in my Miata since I've been feeling like its lacking lately (more than usual)
    Funny you should ask because I recently did a little work to them because they developed a rattling sound after over 10 years of service. I’ll be posting about it shortly. Everything seems to be working great a couple weeks afterwards and is now rattle free.

    Overall I love the Clearwater speakers. The price tag does seem a high compared other options on the market but they some of the only speakers that properly integrate into the Bose system on NBs. I appreciate the fact that you don’t have to drill any new mounting holes to install the speakers, you can just use the factory provisions. I’d say they are worth it if you are really into OEM+ modifications and would like to upgrade the sound quality while also retaining the factory Bose system. I’m not a huge audio person and so the Clearwater speakers exceed my expectations when it comes to a sound system in a Miata. At higher volumes there is little to no distortion and everything is super crisp.

  2. #47
    1,000 rpm - releasing the clutch lifebyevan's Avatar
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    April 4th, 2021

    As I mentioned before, I love my Clearwater speakers in my car. The only issue is, ever since I got the car every now and then the speakers would rattle when playing a song a bit louder than normal. I took the door card off to inspect where exactly the rattle was coming from. I figured the rattle was from a loose screw holding in the speaker or something on the inside of the door panel touching the speaker. Turns out the speaker was separating from itself in multiple locations. The first area was the inner diaphragm, also known as the spider, which was completely separated from the frame. The cone had started to partially separate from the foam surround on top as well.













    I looked into speaker replacements that work with the OEM Bose system, and honestly, the Clearwater speakers seem to be some of the only plug-and-play speakers that integrate well with the Bose sound system. I know lots of people remove the Bose system and say it is inferior compared to modern solutions but honestly I have no complaints about the sound quality of the Bose system or the Clearwater speakers. I also plan to put a stock head unit back into my car so it only makes sense to stick with Bose system compatible components.

    Now normally I would just replace the speakers with new ones from Clearwater but after seeing the price tag ($300) it made me think twice about it. I decided to try my hand at repairing the speakers since they still technically worked. I reached out to a friend that works in the car audio industry and asked his opinion on what to use to adhere the speaker parts to their respective locations again. With a little bit of research and his advice, I decided to use some adhesive by a company called Simply Speakers called “Speaker Repair Adhesive”. It seemed pretty straightforward to me and for less than $10 I figured it was worth trying out. I also bought a blunt end syringe to better help me apply the adhesive in a more exact way since the areas I was working with were so small.



    One of the challenges I was first met with was keeping the spider off the frame while I laid down the new adhesive. The spider has tension pushing it downwards towards the frame the way it is designed and if I tried lifting it with my fingers I could only hold one side of it up at a time. I didn’t want to accidentally lift the spider after part of it had already touched the new adhesive. I ended up using four pennies to lift the spider completely off the area of the frame that it lays on. That gave me enough of a gap to be able to reach the syringe into the tight area and apply a nice bead of adhesive.







    Once that was done, I moved onto applying the adhesive around the outer edge of the cone to adhere it back to the foam surround. I ended up applying the adhesive all the way around even though it was attached in some areas. The tricky part about this area is that the cone wants to push away from the foam surround and that is not conducive to applying new adhesive. My solution to this was to take a round tupperware container I had, place it upside down without the lid onto the speaker cone, and set a few coasters on top of it to weigh it down just enough to allow the adhesive to set in place properly.





    I allowed everything to cure for 12 hours and then I reinstalled the speakers into the car. It's been almost a month since the repair and I have not had any rattling coming from the speakers. I can thoroughly enjoy blasting the music in my Miata top-down again.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to lifebyevan For This Useful Post:

    MaRcOp01o (04-28-2021)

  4. #48
    1,000 rpm - releasing the clutch lifebyevan's Avatar
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    April 25th, 2021

    I signed up for a local autocross event in pursuit of some much-needed seat time. This was my first autocross event despite owning a Miata for several years. I was unbelievably excited to finally give autocross a try first hand. I did a once-over with the car the night before the event. I gave the brakes a quick bleed, since I put a few thousand street miles on the fluid, just to be safe. Checked the oil level, looked for any leaks, snugged up all the clamps, packed some basic tools and a bunch of snacks for the day ahead of me.

    I was placed in the Novice class for obvious reasons. I walked the course layout three times with my friend who was an experienced autocrosser, who happily gave me a few tips and tricks along the way. The most important thing I was focused on was looking ahead as they say. Autocross can be quite confusing to some with all the cones, and it’s easy to get lost in “the sea of cones”, so the best thing to prevent this is to look as far ahead beyond the element you are about to pass through. Here is a picture of the course layout for the day:



    I spent my first two runs with my experienced friend who helped me along the way and gave me feedback after each run. The first run was exploratory and the second I picked up the pace. Third and fourth runs I ran solo. I did a bit worse by myself. I was a bit too aggressive with my inputs, not taking the cleanest line, and also locked up my fronts a couple of times braking too late. At this point, I was learning that with my setup my car had a heavy bias to understeer in the corners. This was mainly because in the recent past I did a tire rotation, putting the much more worn rear tires in the front and vice versa. Pretty sure the previous owner(s) did not rotate the tires very often because there was a significant difference of tread from the front and rear. Nonetheless, the event continued. For my fifth and final run, I focused on being a bit more smooth with my inputs (mainly the brakes) so as to not upset the balance of the car as much. The fifth run was my cleanest of my runs. On my first run, I did a 35.6-second run and by my fifth run, I managed to finish with a time of 34.4.









    We finished the event a little ahead of schedule so we had time for some “fun runs”, which are not recorded for the results posted online but still timed. At the start of the fun runs, I had a really experienced Miata autocrosser drive my car with me in it to show me what it was capable of. He put down a much quicker time of 32.4 with my car. Once I got back into the driver’s seat, I was able to lower my time to a 34.1, and the following run I was able to do a 33.8, which was over half a second better than my best during competition. What really made the difference on those fun runs was being able to clean up my line and be a bit more smooth with my inputs.

    I had a friend record most of my runs from the sidelines that I made into a small video for Youtube. The video starts off with my 3rd and 4th runs where I drove with no instructor for the first time. I hit a couple of cones on my first time out solo. The next two clips are from when I was driving during the fun runs.



    One thing I was battling with besides the understeer was locking up the fronts because I don’t have ABS. Having no ABS will be a learning curve, but hopefully, I can do my best to learn on my stock wheel and tire set up that way I don’t flat spot a set of nicer, softer compound tires. I really enjoyed how much I learned as a driver in such a short timeframe by going to an autocross event. I do plan on attending a few more events and working on my driving skills before going to a track day. Compared to a track day, autocross seems to be significantly less strain on the car and it is a lot less expensive.

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