Cars, Computers, & Random Thoughts
Moto Static 2016 & The End of the Mazda Misfire
Moto Static 2016 & The End of the Mazda Misfire

Moto Static 2016 & The End of the Mazda Misfire

Moto Static 2016 was a success! Two weeks back we had our annual car show in Pardeeville, WI and this post will mostly be a pic dump of that event. I’m also excited to say I figured out the misfire I was experiencing on the Mazda. Warning: pic-dump ahead!

Turns out it was just some worn out coil packs. The Mazda uses a coil-on-plug setup and I don’t have any records of those being changed out. It’s nice because it’s an easy setup to work with, no wires to run or lengths to worry about, you just swap out the coil and go. The downside is that those coils are usually expensive, like $20 a piece sort of expensive. Luckily, Amazon came through as they so often do and provided me with a set of four ENA coils for $40. Now, I can’t speak to the longevity yet but for the price I could accept replacing them more often and the reviews suggest they are good parts.
I did my troubleshooting the correct way this time, starting with the cheapest part (the valve cover gasket) and working up to more expensive parts (spark plugs and then coils) until I solved the issue. That’s not always a great way to go but in my case I had no check engine light to help narrow things down so I did the basics until the car finally threw a P302: misfire on cylinder 2. The nice thing about having a specific misfire code is that it precludes vacuum issues and should rule out fuel in most cases. If it shows as random misfire, then good luck because it could be anything.
In my case, up until the P302, I was following the random misfire track: next steps would have been to check my intake gasket, PCV valve, and throttle body to eliminate common vacuum leak areas. Then it would have been on to the injectors and fuel pump where things really get expensive. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that, though I do have a throttle body and intake gasket as well as a new OEM PCV valve so I’ll be changing those out at some point. I did take a look at the throttle body plate and found it’s filthy on the inside so I’ll get there eventually. I did also change out the vapor canister purge valve (hard starting) but I’ll probably roll that into the other post.


Before Moto Static could take place, we had to get all the cars out and get everything ready. Gotta make sure everything sill runs and get it all up to snuff for daily driving. We headed over to grab Sams Galaxie and our uncle Davids tractor for some work Sam was planning to do out at his property. Davids son has a Mustang he used for racing that’s sitting and waiting for some free time to crop up. Looks like it doesn’t need a whole lot of work to be running again.


After making sure the gas stayed in the carburetor on the Galaxie (new worm gear clamps tend to stretch out a bit and then you have gas leaking on the exhaust manifold), we hit the road and headed back home and from there to Sams property. We had planned a bonfire for the night but we also had a well to put in. Sam and I grabbed the tanker and headed to his place to dump some water while dad wrapped up some work on his Chevelle. Remember that wheel bearing he lost at the end of the Power Tour? Well we must not have gotten all the medal chunks out when we put the new one in, that shaft is not supposed to be worn at all.


I stopped at the DMV to get temp plates for the Benz while the collectors plates are made up and Sam took the tanker back home. I finally got the chance to drive a slant 6 with one of Ashleys old trucks. It needs an alignment and some suspension work but otherwise it’s solid. Once I was back we basically pulled a u-turn. I grabbed the Galaxie and headed over after everyone else had left with the trailer. The Galaxie has a really nice grumble due to some exhaust leaks but it needs new shocks bad. Two first drives in one day, not bad! I grabbed some of my favorite drink materials for the bonfire (that maple whiskey is great stuff!) and headed over.


Turns out Davids tractor may have been a bit too much stress for our old car trailer, when trying to load Sams 54′ Chevy up we noticed that a crack had formed in the frame of the trailer. Guess we’ll be doing some welding. Before that though, we had to do some well digging!

The way this works is we have a giant PVC tube that we shove a bunch of water down. The water displaces the dirt (ever shoved a garden hose into the ground?) and allows us to get deeper into the ground. I believe we were using about 25 feet of PVC, hooked up to a water pump borrowed from the fire department. Once we get the PVC deep enough, you need to cut the water and get the quick disconnect off the top of the pipe so you can dump some gravel down it. The gravel is used to create a sort of filter barrier for the actual well pipe, which you then shove down the PVC tube. Once the well pipe is in you start shoveling more gravel in to keep things in place and then pull the PVC up. By this point you should have a solid base and then you just need to back-fill with sand and you’re good to go. The ground was already a little soft at our target site as this had been attempted twice before, but with a lot less water flow.


I recorded the whole ordeal, so eventually it should make it’s way onto the Youtubes and be linked back here. We proceeded to have a nice bonfire and then waited for Saturday to roll around. When it did, we had about 15 cars at the house in various states of being worked on or washed down for the show. Unfortunately it started to rain and there was talk of hail so we hid cars where we could and then trooped up to the fire hall in case we needed to go weather spotting. We got to play with the generator a bit because it sounded like a good time to make sure it still ran. We’re still down a tanker at the fire department as we’ve got one with a cracked block. We’re having another block looked over but the progress is slow and we don’t have a whole lot of funds to spare.


Anyway, on to the main event, Moto Static 2016. We had a pretty good turnout, I don’t have official numbers but I’d guess we had something like 180 cars show up and probably double the amount of people or more. The day stayed nice and sunny until after the event had ended so I’m sure we sold plenty of pie and ice cream. I headed over way after everyone else did, so I grabbed a spot in front of Sam when I arrived. Basically that meant a lot of people walking around my car to take a gander at his, it’s unreal the attention that thing draws.
On to the good stuff, I’ve gathered a pic dump of some of my favorites below, I hope you don’t have a data cap!


Pedal car races!
Pedal car races!


This beautiful ride has 538,000 miles on it. The owner brought a log book full of pictures from his travels.
This beautiful ride has 538,000 miles on it. The owner brought a log book full of pictures from his travels. He’s also the original owner, that’s dedication.


This Nash Ambassador custom was built here in Wisconsin and has a twin mattress for car camping!
This Nash Ambassador custom was built here in Wisconsin and has a twin mattress for car camping!


We had some kit cars show up, which is a welcome oddity. There was a 1968 Sportsman Glitter Bug Dune Buggy and a 1972 Valkyrie GTX.


A few familiar cars kick off the next dump.


I'm not the only Mercedes owner to show up!
I’m not the only Mercedes owner to show up! This one probably runs decently and is worth much more than mine.
Another fellow German, and this one for sale.
Another fellow German, and this one for sale.
Karmann Ghia!
Karmann Ghia!
Pictured: the correct engine location.
Pictured: the correct engine location.

A few really clean cars showed up along with a few purpose built power cars.


The all aluminum LQ4, a 6 liter variant of the LS platform. This is what I want in my Benz.
The all aluminum LQ4, a 6 liter variant of the LS platform. This is what I want in my Benz.


I stopped to chat with the guy who owns the Nova SS above. He’s running about 1200 horse but said he doesn’t have enough power for racing. He’s considering switching back to fuel injection (that’s a carburetor swapped LS in there, the COP setup gives it away) and running a twin turbo setup to go for more like 1600. I’d like my 160ish horse Benz to have a 300 horse lump swapped in. What a crazy wonderful world we live in.
Towards the end of the event we had the pinup contest, we had a nice turnout for that as well.


Sam and Ashley alone had 4 or 5 cars they took to the show, so there was a bit of shuttling going on. They enlisted the help of a friend to take them back to Pardeeville after running some cars home and then they headed to another show a few hours North. I didn’t go along as I was tired and they were thinking about staying up there for the night. It turned out to be a bit of a disappointment for them so they ended up heading back down anyway.


That’s it for today. I’ve still got some work on the Mazda to cover and I’ve been working on the Laser (10 and a half hours Saturday to be exact) but on-call was brutal Sunday so it’s still not running. Yea, I know, 10.5 hours and all I had to show for it was sore hands covered in POR-15. Until next time then!

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