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BERT19 (Scotland) - 2 years later...

In the words of Aaron Lewis, it's been a while since I updated this blog. Stuff's happened. Not any one thing that's worth an update, but several that combined mean that I should probably get off my arse and post something. In summary though, BERT 19: The Bounciness (I'll post pics throughout this entry so it's not just a wall of text), more broken suspension and confusing light sharing.

I bang on and on about our roads being shit and the fact that in recent times I've suffered suspension failures on a couple of cars now seems to reinforce that. 'They don't make cars like they used to' I hear you cry, and indeed, they don't, but one of them was an old 190E (the brick outhouse of cars) so that's really not all it's down to. I suppose it's a combination of factors in this case, but mostly, it's our roads and the reason I whinge on and on about compliant suspension.

It started with BERT 19, so I suppose I should get that out of the way as that's where the problem really manifested. I can't exactly drive very quickly around where I live, but I had noticed that the car was a little skittish. On the last BERT however it just felt wrong. It's nervousness at speed was concerning, considering this was once a car I was comfortable about pushing around at it's limits of adhesion and a little beyond, it pointed to there being an issue. Later on return it got worse and a crawl under the car found one of the shocks had deposited what little had remained of it's fluids all over the suspension. Finally time to bite the bullet then.

There were a few options, replace the dodgy shock or replace all the shocks with something else. Now aftermarket options tend to be hard so they were a last resort. I got back in touch with the lads at Blink Motorsport, my go to for MX-5 fettling, and they had a set of Mazda Sport suspension they'd removed from a 2011 car that was in good nick, so we made a deal and they ended up fitting a full set of the factory Bilsteins to my car, along with their usual alignment adjustments.

I suspect it's firmer than it was, but I honestly can't tell. It was so bouncy when I drove it down on the old ones that the Bilsteins just feel right and good now. I can't remember what the car felt like when the original shockers worked as I suspect that was some time ago. What I will say though is that they haven't ruined the ride. It's still nice and compliant. I suspect a little firmer, but this ain't no bone shaker. I also think it's dialled back the body roll quite a bit also.

With the car working correctly again I'm once again reminded that it's the answer to everything and that I really do love it. However it does have it's quirks. Recently the handbrake light was coming on under acceleration up hills particularly. Thinking I had a dodgy switch I googled how to take that apart before finding a post that said that the brake fluid level sensor is connected to the handbrake light also... Pop the bonnet and sure enough, it's low. Top it up and we're all good again. A bizarre choice on Mazda's part that one!

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