Bay Area Miata Drivers
BAMD Home Page About BAMD Tech Sessions
Guidelines for getting the most out of BAMD tech days.

BAMD tech sessions serve several purposes. First of course is to have fun. Equally important is to repair or upgrade BAMD Miatas. Additionally, we want tech days to provide some education about the Miata, for everyone from novices to experienced mechanics. And finally, tech days are social events where BAMD drivers can meet, talk cars, and check out other BAMD Miatas.

Tech days are scheduled two or three months in advance, and dates for upcoming events can be found on the BAMD calendar. Generally, one specific job will be scheduled for a tech session, and this will usually be a major task like a timing belt change or roll bar install, for example. We typically refer to the Miata involved in the task as the subject car. Side jobs can also be scheduled, and are welcomed, but for side jobs you will need to either do most of the work yourself, or make your own arrangements for fellow drivers to help. This can usually be arranged on the forum or through PMs.

Tech days are generally held at someone's home, but may also be held at a shop somewhere if specialized equipment is going to be used, like a dyno, for instance. All BAMD drivers are always welcome to attend any tech day, and you don't need to work on your Miata or anyone else's to attend. However, because most tech sessions are hosted by a BAMD driver at their home, you need to notify BAMD of your intention to attend, either via the forum or (preferably) via email to info@bayareamiatadrivers.com.

We usually start the day with coffee and rolls or donuts, but this is on an as-donated basis. We usually order pizza for lunch, the bill shared among those who partake. Tech days run all day (sometimes into the night), but you can show up at any time and leave whenever you like. We ask that all participants respect the private property of others.

If you have a major job that needs to be done on your Miata, BAMD will be happy to help you with it, if there is time. You can arrange to have your car worked on by emailing info@bayareamiatadrivers.com. Obviously we can't fix everyone's Miata, so we have to set some priorities. These are sometimes a judgement call, but generally priority is given to those BAMD drivers who regularly attend BAMD events, particularly those who make themselves available to work on other tech days. We also tend to observe a first-come/first-served policy, so a request in April for a June tech day, for example, will be much more likely to be accepted. We prefer that you've been around here for awhile, so requests from a BAMD driver who registered two days ago may be politely rejected.

Tech days are an excellent learning experience. Even if you don't have your own Miata repaired at a BAMD tech day, being on hand while a job is performed on another Miata can be extremely beneficial. You will have an opportunity to see how each step is performed, what tools are used, what sort of potential problems may occur, and how each obstacle is overcome. If you want, you will likely have a chance to perform some of the steps yourself, or at least turn a few wrenches.

We prefer the owner of the subject car does as much of the work as possible, but there will always be skilled hands and experienced minds ready and willing to assist. If you are the owner of the subject car, please try to do as much preparation work as possible on your own, but don't get so far into the job that those who are on hand to learn will miss important steps.

We also prefer the owner of the subject car to host the event, but this isn't a requirement and doesn't affect priority consideration. We understand that many Miata owners don't have a garage or space to work on their Miata, and we're happy to provide when and where we can.

When two or more drivers are working together on a Miata, communication between them can be important. We ask that those drivers who are otherwise enjoying the event keep the noise level low in the vicinity of the subject car.

You may bring tools to a tech day if you like, but we try to make sure we have everything we need to do the job on hand before the event. If you bring your own tools, be sure you can easily identify them and collect them all when you leave, as wrenches tend to be shared and passed around as needed.

Not officially scheduled, but often helpful to BAMD drivers, are what we call mini-tech days. If you're contemplating a big job on your Miata and you're not sure you can or want to tackle it on your own, post a notice about it in the forum. Pick a date, and ask if any BAMD drivers in your area would be willing to help. You may strike out, but more often than not you will find other drivers who can lend a hand. Be prepared to provide a venue, although it's possible someone will offer that too. Be prepared to do most of the work, or at least the hard stuff. And think about returning the favor the next time someone in your area posts a request for help with their Miata.

We hope this gives you a better idea of what to expect from BAMD tech days. We want these events to be a fun and rewarding experience for all.