My build, slow but steady - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2012, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
Go-Kart Driver
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Louisburg, KS
Posts: 91
My build, slow but steady

I got my mazda about two years ago. Loved it from stage one, but oddly enough went WAY too long without making it mine. It is a molestial blue metallic sedan with the 2.5 and six speed. I got it on a steal of a deal being a '10 when the '11s were on the lot.

After getting a second job that will kickstart my career, I started having extra cash laying around and decided to treat myself to the first few things. I ordered the Corksport exhaust and Injen SP intake for her. The exhaust came in that week, but the intake just shipped friday.

Takes on the exhaust: 1; pretty noticable power increase in the mid range( where i spend most of my time) It's loud, but not ricey at all from what I expected. I have achieved record MPG's, although probably due to driving saner to avoid police attention. I raced a late eighties Audi (not sure of the variety) that had four people in it, just to the 45mph speed limit at the next stoplight. got a handshake at the gas station down the road and made a new friend for my winning and car. (there is no video, that would make it an organized street race [and until I find a decent CIRCUIT it's the closest I will come to racing.]) Highway drone is there, yeah, but I am weird and enjoy the subtle buzzzzz from the newfound power.

Other things I did prior to putting any actual money into the car were: grounding kit, Seafoam to get her cleaned out after 40k, detailed, washed, waxed, checked my alignment, and got about 150lbs of guns, ammo, junk, and books out of my car. these, at the time were the best mods I've ever done to a vehicle and brought it back to new life and inspired me to start blowing money on making her mine. Still wanna to VTCS delete and advance timing mod, but after doing the VTCS on my buddies '08, I'm not in any hurry to make special time for the chore.

I'm excited to see what the intake does for performance, mileage, and sound. I don't know if it's the best for our year/engine, but the details behind it sounded very promising.

I have been beating my head against the wall trying to decide what I was going to do appearance wise, I still don't know, but I know blacking out won't happen since the only pictures I've seen of molestial blue look really bad to me. I am starting to lean towards gold, since the wheels I'm looking at have that as an option. And I honestly hate plastidip.

Today I got into a situation where I had to slam on my brakes because sunday drivers are the best people in the world... not. My pedal went straight to the floor. Scared the piss out of me, but I successfully came to a safe stop with more space than I expected.
Needless to say, brake upgrades just got expedited to the top of my mod list, and bumped suspension upgrades to a few weeks from now. So now, on order, are HAWK HPS pads and a set of EBC rotors, which are actually gold anodized, something I noticed after hitting the confirm order button. Kinda suckered myself into a color scheme with that, which is cool.

I had planned on doing a set of coil overs in the future, but for my uses, a good set of lowering springs, YELLOWS, and an adjustable sway bar will, more than, fit my needs and desires at significantly less of a cost. Especially since I refuse to cheap out on this car like I have on past rides, I was looking at V2's V3's and the new corksport set. And where I live would cause me to ride towards the top of their travel limits, due to gravel roads and poor pavement.

ANYONE, Know what the general life is on the factory clutch for a spirited driver is? I'm sure it's coming up soon for me. When the time does come I'm going to get the fidanza flywheel and a stage 1 clutch from whichever vendor we have a general consensus as being decent and quality, if there is one on the horizon. A TWM full short shifter has moved up the list since my shift knob is peeling. (poor reason, but it works for my mental state)

I have some prelim testing done with 0-60's and whatnot, but the weather has changed so rapidly up and down here that testing post mod will have too much scrutiny to do any real good for anyone. My new boss is also involved with a local dyno shop and will probably let me make a few runs in the next few months just to get an idea of what's going on before I take a vacation to get a tune done by dynotronics shortly thereafter. Overall, I know I "shoulda bought a speed", but unless someone wants to show me how to get insurance down with it, it worked itself out of my price range, and for me it's the driving experience I'm after, not the horsepower figures. The 2.5 has just enough power to be fun in daily driving, but not so much to get me in jail for my daily driving habits.

As always, any decent input on things to check out/ stay away from is greatly appreciated.

Funner to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.
Don't call it weak until you broke it.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2012, 05:54 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 373
Re: My build, slow but steady

A few notes to help you out

VTCS removal on a 2.5L is a bit different than on a 2.3L or gen1 2.0L. The VTCS control solenoid is not directly tied to the VTCS position sensor so when you remove the control rod the two won't be connected anymore. I cut off an inch of the rod and put it in to connect the solenoid and sensor, that prevented a CEL when the solenoid moves so the engine computer doesn't notice that the flaps aren't there/moving.

You should do the timing advance if you haven't already, really simple to do, after that try different grades of gas and find the one that the car likes the most. I stick with Plus from Chevron or Shell.

I wen't from a 2.0L sedan gen1 to a 2.5L hatch gen2, the newer cars are heavier and despite the same brakes they don't perform the same. I upgraded right away to new wheels/tires, and the difference was night and day. I got the wheels from Les Schwab on trade in for the OEM rims, and got tires from tirerack, lesschwab installed them for me. Saving 5lb per wheel and getting more traction helped a lot and didn't break the bank like a lot of aftermarket wheels can. I did notice much better braking performance because of this, and the big plus of having good tires is ABS wont kick in as soon so you get much shorter stopping distance.

A cheap mod you can do is the install the vented fog light trim on the drivers side, this adds a path for air to flow in where most CAIs filters would be, and just under where most SRIs filters are. The gains are debatable, but the mod is cheap, about $30 from onlinemazdaparts. The part is stock on 2010 mazda3s with the automatic transmission as it allowed air to flow to the transmission cooler, the cooler was relocated on the 2011 and the 2012 re-did the front end.

CorkSport and TheSpeedLine have body parts for the gen2 cars, but the most you will find are subtle upgrades at this point. Since only 2 years were made with this body style I doubt you will find a lot for the front end except for the GV grill and the AutoEXE bumper which I saw at a CorkSport meet, it looked nice but wasn't my thing, looked like it restricted airflow a bit to me and requires removing the front crash pad (foam piece) so in my mind reduces safety.

There isn't much you can do to the side or rear, LED reflectors are a nice touch, LED auto folding mirrors may be nice too. You can always do fancy stuff with the badges and vinyl wraps. LED front/rear turn signals and LED reverse lights are also a nice touch but require some wiring to avoid hyperflash.




-Shaun
[size=6pt]Mods: 17x7.5 rims w/ Conti DWS tires | 4 75W kicker speakers | Memphis 300W amp | full size spare | BC Condenser kit w/ extra grounds | CS SRI w/ box | timing advance | upgraded horn | CS LED kit | Axela badge | alu pedals | Momo shift knob | Alu fuel door | footwell LEDs | VTCS delete | TB coolant bypass | L fog light vent | bi-xenon HB/LB | HID fogs | SB LED turn sigs | LED DRLs | LED reverse lights | painted foglight trim | LED tail lights | LED reflectors[/size]
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2012, 05:57 PM
Grand Am Series
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 373
Re: My build, slow but steady

For got to note somethings about the engine

Motor mounts must go, the OEM ones don't last long anyway

Check to see if you car is PZEV, if it is then you may want to look at doing something with the header. PZEV means you have fancy catalytic converters that restrict airflow. I think the intake manifold may be somehow different as well but I'm not sure. A good way to research what parts are effected by PZEV is to go to onlinemazdaparts and look at the various engine parts, if there is a "california spec" and "federal spec" then that part has a PZEV version which you may or may not have. I think you can find the info by looking at the info on the inside of the drivers door where the VIN and curb weight are listed.

-Shaun
[size=6pt]Mods: 17x7.5 rims w/ Conti DWS tires | 4 75W kicker speakers | Memphis 300W amp | full size spare | BC Condenser kit w/ extra grounds | CS SRI w/ box | timing advance | upgraded horn | CS LED kit | Axela badge | alu pedals | Momo shift knob | Alu fuel door | footwell LEDs | VTCS delete | TB coolant bypass | L fog light vent | bi-xenon HB/LB | HID fogs | SB LED turn sigs | LED DRLs | LED reverse lights | painted foglight trim | LED tail lights | LED reflectors[/size]
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2012, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
Go-Kart Driver
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Louisburg, KS
Posts: 91
Re: My build, slow but steady

Thanks for the notes. Especially on the vtcs. The wheels I'm looking at aren't too badly priced, save about seven pounds per corner and will take my falkens just fine. The flakens are great for what I paid.

I'm not looking much into body mods. To me that's wasted money and I decided against the vented foglight trim as it would open up the filter and when it rains here, it pools like hell. But the swatter doesn't stand so the filter location is good otherwise. I

I plan on doing the timing mod at the next oil change, tomorrow. And trying 0-20 oil. Motor mounts are high on my listbut after today brakes will happen first. Then start doing mounts with other mods, hard part is deciding on which mounts to get for what price.

I know my car isn't pzev so that isn't a worry, but I'm still debating on a header. I guess that would come after I get a tune if ever. And for my driving style the intake manifolds available seem to provide minimal gains at best.

Also, knowing that 100k brings a timing belt change I will probably do a cam at that point, mill for a slight bump in compression and if pulleys are available, do them as well. It should be a pretty peppy car after all of that.

Funner to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.
Don't call it weak until you broke it.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2012, 09:13 PM
Grand Am Series
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 373
Re: My build, slow but steady

A header will help the car for sure, and a tune should be the final step to maximize the gains.

Most aftermarket intake manifolds for the 2.5L don't help and as far as I have seen all hurt daily driving since they only add power at the top of the RPM band and loose power elsewhere and overall torque goes down. The OEM intake manifold has VLIM which the aftermarket ones do not which may play into how it is so effective. You can help it out with some throttle body optimization (to be safe you can buy one from a junkyard and have that one optimized in case it causes issues), TB coolant bypass is probably good if you know you won't be in -30 deg weather. The intake manifold does have an EGR pipe that sticks out into the intake path, if you look inside when you remove the throttle body to do the VTCS delete you can see it in there, trim that back to the wall of the intake to remove some more obstruction, this does require you to move the whole manifold from the engine bay whereas removing VTCS does not, but you can also optimize other areas of the manifold if you remove it entirely.

-Shaun
[size=6pt]Mods: 17x7.5 rims w/ Conti DWS tires | 4 75W kicker speakers | Memphis 300W amp | full size spare | BC Condenser kit w/ extra grounds | CS SRI w/ box | timing advance | upgraded horn | CS LED kit | Axela badge | alu pedals | Momo shift knob | Alu fuel door | footwell LEDs | VTCS delete | TB coolant bypass | L fog light vent | bi-xenon HB/LB | HID fogs | SB LED turn sigs | LED DRLs | LED reverse lights | painted foglight trim | LED tail lights | LED reflectors[/size]
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 03:15 PM
Grand Am Series
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Covington, KY
Posts: 337
Re: My build, slow but steady

I might suggest getting a short shift plate vs the entire assembly. I havent heard good things about TWM shifters and I know one member on here was an employee there and they refused to pay him. JamesBaroneRacing.com has a short shift plate kit that comes with a short shift plate plate, heavy shift knob and a rear motor mount for $200. The other thing I have to say is that the header with the CS exhaust will be loud. Like really loud. It sounds damn good but its loud so keep that in mind. Most people with a header end up going MS3 abe or Racing Beat. I'd guess magnaflow is a good bet too. CS deletes the muffler, as I'm sure you know. But after intake header and exhaust youre looking at 166whp/166wtq. Everything else sounds good! For appearance, I love gold wheels on silver. I'm partial to MB Battles and a Volk TE-37 type wheel. Volks are way too expensive but Rota's arent horrible anymore I dont think. RPF1's always look good too. There are a few decent looking lips available for us also. Good luck! Look forward to seeing more!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
Go-Kart Driver
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Louisburg, KS
Posts: 91
Re: My build, slow but steady

I haven't heard any feedback on twm in either direction for our cars yet. I know on other cars I have used them in they are amazing. I have heard negatives to the plates making everything more clunky though. I also like the hight reduction they give.

That is the only reason I'm not sure on the header yet. I like a good sounding loud but I don't wanna be the guy that makes a lot of noise for not getting anywhere. I'm actually looking at konig feathers for wheels in gold. Light and under 200each.

I have looked into lip kits and that might end up on my car at some point. I love the kenstyle lip on cs but it's only the front which bothers me. I feel like the sides of our cars are unusually tall. And need something on the doors to brake up the space, but I dunno what I'd do about that yet.

Thanks for the comments guys!! This week I get my intake and on Saturday I will have safer stopping power.

Funner to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.
Don't call it weak until you broke it.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 12:53 AM
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Location: Colorado springs CO
Posts: 1,222
Re: My build, slow but steady

Hey , dont know if it was mentioned ( there is like a book's worth of posting here ) but the 2.5 and all MZR engines use a timing CHAIN, not belt .

another thing, you can turbo the 2.5 and really open up the power. I run 8psi Daily on my 2.5

also the stock intake manifold is the best out there right now.
Headers, I have heards lots of positive reviews from 2.5 MSDS headers.
intake might help get you another 1-2HP
Advance timing mod Doesn't really do anything.
Taking the Intake manifold off and Taking out the butterflies nearest the intake ports, Smoothens out cruising/ starting in 1rst/ low rpm cruise alot IMO, it also makes downshifting alot smoother.

hmmm if you have any questions leme know!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
Go-Kart Driver
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Louisburg, KS
Posts: 91
Re: My build, slow but steady

I actually just learned about it being a chain the other day after posting that.

I have done a lot of thinking on boost, I think it's just not my gig. No high strung reasoning, other than keeping my ass out of cuffs and it's just not of interest to me. Although I have the utmost respect for those that have paved the path for it becoming possible for us.

I plan on taking out the intake and going over it with a fine tooth comb to make the stock one as good as possible. But that's a ways done the road.

Funner to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.
Don't call it weak until you broke it.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 12:47 PM
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Re: My build, slow but steady

beware, the stock manifold is plastic so porting isn't really an option.
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