Flatlander937's 2009 Mazda3i autocross prep/progress thread - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Flatlander937's 2009 Mazda3i autocross prep/progress thread

I'm going to be autocrossing my car locally for the entire season this year(did 4 events last year and got hooked). Making this thread to track progress/modifications done/etc.

As you may know the entire class structure of the SCCA stock classes is fixing to possibly change in the near future. This year I am not going to be competitive... I'm starting off with some 400 TW Goodyear Eagle GT all season tires... the plan is to burn them off this year, buy a second set of wheels and two sets of tires for next year. One of the potential changes is allowing a +/- 1 inch in diameter of the wheels from stock... which would allow me to run 16x6.5(which I would prefer to run for autocross for tire cost reasons). Whether this change goes through or not will dictate what I buy.

I'm going to be running the car locally in the HS class in our "tire index" for this year.

There was some internal debate about going to STF or not, decided against it because I don't want to lower the car... Especially after having to plow through a bunch of snow this past winter... much lower and I'd possibly be stuck. Plus with the proposed rules for the "street" class to replace "stock," that should take care of making a very daily driveable Mazda3 that is somewhat reasonably competitive.


Onto the car:



It's a 2009 Mazda3 i-touring value... with zero added options except for the IT-V package. No sun roof, no spoiler, no 6-disc player, no auto dim rear view mirror, etc. The IT-V package was a 2.0L, 5spd, with 17x6.5" wheels and fog lights.

At the very last event that I ran last year, I managed to nail a cone into the passenger side fog light, which broke it. So that is one thing I needed/wanted to take care of before the new season started. It was also time to do front brakes.


....
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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Here are the pictures from the rotor/pad install. I went with Hawk HPS pads and mid-grade rotors from Napa.

The old rotors came off in two pieces thanks to being crazy rusted on:



When it comes to cleaning rotors... the best thing is HOT soapy water. The fact is that if you clean your rotors with brake clean, and they don't rust... then there are oils and contaminants on the rotors keeping it from rusting. If you clean them off and they get some slight surface rust... that's how you know they're clean:









I also applied anti-seize to the rotor wheel mounting surface so the wheels don't get seized on when removing them.

You also want to take a wire brush and clean the brake caliper brackets really well to prep them before you grease them:





You also apply grease to the pins, and the pads themselves in the same spots, and where the caliper body and caliper pistons will contact the pads as well. There are other threads for that.
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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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And onto this weekend, I had the following stuff to change out:



And the front bumper to pull to fix the broken fog light:



I went with Spyder brand fog lights... OEM lense alone is $100, I got both sides new for $60 with all brackets and everything. It's OEM equivalent, only thing that would probably get me in trouble at a National event might be the fact that the new housings are plastic, not metal. Nobody will care locally and I can face the fact that this will NOT be a competitive car and I don't have the time to get super competitive myself in a short period of time. Only thing that kind of sucked was that I could not find the clear lense version in stock... so I got the yellow fogs. It's sort of growing on me.





Then I bled the brakes... you can follow this procedure that I've posted for bleeding the brakes CORRECTLY. The Mazda3 has a cross-split brake system... meaning you bleed in order of right rear, left front, left rear, right front. Check this link for details:
http://www.mazda3forums.com/showthread.php?t=394323

I also made a baller-ific brake bleeding bottle. Used an old beer bottle, label ripped off.. drill a hole in the top to tightly fit a clear hose into(used some 1/4" clear fuel line for a lawnmower), and VERY IMPORTANT: pierce a small hole in the cap in addition to the other one. I found out that without a vent hole, the bottle built up pressure and when I finished bleeding the first caliper, I took the hose off the bleeder and it spewed EVERYWHERE.


I changed the oil and filter with Mobil1 5w20 and a Purolator PureOne filter.

And I changed the trans fluid for some Redline MT-90. Here was how I found it easiest to change:





It takes just a few minutes to pull the air box so it's worth the time. I'll add that I suggest changing the trans fluid when it's warmer out... it took about 20 minutes to pour all of the fluid in at 32 degrees out.


That's all for now. After a few events I am going to get an autocross alignment(or possibly attempt to align it myself at home), and probably buy a K&N drop in filter, though I don't expect any real difference from the filter.

Struts/shocks might come late in the season if all goes well. First event is in a few weeks on April 7th... so hopefully will have an update then.

Last edited by flatlander937; 03-24-2013 at 11:15 PM.
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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 07:20 AM
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Looks like you're started in the right direction. Looking forward to seeing how a 2.0 sedan can do in RTF and/or STF. Good luck this year and have fun!

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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 10:21 PM
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Good write up Tony. You are very detailed oriented which is good!

You must've really had to wack on that brake rotor!

Interesting and good info on the diagonal bleed order. I didn't know that. I've always used a power bleeder which luckily is pretty idiot proof and I think you can bleed in any order you want, but I'll remember this little nugget of info especially if I use the traditional method.

I just changed the gear oil in the trans as well. Power bleeder came in handy for that too.


Last edited by Adam3s; 03-26-2013 at 10:25 PM.
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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clemsonmz3 View Post
Looks like you're started in the right direction. Looking forward to seeing how a 2.0 sedan can do in RTF and/or STF. Good luck this year and have fun!
Thanks! Yeah we'll see what happens with this Stock class shake up when the SEB makes a decision. Still a possibility I might go to STF next year, but if this street class goes through, then that's much less incentive for me to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam3s View Post
Good write up Tony. You are very detailed oriented which is good!

You must've really had to wack on that brake rotor!

Interesting and good info on the diagonal bleed order. I didn't know that. I've always used a power bleeder which luckily is pretty idiot proof and I think you can bleed in any order you want, but I'll remember this little nugget of info especially if I use the traditional method.

I just changed the gear oil in the trans as well. Power bleeder came in handy for that too.
Yeah... I fiddled with my rotors for about 2 hours, no luck, went out and bought 3 cans of different rust penetrants and a 4 and a 10lb sledge hammer. I wanted to get it done right meow!

On another note been driving around with the MT-90 changed for a few days... at first I noticed nearly no difference, but as I drive on it more it's smoothing out more and more which is great. I read on www.bobistheoilguy.com that it would take some time for the trans fluid to "shear" and it might take up to a thousand miles to really notice the full benefits of a fluid change... there might be some truth to that after all.
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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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First Cincy SCCA points event is in a couple days... and I just went out and bought a Gopro so I can try to study my driving and figure out what needs most improvement.

I'm going to need to improve my driving with people like Jack Burns running in the Tire index class with me. Hopefully I get a chance to really pick his brain on the Mazda3.
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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Results are not posted yet, I didn't do so great. We only got 4 runs due to some timing problems... of those 4 runs only 2 were clean, others were DNFs because I got lost once and another time I came out of a corner too fast and ended up on the wrong side of a gate.

I had a friend riding along with me on all my runs, I know I won't be competitive this year so having the extra weight doesn't concern me this season.

Here was my first run, it was a clean run as in no cones hit and no DNF, but I know I overdrove the car in several places and was taking some lines too far out. Wasn't really going all out as it was the first run and just wanted to stay on the course. This was taken mainly to see my buddy's reaction... he had a death grip on his seat belt and gets an increasingly uneasy feeling as the run progresses... lol.



Run #2... Around the 1:04 mark I went in too fast and ended up on the wrong side of a pointer cone.


Run #3... this was my only decent/clean run.


And run #4... I missed a gate... you can hear me yell "awww... shit" I put the camera right behind the front wheel for this... pretty crazy how much the tire deforms under cornering.



I ended up running 46psi in the front and 50psi in the rear which was just perfect... the car rotated very predictably... even "drifted" the rear end out nearly the whole way around the left hand sweeper after the two offset gates on a couple of the runs.

edit: Results are posted, there are some errors(missing my first run), but it wasn't my fastest(it was ~65 second run). Also apparently I did actually hit a cone on my third run, my raw time was 61.481 + 2 second penalty for a cone so my fastest was a 63.481.

Final results:
http://cincyscca.com/wp-content/uplo...PE1/pe1fin.htm

Overall PAX results:
http://cincyscca.com/wp-content/uplo...PE1/pe1pax.htm



I got a chance to talk w/ Jack Burns, and also got to see/meet the current driver of his old car that won the 2007 Nationals. If you look at the results... I've got a LONG way to go to even be close to the other top HS drivers... Jack Burns and Dave Santel. Friggin Minis.

Last edited by flatlander937; 04-09-2013 at 02:31 PM.
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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 12:37 AM
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Keep plugging away Tony! Each event is a learning experience.
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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 07:09 AM
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Totally awesome .. Keep it up ... Where are u competing ?


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