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Will be interesting to compare turn in as well with the rear now "sucked in"
I did this a while back, don't notice any significant difference. It's like changing your offset a 3-5mm, maybe under certain circumstances you'll register it but mostly no.
 

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ah.. yeah no I was thinking it was 1" inwards on both sides, that would likely be enough, but sub 1" all together I guess not...

Rather... good luck trying to prove how much more difference it makes.
 

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Discussion Starter #103
Of course I didn't measure before or after I pulled them in...doh!

It's gonna be however high the cam is on the eccentric bolt. I would guestimate it to be about 1/4" high. So with a quarter inch on each side, it's roundabout 1/2" total. It is noticeable when you look down the side and see the wheel sunken into the wheel well a little more than usual.
 

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it makes sense too because you can get closer with your front wheels to a cone since the back are sucked in a bit. It may be very minute, but it's still something.
 

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Discussion Starter #105
Short Update

Did a little work on the Mazda this weekend. First, I washed her for the first time in months...had fun scraping off tons of cone marks. I also cleaned my RPF1s for I think the first time...yeah almost 2 years now...they look amazing again. Then, I treated the windshield with RainX's clay bar treatment. Lastly, I restored my headlights with the Meguiars "heavy duty" kit. I was a little skeptical about what the results would be but it didn't disappoint as they look brand new. Check out the before and after shots:

Before:

After:


Next up is swapping the front springs and getting a full alignment. Looking like I'm going to need a new battery too as my Braille can't keep up with the cold weather now.
 

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Discussion Starter #107
Good question. When I went from the stock rates to the 400/290 MS kit, brake dive was greatly minimized and I started to feel most bumps in the road. The rear springs were comfy as long as the shock compression was kept soft. When going to the 550/290 setup, I also installed my camber plates. This caused me to feel even the smallest of pebbles in the road. The front impacts were now really harsh. Over large bumps and elevation changes the nose would also travel a lot more with the stiffer springs. The 400/550 setup is a bit bouncy sometimes, but settles out very quickly. Similar to the 550s on the front, the rear now travels a lot more over big bumps than it did before. Easiest way I can sum it up: You will feel every bump, and big ones are more amplified with this setup. If you drive on crappy roads you will hate this setup. I'm still messing with the shock settings to find a good street balance. Lastly, I have yet to swap in the 350 fronts so I will evaluate those with the 550 rears when I get them put in. The car does porpoise some with all these setups, but when you put stiffer springs on the rear than the front it will porpoise in the opposite direction...takes some getting used to.

It isn't a very comfy ride, but it is manageable for someone who doesn't mind a stiff car. And yes, I do still drive my car 75 miles a day.
 

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Discussion Starter #109
I used my torque wrench to tighten them to 75 ft-lb like all the other bolts. Mine haven't moved yet after a couple hundred miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #110
CCR SCCA Autox #3 - ZMax Dragway - May 3,2014

So it’s been a long time since my last race in November. It’s been killing me to constantly be working out of town on every weekend there’s a race. Hard to believe it’s May and this is my first event of the 2014 season. It definitely showed that I hadn't raced in a while cuz I was really rusty. Looking at my video I was slow, late, not looking ahead, and terribly bad on the brakes(lots of ABS). First run I spun it in the first turn...becoming typical for me on cold tires. The next 2 runs were ok but I knew I wasn't concentrating enough and not being aggressive enough. I pushed it on the last run (video below) and had a pretty decent time, picked up 8 tenths but with a cone. All in all I was reasonably happy with my performance.

Weather-
Could not have been better. High 70s and bright sunshine.

Course-
A course design contest was held by the CCR officers. The winning design was done by a first time designer who typically runs karts. Here’s his description and layout of the course:
“My design I made from taking parts of real race tracks and putting cones in correct locations. The start is VIR left hook followed by Snake, next is part of the climbing esses, always a fun section in real life, should be quite fast here, the cones wiggle around, not your normal slalom. After the first esses is Turn 9 at GoPro motorplex, one of my favorite corners, the compromised entry, the limiting wall makes this corner quite difficult, just like the real turn. I have it close to a 1:1 ratio of the real turn, which in the kart is 2nd gear entry. The Laguna Seca corkscrew is next, I thought what better of a turn to go over a dip, hopefully it translates well to zmax. The corkscrew is followed by a mirrored version of Suzuka Turn 1&2, and esses. This section should be quite fun, and just like the real esses if you mess the first turn up you get screwed on the second. Then we go back to VIR for one of the most iconic corners, Oak Tree. With no real braking zone, you will need to choose to brake early or grow a pair and dive in. Now the fast section is the Road Atlanta esses, which are quite fast in real life. The real version has quite a bit of elevation change that we will be missing. I am expecting middle of 3rd on cars with short gear boxes. Just like Road Atlanta the esses are followed by Turn 5. You will need to brake for this turn, else you will be into the wall and picking up some a nice penalty points. Now to the funnel, the exit is quite narrow compared to normal zmax gate. This gives you a good area to build up some speed turn it into heat energy at the double 90's, which is a homage to Road Atlanta Turn 10a&b. AND ACROSS THE LINE.“

It turned out to be a very fast course. I was just touching the limiter at 7200 in second…somewhere around 70mph. I heard of several high powered cars getting well into the 80s.

Setup-
Unchanged from last year…and yes, that does mean that my adjustable toe links and adjustable camber arms are still installed. The stock links will be going back in before this weekend to be 100% legal again. Tire pressures again at 38-39f and 40-45r. Shocks at 2 damping clicks from soft up front and about half stiff damp and comp out back. I think my nose is still a bit too low so I’ll be raising it a tiny bit before this weekend too. Toe was the same at slightly out front and 0 rear. Camber plates again at 2.5*. Car felt really good again, the nose tucks into corners under braking and rear skids predictably(when the rear tires aren’t ice cold). Still getting 4 wheel drifts in the high speed transitions, which I absolutely love. I think with a fresh shock rebuild (68k miles on them now) and some new sticky rubber (tires are starting their 3rd season now), this setup would be crazy fast.

Video-
Results-
11/22 in Pro
11/154 in PAX (969)
My dirty run, if clean, would’ve been 6th in PAX (980).

Next event is the Atlanta Match Tour this weekend. Then a possible Wed. night event in Fletcher, NC with Highland Sports Car Club. Then, to Carolina Motorsports Park on Memorial Day with CCR.
 

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Discussion Starter #112
It's been a long time since an update. Sorry to the one person, you, who actually reads this thread. Haven't gotten to do much racing this year. I was home for a 7 week stretch this Spring, other than that I've been working out of town in the middle of nowhere Indiana since January. I'm finally home now, but I'm in the process of moving to The District in the coming week.

Hoping to get involved with the Washington DC Region (WDCR) up there quickly. They have an event on Oct. 12th that I will be trying my best to get to. After that I will be evaluating/weighing my options for the future of the stealth wagon. Keep racing, part out and/or sell.

If I decide to keep racing, many things need to be done. Number 1 is new tires. My R-S3 version 1s are nearly 4 years old with ~125 runs on them. I'm leaning toward version 2s, but we'll see what comes along next year. Struts and shocks have 67k hard miles on them now, they really need a freshen up. New/replacement bushings, wheel bearings, O2 sensors, and thermostat need to be considered.

One major update to the car was done in August. A new clutch was installed along with some machining on the flywheel and all new bearings. After running the original clutch to 142k miles, the new one feels awesome. The car is alive again.
 

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It's been a long time since an update. Sorry to the one person, you, who actually reads this thread. Haven't gotten to do much racing this year. I was home for a 7 week stretch this Spring, other than that I've been working out of town in the middle of nowhere Indiana since January. I'm finally home now, but I'm in the process of moving to The District in the coming week.

Hoping to get involved with the Washington DC Region (WDCR) up there quickly. They have an event on Oct. 12th that I will be trying my best to get to. After that I will be evaluating/weighing my options for the future of the stealth wagon. Keep racing, part out and/or sell.

If I decide to keep racing, many things need to be done. Number 1 is new tires. My R-S3 version 1s are nearly 4 years old with ~125 runs on them. I'm leaning toward version 2s, but we'll see what comes along next year. Struts and shocks have 67k hard miles on them now, they really need a freshen up. New/replacement bushings, wheel bearings, O2 sensors, and thermostat need to be considered.

One major update to the car was done in August. A new clutch was installed along with some machining on the flywheel and all new bearings. After running the original clutch to 142k miles, the new one feels awesome. The car is alive again.
Chris, glad to hear the update, and looking forward to seeing what you do with the car. This is one of my favorite Mazda 3s, so I'm obviously hoping to see it continue racing.
 

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Discussion Starter #114
WDCR SCCA Autox - FedEx Field, MD - October 12, 2014

Wow it has been a while again. I have actually gotten to do a little racing. Shortly after my move to DC, I found a local Washington DC Region SCCA event. Kinda crazy that it was 20 minutes away...that was a big change from the multiple hour trips to make Charlotte and Atlanta events. Anyway, didn't put much prep into the car knowing it would be futile considering I hadn't raced in 5 months...and I was right. My driving was nothing but awful. But, it was great to meet some new people and run with a new gang of top notch drivers.

Weather-
Fairly chilly start but it warmed up nicely. Lots of sun and a little windy.

Course-
New type of course for me. Elevation was a key factor in this course. I've never really had to deal with elevation changes. Atlanta had one small hill in it and that's about the extent of my experience. Also, aiming for a gate I couldn't see was a new one too. There was a three cone tunnel at the crest of a hill and I couldn't see the next gate from the tunnel...never got that one right. Overall the course was a very technical, almost 1 line course. The showcase turn was a nice long, sweeping, down hill, off camber, severely decreasing exit turn. Patience and precision were needed...neither of which I could master.

Setup-
Whatever I ran at the Atlanta Match Tour. Camber and front toe were dialed as well as tire pressures. I had to run the rear pressures really low to keep the back end remotely controllable. The 4 year old RS3 tires were absolutely done for. It was pretty laughable how awful they were. I think I would've run faster on my Conti DWs.

Results-
I had 1 okay run that was happy with, but it was fun nonetheless. It's been long enough that they took the link down. I do remember that I ran over a second behind the winning RSX-S and Dgross7's hatchback. The PAX was pretty bad too.
 

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Discussion Starter #115 (Edited)
2014 Year in Review

Welp not much to review. I was out of town working most of the year and then made a big move from SC to DC. Didn't have much time or energy to race this year.

2014 Schedule and Results and Modifications
May 3rd, ZMax Dragway, 11/22 in Pro; 11/154 in PAX (969)
May 17th, Turner Field, 2/2 in STF
May 18th, Turner Field, 2nd Round Club Shootout; 27/122 in PAX (966)
Oct 12th, FedEx Field, 3/6? in STF, not so good PAX

Looking forward to meeting a bunch new car friends and running a few more times in 2015.
 

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Discussion Starter #116
Capital Driving Club - Harry Grove Stadium - Frederick, MD - April 4, 2015

Had a great time at this event. The atmosphere was very laid back and reminded me of a lot of things I liked about the Clemson Sportscar Club I was a member of in SC. Looking forward to doing a lot more events with these guys.

Weather-
Very nice day except for the wind. It was in the 50s and 60s, but the unrelenting wind and cloud cover made it feel much colder. I wish I had remembered to bring my wind breaker cuz I was cold all day.

Course-
The lot was tiny, but the course was well done to utilize all of the space. I was a little skeptical of how fun it was going to be until I got out there and it was a great experience. It flowed really well for the tight confines and the elements could be a little tricky.

Setup-
The RS3s are done for so I ran the DWs. I wanted this event to be simple so I didn't touch the camber plates or the front toe or the shocks. I literally put my stuff in the car and drove up there. The only thing I did was put air in the tires and tape numbers on the doors (btw it's been a long time since I've taped numbers on the car and now I remember why I hated it so much). The DWs wound up being a pretty competent tire in the cooler conditions, however, there is a noticeable lack of slip angle and they seemed to give up really quickly. It seemed pretty progressive though in it's holding power. It was very easy to find the limits and very predictable in its performance. The forward bite and stopping performance seemed to be on par with the flogged out RS3s, I just couldn't lean on it quite as much at initial turn in (again slip angle).

Results-
CDC Results 4/5/2015
Finished as the second fastest FWD car on street tires (22/74 overall). Beaten by a majorly tricked out (and majorly gorgeous) Focus ST on ZIIs. I was pretty thrilled to break 46 seconds, and on my last run I finally nailed the start and dropped a couple more tenths. Felt like I got just about all I could out of the car and that felt really good!
 

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Discussion Starter #117
Early Retirement

It's official, the stealth wagon is retiring early from competitive racing!

It was short but enjoyable career. The build was a lot of fun and I learned a lot, which is exactly what I wanted from this car. It proved to be a competitive opponent everywhere it went, which is more that I could've wanted. I thought the stars were aligned and the timing was perfect with this car, but things never fell my way to take the many opportunities I wanted with it. I hate that I never got to see the full potential of the car. I have spent many hours contemplating updating/freshening the car to make one last wholehearted effort toward nationals, but I have decided to give up on that dream with this car.

The future isn't all bleak though. I will continue to race it, but no longer for competition. I will be kickin' it old school (circa 2011) trying to run down the cars that are much more prepared than me. The future setup will be as follows:

Conti DW 225/45/17 on 17x7 +55 Mazda6 wheels
Mazdaspeed Acc. coilovers (dampers, springs, and all other hardware)
Stock top hats
Stock front sway bar
Powergrid Endlinks
Hotchkis rear sway bar
AWR endlinks
SPC camber arms
All brake, hub, and interior parts are staying
Schroth harness
Motor mounts and MazdaEdit tune
Borla catback

The De-mod has begun this past weekend. The rear suspension has been purged...Hypercoil springs, TriPoint adjusters, Megan toe links, GTSpec tie brace are all off. MS intake and MS shifter are out. Next will be the front springs and Corksport camber plates. Then out comes the header. Also the RPF1s are currently available with the trashy RS3 tires still on them. Check back to the FS section soon!
 

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When you sign up online for CDC, put yourself in the FWD class and put in your scca class so you have a PAX times! Here I am thinking I was top PAX with 4 people in my car on my fastest run.... :/
 

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Discussion Starter #119
Will try to remember that next time. Sorry man! I had no idea I could out run you even with the extra poundage. I can't imagine how far ahead you would've been without it, guess we'll have to find out next time!
 

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Well I mean you're pretty quick, Chris. Our cars are pretty much the same too lol You haven't pulled the coilovers yet, right?

Oh and will I see you this Sunday at FedEx? :) That's where the fun happens!
 
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