Mazda3 Forums banner

21 - 40 of 77 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
568 Posts
Discussion Starter #21
[quote author=Say Chi Sin Lo link=topic=167369.msg3968534#msg3968534 date=1300651276]
Very nice update! Especially on the v2!

Can you tell me whether or not you had to take off the wheels to adjust the rebound on v2? I'm thinking about getting the v3 and I can only assume the design will be similar.
[/quote]

On V2's all damping adjustment is done topside. Fronts are cake. Rears require you to reach inside the carpet molding to access the top of the shock. If you are slender like me it's not a problem. Otherwise you might consider cutting out a small access panel in the trunk lining. I believe another member here did that and was please with the results.

Also, KW really scored big on rear height adjustment. The perches are located on the bottom and can be adjusted without disassembling the LCA. Took me 5 minutes to adjust both sides.

Without knowing your specific needs, I'd only recommend V3's for track rats. I'm finding the low speed compression on V2's more than adequate for both street and track. That's not to say it'll change as the dampers wear in. GL with your purchase. :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,642 Posts
[quote author=Design link=topic=167369.msg3968587#msg3968587 date=1300657621]

Without knowing your specific needs, I'd only recommend V3's for track rats. I'm finding the low speed compression on V2's more than adequate for both street and track. That's not to say it'll change as the dampers wear in. GL with your purchase. :cool:
[/quote]

I was under the impression that all of the "variants" are the same, except for increased adjustability as the price increases.

v1 = Only height
v2 = height + rebound
v3 = height + rebound + compression
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
568 Posts
Discussion Starter #23
No you are definitely right. What I was saying is that for street use V2's are more than sufficient, IMO. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,642 Posts
[quote author=Design link=topic=167369.msg3968890#msg3968890 date=1300684222]
No you are definitely right. What I was saying is that for street use V2's are more than sufficient, IMO. :)
[/quote]

Oh I'm sure you're right. Matter of fact, I think V1's are more than sufficient. It's not like I track the car. Matter of fact, I think the MS3 handles pretty damn well already, and this is coming from a guy who tossed around a 350z for an entire week :)

But I want adjustment up the ass so I can fine tune exactly how I want the car to ride. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
568 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
Thanks, I'll keep adding. :cool:



Quick update. It's now been 700 miles and the coils/tires have worn in nicely. Few thoughts:
  • The KW V2's are dead quiet. There is some mild noise in situations where the piston compresses quickly, such as a speed bump or small pothole. Not a problem just a minor annoyance.
  • Compression damping is spot on. At approximately a 1" drop there is just enough forgiveness to prevent excessive contact with the bump stops. This was the solution I required that the MZ3 H&R's couldn't provide.
  • Spring rate is a bit stiff for DD. They're not harsh, but 45 mile+ trips can get a bit weary. Wife is 8 mos pregnant and says the ride is livable. Daughter has no problem sleeping in the back, but some bumps can juggle her around slightly. I have rebound dialed back to 5 clicks about soft when they're in the car.
  • Near the limits these coils shine. Understeer is still prevalent but a bit more controlled. Case in point, my usual 270* onramp leads to an off-camber exit just before reaching the fwy. That nasty transitional hump would upset both the H&R's and OEM suspension, but at least the H&R's kep the rear wheel planted. The KW's allow the chassis to glide over the hump in a smooth, predictable understeer condition. Furthermore, there's no harsh shift in direction as the front regains traction - a dangerous behavior with OEM.
  • High speed damping is much more controlled. These coils beg to go fast and feel better at higher speeds. They remain flat over concrete deviations and moderate, multiple undulations where OEM did not. H&R's would occasionally encounter a pogo effect but it was very rare, and only under a combination of undulations at higher speed.
  • Rebound and perch adjustment are incredibly easy. Rear height can be adjusted on the ground, no disassembly required, by spinning the adjuster from under the lower spring mount. Fronts you simply remove the wheels to access the perch. With 18 levels of adjustment, I find 5 works best for DD (7 for me alone). 9-11 works best for spirited drives. Anything more than that and the chassis overreacts to every imperfection in the road.
  • Pirellis pick up more road noise than OEM/Hankooks. They grip just as well as the Evos but pick up more vibrations due to the harder compound. That was expected of an A/S tire. Like Hankook, there is no squeal until you actually break loose. Sidewall on the Pirellis is definitely stiffer. I can run these at 32-34 PSI where the Hankooks I had to run at 36-38. Wet traction is very good. Had no issues with the recent rainstorms here in Cali over the last several weeks.
That's it for now. Thanks for looking!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,642 Posts
You noticed the stock suspension have a pogo stick/floaty effect too?! We are so cool...

I could never figure out how they did it. The stock suspension was stiff enough to bob your head, but also kind of float over stuff on the freeway... -.-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
[quote author=Design link=topic=167369.msg3771431#msg3771431 date=1282377829]
Update @ 37K:
Powergrid Adjustable Endlinks
As it was explained to me, the lower you drop the car the lower the front bar sits towards the ground. To compensate, you either need lower endlink brackets on the strut or longer endlinks. I opted for longer endlinks since H&R uses endlink brackets comparable to OEM. Here's a pic of the struts for comparison; OEM is on the bottom:
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/1259/1341/3145670249_large.jpg
[/quote]

Hey were the front endlinks hard to install?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
568 Posts
Discussion Starter #30
[quote author=Lex2007 link=topic=167369.msg4216105#msg4216105 date=1334100154]Hey were the front endlinks hard to install?
[/quote]

No but I live in Cali LOL. Some have reported seized endlink bolts due to the elements.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Where do you live? All your pictures look like you took them on Highway 33 north of Ojai or Pacific Coast Highway by Point Mugu...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
[quote author=Design link=topic=167369.msg4216634#msg4216634 date=1334175486]
South OC. Pics are from Ortega, Malibu, and Angeles Crest.
[/quote]

I had one right! (I am assuming Malibu is PCH). Angeles Crest is one of my favorite drives; My kids and I go to a Christian camp up there a couple times a year. That road is as fun as Mulholland/Decker Canyon/etc. You car looks awesome in those pictures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
Great thread! Design, you seem to know a lot about suspension. I'm looking to upgrade mine as well. I have MS3 swaybars, Dominant Engineering adjustable camber arms and AWR adjustable front endlinks so far. I still need the rear endlinks and coils.... I have no idea how the different components need to be adjusted at all. Maybe you could give me some pointers. I'd rather not go to a shop.... Except for the alignment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
568 Posts
Discussion Starter #36
Not a guru but I've been around. :)

IMO rear endlinks aren't needed unless they're worn or your upgrading the OEM bar. By coils do you mean springs only? If so I'd recommend a good set of matching dampers. The valving on the OEM shocks/struts aren't sufficient for most aftermarket springs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
[quote author=Design link=topic=167369.msg4217386#msg4217386 date=1334336060]
Not a guru but I've been around. :)

IMO rear endlinks aren't needed unless they're worn or your upgrading the OEM bar. By coils do you mean springs only? If so I'd recommend a good set of matching dampers. The valving on the OEM shocks/struts aren't sufficient for most aftermarket springs.
[/quote]

....not to mention that the OEM struts are absolute garbage. Mine are leaking since at least 55k mile. The rear end is now sagging and the fronts are slapping and clanking. Its a very poor quality strut. DO NOT waste your money on aftermarket springs for the OEM struts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
[quote author=Design link=topic=167369.msg4217386#msg4217386 date=1334336060]
Not a guru but I've been around. :)

IMO rear endlinks aren't needed unless they're worn or your upgrading the OEM bar. By coils do you mean springs only? If so I'd recommend a good set of matching dampers. The valving on the OEM shocks/struts aren't sufficient for most aftermarket springs.
[/quote]
I'm refering to coilovers. I want a moderate drop and keep as much comfort as possible while staying planted in turns. I'm not a speed demon, but I want a turn hugging setup. my passenger side strut is toast. It needs to be replaced. I have the MS3 swaybars I need to install. the rear endlinks are a different size. mz3-10mm, MS3-12mm... I can't remember, maybe go down two on each... I'd have to doublecheck... People who didn't change out the endlinks had "clunking" I wanna avoid that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
568 Posts
Discussion Starter #39
Update at 89K:

For too long since I’ve posted so here goes.



Maintenance


Front Brakes

At 58K I burned through my 2nd set of OEM front pads. As much as I love OEM I decided to try out the Hawk HPs. I have driven two Gen1's with HPs and didn’t think they were horrible. I decided it might be worth trying them out for a season and see how they’d hold up long term. Matched them with a new set of OEM blanks.

My assessment after 30K? Not as good as OEM.

The good:
- More progressive/linear braking
- Less dust
- Cost $110 less

The bad:
- Reduced initial bite
- Increased braking effort
- Occasional noise under light braking

I’ve confirmed that the noise/performance has nothing to do with the pad/disc combo. I drove my buddy’s car with HP/Centric discs and noticed the same issues. So I may return to OEM pads after the HPs are done. More to follow.


CV Boot

At 80K I noticed that my driver’s side LCA was accruing grease. Looking just above, I noticed a small pinhole in the CV boot. Didn’t look like it had been there long and the leak appeared to be very slow. So it was likely that the CV joint hadn’t yet been contaminated.

I learned two important things when researching replacement options:
- The passenger side CV boot is not replaceable; the entire assembly must be swapped out ($300)
- When swapping out the assembly on higher torque applications, NEVER use a cheap aftermarket CV joint/assembly. On the EMPI/DTA models, there have been quite a few reports of leaky CV boots and balance issues.

Fortunately, Mazda sells a driver's side boot kit for $55. Has everything you need - boot, clip rings, and grease. The DIY below is a pretty good summary of what to do. Just be sure to drain the tranny fluid first lol:
How-To: CV axle / seal replacement. - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum

It’s been about 9K since I replaced the boot. No noise or other leaks to report.


Tires

Also at 80K I decided to replace the Pirelli P-Zero Neros. As most of us know, performance all seasons are a mixed bag. They are great for the first 20-25K. Then as the harder compound becomes exposed, they get noisy fast. With 15K left on the treadwear warranty, and with the tires down to 4/32nds, the shop was willing to warranty the remaining tread. Despite the noise and occasional squeal, I felt the Pirellis aged well. So I picked up another set. Total cost with the warranty credit was less than $400 installed.


General

Overall this car is holding together well. The KW V2s are rock solid (abet a few extra rattles from the interior). No major flaws with the interior materials/panels, paint, or body panels. Clearbra has held up well with only a few scratches.

I've noticed the throttle is not as responsive and gas mileage has decreased slightly. I suspect it's due to a heavy buildup of carbon deposits. I may do a full cleaning of the intake manifold and throttle body. We’ve had a couple guys in our area get it done with favorable results. DIY can be found here:
http://www.mazdaspeedforums.org/forum/f33/how-clean-your-valves-easy-cheap-120211/




Bose Upgrade

I had been meaning to create a thread of my audio build that was done last year. But for now I’ll post a few thoughts. As most of us know the Gen 1 Bose is lacking. Muddy mids, distorted highs, and non-existent lows. Much of it is due to the signal processing in the Bose amp. But the paper speakers don’t help either. With a budget of $700, I set out to do a full swap of the amp, speakers and sub. Here’s what I ended up with:

1. Pioneer TS-A1604C 6.5” Component Front Speakers: Pioneer TS-A1604C (TSA1604C) 6.5" 2-Way Component Speaker System

2. Pioneer TS-D6902R Coaxial 6x9 Rear Speakers:
Pioneer TS-D6902R (TSD6902R) 6" x 9" 2-way D Coaxial Car Speakers

3. Pioneer GM-6500F 4 Channel Amp: Pioneer GM-6500F (GM6500F) 760W 4-Channel GM Car Amplifier

4. Pioneer GM-5500T 2 Channel Amp: Pioneer GM-5500T (GM5500T) 820W 2-Channel GM Car Amplifier

5. JL Audio 8W3V3-4 subwoofer with jack-mount stealthbox: JL Audio 8W3V3-4 (8W3V34) 8" Single 4 ohm W3v3 Car Subwoofer

6. PAC AOEM MAZ-2 HU Integration Unit: PAC AOEM-MAZ2 (aoemmaz2) Interface that Allows Replacement or

7. OEM Mazda blank door sills for the tweeters

I have mixed feelings about using custom baffles and sound deadening. They make a significant difference on medium to high power setups. On lower power systems, I’ve found the advantages to be marginally thin. So I decided I’d test the setup without baffles/deadening for a bit, despite buying several sheets of sound deadening. I have passengers so I wasn’t too keen on skipping the rear speakers.

With the help of @meelo88, we got everything installed on two separate days. First were the doors. OEM speakers were 6x8 both front and rear. In the back, the Pioneer 6x9s dropped right in the factory location with almost no modification. But in the front, a baffle is needed for the 6.5” cone. Fortunately, Pioneer supplies a decent set of composite baffle plates with every D series speaker. And that allowed us to install the front cones with very little modification.

The speaker installation took several hours taking our time. During the install we tested the rears with Pioneer on one side and Bose on the other. The Bose sounded like it was behind a foam panel while the Pioneer sounded relatively clean and clear. But the balance was still off. Output was very bright in the upper midrange. And bass was muffled.

On Day 2 we installed the amps and wiring. I picked up the Pioneer amps specifically because they take up minimal space. We ran the amp wiring through the firewall behind the glove compartment. Then through the lower door plate and under the passenger seat. Everything tucked away nice and tidy. Unfortunately the PAC AOEM MAZ-2 was defective so we had to splice the amp harness under the driver’s seat. We took the F/R inputs and converted to RCA. We then hooked up the subwoofer to run off the rear channel. But the low frequency roll-off was too aggressive. Later on I swapped the sub to the front channel. Results we better, though we still noticed a mild low frequency roll-off.

Installing the jack-mount stealthbox requires some minor cutting of the interior carpet. This makes it difficult to adjust damping on the KW V2’s. So I cut a small access panel in the carpet near the top of the driver’s rear shock. The JL Sub is a very tight fit in this box. So I may go back and install a small MDF spacer ring to give an extra ½” clearance.

Overall I am very pleased with the results. Replacing the factory amp/signal processor has made the single biggest difference in sound quality. Speakers are still a little bright in the upper mid-range but nowhere near that of OEM. Output is balanced in all other areas except below 100hz. What we’ve determined is that the 08.5-09 factory HU trims the low level frequencies to preserve speaker life. It can be tuned out with a good EQ or a 6-12DB “bass boost” that is featured in many amps.

After switching from the harness back to the AOEM-MAZ2, I noticed a slight improvement in bass response but the roll-off is still present. This limitation, combined with the lack of Bluetooth and HD radio, has convinced me to switch to an aftermarket HU. In the coming months I’ll be installing the following:

1. Pioneer AVH-P8400BH: Pioneer AVH-P8400BH 7" Touchscreen DVD Car Receiver w/ Bluetooth

2. Kanatechs OEM fit Piano Black Dash Kit: KANATECHS Stereo Install Kit For 2007-2009 Mazda3

3. Axxess ASWC Steering Wheel Control Adapter: Axxess ASWC Universal Steering Wheel Control Interface

4. Possibly more dense and water resistant speaker baffles

I think most people looking to upgrade the Bose would be happy with a simple amp or HU replacement. But I’ve learned that any upgrade should focus on bypassing the Bose processor/amp.

That’s it for now. Thanks for looking!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,436 Posts
On V2's all damping adjustment is done topside. Fronts are cake. Rears require you to reach inside the carpet molding to access the top of the shock. If you are slender like me it's not a problem. Otherwise you might consider cutting out a small access panel in the trunk lining. I believe another member here did that and was please with the results.
The fronts are a tiny adjuster inside the shock shaft top correct?

And the rear you have to pop out that trim panel and snake your arm in the raised metal rectangle to get to the top of the shock?

(I just had my V2s put in, but it's been gross outside so I haven't had time to go fiddle unless I desired pneumonia)
 
21 - 40 of 77 Posts
Top