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Hi all,

To this day, Mazda still does not make Mud guards that will fit the Hatch S with Side Sill Extension. I didn't want gravel and mud get thrown up against the side of my brand new car. So, I decided to make my own mud guards from a waste basket (that I had lying around but not being used). All that I had to spend was $1.47 to buy a package of screws and plastic anchors from Home Depot.

Why did I decide to make my own? Well, the main reason is because the local auto-part stores in my area no longer sell generic mud flaps for cars. There are a few stores that sells mud flaps for SUV and trucks, but those are too big for our car. The only solution for me is to make my own. Here are the instructions along with pictures so that you can make your own.

These instructions are based on the two how-to guides that are already written here on the forums. These how-to guides required you to purchase the mud guards from AutoZone. But last I checked, AutoZone discontinued selling mud guards in any of their stores.
http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=19435.0
http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=48131.0

Allright, let's get on with the instructions...

Parts Needed:
-Waste Basket Size 28 Quarts (about $3-$4)
-Plastic Anchors #14-16 x 1-1/2" (Home Depot $1.47 package for 5 screws and 5 anchors)
-Drill
-3/16" Drill Bit
-5/16" Drill Bit
-Phillips-head Screw Driver
-Scissors
-Black permanent marker (optional)



Start out with printing the cut-out pattern on a Legal size paper (8.5" x 14"). Make sure that you print it with no scaling (100% original size). You can use a ruler to verify that the print-out is in correct scaling. The pattern is attached to this thread and can be downloaded (login as a registered user and scroll down to the bottom of this post). Or you can try downloading it from these links:
8.5x11 sized paper (2 pages)
8.5x14 sized paper

Next, trace this pattern onto each side of the waste basket and then cut them out. Then drill the holes. I have already marked the places to drill on the cut-out pattern. This will save you the trouble of making sure that the holes line up such that the mud flap is parallel to the ground. Use the 3/16" drill bit on the top hole and the 5/16" drill bit on the bottom two holes.

You should now have the mud flaps looking like these:


It's time to install the mud flaps. Turn the front wheels all the way to the left to install on the driver's side. Take out the 3 screws (the top one is metal and the two on the sill are plastic). Be careful taking out the plastic screws. Unscrew the plastic screw and then carefully pry out the plastic retainers. Keep these in a safe place in case you want to remove the mud flaps in the future.



This is what the holes look like after the screws are removed:


Next, insert two plastic anchors into the bottom two holes of the mud flaps. The reason to put these through the mud flap is so that if you do end up deciding to take these out later, it will be much easier to pull these out this way. And also, this way when you unscrew the screw, the plastic anchor will NOT turn with the screw making it practically impossible to unscrew the screw from the plastic anchor later on. I used a black permanent marker to color the top of the plastic anchors black.

Front Side:


Back Side:


Now install the mud flaps and screw them in. I also colored the top of the screws with the black permanent marker. The mud flap should be 4" off the ground. Turn the tire and verify that the tire does not rub the mud flap at any angles. I have created this pattern so that the stock tires do not rub the mud flap.

NOTE: Do NOT over tighten the screws. Not much force is needed to hold the flap secured.

This is how it looks when you have the driver side installed.









Lastly, do the same steps for the other side.

That's it, this shouldn't take more than 30min to do.

Don't hesitate to ask questions, leave comments, suggestions, or feedbacks :)
 

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Re: How-to: Make and install your own Mud guards/flaps for less than $5

Those do look great. Another simple and cheap solution that looks good and serves its purpose. I have the i model without side sills, but I don't want to pay $50 for a pair for mud flaps. These would be great to run during the winter to keep the sand and salt and other road crap from constantly covering the sides of my car. One question, what did you use to cut the trash can? I have one just like that here and it's pretty thick plastic; it would be hard to get such a clean cut.
 

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Re: How-to: Make and install your own Mud guards/flaps for less than $5

Nice job, got any more pics of the finished job? Preferably wider shots of the whole car.
 

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Re: How-to: Make and install your own Mud guards/flaps for less than $5

[quote author=adamsch link=topic=99150.msg1973814#msg1973814 date=1199728465]
Those do look great. Another simple and cheap solution that looks good and serves its purpose. I have the i model without side sills, but I don't want to pay $50 for a pair for mud flaps. These would be great to run during the winter to keep the sand and salt and other road crap from constantly covering the sides of my car. One question, what did you use to cut the trash can? I have one just like that here and it's pretty thick plastic; it would be hard to get such a clean cut.
[/quote]

Yep, i'm just using these during the winter time to keep the sand and gravel off the side of my car. I'm planning to take these off during summer time.

As for cutting the waste basket, I just use normal scissors. If not, you can also use those garden scissors made to trim branches. Those are pretty heavy duty and can cut through a lot of stuff.

The hardest/trickiest part was to drill the holes such that when installed the mud flaps are parallel to the ground. I actually had to create an extra one because I drilled the holes a little bit off the first time. As long as you use the cut-out pattern and drill the holes where I marked them, you should be ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: How-to: Make and install your own Mud guards/flaps for less than $5

[quote author=eurotuner link=topic=99150.msg1973948#msg1973948 date=1199730887]
lol ican not use those haah
[/quote]

I agree that these doesn't look as good as a specially molded one for the car, but I don't think my version look bad either. So far, people who have seen them asked me where I bought them, and they were very surprised when I told them that those were made out of waste baskets. They are functional for the winter time and I only spent $1.47 to make them. Nobody can beat that price :lol:
 

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Re: How-to: Make and install your own Mud guards/flaps for less than $5

hahaah, i didnt say they look bad, mudflaps look like mudflaps, all of them. only the WRC are nice


i am to low for those

i got already 4" clearance
 

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Re: How-to: Make and install your own Mud guards/flaps for less than $5

[quote author=bombsquad link=topic=99150.msg1974082#msg1974082 date=1199733053]
Nice job, got any more pics of the finished job? Preferably wider shots of the whole car.
[/quote]

I tried taking wider shots of the whole car, but because the mud flaps are black, they are really hard to see.
Here are some pictures for you. I had to crank up the brightness so that you can see the mud flaps, but it makes the rest of the picture very overexposed.









 

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Re: How-to: Make and install your own Mud guards/flaps for less than $5

I'm totally doing this too.

I'm sick of all the crap my tires keep kicking up onto my car.
 

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Re: How-to: Make and install your own Mud guards/flaps for less than $5

Thanks! Nice job again.
 

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Re: How-to: Make and install your own Mud guards/flaps for less than $5

Hi All,

I just updated the cut-out pattern that is attached to this thread. The old version has been removed. The current attachment is the latest version.

I basically moved the image up a little so that when you print it out, the bottom part doesn't get clipped because most printers can not print all the way to the edge of the paper. The sides will still be clipped in the print-out because the pattern goes all the way to the edge of the paper (The mud flaps should be 8.5" wide).
 

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Re: How-to: Make and install your own Mud guards/flaps for less than $5

Do you have one for the rear too?

This might be worth it to install just for the winter.

I don't like the look of them, but it will save a lot of the gunk from slinging back and along the sides.
Might be good for autocross too so I don't sling rocks everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Re: How-to: Make and install your own Mud guards/flaps for less than $5

[quote author=bossboy link=topic=99150.msg1976218#msg1976218 date=1199776298]
Do you have one for the rear too?

This might be worth it to install just for the winter.

I don't like the look of them, but it will save a lot of the gunk from slinging back and along the sides.
Might be good for autocross too so I don't sling rocks everywhere.

[/quote]

No, I have not made the ones for the rear yet. I wasn't planning to do it for the rear. I only wanted something to protect the front sides of the car. I would guess that we can use the same cut-out pattern, but drill the holes differently so that you can screw them into the rear. From what I can see, to get to the screws on the rear, you will have to remove the rear wheel. If anybody else here on the forums are willing to figure out the drill pattern for the rear holes, please post your solution.
 

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Re: How-to: Make and install your own Mud guards/flaps for less than $5

nice, this will be my Saturday morning project.

thanks for the idea.
 

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Re: How-to: Make and install your own Mud guards/flaps for less than $5

i did this 2 years ago..haha!....trust me these help..i had one out of order for about a month and i saw nicks and dents on the side already!

this doesnt take long to do..thats for sure..

only diff i did is that i only have about 2-2.5 inches of clearance...yeah it scratches when i hit a speed bump..but there only mud flaps.

fyi, make sure to have an inch or more of the flap sticking out, this will save alot of rocks from hitting the side of the car!
 

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Re: How-to: Make and install your own Mud guards/flaps for less than $5

[quote author=Max_Sensation link=topic=99150.msg1979004#msg1979004 date=1199858042]
i did this 2 years ago..haha!....trust me these help..i had one out of order for about a month and i saw nicks and dents on the side already!

this doesnt take long to do..thats for sure..

only diff i did is that i only have about 2-2.5 inches of clearance...yeah it scratches when i hit a speed bump..but there only mud flaps.

fyi, make sure to have an inch or more of the flap sticking out, this will save alot of rocks from hitting the side of the car!
[/quote]

Thanks for the tip. I decided to have 4 inches of clearance to avoid hitting the speed bumps :p
And as for the flaps sticking out, the cut-out pattern is designed to have the flaps stick out on the sides 1.5 inches from the bottom of the car.

 

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Re: How-to: Make and install your own Mud guards/flaps for less than $5

I would be afraid to have only about 2 inches of clearance under these. I know there only mud flaps, but I would be afraid of hitting a bump and taring the whole thing off along with parts of my car :shock:, but I guess you've been doing it for 2 years without problems. I'm just a little paranoid sometimes.
 
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