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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello, all. i guess i've already made a few other posts, but i figured i would give good intro to myself and my new ride.

my name is jason and i'm from utah. i'm not new to japanese cars, but i am new to mazda. for the last 4 and a half years, i've been driving an isuzu (badged geo). i absolutely love my storm. about a year ago, i turbo'd it (did all the work myself). however, almost 4 weeks ago, the hg blew and i'm not going to pay what the car is worth for someone else to fix it when i can do it myself; i just don't have a garage to work on my car (never fun trying to fix stuff in the snow).

after much discussion, my wife and i decided that because we're having our second child in about 2 months, it's time for me to buy a more family-oriented car. after much searching and test-driving, i found my car. about the time i turbo'd the storm, the wife and i test drove a ms6 and a ms3 and we loved them, so i had reservations about driving a n/a 3. i was actually surprised about how quick it was. after test driving the car, i knew i had found my next car. the only problems with the car were small dents and a small rust spot (it's in a weird spot). i made the dealership put in to the contract that they would fix all the dents and rust spot.

i have now had the car a week and i am in no way sorry i bougt this car :). every day, i seem to like it more. i do want to tighten up the handling a bit (started another thread about that), so i guess i'll be buying sway bars. because this is going to be my more "family-oriented" car, i'm not going to go crazy with this car like i did with the storm. as soon as i fix the storm, that will be my weekend toy. i do plan to add side skirts and i'm trying to decide if i like the look of the car with a spoiler better (doesn't have one now). i can't decide which spoiler i like better, lip or the stock, but i think it looks better with one. one thing that will be done within the next couple weeks is tint. ever since i bought the storm, i vowed i would not own a car witout tint. it's good for having kids in the back, keeps inside temp down, gives a little privacy, and makes any car look better.

here's the car as it is now:











my sister-in-law's husband works at the mazda plant in hiroshima (he fixes the machines that make these cars). he was soooo excited that i bought an axela. i'm going to see if i can get some jdm goodies from him ;). oh, on a side note, i speak, read, and write japanese fluently. if anyone here ever has japanese questions or needs japanese help, please pm me.

just to show everyone my weekend toy, here's a couple pics.

the car right after i had painted it (did all the work myself)


the car after accident, body work, and turbo (once again, all done by me)


the 3 in the background of this pic is my neighbors (they also own a ms6)


i will post in the other car's section a writeup on what i did with the storm. and before any of you start bashing this because it's a geo, do some research on the isuzu impulse (the storms twin brother). the 1.6l gsi (same engine as the isuzu impulse awd turbo and the lotus elan) had 120hp in a just over 1ton car. the 1.8 storm gsi had as much hp as the 2.0 mazda3 has with quite a bit less weight. just imagine how these cars are with turbo :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks, i agree it is the best color ;).
 

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Congrats and welcome. I'll give my obligatory two suggestions for new 3 owners. Number 1 get a third key (see the sticky at the top of this forum). Also since you have a '04 you can grab a spiffy flip key if you want. Number 2 replace/augment the stock horn.

Nextly depending on what tires are on those rims you might want to consider some winter tires as the stock RS-A's are horrible in cold temps (not to mention snow). Nextly nextly I figure I'll go over the dash dimming as lots of people have trouble with that. You have two dimmer controls (the dial to the left of the wheel, and the button between the tach/speedo).

With your headlights off:
-the dial does nothing
-the button will dim the red cluster lighting incrementally (six setting I think)

With your headlights on:
-the button will switch between day/night mode. Day mode the red lighting will be whatever you set it to with the headlights off, night mode is a very dim setting.
-the dial will dim the cluster/center stack (note, in day mode the cluster red lights won't dim with the dial)

Again welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thank you for the suggestions. i actually saw somone else (it may have been you) suggest the 3rd key and to read the 3rd key thread. when i bought the car, i made sure to ask if they had the second key. when they got the car in trade-in, they people only gave them one key. i thought it would be easy to make a copy like my last car, but after reading that thread, i'm going to go see if they can contact the previous owners and get the second key from them. that way, i can get the third key ;). if they can't do it, i'll have to figure something out.

the tires that are on the car are brand new and handle fine in the snow. i guess as long as they handle better than the tires on my storm, i'm good. the directional tires on the storm are definitely not made for snow.

as for the dimming button and dial, i figured that out the other day. while reading the owner's manual for a few other things, i saw the part about the black-out button. i don't remember it saying anything about what the button did with the lights on. i tested that out one day driving home at dusk. that mode will come in handy driving through the canyons around here.

if you or anyone else has more suggestions, i'm welcome to anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
*updated pics*

so, over the last couple weeks, i have tried to get the dealership to keep up the rest of the contract and fix the minor stuff they were supposed to do. i finally got them to do that this week. i also learned that i will never buy an 06 or older corolla--especially the automatic, they are sssslllllllloooooooowwwwww.

i took my car to the dent people on monday at 9am and they told me my car would be done by the time i was done with work. when i got back to the dealership at 6:30pmish, the car was still in the same spot i parked it and definitely not done. i had to make the dealership give me a car to drive for tuesday--hence the corolla comment :lol:. on tuesday, they got all but the dent on the roof, the rust (they forgot the rust), and the pass side turning light done. i guess the dent guy's house got flooded on monday and he left basically as soon as he got to work. anyway, they wanted me to take it back yesterday, but my tint appointment was then, so my car is back in the shop for the last little stuff today.

i will get some day pics with the tint on saturday. tint is 15% on all the rear windows and 50% on the front doors (43% is legal limit in utah) and nothing on the windshield. it totally makes the car feel different and i LOVE IT. here's the dusk pics:








here's a pic of the dent on the roof. it's the only visible dent on the car now


here's the rust. it's under the driver's side rear door. it looks like a manufacturer's defect, but may have been touched up incorrectly before (bad prep = rust and bubbling paint)


on a happy note, my axela badge came on tuesday. i put it on as soon as i opened the package!
 

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Welcome. Looks exactly how my car did when I picked it up 4 years ago. Sucks about the rust.

One simple suggestion: Get rid of that long antenna. Makes the car look 10x better just with a smaller antenna.
 

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you can pick one up from your local acura dealership for about 7 dollars. Just ask for a replacement antenna for the rdx model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
[quote author=manny link=topic=134336.msg2914577#msg2914577 date=1233856940]
you can pick one up from your local acura dealership for about 7 dollars. Just ask for a replacement antenna for the rdx model.
[/quote]

i'll keep that in mind. i wonder if the local honda dealership would have them. the nearest "acura" dealership is in salt lake city. i do like the look of shorter antennas.
 

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[quote author=arashi_nero link=topic=134336.msg2914585#msg2914585 date=1233857224]
[quote author=manny link=topic=134336.msg2914577#msg2914577 date=1233856940]
you can pick one up from your local acura dealership for about 7 dollars. Just ask for a replacement antenna for the rdx model.
[/quote]

i'll keep that in mind. i wonder if the local honda dealership would have them. the nearest "acura" dealership is in salt lake city. i do like the look of shorter antennas.
[/quote]

I think the S2000 antenna will work for you as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
[quote author=Fiji Mazda3 link=topic=134336.msg2914587#msg2914587 date=1233857269]
I think the S2000 antenna will work for you as well.
[/quote]

which year?
 

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Car looks good, curious though how your car being a GFX only comes with 16" rims, normally they would be the 17" ones. Also, and not trying to hate here but if you're gonna put the Axela badge on please remove the "3" as it's either a Mazda 3 or Mazda Axela not a Mazda 3 Axela. Just my thoughts.
 

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[quote author=btown-mazda link=topic=134336.msg2932714#msg2932714 date=1234480005]
Car looks good, curious though how your car being a GFX only comes with 16" rims, normally they would be the 17" ones. Also, and not trying to hate here but if you're gonna put the Axela badge on please remove the "3" as it's either a Mazda 3 or Mazda Axela not a Mazda 3 Axela. Just my thoughts.
[/quote]

Because we have different trim levels in the states compared to those in Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
[quote author=btown-mazda link=topic=134336.msg2932714#msg2932714 date=1234480005]
Car looks good, curious though how your car being a GFX only comes with 16" rims, normally they would be the 17" ones. Also, and not trying to hate here but if you're gonna put the Axela badge on please remove the "3" as it's either a Mazda 3 or Mazda Axela not a Mazda 3 Axela. Just my thoughts.
[/quote]

thanks. i just put on a 2009 mz3hb stubby antenna. looks WAY better. i will probably take off the 3. i like to be a little different without being overly different (try not to rice too much).

i hate to be ignorant, but what is gfx? i've been searching for a good explanation and can't find one (i think i've read over 100 threads trying to figure this out). if i'm supposed to have 17" rims, i'm mad :x. the 16's are nice, but look too small on the car.
 

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No, you're fine. Your car is suppose to come with 16s. If you had a car with that year's "Sport" package, you would have side skirts and the 17s. I believe the GFX is that "Sport" package with the bigger wheels and side skirts sold in Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
[quote author=Fiji Mazda3 link=topic=134336.msg2932893#msg2932893 date=1234484690]
No, you're fine. Your car is suppose to come with 16s. If you had a car with that year's "Sport" package, you would have side skirts and the 17s. I believe the GFX is that "Sport" package with the bigger wheels and side skirts sold in Canada.
[/quote]

cool. supposedly my car has all the bells and whistles for that year with the exception of the spoiler and skirts (i was told it is the "sport" model). has the 6 disc changer, moon roof, etc. i'm looking around, but is there a thread that explains the differences in all the packages? is there any suspension differences from the i to s and within the different s trims?

i'm going to do more searching, but would love to know more on this.
 

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In the first few years, everything was optional (side airbags and ABS, the aforementioned sport package, sunroof, leather, 6-disk, etc.) Then in 2006/07, they started using trim levels (Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring.) But there were still options like the sunroof, 6-disk, leather, Bose, etc. on the different trim levels. Things like ABS, side airbags, stability control and a tire pressure monitoring system became standard.

That's not completely thorough, but it gives you the general idea of what things are.
 

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^^+1. Also there are no suspension differences between the i/s models. The speed3 does have a different one though. There are two main differences between the i and s models (especially after the new i touring value came out) and that's a larger engine, and larger brakes. Most everything else is fluff.
 

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[quote author=btown-mazda link=topic=134336.msg2932714#msg2932714 date=1234480005]
Car looks good, curious though how your car being a GFX only comes with 16" rims, normally they would be the 17" ones. Also, and not trying to hate here but if you're gonna put the Axela badge on please remove the "3" as it's either a Mazda 3 or Mazda Axela not a Mazda 3 Axela. Just my thoughts.
[/quote]

Or he can find some chrome parentheses so it'll be Mazda3 (Axela). :chuckles:

And to the OP, you're right about the rust; it's a design flaw. Newer MZ3's have clear plastic pieces in that exact spot to protect from chips and subsequent rust. When I got my MZ3, I thought it was there to protect the car during shipment so I tried to pull it off. :shock: :lol:

You also chose the exact tint that I have. :p I have 15/50 as well, but my 50% is illegal since in CA you can paint the back windows black but it's against the law to touch the front windows at all.
 
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