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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I've decided in the last month or so to start auto crossing my 04 mazda 3s. car just hit 140,000 miles and is my current daily driver here in Titusville Florida (Orlando area). I'm mainly looking for some advice on a few topics I've been researching, mainly weight saving (looking at some aftermarket seats) and rim sizes, i would like to get a new set of 17x7.5 sparcos (cheap and somewhat lightweight) but i know everyone basically runs the 15 inch rotas.

Car currently set up with Megan racing Coil-overs, with 450lbs rear springs and 350 lbs front springs, also have BC racing adjusters in the rear. JBR rear sway bar with Moog end-links, just recently installed a vibrant header and a Corksport cat-back with high-flow cat. (really love the sound and noticeable power gain). Also have Moog front end-links and new Mevotech ball joints are on the way. TWM Short Throw Shifter and solid shifter bushings with a Big type R shift knob.

I will be getting a CAI soon but for right now rims and tires are the priority, as well as some better rotors and some EBC Yellow pads all the way around.

Please feel free to comment with any and all suggestions, i used to race asphalt superlate models so ive been around racing my entire life, i also ran my dads 98 corvette this year in CAM-S so im no stranger to the racing community, sadly he wont let me prep the corvette lol
 

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Consider replacing the battery with a lightweight LifePo4 such as the Battery Tender 360cca model. It'll save you 35+ pounds off the front of the car.
 

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Don't be shocked when the Moog endlinks bite the dust if you drive in an area with a lot of potholes. I'm upgrading to heim jointed endlinks so at least I can rebuild them if they start making a lot of noise.
 

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Please for the love of christ don't use a cheap motorcycle battery...IT WILL cost you many tenths at the national championships by intermittently disabling ABS and power steering.

Ask me how I know...yay 3rd place in 2014 :(

Might I suggest trying to save up to replace your coilovers with something more suited to autocross and able to handle about double the rates you're on now :)


As for wheels...I may have a set I'd be willing to part with in the size you want...lighter too ;)

Consider replacing the battery with a lightweight LifePo4 such as the Battery Tender 360cca model. It'll save you 35+ pounds off the front of the car.
 

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P.S. - the car "looks" too low right now. Hard to see without good profile shots at rest.
 

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don't use a cheap motorcycle battery...IT WILL cost you many tenths at the national championships by intermittently disabling ABS and power steering.
I agree. Don't use a cheap motorcycle battery. That said, there are lightweight battery options that seem to be working fine in other Mazda3's.

Dave, was your battery the lead acid type? Those things are junk. Even my Focus eventually had problems with the ETX9 I was using. The LiFePo4 batteries are WAY better.
 

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Please for the love of christ don't use a cheap motorcycle battery...IT WILL cost you many tenths at the national championships by intermittently disabling ABS and power steering.
Ask me how I know...yay 3rd place in 2014 :(
LOL don't blame the battery for the results, was all on you ,

1- cheap battery set up, I still have your pics somewhere lol !! ;)
2- Dirty driving.

I don't blame my cheaty results this year on my car, just poor driving.

Still love you, you are an icon

Andres
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
The car was way to low when those pictures were taken, it has since been raised up about an inch all around.

I'm working on getting some BC Racing ER type coil overs. But that might be a while.
JBR rear sway is in along with new end links (bushing are very loud, any advice on how to quiet them up? They have plenty of grease)

Still looking for wheels but I've decided on the tires (RE71's) just need to decide on the size I want.

New clutch is on the way, as well as the ball joints. I need more time before the next season starts lol there's still way to much to do
 

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I've got the same rear sway and I had to wrap the bar in teflon tape (same stuff that's used to seal threads on pipe fittings) and then grease to quiet it down. It make a little noise, but at least I don't have to re-grease it monthly now.
 

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RSB Noise?

JBR rear sway is in along with new end links (bushing are very loud, any advice on how to quiet them up? They have plenty of grease)
Not understanding why there is any noise from your rear sway bar. At all.

I've first had the Corksport and now the Hotchkiss 32mm rear sway bars, and not a peep....... You did replace the stock rear sway bar links with the Mazdaspeed sized ones, right? They are different sizes.

If the main mounting bushings are the right size (gotta be, came with, right?), and the endlinks are the right size, sway bars make no noise. Should the endlink nuts loosen a little they will make some clunking over bumps, I do have to check and re-tighten about once a month on my daily driver/autocross MZ3.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have the upgraded bushings from JBR, it's not a clunk, I've never had a problem with that. It's a squeaking noise over every bump, if the Teflon tape solves the problem I'm not worried about it. It's just annoying to hear while daily driving.

Clutch is here, as well as a new flywheel (didn't want to deal with possible resurfacing) this will be installed sometime in the next 2 weeks, just bad timing with Christmas. Also have new ball joints ready to be installed as well as adjustable front end links (cork sport, also Christmas present from my girlfriend) as well as a new wheel bearing assembly for the left front as its making some noise. I won't be running my local events in January but February I will make the debut, look for me at the pro solo event in Georgia in March. Hopefully I will have wheels and tires by then!
 

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Thanks for that advice, I will have to do that, how thick was the tape? Like 2 wraps all the way around?
Sorry about going MIA, I forgot my password and was too damn lazy to reset it.

I just went one layer, in the area where the bushing will mount. I then greased it and put the bushing on. I learned about this trick from MotoIQ; they do it for all of their swaybar installs.

I also installed the heim jointed endlinks which have the proper sized through bolt to fill the hole in the sway bar. It turns out that the Moog endlinks worked their way loose because of the smaller stud and a used-up lock washer (though me thrashing it on a rallycross course had nothing to do with it. /s)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Got some work done in the last few weeks and decided to upgrade the thread.

Re did my rear seat bar install and wrapped it with Teflon tape re greased and torqued everything down again, problem solved for that one. Also put in the corksport adjustable end links, WOW that made a huge difference in turn in down some back roads!

Just got the car back from the shop for the new clutch and flywheel. I couldn't find a specific rule for STF as what we could do in the tranny. Ended up with the exedy stage 1 clutch and lightweight flywheel. It feels way better than my 140,000 mile clutch lol.

Rims and tires are going to be ordered in a few weeks, I'm sticking with 17's when I get a newer car down the road I'm hoping these will look good and fit nicely. RE 71'rs are the tire I'm going with. Also new ball joints going on in the next few weeks, as well as a left front hub assembly since it's making some noise. Should have all that done by the tour date in Moultrie GA in March!
 

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Clutches in STF

Got some work done in the last few weeks and decided to upgrade the thread.
Just got the car back from the shop for the new clutch and flywheel. I couldn't find a specific rule for STF as what we could do in the tranny. Ended up with the exedy stage 1 clutch and lightweight flywheel. It feels way better than my 140,000 mile clutch lol.
Sorry to say, when you enter that Tour, real sure you'll have to enter as FSP; F Street Prepared.

For future reference, if SCCA doesn't specifically say you CAN do something, then you CAN'T.

Street Rules (for clutches) apply to Street Touring cars:

Alternate components which are normally expendable and considered
replacement parts (e.g., engine and wheel bearings, seals, gaskets, filters,
belts, bolts, bulbs, batteries, brake rotors, clutch discs, pressure plates,
suspension bushings, drivetrain mounts, fenders, trim pieces, fuel filler
caps, etc.) may be used provided they are essentially identical to the standard
parts (e.g., have the same type, size, hardness, weight, material, etc.),
are used in the same location, and provide no performance benefit.
The good news is that in FSP there is a BUNCH more that can be done.:wink2:
 

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Now if we all were running NASA-X (NASA Autocross) you might actually be able to stay in the same Class. Each mod carries a set "cost" in points, and only once you exceed your set point limit for your Class would you move up. There is driver choice and flexibility in what can be done to your car. SCCA OTOH is very strict and limited on change options.

In *my* world I would attend a NASA-X event over an SCCA one.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Who will be at the tour event? Do they care if I enter in STF? I'm not going to try to win, this is the closest tour event to me and would be fun to run. Considering I only have 1 other STF car in my region I would like some other people to run against. Would you guys protest me?
 

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Not understanding why there is any noise from your rear sway bar. At all.

I've first had the Corksport and now the Hotchkiss 32mm rear sway bars, and not a peep....... You did replace the stock rear sway bar links with the Mazdaspeed sized ones, right? They are different sizes.

If the main mounting bushings are the right size (gotta be, came with, right?), and the endlinks are the right size, sway bars make no noise. Should the endlink nuts loosen a little they will make some clunking over bumps, I do have to check and re-tighten about once a month on my daily driver/autocross MZ3.
I had that same issue with the OEM Bar in the rear. Drilled it out, and used some MevOTech endlinks (Part# 24036-05249096), have yet to even touch them since I first torqued them down by hand. Running on 3 months now, and the endlinks have yet to loosen.
 

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Now if we all were running NASA-X (NASA Autocross) you might actually be able to stay in the same Class. Each mod carries a set "cost" in points, and only once you exceed your set point limit for your Class would you move up. There is driver choice and flexibility in what can be done to your car. SCCA OTOH is very strict and limited on change options.

In *my* world I would attend a NASA-X event over an SCCA one.
I kind of agree, but there is another side of me that likes the "challenge" of engineering around the strict SCCA rules while increasing the performance of the vehicle.

Who will be at the tour event? Do they care if I enter in STF? I'm not going to try to win, this is the closest tour event to me and would be fun to run. Considering I only have 1 other STF car in my region I would like some other people to run against. Would you guys protest me?
Here's the thing with protests, in my experience nobody seems to care what you're doing to the car if you are at or near the back of the pack. People don't put the last place car under a microscope, they put the front runners and first place car under a microscope. The people who are in front of you in the results probably won't care one way or another what you've done to the car. It's the people behind you in the results you need to worry about. So if you start to have some success and beat some people, and they find out you have illegal parts, you very well might get protested.
 
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