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Discussion Starter #1
So I bought a ProSport mechanical boost gauge and their single gauge pod. I'm kind of a mechanical guy (mech. engineer actually) so I prefer the simplicity and "analog" behavior of a mech. boost gauge. I'm sure the electrical gauge works just fine, but I've always been leary of the actual reaction-time of a signal converter. You see, the electronic gauge still relies on a mechanical T-connection, it just converts the pressure reading into a voltage signal carried on the instrument wires. Give me the good ol-fashioned pressure tubing any day. :D

I want to give credit for much assistance provided by javanc's quick install writeup: http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=69604.msg1210743#msg1210743

I decided to document my install with lots more pictures to help out a fellow MS3 bro attempting to do it. On a scale of 1 to 10 in difficulty, installing a boost gauge is probably just a 3 or 4. But man, did it take me a long time to work through all the details and the unexpected twists. I hesitate to say it but I spent 6+ hours doing this darn gauge. That's with several smoke breaks and a quick sandwich. 8)

I will describe as much detail as I can think of. I took a ton of pics so I'll need to break this up into a few posts. A summary of parts purchased for the install:

AutoZone items
(3 Ea.) "Mini" Add-a-Circuits (they also sell regular sized, but get the minis)
(1 Roll) 18 Ga. wire
(1 Box) 18 Ga. crimp connectors
(1 Box) Misc. size end loops (for ground wire)
(1 Pkg.) Electrical tape (got multi-color to code wires)
(1 Pkg.) Misc. size zip-ties

Lowes hardware
(1 Pkg.) M5-.80 x 16 Socket Hd cap screws (could probably get one size shorter)
(1 Pkg.) M5-.80 Lock Nuts Nylon
(1 Pkg.) Dremel cutting stone, tapered

7-11 store
(3 cans) Monster energy drink sugar-free :p


Since I used the same route through the fire-wall that javanc suggested, I began my removing the battery & battery tray. Not difficult but it can be a knuckle bleeder in those tight quarters. The front facing wall of the battery box separates from the rest of it to allow it to remain in place. The main + terminal wires are clipped to it sturdy. I never remember if the best practice is to unhook the + side or - side terminal first. So I did the + side first and it didn't explode in my face. :lol:

NOTE: After finishing the routing of the clear plastic tubing, I realized that I most likely DID NOT need to remove the battery/box. It sure gave more access but you can reach the pass-thru hole without doing it. Since I had it out anyways, I checked the notorious tranny mount bolt. Super tight. didn't budge. that's nice!

Next was to find that darned little pass-thru hole that the hood latch release cable goes through. You have to search closely but its visible right behind the front strut brace next to the hydraulic reservoir (I think that's what it is). There's a pass-thru hole maybe 3/4" dia with only the hood release cable in it. Its actually a very nice size and is located about a good as any place could be.

Use a straightened coathanger to aid it getting the tubing past the hole. I slid the coat hanger right down the tubing and it worked pretty well. The front end of the wire poked a hole right through the thin rubber grommet without even pushing it out of place. pretty cool! Carefully pull the tubing into the drivers footwell doing you best to judge the right length. Its about half the length provided give or take. I can tell you that I didn't cut an inch from the tubing and it ended up being essentially perfect in length. So close in fact that I was a bit nervous it might come up short. But it didnt.

Next was to run the tubing over to the BOV. I just ran it basically straight across along with all the other wire harnesses near the TMIC. The T-fitting goes right into the line running to the top of the BOV. No biggie. Just pick a spot and cut it! No going back now! Press the T-fitting hard into both ends of the cut hose. It was sized perfect I guess but man was it a chore getting it snug all the way up the T-fitting. A lot of elbow grease. Then you hook up the clear tubing to the T-joint obviously. Again, it was super-duper tight. I gave it a spritz of Windex and it seemed to help out a lot. BTW - keep the tiny brass "pill" inside the end of the T-joint. Its there to allow the pressure to get past but to reduce the volume (and force) of air considerably. Button it all up to your satisfaction. Nothing better than a few choice zip-ties to do the job.

Now onto the electrical side of things. The recommendation to use the "Add-a-Circuits" was a great idea. Man they are cool. Just pull the selected fuse and put it into the lower slot on it. The package comes with a selection of fuses (5A, 7.5A, 10A). I wasn't certain which to use for the gauge wires but since I figured they were low wattage, I used the 7.5A fuses for the upper slot. Then you just press the device back into the empty fuse slot. Groovy!

The gauge wiring diagram says to connect the white wire only if you want to have the gauge illuminated white. I didn't want it white but I choose to go ahead and run a connection for the white wire just in case I changed my mind. Now here's where I ended up deviating from what javanc said to do. He said connect the red wire (really the long lead wire that will eventually connect to the gauge's red wire) into the "Doorlock" fuse. Well, according to the MS3 Manual pages 8-58, 8-59 lists DLOCK 2 in fuse #37 and DLOCK 1 in fuse #75. I wasn't sure which to pick so I ended up putting the red lead wire into location #37 to begin with. DON'T USE THAT ONE! It ended up providing continuous power and the gauge was illuminated red all the time even with the ignition key removed. After that, I decided to move the red lead wire into MIRROR fuse #45. Its working fine so far. The orange lead wire did go into IG.SIG fuse #70. I went ahead and put the white lead wire into TAIL.L fuse #81 just in case.

Make sure to keep your codes (O, R, W, B) on the ends of the lead wire runs using a piece of tape. I taped the three (3) wires into a single bundle by wrapping with electrical tape every 12" or so. Then I pulled the kick panels off the central tunnel on both the passenger and driver footwells. Use the coat hanger again to snake the wires through. Snap the panels back into place with the wires running up over the top of them. Easy and pretty darn clean.

I ran the (3) wires up to the bottom of the steering column and used a harness bracket to attach them to a nearby screw. Then I used the coat hanger yet again to pull the (3) wires up the steering column. Of course, before this I snapped off the top half of the column cover. You have to pull darn hard but it will snap up without breaking - hopefully!

I decided to run the wires and eventually the clear tubing through one of the four oblong grommets that connect to the back end of the hard plastic piece. You can separate off the soft rubbery section by examining how it connects and just working all the prongs loose. I then used a sharp knife to cut out the center portion of one grommet. This allows the wires and tubing to run up into the back of the gauge pod. Don't forget to run the wires and the tubing through the hard plastic cover first before putting them through the rubbery piece - doh! :eek:

Finally run a 4th lead wire down to provide the ground for the black wire. Like javanc, I used the nice ground connection behind the small kick panel next to the dead pedal in the driver footwell.

After that its pretty much standard stuff making all the appropriate wiring connections. Make sure to keep your codes (O, R, W, B) on the ends of the lead wire runs using a piece of tape. Good ol crimp connectors do the job fine. Then hook up the end of the plastic tubing to the brass nipple. It fit pretty darn snug but I put a small zip-tie on it for good measure.

Now the ProSport gauge pod comes with a round double-sticky tape piece that I guess is supposed to hold the pod in place. FAT CHANCE! It would stick for maybe a couple minutes and then start to peel up and fall over. Annoying! So I went to Lowes and found some small black metric fasteners (listed above). Got out the good o'l Dremmel tool and went to town on the top cover. A few minutes later that pod was bolted down like a rock! I kept the sticky pad on the bottom to act like a shock absorber and cut down on vibration.

Well, I hope this detailed mechanical boost gauge walk-though is helpful to somebody down the road. I can tell you that the ProSport Amber gauge color matches the stock cluster glow perfectly! Beautiful color match.

So far, I've only driven maybe 2 miles with the gauge installed. Saw about 10 psi in 2nd gear before I lost traction - doh! :shock: Pulled hard in 3rd gear for a few moments and definately saw 15 psi hit. Can't wait to get more seat time with the boost gauge and learn the characteristics of the turbo. Perfect timing for the Mazdaspeed CAI that goes on shortly!

PLEASE DON'T REPLY UNTIL I FINISH POSTING LOTS OF PICS NOW.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Sorry for the crappy picture quality. Using a cheap-ass digital recorder/camera. Cost like $75 bucks!




















 

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Discussion Starter #5
Here's a short vid that I recorded on this same crappy digital thingamabob.

The image quality is even shittier in the video mode but you get the idea.




I shot this short take before I fixed the sorry-azs sticky mount for the pod. :x
 

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Discussion Starter #6
just took some night time pics with the cluster bright and set for dim





 

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Thank you for takeing the time to write all of that up

Someone will find it very usefull in the future :)
 

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So what levels are you seeing? I like cruising in 6th on the freeway, pinning the throttle and watching the needle fly to 21lbs and settle at 18-19.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
no chance to find out yet on the open road.

felt kinda sluggish all day. just realized I'm running a low-grade fever.

everyone's gotten sick at work and now it seems its my turn. dammit!
 

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[quote author=javanc link=topic=71034.msg1247322#msg1247322 date=1172989923]
So what levels are you seeing? I like cruising in 6th on the freeway, pinning the throttle and watching the needle fly to 21lbs and settle at 18-19.
[/quote]

I thought max was 15.6 ?
 

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thats what i thought too. But according to my prosport, its higher i 6th. I have confirmed the lower levels of 1,2, and sometimes 3. But man 6th seems to be the big boost gear. Im wondering if i have a overboost code stored. Someone go to thier car, turn the key to the start pos. but dont start it. Look at the check engine light, let it sit for a bit. Mine stays solid for a few seocnds, then flashes 7 times. Does anyone elses do the same? I think its just engien diag. running but i dunno. Gotta compare.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
like i said, I haven't driven it yet since the install except to go to the store for some medicine.

i don't mean to sound alarming, but seeing such high boost in 6th gear doesn't sound good to me.

perhaps the turbo suffers from a bit of boost creep. where the wastegate can't quite dump all the air flow once the boost controller signals it to open.

Subaru WRXs were notorious for boost creeping, especially if they had freer-flowing exhaust system.

boost creep is NOT a good thing. it can definately lead to detonation and premature engine failure.

again, I might be talking out of my ass. just thinking out loud really. but it sure sounds similar.
 

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But at the same time, i take all my displayed boost levels with a grain of salt. For all i know the sender unit could be a little inaccurate. The only way to check accuracy would be to run a mech and a elect. boost gauge simultaneously and compare. Does anyone know if i can just get a mech. that doesnt require electrical hookups? Im thinking of hooking into my tee and sticking a temp mech. gauge out on the exterior cowl.
 

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Send it to me to borrow for a week will ya Matt? LOL. I guess ill just have to borrow a friends, cuz i def. dont want to buy one at this point in time. Sounds like a great idea though.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Haven't gone on the highway yet so I can't tell you about 5th & 6th gear boost levels yet.

I can tell you that stomping it in 3rd & 4th gears both showed a spike of 15-16 psi then a gradual taper to 12-13 psi as the rpms rose above 4 grand.
 

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Add a fuses are expensive and take alot of time, 3 splice taps under the steering column and your done. Seems like you made things harder than they needed to be
 
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