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Discussion Starter #43
Next month's projects are centered around instrumentation.
I got an Ultra-gauge.



First, I made a ghetto mount to test this location.

I really like this device, and the mounting location is great because I can use it to view my vehicle speed quicker than looking down at the gauge cluster. Just need to make a more permanent mount that doesn't block the defrost vent and tuck the cord out of sight. Monitoring coolant temp is the main reason that I bought it, and instantaneous and average MPG (not yet calibrated) are also very useful.

Few minor complaints:
-There is no need to see tenths of a MPH or hundredths of a battery volt. Wish you could set the number of decimal places for each parameter.
-Some parameters, like MPH, need to be updated at the max rate of once every 0.3 seconds, except this is too fast for other parameters and can be mildly annoying. Individual customization of refresh rates would be nice.
-You can set 4, 6 or 8 parameters per page. Would be better if you could also do 5 or 7. I find myself wanting to view three important parameters large, and then also have two smaller ones.
-You can't change the backlighting color. I'm tempted to change the LEDs like I did on my gauge cluster, a la this guy. Others have used a colored film successfully to get pretty much any color, because the backlighting is a blue-ish white light (i.e. all colors are present because of the white).

I was originally worried that a number would be difficult to read, since I've only ever had analog gauges in the cars that I've driven. Before I bought the Ultra-gauge, I also considered mounting a smartphone permanently, and experimented with Torque and Dashcommand. These are very powerful apps that allow you to choose the type of gauge and design your own dashboard, but I found the small analog gauges difficult-to-read, and the simple numbers much easier. I set up my wife's smartphone with an app that would wake/sleep the screen when the car is turned on/off (connected to the switched power cigarette lighter). It seemed to work, except that the bluetooth was still active when the phone was asleep (with car off), which could drain the battery, I imagine.

Overall, the purpose-built Ultra-gauge is phenomenal value and is probably much more reliable than a bluetooth connection. I even successfully completed the rebate, which was not nearly as difficult as others make it out to be.

I'm also in the process of refinishing my headlights with clear coat. Will post some pics of the process.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Finished up the Ultragauge mount. I started with this, a leftover bracket from blinds that I put up in my house.

The Ultragauge holder is just zip-tied to the bracket for now, though I might use a bolt.

I used it like that for awhile, and found that Scotch double-sided foam tape is very strong. It doesn't need such a large area of contact with the dashboard, so I cut a little more off the bracket so the Ultragauge could sit lower, and painted it black.

I wanted it to look as OEM as possible, but it was more important to be minimally invasive. This hole in the hazard light panel for the UG cord is the extent of the invasion.



 

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Discussion Starter #45
Well, I should have taken some before pics of my headlights, but I was originally planning on just doing a little buffing with this kit.

There was a little oxidation, but due to some deeper scratches, I found myself in this situation.

I sanded off both headlight's entire protective coating with P1200 grit, and then used some clear coat for automotive paint.

The clear coat had a texture.

To remove the texture, I started with P2000 and then worked my way through the abrasive pads included in the Turtlewax kit before applying a final layer of wax. The headlights look brand new, unless you are six inches away and can see the scratches that existed from the sanding before I applied the clear coat. It would have been better to use a finer grit before clear coating along with an adhesion promoter.

While on the subject of headlights, I think mine are too dim, so I'm planning on upgrading them at some point. I doubt that I'll retrofit HIDs, but rather get a better projector lens and new halogen bulbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #46

Sold my Tripoint rear sway bar and replaced with MS3 OEM. Why? Because I could never pinpoint or completely eliminate the clunks and random noises coming from the Tripoint bar. This despite trying everything and only changing one thing at a time. I almost thought I was crazy until I swapped the MZ3 OEM bar back in and the noises went away. MS3 bar feels good and sounds as quiet as MZ3 OEM. I measured the diameter as just over 25 mm, not 26 mm like is listed elsewhere on this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #47 (Edited)
30% VLT Llumar ATR window tint.



Ultragauge cable moved to back so it is no longer visible. Thinking about changing the display color as well, which can be done by applying a colored film, or changing the LEDs.


Also having issues with P2404. I may have to replace the evap leak detection pump. Started a thread here.

Very few things left to do on this car:
-get a large scratch fixed
-possibly oil pressure gauge
-tie up a few loose ends like making sure my alignment is how I want it, and chase down a few remaining suspension noises

After that I plan on only doing maintenance and replacing parts as they break with new OEM parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Found myself wanting DRLs, as I've often had difficulty seeing dark-colored cars driving through shadows during the day, once while bicycling. I originally wanted dedicated LED DRLs (such as Philips 4 LED or 8 LED...Sylvania makes some nice ones as well). However, I couldn't find a satisfactory place to mount them. The instructions for the Philips DRLs state that they should be mounted at an angle of 10 degrees or less from straight-ahead, and the fronts of our cars seem too curvy...at least for a truly OEM-looking installation.

So, I got the DRL-1 module from Webelectric products. This is a logic circuit that allows the turn signal filaments to burn steadily as a DRL, and requires tapping into the turn signal/parking lights wiring harnesses.

The module

Mounting location - it's angled downward to prevent water damage

Added an on/off switch (SPDT - see Webelectric's installation notes for more details)



The switch is for the case that a bad guy is chasing me at night and I need to be less visible. I think that the installation was decently clean for my first car wiring project. I used solder on all the connections and heat shrink when possible.



I'm using non-synchronized mode, which means that the right DRL stays lit when the left turn signal is activated (and vice-versa), like every OEM turn-signal based DRL operates.

Here is a video
https://youtu.be/CPPhqjlfc0E

I also preemptively replaced nearly all of the exterior bulbs on my car. From my estimations, something like 10-20% of cars on the road have at least one bulb burned out, and I don't want to be one of them.


Now I have spare bulbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #52 (Edited)
MS3 OEM shift boot and panel piece. I love the silver trim. Maybe I should get a leather shift knob to match the boot better.


Acura RDX OEM antenna, since the original antenna started to get a bit cracked and was sagging.

Brand new OEM headlights. I first refinished the original headlights again, because the clear coat started to show some yellow and flake a bit after about a year. Unfortunately, the result was underwhelming because it turned out that there was some haze that formed on the inside of the lens. It wasn't all that bad, but I figured they were only going to get worse so I might as well get some new ones and enjoy them now since I don't have plans to get a new car yet.


Trying to find a place to aim the headlights. I just aimed the new ones to the height of the original headlights by marking the cut off on my garage door, but I'm guessing that those were not properly aimed due to my Racing Beat springs. I also installed Osram 65W Rallye bulbs (H9 bulb on H7 base) for the best possible forward lighting short of OEM HIDs.
 

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I used the garage door for initial check and adjustment, but driving down some dark road allowed me to fine tune them, so there wasn't that dreaded black spot in the distance.

Side Note:
In one of your pictures above you have what looks like Eibach Springs installed. You also have pictures of the car in the driveway. Do you have a before and after pictures with those springs installed? This is a mod I want to do in the near future to my 2010.

OK back to the original topic.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
I used the garage door for initial check and adjustment, but driving down some dark road allowed me to fine tune them, so there wasn't that dreaded black spot in the distance.
I'm pretty sure that mine need to be aimed slightly upward from where they are now, but I don't want to guess too much and cause glare to other drivers. I'd be willing to pay a reasonable fee to have them aimed with a machine, but I've called many shops around Orlando and haven't found anyone that even has an aiming machine. Going to try this method in the meantime: How to aim headlamps and auxiliary lamps

Side Note:
In one of your pictures above you have what looks like Eibach Springs installed. You also have pictures of the car in the driveway. Do you have a before and after pictures with those springs installed? This is a mod I want to do in the near future to my 2010.

OK back to the original topic.
I have Racing Beat springs which seem to have given the advertised 0.5" drop all around. For me, this appearance is perfect, though I sometimes wish the springs were a little stiffer.

Before:


After:
 

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Thanks for adding the photos. That is just low enough, and not too tire-scraping low. Just enough to take away the flood pants look.

 

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Discussion Starter #58
The repairs were done well. The bumper cover is new and OEM. The energy absorber was cracked, technically small enough for them to put it back on the car, but I was able to get a new OEM absorber after begging a couple of times.



One more "mod"

 
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