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crazycanadian New Reader
10/28/12 10:57 p.m.

Well the winter of 2011 the car was once again converted back to stock suspension. I picked up a new set of winter shoes for her that year as well.

Studded Hankook Ipikes. :)

Getting the car ready for the rally my friend Rob lent me some PIAA fog lights.. He fabbed up some brackets using his 323 for mock up..

I had one goal that winter.. Finish a TSD rally.. :)

MrJoshua PowerDork
10/28/12 11:03 p.m.

Lol at the overkill: Light Smash-Bracket No Fail!

crazycanadian Reader
10/28/12 11:04 p.m.

My hopes were almost crushed shortly before I had a chance to leave for the TSD rally.. My car had developed a very odd miss fire problem.. It would miss fire only while cruising on the freeway.. Only after I had been cruising for a couple of mine and only if I tipped in lightly to maintain speed going up a slight hill... The miss fire was bad enough though to make me very worried.. The rally was a 4 hour drive away from where I live...

I do drivablity diagnostics for work and lucky for me I was able to borrow the shops lab scope/scan tool so that I could have a look at my car..

These are some of the captures I got while the problem was happening..

I wont go into great detail about the captures, but at the end of the day both fuel injection control and spark control was all over the place.. At a certain RPM/Load condition the computer was getting seriously confused.. It was staring to fire the coil randomly and fire injectors randomly.. It took a bit to figure it out but I had narrowed it down to Distributor timing... Mazda KL motors have 2 crank sensors... one in the distributor and 1 on the crank shaft.. at different load/rpms ranges the comptuer switches between what one its using to fire the injectors and coil... I hadn't thought about checking my timing since I had replaced the distributor a long time ago and had no problems with it until just before this rally. Then I remembered I had helped a friend with his car a couple weeks before.. We used the distributor off my car to confirm that his was bad.. I had marked mine before removing it and then reinstalling it I used my mark... Well it was off just enough to cause the problem... Retarding distributor timing did the trick, problem was solved and the car was fixed...

crazycanadian New Reader
10/30/12 11:02 p.m.

Thunderbird Rally 2012.. :)

Rob and I did ok.. This was his first ever rally... He got us lost on one stage... On a couple other stages I got my lefts and rights mixed up.. I dont remember what position we finished in, but I know it wasn`t last.. :)

This year I hope to compete once again in thunderbird... All though money is pretty tight right now..

crazycanadian New Reader
10/31/12 1:45 a.m.

Summer 2012 has proven to be the most exciting in the development of the car...

I started off running the same coil overs that I had back in 2011, but I finally got to installed my new rear control arms..

The bolt that holds the the stock spindle and control arms together was siezed.. The only way to get it apart was to ruin either the bolt or the control arms.. Neither of which I wanted to do... I sourced out a used set of rear knuckles with good bolts for cheap... This way I could still convert the car back to stock suspension for winter..

Test fitting custom made end links.. I had use 2 male heim joints because I couldnt get my hands on any female heim joints locally.. My end product has some spacer to make sure the joints aren`t sitting at any kind of odd angles...

crazycanadian New Reader
10/31/12 1:56 a.m.

My first autocross of the 2012 season ended with a little bit of a surprise... Some where through out the day one of the shocks in my $60 coil overs blew out... Oil was all over inside the rim and car... I was planning on upgrading, just not this soon.. Thankfully I had gotten another big tax return...

Blowing the shock out might be just been karma biting me in the ass for making all the course workers run their asses off that day... I was not able to run a clean run if my life depended on it... Cone killing proof.. :(

This was my fastest run of the day from the event

This event also marked the end of my Toyo RA1s... I was starting to get lots of tire squall at times... We have a serious noise complaint problem from the neighbors over this kind of noise... Even though we run at a pad located with in an active air port tire squalling carries a long way.. It can be heard by some of the locals and they have been very active in voicing their complaints.. We have been close to loosing our venue now over this..

Thankfully I had been able to pick up a set of really cheap crusty old Kumo V710.. It was just a matter of getting them switched over on to my rims..

crazycanadian New Reader
10/31/12 2:08 a.m.

Next up I had to tackle my exhaust system.. My car had failed emission testing for high NOx and HC.. I was pretty confident my cat was pootched.. The car ran good, there isnt really anything that can cause a car to have high NOx and HC... I tested my cat at my shop and confirmed it.. Also my car was getting noticeably louder.. I knew my muffler was rotting out.. I had patched during the winter and knew it wasn`t holding up anymore....

The new goodies I had picked up... my goal was to keep the car as quiet as possible.. We have a strict 92 db limit on exhaust noise up here at our local autocross pad..

Out with the old crap..

Fitting the new system..

New versus old..

crazycanadian New Reader
10/31/12 2:25 a.m.

Took the car racing the following weekend after getting the exhaust finished... With crusty old V710s on the car it felt faster.. The motor seemed to have a little more power as well...

Videos from the event... My first run of the day.. Little slippery in a couple sections.. ended up a little sideways.. click here

My fastest scratch time of the day.. I got a little wide at the finish and just tipped a cone over.. click here

My fastest clean run of the day.. click here

Any comments on my driving is welcome.. I still have a long way to go with my driving...

Some pictures..

The weekend after the autocross event I took the car back to the drag strip... My thoughts on the car being faster were wrong...

I had consistant 2.1- 2.2 60 foots... My best run of the night was a 15.266 at 86mph.. The car weighed in at 2260lbs..

While I was there I met a guy who has a 2003 protege5 with a KLDE swap in it.. Him and I both were running the same modification and the same motors.. He was trapping at 90 - 91mph all night long.. Other then what people had said on the internet this was the first bit of proof that my trap speeds were to low... especially since the protege5 weighed in at almost 2800lbs...

crazycanadian New Reader
10/31/12 2:41 a.m.

The middle of june my new present showed up.. :) There are the GT-pros.. I had them ordered with a stiffer rear spring rate, and advanced adapter plates from a 99 - 03 protege... These might not be the best brand of coil over for autocross use, but I do have a limited budget and these were what the wallet could afford...

They sat around for about 2 days.. Then I just had to install them...

Much nicer then my old set..

Camber and caster maxed out.. I was excited to see how the car was going to handle with the extra caster..

Doing an alignment the old fashion way so that I could drive the car for a couple weeks till I could get it on the alignment rack at work...

While waiting for time to get the car on the alignment rack at work I picked up a new set of lower ball joints.. These happen to be for an 86 - 88 Rx7.. With the right year spindle these are a direct bolt on replacement... They also increase the front track width by about half an inch...

A comparison of mx3 and the rx7 ball joints

While I was installing the new ball joints I also went a head and installed a new faster ratio power steering rack that came out of my girl friends written off mx3 GS..

Finally got the car on the alignment rack at work..

I was really happy to see the new camber, caster plate net me an extra 2 deg caster...

crazycanadian New Reader
10/31/12 2:51 a.m.

After spending the better part of a full day in the shop setting the car up with all the new suspension goodies I took it out racing the next day... The new suspension did all that was supposed to car... Turn in felt a lot sharper.. I was finally able to get the car to over steer a little when off the throttle mid corner.. The over steer was very easy to control.. My morning runs were spent feeling the car out and adjusting the shocks to find that happy place.. The afternoon I tweeked the shocks once more.. This made a hug improvement to the car and I drove much faster.. Well this proved to be the cars breaking point... The last run of the day she went out in style.. Not only did I cord a tire, I also threw a rod bearing in the motor... Good thing it was also my fastest run by over 1 second..

The car just barely fit on the tow truck..

click here my motor knocking away

click here fastest morning run

click here fastest run of the day

If you listen closely to my fastest run of the day you can hear at the end where my motor started acting up..

crazycanadian New Reader
11/6/12 3:29 a.m.

Well to continue the saga... After July's autocross event the car was in need of some major attention... I spent about a week trying to track down a KLZE.. Unfortunately anything I found was a curve neck and the importers were either really shady sounding, or wouldn't pull a valve so I could verify that it had the proper higher lift cams...

I made the choice to completely redo the car and update it all to OBDII... The motor I went with was a lightly used KLG4.. The KLG4 is an updated version of the KLDE.. It has a little more power then a DE, also mazda fixed the HLA problems.. OBDII diagnostics also opens a lot of doors up when it comes to data logging as well.. After sourcing out a motor/engine harness and PCM it was time to get to work on the car...

Out with the old.. :)

Found out why my 1/4 mile runs were so slow... I am surprised the car ran great like this.. Passed emissions with out a problem... Picture is a little fuzzy but the previous owner had the cam timing advanced 1 tooth..

6 rod bearing and cap off the old motor...

Just about nothing left of it..

Old fidanza and transmission... How many of you have seen the red handled tool before?? It had been sitting in my tool box almost 10 years.. I never thought I would find a need for it.. Good thing I am a pack rat..

crazycanadian New Reader
11/7/12 11:05 a.m.

While the motor was out I hunted down a 2.0L Spilt port ford escort transmission... This transmission is the same family as the mx3/probe/mx6 transmission but it has longer gear ratios and a taller final drive...

Escort Gear ratios.. The escort transmission gear ratios are.. 1st 3.31 2nd 1.83 3rd 1.23 4th 1.09 5th 0.717 Final drive 3.85

Stock Mx3/Probe.. Mx3 transmission 1st 3.31 2nd 1.83 3rd 1.31 4th 1.03 5th 0.795 Final drive 4.38

I ended up using the complete Escort gear set inside my Mx3 transmission case..While I had it all torn apart I replaced all the bearings and installed my KAAZ LSD....

Separating the Escort ring gear from the stock diff..

KAAZ diff mated to the escort ring gear..

Rebuilding the transmission/setting preload..

crazycanadian New Reader
11/7/12 11:18 a.m.

I have a bunch more pictures of all the differences between the KLG4 and my old KLDE but I figured I would skip posting them and keep this a little shorter...

After installing all new seals/timing belt and stuff on the KLG4 I got the new transmission mated... Here it is all ready to go back in the car..

With the motor about ready to go back in I started looking at all the wiring I had to do... The car had previously been wired in an interesting way.. Since I had a complete unmolested mx3 wiring harness (engine/body/trunk everything) I decided to rewire my car...

Complete 94 mx3 body harness and a 99 626 engine harness and pcm.. Let the transplant fun begin... :)

My son wanted to give me a hand stripping the rest of the car down.. He had lots of fun with it..

crazycanadian New Reader
11/7/12 11:26 a.m.

I spent about a week stripping down the mx3 body harness and removing all the stuff I didn't need in it.. I have quite a supportive gf, so long as I didn't get the carpet dirty she wasn't upset with me taking over the living room..

The garbage pile

With the harness stripped down it was time to start putting the car back together...

I ran into some clearance issues with the brake master and throttle body linkage... I managed to rebend my lines and get the clearance I needed

crazycanadian New Reader
11/7/12 11:34 a.m.

While I was doing all this work to the car I figured it was time to upgrade the radiator.. The previous summer I had problems with the car over heating when I took it out to a lapping day event at the local race track...

My previous rad was from a 2.2L cavalier.. After scouring the junk yard I decided to go with a 3.1L cavalier rad as well as over flow tank.. This would convert my cooling system to a closed system...

Mocking up the rad..

I had clearance issues everywhere... A lot was cut out of the front end to make the rad fit...

A friend of mine helped save me some time and built some custom brackets for the head light adjustment bolt.. This way I could gain some more clearance for the rad..

crazycanadian New Reader
11/7/12 11:41 a.m.

I build some mounting brackets so that I could use the stock cavalier rad mounts..

I added some brackets to the upper rad support.. This allowed me to use the stock cavalier upper rad mount... I also built some new brackets to mount my rad fan..

Mounted my power steering cooler.. I had to change the lower mount a little bit due the bigger rad.. You might ask why such a big cooler... Well first off it was free, we all like free things, and second it acts as a brace to help support my upper rad support..

Custom built my lower rad hose out of the scrap tubing I had kicking around... Not a lot of room in that area.,..

crazycanadian New Reader
11/7/12 11:55 a.m.

Built some mounting tads for the 99 626 pcm.. The start of getting the wiring sorted out.. Matching an OBD1 body harness to an OBD2 computer harness can be a lot of fun..

Wiring can be very time consuming.. Especially when you pay attention to all the little details.. I added these 2 connectors to the harness, so that the 99 626 engine harness and the mx3 body harness could be separated with out cutting any wiring... This way things could be serviced down the road if need be...

The wiring in the car probably took me close to 2 weeks to do... A lot of things on the body side had to be spliced and figured out when it came to making the mx3 harness work with the stock 323 switches... My whole goal with wiring the car was to make everything work as stock as possible.. I wanted to be able to hand my keys over to anyone a be confident they could hop in the car and drive it with out having any problems..

crazycanadian New Reader
11/7/12 12:02 p.m.

Interior coming together..

Built some brackets to mount the cavalier over flow tank.. I reused part of the cavalier lower rad hose in order to build my upper rad hose.. I was worried having the over flow tank plummed into the upper rad hose would cause problems, but I have put over 1000km's on the car now with no glitches..

4cylndrfury UltimaDork
11/7/12 12:12 p.m.


crazycanadian New Reader
11/7/12 12:15 p.m.

I was pushing really hard to finish the car off so that I could make the last couple of autocross races of the season. I never took any pictures of the car all finished and back together..

I did what every racer does and finished the car off around 1am friday night... Saterday morning at 7am I drove on to the pad, swapped tires over and got ready for fun day of autocross racing.. :)

Shaking the car down at the autocross event was very successful.. The car is now to a point where the driver needs to learn how to drive faster..

My first run out was exciting.. My rear sway bar end link was broken, so I was running with out a rear sway bar.. The car was just a little tail happy.. Took a first timer out for a ride along.. I think he got a little more then he expected.. :) First run of the day with the new swap

After playing with tire pressures and shock settings it took about 6 runs for me to finally set a good time.. Fastest run of the day

I took my friends uncle for a ride along.. His reaction at the end of the run was priceless.. click here

For my last run of the day, I gave up the drivers seat.. I had local vetran Don Nimi of PDM racing drive my car... He had number of good things to say about the car.. He also showed I really need more driver training.. He posted a time 1 tenth faster then my best time.. click here Dons run

My friend managed to take some video of one of my runs... click here

crazycanadian Reader
11/7/12 12:24 p.m.

With the autocross being a success I spent the next week just tinkering with the car finishing off loose ends.. That friday night I took the car out to the drag strip for the last event of the season..

I took 3 runs and managed to finally put down some good numbers... The car weighed in at 2306lbs that night.. My gas tank was 3/4 full..

60' - 2.033 1/4 - 14.468 MPH - 91.29

Video my girl friend took

My little helper was out once again.. Little guy just isn't big enough yet to get the car jacked up.. he had fun trying though..

crazycanadian New Reader
11/7/12 12:35 p.m.

I took the car the following weekend back out for the last autocross event of the season.. It poured rain on us for that event.. The LSD really made a big difference in the car.. I managed to finish up 9th out of 61 drivers in raw time..

Some videos



crazycanadian New Reader
11/7/12 12:46 p.m.

The car has been finished now for about a month.. I have been daily driving it with out an real problems... I have an odd idle to sort out... But other then that the car runs great.. I am averaging around 9.5 - 10L per 100km..

I'll be setting the car up soon for winter.. I am not sure yet but I do hope to attend the thunderbird tsd rally in feb...

Here is a video of scan data of my odd idle... I have a couple idea's of whats going on but if anyone cares to take a guess you are welcome to it...


Everytime I come up to a light, or touch the throttle the car will idle up around 1200rpm.. It'll up around there for 2 - 3 seconds and then idle down to 800ish.. TPS voltage is steady at 0.61V.. fuel trims are normal..

92CelicaHalfTrac MegaDork
11/7/12 12:53 p.m.

Seems silly and you probably already checked... but i've seen a lot of these throttle bodies get sticky...

crazycanadian New Reader
11/7/12 4:06 p.m.

I should have mentioned.. You are right I have check for a sticking throttle body and sticking throttle cable.. not a bad idea for a place to start looking..

both are good.. throttle body was cleaned up when I did the motor swap.. It'll act up with or with out the throttle cable attatched..

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