JtspellS HalfDork
Dec. 26, 2012 6:44 p.m.

So ive been searching quite intently on my daily replacement for my totaled SAAB, I have found and been driving a lot of everything and keep coming up on protege5's and am quite pleased with them.

So aside from known issues in this thread:

GRM link

What do i want to look for? I am looking at one tomorrow and really hoping to leave with something before the winter gets too much worse as well as more MPG's

fanfoy New Reader
Dec. 26, 2012 10:11 p.m.

Since no one is answering, I will...

That thread you're showing pretty much covers it all. Mostly rust from my experience.

ZOO SuperDork
Dec. 27, 2012 6:55 a.m.

Watch for rust -- and seized rear brake calipers.

Otherwise a good little car. I prefer the older 1.8 to the 2.0 but that wasn't available in the Protege5.

Dusterbd13 HalfDork
Dec. 27, 2012 8:25 a.m.

mine was a stick. trashed front and rear motor mounts pretty regularly. put corksport iunserts in the last set, and the car had over 100k on that set of mounts when the next owner sold it.

also, i did a big front brake conversion off i "think" a 626. cut down on rotor warping and front brake pad wear considerably.

also got better tire life over inflated by 3psi

lastly, the only problems i had from mine other than motor mounts and rack bushings was that i spun the impeller off the ater pump. freak failure.


skruffy SuperDork
Dec. 27, 2012 5:26 p.m.

I had mine from 8k to 80k miles. The thread you linked to has all the info you need to know. I still have a set of poly motor mounts in the garage if you want them. Only got rid of mine when it exploded with rust in the rear fenders and hatch. It's still one of the best handling cars I've owned after springs/shocks and some decent tires.

jungle New Reader
Jan. 9, 2013 8:46 p.m.

What can be done for strut upgrades? I'd like to put something a bit better than oem replacements on one. Is the stuff from the Protege Speed any better? If I get Speed struts, will I have to match them w/ Speed springs?

This one has a horrible rattle that I can't find, I think it may be the strut mounts/bearings.

irish44j UltraDork
Jan. 9, 2013 9:09 p.m.

As a memory of helping a friend do some modifications on his years ago, the one thing that struck me is that the rear wheel wells are pretty shallow - so don't expect to put on wheels/tires that are that much wider than stock without rolling fenders. I remember he had a hell of a time trying to to 20cm wider on the tires, trying to find a wheel with a width and offset that would let him. And then they just barely fit.

moxnix Reader
Jan. 9, 2013 10:23 p.m.

The MSP struts have a different perch height than normal Protege/P5 struts in the rear so yes if going mazdaspeed match the struts with the springs. Most aftermarket spring are for standard protege/P5 perch height.

The easy upgrade for just struts is the Tokico Illumina's.

Assuming they are the same in the rear as my MSP (I have not checked the wife's P5 for clearance as much as I have in the MSP). Running Hoosiers (a bit wider than normal tires) I was able to run 225/45/17 in the rear and 245/40/17 in the front with a small amount of rubbing on 17x7 +50 rims. This is with all stock suspension and lots of autox runs so if something was going to rub it did.

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