2007 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3
Started on Sept. 3 by destrux
My wifes needed to replace her modified MX6 (that had no AC or muffler) with something more "customer friendly" when she got a new job a few years ago, and while we were only intending on buying a used car for $10K, we stumbled upon the then new "speed3" while trolling the dealer lots. We both loved the car and agreed that if we bought a brand new car we'd share it. (I drive it on the weekends and days she doesn't have to cart clients around). So far it's been a great car, no major problems. The horrid road conditions in our hometown of Tamaqua, PA have not been a friend to the suspension, however. The dampers are starting to to lose their youthful demeanor. Hopefully we will be replacing them with some sort of coilover system soon. As of yet, we have only made a few minor mods to the intake and exhaust system, and to the shifter. The stock airbox and boot were replaced by a Mazdaspeed cold air intake, which helped in the power and sound departments tremendously. The short section of intake piping before the turbo that the Mazdaspeed intake strangely doesn't replace was replaced by a custom pipe that I fabricated (with the help of my cousin, who can weld far better than I can). That pipe provided an additional 9whp gain (yes, I have a dyno, I don't make numbers up). I also modified the factory 2.5" exhaust system by deleting the first resonator in the midpipe to improve and increase the sound level. I'm used to being able to hear the engine in a car to shift it... and with the stereo playing (not even loudly!) I wasn't able to hear the stock exhaust note during normal driving. Removing that resonator increased the noise just enough, without making the car a nuisance to my neighbors. I also addressed the rubbery feeling stock shifter by removing the shifter base bushings and replacing them with metal washers of the same size. This also lowered the shifter by 5mm (which was welcome, as I felt the shifter was a bit high). This isn't a complete fix for the rubbery shift feel, but at least now I'm not missing gears. I believe the shifter base being made from plastic is the real culprit. It seems to flex quite a bit more than a steel or alloy one might. There is currently no option other than stock (although there are several replacement shifters on the market, there are no aftermarket bases yet available). Future plans for this car will include the previously mentioned coilovers, 17 inch wheels (so I stop popping tires), a high pressure fuel pump upgrade, COBB acessport, and a FMIC. I don't think it will need much more power beyond what those items will provide. Even though it is an amazing car, it is still a FWD, and an excess of power will just prove to imbalance the car and ruin the driving experience. I'm a mountain road driver more than I am a drag racer.