Recon1342 Reader
1/6/18 9:56 p.m.

A buddy was selling his car and was kind enough to talk my wife into buying it as an anniversary gift for me...

My deranged affinity for anything with a rear hatch is a well-known phenomenon in my family, and now I've got a little one to go alongside the oversized one (my 1989 Suburban). Plans right now are to drive this one while I start fixing things on the burb that need fixed, and then I'll start tinkering with this one.

Anyways, she still needs a name, but without further ado, the newest member of the Recon1342 family-


MazdaFace Reader
1/8/18 9:59 a.m.

Nice! Does the mazdaspeed protege stuff fit these? Pretty sure it bolts right on.....? Either way nice little project!

eastsideTim UltraDork
1/8/18 1:43 p.m.

Never owned one, but have driven a few.  Wonderful little cars, would not have a problem with one in my fleet.  Have fun with it!

The0retical SuperDork
1/8/18 2:11 p.m.

I liked those when I drove my buddies in college. That lead lead to me owning a regular 3 GT and a Mazdaspeed.

The drift stitches are a nice touch, well aligned too.

Recon1342 Reader
1/8/18 2:35 p.m.

In reply to MazdaFace :

I’m not sure on the mazdaspeed stuff yet...

it already has a cold air intake and a header, so it’s got a nice little growl to it. Looking into suspension, and making it a little bit zippier, but other than that it’s in really nice shape. It came with LED bulbs for the headlights, so I’ll post results after I get those installed...

pres589 PowerDork
1/8/18 2:42 p.m.

Wasn't there a guy on here a while back that was building an engine for one of these, I think a Mazdaspeed turbo car that had bent the rods as what seems common on these cars?  I don't remember how that all ended.

They always seemed like cool little cars.  

MazdaFace Reader
1/8/18 2:51 p.m.

I'm curious to see the LED headlight output.

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
1/8/18 2:54 p.m.

Ive owned five of these.

1/2 coil in front, 1/4 in rear drops a full inch all the way around.  Shorten Bump stops by one segment. Stagg struts.  Mazdaspeed alignment specs with the strut mounts rotated. Really wakeup the handling, and rides really well.

Tint and sound deadening and insulation during make a much bigger impact on nvh than any other car ive ever dealt with. 

If no record of the timing belt job, do it now.

2000 mazda 626 v6 brakes with Wagner thermoquiet pads will put race car braking power and camry reliability on it.

Continental dws tires pn stock wheels.


I can go pn....

pres589 PowerDork
1/8/18 3:11 p.m.

Hey Duster, what kind of mileages did you pull with it in your standard mixed commuter doing whatever, not laying into it constantly driving?  

I wonder what one of these would be like vs. my SX4...

moxnix HalfDork
1/8/18 3:20 p.m.

Mid to High 20's in mixed driving for me.  All highway I can pull a little over 30 MPG.

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
1/8/18 3:28 p.m.

In reply to pres589 :

Automatic: 25-28 over 100k of mixed rural/urban/limited interstate commuting. 30-31 pretty consistently all interstate keeping at 5 over.

Manual:28-32 mixed, 32-34 interstate over 60k

Temperature, take off speed, and brand of gass introduced lots of variation in mpg tank to tank. I found the automatic cars got better mileage pounding ut from the stoplight tbrough second gear (half throttleish), but the manuals liked very easy acceleration. 


None of them got really hammered on except for the first five speed one. That did hpde until my knee gave out...

pres589 PowerDork
1/8/18 3:44 p.m.

moxnix, is your car a manual or automatic?

I probably wouldn't lower one if I got it, but I have family living on rock roads, so I like keeping factory ground clearance.  Could see doing some basic aeromods though.

I'm still making payments on the SX4 so this probably won't go anywhere.  That said, eh, maybe?  They always looked great to me in red.

moxnix HalfDork
1/8/18 4:03 p.m.

Manual.  Stock height.

tux424 New Reader
1/8/18 6:30 p.m.

My cousin had one of these for the longest time, until it finally met its demise in a winter wreck. It was awesome for hauling snowboards, either inside, or on a roof rack. They also cleanup pretty well too. Unfortunately they all seem to have the rear quarter panel rust issues.

Recon1342 Reader
1/8/18 6:38 p.m.

The roads around here are berkeleyed all up, so it’ll stay at stock ride height. Mainly looking to improve what’s already there. One of the biggest questions is tuning the factory ecm. Interwebz is all over the place on the tunability...


Edit: mine has the “sport transmission”, Mazda’s manumatic type critter.

cdygrubbs New Reader
1/10/18 10:45 a.m.
Recon1342 said:

The roads around here are berkeleyed all up, so it’ll stay at stock ride height. Mainly looking to improve what’s already there. One of the biggest questions is tuning the factory ecm. Interwebz is all over the place on the tunability...


Edit: mine has the “sport transmission”, Mazda’s manumatic type critter.

There's a guy on ebay that'll reflash your stock ECU with an MP3 flash. Gives you a couple more hp but really smooths out the curve.


JtspellS SuperDork
1/10/18 11:12 a.m.

In reply to cdygrubbs :

I bought an MP3 pcm second hand and it does wake it up quite a bit dependent on what grade of fuel (87, 89, or 93) you use because from what I understand it basically ads a knock sensor that adjusts timing based on knock (could be wrong in how it works but still effects it.)


Love mine, and am looking at getting a different DD so I can finally go full MF for rallycross, and if you feel the need you can trade everything from a MSP to the P5 and all you need is hard parts (PCM, oil squirter's, exhaust manifold, LSD, suspension, intercooler, axles are all the items I can think of right now that are needed for a full conversion) but know there is not much overhead to made on OEM parts.

Good luck and look forward to seeing what you do with it.

Harvey Dork
1/15/18 11:15 a.m.

Love these, but around the NE area they all seem to rust away.

fidelity101 UltraDork
1/15/18 3:14 p.m.
Harvey said:

Love these, but around the NE area they all seem to rust away.

yeah I was gonna say be careful with rust on these, especially around the rear wheel wells, seems to be a mazda thing of that era.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/15/18 7:36 p.m.

Nice little wagons, I see a few around here now and then. Considered hunting for one with the 5 speed, but decided to stick with my Lancer Ralliart wagon for the additional 32 horsepower. 

Recon1342 Reader
1/15/18 8:03 p.m.

Finally had some time, now that the kids are back in school...

LED bulbs are in, and I must say I am pleased. They are considerably brighter than the bluish halogens that were in it,  with a cleaner color temp.

Driver's side is LED, passenger is Halogen, distance is about 20ft.


Night time from the driver's seat, safely stopped of course...


After much research, I have discovered that no one is yet able to reflash an ECU for an auto transmission car. Manuals only...

So, I'll finish the exhaust system, and start working on stopping and turning really well. If I wanted to turn it into a race car, I'd look at a different car to do it with.. This is gonna make a fun daily driver, and that's really all I need it to do.


Tomorrow, work on the Suburban begins; I'm tearing apart the dash and steering column... I've some janky wiring to fix.

JtspellS SuperDork
1/16/18 12:08 a.m.

In reply to Recon1342 :

So for a cheap brake upgrade you can fit OEM brakes from a 626, Mazda 6, or even Mazdaspeed 6 (with 17" rims) without any modifications.  Currently have some 03-06 MZ6 brakes on mine and it adds about 1" over the OEM rotors and even with so so centric pads (Fully loaded tire rack specials) it made a big difference from the OEM rotors and HPS pads, was under $300 for the whole front set as well.

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