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bluescooby
bluescooby Reader
11/24/21 11:00 p.m.

But needed four doors. 

So I flew to Tampa last week and picked up this Mazda2, in the best color, for $3400.  It's got 180k miles on it and definitely needs a clutch and a set of motor mounts, but it drives reasonably well.  It won't be a daily, it'll just need to hit up the grocery store and get the kids from daycare every now and then.  Outside of that, a good tuneup and some sticky tires should make this a cheap, entertaining little autocross and track toy.  
 

And as a bonus, when it's done pulling daycare duty I can cage it and take it B-Spec racing. laugh

Loweguy5 (Forum Supporter)
Loweguy5 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
11/25/21 6:20 a.m.

I ran a Mazda dealership when these things came out.  Tiny outside, big inside and truly a hoot to drive.  I enjoy that color too.

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
11/25/21 6:48 a.m.

Jealous! Definitely the best color

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/25/21 7:33 a.m.

I like it, a lot! 
 

Are they autocross eligible without being lowered?

bluescooby
bluescooby Reader
11/25/21 10:49 a.m.

Maybe?  I haven't checked, but I'll probably run it in ST anyway.  The stock suspension needs to go so I've got a Bilstein kit on order.  
 

And I dig the color but my wife is not a fan.  She just bought a Subaru Ascent in Autumn Green, and she's adamant that her green is better than mine...

bluescooby
bluescooby Reader
11/25/21 10:53 a.m.

Ok so I just checked and the 2 is allowed in HS.  Weirdly though, the Fiesta is not...

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/25/21 11:07 a.m.

In reply to bluescooby :

That's good. I'd seen that it wasn't on a list of the cars that were excluded on a different thread, but I wasn't sure whether it was current. 

bluescooby
bluescooby Reader
12/5/21 9:31 p.m.

So I've had the car for two weeks and here's what I've figured out:

Clutch - Grabs but has inconsistent engagement.
Brakes - Front discs tend to warp, I'm told.  
Belt - PO said he hasn't replaced it, it's cracked and pretty noisy when cold. 
A/C - Blows a little warm, gonna see if replacing the belt helps. 
Cooling - Runs a little hot, see repair above. 
Motor mounts - Completely shot, shakes the entire car. 
Suspension - Pretty bouncy, lots of squeaks and rattles. 
Headlamps - TYC, trashed, full of condensation. 
Paint - Seen better days.  Little bit of damage on the back bumper too. 
Interior - Actually in ok condition.  Not great, but not bad. 
Tires - Relatively new, they'll do for now. 

RockAuto sent me four boxes of goodies.  The Carfax was light on details but it got regular oil changes at least.  The PO didn't have service records so I'm basically going through and replacing anything that might've worn out.  I plan to have it at an autocross or on the track by springtime, but it also needs to do some around-town driving too.  
 

If anyone has any tips or tricks with these cars let me know.  It looks to be pretty simple to wrench on but pointers are always appreciated. 

Justjim75
Justjim75 SuperDork
12/5/21 11:53 p.m.

Would you share some specs and a couple more pics?

bluescooby
bluescooby Reader
12/6/21 2:41 a.m.

It's a 2011 Mazda 2 with 183k highway miles (allegedly).  It shares its chassis with the Ford Fiesta but was the sportier of the two... most reviews gave the 2 the edge on handling while the (non-ST) Fiesta was seen as more stable and comfy.  It's got a 1.5L four-cylinder that puts out a whopping 100hp and I think 98ft-lbs of torque, but it also only weighs about 2300lbs (some sites list it a bit under that).  
 

Mazda was one of the founding sponsors of the SCCA's B-Spec class, along with Honda, and they offer a pretty solid contingency for it.  So that's the eventual goal when it's done getting me groceries and scooping up kids from daycare.  I'll grab a few more photos when the sun's out, I'll need to at least get that belt changed today anyhow. 

Justjim75
Justjim75 SuperDork
12/8/21 3:34 p.m.

So kind of a Mazda Fit.  I loved my 6 speed Fit with VTEC Yo

bluescooby
bluescooby Reader
12/8/21 7:00 p.m.

Yeah, same classification as the Fit.  I cross-shopped the 2, Fit, Sonic, and Yaris, and the 2 just kinda checked all my boxes.  And it was relatively cheap, at a time when even little used cars can be pricey.  

bluescooby
bluescooby Reader
12/8/21 7:01 p.m.

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
12/10/21 2:24 p.m.

If you don't mind me asking, was there anything specific that made your decision to pick the Mazda over a Fit?

If I have to replace my daily driver Focus anytime soon, those would both be near the top of the shopping list.

bluescooby
bluescooby Reader
12/10/21 6:08 p.m.

Price, mostly.  Plus contingency availability, if I do end up converting it into a track car later on.  And subjectively, the early Fits kinda remind me of tiny versions of old GM minivans like the Pontiac Trans Sport and Oldsmobile Silhouette.  Plus the Mazda2 comes in this Spirited Green, which is great.  I can't speak for either as a daily driver though...
 

But otherwise I didn't have much preference for one over the other.  If this particular 2 hadn't popped up for sale I would have just as happily picked up a Fit. 

bluescooby
bluescooby Reader
1/1/22 10:30 p.m.

So the holidays took priority and we've been getting absolutely slammed at work, but the kid and I finally got some stuff done over the past few days.  Belt is done, along with a new tensioner and idler pulley.  Water pump and alternator still felt and sounded good so I left them alone.  I got two of the three motor mounts done, the third one I ordered cheap and it showed up without the bracket it needed.  So I've got a new one on order.

Cooling system refresh is up next.  Pretty sure the overheating while stopped is because the fan won't kick on, so I'm troubleshooting that.  In the meantime the radiator appears to be leaking from the joint between the aluminum core and the plastic endtanks, so I'll drop in a new one tomorrow.  The fuse for the fan is fine but I picked up a new relay and a coolant temp sensor to help with said troubleshooting.  Also a new thermostat just because.  The PO said he replaced the fan (looks new), but I guess I need to test it to make sure it actually works.

Once that's done it should fix most of the drivability issues, and I can move on to brakes and suspension.

Oh, and sort out the AC...

 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
1/1/22 11:02 p.m.

At the 2010 Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach Mazda displayed a green one with white wheels.  It was sharp looking.  I thought I took a picture but can't find it.  

Found it on the JCCS site

bluescooby
bluescooby Reader
1/1/22 11:13 p.m.

Nice!  I'm a sucker for white wheels, which is a shame because I'm terrible at cleaning them.  My ACR Neon and my 500 Abarth were both white-on-white.  Now I've got white rims on my Mazda's shopping list... laugh

eastpark
eastpark HalfDork
1/2/22 8:52 a.m.

Very cool! Reminds me of when Mazdeuce - Seth had his. 

ZOO (Forum Supporter)
ZOO (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/2/22 9:48 a.m.

I secured a 2nd place trophy at a Quebec provincial autocross in one!  And yes, there were more than two cars in the class . . .

bluescooby
bluescooby Reader
1/12/22 10:39 p.m.

So near as I can tell, the engine was overheating because the fan wouldn't kick on, and the fan wouldn't kick on because the engine was overheating.  Pulled the old gross radiator out, dropped a new one in, flushed the coolant, and that appears to have solved my problem.  Motor mounts are all good to go.  Spark plugs were spent so I swapped those.  It's like a different car now, nice and smooth.  Hooked up a Racing Beat muffler tonight... great tone but much quieter than I'd expected. 
 

Next up are rotors and some Hawk pads and then a Bilstein B14 kit.  The factory struts are blown so once I replace those I can see if anything else in the suspension needs to be addressed. 
 

Also A/C...

bluescooby
bluescooby Reader
1/27/22 8:42 p.m.

New TYC headlamps to replace the old busted TYC headlamps.  I knew it was a dumb idea, the TYC's beam pattern is steaming hot garbage.  But this car isn't a daily driver and will see some track time beginning in the near future, so I didn't feel like paying 3x more for OEM Mazda lamps.

Seriously though, hot garbage at night. 

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/27/22 8:59 p.m.

That car looks like FUN!

mikeonabikesmith
mikeonabikesmith New Reader
1/28/22 8:30 a.m.

Excited to follow this one. Almost ended up with one of these before actually buying a Miata, and then selling said Miata for something with a roof. Fun little cars

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/28/22 10:40 a.m.

In reply to bluescooby :

learn me "fan wouldn't kick on because the engine was overheating."

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