1 2 3 4
gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
1/20/21 1:54 p.m.

Had a local place, JMS Motors,  install new SuperPro bushings in my new lower control arms. Glad I didn't attempt myself. Even they had a heck of a time getting the stock ones off using a press and air chisels and such. None of which I have. I struck a deal with Joe at JMS who will now be listed as one of my sponsors when I race this season.

Also dropped off my transmission and limited slip diff with Chris at Windsor Customs. Chris really knows his stuff and has an amazing shop with lots of cool Miata stuff around. I should have taken pics. I'll take some when I pick up my trans in a few weeks.

Two great interactions with local race-oriented shops in one day. 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
1/21/21 11:38 a.m.

Wheel aesthetics are keeping me distracted while I wait on the return of my transmission. (And try not to worry that Chris is going to call me and tell me the trans I brought him is trash.)

I got these universal hubcaps via Amazon and they fit very nicely. So I'm gonna skip the large factory hub covers and use these instead, along with the black and gold Mazda decals I just ordered from eBay.  For now, you'll jut have to imagine the wheels and hubcaps painted the same color (gold).  It will look a little odd because of the lip around the large hole used to secure the factory hub cover, but overall I think it will work.

I also realized this style wheel is probably not the best for rallycross.  All those nooks and crannies ar gonna pick up a lot of clumps of dirt and mud. Oh well, so be it.

 

 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
1/22/21 10:40 a.m.

Short shifter and CAI

In Prepared, I'm allowed a short shifter and CAI. I wasn't really planning to bother with them.  But, I just got great deals on eBay for both.

The short shifter is a genuine Mazdaspeed accessory (GRMS-8M-L11).  It is used but looks to be in good shape and even comes already assembled in the shifter box and includes the solid shifter bushings. The shipping was a little salty but the asking price was right, so overall way cheaper than it would have been new  (when it was available) and should be way better quality then the no-name units you often see on eBay.

The CAI is also a genuine Mazdaspeed accessory (GRMS-8M-L30). New, old stock fro $100.  These are the same as the AEM CAI which go for like $240. Actually it is a little better than the AEM unit as this comes with a splash shield. 

 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
1/23/21 9:00 a.m.

FedEx delivered something exciting today from TireStreets. I gotta get the wheels ready now which means painting in sub freezing temperatures.  Not good. Excited about these MRF ZDM3 tires though!

 

 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
1/23/21 1:16 p.m.

Well, I'm real happy with the way these turned out.  Look good from 15 feet away.  The paint is probably not long for durability given the conditions I was painting in, but I guess I'll find out. It is strange. Style wise, I'm doing all the things to this car that I never liked before. Decals and stickers, gold wheels. Oh, I went with black center instead of all gold. I was looking at the old style BMW Alpina wheels and thought I'd go with something similar to that.  BTW, this is VHT Gold Wheel paint from Autozone.

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
1/24/21 1:18 p.m.

I know when I get my transmission back, I'm going to be too excited to get my car back together and will end forgetting something.  So, here is my list of everything I need to do before I can drive it again. Did I forget anything?

 

 - flywheel and pressure plate already mounted and properly torqued 

 - install revised clutch fork and pin pivot

 - lightly lube and install throw out bearing

 - lightly lube output shaft

 - using trans jack line up and level transmission with engine

 - fasten with bell housing bolts (14mm socket. 4? from back side, 6? from front - 48 ft lbs, one longer bolt near starter)

 - fasten RMM torque mount (3 bracket bolts first 70-85 ft lbs, then bolt up thru the crossmember and then the mount bolts 54-60 ft lbs)

 - reinstall trans mount

 - inspect passenger side motor mount (even with the engine support bar, its probably taking an unusual load as the only mount currently being used)

 - remove engine support bar

 - refasten starter solenoid, plug in connector

 - refasten grounds, plug connectors, brackets, etc...

- repair wire (engine harness wire that leads to some sensor on the trans, reverse lights?)

 - plug in speedometer sensor

 - refasten slave cylinder bracket

 - push clutch line bushing into shifter bracket

 - reattach shifter cables and refasten bracket

 - install intermediate shaft (gear oil on splines, 3 bolts)

 - install pass side axle, lubricate as needed

 - install drivers side axle, gear oil on splines and lube as needed

 - add trans fluid (Motorcraft XT-M5-QS - 3.1 quarts manual trans gear oil)

 - refill engine oil (4.5 qts)

 - reinstall lower control arms

 - reinstall front brakes

 - bleed brakes

 - make sure ABS sensors are plugged in

 - mount wheels

 - lower car off jack stands

- new axle bolts  (not supposed to reuse old ones which are torque to yield)

 - torque lugs

 - check air

 - install air filter box/cai, including mass air sensor plug, remove paper towels from TB

 - install battery box and computer

 - connect battery

 - install skidplate (maybe after first test drive)

 - DRIVE. -  follow brake pads/rotors seating instructions. 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
1/25/21 4:12 p.m.

Tires mounted and "vintage" Mazda stickers applied to hubcaps.  I'm sort of stupidly happy about how these turned out.

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
1/28/21 7:18 p.m.

In reply to paul_s0 :

Paul_s0

I did the subframe scoot tonight. Thanks for the heads up on that. I think I may have been successful in boosting the caster a good bit. Take a look at the pic and you can see the dark circle around the subframe bushing. That is how much I was able to move it forward as evidenced by "clean metal" under the bushing. Is that about what you were able to to do?  I guess I'll find out after I get 'er back on the road and take it in for an alignment.

 

HopmanJones
HopmanJones New Reader
1/28/21 9:28 p.m.

Hey Greg, fantastic build thread. Thank you for adding this to the GRM, as it is worthy of being saved and not buried like if it were on Facebook. 

You're doing a lot of really great things to the car in preparation for next year's season. We are losing the Danger Pea to MF so it's nice to have some more competition in PF. The diff and rally tires will really make a huge difference for you. I didn't install a lightweight flywheel because I wanted to retain stock drivability for the benefit of my co-driver, so it will be interesting to hear what you think about how it acts in your 3.

I've been paying more attention to my new-to-me Protege5 this winter, so this is inspiring me to pay a little bit more attention to my rally car (although I don't really have a lot planned to do it). Probably springs, and I'm leaning toward MS3 springs for that.

Congrats again on all the improvements!

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
1/29/21 6:11 a.m.

In reply to HopmanJones :

Thanks!  Haha. It sort of snowballed. The flywheel was what started it. I saw one for a good deal and thought I might as well get it before they are no longer available. 
 

What you doing with the P5?  That and I saw mention on Chilcote's IG of a Gambler 500 vehicle too.  That sounds like fun!

paul_s0
paul_s0 Reader
1/29/21 7:26 a.m.

In reply to gszczyrbak :

Yep, that's about what I got, I possibly got slightly more movement, mine was all the way to the back, and slightly offset to one side.

 

Oooo I like the wheels with the knobblies on - I wish I could get another set of rims here easily to pop some A/Ts or similar for gravel/mud coated roads here!

HopmanJones
HopmanJones New Reader
1/29/21 9:04 a.m.
gszczyrbak said:

In reply to HopmanJones :

Thanks!  Haha. It sort of snowballed. The flywheel was what started it. I saw one for a good deal and thought I might as well get it before they are no longer available. 
 

What you doing with the P5?  That and I saw mention on Chilcote's IG of a Gambler 500 vehicle too.  That sounds like fun!

I've always really liked the P5's and I found one for a pretty decent price with minimal rust, so I couldn't let it go. Had 5 or so very stubborn CEL codes but with some junkyard/ebay parts and time, we got it up to snuff and legal without a lot of cost. My plan is to make it a "fun commuter" and occasional HPDE/Autocross car. Got some decent tires, MP3 ECU, FS-ZE intake cam, 4-2-1 header, gutting the VTCS from the intake manifold, and gonna put a racing beat catback on it. Other than just doing basic maintence like plugs, timing belt, fluids, etc just to get it all sorted out. 

Yeah, Mike and I went intogether on an AWD Pontiac VIbe to build up for Gambler. We haven't done much except get it to my place. Whenever we get some time to get started on it, I was planning on doing a build thread here.   

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
1/30/21 10:17 a.m.

The Mazdaspeed CAI I got from eBay was crushed a little on one end.  I forgot to take a before pic.  But a loaner tail pipe expander from AutoZone worked perfectly to gently and evenly round it back out again.

 

Zarathustra
Zarathustra
1/31/21 1:24 a.m.

In reply to gszczyrbak :

Welcome! Hope we race together soon. I started running a Protege5 in PF in the DC region in 2020, and hope to make it up to PA region events soon. Mike and Adam were great help getting my project rolling and at events.

 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
2/4/21 3:17 p.m.

Made a sub harness belt pass through in my stock seat using a piece from Corbeau. Ultimately plan to get a real race seat, maybe a Cobra Imola that has 'somewhat' lower bolsters. I need to be able to sit in one to try it out though. 

In the meantime, I really wanted a 5 point harness. The 4 point is just not cutting it. Note:  Harness is only being used for rallycross events at which I'm lucky to hit 35mph. Stock seatbelt remains.

This is far from Project Binky precision, but it works for me.

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
2/10/21 11:47 a.m.

I installed the Mazdaspeed CAI I got from eBay. It is an AEM copy, but it includes a splash shield, which is nice.  In an additional effort to protect it from water, I am going to put some Outwears water repellent fabric behind the fog light housing. First I made a mesh grille using rain gutter guard.  When the Outerwears arrives, I'll attach it to the mesh grille and mount the whole thing behind the fog light housing. 

A new rule this year allows for removal of auxiliary lights (aka fog lights). So I'll probably leave that off so I can gain that extra decimal of horsepower. smiley  Although its just as likely I'm loosing HP with this set up. frown

I already added the mesh to the passenger side without the Outwears fabric just so it looks sort of the same. It is attached with Permatex Ultra Blackblack and seems to be holding well.

 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
2/12/21 8:59 a.m.

Suffering from a little POD (Previous Owners Disease), I decided to fix this wire properly by crimping on a new terminal so I can use the supplied connector.  Getting the old terminal that the previous owner left in the connector out was easy enough. And I found what I thought would be the correct spade terminals at AutoZone.  But they are too large. I'm pretty sure I need 2mm wide spade terminals. The ones in the kit are 1/8" The only ones I could find come in a lot of 100 and are shipping from Hong Kong!  Soon I'll be swimming in 2mm gold terminal connectors. Who needs some?

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
2/15/21 11:49 a.m.

Junkyard visit this morning and brought back wiring harness for the o2 sensors. I set these up so I can extend the wiring but retain the stock wiring connector when replacing the o2 sensors without having to cut them. I just cut both sensors off a junkyard car with a good amount on wiring on each end, then joined them together, taking care to match up the correct wires. 

If I get a header, I'd be eliminating one of the cats (allowed in Prepared as long as you retain one).  With this extended harness, I should be able avoid a CEL by placing an o2 sensor on the far side of the remaining cat (or a hi flow replacement).  I know I can do the spark plug anti-fouler trick, but thought this was a better way.

 

 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/15/21 1:47 p.m.

Any clearance is enough, unless you severely bend the wheel.  Just make sure if you get it balanced that the weights clear the caliper.

 

EDIT: oops, i was a page behind. Love the wheel paint color. 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
2/15/21 8:32 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Thanks!  I've read about 20 percent of your incredible build thread. We can't be friends though because you hate the Eagles wink  
 

 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/15/21 8:52 p.m.
gszczyrbak said:

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Thanks!  I've read about 20 percent of your incredible build thread. We can't be friends though because you hate the Eagles wink  
 

 

True story: I once lived within spitting distance of old Veterans Stadium. the location of my old house is now the Southport Auto Terminal, lol...

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
2/17/21 9:23 a.m.

 

Since I added a 5-point harness, I decided to add a roll bar. Some say it is overkill for rallyx given the typically low speeds.  And of course, I'm adding weight to the car which isn't great.  On the pro side, I won't break my neck if I do happen to roll, it should add some rigidity to the chassis and it is 100% SWMBO approved.

I ordered one of these - https://www.stableenergies.com/Autopower-Race-Roll-Bar-Mazda-3-2004/productinfo/APW60024/. But then almost immediately found info indicating that these don't work with sedans, only the hatchback model. So, I called and canceled. No place that lists this model makes it clear that it is hatch only. Glad I noticed before it was shipped. Looking around, I can find no other off-the-shelf options, so I'm left looking for a custom solution.

I contacted a local hot rod shop to see if they could build me something and they responded with an enthusiastic, "Absolutely!" Given all the pictures on their page of American rods and drag cars, I was worried they would scoff at a Japanese sedan. But I guess money is money.  Now I just gotta get my transmission back so I can get back on the road and bring the car by to have them take a look.

 

 

2002maniac
2002maniac Dork
2/18/21 11:36 a.m.

I was expecting a BMW Clown shoe, but I'm not disappointed. Great work!

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
2/18/21 12:58 p.m.

In reply to 2002maniac :

Haha.  I should know better.  Never had a Z3, but owned a 1980 528i e12, the first fives series.  I started the First Fives registry and website. They are still going strong on the bulletin board, but the website is badly outdated.

http://firstfives.org/

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
2/23/21 3:08 p.m.

When $20 seems like a lot and when it seems like a bargain.

A lot: Are cold wires more brittle?  Just had the oil pressure switch connector snap off while I was moving the wiring harness around.  At first I was planning to keep the original harness conenctor and replace the wiring crimp connection, but I got frustrated finding the correct size molex-type crimp connector and just ordered a new pressure switch connector with pigtail. $20 when it could have been pennies if I had the correct connectors. 

A bargain: I also picked up new complete front strut assemblies with springs via FB Marketplace. They are FCS brand, which I've seen various reviews of, but it is actually what is on the car already and I have no complaints. Impossible to pass up a spare set at $20.  $20 total, not each.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 2 3 4
Our Preferred Partners
VELHHs6oCVwrX9HoSDFT4wwj3wMZwJxA1etuHOVSImo0LF6plz1fHZL8b73DzEEt