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[DEFUNCT] The College-Budget P5

Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
Hello Folks! I'm Riot Polizei, a college student in his twenties who seeks to document maintenance and upgrades here from time to time. Pleased to meet you! I look forward to many positive exchanges of information.

Not too long ago, my last car, a 91' 4WD Suzuki Sidekick, died. No matter how much part replacing or wrench turning I did, I couldn't save the ol girl :^(

More on the Zook here

RIP



I was fortunate, since the ashes of my Zook raised the (sunburst yellow) rose I now own.

Up from the ashes...


I was damn lucky. I picked it up at 119k miles with most of the needed service around this time already being done (most importantly the clutch). The paint is brand spanking new, the rims have minimal guttering damage, and it runs like a brand new car.

The transition from a offroader to a sportier, lower ride was somewhat jarring. Bumps began to matter, I could accelerate faster than a snail, and I could take corners at a thrilling pace! Aside from ride quality, I was shocked at how dialed in the gearbox felt. Compared to the somewhat floaty or boat-like Suzuki gearbox (in which you could somehow slide the gearshifter into BOTH 3rd and 5th at the same time...), there was little play. It felt great.

Upon really taking a shine to this car, I knew I wanted to do some fun things with this car. Not super fun things, since I don't have a lot of money to throw around, but simple things that'll either improve standard features or improve performance.[HR][/HR][HR][/HR]UPDATE (1/15/2018)
  • "Fixed" fast windshield wiper fluid leak; removed list item
  • Headlight functioning for now, ground appeared fine; removed list item
  • Added crashbar inspection

UPDATE (1/16/2018)
  • Replaced "Investigate mechanical groan/creak in tirewell areas" with "Replace front passenger-side tie rod ball joint and boot"

UPDATE (1/17/2018)
  • Temporarily removed the HID upgrade from "modifications"

UPDATE (1/25/2018)
  • Removed "Replace missing tirewell rivets and bolts"
  • Removed "Inspect crashbar behind bumper and surrounding body frame"
  • Removed "Investigate horn relay and/or replace horn"
  • Removed "Short Ram Air Intake(?)"
  • Added a "quick navigation" list of all major updates so far (and for ones to come)

UPDATE (2/2/2018)
  • Removed "Do something about my pulsating brakes..."
  • Changed "Replace front passenger-side tie rod ball joint and boot" to "Replace tie rods"
  • Removed "Purchase adjustable endlinks"
  • Added "Replace rear endlinks (fronts?)"

UPDATE (2/26/2018)
  • Removed "Replace rear endlinks (fronts)?
  • Updated "Install rear swaybar" to include " + rear ES endlinks"

UPDATE (3/29/2018)
  • Removed "Buy a cat-back exhaust system"
  • Added "Perform the Mazda6 "big brake" upgrade"

UPDATE (5/8/2018)
  • Added "Replace driver-side front wheel bearing"

UPDATE (5/19/2018)
  • Removed "Replace driver-side front wheel bearing"
  • Removed "Replace tie rods"
  • Removed "Eliminate rattle beneath CD player"--I tripped while entering my car and banged my knee into the center console. While it smarted, I realized that the weird rattles stopped. This happened about 2 weeks ago.

Update (6/3/2018)
  • Added: Replace pulsating brakes
  • Added: Fix E-brake cable(s?)

Update (6/16/2018)
  • Removed: Replace pulsating brakes
  • Perform the Mazda6 "big brake" upgrade
  • Fix E-brake cable(s?)

Update (6/29/2018)
  • Removed: Replace bashed-up lower grille
  • Clean the engine bay, check vacuum lines for rotting/wear

Update (7/10/2018)
  • Added: Install new radiator, fan shroud, and hoses

Update (7/13/2018)
  • Removed: Install new radiator, fan shroud, and hoses

Update (8/9/2018)
  • Added: "Replace entire pre-cat exhaust system"

Update (8/21/2018)
  • Removed: Replace entire pre-cat exhaust system
  • Added: Fix header->midpipe exhaust leak

Update (8/25/2018)
  • Changed: Fix header->midpipe exhaust leak to "Fix resonator -> muffler leak"

Update (9/1/2018)
  • Removed: Fix resonator -> muffler leak

Update (10/21/2018)
  • Removed foreward regarding swaybar installation
  • Removed: Install rear swaybar + rear ES endlinks

Update (1/26/2019)
  • Removed color coding for importance
  • Changed Modifications list to reflect projects to be completed relatively soon
  • Removed: Re-finish black trimmings on the car
  • Removed: Replace stone age center console relic with modern radio headunit
  • Removed: Upgrade ignition wires

Update (3/25/2019)
  • Removed: Begin VTCS removal
  • Added: Install VTCS-less IM
  • Added: Install MP3 ECU

Update (3/26/2019)
  • Removed: Install VTCS-less IM
  • Removed: Install MP3 ECU

Update (5/4/2019)
 
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Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
Thanks! It was indeed a lucky find, with a paintjob like that.

Hopefully before the end of the day, I'll submit my first batch of pre-modification/maintenance pictures and get this thread rolling.
 
:
'02.5 Mazda Protege5
Looks very clean! Welcome to the best place for P5 knowledge! If you have facebook make sure to join the various Protege pages, lots of great deals and parts are sold pretty often! Keen to see more man [emoji106]
 

Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
You found a nice one. Are you located in an area that gets snow regularly? Congrats!
Thanks! I do live in the irregularly snowy state of Colorado, so there are definite patches of light to mild rust underneath my car. I plan on doing research on means to combat this in hopes of preserving this car!

Looks very clean! Welcome to the best place for P5 knowledge! If you have facebook make sure to join the various Protege pages, lots of great deals and parts are sold pretty often! Keen to see more man [emoji106]
Thank you man, I have a feeling I'll really like this place! I unfortunately don't use facebook anymore, but given the difficulty of finding parts of this car, I might re-activate it to get in the loop of buying parts. Thanks for the tip!
 

Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
Update #1: Appraisals and Observations

Thanks to today's fairly good weather, I was able to do both my monthly car-cleaning and inspect the various aspects of my vehicle! I began with cleaning my brake dust-littered front wheels. While mildy guttered and scratched, they look really pretty from a distance.



While cleaning off the rims, I saw that the tires on them were really worn down (partially due to my latest hard-cornering escapades). That's a new item on the maintenance list.

With the wheels cleaned off, I proceeded to document the missing clips in my tirewell. There were a surprising amount missing, but not as surprising as the damage the splashguards suffered. This car had to have either been in a fender-bender, or it had been scraped really badly at one point.

Front passenger-side tirewell; missing clips:


More missing clips on same side:


Damaged tirewell end (not sure how this should be oriented):


And, I believe I identified the source of the mysterious clunk in my tirewell area. Upon removing the front passenger-side wheel, I saw that the boot on the end of my was collapsed and was leaking grease. I don't know how long this was as it was, but I do know that I have another item on my maintenance list.


The story was the same on the driver-side tirewell (minus blown boots), but the wheel well panel itself wasn't in nearly as bad as shape as the other side. All I know is that I need to order a ton of clips to keep the front-end intact.

The worst of the front driver-side tirewell panel:


As for the rear of the car, things were also somewhat sketchy.

My rear driver-side tirewell had a badly bashed up splash shield...:


...While the rear passenger-side tirewell's splash shield was completely missing!:


In otherwords, my rear bumper was held together by prayers and good will. It, too, was missing several clips. Furthermore, my right-side swaybar bushing looked pretty worse for wear, so that could also be a source of some clunking. I didn't take a clear picture, unfortunately, but that'll be fixed really soon, given how I'm lined up for a replacement.

As for my front driver-side quarter panel, I have an obvious separation between it and the bumper:


Given how the previous owner got the cheapest paintjob possible, I figured that the crew responsible for the paintjob forgot a clip or two.

...And funnily enough, they didn't! it just wasn't looped between the bumper and quarter panel properly (kind of hard to see, but the clip is sticking out of the quarter panel and not going through the bumper's slot):


Thankfully, these will be relatively inexpensive and quick fixes. I'm inquiring down at the local Pay n' Pull for Protege5 panels and looking for places to buy clips, so wish me luck!

As for the engine bay, the most notable thing is the missing ram air scoop. I've been asked by a few folks why a random tube is jutting out of the bay...:


...But the absolute worst discovery out of all of them was that I have a slow oil leak at the bottom of my transaxle. Damn, and here I was thinking I was done with leaking cars!


I just might be crazy enough to try and contact an old pal of mine to see if he's willing to lend a hand (and an engine hoist)...

Well, all these things are to be expected on a car this old. I was surprised at the strong lack of ziptie """"fixes"""", since my old Zook was practically held together with them.

At the end of the day, the only thing I really "fixed" was my windshield wiper reservoir leak. By "fixed", I mean that I must've been seeing things, as after peeling back the tirewell guard and watching it as it was filled up, nothing leaked! I even went back a few hours later to double-check, and I found not a puddle nor moisture on the inside of the panel. I guess I was imagining things...So, I suppose that's a positive.

Well, looks like I gotta start saving for these parts now!
 
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Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
The Headlight

It wouldn't be a Protege if it didn't maintain a steady diet of bulbs.

...sigh:


So I popped the hood and decided to give it a good jiggle. In the past, I've knocked on the side of the headlight housing, or jiggled the headlight through the rubber gasket with some success (last time it stayed on for a month!). It wasn't happening this time, so I took a deeper look and documented what happened:

It was most likely a bad connective issue as opposed to a bad ground, I figured. Even then, when I took it out of the headlight housing and left it in the engine bay, it didn't even flicker!


So, I turned off the power, and removed the bulb to inspect the plug. Here, my problem was made clear to me.


Not only were both prongs far too open to maintain a grip on the bulb's male connectors, but they were also filled with gunk. The bottom-most connector appeared to be scored pretty badly as well, which makes me wonder about the headlight's wiring harness. Perhaps I do have a ground issue after all?

For now, the problem is """"solved"""". I cleaned out the connector, re-shaped its prongs, and my car has all its eyes again.


I still can't wait until I retrofit this car with some HID projector housing and bulbs...
 
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JazzySP20

Madaz
:
AUSTRALIA
:
BJII Astina SP20
Ok, so going by those photos, I think I know why the paint "looks good". ;)

And I don't want to say this, but....
...it looks like the car has been hit bad enough for the inner guards to be damaged like that. Then there was a quick spray job (didn't even bother to mask), and a FOR SALE sign put on it.

(peep)
 

Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
Ok, so going by those photos, I think I know why the paint "looks good". ;)

And I don't want to say this, but....
...it looks like the car has been hit bad enough for the inner guards to be damaged like that. Then there was a quick spray job (didn't even bother to mask), and a FOR SALE sign put on it.

(peep)
Yessir, everything you said is definitely true. I didn't even post pictures of the front radiator air deflector or the driver-side underside of the tirewall, but it certainly was crashed up badly!

Don't worry about what you say about the car--it is a project for me, after all! It runs really nicely, and I'm hoping to restore the body to what it once was. I'm going to inspect the crashbar and the body around it to ensure I won't be wasting money on new panels, so stay tuned for an update!
 

Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
Cel #1

My car's CEL turned on for the first time today. So long as it's not flashing, it'll be another learning experience for me.

I drove into Autozone to borrow a code reader, and the car threw the "P0171 Adaptive Fuel Trim Too Lean (Bank 1)" code. Looks like my MAF is either dirty or going out!

I decided to try the cheap option first, and buy some "MAFS cleaner". There's most likely a cheaper option than that, but I got to drive this thing again soon. What I wonder, though, is why this light didn't come on sooner. I noticed that my MPG was taking a hit lately, but I chalked it up to spirited driving. Guess I was wrong!

I'll upload some images of the maintenance tomorrow, and post about any updates.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 mazda protege 5
Here's the list of potential causes of that code if it comes back.

<a href='https://postimages.CC/' target='_blank'><img src='https://s9.postimg.CC/sc0i9rj3j/Screenshot_2018-01-21-07-11-32.png' border='0' alt='Screenshot_2018-01-21-07-11-32'/></a>
 
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pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 mazda protege 5
You might want to change your fuel filter (fuel pump housing).
They're not too much money and a clogged one can cause a P0171 code.

<a href='https://postimg.org/image/niz4nvvkb/' target='_blank'><img src='https://s9.postimg.org/x3irarkwf/Screenshot_2018-01-21-11-47-43.png' border='0' alt='Screenshot_2018-01-21-11-47-43'/></a>

I did a how to about it... (pics are at the end)


https://www.mazdas247.com/forum/sho...ge-Your-Fuel-Filter-(lots-of-pics)&highlight=
 

Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
I really appreciate your help! That's a really good thread you wrote too, and given how I've yet to mess around with a car's fuel system or fuel tank, it'll really come in handy. The previous owner didn't have a lot of paperwork on maintenance and repair, so I don't see why I shouldn't change out the filter.

Thanks a bunch!
 

Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
How badass, man!

Those little Zooks are seriously unstoppable. It takes so much to kill them, and you can rock crawl with them practically stock. If only Suzuki didn't go bankrupt in the USA...

Those are some neat pictures! I'm glad you were able to have as much fun with it as you could.
 
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Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
Junkyard Treasure + The First Mod

After cleaning my MAF and allegedly fixing my running lean code, it was high time I went to the local pull n' pay for some clips, bolts and parts. There was no way in hell I was going to pay 70+ dollars for that radiator-mounted cool air duct that I was missing, after all. Ebay and Amazon had some really shitty prices, I tell you...


...Anyhow, I made my way over to the Pull n' Pay, yanked some trim clips, bolts, and the aforementioned air duct. But hey, I got some bonuses too!

Air duct + black-trim bumper (I know it's busted up on one side; stay tuned for why I got it...)


Finally, something to keep my manual and registration papers in!


That air duct looked like garbage, so I decided to give it a good clean n' polish.


Much nicer...I just have to hit that valve cover some day, and touch up the black lines.


Now, why did I get that bashed up grille? I was reading an interesting forum post regarding the modification of a stock airbox, and how it theoretically produced a ram-air effect without a SRAI or heatsoak. So, to put it to the test, I got a junky grille to cut up test this concept on.

(Post in question: http://www.clubprotege.com/forum/showthread.php?1977-Modifying-the-Stock-Air-Intake-System)

Lacking a proper cutting tool such as a dremel or an angle grinder, I drilled a zillion holes in the grille, and then connected the dots with a knife I have. After all of this, I had a rectangular hole in the grille that had the same length of the air duct's opening. The result is as follows:


From there, I removed the MAF sensor, and then removed the screen from it for an alleged amplified airflow effect. Thing is, that screen wouldn't block shit if particulates made it to the MAG housing. Those spaces in between the screen were much larger than I thought. Furthermore, if the air filter itself tore or something, that wouldn't stop engine-destroying particulates from making it through the MAF screen. Thus, I just took it off.


With everything fully assembled, my now once chrome-nosed P5 was ready for some driving!

Lord, I need to hit those headlights sometime...


Now, for the important part. Did the airflow modification actually do anything?

The first thing I noticed when firing it up was the somewhat louder intake/engine noise. Given, I didn't have that air duct to begin with, so I don't know if it was the hole in the grille I drilled or if it was just the duct. Starting it from a cold start was heavenly, as it sounded really nice!

As for performance, starting/turning off/starting the car several times in the past day and today from driving it around yielded what I believe to be a much more eager-to-rev engine. It's ever-so-slightly less sluggish in all RPM levels, but really shines past 4/4.5k RPMs. I believe it's a little stronger in higher RPMs due to the ram-air effect I now have, coupled with the theoretical lower temperature air I'm receiving.

Yet, these are all things I want to test, since I'm more concerned with actual results. It feels nice, but I want to investigate further. I'm still thinking about how I'll test for airflow temperature, but I know that someday, I'd like to put it on a Dyno. I don't expect massive numbers by any means...but any sort of gain would be excellent, considering this is a free mod that any P5/ES owner can do.

Until next time, where I'll upload what I did today (Jan 25th) to improve the front bumper area!
 
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pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 mazda protege 5
...It's ever-so-slightly less sluggish in all RPM levels, but really shines past 4/4.5k RPMs. I believe it's a little stronger in higher RPMs due to the ram-air effect I now have...
I would figure the the ram-air effect would have more to do with speed than rpm. 10 MPH in first gear isn't going to ram much air.

...Yet, these are all things I want to test, since I'm more concerned with actual results. It feels nice, but I want to investigate further. I'm still thinking about how I'll test for airflow temperature,...
Never trust the butt dyno, they have a tendency to be very inaccurate.

You should get an ELM 327 code reader ($10-$20) and download the torque app (free) to your phone or tablet then it will tell you exactly what the IAT is reading in real time, all the time. (as well as information from every sensor on your car)

It would make sense to remove your mods and air box above the rad again to get readings the way it was, especially the air temperature during heat soak at idle.



...I know that someday, I'd like to put it on a Dyno. I don't expect massive numbers by any means...but any sort of gain would be excellent,...
Here too, you'd probably want to do a before and after test to see the real difference.
I don't know much about dyno testing but I'm pretty sure they don't feed a 50 MPH headwind to the front of the car to simulate highway speed, where the ram air would really do it's thing.
 

Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
While the effect was indeed amplified with speed, I did notice that across the powerband, the car did feel a little more lively. I'm still driving it around to get a good feel, since for all I know, it could be a placebo!

What is a butt dyno?

And yessir, I'm definitely going to run a before/after experiment if I can ever get these things tested.

But I'm definitely going to look into that ELM 327 code reader, since I've been meaning to get me one for some time. Thanks for the suggestion!
 

Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
Overspray Central (Or How I Inspected My Bumper)

To ensure it wouldn't be a waste of time trying to fix up the body a little bit on this car, I set out to remove the bumper and look at the frame.

And...


Ugh...


...That's a shitload of overspray.


I knew this car was banged up and got extremely cheap body work + new paint, but damn this overspray is vile! Thankfully, all that garbage is underneath the pretty parts.

The good news from this inspection was that I didn't find any bent or kinked part of the frame, the accident was a light one. It seems like fixing up the tirewells was plausible after all!

95% sealed up (Driver Side):


Pretty much restored (Passenger Side):


Furthermore, I tightened up that driver-side panel gap a little bit. The frame isn't the problem; the bumper cover is. It's a little bent on the driver side, so it doesn't create a near-perfect seam like the passenger side does. It's got an annoying gap right before the headlight, but it's not as prevalent as it used to be.


Taking off the bumper was not without its surprises. When taking out one of the two bolts that hold the bumper up underneath the frame...

...SNAP!


...damn, and that looks like a fairly proprietary bolt, too. Oh well, looks like I need to learn how to tap out studs...


As for the last surprise, some weird little metal piece flew out of my engine bay when I took off the bumper.

What is this?


Other side:


I really hope that's not terribly important!

Well, progress was made, the car looks ever so slightly better, and I'm slowly inching my way towards some actual modifications!w
 
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