[DEFUNCT] The College-Budget P5

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
The easy part about using a regular 9V battery is that you don't have to worry about safe operation.

You can dead short the battery and nothing is going to blow up.
When you short the battery, it can't deliver the amps so the voltage takes a huge dump and there is no power transfer.

You can test for voltage on your tongue and easily bring it to the scrapyard to test stuff.

If the component works with only 9V and milliamps then it should work with 12-14V.

You can make your own tester with leads using an old 9V battery.

You remove the connector at the top of the old battery and use it to clip in some wires.







I touched the wires together a bunch of times and couldn't get it to spark.
 

323

(u_u) ...zZzZzzz
Moderator
Man I want to be on that level of gap! If I can get that low and stop dipping and diving, I'd actually be competitive.

That must've been fun. Was it a HPDE, or open track day? Those are some fat Mustangs behind you; you could've easy thrashed them in the corners. I hear that a lot of those muscle car fellas are cunts on open track days, since they expect you to point-by after they finally catch up to you on a straight line.

Either way, I want to attend an HPDE some day. I'm really not confident in my car's ability to operate under constant duress.[HR][/HR]Thought you guys might appreciate this.
it was my first time there at an HPDE event with an instructor. 5 to 6 runs of 25-30 minutes each. my instructor said since it was my first time to ignore everyone else and let them all pass me on the straight away so i don't get distracted. after riding in my instructor's miata 1 run before my last, i learned that i was either too careful/gentle with my turn ins or i was taking a bad line. on my last run, my instructor said the ride along really helped me improve as i was able to use some of his lines. i got overly confident on one turn and ended up losing control coming out of a right turn (the track has all long sweeping turns except for 1 hairpin), did a 180, drifted off to left field, came back on the track still at 180 and drifted off to the right field lol. luckily this track has PLENTY of grass in their run off area. wasn't my first time running off track so it didn't spook me at all. i always felt my suspension was too soft so i swapped out my springs but never got a chance to return for another event. something always came up but it's all good. maybe next year.
 

Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
PCB, I don't know why that's never occurred to me to try that lmao...thanks for the pointer! I'm going to toss a 9V battery into my tool box for whenever I need to pull electric parts.

it was my first time there at an HPDE event with an instructor. 5 to 6 runs of 25-30 minutes each. my instructor said since it was my first time to ignore everyone else and let them all pass me on the straight away so i don't get distracted. after riding in my instructor's miata 1 run before my last, i learned that i was either too careful/gentle with my turn ins or i was taking a bad line. on my last run, my instructor said the ride along really helped me improve as i was able to use some of his lines. i got overly confident on one turn and ended up losing control coming out of a right turn (the track has all long sweeping turns except for 1 hairpin), did a 180, drifted off to left field, came back on the track still at 180 and drifted off to the right field lol. luckily this track has PLENTY of grass in their run off area. wasn't my first time running off track so it didn't spook me at all. i always felt my suspension was too soft so i swapped out my springs but never got a chance to return for another event. something always came up but it's all good. maybe next year.
Ah okay, I see what you mean. I've a bad tendency to assume the worst in people, lol.

Well, I'm glad you were able to lose control of your car in a safe and controlled environment. Now you know your limits, and you still have your car! Next you go out, if you have time, you have to get some videos. Would be a lot of fun to see some more racing action on this side of the forum!
 

Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
Carbon Fiber Hood, Pt.1

Howdy, I'm pleased to report that I've officially began fixing up the hood!

The pal I mentioned truly is a great guy. He's got some expertise in regard to bodywork, as he's done a lot of restoration work in the past. He showed me how to use a grinder properly (it had a flapdisc on it), and went over the general process for working with something like this.

Again, my camera on my phone is complete garbage, but look at these pictures of our progress on the hood:





It's beginning to look a lot less like a giant burnt egg and a little more like a real carbon fiber hood! Another bit of good news is that the underside is fiberglass, and can be treated with a paint thinner/remover, unlike carbon fiber. That middle piece and the underside can be cleaned off easily.

Afterwards, we went to the car meet, and look what I found!



Crazy seeing one of these up close. A guy whose name I constantly forgot (won't forget again) and met several times owns it. He's brand new to the platform, so I was able to give him some pointers, strengths, and weaknesses about the car. I still feel pretty bad for forgetting him so many times in a row; I probably ruined any chance at being a pal.[HR][/HR]For two days in a row now, I've been lacing my rear subframe bolts and the lateral link bolts down with PB blaster. I really, REALLY don't want to snap anymore weldnuts, and snapping any in the subframe is most likely the end of the car, so I'm being as careful as I can.

It sounds like tomorrow is more likely the day that I drop in those springs and replace the subframe. We'll see what happens!
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
Keep in mind that if you have PB blaster or any lube on it, it will start on fire if you put flame to it.
 
:
Mazda protege5
Hoods looking good man, are you planning on painting it? And ya watch out for those pb fires haha, we almost burnt down my buddy's ranger trying to get the bed bolts off
 

Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
Keep in mind that if you have PB blaster or any lube on it, it will start on fire if you put flame to it.
For sure...it's a legitimate problem for me now, thanks to the fact that I botched the subframe removal on the junkyard P5. Little dumb me thought I could totally drop the subframe before removing the lateral links...

Hoods looking good man, are you planning on painting it? And ya watch out for those pb fires haha, we almost burnt down my buddy's ranger trying to get the bed bolts off
I plan on just getting a clear coat on it. Carbon fiber on sunburst yellow is just too gorgeous! It'll certainly make my car look a lot more serious. And aye, I'm going to be hosing down the inside of my subframe. At this point, I'm scrambling for a fix to allow me to put my swaybar back in, and I may have to give that fabricator a call. I don't want to blow him up, hence why I'll be doing a lot of cleaning![HR][/HR]Speaking of looking more serious, I just finished lowering my car tonight. The same guy whose helping me with the hood helped me drop in the springs. It wasn't a tough job, but it was a little awkward trying to get the struts out, at times. Oh man is it cool...but it rubs now! Because this guy I'm working with is simply one hell of a guy, he told me he'll help me roll those fenders as well. Can't wait to show you guys pictures!
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
.. I botched the subframe removal on the junkyard P5. Little dumb me thought I could totally drop the subframe before removing the lateral links...
I don't quite understand why that means you couldn't get the subframe off but could you go back with a reciprocating saw and cut the lateral links then remove the bolts at home?

It's well worth the money. It's really versatile and doesn't throw sparks.

 
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Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
I don't quite understand why that means you couldn't get the subframe off but could you go back with a cutoff saw and cut the lateral links then remove the bolts at home?
I never said I wouldn't go back. It's in a really stupid position that necessitates a cut-off saw, but I don't have one. The muffler and pipe are pinning it down, so it's too much weight for me to press upward to fasten it back into the rear of the car. If I had a cut-off saw, I'd saw off the muffler for some swinging room. Plus, aren't the lateral links also held in by weldnuts? If so, I broke them off, and couldn't loosen the lateral links. It was an overall frustrating experience. It was just a frustrating experience, and I couldn't get it done that day.

For one last ditch attempt at fixing the weldnuts on the cheap, I JB-Welded them to the subframe. If that doesn't work, that narrows down my solutions to either the fabricator or getting a new subframe.
 
:
Mazda protege5
Yes yellow and carbon fiber look so good, I've had my eye on a hood on offer up for maybe 2 years now, maybe one day haha. Good luck with your subframe swap, sounds like one pita after another. Hopefully you'll only have to do one more trip.
 

Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
Lowering Springs

As I said, I dropped the P5. Here's a before shot:



And an after (if you can make it out. Shitty camera + poor ability to take pictures is such a bad combo for me):



It's nice. With those Eibachs, I do feel the road a little more. They may be progressives, but they still have an increased spring force over stock. I cannot go out and really see how they benefit handling though, because the rear rubs insanely, and I'm still missing my rear swaybar. Fingers crossed this last-ditch JB Weld effort does something.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
.. The muffler and pipe are pinning it down, so it's too much weight for me to press upward to fasten it back into the rear of the car.
Maybe put a jack under it. Most of the parts cars should have their tire jack still in the trunk.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
You could probably lift the subframe back up with a jack point from almost anywhere because the lateral and trailing links should make it lift squarely.
(You could probably even have a friend lift a single tire)

PS. Be careful under there in case it falls.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
I'm pretty sure the lateral link bolts are bigger than the sway bar link bolts so they should have bigger weld nuts that are less inclined to break.

(although there is more torque on the trailing link bolts.)

 
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:
2001 Mazda SP20 323
Yep, lateral links use loooooooong bolts at each end, trailing arms are weld nuts up front, threaded insert at the back

They're also tight as frig, be prepared to swing on them with a breaker bar!

+1 for scavenging a scissor jack to help

+10000000 for keeping safe under cars, if it looks sketchy, it probably is!
 

Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
Well fellas, the subframe isn't happening soon. Exams are coming in full force, labs are really ramping up, and I once again have to get creative with a strict time budget. This means that I'm taking lots of homework and textbooks with me to the track Sunday, and heading into the lab once I'm done :^)

You know what that means! One more attempt at a ghetto fix on the rear subframe. This time, I'm equipped with much tougher grade bolts that are slightly thicker than the last set, washers to make the pressure more evenly dissipated across the bolt/nut surface, and some brand new Energy Suspension bushings that have been sitting for some months. No skimping this time...thread locker's going in no matter what.

What's different now is the presence of those CR3 relocation brackets. Pray for me, so that nothing goofy happens![HR][/HR]My fenders are officially rolled! I no longer rub, and can now take corners at any pace I want. Had a friendly guy on Facebook reach out to me about his out-of-garage service, and went ahead and rolled up to his place. 60 bucks for all fenders, and he did a very professional job. No baseball bat and good intentions; just a legitimate hub-centric roller with a heat gun! Even if there was a chance at the fenders rubbing, putting that swaybar back in will virtually eliminate it.

I forgot to mention, there's one unintended consequence of these lowering springs. That MX3 bar doesn't seem to fit anymore. Before dropping the springs in, it was a bit of a tight fit that needed some finagling to bolt in, but it seems like the distance between the strut towers increased, or something...maybe I was hallucinating, I don't know. I'll have to double check. If it is the case, then I can go back to the Megan RSTB. It's flimsier, but has the ability to adjust length. I also got to double check, but I probably don't even have to change the mounts.

I'll continue to inform the scenario as Sunday nears!
 

Riot_Polizei

Comp Engineering Student
:
2002 Mazda Protege5
Swaybar, Again

Alright, now the swaybar's here to stay. With copious blue thread locker, lots of attention to detail, lots of me taking my time, and ensuring everything was sufficiently torqued down to spec, I once more have the Racing Beat swaybar in. This time, with some added CR3 Motorsport flavor:



It's quite nice! No rattling, no squeaking, no clunking, nothing off putting to the ear. Despite the lack of weldnuts, the swaybar's 100% functional.

And lads, oh Lord have I rediscovered what this car can do...

The stiffer springs, lower ride height, re-installation of the MX3 RSTB (I was hallucinating...it fit just fine, but only if you orient the RSTB in a certain way), and the swaybar play in such joyful harmony. The swaybar keeps the rear from rolling, the RSTB stops excessive chassis flex. I've felt these sensations, and greatly enjoyed them. But now, with the lowering springs, I have these benefits but on a platform with a lowered center of gravity, improved road response, and reduced slip angle.

What I'm trying to say is, this is it, chief. Car handles like a dream once more, but it can take corners even harder than ever! It's certainly no coilover kit, but damn, considering how I've barely dropped 500 bucks total on rear suspension components, I've gotten far more than my money's worth.

Now, for the true test. The last race of the year is Sunday, and I have a feeling that I won't get destroyed in the standings again.
 
:
2001 Mazda SP20 323
Woohoo! I think you've nailed bang-for-buck suspension mods here.

How much swearing and finger contorting was needed to get the bigger bolts in?

Best of luck with the exams, keep us posted with what happens on race day!
 

323

(u_u) ...zZzZzzz
Moderator
Hey good luck man. Springs and rear sway have always been my favorite mods on these cars.
 
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