Have A Newbie Protege5...What to do next?

I've had a 2002 Pro5 for a couple of years, and am debating what do to next. The current car has 245k, but 110k on the engine, and the clutch and suspension were replaced a couple years ago. The body still feels solid, and a Northwest car, so minimal rust. Looking to replace the brakes, front seats, and paint the car, after that, ?

My budget is $6k - $8k, and am looking at

A) Sell the car for whatever, and buy a mid-Oughts MazdaSpeed3.

B) Swap a MazdaSpeed powerpack (engine/trans) into the Pro5. Would likely need some mods and suspension upgrades.

C) Replace the transmission, and upgrade the engine with a turbo kit.

Thoughts?
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
I think you should keep the P5.

It's becoming increasingly rare and has HUGE amounts of character.

You are already familiar with your car and all of its issues.

I remember a special gearset for the transmission that was $7,000 US for the gears alone.

PS... Spend some money on fixing the rust, and protecting the metal.

Maybe take it apart and treat it with that special rustproofing.

(remember, I'm biased, I intend to be buried in my car. Lol)
 
:
2x 2001 SP20 323's
You're going to get a biased option here :) Keep the P5!

Keep the maintenance up, fix the problems and throw some good suspension at it and it'll be a great, hugely fun little car.

Mazdaspeed / turbo swaps seem really popular and look fairly straight forward so if you need more power it'd be a safe bet.
 
Thanks for the replies!

My only issue with the P5 is that it doesn't quite have the ponies to pull it out of corners in a timely fashion. I've thought ~200hp would get the job done, and the MazdaSpreed3 offers 260+hp in a car 200lbs lighter than the P5. On the other hand, another 70+ horses is very obtainable with the P5 engine, and would likely be cheaper.
 

JazzySP20

Madaz
:
AUSTRALIA
:
BJII Astina SP20
If you want the sensible option, I say don't spend any money on the P5 trying to make it go "faster". The P5 is too old and tired now. Don't waste money on trying to push out 200+HP out of it. It'll make a great daily/runabout, but it was never ever was a speed machine. Even in MS guise.
 

njaremka

Wiggity-Wack-O-Tack
Contributor
:
2011 MX5 GT
Not sure where you heard the Speed3 weighs LESS than the Protege5, but it doesn't.
Curb weights:
2002 Protege5 - 2716 lbs
2008 Speed3 - 3153 lbs

I'll reiterate what has been said, don't spend your money on the Protege5 unless it involves regular maintenance to keep it running. Save your cash, figure out what car you want next, and when you have enough, go get it. The Protege5 is old enough that it shouldn't take much more of a hit to depreciation. Even in two more years, you're likely to get the same for it that you would if you sold it now.
 
njaremka noted:

2002 Protege5 - 2716 lbs
2008 Speed3 - 3153 lbs

2006 Speed 3 - 2800 lbs

Don't know how the Speed3 gained 350lbs in two years, but the 06 offers the about the same weight with twice the horses.

I think at this point I'm going to freshen the P5 with the aforementioned improvements, sell it for what I can get, and buy a Speed3.
 
JazzySP20 commented: ". . . I say don't spend any money on the P5 trying to make it go "faster"."

A good point, given the age and mileage. But I'm not looking to make the car 'faster' in the sense of 0-60 (0-100 in new money) times, but faster in a specific part of the driving profile. Specifically, the point between the corner apex and where the curve ends. The car will go as fast as l care to drive, and is loads of fun, but coming out of corners, it suffers a bit. I put tires on the car last year, and can go reasonably deep into corners, but would like some 'oomph' out of the apex.
 

njaremka

Wiggity-Wack-O-Tack
Contributor
:
2011 MX5 GT
njaremka noted:

2002 Protege5 - 2716 lbs
2008 Speed3 - 3153 lbs

2006 Speed 3 - 2800 lbs

Don't know how the Speed3 gained 350lbs in two years, but the 06 offers the about the same weight with twice the horses.

I think at this point I'm going to freshen the P5 with the aforementioned improvements, sell it for what I can get, and buy a Speed3.
Sorry, first model year in the US was 2007, and it was over 3100 lbs.

The 2800 lbs curb weight is for the regular Mazda3, not the Mazdaspeed3, and it was for the base model 4-door: