KL Swappin' Protege5

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
LOL I responded inline and that didn't work out the way I had hoped it would...

I just filled up today and It's a 60 cent difference. At least in MI and at the station I was at.

Really, if the added "fun" comes at the cost of pricier gas, and all else is the same (consumables, etc) then I would say it's a justifiable increase. I could get a FiST with relatively the same power (FiST has more, and tunability beyond what the stock ECU/KLDE offers) but I'm:
1) taking on a payment if I do that, compared to my cheap-as-chips Pro5
2) settling for a budget interior, which my Pro5 already has
3) giving up some passenger room, subjectively. I haven't directly compared specs
4) settling for a torsion beam rear end (this is really a pedantic statement to make, because it's actually really well set up from everything I've heard/ those I know who autocross one)

The bonus the FiST has is that it claims to take 87 LOL.
I will assume you're talking about the Fiesta ST? I'm very shocked that it would take 87. I've honestly considered it, but the styling just doesn't do it for me and I want something rwd in the future, and I also can't help but think about how small it is in comparison to how tall I am. I don't wanna be pinned by my head and feet even if it is fun. I would kill to just test drive one though, especially for how much fun people make them out to be.

you forgot settling for a numb shifter feeling with the wires instead of the good ole bar on these new cars
Ew ew ewwww! I'm sure it's not that bad being a modern car, but I've driven an 08 Toyota Matrix with what feels like a cable shifter and it's TERRIBLE. I mean, it's the worst shifter I've ever used, even in comparison to a 90's Toyota truck.

Don't get me wrong, the Protege5 isn't a racecar, but with a short-shifter and new bushings all around, it's the best shifter I've used in an economy car.
 

323

lolmsp lolms3
I have an ms3 that came with the full TWM short shifter kit (shifter and plate and all), it just feels fake lol. The only way I can describe it is it feels like you're shifting on a machine at the arcades. In time I adjust to it and when I get back in my msp or the wife's Subaru...... yeah....
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
I have an ms3 that came with the full TWM short shifter kit (shifter and plate and all), it just feels fake lol. The only way I can describe it is it feels like you're shifting on a machine at the arcades. In time I adjust to it and when I get back in my msp or the wife's Subaru...... yeah....
Really? The MS3 was another car I was really considering (for the far future), but I didn't think the shifter feel would be that bad, considering that the 3 is sort of the successor to the Protege.

The main thing that put me off from those cars and the MS6s was how fragile the motors are, at least from what I hear. Many MS6s and MS3s I see on the local used market have either had a rebuild, a new engine, or need a new engine. I just don't feel like owning a car with a historically greater than normal chance of detonating it's stock engine looming over my head. I just mentally lump those motors into the 'boosted Subaru boxer' or '4G63T' category of unreliable engines. I would like something fun that I can daily drive without too much worry - if only I could fit into a Miata.

Change my mind though, these could just be unjustified assumptions based on no ownership/driving experience.
Edit: Okay maybe not in 31N007s thread, I've already cluttered it up enough.
 
Last edited:

323

lolmsp lolms3
Yeah the shift linkage on the protege is a metal bar. If you peep around on pictures on the ms3, it's cables with counterweights or whatever. It's just how new cars are. The engines can definitely take on some abuse, more so than an msp stock vs stock I'd say. But you are correct most have been blown and rebuilt prolly because everyone that owns one drives the crap out of them and possible with bad tunes lol. It's a very good, fast, and comfortable car out the box. I have not ridden in one with suspension goodies so I can't compare how much of a go kart they feel like compared to a protege. I love the go kart feel of the proteges.
Edit: Ok, I agree lol. you can go clutter up my threads. They're pretty boring.
 

31N007

31N007
:
Mazda Protege5
Oh man, the Pro5 being linkage-based is fantastic. I had bushings and a STS in my first P5, second P5, and now my third P5. It's the best "feel" mod ever.

And yeah, it was weird to me to see the 87 recommendation, but I guess Ford thought their target market would prefer the cheaper stuff. No different to Mazda saying the newer 2.5T will run on 87, but 93 nets the best power rating (with torque remaining the same?????)

Man, my Subaru is hilarious to drive. It's a stock '96 Impreza OBS. Cable actuated clutch, stock mounts that may be original to the car, and otherwise stock shifter and bushings. It's been the third most-vague shifter in my admittedly small experience with rod-shifted cars. The Escort when we got it from the junkyard was second worst, and my current Pro5 when I bought it had an essentially disintegrated third-link bushing. Literally the width of a gear worth of play when in gear. I chanced it getting me back to KY at the time I bought it, and laughed when I found out how bad it was

The big issue with the Speeds is
1) the resale value is cheeeeep, and with that, owners who can't/won't take care of them are increasing.
2) the turbo is trash. Journal bearing, it will fail, not might. Meticulous care will prolong its life, but it's just not a great design.
3) there is debate that the stock intake mani doesn't flow well, and leads to a lean condition in cylinder 3. Again, some people have had good experiences with em, some haven't. There's an adapter plate for the Focus ST mani, which flows more evenly.
4) gen 1 MS3s lacked (maybe?) A baffle above the timing chain. When people do oil changes on warm motors, cool oil quenches a hot chain and links no likey/stretch. VVT actuators also posed issues in that department.

Oh, the suspension is junk compared to the P5. A guy now local to me did some suspension tuning and it's just not super well setup from the factory to be as nimble as the BJ Proteges are.

Whew, my first wall in a few posts! Lol
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Oh man, the Pro5 being linkage-based is fantastic. I had bushings and a STS in my first P5, second P5, and now my third P5. It's the best "feel" mod ever.

And yeah, it was weird to me to see the 87 recommendation, but I guess Ford thought their target market would prefer the cheaper stuff. No different to Mazda saying the newer 2.5T will run on 87, but 93 nets the best power rating (with torque remaining the same?????)

Man, my Subaru is hilarious to drive. It's a stock '96 Impreza OBS. Cable actuated clutch, stock mounts that may be original to the car, and otherwise stock shifter and bushings. It's been the third most-vague shifter in my admittedly small experience with rod-shifted cars. The Escort when we got it from the junkyard was second worst, and my current Pro5 when I bought it had an essentially disintegrated third-link bushing. Literally the width of a gear worth of play when in gear. I chanced it getting me back to KY at the time I bought it, and laughed when I found out how bad it was

The big issue with the Speeds is
1) the resale value is cheeeeep, and with that, owners who can't/won't take care of them are increasing.
2) the turbo is trash. Journal bearing, it will fail, not might. Meticulous care will prolong its life, but it's just not a great design.
3) there is debate that the stock intake mani doesn't flow well, and leads to a lean condition in cylinder 3. Again, some people have had good experiences with em, some haven't. There's an adapter plate for the Focus ST mani, which flows more evenly.
4) gen 1 MS3s lacked (maybe?) A baffle above the timing chain. When people do oil changes on warm motors, cool oil quenches a hot chain and links no likey/stretch. VVT actuators also posed issues in that department.

Oh, the suspension is junk compared to the P5. A guy now local to me did some suspension tuning and it's just not super well setup from the factory to be as nimble as the BJ Proteges are.

Whew, my first wall in a few posts! Lol
Yeah...sorry didn't mean to take over your thread.

That gives me a lot of clarity on the MazdaSpeed 3/6. So many issues that I guess can be remedied and avoided with some diligence and care, but the lack of nimble handling would really kill it for me. If I'm looking for a straight line sleeper, I've got some other ideas. I guess I have to drive one before I make any decisions (duh of course) but it makes me a little more hesitant than before to consider one.

At some point i'm going to try and sit in a GT86/FRS/BRZ and see if I fit. I hear those things are nimble and fun.

I've pulled my Protege5 shifter linkage apart multiple times now and it's super simple, but even with fully aftermarket bushings and a short-shifter, it's a little stiff to put into gear, and it's got play. I might go in there and try to modify some things to get it more crisp. I also hear motor/transmission mounts can help with that too.
 

31N007

31N007
:
Mazda Protege5
Nah, no worries! I think I've got most of the nitty-gritty over with on this thread. From here it'll be updates and mods. I actually took it to IL three days ago, but think I've got the 'Rona, so I'm back at home now. Sat in a traffic jam - admittedly the first truly bad one I've been in, for a half hour and monitored coolant temps the entire time. 213.8F peak, and the fans kick on at 212/back off at 206. Oil temps got "warm" but that's the downside of the Innovate gauge - I can't quantify how "warm" warm is.

The MS3 was on my list of to-buys for a while but realistically the turn-off is: it's a turbo car, and an early-ish one with DISI and the likes. I think the FoST would be the "wiser" buy if you're looking for a Mazdaspeed 3 version 2.5. It'll be more nimble, courtesy of a more well-turned rear end, and likely won't rust out like the gen 1 MS3s/MS6s (sad panda). I just can't justify the interior gaps being on par with the Protege when it's 10 years newer.

It's heresay from me, but the FT86RS seems like it would be fun, if a little underpowered. But that's no different to the Miata, so it's a toss-up between whichever one you like more.

Have you done the third link bushing too? If you can, have someone actuate the linkage with it in gear and see where the play is. I had some right under the shifter where the shift rod meets the main linkage. But yeah, tightening that bolt up too tight will lead to the stiffness getting it in gear.

Words of advice: the rear mount sucks to get to but can be done without pulling the intake. The plastic harness bracket can be removed with a deep well 10mm socket. Break the lower 10mm stud off the firewall. Make sure the 17mm socket you use has good purchase on the nuts that hold the mount to the subframe.
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Nah, no worries! I think I've got most of the nitty-gritty over with on this thread. From here it'll be updates and mods. I actually took it to IL three days ago, but think I've got the 'Rona, so I'm back at home now. Sat in a traffic jam - admittedly the first truly bad one I've been in, for a half hour and monitored coolant temps the entire time. 213.8F peak, and the fans kick on at 212/back off at 206. Oil temps got "warm" but that's the downside of the Innovate gauge - I can't quantify how "warm" warm is.

The MS3 was on my list of to-buys for a while but realistically the turn-off is: it's a turbo car, and an early-ish one with DISI and the likes. I think the FoST would be the "wiser" buy if you're looking for a Mazdaspeed 3 version 2.5. It'll be more nimble, courtesy of a more well-turned rear end, and likely won't rust out like the gen 1 MS3s/MS6s (sad panda). I just can't justify the interior gaps being on par with the Protege when it's 10 years newer.

It's heresay from me, but the FT86RS seems like it would be fun, if a little underpowered. But that's no different to the Miata, so it's a toss-up between whichever one you like more.

Have you done the third link bushing too? If you can, have someone actuate the linkage with it in gear and see where the play is. I had some right under the shifter where the shift rod meets the main linkage. But yeah, tightening that bolt up too tight will lead to the stiffness getting it in gear.

Words of advice: the rear mount sucks to get to but can be done without pulling the intake. The plastic harness bracket can be removed with a deep well 10mm socket. Break the lower 10mm stud off the firewall. Make sure the 17mm socket you use has good purchase on the nuts that hold the mount to the subframe.
Great information.

I may still testdrive a MS3/MS6, but I think I've realized they're not what I'm looking for as a Protege5 replacement. I'd love to own an ND Miata, but I doubt I'd comfortably fit in one, and I think the GT86 platform would be a better daily driver if I can fit (more likely I think). If I could fit into an S2000, I would probably have that over both, but from what I gather, that's unlikely as well. I've also been curious about the Genesis and G35 Coupes, but those are heavier and I doubt they'll be as nimble. This is of course all speculative, as I still love my Protege5 and won't have the resources to get something else for a while anyways.

I've replaced all three shifter bushings (including the one that requires drilling/cutting) as well as the other weird one which seems to stiffen everything up (picture attached). I have the Megan Racing short-shifter. Most of my play appears to come from the linkage directly under the shifter, but if I tighten it any more than it is now, it makes shifting very stiff and challenging to get into 1st/reverse. I believe there is also some play coming from the short-shifter pivot ball joint as well, and it rattles in gear. I need to look at it again and see if I can reduce play and stiffness together. I'm looking for a notchy but easy to move feeling.

My rear motor mount is shot and the car bucks some in every gear. I have a new OEM mount, but I haven't attempted to install it and am dreading doing so. Likely going to fill it with something, and also buy the AWR side mount inserts. Everyone I talk to says not to attempt to do it without the manifold out, so I was planning on removing it.
 

Attachments

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
... Everyone I talk to says not to attempt to do it without the manifold out, so I was planning on removing it.
Apparently, you can do it from the top without removing anything.
A few extensions and a 6-point socket.

Break the lower stud off and reach down from the top.

The extensions give a tiny bit of wobble room so the socket fits squarely.

Push down on the breaker bar at the pivot and crank it with the other hand.
Push down hard so you don't round the nut.
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
Apparently, you can do it from the top without removing anything.
A few extensions and a 6-point socket.

Break the lower stud off and reach down from the top.

The extensions give a tiny bit of wobble room so the socket fits squarely.

Push down on the breaker bar at the pivot and crank it with the other hand.
Push down hard so you don't round the nut.
Man, it would make things so much easier if I could do it without taking the intake off, but I really don't want to screw up those nuts and get to the point where I just end up taking it all apart anyway. How do you get the mount out and the new one in? Where do you put your hand to get at it? I know you have to support the engine. I've just seen so many nightmare stories of people having so much trouble even with the manifold out.

Someone convince me that I'm not going to screw it up if I don't remove the manifold, because I'm 95% sure i'm going to screw it up if I don't remove the manifold 😬. I'm looking at the replacement mount right now, and I've got other vehicles to drive, I just don't want to get myself into something I can't get out of.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
Man, it would make things so much easier if I could do it without taking the intake off, ...

Someone convince me that I'm not going to screw it up if I don't remove the manifold, because I'm 95% sure i'm going to screw it up if I don't remove the manifold 😬.
That won't be me.
I've never done it.
I'm just going by hearsay.

I guess it all depends on how seized those nuts are...

The guy said it was easy as cake for him.
 
:
2003 protege 5
I did it 3 times. All from the top without removing the intake. It sucked all 3 times! But the 1st was the worst. It had just over 100000 miles on it. Those 3 nuts on top were difficult to break loose. Use pb blaster or some kind of penetrating spray. 6pt socket and like 18-24" worth extensions. I used 1/2" drive. The thru bolt i got with like 3' extensions thru wheelwells. Once freed it pulls out from top.
My final install was a DEA filled with 60a urethane hoping iit would last way longer than 100k. So far about 50k on it and Im still happy. Minimal vibes for a daily auto but firm enough to not move the block.
 

31N007

31N007
:
Mazda Protege5
LOL I love the word hearsay, let me just say that. And it turns out I spelt that wrong the first time I posted.

sleeprp5 and pcb have it right.

In my one experience doing it on a 100k mile Michigan vehicle with the engine still in the car, it was:


- pull battery tray
- remove flexy intake doohickey
- take 12" and 3" extensions, put universal joint at the end and a 10mm deep socket and do your damndest to remove the plastic loom housing from the firewall. (2) nuts.
- bust the bottom 10mm stud off the firewall because you don't need that sort of negativity in your life
- find a deep well 17mm socket, and put it on the rear nut first, because that's the one that's most likely to be messed up. (3) nuts.
- remove those bolts and be happy you got the mount off
- somewhere in there you'll have pulled out the 17mm through bolt, which would have been the easier step in the grand scheme of things

OR

drop the subframe, which entails disconnecting the:
power steering system
endlinks
steering rack from column

and replace the sway bar bushings while you're there if they seem brittle/worn.

but that's a hassle in itself. I laughed upon coming to the realisation that the rear mount mounts to the subframe... Because of course it does.

the justification for removing the intake would, in my experience be, because you want to remove VTCS if you don't value that little period of drivability when it's cold out for the first few minutes. I genuinely couldn't say that I noticed a difference, but it was a fun project. I chopped the runner to sit flush with the inner wall of cylinder 1 so that the thing looked otherwise stock from the outside, and I ported the intake manifold a little bit as well. A bloke in KY actually bought that motor off of me, so I'm hoping it ended up in good hands/ a good car.

That, and splitting the manifold in half to see if the VICS butterflies still have all of their screws.
 
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pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
LOL I love the word hearsay, let me just say that. And it turns out I spelt that wrong the first time I posted.
I have spellcheck, and they couldn't agree on the spelling.
It took seven tries...

I don't know what they were trying to get me to say. Lol
Fricken Google.
 

BenjiHoggi

OEM+
:
Oregon, USA
:
22v Protege5
LOL I love the word hearsay, let me just say that. And it turns out I spelt that wrong the first time I posted.

sleeprp5 and pcb have it right.

In my one experience doing it on a 100k mile Michigan vehicle with the engine still in the car, it was:


- pull battery tray
- remove flexy intake doohickey
- take 12" and 3" extensions, put universal joint at the end and a 10mm deep socket and do your damndest to remove the plastic loom housing from the firewall. (2) nuts.
- bust the bottom 10mm stud off the firewall because you don't need that sort of negativity in your life
- find a deep well 17mm socket, and put it on the rear nut first, because that's the one that's most likely to be messed up. (3) nuts.
- remove those bolts and be happy you got the mount off
- somewhere in there you'll have pulled out the 17mm through bolt, which would have been the easier step in the grand scheme of things

OR

drop the subframe, which entails disconnecting the:
power steering system
endlinks
steering rack from column

and replace the sway bar bushings while you're there if they seem brittle/worn.

but that's a hassle in itself. I laughed upon coming to the realisation that the rear mount mounts to the subframe... Because of course it does.

the justification for removing the intake would, in my experience be, because you want to remove VTCS if you don't value that little period of drivability when it's cold out for the first few minutes. I genuinely couldn't say that I noticed a difference, but it was a fun project. I chopped the runner to sit flush with the inner wall of cylinder 1 so that the thing looked otherwise stock from the outside, and I ported the intake manifold a little bit as well. A bloke in KY actually bought that motor off of me, so I'm hoping it ended up in good hands/ a good car.

That, and splitting the manifold in half to see if the VICS butterflies still have all of their screws.
Okay, i'm growing more convinced by the hour. I especially appreciate the clear list of instructions. I went and looked in my engine bay and it looks like a mess, but doable. Does anyone have an estimate on how long it took them to do the whole thing...roughly?

It's funny because I actually had a set of PU swaybar bushings that I couldn't install because I couldn't get to the rear bolts on the brackets. Dropping the subframe seems like a whole lot of work, but it could be something for me to also investigate if this method doesn't work.

I have a replacement intake manifold gasket lying around for when I was going to remove the manifold. While I was originally going to just do the mount, I figured I should also probably address those butterfly valve screws and make sure they're tight. I was and am a little concerned about them coming loose. If you go and look at the NHTSA log of Protege5 issues, by far the most common one is roughly along the lines of "heard bad noise, mechanic found screw in engine." I just can't get over the fact that it could happen at any time. The other common one is "airbags didn't deploy."
 

31N007

31N007
:
Mazda Protege5
mwahahahaha

thread jacked and of my own doing (seriously, I welcome conversation as it gives me a chance to write walls of text without feeling quite so terrible)

Doing it without pulling the subframe, I'd estimate it at no more than a few hours all said and done. Bearing in mind this was done now, easily 3-4 years ago.

Removing the subframe, or at least dropping it, you'd need to:

  • remove the bolt holding the steering column to the rack, marking how the column sits on the splined shaft coming out of the rack
  • undo the outer tierods where they bolt to the knuckles
  • find a way to gain enough slack from the power steering lines so you can adequately drop the subframe without "breaking the seal" on the P/S system OR resign to doing that and remove the supply line on the P/S pump itself, and the suction line from the P/S reservoir. Bleeding that system isn't too hard, but it's just a matter of making sure the pressure line o-ring doesn't decide to be a turd and leak on ya (it shouldn't/ won't. Mark the banjo bolt so you can tighten it back up without worrying about over/under-torquing it)
  • undo the front motor mount - either the mount from the member, or the mount from the bracket
  • undo the longitudinal member - THE BOLTS GOING TO THE CORE SUPPORT ARE FINELY THREADED so be careful when you reinstall. Paint mark those bolts too if you don't have access to a torque wrench/manual. There's also one nut on the backside (nut? bolt? cannot recall)
  • I can't remember if the shift linkage is in the way or not, undo that if required
I think that's it. It'll be a bit more time, but provided everything goes as smoothly as it would if you did it from above, I'd genuinely estimate about the same time spent. But you've accessed the sway bar bushings, which would otherwise have been non-accessible.

Really it's a "pick your poison" scenario...
 

323

lolmsp lolms3
I'll chime in. My experience with the rear motor mount was fairly easy and the only thing I removed was the intake pipe and strut bar. I will have to say that my experience is the best case scenario because the motor mount was installed for 5000 miles before I decide to change it to something softer. The solid rear was too drony for my personal tastes. I had the car jacked up and with plenty of extensions on hand, I was able to break all the hardware loose. I did have to go underneath to deal with the bolt and nut that goes through the motor mount though. I didn't take as many photos as I usually do but here's what I ended up using to remove the 3 nuts from the motor mount on the top side. Under the car I used some weird combination of extensions to break loose/torque down the bolt and nut. Took me about 4 hours start to finish but again, I didn't have to deal with seized hardware.


 
:
2003 protege 5
I must agree with 323 and 31N007. My 1st try was about 6 hrs. but probably 2 of it was waiting for an extra set of hands with the thru bolt and borrowing a 6pt socket for the 3 nuts on top. After that is was about 2 hrs to change it out. Firewall stud is a pain. Don't even try 12 pt if you've got high miles on it or corrosion. You don't want to round those nuts or worse... break the stud. LOTS of penetrating fluid! Once you've swapped it you will see how the next time will be easier. Not any more fun, just easier lol
 

31N007

31N007
:
Mazda Protege5
Got UOA results back. After 1800 miles, the test suggested detonation or worn pistons/rings/cylinders.

Not too shocked or upset.

Just picked up a new daily, so this will be put on the backburner after a leakdown test and compression test can be done to pinpoint the issues.

IMG_20200610_175135.jpg

This certainly won't be the end of this build, as I enjoy the POS too much to want to flog it off to someone else!

"We can rebuild him; we have the technology!!!"
 

323

lolmsp lolms3
Drive it until it gives out! You can rebuild another engine during that time anyway. So when are you going to make KL swap harness kits? :)
 
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