Potential Mazdaspeed Protege owner with some questions.

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Protege 5
Someone has a 2003 Mazdaspeed Protege in good shape for sale not far from me and as a former Protege5 owner I'm curious about the car. Did some research and what seems to sum it all up is that it a) that it's a great out of the box sporty little sedan, b) suffers from the same rust issues as all Mazdas of that time and c) that it's not that reliable of a car due to the fact that the engine and tranny was not manufactured to be turboed.

What should I be looking at to better maintain the life of the car?
Currently it's at 260,000K with a swapped tranny with 136,000K on it. Probably the first thing I'll do is spray it down with rustproofing (used CorrosionFree on my Protege5 which seemed to stop most of the rusting) and then look at potentially upgrading some engine parts and then some good AS tires (Michelin Pilot Sport AS 3+ worked well on my former Protege5).

What mods in the $500 to $1000 range would you add?
This will be a daily driver and I certainly do not want to shorten the life of the engine. Having said that I'm curious what can be done. Perhaps suspension, different exhaust, FMIC, BOV...

All in all I'm trying to decide if it's an impractical purchase or not.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
... b) suffers from the same rust issues as all Mazdas of that time and

Probably the first thing I'll do is spray it down with rustproofing (used CorrosionFree on my Protege5 which seemed to stop most of the rusting)...

All in all I'm trying to decide if it's an impractical purchase or not.

Take the car to a mechanic to look at the rust and see if it will pass safety.

If it's not structurally sound, it could cost thousands to weld in metal to get it to pass.
 
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Protege 5
Rust on the MSP I'm looking at is very mild, just a few spots around wheel well, my former Protege5 had significantly more rust. I live on Vancouver island so we get a lot of salty rain and so that's why I had rustproofed the Protege5 and why I would do the same for the MSP.