What have you done to your P5 today?

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Dallas, TX
:
2003 Protege5
I replaced my LCA's with Beck Arnley LCA's.
They have been fine for years and come with a really heavy duty ball joint boot.

My problem was installing them.
There is a bolt that installs vertically through the one bushing, and I couldn't get it to line up without compressing the suspension by lifting it at the knuckle and loosening the bracket bolts a bit to give me some wobble room.

I put a pinch bar in between the LCA's and the knuckle, beside the ball joint and found movement in the ball joint, so I knew they had to be replaced.

The bushings were still in good enough shape. They are solid rubber (unlike the engine mounts) and didn't show and movement that I noticed.
I suppose the rubber bushings could weaken and get soft over time, but it was nothing that I could notice.
OK, done. I ordered the Beck Arnley LCAs and got them for a good price. The model numbers for the parts I got have been superseded by newer ones, so maybe these NOS parts have a better chance of being relabeled OEM since BA did that more in the past than now. (Hey, a guy can dream...) Picked up a four-piece pry bar set from Harbor Freight this weekend as I've always wanted some of those.

After the improvement I saw from replacing the end links (no more clicks!), I am keen to keep replacing my 18-year-old suspension parts and will procure tie rod ends next. Is there any reason to ever replace the six arms in the rear if they're not making noise?

I tried to make my engine ping this weekend, even lugging it a bit going up a hill. Nope, nothing. The 93 octane seems to have fixed the pings with my JDM FS-DE, and I won't need to replace the knock sensor for now. Premium is expensive, but I can make up the difference by hypermiling. :p
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
... Is there any reason to ever replace the six arms in the rear if they're not making noise?

Yeah, the bushings on the arms get worn and cracked and start to get sloppy.
Your car, with its new engine and lack of rust makes it a good candidate for replacing them.
New arms will tighten up the rear end and help stop the wheel alignment from floating around.

PS,... A big breaker bar comes in really handy for getting the big suspension bolts loosened, if you don't already have one.
(I had an 200 ft/lb electric impact gun that couldn't do what the breaker bar can do.)


... Premium is expensive, but I can make up the difference by hypermiling. :p

Your MPG should go up using premium gas, so that helps to offset the cost.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
... Is there any reason to ever replace the six arms in the rear if they're not making noise?

Just an FYI in case you replace your control arms...

The rear suspension components are kind of confusing.
These are some of the available parts for it.


Screenshot_20210608-101154_Brave.jpg





All P5's came with sport suspension and disc brakes (at least in North America) and yet they are listing parts for regular suspension and drum brakes for the P5 ??

Rockauto was confusing too.

And I'm not sure if the regular Protege with the sport suspension option is exactly the same suspension as our P5's ?

I remember that there was all kinds of confusion about rear end links as well.

So make sure that you research your part numbers.

It looks a lot like the confusion about our engine mounts.


... Picked up a four-piece pry bar set from Harbor Freight this weekend as I've always wanted some of those.

You should be able to use your pry bars to check for sloppiness on your rear control arms.
 
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pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
PS. Notice the car pulling to the right- will check the air pressure. Is there a way I can check if it's an alignment issue on my own and not bring it to the shop?

Thank you!

Take a close look at your tire tread and check for feathering and wear on the insides or outsides of the tread.

20210608_114120.jpg



If the pulling to the right is a new issue, then it probably isn't an alignment problem because the alignment shouldn't have changed.

My toe-in was way off when I replaced my tie rod ends, but the car still tracked straight.
(but I was scrubbing off the insides of my tires. lol)

Caster and camber has more effect on pulling but on our car it shouldn't change because it's locked in by the strut placement.


20210608_113249.jpg




If your toe in has been off for a long time, you could have scrubbed out enough of your inner or outer tread of one or both of your tires to get them to start pulling.
(They become tapered and don't want to roll straight anymore.)


If you have suspension wear, your wheels don't have any real alignment at all.
The wheels just float around and can pull to one side or the other.

A pinch bar on the ball joints and tie rod ends can help to find slop.

You can also jack one wheel in the air, grab the left and right of the tire and shake it, then do it top and bottom of the tire as well.

Listen and feel for clunking/knocking and noticeable movements.

Make sure the steering lock is engaged to lock the steering wheel.

It can be a difficult judgment call because the wheels are so heavy and you will get some movement in the steering.


I had a Mazda GLC and went in for an alignment.
He found movement in my ball joints and he wouldn't do the alignment.
He said replace your ball joints then come back.

I did and when I went back I told him how my car was pulling to the right.
(I had a motorcycle drive into my right front wheel and bend the s*** out of stuff.)

He adjusted the toe in, and then removed the right strut, rotated it, reinstalled it, and said "that should help".
(It was the same design as our P5's)


My car always pulls slightly to the right because of road crown (unless it's windy out)

It works perfectly for me because I only have my left hand on the steering wheel and I hook my thumb through the steering wheel. The weight of my hand hanging off the steering wheel is just enough to keep it tracking straight.
 
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RPRP5

2002 Mazda Protege5
Y'all think that stupid lil' EGR solenoid would cause long crank times when cold? Or is it time for new coils and plugs (keep in mind I'm @ 127k miles and IDK when it was last done, I was gonna have them done anyway @128k since that's my oil change interval)?
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
I think plugs, wires and coils are a good place to start.
As well as a new air filter.

If you you get new coils, go with Hitachi.
They have them at Rockauto and they are the most expensive option, but well worth the extra money.


Screenshot_20210609-170227_Acrobat for Samsung.jpg
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
The most dependable spark plugs for our car are the NGK V-grove regular copper plugs.

They give the strongest spark and they are dirt cheap.

The only problem with them is that they wear out sooner, and need to be gapped or replaced around every 10,000 miles.

If you're burning a lot of oil, you probably have fouled plugs and combustion chambers which can lead to hard starting.

Using regular dino oil and switching to 10W30 helps reduce oil burning.

Synthetic oil gets expensive anyway when you start needing a quart every 500-1000 miles.

Some guys stopped changing their oil because they burned through 4 quarts of oil by the time the car was due for an oil change. Lol
 
:
Dallas, TX
:
2003 Protege5
Drove my black '03 P5 to a local Mazda dealer in Irving today because a Mazda Master Technician there has black '03 P5. :) He has been contemplating a JDM engine transplant and I wanted to show him mine. Spoiler: Not much to see; it's a JDM FS-DE. :D

Oh, and I ordered one of these this afternoon. I had asked the local technician about flashing it to the latest release and he said he believed he could, but the part I ordered is already the most recent, a "C" revision.

1623455611812.png


These boat anchors arrived from eBay and will need to install them at some point. Need to firm up my suspension for all the massive torque I'll be laying down with that new ECU... :D

1623455882785.png
 
You might want to check Both LCAs Ball Joint's shaft Outside Diameters (O.D.) where it plugs into your spindles.

Also does your new LCAs have steel inserts or aluminum ones in the rubberized bushing that mounts to the underside of the body?
Just curious...

I received a LH LCA from an eBay seller whose company installed the wrong size ball joint into the LCA assembly.

Photos of what I sent them that I received vs my (and I assume yours and everyone else's) P5's ball joint spindle receiving holes are attached.

This is still unresolved (vendor name withheld) after another kit part discrepancy regarding rack and pinion boots wrong for out P5s in their 12 Piece Front Lower Control Arm and Suspension Kit for the P5s.

These two issues have (so far) wasted 3 weeks of time getting my son's car back together and resolution still in progress.

And to top that off, I just hit another parts snag yesterday evening on a LH steering knuckle that I bought as a paired set (from a different vendor) that I already got someone to press in new wheel bearings and hubs and didn't notice the problem until I went to install it.

That's another week or so now going to be lost rectifying that one... :(
 

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:
Dallas, TX
:
2003 Protege5
You might want to check Both LCAs Ball Joint's shaft Outside Diameters (O.D.) where it plugs into your spindles.

Also does your new LCAs have steel inserts or aluminum ones in the rubberized bushing that mounts to the underside of the body?
Just curious...

I received a LH LCA from an eBay seller whose company installed the wrong size ball joint into the LCA assembly.

Photos of what I sent them that I received vs my (and I assume yours and everyone else's) P5's ball joint spindle receiving holes are attached.

This is still unresolved (vendor name withheld) after another kit part discrepancy regarding rack and pinion boots wrong for out P5s in their 12 Piece Front Lower Control Arm and Suspension Kit for the P5s.

These two issues have (so far) wasted 3 weeks of time getting my son's car back together and resolution still in progress.

And to top that off, I just hit another parts snag yesterday evening on a LH steering knuckle that I bought as a paired set (from a different vendor) that I already got someone to press in new wheel bearings and hubs and didn't notice the problem until I went to install it.

That's another week or so now going to be lost rectifying that one... :(
They seem to be steel if my my fridge magnets are to be believed.

I've seen too many fitment problem reports with engine mounts alone on this forum to trust the low-priced parts and kits on eBay or Amazon.

Just a few days ago, I spent two hours squished behind my buddy's fridge, drunk (he was pouring the good stuff), trying to get an $8 Chinese knock-off compressor relay to work. Coming home from work the next day, he bought the $80 name brand part and I got it installed in a jiffy. Was it worth the risk for the savings of $72? Probably. Were either of us surprised when the electrical connector on the cheap relay was both too wide and off-center and didn't fit? Not at all.

Everyone has their own budget for car part purchases. I'm a cheap bastard overall, but I still use "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is" as my metric for finding good deals. (I saw those 12-piece kits on eBay myself and the prices were a little too good to be believed.) Also, since I'm not paying a shop labor when I replace the parts myself, I can splurge a bit and get name-brand third-party or even OEM parts sometimes when it's important. I want good parts so I'm willing to pay a bit more to get them and with a well-maintained, one-owner vehicle, the car also still feels worth spending on. :)
 
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pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
Also does your new LCAs have steel inserts or aluminum ones in the rubberized bushing that mounts to the underside of the body?
Just curious...

They seem to be steel if my my fridge magnets are to be believed.

I think they should aughta be steel.
They are holding the pressure of 68.8-93.3 foot pounds of torque.

Aluminum is a soft metal that will quickly compress/wear out and get sloppy.


Screenshot_20210615-032039_Acrobat for Samsung.jpg


Those metal sleeves need to be ridged spacers.

Screenshot_20210615-032210_Acrobat for Samsung.jpg




The problem with steel spacers, is that the bolt rusts solid inside the sleeve and seizes.

When you reef on the bolt to remove it, the spacer rips free from the rubber and starts spinning...

Then you have to use the angle grinder with a cutoff wheel, or a cutoff saw between the bracket and control arm to cut through the bolt to get them off...

I still prefer metal spacers.

I got my old control arms off and coated the bolts and sleeves with antiseize.


But I live in the Great White North East Salt belt.

Things are different here.


Screenshot_20210615-040403_Gallery.jpg
 
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pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
If it were me right now, needing LCA's, I'd get the Mevotech DD.

The ball joint is geasable and they will fit.


$57 US each...

Screenshot_20210615-044104_Brave.jpg



My only experience with Ebay car parts was my downstream O2 sensor.

The wires were too short and the connector wouldn't plug in.

Never again.
 
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:
Dallas, TX
:
2003 Protege5
Rockauto has been great for me.
Their parts always fit.
They don't sell crap that needs to be returned.
It costs them too much money.
RockAuto is great. I've bought Hitachi coils, a Sachs clutch kit, and KYB struts from them.
My only experience with Ebay car parts was my downstream O2 sensor.

The wires were too short and the connector wouldn't plug in.

Never again.
Yeah, I can sadly see that happening on eBay. When I've bought from them, the parts were always branded so I felt comfortable (DENSO O2 sensors, genuine Mazda "NOS" end links, Beck Arnley LCAs).

This brand is supposed to be solid and I may get their tie rod ends:
 
They seem to be steel if my my fridge magnets are to be believed.
Good deal. I bought a really cheap (and inexpensive) pair of Amazon LCAs after having issues with my eBay 12 Piece Front Suspension Kit to try to get the suspension work done.

I noticed the aluminum-looking insert and tried to magnetize it and it failed. I didn't trust it and figured it would wear out quickly plus it has some other differences compared to the other sides like how they drilled 2 pair of holes in the rubber next to the aluminum insert..

So now I'm back to waiting on the LCA that it's twin has a steel insert and different halfmoon-shaped open spaces in the surrounding rubber.


Everyone has their own budget for car part purchases.
For my '98 F150 truck when it gets a flashing Check Engine Light or makes Found On Road Dead status, I throw some cheap parts in it because I drive it, have to fix it, and I'm also a cheap bastard.

For my Wife's '93 Civic, it gets some luv when she is still working.
She's my "Sugar-Mama" (the wife not the car).

For my daughter's '01 Corolla, I keep it running and haven't had to spend much money on her (the car not my daughter).

For my son's "new $750-"18 year old who knows how-many owner P5, I seem to have no budget for man-hours as he is frugal and has always been real easy on our budget growing up.

So I buy lots of cheap parts so I can do more stuff that he won't be able to get at because after all is said and done...he is still frugal and I'm still a cheap bastard.

Like father, like son...:)



I'm a cheap bastard overall, but I still use "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is" as my metric for finding good deals. (I saw those 12-piece kits on eBay myself and the prices were a little too good to be believed.) Also, since I'm not paying a shop labor when I replace the parts myself, I can splurge a bit and get name-brand third-party or even OEM parts sometimes when it's important. I want good parts so I'm willing to pay a bit more to get them and with a well-maintained, one-owner vehicle, the car also still feels worth spending on. :)
 
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pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
I buy the cheapest parts available for my car because it's a $200 rust turd, but if you ever do front wheel bearings, get quality bearings, like I finally did.

There is so much time, work, and expense involved in replacing them, that its worth a quality component.



SKF aren't that much more expensive but well worth the extra money.
They are fully sealed.


Screenshot_20210615-204024_Brave.jpg


Screenshot_20210615-204101_Brave.jpg