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Thread: The College-Budget P5

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riot_Polizei View Post
    All I got to do now is figure out what to do with the rear endlinks...
    If they are shot, I think you'll notice a good difference but I'm curious how much since you already have that bar in the back.

  2. #32
    Registered Member Riot_Polizei's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by stormkyori View Post
    If they are shot, I think you'll notice a good difference but I'm curious how much since you already have that bar in the back.
    I know you posted this a long-ass time ago, so apologies for the late-ass response:

    I ended up taking the RB swaybar out, since the brackets that came with it were all sorts of bent and messed up. The clunking was awful, and personally, I could've done a better job installing the thing.

    The stock bar is back in, and I'm currently saving up for the anti-clunk brackets from AWR (alongside some smaller bushings).
    2002 Mazda Protege5
    ■ Sunburst Yellow ■ Black Rear Valence ■ Goldstar Grille Intake Mod ■ Racing Beat Catback Exhaust
    ■ Moog Front Endlinks ■ Megan Racing Rear Strut Tower Bar ■ Racing Beat Rear Sway Bar


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  3. #33
    Registered Member Riot_Polizei's Avatar

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    Autocross

    I finally took 'er out for a spin. With my fluid levels set, my oil leak fixed, and my rear strut brace installed, I set off to learn how to really drive a P5.



    Turns out, racing isn't nearly as stressful or scary as I thought it might be. The car isn't powerful enough to get out from under me, so the corner histrionics were largely limited to me not letting the car return to weight-shifting equilibrium or hammering it too soon around a turn (one tire fire!!)

    Gradually, each run featured less and less tire squealing and more calculated approaches. Shit man, it was a science! Hug the wall here, hammer it through there...I began to get the idea of how to approach road tracks, and how to throw the car around it efficiently. This place has some really friendly track pros, and they were all down to help me figure this racing thing out. I can't wait for the next run.

    Well, I did encounter a few problems.

    First of all, that damn CEL came back on. It was still P0171, which was "fuel system trim too lean". I "fixed" it once by spraying down the MAF with its respective cleaner, so I tried it again for a temporary fix while I check my lines. This time, I hosed the damn thing down with the MAF cleaner spray and let it sit. my seals between the air box and the intake hose were still fine, as there were no visible tears or scratches. I suppose it's onto things like the fuel pump filter, the FPR, and my fuel lines. I hope its something inexpensive, for once!
    Last edited by Riot_Polizei; 03-20-2018 at 03:52 PM.
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riot_Polizei View Post
    I know you posted this a long-ass time ago, so apologies for the late-ass response:

    I ended up taking the RB swaybar out, since the brackets that came with it were all sorts of bent and messed up. The clunking was awful, and personally, I could've done a better job installing the thing.

    The stock bar is back in, and I'm currently saving up for the anti-clunk brackets from AWR (alongside some smaller bushings).
    No worries. That sucks man. Sounds like the awr ones are pricey.
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  5. #35
    Registered Member Riot_Polizei's Avatar

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    Cat-Back Exhaust!

    My Racing Beat cat-back exhaust arrived today! I'm so pumped!



    There's still some spring break left, so it won't be long until I get this bad boy installed.

    Initially, I bought this system since it was a modification I was itching to do. Well, when I went under my car to screw around with the rear endlinks and the swaybar, I took a good look at my exhaust system...

    I'll upload pictures of what the old system looked like along with my future installation post. It's gonna be good!
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  6. #36
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    I totally am interested in how this sounds in the car. I have been eyeing this exhaust since before I got my car, and look forward to hearing what you have to say about it.

  7. #37
    Registered Member Riot_Polizei's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anzi View Post
    I totally am interested in how this sounds in the car. I have been eyeing this exhaust since before I got my car, and look forward to hearing what you have to say about it.
    Racing Beat's exhaust system is absolutely top-notch. When I finally got to rip open the surrounding bubble wrap and look at it, the impression of serious handiwork came to mind. It's gorgeous, really, and certainly draws attention away from the rusting trailing links, lateral links, and stock swaybar.

    Installing took me about 2-3 hours (since I encountered some terribad Colorado-brand rust welds and was doing this on my back), but I'd imagine that someone with better equipment and experience could get it in far more quickly. Trying to keep the exhaust donuts in place was tricky, but it was nowhere near as annoying as the muffler hanger rubber! They were so old and malleable that they'd stretch really far and not want to come off.

    When the system was in, I was highly impressed by the exhaust note/tone. Just as advertised, there were no raspiness or shitty ricey noises. The car took on a much more guttural or "throaty" tone while being far more deep and audible--but not so much that it would piss off the neighbors. It gives of a real "performance" attitude.

    Now, the fun begins when you really send it! Upon flooring it, the exhaust tone really opens up and growls like it means business. I haven't redlined my car since putting the exhaust system on, but getting up past 4k rpms sounds excellent.

    As for performance, the butt-dyno tells me that the car has slightly more pull. I noticed that in 4th and 5th gear, the car doesn't have as hard of a time pulling up hills. Most interestingly, though, was how 1st gear feels now. At least on my vehicle, 1st gear tended to be jerky. The exhaust system seemingly "smoothed" it out, if that makes any sense.

    For actual empirical gains, I don't know yet.

    Long story short, this system is excellent in build quality, sound, and performance. It's loud when you want it to be and quiet otherwise.

    I'd highly recommend it to anyone running a N/A car (I don't know how it runs on a turbo set up)
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riot_Polizei View Post
    Racing Beat's exhaust system is absolutely top-notch. When I finally got to rip open the surrounding bubble wrap and look at it, the impression of serious handiwork came to mind. It's gorgeous, really, and certainly draws attention away from the rusting trailing links, lateral links, and stock swaybar.

    Installing took me about 2-3 hours (since I encountered some terribad Colorado-brand rust welds and was doing this on my back), but I'd imagine that someone with better equipment and experience could get it in far more quickly. Trying to keep the exhaust donuts in place was tricky, but it was nowhere near as annoying as the muffler hanger rubber! They were so old and malleable that they'd stretch really far and not want to come off.

    When the system was in, I was highly impressed by the exhaust note/tone. Just as advertised, there were no raspiness or shitty ricey noises. The car took on a much more guttural or "throaty" tone while being far more deep and audible--but not so much that it would piss off the neighbors. It gives of a real "performance" attitude.

    Now, the fun begins when you really send it! Upon flooring it, the exhaust tone really opens up and growls like it means business. I haven't redlined my car since putting the exhaust system on, but getting up past 4k rpms sounds excellent.

    As for performance, the butt-dyno tells me that the car has slightly more pull. I noticed that in 4th and 5th gear, the car doesn't have as hard of a time pulling up hills. Most interestingly, though, was how 1st gear feels now. At least on my vehicle, 1st gear tended to be jerky. The exhaust system seemingly "smoothed" it out, if that makes any sense.

    For actual empirical gains, I don't know yet.

    Long story short, this system is excellent in build quality, sound, and performance. It's loud when you want it to be and quiet otherwise.

    I'd highly recommend it to anyone running a N/A car (I don't know how it runs on a turbo set up)
    How’s the interior noise at 80-85MPH? I don’t want exhaust drone in my car every day lol. My truck exhaust, it’s audible at those speeds, but subtle and doesn’t get tiring

  9. #39
    Registered Member Riot_Polizei's Avatar

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    Highest speed I went on the highway was about 80 mph, and while it was louder than stock, it wasn't major. I couldn't hear it over my music (or the wind noise, lol), so it certainly stays in-line with its loud when needed/quiet otherwise design.
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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riot_Polizei View Post
    Highest speed I went on the highway was about 80 mph, and while it was louder than stock, it wasn't major. I couldn't hear it over my music (or the wind noise, lol), so it certainly stays in-line with its loud when needed/quiet otherwise design.
    Good. I hear some people with loud exhaust, and wonder how they don’t get tired of it on long drives. I know I’m pulling ~80 on my daily commute, so good to know it shouldn’t be an issue

  11. #41
    Registered Member Riot_Polizei's Avatar

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    The Suzuki: A Retrospective

    I've been very dormant in regards to my car, lately. I've bought some junkyard parts for the big brake upgrade and finally ordered new bushings with anti-clunk adapters from AWR's store, but felt that it served as too little of an update to write about. In short, things are happening, albeit slowly. I'm definitely looking forward to my next AutoX event here in two weeks, though!

    So, to provide some form of content, I've decided to look back on my previous car. Hope this little segment conveys how much I loved that thing.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________________________________________
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________________________________________

    The first vehicular love of my life...I've learned so much from it. It was tiny, rattly, handsome, and lifted with over-sized tires, and introduced me to really fixing cars.



    The family van began breaking down frequently. I was stranded far too many times: the fuel pump failed at one point, the crankshaft and cams were wrecked at some point (not sure what happened), the starter died. I had enough, and needed something I could depend upon.

    Yet, my boyhood got in the way of the "dependability" part. I had the option between a Corolla and the Zook, and instead of picking the car that would probably still be running now, I snagged the box on oversized wheels.

    At the time, I thought I hit the jackpot. It was a boy's dream; fun, light, and could climb up rocks and whatnot. It ran, and it had the machismo jackpot: manual transmission. I didn't know how to drive stick beforehand, but that didn't matter. I'd learn.

    After perhaps a month and a half of puttering around neighborhoods and parking lots, killing the poor thing and grinding its gears, it clicked. The bucking and dumping stopped, and I could finally drive the thing without killing anyone or myself.

    I began to drive the thing in some of the off-roads around the city. I couldn't believe how easy it was for me to go over the various terrain!

    How ironic it was that the first debilitating break would occur in a pedestrian parking lot outside of the gym. The clutch-cable went out with a snap, and the car was stuck. Luckily, a family friend well-versed in car maintenance lent a hand, and we got the thing up and running again in no time. Really, it was the first time I was under the car, and it was nowhere near as busy as the other car I owned. Didn't seem so scary.

    I eventually became much more familiar with simple maintenance, such as changing oil, inspecting brakes, checking vacuum lines, so on and so forth. In fact, I had to adopt a habit of checking all the fluids once a week, since the car had a really bad rear-main oil seal leak coupled with what may have been a bad valve cover gasket. I didn't know then, but that more or less explains the black residue all around the engine.

    And then the boyhood antics came back. I heard of a fancy technique known as "heel-toe shifting", and looked up guides on how to do it. Several attempts of making myself look like an ass eventually came to fruition, as I finally got rev-matching and using the clutch to slow me down/put me back in the power band. I could totally race now, lmao...my car didn't seem to complain.

    Well, until it did.

    About the fourth or fifth year I owned it, it started sounding like an old carbureted muscle car. Overtime, it started losing more and more bottom end power. Instead of easing off the clutch around 1-1.5k rpms, I had to rev it even harder to around 2 or even 3k rpm while riding the clutch.
    I had an exhaust leak somewhere around the exhaust manifold, and I felt up to the task. And what a damn PITA that was trying to yank the exhaust mani off of the collector pipe...rust straight up welded it in. (I definitely learned from this...getting the exhaust out of my P5 was going to suck since it was rust-welded, so I just got a reciprocating saw and cut the fucker out.)

    And sure enough, that gasket was done for.



    I was very confident that this fixed the problem. I re-connected my sensors, bolted everything back on, fired 'er up...and damn! The problem was still there!

    I tried the PCV valve...no improvement. Fuel Pressure Regulator? No difference. My parents were starting to get impatient with me, since I had to end up either borrowing their cars or getting rides from them. What could I do? My car was now so weak that it would stall trying to leave its usual parking spot.

    "Fuckit man, it's gotta be the sparkplugs..." I guessed. I didn't know what to do, our family friend was out of town, and the heat was on. Well, I went ahead and pulled out the old sparkplugs, and...



    Oil on the threads and carbon deposits. My piston rings were presumed to be shot, and perhaps it was also the fuel system? Dunno, but when my dad saw the threads, it was game over. He said that there was no way I'd be rebuilding the engine or getting a new one.

    Like when I was stranded by the van, I was now stranded by the Suzuki, and my parents wanted me to get my own ass around town lol.

    I came across several cars that I was interested in. I saw an unmolested NB Miata, a really pretty Foxbody, and even a slick Nissan Sentra SE-R.

    Then, I came across the Protege5.

    I haven't the slightest what drew me to it. Maybe it was the yellow color, maybe it was the fascia design that hearkened back to the days when NFSU1 and U2 were new to me...I didn't know then, but perhaps it'll all be elucidated at a future date. Either way, I knew what I wanted, so I cheekily made a point to first show my father the rear-wheel drive cars first. "Son, you know I can't have you driving a sports car" he said, so then I said "Oh, right...well, how about this wagon I found?"

    Hot-diggity, it had 120k miles on it, a new paint job, and looked practical. He agreed, and I got permission to buy it.

    Supposedly, that thing had a cold-air intake on it at one point, but the then-owner elected to rip it out and replace it with the stock airbox (without the front air scoop, lmao). I told myself that it would work...I find a way to keep it longer than I kept my Zook, and perhaps I'll have a bit of fun with it too. I'll put mods on it, and, well, here we are to this very day.

    As for the Zook, it was sold to a guy who was very much into Sidekicks and Samurais. He had 4 Kicks and 2 Samurais at his own house, and was putting all the parts together into one super Suzuki, or something. He limped the car out of our place, and it left with the sunset. All those years of that rattly, boxy, boaty-gearshifting were now gone, and I had to fight back a tear lol.

    The day it was sold:



    Nothing is truly ours to keep; we more or less borrow our possessions for the duration of our existence or care. I'm glad its in his hands and not some one else's.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________________________________________
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________________________________________

    Hope I didn't bore you all with my little Sidekick story! I loved that thing man, and if I could, I would get another.
    Last edited by Riot_Polizei; 04-12-2018 at 03:35 AM.
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  12. #42
    Registered Member babyluv1's Avatar


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    Cool story bro (for real)! Lol! I hope you enjoy the p5 as much you enjoyed the zook. I also hope that you have fewer problems with it.
    As far as the tear thing...

    https://youtu.be/pAyKJAtDNCw

  13. #43
    Registered Member Riot_Polizei's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by babyluv1 View Post
    Cool story bro (for real)! Lol! I hope you enjoy the p5 as much you enjoyed the zook. I also hope that you have fewer problems with it.
    As far as the tear thing...

    https://youtu.be/pAyKJAtDNCw
    Thanks for taking the time to read my little story! I really do miss that little car some days...so many firsts, you know? Thankfully, the P5 was a more-than-suitable replacement, and continuously provides me a sense of satisfaction and fun. I'm much more knowledgeable of cars and mechanics, so this car will last me as long as I care about it.

    And that song was perfect, lol! Some people get hung up over their first break-up...I get hung up over selling ym first car :^)
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  14. #44
    Registered Member Riot_Polizei's Avatar

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    Inconsequential Messing Around

    Tomorrow, I will head over to the junkyard with a pal to rip out a spare intake manifold. I'll be removing the VTCS and I'll be cleaning/painting the IM's exterior. It'll be a practice in engine dress-up and metal restoration and cleaning! Shoutout to user MazdaSpeeder for cutting a deal with me on his FS9N MP3 ECU. Cannot wait to put that in my car and go to the dyno for some base readings for future testing.

    To get a little bit of practice in on restoring metal and painting it, I yanked off the engine hoist loop on the front of the engine. I hosed the thing down with soapy water, wiped it off, rinse and repeat. Then, I took a wire brush (coarse) and shaved the shit out of it until a lot of the deep rooted dirt and grime came off. With that complete, I proceeded to take out my dremel and dig into it a bit with my finer wire brush attachment. And finally, I got into it with a drum sander until it was all uniformly shiny.

    I didn't have any polish, so I just sprayed it with some high-temperature caliper paint. You know, for the massive 20 HP boost :^)

    I'm pleased with the results. Here's the little metal guy sitting in my engine bay (forgot to take before pictures):





    This gave me a little confidence boost towards cleaning, polishing, and painting my valve cover, intake manifold, and heat shield. Oooh, it'll look nice...
    Last edited by Riot_Polizei; 04-18-2018 at 12:44 AM.
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  15. #45
    Registered Member Riot_Polizei's Avatar

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    The MP3 "Tune" + Seats

    With interest in the VTCS removal modification, I went to the junkyard with a pal to remove a spare IM to play with. What a PITA!!

    At one point, I dropped my 12mm socket. No biggie, I thought...until I couldn't find it. I dropped the damn subframe on the car for a better view, and still couldn't find it. Then, I noticed a hole in the transmission, and saw my shiny little socket down inside of it. Damn.

    Thank god for pals and friends, since the other guy had his own socket set.

    After much pulling and wrenching and swearing, it came out! Now, to figure out how to put it on...


    While also there, I managed to snag two 2002 Impreza RS seats to put in my car.



    As you can see, they're incredibly dirty, but not ripped up or busted. It was a straight up dastardly steal getting these seats...the junkyard had a sale going on, and I had a gift car to the junkyard, so I ended up paying about 60 dollars for the seats and the IM.

    So, I went to test-fit the seats. I tried the passenger side first, since there's no cable to worry about. And, I don't know...the fitment just doesn't seem right. I ground out a bit of the front two mounts to make it fit while also bending them forward, and the seat went in crooked.

    Not bad from the side...


    Still not too bad...


    Obviously crooked from the rear


    The seat doesn't budge in an unsafe manner, but it really bothers me. I don't think 2002 RS seats fit in a P5 "with little modification" like I figured they would.

    And finally...the holy grail.

    I bought an MP3 Ecu from a fellow forum goer, and it just arrived!



    All that remains is to empty the tank, fill it up with 91 octane, and remove the VTCS on my pulled IM.

    Can't wait to feel the difference.

    EDIT
    "OH SHIT", An Addendum

    I looked at my IM again after cleaning it, and made an unfortunate discovery.

    The VICS is missing two butterflies! One is only held on by one screw. Oddly enough, its the same story for the VTCS; only two butterflies.





    Damn, I bought a dud! Guess I'll have to go return it and fish one out of another car...

    EDIT #2:

    I removed the Impreza seats. Their positions were awful and would probably give me back problems due to how poorly they supported my body.

    I think I'll opt for returning the brackets back to their original position, deep cleaning the seats, and peddling them off to someone on Facebook. I'm honest...I'll let them know what I tried to do.

    Whew-wee, quite a lot of setbacks today. Here's for a brighter tomorrow!
    Last edited by Riot_Polizei; 04-19-2018 at 11:24 PM.
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