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Thread: The College-Budget P5

  1. #661
    Comp Engineering Student Riot_Polizei's Avatar

    2002 Mazda Protege5

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    Quote Originally Posted by LankyKiwi View Post
    Woohoo! I think you've nailed bang-for-buck suspension mods here.

    How much swearing and finger contorting was needed to get the bigger bolts in?

    Best of luck with the exams, keep us posted with what happens on race day!
    Actually, dropping down the (very slightly) thicker grade-8 bolts was far easier than the last time! It fit the holes very nicely without scraping the threads, but it didn't jiggle around either. Just a perfect fit. With a washer on top and on bottom, the bolt and nut assembly barely gave me any problems. Plus, I've had lots of practice installing and removing this ghetto assembly, and have it down to a science now. My magnetic telescoping pick-up tool really came in handy!

    And thanks--I'll need lots of luck with my exams, and even more with the race.

    Quote Originally Posted by 323 View Post
    Hey good luck man. Springs and rear sway have always been my favorite mods on these cars.
    Thanks man; I can see why. Any chassis/suspension mod on this car does perhaps twice as much as any other car. With the lowering springs and my swaybar back in, let's just say that I beat my record on the twisty road nearby...
    More hood progress! I finally got to use the random orbital sander, and it probably saved us upwards of four or so hours of work. Here's what it looks like now:



    Almost stripped and clean. That clearcoat's incredibly thick and stubborn to remove, and some of the contours of the hood are hard to get with the sander, so there's a lot of work left to do. I learned that you can safely use acetone on fiberglass, so once I'm done with the carbon fiber part, I'll just chemically strip the rest of it. I'm also thinking about adding some extra wire mesh in the holes, since it feels empty without it.

    Here's a closeup, detailing the stubborn clearcoat and the exposed carbon fiber:

    Last edited by Riot_Polizei; 10-05-2019 at 10:52 PM.
    2002 Mazda Protege5
    ■ Sunburst Yellow ■ Black Rear Valence ■ Injen Cold Air Intake ■ Racing Beat Catback Exhaust ■ Moog Front Endlinks
    ■ Megan Racing Rear Strut Tower Bar ■ Racing Beat Rear Sway Bar ■ Mazda6 Front Big Brakes ■ Foglight Deletes
    ■ OBX 4-1 Headers ■ MP3 ECU ■ VTCS-less Intake Manifold ■ Mishimoto Aluminum Racing Radiator + Fan Shroud
    ■ AWR Trailing Arms ■ Eibach Lowering Springs


    ______________________________

  2. #662
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

    2002 mazda protege 5

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    How goes your refueling issue?

    It must be hard to race your car if you can't put any gas in the tank. lol
    The Diagram Dude

  3. #663
    Comp Engineering Student Riot_Polizei's Avatar

    2002 Mazda Protege5

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcb View Post
    How goes your refueling issue?

    It must be hard to race your car if you can't put any gas in the tank. lol
    Still a problem, but a problem I can get around. I can refuel the car slowy by holding the handle a quarter/halfway up. Doesn't get in the way of my racing, thankfully.
    On the topic of racing, so far this event has been swell. These springs greatly changed the P5's handling characteristics! I don't recall spinning any tires or understeering at all...as a matter of fact, I now have to contend with oversteer when going around corners! I can really cook it around curves and turns now.

    There were far too many times where my muscle memory kicked in and made me think I was about to understeer into a corner. This meant that I would often times let off the gas and allow the car's weight to shift forward, so that I can have a more neutral balance in my vehicle, and have some turn-in. This is no longer the case; rather than stabilizing the vehicle and causing more neutral steer, lifting off causes my car's rear to send out from underneath me. In other words, with balanced pedal and wheel inputs, I can actually conserve momentum around corners and hit the throttle earlier.

    Now it's just a matter of, for a lack of better words, finding the balls to reach the new limit of my car
    Last edited by Riot_Polizei; 10-06-2019 at 03:07 PM.
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  4. #664
    Comp Engineering Student Riot_Polizei's Avatar

    2002 Mazda Protege5

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    Inactivity Status Report

    Hi fellas,

    I don't think I'll have much to post in my build for a while. I have ideas here and there on what I'd like to do, but finding the time to do is difficult. For now, little things that aren't time-consuming, or projects that I can break up into several weekends, are what I want to focus on. Things like that hood, for instance.

    I decided to go ahead and start an Instagram account, but I don't know how often I'll be updating it. I mostly did it to keep up with the local car scene I'm a part of. Which reminds me...



    I decided to put the group's black banner on. Only, instead of on the windshield, it's above the windshield. What do you think?

    With that banner now on my car, I'm actually going with the crew to appear in a car show! I pray that people will look away from my couple rust spots, lol...
    Maintenance

    Yes, the car still can't fill up. I'm occasionally rooting around the EVAP system, poking and prodding at what could be the cause, but I haven't had time to lift up the car and perform a thorough inspection. I can get around the filling issue by holding the pump handle half-way.

    I believe some front-end suspension components are getting tired, and need a refresh. I get some clunks on occasion, and some various other noises. Nothing seems to be impacting ride and handling, but that's for all I know. It could be like my lateral links, where they were destitute, and I didn't know until I replaced them.

    When changing the springs, one of my rear brake pads fell out of my caliper. I picked it up and put it back in, but couldn't help but notice how low it was getting. Soon, I'm going to have to perform a brake job.

    The rear swaybar assembly is holding up nicely! I successfully added an extra layer of ghetto on top of my current ghetto set up: flare nut wrenches holding the bolts in. I found that by leaving flare nut wrenches slotted into the top bolts, it's far easier to tighten the assembly, and will serve as a tell-tale if the bolts begin to loosen. However, I do know that I need to re-grease my bushings already. God, like two days later, the damn bushings dried out! They don't completely close around the swaybar, so I probably have to hollow them out slightly.

    Rust is truly the greatest adversary of the Protege, and there are a couple of concerning spots along my car's body that'll become a real problem later on. They're all on the rear passenger-side quarter panel, too. I need to starting seeming my options in regards to stopping this and repairing it.

    Finally, I feel like I need to re-wrap my header. The old wrap around it is holding up, but it looks like it's falling apart in a few spots.
    Modifications?

    More and more, I find myself wanting a short throw shifter again. I'm used to this sportier clutch and the lightened flywheel, but I believe a STS would sweeten the deal. I might try what was suggested to me with my old and shitty OBX adjustable shifter; punch a hole through it and slide in a thin bolt/nut assembly to hold it in place. I'll try this first before venturing out to buy a new shifter.

    It probably won't do too much, but I'm thinking about wrapping the CAI piping in gold heat reflective tape. Found a pack of 5 roles for 18 bucks, so could be worthwhile. I'll try and get some measurements of temperatures before I perform this, though.

    When I do my brakes, I really want to replace the old, mushy brake lines with some braided steel ones. Out on the track, I've found my pedal lacking preciseness. It's gotten a bit mushy and hard to communicate with, so some brake lines should crisp up the lines.

    Mesh grilles are too freaking expensive for this platform, but I really want one...I'm coming up with some plans to take an old Protege grille, cut out the OEM plastic middle section, and put in some mesh wire, somehow. I could potentially build a mesh grille for around 40 or 50 bucks--half the price of the cheapest mesh grille on ebay.

    I've also come to realize that a lot of my car's blacked out. The tint's dark, the wheels are black, the rear valence is black, trim's black, I have a mini two-piece "splitter" that's black, black grilles and foglight deletes, etc...this makes the headlight bezels and the chrome-nose grille stand out awkwardly. I would love to paint the headlight bezels, and black out the chrome on the grille again.

    All this is keeping with the theme of "College-Budget". I'm trying to keep costs down, and want to see just how much I can do on the cheap! I've been quite lucky and fortunate with most things, I believe.
    Closing Remarks

    That's it for now. I've finally reached a period of stability! There hasn't been any sudden breakages, no parts have blown out on me, nothing...I've been able to breathe, and look at this thing as a modifying platform again. I'm still keeping an eye and ear on this thing, though.

    The last racing event really taught me a lot about my own driving ability. Sometime along the line, I stopped listening to my car's weight shifting, and have grown too heavy on the gas pedal. The car's potential probably tripled after putting the swaybar back in and after lowering it, but I need to change right along with it.

    I'm also confident that I'll need to buy some RE-71Rs to survive if I compete next season.

    I've also been saving up some cash on the side to get my car dyno'd. I really want to know how much it actually weighs, and how much power it actually puts out. It'll give me a proper idea of what to think about when it comes to modifying it. If my car's truly at 2716-2749LB curb weight, bringing it up to 165 HP N/A would bring me to the top of my class, power/weight ratio-wise. Might be far too costly and difficult to do N/A though.

    I've also come to one realization...say, when I graduate, and this internship becomes a salaried engineering job, this build thread will no longer be a "College Budget"-oriented one. What'll I name it then? :^)

    That's it for now, see you guys around

    Last edited by Riot_Polizei; 10-15-2019 at 11:01 PM.
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  5. #665
    Registered Member

    2001 Mazda SP20 323

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    That's a decent update!

    I'm digging the banner placement, fits nicely there. Might need some of these for the rust spots lol

    Front swaybar bushes and the strut tophats tend to clunk when worn, it's a good chance to upgrade those front bushes too :P

    What kind of grease are you using on the rear? White lithium spray seems to work for me, and lasts a while too

    Have you thought of trying a shifter extension? sounds weird but they do work really well, there's less distance for the hand to travel, and the extra throw is easy to get used to after a while, plus they're cheap as chips

    Black headlights look great! and will look even better with the carbon bonnet too. It's a 1 day project if you've got all the gear and get started early. I feel you on the grille situation, there's not much out there for these cars at all.

    'College Budget' doesn't necessarily mean you have to be at college your car is a great example of how easy these things are to modify for not too much cash, keep it up!

    Lastly, what flavour engineer are you? Mech, electrical, civil?

  6. #666
    Comp Engineering Student Riot_Polizei's Avatar

    2002 Mazda Protege5

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    Quote Originally Posted by LankyKiwi View Post
    That's a decent update!

    I'm digging the banner placement, fits nicely there. Might need some of these for the rust spots lol

    Front swaybar bushes and the strut tophats tend to clunk when worn, it's a good chance to upgrade those front bushes too :P

    What kind of grease are you using on the rear? White lithium spray seems to work for me, and lasts a while too

    Have you thought of trying a shifter extension? sounds weird but they do work really well, there's less distance for the hand to travel, and the extra throw is easy to get used to after a while, plus they're cheap as chips

    Black headlights look great! and will look even better with the carbon bonnet too. It's a 1 day project if you've got all the gear and get started early. I feel you on the grille situation, there's not much out there for these cars at all.

    'College Budget' doesn't necessarily mean you have to be at college your car is a great example of how easy these things are to modify for not too much cash, keep it up!

    Lastly, what flavour engineer are you? Mech, electrical, civil?
    Thanks, but lol this car has enough stickers as is :^) Maybe I'll put it in the interior...

    I probably should've investigated those when I took out my struts...well, I can always blast em' with some WD-40 to temporarily stop the squeaking, or so I've been told.

    I'm also using white lithium grease, but not the spray kind. I have both, and should probably try the spray kind to see if I get some uniform distribution.

    And nah, a shifter extension's a little much with how long the trow currently is. Even without one, I can still reach down and shift quickly enough with the lightweight flywheel, thankfully! If I ever turn this thing into a dedicated race car, then I'll have to consider a shifter extension again.

    I guess by "College-Budget", I mean that I want to keep things as inexpensive as possible if I can help it. The older I get and the more I work on this car, the more I realize that I hate spending money lmao! If I can find cheaper solutions for this modding bug we all got bit by, I'd love to share. With major strokes of luck like the free CF hood, springs, CAI...it's hard to give advice about those cheap acquisitions!

    Finally, I'm a computer engineer. Although, with the way this internship's been going, I'm a software developer that knows a little about circuits lol
    Racing Season Results
    Despite missing three events due to transmission troubles, I finished 9th overall. Really shows you how spotty attendance in my class is, lol.
    State of the Union
    It's freezing cold outside, and I got my re-occurring P0140 (O2 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected, Bank 1 Sensor 2) CEL again. I bought a replacement downstream O2 sensor, so once the bad weather melts away, I'll drop it in.

    Modding is slow going. I've been hit by a wall of midterms and lab reports, so naturally, they went the wayside. However, I did get a shipment of parts and stuff:



    Some (incredibly tiny) rolls of heat reflective tape, 7 sets of 10 5" discs for my random orbital sander that were pretty cheap, black header wrap with steel ties, and a new pod filter for my CAI. After today, I have some downtime, so I may be able to get some progress done. I have a spare headlight that I can experiment on with the random orbital sander and some polish, so I got that going for me!

    I'll have to see about getting some work done on that hood.
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  7. #667
    Registered Member

    Mazda Protege5

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcb View Post
    It looks like the lateral links are held with nuts and bolts and the trailing links are held with weld-nuts.

    What's the torque specs on the trailing links? I also ordered them and should be tackling them some time next week.

    Also, @Riot

    The car is coming along very nicely!
    2002 Mazda Protege5 Pure White

    MP3 Flashed ECU | Mishimoto Radiator/Shroud | MS Door Sills & Shift Knob | OBX Short Shifter with CorkSport Bushings | Goodridge SS Brake Lines | CorkSport 3rd Link Mod | MPV Wiper Stalk & Tribute Nozzles | S2K Antenna | Cabin Air Filter Mod | AWR Front Motor Mount 77 Duro | 205/55R16 Kumho Ecsta 4XII on 03 P5 Wheels

  8. #668
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

    2002 mazda protege 5

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    Quote Originally Posted by stormkyori View Post
    What's the torque specs on the trailing links? I also ordered them and should be tackling them some time next week.
    63-93 ft/lbs for the one bolt and 46-77 ft/lbs. for the other.

    Aim for the middle.



    I remember Newton Meters from physics class but I find ft/lbs. more tangible.

    Pushing on a handle one foot from the bolt with 50 pounds of pressure is easier to guesstimate.

    This...




    Newton was a little off when he was cracked in the head with the apple.
    He figured he'd keep the math easy and apply ten "Newton's" per KG.

    But it turns out to be 9.81.

    I like the metric system.
    It's all based on 10's.

    You just move the decimal place around without needing a slide rule. Lol

    And.
    If you're ever stranded on an island and you have an exact measurement of 10 cm, you can make a measurement system by creating a 10X10X10 cm cube, filling it with potable water at room temperature and you've got exactly 1 liter and 1 KG.
    Last edited by pcb; 10-26-2019 at 06:11 PM.
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  9. #669
    Comp Engineering Student Riot_Polizei's Avatar

    2002 Mazda Protege5

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    Quote Originally Posted by stormkyori View Post
    Also, @Riot

    The car is coming along very nicely!
    Thanks! Slowly but surely, it's going somewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by pcb View Post
    I like the metric system.
    It's all based on 10's.

    You just move the decimal place around without needing a slide rule. Lol
    Jeez, slide rules, huh? You know, I've only ever seen two and used one in my lifetime, but not because I had to. A while ago, a family friend, long retired from a life-long endeavor in science and engineering, offered to help me with some math classes. Dude's wicked smart...after all, you have to be in order to get your PHD in a science field. We got on the topic of computers, and he mentioned his old slide rule set. Sure enough, we walked to his office, and he grabbed one of the gun holster-looking things from a drawer. He popped it open to reveal two slide rules tucked inside, and demonstrated their operation to me. I gave it a try, but I couldn't tell you how to use one now, lol!

    When I was in elementary school, we were far beyond the days of the slide rule.
    You know, now that I'm on Instagram, I've since learned that some people out there photographed my car already. I can most likely jazz up my posts here with some more glam shots! In times of slow progress like these, I can just upload some of those for you fine fellas.
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  10. #670
    Registered Member STudMUffin1177's Avatar

    Mazda protege5

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    Damn man been putting some work in on the car, I love the attention to detail in your build. You give us updates on all the clunks and funny sound, really paints a picture of your progress. I'm talking to the guy on offer up for his CF hood, I might need some tips on resurfacing the clearcoat. I'm honestly sorry for your misfortune with your fuel system, filling that way sucks. I had a '76 dodge b200 caravan with a 32 gallon tank, it had a bent filler hose hardline. We had to hold the handle at half pull and kick it up to 3 o'clock, took forever

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