Carskick's Build

Discussion in 'Mazdaspeed 3 Build Diaries' started by Carskick, May 13, 2019.

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  1. Carskick

    Carskick Greenie N00B Member

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    Hello!

    So I've been on MSF for years, and although I've perused Mazdaspeeds.org, I've never joined. But I've now fixed that and thought I'd introduce myself in the form of a build thread. I've had a great journey with my car, and I hope to help others by sharing my experience with my build.

    Right now, I'm at a great spot, because the car is working perfectly. How often can Mazdaspeed owner's say that? The one exception is my AC compressor is sticking when it gets too hot, but a new compressor is going in on Wednesday. But performance-wise, and in every other aspect, it's all working perfectly! In fact, I'm trying to coordinate getting it on the Sebring Club circuit this June with the SCCA event. But anyways, on to the nitty-gritty:

    Current vDyno results on E33 (JBR 3" intake, Speed Daddy TP, ETS TMIC, AT HPFP, Justin Basil Freektune)
    Carskick - e33 Vdyno.PNG

    Goal:

    Daily Driver, Minivan, & Race Car in one package

    History:
    2009 - New Car!:
    Bought car new with 150 miles on it. Wanted it fresh off the boat, but they were discounting the last of the gen 1's, as gen 2's had just come out. Didn't like the Gen 2 (no offense intended), so I bought one of the last Gen 1's made! Installed custom stereo almost immediately.

    2016 - Still Stock...:
    After about 8 years and 60k miles, the car was in perfect stock condition, with the stereo being the only mod. "The car is plenty fast and handles well, so why change anything?", I thought. But I began to have an issue with hesitation in the mid-RPM range. After my 60k full maintenance didn't fix it, the dealer replaced the EGR to fix the issue, which it didn't. At this point, I was fed up. I thought about buying a new car, but instead, began doing my own research, as they just wanted me to throw money at their guess work. I discovered that a loose TIP was most likely the cause, but instead of fixing it, I decided to mod instead. I began researching and getting a game plan together. I decided that it'd be better and more cost effective to repair and upgrade my MS3 instead of buying another new car or buying someone else's problems.

    2017 - Beginning to Mod:
    The very first mods I did were the RMM, HPFP, and Accessport. I wanted to track my stats, hold my engine in place, and have fueling in place and ready to go. With the AP, I indeed verified the slight TIP intake leak was causing the car to run a little leaner than expected, but not horribly. Not enough to even throw a CEL, but enough to feel hesitation in the mid range, which I assume was the ECU compensating. Also upgraded the brakes to EBC Red & Stoptech slotted along with DOT4. Once everything was in and verified as good, I decided to pull the trigger and go phase 1 FBO, Stage 1, or whatever you want to call it. But it consisted of the JBR 3" SRI, Speed Daddy Test Pipe, ETS TMIC, and a Justin Basil Freektune.

    2017 - The mod bug has got me!:
    After getting all the kinks worked out, it was a whole new world. Adding 80HP to the wheels was incredible! It was night and day and breathed new life into the car. Plus, the mid-range hesitation was gone! As I slowly worked through the tuning process (We had a child end of 2016, so tuning wasn't the priority), we got the 93 tune dialed in before switching to an E33 tune. Then it progressed from their. Clutch started to slip at torque peak, which I wanted to fix before completing the tunes, so I replaced that with the Southbend S2 Endurance kit, along with one of more worn CV axles. Turns out the clutch had some life left, but the rear seal was leaking oil into the clutch, causing slip and oil loss. The new clutch was holding strong! The extra power & new clutch then lead into new wheels/tires. To this point, I had kept the stock wheels and tire size. I'm not one to buy wheels for looks along, and stock was fine for me. But I wanted wider to get more grip. Since price, weight, and quality were the priorities, RPF1 seemed like the go to. But everyone has them, and I like 5 spoke configurations better, so I went PF01 18x8.5 +48. I considered 17s, but decided against. I wrapped them in Continental ExtremeContact Sports in 245/40/18, which I love! They've lasted quite well, too. A bit of rolling in the rear was required, but I finally got that dialed in and eliminated all rub. Now I was now at a good stopping point... or was i?

    2018 - Take it easy, then suspension time:
    So after all the thousands in drive-train, brake, and wheel mods, the suspension reminded me that MS3 shocks don't last forever. After almost a year of not spending much on my car, we were trying to sell our house and buy a different one, and I realized my shocks were starting to go. At this point, I had about 85k miles on the car and still all OEM down there. I considered a Koni Yellow lowering kit, but was concerned about being too lower for drivability & rubbing purposes. So I decided to go with Koni STR.T (Oranges). They got me by, but it was a mistake. After all the cost involved of putting them in, they felt soft and underwhelming in my setup. Plus, my sway bar bushings were starting to make noise, and my upper shock mounts looked like poop. I decided to go all out....

    2018 to 2019 - Suspension time part 2 :
    After moving and getting settled, I was ready to go all out on suspension, I did most of my ordering on Black Friday to get the best deals. I decided to replace just about everything, including Bilstein B16 Coilovers, JBR Front & Rear Bars, Whiteline Bushings and ALK all around, Bump steer correction, Rear Camber Arms, new top hats, and Side Motor Mounts. Everything was ready to go, but Coil-overs were on Backorder. After waiting 3 months, they just delayed another 3, so I switched to KWv2. By the end of March 2019, they were here. Everything went on fine, except mounting points on KWv2 meant I had to have Whiteline send different sized Adjustable End Links than what they included in their kit. After a few weeks of having it all installed, then a followup for adjustment, everything was dialed in. We also added in the Corksport Lower Tie bar to tie the front end together better.

    Now:
    I've had everything in and working perfectly for an entire month. Had to re-rotate tires to prevent radial pull after changing everything around, but now it tracks perfectly straight, even under heavy throttle. Wednesday is the AC Compressor, so that'll stop cutting out. But the MS3 has never run so well!

    The Damond side mounts were intense at first, but they broke in pretty quickly. Now with a month and about 750 miles on them, it barely seems different than just the RMM as far as NVH is concerned. But man, is the engine stable! Made shifts better, too, especially first gear when starting, which would fight me once in a while.

    Going Forward
    So what are mine plans for the future? Well, of course, there's maintenance. With all new suspension, clutch, etc., I'm hoping for not too much. That is, unless something randomly take a dump (water/power steeting pump, turbo, ZZB, etc) But I've committed that regardless of the failure, I'll be keeping it going.

    Other plans include possible aesthetic changes/improvements. As my OEM paint wears, I may eventually get it redone stock red, or a slightly redder red. If a rear diffuser ever comes along that actually improves high speed rear stability, I'd entertain that. Otherwise, I'm not planning on going with any body kits or craziness.

    FAQ:
    What about Big Turbo?:

    I'd love a bigger turbo. But I've decided to wait until ZZB or if I build before ZZB. Depending on Budget, I'd either go BNR S3/4 or GTX2867R. I'll also likely go with an upgraded exhaust manifold & full downpipe at that time, too. If I build the engine, I'll likely get a long block from one of the builders, something mid-range.

    Have you done your VVT yet?:
    No. I've checked it myself and professionally multiple times. There is always little to no slack, and only a slight split second startup noise. I've been meticulous with oil changes, so I wonder if that has kept the system going longer than it would have otherwise. I tried to get the dealer to get it covered under the FSB, but they refused since it wasn't showing any symptoms. I tried to get them to do it when I began to have a little startup noise, but I was just past their coverage parameters. In hindsight, I should have fought harder back when it was under coverage. At this point, I'll keep an eye on it and replace the VVT/timing chain system if and when it's needed. Otherwise, it'll come with a long block if/when I build.

    Who does your work?:
    Though I'd love to do a lot of it myself, I don't for a few reasons.
    1. It's my Daily Driver, so I need work done fairly quickly unless I plan around it.
    2. I don't have a lift, and I hate working under a car on jack stands
    3. With my luck, I'll break parts while I'm working on it.
    4. I'm more comfortable with a trustworthy "professional", as long as they stand behind their work
    So I have a local engine/maintenance guy, a transmission guy, a wheel suspension guy, and now an AC guy. They've done 95% of the work on my car. I built my custom trunk floor for my sub/amp, and I do some minor maintenance myself

    Wheel fitment:
    Both on stock and aftermarket suspension, my Enkei PF01 18x8.5 +48 wrapped in 245/40/18 tires have no fitment issues. The rear did require a roll, and then a touch-up roll and pull. This along with the stiffer suspension now means they never rub.

    Suspension Settings & balance:
    The current 'final' settings have the KW dampers at setting 15 out of 20. 10 was too soft, causing it to be a bit bouncy. The JBR .125 FSB is set to the softer setting, and the JBR .125 RSB is set to full stiff. I originally had the rear on medium, but it under-steered too easily, especially at low speeds. With it full stiff in the rear, It's much more balanced at low speeds and I get a little push out from the rear in turns at speed. Haven't tracked it yet, but it sure feels ready to go! The ride is stiff, but more comfortable than I expected. Only con is that it is a bit bouncy on rough roads, but I think that's just due to what it is.

    As I do more to the car, I'll post here. Feel free to provide input or feedback. Thanks for reading!
     
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  2. gotovato

    gotovato Silver Member

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    Welcome! this is a great place to hangout, read, and ask questions. looks like you're on the right path for building a quick little track/street car. not sure if you've looked into it, but if you're going to auto cross/track your car consider some camber plates, theyll make a night and day difference!

    also, consider some brake upgrades before getting on track. Pads and fluid go a long way.
     
  3. Carskick

    Carskick Greenie N00B Member

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    Thank you for the warm welcome and it's great to meet you!

    I have the rear camber adjustments, but not fronts. At least not yet. I think I'm running -1.1 camber up front with the current setup, which I thought was about where I wanted to be anyways. I assume the benefit of camber plates would be more camber? This was one of the main reasons I did FSB as well, despite some saying not too, keeps the front from changing camber as much in a turn. I'll research more on this, but if you have any recommendations on this, please let me know!

    As far as brakes, yup they're done. That was kind of snuck into the wall of text as one of my early upgrades. I have the EBC RedStuff pads, Stoptech slotted rotors, and Castrol DOT 4. I will need to check my pads before track day. I've had them on the car for a couple years, but I've not been real hard on them. They feel great, though.
     
  4. gotovato

    gotovato Silver Member

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    oh ok so youve done a brake upgrade! thats good. As for camber, camber plates allow you to dial in more. for example, i was around the 1.5* mark with no camber plates. now im at 3.2* which is probably too aggressive for daily driving but on track, and for cornering, it made a huge difference. ideally you want more camber for better grip into, through, and out of a corner. since you daily your car i wouldnt suggest going to 3+ degrees of camber, but 2* or so would probably be noticeable. i personally noticed a huge difference from such a simple mod.
     
  5. Carskick

    Carskick Greenie N00B Member

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    Thank you for the great info!

    On the street, I love how it handles as it is. Once I get it out on a track day, I'll see how it feels and if it needs any tweaks. From what I understand, more negative camber up front could make it turn harder, reducing understeer, but at the expense of stability, tire wear, and straight line performance.
     
  6. gotovato

    gotovato Silver Member

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    you got it! tire wear and straight line stability will be compromised but its well worth it for the turns. sounds like youve got your setup figured out for now!
     
  7. Carskick

    Carskick Greenie N00B Member

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    Perfect, Thanks.

    Since it's mostly DD, I'll probably leave them off. If I start doing more track days, things may change. A lot of things. ;)

    But for now, stability is important. I haul my 2 1/2 year old around in this car daily.
     
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