My WTF am I doing Build/Maintenance Thread

Discussion in 'Mazdaspeed 3 Build Diaries' started by jdr767, May 3, 2021.

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  1. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    While I've kept track of everything I've done and usually took pictures but I never catalogued or documented it anywhere. And here almost 10 years of ownership I might as well compile everything here as I am finally to a point where I'm able to do the "fun stuff". I'm no mechanic, I work on computers BUT I have always enjoyed taking things apart and putting them back together. After getting charged out the ass for a simple repair (done wrong) on another vehicle I decided I would do all my own work if at all possible.

    History-
    Needed a car and after having shit luck with used I went for a new car. Not having a large budget and knowing my heavy foot I went in search of and affordable vehicle I wouldn't kill by making it do what I wanted to. At the Time the speed was pretty much it. Found a hell of a deal on a 2012 non-tech in Liquid silver with 23 miles on the odometer. Was priced way below MSRP because of "light hail damage". I couldn't tell at the dealership and its not noticeable unless you are really looking for it. This was November of 2011.

    First night of ownership
    [​IMG]

    Things were pretty much stock for the next few years - after rent and car payment there wasn't much wiggle room to do anything to it.

    ...continued later...
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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  2. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    Fast forward a few years. No changes to car. New tires as needed, oil changes, wiper blades etc. Moron dings in the parking lot and my binging the curb a number of times.


    June of 2016 was raining horribly here in Dallas. Took an exit of 35E in the medical district. Hidden in a puddle was a massive pothole. Hit that fucker dead on at 60mph. Destroyed the driver's side suspension, tore all the holes in the bumper to attach the splash guard. Ordered and replaced stock shocks and struts with CS adjustable, replaced tie rod ends and lower control arm with Rockauto specials. At this time I was either living in a shitty ghetto apartment in North Dallas - no real place to work on the car so I had a garage do it. They crushed the underside of frame(?) - just forward of where the floor jack goes.

    Between June 2016 and November 2018
    By now I had moved into much nicer apartment in the Farmer's Market district with a large open garage roof where I could work relatively un-impeded.

    Replaced the front rotors with StopTech slotted and drilled z23.
    [​IMG]
    Upgraded all 3 motor mounts with JBR 80DMM mounts. My TMM up and exploded everywhere
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Paid the car off in August of 2018.

    Around this time my stock clutch decided it was time to die. Still not having a truly free space to leave my car in pieces I had my buddy flat bed my car to his shop and he replaced the clutch there with another Rockauto Luk special (I still make shit money).

    ....more to come, almost to present day.
     
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  3. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    ...and I continue.

    Weird random things with transmission related items that should have been a warning but - I work too hard for too little money still. Slave cylinder took a shit on me, so I ordered a new one and replaced it. About a month after that the hard line clutch pipe nipple broke and wouldn't stay in the slave anymore, so I ordered a new one and replaced it along with a new master cylinder.

    November 2018
    I had been experiencing the 2nd gear pop-out when under heavy load (There is a trend here) and ignored it to the point I didn't even bother with 2nd gear anymore, who needs 2nd gear, not me! Then one day leaving work the damn thing didn't want to get into 1st, no biggie, synchro is losing it but a clutch in out and a lil stick wiggle always fixed it before. But not that day. I snapped the swing arm on the transmission pivot shaft, how many can say they've managed to do that before?

    [​IMG]

    I had a contractor on site weld the thing back together to get home and believe it or not it worked. For one trip, which was all I needed it for really.

    Do you know how much they want a pivot shaft, new? Something like $450 for the entire assembly, I couldn't find just the swing arm on top for sale and no real way of getting from A to B at that time. So I bought a whole 70K mi transmission off Ebay for $500.

    By this time I had purchased a home with a garage - this opened new opportunities for me. Sealed the floor, bought a compressor and a dugga dugga gun. Now I can really break shit!

    Pulled the clutch assembly from the engine and found out where the problem was.

    [​IMG]

    The inner race of the fly wheel broke in a half-moon and lodged itself preventing movement. The actual clutch plate still looks brand new.

    [​IMG]

    Put my old transmission up on my work bench and cracked her open. Once I got all the shafts removed it became apparent that I didn't have the tools (shop press) or knowledge to get it done in a timely fashion.

    [​IMG]
    (Do you see what I see?)

    Ordered brass shift pads thinking the plastic oem ones were part of my problem. Ordered an ACT 6 Puk w/Streetlite flywheel this time around. The Luk kits just weren't cutting it.

    [​IMG]

    Fast forward a month or 2 and BOOM car is drivable again! Yes that long because I dicked around with my old transmission for too long and it was January/February and balls cold even in the garage with a floor heater.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
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  4. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    Did a valve cleaning finally due to misfires and CELs (P0300), shortly after. Yea it was nasty, according to my records I was at 85K miles.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Broke the nipples on the stock TIP, ya know that shitty one with the tiny rubber hose. Perfect excuse to buy a new one!

    [​IMG]

    I didn't do too much with the car...apart from getting hit by uninsured drivers.

    Twice.

    Buy a dash cam folks - just fucking do it.
     
  5. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    Not a hit but you'll see (Sorry shitty camera with shitty sound and picture)

    Surprise motherfuckers, I don't need no undercarriage!


    Dumb Bitch #1 (Better video but no audio...for err...legal reasons.)
    ...You know looking back at these videos its really easy for me to say "Well no shit I shoulda seen that" or "I coulda avoided all of that"...and for sure this one I knew what she wanted to do (turn left from the far right lane on a 3 lane one way road). But its like she waited until I was. right. there.
    And did you notice the guy who walked up to the car right after? Yea cops didn't care either - they wouldn't come out. Her insurance card ended up being fake.




    Dumb Bitch #2
    This happened not too long ago - probably saw me bitching about it on here. Happened Dec 8, 2020 and wasn't finalized/fixed until Feb 24th. Guess who had an invalid/fake insurance card? Their policy was canceled/invalid before the accident but Progressive wouldn't share any info with me other then that.

    Again I look at this now and think "I coulda stopped harder, dodged harder". But I didn't. I think between the sun at that perfect level and me checking that the 'vette didn't creep out any farther in the intersection by the time I saw her it was too late to do much else.
    And yes I listen to boring AM radio in the mornings, get of my damn lawn.




    ***BONUS***
    I have a golf ball sized dent dead center of my roof between the driver's and passenger seats up front. Here's how. Yes I might have shit my pants, I thought someone took a shot at me at first. This dashcam was picking up some weird ass interference as well. And yes more boring news radio.




    ....more car upgrades/updates next post
     
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  6. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    I don't think I've missed much to note that has been done up to this point.

    Was having some major vibrations in the cabin - to the point AM radio voices actually jittered. So I replaced both lower control arms, tie rod ends and any bushings on the front suspension. Eliminated most vibrations and creaks.

    Upgraded HPFP internals, upgraded rear brake rotors to match the fronts, bought an AP, used shitty OTS map until now.

    Current project -
    [​IMG](CL loves my floors)

    New coil overs
    - ISC N1 - With 65K+ on the current setup and starting to give I think - nothing leaking or busted that I can tell but...why not? Not looking for slammed or "stance nation" but something with some control. Got a deal - we'll see how they work for me.
    New FSB - CorkSport - I was pretty sure this was one of my remaining issues up front with creaking/vibrations. I assumed the bushings were worn or damaged but didn't notice anything obvious when I removed the stockers.
    New front axles - Rock Auto OEM - nothing special but the passenger is original and while the driver's side was replaced when I swapped transmissions it never quite sat right with me. Oh and the smell. The installed driver's axle smells like I'm smuggling a large quantity of the sticky green in my car. When I had it delivered to my office and I opened the box my boss made me take it outside before people started asking questions. On hot days you can smell it standing next to my car.

    [​IMG]
    CPE - QkSpl catted downpipe - I coulda gone catless, I'll probably wish I went catless later on but I figured the motorcycle is loud enough to wake the dead, I'll keep the car more manageable.

    This was a last minute decision. I had lowered the subframe for the FSB install and was staring at the stocker right in my face. I wanted to upgrade it and figured I didn't want to run through all the steps again later on so why the hell not now?


    Stocker was a PITA to get out between the fucked up bolt locations and the excess heat shields on the pipe.
    [​IMG]

    The CPE went in in about 2 minutes and was bolted up in another 5. Pretty sure I got everything tight enough...the new pipe provided a lot more clearance to access the bolts than the stocker EXCEPT for the lower left - wasn't enough room for more than an open ended wrench.

    [​IMG]

    Also the insulated blanket had been torn and was hanging down. I ended up just tearing the front portion out with plans to replace as soon as I find one.

    And that's pretty much where I sit at the moment. Last week was too busy I was not feeling like working on the car. Sunday I got the stuck outer tie rod end from the driver's side out. I need to remove the wheel hub from the strut on both sides, pull the existing axles and fit the new ones in. From there remove the struts from the car and see about getting the new ones in.

    New territory to me at that point, so that will be fun. Maybe. Probably not.
     
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  7. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    Only a little bit tonight, I be tired. Struts off but I'm probably gonna have to put the passenger side back on - the wheel hub is stuck. Figured I could lay it out and bang on it better than in the wheel well....nope. The assembly is spread pretty good so its just kinda siezed up - have some PB blaster/WD-40 soaking through tonight see if its looser in the morning.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2021
  8. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    Started drilling out the top plates for the front struts to the adjustments are available when mounted. I need a better hole saw. I picked up a bi metal from HD but after 30 minutes its not going well. I'll see if there's a better option in the 3andwhatever" required.

    The end of this is near.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
     
    jdr767, via a mobile device, May 18, 2021
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  9. Easter Bunny

    Easter Bunny Professional Engineer Platinum Member

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    Cutting oil helps
     
    Easter Bunny, via a mobile device, May 18, 2021
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  10. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    Didn't think of that, I'll pick some up today.
     
  11. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    You're damn straight it does. Same blade, same drill with a little oil on the surface I cut out both sides and had them filed off in about 10 minutes.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Easter Bunny

    Easter Bunny Professional Engineer Platinum Member

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    I was shocked the first time I used it too I have no idea what the mechanics of it are but you need it when your drilling metal. In a pinch I have had motor oil make a difference too
     
    Easter Bunny, via a mobile device, May 19, 2021
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  13. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    Yea I read up on it some last night and motor was listed as an alternative. It makes sense when I think about it but not enough to be able to explain - but thanks for the tip! I think...now I have to do more on it tonight, lol/
     
  14. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    2 coats of clear coat where I cut out the top plates. Pulled both axles, installed the front struts. Re-attached subframe mostly and rear motor mount but not tightened yet.

    [​IMG]
    Ignore my tape there...I was troubleshooting some rattles and never removed.

    [​IMG]

    Need to finish re-attaching the subframe and associated parts removed to access DP and FSB.
    Need to pre-load the front springs then re-attach the wheel hubs, end links, seat it back on the control arm.
    Need to install new axles and tighten everything to spec and the front should be done. Then on to the rear suspension. Which should be fun as I've never done anything back there before apart from brake pads and rotors.
     
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  15. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    Having a hell of a time getting the new axles to go past the snap ring. I remember it being sucky last time but this is going on a couple hours now with no real gains. I don't think I can hold everything level and still get solid whacks with my mallet at the same time.

    Gonna have someone hold my shaft while I beat on it...

    Pretty much what I'm lacking. The hub assemblies are on the struts, waiting on the axles to work past their issues and the front is pretty much done. Interested to see what happens with the ride height when I lower it down - no real calculations when into yet yet past the generic preload adjustments based of spring weight. Figure I'll see what it looks like, check tolerances and kinda go from there.
     
  16. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    Alright - had the girlfriend hold my shaft level while I beat on the nut - slid right in :risas3:

    Now I'm about at the point of re-attaching the rotors and calipers but I noticed the new struts aren't seated all the way down in the hub assembly - there is gap on both sides and the spring lengths are the same.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Should I save myself trouble, remove the hub and endlink from the strut and twist up the bottom of the strut to fully seat it in the slot?
     
  17. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    I might also just be an idiot - considering the retaining/alignment wedge on the back of the strut is only going to allow the piece that is grabbed to only go so far into the assembly anyways and is independent of the threaded interior piece.
     
  18. Easter Bunny

    Easter Bunny Professional Engineer Platinum Member

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    You need to have them inserted all the way to the tab on the topside
     
    Easter Bunny, via a mobile device, May 22, 2021
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  19. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    Looking at it again the strut is in the assembly as far as the alignment tab will let it - hooked right over the pinch bolt, not gonna go any farther than it is - so that's good.

    Did an oil change while it was up and everything else is back on and tightened to spec.

    Flashed my new tune and started it up just fine and let it idle on for about 10 minutes - the easy part should be done.

    I'm going to have to read more on the suspension what I should be looking for. I started to lower one side but at the current setting I won't be able to get my low pro lift out from under the car. Gonna try and raise/lower from a more frontward location.
     
  20. jdr767

    jdr767 Platinum Member

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    Ok definitely rookie mistakes were made. But as I fell asleep last night I started of thinking of what was so wrong.

    I measured the stock strut length from top plate to lock/alignment wedge = something like 18"
    The length I had set was much much shorter - which is an obvious duh.

    Removed everything from the front and extended the total length of new struts from top plate to lock/alignment pin to 16". Still too short so I will extend it one more time to at least 18" and see how it looks. But I need a break first. Doesn't take me any time at all right now to remove the wheel, caliper, tie-rod and end links. Even the control arm pins are cooperating with me and sliding right in/out.
     
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