Saving a 2008 Mazdaspeed 3

Discussion in 'Mazdaspeed 3 Build Diaries' started by Shadowplane676, Feb 21, 2020.

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  1. Shadowplane676

    Shadowplane676 Greenie Member

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    It all started on a dark, damp and dreary evening.... no, seriously, it did. Almost a year ago, one damp Friday evening, my wife was perusing Facebook and came across a posting from a friend of a friend of a friend. She looked at me and asked "is a Mazdaspeed 3 something we would be interested in?". I replied that if it truly was a Speed 3, yes, most definitely. It turns out this person had posed on Facebook asking what cars fetched for scrap these days. One commenters had asked what vehicles they were going to scrap, and of the three, one was listed as a 2008 Mazdaspeed 3.

    I asked my wife to message the poster and confirm if it was indeed a Mazdaspeed 3 and if so, what they might want for it. The poster responded with a confirmation that it was a Speed 3 and included the VIN which checked out. The back story was that her husband had driven the car for a while until hitting a bad pothole and/or had other issues with the car before they parked it over a year ago. As they were racking up the vehicular lawn ornaments, they were looking to clean up the vehicles they no longer used/needed. Knowing that the Speed probably needed some work, we still inquired at what price they might part with the vehicle for. The seller said that she would have to check with her husband when he got home for what they would sell the vehicle for. At this time I figured that the price would go up given the interest we had shown in it so eagerly.

    A few hours later, we got a reply from the seller with a VERY reasonable, nay, impossible to pass on price. Our response was that we would be by in the morning to procure the car (as it was late in the evening at this point). What followed was a few hurried phone calls to my Father In Law to secure a suitable tow vehicle and trailer for the morning. Fortunately my FIL is also a gearhead and his response was an enthusiastic "When are we leaving?".

    Thus the road trip began the following morning bright and early (all be it still somewhat damp). The seller fortunately only lived about an hour away and from the research I had done after being provided the VIN, the Speed 3 had spent nearly its entire life in Oklahoma (yay non-salt states!). Upon arrival at the location, we surveyed the car. It was not in pristine condition, it was still in quite workable shape. It sat there, slightly hail dented and covered with a light film of organics from over a year of sitting, quietly resting in its tire depressions in the grass, awaiting its fate. The seller also had mentioned that they previously had issues getting it to start and run after having parked it. Armed with jump packs and enthusiasm, we tried to spark life back into the Speed, ideally to see if we could just drive it onto the trailer. While we did get the car to start, it died when we tried to rock it out of its ruts. Resorting to brute strength, leverage and finally a handy winch on the trailer, we heaved, shoved, hauled and steered our newly acquired vehicle onto out trailer. After performing the necessary rituals at the local tag agency, bill of sale and notarized title in hand, we departed with the Speed for home.

    [​IMG]

    On our travels back home, we procured a needed replacement battery as the one in the car was beyond saving. A few hours of attempting to start the car yielded no good result aside from a depleted battery charge. Troubleshooting checks showed that all 4 cylinders had good compression and everything APPEARED to be in working order. Queue a few hours of google-foo that evening for possible issues/fixes while the battery sat on a charger overnight to regain its cranking strength. Sunday morning, with a glimmer of hope and an idea of what the issue may be, I went out and performed a minor correction to the wiring harness. With crossed fingers, I turned the key. The car lazily turned over once, twice, three times. Then with a quiet pop and a small sputter, it fired to life for the first time in over a year. The issue, as I theorized the evening prior, was that a previous owner had placed the coil ground in an incorrect location. A simple unbolt and re-bolt of the ground wire to the correct location 6" away was sufficient to breathe life back into this abandoned car.

    And that is how one Speed was saved from the junkyard.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
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  2. Raider

    Raider Administraider Administrator Platinum Member

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    Badass, man! Post more pics!
     
    Raider, via a mobile device, Feb 21, 2020
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  3. Sho

    Sho Gold Member

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    Awesome find, with an easy fix! Congrats and welcome
     
    Sho, via a mobile device, Feb 21, 2020
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  4. SharksInSpace

    SharksInSpace Planets and shit. Silver Member

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    Well surely the story doesn't end there
     
  5. JohnnyTightlips

    JohnnyTightlips Platinum Member

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    Strange that the coil ground fixed it, must have been a garbage spot before. I moved mine for the wire tuck and it's been great.
     
    JohnnyTightlips, via a mobile device, Feb 22, 2020
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  6. E30Andrew

    E30Andrew Silver Member

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    awesome find, and great job keeping another juan on the road!
     
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  7. Shadowplane676

    Shadowplane676 Greenie Member

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    Upon further inspection back at home, the speed did end up coming with a few goodies. They included Koni yellows, Eibach lowering springs, Mazdaspeed aftermarket CAI, up-rated sway bars front and rear (silver pained, no name on them), 18" O.Z. racing rims with 3-season tires.

    After getting it running and driving, there were a number of squeaks, rattles and clunks that appeared. What followed was a good bit of overhaul including a new inner fender liner for the front, new front lower ball joints, sway bar end links front and rear, OEM springs front and rear, stoptech braided stainless brake lines, new axles for both sides (but not the intermediate shaft), ford coolant and transmission fluid, and lastly JBR Motor, trans and RMM mounts. This rendered the Speed quite driveable for a few months.

    I was able to find out a little more about the car during this time as well. It has a replacement stock motor in it as one of the previous owners had put a larger turbo on it without the necessary modifications. This resulted in the original motor failing.

    Inevitably, something else percolated up in the late summer. The idle bearing on the A/C compressor literally started smoking itself. While I was able to replace just the bearing with the one from Autozone, it took a while due to weather. After sitting for almost 3 months with the battery and ECU out of the car, once the idler bearing was fixed, the first test drive was fraught with disappointment. The Speed was very apparently down on power, to the point it wouldn't out accelerate a 2.5 non-turbo Subaru Forrester.

    Queue as much diagnostics as I could muster, boost leak tester, EBCS test, Wastegate test, monitoring with an OBD-II reader. Sadly the OBD-II reader showed the SPeed barely made it to 135kba absolute MAP pressure, or just about 4psi boost. At this point, I have exhausted all possible options I know of and am currently in the process of pulling the stock K04 turbo for inspection and possible replacement due to axial play and possible excessive radial play as well.

    What really has me stumped is that I have yet to find any decisive culprit for the seemingly sudden loss of boost. At this point, the plan is to evaluate the K04 and decide whether it needs a rebuild or go with a CST4 turbo. In either case, HPFP internals, Corksport EBCS, MAP sensor and injector seals are in the plans. Possibly a downpipe as well if the prmary O2 sensor port's threads are buggered as there was evidence of an exhaust leak around the primary O2 sensor along with the sensor's threads being galled up.
     
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  8. Sho

    Sho Gold Member

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    If the k04 looks to be ok, make sure the cats arent clogged. Or that the bpv isnt opening itself under boost. Though id think a boost leak test may show that
     
    Sho, via a mobile device, Feb 23, 2020
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  9. macdiesel

    macdiesel Platinum Member

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    Awesome save. Congratulations. Looks tight and in good shape. Hopefully you can remedy the low power issue
     
    macdiesel, via an iPad, Feb 24, 2020
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  10. Shadowplane676

    Shadowplane676 Greenie Member

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    Sho - Boost leak only showed the brake booster fitting leaking. This will be remedied by the brass fitting installation when I pull the intake to install injector seals. BPV did not appear to be leaking even under around 20+ PSI of pressure.

    I did think of the cats given they are of indeterminate age/abuse. Symptom-wise though, a sudden loss of power didn't seem to point to a cat/exhaust issue, but more like a turbo issue.
     
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  11. Awafrican

    Awafrican Moderator Silver Member

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    Nice find! How's the turbo look? Is it out of the car yet?
     
    Awafrican, via a mobile device, Feb 24, 2020
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  12. Shadowplane676

    Shadowplane676 Greenie Member

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    Pulled the turbo and there doesn't appear to be any issue. While it has a little shaft play (both Axial and Radial), it is not hitting the housing at all. There are no other apparent signs of damage or failure.

    At this point about the only thing left I can think of is possibly a strangely failed BPV or something else I can't think of.

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
  13. Awafrican

    Awafrican Moderator Silver Member

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    Leak test showed no leaks on bpv? Is it still ok? Make sure no cracks and check the hose from it to the intake manifold.

    How's the boost controller looking any cracks in it? The OEM can be fragile
     
    Awafrican, via a mobile device, Mar 1, 2020
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  14. Shadowplane676

    Shadowplane676 Greenie Member

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    I did a leak test before pulling the turbo. The only leaks were from the valve cover/PCV and the brake booster fitting in the intake. Took a minute or so to bleed down from probably 15-20 psi. No other identifiable leaks that I was able to find. Additionally, I tried disconnecting the wastegate reference line to force spring pressure boost and that did not change the lack of boost issue. I am currently looking to see if I can find a better BPV testing procedure in case that failed in an odd or partial manner
     
  15. Awafrican

    Awafrican Moderator Silver Member

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    Anyone else around you with a speed that you could borrow their bpv to test?

    Definitely get that PCV area fixed. Time for a new valve cover gasket?
     
    Awafrican, via a mobile device, Mar 1, 2020
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  16. Shadowplane676

    Shadowplane676 Greenie Member

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    I know there are speeds running around my area but I do not know anyone else that has a speed. I had a BPV from a CX7 but the vacuum nipple broke off on removal. Aftermarket may be the most expedient bet if it is the BPV.

    The PCV was mainly the area leaking off of the VC area, so I don't think I need a new VC gasket at this time. I had way more leakage from the brake booster fitting than anywhere else I tested.
     
  17. Awafrican

    Awafrican Moderator Silver Member

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    Sounds like fix that PCV and brake booster then see what happens. OEM bpv takes quite the beating I'm still using mine. You could post a wanted thread on market section someone.might have a stock working bpv they're willing to part with
     
    Awafrican, via a mobile device, Mar 1, 2020
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  18. Shadowplane676

    Shadowplane676 Greenie Member

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    Thats what has me puzzled. The leaks I have found are small enough that they cannot account for the turbo only producing 4psi of boost flat out. They just can't leak enough CFM to have that impact on airflow. The items that could do that from what I can reason are a major boost leak (not found), failing turbo, or possibly semi-failed BPV. After seeing the turbo is in not bad shape, I am leaning towards looking elsewhere for the culprit, but where to look is the question.
     
  19. Mauro_Penguin

    Mauro_Penguin Punk in Drublic. #BlackLivesMatter Motorhead Platinum Member

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    Have you tested the wastegate?

    They do sometimes go bad on the k04.
     
    Mauro_Penguin, via a mobile device, Mar 6, 2020
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  20. StreetSpeed6

    StreetSpeed6 Diesel Slayer Gold Member

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    I have a factory BPV that was working when I took it off and has been in a plastic tub with all my other oem stuff I have removed.

    Let me know if you want it and I will unbolt it from my tmic for you.
     
    StreetSpeed6, via an iPhone, Mar 6, 2020
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