Odd Software for Odd Jobs

Mazda3 MPS upgrades, part 3

Almost done …

[7] COBB Rear Motor Mount
The MPS has always had a scary amount of torque steer … but replacing the stock RMM has made a massive difference. I can now accelerate hard … and still drive in a straight line! Wow Winking The torque steer is gone as far as I can tell. The drawback is there's vibration in the cabin at low revs/idling, but it's a small price to pay!

Here's the stock RMM in place:

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It was quite hard removing the bottom bolt on the subframe bracket … but I got it done. Make sure you've got a torque wrench and jack stands (I only had my scissor jack at the time).

Comparison of the stock and COBB mounts:

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Here's the COBB RMM in place, ready to swing the subframe bracket back into place:

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All done!

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[8] Upgraded spark plugs
I replaced the stock Mazda spark plugs with Denso ITV22 plugs as suggested by COBB. I don't know if I can notice a difference, but the main thing is that I didn't screw anything up!

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Mazda3 MPS upgrades, part 2

I've also done some under-the-bonnet upgrades on my 2006 MPS - wow! Very happy with the results.

[3] COBB Gear Shift Weight
Wasn't sure what the result of this was going to be … was it going to make the gear shift feel sloppier rather than a nice, solid shift? But I'm very happy - it's made shifting much nicer!

This is the stock shift weight …

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And here is the shiny new COBB weight. Changing the weight to a smaller, lighter one was worthwhile for a later mod I did …

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[4] COBB Turbo Inlet
Here's the stock Mazda turbo inlet (black, right) and intake (left) in situ …

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It was quite difficult to get out, in that I had to remove the battery box (which I had to do for the gear shift weight anyway). Here's a comparison of the stock (left) and COBB Blue inlets:

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If you're going to do this as well as the COBB turbo intake, I recommend doing them at the same time.

This is the COBB turbo inlet with the stock air box all back together

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[5] COBB Turbo Intake
As I was doing the upgrades as I could afford them (i.e. after each monthly pay), I upgraded the turbo intake the following month which meant pulling the battery box out again. This was the hardest install as trying to get the intake to slip onto the turbo inlet pipe was extremely difficult (a *very* tight fit). It's much easier, I think, to do both the inlet and intake at the same time, fitting them together outside the engine bay.

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But I managed to get it on … I ended up using a thin flathead screwdriver to ease the intake pipe onto the inlet. Here's the final result:

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You can definitely hear it as the turbo sucks air in! Cool.

Here's a side-by-side comparison:

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There's only one small problem … where I live (NSW, Australia) the intake has to be boxed. I asked my Highway Patrol police officer friend why and the conclusion was "because that's the rules". Unfortunately COBB no longer make the complementing air box for my Gen. 1 MPS so its day were numbered. According to my police friend, it's highly unlikely that a cop would ask to inspect my engine (true, in ten years it has never happened when I've been pulled over for breath testing) because I don't "fit the profile" (i.e. teeny bop P-plater with an obviously souped up Skyline, etc.). But I'm too much of a goody-goody to knowingly break the law.

[6] COBB Knob
A very simple upgrade … and I love it too. Feels very nice in the hand and looks much better than the scratch (from my wedding ring) stock knob!

2016-06-17 18.42.34

Mazda3 MPS upgrades, part 1

My beloved 2006 Mazda3 MPS is approaching ten years old (December).

So I've finally done some modifications … and I'm loving driving it all over again.

This is probably as much as I'll do - I'd like to upgrade the fuel pump as well but I can't really justify it as we are being forced to emigrate and so I'll need to sell my car Sad

[1] Painted the exhaust tip black
I used a ceramic high-heat spray paint to change the colour from chrome as it's always being coated in carbon build-up. I'm supposed to cure it in an oven at 200 degrees afterwards but that's not really practical. It seems to be okay so far, although it does get a little soft after driving - let's see.

Here is before (cleaned) and after

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[2] Painted my wheels black too!
For these I used acrylic paints.

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I took each wheel off and gave them a good wash. I then used some sandpaper to smooth out any scuffs on the alloys and to also 'rough' them up a bit so the paint will stick better (I guess).

Wheel before

Obviously I taped them up to prevent any paint getting on the tyres … slipped some masking tape in between the alloy and the tyre and then used some newspaper to properly cover the rest of the tyre. And, obviously, I also taped over the valve stem.

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I then gave them three coats of primer filler

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I followed this with five coats of black …

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And then finished off with 3-4 coats of clear

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And the final result!

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The paint took a while to harden completely (even after drying overnight, my fingernail could still make an indentation). But after several weeks of driving they are still looking great (IMHO)!

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I did also consider painting the brake callipers black but couldn't be bothered - might've looked cool too … ?

In part 2 I'll show the engine upgrades I've done.