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MOR's 2011 Mazda3 MPS daily

MasterOfReality

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Picked up the car from the panel shop today. Got the wheels colour coded to the front bar smiley insert.

Its grey with a bit of blue in it.

Initially I wanted straight black but then wanted something a bit different.

 

MasterOfReality

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Put in the shifter bushes and short shift plate. The shifter bushes were the biggest pain in the ass to do as you needed to remove the shifter cage bolts, pry out the rubber bushes and replace with the machined aluminium ones. The bolts at the front of the shift cage needed a lot of patience. The end result was a lot of sideways play in the shifter was cleaned up.



Then went and put in the short shift plate. I set the throw reduction at 40% but am not happy with the way the linkage hits the bottom of the airbox with the short shift plate it. I need to figure out a way to raise the airbox but there is not much room to move unless I get rid of the box. The shift action itself with the plate in is great, really notchy and precise but still not happy with the airbox. I used the rubber bushes that I pulled out of the shifter cage as spacers on the bottom of the box but its still not quite enough.



This was a pic taken soon after on the Putty Rd during a road trip down south:



Got the rear engine mount in around a month ago, holy **** the vibes were intense for the first 1000km but have settled down now. Vibes present at clutch take up and on over run and should settle down a bit more. Either way, the car feels totally different now that the engine slop has been controlled. Feels very planted, torque steer has decreased substantially and gear shifting has tightened up heaps.
 

Heron SSV

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Looks good mate. whats the fuel consumption like? I'd love to get something a bit sportier than my automatic Kia Rio to drive to work in but i dont want something thats a guzzler, and i have had my eye on these for a little while.
 

MasterOfReality

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Fuel consumption is pretty good actually. On the 2800 km road trip we did over Xmas we averaged around 7.6 L/100km going by the odometer and the fuel pump calculations. The trip computer is around 0.5 L/100km too low. That road trip was Brisbane to Sydney and we did do a bit of Sydney CBD driving as well but it was mostly highway cruising.

So around low to mid 7's when cruising on the highway, low 9's combined city and highway, and around 11 for congested city driving only. Keep it in boost all the time though and it will easily be above 15/16. Boost comes in quite high so its pretty easy to keep it docile off boost around town.

The only thing I'm not really keen on is the gearbox, particularly 1st and 2nd gear. Its hard to get off the line cleanly or smoothly even though the first three gears have triple cone synchros. Its a bit clunky as well, which is a well known issue. There is nothing wrong with the box, its the driveshafts that have a little bit too much play. Its a slight clunk that can be heard if you granny the shift too much or are too abrupt with the clutch. Mazda knows about this but says its normal. I'm used to it now but in the beginning it did piss me off a bit. Take one for a drive and you will see what I mean although not all of them do it.

The clutch is a real bitch in traffic as there is very little play in it between the take up point and full engagement. Its almost like all or nothing which makes it a pain to drive smoothly. Of course if you nail it everywhere you go the clutch and box are good but I can't drive like that all the time haha.
 

Heron SSV

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Cheers bud. It's definitely a model I'll be looking at when i upgrade. My only draw back is i do around 50k a year, so a second hand one with at least 150-200k on it wouldnt be worth that much after 3 years :s
 

MasterOfReality

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They do depreciate quick. I picked up this one for around $30k with 14,600km on the clock. It was only 18 months old too. Brand new they are over $40k driveaway.

I'd pick up one that is around 2 years old. Save a fair bit. There is a guy on one of the MPS forums that has 300,000km on his original motor so they do last a while too.
 

frogsta

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I'm guessing the Mazda 6 speed boxes are just like that. We have a Turbo Diesel Mazda 3 and I thought it was because it was a diesel that the box was weird and hard to use in the lower gears. Ours is '07 though, so could be different and I'd think the gear ratios would have changed?

Edit; Although I have the say the clutch is really easy to use although I have stalled it a few times, sometimes just up a hill when I think it'll roll itself. Even in peak hour can just pull the clutch and let it roll forward
 

MasterOfReality

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Not sure about gear ratios. The MPS doesn't really share anything in common, drive train wise, with the other 3's.

I just swapped out the aftermarket JBR 70 duro mount for the stock one to see what difference it made and to chase down a vibration from the mount - gear shifting is noticeably sloppier now, and the clutch is a bit more pliable which makes it easier for stop start traffic. When the JBR mount was in there was very little give in the clutch but the shifts were cleaned up heaps, felt almost Honda like precise but at the expense of added NVH. It just really shows how sloppy the stock mount is - you can move the rubber bushing with your thumb. I'm in two minds whether to put the JBR mount back in - it does get a bit tiresome in daily driving grid lock but the improvement in the way the car feels is amazing.



 
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