MK1 Mazda 3 MPS - Family Connection

MK1 Mazda 3 MPS - Family Connection

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Jester86

Original Poster:

121 posts

57 months

Tuesday 14th May
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Good evening PH,

This will be my first readers car thread, even though I have owned a few cars that may have been worthy of a thread in the past this particular car has a bit of meaning for me. Mainly because it is my fathers.

Back when I was looking to replace my Nissan 350z about 9 years ago I test drove a non aero pack MPS and took my dad along as my wingman. He was quite taken by the car so a few years later in 2013 (as he needed to replace a 10 year old Mk1 Focus 1.6) he sourced himself an Aero Pack'd Cosmic Blue MPS.

Fast forward to the present and this car took me to my wedding in October of last year but unfortunately it was to be one the last journeys my dad made as he started to have health issues that took such a fast toll that by March of this year he was unable to drive or ride his motorcycle anymore and can barely walk around his own house. He made the decision to ask me if I would look after the car for him and it has been with me since.

Here it is next to my Abarth 595 Competizione









I have decided to look after it, give it some love and restore it to as good a condition as I can. Plus it is also really useful for transporting my 2 dogs around which the Abarth is decidedly bad at!

One of the first things I needed to do was get an Aux connection plumbed in as being able to listen to music through that lovely Bose system was key. Mazda in their infinite wisdom (or cost cutting) decided not to plug a lead into the headunit and plumb in a socket on all but the very last Mk1 MPS's. But it is really easy to do.

A few bits of trim to pop off and the headunit comes out a treat.



A few more bits of minor surgery to run the Aux cable down and into where the ash tray is usually found.



Put all that trim back on and the cable sits away like so.



Success!



On the drive home with the car from picking it up I noticed within the first mile that there was a very apparent clonking coming from the front suspension. Once I got home and checked with the old man he said and I quote "Yea thats just the stiff suspension", Oh on the contrary my good man I recognised the clonk of failing bushes. So Hardrace Lower Arms and Powerflex ARB bushes have made their way onto the car to eliminate said noise and has firmed up the handling nicely.

While the car was in the garage getting some of these bits sorted I ordered an iClever Himbox HB01 to connect to my aux cable to give me wireless streaming from my phone to the car. So handsfree and Spotify is now the order of the day. So far it seems a very good bit of kit for £20.



Oh and I changed the wiper blades as I am sure the previous items must have been on there for years and were looking really past it.

That brings us up to date for the moment!

Basic Info

MK1 Mazda 3 MPS - With Aero Pack
Cosmic Blue
54k Miles
Completely Stock

Cosmetically decent from 10m away. Could do with some love.

The immediate future plans are.

1. MOT is due in June.
2. Oil/Brake Fluid/Gearbox Oil change is needed.
3. Spark Plugs are due.
4. May have an intake on the way to allow her to breathe better.

Future Plans

1. Refurb Alloys, or pop her onto Mazda RX8 alloys as they fill the arches slightly better.
2. Address paint issues. This may require a decent level of respraying and bodyshop love.
3. When funds allows the engine will be fully rebuilt (forged) inc new turbo. MPS's are notorious for throwing a leg out of bed and the standard K04 turbo likes to fail. Hopefully i'll get to choose the time and place rather than being forced to make that decision at the road side.
4. Keep enjoying it and keep it going.

Yes this is not cost efficient and I will never see the money back that I will spend as these cars are very undervalued and rarely seen on the roads. It won't ever be a classic or probably appreciate. But I am still going to love it all the same, as it may be a part of the family for a long time.

It is also, a really good all round car.

DaveH23

2,570 posts

118 months

Tuesday 14th May
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Mine is slightly older than yours, 07 plate with slightly less miles 52k if memory serves and I love it.

I had a new engine via Mazda fitted as a rod mated with the engine block as you said at 30k odd.

Issues i've had are Suspension arms and bushes so nothing out the norm and it's recently split a power steering hose. I rarely use the car but need to find time to see if the hose can be replaced or if needs a new power steering system.

Other than a major service every year, nothing else for mine.

Enjoy.


Jester86

Original Poster:

121 posts

57 months

Wednesday 15th May
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While checking back through the history, it seems as though it has only done 4k-5k miles every year in my fathers ownership and has at least been serviced every year. Hoping that the frequent oil changes will be keeping the VVT and turbo in good health for the moment!

Thankfully the owners club Facebook group is very active with quite a few knowledgeable people.

Ocsltd

844 posts

145 months

Wednesday 15th May
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Sorry to hear about your Dad's health.

Great to see you looking after it though, hope it becomes a keeper.

Look forward to the updates, thanks for sharing.

Jester86

Original Poster:

121 posts

57 months

Tuesday 21st May
quotequote all
The plan is to make her a keeper. Gradually improve her over time.

A few things happened to the 3 over the past weekend. Drove her back to see my dad and stop off at one of my best friends, an acquaintance of his was selling a 3 MPS and offered me a week old Corksport Induction kit, LED side repeaters, COBB Gearknob and fitted blinds for a steal. So obviously I had to take them off his hands.

Standard Engine Bay :



With Corksport :



Definitely adds some nice induction and turbo noise, milled aluminium MAF housing was also really good quality. Happy to have it on the car!

Standard white side indicators replaced with LED's on either side.



Standard gearknob replaced with the "lightbulb" as my friend calls it! Adds a little something to the interior.



Next on the list is to order Oil/Gearbox Oil/Brake Fluid and get her booked in for the MOT which is due about now.

Definitely feel like I am gelling with her, the 220 miles covered over the weekend reinforced what a solid all round car she is. Definitely easy to cruise in and the seats are remarkably comfortable.

Jester86

Original Poster:

121 posts

57 months

Monday 27th May
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Been a bit of a sad week just gone.

My father has finally been diagnosed and unfortunately it is the worst outcome. Motor Neurone Disease, which for anyone that isn't aware is a terminal diagnosis. So he will never be able to ride or drive again.

Nothing majorly new has been done to the Mazda apart from some TLC and some conversations reference forging the engine with a respected builder amongst the MPS circles, so I know what supporting parts I need along with the cost.

We all love polishing our tips....

Before:


After:


Yesterday I ordered service parts.

Oil + Filter
Gearbox Oil
Brake Fluid
Spark Plugs

Whilst this was going on my Abarth went in for its first 2 year service, the dealer noticed slight misting on the front shocks and some movement in the top mounts and I was booked in swiftly for complete replacements of both parts under warranty.

Topbuzz

168 posts

128 months

Monday 27th May
quotequote all
Sorry to hear of your fathers diagnosis.

Looks a great car, from the reports very underrated and something that appeals to me.

Love the gear knob and yeah it definitely earns its tag as the Light bulb.
I’ll read further developments with interest.

Butter Face

19,510 posts

108 months

Monday 27th May
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Sorry to hear about your dad, sounds like he enjoys the cars as much as you do so hopefully that will continue as long as it can.

Good work so far, very underrated car the MPS!

Tony Starks

1,584 posts

160 months

Tuesday 4th June
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I have a Gen2, despite what everyone seems to write about them I think they're great cars.


joefraser

693 posts

59 months

Tuesday 4th June
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Lovely looking car, good job keeping on top of it - I bet your dad really appreciates that!

Bright Halo

849 posts

183 months

Tuesday 4th June
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I would imagine that these are typical Mazda and really well put together.
It’s also nice driving something a bit different to the crowd, a few mods to make it individual and you have a cracking car there.

Jester86

Original Poster:

121 posts

57 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
Topbuzz said:
Sorry to hear of your fathers diagnosis.

Looks a great car, from the reports very underrated and something that appeals to me.

Love the gear knob and yeah it definitely earns its tag as the Light bulb.
I’ll read further developments with interest.
Thank you, it definitely is a great machine. Continues to fly under the radar and I am yet to see another Mk1 around my area.

Butter Face said:
Sorry to hear about your dad, sounds like he enjoys the cars as much as you do so hopefully that will continue as long as it can.

Good work so far, very underrated car the MPS!
Oh he enjoys cars and bikes, the love will never fade for anything that goes quickly!

joefraser said:
Lovely looking car, good job keeping on top of it - I bet your dad really appreciates that!
So far everything I have done has met with his approval! laugh

Bright Halo said:
I would imagine that these are typical Mazda and really well put together.
It’s also nice driving something a bit different to the crowd, a few mods to make it individual and you have a cracking car there.
So far everything has been really well put together. Cannot complain about the build quality after 10 years of trundling around!

Jester86

Original Poster:

121 posts

57 months

Friday 7th June
quotequote all
Minor update.

The car is booked in for its MOT on Monday. Is due before the 19th!

While it is in, I am getting oil + filter/brake fluid/gearbox fluid/spark plugs done. I have no evidence in the service history of brake fluid/gearbox fluid and spark plugs being carried out at all. So that will get rectified and get a good looking over so I know of any further issues that may be looming.

In the future I intend on getting more hands on with the car and have purchased the following this week.

2 x Axle Stands
Wheels Chocks
1 x Torque Wrench
1 x 2 Tonne Jack

Gratuitous service item and Jack photo


6L Shell Helix Ultra 5w40
1 x Mahle Filter
3L Millers CRX LS 75W90 Nanodrive NT
1L ATE Typ200 Brake Fluid
4 x NGK ILTR6A-8G

Decided I wanted to supply some of my own fluids as they are slightly different to Mazda recommended spec or have used before in previous cars.

For the first outing of my new tools I intend on replacing the lower engine mount as this is known to go sloppy overtime and allow the engine to move a little more than you would like.


Jester86

Original Poster:

121 posts

57 months

Sunday 9th June
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Sooooooo the lower engine mount arrived quicker than I expected so I found a spare hour or so today to get it fitted.

Handily as the car shares a platform with the MK2 Focus I picked up a Vibratechnics mount brand new for £75. It is quite a solid mount with no gaps in the bush to reduce NVH. But this didn't phase me as I have experience replacing these kinds of mounts in my old Clio Trophy.

Ready to go! Not pictured is a kind neighbour donating some wooden blocks which helped make my working area even safer.



Not many progress shots, I mean who wants to see me Zep45'ing some bolts and using a hammer to gently persuade one to let go.

But here are the 2 mounts side by side. Easy to see the difference in stock vs aftermarket.



Finally an in situ photo.



After a little test drive and a run into work for my night shift tonight I am happy with how it performs. More NVH has been transferred into the cabin at idle, but at least it feels like I have an engine now. The positives are, no more clunking when pulling away in first, alot smoother first to second gear change, engine response feels crisper and reduced wheel hop.

Not bad for my first little job.

Tomorrow is MOT and fluid service time. The plan is to get up after sleeping post night shift and drop the car straight off. Fingers crossed for a clean MOT as it has been a few years since I've had to get a car done!

I am also actively searching for a set of RX8 alloys.

Jester86

Original Poster:

121 posts

57 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Car passed its MOT with no advisories....happy days!

With the fluid and spark plug refresh she is feeling good at the moment. A much improved driving experience than when she first arrived with me.

Keeping track of what she is costing in a little spreadsheet, always interesting (or depressing) to keep a tally.

Tony Starks

1,584 posts

160 months

Wednesday 12th June
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Apparently a rear sway bar really adds to these. Did you need a tune for the induction kit? According to sellers over here the Cobb and Corksport ones do, but the JBR ones dont.

Jester86

Original Poster:

121 posts

57 months

Wednesday 12th June
quotequote all
Tony Starks said:
Apparently a rear sway bar really adds to these. Did you need a tune for the induction kit? According to sellers over here the Cobb and Corksport ones do, but the JBR ones dont.
I think it depends on the diameter of the pipework. This one is the same diameter as stock 2.5" so the MAF doesn't throw up any errors. To get the best out of it I am sure a tune is the way to go.

My plan is to carry out as many mods that don't require a tune so that when the engine goes forged with a new turbo it all gets done at the same time.

Jester86

Original Poster:

121 posts

57 months

Monday 17th June
quotequote all
A little early week update for the MPS.

1. Have ordered a banjo bolt from HEL Performance as a precaution to hopefully improve the life of the stock K04 turbo.

2. Assorted other useful parts ordered : Copper Slip, Ceratec, Wire Brush, Magnetic Tray, Brake Cleaner, Caliper Rewind Tool.

3. I suspect I am getting a little bit of binding from the driver side rear caliper. Definitely hotter and smellier than it should be so I want to strip it down to see what is going on and regrease. Hopefully it won't be a sticky caliper. But at least I can try a few things first to make sure. First time stripping down brakes for me.

4. Hopefully I have sourced some RX8 alloys £90 for all 4. Not too bad.

Random picture of my Abarth taken today, because we all like photos.


Jester86

Original Poster:

121 posts

57 months

Saturday 22nd June
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A little update. Fitted the banjo bolt in the sun today!

Whip the intercooler shroud off.



Remove the intercooler.



Then you are meant to remove the heat shield at the back of the engine bay. After about an hour of trying to get it out I gave up and shoved it over to the left to gain acess to the bolt on the turbo.



Here are the 2 bolts side by side. You can clearly see the smaller outlet on the right hand bolt.



Refitted everything and let the car idle for 10 minutes with some occasional revving to check for any oil or smoke in case I had done something wrong. The idea is to investigate the brakes before taking the car for a proper shakedown on Monday.

Unfortunately I was unable to get 2 wheel nuts off, and will go and get a bigger breaker bar tomorrow and get that wheel off to check the binding out.


threespires

3,327 posts

159 months

Saturday 22nd June
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Lovely car. I have a brand new set of 4 brake discs that will fit your car. I bought them for ours but the car got written off, so they were never fitted. For sale at half price if your interested.