Beginners Guide to Modifying a Protege5


2003 Mazda Protege5
This is a work in progress. If you have any ideas/contributions for things to be added to this list, post below and I'll include them in the original post.
The intention of this thread is to reduce clutter and repetitive threads asking for modification ideas/basic Protege5 anatomy.

Hi there! Chances are, if you're reading this, you're new to Mazdas24/7. Welcome to this awesome community, and congrats on owning a freaking awesome car. You'll find that everyone here is very helpful, and I hope your stay here is enjoyable.

Many of the people who join Mazdas24/7 are not satisfied with the Protege5 in its stock form, and wish to modify it to their liking. This guide is not telling you things you HAVE to or even should do to your car; it is merely a starting point with ideas from which to work from. I have also tried to compile different information from different resources, to help answer basic questions you may have. This guide would not be possible without the collaboration of the entire Protege5 community here on Mazdas24/7.

All vendors and/or products in this article are only to be used as examples. I in no way endorse these vendors/products, nor do I or Mazdas24/7 bear any responsibility for any transactions or experiences with these vendors/products, should you choose to utilize them.


Wheels: Things to Note

  • P5s, along with many other Mazdas, use a 5x114.3 MM lug pattern
  • Wheels with a diameter greater than 17" may require a very low profile tire and/or fender rolling, depending on your suspension set-up

Front Lips


  • DGM carbon fiber grill - Picture
  • DGM fiberglass grill

Tail Lights

Carbon Fiber Hoods

Remove Side Door Moldings


Fog Lights

  • 2003.5 Mazdaspeed Protege fog light deletes: Click Here
  • Foglight vinyl overlays: Lamin-X Picture: Click Here
  • Foglight Rewiring (Note: Stock wiring only allows the foglights to be turned on when the headlights are on)
Foglight switch turns foglights on, regardless of headlight switch position - Click Here
Foglight switch turns foglights on, when parking lights or headlights are on - Click Here

Mazda6 Rear Wiper Mod

Horns (Refer to this thread for more info)

Plastidip the Rear Valance

Shorty Radio Antenna

Plastidip/Paint Wheels

Miscellaneous Exterior

  • Mazda Tribute washer nozzle swap


Refinish Interior Trim

  • HVAC/Stereo Surround
  • Shifter Surround
  • Window Switch Surrounds
  • Door Handles

Intermittent Wiper Switch

Swap a switch from another vehicle to have a variable intermittent setting​

  • 1999-2006 Mazda MPV
  • Ford Escape
  • Mazda Tribute
  • Mazda 626 (This option will result in the loss of rear wiper control)


  • Upholster interior- Click Here for how-to
  • Footwell
  • DaveB aluminum gauge rings (very rare, typically sold used for anywhere between $60-$100 US dollars) - Picture


Things to Note

  • The Protege5 can accommodate either a single din or double din headunit.
  • 2003 P5s were equipped with factory tweeters in the sail panels of the front doors. You may or may not wish to disconnect these if you upgrade your front speakers.
  • 2003.5 P5s were equipped with a factory powered subwoofer that was mounted on top of the spare tire, under the carpet.

Dash Kits for Aftermarket Stereos

Harnesses for Aftermarket Stereos

Speaker Sizes

Front Doors: 5x7" or 6x8" may be used. 2.75" deep.
Rear Doors: 6" or 6.5" may be used. 4.25" deep.​



  • Injen CAI
  • K&N CAI
  • AEM short ram intake
  • Simota
  • Ebay intake with K&N filter


  • Megan Racing
  • Skunk 2
  • Racing Beat
  • Corksport
  • Greddy EVO2
  • HKS
  • Magnaflow
  • Ebay catback exhaust
  • Mazdaspeed axle back (the one made and sold by Mazda specifically for the P5 - some say it drones badly at highway speeds)
  • Mazdaspeed axle back (the one found on the MSP - 03 has a round tip, 03.5 has an oval tip and either one would need to be shortened about 4" between the muffler and tip)
  • Thermal R&D cat back


  • OBX
  • AWR
  • Pacemaker
  • Ebay header
  • Mazda 626 headerClick Here.

Various Engine

  • 1.8L ignition coil mod
  • VTCS removal and porting: More info HERE. Scroll to post #129 and download PDF file.
  • MP3 ECU (swap or reflash)
  • FS-ZE cam swap
  • 626 single runner intake manifold


Front Brake Swaps


03-05 Mazda 6 => 11.1" => Fits no problem with a 16" wheel
06-07 Mazda 6 => 11.8" => Fits no problem with a 16" wheel
06-07 MazdaSpeed 6 => 12.2" => Must have a 17" wheel minimum
2006-2008 Ford Fusion
2007-2008 Lincoln MKZ
2006-2006 Lincoln Zephyr
2006-2008 Mercury Milan

NOTE: if and when purchasing new setup make sure you get the caliper brackets as well​

Rear Sway Bar

Rear Strut Tower Bar


(Please note that not all of these options may still be in production. Some may only be available used.)

Last edited:
I think two separate threads for P5 and sedan would be better... they are different. Some are four lug, some are five lug... things like that. Also a lot of mods here aren't applicable to the sedan, such as the mazda6 rear wiper, shorty radio antenna etc.
Fog deletes, various lips, swaybars (note that the front is a pain to change), 1.8 coil swap, headlight black out, HID kit or retrofit
aha I forgot that one, thanks! I updated it to include that and fixed some weird formatting stuff. I'm still adding stuff but I need to catch up on my sleep tonight so I'll continue work on this tomorrow.
I've been wicked busy, sorry I haven't been able to work on this... still looking for ideas, if you have them, post up! (2thumbs)
I added a few little things to this. Any other ideas or things I've forgotten would be awesome
Stuff you might want to add as well

s204 and chargespeed polyurethane replicas, jdp carbon fiber splitter

K&N cold air and AEM short ram intakes

ebay catback exhaust

1.8l ignition coil mod

vtcs removal

626 single runner intake manifold

mp3 ecu flash

ebay, awr, pacemaker headers

progress and awr rear sway bars

awr, megan, and carbing rear strut tower bars

fsze cams

also might want to throw in links to cr3motorsports, *************, and corksport
thanks for the contributions brian k. added everything you suggested. I also reorganized some of the exterior mods to make more sense. good idea about cr3 and corksport links, I'll add those in tomorrow hopefully.
Brake up-grade/size. Mazda6, MS6. Don't forget the E-brake cable fiasco.
A couple of more for the list.

Minor exterior mod is using the Tribute washer nozzles which offer a better spray than the stock nozzles. My only complaint with them was they tend to leave the lower left area of the DS dirty but not in the line of sight.
Carbon fiber hood (DGM, VIS, etc)
DGM grill (carbon fiber or fg)
JDM tail lights
CDM head lights (either genuine Canadian lights with black housings from the factory or the DIY)

Interior Mods:
Intermittent wiper stalk. You can use them from a 99+ MPV as well as the Escape or Tribute. Possible to use the 626 as well but then you lose the function of the rear wiper.
DaveB gauge rings (if you can find them)

Mazdaspeed axle back (the one made and sold by Mazda specifically for the P5 - some say it drones badly at highway speeds)
Mazdaspeed axle back (the one found on the MSP - 03 has a round tip, 03.5 has an oval tip and either one would need to be shortened about 4" between the muffler and tip)
Thermal R&D cat back (what I'm running and have been very happy with, great note under WOT and little to no drone...IMO)
Do you know if the Mazdaspeed 3 calipers fit the P5, I've looked and could not find anything and what wheel size fits these calipers if they are applicable. Thanks mate.