FSZE Protege5 Track Build

*psst, I have a thread documenting that ;) *

Glad to be able to troll through your build and updates on this forum too now!

I share the same sentiments regarding how the car handles stock, and how much more enjoyable it can be with a set of struts/RSB on it.

iracemine had a high-HP N/A built Protege5 and has a thread documenting their work on here. I'd have liked to have gotten a hold of the thing when it was on bringatrailer way back, but alas wasn't in a position to do so.
yea the new owner is in one of the FB groups. NExt time the engine comes out a FS wont be going back in lol.
I had to make a trip down to Daytona to shoot the Jzilla Track Day. And while I was down there I linked up with a friend of a friend who used to have a Protege 5 years ago. And he still had his old VIS carbon fiber hood from years ago..
The hood was in pretty bad shape and been halfway paint matched. But for $100 it was steal because these things are usually about $8-$900 if you can find one. I was really interested in the weight savings, but I had to get it looking somewhat decent. So I had to send it off to my good friend to have him strip it and re-clear it before I installed it.
I had wanted to pull the dash out for awhile and completely remove the rest of the HVAC system. So on a bored friday night I went in the garage and started to look at a plan of action for removing it. And about a hour later I had the dash laying on the floor... I had no intention of taking it out but for some reason at 1am on a Friday I decided to do so.
I removed all the vent ducts and any random mounting or brackets that were no longer needed.
Everything removed
While the dash was out, I took the time to install a set of the OE Sparco Pedals that come in the Mazdaspeed Protege. I didnt really think pedals could be a big deal until now. But the extra grip and size of the pedals helps keep my foot in the proper position.
Removing the Dash was not as tough as I thought. I spent more time connecting the steering wheel to the shaft then anything.
For awhile I had noticed a vibration / noise at around 45-55mph. I suspected maybe my rear wheel bearings are starting to go out. I had a spare low mileage set that I got from Mazmart. Of course replaced the wheel bearings, and still same noise / vibration...
I thought maybe it was time to replace the axles, the car has 300k on it, and they may still be the OEM axles. Replaced them... still same noise. So after wasting money on that, I left that issue alone for now...
I had an extra set of injectors that I sent out to get cleaned. They came out of a MP3 with less then 2000 miles on it. But they had been sitting since 2001. So they were all gunked up pretty bad.
My good friends at EBtec cleaned them up for me, so I swapped them out just because....
I also got my hands on a Protege MP3 ecu! This ECU is out of the 2001 Mazda Protege MP3 which was our version of the Mazdaspeed Familia that was available in Japan. But the Familia had a 190hp higher output version of the FSZE that I have swapped in my P5. The US version came with the standard FSDE version that made 140hp, but was equipped with a modified ECU to squeeze out a extra 10hp, and a much better power band. Since I dont have the proper ECU for the FSZE, this MP3 ECU is the best alternative.
My first time back at Atlanta Morotsports Park with the new setup was amazing! AMP is perfect for the P5s setup being so technical, and the straightaways are perfect for the power band. The MP3 ECU made a noticeable difference in the higher RPMS. The day was flawless, and I noticed my times decreasing all day.
I was in the groove, and I heard a loud thump in the back... and looked back and saw my battery laying sideways in the trunk midway through turn 6, being held by the power cables. For some reason I thought a rubber tie down would suffice for track duty. But it was a silly thought, and something I did not think to be an issue. So that ended my day at AMP..The only issue that I had was trying to stay in my seat. With the current setup, I had to have a race seat, because it started to become a job to stay in my seat..Check out the video of one of the better laps..

Trackday Video

Affter AMP, I went on a hunt to find a seat. After almost buying a new Sparco, I was able to get a killer deal on a new / used Sabelt GTS seat from Greg over at Koruworks. It was missing the back pad, but the deal was too good to skip.
I rushed into installation and got cheap universal brackets , and pieced together the hardware. It led to a squeaky seat, and the brackets didnt fit the seats properly. Not to mention I had to drill a new hole for the rails.
I ordered new Sabelt rails for the seats.
Side by Side you can see that they are even shaped different..
I also ordered a set of Sparco mounting bolts. Fit better, and looked much cleaner.
Mounted up... Shout out to CR3 Motorsports for the Seat brackets!
You can see in the photos the scratches on the side of the seat from the universal seat mounts. Much better with the proper hardware, no more squeaks and loose feel of the seat. I also added a patch of felt fabric to the bolster side, so they wont wear down when I slide in and out of the seat.
I do not have a harness bar for traditional belts. So I had to go with the Schroth Anti-Submarine harness, perfect for any car that does not have a harness bar. It also keeps you from sliding down under the seat in case of an accident. And it also holds you in place very well!
Late night browsing Ebay led to me finding these mirrirs. They were only $30, and I felt obligated to purchase it just because it was APC brand.
The Mirrors fit pretty good, and looked decent. And actually much lighter then the OEM mirrors since they are manual.
Got the hood back, and it looked a million times better! I had initially wanted to have it paint matched. But I changed my mind right before it was going to be painted.
OEM hood 36.6 pounds.
Carbon Fiber hood 21 pounds.
Finished a good weekend of parts install with a photo session. Thanks for reading! Next stop I go back to Road Atlanta with JZilla Trackdays!
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Also, I do apologize if im explaining things, that we already know. This goes on my automotive site as well.
Is there a reason your camber plates are not even close to the same setting? Driver side looks like it has MUCH more cambers?
Is there a reason your camber plates are not even close to the same setting? Driver side looks like it has MUCH more cambers?
For some reason i can never get even camber on each side. And i can’t remember if it was like that befor or after i spun out at Road Atlanta. But i have never been able to match the camber visually with the plates on each side.. i plan on investigating it over the winter . Maybe something is bent. I have a spare front cross member.. so maybe it’s bent or something. So to be continued.. haha
I was just curious...

I thought I remember the Protegé not having adjustable camber, other than rotating the stock top plate. Maybe one of your control arms got bent in that excursion? Regardless, if the wheel camber matches, that's all that really matters.
I was just curious...

I thought I remember the Protegé not having adjustable camber, other than rotating the stock top plate. Maybe one of your control arms got bent in that excursion? Regardless, if the wheel camber matches, that's all that really matters.
Stock the camber can't be adjusted beyond the top plate. Add in a camber bolt and you can get some camber out of the car. Add in adjustable top hats and you gain caster and camber.

I would chase the easy stuff first; tierods and LCAs like you suggest.
Jumping ahead of things ...but I went out and got the car Dynoed last weekend, and was happy that the car made 132hp - 137tq .

For reference i have the FSZE , EBay header , injen CAI , Lightweight Crank pulley , 626 intake manifold.

The main reason why i went was because i was able to get a real FSZE harness and ECU . And i wanted to dyno it before and after . So soon i will return and get another dyno.

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That's dope man. I don't think I've ever seen anyone go all out and utilize the FSZE harness and ECU. Excited to see how that turns out.
I received a better graph of the dyno comparisons of the FSZE with the MP3 Ecu and ZE with the ZE ECU. The numbers are different by 2hp/2tq. But what’s really different is the power band shown in the graphs .
I am going to make an effort to install the Ze manifold and dyno it again to see what it does to the powerband.


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I had the honor of being asked to help the Jzilla Trackday team instruct this event. I dont consider myself a pro, and I treat every event as a learning experience. But I was really humbled to be asked to instruct new students to the group.


I had 2 students, one with a STi, and another in a Audi S5. I felt bad, that these guys had to follow me around the track in my ole P5. But the key to any trackday is to have fun and be safe. So its part of the process.


On the second day, only one of my students was able to make it. So it let me focus more time with one student. My student had done a few track days, and had plenty of experience on track, so at this point we were just going over things to be sure he was ready for his ride-along for the solo group. Being my first time instructing it was a great experience. I am not a professional by any means, but I am thankful for the team at Jzilla for trusting me with the task of doing so.

My personal track day was pretty good, no real complaints except for the weather. And with the big hole in the sunroof it made it far more complicated. But I took advantage of the wet conditions and did a few sessions in the rain. At first the idea of the challenge was fun... but Road Atlanta tends to create puddles in the worst areas during hard rains. And with the R888Rs it was sketchy at times. But this video above was one of my most fun runs in the rain. Being wet on track, it gave me the advantage a little and helped me keep up with some of the quicker cars in the run group.


I ended up leaving during the last session to get ahead of another round of storms. But I managed to run right into it on my way home. Besides the foggy windows, it wasnt too bad. And if I kept a decent speed I would not get wet.


I made a stop for some food....and the weather had made a full turn to sunny skies...


A good friend of mine, sent me a craigslist ad for a Free Protege 5. I honestly was not looking for one, but it was semi- complete and had a engine and transmission in it.


Upon further inspection I found out that the car was owned by Paul of Mazmart for many many years and had spun a bearing and had been sitting at Mazmart for years before someone got it for parts. And the guy had gotten all he wanted off it. So it was my turn....


The main thing that I wanted was the transmission out of it as a spare for future build / upgrade. The car was full of random protege parts, but at this point I had plenty of spare parts. So besides the engine harness , engine , trans most of it remained. And it was sent off to the scrap yard...


I also took the time and upgraded the passenger side engine mount to the newer Hydra Motorsports Billet Engine Mount .


The AWR Engine Mount I originally had was absolutely fine, and worked well. But I got it used, when I first put the car together and it was time to get something fresh in there.


The engine mount fit like a glove, but in order for it to be installed , you will need to cut and or remove the top timing belt cover. The difference was crazy, the engine went from slight movement to no movement.


Next stop was Atlanta Motorosports park...
I received a better graph of the dyno comparisons of the FSZE with the MP3 Ecu and ZE with the ZE ECU. The numbers are different by 2hp/2tq. But what’s really different is the power band shown in the graphs .
I am going to make an effort to install the Ze manifold and dyno it again to see what it does to the powerband.
I find this VERY interesting. Thanks for sharing!
Isn't the FSZE ecu supposed to rev out to 7000 or 7500rpm? I can't remember...
Also, looks like the 626 manifold might be limiting your top end a bit? The FSZE manifold might be worth a bit more on the top end. Or, grab an FSDE manifold and port the crap out of it...
It was time to get back on Atlanta Motorsports Park, this was my first time there with my new seat. And I was so excited to finally be able to be secure in the seat and focus on driving. But I had been struggling all day with grip. I had initially thought it was because the track was cold earlier in the day. But as the day it never went away, and I was fighting with the car in the turns, and it just didnt have the grip it normally had. You can see how much effort it was to make the turns, and how noisy the tires were in the carousel..

After the event, I looked over the car and noticed that my tires were done, and I put the car back on the alignment rack, and my alignment had been all out of wack. In the past I tried to re-align the car before every event, but I had gotten away from it this year, and this is the results. This ended up being the last event of the year for me. As I decided not to spend the money on tires for one event. And I did want to look into changing wheel/ tires setups again next year. So back in the garage for the winter, and some updates...
Loving this dude, epic. My dream. Check out my build, I am making my car for the exact same purpose, track racing.

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