FSZE Protege5 Track Build

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2015 Mazda 6
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I received a message from a guy in the protege group that someone in Atlanta was looking to get rid of a KLZE that had been in storage for a few years. To me the KL has always been a perfect swap for the BJ chassis. I was lucky enough to do the swap in my old 1992 Protege many many years ago. Every since I started this journey the KLZE was the only swap I was interested in doing once I got to that point. If you are not familiar the KLZE is the Japanese version of the KLDE that is found in the MX6 , 626, and Millenia. The KLDE in the US is rated at 160hp, and the KLZE is a 200hp version with more aggressive cams and higher compression. The gentlemen I got the engine is a MX6 collector, and purchased the KLZE many years ago but had removed it due to the transmission failing for the 3rd time. Being that he has several engines he decided to pull the whole swap and go with a lower mileage one. And this one had been just sitting at his mechanics shop.

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The moment I found out it was full of oil...

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I initially thought about trying to source the other components and start on the swap, but I dont think I have reached a point where I really need to tear the car apart and do the swap. I am going to take it slow and get the block and the heads checked and possibly get head work done at a steady pace..

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I got a chance to get back on the scales at work, and found that my preloads were all over the place in the passenger rear. I do remember messing with my height months ago, and that may have been when I screwed up the preload.

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I had one of my coworkers set my preload properly to be sure it was correct this time.

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You can see that we shifted over 60lbs to the passenger rear, and were able to get the corner balancing set to as close to 50 \ 50 as we could...

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Alignment time!

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Back at Atlanta Motorsports Park with Jzilla Track days. My student for the day was in a Matrix XRS.

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The proper pre-load made a huge difference on the carousels. But early in the day I started to feel my tires loose their grip under braking. Normally I would chalk it up to a cold track. But as it warmed up, I had to start braking early because the car felt a little un stable under hard braking into Turn 1. The brakes worked, but I was getting closer and closer to losing grip every lap.

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I was experimenting on no downshifting to 2nd gear into turn 6, and it felt alot smooter and it set me up much better for the rest of the track instead of fumbling with shifting and taking the hard right. The last dyno session gave me less torque, but it peaked at 3k RPM and flatlined to 7k. Instead of peaking at 6-7k, that change gave me the idea to hold 3rd and focus more on the lines. I was busy learning and never really felt liek i pushed it 10/10, but focusing on the lines and smoothing out the lines dropped me .5 of a second on my PB. So there was progress. But during all this my tires finally gave away, and it ended up 2021 track season for me a little prematurely. I wanted to make Barber the following month, but I decided to end it this year at AMP and start getting ready for 2022..

Video of me trying to keep up with a S2000..


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I had a FB Group member reach out about having me test out a ported manifold on the P5 to see the gains.

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The most noticeable difference was that the manifold was welded to one piece and shaved. Most of the work had been done internally. Stock these manifolds have secondary valves that open and close at certain RPM for torque. It all has been removed, and the internals have been ported into 4 large runners, instead of split up by individual ports used to direct air through the valves.

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Also it has a ported throttle body. Stock size is 53mm and this one is 58mm.

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The ports were matched as well. Very interested to see the difference with this manifold on the dyno...

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Gifted the race car with the elusive Autoexe carbon fiber shift knob..

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Since I finally had time I went started to install the megan racing control arms and trailing arms. This does require removing the rear subframe, which is a pretty straightforward job besides the really stubborn knuckle bolts..

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The nut can be loosened with a good impact. But the real tough part is getting the actual bolt out. Once you remove the nut, you need to spin the bolt free and slowly work it out of the lower knuckle and arms.

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The bolt gets seized when it goes through the aluminum knuckle. I used a breaker bar and sprayed a good bit of lubrication to try and free it up. Once you get that initial turn its all downhill from there, but its tough. I did notice things started to free up once I concentrated the thread lube on the knuckle portion to free it up.

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Once you get it to spin freely, you should be able to punch it out.

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Once that is over everything else is simple..

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Rear subframe out!

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Rear control arms, and subframe brace out..

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Comparison of the OE arms and Megan arms. The main reason for this is more camber adjustment in the rear and being able to get rid of the camber bolt for a more consistent alignment in the rear.

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I got a little too happy with the punch, and damaged the lower control arm bolt when removing it. I went ahead and replaced them both with fresh bolts, they are about $22 a piece from Mazda.

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I also had the trailing arms to go in..

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Comparison of the the OE bushing and the Megan bushings in the trailing arm.

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Rear subframe stripped of the arms and sway bar..

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Subframe cleaned and sprayed

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Arms installed and ready to go back in.

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Installation was way less eventful than removing especially with fresh bolts and hardware. I set the control arms as best as possible until I can get it to work for the alignment!
 
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2x 2001 SP20 323's
Those trailing arm bolts are such a pain, the new arms look great!

How much fuel did you have in when you weighed the car? Curious to see how close our cars are (yours is going to be waaay lighter :) )

Also curious to see how that manifold works out, you should gain some top end power but might lose a bit of torque?
 
:
2015 Mazda 6
Those trailing arm bolts are such a pain, the new arms look great!

How much fuel did you have in when you weighed the car? Curious to see how close our cars are (yours is going to be waaay lighter :) )

Also curious to see how that manifold works out, you should gain some top end power but might lose a bit of torque?
It was probably less then half in the tank
 
:
2015 Mazda 6
Its been awhile! But the build has been continuing at a steady pace. I was pretty busy with planning Southrnfresh 9, and holidays and with the weather warming up it was just a lot going on. But the build has been going on at a steady pace, and I have a lot to catch up on.

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Last post I installed the megan rear control arms. A few weeks later I received the carfield braces from Taiwan. This kit is a replica of the rare Autoexe bracing kit, it includes a reinforcement bracket for the rear subframe, rear subframe bracket, middle cross brace, and a front subframe brace to replace the OEM one.

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Installation is pretty straight forward, but it does take a minute get the correct bolts in their proper place. They also have spacers to add to clear larger sway bars and the exhaust.

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You have to remove the rear trailing arm, to drop the bolt through the hole. And then you can tighten the subframe braces in place.

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Right side sits a little lower to clear the exhaust, so it takes a few more spacers then the left.

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Center brace uses a rectangular head bolt to fit into the hole in the chassis and drop down and bolts in.

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I ran into a issue with the front brace not fitting at all. But honestly the bracing didnt feel as sturdy as the oem brace, so I left it off.

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Next it was time to install this rare piece from Autoexe that Mazmart had in stock. Its a Limited Edition Sports Steering Wheel for the NA Miata by Autoexe. Up until seeing at Mazmart I never knew it existed. Autoexe typically make OEM replacement wheels, and rarely do aftermarket style ones.

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A few alan key bolts and its on..

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Installed...

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Another update was a new set of wheels. I ran across a deal of a set of 16x7 +38 Kosei K1s for sale from a good friend. They seem to be a little lighter then the FD wheels.

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Every since I spun at Road Atlanta a year and half ago, I have had a issue with matching camber up front. I replaced my front subframe, knuckles and all parts. The last piece was the strut insert on my BC-DS coilovers.

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Its impossible to see, but the old shock was slightly bent enough to cause issues with the driver side camber settings.

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Next step I wanted to update the front end and get rid of the beat up bumper and front lip. So I got a Protege sedan front bumper with the optional and rare front lip off my friends Alex's Protege. Without the front lip its a pretty boring and weird looking bumper. But with it it gives it a nice clean look. At first I was ok with leaving it on, but I am looking to get the OEM Protege 5 bumper and MSP lip resprayed and repaired, I think I prefer the aggressive bumper a little more.


So we were back out at Atlanta Motorsports Park with the new bracing and new shock. And I must say the car felt better then it had ever felt, we went a little aggressive with the alignment, so in the beginning I felt the car push a little more. But the car felt much more predictable and stable at all times. Even when I tried to flick and rotate, it would rotate when I asked it to, and stop when I needed it to. The video above is of me trying my best to keep up with a bolt-on S2k..

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Like I said, I really dig the ES bumper with the lip. But I kind of miss the aggressive oem bumper and MSP lip.

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After the event, I took a moment to take some new look photos with the DSLR at the storage unit.

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The battle scar from Road Atlanta is starting to be annoying...

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After much thought, I made the move to get rid of power steering. Every since I started to track the car, I had issues with the power steering belts walking it self off after hard sessions. Ive experimented with different crank pulleys, and it still would happen. The pump worked fine, but after a few sessions it would walk itself off a few teeth. Shown above is the OEM steering rack, and below is a modified and sealed steering rack.

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This rack has been sealed, and internally lubricated so it wont seize up.

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Finally it was time to get this Autoexe 4-2-1 header installed. The issue with this header on US cars is that it needs the mid pipe shortened to fit. So I had it instlled and had my friends at Heat Lightning modify the midpipe.

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I had planned for them to completely redo the exhaust, but at the time I did not have the rest of the exhaust pieces so we will save the for a later date.

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So originally I had planned to have the header cerakoted for heat. Well Alex was selling his brand new Autoexe header that had already been cerakoted and polished. I was able to sell my used Autoexe one and purchase a brand new one.

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Alex bought this header about 5-6 years ago from Mazmart but never had it installed. The header was decided and built by Maxim Racing in Japan, and is the best header available for the FS engine. Me being a lover of all Autoexe parts I was excited to be able to run it on the P5.

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Fit like a glove, replaced all the hardware with ARP bolts.

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Much better view..

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I was on a roll and installing all the parts that I had been sitting on. So I went ahead and started swapping the transmission. My transmission was fine, but it was old and pushing 305k miles. I got a Mazdaspeed Protege LSD transmission as an upgrade. The MSP transmissions have a big weakness with the metal rivets holding it together. So under harsh driving they would come apart. The solution to that issue was to weld the differential and reinforce the differential from coming apart.

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This one was taken apart in the past, and welded and ready for track duty.

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I had originally planned to do this with the engine out, but with the steering rack out it made sense to just drop the trans and get it done. I tried my best to drain the fluid, but as soon as I started to get the trans out I dumped about 2 qts of fluid on the floor at 1am in the morning. But it was out...

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The car gods looked out for me going in, because it went back up and in place with ease and minimal effort.

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Done! Flet good to knock out everything. My initial test drive was a wake up call with not having power steering anymore. But once moving it wasnt nearly as bad as it was standing still. But it really cleaned up the engine bay alot..
 

njaremka

Wiggity-Wack-O-Tack
Contributor
:
2011 MX5 GT
Nice update!

When I had my Protege sedan, I found a stash of those front spoilers on Ebay, and ran one on my ES bumper. I loved the way it changed the look of the sedan bumper. I'll have to see if I can dig up a picture...

I was always a fan of the Kosei wheels too. VERY light weight for their size. I would grab a set of 17's for my Mini is I could find them.