IamFODI's 2012 Mazda5 6MT: Intro, plans, questions and build

Do you know if the platform shares swaybar mounting points with others? I've been hearing Speed3 rear bar. I'd like to upgrade both if I was going to do it, though.

BTW, window tint (at least 2nd row and back) is on the to-do list.
Don't know for a fact, but guestimating that MPS3/Speed3 swaybars should fit.

I had previously gen1 Mazda 5 and I did swap MPS3 swaybars to it, front and rear.
Rear is easy, original was 20,3mm thick and MPS3 was 25,5mm
Front was kinda kinky, but doable. Original was 23,3mm thick and MPS3 was 26mm.

I did use original dogbones and bushings.
 
The only decent-quality replacement I could easily get my hands on was a KYB – which doesn't have the locating pin, so can be used on either side. An Autozone near me had one, so I could get it same-day. So, now I have one Sachs and one KYB strut mount. #ShrugLife
"Decent...."

IMG_1592.jpeg


Just over a year and ~20k miles. This was just a few days after we started hearing a noise; a few more at this rate and we might have put a strut through the hood. I am not happy.

FWIW, the Sachs mount on the driver's side seems to be fine so far. Fingers crossed...

This KYB one at least has a "lifetime limited warranty" from Autozone. But apparently the "warranty" is only good for one replacement, which kind of exposes it as a "we know this stuff is junk and are hoping only a certain percentage come back" kind of program.

I mentioned earlier that I had been having second thoughts about my brief foray back into potentially-less-than-OE-quality aftermarket parts. Now it's full-blown regret.

Never again – at least, barring a VERY compelling reason.
 
Last edited:
Just over a year and ~20k miles. This was just a few days after we started hearing a noise; a few more at this rate and we might have put a strut through the hood. I am not happy.
The cowl will protect the hood. In my case, it was due to user error. I did not use the supplied nylon lock nut and instead opted to reuse OE nut and didn't apply thread lock. Quite possible it was under torque too and over time the vibrations cause the nut to come loose and gradually caused my destruction. The steel on the KYB stop hat does look like a cheap/poor cast.
 
Last edited:
The cowl will protect the hoot. In my case, it was due to user error. I did not use the supplied nylon lock nut and instead opted to reuse OE nut and didn't apply thread lock. Quite possible it was under torque too and over time the vibrations cause the nut to come loose and gradually caused my destruction. The steel on the KYB stop hat does look like a cheap/poor cast.
Good point about the cowl. Sorry for how you earned that wisdom, but I appreciate you sharing it.

I'm really, really hoping the failure I had was from a defect in the casting rather than a weakness in the design or manufacturing. But either way, this whole experience has me considering preemptively replacing both strut mounts with OE (or equivalent if I can find one) in a year or so. I don't take kindly to structural failures, and my ego is bruised from having chosen to cheap out.

I had a hard time torquing the top nut to spec, so I doubled up on top nuts (the old OE ones plus the ones that came with the Konis). That seemed to hold everything in place pretty well, so I did it again (plus blue Loctite) this time.
 
Bumps are audibly noisier on the passenger's side (KYB strut mount) than on the driver's side (Sachs strut mount), and the passenger's side sometimes makes a slight groaning noise when steering....
 
Finally did my first used oil analysis on this engine!

It's had a few oil changes since I bought it, but those didn't make sense to sample because they weren't all under my control and didn't all use the same oil. I plan to stick with this oil for the foreseeable future, mainly because AFAIK it's the most appropriate 0W-20 that FCP Euro sells (sticking with them for their Lifetime Replacement Guarantee).

I assume this vehicle was meant for people to putter around rarely exceeding half throttle or like 3k RPM. That's.... not what I do. I have zero reservations about going WOT and making the needles swing when it's safe – which is fairly often given how slow this thing is. I do try not to let the revs get past 5k because I assume this engine wasn't meant to spend much time up there; this means I basically never let it make peak power (159 hp @ 6k RPM). I also drive gently and keep the revs low until the "cold coolant" light goes out (it doesn't have an actual temp gauge). But when merging on a highway, or when the road ahead is clean and clear and visibility is good, the loud pedal goes right to the floor and doesn't come up except to shift.

Given that, I have no way to understand how low these wear metals look. I did add 1 L of oil pretty close to the end of the OCI, which isn't insignificant given that an oil and filter change takes 5 L. But even if I multiply all of the wear metals numbers by 5/4, they still seem incomprehensibly low to me given the mismatch between my usage and what I assume the engine was designed for.

As with all oil analysis, low numbers on a single report don't necessarily mean all is well. But they still seem crazy to see. Maybe I'm underestimating this engine.

Nominal starting TBN on this oil is apparently 8.7, so seeing 3.04 on this report makes this change interval (~5k miles) feel good to me. Enough reserve capacity in the oil that I don't feel like I'm running it too long, but not so much that I feel like I'm wasting it. Also nice to see TBN being the limiting factor rather than something else.

Screen clip of the report is attached, but I've transcribed the numbers because I don't think the report's formatting works well in this context.


Wear Metals

Iron - 10
Chromium - 0
Nickel - 0
Aluminum - 2
Copper - 1
Lead - 0
Tin - 0
Cadmium - 0
Silver - 0
Vanadium - 0

Particle Quantifier (PQ) Index - 12


Contaminant Metals

Silicon - 13
Sodium - 3
Potassium - 0


Multi-Source Metals

Titanium - 1
Molybdenum - 168
Antimony - 0
Manganese - 1
Lithium - 0
Boron - 38


Additive Metals

Magnesium - 461
Calcium - 1397
Barium - 0
Phosphorus - 692
Zinc - 802


Other Contaminants

Fuel Dilution - 1.2% (GC)
Soot - <0.1% by vol.
Water - <0.1% by vol. (FTIR)


Fluid Properties

Viscosity @ 100º C - 7.9 cSt
TBN - 3.06
Oxidation - 10
Nitration - 10
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot 2024-01-09 at 12.35.17 PM.png
    Screenshot 2024-01-09 at 12.35.17 PM.png
    44.9 KB · Views: 16
Last edited:
Been doing a lot of reading on headlight upgrades for our M3. Part of that process has been finding out how catastrophically wrong I had been about the wisdom of upgrading halogen or HID headlights with LED bulbs:


Maybe that's why I just started noticing this – though I feel a bit silly for not noticing it earlier:

IMG_2335.jpeg



See that vertical stripe? That's from the blade of an LED bulb. This is a Morimoto 2Stroke 3.0, a tier-1 bulb if there is one (with a price to match). It doesn't get much better than this, if at all. All their marketing material insists this bulb replicates all the necessary parameters of the stock beam pattern, and I've been happy with its output.

If even this bulb has that visible oddity, I can totally see why people who really know automotive lighting are horrified by LED bulb upgrades. This projector's optics were designed around a small 360º light source (the halogen bulb’s filament), and even this – the thinnest possible blade – very clearly isn't one. The net result might still be acceptable, but there's no way the hot spot, scatter, etc. are exactly like stock.

If anyone's wondering why this bulb uses a bladed design rather than a ring or cylinder of LEDs or something, it's because shapes like that are actually worse: Why You Should Avoid Multi-Sided LED Bulbs | Headlight Revolution

I have half a mind to drop some halogens back in for an A/B test. Maybe these LED bulbs aren't as good as I had thought they were.

If nothing else, this really drives home all the LED bulb swap horror stories I've seen in YouTube videos and read about online – poor beam pattern causing worse visibility even with greater output, etc.
 
Last edited:
I have half a mind to drop some halogens back in for an A/B test. Maybe these LED bulbs aren't as good as I had thought they were.
Dude, do Philips Standard H9 bulbs on your low beams and Philips Standard 9011's on your highs.
You will absolutely LOVE them, I promise.
 
Dude, do Philips Standard H9 bulbs on your low beams and Philips Standard 9011's on your highs.
You will absolutely LOVE them, I promise.
Saw that you recommended those bulbs on the first page of this thread. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but I dismissed that suggestion at first because I was so dead-set on the LED idea (couldn’t see the potential downsides). Now I see you might be right….
 
It is tough to judge LEDs b/c the technology is still evolving. Issues with yesterday's kit may not apply to tomorrows! I do believe it is not a viable drop-in option and will need proper housings, power, cooling mgnt, etc.

-H9, by far, is the quick and easy, best bang for the buck option for noticeable but marginal improvement.
-HID kit (example, Morimoto) is the better option if you want more light but you should re-aim the beam lower, but then the projector lens sharp cut off impacts hilly backroads and high speed visibility. Morimoto now carries LED kits (nothing for Mazda) but I have not followed this scene in a while so I have no idea what they are like.
-OEM HIDs are the best option if you can pull a set from a wrecker. Had H9's in a '08 sport and OEM HID in a '08 GT, lighting is miles ahead (pardon the pun). This alone is a good reason I would advise saving for the GT, unless you must have a stick.


Former member who we have the pleasure of join this group and sharing his knowledge.

Might have shared this in the past but he is also the only member who built his own turbo -the right way.
 
Did some quick reading. Love the idea of an H9 upgrade but I have a perhaps irrational aversion to installing bulbs that draw more power than stock.

This looks tempting, though: H11 Halogen Light Bulb Upgrade Set - Philips H11CVPS2

Expensive for a halogen – but 4000K, and lifetime replacements....
It's 10 watts extra. That's an extra 0.7 amps. I've been running them on all of my Mazdas for the last 15 years. I promise, you're fine.
 
-OEM HIDs are the best option if you can pull a set from a wrecker. Had H9's in a '08 sport and OEM HID in a '08 GT, lighting is miles ahead (pardon the pun). This alone is a good reason I would advise saving for the GT, unless you must have a stick.
As someone who must have a stick... Yeah, I agree. One of my rules is to always opt for the best available headlights.

In my case, that rule seems to have written a check that my knowledge level couldn't cash. :ROFLMAO:


It's 10 watts extra. That's an extra 0.7 amps. I've been running them on all of my Mazdas for the last 15 years. I promise, you're fine.
Point taken.

Hard to undo years of self-programming to minimize power consumption and heat generation where feasible! But if it works, it works, right?

Oddly enough, these H9s are cheaper than the H11s I linked... H9 Halogen Light Bulb Upgrade Set - Hella 211738502
 
In my case, that rule seems to have written a check that my knowledge level couldn't cash. :ROFLMAO:
You can cash it in the great white north -eh!

Hard to undo years of self-programming to minimize power consumption and heat generation where feasible! But if it works, it works, right?

Oddly enough, these H9s are cheaper than the H11s I linked... H9 Halogen Light Bulb Upgrade Set - Hella 211738502
Just be cautious of aftermarket xenon gas charged bulbs with tint/colored glass for that perfect color spectrum. The added color cuts light so they make the bulb draw more current/brighter to give you both color and brightness. This results in shorter life and potential burnt harness (purple in the face to admit it) but this was more of an issue back in the 90s/00s when folks who can't afford HIDs but want the "look". I don't think this is an issue today b/c HID kits are cheap. Anything Hella or Osram is good or buy with assistance from danielsternlighting (not sure if he still offers that on the site).
 
Completed the halogen swap. No shade on H9s; I personally didn't want to have to modify bulbs and didn't like the possibility of increased glare per the testing by @sac02, so I went with Philips CrystalVision H11s. They're expensive and probably not the longest-lived option, but FCP Euro's LRG basically eliminates those worries.

It definitely seems like there's less light output than I had with the Morimotos. Or maybe it just seems that way because the color temp is lower (4000K vs 5500K). Either way, actual visibility seems to be comparable. The view ahead is easier on the eyes with the halogens, too. And the reflections off road signs aren't blinding any more. Chalk one up for systems working best when not significantly modified, I guess!

I've done a lot of learning about LED bulbs – learning I should have done a long time ago, before going down this path. The crucial insight was that halogen projectors and reflectors are designed around a light source that's like 1mm wide and radiates light evenly in all directions, and there's physically no way to make an LED bulb like that. For that reason, output and/or beam pattern will never be quite what it's supposed to be. Something will be out of whack: distance/foreground ratio, glare, reflections, etc. – or some combination thereof. The Morimoto 2Stroke 3.0s I had tried were probably the best on the market – i.e. the least-bad compromise available – until like 5 minutes ago when the 4.0 came out. And apparently not even they could pull it off 100%.

Oh, well. Lesson learned.
 
Last edited:
Back