TheMAN's Turbo LHD Sport20...err MSP Conversion

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2001 BJFP MT
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2016 BMYFS AT
As mentioned on this "restoration" thread, I never really posted pics of my car or shared much about it.

No, it's not a MSP, but functionally, it is as close to one as it can be from the factory, yet greatly exceeds a stock MSP's capabilities. But because of how this forum has always been setup, there are many times it's impossible to post in an appropriate section.

Now the project is nearing the end, and I might do very small tweaks on it here and there, as I don't ever plan on selling it. It's a one of a kind Protege that you can say is neither a Sport20 nor MSP nor ES, but making it completely one than the other not only will cost way too much more money and effort, but arguably gets rid of the uniqueness of the car.

23 years ago, I bought this just as they started to take orders for the MP3. I really wanted the MP3 but the job I had at the time just didn't pay enough to let me afford the slightly higher monthly payments over the ES model, so this is what I ended up with to start. The MP3 was actually what rekindled my childhood interest in Mazdas, and I had already forgotten about Mazdas because Hondas were at its peak in the US back then. It was something cool and different but it wasn't meant to be. I knew that buying the ES and converting at least the functional parts over to MP3 spec would cost a lot more money than just buying the MP3 outright, it made better sense, but I just couldn't afford it. I still don't regret buying the ES as there are many things I learned later that the ES was better than the MP3:
  • The silver color in my ES is arguably more timeless
  • The interior is more durable: no gimmicky silver paint that wears off the steering wheel
  • The seats gripped better: no gimmicky smooth silver inserts that took away grip in the already shallow seats
  • Cruise control that just didn't exist in the MP3 and later MSP at all.
  • Not a theft magnet
  • No boy racer rear wing



This car was "born" the day before Valentine's day 23 years ago. This was a very early 2001 model that carried over some interesting traits from the 99-00 Protege:
  • Black unpainted mirrors, they would be complete poverty spec if they weren't powered. I didn't like how it cheaped out the rest of the car, making it look like a relic from the 80s when all cheap cars had unpainted door handles, unpainted bumpers, unpainted mirrors, and unpainted door mouldings. Plastidip fans, this is the look you're making! I got really upset when I saw the 2001.5 ES came with painted mirrors. I ended up spending a couple of hundred bucks replacing the mirrors with the painted ones and sold the unpainted ones off, never to be seen again.
  • The door chime sounds the same as a Toyota, a gentler tone instead of the higher pitched beep common in all later Protege's and Mazdas
  • No gimmicky fake carbon fiber trim on the center dashboard panel, just clean piano black
  • No gimmicky silver painted window switch panels that wear out, just cheap black textured plastic
  • No "pistol grip" passenger side door handle with very visible screw hole that gets in the way of the arm... just flat door pull handle all the way, like the driver's side
  • No gimmicky silver painted inside door lock handles that wear out... just clean and elegant chrome that's timeless

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But the first mod, like most people did at the time was a K&N drop-in filter, then it was getting the windows tinted. At the same time, that shop (where my cousin worked at) in Toronto, Canada also cut holes and installed the "MP3" side markers. Side markers was the "thing" to do back then, but it was a good safety upgrade because on the 01-02 Protege's, you just couldn't see the turn signals from the side.

Later, the MP3 strut bar was added (now gone), bought piece by piece because the kit wasn't out yet, and that costed around $300. Then another few hundred for an alarm install.

That was all in the first year.

Things started picking up the next year and afterwards, because I did autocross my car and got a racer discount from Mazda, which was a great way to get so many different parts cheap, especially JDM ones. Best kept secret out there but not as good as it's used to be.

Anyway, here's the big long list of mods:
Exterior:
  • JDM Sport20 front bumper
  • OEM MP3/MSP/MSP wind splitter
  • OEM side skirt kit
  • MP3/MSF/MSP rear bumper skirt
  • "JDM"/"MP3" side markers
  • JDM Sport20 trunk badge
  • JDM low emissions sticker
  • 2002.5 EDM 323F Sportive black headlights with Philips Ultinon Pro6000 H7 LED bulbs, Tungsram Megalight Ultra +120 H1 bulbs, and JDM OEM Mazda 6000K LED parking light bulbs (by Polarg)
  • MP3 fog lights with Flosser Ultra +90 selective yellow H3 bulbs
  • JDM MazdaSpeed MS-Touring 16" wheels wrapped with Falken Azenis 215/45-16 tires
  • JDM Rays Duralumin black lug nuts
  • OEM painted door mirrors
  • EDM driver's side aspheric mirror glass
  • UKDM driver's side aspheric mirror glass in passenger side mirror
  • CDM hood deflector
  • Denso Designer Style wiper blades
  • EDM driver's side wiper arm
  • CDM 5L washer fluid reservoir with low level warning sensor
  • Lexus ES330 door edge weatherstrip
  • JDM OEM MSF "MazdaSpeed" gold fender decals
  • JDM Seiwa angled license plate bracket
  • 35% tint
  • aftermarket alarm
  • "independent" fog light mod (can turn on fog lights with parking lights on only)
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Interior:
  • MP3/MSF pedals
  • JDM MSF foot rest pedal
  • MazdaSpeed leather shift knob
  • JDM OEM rear cupholders
  • EDM aldehyde cabin air filter
  • JDM Sport20 sedan Nardi Torino steering wheel with P5 cruise control buttons added
  • OEM 2002.5/2003 door tweeters
  • USDM OEM cargo tray
  • OEM iPod integration adapter kit
  • OEM cassette player addon
  • OEM MP3 speakers (Kenwood Excelon KFC-X696 / KFC-X576C) with Kenwood speaker badges
  • JDM OEM footwell lamps
  • JDM OEM clean box in custom made mirrored bracket for LHD use
  • JDM Familia scuff plates
  • CNDM center arm rest cover painted to match and covered with MSP seat upholstery
  • EDM fold flat passenger front seat
  • JDM MazdaSpeed interior carbon-look mirror cover
  • JDM Carmate 3000K LED dome light bulbs
  • 2002.5/2003 center console and cupholders
  • 2003.5 MSP shift boot
  • EDM turbo diesel shifter floor insulator
  • JDM Eunos Roadster emergency signal flare
  • Acura RL chrome door strikers with Acura TL door striker covers
  • Lexus LS400 door checker covers (modified to fit)
  • EDM auto up/down driver's side power window switch/motor with custom wiring harness
  • EDM roadside emergency kit
  • USDM OEM trunk organizer box
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Suspension:
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Brakes:
  • EDM 323F Sportive brake calipers and rotors
  • Project Mu Type-PS front and rear brake pads
  • EDM Goodridge Colourflex stainless steel braided brake lines


Engine/Transmission:
  • Clear powdercoated valve cover with polished letters
  • FS-ZE intake cam
  • MazdaSpeed FS-ZE exhaust cam (revised spec)
  • FS-ZE intake manifold
  • JDM MazdaSpeed 1.3bar radiator cap
  • JDM MazdaSpeed B-Spec low-temp thermostat
  • JDM MazdaSpeed oil cap
  • Racing Beat catback exhaust
  • AutoExe ram air intake
  • AutoExe big throttle (60mm from 55mm)
  • Goodridge staintless steel braided clutch hose (custom made for RR Racing)
  • OEM MSP passenger side engine mount
  • OEM MSP version 3 LSD (welded and speedo gear added)
  • Exedy Racing Stage 1 clutch
  • OEM JDM MSF lightened flywheel
  • MazdaSpeed throwout bearing for FC RX-7
  • MSP clutch fork and pivot ball
  • OEM MSP axles
  • EDM turbo diesel front engine mount
  • JDM Sport20 4WD front engine mount bracket
  • JDM Sport20 4WD front engine mount torque damper
  • OEM automatic transmission crossmember
  • OEM EDM 626/MPV oil cooler
  • OEM MSP upper oil pan block
  • J&S Safeguard
  • OEM MSP turbo kit (brand new, thanks Ken Miller )
  • MPI ported and coated MSP exhaust manifold and S-pipe (gasket matched)
  • OEM MSP flashed ECU
  • OEM MSP/turbo diesel radiator
  • OEM MSP A/C condenser
  • OEM MSP radiator fans
  • Custom MSP side mount intercooler (made by Extreme Turbo Systems)
  • Weapon-R hard pipe kit
  • Hose Techniques NX500 hump couplers
  • Hose Techniques T-bolt clamps
  • OEM GE 626 starter
  • NGK Power Cable spark plug wires
  • JDM NGK Premium RX ruthenium spark plugs
  • EDM turbo diesel transmission mount
  • AutoExe grounding kit
  • Middle East spec battery cooling duct
  • B&M short throw shifter
  • QFord shifter bushings
  • Custom made 2.25" dual high flow cat midpipe
  • CDM EGR valve
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Runs only stock boost on pump gas, fully emissions legal. No other Protege I've seen runs like this.

To do:
  • Defi Racer boost gauge
  • Ortiz gauge hood/pod
  • CDM carbon-look window switch panels
  • EDM door lock slimjim guards
  • Lexus CT200h damper brace (back)
  • EDM passenger side B-pillar trim cover with seat belt clip
  • OEM 2nd gen Protege spare tire jack well drain
  • MSP insulated A/C pipes
  • MSP spare tire
  • Change valve cover powdercoat color
  • JDM/EDM MPV 100 amp alternator

Not installed:
  • ADM OEM headlight protectors
 
Last edited:
Awesome! Glad to see you're still running around. Makes me wax nostalgic about my old Protege. I too purchased the ES because I couldn't swing the MP3 at the time.
 
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