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Roadburners's 2007 Mazdaspeed 3

roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,518
edited August 2015 in Mazda
I purchased the car new on July 14, 2007, and it now has almost 155,000 miles on it. I am a BMW CCA HPDE instructor, and I was starting to see more and more "Hot Hatches"(GTIs, Sis, Mini Coopers, etc.) show up at events- so I decided to buy the hottest hatch then available to learn how to properly drive-and therefore instruct others to drive-a high performance FWD car.




In all honesty I was a bit disappointed with reliability over the first 70,000 miles; during that period it required:

1. A new turbo(Per a TSB- not exclusive to my car, most all of the early models all had turbo replaced due to smoking at idle)
2. A front strut
3. A variable valve timing actuator(Again per a TSB)
4. An EGR valve

All but the EGR valve were replaced under warranty. After the EGR issue I began using Top Tier fuels exclusively and no EGR issues have returned. I also began using Techron regularly to keep the injectors clean.

At 59,000 miles it required new front pads and rotors. At 71,000 miles the rear shocks were toast and I had them replaced with OEM pieces. In retrospect I wish I had gone ahed and installed KONI FSDs at all four corners but at that point I was relatively certain I was going to sell the car.

Since that time I really haven't had any significant issues arise. At 5.5 years and 97,000 miles I replaced the battery. At 131,000 miles the the dealer fitted a new thermostat and rear pads(the original rotors were still good!). At 133,000 miles a friend and I replaced the front anti-roll bar bushings(the OEM replacements were a whopping $28). The car received new lateral "toe" links as a precaution($58) as well as FEBI rear bump stops to replace the disintegrating OEM stops- all at around 151,000 miles; I installed new MOOG rear shock mounts at the same time as a precaution. Again, a minor expense- $67.

Maintenance: From 5,000 miles to 69,000 miles I ran a 5,000 mile oil change interval using Mobil1 5W-30. At 69,000 miles I extended the OCI to 7,500 miles(still using M1 5W-30). At 115,000 miles I switched to M1 5W-30 Extended Performance. Used oil analysis consistently shows the motor to be in excellent condition- and that a 7,500 mile OCI is conservative. I follow the 7,500 mile service interval schedule in the owners manual for every other maintenance item with the exception of the transaxle, which gets Motorcraft XT-M5-QS Synthetic Transmission Fluid every 30,000 miles. In addition, the brake fluid is flushed annually.

Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

Comments

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,518
    edited August 2015
    Modifications: I rarely leave any of my cars totally stock and the MS3 is no exception. My goal was to increase the horsepower/torque as well as improve handling without affecting everyday usability and comfort.



    1. Mazdaspeed Cold Air Intake(43,000 miles)- Mazda claimed a 25 hp increase and it did chop 0.60 seconds off the 30-70 mph times in third gear.

    2. Hypertech Sport Tuner(136,000 miles)- A very mild "canned" tune(bought used for $230)- it chopped another 0.40 seconds off the 30-70 mph times. I haven't dynoed the car yet, but I'm estimating the car is making at least 280 hp measured at the front wheels. Some MS3s are making twice that, but unless you are drag racing, having much more than 300 hp in this FWD platform is pointless. Fuel economy was unaffected- if not improved a tick at cruise.

    3. Focus ST/Focus Electric Rear Motor Mount(145,000 miles)- I wanted to control motor movement a bit better without increasing NVH. The Focus mount was inexpensive($60) and works great.

    4. 225/45-18 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires on 2nd Gen MS3 wheels- Wow. All I can say is that so far I've run out of courage before I've run out of grip.

    5. KONI FSD struts/shocks(132,000 miles)- I also replaced the front bump stops and strut mounts/bearings while I was at it. A massive improvement all around; I only wish that I had fitted them sooner.

    6. James Barone Racing Adjustable Rear Anti-Roll Bar and billet mounts(142,000 miles)- At present I'm running it at the intermediate setting(50% more roll stiffness than OEM) and it has provided the neutral balance I was seeking- you can even provoke a bit of TTO. The bar was replaced at 149,000 miles pursuant to a recall from JBR(a supplier missed a weld on a batch of ARBs and three was a chance mine was part of that batch. While I was at it I installed new OEM links($29 ea.) and they quieted things down a bit.

    Despite a bit of hooning around, fuel economy averages around 26 mpg- or better.

    I am very happy with the car as it now sits. It has ample power, better than decent handling, and is still docile enough that passengers can't tell that it's been modified.How much longer will I keep it? Hard to say, but there are very few used cars under $30k(or new under $40k) that I like better. I may hold out for the rumored 300+ hp AWD Mazdaspeed 3 expected sometime in 2016. Or the Focus RS. Or the mythical MX-5 Coupe- which is rumored yet again...


    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,518
    edited August 2015
    I try to keep it clean, but I had neglected the underhood area- so recently I addressed the issue-

    Before:



    After:

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    TTO - Trailing Throttle Oversteer.

    Had to look that up. :)

    Simple Green or something fancier under the hood for cleaning the grime off?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,518
    edited August 2015
    stever said:

    TTO - Trailing Throttle Oversteer.

    Had to look that up. :)

    Simple Green or something fancier under the hood for cleaning the grime off?

    I've used Simple Green, but this time I used P21S Total Auto Wash (AKA: S100 Total Cycle Cleaner).

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,518
    Here's the most recent used oil analysis of the MS3 motor- indicating it's still in excellent condition.


    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • MarkHolthoffMarkHolthoff Santa Monica, CAPosts: 101
    Blackstone does such great work. I love how much personality comes through in their reports -- in addition to the valuable data.
  • subytrojansubytrojan Monterey Park, CaliforniaPosts: 120
    Great posts, roadburner!

    I am surprised you are running M1 5W-30. Is Extended Performance significantly different from regular M1 5W-30? On Subaru EJ motors, M1 5W-30 is generally a no-no due to shearing. I used it from 7,500 miles to roughly 75,000 miles on my 2004 WRX (non-STi) with a stage 1 tune on the EJ205. After reading some not so great things about M1 5W-30 and Subaru EJ engines, I switched to Mobil 1 High Mileage 10W-30 (sometimes 10W-40 if I knew I was going to do a HPDE). I switched to Rotella T6 5W-40 after I started hearing a noise around 147,xxx miles at partial throttle around 2,500-4,000 RPM. The shop I take my car to said it may be rod bearing knock. I am at 180,xxx miles now and I don't think it has gotten any worse.

    Now that I work for Mazda North American Operations, I am looking forward to the next MS3! :) That said, I have yet to see any internal information (that I wouldn't be able to share anyway) regarding it. :(
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,518
    edited August 2015
    Thanks! As for using M1 EP, I tend to be OCD about maintenance and if anything it makes me feel better. A lot of "experts" on the Mazda boards like to trash M1, but when I post a new UOA everything gets real quiet. The Subaru EJ is an entirely different animal, so, as always, YMMV.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

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