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RacerX last won the day on August 28 2017

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About RacerX

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  1. i  have seen on here that you are really knowledgeable on mazdas, i was hoping that you could help me by answering a question, i have a 98 mazda 626 automatic, would the transmission from a 01 mazda protege automatic be compatible? ive spent hours trying to find any helpful information and i finally came across a post that you answered that was very similar to mine but they were talking about standards. thank you in advanced.

  2. Try going to one of the online Mazda part houses and look up the part number. It's likely not available from the factory anymore. But, I've had reasonable luck searching part numbers on ebay and finding NOS parts there.
  3. Don't sweat the 17's. They have redeeming qualities too. You sacrifice some acceleration for better grip and higher corner speeds. You'll want to get your brakes dialed in so you get consistent friction and modulation. Late braking and faster corner entry speed will become more important. What size wheels were you running before? We switched from 14" wheels to 17" wheels after a couple races and it was noticeable. The 17" wheels actually improved our lap times on an open track. However since we sacrificed some acceleration, race day required a little more strategy to manage traffic and maintain fast lap times.
  4. I ran poly bushings up front. It stiffened things up a little. But honestly, it didn't make much difference to the grip. The biggest difference is they lasted longer. I never bothered swapping them out. I can't remember how many races they ran, at least 5 or 6. Previously when I ran fresh LCA's with factory bushings they would last 2-3 races before the bushings got little mushy and the steering felt a little more vague. I agree with WheelerZ, 15" wheel setup would be optimum for the platform. The Speed6 brake setup was very nice but overkill. A standard 6 setup or even the 98+ 626 brake setup would work fine as long as you can find good pads for it. I'm a Hawk brakes guy. But, everyone has their favorite brand/pad compound.
  5. Here's some more tips. Check your rear lower lateral arms. If they are not boxed (just pressed U-channel) like mine were, you can get stiffer boxed ones with fresh bushings from Rock Auto. Check out the part numbers below. Notice they have a plate welded across the bottom of the u-channel to stiffen them up. My 626 didn't have that originally. MEVOTECH CMS76146 {#GD7A28650A, MS76146} Supreme; Rear Left Lower Rearward; Lateral Arm MEVOTECH CMS76147 {#GD7A28600A, MS76147} Supreme; Rear Right Lower Rearward; Lateral Arm I also used https://www.king6fab.com/ trailing arms and the adjustable forward lateral arms. I didn't use their rear lateral arms because I didn't like the flexy swaybar links that are required. Both are stiffer than the original units and come with stiffer bushings. The adjustable forward lateral arms will let you dial in a little extra negative camber. But to be honest, I don't think that really made a big diff. The difference with these parts was pretty subtle. On the front end, I elongated the upper strut mount holes and rotated the strut mounts to maximize the negative camber. That combined with 1"-2" lower springs will give you about -2.5 degrees camber. That made a difference. The front felt a little more planted and the tire wear improved noticeably. I experimented with offset camber bolts. That was a failure. Do not use those. Under race conditions they obviously rotated and gouged the lower strut mounts and really screwed up with the handling.
  6. Rmlunsford, don't over think it. The factory suspension geometry of 626/Probe platform is a great starting point. The cheap Megan lower springs and Sachs Super Touring struts worked great on the 626 in my original configuration. They lowered the car about an inch or inch and half and stiffened things up some. The car was very balanced. The setup was still soft enough that a 17.5mm AWR rear sway bar helped the car rotate nicely. I replaced the front struts after 5-6 races when I noticed excessive rebound on corner exit. The stiffer springs are a little hard on the oem style struts. I also raced WheelerZ's car before it got totaled. He had a even stiffer coil over setup. It worked well too. I am not sure what rear sway bar he was running. But, as stiff as the coil-overs were I'm not sure it was as important. The car felt fairly balanced. His setup lowered the car about 1"-2" all the way around. Surprisingly, the best "suspension" mod I have experienced for this chassis is adding a limit slip differential to the transmission. I am not sure if the Probe GT already has one. If not, you should figure out how to get one. In the case of the 2.0L motor, I installed a factory MazdaSpeed Protege LSD. Once I installed that, the car had excellent response to throttle input mid turn. If the back end was stepping out, I could give it more throttle to bring it back in. If the front was pushing, lifting a little on the throttle brought the rear around. It worked great with the suspension setup I mentioned above. WheelerZ's car didn't have a LSD and I could feel the difference. His car pushed more mid turn and wasn't as responsive to the throttle. It took significant throttle input to get it to behave mid-turn when you were pushing it hard. Are you guys still racing here in Texas? What series are you racing?
  7. It's basically the cost of buying another car with the same motor and a manual transmission, buying some of the wear items new/rebuilt (clutch, pressure plate, axles, etc), and the time to swap out all the applicable parts (transmission, ECU's, pedals, shifter, linkages, etc), and scrap the rest of the other car. You'd be better off finding another car with your motor and a manual transmission, buy it, and sell your car. If you do it right, you could break even or make a couple bucks.
  8. Very nice write up with pics. I did this for my car a couple years ago. It didn't go quite a smooth for me. I ended up having to replace one of the hubs. Had to pick up a junkyard part. I couldn't find one new.
  9. I love the new car. Lighten it and stiffen it the best you can and take it racing. You already know all the tricks to make that happen.
  10. Congrats on the impressive finish. It's even more impressive given the quick pit work you had to do after the contact. The motor is definitely stronger than ever. Those meater tires would have been too much for the old motor setup. It obviously pulls harder than before, and you proved a Mazda FS motor can handle the extra revs. That car now has trophies in LeMons, WRL, and Chump The chassis and rear bar are definitely stiff enough to tripod the car at turn in under braking. We saw that diving into "the bitch" at Hallett Motor Circuit too. The gauge setup looks great and I'm sure everything is more visible than those LED gauges. The idiot lights are perfect. Also, the Hydromat proved to be everything it promised. Nice job with that setup. I always wanted to try it, but never got around to that modification. BTW, we saw the exact same thing regarding fuel mileage. When drivers used second gear to keep revs up, it didn't make much difference in lap times but it did make a noticeable difference in fuel mileage. You mention installing an oil cooler. What were oil temps like during the race? Did the water temps stay reasonable all day?
  11. Something like this would be a cost effective way to get back on the track. https://www.racingjunk.com/24-Hours-of-LeMons-Cars-for-Sale/182910766/1989-Honda-Civic-.html?page=2&categoryId=4520&offset=10&from=category
  12. Just got back from vacation and saw the latest update and pics. That was a scary hard hit. I am glad to hear the driver is alright. Coming home with that crumpled heap after all the work to date has got to feel a bit overwhelming. I am sure you'll find a way to get back on the track. You've been bit by the bug already. No turning back now. Buying an already built car is a very cost effective way to get back on the track, even if it's just a chassis and you need to replace motor and suspension. But, you'll probably have to give up on the 626. Not many of those properly race prepped up for sale.
  13. I'm high and dry here in Dallas. I got the heck out of Houston last week before the weather got bad. I commute between Dallas and Houston these days. Dallas is technically home, but I keep a my camping trailer down in Houston and stay there when I'm working there. I know better than to ride out a hurricane in an RV park :-) No telling if I'll find my trailer in the same condition I left it in last week though. I installed the digital gauges to minimize the wild variety numbers new drivers read off over the radio. I'd get numbers varying more that 20 degrees depending on the driver. But, I was a bit disappointed by the visibility of those digital gauges. They had a lot of glare and low contrast. Relocating them might have helped some. But, I didn't bother. I'm not surprised you chose to replace them. Analog gauges with idiot lights was another consideration. That's a good setup for arrive and drive racers too. Absolute accuracy wasn't the priority as long as the values are relative. They were and we could tell when things were going good or bad. I think there were three different temp sensors on the coolant manifold. One for the ECU, and old one from the previous gauge, and the new one. So, no telling how it got wired up. To be honest, what does better accuracy really buy you in the end? What temp, pressure, or voltage are you going to call a driver in preemptively? We learned that you will drive the car as long as it's driveable. After all this is LeMons, Chump, or WRL. It's a cheap motor/transmission. Drive it as long as you can and fix it before the next race weekend.
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