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Norm Peterson

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About Norm Peterson

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  • Birthday 11/10/1947

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  • Car
    1995 LX V6 /

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  • Location
    state of confusion
  • Interests
    AutoX, open-tracking, automotive performance, especially the technical side of chassis & suspension
  1. Norm Peterson

    Volume Air Flow Sensor

    Maybe people have gotten spoiled by OBDII, but when the volume air flow sensor on the KL engine goes bad your only clue that anything is on its way out may be extreme roughness with any more than minimal throttle. Turned out that's why the 626 I used to own was running so poorly, and the lack of a code or a MIL might have been behind why it wasn't getting diagnosed properly. Checking the plugs confirmed significant leanness, and checking resistances while moving the measuring core turned up erratic resistance rather than anything even close to uniform. Even went to 'infinite resistance' at times. It's really not that tough of a diagnosis once you stop to think what might be happening, but I didn't see anything about this sensor on a search and figured this might help a few people. These cars are getting on in age . . . and you may even find that not all Mazda technicians have seen much in the way of OBDI problems coming through your local Mazda shop. We did do plugs and wires, plus a couple other things on recommendation based on age and non-OE origin of the parts that were in place, and had to replace a few nuts and bolts that went missing in previous attempts to fix (by others who shall remain nameless) and tightened up stuff that had been left loose (by, well . . . ditto). Long story cut short, it's back to running the way it's supposed to, revs up nice and smooth again. The KL really is a sweetheart of an engine when it's running right. Norm
  2. Norm Peterson

    Ball joints, 1995 LX/V6

    Just to pick this back up again, the only way I could get the sta-bar endlink off was to cut the endlink studs, meaning yet another part needed that was unrelated to the leak that started it all. But there's more - the shop that replaced the axle shaft a while ago had somehow managed to lose the circlip that's supposed to retain the axle shaft into the diff gear - the axle just slid out of the splines . . . effortlessly with no prying at all. Which just didn't seem right. So one more parts run. An hour later this morning and the new axle, circlip and all, snapped in with a satisfying 'click'. Now to torque everything on the driver side down and move over to the passenger side to replace its control arm and endlink (should be a lot less involved). Then check alignment and adjust if I have to (camber adjustment on this individual car is not per factory shop manual - or by aftermarket crash bolts either). Norm
  3. Norm Peterson

    Ball joints, 1995 LX/V6

    Thanks - that's exactly what I did. Surprisingly enough, Advance Auto could get the Moog arms as same-afternoon delivery to the store. Haven't pulled the other side apart yet, but since this car now belongs to a younger family member (who absolutely enjoys driving it) I don't feel bad changing it out before it becomes absolutely necessary. The car has seen some hard driving . . . Norm
  4. Norm Peterson

    Ball joints, 1995 LX/V6

    I need to replace at least the driver side ball joint. The factory shop manual indicates that the entire arm need to be replaced. But there are at least three aftermarket ball joints that are available without the arm. I realize that I'd need a ball joint press, but that still leaves a couple of questions. 1) - which way does the ball joint have to be pressed out? 2) - on a 20 year old car, how great is the potential for damaging the arm in the process of forcing out the old ball joint and/or the new one in, and ending up having to replace it anyway? Thanks for any help. Norm
  5. Norm Peterson

    Tach Quits Every Now And Again

    Well, I guess I can close this topic out with the final solution. The problem turned out to be contained within the distributor, and when that had to be replaced to solve a no-start problem the tach came back working just fine. The latest update is that the 626 now belongs to my 17 y/o granddaughter who got her license only a few months ago. She's picked up driving the manual transmission just fine. I guess I'll edit my sig even though I'll still get to do most of the mechanical work on it, though. And before I forget, the forum search feature found this thread right away from the title I gave it all those years ago, better than most forums have ever done for me. Norm
  6. Norm Peterson

    Tach Quits Every Now And Again

    Thanks for the quick reply. Yeah, I'm still around, and I still do drop by here occasionally. But not nearly as frequently since the office network's internet access decided to filter out a number of automotive sites including this one. Norm
  7. Norm Peterson

    Tach Quits Every Now And Again

    I searched, and this was the closest topic I could find . . . yeah, I know it's an oldie . . . but I have a similar-sounding problem starting to show up. The tach will suddenly and for no apparent reason start jumping wildly and will at least occasionally drop to zero and remain there for a few seconds. Other times it will go back to being reasonably normal. I don't recall it jumping to way over the actual revs, though. The engine does not lose power or display any other symptoms, and it seems like the tach is intermittently counting too few pulses, and sometimes none at all. Car is a '95 626 LX/V6 manual transmission and has about 110k miles. The 'battery' lamp had illuminated briefly a few times, but those occurrences were several weeks prior to this tach issue. Anybody know what this might be or where to start looking? Norm
  8. Norm Peterson

    Stock 626 Into A World-class Touring Car?

    I wouldn't make that assumption. I wouldn't even assume that the MT brake pedal and the AT brake pedal are the same part but just hung a little differently. New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, NJ (off Rte 55). Two separate road courses. Norm
  9. Norm Peterson

    Smaller Tires..need Help

    oooo ok cool thanks.3% is a value associated with ABS operation. If you do not have ABS it is a non-issue. Even if you do have ABS, it may still not affect it as long as all four tires are the same size. As long as your tires have adequate load capacity (a combined load index and inflation pressure thing) you'll be OK. My 15" autocross tires are even shorter than 195/55's but have the same load capacity as the OE 205/55 size. I don't worry about the speedometer being off a couple of mph or so, especially since it's in the "safe" direction (actual speed is less than the speedometer reading). Norm
  10. Norm Peterson


    If you go too much past 1" drop, you compromise handling by adversely affecting the suspension geometry by more than the benefit you get from the stiffer springs. Never mind what the lower appearance suggests, as that does not tell the whole story. It is entirely possible to end up with more roll instead of less, and even get tire rubbing under extreme cornering with only the driver on board and short tires (205/50-15). Been there, had to fix that. Norm
  11. Norm Peterson

    Tire Pressure For The Summer

    Don't do it, at least not to lower pressures than what is recommended by Mazda on the sticker in your car. It is not necessary to bleed air out of your tires during the summer other than to maintain your cold inflation pressure setting when checking it "cold". Don't guess - use a tire gauge. IOW, if you wish to maintain 32 psi cold in a tire, don't lower the pressure to 30 just because you're in the middle of a hot spell. Remember that if the weather was to turn cooler for any reason you'd end up being even further underinflated. Norm
  12. Norm Peterson

    Exhaust Replacement

    Build your own system up, probably using 2.25" tubing and mandrel bends and universal-fit muffler and converter. Can you weld? (I've never bought a prefabbed exhaust system for any car, and don't think I've even bought pre-bent pipes) Norm
  13. Norm Peterson

    Fun Little Ram Cai Mod

    It wouldn't surprise me if you also gain more from reduced pressure drop through the inlet pipe than you would from the velocity head (aka ram air effect). Norm
  14. Norm Peterson

    1995 Sway Bars

    This car is pretty much the same mechanically as the MX-6 and Ford's Probe (including the PGT) of the same years, which ought to widen the opportunities for finding parts. You should have a 12 mm rear bar which is kind of small. However, the rear bar is the least effective thing to change as far as reducing roll is concerned, and if you manage to reduce roll much with just a new rear bar the car may be too "loose" for relaxed normal driving. IOW, the rear bar is mostly a fine tuning kind of thing that in the OE sizes keeps the understeer from being horrible. It's also easily possible to install a rear bar that's too stiff for the lateral link attachment points - the 22 mm Addco unit has been known to rip the attachment tab clean off because it can develop more load than the tab can put up with indefinitely. To more properly reduce roll without changing the handling balance too much I'll suggest that you install stiffer springs along with a slightly stiffer rear bar. The 16 mm OE bar from the later cars is at least a safer bet. Plan on replacing the endlinks - supposedly there are some stronger endlinks for some year of Altima that will fit, or it's possible to "roll your own" if you're comfortable doing that sort of thing. These cars do roll a lot. I autocross mine and have a few pictures showing about 3.5
  15. Norm Peterson


    How about you telling us how you intend to use the car and what you want it to do better. And please narrow it down a little, one general area of the vehicle at a time in separate threads and in the appropriate forum for each topic (for example, the V6 performance forum isn't really the place to be looking for the best variety of sound system advice). Try to ask with some realistic performance goal in mind rather than asking about a list of parts that may or may not be compatible with each other. You'll probably end up wanting to do some suspension tweaking whether the car ends up at the dragstrip, goes auto-x'ing, or simply for appearance sake on a DD. Norm