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Aaron's bright red land barge

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  • Aaron's bright red land barge

    Hi, I'm Aaron, and this is my bright red barge.

    It's a 2005 MPS6, non-leather option as I don't like sticking to my seats in summer, and the firey-death-from-above sunroof doesn't really appeal to me either.
    On the weeks leading up to buying it, I had been browsing through WRX's, Liberties, assorted Evos, Galants, Volvos, then started looking for XR5's, GTi's and cars like that. Though I was after an all wheel drive turbo after coming from a slew of old skylines and datsuns, and needed some extra quicks that the XR5 just didn't offer out of the box.

    After being fed up with the variety available to me in my budget, I ended up stopping in to a Honda dealership in Osbourne Park (to look at a totally different car), and they just happened to have this bright red mazda sitting in the show room, that looked a bit angrier than your normal old lady's 6. I asked to take it for a drive and fell in love with it immediately.

    So I drove it home, and gave it a name. Rosh, since it was built in Hiroshima.

    The car stayed that way for a few months, keeping it under the radar while I was leaning how it drove and how to get the power to the road efficiently. The most that was done to it was pulling off the 'MPS' and '6' badges.

    The car has had a bit of a rough life so far, copping a knock in the rear not long after I bought it, and clearly having had a knock in the front from the previous owner, I didn't mind the thought of slowly doing work on it myself and turning it into the car that I'll eventually take to Speed events and motorkhanas.

    Since the stock tyres were on their last legs after a little while, I decided to go a little wider for my next set. I organised some Rota's to slap the rubber on, and the car began to look a bit angrier.

    Then I fitted a TIP and took out the restrictions on the factory airbox. This certainly let it breathe a tiny bit easier, however in the process I managed to break my standard boost solenoid. A Grimmspeed 3-port valve was ordered from the US, along with a UltraGauge UBD scanner.

    After a while I was getting sick of the Rota's, and wanted some more grip for the slippery stuff which I sometimes drive on. 18's are just no good in that regard. So a friend helped me out with a set of Ray's Nismo LMGT2's. They're a set of 17x8's, and in hindsight I should have sussed a pair of 9's for the rear and stretched the same rubber onto, but I figured this can happen down the track.

    Now it needed something done about that air box that was still strangling the intake. A member on the forum here supplied me with a COBB short ram intake, which was immediately fitted when the box arrived at my door. Installing this was very straight forward. The seat-of-the-pants dyno read a bit more power, but more importantly, more noise. Hehehe.

    Something needed to be done about the massive john-deere style ride height, and at this point coilovers weren't a viable option. So a set of King Springs were ordered, and I spent a solid night installing them with a mate and a bottle of whiskey.

    The car had been developing some interesting knocking noises and vibrations by now, and some of the noises from the rear were becoming particularly worrying. After discovering the source of the clunks, it was pretty clear a solution was needed immediately.

    The Diff casing had actually sheared from the mount. After a bit of messing around trying to find the mounts I initially wanted, I settled on a set of SURE rear mounts.

    These are very solid looking units, and cleared up the nasty noises from the back while letting more power reach the road. The process involved taking off the rear brakes, dis-assembling the rear seats (to take out the ABS sensors), and dropping the entire rear cradle onto the floor. It took a solid evening to take the diff out, but what I woke up to in the morning was certainly worth it.

    The mounts went on without any dramas whatsoever. Even the easy-out I had bought for the snapped bolts wasn't needed.
    Everything was torqued up and fitted together, and slotted together like it was made for it. Probably because it was.
    At the same time I fitted a whiteline rear sway bar, and set it to it's hardest setting.

    The car turns in like it should now, there's a lot less understeer to it now, and the rear is slightly more prone to oversteer. It's a very entertaining thing to drive. A few days later, she was back up in the air for new Penrite fluids, and a general check over.

    Last edited by Mad_Azza; 13-08-2013, 12:20 PM.

  • #2
    Then I set about making it stop better. I managed to grab a set of Evo 8MR brakes for... $100. Heh. At this stage literally no one on the planet had done anything custom in terms of brakes on these things when I started this process, other than off-the-shelf big brake kits that looked like Taiwanese buckets of ****. However since this mod, and my contribution to the thread at http://www.mazdaspeedforums.org/foru...eed-6-a-62296/ a good two dozen people have performed the brembo upgrade with great success!

    Then I put on more under body braces...

    ..and solid 88 duro engine mounts... Because the stock ones were made of some kind of cheese.

    ..So that's where the car was sitting, I'd pretty much solved most of the stock issues that Mazda didn't fix before they released the MPS. It's pretty entertaining to drive - it's no rocket ship, but it points into corners unlike any AWD I've driven, and just holds on. And in gravel, it's just immense.

    Last edited by Mad_Azza; 13-08-2013, 12:29 PM.


    • #3
      Aaaand then the release bearing went, dropping the clutch plate on an angle into the flywheels, ruining pretty much the entire clutch. So a new one was ordered, and I promptly taught myself how to rip the engine out of a modern AWD.

      A big purchase from StreetUnit.. One of my largest online purchases I've made.

      You've got to take a lot of the front apart for this job, so I replaced a few ball joints while I was at it..

      Next step is Transfer case. Sexy, sexy transfer case

      Stock twin plate. Damn heavy

      I dismantled the transfer case to replace it's seals. Unfortunately Mazda let blind freddy the intern do the milling on the surfaces of these things, so pretty much all MPS6's leak from here. Not any more.

      Sexy new ACT 6-puck in there, nice and snug

      And after a whole night turning spanners..

      It was ready for morning laps. This thing without a bonnet on sounds like the most insane vacuum cleaner on steroids... It's a shame not everyone likes you driving without a bonnet.


      • #4
        Looks awesome mare! Very sleeper indeed.

        Plans for moar go go in the future?

        A Digger is someone, who, at some point in their life, made out a blank cheque payable to "The Commonwealth and People of Australia" for "Any amount up to and including my life"

        -Christopher Scott


        National President
        NT State President
        Darwin and Surrounding Areas Chapter President

        Bullets in the Gun Ute Club


        • #5
          Thanks man! There certainly are plans for the future.

          I've got a Cobb AccesPort V2 OBD tuner coming in the mail... Once that's here I can give it a bit of a leaner tune and see what it can do with the stock bits on the motor. I've also got a 600x300 Hybrid FMIC that's going on it.

          Once I figure out a few other bits and bobs around the house, I'm looking at fabbing up a low mount manifold with a t3/4 flange (or vband) to run a bigger turbo - I'm wanting to look at a 31/76r. I'll be ordering a high pressure fuel pump (~1800psi sustained) and building a surge tank for the boot. We'll be going down the path of externally gating it too.

          I want to crack the magic 400hp at the wheels mark... Without using methanol like a lot of the other guys do here.


          • #6
            sweet ride mate!

            I've done a bit of engineering and the replacement diff cradle looks bulletproof. Might have to watch this thread as I may be getting the hatchback version in a few years.

            Check out my ute build here, from bogan BNS ute to mad 4x4

            Originally posted by bassdee
            shaking worse than michael j fox on a paint mixer.
            Originally posted by Hound
            Yeah guuize, im in bed with my missus too.. Palmela Handerson and I are having a great time.


            • #7
              If that's the intercooler on the top there, how does it get any airflow? There's no bonnet scoop
              Originally posted by flyingdutchy
              Ever seen a monkey play with a hand grenade? Everybody knows it spells disaster, but you're not gona let him keep on playing with it do you? Just because he spends so much effort polishing the pin with his buttcheeks doesnt make it the right thing to do.
              Originally posted by DWS92
              Unbolt your exhaust after the manifold. Will be hectic loud uleh
              Originally posted by BIGZED
              And I didn't know we lived in the 1900's... GOT TE37'S ON MA STEAM POWERED HORSELESS CARRAGE MOTHER****ERS!!! BALLAH!


              • #8
                Originally posted by BodenM View Post
                If that's the intercooler on the top there, how does it get any airflow? There's no bonnet scoop
                Haha, it is indeed the "cooler" (interwarmer really). But it doesn't need a scoop - there's a system of ducts that sit under the bonnet skin, and channel air from the front air dam and up into the cooler.
                Once I pull my finger out and go FMIC, I'll be modifying the ducts so that they will be directing air straight onto the turbo.

                Originally posted by HONKYTONK View Post
                sweet ride mate!

                I've done a bit of engineering and the replacement diff cradle looks bulletproof. Might have to watch this thread as I may be getting the hatchback version in a few years.
                Cheers, yeah the 3 actually is quite different in the rear end to the 6. The 3 actually looks surprisingly similar to the BA falcons rear setup, obviously without the diff though. But they are a great car man, highly recommend!


                • #9
                  Such a nice barge!

                  Kinda preffered it on the Rota's


                  • #10
                    Such a sleeper. Looks like a car you would take to lawn bowls.


                    • #11
                      Yeah, the sleeper element is what sold me on the car too. And haha, yeah, I actually get heaps of comments about the rotas looking better than the Rays... Alas, the rotas were heavy, cheaply painted, and had no concave to them. They actually looked pretty weak in person. At least the Rays have a lot of poke, are light as buggery, and are a very sturdy rim. Plus, they're not very popular, so they're cheap :P


                      • #12
                        cool build definitely watching this one