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 Old 10-09-2012, 02:36 PM   #1
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Default Vehicle Modification Guide

Mazdaspeed 3/6 Modification Guide 2006 to Current

For those of you starting with a used car, please refer to the general modification guide to find out the very first steps in getting your Speed3/6 up to date on services, fluids, tires, brakes, and general overall condition. Once again, we cannot stress enough how important it is that preventive maintenance is done before anything else. If the car is not up to the task to run efficiently, why would you put more power into it?

Before you start: Goals and Patience

Lay out what you want to do to your car. Put it on paper. This way you will be able to come back to what your original plan was and the reasons why you wanted to do it. You can make adjustments later as needed.

Your goals might be to get 10-20 more horsepower and add a few accessories for style and that's it. Some of you might want to go all out with a big turbo build, fully built motor with forged internals and a full race suspension setup. Either way, sit down and put a plan together. Think about why you want certain parts and why you don't. Think about and research the effects your parts will have on the car. Our philosophy is if it's not clean and quality, it's not worth buying. Do your research like looking at pictures on a google search, finding dyno results from other enthusiasts, and asking others what their experiences have been. However, be careful who you ask. There are people out there that criticize a part after they put it on with the wrong tools, didn't follow the directions, and used faulty parts to replace the parts they broke that came in the kit. Then all of a sudden it's the manufacturers fault. DO YOUR RESEARCH and trust your research, not others' opinions!!!

Patience is really directly related to the amount of money you are spending and can spend at once. Patience is absolutely necessary when you are on a budget. When you are on a budget, there are many tempting parts out there because of their price. I'm not saying there are not inexpensive parts that work well, but I truly believe you get what you pay for. I can't tell you how many stories I have heard and still hear about cracked this and failed this. Underdeveloped, poorly manufactured, and cheap material will break or fail at some point. Failure is not the only reason why cheap parts aren't smart, they often underperform other comparable parts that are developed and tested much more. We don't sell parts that we wouldn't put on our own cars because of this reason.

I'm going to group together many mods into small sections. The order of mods isn't very important in some of the stages but it is important to have many of them before moving on to the next stage. You don't have to follow it exactly but use this as a guide. Many people have taken similar paths as you will with small variations. Of course, you can always ask us what we think. We might be able to make good suggestions.

Stage 1 Parts
Stage 2 Parts
Stage 3 Parts
Stage 4 Parts


Stage 1 Parts:

Short Ram Intake
Turbo Inlet Pipe
Blowoff/Bypass Valve
Rear Motor Mount
CatBack Exhaust (2007-2009 or 2010+)

Short Ram Intake
This is the easiest and most effective first modification which is why it's so popular. Making power is all about more airflow and better efficiency. Plan on seeing about a 10-15 hp increase and slightly more torque from this bolt-on part. It's as simple as removing the airbox, replacing the MAF housing, and putting the new filter on. No need to put the car on a lift or jacks. Just open up the hood, get a few basic tools and you're good to go. Along with adding some nice power, you'll be able to really hear the turbo spool up and even hear the stock bypass valve (blowoff valve) a little bit.


Turbo Inlet Pipe
This modification is the the pipe that connects the short ram intake to the turbo. You will be blown away after seeing how small and skinny the stock inlet pipe is compared to ANY upgraded inlet pipe. On top of that, it's plastic and dinky. You won't see a ton of power from this part, although some, but you will need it if you want to keep the mods coming. If you thought a short ram intake made your turbo spool louder, this makes it howl!!! A turbo inlet pipe has a great effect on the spooling sound of the turbo. It's much louder but still not annoying by any means. Any car enthusiast will love it. Install requires taking at least the battery and its box out to access where it connects to the turbo. For the first time installer it can be a little tricky but nothing that a novice can't figure out if you have ever turned a wrench.

Blowoff/Bypass Valve
This part will not yield power but typically has 2 major uses. The first use is it's cool factor. On the Mazdaspeed 3, this is right in front of you, next to the intake when you open the hood so seeing a nice aluminum piece right away when you open your hood is pleasing to the eye and looks very sporty. Second, it is absolutely functional and necessary to be working properly once you get more power or crank up the boost. The stock bypass valve has been known to leak slightly when adding more airflow. It doesn't make sense to add more parts and increase the power levels of the car when the stock bypass valve won't be able to even hold the extra air at high boost and RPM's. Three different ways of going about this part for the MS3 - Vent to Atmosphere (makes the loudest PSHHHH sound), Recirculate (stays fully functional), and Dual Port (allows you to do both). If you plan on having the highest performing engine possible and won't sacrifice function for a little blowoff sound, get a bypass valve only. A dual port can be set to full recirculation and switched to vented for those that want to be able to have both.

Rear Motor Mount
Some people will tell you this is the first modification you should do. Although I can understand why they say that, just make sure you don't go to stage 2 without it. The factory Mazda mounts are crap. The bushings are a really weak and squishy rubber. This is GREAT for maximum comfort and eliminating noise, vibration, and harshness which is what the general population wants when they are driving to work and back home. But you are reading this because you want more performance out of your MS3. An upgraded RMM will hold your engine in place much better while accelerating, shifting, and quickly decelerating. It will also keep the car more stable driving and shifting on rougher roads and more aggressive driving. The positive feedback given to the driver is instantly and significantly improved with this part. Installation does require you (or someone else) to get under the car or put it on a lift. It is not accessible without getting underneath the car somehow. However, once you're under the car, it's about as easy as pie. Remove a few bolts, take the old mount out, put the new mount on, and retighten the bolts with a little loctite and you're off to the races.

CatBack Exhaust (2007-2009 or 2010+)
Some people leave this until many other upgrades are done because the stock exhaust system flows well enough to handle a few more modifications. We put it in the stage 1 upgrades because it will add some power and having a sporty sounding exhaust system is the only thing that's important to some people. Of course, as you are achieving high power levels, every part is important and this will need to be upgraded at some point but if you are looking for a sporty and safe upgrade, this is a great way to do it.

Stage 2 Parts:

ECU Tuning
Fuel Pump Upgrade
Downpipe
Intercooler Upgrade (2007-2009 or 2010+)
Spark Plugs
Oil Catch Can

ECU Tuning
Besides slapping on a big turbo, which you need to get your ECU tuned for anyway, this is probably the most important and most effective upgrade possible, especially for the Mazdaspeed 3. These days, newer model cars are under strict guidelines from emissions regulation to get the most gas mileage they can and to reduce emissions as much as possible. Once you start adding parts, the settings that the ECU came from the factory with don't work for all the additional airflow present with all these parts. The ECU will actually start to detune the car naturally because of all the changes in airflow and combustion. With this said, you must make the ECU learn to work with the parts that you have. There are tons of benefits to getting your ECU tuned. You can really start to play with the boost settings, timing, fuel, and many more things. You can make your car extremely efficient under normal driving conditions like the factory originally wanted and make it scream once you put your foot to the floor. You can monitor all the important sensors of the vehicle and make sure the car is running smoothly and also see why it's not. There aren't a ton of ECU tuning options out there for the Mazdaspeed 3 but the one that is out there is awesome. The Cobb AccessPort had a major impact on accessibility to tuning these ECUs. Make no mistake, at this point, it's a very good idea to tune the ECU. We highly recommend getting the AP as the first modification in this stage. It's a scalable upgrade that works better and better as you keep modifying. We can't say enough about it.

Fuel Pump Upgrade
This really goes hand in hand with the AccessPort. You can use the Accessport without upgrading your fuel pump but if you plan to modify further than the Accessport, the fuel pump should be your next modification to prepare for more power later on. These motors have very high flowing fuel injectors for being from the factory. But when you ask the pump to flow more fuel, you'll quickly find that this is the weak part of the stock fuel system. Adding more air to the engine is critical in making more power. However, if you don't have enough fuel to match the amount of air that is entering your engine, it can be damaging and unsafe for your motor, if not catastrophic. You have two options here. CPE makes a fully warranted fuel pump upgrade that allows you to purchase the entire fuel pump already upgraded. You just take yours off and put the new one on and send your original pump back to us for credit. The second option is to purchase fuel pump internals. It's more of a do it yourself upgrade where you pull the fuel pump off (or someone else like a friend or a shop that has experience doing modifications), remove some of the internal components and replace them with the upgraded components. This is the only way to increase fuel flow in these motors to date. It has shown to be all you need in order to make up to 500whp with other supporting modifications.

Downpipe
The downpipe is the single most important exhaust upgrade for making power with this motor. If you look at the stock downpipe (2 pieces), each piece has a heavy and restrictive catalytic converter built in along with really restrictive and small piping altogether. Your right foot will be very pleased after installing this part. This install is not for a novice so if you're not confident getting your hands and elbows greasy, have a professional put it on. Expect a good 20-30 horsepower and 30-40 lb ft of torque increase before the peak power hits from this part alone. This really opens up the car for just one bolt-on part.


Intercooler Upgrade (2007-2009 or 2010+)
There are a couple different options here. You can go with an upgraded top mount intercooler (TMIC) or a front mount intercooler (FMIC). Almost all the FMIC kits for the Gen2 (2010-) have a bumper beam replacement. It was too tough for these manufacturers to squeeze it in the front bumper without having to remove and design a lower profile bumper beam. This causes the cost to go up but fortunately for the Gen1 (2007-2009), the bumper beam design from the factory can stay in place which keeps the cost lower than the Gen2. Overall, this is an incredible upgrade. The stock TMIC is not only very restrictive and super small but it also suffers tremendously from heat soak. Your engine is generating very hot temperatures underneath the hood and the TMIC is the recipient of all that heat. We all know that the cooler you can keep the intake temperatures the more power you can make and keep the motor safe at the same time. An upgraded TMIC like ETS's or CPE's will create much more area for the air to cool down before it enters the engine. They also allow much more air to flow in general. It does stay cooler than the stock TMIC because it takes longer for the intercooler to heat up, negatively affecting intake temperatures. But it also takes longer for it to cool down once it heats up because of the extra mass of the intercooler. Upgrading the TMIC is a great improvement to flow and cooling overall. However, upgrading the FMIC is really the best option here. Having the intercooler placed in a location where it can constantly receive cooler air is the key. Your intake temperatures will stay much more consistent and cooler which ultimately yields more power and safer power.

Spark Plugs
As you start adding power, you start heating up the cylinder more than Mazda originally intended. The hotter the temperatures are inside the cylinder, the hotter the spark plug gets as it is exposed to the inside of the cylinder. Your spark plugs lose their ability to create a strong, consistent, and accurate spark when they get too hot. They will start to spark earlier than designed, among other issues, causing possible detonation which will make your ECU pull back the power and is ultimately unsafe and causes power loss. One step colder Iridium spark plugs have proven to be a great way to make the motor run that much better than it did before. We use NGK one step colder Iridium plugs in our Speed3 and also recommend Denso Spark Plugs, as well.



Oil Catch Can
The function of a catch can is very simple. When an engine is running, there is a very small amount of the combustion gases (exhaust) inside of the cylinder that end up getting past the piston and head instead of exiting out of the exhaust system. In order to remove that exhaust, known as "blow-by", car manufacturers have systems that take that blow-by and recirculate it back into the intake system so that it doesn't escape into the atmosphere. It keeps the environment cleaner but it also causes all that blow-by to pass back through your intake system and brings a lot of oil with it, leaving behind a lot of oil and buildup along the inside of the entire intake system including your intakes pipes, turbo, intercooler, and intake manifold. This happens very slowly and over time but eventually your motor becomes less powerful and not as safe because of the effects this has on the intake air after long periods of time. An oil catch can intercepts this blow-by before it goes into the intake. After it collects enough, you remove it, empty it out, and put it back on. This is a must at some point if you want to have your car running like a top at all times.

Stage 3 Parts:

Gauges
Side Motor Mounts
Exhaust Manifold
Boost Controller
Meth Injection (Optional)

--- COMING SOON!! ---

Stage 4 Parts:

Turbo Upgrade
Brake Upgrade (Rotors, Pads, or Both)
Short Shifter Upgrade
Clutch and Flywheel

--- COMING SOON!! ---
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 Old 10-09-2012, 02:44 PM   #2
 
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Excellent guide, and well written.

DO YOUR RESEARCH and trust your research, not others' opinions!!!
Great piece of advice.
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 Old 10-09-2012, 03:06 PM   #3
 
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I joined this forum to find out what I need to improve my 2012 MS3. The above info. Really got me started. What I need now is recommendations where to buy the parts. Also, because the car is new, I worry about warranty issues and mapping problems. Great site, hope to hear from you guys.
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 Old 10-09-2012, 03:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nikon_bob View Post
I joined this forum to find out what I need to improve my 2012 MS3. The above info. Really got me started. What I need now is recommendations where to buy the parts. Also, because the car is new, I worry about warranty issues and mapping problems. Great site, hope to hear from you guys.
Thanks sir! Also if you have any other questions feel free to give me a call or message me privately I will always be here to answer your questions!
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 Old 10-09-2012, 03:10 PM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by Nikon_bob View Post
I joined this forum to find out what I need to improve my 2012 MS3. The above info. Really got me started. What I need now is recommendations where to buy the parts. Also, because the car is new, I worry about warranty issues and mapping problems. Great site, hope to hear from you guys.
Best place is to donate and search the FS threads for used items or buy brand new from

EdgeAutosport themselves!
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 Old 10-09-2012, 03:30 PM   #6
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We are just here to get people the right parts the first go round!
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 Old 10-09-2012, 03:35 PM   #7
 
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Thanks for the response, I'll check out the site. How about the warrantee and mapping issues?
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 Old 10-09-2012, 03:38 PM   #8
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Depends on the mods but you can always take them off if you need to visit the dealer. Most of us do that even if we are tuned it only takes a few minutes to remove the tuning device
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 Old 10-09-2012, 06:35 PM   #9
 
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So, what I think you are saying, there is no mapping necessary with most of the mods. I had heard that Cobb fresh air conversion requires mapping changes. The mapping codes are at their site and are really required for the car to run properly. Also, what changes would get Mazda excited, and why would I go there? Not a big fan. I did go to your site, very impressive.
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 Old 10-09-2012, 08:00 PM   #10
 
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Just read plenty before you post and you will be okay....
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 Old 10-09-2012, 08:07 PM   #11
 
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Guess I am Stage 2.5! Sweet! Thinking some big turbo action. What up Eric and JP. I hope you guys are cranking! I am ready for some deals on motor mounts. wink wink nudge nudge. haha.
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I'll go search but out of all the items I wanted info on, Stage 3 Meth Injection. Sounds cool but i don't know what tthe hell it does. I'll wait longer for your description.
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 Old 10-09-2012, 08:46 PM   #13
 
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Great write up Eric for a new ms3/6 owner looking for a solid mod path.
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 Old 10-09-2012, 08:50 PM   #14
 
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Awesome write up, though I do disagree that the cat-back is listed in "stage 1", I think if that were changed with fuel pump internals it would make more sense IMO.
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 Old 10-09-2012, 09:03 PM   #15
 
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Great timing on this thread. I have been trying to do some research to get a decent reference for what order to go in with the mods. I plan on eventually getting partially in to stage 2, but mostly interested in stage 1. Good to know that an SRI (alone or with a TIP) doesn't require a tune or internals. I certainly see the benefit of them, but nice to see that the intake can stand alone while waiting for the rest.

Thanks for the guide. It won't affect my modifications, but I'm interested to see the completion of stages 3 and 4.
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 Old 10-10-2012, 07:39 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Nikon_bob View Post
So, what I think you are saying, there is no mapping necessary with most of the mods. I had heard that Cobb fresh air conversion requires mapping changes. The mapping codes are at their site and are really required for the car to run properly. Also, what changes would get Mazda excited, and why would I go there? Not a big fan. I did go to your site, very impressive.
You can run an intake without a tune but a tune will definitely help maximize performance

Originally Posted by h0ckeyman View Post
Awesome write up, though I do disagree that the cat-back is listed in "stage 1", I think if that were changed with fuel pump internals it would make more sense IMO.

Yeah I think its really personal preference. I agree fuel pumps are needed really soon but gen one speeds pumps are much more effective at holding pressure with mods versus gen 2's. Some gen one guys can run on stock pumps being fully bolted without issue
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 Old 10-11-2012, 01:57 PM   #17
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Bump
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 Old 10-11-2012, 01:59 PM   #18
 
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Too many words... Didn't read a word... but I trust you so I thanked it.
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 Old 10-12-2012, 08:33 AM   #19
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bump
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 Old 10-12-2012, 02:24 PM   #20
 
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If you track your car on the regular, there are so many upgrades you can or should do before thinking about power mods:

helmet
short shifter
motor mounts
differential mounts (speed6)
coilovers + endlinks + corner balance
sway bars
camber arms/ball joints
wheels
brakes
clutch + reinforce clutch pedal assembly

None of the above requires a Cobb AP, although I would do an AP + fuel pump at the very beginning just to get them out of the way.

If you decide to go BT and track your car, invest in safety gear (racing seats, roll cage + HANS), and have some money saved for rear axles (speed6).
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 Old 10-13-2012, 11:15 AM   #21
 
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Looking forward to seeing the stage 3 and 4 parts guides. I'm interested in meth for cleaning purposes and lower BATs in the summer but i dont know where to start or what would be best for me.
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 Old 10-23-2012, 11:02 AM   #22
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Bump I will have 3 done by next week
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 Old 10-24-2012, 07:30 AM   #23
 
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subbed
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 Old 10-25-2012, 11:54 AM   #24
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 Old 10-31-2012, 02:38 PM   #25
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 Old 10-31-2012, 03:11 PM   #26
 
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I love you... total homo.
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 Old 10-31-2012, 03:15 PM   #27
 
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You have too much time on your hands.
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 Old 10-31-2012, 03:17 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by XLT_66 View Post
You have too much time on your hands.
Dont tell JP
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 Old 10-31-2012, 03:33 PM   #29
 
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Perhapps add SS lines with the pads/rotors as well as some decent DOT4 fluid (ATE Super Blue/ ATE TYP 200, etc.)

The whole confusion about FP internals between Gen's could lead some non searching Pu Nubs having issues. I would suggest to avoid confusion, move the HPFP internals to the stage one section. Hell even if it is the first mod it will be fine, and could potenentially prevent disaster.

Also how about a couple "while you are at it's"
TIG, EGR Block off, coolant bypass (with the occ since the IM is most likely coming off for all those) as well as injector studs/seals.

Man, cudos to you for putting the effort into this. What a pita.

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 Old 10-31-2012, 07:37 PM   #30
 
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I would do a short shift plate and shifter bushing just because they are easy to do and relatively cheap imo.
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 Old 12-29-2012, 10:29 AM   #31
 
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This has been the best thread for me, I know a lot about cars but i was always familiar with honda and acura being thats all i could afford at one point. my First new car was a 2012 ms3, then i got into a 2012 ms3. It's been tough finding out about the gen 2, and this thread really put things in a perspective. Thanks again!! I just ordred a few parts for the 2012 ms3, I can't wait to get a few more!!
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 Old 12-29-2012, 11:52 AM   #32
 
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Originally Posted by mvp2010ms3 View Post
This has been the best thread for me, I know a lot about cars but i was always familiar with honda and acura being thats all i could afford at one point. my First new car was a 2012 ms3, then i got into a 2012 ms3. It's been tough finding out about the gen 2, and this thread really put things in a perspective. Thanks again!! I just ordred a few parts for the 2012 ms3, I can't wait to get a few more!!
just be careful genpus don't like power mods. add those fuel pump internals sooner rather then later
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 Old 12-29-2012, 03:20 PM   #33
 
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Originally Posted by mvp2010ms3 View Post
This has been the best thread for me, I know a lot about cars but i was always familiar with honda and acura being thats all i could afford at one point. my First new car was a 2012 ms3, then i got into a 2012 ms3. It's been tough finding out about the gen 2, and this thread really put things in a perspective. Thanks again!! I just ordred a few parts for the 2012 ms3, I can't wait to get a few more!!
Hopefully fuel internals was on that list. Definitely need those sooner then later.
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 Old 12-29-2012, 07:37 PM   #34
 
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Awesome writeup. I made sure that my first mods were RMM, internals and OCC and that was decided after prowling around here for 2 months. I put 1000 miles on my genpu a week so I didn't want to do anything before the "watch your ass" parts.
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 Old 12-29-2012, 08:15 PM   #35
 
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Originally Posted by stevehuff View Post
Hopefully fuel internals was on that list. Definitely need those sooner then later.
Great signature man!
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 Old 03-23-2014, 08:46 AM   #36
 
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Nice write up. Definitely helped me know what stages are on our ms3s.

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 Old 03-23-2014, 01:11 PM   #37
 
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Nice thread necro
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2009 Black Speed3 - AP, JBR Powerpath stage II Sri, JBR 70 duro tmm, JBR Ssb, JBR Short shift kit, JBR RSB, JBR 5mm spacers, ETS Tmic, TWM big type-R shift knob, RX-8 wheels, CPE Stage 2 rmm, H&R Springs, Bilstein B8's

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