hcaulfield57
hcaulfield57 New Reader
6/1/22 10:33 p.m.

Hi all,

I bought a 12' Mazda2 Sport w/ 5-speed manual as my new daily driver. This car is replacing my 93' Civic DX. My life situation changed due to having a baby, and I needed something more reliable and safer to daily drive and occasionally drive the baby around in. 

I've been enjoying the Mazda2 so far. The shifter is pretty slick, it feels somewhat similar to my 83' RX-7. The only thing that has really taken some getting used to is the steering. I'm not used to power steering, so it feels pretty light and sloppy at low speeds. The Civic definitely has better steering feel, but I'm getting used to the Mazda2's steering and enjoying it more and more as I get familiar with it. It's certainly far more precise and faster, which isn't a bad thing.

The purpose of this car is to be a daily driver I can take my baby in, but I still want to see if I can improve the handling a bit. Anyone have any suggestions for springs, etc. I've been thinking about either the Eibach or Racing Beat springs, but I'm unsure how much they'll stiffen the ride. I plan on swapping over my Enkei RPF-1s from my Civic, which at least that should be an upgrade. 

Is anyone still driving a Mazda2? I know these are an older car, but it seems like there is a decent following here. The large Mazda2 thread was what convinced me to buy one of these. 

bluescooby
bluescooby Reader
6/1/22 10:49 p.m.

I bought one last year.  We were expecting baby #2 so I ditched my Veloster N to get rid of a car payment and picked up the 2 so I could more easily get two kids to and from daycare.  I also need it to hit the occasional autocross or track day, so I've added a few light mods.  I went with the Bilstein B14 kit because the factory struts were blown and it was cheap on RockAuto.  It's noticeably firm on rougher roads but it's definitely daily driveable. 

kevinatfms
kevinatfms HalfDork
6/2/22 7:37 a.m.

As a Fiesta ST owner i envy the Mazda2 4x100 bolt pattern. The choice of wheels is 100x what we get in 4x108.

The 2 can use alot of the Fiesta/Fiesta ST suspension items as they share the same chassis. The 2 is also part of the b-spec racing segment and alot of the track focused setups can be lifted from those cars quite easily. A few companies sell "kits" to turn a 2/Fiesta/Fit/Rio/Sonic into a full fledged race car.

 

hunter47
hunter47 Reader
6/2/22 9:42 a.m.

In reply to kevinatfms :

https://store.mazdamotorsports.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/TopCategoriesDisplay

B-Spec segment parts can be found here from Mazda's official motorsports website. 

I've always liked the Mazda2. 

 

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) UberDork
6/2/22 11:11 a.m.

If there was one for sale local to me that wasn't basically knocking on deaths door I'd own one. 

hcaulfield57
hcaulfield57 New Reader
6/2/22 2:03 p.m.

@bluescooby: I spent some time looking at the Bilstein B14 kit last night. It looks like it goes from like $850 - $950. Not a bad price for what you get, as lowering springs and new decent shocks would start putting you into that range anyways. For some reason I was under the impression that kit was more track-only, but from more reading it seems like it is stiffer than stock, but still daily-driveable. Still trying to figure this out, it'd be nice to keep the car from wallowing all over the place and reduce the monster-truck stock ride-height. The car has 80k miles on it, so I don't know how wise it is to put lowering springs on the stock shocks, but I'm worried about going too stiff and making the car uncomfortable for wife and baby. 

I need to fix the shake when breaking down-hill and replace the front sway-bar endlinks that are totally knackered at the moment. The stock endlinks look like they're made of plastic or something, I'll probably try to pick up some Moog ones, which are like 1/4 of the OEM price. I'm really enjoying the car, the only thing I really hate is how sloppy and vague the steering is <15 mph. It seems like everyone rates the steering highly on these cars, so maybe I'm just being particular.

What are people doing for rear roll-stiffness? It seems like the only bolt-on rear sway-bar is the Corksport item, which it seems like a lot of people have broken, so I'm unsure what to do, if anything. It seems like there are some differences between the Fiesta rear beam and the Mazda2. For example, Eibach makes a rear swaybar that bolts into the bottom of the shock mounting point, but the holes look different between the two cars. I really want to avoid drilling anything, which sort of moves it out of the daily-driver I'm trying to accomplish. 

bluescooby
bluescooby Reader
6/2/22 9:59 p.m.

Yeah RockAuto had the kit for $723 I think, but looks like they're out of stock.  I've bought from Chris Taylor Racing, he has B-Spec parts that work, including that Eibach rear sway bar. 
 

https://christaylorracing.com/collections/b-spec-stuff

hcaulfield57
hcaulfield57 New Reader
6/3/22 12:09 a.m.

Thanks for posting that link, lots of good stuff. The B14 kit does look like a good value for the money. Hard to say, I need to fix a few issues first and get more time driving the car. The steering is honestly fine, the only reason why it bothers me at low speeds, is because I have to retrain some of the reflexes due to the ratio. My Civic is like four turns lock-to-lock, so you really have to hike up on the steering wheel on turns where I don't have to move my hands from 10 and 2 on the Mazda2. I also have to decide if I need to sell my Civic or my RX-7. Not a bad place to be in, but a tough decision. 

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
6/3/22 7:46 p.m.

A chap by the name of Flatlander on here had two of these that he had really well set up. I don't remember what he went with, but if you search for him, you should be able to find his build thread. 

I love these cars. The handling is silly good. 

vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) UberDork
6/3/22 8:05 p.m.

Look at me avatar pic. That's Wedge. 2013 sport 5 speed. 180000 miles on the original clutch. Tons of fun. Easy autocrosser in stock form. The four door Miata. Currently running Momo Quasars.

kevinatfms
kevinatfms HalfDork
6/6/22 8:22 a.m.
hcaulfield57 said:

@bluescooby: I spent some time looking at the Bilstein B14 kit last night. It looks like it goes from like $850 - $950. Not a bad price for what you get, as lowering springs and new decent shocks would start putting you into that range anyways. For some reason I was under the impression that kit was more track-only, but from more reading it seems like it is stiffer than stock, but still daily-driveable. Still trying to figure this out, it'd be nice to keep the car from wallowing all over the place and reduce the monster-truck stock ride-height. The car has 80k miles on it, so I don't know how wise it is to put lowering springs on the stock shocks, but I'm worried about going too stiff and making the car uncomfortable for wife and baby. 

I need to fix the shake when breaking down-hill and replace the front sway-bar endlinks that are totally knackered at the moment. The stock endlinks look like they're made of plastic or something, I'll probably try to pick up some Moog ones, which are like 1/4 of the OEM price. I'm really enjoying the car, the only thing I really hate is how sloppy and vague the steering is <15 mph. It seems like everyone rates the steering highly on these cars, so maybe I'm just being particular.

What are people doing for rear roll-stiffness? It seems like the only bolt-on rear sway-bar is the Corksport item, which it seems like a lot of people have broken, so I'm unsure what to do, if anything. It seems like there are some differences between the Fiesta rear beam and the Mazda2. For example, Eibach makes a rear swaybar that bolts into the bottom of the shock mounting point, but the holes look different between the two cars. I really want to avoid drilling anything, which sort of moves it out of the daily-driver I'm trying to accomplish. 

For the rear roll stiffness....

Grab the Corksport bar and then bolt on a torsion beam brace for a Fiesta. TB Performance makes one that is easy on the wallet and bolts into a Mazda 2 in the same location. Just contact him beforehand and tell him its for a base model Fiesta/m2 so he knows which set of dimensions to send out.

https://tbperformanceproducts.com/collections/ford-fiesta-st2014-2019-performance-products

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/7/22 3:29 p.m.

For a brief minute, we had one in our fleet. 

infernosg
infernosg Reader
6/7/22 3:55 p.m.

I had a True Red '11 Touring as a DD for a few years  from Sept. 2011 through December 2014. Fun, tiny car that can fit in a lot of small spaces and was pretty good on gas as well. Only got rid of it because we were downsizing our fleet. My only complaint was the A/C. Not that it couldn't keep up with Ohio Summers but mine seemed to constantly be cycling on and off. With only 100 hp it's easy to feel the compressor kick on and it often did at inopportune times like mid-shift. Made it difficult to shift smoothly at times since the RPM drop was inconsistent.

paul_s0
paul_s0 Reader
6/7/22 5:14 p.m.

We had a '13 down here in Peru.  Good and nimble, we only really changed as #2 Mini-me came along and it just wasn't big enough.  I only got as far as putting some camber bolts on mine and barely lifted going through the twisties in the Andes... That reminds me - going over 10,000 FASL if I wanted to maintain 90-100 kph I had to turn the A/C off....  If you've got the shakes under braking I'd get that sorted first.  Considering you say the steering is a bit 'off', is it worth you checking TREs and the LCA bushes??  I think I saw someone was making an offset bush for the rear of the LCA, giving a bit more caster..

hcaulfield57
hcaulfield57 New Reader
6/7/22 8:52 p.m.

After driving the car for awhile, I realized there's nothing wrong with the steering. This was just a result of me being used to driving cars with slow manual steering (mostly my 93' Civic DX). I drove my RX-7 for the first time in awhile today, and the steering feels real slow now.

I took the car to have the wheels balanced, the tire place told me they were balanced, glad I only had them balance the front two. I currently have a terrible set of All Seasons that are basically worn down to the wear bars. I'm replacing brake rotors and pads, so hopefully this will fix the brake vibration, it's a bit scary on the highway.

I did about 50 miles on the highway with it over the weekend, unfortunately I hit a massive pot-hole on the on ramp, and the car has felt "off" from that side since then. It seems like it wobbles a lot during turning. I'm guessing the shocks are either bad, or going bad. I'm trying to figure out what to do shock and spring wise. I'd really like it to be a bit lower and to have less body roll. I was originally leaning towards the Bilstein B14 kit, but it's expensive (not in the grand scheme of things, but expensive for me now), and I'm super concerned it's going to be too harsh for wife and baby. Either the Racing Beat springs or Eibach seem like they might be better. But then I don't know for shocks. I'm guessing any "OEM" style shock is going to not be able to handle those springs, but the Koni STR.T are pricey. Maybe Bilstein B4 and the Racing Beat springs would work, since supposedly the Racing Beat springs can be run on the stock shocks. Not sure.

Mine is Liquid Silver, which wouldn't have been my first color choice, but it's grown on me. I'll take a picture when I get some time.

kevinatfms
kevinatfms HalfDork
6/8/22 9:19 a.m.
bluescooby said:

Yeah RockAuto had the kit for $723 I think, but looks like they're out of stock.  I've bought from Chris Taylor Racing, he has B-Spec parts that work, including that Eibach rear sway bar. 
 

https://christaylorracing.com/collections/b-spec-stuff

I just bought the b-spec spring setup from him for my ST with the B14 dampers. Excellent communication(i asked a ton of questions) and extremely knowledgeable in the Fiesta/2 platform. Prices are fair and he had everything in stock when i ordered.

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
6/8/22 1:16 p.m.
CyberEric said:

A chap by the name of Flatlander on here had two of these that he had really well set up. I don't remember what he went with, but if you search for him, you should be able to find his build thread. 

I love these cars. The handling is silly good. 

he had redshift suspension which is now Standard Racing Suspension.

It's now a b spec chassis as flatlander spun into a wall at MID-O last year and took the insurance and ran TRAITOR!!!

flatlander937
flatlander937 HalfDork
8/13/22 1:56 p.m.
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) said:
CyberEric said:

A chap by the name of Flatlander on here had two of these that he had really well set up. I don't remember what he went with, but if you search for him, you should be able to find his build thread. 

I love these cars. The handling is silly good. 

he had redshift suspension which is now Standard Racing Suspension.

It's now a b spec chassis as flatlander spun into a wall at MID-O last year and took the insurance and ran TRAITOR!!!

Hahahaha! Yeah I've been enjoying my GTI but still miss the Mazda2 (both of them). What the GTI doesn't require in suspension mods/power upgrades, it requires in cooling mods and consumables to run on track for an extended period of time. It fit my needs of being a nice do-everything jack of all trades in the event that I got back on track and found I couldn't handle it (my balance was off for a good 2-3 months after the accident, and wasn't sure if I'd ever really feel "sharp" as I was before).

For the OP here are links that may be of interest:

My Mazda2 build - from the beginning... primarily started out for autocross and transitioned to track shenanigans

Mazda2 build continued - was dubbed "Tot" by my son and the name stuck - this is AFTER all my trial and error and will have the good information you really need if looking to set it up for high performance driving. It also had LOTS of trick bits installed up front from the Fiesta ST. The knuckles + LCAs are direct bolt ons with a simple steering rack limiter added and everything works out perfect to have 2 turns lock to lock. Made it super fun to drive like that.

This was the second Mazda2 named "Blueboy" - purchased for my wife to run some HPDE with. This was actually a for sale thread because I never made an actual dedicated build thread for it. It was honeslty set up exactly how I'd want a "fun" daily driver. It didn't beat you E36 M3less, the super lightweight wheels and Conti ECS made it super playful and fun to drive. If you have no intentions of getting on a track this is what I'd recommend as a starting point.

Excellent cars, dead nuts reliable. My black car had 186k IIRC on it when it hit a wall. Currently being rebuilt as a B Spec racer by Chris Taylor Racing Services. Whenever it's finished I'm honestly inclined to buy it back. It was a ridiculously fun car.

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