(reposted from Mazdas247.com)
Now's as good a time as any to start a build thread for my beloved daily driver - a Spirited Green Metallic 2011 Mazda2 Touring. In September 2010, I had just gotten hired at a new job. I was watching TV, saw the commercial, saw that color
, and I immediately drove to the dealership for a test drive. I fell in love and a week later, after my very first day at work (9/13/10), I stopped back in to order one. I still remember getting the phone call at the end of October stating I had a VIN number, meaning my car had been built. I ended up picking it up the week of my birthday in mid-December of that year. In the two and a half years since taking delivery I haven't had time to do much besides basic maintenance and a few bolt-ons. Earlier this year, a windstorm caused a tree branch to dent the a-pillar, and a visit to a local college resulted in a key mark on the tailgate. I decided to get it all repaired at once (along with a solitary door ding on the passenger side,) and when I got it back I decided it was due for an oil change.
Here she is in the garage, pulled up on ramps, ready for her oil change.
All her goodies laid out in preparation for a fun night of car therapy. Mobil 1 0W-20 synthetic, a Napa Gold oil filter, K&N filter oil & cleaner, new windshield wipers, a new plate frame, and an AWR motor mount. Since no-one's stepped forward to do a how to for the install, I figured I might as well. I got the mount used with no instructions, but it was a pretty intuitive/straightforward install (at least for me).
First off, you're going to want to support the engine with a floor jack. I picked a particularly beefy-looking area on the trans, close to the mount itself, then pumped the jack until it made contact. I gave it one more pump for good measure.* There are two 14mm bolts holding the mount to the subframe and the trans. They're really easy to get to, and aside from being torqued pretty tight from the factory, they came off pretty easily.
*NEVER support a car with only a floor jack. I had the car up on ramps, but jack stands will work as well.
Here are the mounts side-by-side. Top: beefy, solid mount. Bottom: floppy, rubber mount. Yuck!
Before re-assembly I applied some threadlocker to the bolts. You don't need to go crazy with this stuff...just a dab at the end of each bolt will do. It'll work itself into all the threads as you tighten the bolts.
I found it easier to install the trans side of the mount first. Just tighten the bolt enough to get a few threads on it, then rotate the mount upwards to align the rear mount. It might be a tight fit, but a gentle strike of your palm will help to push the subframe side of the mount in place. Snug both bolts up before tightening either of the bolts completely.
The verdict? Besides being race-car loud at idle, there isn't really anything to complain about with the new mount. Shift feel is improved exponentially. If you do one modification to your Mazda2, make it this one.
Yeah, I'd say it was about time for new wiper blades. These were the original wipers, and two Ohio winters definitely took their toll on them.
Since I had the hood open to change the oil anyways, I opted to check all the fluids and detail the engine bay.
I bought this cool sticker in Hershey last month, and it's found a home on my fuse box cover.
So, this is kind of silly and kind of fun. Classic Mazda in Mentor took really good care of me when I bought this car, and has really been good to me since. However, my buddy just got hired in the service department, so I have to give him crap about it. How, you ask? Well, I decided to "modify" my license plate frame...
Masked off and ready for paint.
The only thing I will Plasti-Dip on any of my cars. Seriously, kiddies, cut that sh*t out. I know you want to "improve" the hand-me-down sedan your parents gave you for graduation, but it's the fastest way to turn an $8000 car into a $6000 car. I'm not talking about blacking out your emblems (which looks kinda cool on some cars), I'm talking about painting wheels, hoods, roofs, hell, entire cars with this crap. Gross.
The finished product. You can also see the JDM Demio badge I had the body shop install when they fixed the tailgate. Apparently, "de mio" is Spanish for "mine." My Mazda. Cute.