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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Where I started from (bought 3/22/2014)







Currently (as of 12/28/2014)











Modifications:

Performance
- JBR drop-in filter

Wheels/Tires
- 16x7 Matte Graphite Silver Sparco Assetto Gara wheels

Suspension
- None

Exterior Apperance
- 35% Suntek Carbon tint
- removed SKYACTIV badge
- removed Mazda 3 badge
- wrapped rear "M" emblem in matte grey
- wrapped front "M" emblem in matte grey
- wrapped front chrome grill chin in matte grey
- wrapped front turn indicators in amber

Interior
- none

Detailing
- Detailer’s Pro Series Auto Bath Shampoo (good)
- Detailer’s Pro Series Total Interior Cleaner (good)
- Detailer’s Pro Series Interior Surface Protectant (okay, smells to much like bananas)
- Detailer’s Pro Series Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner (good)
- Detailer’s Pro Series Krystal Vision Glass Cleaner (very good)
- Detailer's Pro Series Foamaster Foam Wash Gun (cool toy, not sure if i like it because it's good or just a gimmick)
- Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Shampoo (good)
- Chemical Guys V32, V34, V36, V38 polishes/compounds (good)
- Chemical Guys Blacklight (good)
- Chemical Guys Hybrid V7 (good-ish, not sure if I will reorder. Kinda pricey per ounce)
- Chemical Guys Nonsense All Purpose Cleaner (good)
- Dodo Juice Diamond White Hard Wax (very good)
- Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine (for rinseless, clay lube, quick detailer) (A++, seriously, this stuff is a must buy)
- Optimum Opti-Bond Tire Gel (okay, dosen't last very long, will switch to tire coating when gone)
- BLACKFIRE Total Trim & Tire Sealant (good, but will try another product)
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Welcome to my super slow build thread. I got the car on March 22nd and besides trying to keep it clean, I haven't been able to do much else to it. My wife and I had our second child recently and kids take up a ton of time and money. I am very into detailing cars so I will be posting about that a fair amount. As far as future plans to, I want to get tinted windows, wheels and tires, springs and a dynotronics tune. I'm sure there will be other little items along the way but those are the major ones that i want. My wife said I can get new wheels when it's time to replace my current tires. I'm estimating that these tires will last until 30,000 miles so at the rate I put miles on my car, that should be at the end of next summer. Let me know what you think, feedback is always welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Now that it's not a million degrees outside in Houston anymore, I was able to do some vinyl wrapping on my car, the front and rear emblems, front chrome grill chin and front turn indicators. It's still not the coolest car I've ever owned but I like the vinyl bits I've added so far.











I also almost bought a set of gen 1 mazdaspeed 3 wheels and tires the other day. The guy offered them to me for 200 but they needed 3 new tires and the wheels looked like that had lived a very hard life. There was moderate curb rash on 2 of the wheels, another had heavy curb rash and all 4 just had nicks and scratches all over them. So i passed on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I love the chrome but I want it to be more subtle
I don't really love chrome but I wanted something more subtle. I saw a bunch of members use black but it was too much of a contrast for me, especially on a white car. I would say try it, it's cheap and easy to take off if you don't like it.
 

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I plan on it.. Im also debating on plasti dipping my car as well, one to preserve the paint and second to give it a different look... We shall see
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you put plastidip on your brand new 25 ish thousand dollar car, I will find you, and I will hurt you. Plastidip should be for broke college kids and car with over 100k miles. Sorry for the rant, I'm not a dig fan of the stuff. There are much better ways to protect the paint (paint coating and films) and change the color (vinyl wrap).
 

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hahaha I understand ya man.. Im not about hurting my 25 ish thousand dollar car.... I doubt I will go through with it. All the guys at my work are waiting to see what I do to mine.. Parts Manager at a Mazda dealership ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks to @Rob VN for sending me his JBR panel filter quickly that I bought from him last week. He even included all the original stickers and instruction sheet which I thought was pretty cool. It took me about 30 seconds to install and it fit perfectly (which is not always the case with aftermarket drop-in filters).



 

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The matte gray is a nice contrast with the white, and certainly more subtle than black. I have a Dolphin Gray 2012 hatchback, and am trying to decide what to do for the emblems in the front and back... Great choice in detailing products - I am still trying out several different lines (Griots, Chemical Brothers, Meguiers, DP) to see which ones I like the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The matte gray is a nice contrast with the white, and certainly more subtle than black. I have a Dolphin Gray 2012 hatchback, and am trying to decide what to do for the emblems in the front and back...
Thanks. I'm not sure if it's your style or not, but I really like the bronze emblems on the dolphin gray. But I know that might not be be for everyone.

Great choice in detailing products - I am still trying out several different lines (Griots, Chemical Brothers, Meguiers, DP) to see which ones I like the best.
I just bought a whole bunch of chemical guys products this week, hex logic pads, V line polishes and Blacklight that I'm going to try out on my car this weekend. My car has some swirls that I need to buff out.
 

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I was thinking bronze or a darker gold - I have seen the plasti-dip gold and other bright gold colors and that's a little too bright for me. I am going to paint my blue engine cover section in Dolphin Gray (got a rattle can coming from Automotive Touchup) and if that turns out well, I'll see about color matching the area under the front emblem and then using a bronze/dark gold for the emblem itself...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, I passed my third actuary exam and I got myself a present. 16x7 matte graphite silver Sparco Assetto Gara's. I really wanted something light and inexpensive, but not crap, to replace my steelies. The definitely fit the bill because they were 99 dollars a piece and weight 16.6 pounds according the Tirerack, my bathroom scale agrees.





Also, if I am able to keep going auto crossing, I will mount some super sticky Hankook RS3 V2's on my steelies. The stock tires Yokohama's have no grip whatsoever, but the will be good enough for daily driving. I'm on pace for 19,000 miles this year, so there is no point in mounting performance tires on the Assetto Gara's
 

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Well, I passed my third actuary exam and I got myself a present. 16x7 matte graphite silver Sparco Assetto Gara's. I really wanted something light and inexpensive, but not crap, to replace my steelies. The definitely fit the bill because they were 99 dollars a piece and weight 16.6 pounds according the Tirerack, my bathroom scale agrees.
Congrats, on both the exam and the new rims! And thx for checking and posting about the TireRack weight vs. reality. Good to know.

I'm also considering getting into auto-x (or "Solo" as the local SCCA folks here call it) in the spring. How long have you been involved? Did you ever enroll in a "Solo Novice School"?
 
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