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Discussion Starter · #122 ·
So what made you pick the Eibachs vs. the H&R springs?
Chose the Eibach kit mostly due to availability...seems like most places I looked had the H&R springs on backorder. The Eibach springs were for the '07-'09 Speed3 but work quite well for the '10. I also got a really good package deal on the springs and wheels so it made it very hard to pass up.

And did you also get the Eibach anti-roll kit?
I did not get the Eibach Anti-Roll Kit...mainly because the Eibach only listed the kit for the regular Mazda3. Upon comparing the specs of Eibach kit to the stock Speed3 sway bars the listed diameters of the sway bars were far too similar to justify the "upgrade".

  • Eibach Specs: Front Diameter - 26mm, Rear Diameter 26mm (Kit intended for Mazda3...didn't find one specific to the Speed 3)
  • Stock Specs: Front Diameter - 26mm, Rear Diameter 25mm
Not much benefit...I'll probably be looking into TriPoint or Hotchkis should I feel like the sway bars need upgrading. TriPoint's rear sway bar is adjustable from 750#/in to 825#/in to 1000#/in (no diamter listed)...a noticeable difference from the stock (which offers about 250#/in). The Hotchkis set lists 29mm front and 32mm rear diameters, but I'm not sure about replacing both sway bars since the most benefit would be seen from merely replacing the rear (since the car is FWD).
 

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Discussion Starter · #124 ·
As promised, some more pics...

Full Side View (Bonus Protege5 and Mazda3 2.5 GT In The Background!)


Front Wheel Gap (After 1 1/2 Weeks On The Eibachs)


Rear Wheel Gap (After 1 1/2 Weeks On The Eibachs)


From The Ground Up


Another Ground View Shot


So after a week and a half on the Eibach ProKits the suspension is settling in and I think the drop is the lowest it's going to get. Overall, I'm really happy with the Eibachs...they give a really nice drop to the car without causing any rubbing issues and the stiffness is just right...not horribly bouncy and not too rough of a ride.

I've noticed that the car corners even better than it did before...which is to be expected. The drop did affect my camber a bit but it's still well within spec so I'm not overly concerned. It might cause some premature tire wear but I was ready for that inevitability. I can always correct it a bit with come caber links if it becomes necessary.
 

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The wheels and the drop look classy. Did you get an alignment? Is that how you know that you are well within spec on camber. What about front and rear toe, because that always changes when you drop your car.
 

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Man, your car makes me wish I got Black Mica instead of Velocity Red! But I really want those rims :drool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #129 ·
The wheels and the drop look classy.
Thanks for the compliment! I didn't want to go too overboard with the looks of the car (our 3's are already pretty eye-catching) but I didn't want to be rolling around completely stock either. I'm trying to strike balance.
Did you get an alignment? Is that how you know that you are well within spec on camber. What about front and rear toe, because that always changes when you drop your car.
Yeah...I had the car aligned with the drop (pretty much standard operating procedure).

The car spec'd out like this:
Front
Camber (Range: -2.0 to 0.1)
Left:
Same before and after...both -1.2
Right:
Same before and after...both -1.2
Caster (Range: 2.1 to 4.1)
Left:
Same before and after...both 3.0
Right:
Same before and after...both 3.1
Toe (Range: -0.05 to 0.14)
Left:
Before = -0.05
After = 0.05
Right:
Before = -0.13
After = 0.05

Rear
Camber (Range: -2.7 to -0.07)
Left:
Before = -1.9
After = -2.0
Right:
Before = -2.4
After = -2.1
Toe (Range: -0.05 to 0.14)
Left:
Before = 0.02
After = 0.02
Right:
Before = 0.15
After = 0.05

Results were pretty well within spec. Like I said, the negative camber on the rear could be adjusted better with some camber links, but I'm not finding that it's negatively affecting anything at the moment so I'm content to leave it as is...that may change though as I put more miles on this setup.

nice rims. seems like everyone is getting these now
Thanks, I was contemplating getting some Rotas or TenzoRs but got a deal on the TSWs that was too good to pass up.

I.

Despise.

You.

That is all :tongue:

Seriously though, car looks sick E.Tinker. You're making me remember how much I wish I would've bought a MS3, lol.
Thanks StitcH...the Speed3 has been a lot of fun...compared to the wife's 2.5 there certainly is a difference (I do love the leather interior of her 2.5 though :yes:). But there's a down side too, I've been filling up with premium quite a bit because it's so damn hard to keep my foot off of the gas :tongue:.

Man, your car makes me wish I got Black Mica instead of Velocity Red! But I really want those rims :drool:
That's funny...becuse when I got the rims I was thinking how sick they would look on the Velocity Red! If you're contemplating aftermarket rims at all you should totally go for the Time Attack color scheme...would look so hot!

Maybe some Volk TE37's:


:tt1:...would have pulled the trigger on those except for the fact that they're like $2500 a set...and that's a low estimate :crybaby 1:.
 

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Pretty awsome alignment specs! Your rear camber looks to be nearly perfect. Camber links would be a total waste. The reason I brought up the toe changing when you drop is that my right front toe was out after I dropped also. I'm sure the way your car handles now is sweet. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #131 ·
Thanks, it's definitely an improvement...car feels very planted now, high speed turns are absolutely awesome...very stable. I'll eventually need to change out the struts/shocks but by that time I may just roll into a set of coilovers. I popped into Creatve's Tein coilover thread and he's running a set designed for the Gen 1 Speed3 with an electronic damper adjuster...very nice. Kinda gave me some more ideas :devil2:.
 

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Discussion Starter · #133 · (Edited)
The ride is decent for what it is (stock struts/shocks on lowering springs). Not too bouncy or rough but it is quite a bit stiffer than the all stock setup. The car really feels planted now though...high speed turns are very stable and steering seems a bit less "loose", maybe becasue of the additional wheel width (or maybe I'm just imagining it).
 

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hows the ride with lowering springs.
Here you go...

Initial impressions are very favorable...as you can see, the ProKits drop it enough to close the wheel gap but don't dump it to the ground. There's just slightly less than a full two finger gap from the wheel to the fender (and that's before everything has settled). The spring rates on the ProKits are nice and firm too without verging on harshness. They're definitely a bit stiffer than the stock springs but not enough to make for a jarring ride. I'm still on the stock struts/shocks so I can only imagine that the ride will improve when I got to an aftermarket setup.

[snip]

So far I'm really happy with these two upgrades. They really do make a difference in the way the car handles...it seems more planted and a bit more "in tune" with the road.
Had to post that 2 minutes before me, didn't you E.Tinker? :tongue:
 

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Discussion Starter · #137 ·
how much did you pay for the TSWs if you don't mind me asking?

Care is nothing short of amazing, by the way. Nice work.
Thanks for the compliment!

Wheels were purchased at Les Schwab (don't know if you're familiar with them, they're a west coast local tire/wheel chain)...I ended up kinda making friends with the manager of this particular one. He cut me a really nice deal on the wheels, the 18's I got typically run around $220 each or so a wheel (internet prices, just for the wheels)...out the door, my cost for the wheels was $840 (including tire mounting, balancing, and new lugs). I checked out what America's Tire Co. wanted and they quoted me $980.

I pretty much told him that he earned all my future business as long as he had what I needed :yes:.
 

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Thanks for the compliment!

Wheels were purchased at Les Schwab (don't know if you're familiar with them, they're a west coast local tire/wheel chain)...I ended up kinda making friends with the manager of this particular one. He cut me a really nice deal on the wheels, the 18's I got typically run around $220 each or so a wheel (internet prices, just for the wheels)...out the door, my cost for the wheels was $840 (including tire mounting, balancing, and new lugs). I checked out what America's Tire Co. wanted and they quoted me $980.

I pretty much told him that he earned all my future business as long as he had what I needed :yes:.
That is a great deal. I wonder if they can order up some OZ's. I think I finally found a set that I like, the Alleggerita HLT.

How much more did you pay for the lowering the car (parts and labor) if you don't mind me asking. Because I can drive out to Roseville for a good deal. lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #140 ·
I'd be surpised if they work something out for the OZ's. They seem to be pretty acommodating.

The price for lowering breaks down something like:
  • $240 for the springs (Yeah, I could have gotten them cheaper online but then I'd have to install them myself since Schwab will not install suspension parts not purchased from them...and the last time I installed springs was THE LAST TIME I'm installing springs.)
  • $120 for installation labor
  • $80 for the 4 wheel alignment
For a grand total of $440.

An hour and a half of labor, not super-cheap, but the last time I installed springs it was a pain in the ass to do and took me far longer than it took them to do...I've wrenched on cars enough to know what I enjoy doing, what I'm capable of and what I'll pay to have done :yes:.
 
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