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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Introduction:
Hello everyone!
Before I get started, I thought that I would warn you all that not only am I a automotive enthusiast, I'm also a total nerd. Some of you might not understand my tastes and what I personally think looks good; if so, that is perfectly okay! I just ask that you all will be open to trying to view things from someone else's perspective.

First of all, while I do want to make my build look pretty classy and not extremely rice-y looking, I also want to completely nerd-out on my car. Finding the right level of compromise will likely be the hardest part of the build for me. I'm not interested in meeting up on the street like in Fast & The Furious and showing my car off like that, nor will I be going to track days in my car to show off at them either. This build is mostly just for me, and if other people stop and take the time to notice, awesome!

I would rather piss off a tuner purist than to not satisfy the kid in me. I have a friend that is a purist and hates half my ideas and tells me what will look good with what, and that's fine and I appreciate it, but if I want to lower the car and keep the stock rims because I like them, that should be acceptable.


Mods/Accessories Completed/Added:
• Alloy Pedals
• Wheel Locks
• Mazda Logo Tyre Valve Stem Caps
• Cargo Net in Trunk (for Sedan Models)
• OnSTAR Rearview Mirror <-- This was installed when I got the car, I will likely be removing this.
• Window Tint <-- Again, this was installed when I got the car. I will keep this, but idk what my tint levels are :sad 1:

Theme Mods/Accessories (Background Info):
I will be getting my Vanity License Plate soon, my top two options were:
1) SLVSTRK (Silverstreak = Autobot)
2) STRSCRM (Starscream = Decepticon)
My car is unofficially named Alexa (as a play on Axela) until I get my license plate in. The more I think about it, the more I want to do a Decepticon themed build, but my car is Liquid Silver, and I really thought that Silverstreak would be an awesome and fitting name.
Once I get the plate, I will get an Autobot/Decepticon License Plate Frame to go with the plate.

If you haven't figured out by now, I am planning on doing a Transformers themed build.
Preferably a tasteful one that doesn't look slapped together. Expect some additional lighting to be added though!

After I finally get my license plate & frame, I'm going to want to work heavily on theme-ing the car. I haven't ever done any car modifications myself, so hopefully some of you out there can answer all the questions I will have!

The Wishlist:
Primary Items:
Suspension Modifications:
Goal: Suspension drop to decrease the wheel gap from 1"-to-2.5" off of where it currently sits. I want the wheel gap of my car to match the wheel gap that is shown in the marketing images/ads of the car. I don't mind going lower, but the fender MUST still sit above the top edge of the tyre. It cannot sit lower. Think of what you would expect the wheel gap to be on a BMW or an Impreza WRX STI
• Koni Sport Yellow Struts with...
• H&R Springs (this is subject to change, but H&R springs do come with the struts when ordered as a kit)
• Rear suspension modification to decrease the side to side roll of the car
• (Optional) I would love a cheap solution to raise and lower the suspension based on my needs without it affecting the performance of the ride. I'm not really interested in coilovers, bags, or hydraulics. I mean, I know some supercars have an option you can add to them that will lift the nose of the car up for when you go over speedbumps. Sure it's like a $30,000 add-on, but in comparison to the $1,000,000 car, it's 3% of the car's price. Surely there is some way the same can be done for a $25,000 car with a similar price ratio.
• (Optional) With the above in mind, I would also like to have a camera and/or sensor to detect my clearance to objects ahead of me when parking or going over bumps that is tied into the infotainment screen. This isn't as high of a priority as the suspension drop itself, but it is something I would like to do, especially if I coupled the suspension drop with the aero kit.

Aero Kit
• Front Air Dam
• Rear Diffuser
• Side Sill Extensions
• Door Mirror Caps (maybe, currently on the fence as to whether or not I want them)
• A Clubsport-style Red Stripe around the brim of the Aero Kit (purple if Decepticon)

NOTE: I've realized that it probably would not be the best idea to do both a suspension drop and have the aero kit based on what I deal with on my daily commute. When torn between the two options, I decided that the wheel gap of the car has to go. I can't stand it. So, I'm ditching the aero kit for now and the suspension is now my first priority.
This doesn't mean I won't ever get the aero kit, just that I want to lower the car first and test how it rides and how it deals with the ramps, dips, and bumps I go over every day.

Non-Priority:

External/Appearance
• Themed Lighting
- • ORACLE CCFL Halo Replacements
- • ORACLE Illuminated Wheel Rings
- • ORACLE Dual Channel Multifunction Controller
• 3rd Party Aftermarket Spoiler
• Plastidip Stock 18" Wheels' spokes to Black
Hood scoop
• (Possible) Roof Black-Out Vinyl Film/Cover
• (Possible) Plasti-Dipped Chrome Pieces

Emblem and Trim Modifications and Additions:
• RS Mazdaspeed Emblem for Front-End in-Grill (seen it and I loved it!)
• sT Emblem for Rear-End (maybe 2.5L sT) (No, not an "ST" emblem, an "sT" emblem, this isn't a Ford!!!)
• Backlit Autobot/Decepticon Emblems w/styling similar to the Mazda Emblems (to replace them)
• Axela Emblem replacement for Mazda3 Emblem in the rear
NOTE: I will not be plastidipping any of my chrome trim. I love the way it looks in contrast with the liquid-silver paint.

Headlight/Tail-Light Modifications
• Upgrade to the Daylight Running Halo to be brighter than the Brow/Shoulder Lights!!!
• Fog Light Upgrade
• (Possible) Might Plastidip the chrome trim piece around the fog lights
• (Possible) Darkening of Head/Tail Lights
• LED/HID Upgrades
• (Possible) Color Change for the Halo
• (Possible) Color Change for Reflectors/Signal Lights
• (Possible) Color Change for Fog Lights
• (Possible) Lights illuminating behind grill - color matched to Autobot/Decepticon theme

Performance and Acoustics
• Corksport Short Ram Intake (waiting until they solve the intake temperature issues)
• Filter (Not sure what kind to get and idk if it matters if I get the CS Short Ram Intake) I've heard people mention the K&N filter makes the car sound better, is it an air filter?

Electrical/Interior:
• Themed Lighting
• Rearview Mirror with Compass - (Doesn't necessarily need to be Auto-Dimming) with:
- • Integrated Radar Detector hidden behind Mirror
• Custom Carbon Fiber Plate/Cover for Shifter to replace black-gloss plate
• OBDII Diagnostics Bluetooth Adapter to function with Torque App

Security Upgrades:
• Horn Upgrade (Not sure if I'll go with the Hella Horn or not, I really need to hear the difference before committing)
• Dash Cam (Front and Rear)
• Valet Key Mode for Keys OR have a separate Valet Only Key

Modified Light Controls - Independant controls for each of the various lights
• Daylight Running On/Off
• Fog Lights On/Off at any setting of the headlights
• Disable Auto-Off of Daylight Running Lights when set to On or if car is in partial-on, but....
• ...Keep Auto-Off Enabled for when the lights are set to Full On and you turn the car off
Light Control 1: Setting 0: No Lights, Setting 1: Daylight Running Lights (Auto-Off Disabled), Setting 2: Full Headlights (Auto-Off Enabled)
Light Control 2: Fog Lights On/Off
Light Control 3: Shoulder/Brow Lights Off/Dim/On

Modified Car On/Off controls - Change from: 'must be in park to turn the car fully off'
• OR have a button combination to turn off/on (or 'reset') the infotainment system off and on while driving
• Just a Basic reset, not a hard reset that resets all your settings

Pet Peeves & Fixes Wanted:
***Grill Replacement without front license plate mount***
Fix foam pieces in the trunk so that the tire cover sits flat in the trunk and not raised.
Up/Down Manual Seat Pump for Passenger's Seat to be added - Like what the base models of the car have for the driver's seat, but for the passenger
Seat Memory
Upgrade to Walk-Away Door Locking System (so it doesn't lock when I walk around the car to open a different door)
Change Passenger Airbag Light to only display if there is a passenger
Auto-Up/Down for Passenger Window trigger
Fix Volume control lag, and overlay of upcoming street vs. song on radio vs. volume
Fix locking issues for using the key when the doors are open or if the car is running.
FM Antenna Upgrade/Fix


Okay, I know some of these are likely to be completely unfeasible, but I just wanted to throw a quick list of things together before the weekend.

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Originally posted this here and here.
Definitely thought I should post my details in my own thread though.

UPDATE 1:​
Current Modifications:
Lowering Spring Kit - Eibach
Chrome Mirror Trim - Justautotrim
Personal License Plate
Transformers Autobots License Plate Frame
Tint - Came with it
Alloy Pedals
Trunk Cargo Net (Sedan)
Wheel Locks
Mazda Emblem Tyre Stem Caps
RS Mazdaspeed Accessories Grill-Insert Badge - Yet to be installed

Soon to Come:
License Plate Lamp to LED upgrade
Custom Home-made Grill Replacement
Chrome Grill Wing LED strip (hopefully soon anyways...)
DRL Halo Upgrades with 2 brightness levels day/night (hopefully soon anyways...)
Plastidip/Vinyl Wrap - Chin, Taillights, Wheels (maybe), Grill Wing Chrome (maybe)

Honestly, with the Liquid Silver, I think the chrome looks great, especially when looking at the car from the side. I really love the 3 layers of silver, the paint, the wheels, and the chrome. I'm going to do something to add a bit more color though, maybe paint the wheel nuts or maybe even try to tackle the brakes.

Pic #1 = Stock
Pic #2 = Eibach Springs and Chrome Mirror Trim Added (Image flipped/mirrored for lighting purposes to show the difference between pics #1 and #2)
Pic #3 and #4 = They just look good ;)




 

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would love to see how you would do memory seats..
that is something i would like as well, along with 1 touch window functions for the passenger. =)
keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
would love to see how you would do memory seats..
that is something i would like as well, along with 1 touch window functions for the passenger. =)
keep us posted!
Haha I think that is something that might not ever happen.
My list of pet peeves and mods I want to do kinda got grouped together and I didn't separate them out when copying and pasting my list from my computer.

For the memory seats, you could create a module that measured the range of movement on each moveable component of the seat. Then you could have it return to you what the position of your chair is by displaying you percentages related to the amount of travel/rotation the chair has done.

So, what that would do is at least tell you the values of each of the settings you have for your chair, it would not be able to move your chair for you back to a preset position, but as long as you remembered your favorite position values, you could go back to them much easier than you would have been able to otherwise by slowly tweaking everything back the way you wanted.

It is not an easy project, you need to know a lot about electronics and sensors, but something like I described is doable. The sensors might need to stay permanently in place, but you could remove the rest of the module when you didn't need it and just reconnect the sensors when you do use it.

As for the window, couldnt you just get another set of all the electronics that are used for the main window and replace the front passenger's side window controls with those?
I'm not sure if there is more you would need to do than that, but I'm guessing that this would be a lot harder than just swapping out the controls in the door.
 

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keep us all posted on all the new mods you plan on doing...
that's a long list of todo's!
no Autoexe steering wheel?
I'm really interested in this mod, but before i pull the trigger i really want to feel how the actual wheel is like.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
keep us all posted on all the new mods you plan on doing...
that's a long list of todo's!
no Autoexe steering wheel?
I'm really interested in this mod, but before i pull the trigger i really want to feel how the actual wheel is like.
I was unaware that there are steering wheel swaps.

Going off on a bit of a rant here...
My biggest pet peeve on the current wheel is that I'm basically only steering with my thumbs.
I want to have my hands just barely above 9 and 3-o-clock. There is a comfortable position I can find, however, its just ever so slightly off that I cant fit my pinkie fingers in, which just doesn't feel right.
I basically always have my fingers on the paddle shifters because I cant put them anywhere else comfortably. The paddles are way too close to the wheel, I cant get my fingers in where I want.
No one may understand my complaint and I'm sure some would just say drive at 10 and 2, but that feels terrible and I don't feel like I have as much control at 10 and 2 on the big nobs on the wheel.
My thumbs get sore from holding them down over the stitching too. It looks nice, but the shape of the wheel just isn't really ergonomic at all.
 

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Wow long list...I kinda like the transformer idea and looking forward to how that turns out for you. I'm personally an Optomis Prime fan...if I had an 18 wheeler I'd be all over it!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That's a great list, should keep your days off busy.

Don't go into suspension mods and intakes or such. It makes the car so much more fun to drive? :Racing 1:
I NEED to modify the suspension. The wheel gap is so bad I want to drive the car off a cliff.

As for the intake though, it isn't a high priority for me. I would love to hear the engine more and have the car be more grunty sounding, but I have no intention of destroying my engine by purchasing an intake that has not been fully tested.

Aside from the suspension modification, I mostly just want to do appearance modifications.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Wow long list...I kinda like the transformer idea and looking forward to how that turns out for you. I'm personally an Optimus Prime fan...if I had an 18 wheeler I'd be all over it!!!
To give you a really really really rough idea of what I'm thinking of doing, see the image below, but please keep in mind that this is only influencing my idea of having the grill backlit.
Only the lighting you see in the image is something I might do, I will not be aggressively changing the body. I might try to do lighting around the wheels, but I'm not really sure on that one.

...I also need to look up what colors of light are legally acceptable for headlights.
I might do the Halos in Red and the Halo's Brow/Shoulder LEDs Red too, and I'll probably do the fog lights with them, but the actual headlights inside the Halos, no.

As for the backlit grill, I think I might add in a metal mesh between the grill and what is behind it so that when you view the car from the front, you can't see straight through.

Oh, and if it turns out that my car is going to be a Decepticon (I'm still waiting for my license plate), rather than Red for the lighting, I will be doing Purple. I also might decide to Plastidip all my chrome trim black if it is a Decepticon, but I wont be if it's an Autobot.

I'm also totally considering having monitors added to the back of my headrests to display diagnostic information to those behind me. I think it would be fun for people to know if Sport Mode or Cruise Control was engaged. I'd also think it would be cool to display my pedal displacement to those behind me so they know how hard I'm braking or accelerating. Steering wheel position would be cool too. It would also be fun to have the option to display messages.

I wish I was good at photoshop so I could determine what the car would look like if I did the custom lighting I'm thinking of...



EDIT: Found an image that might follow a lot more closely (and provide a real-world example) with what I want to do lighting-wise:
 

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Fascinated w/ the rear monitors. But how do you suppose on getting the data to display?
Perhaps through an app that connects to the OBDii port?
 

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I am a total nerd too and wanted to make mine(waiting to get the car first) a video game theme/nintendoish, just tasteful pieces, nothing retarded. Sleek and simple. So your idea is neat, I am excited to see where this goes as long as it makes it look badass :cheesy:
 

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To give you a really really really rough idea of what I'm thinking of doing, see the image below, but please keep in mind that this is only influencing my idea of having the grill backlit.
Only the lighting you see in the image is something I might do, I will not be aggressively changing the body. I might try to do lighting around the wheels, but I'm not really sure on that one.

I love the idea and can't wait to see how it turns out for you!!!
For the lighting in the wheels check out www.oraclelights.com they have tron inpired LED's that wrap around your brake disks and light up your wheel wells.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I love the idea and can't wait to see how it turns out for you!!!
For the lighting in the wheels check out Oracle Lighting | Premium automotive, commercial, & industrial lighting products. they have tron inpired LED's that wrap around your brake disks and light up your wheel wells.
Oh yeah, I've been in love with Oracle's Camaro for a long time now. I'm planning on doing a resto-mod to my 1969 Chevelle 300 Deluxe eventually, and that Camaro has served as a lot of inspiration for lighting that I want to do.


I think a big project for me will be trying to find a way to upgrade the Halo headlights of the car. I want to keep the solid ring look rather than seeing each of the individual LEDs around a ring like you see on a lot of the Camaros on the road.
Looking at Oracle's website, it does appear that there is a solution to this issue. SMDs would give you the multiple LED look while CCFL and Plasma halos would provide the solid ring look. Now the only issue to figure out is how much work it is going to take to replace the current halo with one from Oracle (or elsewhere, it doesn't necessarily have to be them).

I've read somewhere that the halos the new 3's come with just reflect the light from the brow/shoulder LEDs, and the halos are not actually self-illuminated. This might not be correct though, I'll probably need to disassemble the headlights to see what all is going on in them.


Would anyone happen to have a diagram of the headlight that has arrows that point out what all the different areas around the headlights are? I kinda feel silly not being capable of using the right terminology when I could be. I'm honestly not even quite certain what part of the headlights are the bi-xenons. I would assume those are the actual headlight in the center of the halos.


Oh and as far as all the lighting goes, I think I might want to attempt to have multiple levels of illumination, Off/Dim/Bright based on my needs. Like if I wanted people to notice them during the day, I would set them to bright, but at night, they don't need to be overpowering so dim would work. I'd like to be able to take a picture of the car at night with the lights on without the picture coming out unclear due to the contrast of the brightness of the lights to its surroundings.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Fascinated w/ the rear monitors. But how do you suppose on getting the data to display?
Perhaps through an app that connects to the OBDii port?
That's actually not a bad idea at all!

Attached to this post is a .pdf, you should check it out!

I came up with something a while back based on the idea of having a rear display; I was playing Gran Turismo and I was watching the replay videos of how other people managed to do so well on certain courses so I could improve my own times. In those, it shows you how they were steering and applying the brake and throttle. I thought this would be a really cool idea if you were ever trailing someone around a race course in real life while trying to learn the course better, you'd be able to see how they used the wheel and throttle to balance over and understeer, and when to apply the brake and how hard you need to.

I meant to send the .pdf to a friend of mine to see what he would say about it but I never managed to send it. It's a little goofy because I tried to tailor it kinda as a sales pitch to him, so forgive me for that haha.
As you go through the slides, there are a few variations between each one. At the end I used my mad Paint skills and I've showed how they could possibly be implemented. One of the options was a HUD projected onto the rear windshield, another was having monitors attached to the back of headrests (note on this concept, that they don't have to both display the same information like what I show in the picture, instead you'd split the features between the two headrests), and the last option was having the display(s) embedded within the tail end of the car.
Obviously, displaying the information on monitors which are connected to the back of headrests would be the most feasible option, but it is always nice to dream and come up with futuristic concepts.
 

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