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THE COMFORT, OR NOT SO COMFORTABLE, ZONE....
DEPENDING ON HOW YOU VIEW DRIVING.
Where I park my derriere.
TWO POINTS OF VIEW
There are two areas to consider when outfitting a car: aesthetics and
functionality. I like to think that I have come close to accomplishing
both. I will begin by saying that this is a drivers car so no effort whatsoever
has been made towards installing a ground pounding stereo. I specifically
bought an R1 model to avoid the Bose system. About the only thing I've
done is install an OE CD player just to have the ability to play CD's.
In my opinion the interior of my car looks good and is pretty functional.
No big speakers, video screens, or phone mounts. Mainly just the stuff
that will serve a purpose when at the track not only from a driving standpoint
but also from a safety standpoint. I can honestly say that when I started
twiddling with stuff inside the car I just wanted it to look good but the
more time I spend on the track the more I wanted it to work well and increase
the likelihood that I would come away unscathed should I attempt to do
any off road driving and encounter an immovable object.
(I'll start with the important stuff)
5 point racing harnesses w/Camlock releases (drivers and passengers side)
Racing 4 point roll bar w/diagonal brace and drivers hoop (click for install pics.)
"Quick-lite" mini shift light (click for install pics.)
column mounted boost gauge
w/SPI white faced Boost Gauge (30inHg-20Psi)
dash top dual gauge pod
w/Nordskog Digital Oil Temperature Gauge (0-300degF)
and Nordskog Digital Fuel Pressure Gauge (0-100psi).
Turbo Timer w/RX-7 specific harness
Apex'i Power FC Commander Holder
Custom Fabricated drilled
and polished alloy gas pedal extension
Competition Shift Knob & shortened shift arm.
Short Shifter.(click for install pics.)
Mazda SS Scuff plates.
What I felt necessary to cover up my severely scuffed door sills-aesthetic?
Ok you be the judge. http://www.alpine-usa.com/
CDA-9853 CD player headunit.
Custom cut Efini DIN panel for Boost controller and Turbo Timer.
Tinted windows (35%)
PIAA 1000 85 Watt Clear
Driving Lights (switch in dummy blank in center console)
four vent hood from Pettit Racing
(click for a four part series on the installation)
Hood Prop Kit.
FEED "style" Carbon Fiber sideskirts.
Adjustable Rear Wing
1999 Mazda style (license plateless) front
bumper and turn signals
1999 Mazda Front Lip Spoiler
1999 Mazda Rear Tail Lights
So what do I have to say about all this junk? In General,the items
that I have added that I have been most pleased with are the safety enhancements,
i.e., the roll bar and the harness sets. A definite must have for anyone
serious about driving at the track. At my first AutoX with the stock seat
belts I found myself sliding all over the place, even with the R1 type
seats. I came away with bruises on the outsides of my kneecaps where I
was trying to pin myself in the seat by pushing on the door handle and
the center tunnel. Gauges are also a much needed augmentation to any dash.
Not necessarily the gauges I have but at least in this car a boost gauge
and a water temp gauge are absolute musts. Boost for obvious reasons and
water temperature gauge simply because the stock gauge is useless and only
indicates an overheated condition at a point in time when it's probably
too late to save your motor.
SOME NOTES ON THE SPECIFIC UPGRADES I HAVE CHOSEN
SPI white faced water temperature gauge and
Cyberdyne Digital Air Fuel Ratio Gauge removed!
(still pictured) In an effort to simplify my car these two guages were deemed duplicative so I removed them. Why?
The water temperature gauge duplicates data I can get from the Power FC Commander and the A/F ratio guage has been
supplanted with a Wide Band O2 sensor and display. The added hardware
and wiring of keeping these guages made thing overly complex. So all was removed and sold.
Pettit column mount is a nice
addition BUT it's IMO overpriced and does not sit dead center. It's hand formed
fiberglass so the gauge sits slightly off to the right. Annoying but you
get used to it. Plus with the lack of space for gauges in this car it is
pretty much your only option. Pettit is the only supplier of these unless
you want the $250 RE Amemiya mount from Japan!
The GReddy timer was a
late addition to my car. I never really had a use for it as the car is
pretty much only weekend driven so I always had the time to idle it down
and let it sit in the driveway running for a few minutes before shutting
it off. (yes, I live in a neighborhood where I can do this) And at the
track I would always let it idle for a minute or so to make sure the fans
will stay after I shut it down. Well after installing the timer I learned
that it can also be used to keep the fans running after the key has been
removed - I use it more for this than anything else these days.
The gas pedal I made myself,
as I have many other of the alloy components on my car. I have made several
for my track buddies and they all seem pretty happy with what they have.
It greatly eases the difficulty of heel-toe shifting. The only drawback
is it is a little too high as it attaches to the top of the OE gas pedal
For my purposes and skill level it's perfectly adequate and only cost
me about $2 to make.
At one time I had fitted white
gauge faces in the main gauge cluster. These were an NR
Accessories part that replaces the OE gauges faces with white laminate
faces. Aesthetically, they look fabulous but were, for me, a functional
nightmare. Where to begin? DON'T DO IT! It was the biggest pain the ass.
They were difficult to install and gave me trouble until I removed them
and completely replaced my main gauge cluster. I had problems with my gauges
being sluggish and in the case of my tachometer, total death. If you do
decide to do it, have it done by a professional. I would consider myself
a pretty good mechanic, I have done every single piece of work on this
car, but these were hard, and the price for installing them incorrectly
is very high (try $600+ for a new tachometer!) The problem being that you
are required to remove the needle to replace the gauge face. OE gauges
are all electrically driven and any shift in the location of the needle
axle from its bearings and drive motor will affect gauge response. The
result a sluggish or completely unresponsive gauge.
The Momo shift knob was
primarily for cosmetic reasons but the more I use it the more I like it.
It's smaller than the OE knob and weighs less so gives you better shift
feel if not a bit more notchiness. The Mazdatrix short shifter is a real
treat, shortening throws from 6 inches to 3 1/2 inches. While I was at
it I also fabricated the alloy radio bezel clips to match the shift knob
(awww....isn't that cute.)
PIAA driving lights. These
things are bright! They are the 85 watt clear bulbs that when viewed from
the front are even brighter than the OE main headlights. However, even
though they are brighter they do not penetrate as far as the OE lights
due to their low height but they do provide a tremendous amount of additional
peripheral lighting. I also have upgraded main headlight bulbs rated at
85W low beam and 100W high beam. Simple upgrade using H4 motorcycle bulbs.
What's left? CD player...
no car today should be without one so I picked up a used OE player and
plugged it in - a no brainer - about 30 minutes to install. The OEM CD player/tape deck
headunit has since been removed and replaced with a single DIN Alpine headunit to make
space for other accessories in the now vacant DIN space. Also got SS
scuff plates to hide the damaged/scratched up door sills (but overpriced
from Mazda), and tinted windows...just because I like tinted windows and
with a black interior the car got so damn hot!.
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This page last updated January 5, 2006
rotorphiles have visited this page since April 17, 2001
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