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My Other Car...

By Bitter, January 10, 2011

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Nice! Heard good stuff about the 85122+ bulb on a couple of other forums (HIDplanet, G35driver, etc) - OEM color temperature that doesn't color shift like the standard ones - though some may like that blue HID color.

if you want blue, you get blue bulbs. I don't want blue, its harder to see at night, has less light output, and strains your eyes worse at dusk/dawn. These bulbs are great, just waiting on some different shrouds to finish this up. No fancy halo's or anything, I had thought about some LED rings in amber around the backs of the projectors facing into the bowl behind the shrouds, but I'm not sure much light would get around the shrouds...I'll play with things once I have the shrouds and decide if I want to try messing with that. It would add about $20 to the cost, and I'd set them to be on with the parking lights and flash off/on with the turn signals.

Tails are sharp! I like them.

I like them too, thanks. Looks more current than the old ones did.

shroud to centering ring silicone glue is setting up as we speak, will do final assembly later today and maybe get them installed this evening/afternoon.

Nice! Looks like a manufactured piece instead of a modded one - very clean.

Looking for some feedback, how do you think 195/70 14 will ride vs the stock 185/70 14? It's a little taller and wider, I'm asking because 185 width in the tires I want lack a center rib, higher widths have the center rib. 185 widths have a single center groove...

I'm wondering how much a difference that rib and two grooves will make?

I'd get the wider ones. Comparing the 195mm treadwidth vs the narrower widths, hands down the wider tread has them beat. Traction, overall ride, load capacity, were all improved with the wider tire. Braking was also markedly improved, that alone was worth the slight loss in MPGs, the traction gains with good ride were just bonus.

Having that extra rib was exactly what drove me to get the 195 widths to begin with. You'd be surprised how much a center rib can help with straight line tracking on the highway and those two extra circumferential grooves help with pumping water out of tire tread - but I found their results just short of staggering. This point, I will not drop back down in width, unless it is a snow/ice tire only.

Those Pirelli tires should be awesome tire. I put on a set of PZero Nero M+S tires on the 2009 Matrix - even compared with the relatively high grip levels of the BFGoodrich g-Force SuperSport A/S tires I've had before - the wear levels are outstanding (still looks like new with almost 10K miles - whereas the BFG would have been 1/2 way worn!) and still give better wet traction. There was a little dusting of sleet in PA this weekend on completely rain soaked roads - I trcuked through it like it was a dry road, would have hydroplaned in a heartbeat with the BFGs.

They'll be here soon...tracking will probably update after I get them since I live about 4hrs from Tire Rack!

I settled on them after seeing them on a customers car, DEEP tread with sipes all the way down. Looked fantastic for snow and rode pretty nice too.

mounted, balanced, pleased that my rims were very clean. Just brushed on some bead seal to make sure and spun them right onto the rims. Put the first one on the balancer to find it had a bend in it! Nothing a few solid whacks with the short handle sledge didn't clear up. Rides smooth and nice now, tires make a satisfying high tension 'kapong' sound over big expansion gaps. So far so good, but barely any miles on them. No perceptible difference in speedo reading either.

I'll report back after some more miles, but so far my initial impression is that I'm pleased with them.

Sounds promising so far - can't wait to see what they do with a few thousand miles on them. If they are anything like their other offerings - you'll be very pleased with them.

Yep, I like them so far. Going to drizzle for a few days...get to test them out.

One nagging issue I'm having though, my R/R drum wants to lock more easily than L/R, R/R shoes were slightly more worn down, and after adjusting them so both sides had equal drag the R/R is now able to spin free but the L/R still drags slightly. After driving last night I felt both drums and both felt hot. Could I have one wheel cylinder not doing its fair share or might I have an issue with the shoes catching on the backing plate?

Possible it is a failing wheel cylinder not pulling its weight - could be an issue with the brake hardline or proportioning valve/ABS causing higher line pressure on one side than the other. The shoe catching or sticking to the backing plate should be easier to rule out, just make sure they are greased up. Might be the surface on the drum lining - could have a slight nap, causing the brake shoes to self energize more easily.

If you didn't already bleed the brake lines, did you notice if one line had oil that was appreciably "darker" than the other? Could be a corrosion issue, could be a chewed up seal in the wheel cylinder.

and today I got to see how they do on the wet. They do very well. They'd be invincible if I had ABS on this car.

Braking issue kind of feels like it's sorted itself out, I'll take a look at stuff at work when I have time before it snows. It could have just been one tire had more mold release compound on it than the other. I do need to bleed new fluid into the system though, and grease the shoes against the backing plates as well.

Also I need to re-check my balance, I think one in the rear is out at about 70mph. I want to rotate the fronts to back and re-balance all 4 to see if the shake goes away. I know one front wheel is a little bent.

I like the tires. Still need to re-check balance and rotate.

Ordered a pair of StopTech Street Performance pads for the front, I cannot stand whatever Ceramic pads my mother had installed, they suck. Hot and cold they grab the same which is nice, however they don't grab differently with different pedal pressures. As in, stopping briskly with 2/3 pedal stops the same as pedal to the floor with the exception that I might lock a rear wheel. These StopTech pads are supposed to have high initial bite and only offer up fade when tracked hard. I think I'm going to like them, since for the Mazda high initial bite is a good quality, most braking I do is either very gentle or SUDDEN PANIC BRAKING OMG THERE'S A DEER! The Hawk HPS pads are good too, but they bite harder when hotter which is better for the Celica since it's brakes are good even when cooled off and if it's play time then the brakes are staying warmed up or get warmed up pretty fast. I'll cut the rotors on the car if possible, they were new and the Ceramic pads look like they haven't done anything to them. I do have a little warp so maybe I'll kill 2 birds with one stone eh?

Cool - I was looking at the StopTech pads, see if they had fitment for the 2009 Matrix XRS. From what I've heard, they have a much more linear response than other high performance pads. I too like the Hawk HPS pads, but there is a very narrow crossover point when they start to get really hot. It will go from strong brake torque when approaching that temp point to strong brake torque + eating the rotors and the pads aggressively when you go past it.

I like the Stoptech pads, not having had anything other than the whatever ceramics on this car I can't really compare them.

So, I'm about to get some malleable copper tube to make the heated washer jets and just realized....won't the fluid all evaporate in the coil around the heater hose (when I'm not spraying) and end up leaving bits of residue which will clog the nozzles?

Also, I'd like to find someway to un-link AC to defrost so I can run heat at the windshield without running the AC. Sometimes I need to warm the glass but I don't need to dry the air, and AC really puts a hurt on this engine's fuel economy. I know on my Celica with manual controls I just remove a little bit of plastic and voila. But this Mazda has electronic controls and it seems like it's all inside the integrated circuit. default_sad

Don't know enough of Mazda electronics to point you in the right direction - but I know that some cars that have the HVAC controlled by body logic (a separate body ECM) - nothing short of a inline hack or wiring in your own dedicated circuit will bypass that link. I too worry that day where the mechanical links will be forever discarded in favor of lighter weight, low cost, reduced part count and labor of electronic control systems.

As for the washer fluid evaporating from the heat - hard to say. Most of the washer fluid has a fair amount of distilled water in it, which has a pretty high heat capacity. Shouldn't be too much of a problem, as the underhood temps - sans the heater hose + copper tubing mod - are pretty high itself. Shouldn't see an appreciable problem with that mod, other than maybe a slight delay to pump fluid to fill the tubing to the nozzles. As long as you make sure the reservoir is clean, contamination from possible residue build-up should be minimal. If any does accumulate, once it gets washed over with the heated fluid - should dissolve quickly anyways.

Hmm, sounds good.

And yea, it looks like it's all on the control head board and may be a real pain in the ###### to tinker with.

Never made the washer heater, just got better winter fluid and a better scraper.

I've sound deadened (partially) all 4 doors and the hood skin somewhat. I have an amp and speakers for the front awaiting install when I have the time.

Which fluid did you end up using? I stopped using the generic "blue" alcohol/water mix - switched to the premium "purple" stuff or Rain-X "Orange" stuff. Night and day difference.

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