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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Don't know about DG, but in combination with my K&N I've loved my Tanabe.

Update elsewhere: I've got some small projects coming up for the car to brighten things up a little more. Had my audio system re-tuned to bring the subs back into play, so they're right where I want them. Got some subwoofer guards in a sleek chrome to play in to the interior silver and exterior chrome; I'll have pictures of those later. Car is definitely coming along, but thankfully still flies under the radar everywhere. Nobody thinks twice about the "blue sedan."
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Got a little bit more done. Hella horns, poly lower motor mount, OEM wind visors. Footwell lights, but I'm not sure I like them. Cleaned up the wiring under the hood, to the point where I have three or four friends seriously considering having me DIY their wiring for their cars. Joined a local auto club, cool group of people. Used Chemical Guys ecosmart waterless wash; that stuff is godsent. And the best of all, is a host of tweaks to the infotainment system to expand functionality. I need to get off my ass and post some pictures soon; car is definitely coming along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Thanks man! Appreciate it.

For the trunk light, it's a 20inch strip spliced into the existing trunk light power, and grounded to one of the chassis grounds near the rear deck. Super simple install. I popped off the cover of the stock trunk light, fed the wires up, and (after removing the rear package - 15 min job), scotch-locked the power wire into the power for the stock trunk light, and then grounded it elsewhere.

DD was pry talking about not having an adapter. Our stock trunk light is a really small socket with space enough for one LED. Hardly enough in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
The shipping is $46 for a $2 part lol
Nothing like that overseas shipping!! I was considering this piece but $50 for something the front strut tower bar would hide is no bueno. I've got some other tricks up my sleeves, though! Need to go shopping!
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Thank you for the link DG!

Some more updates:
Horns are still having issues. Calling about that soon. Painted the front emblem, and jailbroke/flashed/tweaked the infotainment system. Else I've just been enjoying the car! Nearly 10,000 miles in six months here. About to pick up some more parts soon, likely suspension.


 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
I know it's been a while, but I've been all over the place with the car and haven't had a solid update.

Added:
BC Racing Coilovers (Do not buy the Swift Spring upgrade through them. If you don't like your achievable height, you'll want a different size or rate than they offer).
New ground wires for the hella horns.
Three air intake tubes.
Fog light DRLs.
5000k fog light halogen bulbs.
Re-painted front emblem.
AutoExe hood struts.
AutoExe F/R end links.
Probably some other stuff I've been forgetting.

I don't like how the car sits, so I'll be getting smaller springs for the rear soon-ish. Next I'd really like to pick up some MV Tuning pieces and paddle shifters. Eventually wheels and full leather interior in several months.




 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
I took out the plastic deflectors in front of the wheels a while ago cause they'd scrape and were ugly. I used some tubing I had lying around and the open holes and rigged up some intake tubing. Barely noticeable from under the hood unless you look past the heat shield. Then there's just one tube on the factory inlet that'll be there until I get the old inlet and hack it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Hey pmpkinhead, thanks for your interest. I'll post the file for the lettering as soon as I'm able. The bumper piece I'll have pictures of once it's cured and I'm happy with it. I had the painted strip under the radiator grill wrapped in black.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Hi Bluewolf, glad you like it.

I regret some of my DD LED strip purchases. Several have been the wrong colors, failed, or are on their way out to failing. I don't mind running wire (I consider myself decently skilled), but faulty product time and time again is faulty product. However, DD customer service is top notch so they've always set me straight.

I regret my black roof vinyl. Can hardly tell it's there except under certain light. I wouldn't buy it again had I known that. Installer was excellent though, no gripes there.

Window tint, I should've gone darker. I'm 30% and it's not enough.

AutoExe hood struts. I don't like the way their plates install. If you buy them, use loctite on every bolt, or they'll fail and bend the bracket like mine did when the hood comes down. Still need to fix that.

AutoExe wiper blades. They have wind deflectors on them, so I figured I could just flip them around for a USDM, LHD car. Wrong. They're riveted in and need to be drilled out, and rebuilt. Christ.

I regret my f**king alarm. F**k. It's so sensitive. It goes off at least once a week unintentionally. And the range is trash. But it's remote start and extra security, so it can't be too bad.

Most of my mods I've been pissy with one way or another, usually because of manufacturer error. My wheels have imperfections, BCR sent the wrong springs, DD has sent dud/wrong LEDs, vinyl wrapping wasn't flawless at first, AutoExe hood strut plate bent (better than the hood bending I guess), coilovers are a bitch, subwoofers are massive and the tweeter glue failed, etc.

Everything else I'm happy with. I definitely would've done things in a different order, given the chance. Pry would've gone sound system, intake, exhaust, interior LEDs, coilovers, and then the rest.

Despite all of this, I love my car to death and will drive it until then. Looking back, I would've done things differently. Oh well. Lessons learned. After I buy a house, I'll get a second car, and know exactly what I want to do to that one. This one is almost """done."""
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
No need to fear Bluewolf. Nothing I've done on this car has been massively complicated. My perspective is skewed because most of what I've done on the car I've done multiple times, but looking back, none of it is really too bad. Just take your time, be careful, and double check torque.

In other news, I got my front fenders rolled/pulled last night. I had the local expert do it. I got some good clearance, and it still looks OEM (no flare). However, the fender does have an increased gap to the door and headlight, but they're so minor, you won't notice unless I tell you. Highly recommend getting it done for anyone tryina get dumped status or wide wheels. I did not get the rears done, but it definitely looks like there's a lot of room back there. Jax Fender Rolling by Elite, for those of you in Florida.
 

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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Thank you tirefryr! Here's the link for the tweaks. Read everything on that site before attempting. There are links to the mazda3 forums as well, which is where the bulk of the development goes down. The work costs as much as a set of USB sticks. Attempt at your own risk, but most of it is risk free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Will you give me a quote and ship me one?
Here's the link for the .ai file for the Kanji for "Please Stop." You can email this to your local vinyl guy of choice, and he'll be able to print it out. It's not super wide, but I couldn't find a wider translation that looked good. The letters should be printed at around a half inch tall. Use the stamped letters on the taillight lens for reference; you'll see what I mean when you take the brake light out. Everything pries apart pretty easily. Here's a link to the shop manual on how to remove it. Taking apart the light itself is easy too. It's only held on by tabs.

If you have any issues or questions feel free to let me know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
We just did gloss black vinyl. Your vinyl guy will create a stencil and cut out the letters themselves, such that the entire lens is wrapped. If you want, window tint is also an option but might be harder to cut into. You'd be okay with any vinyl wrap of quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
Yes, they'll need the lens to wrap it. I would bring them the third brake light cover, lens, and light itself, so they can see how it'll sit in the housing. That will help them reference what it should look like when installed. It will just stick to the outside of the red plastic.

One thing of note is that the light distribution isn't super even (As seen in my pic), but it's not bad. I might supplement the light with more LEDs one day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
The Tanabe Medallion kit looks so aggressive. Very nice.
It sounds incredible too. I hear it through the house on cold start, and it makes a nice tone when you're on it. Yet, no drone, no rasp. Perfect exhaust for this car as far as sound goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
I only just recently got a nice camera! I have a ton to learn, and these are just from my first shoot with the car. The sky is overexposed in some, car underexposed in the last one, and I have to learn more about framing my shots. But I appreciate the sentiment!
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
Of course! Thank you. I've picked up a graduated neutral density filter to counteract the blown-out sky, along with a polarizing filter to help with reflections and such. Spent pry $50 between the two so hopefully they're quality. It's all on a kit lens too, which takes excellent photos for what I'm doing with it.

In addition, my dad was a hobbyist photographer at my age, and graphic design/image manipulation are part of his every day career. It's good to have more resources!

And please, those examples you posted for 6otm looked good!
 
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