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Tell us the story behind your ride. What made you pick this particular one? Where did you find it? I've always been a fan of japanese cars, specially sedans; Honda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and of course: Mazda; the latest was actually the cheapest; it also had a balanced 1.6 turbodiesel engine meaning it pays less taxes than its counterparts (both the Lancer and the Civic having their 1.8L engines).The Mazdas depreciate a lot, on a market ruled by German manufacturers, and this was a great deal; bought it used with 90,000km, very well maintained. The Sport version is very complete and well equipped. Despite being a family car, it tries to be sporty, like all Mazdas, without looking like it's trying too much. The best thing about it is definitely how it handles. It is a very well balanced and underrated car in my opinion. Which is a good thing. Describe the modifications you've made. Where did you start, what’s the most recent mod and what motivated it? Not being mechanically talented, apart from an EGR delete, I started with a lot of interior modifications; I replaced the standard headunit for an Android based system that adds a whole lot to the car; most of the interior modifications were quality of life improvements: front and rear camera, front and rear speakers, etc.Lately most of the mods were done on the exterior, specially steering, with Eibach lowering springs and spacers; these dramatically improved handling. The 1.6 engine is not a drag racer, so I focused on further improving handling over speed. Of all the mods you’ve made, which do you think offers the biggest bang for the buck? Performance wise it would be the DPF delete. The car breathes better, rides smoother, and the small turbo spools really quick, providing great fun. On the other hand, the Android head unit, despite all its flaws, brings the infotainment up-to-date with an Android based system, meaning offline navigation, Spotify, Waze, front and rear camera, and so on... How did you go about selecting the specific parts for this build? Any installation tips to share? Had no real plan and I am still unsure where this is heading. Love to work on the car as its a stress reliever. I bought most of the parts on eBay, and picked them as I saw fit. I am not very gifted or talented when it comes to cars but being patient doing everything has helped me a ton. Don't pull too hard on those clips, don't rush when jacking the car, don't forget to bolt the wheels back on... What are you planning next? Tires. Nankang has some really good tires, but the entry-line are, well, entry-line. With the improved handling from both lowering the car and widening the track, tires and possibly brakes would be the wisest thing to do, before power. What’s been the biggest challenge with this build? Legislation. Mods can be done but everything extreme is likely to get me into trouble on the long run, hence the simple mods with nothing too fancy. Also, not having any mechanical background makes progress and figuring things out a bit slower, but love it anyways.
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