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Thread: Rose colored glasses, or: thereís no such thing as a free meal

  1. #1
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    Rose colored glasses, or: thereís no such thing as a free meal

    Forewarning: long intro to the main event. As some of you undoubtedly heard me mention before, I used to have a 2006 Mazda3 sedan I called Chloe. It was the only new car I ever have or ever will own. Bought on NYE, 12/31/2005, I loved that car in a way Iíll never feel for another car.

    Chloe in 2011


    Donít get me wrong, I love my ZHP, and itís leaps and bounds ahead of the Mz3 in every facet except fuel economy; but the Mazda was special to me. I was 18, I had a brand new car, and it coincided with a big turning point in my life. I took care of her like it was a faberge eggóthereís something about a new car where every single blemish you know happened on your watch. Thereís no shrugging of shoulders and saying ďwell, itís never going to be perfect.Ē So I aimed to keep it perfect, and I succeeded at that goalÖuntil I had dogs. It was such a good, reliable, spry little car that punched above its weight. If it had a 6th gear Iím confident it wouldíve broken the 40mpg barrier.

    But unfortunately, 2,700lbs. and summer tires led to a cold demise. I was trying to get to my girlfriendís place in the mountains and beat an incoming snowstorm, but only halfway there the storm had shifted and cut me off. It was the same distance to turn back or to soldier on, and the conditions were the same both directions. Just a few miles later the dilemma became moot. January 25th, 2013, with only 77k on the clock, Chloe lost traction and hit the concrete walls on both sides of an iced-over bridge. She was totaled with frame damage on both sides.



    My X3 replaced the Mazda. And while it has proven to be a very good car that fit my needs with 2 dogs who joined me on frequent road trips, nostalgic memories of Chloe never faded. This became even more true as the once ubiquitous sight of first gen. Mazda3s became rarer and rarer.

    Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. An old coworker of mine texted me that she was needing to do some unplanned car shopping and asked if Iíd help her. As we were talking she explained why: her old Mazda3 was dead, no crank. Fearing that, even if *this* repair was straightforward, she simply was less comfortable with an older car given her travel requirements for work, so she made the decision to move on from her old Mz3.

    Hereís the hitch: itís dead inside the parking garage of her apartment complex where traditional tow trucks cannot access. The unknown repair requirements of a 13 year old economy car in less than perfect condition, plus the logistics of vehicle recovery resulted in the car having basically zero trade-in value, and she asked if Iíd be interested in adopting it. Despite not being a car person, she loved her car, and knew that I loved mine because I got doe-eyed every time she drove us to lunch. And she knew I was the best chance it has at avoiding the scrapyard and getting a chance at a second life in a loving home. This weekend Iím borrowing a friendís truck and trailer and will be bringing it home. Here she currently is, stuck in this parking garage for a month now:



    Itís a 2009 2.3L 5-door with 135k. My plan is to bring it back to roadworthiness initially, and slowly rehab her over time back to my personal standards. I havenít even seen this car in-person in 3 years so I have no idea what to expect. If the plan is successful, it will replace the X3 as my daily driver. The X3 is (a) simply still in too good of cosmetic condition to be using it for the things I need an suv/wagon to do [lumber, muddy dogs, gardening stuff, etc.] especially with a tan interior, and (b) at 140k miles the list of things it needs replacing is getting long and spendy. The N52 isnít as easy to work on as the M54 in my opinion, AWD makes everything harder to do, and quite frankly, the gas mileage is a ****ing joke. 21 highway downhill with a tailwind on premium from a crossover lol.

    Updates to follow (I hope). I donít actually expect any of yíall to be interested in an old economy car project, but I want to keep a personal record of it here because the Mazda3 forum is a friggin' ghost town these days. Thanks to anyone who actually reads this novel



    Foolish last words: Iím hoping itís just a fuel pumpÖ
    Emma - 2005 BMW 330ci ZHP 6MT Estorilblau Individual

    Sportline 8s 18x8.5F - 18x9.5R | APEX ARC-8 18x8.5 Square | aFe Intake | 135i Brembo F/R Calipers | 26mm Front/20mm Rear Sway Bars | Z4 Mirror
    M3 Dead Pedal | Lexus ES300 Yellow Fog Light Retrofit | Koni Yellows/H&R Springs | Llumar CTX 40% | Coby Tri-Stitch Wheel & Boots

    Awaiting Install: M3 Wing Mirrors

  2. #2
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    Welcome back. I will definitely follow any updates.

    I'll just drop this here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvPhVuPxvHU

  3. #3
    Welcome back!

    Looking forward to seeing you bring it back to life, hopefully without much difficulty.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


    2006 Coupe | Black Sapphire Metallic | Natural Brown | Gruppe M Intake | Corsa TSE3 | Michelin PSS on Apex ARC-8 | Koni Yellows |

  4. #4
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    704sw? Posting on ZHPMafia? Is this real life?

    There's actually a fairly big Mazda group in the Greensboro area. One of my friends has a highly modified newer 6 and is part of it.
    330i Base | Mysticblau | Slicktop | 6MT

  5. #5
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    Love those little things! A bunch of friends had them and they were always super-fun to drive. Was cheaper than a Corolla or Civic at the time and had little quirks such as rain-sensing wipers.

    Only caveat is the rust, but luckily you guys don't have to deal with that down there

    Sent from my SM-G781W using Tapatalk
    2004 BMW 330CI ZHP (well, technically ZAM)


  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by holyc0w View Post
    Welcome back. I will definitely follow any updates.

    I'll just drop this here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvPhVuPxvHU
    Well that was poignant, and a nice dose of reality. Fortunately I think Iím less trying to replicate my fleeting youth, and more trying to capitalize on a great opportunity with something I think is a good fit for my needsÖwith a healthy side serving of nostalgia. I also want a modder back then, so thereís not much to recreateóthe only 2 ďmodsĒ I think I did were an HID retrofit with all OE parts, and upgrading to the OE wheels from the GT trim.

    Quote Originally Posted by san View Post
    Welcome back!

    Looking forward to seeing you bring it back to life, hopefully without much difficulty.
    Thanks! Well with an initial investment of basically zero Iím willing to endure a little bit of headache lol. From what sheís described it definitely sounds like a fuel delivery issue. The downside is these cars donít have topside fuel tank access, so a pump swap isnít as simple as on the E46.


    [QUOTE=Galapolis;610792]704sw? Posting on ZHPMafia? Is this real life?

    Is this just fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Galapolis View Post
    There's actually a fairly big Mazda group in the Greensboro area. One of my friends has a highly modified newer 6 and is part of it.
    Iím guessing thatís a FB group of some sort? Iíve seen a couple pretty modded 6s around town, wonder if one was him.

    Quote Originally Posted by t.er View Post
    Love those little things! A bunch of friends had them and they were always super-fun to drive. Was cheaper than a Corolla or Civic at the time and had little quirks such as rain-sensing wipers.

    Only caveat is the rust, but luckily you guys don't have to deal with that down there
    Down here I think we got slightly better equipped models as our base (even base had alloys, no steelies and hubcaps until late in production, all had power windows, etc.), so they were about the same price as Civics and Corollas, but they were way nicer interiors and exterior IMO. I looked at all 3 back then, and an RSX, and the Mazda was a much nicer car in every way. Heck, my Ď06 had an auto-dimming Homelink mirror and it was the 2nd lowest trim!
    Emma - 2005 BMW 330ci ZHP 6MT Estorilblau Individual

    Sportline 8s 18x8.5F - 18x9.5R | APEX ARC-8 18x8.5 Square | aFe Intake | 135i Brembo F/R Calipers | 26mm Front/20mm Rear Sway Bars | Z4 Mirror
    M3 Dead Pedal | Lexus ES300 Yellow Fog Light Retrofit | Koni Yellows/H&R Springs | Llumar CTX 40% | Coby Tri-Stitch Wheel & Boots

    Awaiting Install: M3 Wing Mirrors

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 704sw View Post
    I’m guessing that’s a FB group of some sort? I’ve seen a couple pretty modded 6s around town, wonder if one was him.
    It's an iOS messenger group chat I believe. I can ask for details but I was told today that it's mostly for newer 6s and 3s, the first gen chat according to my friend is, and I quote, "pretty dead."
    330i Base | Mysticblau | Slicktop | 6MT

  8. #8
    BTW is it auto or manual?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


    2006 Coupe | Black Sapphire Metallic | Natural Brown | Gruppe M Intake | Corsa TSE3 | Michelin PSS on Apex ARC-8 | Koni Yellows |

  9. #9
    I have a soft spot for Mazdas... my first three cars were Mazdas


    Sent from my iPhone 11 Pro Max using Tapatalk Pro

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galapolis View Post
    the first gen chat according to my friend is, and I quote, "pretty dead."
    Lol yea sounds like the Mz3 forum. Iím going to have to buy a Haynes Manual because Iím sure a lot of the old forum posts were from before the Photobucket fiasco.

    Quote Originally Posted by san View Post
    BTW is it auto or manual?
    Auto, sadly.

    Quote Originally Posted by cakM3 View Post
    I have a soft spot for Mazdas... my first three cars were Mazdas
    My dad had an Ď83 626 for the first few years of my life, so I guess I was predisposed to Mazda fandom lol
    Emma - 2005 BMW 330ci ZHP 6MT Estorilblau Individual

    Sportline 8s 18x8.5F - 18x9.5R | APEX ARC-8 18x8.5 Square | aFe Intake | 135i Brembo F/R Calipers | 26mm Front/20mm Rear Sway Bars | Z4 Mirror
    M3 Dead Pedal | Lexus ES300 Yellow Fog Light Retrofit | Koni Yellows/H&R Springs | Llumar CTX 40% | Coby Tri-Stitch Wheel & Boots

    Awaiting Install: M3 Wing Mirrors

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