Last post on Apr 23, 2013 at 10:59 AM
You are in the Mazda Protege
What is this discussion about?
Mazda Protege, Sedan
Jan 19, 2004 (4:54 pm)
Are you referring to the Mazda 3 being lower quality than the Pro, or later model years of Protege being inferior to 99?
My 2003 Protege has a few minor squeaks (one in that little dimpled pad on the passenger side dash and one in the right rear door), but otherwise quality appears exceptional, far better than my last 2002 Mitsu Galant, 2001 Saturn L200, 98 and 97 Nissans and about the same as my last Mazda, a 94 323.
My 2003 Protege has panel gaps that look about the same as my friend's BMW, and the best seats I've ever tried in an economy car. I honestly don't see any evidence of Ford tampering or cost-cutting anywhere in the car.
Can't see it in the window sticker either, which indicates 97% Japanese parts content and Hiroshima/Hofu, Japan as the point of final assembly. Last I checked, Ford doesn't have any actual Ford factories in Japan.
The last few iterations of the 626 and the new 6 are made in the United States in joint venture factories with Ford, and the B-seires pickup and the Tribute are badge-engineered Ford products (Tribute had some Joint development, B-series didn't), but the Protege, and the new 3 are made in Japan.
Of course, the 3 is built on a new Ford platform, so that could be what the Ford reference comes from. I also wasn't impressed with the interior switchgear on the 3 as I am with the Protege, but those didn't seem like Ford parts, at least not from any Ford I've ever seen.
I would expect the same longevity out of my 03 Protege as the other poster's 99. Yes, the new one has a 2.0 instead of a 1.8 liter engine, but it is from the same family and both it and the transmission are real Mazda units, not transplanted Fords.
Jan 19, 2004 (5:58 pm)
There may not be Ford parts in the Protege and Mazda3, but I think Ford may have instructed Mazda to lower their design tolerances to lower costs.
#1915 of 3738 design tolerances to lower costs
Jan 19, 2004 (10:26 pm)
Well, what do you expect?
A space vehicle quality for the Yugo prices?
The compact car market in US is extremely competitive and commands lower, not higher prices with every new redesign (adjusted for inflation).
I doubt that there are any design tolerance adjustments.
On the other hand just about every manufacturer employs engineering teams whose whole purpose is to look for cost savings in the designs of just about every part without affecting its reliability expectations.
#1916 of 3738 Ford influence in 3.
Jan 20, 2004 (7:15 am)
It's mostly in the controls in the center stack (rotary audio dials feel good, but everything else feels flimsy and "cheap"). They don't feel up-to-snuff when compared to similar controls in previous Proteges. Hopefully, they'll fix these soon.
Also, you'll note on the 3 hatch that the latch release is at the very bottom of the hatch door, instead of placing it mid-way between the bottom edge and the edge of the rear glass. This eliminates a few parts but places the latch much lower than those on pretty much any other similar vehicle out there. I personally find it too low for comfort.
Also, despite increased numbers on paper, the cabin feels more cramped than the last Protege/P5 except in width. Ford excels at designing cars that feel smaller inside than their dimensions suggest (i.e. Tempo, Contour, Continental, Escort [based upon similar Protege platform, but feels much smaller inside]). The rear seat accomodations in the 3 suffer when compared against the last Protege/P5, especially headroom (and kneeroom to a small extent) in the sedan.
#1917 of 3738 Naughty Ford and Speed Sensor
Jan 20, 2004 (12:21 pm)
My response about Mazda's quality in relation to Ford was merely in response to some previous posts I saw here. I don't have any special information or legitimate facts on the topic.
I'm not sure if the throttle sensor and speed sensor are the same part. All I know is that a local Mazda dealer told me it was located on my transmission (manual). It could very well be the same part, but I'm not sure.
Jan 20, 2004 (1:00 pm)
The throttle position sensor, attached to the engine's throttle body, is a potentiometer or variable resistor which sends a signal to the engine controller relative to throttle opening.
The vehicle speed sensor, attached to the transmission/transaxle, is a permanent magnet AC signal generator which sends a signal to the controller relative to output shaft rpm or vehicle speed.
Jan 20, 2004 (5:17 pm)
Having owned several recent Fords, I can say that I see no Ford influence on the 3. It is a true Mazda in every sense.
The Tribute on the other hand is more Fordish that I would have expected.
Jan 21, 2004 (1:22 pm)
Thanks for the info!
#1921 of 3738 Replacing Struts and Brakes in '95 Protege
Jan 22, 2004 (12:07 pm)
I am contemplating replacing, myself, both struts and front brake pads (hopefully, not including the discs/rotors) on my '95 Protege. Are these doable by a weekend mechanic? Any special problems I should be aware of? Thanks!
Jan 22, 2004 (12:40 pm)
I changed the struts myself (front and back)on my '95 Protege. I did it this past May and posted on this forum. Scroll back some and you will see my posts.
It can definitely be done if you have some mechanical apptitude and the time and garage space during this cold weather. I used the Haynes manual as a general guide. Be aware that the Haynes manual covers a range of model years and thus some of the info. will not be exactly as is on your '95 model. The section on strut replacement is pretty good though.
The only problem I had was removing the link connecting the rear stabilizer bar to the strut tower. The nuts were frozen and the bolt head could not be grabbed on to because it is located inside a sealed rubber housing (like a ball joint). I ended up cutting the links with a hack saw and taking off the rear stabilizer bar.
Best of luck.