We get many calls for upgrades on this model, as a guide to assist you we have created this list to save your time, guarantee your money is invested correctly and most of all give you maximum value!
Typically this car in Australia is “Mazda’s secret”, it was, never really promoted very hard and many people did not know it existed.
There are some great features of this car, 4wd, turbo, 6 speed huge torquey engine and most of all, a sensible budget with some well planned upgrades and it turns a great car into a great super car beater!
(All Australian and Japanese models)
Can be converted and fully tuned, using EcuteK Software for almost any improvement, and allows solid results with correct settings and allows good improvement.
If the car has been run on the wrong fuel (jap models are tuned for 100 Ron) then the ECU will have detuned it more and a retune on 98 will make more power, more reliably.
Dont under estimate the incredible improvement with a good ECU retune.
Factory ECU settings dramatically limit Torque in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear as well as on steering angle input and traction control.
All of these can be adjusted and retuned with an EcuteK factory ECU retune.
Bottom end and mid range performance can be dramatically improved with ECU tune. The engine is detuned by Mazda and also power limited due to emissions requirements when delivered by the factory.
Poor boost control with the factory standard settings can be annoying. Boost maps, can be improved.
Car should be run on 98 Ron Fuel unless a custom (ecuteK) map is done.
The factory turbo is reliable, but if over boosted with boost controllers etc will result in wasted power and an indirect effect on poor ignition.
On this model the aif flow meter sensor is very reliable
Depending on model, Jap spec or Oz the twin rear exhaust O2 sensors if located incorrectly related to modified exhaust can cause problems, if old can also dull the cruise performance of the car and increase fuel use.
Crank, cam and Knock sensors are reliable, but with age can fail.
INTERCEPTOR ECU OPTION
Not worth considering as the interceptors simply do not have enough options to tune and modify the latest technology control inputs. ZERO VALUE.
NEW (replacement) ECU
Factory ECU retune is best value unless a really serious engine rebuild is chosen.
See notes above
Factory fitted unit is good, dont fit a replacement larger unit unless you have done at least a MRT XB power kit
Bigger injectors empty your wallet and add no power unless part of a E85 fuel retune or major engine rebuild.
Save your $$ for suspension and get some GOOD improvements.
OEM Injectors are big enough unless you do a major engine rebuild.
More than adequate.
(Some traps for people here, unless carefully chosen.)
Turbo engine pipes with collector to fit wastegate will help marginally, but costly to fit and will add some throttle response.
High flow ceramic or better, a metal cat in the downpipe is best. A factory Flex joint back exhaust (with a newer larger diameter flex joint) is best value, with ONLY replacing the FRONT HALF of the exhaust with correctly located O2 sensor.
Get this wrong and the car will suffer CEL lights, and cause poor fuel economy.
The rear muffler and centre pipe adds no value in just replacing it and should be left stock std to save $$.
Other than a intake noise no power here, unless you have or plan a huge engine upgrade.
A replacement panel filter in the std airbox will save on future servicing but give no power improvement.
Replace the air intake with a pod style filter and you simply ad cost to retune time with the ECU upgrade
Items such as aftermarket plug leads, high capacity discharge ignition systems etc all will ad very marginal if any improvement.
If you have the budget a (bigger) turbo upgrade will add (peak) power, but be careful the OEM turbo is damn good and very hard top beat and is best kept in place unless you have the right other parts to match a new turbo upgrade.
A new turbo is genrally only fitted when the OEM one fails (common due to poor servicing and oil supply issues)
As the limit becomes close to the engine needing other supporting parts such as stronger rods and results in a peaky power outputand will give no value unless you plan carefully.
(meaning if you fit a bigger turbo you can use its benefits but be careful as the extra boost will need to be tuned carefully )
If you want big grunt and big torque then ok, this is an option here, then you need to plan a engine rebuild or be wary of the resulting load on the engine.
A proper factory ECU retune using EcuTeK Software will give you a revised (and better) boost control map than can be achieved with any aftermarket Boost control system.
Plus it costs less!
Like above if you have a solid budget, then a rebuild will give some great and huge benefits, the engine is a very very good package and flows great HP and is very tough, BUT they have common rod failure if boosted over a certain amount and then head flow issues after a certian HP target.
A rebuild will cost over $7k and then you need to choose carefully there are many options, but only if you REALLY want to.
Is the car serviced correctly? Because often a service by a workshop who really knows Mazda’s will be your best choice for first place for power and reliability.
- Upper engine cleaner and in tank fuel additive. (when was this last done, as often the Jap import cars have huge carbon build up).
- Good quality low friction engine oil such as Mobil 5 w 30 will give around 5 kw and better fuel economy over a non synthetic oil.
- Fuel system service, MRT offer this and often get good results, cleans the EGR “gunk” out of the intake and combustion area.
Also injectors as well as inlet manf and exhaust as well as fuel pump, lines and sensors.
- Synthetic gearbox, transfer case and diff oil, again like engine oil this adds up in benefits.
- Timing belt, fuel filter are again areas that should be checked and renewed.
Check out the performance / suspension section for REAL gains and benefits.
If I owned this car, I would invest some of my budget in the MRT XB kit and then brakes and suspension as this is guaranteed BEST VALUE!
Refer the MRT vehicle service section here and take advantage of our free 78 point check to ensure your car is in top shape!
- Check service history
- Check the O2 sensor
- Check brakes
- ECU upgrade and re tune to suit local fuel (as all EVO V11’s are tuned for 100 ron fuel).
- New brake pads and discs if needed
- Front and rear sway bars
- Complete (quality) exhaust
- Front and rear sway bar links