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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I4 (FS-03 and FS-ZE) modification FAQ

Since I have seen numerous posts about performance options for the I4 2nd generation Mx-6, I have decided to help people out and write this article.

The I4 is a venerable engine. Believe it or not, when it came out, it was a powerful little engine, though you might laugh at it’s 118hp versus the likes of GS-R’s 170hp. The I4 were never made to compete with cars such as the GSR or a Prelude and it can’t. The I4 was created for the budget minded, the ones who want 30mpg and doesn’t care about horsepower numbers. Mazda I4 program has been long in the running and has churned out some amazing engine (BPT, BPD…) but it was decided that the Mx-6 would not benefit from these venerable engine due to the revolutionary V6 already being offered. And just as the KL-03 has a powerful twin in the KL-ZE, so does our FS-02. In 1997, Mazda Motor Corporation, on the verge of bankruptcy decided to create a new series of I4 engines. They adapted the VRIS into the I4 through a system called the VCIS. Thus the FS-ZE was born, making well over 170hp in the raw stage and ending up with 170hp after emission standards toned them down. Below is a list of modification that I personally think is the most logical, as it addresses each part of the equation equally. I am listing it as babies’ steps in term of money, as each stage becomes progressively more expensive.

The earlier stages might seem frugal to you as hp numbers are not very impressive. But remember, if you are able to gain 10hp, that is about a 10% increase in power, quite a substantial performance improvement. You must always keep in mind to go slow, don't think of building a 200hp+ engine if you haven't already built up one that produces 120-190hp.

Preparation:
- This is the often neglected stage of performance upgrades. It is fairly simple, replacing everything that is causing you problem, making sure nothing will blow up as you move along. Your car should be in as perfect a condition as it can be before you move on to any performance upgrades. An improperly running engine will not make as much power as it should with modification and will destroy itself much faster.

Stage 1: (+3hp)
1. Cold Air Intake - Make your own, materials will be around $50
1a. If you decide to buy, cost will be upward of $100-150
2. Exhaust system ---
2a. Bomb Muffler form eBay - $100
2b. High Flow Catalytic converter from eBay - $50
2c. Fee for mandrel bent tubing at Midas - $200
3. Front and Rear struts tower bars - $30 a piece

Stage 2: (+10hp)
1. Headers - Brospeed is the best way to go $300
2. Jspec Camshaft (FS-ZE) - from Corksport $200 (w shipping)
3. Eibach or any other Lowering Kit - $200
4. New struts, recommends Tokicos Illuminas $500

Stage 3: (50-150hp depending on your NOS)
1. Wheels, recommend 16x8 wheels as they offer the best of performance and looks ($300-$8,000)
2. Tires, recommend 225/50/zr16 to go with the wheels ($400-$800)
3. Camber plates for adjustability ($80)
4. Sway bars ($250)
5. Digital Fuel Controller ($300
6. Larger injectors ($200)
7. Fuel pressure regulator ($50)
8. NOS ($800)

Stage 4: (no hp, but looks galore)
1. Shogun kit (or any other) - $650
2. Paint and installation cost - $1500
3. Jspec or hopefully pod headlights - $200-500
4. A nice set of Recaros, or any kind of seats - $500
5. A good stereo system - $800

Now if you have a whole truck load of money waiting you can also do this:

Stage 5: (170hp)
FS-ZE: easiest 50hp+ you can make, but has not been done to scarcity and complexity of the VCIS system. $3000-$5000 depends on installer.

Stage 6: (???hp)
Complete engine build up. This is perhaps the most logical of all the stages. Our stock FS-02 can be coaxed to produce well over 200hp with a complete build up. Peaco offer engine packages that ranges from 150-300hp+. If you plan on moving to stage 7 and a turbo setup, you are advise to go through stage 6 first as a turboed engine need much stronger internals for serious power improvement. The ideal engine build up would involve an FS-ZE, port, polished and matched every part. Stronger internals and a good aftermarket computer. Coupled with headers and a CAi it should be able to produce well over 200hp in NA form. COst would be at least $4000 without installation cost, but still less than a properly setup turbo system making the same amount of power.

Stage 7: (150hp-unlimited potential depending on money)
Turbo the FS-03: expect to pay $4,000 for a custom setup; you will need intercooler, T03/04 turbo, piping, 250lph fuel pump, injectors, S-AFC, fuel pressure regulator, forged internals, tuning. This will create a monster engine, expected cost…well over $5,000.

Well that is about as comprehensive a list I can give you. If someone has additional info, please add onto this post. I have not given any specifics about each item but you should be able to get them all through searching. I must remind the reader that these mods are only for the serious minded. Building an I4 Mx-6 capable of running low 12’s in the quarter mile is a pipe dream. It can be done, but will need a lot of money and experience and frankly, is not worth it. If you are serious about racing, focus on your suspension and turning performance, not engine power. One fine point about our cars is the light weight. The prefer method of power if i had the money would be a fully built FS-ZE. This engine is known to produce well over 300hp+ in racing form. If you want to drag race, sell your 6, buy a 5.0 Fox body and annihilate everything.

Added on 6/4/2002

There has been alot of question on the cheapest and most reliable way to mod the stock I4 so here is a general guide:

The first and foremost thing you should get is the Jspec Intake cams, these will add significant horsepower (about 5-10 depends on the condition of your engine). DO NOT buy the exhaust cams as they are exactly the same as our A-spec, as for the Mazdaspeed, no one has try them yet so i wouldn't bother. You should than build a CAI or buy one. Than headers and Exhausts. These 4 things will give you a measurable 10 Horsepower at the crank, a 10% increase for about $1,000 (believe me that' super cheap.) That is about the only thing you can do without major engine work and cost. My car cost $2,000 I'm sure as hell not gonna spend another $2,000 for a friggin engine rebuild, but if you wanted to, go ahead.

Once again do not buy the jspec exhaust cams as they are exactly the same as the A-spec. The Intake manifold is also not worth buying since you have no way to control the VCIS so it is useless. You are better off Portign and Polishing your stock IM. If you want to buy the Jspec pistons you must know what is involved. They are relatively cheap, but it will cost you $1,000+ to get them installed. If you were doing a complete rebuild of your engine than get these, otherwise don't. Crower also makes stuff for our engine so if you want to build it, look them up. A complete build up will cost you around $3,000 for all parts and labor.
 

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Great friggin post man. Some much needed inspiration for those I4 owners out there who thought it couldnt be done.
 

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I agree... A mod should imortalize this post.
 

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instead of getting the FS-ZE why not just get the KL-ZE ? i heard that it will fit too.... ?!?!?!?!??? i asked a guy that was selling them, and he told me that they would fit.... im guessing this is true?, if not correct me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
---the X

Look at stage 7.....

---MarkieMarkMx6

Don't want to burn you, but i have to use "SEARCH" on this one. KL-ZE will only bolt directly into the v6, not the I4. If you do the KL swap you would need alot more than the engine, basically the complete drivetrain. Alot cheaper (like a few thousands) to buy an actual v6 A-spec than swap a KL-ZE into that. Whoever told you that was right, it does fit, but he also doesn't know a damn thing about drivetrains, or your just new and you actually own a v6 and though this applied to you??? Sorry i get angry sometimes with new people, but i was new once :cool:
 

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parisifal - well, im kinda new, i dont know a whole lot about these engines, but i asked that JDM guy ( he posted in another forum about the kl-ze engines, and how he works for this company that sells them cheap) but i emailed him, and i told him that i have a 4 banger, and i was wondering if i bought the kl-ze engine if i would need other parts, ( besides the ECU and there are a few more parts i know i need, i read what you need if u were switching a v6 (US to a kl-ze u need just a couple parts, but i asked the guy - which i thought he would know cuz he sells them, and i asked if it would be a direct swap, and if i needed any other parts, or if i would have any trouble installing it? and he told me that its a direct swap,and the only parts i need is the ECU and the other 2 things that r mentioned in the other forum.... so i was just going by what the JDM guy said to me. he told me i woudl just need a few parts, like the ecu, nothing about a drivetrain (im not sure if it comes with it either? maybe it does come with it??? im not sure... but all i know is that he told me i just needed a few parts.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
the X

I have very mixed feelings about this. It's why i haven't done any extensive engine mod because i am still deciding. I come from the old school of thoughs...which involves lot's of cubic inches and porting like the Titanic. So naturally i would go with an FS-ZE build up since it will make much more NA power than the 03. But i also know that turbo is a much better option if you have the resources. In fact i tried to trubo twice, but something always comes up. Last time my engine blew a piston right before i was going to install the system. I would say our little I4 have almost no history of modification. Mazda built a very strong engine, but since it is so rare no one has been really able to mod it to full potential. I am probably going to build up an FS-ZE this winter than drop it in. But i am still sourcing the ECU, which is supe rrare and the wiring diagram, which is even rarer. A turbo project is much easier but if i wanted turbo power i'd bought a DSM. Mazda built up an FS-ZE that made over 300hp NA in Japan for some race series so it has alot of potential. Turboing the 03 would be fine, but you will not make anywhere near the 200hp of a mildly built FS-ZE unless you change the internals.

I asked an engineering friend of mine to do a model of the FS-ZE efficiency and it was awesome. A mild P&P, correct ECU, tuning, basic intake, headers, exhaust, a stand alone AFC and you will make well over 200hp at the crank. But like i said, no one has done it yet (except 1 i know of,and it wasn't fully built) so it is still up in the air.

I know of about 6 turboed I4 and all but 2 makes less than 200hp (according to 1/4 times, no one has dyno'ed an I4 with turbo yet) which is paltry since you can do the same with the FS-ZE.

MarkieMarkMx6

He is selling them! (ulterior motives???) You need alot more parts than just a few. Does anyone you know can swap in the engine? Change the drivetrain? adjust the handling? And a few other hundred things and still keep the cost reasonable enough rather than just buing a V6 KL-03 and swapping wthe ZE in? I would guess the cost would be 2-3 times as high as swapping the ZE into a KL Aspec car. And since there is only about $500 seperating the I4 and v6 Aspec, you are better off selling the I4 and getting the v6. I won't, because i fell in love and i won't let her go, no matter if a better one comes along. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you want to turbo, rebuild your bottom end. It shouldn't be too expensive, probably around $3000 for engine that can handle close to 20psi with no worries. Don't even touch the ZE if you want to turbo, compression ratio is sky high and if you lower it than all you have is a glorified 03. After a custom turbo setup (around $2,000) you should have a car producing nearly 300hp. Than again, that's not really counting alot of the labor cost which is the main factor in turboing.
 

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Hey guys thanx this is awesome just what i was looking for. Could any of you tell me what materials are needed and how to make your own cold air intake. My father did it to his rx7, but i just want to make sure that its done right. thanx
lexy
 
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FS-ZE

Hey guys,

I have an MP3 with an FS-ZE in there. I am looking to get it tuned, so that I can get the full potential horsepower. Here are the details:

My FS-ZE info
 

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hey parisifal if you just do the stuff listed under 1,000 what will be your sec time for the quarter mile? I know it might not be too much, if you dont know could some one here estimate. Stock its like 16's right?? Honestly i dont know alot about cars lol if anything, so the sec thing is about the only thing that i really grasp. If i can get my car high 14's to mids i'll be happy. I just want to beat up on my father's rx7 lol His is a 89 i think it goes somewhere in the 14's. Thanx if you can help out :)
alexis
 

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The only Problem I have with this post is that you totaly left out the supercharging option. This is trully the way to go. Torque out the a**. And we all know torque=Accelaration Acc.=speed
Horsepower doesnt necessarly mean a car is fast.

Supercharger with complete motor rebuild = Around $6000
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I don't have any experience with superchargers so i didn't want to post anything. But if you could help out, by all means please add it to the FAQ. Thanks.
 

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hmm I will also have my turboed I4 dynoed on the 22nd at the FLAPOC dyno day. As far as producing over 200hp, I'm estimating around 300 when my pistons and rods arrive in august. I will put money that I will be boosting over 250hp.. Oh yeah this would be at the wheels folks.....
 

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Why can't MX6 beat an RX7 ?? *cough... I did it everyday
( with a poorly maintain non-turbo automatic FC :p )

Does you father has a FC(88-92) or FD(93-97) RX-7 ? Turbo or non-turbo ?

A non-turbo FC is [email protected] rpm , with 2800lbs weight.
Make sure you has at least 170hp in your 4cylinder. You should be able to line up with your dad in quater mile, with good shifting skill :D

OR take the advantage of piston-powered engine.
Told your dad, both of you start off at 2nd gear for 0-60... hehehe... I am sure you will win. :angel:

oh.. I love and hate rotary engine.
 

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MX6Guru said:
As far as producing over 200hp, I'm estimating around 300 when my pistons and rods arrive in august. I will put money that I will be boosting over 250hp.. Oh yeah this would be at the wheels folks.....

I beleive so... when are we going to go head to head to end the supercharger vs. turbocharger debate? LOL
 
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