Looks like

12-25-2014, 07:26 PM
...I found the deadest forum on AF? Majority of the threads on the first page over a year old? WTF?

I'll be around, since I bought a '98 Protege that will need work from time to time. I'll try to document any complex jobs I do on it and write them up.

Don't know if there's a lack of info on this forum or if the model has just faded into relative obscurity, but as these seemed to be pretty popular and robust little cars, I'd find the latter hard to believe.

For now this car needs very little, I would like to do something about the nature of the clutch....it doesn't seem to quite disengage fully and makes the gearbox feel a bit draggy, especially when cold in the morning. Not a whole lot can do this on a hydro clutch that's not leaking (it's not), so I'll start by replacing the clutch/brake fluid with some DOT 4 just to be certain it's not simply a moisture-contaminated fluid issue.

I have found some sporadic mentions of this problem occurring in Mazdas of this age (I used to drive a company-owned 1999 626 with the same issue too), and some have corrected it by altering the cylinder pushrod length to get a more complete release. Sounds plausible, I just worry about bottoming out the piston in the pedal cylinder, which can damage it. I'll worry about that if it seems like the only option to correct it.

I'd like to hear about any other issues these were known for, so I can get ahead of them if possible. For now I'm really enjoying the 35+ mpg and being back in a manual shift.

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