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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys! I've been wanting to do this mod with the Mazda 3 engine cover for a while, but never could find one reasonably priced. I finally found one on ebay for a reasonable price and snatched it up. So upon my realization that the mounting studs are nearly $17 each, which totals nearly $50 just for plastic studs, I decided to get creative. This will allow you to make generic mounts that will allow you to use basically anything with a lip on the end of a bolt to hold your cover on. Pictures do better than words, so I'll get right to it.

The bolts on the valve cover are M6 metric bolts. I ran through several alternative mounting ideas, and finally settled on this being the easiest and cheapest. What I decided to do was use a coupling nut, M6, to screw down onto the valve cover stud. Then, I could adjust the height by screwing down or up on the coupler nut. You can do that, or you can use a plastic spacer cut to the proper length with a regular nut on top of it to hold it snug. Either way, you are going to come off much cheaper.

I'm not completely through with this mod, as it is Sunday, and I need to get to my specialty bolt store tomorrow. So I will update it as I complete this, but what I have today is a way to change the size of the mounting holes on the cover itself. I found that any generic bolt of the M6 size I could find was WAY too small to fit snugly in the rubber insulators on the back of the cover. So, I got a couple of these.




These are hole fillers, like for wires in desks and such. You'll need three.

So what you do is smash these things into the rubber mounts on the back of the cover. It will be an extremely tight fit, but that is what we want. This will hold it very snuggly. What I did was caddie-corner one side of the plug and then push the other side in with the blunt handle end of a screwdriver. You may need to use a knife blade on the lip of the other side to get it to go in.

Once in, it should look like this:


What this will do is push in the tabs on the outside of the plug, and once you insert a bolt, it will hold it rather snuggly. This will allow you to have flexibility in the bolts you find to use, and will adjust the inner diameter to approximately 7/16" or 11mm, which is much easier to find in the sizes we need. The tabs will also hold bolts around 3/8" or 10mm, which are both very common.

I'll post more pics and material part numbers when I get it mounted. All in all, it should cost you less than $8 for everything. Let me know what you all think, or any suggestions you may have!

-focallocal
 

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Moved to Duratec Performance Chat.

We've already had a few people do this, and I think this is the right forum for it even though it's not performance. This trick won't work on a Zetec.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know people have done the spacer method on a fusion; has anyone used these hole plugs before? If so, I don't want to steal someone else's limelight if they came up with it first. [idea]
 
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