James Barone Racing Rear Motor Mount: 25,000 Mile Update

I can’t believe it’s already been almost three years. I’ve now driven a total of 25,000 miles on the James Barone Racing rear motor mount, so I thought this was a good time for an update.

** You can view the original install and review post here. **

I’m still happy with the mount, but there has definitely been a degradation in the mount’s firmness. Minor wheelhop has returned, and front end traction,  especially under acceleration, has decreased. In addition, shifting is less precise. A positive effect of the mount’s reduced stiffness has been a reduction of NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) inside the cabin.

I would still highly recommend this mount to anyone interested in improving the firmness of their Mazdaspeed 3’s drive line and preciseness of the shifter. Even with firmness degradation over time, the James Barone Racing rear motor mount still performs far better than the stock unit!

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James Barone Racing Rear Motor Mount Install and Review

I ordered my James Barone Racing rear motor mount on Monday and it arrived yesterday. They shipped it first class so it only took 3 days to get here.

** UPDATE: You read my review of this mount after 25,000 miles here. **

James Barone Racing offers two different rear motor mounts. More details about each can be found here. I opted for the chrome-molly dogbone mount because the extra vibration and noise aren’t a problem for me (I actually enjoy it!). This is everything that came in the box:

James Barone Rear Motor Mount Box Contents

The box included a piece of paper with contact information and directions to the install instructions on their website, a bag with a nut and lock washer, and the mount itself.

After spending an hour getting the front end on jack stands (it was my first time lifting my MAZDASPEED3) the install was quick and straightforward. It only took me about 30 minutes once I got under the car to get the mount installed and the car back on the floor. You can find details on installing this mount here. Here’s a picture of the stock mount and the James Barone Racing mount side by side:

Stock Mount and James Barone Racing Mount

First Impressions:

From the moment I started the car I could feel and hear the difference. During warm-up there is a significant amount of vibration and noise, which is a low drone, I’m guessing from the exhaust system. Once the car warmed up and was sitting at idle both vibration and noise had decreased, but still not to the stock level.

Once I pulled away for the first time I noticed the resonance. Between about 1,750 and 2,750 rpms it feels like the engine and frame resonate, creating a significant increase in vibration and noise. It is most noticeable while getting moving in first and while hovering around the 2,500-2,750 rpm zone, especially if you’re doing something like cruising down a hill in gear.

I made this video to illustrate the difference between the new mount and stock mount at idle. The stock mount only had about 2,000 miles on it so it’s fairly new. Be sure to turn the video quality up to 720 and your bass up to hear the difference in “drone”. There is no audio until after the visual display so watch the whole thing.

Performance:

I installed the mount yesterday and have since drove about 20 miles on it. The car now has much more of a raw feel to it. It feels as if you’re finally in control of the engine, and this is most noticeable in the clutch action. Getting moving in first is far more consistent, and matching driveline speeds is much easier. Sifting is also more precise, especially during heavy acceleration! Shifting from second to third is now less of a problem.

In regards to wheel hop there is absolutely none accelerating through second with wide open throttle and shifting to third. I have yet to accelerate heavily through first to second so I can’t comment on that yet.

All in all I am thoroughly impressed with this mount, and I can honestly say that it IS WORTH EVERY PENNY! Well done James Barone Racing!

I will be posting a follow-up review after a few thousand miles. In the meantime be sure to follow me on facebook and twitter! If you found this post helpful please feel free to donate!