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1979 Mazda 626

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  • 1979 Mazda 626

    I just bought this from the second owner who had it for five years. So the first owner had it 35 years. Pretty solid car. He overheated it when he lost a coolant hose. I am considering putting it back to original with just a head check/gasket but the promise of spirited driving intrigues me. I have some Alfa Romeos and a TT 300zx. I sold my NB Miata last fall and thought about how fun that engine would be in this sedate little sedan, especially with the glorious five speed behind the 1.8. That engine is a rear sump and this is a front but I think the Escort GT engine was a rear sump, so not insurmountable. Anyway, I thought I would share some pics of this seldom seen sedan for your enjoyment and get some thoughts on its future. Thanks!

  • #2
    Nice one. Surely you'll consider a 12a or 13b?!


    • #3
      I have no experience with rotaries but I love the sound! I am very familiar with Miata power. Mine had some nice bolt ons over the years. Will the rotary bolt up to the stock tranny? What advantages to going rotary Over the 1.8? Thanks! Love the knowledge base around here I have been wandering around a bit and seen some lovely machinery!


      • #4
        Hey mate

        I'm no tech expert so you'll have to DYOR regarding a rotary bolting up to the stock tranny. I can tell you that rotaries have been put in 626's before. If you are going to the trouble of an engine transplant, then you should do some due diligence on a rotary conversion.

        Advantages....whoa that's a massive list (and a few disadvantages of course) is a completely different, extremely pleasurable, driving experience driving a rotary compared with any piston engine. In a car like that I think it would be absolutely beautiful!


        • #5
          For what I want a 1.8 or 1.6 Miata engine might be a better idea. Spirited driver, minimal upkeep, EFI and mpg. From what I have read the engine will bolt up to my tranny and minimize that hassle. Pare down a harness and drop the engine in. Anyone done this on here? Thanks for the input!


          • #6
            Ummmm not sure about the gearbox bolting up to a BP, pretty sure the NA/MA motor is a different bellhousing pattern.
            occasional blog:

            Brought to you by me as I search Alta Vista for Geocities webpages using Netscape Navigator while listening to Jam & Spoon.


            • #7
              I am not sure either but the guys at Racing Beat seemed to think so. He was pretty stoked on the idea! I am thinking Miata engine, 1.6 or 1.8 whatever I happen upon or is easiest to swap. If beneficial by fit or performance I can definitely use a matching Miata tranny. Some Miata wheels and a little lowering. A place in Indy makes the 4x110 to 4x100 adapters and it will give me the right offset for the Miata wheels. Just thinking out loud here. I also like the idea of some cool vintage wheels or some new 8-spokes. The Miata wheels would continue a theme and I like that. OEM wheels, engine etc but the old school wheels are so cool! Thanks for the input! I am excited about this little project.


              • #8
                have no experince with rotaries but its sound looks cool let me khnow what it feels like


                • #9
                  i think the Miata BP is a great engine. you'll have more power than that car came with originally, the STUPID CRAZY reliability of that engine as well. my wife has a 1995 NA Miata with 255k miles on it, still has plenty of zoom (for a miata mind you) and never misses a beat!

                  i think a Rotary swap would blow the doors off the miata swap, but for what you talking about i wouldn't argue about a BP. keep us updated on the build this sounds like a fun project!
                  (Picture is of my Wifes Miata with me Autocrossing it. lololol)
                  Jake B.
                  1989 Mazda Rx7 GTUs - BridgePort 6 Port mmmmmmm
                  1974 Mazda Rx2 Sedan - Home, and Cleaning her up!