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Thread: When is a Mazda not a Mazda?

  1. #1
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    When is a Mazda not a Mazda?

    answer: When it's a Japanese Ford of course!

    presenting my 1985 Ford Laser TX3 4WD turbo. observant Mazda fans will know it to be virtually identical to the JDM Familia in every way except for parts of the bodywork. It runs the same turbo B6T engine and 4WD drivetrain, and even has "Mazda Motor Corporation" stamps on the firewall, glass etchings, mirrors, and various pieces of trim. even the chassis code is the same, except for an appended "F" at the end (Familia = BFMR, Laser = BFMRF)

    Only 965 TX3s were made for the Japanese market in 4WD turbo guise and were sold at special "Autorama" dealerships. This particular example made its way to New Zealand in 1992 when the first massive influx of JDM vehicles arrived on our shores under the new relaxed import laws.



    i've owned this car for seven years, and have lightly modified it during my tenure of ownership. Notable upgrades include an IHI VF8/VJ12 hybrid turbo, Galant VR-4 intercooler, alloy-sump GT-Ae block, ported and polished head, upgraded injectors and pump, heavy-duty suspension and swaybars, and a rear GT-Ae LSD differential.

    For the last two years my TX3's been undergoing a rather thorough ground-up restoration, as a result of an incredibly stupid incident one rainy day - you can read a nice long summary of the key events that took place during this process here (thanks Mike for the writeup). The last of the bodywork was re-attached this weekend just been, and apart from a few window-dressing items still on their way, the restoration is pretty much finished. I do plan to add an aftermarket ECU to control the upgraded fueling system but this isn't slated to happen until later on in the year - for now the car still starts, runs and drives fine so for all intents and purposes it is done!

    actually feels good to have completed one of my many projects

    Got a bit snap-happy after washing it for the first time, you can check out the rest of my album here (which includes photos from before the restoration took place)







    Thanks for looking

  2. #2
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    I never knew that a 4wd turbo version of the Laser was ever sold. I like it :tu:

  3. #3
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    Can't decide if it looks more like our Mazda 323GTX or Mercury Tracer, or some unique blended hybrid of both cars...

    Either way, I love it... 8)


    Tracer:





    323GTX:




  4. #4
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    here in indonesia we also get that gen of laser..offered in two diff. body styles the 3 door hatch n the 5 door hatch.. engines offeredwas the 1.8l DOHC engine for the 3door hatch and the 1.5L SOHC for the 5 door hatch.. while the mazda at that time offered in 2 diff styles a 5 door hatch and a 4 door sedan.. the mazda gets a 1.5l SOHC engine or the 1.3L SOHC..
    but the mazda was the more popular choice..
    mazda n ford are u can say.. sister company... :lol:
    up untill now the mazda3 n ford focus still shares the same platform..engines too... same thing happens with mazdaBT50 n the ford ranger.. and so on and so on... :lol:

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    Dang, that thing is a clean, and apparently rare! It's sure got that whole Euro hot hatch look down pat.

  6. #6
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    As the story goes, Ford Australia's original designs for the Laser were rather over the top (along the lines of the Probe V concept car), and Mazda's management balked at it. In the end they decided to drastically tone the car down and the end result is what you see here.

    Quote Originally Posted by datsunfreak
    Can't decide if it looks more like our Mazda 323GTX or Mercury Tracer, or some unique blended hybrid of both cars...

    Either way, I love it... 8)
    The Mercury Tracer (released 1987) was based off the Ford Laser (released 1985) but with the 5mph bumpers and licence plate mounting changes.

    There were three TX3 turbo versions initally released for the Japanese market: 4WD 1.6l DOHC turbo, FWD 1.6l DOHC turbo, and FWD 1.5l SOHC turbo. My brother owns a SOHC turbo model, and I race a FWD DOHC turbo at amateur level. It's a bit of a beater:


  7. #7
    Administrator john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orion
    The Mercury Tracer (released 1987) was based off the Ford Laser (released 1985) but with the 5mph bumpers and licence plate mounting changes.
    So does that mean the Tracer might easily take a B6T? :P

    You can buy those Tracers here for a few hundred bucks. Might be some good cheap fun, and hold up to the B6T better than the Festiva...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by datsunfreak

    So does that mean the Tracer might easily take a B6T? :P

    You can buy those Tracers here for a few hundred bucks. Might be some good cheap fun, and hold up to the B6T better than the Festiva...
    Not another project!! Although, that would be super cool... especially in one of those brown Tracers

  9. #9
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    yup the Tracer will take a B6T with ease.

    You'll need the gearbox and shafts, a crossmember from the 323 GT turbo (FWD), the driver's side engine mount, and all the requisite wiring, fuel tank, pump and lines...

  10. #10
    Administrator john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orion
    You'll need the... driver's side engine mount
    Which driver's side, yours or mine? :P

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