I figure it's about time I put up some photos of my 1500 project I've been tinkering with for the last few years. It is a proper DIY job, I've done pretty much everything myself, with the help of a few mates and my father in law.
The car I've done actually started as a parts car for an earlier 1500 I wanted to restore but as I disassembled it, the body was straighter and had a lot less rust than the first one so I changed plans.
After doing a bit of light bodywork over the course of a few months I took a couple of days of work and set about painting the car. I chose a solid Mazda white called Marble White that some Mx-5s and special edition Rx-8s came out in.
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I used PPG acrylic paint as I was painting at home in the shed and had never actually painted a car before. I'm glad I used acrylic because I either had the gun set wrong or I'm actually pretty sure I used the wrong type of thinners. In any case, the car came out with a whole lot of orange peel in the paint resulting in many weeks of sanding and buffing to get a reasonable finish. In between all this I dyed the seats black, put in new carpet and underlay, sourced some RX-5 wheels and got them powdercoated black, had the clutch and brake master cylinders rebuilt and had a crack at rebuilding a 2ltr MA to put in it.
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The motor won't be a full on powerhouse but should be a nice torquey cruiser of an engine, I balanced the pistons/rods and had a mate port match the head/manifolds as well as picking up a 270/110deg billet "tow" cam off of e-bay together with an electronic dizzy. I've made an experimental "stealth" Nikki carby by rebuilding the original 1500 carby with a kit, while swapping the jets and chokes from the MA 2ltr carby. The 1500 Nikki is a lot tidier looking without all the ancillary hoses and cannisters of the MA model. Not sure if it will work but if it does it should be a sweet little set up. I've also got a side draft weber manifold to suit but I kind of like the factoryish look of the air filter assembly and want to try not to raise any red flags when it comes time to register the car.
After putting some of the jewellery back on the car and sorting out the ancillaries for the motor I am almost there, got to sort out some electrical gremlins like headlights not working, hook up the windscreen washer bottle, repaint the fuel flap and then get it running. The motor is turning over nicely but there is no spark coming from the coil lead so I either need to learn a bit about wiring electronic ignition or maybe get a points dizzy just to get it running. I took it out of the shed for a dust down and some photos the other day, I've still got to machine out the centre of the front wheels also as even though the RX-5 rims are the correct 4x120mm pcd, they dont quite fit over the front hubs properly. Finally I'll give everything a good clean and polish and look at getting it lowered. A lot.