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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:38 am
Posts: 22
Location: Still aboard the Deathstar with my Plasma cutter
OH wow John, youre going in real deep with this one.

With all the great cutting and removing of sections and panels to get in behind them,
all most making me want to go and start that 808 coupe sitting out the back :lol:

I'm thinking i will get into the other project this year, and no doubt it will be once again your build thread that gets me into it 8)

Cheers Kurt.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:28 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 594
Location: Australia
Kurt it's always more fun watching someone else bring a car back from the dead. I enjoyed watching you build your coupe. I never thought anyone in their right mind would do it, not that mine was any better :lol: This one's a little different, mostly riddled with rust. Amazingly the front end of this car doesn't even have a kink, has the original gearbox mounts ( I think that's where the good points end :lol: ).... just so much rust. Well it had rust, now it's just holes after the blasting :lol: As you probably know I have a preference for coupes, I think I sort of felt sorry for this car more than anything and thought it would be a pretty cool achievement to turn a basket case wreck back to how it was in 72. Once the shell parts are cleaned up it should come together reasonably fast. Sedan parts are so much easier to find and priced a lot cheaper which helps. I'll have to catch up with you sometime after summer, I should have the heater valve by then.

BTW I went past Andy's Wreckers a few weeks ago, would you believe they scrapped 98% of the stock. The only thing they saved was the Rolls Royce plus a couple of other cars :roll:

Here's some of the latest work....take#2, roof repair. The roof skin is still on the frame, once it's straightened it'll be unpicked. I thought 2 days would be enough to straighten it but like everything it's going to take a lot longer. The roof skin is 100% rust free as is the frame it's attached to. So far I've spent a few hours over a couple of days trying to finish it off. My tolerance (or attention span) is about 3 or 4 hours max. It's not much fun fixing a roof panel. I've used all the all old methods, hammer, dolly's, a spoon (a type of dolly) for massaging bumps out, stud gun for the stubborn bits...... let me tell you it's taking too much time ! I'm going to give paintless dent removal a go, that'll be less intrusive and hopefully faster and better. It takes me too long doing it the old way. My intention is to give the roof a couple coats of hifill without using spray polyester so has to be pretty straight to do that. The hifill will catch any minor imperfections from the repair process.
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Once I get over the straightening the roof skin hurdle, that's when the enjoyment starts for me especially since it's the second time I'm doing a the same task.

Edit 4-4-14 :-$

Very little has happened with the car so I'll sneak this in for now. I've taken it for a short drive and it needs a few things fixed being new....

Cleaned up the dome light, they all seem to go yellow. The lense was bought from http://streetlens.com/contact.html he is good to deal with. I also bought some rear tail lenses from him which are also good quality. He advertises on eBay from time to time as well.
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The other small thing that got fixed was the rear view mirror, the small clear brackets break over time. I managed to find one for the coupe and one for the sedan through Mazda contacts. Another small job done.
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I swapped some parts with Dom for a pair of new old stock 10a bumper brackets. They need a little clean but they are straight and undamaged. I also bought single seat belt hanger from one of the GT stores in Sydney. After going there I wondered if the counter staff member was related to Scott's Rubber..... what can I say personality of a cardboard box, grumpy and the list goes on. I've had no luck finding a good pair of plastic covers that go over the seat belt "adjuster" so I'm going to see someone about making a handful. The covers will fit the very early Star brand non retractable seatbelts that were found in Rx2 and 3 and I also believe some of the very early Holden Monaros and possibly Kingswoods. It's hard to make a conclusive decision on some Holden's using the same style belts and buckles but I did see a couple fitted to these cars in a wrecking yard and on an Ebay auction. This would have been before Holden moved towards the Holden insignia branded seatbelts or, it may be they were fitted to lower spec cars.

In regards to to the bumper brackets above, if you've ever attempted to fit US spec brackets to a 10a nosecone you'll probably notice that they won't fit. That's because there are 2 different upper nose cones (plastic and metal) and 3 types of lower 10a valance panels (1 plastic and 2 metal style). To fit the sturdier US style brackets you need a lower valance panel with the larger bumper bracket cuts outs. Sorry no photo here, but I'll show the differences when I panel beat the sedans nosecone.
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People who have followed my thread will note that I've had problems with leaky heater valves. I thought I had resolved the issue after my last attempt but found the replacement has a small leak in the "open heat" position. If doesn't leak in the off position after the motor reaches operating temperature, then that's good enough for me ! For now it's staying and will do the job. In the future I'll find a replacement valve and my look at modifying and fitting a modern electric actuated valve. It's a bitch of job replacing these so I'm happy to leave the current valve until I find an alternate solution.

The other thing I want to do is redo the drivers carpet to centre the heal matt and see if I can fit the later style accelerator pedal that hangs from the top and isn't bolted to the floor.
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The heater came out for the final time (for now) to ensure there was no additional leaks elsewhere. It's difficult to tell from photo 2 but the valve is leaking from a slight worn area on the valve shaft that passes through the rubber seal that is located ihe valve body when in the off position.
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A new heater valve hose replaced the hardened original fabric version. Not replacing 40yo hoses no matter how insignificant they appear to be is a bad idea.
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Here's some useful Savanna fitting info that I was doing for someone. Neither a 808 or Australian spec dash frame can be used if you wish to fit a Japanese centre console. The biggest issue you'll enounter will be the radio will be incorrectly positioned for the dash/ gauge panel cover. Photo 1, I sliced through the spot welded lower platform with a 4" grinder cut off wheel and welded the platform approx 16mm lower. This measurement will be different again if using a 808 dash frame however I can't see why an 808 frame wouldn't work. Photo 2, work complete and looks original. If you were pedantic you could sandblast the frame and have it powder coated for a better than new finish.
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The other consideration when doing such a conversion is that although the Australian centre console harness fit both Savanna and the local clusters, the Savanna pin layout is different and will need to be modified. I'm yet to test the schematic I mapped out but I'm pretty sure it will work. The harness I'm referring to runs from the main harness behind the drivers instrumentation to the centre cluster PCB. The only other consideration is that you MAY need to run the charge light wire from the back to the dashboard to the Savanna cluster if you with the Savanna charge light to work. It's something I'm yet to look further into but that won't affect the general operation of the Japanese dash.
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Photo 1, While available I ordered another set of the correct 10a heater hose pipes for my sedan. With Mazda one minute they are available the next moment they are gone ! Photo 2, helping out one of our US members that was after a couple of things that weren't available in the US. Genuine Rx3 badges approx $60 a pair and the rear suspension rubbers are around $60 or $70 for the set. He bought a few other things from us and I don't mind helping out seeing that I had placed an order for myself.
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I had MSF in Melbourne make some brake adjustments to provide extra clearance with the lower control arms. As the car is lowered and moves through it suspension cycle, the control arm moves outwards and was getting a little too close to the rotors. He's a good person to work with I find. The rotors are nice and meaty and a perfect match for the 4 pot front brakes. While the hubs and calipers came off for the final time I took the opportunity to have the rotors machined by Northern Brake and Clutch at North Melbourne, another good, competent and honest business to deal with. If it can be rebuilt they can do it. I had them rebuild my 2 bendix units and they did an excellent job both times with one unit being far worse than the other.
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I have to thank my brother, Gino, Marco, Greg and Dan for helping out with sorting out the coupe. It seems every time we took it for a drive there was some sort of problem. I haven't been in a position to work on the car so they've all been great. Most of those problems are fixed, a little more assembly and it should be done. That hasn't stopped me collecting the final parts for the sedan, thanks Jed ! I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into the sedan later in the year. The main priority is to complete sorting the coupe then clean up the sedans repair panels which will be prepared then blasted clean. Here's a few things that have been recently purchased to get things under way.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 6:14 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 323
Location: Adelaide
Updates? Pics of the coupe finished? :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 3:24 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 594
Location: Australia
Nah, been side tracked with other things. The car is mostly burried under piles of boxes.

For what it's worth, the schematic I mapped out above for Savanna dash conversions does work. It's probably worth moving the charge light to the Savanna setup as well especially if there isn't a resistor parallel with the charge light. Why you ask ? It's easier to pull the jdm centre panel out than the drivers dash cluster if the charge globe fails which is part of the charge circuit. If there is an parallel resistor with the globe the circuit will still work so no real advantage in moving. Sorry I haven't bothered looking if there is or isn't. Probably waffle talk to most people.

I've been repairing some of these for close friends, currently rewinding an amp meter, we'll see how that goes. The amp gauges seem to fail, have 3 duds. I think Rx4 units are the same but they are still old.

With a little luck I'll have the car out in a few weeks with some photos.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 4:32 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 323
Location: Adelaide
Fair enough, seems it's that time of year.
Your updates are informative as always, as you know I fitted a savanna centre console to my 76 808 wagon without too much drama. But those that haven't attempted a dash swap should be aware that it's no good for the skin on your knuckles or fingers! :roll:

Part number for the rear spring rubbers noted - cheers!

Look forward to seeing a couple pics of the beast parked up. :tu:


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:53 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 594
Location: Australia
I should probably do a proper update however this thread now makes me sick with the amount of work that's gone into the car !

Anyone know which number plate brackets are the right ones ? I thought the ones on the left where the right ones but the chrome ones seem to fit better. The number plate sits above the bumper bar if I use the gold ones.

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:47 am
Posts: 68
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Hi John, the ones on the right are what i believe to be correct and original from the rx3 and 808's i've seen,
and i would love to get my hands on a set as well to finish off my car


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:47 pm 

Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 11:16 pm
Posts: 9
the set on the left are the correct ones 100% have a untouched rx3 with the same brackets


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:28 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:02 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Adelaide
Looks like both are 10A brackets...?

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This is a pic of mine (bottom) which I thought were '12A' brackets...maybe not...?
The others (top) are 808 flat nose brackets which I thought would fit a mates 10A bar...maybe not...?

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:51 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:13 am
Posts: 89
Location: Melbourne Australia
Yea I dont think they are model specific i think there is a older style and newer style John :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:21 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 594
Location: Australia
Thanks for the info, the guy that gave the chrome ones to me had a later model Rx3 and said they didn't fit his car. The gold ones I always thought were the right ones until I tried fitting them. Oh well it looks like I've managed to somehow locate both types. Learn something new everyday, I suppose use whatever works ! I know I haven't done a decent update this year, mainly because I've had to concentrate on other things. I've probably got enough to put up another (arguably) interesting update but it sort of doesn't make sense as far as the coupe is concerned so I'll leave it until I finish off the remaining bits and pieces with the coupe. Those things are gauge repair seeing some things are getting quite rare (and expensive), building a "black box" circuit to be able to run 50A Savanna and later model gauges in an earlier 30A car and a couple of other small things.

In the background I've purchased the remaining bits to start on the sedan thanks to Jed (buzzme) who packed everything on a pallet and couriered it off with little fuss. Those bits include a complete boot floor, transmission tunnel section, seat mount and an entire wiper panel/ chassis panel cut. There's a bit of thinking to do in regards to how I'll carry out some of those repairs, especially with the boot floor. I'm looking forward to starting on the sedan from a body work perspective. There's a lot of brand new parts and panels I've collected specifically for this car which I'm looking forward to putting to good use. More on that towards the end of the year. For now it's all about the coupe.

The coupe is pretty much complete so I just need to tidy up some odds and ends that I've been putting off forever. One of those was painting the fuel door. For whatever reason I couldn't find a decent door panel when I painted the car so it was never done. Well some time ago one was found and I finally painted it on Saturday. For 5 minutes worth of painting, it took forever to locate the gun needle that friends had packed prior to moving and the clean up after painting also kills me. For such a small job it's a bit of headache !

Pic 1, fuel door painted, rubbed back with with 2000 to match the rest of the bodywork then buffed with Farcela mini pads on a 3" air mini polisher. The white pad is for compounding the black for a finer finish. Pic 2, new parts purchased from Mazda to fit the fuel door and lock.
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Pic 1, I'm half thinking to use this rare badge that I had RestoreMaz restore some time ago. Not sure whether to use it or stick it back on the shelf. Pic 2 parts fitted up. After installing I realised that the ignition key doesn't fit the generic fuel lock. I'm told there are 2 types of locks so I'll have to replace it with the other type. Just my luck, hopefully I have the other lock type.
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Last one for now, you can see why I was questioning the number plate brackets. One type places the number plate above the bumper bar.
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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:52 am 

Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 11:16 pm
Posts: 9
right one correct way!


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:48 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 783
Location: Melbourne, Australia
gypsy wrote:
Northern Brake and Clutch at North Melbourne, another good, competent and honest business to deal with. If it can be rebuilt they can do it.


I went to them quite a lot for parts and to have things done, but after they had my car last time, I would NEVER ever use them again.

re: Andy's the wrecker - I think once the old bloke sold out to the younger guys, they had a massive crushing session and crushed all the old stuff. They seem to do it regularly now. The old blokes were great to deal with, the last time I was there (a few years ago now) I nearly punched on with the new guy that manages it.


Fuel door looks great. It will be worth all the fiddly time prepping and cleaning! :)

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:12 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 594
Location: Australia
I suppose different experiences for different people, I've always found them really friendly and helpful. I was impressed at the restoration work they did on the seized Rx3 booster I got from the States. I've given them 2 to do now plus a quite a bit of other work.

From a engineering point of view Marcus at MSF Fabrication was excellent in sorting out my conversion. Melbourne still has these small engineering places from yesteryear and I love that. There's another engineering place that was closing up just off Gaffney St run by an old man in his 90s. Walking into that place gave you a taste of the 50s and 60s. What hit you right after seeing all the now unused machinery was the classical music blaring from the corners of the factory. I had him repair the threads on my new Konis that I bought out from the US.

Meeting guy's like this is definitely a good side of building old cars, unfortunately there are less and less of them with real hands on engineering experience which is really sad.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:21 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 594
Location: Australia
Well this week I wanted to get the car out on a decent drive seeing it'll be my last opportunity for quite some time before I go in for a major op. Nurses and drugs so I'm not complaining :lol: The car has been almost finished for sometime but what project is ever really finished ? There's more to do to tidy up and improve bits and pieces but this will do for now. So.... I spent most of Saturday fixing what needed fixing so I could use Sunday if it was a nice day.

Sometime ago I threaded one of the Weber top mount holes. It's easily done unfortunately but fortunately it's also an easy fix. I ordered some stainless thread inserts to repair. Pic 1, plug up the throats so nothing fulls down there. Pic 2, you order the inserts as a kit, it comes with everything required.
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You basically drill, tap and then insert. Rather than use the special insertion tool I use a small screwdriver.
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Carb now fixed, double check that nothing it sitting on the throats. If you have the carb setup right the throats butterflys will be closed.
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I had Danny make up these replacement (right side) spacers, unfortunately I didn't account for the little lip on the hub so they don't sit 100% flush. An over site on my part. I'll have a local machine shop tapper off 1mm on one side of the spacers so they sit perfect. These self center on the center of the hub which makes them perfect. Almost a compression fit but not quite. Danny also had them zinc plated by the looks of things 8) I'll most likely attach them to the hubs using a countersunk screw.
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Over the weekend, both Saturday and Sunday the car was spotted twice and wasn't even out for that long. Not much goes unnoticed these days ! On Saturday I bumped into BillyB, and Sunday a few others. I think I must of scared Bill because I looked nothing like he remembers :lol: I asked spunbearing (an appropriate username I'm guessing :lol: ) to come along but it was really a last minute decision to go. I think he's sorting out the new injection setup.

So here is the sole decent photo from today's Coffee and Cars, thanks go to Ray for the photo. Every time I upgrade my phone software something breaks, this time it was the camera :roll: Next time I'll bring a real camera. The event is jam packed with all sorts of cars, parking is a real premium which is it's downfall unless you get there early.
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A rotary cruise wouldn't be complete without getting a tow home :lol: I opened it up a little on my way home on a good stretch of road when it jammed in 3rd gear. At the time I was a little confused thinking WTF is going on here before swearing a little and thinking you're got to be kidding :lol: Pulled over and took a couple more crappy phone pics. The real sad part is I had the gearbox rebuilt. I gave Bill a quick call seeing we exchanged numbers the day before and I'm told they probably didn't shim something or other to prevent over selection. He also broke the bad news that it was unlikely to come out of gear. So, at some point I'll pull the box out and send away again unless I feel the urge to give it a go myself.
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Aside from all that, you couldn't wipe the smile from my face. So how does it go ? Surprisingly the 10a BP has a fair bit of go, It's no slug by any stretch of the imagination. The exhaust is probably a little on the loud side but allows the motor to breath. The car itself goes OK but I've forgotten how crappy a 40yo car handles. If I compare to my other toy an AP1 s2000 which I bought back in 01, they are chalk and cheese. The Honda does everything the Rx3 wishes it could do except be an Rx3 8)

There's a little fine tuning to do, change the box, maybe upgrade to a series 1 Rx7 5speed (kidding) :lol: I kept the pads that came with the calipers (off a race car) but I'll be swapping them for a road set. They need too much heat to work properly on the street. The other problem I have is the clutch master must be leaking internally because it seems to loose pressure if you sit on the clutch, that's a simple one though.

The Broadhurst distributors are magic, not only do they look neat they give a clean spark right through the rev range. There's nothing worse than points powered rotary if you ask me. The motor is a little angry, bucking and what not unless it's under load and revving through the gears so I might go to either a 4.1 or 4.4 diff, most likely a 4.1. The real annoying thing is the motor appears to want to go quicker than general traffic flow, only the first 3 gears appear to be any of real use.

So there you have it 8)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:14 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:03 am
Posts: 55
Location: Adalaide, Australia
John the car looks great but like you say all project are never finished and always got to do some thing with them, By the looks of the photo with you in the car the reason for the Operation is have a affect on you and your health. your looking a bit different from when i meet you a years and a bit ago. Hope all is well and if not you get better soon.

Yeah every one that owns a rotary need a tow truck ride home once in a while just to remind you how fragile these old things are. ( as long is it is not every drive all is good)

Cheers
Matt


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:28 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 783
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Bravo John. It looks fantastic. The side stripes and the Wats are perfect with the white paint.

Gaffney St - I think I know that guy! My dad worked at Kodak for years and I did a welding course at NMIT. There were a few interesting old businesses around Coburg and Preston that seem to have disappeared when the owners died or retired. Same goes for North Melbourne, it used to be filled with automotive and motorcycle related businesses, now it's all hipsters and cafes.

When I get my tax return I'll be hitting up Marcus for some custom Rover bits. :D

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:00 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:05 pm
Posts: 38
Location: New Zealand
To quote above "bravo" awesome outcome to a monumental rebuild - bummer about the tow but rotary ownership and towing go together like Rolf and his busy hands :lol:

:tu:


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 323
Location: Adelaide
gypsy wrote:
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So there you have it 8)


So much win right there! Top work mate you should be proud. :tu:


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:11 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:53 pm
Posts: 413
Location: Adelaide
WOW! The car looks amazing! Incredible job! Good to see you getting it out and enjoying it. :D


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