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What engine should go in my Rx3 sedan ?
Single distributor 12a Rx3 engine 26%  26%  [ 6 ]
Twin distributor 12a PP engine 35%  35%  [ 8 ]
1600 808 4 cylinder 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
Leave it with the stock 10a drive line 26%  26%  [ 6 ]
Give my 12a housings to Dave and move on to the next big thing the Toyota Lexcen 9%  9%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 23
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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 610
Location: Australia
Geez this place has gone awfully quiet !

I have picked up my engine from Ric Shaw Performance. I've dealt with him over many many years prior to taking a long break from the car scene. He went out of his way to help put the period 10a bridgey together. Porting is nothing radical, it is very similar to how Mazda used to do them. Big porting basically means no torque when you need it. This is a sediment reflected from several other highly experienced engine builders/ racers who have competed successfully for years. The impression I got was you loose more time coming in and out of corners than what you gain down the straights if you go too radical. Rick would have to be one of the best Australian rotary (and piston) circuit racers around... he's raced everything from Bathurst V8's, Targa Tasmania (Tarmac rally), GT class at the Nürburgring Gemany over several years (both his own team and a factory Aston drive) all with results of course, I could have chosen to advise him on what works but thought he may know better :lol:

I had suggested to have everything kryptonite coated (by Lex Luther himself), heat treated, use late model machined down parts, etc etc but was advised it was a waste of money unless you were building a high horsepower motor that was living on the edge. Who was I to argue, saved me a lot of money as well !

This is a similar spec 10a as they were run in the 70's and through the 80's in various improved production classes. Housings and manifolds have been blasted clean for that OEM appearance. ... anyhow lets not forget this is a street car first that may see the very occasional track day. Should be a fun Sunday cruiser :)

Here are the specs
Rx3 10a bridge port block
2 piece apex seals matching springs
Single side seal rotors
New stat gears ex Japan
Machined side housings
Weber IDA manifold
Aluminum Flywheel
Exedy clutch/ pressure plate
10a Water pump reduction pulley

I had intentions to inject the engine, but decided a period 48IDA Weber was a better way to go given I wanted to stick to a period theme. The lasting impression I have on these old Webers is the induction noise can be louder that the exhaust ! I'll see what I can do quieten it all down. Fits in the boot of small hatch back with lots of room to spare, 2 people can easily lift it in and out with their hands :)

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Once the front end of the car is all cleaned up it'll be dropped in with my reco'd Selectmaz 5 Speed 8)
Exhaust will be 2 x 1 7/8 OD pipes coming off the headers, into 2x 1 7/8 resonators into a 2.5" collector under the diff (depending on clearance) into a 2.5" muffler then out the back. Im hoping to get noise way under the 96db noise limit, the quieter the better in my opinion.

When its closer to startup I'll buy / replace the points system with the magnetic pickup sensors system from Retro Looms. Ultimately at a much later date I'll be modifying the twin dizzies with Rx7 high energy ignition system but retain the standard twin dizzy look.

There's quite a bit more happening in the background. I've managed to source a lot of parts for both this car and the 12a powered coupe. At the same time I've sold off some of my spares as I find new better stuff. The place was starting to look like a 70's Mazda parts department, stuff had to go as I had run out of room in the consolidated 6 storage depots :lol: I should have my parts back from the platers in a week or so which means the doors and glass can go together. Shouldn't be too long before it resembles a nice shiny car for the first time in close to 20 years :)

At the moment I'm cleaning up bits and pieces for paint and giving the paint a buff. Cross members arent too far away from being painted and then the block and gearbox will go in :)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:30 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:39 am
Posts: 310
Location: Melbourne, Australia
I hate to say this, but you need help - there are support groups for OCD sufferers! :lol: :lol: :lol:

This has to be the most thorough, attention to detailed, oh-my-god-im-f*****g-picky/pedantic build i have EVER seen, good to see your almost at the end and the cars showing the rewards for all the hard work.

Quote:
ic 1 Another angle, Pic 2 boot lid also done. Sanding whatever HiFill primer was sprayed on the boot lid was like sanding cast iron, it was literally rock hard


This caught my attention as ive had a similar problem. When you say as hard as cast iron, did it look a little bit like it aswell [ie grainy instead of peely?] Ive had it happen a few times, moreso with acrylic highfill then 2pack highfill. Ive tried bigger tips, gun settings, more thinners and its helped, but occaisonally i still get it! Cold weather perhaps?

Also painting the car in stages got my attention...i know this cant be done with metallic, but can you get away with it with other solids like orange, red etc? Ive heard so many horror stories about bleed throughs etc im terrified to do mine.

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:49 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 610
Location: Australia
F3ared you wouldn't be the first to say that about me, actually it had crossed my mind to repaint the shell to fix some very very minor things but I was threatened not to touch it :lol: The biggest compliment I got was a few days ago from a friend who is currently shelling out some big dollars on a Falcon restoration telling me his wont turn out as good as this which I find hard to believe. Yes its very nice but 100% perfect in every respect its not. That's why I decided some time ago to have a go at a 12a Rx3 coupe. I'm very critical (of my stuff) and it frustrates me no end when I don't get perfection back from "the best" despite me willing to pay to get exactly what I want. Sooooooo the motto is why pay someone to f&^% a job up when I'm more than capable of doing that myself :lol:

Some of your questions are not simple answers ! I'll do my best here........

The work carried out on the boot lid was perfect, it was done by Restoremaz a couple of years ago as a convenience thing due to having it stored at my Sydney storage depot (900km from where I currently am). I'm not sure what products Dave uses but an educated guess is he has used an etch primer, 2K polyester, then 2K Hi Fill which I then painted over. My comments were related to the 2K HiFill being alot harder than what I've been using (also 2K). There was no problem , it just took me longer to sand with the 600 wet. It's a bad idea mixing 1K and 2K products as you will probably get undesirable effects. The 2K reducer can be quite strong and lift, soften or eat into 1K primers.

The car is painted in a 2K solid (no clear) for factory style gloss and depth. This is my opinion only. 2K solid is very similar to clear coat and is treated / sprayed in a similar manner. You are right, you have to paint a metallic in one go not in stages. With solids (like what I used) and clear coat (not the base colour) the car can be painted in stages. The colour in my case will match 100% always without question.

HOWEVER....

If you are painting the shell in stages which you dont really want to do, you need to learn how to blend the new into the existing. My guess is that is the reason why you've been told otherwise. Blends need to be done from edge to edge or to a body line, preferably a thinning body line. Take this as an example.

You have bought 4 litres of paint, more than enough to paint a roof. You spray the roof, but screw up a corner of it which requires a respray of a small portion. You dont want to paint the entire roof again just that small bit. You rub it back and spray just the bad section using the same paint mixed from the same tin you used earlier. It looks OK but you decide to buff it, as you buff it you notice a colour mismatch. How can it be ?? you used the same paint ! What you are seeing is not a different colour as the colour is 100% identical, you are seeing a line that separates the existing and new paint from the repair. The thing you call a colour mismatch is not so, it is actually a paint edge and is visible due to the paint thickness of the paint repair on top of the existing paint. You can't paint on top on existing paint and expect not to see it.

So what do panel shops do ?

Generally speaking they will spray reducer over the edge (between new and old) to thin out that paint thickness to make the transition invisible. OR they will most likely respray the entire roof to a bodyline which is much easier to do and a better repair and is less likely to cause problems in the future.

When spray painting a car have you ever thought about why you cant see the different layers of paint when you are colour sanding even if you sanded through one layer ? Well, its because the paint is still fluid at the end of the flash time and one layer "flows" into the next coat making it one. When the paint has dried there is no "flow" between existing and the new paint creating an edge a raised thickness on top of an existing finish. .... get it, but its not a colour mismatch you are seeing an edge of paint thickness !!

I could go on... there is so much I have learnt through my own errors and just from shear experimentation and curiosity. I hope the above sort of makes sense, its very hard for me to put into words to get you to understand what is going on. I'm told you'd experience the exact same problems from clear coat and the above explains why. Clear has no colour and you'd see the new and old if not blended or sprayed from edge to edge.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:38 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:27 am
Posts: 350
Location: salt lake city
great project.

i have to warn you about your exhaust plans though. the rotary (13b at least) has a very hot exhaust and will burn through the glasspack resonators/mufflers within a few months. im not sure what you were planning with the resonators but in my experience, its always best to get something baffled since the rotary will burn out all the filler in the glasspack type.

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:49 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 610
Location: Australia
Hey Dave, it certainly is getting there ! I spent the day tidying bits and pieces. I thought I'd have the cross members done so I could drop in the motor and gearbox but gave up in the end. The sandblaster is broken and I gave up doing them with the electric sander after 10mintues. I'll drop them off and the front suspension early next week for blasting, should have them back by the weekend ready for me to paint them.

Engine bay has been cleaned up ready for the engine. Also started pulling apart the diff and housing so I could clean and paint them up. I noticed one of the brake cylinders has a small tear in the rubber so I'll just replace the pair of them. The axles wont come out, will have to read the service manual as to how to dislodge them. I've got a factory LSD to go in as well when the diff is overhauled. Should be mechanically new when Im finished with it. I will also replace the front brake caliper pistons as they have seen better days.

Engine should be installed in the coming weeks.

Derek, I'll be building the exhaust myself using custom made mufflers. There are a few people over here that make mufflers specifically for rotaries. The ones Im looking at are packed with high temp steel wool to be more durable... how much more durable is anyones guess. Resonators and muffler will all have flanges so I can easily replace them as required... hopefully not too often ! Yep ypu're right they dont seem too last behind a ported engine too well.

Also called the platers, the door guts and everything else I dropped off should be ready next week :)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:16 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 610
Location: Australia
Ben must be testing us with the latest round of missing posts, how many times can we make this guys updates disappear before he gives up and goes else where :P

....So where I left off last update.....
I had started to strip the front end for painting in a matt black however I couldnt wait for the blaster to be repaired so dropped everything off for someone else to carry out the work. They'll come back clean, blasted, primed, ready for epoxy then painting. Saves me lots of hassle as well :) The plan is to complete the front end and have it sitting on its own wheels then pull the entire rear diff housing and leafs out for the same treatment and overhaul. Photo of what has been been sent off. Poor taste in colours is all I'll say ! The engine mount was chromed as well.....so 80's :) .......all going back to a matt black finish.

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Stub axles still have springs fitted so didn't get time to pull them apart to drop off meaning I'll do those myself. Need to source front calliper pistons to finish it all off when I get everything back. Should all look nice and new when its all together.

Pic 1 the blaster cleaned up my front end and handed them back primed, easy work for a change and saved me a lot of time. There were a few layers of paint on all the parts except for the crossmembers. Here they are all nice and clean. Got a few other bits to clean up before it all goes together but its mostly done. Pic 2, The parts will be coated with Lesonal paint mixed 2:1 with a tinting addiditve to give a satin appearance, left to right.... hardener, 2K solid black and tint.
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Solid single stage black paint on its own would give a glossy finish. Maybe one day I'll paint a black car, must be air conditioned though ! Pic 2, as previously mentioned someone has spend a fair bit refreshing the steering and suspension with decent stuff. You can see the 555 brand markings on some of the tie rods. They are all in perfect shape except for one which has a damaged rubber boot which I believe can be replaced on its own. I'll clean up the grease nipples to the chrome finish before they are fitted up.
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Hung the bits off the rotisserie for spraying, much better in the new colour. In the background you can see some white original door trims. Im thinking of having these repaired and using them on the next car. Im lucky that the speaker holes are entirely in the carpet area. Pic 2, some small touchups prior to spraying some body deadner to the wheel arches. I've opted to keep it body colour under the wheel arches and black on the floorpan. Seam sealer applied over the joins to keep the moisture out.
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Undersealer which I'll be painting over. I opted for a grey undersealer so if the paint ever chips it wont be so noticeable. Pic 2, its attached to a special gun for spraying. The same gun is used for waxing and oiling the body with a snake hose attachment.
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Masked up the thread holes then give it a single coat. You only need to coat areas that are in the firing line from the wheels and road. This will be primed and painted later then the engine and box can go in :) Pic 2, my 10a water pump pulley which prevents water cavitation at high rpm, this was a typical modification on NA engines. I thought I hit the jackpot when it was offered to me, hard enough finding new 10a bits let alone a collection of period 40yo ex race bits, some of them new like the pulley :)
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A post by rotorman_12 reminded me about what I was trying to do some months earler regarding building a High Energy twin dizzy ignition system. He has exactly what I was trying to accomplish, good to know that my idea has already been done. Thanks for the details Chris. I'm studying up on ignition systems and have a couple of ways of doing it, researching some cost factors and then its a goer ! You cant go past some extra spark in these things to make them run better and cleaner through the rev range. Its something I need to sort out prior to startup. It's a bonus that I have a couple of near new original dizzy caps, just need a clean up.
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The front end panels arent too far away which will sadly conclude the major part of the project, the nosecone has been blasted which means I'll give the front guards the once over to make sure they tie in with the nose and then that will finish off paint duties...


Why stop when you're having fun.... front arches painted. Most people like these areas blacked out but that's not how they left Japan. Mazda had the paint continue further down the floor than what I have done + overspray on the underside for you purist.You'll barely see any of it once the front end and wheels go on. A little bit more effort for a nice change.
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Next installing crossmembers and dropping in the engine and box, then onto building some headers for a change. Never thought I'd see the day where I'd be permanently installing parts rather than cutting things off.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:15 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:55 am
Posts: 56
Location: perth western australia
Looking awesome gypsy. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:05 am
Posts: 234
Location: Queensland Australia
Looking good gypsy, quality build, quality posts......loving it!


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:04 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 335
Location: Adelaide
ok this will seem out of place for non regular readers of your wicked build blog,
thanks for the reply guys...to a now missing post.

ahhh who would have thought this brakes thing could give me so much to dwell on. everyone makes a good point. Looking at changing stud pattern doesnt seem rite, as why go to all the effort of close to factory restoration in all other areas for authenticity then only to change it on a fundamental thing like stud pattern just for rims choice, especially when running original rims is so cool, however that said, i completely understand why changing it really does make sense in the grand scheme of things, as we, or most of us, like some mag wheels of some description for that special occasion. It then takes the focus to acheiving quality braking under a 13" rim at close to original track width.

I like the s1/2 rx7 front brake swap idea, as its using mazda donor parts, for that factory feel, now for diff conversion and the rear discs... my plan to have discs all round under stock 13" rims may just come together. Thank you for sharing such valuable information for other enthusiats, keep up the good work!


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:31 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 610
Location: Australia
Thanks... here's the latest, the electroplaters gave me a call to let us know that the parts are ready for pickup. I'm currently sorting through other parts to drop off for plating including the horns and other brackets. Any fastener that that I can't buy off the shelf will be plated otherwise it'll be replaced with a new item. I can't be stuffed sorting through rusty nuts, bolts and spring washers when I can buy identical parts from the paint shop for around $30 in a box ready to go. An example would be the strut top nuts, you cant get more generic than that. These are the sort of bits that I'll just replace with equivalent new ones. On the other hand bolts that hold the steering components in place will be re-plated due to being unique ie tensile, thread length, over all length etc. Hope you get the idea.

Last time I was at the paint shop I noticed they had an assortment box of the black interior screws so I'll be grabbing some of those as well, from memory they looked the same as the factory ones. When I had the smashed 808 that was used to repair this car I taped a lot of the nuts and bolts to the parts they attached too so assembly was easier. These fasteners will be re used.

I'm also sorting through 2 buckets of wiring so they can go back into the car. I'm chasing some Wurth brand non adhesive tape to redo some sections of the harness (electrical tape goes all sticky). The harnesses doesn't look too bad, I need to repair the radio wiring and modify the engine harness to attach to the custom ignition system I have in mind. All should look factory with connectors and all when I'm finished.

Interior was trimmed some ago including all the consoles so there won't be any delay there.... just lots of small bits and pieces really need doing. All the expensive items and services have already been spent. I'm guessing there is another 2 - 3K and then I'm done. Looking through my expenses the car will cost around the 12 - 14K mark registered and insured. I was hoping to keep it under 10 but that I cant see that happening.


beans161 wrote:
I like the s1/2 rx7 front brake swap idea, as its using mazda donor parts, for that factory feel, now for diff conversion and the rear discs... my plan to have discs all round under stock 13" rims may just come together. Thank you for sharing such valuable information for other enthusiats, keep up the good work!


s1/2 has a 110 PCD in case you didn't know. I don't see a great advantage changing to 114.3 to be honest. How many wheels do you expect to buy and swap on to the car ! I'll be going through the process of having my alloys changed from 114 to 110 some time soon to keep everything uniform. The cost isn't that great. 114 -> 110 and 108 -> 110 is possible without much trouble. I'll put photos up after I go through the process. (wheel repair shop is doing the modification not me !)

With the rear disk conversion, last one I did I used s2 Rx7 calipers, new disks and backing plates. The only thing that I had to do to make them fit was fit a 2mm aluminum spacer between the axle and the disk rotor hub to center the rotor inside the caliper. Everything else pretty much fit right up.

Once you do that you'll need to have some custom handbrake cables made although I think Ford Laser ones used to fit. However there is much more to it to make it all work right. You'll need a matched front disk setup and a bigger master cylinder as well (preferably with the Rx7 vacuum Bendix Unit). Then there's custom hydraulic lines, brackets, redrilling the firewall for new vaccuum unit etc etc. Your wheel track will change front and rear which may affect your wheel dimension choice. Hope you guys can now see why Im not bothered with this sort of stuff. One thing always leads to another to another and so on that isn't in the original plan... yeah I'm just fitting rear disks ! :lol:

There is very little to gain for this cars main purpose which is cruising the highways with friends other classics. Im all for simple improvements though :) I did the above about 10 years ago so my memory may be a little fuzzy. The brake mod's are pretty easy though, just do the mod before you buy the wheels to be on the safe side.

.....more photos soon 8)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:54 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 791
Location: Melbourne, Australia
gypsy - just quickly - yes you can buy the individual rubber boots for the tie rod ends. Aaron Hogan bought his through Repco (Hi Benn!) and IIRC they were a generic Ford item. (though he was buying some for RX-4s)

Car's coming along nicely, I'm interested in the ignition upgrade too.

(I used an assortment of Champion interior bits for my wagon btw, some stuff wasn't close but it did mean that I can take out the interior without breaking anything next time).

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 610
Location: Australia
No problem with the ignition system, made a couple of phone calls today. Waiting on some responses for some info. Also looking at electrical signalling from the Rx7 hall effect sensors to see if I can find a smaller equivalent or another custom alternative even if I have to design an interface unit myself. No decision made how I'll be doing it other than I must have 2 functional distributors. I quite like the fact the car is retaining the twin distributors. Should have it worked out well before start up.

Forgot all about Repco, will drop in at some point and pick up a new boot !

Also have an original nut and bolt set on its way to attach the gearbox, engine and starter motor. I've found a correct Mazda original Rx4 large hole bottom mount starter motor, just need to pull it apart, clean it up, fit new bearings, bushes and maybe a solenoid for reliability and have bits of it replated to look new again. I think its a far better choice using a quality original unit than some of the sealed new repros units around. Clutch fork has been found so I should be busy fitting the motor and box sometime soon :)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 610
Location: Australia
Some stuff coming back and more going out..... not done yet !

Pics of stuff that has come back from the platers. All I do is drop off a heap of dirty, greasy, rusty parts, dont do one thing to them and they come back looking like this :)

Mostly window and door mechanisms, heat shields, boot lock, heater pipe.
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Even the plastic bits came back like new. Last pic for now, more stuff that has been sent off... it'll be interesting to see if the horns can be brought back from the dead.
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I've got more stuff to send off after the block goes in, hoping that'll be the final zinc / gold chromate plating run. There are relay boxes, start motor bits, engine and gearbox bolts etc. I also have a large bottom mount genuine Mazda Rx4 starter motor on its way, engine/ bell housing nut bolt set, proper strut bottom bolt set, clutch fork and spring and a few other things. I'm still going through the wiring harnesses, sorting out the dizzy project, and cleaning up the cabin....should keep me busy for quite a while :)

Just to ensure you get tired of reading about my car here is another update... maybe the last one for a few years :)

Things are starting to come together after so many years...
Clutch fork components, new bearing pressed in.
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Checking and lubing the pilot bearing. As mentioned in another thread approx 3.5mm needs to be lopped off the end of the input shaft as it hits the back of the eccentric shaft.
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Fork and bearing slipped into place.
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Clutch disk centred and pressure plate torqued up as per Mazda specs.... no guessing with this stuff. Pic 2, input shaft marked with tape to have end shaved off (approx 4mm)
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Input shaft end has been cut then edges bevelled. Pic 2, the finished product.
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Pic 1, after the input shaft mod the box slipped straight into place with no massaging necessary. Pic 2, this is by far the best way to install an engine and box without scratching the new paint work.... from under the car if you havent guessed. The Rx3 weighs nothing and one person can easily lift the front over the drive line. Im too old to be lying on my back in awkward positions.
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Easily a one man job. Bolt the crossmember and mounts to the engine and away you go. Engine mounts are left loose to allow for the huge angle with the rear of the gearbox still touching the floor. Jack the front up, bolt into place then jack the rear into place.
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Suspension crossmember going in next and front end going end temporarily. All the correct nuts/ bolts are currently at the platers so it will need to come apart again #-o The important thing here is I can finalise the gearbox mounts.
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Front end is basically together for now.
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Look at the 10a BP goodness, its much cooler than Mad Max's Highway Intercepter 8) All the studs, nuts and bolts will be getting a makeover. New engine mounts, strut tops, gearbox mounts will be used... all Mazda OEM stuff. The car must look like it did in 1973, arguably much better ! Tricky gave us a call to pick up the rear bar, its amazing I tell you if you ever saw the piece of crap that I dropped off :shock:
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The shine and depth in the chromework is amazing. Rick (mazbitz) double handles the bars... beats them straight, sends them off for copper coating, they come back for filing and linishing and a general check over. Once given the OK they are send off for chrome plating. You get what you pay for, in this case a quality job :wink:
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A few more of the bar, once the front panels are sorted the front bar will be getting done the same. One thing I liked was one person was responsible from start to finish of the job. I've seen some shocking rechrome work.
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Thats it for now... i think 8-[


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 610
Location: Australia
While getting some other work done I was shown some MFR parts, cdi igntion system, sump baffle plate, stat gears, and some factory Mazda Weber insulators that I was chasing as well as other stuff. I was too scared to ask how much they were.... were talking hundreds and hundreds of dollars here for 2 bits of rubber. Ric Shaw did warm me if I did find them that they cost a fortune. Unfortunately he hasn't had those bits for many years. The search continues to see if I can find some at a reasonable price ! I will most likely end up using some bakelite insulators by the looks of it.

Pic 1, a couple of boxes of generic nuts and bolts to help with assembly. Most of the used nuts and bolts are currently at the platers. Pic 2, gearbox mounts need sorting. 10a Rx3 mounts are commonly given the chop to fit larger gearboxes. Pic 2, Im measuring the thread pitch to clean them up.
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Cleaning the mounts with a thread die... I saved these mounts from the early 808 I used to repair my car from a few years back.
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Dumby fitting the mounts to the cross member and then to the underside. Unfortunately it appears that the 10a Rx3s have a unique floor. The tunnel is completely different to my car even though these have come from an equivalent model early 808. The job just got harder #-o Pic 2, I need to repair the floor where the old mounts were previously located.
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Engine and box seated where I want them. As I find bits and pieces I stick them on the car so I don't need to look through piles of rubbish to find the stuff. Remember I bought this car as a kit car with lots of boxes, nothing labeled ! Pic 2, unfortunately I will need to custom fabricate some tunnel mounts. I've sort of worked out how too go about it. I had planned on plug welding the 808 bits to the floor but none of the stuff fits any where.... complete different tunnel floor shape.
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As the car has no steering at the moment I have the front end sitting on wheel trolleys to make moving it around easy. As soon as the parts come back from the platers the suspension arms will be fitted with the correct parts. No point putting it all together only to pull it apart again/
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From here I'll be making cardboard templates before custom making my gearbox mounts. I intentionally didn't stone guard the gearbox mount area of the tunnel as I knew this was coming. I wasn't content on doing the typical flat bar bolted to the floor as this only stresses and eventually cracks the sheet metal floor. It does seem to be quite common though.

Once the gearbox is sorted there is nothing stopping the shell and interior going together all of which is mostly complete. Hopefully the gearbox work will be finished in the next 2 - 3 weeks... can't wait to clear the place out !


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:57 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 610
Location: Australia
Starting to finish off the bodywork, not long to go now. I had started on working on a few other things but its nothing but bodywork at the moment.

Didn't have much choice but to get back to bodywork as the nosecone had just come back from the blasters and can't leave bare steel sitting about. There was a heap of bog in the top of it all gone now to reveal a very good panel needing only minor repairs. I had it cleaned inside and out as there was surface rust in hard to reach places.
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The joins will be brushed with primer to make sure they get covered. Pic 2 this is an area I fixed, lines that go missing over the years on some nose panels.
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Blasting reveals a missing thread that was bogged up, I'll weld in a new section to fix it.
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Plug welding one of the damaged brackets back into place after the area was repaired.
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General repairs around the lower panel. Pic 2, the good nose was missing 2 studs so these are being removed from a spare.
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.....threads cleaned up
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Nosecone pretty much fixed.... Pic 2, I was playing around with guard gaps, had settled on small gaps around 4mm which looked really good good but presented a problem where the door would hit the guard when being opened :( Had to settle on 5 - 6mm in the end as was previously advised by others.
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The new face of this Mazda... getting there
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Not too far before painting the remaining parts takes place.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:18 am 

Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 6:45 am
Posts: 8
Location: Bristol - UK
Amazing work as always. Good score on the water pump pulley! I went for the racing beat twin belt setup which has a lower diameter on the main pulley to reduce the water pump and alternator rpm, but i need to have a twin belt pulley made up for the water pump because as far as i know there is no such thing for a 10A.

Would be great to see some of the porting pics if you have any.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:35 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 610
Location: Australia
Thanks, Im no mechanical authority, however I think twin pulleys and gilmer drives are more for show than anything else. I can't see a need for either really. Best place to find out if there was a factory option would look through some of the Mazda Sport Corner brochures that people have posted for both the Rx2 and 3. Looking through the 78 - 85 Rx7 competition manual I dont recall seeing any mention of twin pulleys either. Also have a look at rex272's old Rx2 coupe, that car had all the factory fitted competition bells and whistles.

I have photos of the porting somewhere in this thread, both the rotor housings and side housings. The rotor housings have been chambered slightly in the bridge port area. The porting is nothing radical, but typical of what you would have seen in the 70's and 80's.

Not much to update really, the front end is almost ready for colour which is the end of the interesting work for me. Assembly should start sometime early next year if I don't find something else :) I've recently pulled out the radiator and oil cooler from storage and both look in excellent condition. These are parts that came with the car, also found a 12a radiator among the parts which will be used on the next car. Also bought some MFR Weber insulators from Simon (rex272) to help complete the mechanical package. I've also sourced a different gearbox style mount thanks to Rick from Mazbitz. The front bar has been dropped off for chroming. The starter is currently under going a rebuild as are a few other things. Believe it or not I'm not overly interested in driving it, don't get me wrong it will be nice to have a drive and get some use out of it with other car friends.... lets hope I dont take another 5 years to finish it from here !

The collection of parts continues for the next 12a coupe, should have delivery of new panels, watanabe wheels, and some other expensive junk from various places in the next month or so. I have a few other interests which have my attention at the moment so car stuff will slow down a little. It's good to get distracted with other interests, work is also keeping me very busy.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:15 am 

Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 6:45 am
Posts: 8
Location: Bristol - UK
The doing of it is definately a big part of the enjoyment.
Regarding the twin pulleys, I agree the gilmers are more for show, although supposedly prevent slippage at high rpm. I opted for the twin belts as they provide redundancy if one of the belts snaps or comes off at high rpm. Twin belts are not uncommon on high performance engines for this reason. As we all know rotaries can get damaged very easily by overheating and it wouldnt take long for an high revving engine to fry itself without you realising if the water pump lost its drive or started slipping. If you are not intending to rag your engine then the single belt option makes sense.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:23 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 610
Location: Australia
maz72 wrote:
The doing of it is definately a big part of the enjoyment.
Regarding the twin pulleys, I agree the gilmers are more for show, although supposedly prevent slippage at high rpm. I opted for the twin belts as they provide redundancy if one of the belts snaps or comes off at high rpm. Twin belts are not uncommon on high performance engines for this reason. As we all know rotaries can get damaged very easily by overheating and it wouldnt take long for an high revving engine to fry itself without you realising if the water pump lost its drive or started slipping. If you are not intending to rag your engine then the single belt option makes sense.


I'll remember your words when my 10a BP pumping out 600Nm of torque snaps a belt while trying to hit the magic 200mph on the Bonneville salt flats in Utah :lol:

I got lucky thanks to Djfizz who picked up a set of Rx3 single stud gearbox mounts for us at a local wrecking yard. He's doing some amazing work himself for those who have seen his car. While at the wreckers I had a look around myself for other bits and pieces. Picked up some nuts and bolts and temporary put them on my car so I don't forget where they belong. Had to clean out the threads as well, these nuts, bolts will be cleaned up and either plated or painted depending on the factory finish.
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Pic 1, a few more screws that I picked up. Pic 2, test fitting the radiator that came with the car, looks to have been recored by the previous owners. Here Im missing the rubber blocks to fit the radiator, currently looking for them. Thanks to Dom for pointing out why it didn't fit.
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The radiator will be stripped, painted and tested. The oil cooler is in equally good confition.
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Trying to get the axles out by the reversing the drums and using them as a slide hammer. They're not out yet but they are starting to move around the bearing. Once the diff is out it will be sent away to be reco'd and fitted with an LSD unit I bought years ago. Rex272 also came up with some goods and offered me the opportunity to purchase some MFR Weber insulators, couldnt say no and thanks again for another piece to my puzzle. I was facinated by your Rx2 coupe and all its special bits.
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Some distributors bits that I found today that I thought may be suitable for my conversion, top right is the twin dizzy unit that will be converted. I cant see it being too hard, famous last words ! I have different types of reluctors and rotator assemblies. I plan on retaining the factory advance mechanism. Last pic the guards have been rubbed back any minor faults corrected.
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Front guards in HiFill ready for final blocking then painting. They'll be left for a week or two to allow the primer to shrink before painting.
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Boot lid hinges primed ready for paint as well. It should be fun trying to work out how the long springs get installed.
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Two more panels to go, need to finish some minor filler work to the nosecone and rub back the bonnet for painting. Can't wait to get the bodywork work out of the way and clean the place out for the next stage. I think I'll start with the engine bay and mechanics :)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 335
Location: Adelaide
I like when you update, its like getting a new edition of a long running magazine... keep it up! 8)


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