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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:18 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 595
Location: Australia
Fat 4 RE wrote:
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)


Something was bound to go wrong, I just didn't know what. What you couldn't see was half a tool box packed in the back :lol: . Unfortunately repairing a gearbox wasn't something I could do by the road side. I drove for about 1km trying to get it out of gear before calling it quits.

ewokracing wrote:
Bravo John. It looks fantastic. The side stripes and the Wats are perfect with the white paint.
When I get my tax return I'll be hitting up Marcus for some custom Rover bits. :D


Thanks Geoff.... what could Marcus possibly do improve a Rover, where would he start :lol:

Thanks for all the comments, I had a lot of fun even though it ended with a tow home. I think what I was trying to say before is the performance of the car was quite "raw". It goes well, stops OK but not like anything modern. If there is one thing that stands out aside from it's obvious primitive short comings it would be the slow steering ratio. It could do with something like a quick rack like what's used in Ford Escorts but a ball and worm equivalent for Mazda's. Most people that saw it commented on the wheel choice and how it complimented the car. I suppose it's a nice change from big chrome rims you see these days which I'm guessing make an average old car handle even worse with horribly low profile tyres.

A more sensible choice in engines would be either a 12a turbo or a 13B mild port but then it would loose it's character. It's not everyday you see hear of an original Rx3 still fitted with the original engine.

I've got limited time to pull the gearbox and send it away next week otherwise it won't be running again until the end of the year. Lucky Ive got an extra pair of hands to give me a hand.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:11 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 595
Location: Australia
The update is a bit of a mix depending on my mood :laugh:

Sedan...
I started playing with the beaver panel, I might still replace it depending on how it turns out. Pic 1 rivet repairs and Pic 2 some brazing from an old replacement repair. It should turn out okay. As you can see there wasn't much left of the original boot floor.
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The lower corner section is beyond repair but that doesn't matter as I'm making a new 10a exhaust cutout from a sheet that I've already curved. I'll make a number plate bracket by using the one off the coupe as a template.
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Straightened out ready for fabrication work. The beaver will be blasted after it's repaired.
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I got sick of metal work so started on the headlight bezels, they are pretty good actually, need minor repairs, paint stripping and a new coat of paint. More on these later...
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Unpicking sill panel, as good as they look on the outside rust lurks on the inside.
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Sill panel on the opposite side, I need to weld the end on. The metal dress trim has a plastic protector strip around the outside, some thing I never noticed before.
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Pic 1 clearer photo of the plastic strip. Pic 2... more surface rust on the inside.
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Sills ready for repair and then blasting..... metal sill trim clips will be replaced with late model plastic ones.
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Coupe...
I wish the coupe was running, there's nothing better than hearing a ported NA engine going through the gears. It still needs some tidying up but I love the look of it. Nothing beats the look of an Rx3 coupe 8)

The radiator is unbolted from it's rubber mounts to allow it to tilt back without straining the hoses. Feels like deja vu.... The master and slave although new will be sent away for stainless sleeves and new seals, the junk you buy these days is hit and miss.
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Box is out, I've been really efficient pulling these out now :laugh: I couldn't help myself so I knocked the pan off to take a look....
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You can see the fork has been welded before but is out of tolerance. There's a good couple of mm between it and the hub. The other fork is tight within the hub. Now I'm not sure if the weld cracked and fell into the pan or if it wasn't addressed as part of the build. My mechanic is machining up a couple of parts for 2nd and 3rd so it never happens again. I'll most likely need a new shift fork as well, I hope he has one otherwise I'll be buying another gearbox for parts which is okay because I plan on building a ported 12a twin dizzy car. I'm not sure I like single dizzy cars to own one. I'm slowly collecting parts for that car which will either be a Savanna coupe or a Rx2 coupe. Once I have the twin dizzys out of my system I'd like a SD stock Rx3 coupe but without the REAPS boat anchor. Someone I know is collecting Rx4 coupes in every available colour, I'm collecting twin dizzys in different configurations :laugh: The sedan will have a mild port 10a with the original carb but retain all it's subtle suspension modifications. Pic 2, poor little coupe, should be ready for Spring, I'm surprised nothing else went wrong with it :laugh:
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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:15 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 595
Location: Australia
I stuffed around with some original door trims I had laying about, I had this thought to restore the chrome work some time ago. I'll let the photos do the talking, these are off my Rx3 sedan. The only comments I'll make is the old chrome needs to be peeled off so the base is 100% smooth and, the tape is some high quality aluminium tape that my brother got while working at Qantas in the early 90's. Because the tape is 100% metal is can be polished in 10seconds to a mirror shine. Some photos are with a flash some without.

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That's it.... with a steady hand and a guide to cut the aluminium tape, they really look good ! The only other things I'd do is have any vinyl nicks professionally repaired and the vinyl re dyed to give a newish appearance.

.......back to the beaver panel


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:32 am
Posts: 30
Location: Sydney Australia tollerating the intollerant.
John, that tape is still available today! my uncle who used to work for quantas gave my old man some in the 80 s, and i thought it was amazing...but i still buy it today from my local paint supplier for 20 bucks!

_________________
Mazda RX5. fat, slow and expensive!


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:47 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:47 am
Posts: 68
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Bloody brilliant John! i always wondered how to fix the trims like these on my hb cosmo and now i have the answer,
you have given me some great ideas through this post and i thank you very much for that, long may it continue.
Hope all is well and i look forward to the next one


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:36 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 595
Location: Australia
The tape is made by 3M and made in New Zealand, should be easy to find Gary :-) $20 pretty cheap, thought it would be some exorbitant price.

Minor update and probably a boring one for most people. I've started doing a lot of the small jobs that slow a car down once painted. Some of it has been covered before but it doesn't matter since I'm not 100% what I'm doing with the sedan yet. I'm going to fix the shell and then decide what to do with it, keep it, sell it, fit 10a running gear (which is what I'm inclined to do) or fit a twin dizzy 12a PP with a similar ignition to my coupe. I haven't mentioned it to my mechanic yet as he already thinks I'm nuts. I'm a sucker for NA ported Mazda's always have been. The bridge port in the coupe isn't the most practical engine so I should know better however since I spend more time looking at them rather than driving them it's no big deal really.

Most of the following is for the sedan....
Testing and assembling the coil ignition relay, the case has been freshly plated. When crimping the case make sure the case has a good connection to the earth tap.
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Ballast resistors cleaned, bracket zinc plated....
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Ignition wiring degreased, plugs changed for new ones, damaged terminals replaced, crimped soldered, yellowed plugs replaced....
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Last week I picked up a 10a oil cooler and I got another alternator to make 1 good one from 2. While there Jim showed me his yellow standard 10a coupe and the factory blue original 10a sedan. Both cars were really impressive especially the sedan. To survive so many years and still look like it does is nothing short of amazing. I've seen photos of it before but looks so much better in real life. Anyway I think the alternator came off the titanic... I had to use a cold chisel to remove one of the long screws, the rattle gun had a hard time getting the main nut off as well.
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Coming apart... the screw that holds the heatsink to the rear case snapped, seized real good !
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Heatsink was rusted through in spots so I replaced them with the ones from the other alternator which I had zinc plated. I've already covered an alternator build so no point going through all the detail again. It's here so if I sell the car the new owner knows they are getting a good alternator at least :lol: 6 diodes in the second photo, 3 are positive bias, 3 are negative bias...
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Diodes installed in one of the heatsinks, need to make sure the solder "sweats" up the side of the diodes and that the right bias diodes are installed in each heatsink. Photo 2, the titanic alternator had a good brush holder so used that... don't forget the insulator on the B+ terminal otherwise you'll have a short circuit.
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Field windings tested and then installed. The winding is tested for open and short circuit with the steel core. Photo 2, new bits and plated bits !
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New front bearing installed...
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Securing the front bearing... more fresh zinc parts Photo 2, installing a new rear bearing on the rotor.
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Photo 1 small allen key used to hold brushes in retracted position so rotor can be installed. Photo 2, rotor dropped in
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Front case screwed down and photo 2 the rebuilt alternator 8) Last check you should probably do is make sure the B+ terminal isn't shorted to the case.
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The sedan 10a cooler that was bought last week... surprisingly in very good condition, a bit of a clean and a coat of paint and it will look like new again.
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Coupe....
I sent the clutch master and slave away to be rebuilt even though they were both brand new. I suspect the fault was with the master (not holding pressure) but decided to have both fitted with a stainless steel bore and new seals. Looks like they zinc plated both of them as well. The gearbox is currently with the mechanic, no rush to get it back although I had the urge to go to the car meet up at Terry Hills today.
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More boring updates until I get the urge to finish panel beating the sedan roof or lie on the cold garage floor to install the coupes gearbox for the 3rd time.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:38 am
Posts: 23
Location: Still aboard the Deathstar with my Plasma cutter
Hey John, I re-zinced the ignition relay case on my coupe. However i never took any notice of making sure it had a good conection to the earth tap. What is the earth tap? and if it never had a good conection what would it do. I have a clicking noise from a relay in a control box under the dash on the passenger side. I'm trying do find what may be the cause of this and then read your post above.
Always learning stuff out of your build threads, keep em up !

Regards Kurt. (Mazda rx3 coupe driver,running ported N/A) 8)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:01 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 595
Location: Australia
Underneath one of the casing crimp points is the earth "tab" for the relay. If it's not crimped right the relay will never work.

If the relay doesn't work the ignition coils will never get the full 12v during startup (when starter motor is running, ballast resistors are bypassed). All that means is that the spark will not be as hot during startup making startup possibly harder. Also, when the engine is running (relay in it's natural position), the ignition coils are fed about 8 or 9v because there is a voltage drop across the ballast resistors.

If you're running an Rx7 electronic ignition there is no need for the relay, also the coils should be upgraded to 12v units, and the ballast resistors removed as they longer serve any purpose with the upgraded coils. I can put up some photos if you're confused because that's how my car is wired.

Not quite sure what's in the control box other than the flasher relay, would you believe I've never opened it up ! The only thing I'd check with your clicking sound is there is an earth lug off the harness which should be grounded to one of the control box mount studs. With all the painting you did inside the car the earth might be marginal.


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