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 Post subject: 1987 Mazda 626 2.0 GLX Hatchback
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:03 pm
Posts: 176
Location: UK
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Me and a mate have co-owned this for sometime now. Lovely car - two owners from new, 56K on the clock, really straight, blue velour interior.....

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I was going to get it on the road around a year ago now (how time flies!), but like most cars I own, there was a minor problem.

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Nice! Creeping rot on the rear strut tops seems to be a major killer of this generation of 626 - it is hidden under plastic covers and isn't really discovered until big holes appear. There was also some on the other side (not quite as bad).

Unfortunately, this was enough to put it on hold whilst other cars were tackled. If it was a rough car, we could have just scrapped it - the work required to put those strut tops right was quite a sticking point. But it was just too nice, so we ran it around every so often, whilst ultimately pondering its fate. It was a real problem - a hell of a lot of work for a car that seemingly doesn't hold much mass appeal, but we liked it too much. I'd never be able to have a clear conscience if I led it towards its death.

A few months ago we decided to bite the bullet and get it welded up properly. Felt a bit guilty with the chap doing the welding - as always, these jobs always seem to be more work than initially expected and he spent many hours getting it up to scratch. But now it's all welded up - practically the entire rear strut tops have been recreated with nice solid metal! Also the sills were sorted out. I'll have to get some new pics.

The only other thing it needed was an anti roll bar link, which I frustratingly found was a dealer-only part. I hate getting parts from the dealer, no matter who it is, it seems like ordering an old part is enough to cause them some upset. I ordered it in with the local Mazda dealer and picked it up from a fairly humourless lot who probably wished I was there to "scrappage" my Charmant against a Mazda 2 or something. Hopefully I won't have to darken their doorstep again when I get to work on my 323.

Whilst in a parts ordering mood, I also obtained a cambelt. We weren't sure if the cambelt has been done during its life (they're due at 56/60K), but judging by the condition of the belt it hadn't been done recently, so better safe than sorry! Also an oil filter as it was due an oil change.

With all those things done, it'll be going down for an MOT (roadworthiness test for non-UK readers) next week. If it passes, it'll be a superb bit of timing - I can spend Christmas away from my family reassembling the trim in the interior and driving around playing cassettes. That's right, it's got a cassette deck - I'm moving up in the world.

Plans are just to leave it stock, though if I see a set of these strange hubcaps going cheap I might be tempted:
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We'll just have to wait and see if there's a Christmas miracle now.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:39 pm 
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Your loyalty to the unlovable should qualify you for sainthood by now. Btw, I really dig the color on the green sedan you posted :tu:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:19 am 
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Location: UK
Cheers! You've got to love the 626. They're AMAZING!

To be serious for a moment, these GC 626s/Capellas were a pretty important car for Mazda in their plan for worldwide domination and (unlike most of my cars) were actually rated well by the motoring press. The car has quite an advanced setup for 1983 and is a pretty big jump from the old RWD platform. These are FWD with SOHC "Magnum" engines and a fancy suspension setup, independent at the rear with anti roll bars and the like. They don't seem to be hugely noted for their handling outside of Japan, but they made quite a big deal of it over there. They used the slogan "FF Sports" and had adverts where Alain Delon swerves all over the place. The handling is pretty confidence-inspiring already, can't wait to see how it handles with that anti roll bar link and bushes sorted out.

In terms of being unloved though, I reckon there's been a big change over the last couple of years in terms of the attention that plain and unloved 1980s cars receive over here. I was discussing it with the co-owner of the 626 and back when he was last using it in 2007 or so, it was just an old car then - never received that much attention.

Since then, the car market has been flooded with curvy-edged cars with long diagonal headlights and in a short couple of years, an old square 626 looks other-worldly now. The times we've had to get it to a mechanic for work it has got a lot of looks from the public. I've experienced this with my own cars too, my favourite experience being a taxi driver some months back who not only was impressed with my Galant but pointed out that both that and my Charmant are actually fairly well-known amongst the older taxi drivers. Thought that was pretty cool!

I'm pretty pleased that these understated 80s cars are finally getting their hour, looks like this one is getting fixed up at just the right time to give it a decent future. Hopefully then, I can get working through the rest of them.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:13 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:33 pm
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Location: Paris, Ontario, Canada
My parents bought a 626 sedan new from the dealer in 1984 shortly before I was born, in the same colour blue as your hatch. Seeing these pictures brings back great memories! That car is what started the Mazda obsession in my family. We (parents, brother and myself) have owned 30+ Mazdas since that 626. I wish I could find a decent example of that gen 626 around here!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:26 am 
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I'll get some further pictures later.

That's part of the reason I like "ordinary" cars, they feel a lot more relevant to me than some sports car (as much as I like them). I get a nice feeling from owning some old 3-box thing, I can drive to work pretending I'm somebody from the old days who is doing quite well in life and can afford a proper car. Then I get to work and it's 2009 and everything is a bit lousy.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:40 am 
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Well Done again Hirst. Mate I understand the importance of the run of the mill Mazda's too, they played their part in what Mazda is today! No Ford mainly yah!!

If I can help with any parts let me know as we do have a few left over here. I do have a 1984 Deluxe sedan the mother nature has eaten too much off to justify. If there's anything you could use off that, glad to help.

I'll keep an eye out for your hubcaps. I actually need one more for my 1983 626 GT coupe which over here sported the same hubcap. One of our biggest swap meets(auto jumble in your neck of the woods?) is coming up in the new year and Japanese stuff is always cheap, usually with funny comments!

The Alain Delon ads were cool, he was a legend, I must have at least 25 JDM Capella brochures from the 80's which him there smoking a cigarette!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:12 am 
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Here you go Hirst, to explain to all the non Capellaians amongst us, the man himself Alain Delon - French actor sorta their magnum PI guy - in his totally cool red leather jacket looking cooler than an ice factory!!

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An the mighty FF magnum engine systems with superchargers, MEGI, EBD and all sorts of letters put together in a row to amaze!

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Too many Mazda's in the collection. 4 Mitsubishi's, 6 Toyota's and now 3 Datsun's as well.
Putting together a Mazda/Japanese motor museum. New bigger venue for the museum has been bought, watch this space!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:26 am 
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B1500boy wrote:
If I can help with any parts let me know as we do have a few left over here. I do have a 1984 Deluxe sedan the mother nature has eaten too much off to justify. If there's anything you could use off that, glad to help.

I'll keep an eye out for your hubcaps. I actually need one more for my 1983 626 GT coupe which over here sported the same hubcap. One of our biggest swap meets(auto jumble in your neck of the woods?) is coming up in the new year and Japanese stuff is always cheap, usually with funny comments!

Very generous offer, I'll let you know if anything is required - at this stage I think I'm OK, but when I push it into use I'll be able to see if anything might need sorting out.

If a set of those chintzy hubcaps turn up cheap, that would be spectacular! They turn up on US eBay sometimes, but for some reason American eBay sellers always insist on using someone like UPS/Fedex for international shipping, who judging by their prices must send each item in a private velvet-lined Gulfstream piloted by Johnny Five at the end of Short Circuit 2 when he's been plated with gold. I remember once finding some spectacular floormats which were about $40 and the shipping came to something like $300 (probably due to size of package). Could have sent them by surface mail for about a tenth of that price with me taking the risk, but they weren't willing to do so, so I didn't bother in the end.

I've got a few Capella brochures with Alain Delon, not got that one though! I like how in the brochures he either looks confused or genuinely annoyed. Look at him, he's furious. Also got one for the Capella Europe which doesn't feature him, that's a strange one - Recaro fishnets, Pirelli tyres and the likes. And wasn't ever sold in Europe, which is a shame as it looks smart.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:41 pm 
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Location: Bogota-Colombia
Nice 626, that was a really important car here in Colombia, they were produced here since 1984 and was the first car i saw with digital dash. My dad had a 1990 LX, i loved it. They were badged here different as there in Europe as long as i can see.

626L 4 door sedan 1.8L
626GLX 2 door sedan 2.0L
626LX 5 door, 2.0L

I have seen here a few modified with a Kia DOHC engine head fe3n and then converted to turbo.

http://www.stcolombia.com/forooficial/v ... #pid534410
http://www.stcolombia.com/forooficial/v ... ?tid=24848
http://www.stcolombia.com/forooficial/v ... 023&page=2


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:53 pm 
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Thanks to some welding, it has an MOT and should have a good stab at being able to keep going through new ones for years to come. And a new cambelt to boot (it was just about due). Took a long time but we got there in the end, a victory for the RUB!

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Seems a bit unfair that it'll be slightly underappreciated for being a FWD saloon as the handling setup is absolutely spectacular, but that's life. Least it's got a fair old stab at a future ahead of it, instead of being sat around doing nothing. Next!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:49 am 
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Slightly odd picture as it was getting dark, but here it is after a very quick wash. It's not had its full over-the-top valeting session yet.

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Oil and filters have been changed too, managed to source an original Mazda air filter which was a bonus.

I really like the tape deck in this car, I'll have to get some pictures of that.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:40 pm 
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80s tape decks are works of art.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:23 am 
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Been using this to drive into work lately, so here's a few bonus pictures. It's rather miserable today, so they're a bit grainy I'm afraid.

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Recently cleaned velour interior!

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Clarion Finish Line 550 tapedeck. With autoscan! Barely use the radio itself though as I'm too busy knocking up C90s to shove in the slot.

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Excuse the flowers and the Avensis, neither belong to me.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:03 am 
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The future of snazzy hubcaps has arrived!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:49 am 
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mate, looking good! I best get my finger out and chase down a few more to complete the set for the GT coupe.

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Too many Mazda's in the collection. 4 Mitsubishi's, 6 Toyota's and now 3 Datsun's as well.
Putting together a Mazda/Japanese motor museum. New bigger venue for the museum has been bought, watch this space!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:32 pm 
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It looks so good with those hubcaps, they look like some beautiful offspring resulting from the union of '80s Mazda phone dials (<3) and Work Equip 02s (also <3). The look to be in fairly good nick too. I want a set, even though I have nothing to put them on. :tu:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:21 am 
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Here's a better shot of the car and those hubcaps:
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Still not giving me any trouble! I like this car.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:02 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:27 am
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Location: Kempen, Germany
Those hubcabs are from the first generation 626 GC. -very nice!

Do you make the rest of it in first generation, too?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:15 pm 
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I had an 87 LX hatchback just like yours... but a darker charcoal gray. I ran 15x8 chrome Roadster wire wheels with gold spinners(were originally on my 84 white 626LX sedan) on it.

Out of a single car model... I think the Mazda 626 is the car, I owned the most of.

I owned...

79 626 coupe(RWD)
82 626 coupe(RWD)
84 626 LX sedan
86 626 GT coupe... a turbocharged rocket :)
87 626 LX hatchback
85 626 LX sedan
85 626 LX hatchback

Great cars... make sure the heater core works, some Mazdas... as well as the 1st gen Ford Probe are known for that. :wink: :tu:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:22 pm 
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serrasalmus wrote:
Those hubcabs are from the first generation 626 GC. -very nice!

Do you make the rest of it in first generation, too?

1st generation?..... not for the US market. Those were used on the 2nd generation 626, from 83-85. The 1st generation was RWD, and usually came with alloy wheels... the same kind used on the Mazda RX7. 8)

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