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 Post subject: 1985 Mazda 323 1500 Estate (RWD)
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:25 pm 
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Location: UK
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Some of you might have seen it, but here is The War Wagon. Bought as a project, it is a really nice car - just needs a bit of tidying up. Looks rough in places, but is solid where it counts and will benefit greatly from a bit of welding/paint. The panels are very straight, surprisingly free of "old boy" dents. Has just under 53K miles on the clock, I reckon probably genuine given the condition of the interior.

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Here is on arrival off the trailer - exhaust is missing a part and the starter doesn't quite work right, but it fired up and the engine sounds very nice indeed. It's a D5 1500 unit, no pics of it sadly - soon I promise.

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Gave it a quick clean and put some trim rings on it, because I felt like that would be a classy thing to do. Also spent hours with a mate removing the utterly horrid pink/black pinstripe which was frustratingly brittle, but is now gone forever.

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Not sure what has happened here, possibly water has got in through the middle bit of the window seal where there is meant to be a thing over it. Either that or the rear washer is leaking. Undecided whether to repair this properly or see about obtaining a new tailgate, seems solid, but I'm worried about what I might not be able to see.

So, the plans are for now to tidy it up and drive it in stock form. Think I'm going to shotblast the steels and repaint them in shiny silver, bodywork will be overhauled, rubbing strip residue to be removed shortly, good service, new exhaust and a bit of tinkering and it'll be back on the road!

Should prove a useful hauler of wheels and the like this year, but who knows, might end up doing something daft with it. RX-7 MK1 wheels would be smart.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:54 pm 
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I'm probably in the minority here, but I love that shade of pale green. Congrats on the new acquisition. :tu:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 6:24 am 
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Cool, nice score! I love the high roof, kind of a mini Ambulance look.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 2:25 am 
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Cheers! I like the weird green colour, I think it'll shine up well being a metallic. But as it requires paint I'm not touching the polish and wax until that gets sorted.

The high roof is odd, works for me though!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:57 am 
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Hirst, nice work man, let me know if you need any bits and pieces. One of my boomerang cars has come back, a 1985 323 5 door wagon. I gave it to a friend so he had something to drive. He dropped it back last weekend and its a little worse for wear so I'll wreck it(he did a good job though!)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:07 am 
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Cheers! If you've got any, I'd love to have the steel wheel centre caps. New front grille/badge would be nice too, I think mine has been de-chromed or something.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:24 am 
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Hirst, the front took a big hit, so the grille is a goner! All of our grilles except the 1982/3 5 door deluxe wagon had boring old black plastic grilles so its probably right. The badge though is very similar to the last Rx-3 type with chrome on the outline and white fill in on the letters.

All the wagons here of that vintage got a full plastic hubcap that wasn't very inviting! I do have a lot of those caps so I'll have a look to see if any will do the job. You're meaning the little cap type ones that clip over the rubber rings in the centre of the rim?

Another chap you could try is Richard, a good friend of mine who resides in the UK. He has a lot of NOS parts for the 323. His email is JMAZDAMAN at aol dot com (didn't want to put the full version there!) He could possibly have a new grille as well.

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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 Mar 25, 2008 1:04 pm 
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Yeah it's the little 2-inch sort of things that sit over the hole in the middle of the steel wheel I'm after. Definitely not full hubcaps, not very inviting as you say!! Oh, and a standard A-Pillar aerial if you've got one! Mine is missing, but the holes remain. Will get in touch with that chap too, cheers!

At some point I will sort the hubs out so I can change PCD and apply some Bilbo action from the Galant (as that will be getting new wheels anyway):
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Will I be daft to do so? Probably, but I like to take dull models and apply crazy wheels - it's my "look". For now I'd just like to get it on the road standard, anything to tidy it up will be welcomed.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:44 pm 
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Hirst wrote:
Will I be daft to do so? Probably, but I like to take dull models and apply crazy wheels - it's my "look". For now I'd just like to get it on the road standard, anything to tidy it up will be welcomed.


That's a good look! Be sure to apply some lowering too :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:23 pm 
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Lowering?! What's that?

(it will get appropriate lowering, don't worry)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:39 pm 
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Incidentally, does anyone know about tuning up the D5 engine? I'm undecided whether I will or not, but anything is appreciated.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:08 am 
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What sort of tuning were you thinking? They're quite a revvy engine with a good cam. Extractors work really well once all that air injection system disappears, but I don't know what sort of laws govern that sort of mod in your neck of the woods.

One thing to check with the D5 is the cooling system in the wagons. It was only just adequate and if it hasn't been treated to regular coolant swaps, some fairly serious cylinder head corrosion will occur. Got a few basket case D5 cylinder heads in the scrap alloy pile. The only other problem I've found here is it had a really short model life so really the 5 door 323 wagon was the only D5 option, so finding engine parts can be sometimes difficult. Timbo.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:57 pm 
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Nothing expensive/substantial, maybe a better carb setup and simplification of the emissions stuff (the law is pretty open here). More just to squeeze a bit more power out if possible, nothing big.

Thanks for that about the cooling system, I'll be doing a coolant flush once I get it on the road, though is there any particular part of the cooling system needing uprating, radiator, etc.? What is it in particular with the wagon, or is it just the D5 engine in general?

Cheers for that.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:37 pm 

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13b ftw!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:42 am 
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Hirst,

Yep, definitely make sure the radiator is up to scratch. The main problem if left for a while is very bad cylinder head corrosion, seems to come up more in the 'C' series engines (ie TC, UC and D5), but the poor old D5 seems to get it the worst. My poor wagon engine had one corrosion hole over 1/4 inch deep!! I wouldn't say the wagon is the fault, more the D5 head flow design.

Cool to see the laws are roughly the same so a good set of extractors and exhaust will help you on the way and a disappearing act of the air pump system. If you can find a converted distributor too to eliminate the old points and condensor too will help, but they're getting hard to find!

Hey hongkongphooey, a good friend of mine has done that 13B conversion, great fun until it rains!!! :D

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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: Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:29 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:32 am
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Location: Wild West Wales
Hey Dan, Been running a D5 in my 1000 now for about 6 or 7 years. Bottom end is balanced, home ported head, 285 cam, pair of 40's, lumenition igntion and a set of extractors and 2 inch system - 95 BHP at the wheels. Extractors and system made the biggest difference 8)

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Now gone injection

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Hey Tim I was told that the D5 heads give trouble as they are made from reconstituted alloy, as opposed to being made from fresh stuff. What do you recon?

Still got your bits BTW Dan :lol:

Rich :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:22 am 
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Hey Rich, mate that would make sense with old alloy. My last D5 head was lucky to get 12 months and I always use good quality gaskets and coolant. Like the fuel injection there, what parts are you using?

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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: Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:46 am 
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Rich - Now that I gotta see!! Top quality.

Galant should be ready for parts hauling soon, who needs 5 gears eh!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 1:17 pm 
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About time to update this thread really!

I have a few questions, so if any Mazda experts can jump in, I'd be quite pleased. It is mostly to do with me wanting to buy repair panels at a later date and I know a supplier who can do the bits, but only for the older bugeye model. Only thing is I don't want to order them and find out they're wrong, but it'll tidy up the roughly patched sills and save an awkward repair on one of the arches. So.....

1. Are the sills the same on 5 door bugeye and later models?
2. Are the rear arches the same?

Anyway, I've decided in the short term I'll get this car on the road, taxed and tested. If I like it as much as I think I will, I'm going to do something I've never done before, it's going to be resprayed. What colour? I'll give you a clue.....

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Yes, basically the plan is to make it look like a poverty-spec van in white. Ready for me to load up with Copy Paper. I'm also wanting to swap the front end to the mid-facelift with the inset lights (top of the pic), am I right in thinking that I'll just need the light units and surrounds, front grille and that top panel which sits over them? Or is anything else required? 323s are extremely thin on the ground in the UK so I can't really go find one to compare!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 2:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:32 am
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Location: Wild West Wales
Nice idea Dan 8)

The top panel is actually a whole "nose cone" unit which includes the piece running across underneath the headlamps as well having all the fixing points for the headlamps, side/indicator lamp units and grill.

I cant be 100% sure but I recon it would be a straight swap

PM sent
Rich :wink:


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