Lets start with something a little different. A little engine work. I have 2 engines. One standard and one modified. This is the modified one that is currently being revived. Pic 1, an old set of improved production rotor housings that were used in the Australian racing scene in the 70's and 80's. They havent seen use for a very long time. Pic 2, I had the iron housings machined prior to the engine going together. Both engines are 10a's, the modded engine is bridge ported similar to how Mazda used to do them. Nothing radical and should be a nice "hot" period engine with a bit more kick than standard. I also had a brand new 48IDA Weber arrive from the USA last week. Im taking advantage of the strong dollar, and picked it up cheaper than what used ones sell for locally, a nice little score ! Another nice surprise is that Cobra managed to find me a complete standard 10a air cleaner setup, with bracket and snorkel at a very reasonable price. That now means I have everything for a factory setup (all the hard to get bits at least). I should mention that the purpose of my build is not to have a 100% standard car, but a subtle modified one that looks like Mazda put it together using factory style sport options. You'll need to stay tuned to see what I do !
Finishing off the last of the major shell work. The skin is treated for surface rust then sanded and cleaned.
Skin is then primed. Pic 2, the inner sill is seam sealed around all the welds to prevent rust during my lifetime at least.
Sealing the welded join and tacking back onto the car.
Quarter almost done, what a relief. Turned out pretty good considering I decided not to replace the entire panel. Pic 2, another set of guards that I decided to use, these are 100% rust free and would of been really good had someone not "pumped" them. They were not as promised when I picked them up from my brothers place (he just took delivery for me). My misfortune means you get to see more metal work. Dont they look awlful
Another Pic... awlful, would never have bought them had the seller been honest. They were suppose to be rust free, wear the original Mazda paint and be 100% standard. He was right one out of the three, he should have known better as he owns a shop in Sydney's West about 10min from Parramatta
I thought about selling them but cant be stuffed dealing with the type of people that normally contact me, I'd rather stuff them up myself and then chuck them in the bin than deal with anyone... really cant be bothered dealing with most humans for Mazda parts ! Pic 2, I rub back the flare before I start my repair.
To reshape the flare back to standard I first make a template using a brand new Mazda guard and trace it onto some paper. The guard still wears the factory black paint and has the part number label on the inside.
Next I glue the paper onto a piece of cardboard and trace the shape onto the guard. I'll address the lip and the front section which has been cut to accommodate large wheels later.
The pattern is traced onto both sides of the guard so I can accurately work the flare back to a standard shape. The technique came to me in a dream one night probably just thinking about it in my subconscious ! Pic 2, I use a blunt cold chisel over a piece of wood to gradually get the factory line. Took about 20minutes.
The "dream" technique turned to reality and turned out to be one of the easiest things Ive done on this car. Pic 1, the flare line is cleanly marked from the chisel and still is shaped in an outward direction. Pic 2, I lightly tap the flange area down using a body hammer with a crown to get that factory curve.
Just so you get an idea on what Im doing, Im using a hammer off dolly technique to form the flare edge. In other words the dolly isnt being hit by the hammer... hence hammer off dolly. The dolly is placed firmly against the line to keep the flare line from deforming and to support the metal while Im tapping the edge over. Hard to explain, metal work is a practical thing not something you can just read about. Pic 2, looking good !!
Paint stripped and sanding to reveal some minor dents. Ive already fixed about 4, a few more to do. I prefer doing this than fixing more rust, Im a bit over removing rust.
And another shot... very very happy, a little bit of fine tuning but essentially done. Follow your dreams
You can see a few minor lows (dents) but Im just happy that there is no rust for me to fix. To fix the dents I bump them up then tap around them using the flipper (bent file, pictured in a previous update). Very simple to remove when you have good access to the inside of the panel. Pic 2.. Still got to do the opposite side.... I'll leave that for next time.
......... and that is how you get a rust free Mazda Rx3 coupe, simple huh ?