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 Post subject: Building my rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:11 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 334
Location: Adelaide
With my interest in other peoples stories and cars here on JNC I thought it time I started a blog about the trials and tribulations of having a passion for old school JDM cars, and for me my weapon of choice is namely mazda's.

To set the scene and background to my build for you all. My story starts like most a 17 year old with a car loan for 2k bought a s1 rx2 with a piston motor, then crashed it, so went to an 808/rx3 sedan 12a 6port and locked diff, which then taught me a few things about cars and driving but mostly it cemented a love for a brand and type of car that still eats at me today.

After a few years as a young punk with a list of shit cars I finally purchased my first real ground up project car, A all original rolling shell s1 rx3 sedan, to cut a long story short, after sending this car off to a dodgey panel beaters losing the car and a wad of cash for work not done. I was basically left having a box full of rx3 bolt ons to show for it, this really put me off the whole thing. Then a mate came across a real neat all original 808 wagon, not liking the "clone" status i hesitated, but then when I re-evaluated the situation I was in, it was like this... I had a box full of bits to build a real rx3 with no rx3 to bolt them too, So why not huh.. so I purchased the wagon. Being young renting houses and basically being broke she then moved house with me several times until finally it went into storage for around 5 years in a shipping container. Over this time i steadily accumulated a range of neat original parts for my car. not much I have is NOS instead most is near new or restored as I have been collecting since I was 18 or so, but most parts are 2nd hand giving my car that resored but authentic feel. Again something some wouldnt ever do. Thinkin using sedan parts would be easy I soon learn the similarities ended at the dash and front door. So its been a long painstaking search to locate some rare quality parts, I now have all JDM/US spec parts all round so apart from the chassis its all rx3/savanna.

This brings me to more recent times, earlier this year I was bitten by the rotary bug yet again when I went for a ride in my best mates rx3 coupe, then with this same friend of mine knowing a true old school lead filling panel beater, next thing i know i sent the wags out of storage down to see him, a few months have passed, the wagon is coming along with the shell now almost all in primer ready for color, after buying a house finally in june at the ripe old age of 32 it sparked a long waitng beast in me that said build a shed and build that car! maybe it was all the waiting that has made it really feel worth all the trouble.

I am now part way through a full rx3 wagon rebuild and back yard renovation ready for the arrival of my dream vehicle. Over the coming weeks I will add photos and further information on my cars and my construction works for all you guys once I learn how to add pics on a forum! oh yeah rookie! help please! Keep sharing your great stories with people like me to read and think phew, its not just me doin this shit all for the love of owning and driving a lil nostalgic japanese beast. keep up the community feel JNC readers. :P


Last edited by beans161 on Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream and housing it. my rx3 story.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:20 am 

Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 6:45 am
Posts: 8
Location: Bristol - UK
Thats good that your project is underway. It takes time, patience, knowledge, determination, and your hard earned money to build a dream machine. I'll always take my hat off to someone who knows this and does it anyway, because they have the passion for it. At the end of the day, projects like these enhance your life in so many ways. Look forward to seeing the wagon come together.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream and housing it. my rx3 story.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:38 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:24 am
Posts: 103
Location: Lobethal, South Australia
congrats on the house purchase, i have just bought a house and am older than you! finally somewhere to work on the projects! i like the 808 wagons so i cant wait to see what you do with yours as for it being a clone who cares? as long as you like it it doesnt matter! good luck with the build!


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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:09 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 334
Location: Adelaide
Cheers guys, stories like jdmrx2, buzz3n and gypsy's these guys are building nice cars.. and teaching a few tricks along the way! here are a couple pics to get started early on, as you can see the wagon wasn't too bad pre strip down just the usual rust holes! ;) (staying same color blue) and a original brochure pic i use for reference and inspiration to give you an idea of where i'm heading.

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By beans161 at 2011-09-27

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Last edited by beans161 on Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:30 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 609
Location: Australia
Nice project, looks like a good plan. There was a car in the same colour as the brochure on Yahoo Japan recently, it had very very low KMs but a bit rusty. It hadnt been driven in many years, 12a model though. If someone saved the photos maybe they can upload them so you get a better idea how they were fitted out.

There is another person in Sydney with the exact car and colour you are planning on building, not sure if he is on this forum.... all original from memory. I think he imported it from the USA, very tidy original car. American specification though so consoles and maybe some of the trims may be different.

The best tip I can give you is don't go overboard with modifications, by all means upgrade areas of the car to make it better underneath if need be, you cant go wrong keeping it all 70's era :)


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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:37 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:11 am
Posts: 106
Location: Adelaide, Australia
By the number plates i can see that you in SA :)
i got some indicators and clearance lights if you need them for your build
http://www.ausrotary.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=210842
Just look there if you need anything :) dont realy care about the money :) for this items.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:37 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 334
Location: Adelaide
Cheers, Gypsy I hear ya mate. I do think the same, "if it aint broke dont fix it" however adding some beefed up strength in the running gear only makes for a more reliable car in years to come. I dunno about you guys and your mazdas, but I spent too many years changing rx3/808 diff centres and axles and even welding them up, this was with a stock 12a and 13b. The rotas love hi revs etc etc but the diffs dont like putting the power to the ground. Therefore with a plan to insert a strong motor of some type when the time comes, I planned to upgrade the diff by sourcing something strong, reliable and getting it cut and shut, whilst doing this changing the setup to some form of disc brake I had been thinking use a s3 rx7 diff but change to s2 rx7 discs and calipers as they fit on the front, so i get rx7 stoppers all round and rx7 brake booster and bias control, giving a marginal braking improvement but still allowing fitment of 13" rims. Obviously this will need some dialling in once on the road but as for fitment and custom fabrication, i'm trying to keep things as simple as possible and semi authentic by using Mazda parts where I can rather than other brands. Originally I sourced a borg warner disc brake rear end from a Holden but now think I may part with it as I mentioned I will be trying to utilise mazda branded parts where ever possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:21 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:55 am
Posts: 56
Location: perth western australia
Hi mate, hilux diff is the go lite and strong. Hope all goes well. Stu.. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:18 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:53 pm
Posts: 413
Location: Adelaide
Now this is going to be cool ride 8) Who cares if it's not a real RX3 wagon, It's going to feel like one when you are rolling in it!! Love the plan / theme, should be awesome.

If you are in SA, we definately need to cruise when this is done. Keep the updates coming as you progress.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:02 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 334
Location: Adelaide
The wagon shell to begin with was quite tidy in basically all original paint, still shiny in some areas with all the parts no crash damage, just a bit of rust here and there, it was skyish blue with a bone colored interior. I plan to keep the original blue with light color inside, no window tint, which means the rx3 interior I have collected in poo brown will be re colored to match.
so for me this build has ment researching for hours what I needed to make the full rx3 conversion, the list of cosmetic changes is quite lengthy, that said it was a list of some of the coolest mazda parts to me, from the 70's to go hunting for. I have sourced parts from all over the world to get my wagon completely converted. hopefully i have covered everything on the list, but time will tell as it gets put together. I did consider custom for me only color changes inside and out but think its best to fininsh in one of the factory colorways for a more refined classy look.
Some of the parts gathered included all the rear end lights and tailgate accessories,chrome strips back and sides, dash no cracks not retrimmed, door trims, seats, badges, lights and mounts, reflectors, 10a front bumper being used from the original rx3 sedan as is the 10a nosecone + all the trims replaced.
If anyone out there has access to original rx3 wagon parts pm me.
I lived in Japan for a bit a few years ago and really fell in love with the JDM car styling, watanabe/guard mirror low retro.. so this has really influenced my direction in styling. To compliment the standard rims and white walls the plan is to have black watanabe style wheels with fat sticky rubber for "other occasions" and to give a real jdm feel


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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:57 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 334
Location: Adelaide
with the car well under way and out of the garage, it gave me room to start the process of shed planning and construction. Little did I know this like my car would lead to a full back yard landscape and renovation, all for a shed. ;) oh and stupid me acquired another car so i now have another JNC in the garage which defeats the purpose of gaining room i know! but it was too good to refuse, more on that later.
A few years back I got an email of Luxury garages, sick cars in sick rooms all dressed up with stuff to match, this stuck in my head, when that car ever gets out of storage and built I will build the nicest garage i can to keep it in. In reading buzz3n's story i was so stoked to see someone build a temple for a car.. and even better that his was a mazda! So this is the PART 2 to my story. When we moved in to our house in june this year there was no access into the back yard for a vehicle. Problem 1... the pic below shows the view from what will be my shed back to the garage.

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By beans161 at 2011-09-29

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By beans161 at 2011-09-29

problem 1 solved.. I grabbed my hammer and made a door. grr hahaha next the old pergola was rotten and full of ants, (house rust) so we demolished that too, just another thing to rebuild later... cripes! its getting like my mazda out here, bloody long to do list..
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By beans161 at 2011-09-29
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By beans161 at 2011-09-29
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By beans161 at 2011-09-29

With a demolition hammer in hand (love this hammer, just great for smashing stuff) and a bit of spare time I am now able to get out the back in a vehicle, so after i cut down all the trees and cleared shrubs i called in a an old mate and his bobcat to clear the rest and re shape the yard.
Now I must say I spent many a night drawing scale plans of landscaping designs to get approval from my girl who is the site foreman afterall! with the thumbs up we created not just an area for my shed but something that will be unique when finished. I had terraced out the back to create some levels and garden bed also area for a pond/water feature, heres how its looking now.

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By beans161 at 2011-09-29
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By beans161 at 2011-09-29
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By beans161 at 2011-09-29

last shot is the shed pad. now its onto retaining walls and back filling,with allot of rain recently we got flooded so i'm trying to get this yard done asap, i have spent more time in my yard and visiting landscape suppliers than wreckers at the moment. but once thats done i'll call on the shed dudes to get a structure in place. i'll get back to digging and update with more soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:44 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:42 am
Posts: 76
Location: Adelaide, SA
Nice wagz! And its good too see im not the only one in adelaide with a flooded mudpit out the back, just had 300 tonne taken from out the back and 100 tonne of rubble in. Fuckin houses :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:59 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 334
Location: Adelaide
Quick update: retaining walls coming along well. Can see the light at the end of the cementing tunnel. Almost ready to roll out grass again! which means I can finally start shed planning. The Wagon is almost all in undercoat nothing ground breaking to report there, ok so i must say this now, my car was not stripped and bead balsted etc, it was a very neat car to start as i said so with guidance of upholsterers that could fix any tears and re color the stains, so I chose to keep all the original vinyl bits inside intact so please dont get picky on me I know some would never do this either. heres a shot all 808 and pre strip down, yep shes low. (sorry bad quality)
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By beans161 at 2011-10-04
and how it was last visit..
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By beans161 at 2011-10-04
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By beans161 at 2011-10-04
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By beans161 at 2011-10-04
i'm still accumulating rare rx parts for the purists, looking to purchase a final motor and gearbox for my wagon therefore a sad day has come where I'm looking to part with my other JNC heres a pic, 1979 Mazda 929L full story in JNC's for sale. wont get off topic here. cheers for looking.
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By beans161 at 2011-10-04


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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:17 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 334
Location: Adelaide
Backyard update: with my back killing me from mixing cement by hand in my wheel barrow and building retaining walls, i'm taking a break sitting here punching in an update. its amazing what you can acheive with a level measuring tape and your imagination. I spent many hours checking, re checking, string line, new string line, painting lines on the ground to get the "vision" of the finished backyard, I have extended our entertaining area off the back of the house so when the pergola roof goes back on there is plenty of room under cover for waxing and polishing my cars, *"cough' oops i mean the outdoor table and bbq etc hahaha I mentioned previously we had been flooded with recent rains, not letting this hamper my progress I built the small retaining wall above the water line while using a pond pump to remove the water from our yard into a neighbors. hehehe
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By beans161 at 2011-10-11
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By beans161 at 2011-10-11
You can see the deeper section where i plan to build some nice japanese inspired gardens and pond with the driveway for the shed starting to really take shape on the far left.
Now I really feel its all coming together, lawn arrives this weekend after shopping for the appropriate type to withstand my backyard sun conditions and dogs. Happy to get grass down as the dirt and mud is killing us for cleaning the house! so i'll be rolling out turf this weekend.
Then starts shed shopping for real not just "measure and quote". happy days!!!

Car update: Christmas came early, I received a package from USA of some rare tailgate chrome strips and all red us/jap spec tail lights and a few other rare tids bits, these all came from a guy who had them stored for years aparently. All are in good cond for the age, bit of a clean and I can stick them all straight on. I like perfect for their age (or as close too as possible) parts off other cars, it will hopefully make mine feel more authentic as they have history. If i built my car with NOS parts all over it would just look like a mock up 808/rx3. I think, by using good original parts to complete the full conversion to a series 1 savanna wagon, I hope when done it has that shmick well looked after feel of a 1 owner car you'd dream to find in a shed somewhere undriven for years then you buy it and give it a freshen up.
Example:my grille and rear side vents are in perfect factory mazda rx3 grey and chrome and then the tail lights are original us rx3 with a small crack from 1970's off another car with slight discoloring. No true driven 70's model car would have clear tailight lenses still today so i'm not worried if mine arent and wont be looking for NOS or repo ones. This is also in part why i didnt remove all the moulded on vinyl inside the car as it would loose that factory feeling no matter how good the motor trimmers are, I've looked into it well before the car went into the spray shop and It can be painted/fixed/patched to look fresh again as with my door trims and seats dash etc etc. only retrimming if its absolutely required.
Part of the bonus of sourcing good parts in the first place cuts down on the extra work in resto. But, if my car wasn't a running neat car or had some rust that needed attention this build for me would have been allot more like a certain orange rx2 coupe in these forums stripped to ferk and hand crafted back into the car it should be. ok so that it from me for tonight bit long winded, but thats just me i guess, i can talk cars for hours without realising. I have some overdue pics to take this weekend so after thats done i'll upload some newer shots. thanks for reading.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:01 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 334
Location: Adelaide
Although work has stopped on my car due to staff sickness at the shop I still had some fun at the panel beaters today with my new parts... heres some pics
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By beans161 at 2011-10-11
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By beans161 at 2011-10-11
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By beans161 at 2011-10-11
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By beans161 at 2011-10-11
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By beans161 at 2011-10-11

this is how the firewall etc started
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By beans161 at 2011-10-11
and some bits and..back in the day hehehe
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By beans161 at 2011-10-19
they need a retrim
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By beans161 at 2011-10-11
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By beans161 at 2011-10-11
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By beans161 at 2011-10-11
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By beans161 at 2011-10-11
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By beans161 at 2011-10-11
notice the difference in the handle i recently got to the one off my car at the back.
and finally a brochure shot of the rear garnishes and chrome bits, lights ahhh basically all the bits I have ready to go on. Mazdas detail is awesome.
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By beans161 at 2011-10-11


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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:38 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 334
Location: Adelaide
more recent pics of the new lawn, rolled out some awesome turf last weekend and just loving the back yards new coat of green!
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By beans161 at 2011-10-20
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By beans161 at 2011-10-20
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By beans161 at 2011-10-20
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By beans161 at 2011-10-20
you can see my garden area and pond taking shape also. I sat some timber where the deck/stairs will go.
heres my plans drawn a long time ago, now taking shape
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By beans161 at 2011-10-24

HELP.. I'm hunting some rx3 savanna wagon pin stripes the originals ones or a copy as long as it gets fatter on the rear quarter.. anyone?? decided on changing mirrors from chrome to plactic cup type after much deliberation, but feeling it will follow my styling choices. next this from my inspiration folder and 10a in blue.. which helps get a vision of the final product.
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By beans161 at 2011-10-19
With spare time i've built a rc drifter, lots of detail in the build, both mechanicals, body and decals, wont bother listing it all. I enjoyed it!
notice the color and wheel fitment.. similar on the wagon. I now want to paint the rims all black and get an rx3 shell I can paint my drifter like a scale model, without getting too sidetracked from my real build. I've still never driven it, ready to go full race car with lots of upgrades, but I just like the look and fact it could work. strange, not really but I did build a roll cage from bendy drinking straws. no pics of the straw cage just yet sorry its too sick. :oops:
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By beans161 at 2011-10-19
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By beans161 at 2011-10-19
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By beans161 at 2011-10-19
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By beans161 at 2011-10-19

My motivation for my mazda is the highest its been since I purchased the car. I've been on a frenzy looking through my parts sorting out what I need, whats going to restoremaz etc etc and basically getting a pile of parts out of my garage so the only things in there are whats needed to complete my car. I realise I have kept way too much mazda in my garage..


Last edited by beans161 on Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:33 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 334
Location: Adelaide
Now at a point where I can start putting things together for a final time not just back into boxes, i've started getting my dash ready to go into the wagon. having a completely original rx3 dash was high on my priority list a few years back and I aquired a really good example. Now to work out if I want Km/h or mp/h as I have one of each type of gauge cluster. I think Mp/h is correct?

Another favourite dash from the mazda range was the R100, for its one peice facia and round guages just looked so cockpit like. This added fuel to a fire with me not wanting to run a centre console over the hand brake I started toying with the idea of a rx3 dash and centre console with a one peice facia modelled from a JDM/US spec GT dash and no gearbox and handbarke cover. I wanted 3 round guages across the top, preferrably Auto meter brand i just love the look and style, the original controls for fan and a new radio as i go down the face, then at the base no storage compartments, just the Rotary Engine badge in the bottom curve.

Now I know the rx3 owners will be thinking what the heck?? thats not original, I know I know, but with guard mirrors all black watanabe style wheels good brakes and diff oh and a tuff motor this car will be far from 'factory'.. but i think it will fit the JDM style I want. like this coupe - but no racing stickers or paint for the wags!
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By beans161 at 2011-10-23

So back to the console,so your thinkin it wont make it to touch the gearbox tunnel so it will hang in free air? well yes kind of.. its a couple inches off the carpet, you see the rx3 console for those that dont know has side peices to hide from veiw wiring etc so I plan to make longer versions of these that will run back to the fire wall. This not only closed in the sides but gave it a sealed look and the bonus, somewhere to mount some speakers (yes I will be having a new stereo), as I dont have a parcel shelf in a wagon!
Here is my template ready to go make a perspex version, then paint matt black, I am the first to admit trying something like this may very well fail and it may take me a couple goes to get a perfect one but i'm willing to try and if it looks crap I have the OG rx3 gauges and facia as backup..
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By beans161 at 2011-10-23
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By beans161 at 2011-10-23
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By beans161 at 2011-10-23

I needed some inspiration, to get me feeling the JDM vibe of my car, so i spent some time looking through my HD pics to get me back in the mood for mazda... this is what I like, others may have different taste but for me this style is what i'm going for.. just cant find rx3 wagons so I look at anything tuff. the savanna coupe is just the ultimate car, then there is the 2 dattos, well I dont need to say anything more have a look..
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By beans161 at 2011-10-24
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By beans161 at 2011-10-24
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By beans161 at 2011-10-24
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By beans161 at 2011-10-24
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By beans161 at 2011-10-24
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By beans161 at 2011-10-24
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By beans161 at 2011-10-24
other news, have purchased a US spec rx3 wagon steering wheel and waiting for it to arrive... another tick off the to do list :P now i seem to have most of my interior its time to get it all shmick ready to bolt in!!!
Thanks JDMRX2 for the lead on side stripes.. hoping vintage rotary decals can work some magic! hahaha


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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:31 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 334
Location: Adelaide
Hunting some small parts if anyone has anything and wanting to help out! PM me if you have any of these parts to sell..

Rx3/808 Bottom sill panel chrome strips and wheel arches chrome strip???
Genuine 10a grille badge.. not interested in repo's!
Savanna rx3 bonnet vents
Genuine rx3 badges
Red rear side reflectors
Genuine rx3 wagon 'RE-AP' badge or RE-130AP badge.
Rx3 wagon window trim chrome, rear doors and side windows..
Roof sill chrome for a wagon..

Not sure how I'll go getting these, but hey you gotta start somewhere.

Thanks in advance to any helpful JNC reader!


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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:14 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:53 pm
Posts: 413
Location: Adelaide
I'm feeling ya with those pics.....How good does that white 510 look?? Really makes me want to put a cage in my coupe.....and slam it on wats...... :D


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 Post subject: Re: Building a dream rx3 and housing it..
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:40 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 334
Location: Adelaide
yup I love the low track/street look!! I had a wrx all set up for hills runs a few years back it had all the goods (suspension/brakes/cage/tires) no engine mods as I liked to shock people with a standard engine setup and prove its all about making a car point, turn and stop.. but it still had that Jap style, low on dark rims.
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By beans161 at 2011-10-31
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By beans161 at 2011-10-31
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By beans161 at 2011-10-31
Yeah thats my style for sure, if i owned a coupe or sedan it would probably have a roll cage. My little rx project, being a wagon, the bars inside the cabin just wouldnt suit it. For those that havent seen a Club Spec Evo4 WRX the "161" I use was the build number of my car, 1 of only 300 cars made... :lol:


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