After this, the maiden voyage went quite well....oh look a rotary at a petrol station
The suspension was pretty transformed with the removal of that dead shock, so no more clunking soundtrack as you drive. The ride height has settled during the drive (the earlier pic was just off the jack) so the wheel gap has re-awesomed itself.
Brakes work good too, and the ABS is still working, so I think that busted wire must have been the issue all along. The only issue was some strange squealing noise when I accelerated from standstill, and when I got home, the drive belts for the oil metering pump and alternator were pretty loose, so I tighten them in a hope that it'll fix it.
But a few days later the belts didn't seem quite so tight anymore, which means I think that they're on their last legs and are getting stretchy. So...new belts...JDM yo, Bando brand.
As you can see, the 13B has quite a few...one for power steer, a/c, alternator (which also drives the water pump and fan) and the air pump. Now the air pump is a weird rotary thing...it takes fresh air from the airbox and pumps it into the exhaust manifold. The official reason is to pump in fresh oxygen to help the exhaust charge get a more complete burn once it leaves the rotor housing, but in reality what it really does is inject fresh air to dilute the pollution in the exhaust, so the pollution readings aren't quite so catastrophic
Some nice design there by Mazda: the water pump and fan are driven by two belts, the air pump and the alt belt. So if one snaps, you still get to limp home with a working water pump and radiator fan.
First, before I work on belts, I always unhook the battery. It's very easy for a spanner or something to slip off a fender and fall on top of the starter, and when that happens the motor will crank. Even if it only does 1/4 of a revolution, that's enough to trap your fingers in the belts.
Now, there are two ways that belts are tensioned, and the 13B has them both. The nice way is a tensioner that is tightened/loosened by turning a bolt. Once the tensioner is lowered, the belt goes slack and can be removed.
Two of the belts look like they can only come off if the fan is removed, but in reality you can wiggle the belt past the fan blades.
This is the other kind of belt tensioning...the alternator is on a sliding bracket, so I use a long screwdriver to lever it upwards (and make the belt tight) while I tighten the fixing bolt.
With this kind you also have to loosen/tighten the main mounting bolt on the other side.
Et voila...new belts! For the record, they are all the same as FC, except the power steering belt is shorter. I guess there must be less clearance in a Luce, so the power steering pump and a/c compressor locations are swapped compared to an FC.
Next job is to replace the other front shock. The other day, I replaced the really dead shock on the passenger side, but the driver's side still looked good, with no leak. But if you went over a speedbump, you could tell that there was a little bit of a difference from side to side...I dunno if this is due to the driver's side being worn, or because of differences in valving between the G4 and the K-Sport. But anyway, I'll change it so that the front end is a matched pair.
Struts are easy to change
Roughly 45mins to get to this stage.
The last thing for today is to remove the Blitz boost gauge from the steering column. The light doesn't work anymore, and TBH it isn't needed since the motor is capped at 6psi and doesn't spike. When I first got the Luce, the plans were to screw up the boost to the max, and then drive the thing until it blew up, and so I fitted the boost gauge. But then I had the motor rebuilt, and kept it at stock boost, so there isn't any reason to have a gauge. Looks much cleaner without it.
With the new tyres, it's still got good fitment
Interestingly, what I thought was an rear wheel bearing noise is gone. I guess it must have been related to the hard old tyres being a little flat spotted from sitting in one spot for so many years. With the new Dunlops, it rolls quietly, so I reckon there's actually no issue there.
And we're done...mechanically this is as good as she' gonna get, and I would say the Luce drives as well as it did in 2007 when the resto was still fresh.
No Kev, you are eating a duck fetus.