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What engine should go in my Rx3 sedan ?
Single distributor 12a Rx3 engine 33%  33%  [ 5 ]
Twin distributor 12a PP engine 20%  20%  [ 3 ]
1600 808 4 cylinder 7%  7%  [ 1 ]
Leave it with the stock 10a drive line 27%  27%  [ 4 ]
Give my 12a housings to Dave and move on to the next big thing the Toyota Lexcen 13%  13%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 15
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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:23 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Australia
I bought all the wheels singularly which most people do not want, most want a matching pair at the very least. Watanabe wheels are pretty common and easy to find. My statement is a little misleading, the initial buy cost was between $30 - 50 but agent and shipping fees will normally double or triple the cost (to get them over to Australia at least). The only way you will get them cheap with no further costs is if you live in Japan.

If you want 114.3 then you are in luck and there are bargains about, anything else can get expensive. The more immaculate they look the more buyers/ bidders they will attract. Too me at least, whether there is 1 scratch or 20 scratches its the same thing meaning a repaint which is the same amount of work no matter what, however a wheel with 1 paint scratch will sell for significantly more than one with 20 scratches... get my thinking ?

These wheels came from Yahoo Japan, also look on upgarage, ichiban and I can't remember the other 2 sites off the top of my head.... all are japanese parts/ wheels sites. If you live in Sydney, Otomotto in North Parramatta is worth a visit, they bring in used period Japanese wheels as well. They had a set of fronts like I have for $300 which I checked out and a complete set of 4 for $600. Last I checked they had pairs for as little as $250 in 14". Best part is you can see the wheels for youself instead of guessing what photos are trying to show you. The hard bit with used wheels is always going too be trying too find sizes, offset and PCD that you're chasing.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:02 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Australia
A few more photos.... good news my remaining 7" Watanabe showed up unexpectedly. These things are ultra light compared to the steel wheels and look massive in comparison. They'll make a nice change every now and then. Pic 2 my headers turned up from Racing Beat USA. Thanks too war300 for lots of photos and the tip off. I've considered some pre built used exhaust systems but they're a little too big according to my engine builder. Im going for either 1 3/4 or 1 7/8" twin system. I've been advised for maximum hp the 2 pipes should remain seperate after the diff. If I want the engine to be torquier then the earlier the 2 pipes join the better. The exhaust design basically dictates where the power band will be.
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I've put some bits and pieces together under the bonnet to get things out of the way. Front end needs to come apart as I want to lower the front a little. Looks like I have most things which is good. Battery tray needs painting as does the wiper panel, nosecone and fuel flap.
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Car is sitting on the steel wheels, I have new flat dress rims and center caps as well to finish it off. Front guards still to be bolted down and adjusted. Almost finished with the bonnet....
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Nosecone finally in HiFill, more than I bargained for I think ! Once the wet blocking starts I'll determine whether its ready for paint. There are so many curves on the nose that its not funny. Still need to finish off buffing down the side, Im getting lazy..... come out good so far though. I bought a boot rubber from Scotts only to return it, the profile was all wrong. Im exchanging it for a door rubber. I've had similar problems locating OEM style whether strips, everyone pretty much has generic stuff. There have been a couple of opportunities to buy factory stuff off both Yahoo and Ebay in the last 6 months... Oh well ! Ive found an almost identical inner weatherstrip (sits between glass and door trim) which I've had too buy a fair bit of too get it. I'll be off loading the stuff (for a fee off course) once it arrives. I've got the factory outer weatherstip new in a packet so Im right there. Bailey channels should be easy.
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Once the buffing is done my focus will switch to assembling the interior as I have everything required. I'd like too do something different as well. My panel beating days are almost behind me, never again. I've surprised myself, it looks like its going too turn out too be a really nice car. For the next one which will be a 12a coupe, Im planning to paint it either Islet green or a solid black as Ive seen on some Savannas..... Hopefully I'll find one already done :)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:30 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:13 am
Posts: 35
Location: Quakers Hill, NSW, Australia
Wow

Better than factory Mazda by a long shot

Can I ask where you get everything plated?

Cheers

_________________
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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:27 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Australia
Thanks.. painting is pretty much done :) Stainless polishing and repairs has been done either by Restoremaz (NSW) or Mazbitz (Vic). My bars were repaired and chroming organised by Mazbitz.. Not all chromers are equal ! Zinc plating (gold finish) was done by Corburg North Platers, they are good but very slow. I had my cast chroming (mirror stalks) done by Modern Plating in Oakleigh, had them back within a week. Years ago I used to use BluChrome in Bankstown for bumper bars, not sure if they are still around or the quality of their work these days.

With a few days off I pretty much finished painting. For some reason I hated working on the nose, just bit the bullet and got it done. Turned out pretty good. Pic 1, test fitted the nose to make sure it aligned with everything. Pic 2 done !
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... and a couple more.....glad its over
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If I ever do another car I'll do the bodywork at home and hire out a boot and paint the entire car in one go. More efficent that way and alot faster as well. The other option is to do the bodywork and pay someone to paint it. Next time you see the car it should be buffed and all panels permanently in place. Painting at home is a pain in the arse, but still got me a good result... Only minor small stuff to painted now like brackets etc. Now Im off to find the headlight buckets so the nose can go on.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:36 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Australia
First update for this year, I hadnt intended to update anything for a while but since I had a few spare hours I thought I'd start on some enjoyable assembly time that everyone keeps telling me about. Give me a grinder, a welder, paint gun or soldering iron anytime over srewing the bloody thing together ](*,)

I decided to start with the glass then the cabin...

Memories came flooding back from 20years ago when I tried assembling door regulators from my very first car, a Rx2 sedan. 20years on I still hate putting doors together. Dennis gave a tip off to get things started suggesting I go visit Clark Rubber for Bailey channels, so off I went... I found Clark Rubber had 2 suitable types, one type was a little different to factory (which I chose) but also fit nicer as well. The design of it should see wind noise reduced to zero, it looks like it seals nicer over the OEM stuff. Quality and price are nice as well $10 a mtr. I picked up 10meters, maybe a little more than needed for a coupe. While there I also picked up 2 different spongey rubber, one type sits under the spare in the boot, the other type is to make some gaskets that sit between the window regulator winder and either inner door panel or rear quarters. The old stuff is long gone. I'll also make new rubber gaskets that sit between the door lock mechanism and the door shells.
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Here 4 strips of rubber will be cut and Sikaflexed to the boot floor just as they came from Mazda. The rubber helps stop the rim rubbing on the painted floor and stops the wheel moving about, scratching the paint.
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Finally somewhere to put the spare... after all these years I can finally start saving some space.
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New bailey channel cut for the rear quarter windows... very nice fit :)
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If someone can tell me whether the regulator is actually a coupe one I'd appreciate it. This one is stamped R for right, so I got that right. The guys I bought the car off had boxes of parts so I dont know if this is off a Rx3 sedan or Rx4. It does bolt up to the factory screw holes on the inner quarter though which is promising.
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Window attached to the rear guide before slipping into the quarter panel cavity... I think the guide is upside down in the photo and inverted once in the car.
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While Im at it, confirmation that these are front and rear regulators for a coupe (Left Side) please.
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All factory rims now have nice quality matching Japanese silica tires that dont leak air !
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Even better, I no longer have to trip over them ever again :)
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So first attempt at assembly was frustrating... hope to sort out the glass before I go away again. If you know whether I have the correct regulators please let me know. Once this bit is out of the way putting the interior together should be a little more fun.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:37 pm
Posts: 77
Location: Australia
Awesome work gypsy, I love every post you make and can't wait to see it on the road again, it looks exactly same as mine, but a genuine rx3, would have been good to get both cars side by side for a few snaps! Keep up the good work!


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:04 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Australia
If you're around in 6 or so months (if Im not being overly optomistic) then then photos shouldn't be a problem. What are you doing with your old NA style exhaust system, size of pipes if selling ? I have a custom set of headers which will be going together but still need the rest of the exhaust. There was one on AR but its a little too big for my engine. A Savanna owner recently showed me an exhaust he recently put together on one of his cars and was blown away by the quality of work. I'd hate to think how many hours went into it, not something you'd get from any exhaust shop ! There is one other that I have detailed construction photos of, this guy even polished the entire system and looks amazing. I'm glad I'm not the only one around posessed by their projects. Im in two minds whether to build it myself or not.

Building the car has to come to an end at some point so the next one can begin :) I'll have another go at the doors shortly when I'm not so rushed to do other things. The short term goal is to have the interior all done and assembled in the next 6weeks. Not sure what to do about the seat belts, I can either buy aftermarket ones or have the original ones redone. The metal buckle tongues are a little pitted from memory so have to check if the platers can smooth out the rust pits with copper before chroming. The only thing stopping me going with after market (in the same style) is that if I ever decide to fit a Japanese dash to the car the buckles won't fit in the handbrake console buckle holders..... decisions... decisions...

Not sure if I've mentioned it here but Im looking at fitting an internal lift pump inside the fuel tank rather that have an external mounted unit such as a carter or holley pump. These pumps just make too much noise for the long trips I have in mine. After a bit of research Im looking at installing / modifying a Volvo 240 lift pump mechanism inside the tank. It seems like there isnt too much involved but still need to head out to a wrecking yard and take some first hand measurements before committing.

At the moment I'm trying hard not too start several things at once so that Im not overwhelmed with multiple tasks. Im also glad to report that switching to a wool cutting pad made compounding a breeze over the foam pad I was using. The wool is more aggressive but runs much cooler so doesnt mark the paint.

Hopefully I have a more substantial and exciting update next time.


===============================================

Thanks worked it out, the rear window doesnt wind down like I expected. The window leading edge doesnt stay flush against the B Pillar like I thought. I think Im the dim wit that pulled this apart all those years ago so can't blame anyone.

The service manual was quite helpful. First mistake was to use one long length of weatherstrip instead of 2 seperate pieces like the service book illustration. By the looks of it the upper and lower B pillar weatherstrips are different shape, more on this further down.
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So I cut the strip in 2.
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The lower B pillar guide uses a deeper channel, so you really need this type of bailey channel. Dont worry too much about the overfit as long as its snug. The lower B pillar guide that sits within the quarter panel only ever touches one point of the quarter glass. Its sole purpose is to hold the leading edge of the glass firm as it winds up and down. If the quarter window lead edge was always snug from top to bottom against the guide then we'd have a problem. Its not designed to work like this so we are OK :) This is the type I will use through out the car. It has a nice moulded edge that protrudes approx 3mm outside of the channel like the old factory stuff I have.
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This is the other type that is suitable for Mazda's (well Rx3 at least). Its perfect for the visable areas of the bailey channel but as you can see sits too shallow for the lower guides that sit within the quarter panels and doors (I assume as havent done them yet). The quarter glass will never touch the bailey channel as you wind the window down too support it which can cause you all sorts of problems with your window. I tried thinking it was the way to go until I worked out how its all suppose to work. This type sits completely flush in the visable areas ie upper door channels, B pillars etc. It just comes down to preference really. If you buy this stuff you will also need the other stuff for the lower areas for it to all work 100%.
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The other mistake I made unknowningly, rear quide installed incorrectly.
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This is how it should be. This fixed the problem of the glass not sitting perpendicular to the quarter panel edge.
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Window winds up and down easily and firmly without moving about and falling out of the guides. Lots of grease from the winders getting all over the glass !
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The glass moves away from the B pillar as its wound down. The leading edge of the glass is being supported up one point via the inner B pillar guide pictured previously.
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The gap increases the lower it goes but the glass is still supported by the lower B pillar guide. You can now see why I spent so long trying and trying.
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...and all the way down with no problems. I should clean the interior out before I go too much further otherwise I'll run into problems. Its where the rear half that really needs a good clean.
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C pillar seal, just reused the old one which is perfect. I also noticed there is an upper C pillar seal which I think I have but need to find. Something I know I didnt remove. Noticed the screw holes above the window so I know something screws there.
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Seal then crimped into place....
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Glass cleaned and wound back up :) Stainless bits have been repaired just need a quick polish before final installation. I also have the plastic B pillar trim. Looks like the C pillar garnish that sit under the Super Deluxe badges will need a rechrome.
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....just another shot. Will need the bit of masonite that seperates the boot from the rear of the car. Dont think I have it, but never know until I look ! Did I mention the rear needs a good clean and maybe a quick coat of primer .....
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Last one for you Dennis, windscreen clips from a Magna. This is how they fit, got them from Rare Spares. Had a quick look on their website didnt spot them but they are there. MUCH cheaper and better than the plastic coated metal ones that Mazda sell. They will never rust and were about .60ea I think.
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Front door locks and window next then I'll do the left side. (unless you think I got the rear quarter window all wrong... let me know if I did :oops: )


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 330
Location: Adelaide
The rear end is so chubby shiny and chrome and new. Definately cant wait to see it with the windows in/up. great progress yet again!
I will take note of the bailey sizes and the channel depth when it comes to build day and also when purchasing rubbers now. :tu: found this great.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:26 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Australia
Thanks, that side window is there by the way, just ultra clean. The bailey design is slightly different to original ones, however they fit really well without binding on the glass. You can see on the B pillar that the moulded edge protrudes approx 3mm like original and sits nicely. The other type sits perfect as well however does not protrude at all. I was going to scour the world for the original type but I saw little point after fitting a sample of this stuff.

This is the weatherstrip I sourced in bulk after being unable to find anything to my satisfaction through any of the local suppliers. I should have it in the next week or two. It's incredibly close to original if not identical. This is the inner weatherstrip that fits between the doortrim and glass.

This is the an old piece of the original Mazda stuff
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This is the replacement strip that I've found. Pic 2, Another angle, pretty much identical to the original ones. It even has the little lip on the top edge that faces the glass.
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Anyone who wishes to buy some is looking at AUD$13.50 a meter + $10 postage Australia wide (suits sedan, coupe and wagon). I'll put a little "howto" together with the strip as well to make installation a breeze. I'm on the lookout for the upper seal that fits between the B and C pillars on top of the coupe quarter glass, think that's going to be tough one. Hopefully one of the local suppliers will have something close to save me a lot of trouble.

If I've broken any rules here I'll happily remove the post.....


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:37 pm
Posts: 77
Location: Australia
i leave in april, i have a feeling thats way to early lol, i had such a pain in the ass with the rear windows putting them back in, making sure they all lined up correctly! as for the na exhaust, its either 1.8 or 2.1/4 i cant remember, i have a few people interested in purchacing the lot but there either real slow at replying or timewasters.. i still really what to get rid of it all at once but if nothing happens in the next month or so ill let you know as ill be pushing it for time and need to get rid of it,


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:42 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Australia
No problem, just thought it could save a lot of hassle if it was what I was going to build. We'll see what happens I suppose.

Had started putting another update together to cover removing lots of nail catching scratches from door glass, hood lining install, front door assembly and the start of the electrical work which would freak some out if they saw the buckets of wires sitting on the floor...

Only problem is that I've run out of web hosting space so need to sort something out, you'll all need to wait a bit longer now especially with my work schedule :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:53 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:53 pm
Posts: 413
Location: Adelaide
Coming along now Gypsy. I wish I was up to the stage that you are at.

Can't wait to see the finished product. :D


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:32 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Australia
First big update for the year, I hope to show off a complete interior sometime soon. I have lots of goodies waiting to be permantly installed. Everything from very nice door trims, seats, dash board, consoles etc etc. The little things always slow you up though.

Hood lining laid out in sun to iron out all the wrinkles from being wrapped up fo so many years. Pic 2 giving it a good scrub before installation. Its an original hoodlining that I got for free with other parts a few years ago. It has a couple of nics but aside from that it perfect.

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Laying out the original underlay and then bonding it in place with some Sikaflex which is non corrosive. You can see where Ive gone around the turret seams with wax.
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A couple of nics that Im repairing. They will never be seen. Basically I glue a thin foam strip over the nic and its done. The hood lining only had 2 little marks like this. I intentionally chose to use an original item over a new one. The original ones are easy to fit and you'll never get the heat press marks from a local trimmer. If they will do it you'll be paying big dollars. The only decent heat pressed trims I've seen that look good are Phils Doortrims. I've seen other more expensive ones made which arent nearly as good in my opinon.
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Same goes for here and then its ready for installation.
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I Sikaflex the rest of the underlay into place. Mental note: do not raise your head against the ceiling of the roof with Sikafex about. I had a heap of glue in my hair for a good 2 weeks ! Pic 2, spead the lining out for the retaining rods.
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Hoodlining in place, will need another good wipedown once all done. I also brushed some KBS sealer around the seams where the replacement panel was installed. This is where I believe POR and KBS has it's place. If I didnt have any I would of mixed up some 2K epoxy instead. Pic 2, probably went a little too far plating the door rods.... only did them I think because I was in a rush to drop everything off to the platers and didnt have to seperate parts.
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New hardware makes things easier and using tap and die for cleaning up old threads. Pic 2, corner triangle section installed.
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Bailey channels installled as was lock mechanisim. Locks where degreased and lub'd before going in.
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Screws and bolts replated. Pic 2 feeding down the bailey channel into the guide rail.
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Takes a bit of time and things can be a little tight but nothing hard about it. Pic 2 temporary bolt screwed into front rail to hold everything in place.
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The easy bit... fitting the rest before trimming.
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Almost done, then trim to correct length.
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The right rear plastic retainer strip was dried and cracked on the hoodlining so I cut off the damaged plastic strip and carefully unstitched the area. I then tucked the hoodlining into the retaining groove. Next I got a replacement section off another genuine Rx3 believe it or not with a torn lining and trimmed the replacement section down. The replacement section will keep everything nice and taught around that area. I then slip the replacement strip back in to groove, because of where it is and the constant pressure on it there is no need to stitch or glue in place.
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Pic 1, not the best photo but you can sort of see the profile of the flexible plastic strip that hold the rear of the hood lining in place. Its stitched to the hoodlining at the very front and the rear ends. Pic 2, after installing the door glass and having the regulator cleaned and plated I discovered it was stuffed. A trip down to see Tricky at Mazbitz sorted me out with a good clean one. Pic 3, you can see why the original regulator was all stuffed, it's opened up around the winder pivot. Replated one on left, good replacement on right.
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While I was down there Rick found a replacement passenger door glass for us as well. No matter how hard you look they all will need a cut and polish to having them looking good again. Pic 2 my car came with 2 drivers side glass, after putting the door together the first was badly scratched so decided to use the second one which was tinted probably 20+ years ago. The tint saved one side but the outer side still had a few minor marks. Im experimenting with the spare scratched glass, I've ground out all the nail catching scratches using a orbital machine. They are definately all gone now. Next I've got some industral glass compound which I'll mix up and see if I can get it like new again. In the mean time "the other" drivers door glass is more than good enough to use !

Step one, remove tint and give the glass a good scrape with a sharp edge blade. Then clean it up using some thinner or if you want something stronger a bit of paint reducer with do the job. Just keep the reducer away from your paint !
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I use an aggressive wool pad and some cutting compound on a 8" buffer. The glass will get a little hot as you work it, don't get it too hot because you'll know what'll happen :shock:
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Hard too believe its the same tinted glass. Pic 2, its then a 2 minute job slipping the glass onto the new regulator.
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Glass winds up and down nicely. I'll leave the window wound up for a few weeks to let all the new rubber bed into place. Pic 2, I trimmed the inner weatherstip and slip into place. Its 99% identical in shape and fit to original which I managed too source. I'll put up an ad later for people who wish to buy some from me. No need to spend hundreds on Mazda stuff which is no longer available.
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Need to start on this before the rear seats can go in. Pic 2, the under dash wiring and brackets all taped to correct nuts and bolts prior to removal. The internal harness is as good as you'll ever get minus a couple of minor things which I'll fix like new with a soldering iron and heat shrink. Radio area for one. You can see I also had a perfect inner firewall backing board (once dust free !). By the way Jed you were wrong about the masonite backing board, Rick and Dennis both said there is definately one and so does the parts book... back to rx3 school for you :)
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Headlight brackets and buckets are off to my mates for blasting. There are a couple of buckets that I did over 3 years ago and still no visible rust on them.
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The rest of the update is on a few nice finishing touches once the exterior is given the once over a final buff and wax. Pic 1, for the benefit of others here is a new 12a badge that was only just offered to me. Here is a side by side comparision between 10a and 12a beaver badges. 10a badge has a chrome piramid like finish in the triangle bit while the 12a is textured with red resin. If they ever get used I'll have them rechromed. Pic 2 some bits that Mazbitz had redone (minus my finger marks :oops: ) And yes he refinished all 16 wheel studs to a mirror shine. Thanks go to Rob as well for the new 5 speed badge.... I'll send you something back as a thankyou. My car will be one of the only 5speed 10a Rx3s in Australia, can't think off too many who would have gone down this path, the badge will be a nice finish. Pic 3, some better close ups of the door handle and a few of the rechromed wheel studs that will be used.
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Shouldnt be too long before the interior is finished off. Will lay down some new tar sheet in the rear seat area, start by having the belts rechomed them mailed off to the belt webbing place, buy some finishing strip to hold the hoodlining in place, make a boot/ cabin masonite backing board and install some wires. If there is a defining photo of exactly how I want the cabin to look it would be an old photo posted by "big O" I think. That is the exact look Im after and nothing less. It just looks so damn good and I'll redo 20 times to get the same affect if I have too ! Basically it looks factory new in the best colour, black with a Japanese/ late 808 coupe steering wheel, everything is spotless, new, shiny where it needs to be and best of all using all Rx3 parts.... there is a photo somewhere in my build from memory 8)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:59 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Australia
Slowly chipping away, at this rate I may actually finish the car :)

Pic 1, I have a good cabin firewall cover and perfect dash harness with new like mounting hardware. Pic 2 I carried out some minor repairs to the rear harness that connects to the main loom. Checked all plugs etc, nothing major required.
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Harnesses still have the factory number tags.... Pic 2 getting ready to install some cables
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The paint has a habit of cracking over the cable tags which makes things look a little tatty. Problem is solved by covering the tags with heat shrink and shrinking it with a hair dryer, much nicer.
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Pic 1 stuck the foam to the wheel tub. I know the factory had something similar on the 10a's not sure if I got it 100% right but the main thing is to prevent the steel rim rubbing off the paint. There are a couple of small holes with rubber plugs. I can't remember if these holes are factory or holes from the old tow bar. I welded most if not all of those non factory holes up wjen repairing the boot. Turned out pretty good I think for a scruffy looking boot. Pic2, rear harness installed.
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Cutting up some masonite to make a backboard that fits between the rear seat and tank. Dremel came in handy for a neat straight cut.
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Back board temporarily installed, fits nice. Pic2 some goodies that arrived recently, Japanese side wings and console/ handbrake bracket.
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Last 2 pics, found another pocket and side console brackets, they all seem to have the back cut out of them. Easy to have repaired though. I'd like to experiment making dies for the side brackets. Each bracket is 2 pieces, the smaller piece which is difficult to see extends from the main bracket and supports the rear of the pocket. Pretty easy to make, the main long ones are more difficult. If I manage to make some good reproductions I'll put them up for sale for a small fee, not high on the priority list to be honest as I have a very nice Australian dashboard to put into the car.
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Next update I may have the rear seats and door trims in place :)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:44 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Australia
Not a great deal has happened recently, progress has been very slow over the past 6 or so weeks. Like others here I've been doing some renovating to my place that is at least 100 years old. Undoing the last 50+ years of patch ups isn't much fun. While patient with old Mazda's I lack patience working on buildings. Dealing with the builder isn't so bad, dealing with the local council does my head in ! So, my 2 week recent holiday break consisted of pulling very daggy tiles off walls, a bit of plastering, electrical, sanding, prep'ing walls, and some painting. So, after rushing around for 2 weeks in Sydney's crappy weather I flew back to Melbourne to only be told a new kitchen is going in. Can't win, so at the moment I'm pulling off wall tiles, floor tiles, cabinets and doing it all again. Not much time for Mazda's at the moment. I couldn't think of any better way to spend my holidays, unfortunately there is a lot more too go :(

At the moment I feel like selling up and relocating to the NSW coastal border near QLD, I've pretty much had enough of city life. I keep saying one day !

The harness and brackets have been installed behind the dash. Rather than bag and label everything like others do, I like too keep components whole too make reassembly much easier. The brackets and harness where removed as a whole unit. I tape any nuts and bolts to the brackets themselves so there is no guess work. Assembling the main brackets and harness literally took 5 minutes ! Pic 2, some bits that have been cleaned up. I've gone for the original black hood lining over a white one. Everything came up like new after a good wash. Handbrake was stripped and repainted, I've got some spare hoodlining vinyl to make up the missing B pillar trims. The vinyl will be dyed black. You can also see some 323 roof underfelt which I will use on the back board that separates the rear seat from the boot area.
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Pic 1, my car is the ultra rare Rx3 GS4 Capella version, not many of these about :) Pic 2 thanks again to Mazbitz for one side of the engine bay wiring harness and the door handle chrome work.
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Pic 1 things starting to come together. I had thought of fitting an aircon Jap spec console however I think I'll leave it for another car. I'm not too keen on drilling holes for the pipe work now that the car is freshly painted. The only thing Im not happy about with the standard consoles is the silver finish of the Rotary Engine console badge. I'll be chroming the type face once I get organised with an original reflective finish. Pic 2 the dash plate had seen better days, rust worm all over it lifting some of the old paint.
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Pic 1, handbrake had a similar problem so was stripped and repainted. Pic 2, DA'd the dash top.
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Pic 1, dash pad was recovered by Dash Doctor in Melbourne for $250. I painted the metal section of the dash in a matt finish then reattached to the pad section. Looking good ! Again, all the nuts and bolts were either taped or screwed into the parts so nothing got misplaced. Pic 2, I had one Japanese gear boot and one Australian spec boot made using original patterns.
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Other work currently underway. The original buckles and tongues will be rechromed and then sent off to a Australian certified seat belt place for new webbing. The belts are preventing the installation of the rear seats and door trims. If these were done I'd have seats in the car, rear ones at least. Pic 2 I bought some new speakers. The one in the dash was all cracked, the rear ones which are 5 1/4 " fit into the standard rear parcel shelf holes. I have a few mod cons in mind for this car just too make a little nicer and because I like playing around. Front speaker is 4" by the way.
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Factory harness and fuse box in place. Pic 2, cleaning up a Jap spec fan control unit. The ends of the levers were corroded so DA'd them and repainted. I've noticed 2 types of Jap spec fan control units. The main difference is some have clip on knobs others have screws retaining the knobs.
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Pic 1, the fan control unit is now together. Pic 2, cleaning up the heater box. First I check the water valve and hose for any old leakage. This one looks very good.
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You can see the entire unit looks very good....
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Unit is opened up to be cleaned out, lots of leaves.
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To reassemble, loosely attach brackets with screws them close 2 halfs together. The tape you see is holding the heater box to firewall nuts.
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Pic 1, don't forget to adjust the air flap lever. Pic 2, I'm swapping over the control unit too the Japanese one. The Japanese ones have 2 little globes in them which I need to replace before installing in car. One by one I swap the cables over.
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All levers are swapped over, pic 2 heater/ fan unit all done.
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Pic 1, side air units were also kept whole with all nuts and bolts. These need new foam around the flaps before they go in. Pic 2 underside of dash, windscreen vents attached.
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I have a few quirky things that I'd like to integrate into the car. The AM radio will remain operational via the front dash speaker however, the front speaker will also act as a Mobile Phone hands free speaker. There will be a mic somewhere on the A pillar.

Rather than go for a conventional hidden radio/ MP3 player etc, I want the Andriod mobile to hook into a solid state PC that will be hidden somewhere in the car to provide the interface between the phone and the entertainment system. The plan is too use the 3G network via the phone for internet radio rather than conventional radio. The phone can also act as a media player. This way there will be no extra dangling cables required to connect an external media source. The only extra component will be a blue tooth sensor blended into the cabin somewhere. Still nutting it all out but I think it shouldnt be hard or expensive to achieve. Once I work it all out I'll post it up here as it comes together, it will all be done by me.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:18 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Australia
Another day another update, the puzzle is starting to come together.

Finishing off the back board between the tank and rear seat. I use a spray adhesive to attach the under felt.
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I ended up buying new pinch weld to fit around the door jambs and to secure the roof lining edges. Pic 2 while I was at it I cleaned up the door jambs from grim using a 3" pad on a air polisher. Made it an easy task. I wanted to do this prior to fitting the pinch weld to avoid splatter cleanup from the polish compound.
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Pinch weld fitted around quarter windows first. Roof lining in place, it's tough work removing all the creases, came out pretty good. Edges are all nice and taught, very sore finger tips though from all the pulling. Just don't pull on a 35yo + hood lining too much otherwise you'll be crying shortly afterwards when you tear it in half !
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Another roof lining shot.... Pic 2, rear seats temporary fitted. These were retrimmed in original style vinyl, they are a little dusty from sitting around. They were removed shortly after when I realised that the seat belts needed to be done. The wheel arch trims will be redone in new vinyl, I want a new looking interior.
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A close up the vinyl grain, not the best of photos (taken at night). They'll get a wipe down once the seat belts are ready to go in. The vinyl isn't smooth as earlier photos suggest. Pic 2, Just showing the differences between a 808 center console section and a Australian/ American console section. Rx3 one is on the right.
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This is a JDM center console section to fit a Savanna style dash, different yet again. Looks to be from an earlier style car judging from the finish. Pic 2, Dash frame and pad fitted to car.... looks nice, there is a piece of pinch weld that fits between the windscreen and dash frame that is yet to be fitted. I have a good original one which will be reused.
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Haven't mentioned the fresh engine in a while... it's still there waiting to be brought back to life. Its an old 10a Bridge Port using some old improved production parts/ housings that my mechanic had tucked away for many many years. He donated them to the cause provided they got used :) A little more painting to do to finish off small bits and pieces. Pic 2, I decided to fit an Australian spec dash, I have both dash types. To be honest I have no real preference as long as the dash looks new. I've seen these type of dashes go for much more than what I've paid for a much rarer Japanese dashes. People have gone made for Rx3 stuff these days, makes no sense to me.
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Last couple of photos for now.... Sorting out the harness and working on making the instrumentation functional. The harness is pretty good and doesn't really need much work. Sealing everything up so that I can fit the sound deadener sheets to the floor.
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After all these years its starting to look like a car again. I'll have some underlay ordered shortly, the carpet isn't far away either. I'll cut it to shape and have the edges sewn up with a heel mat for the driver. Rear seat belts are currently with the chromers, once they come back they will be sent away for new webbing then all seats can go in..... about time I started thinking about starting the engine.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:01 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:19 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Sydney
Wow looking great, that was a great read as i have not caught up with your build from December. You must be getting excited now and forgotten about the pain that went into the body prep. Its a credit to you keep the updates coming.

PS where did you get the underfelt from?

Chris


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:35 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Australia
Hey Chris, the underlay you see in the photos is from a 323 that sits above the roof lining. I grabbed it while I removed some 323 roof lining which is the same pattern as the Rx3 stuff. 626 and other early Mazda's are probably the same as well. It was used to complete the missing section on my B pillars between where the roof lining ends and where the rear quarter trims begin. You can see the spare roof lining section in the first photo posted in this update which was eventually dyed black. Nothing goes too waste on a budget build :)

You could go through a wrecking yard and easily remove enough underlay too do a car. I'm going for something a little better though and will be ordering this type of underlay with a butyl middle layer.
http://www.knoxautocarpets.com.au/sound_proofing.htm

For the floors I bought new tar sheets to lay down just like was fitted originally. I got that stuff from my Paint Supply shop. Some people go for the even more expensive option and fit Dynamat.
http://www.knoxautocarpets.com.au/dynamat.htm

Although I'm looking forward to the prospect of completing it, panel and paint is by a long shot the most enjoyable part of the build for me. Assembly isn't too bad watching it come together, but panel beating is far more satisfying and relaxing believe it or not ! Most peoples interpretation of assembly is fitting a couple of seats, a horrible aftermarket steering wheel, and a CD deck :lol:

I have at least another one or two or three Rx3 coupes in me. I'm really looking forward to buying the next one, I have a good idea of what I want which will fascinate a lot of people and challenge me far more than this project. No point doing the same thing twice !


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:36 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 330
Location: Adelaide
Yet another informative and helpful update for everyone..
The dash cowl section looks great, I'm definately a fan of satin and mat finish paint tastefully used on old cars.

The little dash speaker is one I have made several trips to auto shops to try and gauge an appropriate screw mount sizes and wattages etc... looking forward to the next update, all the bolt on parts are so neat! :tu:


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:08 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Australia
Thanks Mr Bean :)

I think there are only 3 sensible options when it comes too Rx3 dash clusters, they are export Rx3, JDM Rx3 and Mazda 808/818 (coupe). The craze with the fibreglass and alloy setups that we currently see in Australia look amateurish at best, not my sort of thing. I had the privilege of inspecting a genuine Group C Mazda Rx3 racer coupe a couple of months back, that car had a nice functional setup without all the BS. It even retained the genuine Mazda centre consoles.... it was the real deal, NOW that is the only exception I'd make to my 3 options above :)

Just got these after searching for a very long time. These are genuine Rx3 10a door trims with the carpet down the bottom. The vinyl and chrome is in excellent condition, I'll be buying new back boards and carefully fit them so they look 100% untampered with. I will only bond the pressed areas to the back board to ensure they turn out perfect. I'll then access whether its worth having any minor imperfection professionally touched up, I think they'll be right how they are :) Image Image

Unfelt is on its way... hopefully the next update will have a complete dash cluster.


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