Turn key is still a little while away but hopefully before the end of the year. I've been pretty busy with work plus looking at houses at the moment and looking to possibly build to move into in a couple of years or so. More importantly I managed to squeeze some Mazda time into the week. I've started on some mechanical work to get the car road worthy starting with the diff.
I ended up fitting new tail light lenses that were purchased from Street Lense, Sydney many years ago. He still does them for anyone that wants a set. Pic 2, gluing down the lifted edges on the left kick panel.
The old lenses come out pretty easy, the recesses are cleaned up and the new ones are then glued in using silicon glue in a chalking gun. Kick panel edges are done then I use Eucalyptus oil to remove old tape adhesive that was used to hold the original screws in place.
Kick panel ready to go on. Pic 2, making my own tail light gaskets from 6mm sponge rubber.
Gasket is marked out by using masking tape over the top. Pic 2, reflector, badge and one tail light installed.
Rear shot, the other tail light will be fitted shortly. Pic 2, interior almost done, dash is complete waiting for power too test everything out.
Passenger seat and scuttle panel will go in shortly. The car needs a good clean, various fasteners spread across floor related to brake, clutch pedals and various other things. I know where everything is which is the main thing
Once the seat belts are done I'll give it a good clean. Pic 2, attaching the door trims to the new back boards. Guy in Sydney did a great job making them. The trims are only glued around the pressings so thats the only place where I placed the glue.
The trim is then flipped over and I place a couple of heavy tiles overnight to make sure the vinyl bonds nice and flat with no wrinkles. I'll be padding out the upper section with new foam and pulling it taught. The passenger side is 5 shades too light so it'll be given to a trimmer to dye the fabric back to the original colour. Its a chemical bond process and not simply vinyl paint over the top. Aside from that the vinyl is still nice and soft.
The axles were stuck in the diff so reversed a drum and used it as a slide hammer. They eventually came out after 5minutes of bashing.
Diff splines were nice and straight, all the diff housing bits and pieces will be painted to freshen them up. Pic 2 is the replacement diff housing that I bought as a complete unit, not sure whether to use the 808 one or the Rx3 one. From what I can tell they are pretty much the same except the hydraulic line is mounted in a different spot on the genuine one that is still in the car.
You can see the original diff housing has the splitter hydraulic hose top side near the diff. If I use the genuine one I need to have new lines made up as they are missing + I need the splitter that connects the left and right side to the front of the car (master cylinder). Pic 2, other tail light is now permanently in as is the key lock.
Original head rests that were sewn to replacement vinyl that the trimmer matched. Pic 2, rather than continue with the 10a door trims I decided to fit the 12a ones which are the same except they don't have carpet. Once the car is running and I have more time I'll fit the other ones. Doing it this way will speed things up a little. I have the correct parts which is the hard bit for these cars ! Its got a newish 70's feel which I really like
Preparing the seat belts for chroming then I'll send them away. After a bit of looking around I discovered that the front and back belts were originally different. The twin hole ones are for the rear and the single hole for the front (non retractable). I've removed the chrome so my mate can blast them before copper plating. If you have ever wondered why Mazda seat belts rust its because I believe they chromed directly onto the steel. I saw no trace of copper when stripping them. If you didnt know copper is like an etch coat, nickle is the water proof barrier and the chrome is shiny non dulling finish. Chrome is porous by the way which will cause the steel to rust if there is no nickel especially if its an exterior part. That's how I think it works !
A platers magnificent work, did a good job of the cast alloy mirror stems then did this. They are pretty much useless as I can't remove the chrome plate from the pits without using electrical means (swapping anode and cathode around and reverse plating). Too much of a headache for me so got some others.
Starting to repair the rear bright work, a few dents, twists and lots and lots of scratches. Will take a 2 or 3 hours to have them looking their best again. I had Dave (Restoremaz) do the gutter chrome a few years back which is ready to go in shortly. Rick from Mazbitz also did a few bits for us. I decided to do the remaining lot during a weeknight when not much else is going on.... fiddly work.
I blasted 5 layers of paint off the rear vents a few years back to reveal pretty good plastic. One of the previous owners must have had a fetish with colour matching blue, red and green because those colours where colour coded everywhere
I'm tempted to leave them in natural plastic but there are not quite perfect. I'll probably drop them off to Ricky, it'll save me some money mixing up paint and buying plastic adhesion promoter so the paint doesn't peel off. He has a couple of bits for me that I need to pickup anyhow.