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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:17 am 
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Oh, and I should probably come clean with my ulterior motive, which is that the car is for sale :D

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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:18 am 
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Well the last mechanical thing I wanted to do on Luce was replace the front radius arm bushes. After replacing both front shocks, there was still a little vagueness and clunkiness, so I think it's something I have to do. But the Luce has very unusual radius arms, which actually go backwards and mount to the base of the firewall. There is a big rubber bush there that rotates with suspension movement, but also cops the fore-aft loadings from braking. So that bush is really the first to wear out, as it is a conventional bush that also takes loads axially. You might also notice the weird steering arrangement the Luce, has...the steering rack actually lives inside the crossmember, and has a steering damper.
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Room was a bit tight, so I unbolted the lower control arm, which allowed the radius arm to swing out.
Which allowed me enough room to wiggle it out. It's pretty well secured, with no less than six M10 bolts which were rattle-gunned tight.
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Ahh that's interesting...the gland nut on the radius arm bush is a reverse thread.
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But everything was on so tight, I ended up using the 'gun on all the bolts.
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Ah. Yes. Very cactus. The locating tube has completely separated from the rubber part, no doubt allowing a lot of clunky movement.
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First I tried to press out the old bush, but it's so big it didn't work, my biggest socket kept slipping inside of it.
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So the hard-way, is to first saw through the metal casing of the old bush (after pulling out the insides of course)
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Carefully cut all the way through...don't worry about nicking the casting, it's more important that you cut it all the way through. The metal bush is actually very slightly larger than the hole it's in, so it's stuck in there pretty tight, and making a few sawcuts around the circumference takes the tension out of it.
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Then do this for about three hours.
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Use a hammer and pin punch to peel back the metal casing where the sawcuts were made...
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And eventually it starts to come out.
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The next challenge, is how to get the new Whiteline bush in there. The plastic bush is one-piece, and comes already pressed into its metal casing. I was expecting a 2 piece bush that would just slot in either side of the casting, but this will have to be pressed in too.
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First I tried to be clever, and put the metal casting in the oven for 20mins, while the bush went into the freezer. This has worked for me in the past, but not here. The bush felt slightly too big to fit.
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Ok, so it's brute force time. But when I put the new bush in the press, the plastic part would just mushroom out and deform, so luckily I found this old coilover spring hat, that was just the right size to cup the plastic part of the bush.
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The spring hat prevents the plastic bush from deforming as it's pressed in...the hole in the casting is 47mm, and the diameter of the bush is more like 47.1mm, so it takes a fair bit of force.
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But it works...
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...and eventually it's in.
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You'll notice that the casting isn't quite centred in the bush, but that was as far as I could press it in, using this method. But the casting has slotted bolt holes, which allow a fair bit of adjustment, so it all bolted up easily without having to resort to using the prybar to make all the holes line up :)
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And on the road, it feels great. The steering is a bit more direct and consistent, but the main difference is that it rides a lot more silently, and it feels tighter when you go over speedbumps.

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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:44 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:39 pm
Posts: 70
Location: Sydney Australia
Your threads are always great Kev.
Doesn't hurt that your loving a Mazda too...
It also seems that Mazda had about 11 years worth of red velour left over from the RX5/Cosmo flop..........
Enjoy it before she sells....


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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:41 pm 
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B1600 wrote:
Your threads are always great Kev.
Doesn't hurt that your loving a Mazda too...
It also seems that Mazda had about 11 years worth of red velour left over from the RX5/Cosmo flop..........
Enjoy it before she sells....


C'mon give the RX5/Cosmo a break man :) :) :)

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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:19 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Melbourne, Australia
CD Cosmo was a car of the year in japan also was favored by the government there for some time after the model stopped production.
For me, CDs were one of the best things Mazda ever made (would go Rx5/Cosmo over rx2/3/4 even SA 7)... still miss my 121 :(

looks like MB got some of that red veleour interior too:
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Kev, how did you find that bush, when i was replacing mine, the factory ones felt almost spring loaded when trying to put the rod back onto the cross member and the arm.... this looks just like a standard filled bush, did it have a "spring" feel?

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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:37 am
Posts: 184
Location: Ballarat
Sorry Kev, my 2 cents worth as well! Do not hang crap on RX5/121's/Cosmos!!!!! :evil:

At least in the RX5 and the HC there was colour contrast using the "wood grain" dash
and different coloured plastics, UNLIKE this barf bucket:

Image Image

How did Mazda know at the time, that prolonged exposure to the sun, over a period of years,
turned the burgundy carpet in the RX5, green!

The fade/colour change never happened to the blue/grey interior with blue carpet RX5/121s


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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:14 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:39 pm
Posts: 70
Location: Sydney Australia
geez you boys are quick to bite.
I forgot the :wink: emo.
I have a very well kept example of that red velour in my RX5.
And for the record I'm glad they where a flop outside of Japan.
And love the little forrest gumps..
Any way this is Kev's Thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:35 am 
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matsuda9 wrote:
Kev, how did you find that bush, when i was replacing mine, the factory ones felt almost spring loaded when trying to put the rod back onto the cross member and the arm.... this looks just like a standard filled bush, did it have a "spring" feel?


Mine were waaaaayyy too trashed for me to discern what their function-when-new might have been :lol:

Anyway if you look at this pic of the bush (on the right), you can see some sort of spring thing in the middle of the bush casing. It's bonded into the rubber, and the metal tube that goes through the middle of it is somehow bonded to the spring thingo, via some more rubber. So inside the bush is a lot of empty space (the volume of rubber I pulled out suggests that it isn't quite solid rubber, but has lots of air gaps inside).
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It makes sense that Mazda was trying to do something weird with that bush, to allow a lot of axial movement to cushion bumps. Even with the bushes totally gone like mine were, the car still drove fine, so I think the whole thing is setup to allow a fair bit of movement in that bush anyway, even when new.

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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:19 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thank you for that Kev. Makes sense, mazda has them listed as filled rubber bush, always wondered what that means, that spring now puts everything in place.

how do you find those Whitelines (there is a two piece kit from Nolathane BTW)? have you been for alignment?

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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:37 am
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Location: Ballarat
Could it also mean that the factory bushes are fluid filled?
I know the engine mounts in my old JC Cosmo were fluid filled -
Glycol or some such!
Some caster rod bushes are fluid filled as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:21 pm 
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Not sure if it was fluid filled...the bushes were dry inside, and I don't recall ever seeing any stuff leaking out over the years.

I think the construction of the bushes were that the inner tube, was located via rubber in the middle and ends. In the middle, the tube was bonded to the inner spring thingo, and in the ends were bonded to roughly half an inch of rubber. So in between there are two air gaps of about half an inch each, presumably to allow a fair bit of fore-aft compliance. There's also rubber washers bookending the bush, almost like a fore-aft bumpstop.

In stock form these things can ride huge bumps remarkably well, so I think there is a lot of compliance built into it....all of which is lost with the stiff new bushes :lol: but the ride was changed forever when the coilovers went in anyway :)

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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:42 pm 
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Yup, they were fluid filled.... i thought i was going insane by thinking of fluid filled bushes when thinking what i saw in parts catalog. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:18 am 
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They were fluid filled? Man, the goo must have leaked out a very long time ago, since mine were bone dry inside :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:46 am 
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Decided to do a little more work on the suspension today. Firstly, the pillowball tops were looking a little second hand...and the coilovers would make an annoying noise when you applied lock, which I'll explain in a moment.
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So up she goes on stands.
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For what I''ll be doing, the strut legs will come off, but first the caliper is unbolted and wired up to the side.
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When I turn the wheel to apply a lot of lock (say when parking), you can hear this ka-ting, ka-ting noise. Basically what happens is that as the bottom part of the strut turns, rotational force is applied to the top spring hat (and hence the pillowball top) via the spring. So the spring binds a bit, then releases, and that's that ka-ting noise. It's very annoying and you can feel it as a slight notchiness in the steering. G4's fix for it, is to install a rubber isolator at the top and bottom of the spring, but in my case, as the original shocks died, oil leaked out and ate away the rubber which fell to pieces.
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And when I installed the new shocks a few weeks ago, I forgot to get new rubber isolators, and installed the springs without them. Anyway, this made the ka-ting, ka-ting much worse and as of today I couldn't stand it and went to see Frank at K-Sport. His solution is a bit different to G4's, which is instead of using rubber to give the spring grip, he installs a combination of steel and hard plastic spacers, which are greased up before assembly.
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One goes at the top, and another at the bottom of the spring.
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Ready for installation...I like to set up the spring height with no preload, which is to say that the spring, when installed is just very lightly trapped in place (the actual ride height is set by screwing the whole schock up and down in the bottom blue mount). I find this gets the best ride, without a "tense" quality that you usually get with coilovers.
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Before installation...the new K-Sport vs the old G4 pillowball top. The K-Sport one is much bigger, so you use a thicker tubular spacer (pictured) when installing the shock. I didn't think there was anything wrong with the old G4 pillowballs, but when I compared them to the new ones, they do seem a little worn. The new ones are very stiff, to the point where you can't move the ball by hand, whereas the old G4s move quite smoothly by hand and maybe have a tiny bit of slop. Anyway they are 6yr old, so have had a good innings.
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Installed and ready to go!
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Well the minor suspension makeover has worked like a charm, the steering is silky smooth and silent from lock to lock now. Frank suggested that once a year, say during an oil change, it's a good idea to loosen the springs and paint some new grease between washers. But the front end is super tight feeling, I reckon it's pretty sorted now.

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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:02 pm 
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Nice work and write up as usual Kev. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:48 am 
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It would appear that QBond is not a permanent fix for the broken bonnet trim...because for the past few months, the Luce has looked like this (since the day the bonnet trim flew off)
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My heart sank at the sight of the trim fly over the roof of the car and get squashed by the traffic behind, because I've always thought that this part was NLA. Indeed, Mazda Australia no longer lists it as being available. But my good buddy Daeden at Mazda managed to work out that they are still available in Japan...and here we are!
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Nothing like nice,shiny new things
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So much better.
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As far as I know, Mazda Australia brought more than one bonnet trim into the country, so for a very limited time only...they are back in stock! Part number here:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:22 am 
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Was meaning to do a few things on the Hako in the past week, but the Luce has thrown its toys out of the cot and demanded some attention :) One day I was driving along, I'd fitted a new battery but it had grown weaker and weaker, but I had to use the Luce so I kept driving it. Then one day I was pulling into the driveway and the engine started to stumble, the instruments grew dim, a few warning lights came on and it all seemed like it was really running out of electrical juice real fast. A bit of testing with the multimeter showed that the battery was only charging at 10.7V and but a little further investigation showed that there was no current drain with the engine off. So it was probably a dead regulator in the alt, or maybe the alt itself is toast.

Apparently a Ford Falcon (EL-series) alternator has twice the output, and is plug and play. Cool, so I go and get one, and....it doesn't fit. The Falc alt uses a multi-rib belt, whereas my S4 13BT uses a narrow V-belt. Righto...so I return it and order an RX-7 alt.

And when it arrives...ok looks promising...
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But..err..the plugs are different.
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After some research, I discover that it's a S5 FC alt, whereas I need an S4 one. So I call my mate Simon from Zap Bits Electrical, and he provides some simple advice on how to make it work. Turns out that it's wired totally differently. The S4 has one wire that runs from Ign-on (that switches on the regulator inside the alt) and a second wire that goes to the dash charge warning light. The S5 just has a wire that goes to batt +ve and should be wired up like this. So you just tuck away the old alternator wiring and make up new stuff like so:
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However, while that looks simple, the connection to battery has to be a "twin 8 gauge with 120 amp fuse or breaker. Field circuit 4mm with 15A fuse fed from battery was well." Now, Simon is an absolute legend, but I have no idea what any of that means :) so I take the new alt back to Auto One and we pore over some catalogs until we find a brand that (rather helpfully) has a catalog that shows the shape of the plug, and eventually track down an S4 alt. Fast forward a few days and we get to the next chapter of AlternatorGate with alternator #3...
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Superficially it looks great...but the closer you look, the more little differences you find
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The new one has a slightly larger pulley, which means it'll turn a little slower, but I guess as long as it charges enough at idle, then it probably isn't a bad thing.
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Then the distance between the mounting points on the new alternator were 1.5mm wider, due to the old one having a pressed-in spacer. After a bit of head scratching, I found a washer of the right thickness and slotted that in for a nice fit.
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The new alt also has a threaded front mounting, which was easy enough to drill out.
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But after all that...it's in...
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And is charging healthily at idle, so the bigger pulley is not a problem I suppose.
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The only problem is...the new alternator is making a weird noise...like it's got a bad bearing *facepalm*. But, it's all working now and I'll drive it a little to see if the noise goes away (not holding my breath). Who knew that changing an alternator would be such a hassle? With the Hako, I generally just assume that parts will be hard to source, and so I would have just taken the old alt to an electrician for rebuilding, but I figured since the Luce just has a 13BT RX-7 alternator, that sourcing an aftermarket one would be easier :) But after this experience, I reckon I'd just have gotten the old one rebuilt with hindsight. After chatting with the Auto One guys, it seems that replacement alternator are a constant source of hassle for them. Not only do they have to deal with hardware changes during the model's lifecycle (eg from S4 to S5 FC3S) but sometimes a manufacturer will change suppliers for seemingly no good reason, and so there will be several alternators which will possibly fit for any given year. \

Live and learn I suppose...I might try adjusting the alternator belt to see if it makes any difference but might have to take the car over to Auto One and let them have a listen, and maybe order a replacement one *shakes head*

While the Luce was in the garage, I figured I'd remove the 15mm bolt-on KICS spacers from the front. I'd replaced the old 215/40 Federals with some good 205/50 Michelin Pilot Sports I had lying around, and they were a bit chubbier and bigger in diameter. So on full lock, it would rub on the guard liner, which was not only annoying, but behind the guard liner on the left side are the a/c lines for the fridge, and I can't let those get damaged :)

Off come the spacers, and I have this handy-dandy tool for bracing the hub while I undo the spacer bolts. These were fitted 6yrs ago, and so I was expecting them to be frozen-on, since they get the differential corrosion between the steel nuts and the ally spacer.
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But when I fitted them, I'd put a smear of nickel anti-seize between the surfaces, so they came off easily. Sometimes the prongs just shear off.
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And off they come!
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The fitment with the spacers was pretty spot-on, so without them I do have a tiny bit of offset-fail...but hey it doesn't rub anymore :)
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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:20 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:55 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Australia
What size are the Advans? Look very similar to a set of 17x8 +35 & 17x9 +38 I have.


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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:26 am 
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Not sure on the offsets, but I'm pretty sure they're 17x8 and 9

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 Post subject: Re: Kevs Rotary Sled (Revival)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:51 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:55 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Australia
Ah, they should be stamped on inside of the hubs with size and offset. I also have a set of the gold centre cap discs and circlips if you'd be interested.

These.

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