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What engine should go in my Rx3 sedan ?
Single distributor 12a Rx3 engine 26%  26%  [ 6 ]
Twin distributor 12a PP engine 35%  35%  [ 8 ]
1600 808 4 cylinder 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
Leave it with the stock 10a drive line 26%  26%  [ 6 ]
Give my 12a housings to Dave and move on to the next big thing the Toyota Lexcen 9%  9%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 23
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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:49 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:03 am
Posts: 59
Location: Adalaide, Australia
Nice work John>> it isn't that bad :shock:

Was good to meet you the other week mate, looks like you got your work cut out for you, good luck and cant wait to see the finished coupe with a 10a sedan parked beside it :D


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:30 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 609
Location: Australia
More work done on the coupe. Sometime ago I purchased a knock down Racing Beat header kit for a 12a twin dizzy motor which I was to modify to suit my smaller 10a motor. At the time I was talking with Kris who owns the immaculate early model JDM white Savanna coupe as to what direction he took. Kris was kind to give me what ever information I was after and supplied with with detailed photos of his exhaust build. It's amazing the extent some owners go to for things you will never see. Kris also used a Racing Beat header kit and then fabricated the rest himself, well that was quite a few years ago and the time had finally come to assemble my header kit.

The thought at the time was the headers came pre bent using thick wall tube and all I needed to do was weld them together. The header thickness is 3mm to be exact, thick and heavy which will help absorb some of the exhaust noise. The headers were pretty cheap at the time (I've had them for several years). Aside from the fact they were made of heavy gauge material, the other reason I was keen on a set is the tube ID was pretty much perfect for a Bridge Port engine. While all the rage at the moment is to go for huge 3" and 4" exhausts, what people in the know recommend is long primaries typically around 1 3/4 twin pipes which collect either just before, just after the diff or don't collect at all when a twin inlet, twin outlet rear muffler is used. So many combinations ! The one thing they all agree on is to use long primaries typically between 1 3/4 -> 2" depending on various factors.

In recent days I've been discussing (more asking :oops: ) Dazz about muffler and resonator combinations, more so on the resonators and placement. He's given me some ideas on what to do, I just need to work out the finer details before I order them. Once it's sorted out I'll post it up. He's made me aware of a few things that I wouldn't have known otherwise.

So the very first mistake I made when I ordered the headers is that US cars are left hand drive and have 10x more room than RHD models. Basically the headers weren't going to fit as they hit the steering box, well that was a bad over site.

So I needed to do more work than initially planned, nothing new there !

Here is the header kit http://www.racingbeat.com/RX7-1975-1985 ... 16001.html

.... and here are the photos. If I could buy decent headers off the shelf for a 10a I would have.

The header flange has been cut in half to suit the 10a.
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Lots of putting on and pulling off to make them fit...
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Thankfully I had my sedan's 10a sitting around which made things easier once I worked out the clearance problems.
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I still need to match port the headers but at least the hard part is done. Engine in the photo has standard exhaust ports.
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A little more cleanup but pretty much done. Once they are port matched I'll have them coated so they don't rust. Definitely more involved than originally anticipated, I'm pretty happy with the result.
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Something different, I try and use as many original parts as possible so had the gearstick surround plastic chromed By Restoremaz. I have him doing a couple of other parts as well seeing this turned out so nice. While at RestoreMaz I picked up a decent rear screen as I'm fed up with waiting for the new repro ones. There are a few minor marks that could be professionally cut out but I'm a bit over it. The rear demister heater is in very good condition which is why I went for it.
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Next update I should have the rear screen installed and the interior should almost be finished. I may even have a rear muffler and resonators fitted to the car 8)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:52 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 609
Location: Australia
Yes headers turned out pretty good but need some finishing. It would have been easier to oxy or TIG the flange that sits under the car but I don't have any gas for those at the moment since I'm not currently doing any serious body work. I might tidy the outlet up due to the pipes not meeting the end of the exhaust flange however before I do that I'll fit the opposite end and gasket to see if its warranted. I think it should be right but will check anyway.

I took a break from the headers and started to do some finishing touches, I needed some easy work for a change :)

Fitting sill trim clips, first I cleaned out the mount hole from excess paint then dabbed grease over the hole to protect from rust.
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Cleaning up the sill trims for a polish.
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Cleaning and buffing the rear "shark fin". I actually made a rubber gasket that fits to the rear of the shark fin to prevent the metal rubbing through the paint work, no photos of that sorry.
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"Shark fin" and sill trim fitted. Some people like to remove these dress up parts bit I think these parts are what differentiat a modern to a classic. The cars tend to look a bit bland without their bright work.
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Rear seat belts fitted, one minor job remains which will be covered next update. Car is still a bit dusty in these photos.
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B pillar trim fitted, very rare fragile part to find in any condition.
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Sail trim, C pillar trim and Super Deluxe badge fitted. Thanks to minifan for the C pillar trim. I gave it a buff to bring up the chrome them repainted the black out areas. Very happy with how it came up :) The sail trim has been painted in a silver base coat and cleared in a matt clear.
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Enough easy stuff, next update I should have the rear screen and chrome installed, I'll look at finishing the fuel lines and possibly install the tank. I also hope to order the rest of the exhaust system once I work out what I want. I think I'm going to be battling to keep the bridge port sound legal so might have to order a second replacement rear more restrictive exhaust for the street. I'll see how it all woks out before I commit to a second "street" muffler.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:00 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 335
Location: Adelaide
The window chromes you mentioned on the sedan, "shark fins" and lower sill chromes are the small things that make a good car stand out.. The B pillar trim is something I haven't seen on a car since my teenage years! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:16 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 609
Location: Australia
Rear screen going in.....

Rear screen arrived, I had planned on using a new reproduction rear screen but after waiting close to a year I'm no longer willing to wait. I found a good used one at RetoreMaz's workshop a couple of weeks ago. It's not perfect but one of the better used ones I've seen. I can always swap it over when the others become available, when that will be is anyone's guess.
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Giving the screen a good clean in and out with steel wool and thinner, thanks for the tip Dave.
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Attaching new heater element wires, they never worked great when new but never the less I will solder new leads.
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Instead of using urethane to install the screens I decided to go the traditional "hot cure" kit. This particular kit is manufactured by Bostik and includes all necessary components. It comes with the butyl tape, primer and rubber blocks. The tape has fabric attached to one side. I believe they are imported from New Zealand. You can see the copper heater core in the first photo.
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Dumby fitting the glass and washing the parcel shelf and rear seat.
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Applying the primer to the flange after the glass and body are washed down with wax and grease remover
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Applying the primer to the glass
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Attaching the butyl tape to the glass. The fabric "dress" side faces inside.
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Glass is ready to pop in, you only get one chance with this which is why it was dumby fitted earlier and mental reference points made 8) Once the butyl tape hits the primer they are impossible to separate without destroying the seal. Before the glass is popped in I install all the plastic trim clips. I intentionally used Mitsubishi Magna clips because they don't rust and cost 1% of the Mazda ones... 20c ea v's $5 each x 40 = a lot of money saved. There would be other plastic clip options I'm sure that would work.
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We now have a rear window, now I double check for any minor adjustments required by placing the trims roughly in place. A little bit of adjustment is possible once the transformer is hooked up to the copper core. Here is the data sheet for installation http://www.bostik.co.nz/userDocuments/N ... 0%20V1.pdf
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A transformer is connected to heat the core which softens the seal so the windscreen can be squeezed into place to form its seal. The stainless trims make a good reference point on how far the windscreen needs to be pushed once the seal softens from heat.
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Stainless trims now in place as are the C pillar vents. Stainless trims can be challenging but they eventually all clipped into place, not the best of designs in my opinion. Managed to install everything without damaging or scratching anything. From start to finish probably took an hour an hour and a half.
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All done 8) ... I should have the front screen in a few weeks.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:52 am
Posts: 22
Location: new zealand
this is fantastic work :D i can't wait to see and hear the finshed project :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:59 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:55 am
Posts: 56
Location: perth western australia
Great work, I brought clips from Rare spares but am having trouble getting the trim to stay put. Its on a Rx2 4 door, any ideas? And again awesome build. Stu. P.S sorry I see you've used plastic ones I'll give that ago, what year Magna are they off?


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:31 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 609
Location: Australia
Yes it's almost complete, still waiting on bits and pieces though. I'll be measuring up for some custom mufflers in the coming weeks.

The clips came from RareSpares, I bought them years ago but they no longer carry them. I know RestoreMaz carries the same ones if you can't find any locally. They are off a very early model Magna, probably 84/85 model. The Sigma I think used the same clips as well. They should be an easy find.

With the windscreen clips and trims you need to install the stainless trims immediately after the screen goes in especially if it's installed using urethane in a chalking gun. Once the urethane goes off you're stuffed if the screen hasn't been pushed in far enough. If that's the case there is nothing you can do other than have the glass reinstalled. The other thing that some people do is they use so much glue that the clips end up getting glued in place, again if a clip ever breaks or slips off it's stud you are stuffed.

If suitable clips are used and the screen is only a little out in spots you could probably bend out the flared edge on the stainless trim to make it a tad longer so it catches the clip. Capella and Rx3 are installed the same way. We are talking about minuet adjustment here.

I have a clear channel right around the screen using the butyl tape to replace any broken clips if need be. The stainless trims are clipped on really tight, the only way to remove them is by making a basic tool to leverage the clips off the body work to release the stainless trim. A photo of your problem would probably help to see whats going on.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:33 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:55 am
Posts: 56
Location: perth western australia
Thanks for the info Gypsy, I'll let you know how I go. :D :tu: :tu: Stu


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 2:05 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 609
Location: Australia
Not much if anything has happened with the coupe, I'm still waiting on bits and pieces to complete the car. Mazda are manufacturing a new oil cooler for us, cost is $500 delivered. The catch is I need to wait 3 months, 6 weeks manufacturing time, 6 weeks on the slow boat from Japan. A crate of new all clear windscreens should arrive any day now, this was a custom order. I bought one for myself and one for someone else. Dizzys have been promised by the end of the week and I'll be ordering some mufflers next week. Basically I haven't touched the coupe.

I've made a bit of progress on the sedan though, the car has grown on me.

I pulled the sedans 10a down, not too bad. Apex seals are worn and looks like it was blowing a fair bit of smoke.
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I had the Dash Doctor reskin the dash pad. This is the original pad from my Rx3 coupe. I've also had the brake booster reconditioned, this one was far in better condition needing only a freshen up. The one in my coupe looked like it was recovered from the Titanic to quote the guy that rebuilt it.
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Rather than do the usual story on body work I've included extra photos which will tell you the story. Just some notes, the rear right quarter has been replaced sometime in the cars life. The replacement panel has unfortunately also been hit at some stage. A lot of time was spent reshaping the tail light recess so filler isn't required, same goes for the reflector recess which was distorted particularly the bottom rear corner area. Overall who ever fitted the panel did an excellent job of it. I will improve the C pillar area, zap a few minor things with the MIG and that will be it for this panel. The tail light recess area cracked when I reshaped it with a cold chisel but the crack will be invisible once zapped with the MIG.

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..............AND we are done :lol:
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In case you are wondering that panel is finished to perfection and requires absolutely no body filler. When the time comes I'll go back over it with 80G on a DA sander, give it a coat of epoxy and a couple of coats of 2K primer. The inner flange area that holds the rubber will be blasted when the car is eventually sent away, repairs are required here as well. I only plan on having the floor (inside and out) door jambs and engine bay sand blasted. I don't want anyone to touch the panels.

That panel took me approx 7 hours of hard labour, cost me a few sheets of speed file paper, a few more DA sheets, and some wear and tear on my tools and hands ! For now it'll be wiped down with wax and grease remover and then wiped down in Deoxidine to protect the bare metal from rusting.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 3:31 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 790
Location: Melbourne, Australia
fantastic work there.

As well as the JDM 12a RX-3, you need an RX-3 wagon to complete the set.

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 6:07 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 609
Location: Australia
Thanks :)

I'm pretty temperamental when it comes to old cars, one moment I like them then the next couple of months I hate them. Once I have my "fix" I normally want nothing to do with them for a month or so. I had a good win with the quarter panel so decided to start blocking the roof. Not as straight as I had hoped and needs a bit of time to get right. At that point all my enthusiasm when out the window for the next month until I decide to repair or pickup my bat phone and kindly ask Takashi Yamanouchi to ship me a new roof panel. What ever I decide it's a significant amount of work to fix unless I give it a few coats of polyester spray and not worry about it :lol:

The main reason I was looking at bringing in a project 12a Japanese coupe or possibly converting an already imported 12a USA coupe is that there are too many locals that want top dollar for rusty, smashed up basket cases. Such is life, not much I can do about it. As for a wagon, I don't have the room for any more cars ! There's a couple of nice ones about though.

Priority 1 is to complete what's left of the coupe. Priority 2 is to complete the body work on the sedan which is what I enjoy most about a project and why I purchased it. After both those things happen you just never know 8)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 1:36 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:45 am
Posts: 74
Location: netherlands
gypsy wrote:
Thanks :)

I'm pretty temperamental when it comes to old cars, one moment I like them then the next couple of months I hate them. Once I have my "fix" I normally want nothing to do with them for a month or so. I had a good win with the quarter panel so decided to start blocking the roof. Not as straight as I had hoped and needs a bit of time to get right. At that point all my enthusiasm when out the window for the next month until I decide to repair or pickup my bat phone and kindly ask Takashi Yamanouchi to ship me a new roof panel. What ever I decide it's a significant amount of work to fix unless I give it a few coats of polyester spray and not worry about it :lol:


I think, everyone has that feeling once in a while. Especialy when things don't go the way you would like.

As always, great job your doing there. :tu: :tu: :tu:

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 3:17 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 790
Location: Melbourne, Australia
I forget the name (snowball effect? affect?), but I think the other thing that can happen is that you work on one thing, and something that is connected to it also needs work, so you fix that issue, then something that was only meant to take weeks blows out into months. The motivation then goes down the toilet.

yes re car prices. I need a 1300 bodyshell to fix my pride and joy, people want thousands for a rusted out piece of crap. unbelievable!

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 6:59 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 609
Location: Australia
Front windscreen arrived and is now in. I contacted a wholesale windscreen manufacturer in Brisbane to custom order an all clear windscreen without the blue band across the top. For whatever reason it's near impossible to find all clear windscreens for this model. I organised a custom order for myself and a friend. Two months later the windscreen container had arrived at the Queensland wharfs. They were then packed in a timber crate by the wholesaler and delivered to a transport depot down south where I had a friend pick them up. The crate was huge ! The whole process worked out really well.

I opted to use a "hot cure" windscreen kit again. I think they are great for installation and removal. The kit comes with everything required. This time I used a car battery charger to heat the element inside the butyl core tape. The photos tell the story.....

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While I'm talking about glass I purchased the very first heated rear screen to come off the assembly line. I organised these around 12 months ago so it's been a long wait. They turned out pretty good :-) They'll be doing sedan ones as well, this is being organised by someone else. Too be honest I think there'll be a bit of a wait on the sedan heated rear screens. If they aren't done by the time my sedan is painted I may organise the screen print myself to speed up the process. If you own an old car without a heated screen the manufacturing process is easier. If you own an early Datsun, Nissan, Toyota or Mazda without the heated element it may be worth while getting a few guys together and having them done. Their contact details are posted in the for sale section. They are located in Melbourne. Glass is made to Australian standards, they can do sides and rear (toughened glass), not sure about laminated front screens.

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I now have an operational clutch.... Gave the engine bay a good dust and a clean after these photos.
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Next is part one of the alternator rebuild. I got all the parts back from the electroplaters, all look much nicer now. Part one covers diode installation. Die hard Rx3 nuts will notice that this is actually a later model alternator and not the correct one for a 10a rx3. I believe these were fitted to REAPs Rx3s and 13B Rx4s. The give away is the heatsink design.

The alternator contains 6 diodes of which 3 are positive biased and 3 are negative biased. You can use a multimeter to work out the anode and cathode orientation. It's very important not to mix these up. The alternator basically provides power to run everything on the car once it's started so it's important to use an alternator that can supply enough current to power everything in the car at once. The output of the alternator should be higher than the output of the battery.

In short the windings within the stator and the rotor produces an AC wave form prior to the rectifying diodes. If you connect up an oscilloscope you should see 3 sine waves from memory. Without going into too much detail the 6 diodes take that sine wave and give an unregulated DC 13 or 14v at the output. To understand why it's unregulated you'd need to view the output on an oscilloscope. The diodes do this by simply restricting part of the AC wave form. It's been a long time since I used an oscilloscope but if I get the urge I show you all. The dirty DC signal is then fed into a voltage regulator to provide a clean DC output.

Soldering in the diodes, checking their orientation and checking their operation after installation. You won't find many auto sparkies doing this sort of work these days. Middle iron worked the best, flux is required to solder to the steel. The flux etches the metal clean for the solder to take. I used a small torch to get the diode heatsink "pot" up to soldering temperature.
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It's important for the solder to "flow" for connection integrity and physical strength.
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Checking polarity of diodes and operation after installation.
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We do the exact same for the other heatsink. One heatsink has a series of positive diodes the other negative diodes.
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I'm waiting on the alternator housings to come back so I can solder the diode ends to the stator. Next update I'll check the stator and the rotor windings. As you can tell I like the technical aspects of a project more than anything else.


Last edited by gypsy on Mon May 27, 2013 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 10:06 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 790
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Nice write up as always Gypsy. I'm about to remove the windscreen from my non Mazda project so I'm off to have a look at your for sale thread about the windscreens.

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 3:18 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 609
Location: Australia
Keep in mind they mainly do toughened glass, that's the glass that shatters into a million pieces when broken. Front windscreens are always laminated, if that's what you are after I don't think they can help. No harm in asking.

You don't want laminated side or rear windscreen glass for safety reasons in case you need to be pulled out of a wreck. I think you can guess the ADR (Australian Design Rules) reasoning behind it. Other countries would be no different.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 11:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 790
Location: Melbourne, Australia
ah ok, I misunderstood. I'm actually after a windscreen, but I've yet to find one of the windscreen places that will sell me one without having to pay for installation. I've found the installers are a bit rough.

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:21 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 609
Location: Australia
Minor update....

Dropped in to see Dave (RestoreMaz). Did some plastic chroming for us. I had to straighten the radio fascia panel before Dave started working on it. I basically had to bend it back into shape using a heat gun and some clamps. Dave's theory was good, better I accidentally snap it than he accidentally snap it.... :) It was bent like a banana from over tightening the radio nuts.
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One of my mates finished blasting the alternator casings and sedan starter motor. It's all ready to go back together when I get time.
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I found a good Rx7 ignition harness for my twin distributor ignition. The rubber ignitor plugs are in A1 condition. Basically I've stuffed Rx7 high energy ignition system into the original distributors. I can now complete the wiring, I think I'm still missing the ignition relay though. Will take a proper look through the boxes of junk that came with the coupe.
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Not much else has happened with the coupe.....

So I put away my electricians hat and put on my panel beating hat and threw the cover off the sedan :)

I ran the speed file over the roof to get things started, lots of damage around the parameter of the roof, the center isn't too bad but still needs work. I intentionally haven't stripped the car bare, I like to pull things off as I need too giving me time to document everything and bag all the correct fasteners with the relevant parts. Blocking the original paint shows all the highs and lows that will be worked out which is why I did it this way. The original paint is pretty thin, no bog or 10 paint jobs so not a big deal.
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The metal is stretched from the large dents around the front and back of the roof. I thought about changing the roof but that brings it's own headaches.
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The roof lining had to come out so the car didn't go up in flames when I'm shrinking all the badly stretched roof dents.
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I've owned the car for over 6 months now and the interior still stinks bad. The only way to get rid of the smell is use all new trim. Unlike the coupe the sedan has fake stitching in the roof lining. Once I find a material match I'm going to make some dies and have the roof redone. Not high on the priority list though. I asked someone who I know owns an early 71 coupe and it didn't have the fake stitching, must be fitted to sedans only.
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The best bit about disassembling the car yourself is you know where everything is suppose to go :) The correct screws are taped to parts.
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This is where the major work starts, working out the imperfections....
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Straightening the roof is pretty much all hammer and dolly work. The flipper (bent file) marks the metal as you bump up the lows so you can see how things are progressing. I switch between various dollys and hammers depending on what I'm doing.
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The black marks you see are remnant shrink marks from heating the metal in particular spots to draw the metal together shrinking it so the large dents can be worked out. Both heat shrinking and shrinking using the flipper gets rid of oil canning in the roof from excess metal. A panel is impossible to block flat if it bopping up and down when you're sanding primer. I had to do a lot of heat shrinks around the back right area of the roof.
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....and some more all going really well....
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I've got lots more to upload next time, if the rest of the roof repair progresses the same way I reckon I'll only need to use a sealer and 2K primer under the paint. Once the roof and left quarter are done I'm going to strip the car and send away to be blasted. I've been thinking about paint, I was going to paint it flair yellow but have narrowed it down to the cars original colour nova white, then I thought phoenix blue but I'm thinking to do it in sunrise red. That might change again if I see a nice car in nova white :)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:16 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 335
Location: Adelaide
Your updates are always a good read, the skills you have to do this kind of work are far beyond those of the general backyard enthusiast. Looking forward to seeing the coupe come together in its final stages and the sedan getting into full swing. :tu:


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