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What engine should go in my Rx3 sedan ?
Single distributor 12a Rx3 engine 29%  29%  [ 7 ]
Twin distributor 12a PP engine 33%  33%  [ 8 ]
1600 808 4 cylinder 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
Leave it with the stock 10a drive line 25%  25%  [ 6 ]
Give my 12a housings to Dave and move on to the next big thing the Toyota Lexcen 8%  8%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 24
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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:56 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 613
Location: Australia
Beans I may have above average skills but I also lack common sense.

Come on Dave I know it's no attractive behemoth but it's still a vintage Mazda. A man of your skills would have the roof knocked straight in a couple of hours :) I've fixed about 55.7% of the roof so far, I've spent at least 5 or 6 hours on it. If plan A fails plan B is to spray the roof with 2L of genuine NOS Rx3 polyester. If plan C fails Ill replace the roof panel, plan D is to put the car out of it's misery. Yes fixing roofs isn't much fun, it can only get funner from here I hope.

I'm over it for now.....back to the coupe.....


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 613
Location: Australia
One the guys who has just about finished his car gave me a call on Friday to ask a few things. I thought given he's about to complete his project, it would be good to have my car ready for summer as well. So out came the tools to get the coupe closer to completion.

More electrical work, as basic as Rx3 electricals are, it still takes a fair bit of time to get everything right.

My distributors are done and I'm very happy with the result. Prior to going down this path I did a fair amount of research. Basically I wanted to retain the twin distributors but convert them to a high energy system. There are more options than people realise. Here is a brief list at what I looked at. There is MSD programmable CDI, Optronics, Pertronix, Crane ignitions, Silicon Chip transistor ignition that I saw on one of Mo's cars, then there is a Japanese kit that I've seen on Savannarx3's car and there are many more that I've seen.

All these kits will require varying amounts of modification. Retro Looms have made a bolt in adapter kit using Pertronix's components, technically this isn't a high energy system, all it does is do away with the points but retains all the other factory components. A very good kit if you have a standardish engine. I looked at using a Pertronix's kit and integrating it with a CDI ignition but in the end I wanted a HEI like the first Rx7's using a j109 ignitor system. The biggest plus is there are no bulky boxes to hide.

The turning point to move away from CDI is the two experienced mechanics I use (25+ years each) both mentioned that CDI could harm carbon seals. This is what both suggested, though not with any conclusive examples. While CDI may be good for race motors, my car is a little streeter and nothing more. They both pointed out (different workshops) that a race motor is considered a disposable item, the sole purpose of a race engine is to win and not blow up mid race. Pretty obvious really ! Also obvious that that's not me.

The fabricated distributors do away with the advance mechanisms, perfect for any BP or PP 10a or 12a twin dizzy. These distributors add some more coolness factor. The ignition box bolts to the side just like the later factory cars. The aim was to integrate the modification to make it look standard. Pic 2, using 808 and Rx3 bits and pieces to make the custom ignition harness.
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I thought I needed the ignition relay but after I worked out what its function was there was no need to use it. Pic 2, referencing Rx7 wiring schematics for connection details.
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Scribbling wiring details..... pic 2 I bought some ignitor grommets from a Rx7 for a factory look.
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The factory ignition relay was doing my head in until I worked out what it did. Basically I threw away the factory schematic and worked everything out myself with a meter. All the relay does is bypass the ballast resistors during start up when the starter motor is running. The relay supplies the coils a full 12v from the battery to make starting easier. Once the starter motor is disengaged the current flows through the ballast resistors. The resistors are required on standard coils so they don't burn out. They are not designed to continuously operate at 12V. If you are using a transistor ignition, generally speaking you do not need the bypass circuit or resistors.

This relay will be saved for my stock sedan, the cover has been sent away for zinc plating. Pic 2, shows the relay earth is nothing more than the casing being crimped onto a metal tag.
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Harness being made, everything is soldered and crimped to avoid dodgy connections.
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Ignition now complete....
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More parts being sent away for zinc plating.... Pic 2, finally mounted the licence plate light.
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Completing the alternator build, after the case is blasted clean I clean it up with steel wool to give it a new appearance. Pic 2, testing each stator winding for open circuit. There are 3 windings makiing this a 3 phase alternator.
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Testing the stator windings for short circuit to the steel core. An OC = pass, a SC = fail. The stator core can be rewound if required. One of my mates used to do this 20 years ago before he left the industry. Over time the lacquer can break down resulting in an inefficient alternator which will not provide peak current as per it's specification. This one is in good condition. After testing the stator it's masked up and painted. Do not use any harsh solvents on the stator or you risk breaking down the lacquer which will ruin the windings !
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Fitting up new brushes, new and old for comparison. The holes in the brushes are to hold the brushes in place while the rotor is installed. Everything is cleaned prior to assembly.
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New brushes are installed, diodes are soldered to the stator.
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Brushes held back via a assembly hole in the rear case.
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New bearings..... testing for short circuit between winding and steel core, all good. To do more comprehensive rotor testing a Growler tool is required. If I find a vintage one for the right price I might add it to my tool collection. A growler tests the windings in the armature and literally starts growling if the winding is faulty.
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Alternator going together, everything has been cleaned, blasted and zinc plated. You can see the bearing seal caps in pic 2 and 4.
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Front case is on, all bolted together. Pic 2, brushes are still being held in a locked up position until I'm happy with everything.
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Wire is removed and brushes spring into place, you can see the assembly hole. The metal bearing seal is installed, front fan spacer on front of rotor. Last photo, new noise suppressing condenser installed.
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Fan, pulley and retaining nut installed with rattle gun.
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The car now has ignition and a alternator...
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Next is to repair the alternator wiring and the engine block harness (water temp, oil pressure etc).....


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:16 am
Posts: 79
Location: Adelaide South Australia
Brilliant write up of alternator assembly gypsy. More enthusiasts need to learn this instead of just chucking a new alternator at a low charge problem, do some investigating and overhaul the one you have!

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:36 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 613
Location: Australia
It's also much cheaper. Both alternators combined owe me around $50 - 60 in parts including the zinc plating. That's around $30each for a as new alternator. Aside from that there's the opportunity to learn something new. If I buy one of the new age PC based oscilloscopes I'll show what comes out the back of the alternator pre rectified, post rectified and post regulated. I'm guessing most people have very little understanding on what's going on.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:28 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:55 am
Posts: 56
Location: perth western australia
True 12 volts are my arch nemesis. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 613
Location: Australia
More wiring being done, what you see here is pretty much the last of it.

Water pump housing cleaned up in the blast cabinet. It's been painted black. More on this in a future update. I've ordered a new water temp sensor from Mazda so the sensor is compatible with the gauge calibration.
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Rebuilding the engine harness, a few wires have gone missing over the years. Unfortunately I couldn't replace the propriety connectors so got some nicer ones off a spare loom. They were impregnated in grease and oil as you'd expect for something it's age and location.
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Replacement plug.... I also save connectors for replacing damaged ones. Connectors are not available either.
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Each connector is cleaned before being transferred to the new casing. Photo 2, building a new oil level sensor and integrating it into the loom. This loom didn't have one for some reason. The oil level sensor, charge light, and oil pressure sensor cable back to the idiot light on the dash cluster. In short if it comes on while you're driving your alternator has either failed or you engine is about 5seconds away from spinning a bearing a seizing :)
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Building and integrating the oil level sensor wiring. All connectors are replaced, crimped and soldered
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A simple harness like this still takes a few hours to rebuild and test..... last photo, harness is complete ready to be tested. I maintain the wiring colour standard through out the harness rebuild.
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Harness is installed and connector lengths are adjusted before wrapping the loom with non adhesive loom tape. Not sure which side of the oil filler neck I'll be routing the loom at this point. There is enough play for the connectors to route either way after adjusting.
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I'm unable to fully test the new harness until the water temp sensor shows up and I get my hands on a oil pressure sensor. I still need to build some wiring to the reverse switch but I simulated the car going into reverse by jumpering the reverse connector. Good result with there being connectivity from the engine harness -> main harness -> rear harness. I must know something :) Photo 2 I started playing around with mounting the Weber carburetor.
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There's a bit of work getting it to work. I'm planning on retaining the oil metering pump, it had crossed my mind to use pre mix but using a OMP is a nicer way to go for a street car. For people that don't know the OMP is a simple setup. The oil pump lives within the front timing case, this creates oil pressure which is channeled through the rear of the OMP. The OMP is best described as a tap which injects oil into the carb float chamber or into the manifold. The OMP is controlled via a rod that connects to the throttle carb lever. When you go away from standard to a Weber setup there is a little bit of playing around to have it work right, nothing difficult though. Pic 2 I've got various replacement fuel jets, air correction jets, a 3mm needle setup, F11 emulsion tubes, 40mm chokes and a smaller set of idle jets. It'll take a little bit of playing to have it tuned but shouldn't be too hard. First thing is to order some helicoils to reinstate the carb mount studs. I was going to replace them with Mazda sport Weber insulators but one problem led to another to another so gave up on that idea.
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Next time more on the Weber, and wiring up the motor.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:45 am
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Location: netherlands
If i were you, i would keep the loom on the front side of the oil filler neck.
First, i think it looks a lot better, second i think it safer, because of possible friction damage to the loom, caused by engine movements ( acceleration, breaking, shifting).

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:41 am 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 613
Location: Australia
I haven't decided on the way the wiring will be routed. It's restricted by the starter motor solenoid lead. I wanted to keep the harness away from the high tension leads so there's no interfence with anything. There's a few more volts going through my ignition when compared to a standard setup. Last thing I want is to hear the ignition through the Tien momo AM radio. I'm a big fan of talk back radio... (not by choice with this car) :)

Another update, coupe is just about finished. I'm waiting on a few things before I can get there. I've spent a lot of time ironing out gremlins that you typically find in a car that hasn't been used in close to 20 years. Unfortunately I only got another camera recently so a lot of recent build photos don't exist. I'm waiting on my new oil cooler, tail shaft, mufflers... they are the big things. It would help if I had actually ordered the mufflers but you get the idea of what's left. Apart from that, a few finishing touches still required.

The wiring is finished 100% and everything works. Here is the reverse loom.. Pic 2 assembling the handbrake console with a replica boot that was made at home using the original pattern.
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Chrome handbrake ring is original and 10/10 new like condition. Engine loom wrapped and now complete.
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More work done to my sedan roof, didn't take long to get the hand of things again. Roof is 75% repaired, another day and it should be done.
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Lots of time spent shrinking the metal, tapping shrinking, DA'ing, tapping, shrinking, speed filing, tapping, body filing, tapping shrinking... in plain English it was f*cked ! .............but not any more :-)
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Looking far better....
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Beating a roof is pretty therapeutic on the mind for you stressed out types,,,,
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More photos.....
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Nothing like fixing a basket case of a car, things that need a touch more work are marked for a final going over once the first pass is complete.
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Back left 1/5 section of roof is all that remains, I removed the rear screen for the home run.
More on the roof next time.... Once this is done, I'll start on the rust repairs. The roof should be more than straight enough to just use a sealer and a couple coats of 2K HiFill primer.

A couple of recent purchases... I recently missed out on 2 aftermarket 10a carb rebuild kits. A few days later I managed to find a genuine kit with everything. I bet you haven't seen one of these kits since 1985. I've also been speaking to another Rx3 coupe owner behind the scenes who probably owns one of the best cars in the world, big call I know but true. He gave me a run down on his experiences with 10a/12a TD radiators as I was chasing another one for the sedan. I found one out of an old US Improved Production car, unfortunately the core although looked good and had seen little use, 20years of storage weren't kind to it and a few slow leaks were found. In the end I had the core removed by a place in the States and the tanks checked over which were perfect. All checked and delivered pretty cheap. I'll have a new core installed locally closer to when it's required.
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Last photo is for the person who wanted to see what 10a iron housings looked like, I still have to take a gearbox measurement for someone else. That's coming soon....
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I haven't built a motor in 20years so might build this one seeing it'll be pretty much stock (if I can be bothered!) . I'm sorta more interested in rebuilding the gearbox than the motor, now there's a disaster waiting to happen :-)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:56 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 338
Location: Adelaide
Nice work as always John! Can't wait to see the coupe in full, maybe some nice poses out of the shed all clean and shiny. Have you come to terms with the fact you will at some point soon drive your car, not just look at and work on it? That's gotta be a day your looking forward too!

I'm intrigued as to who owns or better yet what Rx3 you rate so highly. Yours is one of the most in depth/quality builds I've come across so this other one must be something special! 8)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 613
Location: Australia
To be honest I haven't given much thought to driving it, I'm more into building 'em than using 'em. I'm more of a collector I suppose. There are a couple of other coupe owners I know nearing completion who are keen to go on a weekend drive during the summer months once their cars are finished. It'll be out and about towards the end of the year. There is still a few small fiddly things to complete such as sealing the gear stick tunnel hole, fitting the plastic end caps to the seat belts, finding a longer accelerator cable (thinking 626), nothing overly big though aside from the exhaust system.

My build is good and thorough and the car should give little trouble over the it's next 20years. There are a few things that I'd do different from what I've now experienced, but no regrets really. The car in my opinion presents really nice. My favourite area is the interior which is as good as new and how the rear Watanabe wheels look in the rear guards. It's the interior that makes my car, it looks so good !

This other car I'm referring to is also a 10a Rx3 coupe but is 100% original and built from 98% genuine new parts from 20years of collecting. For starters the car is a better base, is painted in acrylic enamel (1K) like original and is basically built entirely from new parts, we are talking panels, interior components, seat belts, engine auxiliaries etc etc. This particular car even has the original twin dizzy (new) high tension leads with the factory numbering tags and colour coded leads ! The only place you'll see a car like this is on a 70's showroom floor. Lucky for me I have a set of those leads for my sedan that came with the coupe.

I've met a handful of similar guys over the years, they like to keep things to themselves which I respect. Most of the other guys I know like to maintain a standard interior and exterior with a ported NA engine like what I've done which is what makes him a little special (nut case) :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:02 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Adelaide
Thanks for another update Mr. Gypsy, I'm so glad you are doing a sedan next!
Do you have the parts to seal the gearstick hole? I have a spare 808 one if you desperately need one?
Oh...you reminded me to pick up the speed nut's I ordered. I can't believe there are some on eBay at that huge price?

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I knew you were talking about that certain 'nut case' :wink:
I hated every minute of watching him build it... knowing I would never own something that good!
Also the prick got me hooked on Savanna gear, now I'm poor!

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:59 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:15 am
Posts: 338
Location: Adelaide
Yeah fair enough John, keep the updates coming always a good read. I haven't needed to buy a magazine in a long while since joining this site and following builds like yours!

RacerX wrote:

I knew you were talking about that certain 'nut case' :wink:
I hated every minute of watching him build it... knowing I would never own something that good!
Also the prick got me hooked on Savanna gear, now I'm poor!

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I remember seeing this car attend a local car show at Immanuel College a few years ago? One very tidy example!


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 613
Location: Australia
Yes Kris, Dom and others have shown us all a lot of JDM stuff over the years that I never knew existed. 20 years ago all I knew about were Savanna dash boards and hexagonal tail lights. I still think our cars were generally nicely fitted out though style wise. Some JDM parts look a little odd ball to me, not everything though. My pet hate is fender mirrors, I'm one of the few that dislike them with a passion. The only Mazda's that look good with them are the 60's cars and the very first of the R100's with the chrome style stalks, beyond those cars they look terrible ! Give me a pair of chrome stalk Australian spec door mirrors any day over a set of those.

They remind me of being stuck behind a HQ Kingswood towing a caravan during the 80's hot summer holidays.

RacerX Im right with the gearstick hole, I have a modified 808 one there that needs to be fixed to the tunnel floor still. I don't know what the guy on eBays story is, a lot of the parts he claims that are old NOS stock are still available and produced by Mazda. $800 for 2 rear reflectors that you can buy for $50 ea through any dealer or the 12a chrome eyebrows that he had $200each that are available for $67 ea from Mazda, not to say the used one he has for $100. $50 for generic style speed clips that are also available from Autobarn for $6 ! Everyone can make their own decision, most parts aren't hard to find if you are prepared to look.

And no Kris isn't the nut case there are others :lol:

I rarely buy magazines these days unless there is something exceptional about the issue. I bought this months Classic Cars Australia, Danny "L10B" managed to hog half the magazine with his collection :lol: They should have named this particular issue "Toyo Kogyo Queensland" special edition 1, between Danny, Adrian and Dennis they could have run 3 editions filled from cover to cover :lol: Outside of Danny's cars they amazingly managed to do a good article on a Prince Skyline GT, a Toyota story and a familiar story about reproduction parts. The Prince is an interesting car and is where I believe the phenomenal Nissan Skyline GTR began all those years ago. A friend from work sold 2 Prince Skyline GT's a couple of years ago that were sitting on his farm for many years. They were both once used as family cars and had a lot more performance when compared to any competitor of it's day according to him. They are a rare find these days.


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:25 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:31 pm
Posts: 109
Location: sydney NSW
I use to thing guard mirror where OK but then I got to drive someone's car with them. They are crap or it might be my old eyes :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:03 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:00 am
Posts: 42
Location: Netherlands
John,can you show me exactly what mazda instal from factory between front and rear windshield and the body ? Was there a kind off rubber seal fitted or just a kind off silicone sealant ?? I just wanna know what you guys use between your glasses ??

Thanks,


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:21 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 613
Location: Australia
Ontrack wrote:
I use to thing guard mirror where OK but then I got to drive someone's car with them. They are crap or it might be my old eyes :roll:


Guard mirrors also don't look so bad especially when you can't see them :lol:

rotary_coupe wrote:
John,can you show me exactly what mazda instal from factory between front and rear windshield and the body ? Was there a kind off rubber seal fitted or just a kind off silicone sealant ?? I just wanna know what you guys use between your glasses ??

Thanks,


Mazda either glued the windows in with windscreen sealant or used a butyl tape seal kit. Pretty much 95% of window installers will use windscreen sealant which is available any where. There is no special rubber seal between the body and the glass. Using the butyl tape method is shown here. viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4426&start=540 These kits are hard to find these days. The only place I know that makes them is Bostik New Zealand, I'm sure there are other manufacturers although I haven't looked that hard. If someone is installing your glass just have them glued in, easier for them, easier for you !



The roof is almost done (dent wise), I think I've taken on a project a little too big.... pretty (time) involved some of it. The latest Unique Cars Magazine has a special value guide for Japanese classics. Rx3 sedans are valued as follows... Condition 1 $26,500, Condition 2 $17,500 and Condition 3 $7,500. These are pretty realistic local values for original cars. It's a pity they don't have a value for cars in Condition 55 :lol: Highly modified cars are always going to be hit and miss as you need to find someone with similar taste.

I'd put up more photos but it's an embarrassing mess at the moment, need to progress a little further. I'm thinking to cut the door skins off the door shells and send them away to get blasted for the new panels. Once the roof dents are done I'm a bit lost as to start on the back or the front, there's plenty to do. I'm now thinking the car went down with the Titanic or maybe should go down with the Titanic :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
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Location: Australia
Sedan update..

Final photos of roof straightening.........

Most of the remaining repairs were for the rear left side, pure madness fixing it. Too late now it's fixed, I couldn't be bothered driving around looking at used roofs unless there was a brand new Mazda one floating about. The time and effort required to find a decent used one, cut it off, bring it home, unpick it from the frame and then straighten it was more work than fixing this one.
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What you see in this update took about half a day.
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One by one the dents are worked out, some are easier than others.
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Pic 1, I think this car has had rust issues it's entire life, the amount of rust worm under the original paint is unbelievable. The only way to get rid of it once and for all is to bare metal the entire the car. Pic 2, the final stages coming together.....
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After doing all this work I think the best tools for this type of work are dentless paint removal tools, problem is they are so expensive. It would make repairing the centre of the panel far easier which is generally a nightmare.
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A fair amount of shinking the stretched metal was required. It's very easy to chase yourself round in circles, there were a couple of times where things were made much worse after I was almost done !
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.......tap tap tap, rear all done :)
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Photo 1, going back over some minor areas that I had marked during my first pass. Photo 2, I was going to leave the big dent in the front of the roof for historical purposes. I think this was the final punch in the roof the car got when it broke down for the 50th time before being parked under a tarp for 15 -20 years to rot in hell, literally !
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.....however I felt sorry for this heap of junk of a car so I decided to fix the remaining damage as well. This is the only chance that it's going to get to be fixed right. Mazda did it no favours in 1972 with it's substandard paint preparation which led to extensive rust worm. It's a major improvement to what I started with :) Well the roof panel turned out pretty good and I'm glad that part is over. There is something sinister going on with the right C pillar behind the factory lead join which I will need to address. I'm uncertain how I'll be repairing that damage, I'm thinking to remove the right quarter which will also let me reweld the previous repair with an oxy for a much nicer repair. At the same time I can address the C pillar. Aside from that the front roof windscreen seat will be replaced and I'll be fabricating a new right side gutter from front to back. The front windscreen seat has rusted from the outside in, moisture has gotten in behind the gutter so has rusted out in a couple of spots.
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Overall I'm really happy how it turned out :)
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The front right door was causing me grief by getting jammed open due to a worn out hinge. You can see photo 1 that the little roller that keeps the door open is worn out. Pic 2, door came off, found this factory spacer under one of the hinges.
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I had some spare hinges that came with my coupe. You can see they are different but the spare works, opening angles are different. Pic 2 shows the worn original.
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The worn hinge damaged the door (hard to tell in this photo). I'll grind the skin off, re tension and straighten the door shell before its rust repaired, blasted ready for a new skin. Pic 2, for now the replacement hinge makes the door open and close properly again.
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I got a replacement firewall stiffening plate to undo the all the firewall modifications from it's track or race car days. The modifications were probably done to relocate a clutch master and to accommodate a larger booster.
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Well this update concludes all the real easy stuff :)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 794
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Nice work as always Gypsy.

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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 613
Location: Australia
Missing update 1 after the great JNC crash of 2013.....

Well I was back just long enough to organise a few more things for my coupe, managed to get a few hours in....

Interior almost completed.

One of the jobs I've been putting off was completing the interior and installing the heater hoses. RestoreMaz rechomed the gearstick surround. There were a few pins broken which I repaired using some aluminium tubing which I cut down, slipped over the broken pins then super glued into place. The chrome ring is far shinier than anything you'll find from a reproduction item and better looking than an original item. The chrome looks far more durable as well.
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The pins are repaired, pic 2, gearbox console brackets installed.
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Before the console can be installed the new heater pipes need to connected. My coupe came with lots of original parts including things such as the original cotton covered heater hoses. I was thinking to have them remade but thought better of it since I bought some replacements from Mazda (without cotton). As long as the hoses have the original bends I'm happy.
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You can see in these photos that the hoses Mazda make taper to a smaller diameter at the ends that connect to the under dash heater box. They also have all the correct bends.
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Installing the hoses was by far one of the worst jobs I've done to date, there is very limited space there. Next time I'll install the hoses the same time as I install the heater box. If you have a swearing jar be sure to have lots of coins handy :) The firewall grommet is one of the ones I had remade. I'm also test fitting the wire clamps due to lack of space under the dash. The clamps are removed prior to passing the hoses through the firewall.
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Firewall grommet pushed into place using a flat nose screw driver. Fits perfect :) Pic 2, 10a heater pipe, very rare part. I was going to replate the pipe in zinc however it doesn't look out of place so left it as is.
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Heater pipe installed... then the gear boot is next....
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Dash and consoles together, looks really good. ...next task is to send the tailshaft away for lengthening, new uni joints, and balancing.
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When I have a bit more time I'll get started on mounting the Weber 48IDA, I think I'm going to need a longer accelerator cable so I trip to a wrecking yard is on the cards. I also need more cable clamps to connect the heater pipe to the radiator, hopefully my oil cooler will arrive from Japan sometime soon. While I'm waiting I should order some mufflers....

Missing update 2....

There are a heap of photos on the camera that haven't been uploaded so here it goes.

Part 1 of mechanical updates.

Sorting out the Weber for permanent fitment and checking everything to minimise risk of operational problems and gremlins later on. I purchased a new Weber 48 IDA some time ago. It's a brand new unit that I'll check over and jet for my application. A few years back Magneti Marelli who own Weber relocated the carburetor factory from Italy to Spain for cost saving reasons. Weber put the the 48 IDA back into production a few years back due to demand. When they did so, they retained the same basic carb but improved little things such as going from a brass to a plastic float. That's the most obvious change between the 60's/70's Italian built unit and the more recent Spanish carb. I intentionally bought a new over old because, well old is old and you never know how a 30 or 40 yo carb has been treated until it comes apart. Refurbishment of a damaged worn out carburetor can easily outweigh the cost of a new carburetor. The last thing you want is an expensive door stop.

First step was to tap a brake vacuum line into the 10a manifold. Vacuum from bridge ported engines is pretty poor so depending on brake performance I may look at installing a brake vacuum pump later on. I'll see how it drives first. Pic 1 screws into the Bendix unit.
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The manifold is cleaned out thoroughly and deburred from the inside. Compressed air is your friend for this step. Pic 2 manifold is then permanently installed. OMP points were checked as well for blockages.
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With the manifold setup next step was to check over the carb and setup for my application. Pic 1, top removed to install a new needle. Pic 2, Needle is going from a factory 2mm to a 3mm setup. All parts used are genuine Weber items. Pic 3 replacement needle installed. Weber recommends that float level is checked when needles are changed. Pic 4, people asking how to distinguish a genuine carb from non genuine, it's quite easy.
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New chokes (venturis) going in, I'm going from factory 37mm to 40mm. I might go back to 37's if the 40's are too sluggish for street driving. 40's will give greater top end and peak power. 37's will give more low punch and mid range. For outright power you'd probably go larger than 40's. Pic 2, factory 45mm auxiliary venturis are retained.
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This is the diagram to setup the Weber IDA float settings. Pic 2, making a factory like tool to make float adjustment and checking easier.
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Pic 1, fixing the float to take float measurements. Pic 2, taking the needle "seated" height. Pic 3, measuring the float height. Pic 4, putting some engineering die on the float "adjustment tab" to ensure the needle will close at the correct level.
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Carb float level is rechecked for final measurement, carb is then inverted and carefully placed onto the top body. An old 6mm apex seal spring is idea for fixing the float to take the measurement.
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Pic 1, we see the inverted needle touches the float tab, this indicates the needle is seated at the correct float level. Pic 2, validating the results by remeasuring the float level to ensure the float hasn't moved.
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A aluminium tube was used to "fix" the float during the measurement. This can now be removed. Pic 2 and 3, wiring the float pivot so it can't come loose, very important if you don't want a fire hazard. Aside from a performance view, it's the same reason we check the float level. The last thing you want is fuel spilling onto the exhaust. Stainless wire is used for obvious reasons. Pic 4, the 40mm chokes are dropped into place.
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Next photos are of the main fuel circuit, before you waste your time guessing other peoples settings spend a few hours reading on how the carb works. Once you have an understanding of the different IDA circuits you can start with one of several baselines that are published. I'm told by some highly experienced people (20 - 30years) that one of the failings of reproduction Weber components is that some parts poorly fit together. All the components below should be firm press fit. That is only one aspect, the others would be machine tolerances. There are lots of good technical articles covering emulsion tube operation that are worth a read. When I refer to failings on reproduction Weber components I'm not referring to the repro 48IDA carb. Here I've gone for an F11 emulsion tube (f7 is standard), 120 air corrector jet and a 190 main fuel jet (135 is standard).
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Next I've changed the idle circuit from 70F10's (standard) to 65F10's.
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These accelerator jets squirt raw fuel into the throats when you hit the pedal...
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The carb is now pretty much together... the tuning components are easily accessible. Velocity stacks to go on. Later photos show the progression circuit holes. Sometimes it's necessary to add a 3rd progression hole but you need to work out if it's required first which you'll only know after testing.
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I bought a linkage kit with Dazz's detective work from a New Zealand Weber dealer. It's one of the best setups that I've seen. It's available in a RH or LH setup. It's much nicer than having the bracket bolted on top of the carb body. Pic 2, manifold insulators go on..
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Rx3 accelerator cable is too short so used a 929 cable that was cut down to size. Looks like a factory cable :)
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With the accelerator floored, ensuring that butterflies are wide open and not going over center.
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Air filter fitted... Weber install complete. This took a good part of a day.
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Part 2... more mechanics.....


I haven't really been around to do anything more to the car, work priorities have taken over for the time being. I have a few more photos on the camera that I'll upload when I have time.

The tailshaft was given to Duggan Balancing who lengthened and balanced the shaft. Exhaust system was ordered as well. Rather than go for the "fully sick" 4inch system I got something that actually works ! It's a twin system from the headers, I think 1 3/4 inch primary pipes into a pair of hand build stainless resonators, into either a 2 1/4 or 2 1/2 inch collector, then into a 2.5 inch cannon style pre differential short muffler, and finally into a Magnaflow rear muffler. It still requires minor welding and assembly to complete. The setup was recommended by my engine builder.

Aside from that I've taken "Ontracks" advice and dropped the Weber chokes back down to 37mm for the street. I had a quick go bleeding the brakes, there appears to still be lots of air in the lines so I'm going to make a pressure bleeding system to make things easier, again when I get time :( There were a few leaks, these were fixed, I have one left which I think just needs a hydraulic nut tightened a little more. I hope to order a fuel pump, organise some oil lines, fit the OMP and have it started before Christmas THIS year.

With the sedan, not sure what I'm doing there, boy it's going to be one hell of a job to resurrect that car. I'm in two minds whether to go completely original and retain some of its track enhancements (rear stabilizer bar, front caster blocks etc) with an original 10a or fit a 12a twin dizzy PP. As you can tell I'm a real sucker when it comes to old ported motors.

I also got to drive Dave's auto Rx5, prior to driving it I couldn't have thought of a worse combination. For starters I'm no Rx5 lover like most rotary owners out there. After a drive I loved it, it's a really nice cruiser and something you could drive everyday of the week. I also loved the auto believe it or not. If it were mine I wouldn't bother with a manual conversion either. The car went quite well, if I had the space I'd definitely be in the market for one, it would have to be a red one as well 8)


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 Post subject: Re: 1973 Mazda Rx3
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:11 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 794
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Hi Gypsy,

I have a few accelerator cables, if you do some measuring and I do some measuring I can send you one if I have one that will suit?

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