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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon. Upgrades Round 1
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:34 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 770
Location: Melbourne, Australia
sad panda.

Despite all of my maths trickery and slotting holes etc, it looks like I'll have to cut and weld the 4spd crossmember or maybe try and find a 626 in a wrecking yard tomorrow. I definitely need one that has a slight U shape to it, whereas the 4spd one is straight.

I also tried drilling new holes in the rubber mount, this then made it hit the extension case, so I sanded back a casting mark on the case, cut a notch in the mount etc. Then when it looked like everything was going to fall into place, the gearbox mount started hitting the exhaust.

Went to pull the exhaust off to tap it with a peening hammer and Bloody Tidd brothers, not having listened when I said I wanted flanges, have put a slip joint in the exhaust near the diff. Naturally it's jammed on there super tight. I've sprayed penetrene in there and given up for the day.
Have also managed to nearly rip my thumb nail out of my thumb. Superawesomeshittransmissionswapaaargh.

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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon. Upgrades Round 1
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 770
Location: Melbourne, Australia
I went to the wreckers two weekends ago, found a near complete 121, but the only thing that was missing was the gearbox crossmember! It was auto though.

I've got the crossmember at work and tomorrow I'm going to weld up the notches and attach a bracket to the rear of it. If that doesn't work, I'll design my own and make it out of flat plate and RHS.

I also could not get one bolt behind the clutch slave (it's next to the dowel) and the two bottom bolts in (on the gearbox). I pulled the gearbox out again tonight, it slotted in straight behind a spare VC that I have, we put it back in the car and yes, the three bolt holes are definitely out.
The bolt holes aren't in the block though, they're in a cast piece that bolts to the block - on Capella's this is where the flywheel inspection cover is.

I was scratching my head, my friend read my mind when he said, "well the clutch is lined up, so that piece is wrong. The box is bolted to the block firmly so don't worry about it". I read an old message from a fellow ausrotarian who thinks that he swapped that piece over when he did the swap years ago, so maybe the MA lower three bolts are slightly different in where they sit when compared to a VC.

tl:dr 5spd is back in, clutch was lined up, will start making bracket tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon. Upgrades Round 1
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 770
Location: Melbourne, Australia
1. Looking at the original gearbox crossmember, there is a stamping 'LH' on it and an arrow. When I put the bracket into the car I had it so that the LH pointed left, while looking at the car front on. I got under the car again tonight and this looks correct, as the bracket has a slight tilt to it which I hadn't noticed before. If I put the bracket in that way, the gearbox should be at the right angle for the tailshaft when the car is flat on the ground. (the crossmember should tilt the gearbox up a little bit, but it probably won't anyway because the rubber mount will flex).

Image


2. If I swing the gearbox crossmember around so that the LH points to the passenger side (while standing in front of the car), the crossmember now hits the gearbox (if I line up the floorpan holes with the crossmember holes).

Image

the gearbox mount turned this way would also let the gearbox droop down towards the diff.


3. You can see here how close the floorpan holes is to the gearbox mounting holes. I only need to extend the mount back by around 3 cm, with the rubber mount hole about 1cm back past the original edge of the mount.

Image


4. I also tested the tailshafts again. With the gearbox resting on a trolley jack and bolted back to the block, this is how one tailshaft sits when bolted to the diff. I'lll lower the car and then test fit the tailshaft, but I think that the tailshaft being inside the gearbox and having the outer cover sitting around here is a good fit.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon. Upgrades Round 1
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:37 am
Posts: 174
Location: Ballarat
Geoff,
Before you cut sick - I should really read all the way through each of your posts,
I have a 121 and 626 gearbox cross member. Let me know what you want to do. :D

626 Gear box cross member looks like the one between the two rear brake backing plates.
Image

On the both cross members, the LH side has 2 bolt holes and the RH side is 1 bolt hole,
then you have the rubberised bracket that bolts to the gearbox with 2 studs that go through the cross member.

From your pic looking up at the gearbox, you can see the original 4 speed cross member bolt
hole, and the two holes moving rearward along the floorpan should be where the 5 speed cross member
picks up on - or very close to.


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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon. Upgrades Round 1
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 770
Location: Melbourne, Australia
I've seen that picture before Phill, I didn't catch on that the gearbox crossmember was suitable though, I just assumed it was a rotary one you had.

whoops!

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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon. Upgrades Round 1
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
crossmember is in with the help of a fellow JNC'er who has graciously given me one, I used a rubber mount that I had redrilled the mounting holes in the steel bracket that holds it to the gearbox. Whole thing slid together easily after that.

Couple of issues
- crossmember is rather flat compared to the bow in the middle shape of the 4 speed gearbox. I'm about to put a level on the gearbox to see if this has affected it (ie the end of the gearbox is pointing up thereby putting strain on the CV joint: it doesn't look like it though).
- the second rear hole on the 626 crossmember has no mounting point on the floor. No big deal, the other hole nearby doesn't line up so the crossmember has a slight tilt. Hard to explain but it will be fine for a low powered car like this.
- rubber mount had to be moved forward. Required some notching and some grinding. Easy.

having a coffee and then getting back into it!

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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon. Upgrades Round 1
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 770
Location: Melbourne, Australia
So I've had some wins and some misses.

1. I knew I wanted to use my 929 factory shifter and 4spd knob with the 5spd box.
Problem. The 626 shifter housing has the locating pin at the front, 929 has it at the back. No problem, swap over shifter housings. Did this. An hour later, get the shifter in - now I can select all forward gears but not reverse. Dammit.
I need to swap the 626 shifter housing back on and find a suitable shifter. Paging Aaron...

2. I thought I would have to cut/mod the reverse light wiring. Then I had a closer look: lightbulb moment. The reverse switch on the 929 4spd box has bullet ends, so does the wiring coming off the 626 box. I just plugged the female ends into the 626 male ends and then plugged the 4spd wiring back onto the original spade connector near the starter. I hooked up the battery and put the car into neutral and 1st, no reverse lights were on so I think this has worked.

3. Started the car but there was a massive grinding noise coming from the front (this is while the car is on jackstands, I was trying to see if I could select reverse somehow). I'm hoping that the noise was just the car rocking on the jackstands. Otherwise it sounded pretty bad. The starter also sounded like it was snagging on the ring gear which is odd. (it's the same flywheel as before).



Needed:
- new shifter
- find and fix noise
- get exhaust modified to stop it rubbing on crossmember.

I looked at my round two list and there are a few things I could knock off to get my mojo back so I might do them tomorrow. (re route power and earth cables, re do the coolant lines etc).

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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon. Upgrades Round 1
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 770
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Pic dump!

Present from Philip!

Image

(I owe you big time)

My home made bracket that I made through modifying the 4spd bracket.

Image


Both compared

Image

Shows the difference in height between the two brackets. The 626 5spd one is flatter

Image


Moving the rubber mount forward (ie towards the radiator). I drilled two holes in the metal mount...

Image


And ground the casting mark off slightly on the gearbox, while also cutting away part of the metal mount and the rubber inside.

Image


The 5spd mount doesn't rest flat against the floorpan as the 929 floorpan dips away. There's also no mounting point for the second mounting hole.
This causes the crossmember to sit slightly unevenly.

Image


It also rubs a bit against the exhaust

Image


You can see in this shot the difference between how flat the 5spd gearbox mount is and the dip that the 4spd one has. This shows the 5spd gearbox mount at the same height as when the 4spd bracket would be bolted to the floorpan. There's about a 2-3cm gap showing in this shot.

Image


Four speed "retainer" or gearstick housing. Notice the big bolt on the left. This holds a pin in place with a spring on it. It's called the "select lock spindle" in the workshop manual. Is this to lock the shifter in place?
You can also see it has the locating pin at the bottom of the ball in the shifter.

Image


Whereas the 626 has it in the top

Image


Inside the two "retainer" housings. I cannot see any difference other than the fact that in the 626 housing, the select lock spindle is held in place by a pushed in pin (there is no bolt like on the earlier retainer).

Image


4spd retainer housing bolted to the 626 5spd.

Image


A Cosmo TQX 5spd shifter and retainer housing which I might try on the 626 box tomorrow night.

Image


Here's a 626 gearstick housing picture that I just found. Hmmmmm

Image

I also just found this thread. Not sure if Bumpstart means cutting off the pin or putting a grove in the ball of the shifter with the grinder?

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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon. Upgrades Round 1
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 770
Location: Melbourne, Australia
So Phil came to the rescue again and I used a 626 gearstick retainer (which I had before) but with a 626 shifter as well. I didn't take or measure the shifter but it looks roughly the same as the TQX and 4spd one, just has the grove on the opposite side. Anyway, bolted it all up and I now have 5 forward gears and reverse. As soon as I slotted it into reverse I checked the reverse lights, yep they came on. Excellent.

I'm off to Phillip Island for the racing this weekend so the wagon will have to wait until Monday for its test flight. Hopefully the noise I heard when I started it on jackstands is something silly and minor. I really really don't want to have to pull the gearbox out again.

Oh and I made up some new earthing cables at work and I think I've found a more suitable tap/s for the coolant lines to the heater matrix so I can turn it off in summer. I also have to take the shifter out at some point and pop on the plastic cup that the shifter has on the bottom of the ball that sits inside the gearbox arm (lever doodad).

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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon. Upgrades Round 1
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:27 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:42 am
Posts: 316
Location: Australia
All those gearbox photos bring back memories. Why they made them so similar yet just different enough to make a problem is beyond me. The 4 & 5 speeds in the 323 had a very similar difference on the top casing


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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon. Upgrades Round 1
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 770
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Yep, it's right up there with using the 4x110 stud pattern and screw in wheelstuds. Makes absolutely no sense really....

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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon. Upgrades Round 1.5
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 770
Location: Melbourne, Australia
So to recap:

- 626 gearbox needed the 626 gearstick retainer (housing)
- using a 5spd shifter on the 4spd gearstick retainer did not work
- I got a 626 shifter off Philip, dropped that into the 626 gearstick retainer and it worked straight away.
- One thing I did not check is the spacing between the small ball and the large ball on the gearstick and whether this is the reason why I couldn't select reverse. The gearstick didn't have the plastic "cup" on the bottom of the shifter, so I will order this from Mazda asap and when it comes in, I'll pull the shifter out again.

So the car now:
- has all 5 forward gears
- reverse
- reverse lights working
- does 3,500 rpm at 105 km/hr (according to tomtom)
- speedo doesn't work. Will check if it's the cable or the speedo drive unit on the box sometime next week.
- has a slight whine or two. I think it's either the spigot bearing being worn or the uni's in the tailshaft are old and need replacing. It was a pretty ratty looking tailshaft so I will be doing this anyway.
- I refined my 4spd gearbox crossmember mods as the 626 crossmember was rubbing on the exhaust and tilting where it didn't meet the floorpan.


a couple of rough pictures:

Image

Image


the floorpan dip that caused the 626 crossmember to tilt:

Image


A relative is cleaning out his garage, I've been giving him a hand and having stuff dumped at my house. In amongst it all was a tray of Australian made Sidchromes which was a nice find. There was also some thermo fans, some Speco gauges and a few other bits and pieces.

Image


I've also been tidying up the engine bay, re-routing some earth cables etc. I also scored a better air filter lid:

Image

much nicer:

Image


My other car sat at a brake workshop for 2 months and didn't get touched, so instead of sending the rear disc calipers to them, I'm going to have a bash at refurbishing them myself. Next big upgrade will be an elec dizzy, installing my cobra daytona seats, doing some more engine bay wiring "betterment" and updating the alternator and headlights.

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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon. Upgrades Round 1.6
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 770
Location: Melbourne, Australia
So since the forum crash lost the posts about the distributor I have sitting here, no big deal since I still have it sitting. I have found out a little bit more about electronic distributors and the coils they need etc.
The Ford Courier Collector forum was a good resource on what type of coil I need etc. :tu:

BUT

I've decided to hold off on fitting it for the moment as a few other things have cropped up. Namely the old "rocker arm adjusters loosening" problem. For some reason, even though they are done up super tight, the nuts that hold the adjustable screw in stud within the rocker arms seem to be coming loose or falling out of adjustment. The result is that the motor gets a top end rattle. I have a theory that because I'm now doing sustained rpm's on the freeway, I'm putting stress on a motor that hasn't been used for 3,000rpm plus long term driving. I'm looking into where I can get some better nuts for the valve assembly.
(really... these engines aren't that great, but it's been a pretty cheap exercise so far).

I also pulled the plugs and they were super black from running way too rich. I either have to give the carb a rebuild or bite the bullet and fit the 32/36 Weber I have, since it looks like adjusting the carb makes no difference whatsoever.

I've had a few things to fit to the wagon for a while, had some time spare on Wednesday so I ditched the old "RX-7 Magic" sticker which had aged and faded badly in the Australian sun:

Image


And fitted a reproduction of an original Mazda dealership sticker:

Image

I also stuck on a Mazda sticker - it's a copy of the big sign on top of the Mazda factory back in Japan.
With the dealership sticker, it's a nice link. When I got the wagon I was living down the street from Essendon Mazda... which is what that same dealership became in later years. I have a couple of signs that were thrown in the dumpster when the dealership moved to Essendon Airport. It's now a Skoda yard I think.



An engine also followed me home....

Image

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Last edited by ewokracing on Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon. Upgrades Round 1.5
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 589
Location: Australia
I'm surprised people collect "Ford Couriers" let alone there being a forum for them !


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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon. Upgrades Round 1.5
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:17 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 770
Location: Melbourne, Australia
gypsy wrote:
I'm surprised people collect "Ford Couriers" let alone there being a forum for them !


I know! :D I think people will collect and share a passion for almost anything though.


Has some old Mazda piston content which is handy: http://fordcouriercollector.com/

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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 770
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Was a nice evening the other night so I took some photos:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:49 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:00 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Australia
That looks sweet.


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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:12 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 770
Location: Melbourne, Australia
I had the wagon up for sale on ausrotary but haven't got any bites so I'm going to keep plugging away at it.

I scored a 5spd box, 626 manual car tailshaft, a clutch & flywheel, pedal assembly, clutch master and slave, hard and flexible lines and some other bits for 99 cents off eBay. Dammit, could have used all of that months ago! At least now I have spares of spares and can put a vc into another project I have if I can't find a mx5 gearbox.

It also looks like the head gasket has started leaking again. I tightened up the head bolts - which is weird that they had loosened up a bit. Seems like the Mazda vc/ma head gasket curse has raised its ugly head. An engine rebuild is on the cards I think.

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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:53 pm
Posts: 408
Location: Adelaide
Glad to hear you are keeping it! It's a very unique wagon with a great history. Good decision 8)


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 Post subject: Re: 1974 RX-4/929 wagon.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Posts: 770
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Unfortunately its not through choice! I'd really like to crack on with my 1300 and the Rover. Wife keeps nagging me that I haven't touched the 1300 in years.

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