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 Post subject: When is a Mazda not a Mazda?
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:55 pm
Posts: 409
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
answer: When it's a Japanese Ford of course!

presenting my 1985 Ford Laser TX3 4WD turbo. observant Mazda fans will know it to be virtually identical to the JDM Familia in every way except for parts of the bodywork. It runs the same turbo B6T engine and 4WD drivetrain, and even has "Mazda Motor Corporation" stamps on the firewall, glass etchings, mirrors, and various pieces of trim. even the chassis code is the same, except for an appended "F" at the end (Familia = BFMR, Laser = BFMRF)

Only 965 TX3s were made for the Japanese market in 4WD turbo guise and were sold at special "Autorama" dealerships. This particular example made its way to New Zealand in 1992 when the first massive influx of JDM vehicles arrived on our shores under the new relaxed import laws.

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i've owned this car for seven years, and have lightly modified it during my tenure of ownership. Notable upgrades include an IHI VF8/VJ12 hybrid turbo, Galant VR-4 intercooler, alloy-sump GT-Ae block, ported and polished head, upgraded injectors and pump, heavy-duty suspension and swaybars, and a rear GT-Ae LSD differential.

For the last two years my TX3's been undergoing a rather thorough ground-up restoration, as a result of an incredibly stupid incident one rainy day - you can read a nice long summary of the key events that took place during this process here (thanks Mike for the writeup). The last of the bodywork was re-attached this weekend just been, and apart from a few window-dressing items still on their way, the restoration is pretty much finished. I do plan to add an aftermarket ECU to control the upgraded fueling system but this isn't slated to happen until later on in the year - for now the car still starts, runs and drives fine so for all intents and purposes it is done!

actually feels good to have completed one of my many projects :D

Got a bit snap-happy after washing it for the first time, you can check out the rest of my album here (which includes photos from before the restoration took place)

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Thanks for looking :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 6:14 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:57 am
Posts: 128
Location: Salem, OR
I never knew that a 4wd turbo version of the Laser was ever sold. I like it :tu:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 6:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:57 pm
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Location: Arlington, TX, USA
Can't decide if it looks more like our Mazda 323GTX or Mercury Tracer, or some unique blended hybrid of both cars...

Either way, I love it... 8)


Tracer:

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323GTX:

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Last edited by john on Tue May 19, 2009 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 6:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:45 am
Posts: 698
Location: indonesia
here in indonesia we also get that gen of laser..offered in two diff. body styles the 3 door hatch n the 5 door hatch.. engines offeredwas the 1.8l DOHC engine for the 3door hatch and the 1.5L SOHC for the 5 door hatch.. while the mazda at that time offered in 2 diff styles a 5 door hatch and a 4 door sedan.. the mazda gets a 1.5l SOHC engine or the 1.3L SOHC..
but the mazda was the more popular choice..
mazda n ford are u can say.. sister company... :lol:
up untill now the mazda3 n ford focus still shares the same platform..engines too... same thing happens with mazdaBT50 n the ford ranger.. and so on and so on... :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 6:46 pm 
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Location: LA
Dang, that thing is a clean, and apparently rare! It's sure got that whole Euro hot hatch look down pat.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:55 pm
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
As the story goes, Ford Australia's original designs for the Laser were rather over the top (along the lines of the Probe V concept car), and Mazda's management balked at it. In the end they decided to drastically tone the car down and the end result is what you see here.

datsunfreak wrote:
Can't decide if it looks more like our Mazda 323GTX or Mercury Tracer, or some unique blended hybrid of both cars...

Either way, I love it... 8)

The Mercury Tracer (released 1987) was based off the Ford Laser (released 1985) but with the 5mph bumpers and licence plate mounting changes.

There were three TX3 turbo versions initally released for the Japanese market: 4WD 1.6l DOHC turbo, FWD 1.6l DOHC turbo, and FWD 1.5l SOHC turbo. My brother owns a SOHC turbo model, and I race a FWD DOHC turbo at amateur level. It's a bit of a beater:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 8:21 pm 
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Orion wrote:
The Mercury Tracer (released 1987) was based off the Ford Laser (released 1985) but with the 5mph bumpers and licence plate mounting changes.


So does that mean the Tracer might easily take a B6T? :P

You can buy those Tracers here for a few hundred bucks. Might be some good cheap fun, and hold up to the B6T better than the Festiva...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 8:56 pm 
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datsunfreak wrote:

So does that mean the Tracer might easily take a B6T? :P

You can buy those Tracers here for a few hundred bucks. Might be some good cheap fun, and hold up to the B6T better than the Festiva...


Not another project!! Although, that would be super cool... especially in one of those brown Tracers ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:55 pm
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
yup the Tracer will take a B6T with ease.

You'll need the gearbox and shafts, a crossmember from the 323 GT turbo (FWD), the driver's side engine mount, and all the requisite wiring, fuel tank, pump and lines...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 9:42 pm 
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Orion wrote:
You'll need the... driver's side engine mount


Which driver's side, yours or mine? :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 2:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:43 pm
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Location: New Zealand
The "Right" one :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 2:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:55 pm
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
aw hell, forgot you guys were left-hook weirdos ;)

As kyteler said, the right hand side mount.

I would quite like to see a Tracer with a B6T actually, surprised it hasn't already been done/discussed more. just a pity about the oddly mounted rear licence plate, makes it difficult to biff the horrible 5mph bumpers and stick some 'normal' Laser ones on. You could change the front end though... and of course, because it has the same underpinnings as a FWD 323 GT all of the suspension mods bolt straight in - much better than a Festiva with its beam axle rear (I've been in one around a track, and it was rubbish). Are Corksport still around?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 4:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:12 am
Posts: 467
Location: Malaysia
Well, I have a rear spoiler and clock (not the digital one) off a B5 SOHC Turbo 323, if anybody needs them. A B8 ECU is also hanging around in my store should anybody needs that one too :)

We don't officially have the turbo versions of both 323 and Laser. Those that are around are grey imports from Japan.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 5:18 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:57 am
Posts: 128
Location: Salem, OR
Corksport is still around and not too far from me... The hard part in the US would be finding a cross member out of a 323 GT. I know that they exist but I have never seen one in person or for sale. 323GTXs are hiding here and there, though. It's a long shot but what about a cross member out of a capri turbo like this...

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7625034@N07/3550664703/" title="Untitled by rallyfreak3, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3050/3550664703_a77a2279e1.jpg" width="500" height="271" alt=""></a>


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 3:38 pm 
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
you can't use the 323 GT-X crossmember as it's 4WD but the Capri crossmember will definitely fit, the chassis is identical :)

in fact either the Capri turbo or non-turbo one could be used, as they're both DOHC B6-based. At a stretch you could even use the non-turbo gearbox.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 5:21 pm 
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Orion wrote:
aw hell, forgot you guys were left-hook weirdos ;)


Not me. All my JNC's have the steering wheel on the "right" side. :wink:

But the Tracer would definitely be a "left hooker"... :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 5:23 pm 
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Orion wrote:
the Capri crossmember will definitely fit, the chassis is identical. in fact either the Capri turbo or non-turbo one could be used, as they're both DOHC B6-based. At a stretch you could even use the non-turbo gearbox.


I was actually thinking about using the non-turbo engine. At least at first. :wink:

But the Capri info helps a lot. Although not exactly abundant, they are easier to find in the boneyard than a 323GTX.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 8:02 pm 
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Posts: 311
Location: Alabama
there's a capri for sale down the road here....
I am strangely drawn to it...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 1:33 am 
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
ohaiz

what be this?

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Link LEM V5 + new loom + Link HEI + NA6CE MX-5 CAS + Mitsubishi igniter and coil pack = hello decent engine management sorcery. I'm terrible at estimating engine outputs and all that crap but I'd be happy to net around 150kW (205PS) at the wheels on moderate boost, given the fueling system and turbo upgrades already in place.

At which point I'll stop, because any more power and my glass gearbox will literally shatter itself to pieces.

and on the OCD side of things: Reproduction factory decal kit, oh yes.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:57 am 
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
well a flurry of activity over the last few months has seen the Link ECU installed, tuned, and the car receiving its reproduction decals and some new wheels to bring it up to a presentable standard, i.e. the way I want it :D

I entered it into the 4 & Rotary Nationals car show late last month, and while it didn't win any awards (my mate's BFMR Familia show car did, however!) I had quite a few people wander past and remark on how tidy it looked and also how you don't see these cars around much anymore. One thing that did bug me a little was that my car got passed over for the "Best Factory Paint/Decals" award in favour of an old Escort which clearly did not have factory-coloured paint (unless metallic black with pink glitter pearl was a Ford option back in the 1970s?)

Only a couple of things left to do on the vehicle at this point in time, namely obtaining the proper front seats to match the rest of the interior trim, ordering some Cusco adjustable camber top mounts for the front suspension (There's a bit of positive camber present as a direct result of my brake upgrade), and finding some proper O.Z racing centre caps for the Superturismos, but other than that - I've officially signed off on this project for good.

now I can turn my attention to the poor neglected SA22C and hope it doesn't take as long as this car to finish (eight years) :twisted:

Tune by Kent Thompson at Speedsource - 143kW (195ps) at all four wheels on 1 bar boost, not bad for the little 1600cc turbo. I could have gone for more power but drivability and preservation of the fragile 4WD 'box were my main concerns.

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and here are some shots of the car with decals, badging and Superturismos.

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