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About ProZac

  • Birthday 27/04/1983

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  1. The motor has good compression, so it'll remain un-opened till tis running and I likely find out it leaks water, hah. The surrounding systems, turbos, alternator, manifolds etc will be receiving attention for sure however :-).
  2. Bloody hell, the saga of these door handles! Definitely could have just bought a new set... I've saved a bit of money this way, but invested a heap of time in its place... Still, every part has a story, its something you touch every time you use the car, and this set is even better than a new set now with the aluminium cast handles instead of the factory plastic pieces. I got a local company to powdercoat the handles, and they did a pretty average job TBH. They said they'd re-coat them, but after waiting a month without that happening, I gave up and just collected them. The coat was so thick in places I couldn't assemble them without cutting bits of it away, and the finish was pretty rubbish... I re-blasted them to get it all off and was back to where I started. After watching a couple of youtube videos (to become an expert in the subject, as we all know that's what youtube is for...) I purchased Eastwoods DIY powercoating setup and some semi-gloss black powder. Wow, this is one of those rare occasions where the reality was actually as easy as it looked on youtube, and the outcome surpassed what I was expecting. Easy process, nice and clean, and super durable finish in exactly the right colour / gloss level to match the factory parts. Handles there ready for final assembly, with some other bits I've got on the boil. I made some better rubber stoppers to set the handle height correctly when the doors are closed. These are 16mm diameter m4 threaded rubber equipment feet that I trimmed down, chucked up in a drill and linished to about 2mm thick, while spinning them in the drill to keep things even. Time will tell if they're up to the task, but this thing will never be a daily again, so I think they'll be okay. Then assembly is simply the reverse of disassembly, with the addition of an m4 flat washer as a shim. Just to the right of the 'B' clamp there. Kind of a pain to get into place, but it removes all the play in the system. All the moving parts got a smear of grease so keep things smooth. You can see the stopper bolts there, but they're not engaged when the handles are fully closed, so are doing nothing whatsoever. With the larger diameter stoppers, the handles close down onto them properly. The original ones seem to small to really do much. One of them was missing on this handle set, and the other was pretty thin. Voila! What a faff for a set of door handles.... But dayum, they do look fine :-). I've blasted all the lock housings, but I need to take the tumblers from the original set so the car is keyed the same all around. Future job, these can get wrapped up and put away in the wardrobe for now. Back onto things the car actually need to run... maybe... I'll probably get distracted by something shiny ;-).
  3. Oh my, what an epic read! Got a few posts in, then decided I'd need to go get some crackers, cheese and coffee, and really enjoy the rest of it! Love your work, bravo!
  4. Thanks mate :-). If you wrote it, I'd read it :-). One concern with extreme detail, is a lack of timely progress.... But as long as you're loving the journey, learning, and sharing, that's way more important. . . . Can't wait to rip a mean skid in it though ;-).
  5. Back to regularly scheduled programming, which is of course restoring things that aren't really necessary right now... But its about the journey right? Or some shit like that... What it is, is delightfully fun :-). If you're not interested in a stupid level of detail about FD3S door handles... uhhhh, you might want to look away. A pair of doorhandles appeared on FB marketplace pretty cheap, because they were really really rough... But they were complete :-). One of mine is missing the plastic trim insert that goes between the lock barrel and the main handle casting, which while not impeding the function, looks hella rough. It's on the drivers side too, so not even like I can ignore it as that's my side of the car! Although I'm not sure for how long, as my four year old (going on fourteen) has informed me that she wants to do a burnout in her red car... Not sure where she is learning these things, but it certainly bought a tear to the eye ;-). The door handles on these are notorious for snapping, as while the main body is cast aluminium, the handle itself is plastic, and after years of stressing and temp cycles... one day, snaparoo. Both of the ones on the car are okay, but the rough set I purchased was snapped on the drivers side. Did I mention they were cheap? Hah. Came with a key though, which is nice. I'll obviously swap my lock barrels into them as having different keys for the doors and ignition is a no-go. Those lock barrels will also undoubtedly get a tickly up, as a nice crisp 'snick, snick, snick' as you insert the key is one of life's pleasures... If you're a weirdo... Which I am. Now, FD3S handles have a known problem that develops over time. As you lift the handle up, they act on a sprung pivot arm which pushes down on the control rod that actuates the door latch. Over time, things wear, and the pivot arm returns further and further, until in its returned position puts the lever point almost in line with the pivot point... This makes the first bit of movement of the handle very, very stiff, and largely contributes to the broken plastic handles, as you really need to wrench on them to open the doors. You can see here a (completely stolen) picture of a new set of handles: vs a totally worn out set (pic also stolen): There is a documented mod to fix this, which on the surface seems to makes sense, and that is to carefully drill and tap the lever arm and install a small fastener that stops it returning too far. I went ahead and did this, and it 'sort of' fixes the problem, but its more of a band-aid, and doesn't really address the root cause. With the handles assembled, and everything held in place like it should be, I scribed a line on the pivot arm in the 'most returned' position it should sit in. Then I offset from this the radius of the head of an m4 cap screw, punched, drilled and tapped: Voila, problem solved, right!? Yes, but also no. As the pivot return spring now returns the pivot onto this installed stop, it no longer returns the handle onto its intended stop, which is this small push in rubber grommet that sits underneath the handle itself. So what the newly installed stop ends up doing is ensuring that the pivot doesn't over-return, but that the handle is no longer pulled down tight onto this stop. This means the handle, and attached pivot have an amount of free-play, so they rattle terribly. Can't have that. I think the over all root cause of the initial problem is this small rubber stop wearing out. This is compounded by a small amount of wear in the pivot arm linkages also. Both of these problems we can fix however :-). The following fixed should work with the original plastic handles too, but because one of mine was already broken, I bought a pair of the replacement cast aluminium ones. They look basically identical though. I drilled and tapped (M4) the small hole the push in rubber stopped goes into, and then modified some M4 rubber equipment feet, shortening them down to ~2.3mm. I figured this would give an amount of adjustability if needed, but TBH, I just put them in as tight as they would go, secured them with a nut on the back side, and they were spot on from the get-go. I've also sand, and then vapor blasted the handle bodies in these pics, that's why they look so shiny :-). Stupid me didn't take a photo of what it looks like installed from the front, but I'm sure you can imagine. I'll have one later when they're all assembled. The other part of this problem is that wear in the pivot arm itself. I think this is actually a pretty small contributor to the over all problem, but tuning it up a little can't hurt. I grabbed a couple of M4 washers, which were pretty terribly manufactured, resulting in different thicknesses from 0.7mm to 1.1mm... This was great though, as it meant I had options, as I was going to use one as a shim :-). Ended up on around 0.8mm being about right. You can see it installed between the rod-clamp, with 'B' on it, and the handle itself. Depending on which side you put a shim here, it will move the handle relative to the housing, so make sure you put it on the side that results in it looking right :-). Probably different for every combination. I suspect thinner plastic shims, installed on each side would be a better option. This limits the side to side play in the pivot, and just generally tunes everything up so its a bit nicer. With all that sorted, I fully assembled them with everything in place and damn, satisfying result! Lovely smooth action, no stiff point at the beginning of the travel, no rattle, nice and sorted. I left the over-return stop in place, the spring was returning the handles onto the new rubber stoppers, and it was only *just* touching the cap-head stop. This means that if those rubber stoppers don't live up to the task (a total possibility), the pivot will still work, but things will just start to rattle again, letting me know I need to find a better rubber stopper solution down the line... Cross that bridge if I come to it? With the mechanicals sorted, next up is the cosmetic restoration, which has turned in a slight cluster-fuck. Choose your powdercoaters wisely my friends!
  6. I FIXED SOMETHING THE CAR ACTUALLY NEEDS TO BE DRIVABLE! Okay, but its also an OCD wank-fest... Sooooo best of both worlds? The stopper that actuates the brake light switch on the pedals was missing, as it had crumbled into oblivion, this is really common apparently. I ordered a new one as they're only a few bucks, expecting to just chuck it in and call it job done. While I was under there, I checked the brake light switch itself though, and found it to be faulty too. These switches have two circuits in them, one normally open, one normally closed (although this terminology becomes confusing when you start thinking about the position of the brake pedal, as it actually releases the switch when the pedal is pressed...). The normally open circuit (smaller terminals), wasn't working. It occasionally closed its contacts if you pushed the plunger really hard, and squinted just right... But not reliably. I have no idea what this circuit is actually for in the car, but there are wires going to it, so I figure I should make it work. About this time a set of pedals popped up on FB marketplace local that were pretty cheap, so I thought, why not? Went and grabbed em. They had a good stopper for the brake light switch, and a good brake light switch itself, so I swapped them into the car, and hey presto, all fixed :-). Job done, right? Yeah, nah. The pedals are a really cool feature of these cars, as they're aluminium from the factory, which is a little uncommon. I now had a spare set of ragged, run down pedals, and, well, you know how much I love overboard restoring things.... First up was the stuffed switch. Getting it apart was pretty easy, just a couple of crimped tabs. Gave everything a really good clean, and sanded the contacts with 400 grit. Re-lubed with dielectric grease, assembled, and presto, all working perfectly again :-). The pedal bodies are bare-metal from factory, as they aren't really exposed to the elements. Still, they looked pretty grunge. I blasted everything, and had the bodies powder coated satin black. The pedals themselves are just awesome, I love the stiffener bracket in there, and the pedal faces just being raw, no rubber covers. Very sports car, much wow. That pedal isn't painted, that's just the vaporblasted finish, and it looks fookin lovely :-). I sent another batch of stuff through Christchurch Metal Refinishers for zinc and gold passivation, they're just bloody awesome guys in there. All the hardware for these was included in that lot. The springs in particular came out looking very very pretty :-). Assembly was the reverse of disassembly. I lubed with red rubber grease as I know it'll play nicely with the plastic bushings. Nothing complicated here, but a damn satisfying result. Obviously I did the clutch pedal as well, as they need to match! More parts to squirrel away in the wardrobe for the future when the car one day gets a major tear-down and rebuild, or when I finally admit to myself that is what I'm already doing....
  7. More waiting, more restoring parts that don't actually help the thing run.... A front wiper motor popped up for sale cheap, so I nabbed it. I'd done the rear motor, so figured I should do the front too. In the scheme of things, not terrible, but stuffed powder coat, a bit of rust setting in, and filthy. Atleast it actually ran at a decent speed though, so better than the rear one! Blew it apart, cleaned everything up, sanded the commutator and gave the brushes a tickle up, they have heaps of life left yet. Didn't go full-bore on this and get everything re-zinc plated, most of the bits were absolutely fine, just needed a good clean, aluminium housing blasted, and the motor casing painted. Reassembly time. Nothing complicated here. I was a little bit of an idiot and didnt mark the alignment of the pivot arm when I disassembled it. I'll be able to sort that when fitting it to the car though. Draws a little less current and sounds smoother than it did before the job, so that's got to be a score :-). Spent a few evenings sanding down, then back up through the grades, and polishing all the exterior lights. The fogs are ones I stripped and had the housings powdercoated when I had the white car, were still sitting in a box in the garage, so that's a score. Really early cars like mine have yellow lenses inside the fogs, but I prefer the clear ones, so was nice to have this set from a later model car. The yellow ones are still on my car, so maybe they'll get a resto at some point too, nice to have options :-). Everything has new LED bulbs. I'll need to put a load resistor in parallel in the indicator circuit somewhere to trick the flasher / body ecu thingee, but that should be all the lighting sorted and ready to fit. I've got a few balls up in the air restoring other parts, the door handles are an interesting one, waiting for them to come back from powdercoat. I'm also modding a set of aftermarket headlights to bring them into the 21st century, but I'm not a hundy on how that's going to work out, will be interesting. One day soon I'll stop procrastinating and dive into the engine bay again.
  8. Hah, Bryce bought those indicators off me 10+ years ago ;-). I nabbed them over from the states if I remember correctly.
  9. Just caught up on your latest progress, whoa, that's turned into a full resto, noice! Those seatbelts, front wiper cowl and seat adjuster bits are still sitting on my bench at work. Bloody hell I'm slack sorry!
  10. Have had a heap of work on over the last couple of months, so really haven't managed to get much done on the car. That contract winds up soon though, and I might take a break from the side hustle work for a bit and focus on making some progress on this thing. I have managed to find a little time this week to continue on with cleaning up the rear end though. I've also spent time researching and purchasing heaps of parts I know I'm going to need down the line. Had quite a bit of FOMO about stuff going out of stock and becoming NLA, so I've now got pretty much every single exterior rubber trim piece sitting in the closet for when it gets painted in a couple of years time. Wasn't cheap, the local Mazda dealer loves me, hah. I've got everything planned and ordered for the new EM harness, it's the last major piece missing that would make it a runner. I've been waiting 2 months for connector bodies and pins though, and the tracking is stalled in China, so I'm losing a bit of hope there, might have to reorder. I've never had anything not show up from Aliexpress, but a couple of times its taken 6+ months :-(. I'll eventually run an aftermarket ECU in this thing (Have a Link Fury sitting on the shelf gathering dust), but I'll build the harness to mostly factory spec (although much better materials) with a couple of additions for WB02 integration, and anything else I think of. Then I'll just make up adaptor headers if I want to change to another ECU down the track. I've got an original S6 ECU to get it up and running on, and a Power FC there also, so lots of options. Gotta say, I've never seen overspray like this thing has. It's everywhere and bloody ridiculous. The vapor blaster at work has been getting a work out this week! This is what it the rear looked like originally. A lot of the overspray is clearcoat that has dust and shit all through it. Terrible grainy texture and makes everything look permanently dirty. After some attention in the blaster though, looks much more betterer. I dismantled all the wiring too, cleaned, blaster and rewrapped it. Looks factory fresh now. Also the the impact foam, as it was basically black with a reddish tinge. Looking much tidier, you know for something you'll never see. In with my latest order from Mazda were the rear bumper brackets that had rusted into oblivion. One day soon I'll reassemble that and get the bumper skin back on there. I've been in contact with Racing Beat about their twin tip muffler, as it's the only muffler I want on this thing, and they're currently out of stock of the center section (which I also need). They said to check back later in the year. It'll be spendy to get it over here, but ultimately worth it I think as I'll never have to worry about an exhaust again. I sourced a replacement rear spoiler for this, another stock S6 one as I really like them. The one that was on there was cracked, and had been glued on with some terrible bathroom caulking like shit. I had to smash it to remove it, as it was the only way I could think of without risking lots of damage to the boot lid. As it is, the paint on the boot lid suffered, so will get a super dodgy touch up in the meantime. While I had the trunk trim off I chucked some power on the rear wiper motor. It drew lots of current, and was really slow. Popped it out and the was like a ball of rust inside, super gunked up. Blew it totally apart, gave everything in there the big clean, reassembled and now it's like a new one :-). Ready for refitting. While I was in the mood for a couple of little jobs this week, I grabbed some plastic trim pieces from the engine bay. The air guide pieces that go around the headlights were just awful. Red overspray and trapped dirt, with all the rubber pieces attached to them brittle and cracked. Disassembled, cleaned up the plastics and painted them with CRC Black Zinc, as I find it adheres really well to PP plastic as long as you do light coats, and gives a nice OEM looking finish. I scanned the remains of the rubber pieces, cad'd templates and laser cut some new ones out of some rubber sheet of a similar thickness, then put them all back together after tuning up the speed nuts a little so they would grip again. Also ready for refitting. While satisfying, none of these little jobs do anything to get the thing closer to running or driving! Really need that order of connectors to show up! Might have to bite the bullet and reorder from another supplier. If these ones show up later, I can always make another harness and sell it I suppose. Will be back into hiatus on this for the next couple of months while I 100% finish up this contract, then make some more progress over the Christmas break I hope.
  11. I got sick of waiting for the 'E' harness I bought off yahoo auctions to show up. This harness has all the starting, charging and power supply stuff in it, and not having one meant I couldn't power anything in the car up. I figured I was always going to end up rebuilding this harness, as the OEM ones are all pretty shot by now, but the one from japan was relatively cheap and I was hoping to use it to get things tested initially... I got busy and built the main supply and grounding wires. Everything is a bit larger than OEM (sorry Mazda lightweight engineers) as I wanted to use stuff I mostly already had. Still, nice beefy main battery cables wont hurt. I remember reading a Mazda TSB ages ago about moving the ground locations from the brackets they are originally bolted to, to the body and engine directly, so I built the new wiring to suit this. The positive battery terminal unit is the first power distribution point. There are a couple of connectors that go into the bottom of it that send power to various places via fusible links. There are three cables that bolt to it, one goes directly to the starter, and the others to the alternator output and second power distribution box via the main 120A fusible link. Now I could actually power up all the body stuff. Much to my surprise, most things worked pretty well! Power mirrors aren't giving any response, and the windows are a bit slow to go up and down, but probably just need some lubing. Most annoying was the passengers side headlight. It went up, but would not come down. Looking at the FSM to see how they work I suspected it was the wiper contact on the motor output. Got it out and on the bench and it didn't look too bad... But some attention with some 400grit, cleaning and re-greasing and I now have two pop up up and down headlights. I need to build a bit more of this harness section, as the alternator control wiring, starter signal, and a few other wires go through it. Not a major though. Then I need to build the main 'EM' harness, which is the actual engine control harness, and I should be able to start the thing! Waiting on parts for that, and freight times suck worldwide at the moment... But we're all struggling with that. No rush eh? ;-).
  12. Except that it would seem your inbox is full, reach out on the faeboes, or electronic mail, or something? Chur :-).
  13. Couldn't wait, needed to know! Chucked a battery on it and jumpered to the starter. Pressure sensor installed in a modified junk spark plug, power supply, oscilloscope... A good hours work for some numbers. Front is around 100 - 105 - 105 (psig) Rear is around 110 - 110 - 105 (psig) Those are cold numbers, so a bit higher than what a hot test will show, but I'm pretty confident off that the motor is fundamentally healthy. A few k's on it for sure, but evenish readings and decent numbers. At the least it means it's worth piecing together the rest of the bay and getting it running before yanking the engine to change the turbos. I can also confirm the oil pump is working, because there is now a not insubstantial amount of oil over the garage floor. Onwards and roundwards :-).
  14. Lubed it up and span it over by hand and nothing feels weird. Almost feel too free But, there are no plugs in it... Hmmmm. Very smooth, goes choof choof at the right times. Bring on that starting / charging harness, want to compression test!
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