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MechanicJay's blog

The List


Once I went through the entire car and figured out everything that needed to be done,  I realized it was far too long of a list to keep in my head.  So, I made a list a running task list that's been added to as I've found new and exciting issues to address.  The following represents what is needed to bring the car back to "perfect", so obviously some of them are things I'll address in the longer term. 

1) Change Oil

2) Change Transmission Fluid

3) Replace Coolant/Heater hoses/Fresh Coolant

4) Replace Brake Hoses / Fresh Brake Fluid

5) Replace Serpentine Belts

6) Replace Spark Plugs

7) Replace Spark Plug Wires

8) Replace Distributor Caps and Rotors

9) Replace Air Filters

10) Replace Fuel Filters

11) Replace Wiper Blades


Holy fluids Batman!

As part of my rehabiliation of the car, I'm changing all the fluids.  I don't have good (any) service records from before I inherited the car and the records I do have from the year or two before it was parked are, let say sketchy at best.  I'm pretty sure most of the fluids in the car are original, save for Engine Oil and at possibly the transmission fluid. 

It came as a bit of a surprise to me the obscene quantities of *everything* this car takes.  I"ll just list it below:

Coolant: 16 quarts (yes, 3 gallons)

Engine Oil: 8 quats (yes, 2 gallons of oil)

Transmission: 4 quarts ATF (that what you can get in a change, the trans hold 13 quarts)

Rear Differential: 2 quarts 90w oil

Breaks: Dunno, just bought a fresh quart.

Pentosin*: 3 Litres.


And the collection of it all:


My Grandpa's Car



I'm not certain where to start with the story of this, I guess I'll start at the beginningish.


1983 Rx-7 -- How does it drive?

I was having a discussion on the forums about this car.  The question came up:  "How does it drive?"  What follows is my answer.


New York International AutoShow 2010

As is annual tradition I recently went to the Jacob Javit Convention Center to catch the AutoShow.   I didn't take many pictures, mostly because lighting on the floor was strange and I was having a difficult time getting exposures correct.  Regardless I saw some stuff that's worth talking about.
The Mazda 2 / Ford Fiesta
As many manufacturer's entry level rides have grown in size over the last 20 years, they've been introducing new smaller models to fill in the sub-compact offering.  (ie. The Honda Fit took the place of the Civic as the current Civic is just about the same size as a late 80's accord).  So it is with Mazda.  While the Mazda 3 is an great car, if you're looking for something a bit smaller, you'd better look elsewhere.  Enter the Mazda 2 (and it's brother the Ford Fiesta).


Spring (Overdue) Miata maintenance.

Well, I decided to take advantage of the nice weather this weekend (and the fact I finally have my 323 all sorted out) and do the timing belt/water pump on the miata that I've been putting off (and off and off).

I was pleasantly surprised when I popped the valve cover off how incredibly clean it is under there. I expected there to be quite a bit of varnishing at 155K miles, but there is hardly any discoloration and no cruddy buildup *anywhere* under the valve cover. This is where I figure that Mobil1 oil changes every 5K since new has been worth it.


The Epic 323 project.

As I've been fighting with "The Best Car in the World" over the last couple of weeks, I've reached a level of frustration that has tested even my happy-go-lucky demeanor.   This is sort of an epic saga which..well, perhaps I should just start at the beginning.


2 years ago after an unfortunate overheating incident, I purchased a new cylinder head and installed it.  The car was never quite right afterwards.  The bottom end knock that appears a couple thousand miles later was the end of it.

I hit up Harry's U-Pull it in Hazelton PA during one of their specials.  I found an '89 323 that looked well cared for, but had been rear-ended pretty hard....cost $60.



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