PROJECT 'ROTARVETTE'

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PROJECT 'ROTARVETTE'

Postby shoveitnz » 11 Oct 2006, 00:21

I've had two chevettes before this one. My first was a 2.3 slant four job with Piazza running gear which i'd started during my apprenticeship, sold recently whilst back in NZ and is now hopefully going to be raced in the North Island. then here in Blighty Hannah and I bought a black hatch 1256 with a lovely '80s bodykit that we had great plans for which didn't eventuate and it ended up as a runabout. Now its in Scotland somewhere.
I've always fancied having one with a Mazda rotary engine- especially after we had bought a Gen 1, s3 rx7 2 years ago- and fell in love with the engine. I like the simplicity of the engines, the way they rev so smoothly and the sound is very unique (some like it- some hate it!) I kept picturing a little Chevette with a really tidy engine install- the motor sitting right back and low. The RX7 was nice and quick standard and with a chevette weighing 200kgs lighter it should be fun! I will be ditching the standard carb for a Weber IDA and with that and a good exhaust i'm hoping for 160BHP (possibly up to 180) on standard ports.
The g/box sits higher on a rotary so I'm expecting some tunnel raising and the sump will have to be spun around if I want the engine to sit behind the crossmember.

This thread is being posted on both the Mazdarotaryclub.com forum ( a bunch of nutters- very keen on modifications and speed it seems, especially some of the blokes in Aussie) and the Chvettes.com forum..another bunch of of very funny nutters- both forums well used worldwide too. So I'm going to write enough info for both parties to understand the ins and outs of each respective marque- rotarys in particular being not very well known about unless your a fan!

So starting with the RX7 which I bought first from somewhere near Manchester I have been stripping all the crap off the engine. The engine is a 12A which is fitted to all Gen 1 Rx7s. Later Gen 2 and onwards from 1986 have a 13B with slightly bigger capacity9hence the 1.2, 1.3...) and this engine in much moddified form is still being used today in the RX8.
anyway- this 12A is covered with emissions crap so off with that lot and i'm now almost ready to pull the motor out- week nights being dark and no lighting so its just weekends i've got right now till a workshop is built....
PHOTOS SOON.
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 11 Oct 2006, 00:21

photos..
Image

Image

Image
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 17 Oct 2006, 15:02

After all that rain I ordered 12 tonne of stone. I then borrowed a mini digger (which was fun) and now we have a decent place to play with cars on- whatever the weather. And i've got permission to build a garage/carport which when done will make a big difference to work hours possible.
So after a full Saturday of shifting stone etc and getting the MK Bedford next door going again it was back into car mode. The Chevette has been dormant for a long time so first thing was to get some fuel up to the engine but when nothing appeared I checked the fuel pipe between filter and pump- Completely rotten ! So some pipe from the RX solved that. Then check for spark..nothing. There was feed to coil so dizzy next- points buggered! With the car came loads and loads of spares including 4 sets of points! So with new ones in place and set, the little engine eventually sprung into life but only on full choke- as soon as I gave some throttle she died so a stuck needle? Took top off Stromberg and the needle was covered in what smelt like varnish- really old fuel I guess? Cleaned it up and back in place she ran great! YES. pumped tyres up and off for a spin..going great till I applied brakes and rear wheels locked up. Bugger. Rode clutch and freed them off and made mental note not to use brakes again unless a possible tree/truck/old lady could become involved..
So a quick little drive on the lanes here and she goes really well! I'm very happy.
Now up on blocks to free up rear cylinders.

Really good news now. After having a good look over she's even less rusty then I thought. Solid underneath, Waxoil everywhere. The rust I thought was on end of one sill is just a little bit at the bottom of rear arch. Apart from some acne on the rear arches and the front valance trying to make a run for it the worst is four holes along the top of the drivers side sill under the rubber seal. As far as I'm concerned its a good solid car and I love it when I don't have to weld underneath cars !!!!
Even under the battery is solid! My chevette in Blenheim NZ (a very dry area) had more rust!

The RX7 just sat there- hopefully this weekend coming will see all the bits I want plus engine and box out. Then its off to China. So any first Gen people reading this- is there any bits of trim you might require?
some pictures...
of said carb needle..
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With new stone down lifes a bit less muddy...
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The only rust i'll have to risk splatter in my ears for...
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And finally the nearside arch in all its glory...
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NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 29 Oct 2006, 22:21

This weekend has been spent buying a ferret for girlfriends little sister and trying to tidy wiring up on a £50 Yamaha Sr 125...
So the chevette has only had a little time spent on it...
The rear drums were locking on. I've now stripped both sides and cleaned out the wheel cylinders and fit a seal kit that came with the car on one side. The rubbers were ok anyway.
I'd love to say weather I've fixed em but now another tyre has blown out on its sidewall. Both tyres that were facing the sun over the last few years are badly perished so its off to get some second hand ones.
I'm going to order a load of timber and build myself a garage these next few evenings.I'm going to beat these less than ideal conditions...till it floods..
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 07 Nov 2006, 16:49

well- I now have a garage. This will stop the rain hopefully.....
Image
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 01 Dec 2006, 15:39

After building the main garage structure its been odd nights here and there filling it up. i built a nice solid bench, chucked some shelves up and moved the Rx7 in. Then I spent a week rebuilding a bus door for our neighbour so that meant no work done to Rx7...
Moving on. I thought it prudent to reinforce the main rafter before lifting out engine. decided to lift out engine and box complete so I know the rafter can handle it.....

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Once out- came out easily- i built a little cradle to hold engine in and with two handles its really easy to move about...

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Now I'm stripping the car of any other useful parts before it finds its way to China...
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 13 Dec 2006, 20:04

For those who havnt seen the latest antics from me on the general discussion I have just bought another chevette.
Its only done 25,000 miles with service history and condition to back that up. I've not found any rust (but for stone chips etc) anywhere and its in generally fantastic condition with 7 months ticket left.
drove it back from london and have been loving nipping about in it-its an auto with a nice fat tunnel and the little auto box aint too bad.
Now my 4th chevette I've owned...most likely not the last....

here it goes...

Image
Image
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 30 Dec 2006, 20:30

No posts recently but work on the car has been going well!
Hannah took it out for a day of general hacking about town and even with an autobox she came back well happy with it which is good as shes paying half of all costs...

First thing i did after that was to give it a good clean. Then some Halfords cutting compound to take off the dull paint followed by some really good wax I brought over from NZ.
Looking nice and shiney on the outside- and showing all the dents dammit.
Next step.. the inside- my theory on car projects is that if the interior is a nice to be in then everytime I hop inside I'll just want to finish it and drive it.
And when drinking tea (or whatever else) inside car it'll be more satisfying making brmmm brmm sounds..


So out with the mint but yucky brown interior and in with the grey from the other car. Whille all the cards were out I cleaned out the dust and other crap that accumulates in doors- found a diasbled parking permit - and waxoyled the lot. It looks as if its had some waxoyl or something in the past unless the factory puts some thing in there? Swapped the dashes over- now black not brown. Swapped over pedal boxes.

I removed the carpet and found the factory build sheet under the noise insulation! Among all the info it lists the optional extras that car was to have including heavyduty suspension which explains the US made bright red Gabriel front shocks I spotted.

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I'd bought some recaros from ebay. Out of some rs fiesta they bolted in really easy- pictures later when its all sorted inside.

Engine bay time. Removed old lump. Then weighed it. 115kgs with both manifolds and alt, starter etc. auto box weighed in at 45 kgs!
I then weighed mazda engine with new inlet manifold but old heavy carb plus starter and alt.....130kgs! I did think it would be lighter but there is alot of iron there. Mazda box weighs in at 35 so overall sod all difference then.
Sod nows what my old 2.3 in NZ weighed then- I know a pintos about 190kgs!
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Removed the front crossmember and with loads of petrol and a big old tray to sit it in removed the 23 years worth of gunk. I cut off old engine mounts- no going back there. Discovered bad surface rust under them so its a good place to check on a rusty car if you've got the crossmember out.
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Treated it all and on with some black hammerite.

Refit crossmember and then cut out all the wiring, removed the master cylinder, vacuum unit and brake lines.
On with cleaning engine bay out- loads of paint gone from a leaky master cylinder. I've now decided that once engine mounts are sorted i'll paint the bay shiney grey as the brown makes the bay seem small and dark.
Removed heater box and found loads of leaf matter lurking. What the hell is the sticky blu-tack like goo used to seal the lot in place? I think i'll use silicon to replace it..

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Today I lowered the rotary in place- then took it out. It seems that compared to the Aussie geminis where they just hammer the hell outta the tunnel my tunnel is lower? Maybe autos have a low wide tunnel but I didnt want to hammer it that much as it would only end up with loads of dents and cracks. So out with mr makita jigsaw and chop the top off.
I didnt like the shape of the tunnel top anyhow...

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Lowered it back in (easy too) and with a jack under the box I have it where its going to sit. Looks nice in there and sits almost smack in the middle.
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So the gearbox is long! Gearlever will be to far back but the aussies shorten the linkage and 100 mms forwards would be fine. My haynes RX7 manual shows a different box shape so I'll pull the top off and have a gander...
Tomorrow i'll measure up and build a engine crossmember.
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 01 Jan 2007, 21:15

The engine position...I thought after sitting it in place that it needs to go back further and down...with the IDA on top and filter I feel a bonnet bulge coming on....
but several things make it tricky;
The manifold will foul the servo unit and the clutch slave will foul the heater if it moves back anymore.
As for the gear lever..I took it all out again yesterday and took all the selector mech apart.
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I've managed to move it all forwards by 102mm.

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Then I made a silhouette of the sump and with some string and lots upside down antics I worked out that the engine with its sump turned around will sit back 80mms further and 25mm down but then the gear lever will be only 20mm in front of hand brake.. and the servo will have to go.

So it would be a right mare! And lots of fabrication work is outta the question as I'm currently getting all my power from a honda generator and it definately won't run a welder.

My 2.3 chevette in NZ was mounted to far forwards and probably weighed half again but still handled great so I'm happy enough with this one.
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 01 Jan 2007, 21:19

Today I was let loose in the garage nearby and have started the building of the engine crossmember. My work welder ran out of wire 10 minutes in(should have checked) but anyway its a **** gasless mig so I used the welder in the garage and cracked on. I'm taking a day off work tomorrow while i've use of the garage and should have it all sorted and sitting there without a chain block- which will make the car easier to drive..

Start of crossmember....

Image
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 03 Jan 2007, 15:11

I took the day off work and cracked on with the engine crossmember and gearbox support. The crossmember came together nicely and is probably overbuilt but doesn't seem to weigh too much so better safe then sorry...

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Once that was sorted and in place I started on the g/box support. I ended up using the old Rx7 one and hacking it a bit shorter then welding some box section to it. I bolted in place some 3mm thick plates I had formed to match the curves in the trans tunnel. Its a bloody pain that I don't have a welder in the garage because it meant marking all the odd shapes, bits and pieces as close as i could then going over to the other garage, weld them and hope it was right. I got it right though- and finally was able to remove the jack, stand back and admire the little motor sitting in place.

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While taking the photos underneath I noticed the void where the starter motor should be and thought-oh sh1t will it fit?...
It does! phew. It has about 20mm clearance but if i had tried mounting engine further back it certainly would have fouled the chassis rail!
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So now I'll sort out the radiator. I'm hoping the Rx7 one might fit in place with a bit of hacking about to the old rad supports. I'm going to chop another hole in the valance in order to let more air in particularly for the oil cooler.
Then out with the engine again to begin cleaning and painting it and the bay. The fun bit!
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 19 Jan 2007, 22:01

well- latest stuff done is chop out all the excess metal that was holding the little rad in place and then with some angle iron in the vice i bent up some new bodywork to hold the rx7 rad. it had to go in at a slight angle but with it all sealed up in front the air has no where to go through it.
mount oil cooler in front- this is important as its responsible for 1/3 of the engines cooling.
Plenty of room behind rad for the electric fan.
Then hoses next. The bottom outlet i had to move so out with the gas and some solder. after lots of searching through hose stocks at motor local factor I actually discovered that the bottom hose from mates wrecked mk3 sh1t chopped in half was perfect for top hose.
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Now the clutch.. a holesaw made quick work and after measuring how far the rx7s pedal moved the master cylinder shaft i drilled the chevette clutch pedal. some panel beating to make a flat area for the master to sit and it all now bolts up nice.
Just bought a nos clutch disc for a tenner inc postage off ebay!
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Axle time- after taking the torque tube off and comparing it to the chevette HS 2300 theres quite a difference to the size of components! As i'm missing the mounting bits for the front of the HS axle I'm now on a hunt for either manta A, mk1 cav or HS bits to get it in place. So in the meantime I've moved onto the exhaust manifold.
The Rx7 pipes come out too far so I chopped 'em off and bought some bends from an engineering firm. Hopefully this weekend i'll get enough of it welded together to get down to the back of tunnel then leave the rest to an exhaust place to build up something - thats if I can find a place in oxford that actually has a pipe bending machine! Apparently it seems that in this city of 120,000 no one actually has said machine!!!! I cannot believe this-coming from a town of 30,000 with two such machines and very competant fellas using them.
If anyone knows of a place that actually builds exhausts in oxford-not just fits them- please..i'd love to know.
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 30 Jan 2007, 21:49

Using some 90 degree bends designed for railings and the old exhaust header pipes from RX7 I was able to finally get something sorted without the need for an expensive trip to Brackley(about the closest good exhaust place I know of to Oxford.
The bends were only £2.50 each and were exactly the right thickness and diameter to match up to the stumps I had left on the original flanges.
Cut a bit here, eye it up, jump on old postie bike and ride down to landlords garage to tack in place, back to car-trial fit and repeat. Many times..15 trips on bike- exhaust getting bigger each time.
The back pipe was a pig as it had to come out with as shallow a bend as possible then duck up, in and down to clear the servo and the steering column. I tried to match the lengths as well as possible and once all painted up and in place I'm very happy with the result!
I'll need to make or buy a 2 into one collector- if any one can advise a place on the net I can browse as my fears were confirmed when I rang around all the local places and no one MAKES exhausts here!

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Then I covered up the hole in the tunnel. looks alot better and less drafty..
Pulled engine and box out. Engine is up on bench getting cleaned and a minor polish (harder then I thought with only autosol and elbow grease!)
engine bay getting messy seams tidied up and repainted.
Not sure on colours yet- not too zany -has to go well with old man brown.
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 05 Feb 2007, 22:06

well I'm very happy as I've spent last week or so prepping the engine bay which is all good fun. I've tried not to get too carried away because its still a dented up car in brown but I did fill in the seam between the shock turret tops and the inner wings- never a nice looking bit as aways looking dirty and as if the factory screwed up in the design stage...
A bit of sanding, some primer, spray putty and finally over the weekend lots of silver and lots of clearcoat.
Very happy with result considering all done with spray cans.

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Between coats I started on engine. Cleaning up the aluminum bits was harder then I thought and always had me thinking ...why shouild I bother- I dont know how good this engine is and its going to blow up..
Polished it up just enough and painted it. I'm very very happy with the colour! Its going to look cool...well I think so...
So fun removing the masking tape on these engines!

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Next up- tidy gearbox bell housing and then refit engine.
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 20 Feb 2007, 14:58

Project coming along nicely- I'm at that point where its pick up a component, clean it, paint it and fit it! Not having to think too much right now as mostly its just refitting standard mazda or chevette bits. minimal bodging needed :D

My new steering rack bits arrived from TJ motorsport. Thanks Tim. Two extra teeth on the pinion cuts lock to lock from 3.5 to 2.4 turns. Cool.
Stripped rack and with only 25,000 miles on car showed no wear. Swapped bits and all good.

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Then just as I was fitting a new clutch disc (Ebay-£10 inc postage-bargin!!!) I noticed the spigot bearing sitting in bits at bottom of its little cave. sh1t! No seal was present where there should be one. Ordered a new bearing and seal but to remove old required the use of my now very worn Die grinder.

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By Sunday evening last weekend after some last minute bell housing polishing I had engine and box sitting
in place on my freshly painted mounts.
Phew! Onto the refit.
The master cylinder was failing on the car when I drove it back from london. I checked the one in the spares car and that was just as dire. A local motor factor rang me back after I was asking for a seal kit and informed me they had a new master cylinder complete and I got for only £70 (RRP £120)

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Soooo happy- fitted it in with freshly painted servo and its looking like a new car in there! now doing new brake lines- more photos soon.
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 02 Mar 2007, 14:56

Gave my oil cooler a clean last night and its passable maybe until I hit one pot hole and all the fins fall out...

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painted up servo all nice and shiny.

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Now sorting out air cleaner etc. 14" edlebrock one I ordered was too big and fouled the bonnet. so a 10" one and some bodging should do.
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 28 Mar 2007, 14:33

Work has slowed down as I've got to start getting some miles in on pushbikes. Its now smaller jobs which at first seem easy on paper but turn out to be a right mare in practice!

I fit the radiator and connected up the hoses, fit the oil cooler. Enough room behind rad to fit an electric fan so on the hunt for one of them now.
Cleaned up the dizzy with a new cap and while trying to find a new set of leads found some british brand which you can swap the ends around for different exit angles etc. And they are ORANGE.
Heres a pic of it all less manifolds,carb and some wiring...

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I spent this last weekend under the car with odd bits of 2" tube and various bends eyeing up the exhaust. Mark with tipex, out from under car and cut, re check, walk to other garage and tack, back to car, check, remark another bit and so on- half the time was spent crawling in and out from under car or walking to garage!

Very tight under there- I had bought one big muffler off net and been givin two other smaller stainless ones (Thanks very much Era!!!) and I needed them all to keep it bearable noise wise.
Finally sorted it though- floor needed some clearance (big hammer..) and it might knock in a couple of places which I'll sort with carefully hoseclipped on springs.....me- bodger?

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Other night I taped up manifold- keep the heat down in bay.
Its nasty fiberous stuff so did it outside.
Its just like putting tape on pushbike handle bars only bigger.... easy job...

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After two hours of very careful wrapping and lots of tea I had finished one half and I must say I'm very happy with the result!!! proper job.

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:shock:
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 23 Apr 2007, 14:46

Last few weeks since last post i've been continuing on in between bike rides in the sunny weather.
I fit exhaust in place - not without some hacksawing about the old gbox mounts which i found fouled the exhaust once tightened up. awkward bloody job.

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The bend over the axle was going to knock the body so my master bodge (of which i'm very proud) was a transit bonnet spring hose clipped to top of bend. now the exhaust is suspended perfectly.

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Next step was the axle swap. This picture shows the differnce in size between the standard axle and the HS one- which is bloody heavy...talk about about massive unsprung weight!

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It went in nice and easy- should do anyway. Just need to get some brake bits for it.

Then turreting- a job I wasnt looking forwards to as it would involve moving car to other garage to welds in the buggers. It turned out an easy job and satisfying. The boot floor has plates spot welded in place where the turrets normally are in saloons/HS's. These spot weld I drilled out and smacked the plates from above with hammer and wood which poped them out. Easy.

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Then some sheet steel- 1mm thick for sides and 3mm for top. Bent it to shape in vice and cut out top shape with jigsaw. welded Them up inside and out.

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Removed springs and sat car down on bump stops with shocks fully extended through holes- gave an extra 10mm and marked arch.

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I then cut the turrets to the right shape to follow boot floor contour and end up at marked height.
Then towed car around to garage and welded them in. Done.

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The alternator had a bloody rough bearing so took it apart, replaced it and gave the housings a clean,paint and polish. Looks really nice on top of engine, all matching gayness...

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I done the new fuel tank return feed and new fuel line and have now started all the rewiring. Fun with lots of excuses to be anal about tidyness. photos soon.

alex
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 30 Apr 2007, 15:17

Fuel system needed a return line installing for standard Nikki carb. I used the standard chev line and fitted a new 8mm main feed to carb. Filled the tank with soapy water and dilled a hole, then punched it bigger which allowed a nice dip for solder to fill in. A bit of copper pipe worked nicely.

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Now the wiring. I did take any photos of the rats mess created once taking off all the insulation but heres how much I removed..

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I had to add in a tacho feed, oil gauge feed and much heftier coil feed(mazda standard has bloody big feed so I copied it- maybe electronic ignition needs more juice?
Ditched the standard chevette 'Resistance' wire which loops from near the ignition all the way down to R/H front light and then back again to the coil to drop voltage down to 7/8 volts for ballest system (bypassed at start up to bump coil feed up to 12volts when it needs it most).
Ran a feed for electric fan too.
I then tidied it all up and hid it right up under wing lips and back through inside car using spare chevettes loom for added length.
I'm pretty happy with result- some wires can be spotted at components but not big fat runs- loads tidier than standard loom anyway.

Moving inside to the dash- I had the mazda dials and chevette dials which i now had to swap.

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The mazda dials are almost the same diameter as the chevette ones so with a knife and file I whittled them down. Whilst cutting the back down on speedo i failed to check exactly where I was cutting and cut right through the odometer drive shaft! sh1t!!! So I had to shorten shaft down with saw, file and turn it down true in the drill, make a bracket and rivet it back in place. Time wasted because I was too keen with the saw!

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It all cobbled together ok though- used existing lights from chevette dash but now with see though dial faces it all looks a lot brighter than standard. Looks messy on the back- tacho guts wouldn't fit in place so is now wrapped up and hanging off the back. Lots of odd wires here and there- but I sort of know whats what....

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I'm now in the process of making a seperate fuel and temp gauge thingee- maybe sighted under dash- maybe in centre console(which car doesnt have..so i'll have to make one of them too...)

All those little jobs eh...
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

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Postby shoveitnz » 22 May 2007, 16:12

Well then. Heres the dash...

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Built a little 'functional' pod for other gauges but didnt take many pictures.
I used ply, cardboard, aluminum and glue. And solder. Painted black.
It works but doesnt look at all sexy.

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Then I cleaned Carb up and mounted inlet manifold. Before plonking the carb in place I had to make a choke arrangement and sort the throttle cable.
Using a solderless nipple from a bike brake cable I managed to use the chevette inner in the rx7 outer and the cable pull offered from the chevette accelerator pedal linkage was 2mm more than needed by Nikki carb to open fully! Wow- very lucky and very Flukey!!!

I built a little sheet metal cable outer support for the choke which is now fully manual unlike complex rx7 system. Then it all bolted in place. cool.
Now I got to sit in drivers seat and make brmm brmm sounds properly.
But I have no gear stick...

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A mate machined up a stepup spacer to mate the end of manta propshaft I bought from some bloke. Nice tight fit and square. I welded it up as evenly i could and with its short length I'm hoping it'll be resonace free but time will tell.

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A manta B axle came with the propshaft which gave me my brake drums and another diff- this one is 3.65 rather than the 3.45 in place- so I might change it over in the future as the Rx7 has a 3.9. Hope fully the chevette being lighter will offset the difference for now till I get bored.

My friend skimmed the drums for me, I fit new shoes, cylinders, spring kit and new brake pipes. So thats the rear brakes sorted. I'm getting there now!
At this point I'm bloody excited actually.

I now made a short list of final things to do. I wanted to drive it to a classic car show in Wallingford on sunday. Cooling it was an important thing I thought and I got mucked about by local auto lecky trition who kept promising me he find this Kenlowe fan he had in attic (which might not be the right size..)
By friday I was well pissed off and ordered a whole kit from Kenlowe- going with them over other cheaper ones I had seen on internet for that sort off peace of mind and little bit of a thrill I sometimes get when when I splash out on something a bit expensive. hmmm And they could have it to me buy sat lunch.


Got the kit...ohhhh its like christmas- all nicely packaged and exciting.
12" fan size just fit in place with mms to spare. I wired it up and hid the thermostat away under the slam panel next to the headlight. I ran an extra wire to under the dash and fit a little light so I know when the fans on. dont expect to hear it somehow.

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The gearstick- its too short so got some 12mm bar and welded an extra foot on then worked out how long it should be. !2mm thread and now I need a pool ball. using the spares chevette knob for now.

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filled up the axle, box and rad....what else...a missing exhaust clamp. Think thats it. Put 100mls of oil into 10 litre jerry and plonked it in. Then checked fuel gauge- will need adjustment.
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

http://retrorides.proboards86.com/index ... 155&page=1

http://www.vauxhallviva.com/vivaforum/v ... hp?t=10258
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Postby shoveitnz » 22 May 2007, 17:16

On saturday night I hadnt got it sorted so I chilled out knowing I had all of sunday to finish the little things, fit some belts, a bit of mesh over the front to protect the oil cooler.
By mid afternoon it was ready- a crowd amassed...well a few hangers about..
I turned it over with no choke for a bit then with a little choke it coughed. Once again, then a bit more choke and away it burst. cool.

let it warm up and checked levels. seemed ok- just smoke from oily hands on the exhaust wrap etc. But once the oil heated up enough to open the thermostat on the oil cooler it started to piss out through a crack on the top outlet boss.
bugger.

So out with it and a friend tig welded it up. I put it back in place this morning but it still leaks a little. So did the next best thing and took the car for a spin. sod the oil for now.

Goes good. very smooth. fast enough for me after driving big ol triumph estate around. quick rack is nice. suspension felt fine but quite loud gearbox. fine in 4th. I cant remember really noticing it in the 7 so maybe some thick carpet for now till I can swap it.

The brakes are unbalanced and pulled to the right. have to check that.

Fan kicks in but temp gauge reads 3/4 whilst driving so maybe I knocked it when building the pod? Can anyone one the mazda forum tell me where the temp gauge sits with ignition off? Mine sits on the bottom bar but maybe it should start from lower down?

So I have now taken the cooler out resealed it with a better seal(hopefully...) but it reall needs grinding roight down through the thread, welding then tapping but its an odd thread..not quite m16 or 5/8 but a 1.5 pitch.

I'd like to find another better cooler then this without such rotten fins anyway. but for now- no cooler- no driving.....:Grrr

Heres a vid...dunno how well it'll work..

Image
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

http://retrorides.proboards86.com/index ... 155&page=1

http://www.vauxhallviva.com/vivaforum/v ... hp?t=10258
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Postby shoveitnz » 02 Jun 2007, 20:37

Just finished big job today- after the first few drives(did about 35 miles in total) with leaky oil cooler and noisy water pump I've chopped the middle of the front valance out and fit a later series 4 rx7 oil cooler(WITHOUT CRACKS). I've moved it down so now it has loads of air flow and not passing hot air onto radiator. I fit a new water pump- managed to get a brand new one from local auto factor. It was moisy and loud clicking which had me worried! turns out i'd forgoten to fit the 4 little bolts onto bottom pully! nuts - lucky.

I've also today fitted another Gbox i got from another kiwi ritor bloke here. About lunchtime today I was fittinmg it with two scissor jacks to lift it and it all came crashing down- one jack slicing my forehead open. bugger.

Its all sorted and I drove it into Oxford city centre watching the gauges carefully. It runs loads cooler- I've got to reset the electric fan cut in point.

So i'm well happy now - though its still far too high geared though!....maybe some 13" slot mags with 50 series tyres?

now gotta have a shower and get all the blood off my face!

photos soon.
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

http://retrorides.proboards86.com/index ... 155&page=1

http://www.vauxhallviva.com/vivaforum/v ... hp?t=10258
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Postby shoveitnz » 18 Jun 2007, 19:32

heres some photos of recent work...

first- what I chopped out of the valance to make way for the new oil cooler..

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And heres the new cooler in place- a bit of a dark picture but anyway its got lots of space around it and room for air to flow out from behind. I've mounted it on an angle so the air cant just shoot right through- it has to force its way through pulling heat out in the process (at least thats what MY brain thinks)

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Heres the new water pump... hmmm

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Next up- I had built a heat sheild outta stainless but didnt take any photos of it. Because its nice and shiney I thought i'd take a photo while it was off during the g/box swap....

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So the oil cooler and the box all work fine but with the standard 7 temp gauge I dont know what temp its running at. So I bought a new VDO gauge and sender. I also searched on Ebay and got a VDO voltmeter from a porsche for £4. I built a new box to house them out of ply.

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Then I had the fuel gauge to sort out. I took the spare chevette one I had out of the other car and ripped out its guts. I found a spray can lid that was just the right size-52mm - and found another that fit inside it snuggly. I sat the guts inside the first lid attached to the other to space it out right. I then holesawed a cover out of the chevette instrument cover.

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This I held in place with silicone. I wrapped the end of the lid around in insulation tape till it was a few mills thick and sliced it in half to make the rim.

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I now know that it sits nicely at 85 degrees and the fan kicks in at about 90.

And yesterday I took it for a nice long drive down the A34 to Eras ( ...for those who dont know him - 'old one' is an old school rotary nutter having been racing RX's in South Africa a long time before emmigrating here)
It ran there and back fine, past the 'Era test drive' with flying colours
and apart from some wheel balance/alignment issue at around 60 I was very happy! Next weekend I'm off to Bromly pagent of motoring.

And then Era took me out in his series one RX7 with a bridge ported motor and IDA webber- very very quick.....hmmmmmm...wheres a spare motor to take apart :wink:
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

http://retrorides.proboards86.com/index ... 155&page=1

http://www.vauxhallviva.com/vivaforum/v ... hp?t=10258
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Postby shoveitnz » 25 Dec 2007, 15:00

Exciting news....my chevette feature is out now in latest Practical performance car mag! Cool. so happy!

alex :D
NZ desperately needs more immigration and fresh blood. Our eyes are getting far too close together!

http://retrorides.proboards86.com/index ... 155&page=1

http://www.vauxhallviva.com/vivaforum/v ... hp?t=10258
User avatar
shoveitnz
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Location: Blenheim, NZ


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