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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Brantford, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    33
    Country Flag: United States

    1973 RX3 project

    Hey Guys

    Just wanted to share my build here. I know itís not exactly the status quo around here but Iíve had a lot of inspiration from this forum over the years.



    The plan:
    Iíve had a lot of Mazda Rotaryís over the years. I bought this car about 14 years ago with big plans for it but never the time or budget. In retrospect, Iím glad because the plans I had as an 18 year old are not what I want now. Iím taking the pro touring approach in keeping it a classic car on the outside but a modern driver. So how to make an old Mazda drive like a new Mazda? Easy. Everything under the body new. Easy right?

    Hereís what I brought to Sean at Better Motorsports just out side of Ottawa in Canada. Sorry I donít have better pics, but that was my jumping off point

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Brantford, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    33
    Country Flag: United States
    So I bought a rusty miata and scavenged all the subframes and suspension bits. This car was going to see a completely new suspension from a modern car that has enough aftermarket to keep it alive forever. So after some measuring and some creativity, Sean made it happen. It took some problem solving on his end but he ended up making it all fit and look great. The one thing we did that wasnít originally planned, but worked out great, is using QA1 coil overs in order to not have to build stock shock towers to fit. So that saved some time and headaches. There was also some rust repair he had to do. A surprise to nobody whoís ever had an old Japanese car. Name:  Adjustments.JPG
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Brantford, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    33
    Country Flag: United States
    At this point I had decided on my motor. A 3 rotor Mazda 20b. They were never available in North America so I bought one from a shop that had it imported years ago. Theyíre fairly hard to come by and the price reflects that. In stock form they came twin turbo. I plan to run it naturally aspirated but built up a little which should have no problems doing 300-350hp to the wheels. Sean made up motor mounts and got going on the rear end. While the rear was maybe a bit more work he seemed to have a plan for that from the get go. Name:  IMG_2627.JPG
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Brantford, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    33
    Country Flag: United States
    So nearing the end of the time Sean had it, he closed in the wheel wells, retrofit the miata brake master and booster, and made the steering shaft. The stock one obviously wasnít going to work but he managed to make it so I could use the stock shaft inside to car to keep the original appearance. He also had to move a section of the firewall back to accommodate the extra length of the 20b vs the stock 12a. Name:  IMG_2735.JPG
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Brantford, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    33
    Country Flag: United States
    So thatís pretty much where Iím currently at. Iíve not done much work on the car since it came home back in the fall. Iíve moved 500km and the house didnít have a garage so I bought whatís really just an oversized garden shed. But since this isnít a long term house, I thought something that was able to move with me or be sold down the road was the best bet. Itís 14x36 so that will do fine for me to work on this project.

    Going forward I want to get the flimsy frame rails reinforced and then paint. Iíve been bouncing around a lot of ideas on paint but still undecided.

    Wheels have been bought. 15x8 front and 15x9 rears. No tires yet but 225 front and 245 rears will be ordered soon enough. Iíll need those for the body work as Iím sure Iíll need to massage the fenders to fit that much more rubber than stock.

    If anyone had any questions, let me know. Itís going to be a long term project but itís also been a long time coming. Name:  IMG_0413.jpg
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    387
    Country Flag: United States
    Very cool project....I love seeing different stuff on the forum!
    1972 C20 Suburban
    1964 Corvette Coupe

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Brantford, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    33
    Country Flag: United States

    1973 RX3 project

    So just a quick update. Have the new wheels on the car. Have a set of fenders from a car that had raced in a few Canadian series. They look good in the front. Need to flare the back but I knew that already.

    Rebuild kit for the motor has been bought and working on options for the trans. I have been considering trying to adapt a c5 rear end. Thereís much more room for a transaxle and would help the weight distribution I think. Itís a crazy idea, I know, but wouldnít it be cool?

    Currently waiting for the covid lock down to end so I can get the car out to acid dip. Thereís a lot of bondo in spots so Iím thinking instead of trying to sand everything Iíll just go with a dip and know exactly what I have.

    Finally, hereís a few recent pics, because who doesnít like pictures. Some with stock fenders and a couple with the flared fenders.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,641
    Country Flag: United States
    Very cool project! Look into the Z06 that Rob Dahm installed the rotary motor into. I believe that was a C5 and he adapted the stock torque tube to the 13b.


    1968 Camaro LS6, T56, Z51 brakes, 12 bolt, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE
    1976 T/A LS1, 6 Speed, C5 front brakes, and etc. SOLD

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Brantford, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    33
    Country Flag: United States

    1973 RX3 project

    Quote Originally Posted by ryeguy2006a View Post
    Very cool project! Look into the Z06 that Rob Dahm installed the rotary motor into. I believe that was a C5 and he adapted the stock torque tube to the 13b.
    One step ahead of you. Haha. Iíve spoke to the shop thatís making the bellhousing to make it all work. Thanks so much though. Glad you like it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    The Druid City
    Posts
    14,636
    Country Flag: United States
    Very cool. Looking forward to updates!

    Andrew
    1970 GTO Version 2.0
    1967 Cougar build
    GM High-Tech Performance feature
    My YouTube Channel Please Subscribe!
    Instagram @projectgattago

    "You were the gun, your voice was the trigger, your bravery was the barrel, your eyes were the bullets." ~ Her

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    charlotte
    Posts
    737
    Country Flag: United States
    This is awesome, I'm surprised there's not more Japanese classics like it here considering they've been doing 'pro-touring' well before muscle cars put a name to it. this will be a great build

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    54
    How did I miss this? I'm dying see where this goes. Down low, fat fenders and 3 rotors at 8000 rpm spitting fireballs on every shift. I can already hear it.

    It sucks how expensive 20B's have become. It makes the LS swaps more appealing

    Excellent build choice. Keep posting!!!
    Jim..Car Junkie
    RX7 Turbo II--No pistons. Big turbo
    C3 Vette--Big pistons, No turbo....yet
    68 RS Z/28, '12 Boss 302, 86 911, several RX7's, and many more..(gone)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Jefferson City, MO
    Posts
    155
    "And now for something completely different..." right?

    This kind of odd rod is right up my alley! Subscribed, for sure.

    For color, how about a pewter grey metallic with some distinctive non-metallic orange graphics? Maybe something inspired by the factory AAR 'Cuda appearance (see attached). Just a thought.

    Have you seen the "Mongrel" build on YouYube? It's a '59 Ford 100E wrapped around Miata mechanicals, being built over in England. I'm not sure if any of that process will apply to your build, but it might be worth checking out.Name:  41b09e078929760e311df60f4faff7f8.jpeg
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Brantford, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    33
    Country Flag: United States
    Quote Originally Posted by jimco84x View Post
    How did I miss this? I'm dying see where this goes. Down low, fat fenders and 3 rotors at 8000 rpm spitting fireballs on every shift. I can already hear it.

    It sucks how expensive 20B's have become. It makes the LS swaps more appealing

    Excellent build choice. Keep posting!!!
    Ya, the 20Bís have got a little out of hand recently. I think I got a decent deal on mine but it was still a bit crazy. But thanks for the encouragement. It will be slow but Iíll keep posting updates as I get more done.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Brantford, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    33
    Country Flag: United States
    Quote Originally Posted by Peanut1959 View Post
    "And now for something completely different..." right?

    This kind of odd rod is right up my alley! Subscribed, for sure.

    For color, how about a pewter grey metallic with some distinctive non-metallic orange graphics? Maybe something inspired by the factory AAR 'Cuda appearance (see attached). Just a thought.

    Have you seen the "Mongrel" build on YouYube? It's a '59 Ford 100E wrapped around Miata mechanicals, being built over in England. I'm not sure if any of that process will apply to your build, but it might be worth checking out.Name:  41b09e078929760e311df60f4faff7f8.jpeg
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    Havenít seen the Mongrel build but I may have to check it out. As for the colour, Iím still really up in the air over it. You could be onto something though. Not sure Iíd go with orange on the stripe but something along those lines could look really good. And thanks for the subscribe.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    2,329
    Country Flag: United States
    Love these. Can't wait to see how it comes out.
    Red Forman: "The Mustang's front end is problematic; get yourself a Firebird."

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Austin, Tx.
    Posts
    1,515
    Country Flag: United States
    Great project!

    When I was in high school, I had a ‘73 Mazda 808 which was essentially the same car but with a 4-cylinder engine instead of the rotary engine.

    I’m looking forward to your updates!
    Ray
    FEW FRILLS, just BIG CHILLS!!!
    1972 VW Bug (632 ci BBC/Souped-up Tremec T56 Magnum/9"-3.50)
    18"x12" (335/30/18) Front, 19"x13" (345/30/19) Rear
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...-Lady-Bug-quot

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Brantford, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    33
    Country Flag: United States
    Quote Originally Posted by 454bug View Post
    Great project!

    When I was in high school, I had a Ď73 Mazda 808 which was essentially the same car but with a 4-cylinder engine instead of the rotary engine.

    Iím looking forward to your updates!
    Thanks. I actually had a super clean and low mile 808 Iíd bought from the same guy this RX3 came from. The 1.6L and 3spd auto made for a boring drive though. I do miss that car. Hereís a pic of it.

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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    421
    Country Flag: United States
    Quote Originally Posted by j_man1100 View Post
    Havenít seen the Mongrel build but I may have to check it out. As for the colour, Iím still really up in the air over it. You could be onto something though. Not sure Iíd go with orange on the stripe but something along those lines could look really good. And thanks for the subscribe.
    The Youtube channel is called "Urchfab" and the dude builds some awesome stuff. Sucks he got screwed by the guy who was supposed to paint it.

    Jay

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    8
    Country Flag: United States
    What the heck???
    This is amazing. Looking forward to the progress!

    What wheels are those? They look like XXR's but can't read the logo.
    Pro Touring Store: Your parts source for all things Pro Touring! Contact us for the best prices & service from suspension, to engine packages, to billet accessories and much more!
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