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SilverLined SilverLined is offline
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 190
Maintenance and CarFax inspection records show it was consistently driven about 3,000 miles/year from '92 to 2017, which is in line with what Ellen told me about usage. The hard plastics have held up remarkably well in comparison to what Germany was doing at the time.

I haven't had a proper go with the car (it was a ginger ride home), so I can't say much about the engine, transmission, suspension, or brakes, but let me geek out over the engineering under the hood, if I may... this was Mazda's first iteration of the succesful K-series V6. Built as a specialty JDM-only engine for Mazda's Eunos luxury brand (small engines paid less tax, but buyers wanted V6 sophistication), the MX-3's K-8 displaces only 1.8 liters. This would make the car interesting enough in it's own right, since it represents the smallest mass-produced V6 ever, but this little six isn't just a novelty engine, it's highly over-built. It has a split crankcase, four-bolt mains, a forged crankshaft, and forged connecting rods. The "suggested" red-line starts at 7kRPM, but fuel cutoff is at 7,800. That's likely quite conservative, given the construction. 1.8L of naturally aspirated fury can only do so much, however, so output is a modest 130HP/115TQ. But what it does make is over a broad curve, thanks to a solenoid-enabled multi-chamber intake, similar to BMW's differentiated intake system (DISA valve, anyone?). This was trick stuff for '92, as BMW didn't offer theirs until '95. Since all this came at a cost (my sticker says 17k out the door, and the base 1.6l I4 started at 11k), very few V6 models were sold, and the engine disappeared in 1994. It lived on in many other Mazdas and Fords, however, as the 2.5 liter KL. There's even a KL-swapped 944 running around, seen here on YouTube:

The Wee-6:

The first order of duty was to evict any squatters... Sorry, horses only!

When I checked out the car, I'd noticed the plug boots were wet. Valve cover gaskets were the likely culprit, and made sense in light of the misfire. So I ordered up new valve cover, intake manifold, and throttle body gaskets, plugs, wires, dizzy cap, PCV valve, an assortment of filters and hoses, and went about getting my hands dirty.

Anything that came off the car was abraded with a brass brush, and a healthy dose of elbow grease. Plastic and rubber parts were cleaned and reconditioned. Where appropriate, I painted and refurbished bits, bolts, and brackets.

I'm waiting for this foul weather to subside before putting it all back together... but I can't wait to hear it scream. Should be a fun little runaround, and I'll hopefully find a new home for her soon.
1984 Porsche 944 (Project 1)
1992 Mazda MX-3 GS (Project 1.5)
1992 Volvo 740 Turbo Wagon (Project 2)
2005 BMW 330xi
2017 Subaru BRZ PP
Old 10-31-2020, 07:56 PM
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