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 Post subject: Mazda 323 RWD (1977-1985) - Under Construction
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:07 pm 
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This is a 323 reference page under construction... Basically while there is a lot of really good information on this website about 323's, it can be a bit hard to find and sometimes contradicting.
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The aim for this page is to have all the facts. I will update the front page to have all the relevant info on top, so as they get edited over time, the following pages might not make sense!

The 323 arrived in 1977 under changing times for Mazda. The Great Oil Crisis in the US was hitting the rotary powered models hard, and the less than perfect reliability of the rotary engine was driving customers away from the dealers. The 121/RX5 of 1975 helped to turn the hopes of Mazda, but the aging 808/RX3 line was due for replacement. Mazda stuck with the conventional front engine, rear drive configuration based on the 808 chassis. For such an important model, it made sense to stick to simple and proven technology. The hatchback body, with the split folding rear seats ended up being much more practical and roomy than the comparative 808, while fitting 4 in reasonable comfort. The tighter turning circle, safe and predictable handling characteristics due to a favorable weight balance, and immediate avaliability of a fully automatic transmission were also favorable virtues.
It was launched to favorable reviews internationally, being praised for it's good value, comfortable seating, vice-free handling with excellent traction, flexible engine, slick gear change, good vision and a decent ride. It was let down by engine and road noise (which they are still saying today about the Mazda3) a cheapness to the interior, amateur exterior styling, and a slightly thirsty engine.

The advertising in the US was very much promoting the Great little piston engine and the reasonable mileage
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Last edited by timmy201 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Mazda 323 RWD (1977-1985) Buyers Guide
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:08 pm 
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So you want to buy a 323? Here are some things to look for when buying...

Rust:
Check along the firewall seam under the bonnet.

Bottom of the doors and hatch

Bottom of the front guards.

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Last edited by timmy201 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Mazda 323 RWD (1977-1985) Piston Engine Guide
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:08 pm 
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The Australian delivered 323 came standard with three different piston engines over the lifespan of the model. The TC was carried over from the 808 and the 1300, and was replaced by the bored out UC. When production of the hatchback models ceased for Australia, the D5 carried on in the wagon form only after 1980...


mazdaman wrote:
1300 'TC'
Actual capacity........................... 1275 cc
Bore x Stroke.............................. 73mm x 76mm
Compression Ratio........................ 8.8:1 (early 1300- STB)
Compression Ratio........................ 9.2:1 (late 1300 - FA3, 818 and 323)
Power (SAE)................................ 78 BHP @ 6000rpm (early 1300- STB)
Power (SAE)................................ 81 BHP @ 6100rpm (late 1300 - FA3, 818 and 323)

1400 'UC'
Actual capacity........................... 1415 cc
Bore x Stroke.............................. 77mm x 76mm
Compression ratio......................... 9.0:1
Power (DIN?)................................70 BHP @ 5700rpm

1500 'D5'
Actual capacity........................... 1490 cc
Bore x Stroke.............................. 77mm x 80mm
Compression ratio......................... 9.0:1
Power (DIN?)................................73 BHP @ 5700rpm
Hope this helps a bit

Rich :wink:

The early TC engines have a single row timing chain, with them swapping to a double row shortly into the 323 production.

In my car I have a hybrid engine, with UC block and TC head. It has been running like a champ for 12000 km, so it is possible to mate the two together with good results

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Last edited by timmy201 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:41 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Mazda 323 RWD (1977-1985) Gearboxes
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:08 pm 
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Standard issue for the 1977 323 was a 4 speed manual. Optional at launch was a 3 speed automatic, and a 5 speed manual.

Gear ratios:

3 speed auto
1st: 2.458
2nd: 1.458
3rd: 1.000
Reverse: 2.181
Oil/Fluid capacity: 5.7L

4 speed all forward synchromesh
1st: 3.337
2nd: 1.995
3rd: 1.301
4th: 1.000
Reverse: 3.337
Oil/Fluid capacity: 1.3L

5 speed all forward synchromesh
1st: 3.337
2nd: 1.995
3rd: 1.301
4th: 1.000
5th: 0.831
Reverse: 3.337
Oil/Fluid capacity: 1.7L

Diff ratio:
1.3L:
Manual 3.909
Auto 4.100

1.4L:
Manual 3.727, 3.909 (Clarification? Info from Gregory's)
Auto 3.909


Left 4 speed manual, middle 5 speed and right is the 3 speed auto.
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The 4 and 5 speed gearboxes are the same width, but the 5 speed is longer to cater for the extra gear. The 3 speed auto and 5 speed manual are the same length, so when swapping from auto to manual you can keep the driveshaft and crossmember. The automatic cars have a wider transmission tunnel compared to the manuals due to the extra size of the gearbox. This means the auto crossmember is wider than the manual ones. The shifter cannot be swapped between 4 and 5 speed transmissions because the locating pin is at opposite ends.
4 speed left, 5 speed right.
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Top is the automatic body crossmember. It is slightly offset to one side, but has an arrow marked with an L or R to identify. The middle is the 5 speed crossmember, with the bottom being the 4 speed. The 4 speed crossmember is slightly wider because it mounts further forward on the body compared to the 5 speed crossmember. All three use the same rubber gearbox mount.
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Last edited by timmy201 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Mazda 323 RWD (1977-1985) Suspension
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Up front all models have MacPherson struts, with the rear suspension being a "5 link" setup on the hatches and leaf spring suspension on the wagon and panel van

Front suspension:
Camber: 1 deg +- 1 deg
Caster: 1 deg 45 minutes +- 45 minutes
Toe-in: 0 to 6 mm

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Rear Suspension:

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Last edited by timmy201 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:51 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mazda 323 RWD (1977-1985)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:09 pm 
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The earliest 323's were from 1977. These came standard with the circular headlights (bug eye), full chrome bumpers and a TC engine. They were available as a 3 door hatch and 5 door hatch.
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These were updated in 197? with plastic end caps on the bumpers, and the engine was changed for a UC.
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The bug eye 323's have the shorter taillights, with the brake lights on the outside
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The wagon was available as a 3 or 5 door, with the 3 door also being available as a windowless panel van.
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In 1979? the square headlight model was released, which had a number of changes
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These are the longer taillights.
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3 door van
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5 door wagon
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In 1980 the RWD hatch was replaced by the FWD model, but the wagon and panel van soldiered on until 1985. The wagon featured black plastic bumpers, an updated nose, changes to the interior and a high roof.
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Last edited by timmy201 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:48 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Mazda 323 RWD (1977-1985) Rotary Conversions
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Stock engine isn't fast or loud enough? Why not try a rotary. Here are some helpful ideas to start you off...

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Last edited by timmy201 on Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Mazda 323 RWD (1977-1985) Brakes
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:10 pm 
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To back up the mighty piston engine, Mazda fitted discs up front and drums on the back. The wagons had slightly larger drums compared to the hatchbacks. The front dics were notable mostly for their tiny size!

Front brakes:
Sedan: 207 mm diameter
Wagon: 229 mm diameter
Thickness: 13 mm

Upgrading the brakes...

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Last edited by timmy201 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Mazda 323 RWD (1977-1985) Wheels and Tyres
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:10 pm 
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The original wheel size for the 323 is 13x4.5+27. This means the rim has a 13 inch diameter, is 4.5 inches wide on the inside of the rim, and the offset is +27. The original tyre size is 155SR 13, which is approximately equivalent to a 155/80R13.

If you want to work out what size rims you can fit on your car:
Put on a rim that you know the width and offset of
Measure how much room you have till you hit the inner of the rim on the strut or suspension arm
Measure how much room you have till the outer rim edge either hits the guard or won't tuck inside
Go to http://www.1010tires.com/WheelOffsetCalculator.asp and put in your before and after specs and compare.
Eg. I have 14x6+20 wheels on my car. They have 5mm to the strut and 30mm to the guard. If I put 7 inch wide rims, with an offset of +7, I will have the same clearance on the inside, but an extra 25mm on the outside. The more negative the offset, the further out the rims will mount. Wheel spacers decrease your overall offset, so a rim with an offset of +20 with a 15mm spacer has a total offset of +5.

Wheel bolts. They aren't that great especially these style without a lip on the hex head.
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Get on eBay and buy some BMW ones. They are longer and stop your rims getting scratched by your socket. The thread is 12x1.5.
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Last edited by timmy201 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Mazda 323 RWD (1977-1985) The Parts Bin
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:10 pm 
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Its handy to know sometimes that parts are shared between models. For instance most of the front suspension is a direct swap for an 808 / RX3 and share part numbers...

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Last edited by timmy201 on Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Mazda 323 RWD (1977-1985) Interior
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:11 pm 
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Interior

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Last edited by timmy201 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mazda 323 RWD (1977-1985)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:11 pm 
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Rare/unusual bits from import 323's

Jailbar grille, Orange blinker lenses (JDM spec)
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Last edited by timmy201 on Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Mazda 323 RWD (1977-1985)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:14 pm 
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Some 323 brochure photos...

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Last edited by timmy201 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:52 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mazda 323 RWD (1977-1985)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:14 pm 
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Some links for further information:

SR20 turbo 323
http://www.tunerzine.com/view-article/the-nana-ninja

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Last edited by timmy201 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mazda 323 RWD (1977-1985) - Under Construction
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:08 pm 
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The earliest 323's were from 1977. These came standard with the circular headlights (bug eye), full chrome bumpers and a TC engine. They were available as a 3 door hatch and 5 door hatch.

These were updated in 197? with plastic end caps on the bumpers, and the engine was changed for a UC.
1978 :wink:
1st 323's released in early 1977 in aus had full metal bumpers with no rubber strips at all, then mid way through 1977 they came with a rubber strip in the middle of the bumpers.
5 speed came out in 1978 I think Tim in the super deluxe only in Aus
Cheers Greg.


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