Interesting build, I hope your happy with the final outcome.
I moved to Joao Pessoa to live. I hated it and moved back after about 8 months. I like cars and Brazil is a hard country to have a passion for cars, the costs are ridiculous and all the cars are no good. The roads are awful also.
I'm suprised about you saying it's illegal to modify cars, I hadn't heard that and I saw loads of altered cars, different wheels, exhaust, turbo conversions, etc. Maybe it's a North East thing. People don't care, cars don't get checked, i've seen a family of 4 with a dog on a motorbike before!
If you come to Europe soon for a holiday you may never want to return to Brazil. My wife is going back soon to see her family, there is no way i'm going, have had enough of Brazil for years to come!!!
WOW! We must never take the abundance of fairly cheap RWD cars over here for granted again!
Cheers for sharing this project with us.
↶➘➚➘↺↶➚➘↺↶➚↺↶☠ ~If the car breaks, we can still skate~
Just read this from start to finish. I love the can do attitude, and especially love the fact that you don't just give up when you cant find an off the shelf bit to make something work, so just get it fabricated.
That said all of this custom work must be coming at a fair price?
Dude, some might thing it is prejudice (since the south, somewhat 150 years ago wanted to be a separate country) but the northeast of the country doesnt please me at all.
Originally Posted by Escygt
The NE states are home of some bad policies, and as much as the state closes its eyes for mods, it closes its eyes for sexual tourism (prostitution , even underage, mostly because of european tourists and carnival...), hunger and other bad things. I am not saying all of this cant happen on the rest of the country, but i can guarantee you that the southmost bits are COMPLETELY diffrent from what you saw. Many europeans come to our cities down here because of the simmilarities.
In 2008 regulations forbid mods, but people mod anyway and the guys who work on chekcing those mods dont really care about them. You only cant change engines and simply change a chassis because VIN + Engine number are the things that define a car to brazilian laws (thats why i am prepping my own engine)
I went to south korea, were mods are very restrictive too and found a culture alike the brazilian one, a "dont care" stance that makes people do things anyway!
Thanks man! and yeah, europe/us/asia have LOTS of rwd cars that are easy to get, but my dream of having some RWD JDM material is being built!
Originally Posted by wigwambam
All the custom work is being done by a good friend, that is charging me a fair price, because i myself get my hands down and dirty with his employees all the time (and while waiting for parts i even did work for his customers while learning to use the tools).
Originally Posted by simonlpearce
That said, i wouldnt be able to buy half the tools used for the job with the price i payed to build everything, and even if i used the money to buy (and even if it was enough to buy) all the tools , i wouldnt know how to use them without mr. Pedro's guidance.
The investiment on the custom building parts was 1/4 of the price of buying the car, a fair trade for all i am getting (heck i even dont need an adjustable rear sway bar to start drifting and have one!). If you read it from the start you know that to have something in the likes of it i would have to spend prohibitive costs right away =(
Update! SEPT 2013 3rd week
Last tuesday (24 sept 2013, i have moved the car out of the lathe shop!
It was raining, so i had to cover the car. Usually, in brazil, crashed/towed cars go over platforms without cover, so it got all kinds of look out in the streets
I followed it through the traffic until we got at the bodyshop (in fact, a shop specialized in wrecked vehichles, because those here are the good body solders)
Im glad i hadnt a crashed car there. I probably will have the car in the beginning of the next week (rain isnt helping ink to dry on his customers cars... mostly because of high air humidity)
since i might be having the car back soon and a little sun came out, i moved its seats outside and gave them a nice cleaning with silicon-based interior trim treatment. A quick sunbath and they were looking brand new, again.
I also got all the parts ready for the EMS to be installed. This is a piece of loom from an 2003 honda civic, that will be dismantled so i can have the coil pack conectors
So i can use 4 of these on a flashy wasted spark system, tailored by myself and a good friend of mine (wich will help me install the eletronics)
And these are the boxes containing the FuelTech EMS and the USB-CAN cable. This EMS system was created in my hometown by a drag race afficionado, it uses cellphone technology to be small and can control any engine from 1 to 12 cylinders (and 2 to 3 rotors for now, since there isnt any wankel in brazil, the development is slowly happening in the US for that)
This system is used from go-karts, jet-ski, bikes, street cars, classics, formula, stock car, drag racers, drift cars... either in piggyback or standalone mode.
To justify the use of uprated coil packs, uprated injectors and an EMS, i got my hands on the Corksport Power Series Exhaust Camshaft and the Mazda Hi-Power FS-ZE Camshaft, those are the last items to turn my FS-DE into FS-ZE. They are scheduled to arrive on monday (monday means 6 months complete since build start). YES!
Next weekend will probably be a busy weekend!
OCT 04 2013 UPDATE - Getting ready to fire it up!
Today i went to the soldering guy, who was welding the new tunnel and rear seat bottom, this is how the car was sitting when i got there:
The rear bottom plate was cut, showing the 1995 GC impreza fuel tank, this cut was being properly shaped on a 2mm 1020 steel plate.
The tunnel was also primed and mocked in place, and i got a glimpse of it
And there is something that knocked at my door last monday...
Hell YEAH! Mail-santa got me a nice package
Corksport power series Exhaust Camshaft and Mazdaspeed Intake Camshaft will compliment my engine, building it to jdm spec FS-ZE!
After a trip to the junkyard (theres an old man around that specializes on imports) i've got some relay/fuse boxes from a nissan maxima and a relay/fuse box from a toyota corona, all the fuses and relays inside them were still in good condition, also the coil loom from a 2003 honda civic and...
Took my time to start salvaging the intersting bits of the wire mess i've got on my hands
Gathered all the small needed bits to rebuild the car injection, along with its interior, fuel lines, battery... the list goes on, its time to rebuild the car
And, topped the night with updating the EMS , testing the CAN-USB cable and creating a base fuel map, tomorrow (OCT 5 2013) around 11am i will have the car at home and will work all day long to fire it up at least!
The next week will be spent re-building it.
Wish me luck!
I'm sure the South is different, that said, my biggest problem with Brazil was all the tax you pay and you get nothing for it. Brazilians get massively ripped off and don't even know it's happening. That's the same North or South. I couldn't believe how a poor country was so expensive to live in.
Originally Posted by mbretschneider
Joao Pessoa has cleaned itself up (can't speak for the rest of the N.E.), used to be kids on the streets, etc. It's not like that now. Still dangerous as fuck though.
Mate, the shittiest part is that people usually know about that and do nothing!
Originally Posted by Escygt
Or live in bursts of anger like the recent riots, that burn bridges and accomplish nothing, because being a proper citizen is planning politics and getting AHEAD of said issues, not crying over the spilled milk. The average Brazilian doesn't get into politics, only when its usually too late... we still have to learn to practice EVOLUTION instead of only revolution, a change in behaviour and ideas is needed badly. We can talk about those things non stop, every country has its issues and so on... but, we're in car forum and i think its a little unrelated to say here anything more than that we cant mod and dont have RWD cars around =(. When a 1990 miata can cost 20.000 USD you know there is something REALLY fishy happening on a country...
Still , i really appreciate your 2 cents , its nice to walk in the shoes of a foreigner to see your own country trough someone else's eyes!
UPDATE - OCT 1st and 2nd week of 2013
Woke up early in the morning to get the car out of the soldering shop, with a great day ahead of me and my friend mr. Kriger coming to help me sort out the loom, we needed to start everything early. 1st things, 1st: get the car out of the soldering specialist.
Coming out of the soldering shop (the soldering was nicely done, but the finishing is not ready yet, so it looks a bit raw, it will be finished as long as the car runs) and back to the garage, to have all the external panels fitted properly!
It sits now raised on 4 jacks, home sweet home. The day it came, work started (since i had already the FuelTech EMS at hand and also the cams from Corksport/Mazdasped), the original fuel injection wire loom was removed
Along with the radiator, accessory pulleys...
...Charcoal canister and other wiggly bits that will not be used anymore.
Then it was time to work on the EMS wiring and overall wiring for the new configuration... as my friend was checking on the junkyard relays and installing them properly on the Nissan Maxima relay box i've got from the junkyard also, i was changing camshafts (relatively easy operation) when suddenly i was up to turning the crank and listened to a loud "thunk" or "knock" sound... that i didn't liked at all!
With the engine locked hitting onto something at the engine-gearbox junction (perhaps a strange body inside the bellhousing) and no tools to check on that (of course, rendering it useless and impossible to start it anyway) we just hold onto our hopes and returned to build the loom and prepare everything for fitting. As for today (OCT 15 - 2013) i had little time and barely had the tools to remove the engine/gearbox and check properly i decided going for the clutch. To my surprise, the clutch slave cylinder is not working properly due to a mis-sized bolt that holds the clutch line inside it (yet again, no proper tools to solve it...)
Seeing that i would need to return to the lathe, to have the proper tools and tips to solve those issues, i focused on re-building the outer body and setting up everything to have the loom ready to start the engine as soon as the mechanical issues are solved
Interior cleaning was carried out, with some ease, all wires were then sorted accordingly and labelled properly too
After that, time to get to the underside!
20 years of brazilian roads (that have no salt on the winter, wich brings out no rust) and some bashing/moving things around makes you have a less-than-showroom-condition underside, but really, nothing to worry about in this department other than a nice cleanup of everything. Anti-rust was applied to fuel tank, propeller shaft, stabilizer bars and assembly to keep the rust-free and spotless OEM-ninja-sleeper look/theme going on...
As important as covering the little rust spots and trimming everything to be rattle-clan-flat-black so it doesnt rusts further, it is also important to rebuild the interior to the correct fittings and sizings again. Since the car is going to be a daily driver, and that Brazil is a tropical country (and even living in the cold south we still have around 35 celsius summers so you better have a cold office to drift in, right?), its important to be sure all the air-con boxes fit to their original places with enough space to run the engine wiring again.
I admit i was nervous at that point, i could really mess things up on this one if i hadnt planned enough. The main airbox not fitting the car would be a bigger problem than that of a stuck crank, since sourcing another dashboard (or perhaps one from another car) would take lots of effort, money (wich is dwindling as project is ending) and time/research if i was ever able to fit it AC again... sometimes i envy the track focused builds of some people
But, as the saying goes around here, i have "more luck than wisdom" and it worked like a charm, as it was born this way. There is about 20mm space under the air box to run wiring and get it all working nicely.
With the main airbox fitted, fixing the auxiliary boxes is easy too, and leaves no room for error, its glad to think that the summer is comming and i will have proper air-con to practice drift (lots of summer rains will make tyre wear easy on this one, lol!)
Air boxes fitted, time to prepare the dashboard and air-con/radio wiring
That being done i had an idea to try and discover what is locking the crank (since it ran perfectly when we tested the starter, even with the new "architecture" in the bellhousing being a little "post modern" it was perfect, something must got on the clutch on the final assembly...), i would have to clutch it and try to run it with the pedal depressed. I thought the leak in the clutch line was cause by a bad flange and proceeded on building a new one...
Turned out it wasn't the flange, but the screw that holds the flange in place and runs in the clutch line, it needs to be 4mm longer at the screw to hold the flange in place, that means a trip to the lathe.
Fortunately mr. Pedro, Leo and the other guys are awesome, and i got an e-mail (as for today 15 OCT 2013) telling me if i ran into any trouble that i didn't had the tools/means to solve i should return to the mothership and have the tools and workforce at it again, so everybody would be happy to finish an amazing project. Aren't they the coolest guys ever?
So , with the last batch of good news at hand, its time to call for re-inforcements and finish dropping the shell back to the car (so it transports easier), this week i will re-fit the doors, trim, lights and so on, all the external things that are able to "waterproof" the inside of the car in every possible sense. Everything besides the interior trim and carpet will be cleaned and re-fitted (i will only fit the driver/passenger seats, not the back seat), leaving the carpet for the gran-finale after the soldering/touch-up details are sorted.
It's coming togheter, i simply can't wait to drive it!
Update oct 30 2013
Things are starting to come back togheter for the (hopefully) last time!
I asked for my uncle Jr. help, and started to rebuild the shell (since the engine was stuck on something and i hadn't the tools to check on it), its so nice to see the body lines coming togheter once again!
The bumper in place again, along with the headlights is nice to bring back some of the lost hope from when the project started. It has been 7 months since i diassembled the car and i must confess i didnt even remembered what some of the shapes looked like in real life!
I present you, ladies and gentlemen: the doors.
I remember this scene from months ago, back in the day i was _removing_ the dash, to see it fully installed yet again is so nice!
And this is the final product!
This is a victory shot, with my uncle Jr. life has thrown some serious hardships at him and still he is an always smiling , always helpful man with a passion for motorsports that infected me at an young age and we share since then!
After 2 days of work , it was time to fiddle up with some more electronics (since i didnt had the tools to fix the stuck crank/gearbox)
I tackled the stock fuse box then, stripping it out of no-needed electronics, since i would be running the EMS
What looked like some simple wiring from the outside (and oil-dirty because of some leak in the past)
Ended up being a mess of wires, grounds, and so on , i had to sort out
Spent some major time dismantling and labelling things out on this one, but it was all worthy the time, since i now understand the car better than never.
One curious thing: Brazil got some weird 626 models: So far, with all the mechanics i have spoken, they said different things about this same 1999 model 626 (all them former Mazda-brazil workers). 99% of them were imported from the U.S. but my car came from Germany... (so a direct import instead of a dealership import) i have a manual dash (the US dash has those lights for the PRND21 for the AT model) without the selector indicator (many panels had japanese annotations inside them, even the dash, but why would that be so on a LHD car?), and my car had an ignition coil pack (instead of distributor) like the EUR/JDM model. I have a mitsubishi charger (many earlier models 626 here have datsun or bosch chargers). Also, i have one of the few 626s in brazil , 99 model, without a KL (this is something i wanted =( since we cannot do engine swaps for more power here). The Crank is diffrent (also, forged) , bolt patterns, flywheel...
And the wiring, OH the wiring! I had to grab manuals for the EUR spec, JDM spec and US protegé 5 to sort everything out! a nightmare! It seems the car was build of factory spares!
There were lots of connections like those where the wiring was dubious in the schematics, all well done connections, high quality and high flexibility wire, but still, seems a job done cautiously with spares. I think it is very weird, but adds to the exotic feel.
After that, then, it was all wrapped up and ready, i would move the car. Mr. Kriger called me and we fixed a deal: we would work togheter on 2 cars, and have this drift car done once and for all! So i moved the car to his garage, 140km (circa 85 miles) from home. It would run on a truck and i would scout ahead with the assorted needed bits to finish it (and 2 spare sets of hear tires!)
For the journey ahead, a 2 liter 8 valve SOHC engined opel/chevy Zafira was the ride to carry everything, kindly borrowed and with a unsatiable thirst for fuel!
As soon as the car landed, everything was intact (check out the blue mica Isuzu truck, sporting a GC8 GT spoiler over the cabin and dark-gold legacy style wheel paint that you cant see on the pictures), and we sat it side by side with the BMW 381ti (fueltech EMS fitted, the 1.8 liter now certainly has more than the original 140 horses, though it wasnt dynoed yet)
It certainly felt more comfy besides another RWD import, i am pretty sure!
The engine was easy to remove (with proper tools at hand) and we then saw the problem with the gearbox, right away
The pressure plate wasnt damaged, thankfully, but the bellhousing had some markings on it...
As you can see, those internal lumps where bumping in the pressure plate, holding it , wich ended up forbidding the engine to run. The starter motor test was done with clutch depressed , and the starter was powerful enough to make the plate rip of some of the aluminium on the casing. Easy peasy, we will grind them down (since the gearbox is thick, it will be no trouble structurally speaking) and problem solved.
Car sits now without engine and suspension, i will get coats of epoxi paint in some places to mask the soldering and protect everything from rust, and i am negotiating some brake upgrades. Installing the cams and timing belt, and i think in one or two weeks we will start the engine and make the 1st run, stay tuned!
Last edited by mbretschneider; 30-10-2013 at 17:42.
Reason: missing picture
Update nov 10 2013
On with the news:
I am a little off with photography, because i can't take them while with hands dirty, BUT, on the other side, work on the car went surprisingly well the last days. I removed the whole front and rear suspension assembly, arms, and so on, got them sandblasted to bare metal and epoxi/electrostatic painted satin black with a thick layer, to refresh the car, keep it rust free and protect it from the elements.
This is a single pic of the finish front mount, everything will get back togheter this week with more pictures.
Speaking of sandblasting and painting things blaaaack, this is the new valve cover, doesnt it look nice? like on a new engine of sorts...
Speaking about the engine, i got brand new seals, tensioners, gaskets, belts... everything in mint condition, looks nice to have an engine like that!
You can see the new parts, with the (cant see those) new cams installed , everything aligned on the proper timing and with the valve cover well seated
As we say aronud here, a good tuned car does not only runs nicely but stops promptly, so, a VERY nice deal showed up on the brake department and i grabbed it right away. The 626 will be sporting a brand new pair of Wilwood 4-pot brake calipers and pads (the pads are 20% more expensive than my regular ones but certainly with far bigger stopping power) they are being worked with my front wheel mounts by a good lathe , probably i am getting then by monday or thursday (NOV 11 & 12 - 2013)
By the end of the day, we got a Yamaha R1 set of individual throttle bodies (to fit on that 318ti BMW you seen on the former post) and it came with an extra set of throttle parts (that we cannot control with our EMS, so they were removed) that were taken apart and saved
And i won them as a little gift, so if i want to fabricate the runners in the near future, i already have light and quality aluminium bits to make it work nicely =)
Thats it for now, i hope until the weekend i will start the engine (video on that, right?)
Update nov 15 - 2013
So, as i said before, i would start the final build this week. I almost thought i wouldnt make it...
What you see here is the nylon bushings... that because of a series os miscomunications were cooked along with the metal bits on the epoxi painting oven... rendering the rear suspension useless. Worse than paying for materials and such again , its the TIME that it takes that upsets me !
Along with that, i was onto expecting more parts to arrive from service providers of all sorts, i did cleaned and prepped the car in the best possible ways and started to organize everything needed to make things run as smooth as possible once i had everything on hand.
After long days of wait, the wilwood 4 pot brake calipers where fitted by mr. Boff, the Lathe, where the old ones where sitting, modifications where made on the front wheel mounts and now i know that the car (that isnt running) will , at least, stop properly
The brakes look DAMN nice , the pad touches 99% of the surface area avaliable on the disk (i think the OEM one did it for 70% perhaps), and i have steelpipe/aeroquip lines fitted to the front brakes in the best way possible.
I have also wire brushed and cleaned (pic from the beginning of the process) the small bits of rust and peeled paint that were inside of the engine bay, got some gren paint and covered them roughly, to prevent rust and so on.
This is the engine bay, free from any spots without paint that would possibly lead to rust, wires processed and everything mounted and in place just waiting for the engine to arrive
The transmission tunnel was treated with DUN DUN heat/noise insulation, look at the mess
And this is all that was done this week, a real real shame. The fuel tank and rear suspension are mated, it is almost impossible to fit the fuel tank if i can't fit the rear subframe, and without the rear subframe, can´t fit the diff , neither can i fit the propeller shaft.... a mess.
This friday (15 nov 2013) is a holiday in Brazil, so no work until monday, when then i will start by re-fitting the engine and will work solely on the car, in hopes to finish it before december, wish me luck!
just read this whole thing I am amazed by your enthusiasm is all I can say . you are luck to have good helping hands also.
Hey, thanks man!
Originally Posted by jimmy crowley
It is a big learning process , i must tell you, but as anybody else out there, if i didn't relied on trusted friends and family, i wouldn't be here today
It's my 1st modified car, but after all that happened to me in this journey, i am pretty sure it will not be my last !
1st Week DEC 2013
I have been working on the car so focusedly that i forgot to take pictures or even post here! So, lets proceed with the news !
Engine is back in place, i got a hold of the bits that were blocking the clutch from
spinning, the engine is spinning freely, with good compression and the camshafts properly
fitted. It also has brand new tensioners, bearings and belts for either the cams and
After fitting the engine in place, and the all new rear suspension, we stumbled on a little
problem.. the front wheel was rubbing against the wilwood 4-pot setup... off we went to the
lathe again, so we could fix it with a spacer, luckly it was needed only 12mm to fix the
issue, so no need for double screws , just longer ones
The only thing bad about needing spacers is that you can't simply find them around on parts
stores , because the mazda 5-stud pattern (114.3x5) is the same as... nissan, wich is
another brand that brazilian shores have barely seen in the 90s... all custom made again
Unhappy with the fittings of the small steel braided brake lines, i ditched them in favour
of quarter inch teflon-steel lines, used to hold industrial vapours, they are sturdy,
resistant, and fit far better. They're ticker and hold more fluid inside too, but it
doesn't seem to be a problem right now. I hope it doesnt show as a problem later on too
I am lacking pictures of it but the hand-brake reservoir (in fact a Mitsubishi L200 clutch
reservoir) had to had a opening blocked and it took the better part of a day. It is all
working right now
And now for something completely unseen on the history of driftworks.... heat/noise
And, after that i got into the trouble of fitting the proper fuel lines, and covering the
holes made in the body with proper insulation, i dont want water entering the car or rust
spreading on a rustless shell.
Twin fuel pumps solve my issue with the divided tank, while preserving the original fuel
indicator buoy setup, so i can read the fuel level as usual
Time for eletronics, grounding and re-wiring the original fuse/relay box
We started by re-fitting everything and extending the needed wires...
Then we proceeded to pulling the needed wires from the engine compartment all the way to the trunk, to reach the battery
A crappy picture, but it shows the relative position of the battery and the way it sits. It
will be fixed so it will not be toss around while drifting.
After that it was time to finally assembly the fuel tank and diff back togheter, so 1st of
all i filled the diff with the best oil we had around
And we started the job of fixing the little welder...
At its place, it was time to fit the exhaust system...
And , the next things that are lacking for the car to be ready and roadworthy are proper
hatches on the floor to access the fuel pumps for future manitenance (simple cutting , hole
punching and fixing)
And wiring a wee bit of sensors (oil pressure, air intake temp and the thermostat, that
will trigger the cooling system starting at 75 celsius), those are the lasts steps before
1st start of the engine.
Besides that, the to-do list includes fixing the air-con hoses (a third party company does
that, we dont have the proper tools at hand) and filling it with gas again, since brazil
hot summer is on. After that the car goes back to home-sweet-home and will recieve back its
interior trim and some CF bits =)
Last edited by mbretschneider; 09-12-2013 at 15:10.
Reason: missing images
I haven't checked on this build for a while but good to see the progress
What stage are you at now?
Update DEC 2013 - End Year
Hey there guys
End Year is a busy time around here, work piles up and i have to deal with things on a diffrent pace.
After all the mechanical bits where properly there, fixed and trimmed to their final stages, i started to work around the eletronics to run the engine, and here are the results (the exhaust in the video was built just up to the catalytic converter, so its noisier than it will be in the final assembly)
This is the 1st start ever, you can see how the ECU acts trying to find an idle rotation, and then i fool arround with the throttle a bit (just up to the 6500RPM range, the cut will be @ 7500 RPM)
The start was difficult, and i figured i did something wrong with the wiring, had to re-work it
I am pretty sure you guys there know the saying "you give a man a fish , you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for his entire life", this couldn't be more true with my friend mr. Kriger, he teached me lots about eletronics in the former days and i started to reassembly the loom, from the start
Those main looms for the FuelTech EMS go for around 50USD here, and its a better way to restart the wiring than using an old one with lots of cutting and soldering already done, so i restarted
Searching for the place to get the after-key positive signal (not so sure on how to call it in english, so help me out) and going through the dash, i spent a whole night awake fixing the loom (laid it in the ground and start working , mocking the positions of the engine bay). Unfortunatelly, my cellphone battery died and i was without a proper charger, so the all wrapped and pretty loom wasnt photographed in its full glory =/
now i think a proper car must be driven lots and look good, and i particulary like the tucked wire look. Though i didnt wanted to solder holes, shave everything, hide the fuse box in a weird place or anything like that, i did my best to keep the loom out of the way of heat, and going around the firewall and car structure, making it easy to access but still tucked from a first glance, where no mess would hide my engine
After that the engine started, and the car was to be run, BUT, a leak in the 2nd fuel pump made us stop on our tracks , it was december 21 and all the auto-parts stores are on a halt until january 5th/6th
With no ways to continue working on the car, we took on vacations. But it runs and only needs a fuel map now!
For now i wish everybody a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!
Big thanks to driftworks for being awesome and for this community to be so nice and welcome me with wide open arms, may i be one to provide content for others, like the community supplied for me!