N/A Mazda 626 RWD conversion from Brazil.

Thread in 'Project Cars and Builds Threads' started by mbretschneider, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. mbretschneider

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    Hello there fellow drifters!


    My name is Max, i am a 25 years old from Brazil. I have been silently following driftworks for a little more than a year now and i decided to start my build and my thread.


    I know the proposal of my build raises many questions, ask away anything you want, but for a nice start: the cheapest brazilian econobox costs 20.000 USD, we never had the silvias, RX7, miata and such sports RWD cars. (the 1991 miata costs 25-30,000 USD for rarity of the few imports). All avaliable RWD cars are too old to drift and daily drive (no aircon, poor steering, poor interior), the costs of selling the 626, buying an old impreza (most "jdm" driftable car around here) making it RWD and making mods is the same as converting my 626 to RWD, so i am sticking with the car i already know and that is already in top condition.


    Some facts about brazil:


    Except for only one state (that i do not live in) , modifying a car is a crime. Everything must be stealthy, so no fancy atmospheric blowoff valves, noisy turbos or so.


    Running a track car is EXPENSIVE. You must have a specific license to haul a trailer with your car , with the money needed to get this license i can carry over more mods to the actual car.


    About the car:


    In December 2010 i bought a 1998/1999 Mazda 626 GLX. Its the FWD, FS-DE 125hp/17kgfm automatic version, clocking 70.000km (around 43500~ miles) on the odometer. Full leather interior. A comfortable Sedan, and powerful car (to LOCAL standards). Its "british racing green" kind of color was in great shape, no bends and no rust at all (rust isnt an issue here, we dont have a winter with salt on roads, even i living in the coldest of places). In december 2011 i rebuilt its engine to fit FS-ZE high comp pistons (imported with the help of corksport) and start my run on mods. I drive a LOT, lots of highway cruising, car sits today with 125.000km clocked. Sometimes i have to do 1000km on a single day, or even more (that's why it helped being an auto for its comfortable on the daily commute and traffic jams).


    The plan is to buy a new daily driver next year, so its time for the 626 to turn into a nice q-car!


    The Goal:


    Convert the car to RWD (its an AWD unibody, the JDM version has AWD as option), reach close to 200 horsepower, hoon the streets at night in my local mountain pass and hit trackdays without being a trailer queen. I will be keeping it road legal, so no big power numbers, full interior trim will stay (though i plan to change the seats in the future), air con is staying too, the summer is scorching.


    The Plan:


    I managed to get my hands on some parts of the only miata wreck that is known of in brazil (the little car is being sold in spares FAST because of the rarity of the miata in brazil), getting the essential parts of it and i will be fabricating the rest. The BP and FS engine are much alike on transmission fittings, a flange will do the job. So i I will be using a lot of local brands, since importing here costs 80% of the item price PLUS shipping. Thats for taxes.


    So, current engine is:
    - 2.0 Liter, FS-DE 4 cylinder.
    - Higher comp pistons (10.4:1 FS-ZE 0.5mm overbore). Cant use higher comp because of 87 octane costing 0.8 GBP (1.3 USD) per LITER (0.22 gallon)
    - Nitrided Crankshaft (the crankshaft is strong on these engines, at least, for our local market, nitriding came as a bonus when talking about mods with the engine shop, so why not?)
    - The rest of the engine is brand new stock items. Some items have been sourced form a KL, so they are a little "oversized" making me able to have better oil pressures, fuel pressures and so on.


    What i Have so far:


    - Miata front subframe for engine mounting and mixing with my current subframe (without double-wishbones, i will stick with my single wishbone setup because miata bushings and such are too expensive, and the 626 ones are made for the car, easy to pay for and easy to get new if needed). The stock suspension layout handles very well , i will probably upgrade the bushings to urethane.

    - Miata brake master cylinder, clutch cylinders and shaft.


    - Miata non-power-assisted steering rack (getting me some free horses from removing hydraulic steering)


    - Miata gearbox (NA 1991) with only 23.000km on it (14200~ miles)


    - Subaru Legacy 1992 diff (miata diff isnt serviceable in brazil because of rarity, also, the legacy rear subframe has 90% compatibility with the mounnting points on the 626, and i can get plenty of spares for it).


    - Subaru Legacy 1992 rear subframe with semi-shafts (i am mixing it with my own rear subframe arms and such, again, 626 bushings are easier to find and its brakes and brakepads are bigger. Easily serviceable also. I concluded on using this subframe because i managed to raise both cars on my shop by occasion and seen how much alike they were).


    - Subaru Impreza 1995 Fuel Tank (to go with the stock looks if inspected and it fits nicely too).


    - AEM Wideband for fine tuning


    - Greddy E-Manage Ultimate Piggyback ECU


    What is Still Needed:


    - [need help sourcing this] FS-DE Distributorless coil pack MANUAL TRANSMISSION ECU (i dont want constant codes being thrown from my ECU, mazda officially sold the cars in brazil from 1992 to 1998, so my car is a single import and uses a distributorless coil pack, all the 626 around besides mine are the 1994-1997 model with a distributor ignition system, any clue if i can use their ECUs and my distributorless coil pack would still work? help me on this guys! I know that hey had the same model and ECU in sweden, if anyone out there could source one for me i have even links to buy them in sweden, just the guys that are selling it dont accept paypal/western union)


    - Custom cams (FS-DE uses 230/230, the FS-ZE makes 170hp with the higher comp pistons and 241/241 cams, there are very capable machine companies here that can make me cams cheaper than importing them. I will need a little help with it, but, if 10 more degrees and a remap bump the horsepower by this much, with 20-25 more degrees i should expect around 190-200ish alongside with the other mods?). Since i have to fly under the radar, i need to extract as much NA power as possible.


    - Custom aluminium intake manifold and ceramic coated exhaust manifold (can get those easily too, good fabricators around). ITB's? Just need to choose the correct size for them.


    - Bosch 10bar fuel pump.


    Most probably unassembly will start end of december or beginning of january, from there on it will move fast, since i will be without a daily driver.


    Here are pictures of the car:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (ALSO: car can't sit lower, really. Speed"bumps" here are the size of a dead horse and from time to time even the front bumper bottom part scraps on things).

    Its my 1st build, i already have most of the parts needed to do it, this community is awesome, so i expect some positive criticism. As soon as i start the disassembly (might wait for the new year, since visiting relatives takes time and distance) more pics will come!
     
    #1 mbretschneider, Dec 4, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  2. mint

    mint touch my fruit

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    Welcome - Good read and very interesting build! Hope it works ok.

    If I were you though.. and I had a passion for cars / motorsports.. and my government said 'I would be a criminal for changing a wheel or gearknob etc' Id move.. Sounds like an utter ball ache all of that. But good job on working through it.

    :)
     
  3. mbretschneider

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    Hey there mate, thanks for the comment, i appreciate it!

    You can do a LOT of cosmetic mods around here. In the 60's through the 80's there were LOTS of street racing in old vws and dodges quarter miling all around... People in Brazil like their cars, really.

    Power mods over 10% are illegal on most states. Though the "up to 10%" rule became because of people pushing it and installing aftermarket power kits (chip modded ECUs basically). People are pushing it , things are starting to happen again. Track days are getting more common (and even have incentives like: " do it on the track , not on the streets" ), factory turbo cars are all modded, old beetles all recieve kits for higher displacement (come on, nobody can tell whats inside your engine block and head, thats why i am going N/A)...

    The only state that allows mods, is the one that has emissions control. They say you can do anything IF you still keep it under emissions control properly. Things are taking shape now.

    But yeah, moving comes to mind, but life is good around here nonetheless.
     
  4. mbretschneider

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    Update! 27-Dec-2012

    Hi there guys, here`s an update!

    1st of all i want to wish everybody on this community a merry xmas and happy new year! Let`s celebrate by burning those rubberbands around your rear wheels everybody!

    So, the news about the 626 are that i measured the rear legacy suspension bits and compared to the measures of my own rear suspension setup. Everything is almost the same size, 1cm bigger or smaller here and there! Thats INSANE, i thought i would need a LOT of custom fab to put it togheter with difficulty, but it seems things will run smoother i hope!

    The plan on the rear suspension is to stick with 626 brakes and dampers/coils for reliability and ease of use (the 626 rear brake system locks easily even by pressing the pedal , even with ABS), the pads are cheaper than the subaru ones and also bigger. Plus the 626 shocks are new while the subaru ones i have are busted.

    The bushings are good on the subaru rear end but i will be buying a set of urethane bushings anyway to make that rear end stiff and drifty =)

    Bad news: i found an oil leak on the rocker cover, will get help from a former mazda garage chief (mazda doesnt exist in brazil since 1999, this guy has a shop that services the former mazda dealership customers) to fix that soon enough, so for now i am running another daily driver... those are pics from the leak:

    the ground surprise :cry:

    [​IMG]

    opening the cover

    [​IMG]

    a 200hp A/T RWD white (the only ORIGINALLY white one in brazil so far, i did a research on that) Mazda 929/Sentia

    here are some pics of its "restoration" process,

    when it was at the garage being serviced (tue suspension was in less than ideal shape, we bought it clocking 86.000km and it has 91.000km as for today) and the engine is completely alright (the car was from the owner of the mazda dealership back in the day, the engine had oil changes weekly! )

    [​IMG]

    It had grey sideskirts , but they were repainted white for looks, with a nice polishing the white paint became all minty again!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Those pics are from the painting progress, i will show you guys pics of the car all ready tomorrow. The paint was done the past week, just didnt took pics of it yet. The car is all unmodded besides a mp3 capable stereo and some white lamps up front. It will be my daily driver until the 626 FF to FR conversion is done =)

    Handles like a boat, fast enough to bring you a grin when you press the pedal, gets an average 9.5km/L mileage from its 3 liter engine and comfortable as your own bed. :cool:

    The car is heavy, 1900kg (around 4190lbs) and feels fast with 200NA horses... i always get myself daydreaming, the 626 weights 700kg less (2798lbs) and will probably have the same power... its gonna be mad! :wack:

    The original wheels on this 929 will be my 626s track wheels/drift spares since they are all the same size. Didnt decided the color i will use on them yet...


    Plan now is as follows:

    - Solve the leak (since i will use the same engine its worth the hassle now, i must run a little more with the car on its FF configuration to solve some business)

    - wait for the manual ECU to come home to start disassembly and take the car to the Lathe (the suspension work will be done with me supervisioning his team).

    Stay tuned for the next updates, i will start all the work as soon as the E.C.U. hits home!
     
    #4 mbretschneider, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  5. victim

    victim Bimmer Skidder

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    Awesome project. I love the stealthy 2 fingers up to the law approach :)
     
  6. saihaynes

    saihaynes Member

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    Good work dude and welcome, brazil is a beautiful country
     
  7. japscrap101

    japscrap101 Member

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    What kind of stealth exhaust system you going to run?
     
  8. Kemp

    Kemp New Member

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    wow sounds great ... always liked the idea of a RWD conversion on this kind of 626, since my buddy drives one.
    and the car is awesome as daily driver...

    I'm looking forward to updates :-)
     
  9. mbretschneider

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    Them basterds gave us the 2 fingers up when decided not to allow mods, im giving them just a polite reply =D

    Thanks for the compliments mate!
     
  10. mbretschneider

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    I live in the cold south and can say its my favourite part of it all! (but we hare are a little... too proud of our place)

    Thanks for the warm welcome!
     
  11. mbretschneider

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    I am making the exhaust bigger , dont know how much yet, i think an inch wider will do the trick (will talk to the exhaust builder later).

    I want mid-range power (anything like a wide torqueband, maybe ranging from 3000-5000rpm or something in the likes) so i think i will probably use a bigger system with the factory spec (4-1 header , a bigger silencer in the mid part of it).

    Funny thing is, here anythingn up to 80db in idle is legal, so im not much worried with noise level. I will keep it stock looking. I will go also for a free-flow catalytic converter (either a magnaflow one or a tricked one from a bigger engine, the 2.4 accord cat is bigger than mine and could provide better airflow while maintaining a level of silence and emissions control appropriate).
     
  12. mbretschneider

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    Thanks , mate!

    It has so much space inside the engine bay that i can move things around nicely. Perhaps with everything i will document here more people will be able to do those conversions.

    And, your buddy is right, its a great daily driver!
     
  13. mbretschneider

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    29-Dec-2012 - Solved Oil Leak

    Quick post here, i got that leak sorted out!

    Almost a full can of degreaser on the rocker cover , made it so clean that one could use it as plate!

    Then re-sealed it, very carefully. It runs smooth now and clean.

    [​IMG]


    Only bad news is that i got two broken bolts stuck on the head (but they are so on an easy to fix way). I have a very small droplet coming from one of the broken bolts (wich is less than i expected) and a thin droplet also coming from the filler cap.

    Gonna change the filler cap soon (perhaps try to find a mazdaspeed one cheap online, anyone know about it?) and have the car parking over newspaper for a couple of days, and will fill the broken bolt with sealant.

    The broken bolts will be removed when i take the engine head for tuning.

    Also, wednesday the guy from swedland will mail me the ECU. As soon as it gets near to its arrival in brazil, work will start by disassembling it and going to the lathe.

    I wish everybody a smokin 2013!
     
  14. Brunosr13

    Brunosr13 old school fun

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    The laws did get a bit a pain on the last few years but you kind off on the right place to your project, there you have some of the best tuners in Brazil, remember the first GM engines on drag strip there come from south and they still killing the VWs lol, seja bem vindo.
     
  15. mbretschneider

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    Quite the surprise to find someone from here, man!

    Great tuners here, ture enough, i think i can pull it off, the best Lathes are around too!

    Im travelling europe on the 2nd semester of 2012 ( gotta even go to team ponydrift school to get things flowing better ), perhaps we can meet and greet and share some wrenching time and stories!

    Obrigado! Feliz ano novo!
     
  16. SidewaysDan

    SidewaysDan New Member

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    rocker cover leaks.. the story of my life -.-
     
  17. Brunosr13

    Brunosr13 old school fun

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    Did grow in Brazil and was where I started work with cars on my young days and did learn a lot, to tracks Rio Grande do sul is a bit slow if Im not wrong is only one down there so may will be hard to you use tracks there, Parana have few more and would be the best option to you, there you have few drifters as well most then guys use to leave in japan and did import few cars, been in Uk for the last 8 years and if around london at some point get in toutch and we meet to talk about drift :thumbs:
     
  18. mbretschneider

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    Those are annoying anoyances, for sure

    There are two tracks here, and both are near my hometown, Tarumã, the most traditional one (probably the one you are talking about):

    [​IMG]

    and Velopark

    [​IMG]

    Both have trackdays i think once-per-year or so (its growing slow) and both are HEAVILY used for quarter mile racing, the drag strip (located on the main straight) is basically only part used most of the time, a shame.

    Also, i dont know if you are actually allowed to drift in trackdays here, but it will probably get you a big BAN =(

    I am thinking of renting an empty space to practice and perhaps planning the southmost drift event on a nearby aerodrome in the future... (i hope!) (this is the aerodrome Wikimapia - Let's describe the whole world!)

    For the beginning i will try to rent a kart track to practice or find an empty big space to do so...

    If I ever hit london we will share a pint certainly!
     
  19. mbretschneider

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    Hey guys, whats up?

    Just a pic of how the car sits today after the washing, some dents on the front bumper, boot cover and mirror covers because of constant highway cruising (small debris and rocks always hitting those parts). This is "full lock". Though i dont know what to do about it yet (didnt drifted the car, how to know if it is or isn't enough with my gear rations, speed, angle, stuff if i didn`t drifted it yet? gotta drive it sideways 1st , right? ), since i will retain the powersteering probably. I have a miata non-power assisted rack to try something (or , in the future, perhaps i can source a BMW one? ) if needed someday.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I am now waiting for some parts to arrive in the mail, those are:
    - 626 clutch pedal and pedal assembly (i want the car to look stock)
    - FS-DE engine flywheel, clutch, pressure plate, bearing... kit
    - some crankshafts (miata, subaru... will cut and build one for me from them)
    - timing belt, gasket set and timing belt bearing (will replace everything since the engine will be out and easy)

    For the next days i will be driving the 929 in its bathtub handling and yacht-like comfort =)

    [​IMG]

    Here's a picture of it on a rainy day with the finished full white look. On the back you can see my gf corolla (its a 7A-FE auto AE111), good car for the daily use, fun to drive and with the right geometry it gets snappy with lift-oversteer on rain/dusty surfaces.

    So thats it for a small update, parts are coming, my hands are itching to start disassembly and tailoring my dream car!
     
    #19 mbretschneider, Jan 11, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  20. mbretschneider

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    Update - Started Disassembly

    Hi there fellows! Sorry for the lack of updates, i am having family vacations, it's been rad and such, but the car is some miles away at my garage, and, as much as i want to keep going onto the project, i am having a needed rest.

    These are some pictures, i started disassembling the front and labelling everything and conditioning everything togheter so i dont miss any of the rare OEM bolts and parts. Again, i will keep the car original looks, so the trim will stay for now.

    [​IMG]

    Here we have the start of everything, the heat/noise insulation from the hood removed. Gotta be careful with that, too much engine noise can give away the car is modded (wich , again, is illegal here, so for the sleeper factor, lets stick with it). There is no replacement for this part avaliable too.

    [​IMG]

    Hood out, bumper out, lights out. To see the engine like this gives the car a little aggressive look, and also shows how much crap there is on the engine bay , with harnesses and things everywhere.

    In the future, a CAI intake will help with a cleaner look on the engine bay. Also, battery is going to sit on the trunk, to save space in the engine bay and try to even things a little (but still be serviceable, since i am retaining the trim, i cannot leave it inside the car, what if a jump start is needed?)

    [​IMG]

    Another pic of the engine bay, guess you can´t see from the picture itself, but, from a live view, is easy to see how much room there is for the engine to be turned 90 degrees (to the correct position, lol). For those of you who know the car you can see easily that you can put another whole intake manifold between the actual manifold and the firewall, those are like 20cm between the manifold and the firewall, i plan to leave the rx7 bellhousing sitting there, without entering too much inside the car.

    [​IMG]

    This is how i left the avaliable space in my garage, all organized to be re-assembled when the car is ready. When i come back from the family vacations (end of feb) i will remove the doors, trunk lid, all internal trim and head to the lathe, were the subaru bits will be fixed.
     
    #20 mbretschneider, Feb 19, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013

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