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Mazda MX3 -1993 or 4


Money Pitt's Avatar
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10-07-03, 07:59 AM   #1  
Mazda MX3 -1993 or 4

My neighbors kid is selling the above car for $100.00. My 14 year old daughter {who is interested in auto mechanics} wants to buy it as a project car. The reason he is selling it so cheap is he is in college now and it is just sitting. It was his Dad's car then his older 2 brothers moved through it before him. The early summer a buddy of his and him replaced the clutch. I don't think they did it right, because there is a lot of clunking noise going on. Anyway before he considered selling it he took it to a service center and they said the clutch was shot and the trans. My question is, how would the mechanic know the trans is shot by sight and sound? Also what could be wrong with the trans? From my experience there are no soft parts in a manual trans to go bad. The clutch is what gives out to protect the trans. There is only 79k on this car and the body is sound. It needs the normal brakes, tires but the engine sounds strong and even the clutch is firm {outside of all the clunking sounds}. My only concern on the project is the trans issue. Can anyone shed some light on the subject?

I am really looking forward to a father/daughter project but don't want to get in over my head or budget.

Thanks,

Doug

 
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10-07-03, 08:11 AM   #2  
Joe_F
For $100 you have nothing to lose. If you get in over your head, turn around and resell it or part it out on Ebay and you'll make your money back.

Could be the tranny is shot, in such case you can get a junkyard unit and try that.

My opinion: Fix it and resell it, make some money on it. Buy her something else. In this fashion, she will learn about cars, you'll have a project together and she'll learn the value of money.

Make sure she puts her money into it, so she understands the value of the project and the value of money spent. That is probably the best lesson of this project.

Would I buy one of these? No. But to buy and flip for a profit, yes, especially at 100 bones. If you junk it running, you might even get your money back. Offer 50 and walk away.

In that fashion, you can get $100 at a yard right off the bat if you determine it's not a car you want to get involved with.

 
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10-07-03, 08:48 AM   #3  
Joe_F,

I knew you would reply quickly and thanks for the advise. The reason for $100 is that is what our local yard would give him. He offered it to my daughter because she was always over there covered with grease handing him tools and so forth. All money spent on the project will be hers and that lesson alone is probably worth the bones requested. In any case I told her before we dress it for show we need to make it go and she agreed with that. I just can't understand what would go bad in a manual tranny. In my 4 cyl race days I tore up the white metal H pattern on my Pinto. I thought I wrecked the trans because it locked up on me and put me in a skid until I cluched it. Brazed a new corner on the H {3rd to 2nd} and was running it on dead end streets again. I have put many clutches in both fords and gms from a 68 1/2 ton pick up to the 80 Pinto I had. All were rear wheel though so this will be a new surprise. My Geo Metro I had a mechanic buddy do it for me one night as I couldn't be with out the motored skateboard at the time so I never got the experience on that car.

Hey Mike from NJ, other than Red & Black what other central Jersey yards have a good selection of foreign car parts. It looks like my daughter wants to take up the hunt where my wife left off.

Thanks,

Doug

 
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10-07-03, 09:01 AM   #4  
Joe_F
Aberdeen Auto on Texas Road has a fair amount of foreign cars as does the whole "Texas Road" run of yards.

You can try www.junkyarddog.com for some yards close by. There's a fair amount to go wrong in a manual tranny, but I'd start with the clutch first.

I used to have a friend in MS that owned a salvage yard. What a dream. It was like having my own personal parts storage place. I would just give him a ring and in a week, I would have what I wanted.

Unfortunately, he didn't run the place right (he actually tried to convince me to move down south to be his partner), and he closed up. The place was a goldmine. Old vintage iron for miles.

He e-mailed me one day asking about a "1980 Trans Am that I got as a trade....I hear you know something about these cars". I guess I amazed him with my knowledge or something because he'd call me with all sorts of VIN #s and stamping #s and I always was able to tell him what he had.

One day his friend didn't believe it, so he put me on speaker phone, read off a Vin and a cowl tag and I said to him, "1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass V6, 231 LD5, two tone black/grey Brougham model, made in Canada".

There was dead silence on the other end of the phone and Jim said to his friend with true southern drawl, "SHiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit, I told you so hoss. He da man!!!!" LOL.

Jim was a lot of fun, and boy I miss those used parts .

 
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10-07-03, 12:41 PM   #5  
Doug,
This sounds like a great project for a teenage daughter. Since it's a Mazda, and like other brands, many Mazdas are similar under the skin, she might want to check out "miata.net" as a source for advise, parts, common complaints, etc.

Miata owners are as fanatical bunch of brand owners as I've ever known (possible exceptions-Porsche and Corvette) but they are more than willing to offer advice and help. Just tell them she owns a Miata instead of an MX-3

Frank

 
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10-08-03, 12:09 AM   #6  
mike from nj
miata is rear wheel drive, mx3 is front wheel drive

i replaced an engine in one of these a long time ago(mx3) the trans came out pretty easy if i remember(then again, everything seems easy for me). i would definitely get a second and third opinion before replacing a trans, especially if someone listened to it for five seconds and condemned it. it could just as easily be a loose mount or something simple left loose with the clutch linkage.


b&b on 520 in marlboro has a lot of import stuff and they let you stroll before making the big purchase, just don't go right after a big rain.

there's also an 'all import yard' on harts lane in east brunswick, i forget the name, and i haven't been there since high school(late 80's) so i don't know their policy.

i think every yard in new jersey has a big import section by now, if you know what i mean.

fix it up, a new timing belt, drive it for another 100,000 miles, and enjoy the 30+mpg while your at it. then when your daughter gets bit by the racing bug, she'll be right in the middle of the current fad. big exhaust pipe and all kinds of stickers and expensive rims too.

 
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10-08-03, 03:12 PM   #7  
matm347
As long as all of the gears work then I would say go ahead with it....worse case the synchros are bad which would be a great project for your daughter. The clutch doesn't protect the transmission, bent/broken shift forks, and broken countershafts could happen with abuse.

The bad clutch could also make it seem that the transmission was shot....IMO, have the clutch done correctly (new/resurface flywheel, new throwout bearing/clutch)

 
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10-10-03, 06:33 AM   #8  
Thanks for all the information. I am going to kick the tires this weekend. I spoke to the father and he said he couldn't answer anything since he hasn't driven it in about a year. We will see how it shifts and YES my 14 yr old daughter has the "FAST & FURIOUS" BUG!!!! I told her that we will make it go before dressing it for show and additional performance.

Thanks again.

NJ Mike & Joe_F see you in the yards

Doug

 
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10-10-03, 07:42 AM   #9  
Joe_F
Perhaps you will. LOL !

(Seems that a lot of people on this forum are from NY and NJ).

Just leave my GM F body and rear drive stuff alone. LOL

 
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10-10-03, 03:46 PM   #10  
matm347
Originally posted by Money Pitt
We will see how it shifts and YES my 14 yr old daughter has the "FAST & FURIOUS" BUG!!!! I told her that we will make it go before dressing it for show and additional performance.
Masdas like boost, I saw a Miata beating mid/low 12 second mustangs, it was pretty much stock with ~16psi from a turbo.
I know the MX-6 GT's came with turbos from the factory, even though they only gained 40HP, more boost would yield a larger gain.

On a side note, make sure she knows the difference between N2O and "nawws"! Fast & Furious was quite the comedy, to those who know cars.

 
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10-13-03, 06:45 AM   #11  
Its A '95 MX3!!!!

Well, I Test Drove it Sunday. The father wasn't home so I took the kid for a ride. It turned out to be a 1995 with only 78k miles

From the feel the clutch was never adjusted right, the clunking sound from inside sounds more like a loose heat shield on the catalitic {SP} converter. I ran it hard REAL HARD 6 1/2 between shifts. The kid had to change his diapie when we got back. There is a problem between 2 & 3 also 4 & 5 and the down shift same spots. I think it is more likely bent linkage then actual trany problems because I had it cooking. It could also be that I was not used to the actual pattern. My Sonoma has a much longer throw.

Kyle {the kid} wants to be part of the rebuild so he can learn more about cars. Needless to say it is in my driveway and my daughter is $100.00 lighter but has a grin a mile long. Matter of fact it hasn't left since we were testing it and she was riding shot gun.

We got a solid foundation to start and play with. And if she gets bored or it becomes more expensive than her p/t job allows we can sell it for a real quick profit.

Primary plans are the brakes. They bought the car used in 1999 from a dealer and put 30k on it without any brake work. We will replace all parts including new lines. Next we will work on the clutch and linkage problem. Then we will do a new timing belt and water pump. Next will be the exhaust, loud of course, and new tires maybe wheels. Then we will be off to dress it. I think with this list and only being able to work on it weekends it will take us the 2 years to put it together. All that is left is to have the wife agree to leave the house taxi/grocery getter outside so we will have the garage to work.

I will post for help and give you guys progress reports. Now off to find a service manual for the car.

Regards,

Doug

 
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10-13-03, 08:07 AM   #12  
Joe_F
Sounds like you got a decent deal and got yourself in order. Good luck.

Ebay and the various sellers there are best for finding an OEM shop manual for this.

 
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