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Old 07-07-2014, 10:32 AM   #1
devilishdesigner
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New Hardtop Owner

Hi All,
I have just purchased my first Mazda last night and discovered this forum while seeking additional information on the model.

I have always been an old car owner (Currently have a 1967 Volvo 122s Amazon and a 1951 Rover P4 Cyclops in the garage) but after my daily driver died last week I have been on the hunt for something that looks good, drives nicely, is fairly frugal, fairly safe and affordable.

I stumbled across the Astina BA series 3 Hardtops by chance and was quite taken by the styling of them. They also appear to be available with remarkably low kms. Having seen a couple in dealerships I went out and test drove an auto locally and was bitterly disappointed. The engine rattled and strained, gearbox hunted and jolted, brakes were touchy and body was rough. I was considering giving up on the model but later in the day I got a call back from another seller to come around and see his one and, since I had no other cars to see at the time thought I'd give it a shot.

Second car was a manual, 145,000km, from what I could see in the rain the body was immaculate aside from 2 scratches from what I could see in the rain, underneath and underbonnet was clean (a slight leak at the top cam cover gasket appeared after a drive, hopefully the gasket will be replaced for RWC). Inside was clean, but importantly it drove beautifully, Engine smooth, quiet, responsive, nice shift, smooth brakes, disks look near new, Bendix pads, decent tyres, working immobiliser, working aircon, only complaint I had with it was that the clutch took up very low, only a fraction of lift with the pedal before it started to take - is this normal for these Astinas or is it due for a worn clutch/poor adjustment?

Anyway, the car seemed to meet all my criteria so I put down a deposit and will hopefully collect it later this week once RWC has been completed. The Hardtops seem to be an uncommon beast, were many made?




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Old 07-07-2014, 11:27 AM   #2
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Welcome to AstinaGT

Nice pick up, personally i find the hardtop version have a unique style.
But hopefully you pick it up soon and have many year of great driving.
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:17 PM   #3
devilishdesigner
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Thanks, I'm getting a little confused with years, this one is a 1998 with drivers airbag, so it seems that the BA hardtop was sold alongside the early BJ models, is this correct? Any ideas if much was changed through the production years of the hard tops?
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:28 PM   #4
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Welcome and needs more low
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:17 PM   #5
devilishdesigner
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What will a set of springs and shocks cost? They do look food a little lower. Might have to fix our driveway first though... anyone got a towbar they want to sell?
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by devilishdesigner View Post
Thanks, I'm getting a little confused with years, this one is a 1998 with drivers airbag, so it seems that the BA hardtop was sold alongside the early BJ models, is this correct? Any ideas if much was changed through the production years of the hard tops?
The hardtop BA in Oz im pretty sure it was from 1994 to 1998 (i think in japan there are some from 1993) and the BA & BJ both were made in 1998 (last of the BA's)

I think the series 1 & 2 (from 1994 to 1996/97 were pretty similar but the series 3 (97 to 98 - hope im correct) had different/updated stuff to it, for example the interior, especially the door trim are designed differently (personally i liked the series 1 & 2 interior) and i think some engine parts were designed different as well as the ecu and there is some other stuff im sure members here will let you know that are different.

I know with the Hatch BA series 3 the headlights are designed differently, don't think the hardtop changed.

I owned 3 hardtop's all were from 1994 (V6) great cars, i think if i was going to buy another car might buy a 4cyl hardtop and convert it to turbo, but regardless the BA (in my opinion) is the best of all Astina's.

Please someone correct me if im wrong in any info above
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:41 PM   #7
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Thanks, I'm getting a little confused with years, this one is a 1998 with drivers airbag, so it seems that the BA hardtop was sold alongside the early BJ models, is this correct? Any ideas if much was changed through the production years of the hard tops?
BA 323 Astinas came in Hatch and Hardtop, sold here from 94-98. The BA 323 Protege was sold around the same years, but there was an overlap as the BJ came on the market.

And welcome to AGT Another Hardtop fan here - i've got 3 at the moment!

There's a fair bit of detail difference between S1/S2/S3 Hardtops. There's a few threads around here which go through the differences.
Here's one which links to others:
http://www.astinagt.com/forums/showt...ina+difference
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:46 PM   #8
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Welcome to AGT mate
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:29 AM   #9
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:43 AM   #10
devilishdesigner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupewrecht View Post
BA 323 Astinas came in Hatch and Hardtop, sold here from 94-98. The BA 323 Protege was sold around the same years, but there was an overlap as the BJ came on the market.

And welcome to AGT Another Hardtop fan here - i've got 3 at the moment!

There's a fair bit of detail difference between S1/S2/S3 Hardtops. There's a few threads around here which go through the differences.
Here's one which links to others:
http://www.astinagt.com/forums/showt...ina+difference
Only 3 Rupewrecht? I've been going through your threads (love some of your custom work) and thought you had more than that at one poine
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:01 PM   #11
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Welcome and good luck with your purchase. The ba series seem to have a hold on some of us!
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:10 PM   #12
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Only 3 Rupewrecht? I've been going through your threads (love some of your custom work) and thought you had more than that at one poine
Haha, well I did have another one that i parted out, and i've had a couple of Hatches along the way as well. But just Wrecht, the Substitute and a parts car at the moment.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:34 PM   #13
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:27 AM   #14
devilishdesigner
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Picked it up last night, pretty happy so far. Smooth power (for a 1.8) in the higher revvs, condition is about as good as I remembered, only got a couple of quirks so far - the lever on the side of the seat towards the front doesn't seem to do anything, the remote on the car locks and unlocks everything aside from the drivers door, and the space next to the clutch pedal isn't big enough for me to rest my size 12 foot. Otherwise I'm looking forward to clocking up some km.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:10 AM   #15
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The drivers door left the factory without a lock motor unless you had factory fitted remote central locking and AFAIK if it was Australian delivered it didn't have factory fitted remote central locking. It's also the only door with a switch that unlocks the other doors when you unlock it so it's not a case of getting one from a left hand drive country and retrofitting.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:30 AM   #16
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Ok cool, the other 3 doors lock and unlock on the remote so I had wondered if it was original fitment or an aftermarket job. Was sort of hoping aftermarket as then it would have just been a dead generic actuator that I could have replaced with another easily enough.

Also discovered a slight high pitched wind whistle on the drivers window. I've read about all the pulleys being made on here, but the window seems to go up and down just fine with no sticking or slowness, so I am not sure what is needed, perhaps just the block that holds the window in place when up is needed?
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Old 14-07-2014, 10:39 AM   #17
devilishdesigner
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Drivers window adjusted (squeak eliminated but my need to adjust the height slightly again as it can make a horrible noise when closing the door on occasion), coolant flushed, better steeringwheel fitted, better back bumper fitted, boot lock realigned and 7.8l/100km on the first fill up. Happy with that start!


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Old 14-07-2014, 06:53 PM   #18
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Welcome! Great cars. Best chassis. If you need bits and pieces I'll probably have them having parted out a few. Nice economy too!
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Old 14-07-2014, 08:43 PM   #19
devilishdesigner
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Not much budget for bits yet Clean_Cookie, but longer term a wheel withless scuff marks, some lowering springs, a wear free carpet and a towbar are all on the list
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Old 15-07-2014, 08:26 AM   #20
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Give me a yell when you are after springs. I have the Kings off my old hardtop looking for a new home. The rears still have Koni inserts that I believe are still in good condition.
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