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Old 02-08-2012, 04:20 PM   #1
himynameisbunny
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The Family Heirloom - '97 BA Hardtop

Just putting this here so I fill it in when I get the car back tonight...and you guys can shout at me if I don't haha.

What you (will) are looking at is my '97 BA Series 3 hardtop. It's seen some hard times but homefully it's time for that to change.

Came from the yard with Speedy wheels. Has air-con but other than that it's pretty granny spec.

It's life started when Dad picked it up sometime in 1997, when I was 8. I can remember arguing with him over what colour we wanted (I wanted the aqua color but he ended up going with Nobel Green )

The first memory I have of it is when we took it to Wombeyan Caves (I think?) for a camping trip when I was still in Cub Scouts. I remember it involved Mum looping the first Savage Garden album over and over in the tape deck and driving along a gravel road with Dad gritting his teeth - the car was 3 days old then!

Between then and 2010, my Dad drove this car to work everyday, then gave it to Mum when we got a 4WD Nissan, who then parked it in Cronulla for people to ram their doors into it every day and give it permanent scarring to 95% of it's body I also learnt how to drive manual in this car, and did my P's test in it!

I then drove around a VB Commodore and a G200 Charade between then and 2010, when I received this

All I've done with it up until now is really just getting it serviced when it needed it. Didn't particularly tickly my fancy to be honest, there was so many things wrong with it that it made me angry to drive it

First mod I did was put a Kenwood head unit in it (which has recently died).

Then a couple of months ago I started modding it...

So far I've added a Mazdaspeed rear muffler, a 2000 MX5 Nardi, nylon shifter bushings with a short shifter, and just got a major service on it!

This is what it looks like at the moment (03/08/12)...







Last edited by himynameisbunny; 20-09-2012 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:08 PM   #2
swift jimmy
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Be interested to see what you car looks like so i can keep an eye out for it running around the sutho shire area :-D
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:26 PM   #3
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Be interested to see what you car looks like so i can keep an eye out for it running around the sutho shire area :-D
When I get it back there will be photos

Gonna update the first post now.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:15 PM   #4
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Pictures of it up
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:18 PM   #5
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looks nice and clean and in great shape body wise... now get a astinagt.com sticker :-P
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:20 PM   #6
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looks nice and clean and in great shape body wise... now get a astinagt.com sticker :-P
Haha, the pictures are complimenting it - there's not panel on it that hasn't got a dent, a scratch or missing clear coat!

The worst are the front bumper and bar - I've sourced a bar from Duke but just waiting for him to get back to me regarding pickup times.

If anybody has a clean Nobel Green bonnet they want to part with let me know!

Other than that I'm going to leave the rest of it - I can't afford to replace/respray every panel
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:35 PM   #7
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bahahahaha.. its sort of like mine in pics it looks awesome.. in real life you can see all the scratches and that..

Reckon with the stuff Rupe brings in for these cars plus some time it will be looking sweet as in no time
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:43 PM   #8
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Just ran some Subaru Upper Engine Cleaner on it - recommend two people for this job as after the engine kicks over you'll have trouble getting to the engine bay before the engine stalls.

Can't say I notice much of a difference which is surprising - my piston crowns were all carboned up last time I checked. Not sure if it's a placebo effect or not but I think the throttle response is improved a little bit.

One thing I did find out though is that my PCV valve is very oily - wonder if I should get a catch can
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:48 PM   #9
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Yeah a 2 person job. With the intake pipe and afm seperated, it'll just stall on idle without someone feeding the engine some throttle.

I doubt you'll need a catch can. Wouldn't be enough pressure to be pushing oil up that high.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:58 PM   #10
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I doubt you'll need a catch can. Wouldn't be enough pressure to be pushing oil up that high.
Sweet, thanks

Next on the agenda, to get the suspension fixed up. Got those springs/shocks/camber bolts/LCA caster correction bushings to whack in, but I'll probably do all the bushings etc there at the same time as the left hand side clunks rather badly when going over speed humps and badly surfaced roads.
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:39 AM   #11
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Decided to jump on one of these while they were still around...



Along with one of these from Mikey:



And to top off the look...




I gotta save to get the suspension done! I'm getting distracted
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:49 PM   #12
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will spice up your interior nicely. let me know it arrives safe and sound.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:30 PM   #13
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Arrived today Mikey, cheers bud I'll be putting it on shortly!

Having a sick day today, but had to drive the girl to work...couldn't help but tunnel blast on the way there - love the sound the new MS muffler makes!
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:16 PM   #14
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ur car will sit as high as mine in my sig with those springs on her
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:32 PM   #15
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no worries man glad i could help
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:59 PM   #16
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ur car will sit as high as mine in my sig with those springs on her
Hopefully it will soon!

My main problem is I've got some really bad clicking coming from the front suspension - it seems to be both sides with varying severity. As noted previously in thread.

So I'll do the whole lot at once

I haven't been under to check them yet but I'm guessing either front sway drop links or ball joints?
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:19 PM   #17
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Realised I hadn't really kept this thread up to date...

Newest developments with it:

Took it in for a major service - they did all the belts, water pump, valve cover seal, gearbox and motor oil and filter.

Installed leather shift boot and handbrake cover from TopGaiters. Couple of things I learned:
  • Vaseline/Paw Paw ointment and grippy gloves go a long way in regards to getting the handbrake cover on
  • Just because something is made by Mazdaspeed doesn't automatically mean it's better (I prefer the stock shift knob! )
  • The Mazdaspeed carbon-look knob weighs 77g and the stock knob weighs 316g.
  • The Mazdaspeed bung and shift knob don't play nice with an Ultrex short shifter. The bung can't get far down enough on the stick for you to screw the knob on.
  • I need to clean my car up before beauty shots are taken






Changed ALL the light bulbs (save for headlights and dash) over to LEDs from Easdar Tmall, iJDMToy and V-LEDs. I learnt the following:
  • The only bulb type I got wrong when selecting my bulbs was the rear parcel shelf - it's a T10/W5W/194 type.
  • The side repeaters, licence plate lights, map lights and boot light need really short bulbs to fit - make sure they are under 22mm from tip of bulb to where the actual wedge starts. The map light panel can be trimmed using pliers though.
  • iJDMToy bulbs are flimsy - would not buy again.
  • Of course, your indicators will flash fast after installing the LEDs - don't be a fool like me and buy this relay because it just won't fit
  • Instead, replace resistor R1 with a 330k resistor from Jaycar as per this thread - credit to ghetto3 (I haven't done this yet, too lazy )
  • I installed a leftover white globe in the high tail light while waiting for my red one - white globes are nowhere near bright enough, something about the lenses are filtering out that spectrum of light. Always buy the corresponding LED colour (i.e. amber for indicators)
  • They're a lot brighter with clear lenses
  • Installing the dome light festoon is a pain in the ass - the stock bulb sort of has squished ends to hold it in place between the contacts. Either squish with pliers or just bend the contacts until it fits.


More pictures of that later

Bought RS*R springs and KYB shocks from Mad Mat.
Bought from Phly:
  • Whiteline Camber Bolts (F/R)
  • Whiteline LCA Rear Caster Correction Bushes
  • Whiteline 20mm Rear Sway Bar
  • Whiteline Front Sway bar (already fitted, feels awesome!)

And also waiting for the following from GSL Rallysport so I can get it all installed at the same time:
  • SuperPro Trailing Arm Bushes (Front/Rear)
  • SuperPro LCA Inner Bushes
  • 2x SuperPro Sway Bar Links Front
  • 2x Tie Rod Ends
  • 2x Lower Ball Joints
  • Whiteline Rear Sway Bar Link Kit

And from Rupe, a LCA brace and some broken hatch headlights to toy with.

My Eunos 30X/MX3 clear front and Mazda Bravo side repeaters finally arrived, which I then learnt:
  • Don't buy clear repeaters from here, as they're dodgy as hell - socket only has two holes instead of stock four, and the provided globe socket is shoddy as and doesn't plug into our loom as well. Go some good quality rear FD3S crystal side repeaters I say! You get what you pay for (most of the time!)
  • Removal of repeaters is easy - slide towards front of car, lift rear of repeater out.
  • Same with front indicators - undo the visible screw, pull them out.


And just discovered last night that I've done 4000km since my last service and already my oil light is coming on around corners. Either my rings are shot as hell or I've got another leak somewhere yeah?

...and that's it for now
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:26 PM   #18
Clean_Cookie
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looking really good! ive found if the oil light is on, its already too low...trust me, I know...it cost me an engine!
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:14 PM   #19
himynameisbunny
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looking really good! ive found if the oil light is on, its already too low...trust me, I know...it cost me an engine!
Don't tell me that lol details?

Our is it in your build thread? On mobile atm.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:36 PM   #20
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basically when ive checked my oil its been on the low before and the light was still not on. I had a fault with the light and it was always on, even with the correct amount. so I stupidly just left it like that for a few months. until I checked it and there wasn't anything on the dipstick. so I drained the oil and literally only a few drops came out!!! blew the rings in the process and was smokey as. new engine was put in which is going really well 2.5 years later. just keep an eye on it
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