3rd Generation Specific (1993-2002) 1993-2002 Discussion including performance modifications and Technical Support Sections.

Full car maintenance recommendations

Old 06-14-19, 08:56 PM
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Full car maintenance recommendations

Hi - I am planning to take my car down for some refreshment of bits. I've learned, when working on this car, nothing goes per plan. My garage time will be somewhat limited so I can't turn this into another 2-months-to-replace-the-downpipe ordeal. I am hoping to get some fore warnings, "wish i'd known", and any special tools from you guys based on the following:

Add R1 Dual Oil Coolers (remove front bumper)
https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-gen-gene...-help-1136080/
https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generati...ing-fd-880313/
Add R1 Lip
Replace U-Clips and fasteners, reuse undertray
Replace oil (ugh, only 300 miles on the current oil)


Replace Inner/Outer Tie Rods
https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generati...ie-rod-982097/
https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generati...-rods-1104957/
Replace Steering Rack Bushings
https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generati...d-help-977589/
https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generati...ering-1053871/
Get alignment


Drain/Flush/Replace Coolant
http://www.fd3s.net/cooling_system_flush.html
https://www.rx7.org/Robinette/flush.htm
Change Thermoswitch (remove alternator)
Change Thermostat (remove alternator)
Change/Troubleshoot Radiator Fan (drive side not working)
https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generati...x7-fd-1085155/
https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generati...ution-1131434/

Replace rear Differential Bushings (I have a vice)
https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generati...hings-1128159/
https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generati...nstall-294530/
https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generati...hings-1041335/
Replace Fuel Filter
http://www.fd3s.net/fuel_filter.html
Replace Rear Pillowball Bushings (same vice?)
https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-gen-gene...efurb-1121353/

Replace Rear Differential Oil (23 & 24 mm sockets)
Replace Transmission Oil
https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generati...hange-1130808/

Thank you

P.S. - "no emissions required" to renew the tags! In Denver, California?! I need to buy a lotto ticket.

Last edited by j a r o d; 06-14-19 at 10:21 PM. Reason: So as not to be a mooch, I am collecting related threads for reference.
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Old 06-15-19, 12:04 PM
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Adding the oil coolers is fairly straightforward. The inlets/outlets that bolt to the coolers directly use a weird rubber o-ring + crush washer thing that's still available from Mazda. You might not have to dick with them if you don't plan on removing the inlet/outlets though (mine were removed during the refurbishment process at the oil cooler place I sent them to to be refreshed)

Depending on who you buy the coolers from, you may also need to find the passenger side bracket for the cooler. My kit didn't come with that, so I had to get it from Atkins separately.

Make sure to lock all the quick connect fittings with C clips. I believe the generic packages they have at most auto parts stores include the size you'll need.

You can't reuse your stock single cooler return line, so make sure your kit comes with the dual cooler return line (you can use your existing feed line though, to the first cooler)


There were not really any gotchas I ran into doing the tie rods. Just follow the FSM on it.


Passenger side steering rack bushing was super easy, driver's side was a little harder to wiggle into place. I'd recommend unbolting both sides and putting the driver's side bushing on first, so you can lift/wiggle the rack a little to get it in there. Bushing grease also helps a lot


Your coolant items shouldn't be too difficult. Be careful with your engine harness connector on the thermoswitch and water temp sensor, they tend to snap off. There is a company that sells replacement connectors for the thermoswitch if yours does break off.


Fan should be a loose/bad connector, or a bad fan motor if its just one fan not kicking on. You can replace your stock fans with RX8 series II fans if you want.


I dropped the diff when I did all that stuff (which also made the fuel filter easy).


What I can say is that as you dig into the front suspension to do the tie rod ends, and as you dig into the rear suspension to do the pillow *****/differential bushings you are probably going to find a lot of other things little things you'll want to fix, if you haven't service those areas before.

I'd also do your alignment after you are done with the tie rods and the rear suspension stuff.

For what its worth, it took me a lot longer than 2 months to go through all this stuff, but I took my time and addressed any issues I found along the way so I wouldn't have to tear into those areas again in the near future.
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Old 06-16-19, 08:04 AM
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That is a good list. I would give yourself 2 weekends to knock it out.

Since you're changing coolant I would probably just remove the radiator totally from the car. That will give you a lot better access for the dual oil cooler install and also make it easy to pull the fans off (you can remove the fans and radiator as one unit) to fix/service the fans.

If any of the coolant hoses are ancient it may be worth replacing.

I would do the front half of the car first - oil coolers, coolant change, front bushing, front tie rods, etc. and get that together and wrapped up one weekend then do the back half of the car the following weekend.

Fuel filter is VERY easy to get to with the diff out. You don't have to totally drop the diff but you can have it hanging by the axles. Getting the old diff bushings out is the hardest part of the diff bushings hands down, I think I've used a press in the past to remove them. Worst case take the diff mount arm to a machine shop and pay them $20 or something to push the old ones out. The new ones will be a cinch to install, they go in by hand.

For the pillow *****, I've always used Harbor Freight's ball joint press.
https://www.harborfreight.com/ball-j...les-63279.html

I think that's one of those tools you can get at AutoZone on their free tool loan program. Makes the job really easy. Definitely make sure to get new rubber seals for the pillow *****.

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Old 06-16-19, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by DaleClark View Post
…..any of the coolant hoses are ancient it may be worth replacing.

...
Special attention to the turbo coolant hoses if they're starting to look puffy. And they don't cost much.
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Old 06-29-19, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Sgtblue View Post
Special attention to the turbo coolant hoses if they're starting to look puffy. And they don't cost much.
Would you please identify which I might need? None at the following catalog match your description.

https://www.atkinsrotary.com/store/C...Coolant-Hoses/
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Old 06-29-19, 10:32 AM
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Last Summer, I replaced the inner/outer tie rods on 2nd gen. I bought Moog replacement tie rods from Rockauto. Moog is a quality part and cheaper than Mazda. On my 2nd gen, the Moog inner tie rod shafts were just slightly longer than the Mazda part, but everything went together okay and is working just fine. Also, I didn't need any special tools to remove the inner tie rod. I also recommend the Moog bellows over the Mazda part. The Moog bellows are rubber (compared to the Mazda plastic) and are easier to install than the Mazda bellows.

I also replaced the steering rack bushings on my 2nd gen with PU bushings. The right side was super easy to replace. The left side required some careful maneuvering to install the bushing due to the steering box location, but eventually everything went together just fine. The steering is now a lot tighter with the PU bushings.
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Old 06-29-19, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by j a r o d View Post
Would you please identify which I might need? None at the following catalog match your description...
I show N3A1-13-54X and N3A1-13-536 for those two hoses. But that’s from an older source so the numbers may have been superseded. I didn’t see them on Atkins site but pretty sure there still available. I’d call Ray Crowe. Probably ~ $30 for both. They see a lot of heat and tend to bloat over time, but afaik no one makes a good pre-formed silicone replacement. It was a good reminder for me to look at mine.

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Old 07-01-19, 09:03 AM
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I also used the harbor freight ball joint service kit for the pillow *****. It definitely helped. I paired it with my electric impact wrench and it went fairly easily. All harbor freight tools, nothing but the best

https://www.harborfreight.com/ball-j...les-63279.html

https://www.harborfreight.com/20v-ma...kit-64195.html
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Old 07-06-19, 10:53 PM
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The behind bracket on the passenger side oil cooler is too tall. It looks fabricated. Anyone else have a similar experience?

Is the passenger side oil cooler supposed to be shorter than the driver side oil cooler?
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Old 07-07-19, 12:22 AM
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When I upgraded to dual OEM coolers, I had to buy the passenger bracket from Atkins. Fitment was spot on as far as I recall.

I don't recall the oil coolers being different sizes, but I can double check that tomorrow.
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Old 07-07-19, 08:33 AM
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My transmission took 3 qts of oil and didn't overflow the fill hole, I sealed it back up because the manual wanted 2.5 qts. Opinions?
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Old 07-07-19, 09:52 AM
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The car needs to be level on both axis. The fill hole is a square head pipe threaded plug. NOT the nearby hex socket head.

Last edited by Sgtblue; 07-07-19 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 07-07-19, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Sgtblue View Post
The car needs to be level on both axis. The fill hole is a square head pipe threaded plug. NOT the nearby hex socket head.
I am level, the diff. overflowed a little over the 1.38qt per the manual. I filled using the top left plug in photo with the teflon tape on it. Drained using the bottom two.

Last edited by j a r o d; 07-07-19 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 07-07-19, 12:00 PM
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Ok.
If you’re confident in what you did and and the amount, I’ve got nothing. But I think it’s only suppose to take a little over 2.5 quarts. You’re not counting gear oil in the shifter reservoir are you?

Last edited by Sgtblue; 07-07-19 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 07-09-19, 09:33 AM
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I've had a few JDM transmissions that took more than 3qts, while others took right at 2.5qts. I think it's probably ok.
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