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Working on FD's- Is it hard????

Old 08-25-01, 06:03 PM
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Question Working on FD's- Is it hard????

I'm looking to get a FD some time in the near future and need some opinion on how hard is it to work on them? I know a little about cars in general. I've been reading alot on the net. just trying to make an informed decision.

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Old 08-25-01, 06:48 PM
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They can be "difficult" and a major PITA to work on at times since there is so much stuff crammed in the engine bay. As much as I love FD's I've got to be brutally honest and tell you that if you don't know much about cars or mechanical stuff in general then an FD is not for you. They are absolutely one of the most complicated and unusual cars in the world. If you've got enough dough to buy and maintain it, and are lucky enough to live near a competent rotary specialist (and they are few and far between) go for it! OR, get a Honda - they are bulletproof.
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Old 08-25-01, 07:48 PM
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Yeah...what he said. There are many hoses, solenoids, etc that can cause problems. I'm chasing down some trouble now. Don't know what you'd get that is comparable to an FD that is easy to work on.
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Old 08-25-01, 07:56 PM
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I'd rather work on my FD then other cars. Besides all those stupid vaccuum lines, the engine is much simpler to work on. I just did a valve job on my 89' mazda pickup, and the whole time I was thinking that the FD was easier to work on. But that's just me.
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Old 08-25-01, 07:59 PM
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Originally posted by neevosh
I'd rather work on my FD then other cars. Besides all those stupid vaccuum lines, the engine is much simpler to work on. I just did a valve job on my 89' mazda pickup, and the whole time I was thinking that the FD was easier to work on. But that's just me.
Good point - I do not miss valves at all! Agreed, in many ways the engine IS simpler, but the diagnostics - ARRGGGH!
The good part about learning where all the vaccuum lines go is then you are qualified as a Master Plumber, and can charge $140.00 an hour for your time to fix a kitchen sink, whereas your average auto tech only gets $90.00.......soon to be $100.00 or more due to a nationwide shortage of 5,000 techs in the next couple of years.
Moral of the story: DIY or RIP. ESPECIALLY when it comes to an FD. (and that's no BS:p )

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Old 08-25-01, 08:04 PM
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Originally posted by RonKMiller


Good point - I do not miss valves at all! Agree, in many ways the engine IS simpler, but the diagnostics - ARRGGGH!
Simpler layout, simpler actual motor ... but a lot more to go wrong outside.
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Old 08-25-01, 09:28 PM
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Thats what I been reading hear and elsewhere is the same. Some say its simpler, others harder. I really interested in the FD's and am willing to put in alot of time to learn how the car works so I can do the minor things. If I eventually get to the point where I can rebuild the engine then all the better. I'm talking about basic maintance like oil changes, spark plugs and the like. I'd like to get a good car in the begining and keep it that way with TLC. I know somethings pop up from time to time. It will be close to a year before I'm ready to get one(unless I come across a good deal) so right now I just trying to learn as much as I can. Then if I think I can't handle it I get a different car but right now I'm set on a FD. thanks for all the help guys. I'll be around asking more ?'s so try not to get upset with me :p

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Old 08-25-01, 09:38 PM
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Other than a mid engine car, the FD is probably a real hard car to work on bc it's complex with lots of hoses and space underhood is tight.

However, there are so many sources of help. First, this forum offers many help and advice when you don't know where to start or how to finish a job. Second, there are a number of specialized rotary shops and they know these cars like their own garage. (This is especially true for CA, FL, PA, and TX). Third, there are lots of free resources such as free service manual online, many how-to written up with good tips. These are things that you don't get when you drive a Honda or something.

I am not particularly knowledgeable on cars either but I am decently handy. With help and practice, you can start working on small things and give major work to rotary shops. Unless you are no where near a rotary shop and do not want to learn to work on your car at all, I wouldn't stop you from getting a FD.
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Old 08-25-01, 09:55 PM
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When I bought my Rx-7 I din't know a darn thing about cars. I only knew how to change oil and that was it. However I did lots and lots of research and had a big desire to learn. Today, 3 years later I am still learning but I do know a lot. I might not be to the point where I can replace an engine but I'm far from a know nothing too. My point is that it can be done if in your heart you are willing to give it your all. As far as how hard the car is to work on don't let that stop you. It is worth every second of work. Not only that but aside from the turbo system the car is actually pretty easy. Just learn how to do one thing at a time and work your way up to the big jobs. And take your time! It's better to take 3 hours to do a plug change than to strip a hole. I hope this helps.
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Old 08-26-01, 08:48 AM
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Not trying to scare you, but the FD does have some major reliability issues, most of them are just little things like boost hoses popping off that you can still drive the car if it is a must to get to work or something. But I would definately purchase the mazda shop manual and if there is ever a problem with your car, post it in the the tech support forum, because more than likely someone has had that problem before. And the forum is great for that support.
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Old 08-26-01, 12:44 PM
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If you want simple to work,on find one with a blown motor $4-7k,buy a motor $2.3 to 3.3k,go single turbo $3k,fuel,ecu, exhuast,$2.7,thats $11.7 to 18.7k that is got to be close to your price range I'm sure,you won't believe how much simpler and more reliable the car will be,so much easier to work on,90% of the cars issues lay in the twin setup,get rid of it and get rid of 90% of your problems.
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Old 08-26-01, 05:45 PM
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Talking

Oil changes nad spark plugs aren't too bad. The fue filter is tougher. Diagnostics are tough.

Good luck. Enjoy!
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Old 08-26-01, 08:07 PM
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Thanks for all of the replys. I think I can learn most of the basic stuff with no problem and I will have all of you here to help me figure out whats wrong. Also I live in GA and a couple of others hear do also and said that a couple of places work on them here. I think I'll keep gathering info so when I do get one I'll be ready. Thanks again guys.


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