Now it was time to really set to work making it faster. What is the best way to make a car faster? More power you say...NOPE. Make it lighter! Over the course of initial ownership I had already begun to remove the "unneccessaries" in the interest of weight savings...and to make the car go faster. It really is surprising how fast this stuff adds up. The exhaust work was a huge weight savings as was removing the non-functioning air conditioning system. Next up is to ditch the power steering system.
Mazda did offer a manual steering rack for the FC so I sourced a decent rack at a junkyard for $50 and swapped it in my car for the power steering rack. The benefit is twofold - weight reduction and less parasitic engine drag. There is a notable drawback though in that the manual rack has a lower ratio so it’s not as "quick" as the power rack. This I think is compensated by the better feel of the manual rack.
On a side note, with the air pump, AC compressor, and PS pump removed the only pulley’s left are the water pump, alternator and main eshaft pulley. This is a problem. With only a single belt around the three pulleys and the minimal contact area on the water pump pulley the belt will tend to slip at high RPMS. The solution, simply install a dual alternator pulley and run two belts - the water pump already has a dual pulley as does the eshaft pulley. The weight savings from the added dual alternator pulley is offset by removal of the 2 extra (there are 4) pulleys on the eshaft hub.
Old "weepy" oil lines (the worst was at the oil cooler connections). New SS lines installed.
I “sourced” a non leaking used mechanical OMP from the junkyard and replaced my VERY leaky OMP. I did however use all new copper gaskets and rubber o-rings on the new “used” OMP.
Talk about some oil leaks. Old OMP was leaking through the shaft. All was to be replaced. No steering rack pictured
While in that area of the engine bay I also installed an eccentric shaft oil bypass pellet ($15.00 from FC3S.ORG). The OE pellets are known to fail closed thereby starving the eshaft bearings of oil and toasting your motor. An easy and cheap part to install. Board to depress the clutch pedal and keep the torroidal bearings in place while you remove the main eshaft bolt with a big, no make that huge, breaker bar and a 3 foot chain wrench to hold the pulley. The pellet is right behind the main eshaft bolt. With new lines installed and a “new” OMP no more oil leaks.
[left]The old brass oil bypass valve, new AL "pellet", retainer spring, and main eshaft bolt. [right] Assembled "pellet"
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This page last updated December 11, 2003