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Bangkok Shite: 1986 Mazda 626 continuation thread.


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So what's exactly is happening? Well it is a continuation of this thread 


Some introduction. Sometime in 2020 when it was clear @hairnet wasn't coming here anytime soon, I bought this 19851986 Mazda 626 1.6 LX from him. This was supposed to be hairnet's transportation for the trip that didn't happened. The V5 was already in my name anyway so I just transfer the money back to him.


I lost the parking space close to home for it and so I have to move it 100 miles from home. It then develops some faults such as leaking lower clutch slave cylinder which was fixed promptly. I went back to it again in early 2021 to bled the clutch, change the oil, and get it running again.


And then this happened on the test drive, which began a saga of pain and suffering.




It ate alternator belt which was on the same plane as air-con compressor. Not a problem, I thought, just get a new belt, lob it on, job jobbed.


It was not that.





Basically sometime in the past, a bonehead converted this fine performance machine to R134a air-conditioning system. But because he's a bonehead he decided to mount the compressor in such a way that tolerances for the compressor clutch and frame was measured by millimeters. This makes putting on a new belt a hassle because I have to basically wrestled and hammered it in with less space than the size of the belt.

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After I manage to put the belt on, all is well, for about 5 miles, then it ate another belt. At this point I was ready to drive it without alternator belt into a river nearby. But that would not be the Autoshite way, would it? So I ordered another belt slightly smaller in case it was slipping because of not enough tension. I manage to put this smaller belt on and it ate it again. Remember the post above? Putting a belt on required the removal of air-con compressor bracket and alternator, which in this car designed by a wasabi fuelled guy in 1980's Hiroshima, took about half a day.


Then 2021 happened and I couldn't even get out of Bangkok to get to it.




After the lockdown was lifted in around September, I decided to just drive it without belt to the nearby shop and get the whole system redone, and then this happened.




The storage I had was not flooded, thankfully, so the car was 100% safe. But the whole surrounding area went in the drink. The picture at the start of this thread which I will repost here.





I called a local version of worldofceri with a flatbed. This was 15th November 2021. 11 months. I finally manage to get this bastard thing back to Bangkok. I decided to choose a shop well known for converting and fixing weird air-conditioning system to make sure not another bonehead is doing the conversion again. I'm done with trying to half arse it myself.




I cannot express how excited and glad I was when I took this picture. I'm ready to get hosed for whatever amount of money I have to spent to get this going again.


The car went into the shop for 2 months, the mechanic said this is the hardest fucking air-con system he ever had to convert. 1980's Hiroshima engineer decided to put 3 rows of belt on the air-con pulley, one connecting it to the engine, one to the power steering, and the outermost to the alternator, this means it has to be a certain size compressor. A bracket worthy of Bad Obsession Motorsport was made and depicted above.


It's done literally few hours ago. IT'S DONE!!!111




The 12 miles drive home was the most nerve wracking one I ever had. The last time I drove this thing properly was September 2020, after which it mostly sat. The tank is full of E5 I put in January 2021. I nearly got pulled over by the police because at this point there's no insurance and it was 4 months out of tax.


Today, the 626 rises again. But only if the fucker's headlights didn't decided to stop working, which it did. But it was only crud on the relay connector. Some contact cleaner and it was working again.




Getting MOT'ed. I chose this particular place because the owner/operator has a Volvo 850 and knows I have one. I talked to him about that a lot to distract him, he said I needn't worry and it passed easily.




So, a year in the making. I have finally manage to put this 626 in the new storage I rented for it. I hope it's grateful and will be nice to me in 2022.


Next up: new radiator. This one leak like a sieve.


Few things to note. I haven't taxed it yet, because we don't have an online system. I didn't manage to get to the transport office in time. The amount I spent on the air-con system is eye watering, but it is a work of art.

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  • Conan changed the title to Bangkok Shite: 1986 Mazda 626 continuation thread.

very awesome to see you have been persevering with this one!

I honestly thought it would have been flogged after a short while given that as I understand it, it was only supposed to be a hairnetmobile and you where not looking to acquire another car?

but I am very pleased to see it has hung around despite the odds against it in true autoshite fashion :) 


as always looking forward to seeing more posts on it :) 

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15 hours ago, hairnet said:

in case someone says meh air con


nice one conan

how much taxi from don mueang :D




500 baht and one beer.


8 hours ago, LightBulbFun said:

very awesome to see you have been persevering with this one!

I honestly thought it would have been flogged after a short while given that as I understand it, it was only supposed to be a hairnetmobile and you where not looking to acquire another car?

but I am very pleased to see it has hung around despite the odds against it in true autoshite fashion :) 


as always looking forward to seeing more posts on it :) 


I can assure you that until hairnet get to drive this thing it will not go away just yet, in the meantime I have to make sure it actually works.


So today I went in for a belated oil and filter change. Also did the gearbox oil at the same time. Much improved shift feel.




What's that?




Ah yes, this is why the exhaust tone is RACECAR. It's been like this since day one.




Also installed the mesh wheels with decent 2019 date Hankooks I sourced back in October and November respectively.





I don't care if mesh wheels are chav-ish if they look this good.




Also, this is the first pez since early 2021. Non-ethanol of course.

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41 minutes ago, MJK 24 said:

The wheels suit it!  How does the AC compare to a modern car?


A/C works very well. I know some brand new car still on sale that has worse air-con than this. One thing to note is that the previous 'shit' system works even better with it's comically oversized compressor, but that ate all 75hp this would've had new, and didn't even fit within the space.


The wheels certainly are period correct and looks great in my opinion. What's more important is that the tyres are decent and not 2014 date Goodyear that locks up at 10mph on dry pavement.

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I agree, the wheels look really good on it! Is that a "GD" 626? I have a Coupe in various condition of rustiness and has air conditioning, doesn't work of course and I need to sort the priorities of course - like holes in the floor  but would like to get it going but believe its' R12 so specialist will have to be found... 

Think I found why I reckon your wheels suit the car so well, here's how mine came to me 


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Mine's a GC, one generation prior. I've been in a GD and I can confirm that it's leagues ahead of the GC in every single way. Better engine, better suspension, better interior, better styling imo. But I reckon both GC and GD are pretty underrated in today's JDM obsessed world.


Working with R12 seems to depends a lot on the country so I cannot comment on that! In my case the car was already converted to R134a which in a warm country is a national pastime of shite owner.

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I taxed it, so it is fully road legal now. Then I washed and waxed it probably for the first time in a decade or so. Also I changed one of the sidelight which got cataract and letting water in, didn't change the other because it's still decent.

Doesn't  look bad at all, does it?

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I'm sorry but putting in digital dash is the one thing I will definitely not do with this car. Few reasons for this.

1. It is surprisingly a pain in the arse to do so.

2. If you'd believe it, the digital dash model sold waaaayyyy better than analog dash. This way it is moh speshul.

3. Even if I could find a digital dash it's most likely fucked.

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  • 2 weeks later...

2 weeks without a single update. You thought this fucker's dead, don't you.


On the 11th I sent the car to a nearby radiator shop. The old one's leaking. This shop makes race cars radiator, so I'm pretty sure a shite old Mazda is easy work for them.




4 days and £150 later this shit old Mazda is now equipped with custom made aluminium radiator and new radiator fan. It doesn't need this much cooling, but it sure does look cool as hell when you lift the bonnet.

Which reminded me the engine doesn't have a thermostat. I have one in the boot which I will fit when I'm not lazy.


Meanwhile, I browsed the internet and found that China is still making the correct rear badge for it. £2.5 including postage. Barg.


Shame they don't make the rest of the badges otherwise I'd replace all of them.

Then on the way home from radiator shop, the fucker ate another alternator belt.


This thing is still ungrateful, but not unreasonably so. The alternator pulley is the wrong size, a tad too small. From the picture you can see where the belt would melt from friction because it cannot grip the pulley. Not a hard fix and one that I should have done a year ago.


So I drove it without belt to a nearby alternator shop. This nice old man removed it and sent it to have the pulley groove widen.


A week later, it is today and it is done, the man also replaced one of the broken battery terminal. I paid £9. I will report back if it is ungrateful again.

What's next then? Suspension work. Hopefully next week.

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Funny how progress picks up quickly when the car is actually operational.




Replaced the key barrel. Original driver side door lock can be open with any flat sticks. Not that the new Aliexpress lock I bought would deter any thieves it's more for an "idea" of a having a lock than anything else. I guess it does comes with two keys so I now have a spare for the door, but not the ignition. I might try have a copy made.



Also the new door seals which I got months back were fitted as well. The only problem is that I only got the front passenger side and both rears, which ARE NOT the door that is leaking. The driver side front door seal is the one that is leaking and indeed it is the one not in stock at the time.

Well I guess I can say that it's done.

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Smol update.



Somebody was selling the original handbook for 5 pounds including shipping. I messaged him so quickly as if there's more than 10 of these left in the whole country. Can't take chances. It is old school handbook, so it include actually useful information such as valve lash adjustment and how to diagnose the carburettor if it is giving you grief. Printed when rights to repair wasn't even a thing to discuss.

I'm a bit disappointed Mazda didn't make illustration of this particular version of the front end. Skint.

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Fucking hell. This car is fighting me every step of the way. Although this time it's because I can't book a shop at the expected time so it took a week longer to get suspension done.


This will be the only picture of this update. So I ordered a bunch of suspension bits. Control arm bushings, ball joint, CV boots. Anti-roll bar links which have yet to arrive. Great.

Turns out, there are two types of control arm bushings for GC 626. September 1985 being the cut off date. This is a 1986. I obviously bought the wrong one, which was the only type available. Then again I can't really say I haven't anticipated this, and the shop manage to sourced me the correct bits anyway, along with the anti-roll bar mount bushings. All done for about £100. Car drive good. I happy. It's done so late in the day all the alignment shops are closed. Just wait till there's light again and it should be good to go.

Found some rot on the car though. Not sure it was there the last time this thing was on lift (nearly 2 years ago, mind you) either. I'm sure it's fixable and very much to be expected considering it's an 80's Mazda. Annoying all the same.

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