77 323 RWD Hatch

03-20-2007, 07:01 AM
Hi Guys,

I have a 77 323 rwd hatch and will be doing an engine conversion on this in the not too distant future.

I have a few Ideas for engine transplant, however not so sure what would be the best bet for front and rear suspension, diff and brakes.

Has anyone done a rotary conversion or other where they have upgraded these items


03-28-2007, 12:07 AM
Rotary engines bolt straight in using Rx3 mounts.

Front and rear suspension are already quite good, new bushes shocks and some lowered springs and it will handle quite well. Beyond that, a stiffer front swaybar with shorter legs to pull the control arm forward for some castor will make a big difference, as will a little negative camber, either from a strut top or redrilling the crossmember to push the control arm further out.

The front struts can be directly swapped for rx3/808 struts for greater brake/shock/spring compatability. Rx4/929 struts can also be fitted utilising the 323 strut top. First gen rx7 struts can be fitted (which have ventilated and larger disc brakes) also by swapping the strut top, but will give you positive camber and the car will handle like crap.

The standard 323 brakes are crap and will definitely need upgrading. The front struts can be changed as above. Rwd 626 drums are a larger bolt on upgrade for the rear.

The diff in the back will last reasonably well behind a stock n/a rotary (I had one that lasted several years behind a mild port carby 12a without missing a beat) but much more power or abuse and they will break axles and centres on a regular basis. In Australia many people fit hilux diffs due to the abundance of high ratio rotary friendly centers available. They also have a lot of aftermarket support with stornger axles and centres, and are very strong.

Anything more you need to know, just ask. I am currently building up a '77 rwd 323 with 12at, hilux diff, and heavily modded suspension for street and circuit use.

03-28-2007, 12:31 AM
Awsome, really apreciate the reply.

have you got any pictures of the car? and apart from the hilux diff what have you got plannde for yours?

I am planning on shoe horning a sr20 into mine which will make things a bit more complicated, and will meen that the hilux diff will definatelly be the option.

I may however opt for a turbo mx5 engine, not sure yet as I am juggling my time and money between this project and my alfa 105

Do you know of any other sites/forums that would hev any further info and or people that have done/are doing 323 conversions


03-28-2007, 05:13 PM
Hey mate, pics of my car at the moment wouldn't do you a lot of good, as it's little more than a half painted shell. I have fitted the front steering, suspension and brakes from an fc3s rx7 to mine, but that required a lot of work, it wasn't a simple bolt-in. But the standard front end works very well with a few minor tweaks as outlined above. I just wanted both rack and pinion steering (better for track work especially) and a big brake upgrade, and I had those parts available for cheap so that's what went into the car. I'm also fitting the rear rx7 brakes to the hilux diff, which has a 'lokka' centre in it (similar to a detroit locker).

The SR20 is a good option, however something to consider would be a Mazda FET engine from a late 80's 929. These are the same engine as is in MX6 turbos and 626 turbos, but in a rwd format. They share the same bore and stroke as an SR20, and have quite a good amount of aftermarket support. The best part is, I *think* they will bolt straight into a 323 after the 323 engine/suspension crossmember is swapped for a 1600cc 808 crossmember (should bolt straight in). I'm not certain about this, but have been researching the possibility as a possible swap for my daily piston powered 323. Just something else to consider. My personal view on mx5 engines is that they are overpriced for what they are second hand, in Australia at least. Nice little engines though.

www.ausrotary.com (http://www.ausrotary.com) has a reasonable amount of information on 323s, most of the engine stuff obviously relates to rotary engines though there is discussion about different mazda piston engines. There is a fair bit of information about suspension, brake and diff options though.

03-28-2007, 05:16 PM
Also, if you are in Australia, there was an sr20 powered 323 for sale in Sydney a little while ago, I don't know if it's still for sale. It was advertised in the cartrader on ausrotary and also I think on www.carsales.com.au (http://www.carsales.com.au). Hope this helps.


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