Time to Go on a Diet

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.


On the left the complete AC system, on the right the complete PS system replaced with a manual rack.

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.

A before shot with AC and PS still in place. Midpoint of removal with AC compressor and PS pump and rack removed.

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.

A before and after shots with coldstart reservior and solonoid removed.
The removed coldstart tank and injector...for the record. The blockoff plate for the coldstart injector port.

Jenny Craig Recap
So where are we? What I have removed so far, each item weighed either on a small food scale of a digital bathroom scale:
[Weight Savings 1]
                            Remains of non functional aftermarket cruise control                                          3lbs
                            Rubber door trim exterior rub strips removed (falling off anyway)                     3lbs
                            Subzero starting tank and injector nozzle/solenoid (what for?)                            2.5lbs
                            Complete air conditioning system (it didn’t work) -
                                     piping, condenser, evaporator, compressor, relays, etc                               31lbs
                            Corksport Catback [19.8lbs] OE Cat back exhaust [39.4lbs]                               19.6lbs
                            Racing Beat Header and presilencer [31.8lbs]
                                     OE cats and manifold [43.2lbs]                                                                   11.4lbs
                            Unnecessary heat shields                                                                                      6.6lbs
                            Air pump, air pump bracket, and plumbing                                                           10.3lbs
                            Air control valve and check valve                                                                        2.0lbs
                            Assorted nuts, bolts, and other hardware removed                                               2.0lbs
                            Powersteering rack, lines, and ECU (savings over manual rack)                         27.4lbs

                            Total weight savings so far                                                                                  118.8lbs

With all the accessories removed from the car the engine bay looks positively empty.  Simply look at how easy everything is to work on and to see....and see all those oil leaks!  Time to fix up and clean up all those leaks.  First up was to replace the weeping OE oil cooler lines.  Replacement new OE lines were ridiculously expensive, and I didn’t want used lines so I opted for some moderately priced SS lines from Corksport (I should invest in this outfit!) for $130.00.

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"

Hooptie to Hotrod: Part 1
Scrap Metal: Part 2
Cosmetic Fluff: Part 3
Brake Gravy: Part 4
Exhaust Work: Part 5
Dieting and Some Oil Cleanup: Part 6
Cooling Hacks: Part 7
Underhood Miscellaneous: Part 8
Interior Gauges Plus: Part 9
Own a Lincoln? Suspension Upgrades: Part 10
New Shoes: Part 11
What's Next: Part 12
A Twist: Part 13
Sweatin' to the Oldies: Part 14
More Suspension Work: Part 15
Some Heart and Soul: Part 16
Chapter II: To Jump to the Next Series of Installments: Begins with Part 17 - A Good Rear End



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This page last updated December 11, 2003

Disclaimer: All images contained on this page are the sole property of C. Regan.