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Thread: Are imported TD cars really such a good deal?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Post Are imported TD cars really such a good deal?

    G’day mates,
    I was considering buying a car from the mate of a mate, (a Mazda Capella Supercharged Diesel) to run on biodiesel, I had been assured the Capella Supercharged Diesel is the same as the Australian Mazda 626 TD, the only difference being the name, but after doing quite a bit of research online for a TD Mazda 626, I came-up empty handed, so I contacted Mazda Australia seeking information on their Australian Mazda Capella TD and here follows the reply to my email from Mazda Australia:

    Thank you for your email. Mazda Australia did not release a Mazda Capella Turbo Diesel. We advise that this vehicle would have been “privately” imported, and as such do not have any information.
    Customers looking to purchase a privately imported vehicle must consider the following:
    - Service support (specifications on overseas models may differ to Australian models)
    - Availability of replacement parts (ie. The imported vehicle has different components that will need to be specifically ordered which could cause a delay with service or panel repairs.
    - Resale value of vehicle when it comes time to sell, as it is different to the local product
    We hope this information is of some assistance.

    Yours sincerely

    Mazda Customer Service
    End Quote.

    I have since been informed by the owner, that the Mazda Capella Supercharged Diesel I was looking at buying, has an oil leak somewhere on the mid to bottom section of the engine, (he dosen't know from where) with the above info’ from Mazda, this was enough to put me of buying this imported Mazda Capella Supercharged Diesel, or any other imported car.
    If any of you own a TD Mazda, or any other fully imported TD car, and would like to share your experiences on obtaing parts, servicing and repairs on your imported TD cars, how about sharing your views with other of us who may be thinking of buying an import.

    Cheers mates,
    Bill from Corio…Kando…If you’re not sure…don’t do it!
    Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks?
    This old dog has been learning new tricks for years and...
    I hope I can continue to do so!:cool:

  2. #2
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    Leura NSW
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    Re: Are imported TD cars really such a good deal?

    Hi Bill, these imports are usually called "grey imports". Do a google on grey imports australia and you'll find lots of background. some makes and models have quite good support with the grey importers bringing in spares etc while others don't. some wreckers also specialise in parts for some grey models.
    Lucas

  3. #3
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    Re: Are imported TD cars really such a good deal?

    Try contacting Mazwreck, 59-65 Webber Parade, KEILOR EAST. (03) 9336-7111
    Note the Capella import was a supercharged diesel, not a turbo or TD. The body and much of the mechanicals was much the same as the Aust 626, but only the engine and fuel system was unique being a diesel.
    If you are considering turning down this vehicle, could we ask how much the seller is asking?

  4. #4
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    Post Re: Are imported TD cars really such a good deal?

    G'day Gunner,

    I contacting Mazwreck but they were unable to tell me anything about the Capella. As for the oil leak, that would have to be checked by a diesel mechanic and as I know from having work done on my trucks when I was in the workforce, that can be expensive… that's what’s putting me off buying the Capella, by the way, the seller is asking for $2,500 for the car, so what do you reckon mate, is it worth buying at that price and do you think an oil leak in the lower part of the engine would be expensive to find and fix? Yes mate, I do know it's like asking how long is a piece of string but I always seek help from others with more experience than I.
    Cheers mate,
    Bill from Corio… Kando, with a little help from your friends.
    Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks?
    This old dog has been learning new tricks for years and...
    I hope I can continue to do so!:cool:

  5. #5
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    Post Re: Are imported TD cars really such a good deal?

    G'day Gunner,

    Quick update on that Supercharged Mazda Capella, I have had a diesel mech' check it out and he say's it's pumping oil out the breather pipe... Not a sign of a healthy engine!
    He reckons the rings are stuffed, could be more but he could not tell unless he pulled the engine apart.
    I asked "How much for a reco' exchange engine" he said, as it's a Jap import, you'll be looking at around the $3,000 mark and... he would have to find a motor before he could give me a firm price!
    Here in Australia it would seem, that's not going to be easy... to find a replacement fully reco' motor!
    So I'll give this one a wide berth mate!

    Bill from Corio
    Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks?
    This old dog has been learning new tricks for years and...
    I hope I can continue to do so!:cool:

  6. #6
    David Guest

    Re: Are imported TD cars really such a good deal?

    I have had a bit to do with imported vechicles working with my father in his wrecking yard. There are a few variations to imports.

    Sometimes they are completely different engines and are completely different to what was sold locally.

    Sometimes the engines themselves are the same but the add on's and accessories are different. These can be things like carbs ( when vechicles still had them) alternators and wiring, power steering pumps, computers etc. while the bolt ons can be different the core or the blocks can be the same. you can then either just fit all the original accessories off your old engine or make sure you get a complete engine and the component parts are available. I remember some years ago bringing in a load of subaru engines that had a distributor fitted that no rotors or dizzy caps were available here.

    Sometimes the same engine can be fitted to another car or commercial vechicle but not in the vechicle that was sold here. Some engines that were fitted to cars here were only fitted in vans in imported vehicles but were identical.

    All depends on the market the import was designed for and what regs it had to meet in the country it was sold in.

    In the case of your Mazda, I would find out the engine type number and see if the same engine or core was fitted to a local vechicle. In this case I would think your best chance is with a light commercial. Even if you find the same motor was fitted to a local model but not supercharged, as long as all the specs are the same the bolt-ons shouldn't matter. You need to get all the specs of the engine originally in the car to start with though.
    Pay attention to transmissions and bolt patterns. The same blocks in jap engines can have different transmission bolt patterns so you want to make sure it will all bolt up once you buy it. If you get an engine and gearbox, make sure the mountings are all in the same places and check the overall length otherwise you may have to have a special tail shaft machined up so it is the right length.

    As for other imports, I was looking at a Mitsubishi Delica van recently and after just a little research found that they have the exact same engine and setup as the triton commercials and pajero 4wd's. Parts do not seem to be a problem according to the local mitsubishi dealer either as far as engines and running gear go. Panels should be available through importers but if worst comes to worse and you can't get a replacement panel you get an insurance payout instead and get a new car.

    You can't really lump imports together and say good, bad, worthwhile or not as it depends on the vechicle. Some are identical to the local models and some are totally different apart from looking similar. You have to take them on a model by model and year by year basis.

  7. #7
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    Post Re: Are imported TD cars really such a good deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by David
    You can't really lump imports together and say good, bad, worthwhile or not as it depends on the vechicle. Some are identical to the local models and some are totally different apart from looking similar. You have to take them on a model by model and year by year basis.
    G'day David, I was not knocking the seller or the importer of any vehicles, I was just stating what was reported to me as being wrong with the engine of the Mazda Capilla Supercharged Diesel that was offered to me.
    The Mazda Capilla Supercharged Diesel is supposedly the same as the Mazda 626 but Mazda Australia informed me that they never released a 626 Supercharged Diesel or a 626 Turbo Diesel in Australia. The engine shop specializing in Jap import motors told me it would take time to find a replacement reconditioned engine and the cost for the changeover would be $3,000, had I decided to buy the car then stripdown and rebuild the engine myself, finding the right rings and perhaps other parts for the engine in Australia could have been a problem
    So after hearing that, I was not prepared to pay $2,500 for that car then face the cost of a reco' motor or rebuilding the old engine.

    Cheers mates,

    Bill...kando...if you're not sure...don't do it!
    Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks?
    This old dog has been learning new tricks for years and...
    I hope I can continue to do so!:cool:

  8. #8
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    Re: Are imported TD cars really such a good deal?

    I owned a Capella (non supercharged) and had a lot of good km from it. During my conversion to use vegoil, I lost coolant in it and cooked the head gasket. After cooling down and adding water, I drove home and continued using it for another
    year before the head gasket lost too much coolant for me to drive it without refilling after 5 km.
    I bought a supercharged engine and A/T for it ($1500 in 2002), but swapped my 5 speed manual tranny onto the engine.

    WOW, what performance! This is the only diesel car which I have owned that would spin its wheels on dry roads, without dropping the clutch, or revving before selecting D.
    I later put a boost gauge on it and found it was providing 15psi of boost all of the way from around 1500 rpm (by ear) to as far as I was game to rev it (I didnt have a tacho on the car).

    I believe that this supercharged engine was designed for up to 10 psi boost. After 12 months, I noticed an oil leak from the head, behind the backing plate at the cam belt end of the engine. I believe that the head bolts had stretched due to the excessive combustion pressures being created. The supercharger boost was regulated by rotating a shaft which changed the direction of the exhaust gas thru the supercharger, and the shaft on mine had siezed in the full boost position.

    After my (ex) mechanic "skimmed" the head, the valves kept meeting the pistons, so I sold the car off and bought a Mercedes 300D. The Capella has been repaired, by resetting the valve seats further into the head. I still see it occasionally.

    Other differences: Headlights and turn indicators have different connections.
    Bumpers and mudguards are slightly different. Wheels are 4 stud 13", the 626 has 5 stud 14" rims. My wife had an '92 Eclipse trim level 626, so I was able to directly compare them.

    BTW, these were the GD series Mazda. My Capella was a '90 model.
    ANyone who wishes to learn more on this supercharger should google "pressure wave supercharger"
    Last edited by Tony From West Oz; 5th March 2006 at 04:03 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Are imported TD cars really such a good deal?

    The "Comprex Pressure Wave Supercharger" used on the Capella is quite different to the "Standard" air Pump Supercharger.

    The belt only spins the cylindrical Cell Rotor.
    "With pressure-wave supercharging pulsating hot exhaust gases and fresh air are combined in the supercharger. The exhaust gas pressure waves compress the fresh air and force it into the combustion chambers. These processes are controlled by the central component of the pressure-wave supercharger, the cylindrical cell rotor. The speed of the latter is synchronised with the engine speed via a V-belt.

    The cells in the cell rotor alternately open and close the exhaust gas and fresh air apertures, each located on one side of the housing. When the aperture on the exhaust gas side is reached as a result of the rotary movement, pressurised exhaust gas flows into the cell and compresses the fresh air there. Meanwhile the cell rotor continues turning and the cell described reaches the aperture on the fresh-air inlet side (to the engine). The fresh air, now highly compressed, flows into the engine's inlet tract. Before the exhaust gas can now flow in as well, the aperture is closed again as a result of the cell rotor turning and the exhaust gas column is reflected ("runs up against a wall"). It flows back to the exhaust gas side of the housing and leaves the cell through the aperture (to the outside), which has now become free again as a result of the rotary motion. The exhaust gas column leaves the cell on the exhaust gas side at very high speed, thereby creating negative pressure "behind it". This means that fresh air can be sucked into the cell via an aperture now becoming free on the fresh air side. From this point onwards the process is repeated cyclically.


    The exchange of energy in the pressure-wave supercharger occurs at sound velocity, which results in a practically instant response even at low engine speeds.

    The pressure-wave supercharger combines the advantages of mechanical and exhaust gas turbocharging. In contrast to the turbocharger, the pressure-wave supercharger effectively increases the engine torque even in the engine's lower speed range. It does not have the infamous "turbo hole".


    Last edited by tillyfromparadise; 12th February 2007 at 10:04 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Are imported TD cars really such a good deal?

    AND, Once rotating, the supercharger does not need the belt drive to continue spinning!

    If is NOT synchronised to the exhaust pulses, (as the speed depends on 2 separate Vee belts, and the slippage would soon put the pulses 'out of synch'), but spins at >5* engine RPM (I did calculate it based on the pulley diameters, but cannot find that calc.)

    BTW, the Mazda 626 had 14" rims, the Capella had 13" rims.
    The headlights and indicators were different also. Mudguards had turn signal repeaters on the Capella, not on the 626.

    The RF7 engine, as in the Capella, was imported as a Turbo Diesel engine for some models of the Bongo van and parts are available for them thru most engine rebuilders or specialist parts places.
    Tony

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