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emo what to look for when buying an Autozam AZ-1

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30 Jan 2017 00:48 #26511

Hey guys, new member here. I decided to pull the trigger and import an AZ-1, rather get the car I always wanted (and save up a bit more for) than settle for a less-costly JDM. Is there any pointers I should look for when buying one (mechanically or body condition-wide)?

I know the car auctions give limited on info, and they're semi-rare; so not much choices to pick from. Most of them are well above 100k KM, which I'm fine, should I worry about high-mileage examples?

Currently setting up an account with the exporter to start the process of bidding/looking when the right one comes available. 2-4 weeks to find one, 6-8 weeks on the water. So maybe in 3 months (April) can have one landed.

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01 Feb 2017 19:37 #26513

hi if you want to see a pearl white one just been imported 2 months ago let us know
might even be persuaded to sell it

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02 Feb 2017 06:06 #26514

Mikei, are you located? Would be good to see one in person

Last Edit: 02 Feb 2017 06:07 by nicanor76.

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02 Feb 2017 12:18 #26515

just in side the m25 a small smokey village aka london

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12 Feb 2017 00:17 #26535

I'm not local so cannot see it in person. How much are you selling it for though?

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12 Feb 2017 04:31 #26536

quick question. What's the interior room like? I'm 6'3". Would I even fit or should I just give up on the idea of owning one?

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28 Feb 2017 16:25 #26553

supermattyp wrote:

quick question. What's the interior room like? I'm 6'3". Would I even fit or should I just give up on the idea of owning one?

It depends not only on your length but also your proportions legs/upper body.
My guess is that 6ยด3" should be okay. Perhaps you can find a car and try how it fits you?
supermattyp wrote:
or should I just give up on the idea of owning one?

No,.never give up on AZ-1. Most fun car I have ever driven :)

Good luck /Niclas

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01 Mar 2017 21:00 #26556

SWE KEI wrote:

No,.never give up on AZ-1. Most fun car I have ever driven :)

Good luck /Niclas

That's good to hear. I ordered one back in November but due to the lovely import laws that we have here in the states it won't arrive until next November. I've got big plans for it, but this waiting game is a killer.

From what I've seen, the only real things to look out for with these cars are improper mods. I saw a lot of poorly executed "upgrades" to cars when I was looking, and that narrowed down the list of available cars quite a bit. Other than that, the only thing that made it difficult for me is that I wanted blue and I required the Mazdaspeed aero kit. I still haven't seen another one matching that description.

Over in Cappuccino-land, there were lots of complaints about body rust taking those cars off of the road. From what I've seen for sale in Japan, the AZ-1 doesn't suffer from that issue. I read through all 15 or 16 years of SCORE forum posts checking for things to look out for, design weaknesses, and upgrade paths with respect to the F6A engine. I learned that the F6A is an incredibly reliable engine and that the aftermarket doesn't cater to anything beyond mild upgrades. Idle control valve failure is common on these engines and is nothing to be concerned about. Unfortunately all of that info does nothing to teach me about the AZ-1 body and suspension.

There is a series of videos on Youtube from a New Zealander who bought and is upgrading an AZ-1 for autocrossing. There's a fair amount of info there on what living with an AZ-1 is like, but the owner freely admits that internal combustion engines are not his thing and that he doesn't know anything about the car beyond what he has learned during making the videos. They're worth a watch if you're on the fence, and I haven't found anything else quite as useful that is in English.

EDIT: I guess it would be useful to mention that the name of the channel is NewZeroland.

Last Edit: 01 Mar 2017 21:02 by randman2011.

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04 Mar 2017 08:27 #26558

supermattyp wrote:

quick question. What's the interior room like? I'm 6'3". Would I even fit or should I just give up on the idea of owning one?
At 6'3" I think you'd find it very cramped. I'm 5'10" but "all legs" and had to modify the seat rails to get an extra inch of travel to fit. Headroom is also an issue, I only just have enough when I'm wearing a crash helmet - you could gain about an inch by cutting back the seat foam or maybe replace the glass above the drivers head with a grp panel with a bulge in it (I've seen one done like that in Japan but can't find a pic right now. All that said the only way you'll actually know is to try sitting in one.

Back to the original topic of this post... The door dampers will almost certainly be shot unless they have been replaced, and the floor pans do rust mainly under the drivers feet and the seam between the floor and the rear bulkhead but this only seems to happen after they have been used on UK roads so make sure these areas re treated as soon as the car comes in. The only other problem I had was snapped wheel studs - they are only 10mm so I replaced mine with 12. The seals around the door tend to shrink and come apart around the corners of the roof section.
Aside from that these cars seem very solid and any parts that do wear are "stolen" from other models - engine parts cappo, suspension and steering Alto - so they are relatively easy to source.

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