Take a good look at your screen - this is our sorta car! The late ‘80s Mazda 929 is hardly the epitome of high-performance but cram a boosted Toyota 1JZ under the bonnet and it's only fair to warn the owners of WRXs and Skylines. When this low-riding Japanese pimp-mobile stalls up alongside, you’d better be ready for a whoopin!
The idea of dropping late-model Toyota turbo muscle into the 929 belongs to Queenslander Steve Rauschenbach – the head of Motion Garage (specialising in fabrication and pipework for more than six years). Steve has owned a string of Skylines, S13s, rotaries, GT Falcons, an Evo 1 Lancer, Legacy wagon and pretty well any other performance car you can mention. But a 929 – what tha?! The unique build-up began with the acquisition of a neat locally-delivered 929 hardtop – a one owner example which was scooped for just AUD$2500. Not long after came the purchase of a Japanese-spec Soarer 1JZ twin-turbo front-cut with around 80,000km on the odometer. All the ingredients were at hand.
Steve says the conversion was a relatively easy one requiring the simplest of radiator bracket mods, a pair of thermo fans, custom engine and trans mounts, a custom tailshaft and a 2JZ sump (which allowed the standard cross member to remain intact). The conversion can be credited to PerFOURmance Motorsport.
With big power numbers in mind, Steve didn’t bother installing the engine with its factory twin-turbo system. Instead, he fabricated a custom exhaust manifold to allow fitment of a big Trust TD07 ‘charger. This combines with a 50mm Trust external wastegate venting into a custom 3 ½ inch mandrel stainless steel exhaust. A polished canon muffler is the perfect encouragement for other drivers to test the car’s mettle...
The TD07 sucks air through a K&N pod filter mounted on the end of a 4 inch pipe and a ‘garden-variety’ 600 x 300 x 100mm aftermarket intercooler chills the boosted air temps. Fitment of the big core required attacking the front bumper. A Trust Type R blow-off valve can be found before the entry to the throttle.
Internally, the 2.5-litre Toyota straight-six remains standard but you will find JUN adjustable cam gears and a GReddy oil cooler and remote filter kit. Steve also whipped up a stainless oil catch can and power steering reservoir – the power steering and air-conditioning remain fully operational.
The stock Toyota injectors would’ve been out of their depth with the big huffer so Steve swapped to a set of Sard 650cc squirters teamed with a Sard Type R regulator. The opposite end of the fuel system comprises a Bosch 044 Motorsport fuel pump. Fuel and ignition are orchestrated by a MoTeC M600 programmable ECU which piggy-backs the factory ECU (the factory ECU being required to run the electronic-controlled auto transmission).
Steve was lucky enough to track down a modified Toyota trans being sold second-hand together with a modified stall converter. A custom one-piece 3 inch tailshaft joins a Mazda RX-7 diff with the factory viscous LSD mechanism. Steve says a mechanical 2-way diff is on the cards for the near future. The standard 929 axles are quite beefy and have no problems coping with the increased grunt.
With up to 22 psi of boost pressure, Steve’s 1JZ equipped 929 makes almost four times the factory output. Four-forty horsepower (328kW) has been seen at the wheels on Advanced Performance Centre’s Dyno Dynamics chassis dyno and with the pressure currently eased to 20 psi you can count on around 410 horses (306kW). With grunt like that it’s no wonder Steve reckons the car has the potential to run well into the 11s – given enough traction.
The normally sludgy suspension has departed the scene to make way for JIC coil-overs intended for the RX-7. Steve says these were pretty easy to fit into the 929, the only hurdle being custom top plates which also allow camber adjustment. Ride height has been slammed about 3 – 4 inches. For now, the brake set-up gets by with PBR slotted discs and Bendix pads.
The ‘Japanese limo’ styling of the 929 has been complemented by dark window tint, colour-coded lower panels (the car was originally white-over-grey) and suitably styled Japanese-market Luce 15 inch alloys – perfect for the sleeper look!
Inside, Steve has kept the 929 trim in all its plushness. There’s wall-to-wall velour, plenty of woodgrain and all the equipment you’d expect in a top-line vehicle of the late ‘80s. The factory electric sunroof is the perfect finishing touch. The only changes are a Pioneer CD system and hidden HKS boost gauge.
And would Steve be willing to sell his one-off creation? Well, he did consider when we asked it but it didn’t take long for him to knock the idea on the head. And who could blame him? When you’ve got a ride that’s as creative, comfortable and so unexpectedly quick, why on earth would you want to let it go? We wouldn’t!
Motion Garage 0407 672 023
PerFOURmance Motorsport +61 7 3808 4244
Advanced Performance Centre (APC) +61 7 3341 7223