The Donor Engine.
The engine of choice for my recently acquired eBay Bargain 1990 MX6 was a Mazda FE-DOHC, or more commonly known as an FE3. While FE3’s were sold by Mazda worldwide, Australia never received any FE3 powered Mazda’s. Parts can be easily found in New Zealand, Japan, Europe and even South Africa.
A few years ago you could simply ring up an engine importer and order an FE3, but now as the engine is getting old and less popular, it’s little harder to come by. One Sunday however, I was lucky and just happen to stumble across this one at the wreckers hiding in automatic Mazda 626 hatchback. The car must have been a personal import, so whoever owned it in Japan had brought it over with them.
It was late in the arvo so I couldn’t do much that day, which meant I had to sit tight all week and hope it would still be there the following weekend! Sure enough I returned bright and early the following Saturday the car was still there with all parts intact. The spanners came out and I began removing the engine, complete with ecu, loom, airflow meter etc. Basically I took everything needed to make it run.
The engine was a filthy from 25 years of neglect. It had leaking cam and distributor seals meaning everything was covered in oil.
The pictures shown in this article were taken after 5 cans of degreaser and 20 mins of pressure cleaning. As the time stamps on photos show, it was September 2011 when I bought this engine home and it sat in my garage for about 18 months before I finally found a car to put it in, the eBay Bargain!