Difference between Mazda and Ford | Thinking of buying a Zero! | GBS Owners Club
Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Difference between Mazda and Ford
May 1, 2015
4:26 pm
Avatar
Mitch
Gloucester
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 367
Member Since:
April 18, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Afternoon all,

I have asked a few questions previously and your answers are great, this weekend should settle things make, model and spec wise (but the zero is favourite) and wondered what are the differences between the ford and Mazda models? Im pretty much settled on the Mazda for price reasons but is there much difference between the two?

Thanks in advance

May 1, 2015
5:24 pm
Avatar
NickMilbourn
Hampshire
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 299
Member Since:
October 27, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

The quintessential question!

I'm not biased but i'm a couple of months in to a Mazda GT build, there are pro's & cons to both models in my opinion though. I recall reading a quote from Richard himself in the press about how his ideal Zero would be a mixture of the two!! When i picked up my kit it was commented that the factory builds are still Ford, but most home builds have been Mazda recently. Certainly most people commenting on the forum at the moment seem to be Mazda builders!

Cost wise the Mazda can be cheaper, but this is because you're using more used parts. My current spec will end up costing me close to £14k according to my budget planner, but i'm doing a lot of refurbing work and having some painting done. I'm currently £99.68 in profit from selling parts from my donor, but have spent over £700 on refurbing so far. That gets me rebuilt calipers, new clutch, flywheel, wheel bearings, cambelt & tensioner kit, new waterpump...........

On the engine front, the 2.0 Zetec is more powerful pushing around 165bhp with GBS plenum, and very cheap as new engines go, but you'll spend £3k+ on an engine, gearbox, differential and other bits & bobs. Depending on what Mazda donor you get depends on what bhp you'll get. The 1.6 engine is revvy, but not a lot over 100bhp in its earliest and cheapest Mk1 guise. I went for a 2002 Mk2.5 1.8 model which came with 146bhp which was as high a power output as they got. The standard throttle body & induction plenum on the Mazda doesn't fit in the chassis so you've got to shell out for throttle bodies, good for upping power to probably about 160bhp with a decent map, but bad for the wallet!

I think the chassis for the Zero was retro designed to accept Mazda parts. This works fine in all cases apart from the differential mounting. Other similar cars like the Westfield & Roadrunner use the complete differential and it slots neatly in the rear. With the Zero this isn't the case as there isn't room for the entire differential, so you have to cut off the side arms which are used to mount it in the Mazda, carefully slide it through a very small opening from below the chassis without damaging your powdercoating, and then hold it there while you mark it up and drill 3 holes in it to mount it! It's tricky and fiddly, but done carefully it's fine. On the other hand, the Ford differential pops nicely through a big opening in the rear of the chassis! My donor was a UK special edition so came with a limited slip differential, which was something I was specifically looking for to give a little more control to the Zero. Ford LSD's are available, but pretty much double to cost of a normal diff.

The hubs & uprights are lighter and simpler on the Mazda giving some unsprung weight benefit, if you really need it! Not a lot more to say there really, you get them on you Mazda donor, or you buy them refurbed if you have Ford. I replaced the wheel bearings and repainted them so they all sparkly, you don't have though to save pennies.

Something i only found out recently about the Mazda is that they fitted three different front brake sizes. 1.6's seemed to get 231mm, most 1.8's got 255mm but some some special editions and later sport models had 270mm front discs and larger calipers to match. The rears also were increased from 250mm to 276mm if you got the big brake set up. Nice! The Ford front's are 240mm I think, although sure someone will correct me! Not sure on the rears. Definitely a major benefit to have bigger brakes though in my opinion!

The final differences are with the steering column and master cyclinders. The Ford steering column is a simpler fit I believe to the Mazda's, I don't think it's any better, just that the way the Mazda is converted to fit is more fiddly needing lips to the mounting brackets to be cut off rather than it just slotting in. I prefer the Mazda's stalks though, I just think it looks more modern & compact. The Mazda uses a hydraulic clutch compared to the Ford's cable operated. Handily the mounting plate for the Mazda master cylinders is only designed to take a Mk1 brake cylinder, and the outlet for the clutch cylinder is within mm's of one of the brake cylinder outlets! People with a Mk2/2.5 brake cylinder have packed out and used their existing cylinders, I just bought a Mk1 version and sold my Mk2.5 so cash neutral and it fits properly! The clutch cylinder just needs mounting on spacers to offset the outlets enough, although i'm sure the mounting plate could be redesigned?!

The rest of the car is pretty much the same, which is a good thing as the excellent detailed blogs out there that most of us rely on are all Ford's! I reckon on my spec build i'll be about £2k cheaper going down the Mazda route, although will be about 5-10bhp down on a plenum'd Zetec, nearer 20bhp if the Zetec has throttle bodies, but that adds another £1k to the costs! I also had a lot of fun finding a Mazda donor and taking it apart, although I drove it about for two weeks before starting the dismantle and nearly changed my mind!! Thinking about the future, Mazda parts will likely be available for longer in more abundance which makes prices cheaper for future maintenance.

That's my tuppence worth anyway, here ends the essay!!

1.8 VVT Mazda GT Zero - ATR throttle bodies & 171bhp!!
IVA passed Friday 21st October 2016!!
Registered April 2017

May 2, 2015
6:59 am
Avatar
Simon
GBS Technical
Admin
Forum Posts: 2139
Member Since:
August 9, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

thank you for taking the time to write above, Nick#

I think it states the relative differences very well.

May 2, 2015
8:52 am
Avatar
Mitch
Gloucester
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 367
Member Since:
April 18, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Nick, that is fantastic, thank you very much. I now have no idea what to buy! Hopefully see some of you tomorrow and hopefully the rain will disappear.

May 2, 2015
3:58 pm
Avatar
Mitch
Gloucester
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 367
Member Since:
April 18, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Now, this might be a stupid question, but, can I do a Mazda build but use the ford differential (as it's easier to fit)?

I assume I'd then need ford drive shafts but don't know if this would cause problems with mixing and matching parts?

May 2, 2015
4:19 pm
Avatar
Simon
GBS Technical
Admin
Forum Posts: 2139
Member Since:
August 9, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

one of the advantages of the Mazda is that the drive train is matched to the output of the engine. making the 1.6 appear brisk.

there is nothing stopping you mix and matching, but you would end up with a bit of a odd chassis, with mounts for the units you specify, I think the prop would be a special to. and that can be costly.

I would keep is simple, Ford or Mazda rather than create a hybrid.

May 3, 2015
3:11 pm
Avatar
Mitch
Gloucester
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 367
Member Since:
April 18, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thanks Simon. I was speaking to (I think) Ben? Today at Stoneleigh and he answered all of my questions. Now to arrange a factory visit and put down the deposit! ;-)

May 3, 2015
8:06 pm
Avatar
Simon
GBS Technical
Admin
Forum Posts: 2139
Member Since:
August 9, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I will see you there then Smile

May 3, 2015
8:16 pm
Avatar
Mitch
Gloucester
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 367
Member Since:
April 18, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Just sent an email to Wayne (who I've been speaking to via email) about a visit and test drive next weekend. Hopefully see you then.

p.s. I guess I got the name of Ben right lol.

May 3, 2015
10:35 pm
Avatar
Simon
GBS Technical
Admin
Forum Posts: 2139
Member Since:
August 9, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I'm not in Saturdays unless called in, Ben probably will be, if he recovers from this weekend Smile, but there are plenty of others that can do the honours.

I will check Wayne has it in hand when I get in on Tuesday.

Forum Timezone: Europe/London

Most Users Ever Online: 96

Currently Online: Woofrs
6 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming None

Top Posters:

nelmo: 560

Mitch: 367

TOPCATNO6: 336

NickMilbourn: 299

RichardL: 206

Graterham: 202

Foxtrottransit: 196

Marlin: 173

michaelhopps: 172

2ofus: 169

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 2

Members: 4865

Moderators: 0

Admins: 4

Forum Stats:

Groups: 2

Forums: 17

Topics: 1390

Posts: 8423

Newest Members:

sophiavy1, JamesTox, marshallyu16, vondatq16, mariettaaf1, Craigdeeby, Taksi154r, bertinRoTus, kubityha, Wright CNC

Administrators: dijitul: 2, MidsZero: 314, Simon: 2139, Ruth Hall: 10