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The Mazhatsu Rotajet

Discussion in 'General Truck Info' started by Tuskano, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. Tuskano

    Tuskano Member

    So... never realized why I have never made a build thread for this guy. So much has happened.

    So to recap, I got this guy back in Nov/Dec of 2013 down in SoCal after finding it on Craigslist there. Original owners did extra stuff to legalize it and all required was to put it all in my name. Body and 660cc engine was all that of a 94, and frame was a 75. They were selling to make some money and get more room for more toys. It originally was to be bought as a backup to my 92 3000GT SL and quickly turned into something more. Took it to car shows and meets and took it to work.


    Mid-2014 I moved out of San Diego and up to Lemoore, CA for school (Navy guy here) and sold the SL and got a 91 VR4. Got the Hijet fresh paint. Also got the RX7 Toyo Koygo wheels re-bored on the inside to make more room for the hub and to be more aligned. The whole time they were resting on the 4 lug nuts and I had to tighten them up evenly to avoid the wheel becoming mis-aligned. Another thing I did was removing the 3 inch or so lift blocks it had just on the front. Also bought my Hello Special fender flares (which I later installed up in WA state). Another thing I did was add rhino liner... but it was a mistake as I failed to remove the fresh white paint and did the whole process backwards. So that later started bubbling off later years.


    After school near the end of 2014, I moved up to Washington state. From there, I changed the registration and plates and all to WA state... and I sold the VR4 because why have 2 project cars when I can put all into one. For awhile I drove it as is. Then got into scootering with a Chinese knockoff of a Honda Ruckus called a Maddog to take up the backup vehicle job. I got new mirrors for that, and used the stock scooter mirrors to replace the floppy elephant ear Hijet mirrors. Gave it a nice classic feel.

    I then got into the car scene up in WA. Was big into the San Diego scene and wanted to continue with it up in Oak Harbor, where I was stationed. Went to a few car meets and shows and one day the group wanted to do a late night cruise around the island. At one point, everyone stopped and I was forced to jam my brakes. The rear lifted and (I had no bed sides on that night) the people behind me said they observed my rear lights go up to the bottom of my rear window. Something in the engine broke, and I had a shop replace it with a block I bought from Yokohama motors. I then got to rep the shop in a 4th of July parade where kids on the back of my truck seemed to pelt the audience with candy as we drove past haha.


    I then got into driving to the mainland to go to other car meets and shows north of Seattle. My Hijet has been able to top out at 73mph and I have also had driven it once down the Pacific Coast Highway from Portland, OR to Lemoore, CA when I first went to school there. So yea, I met a friend at one of those meets who drove a JDM'd out RX7. Had the lights and everything and to top it off, the guy made his own decals. We decided to chill at his place and his car broke down on the way. I helped out. And later months I visited to help him out on car stuff. Like removing his RX7's engine with tow hitch mounted crane I bought.

    Later, I installed my fender flares, and later my roof rack I found on Rakuten. Then by stroke of luck found a Japanese company called Kei Zone that sold adjustable coil over kits for Kei trucks. The RX7 friend helped me install the rear half of it that included new leafs and adjustable coil overs in the rear as thanks for the engine help from before.


    So All was fine and I also volunteered to watch cones for a Auto X event at Evergreen Speedway. Then my transmission locked up and I lost my 2nd gear on the way to that. I got there safely and after tinkering with it during the event on my times off, I decided to try it out on the track. It was ok... but I had to slam gears.


    I decided then instead of replacing the transmission, to let it run its course and use that as an excuse to a engine swap I have been debating on the past years. I continued driving to car shows and stuff. The transmission refused to allow me to get into any gears by mid 2016. That was when I decided to swap a 13B rotary into it. Mostly influenced by my friendship to the RX7 owner. In return, he later bought a Sambar van hehe.


    I was scheduled to go on a carrier deployment around January of 2017, so it was a perfect time to find a shop whiling to try the swap. Found one called J-Rod's Garage and he was all for it. He got the motor out that Nov/Dec and before I left, he located a RX7 to use as the donor car for the engine and harness. And later to use for the whole subframe, brakes, and Rotiform wheels.

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
    zxrx likes this.
  2. Tuskano

    Tuskano Member

    Most of my time out on deployment, the shop spent the time planning and experimenting... taking measurements. Halfway or 3/4 of my time into deployment and the 13B was in the truck. The rear of the cab having to be cut 4 or so inches so the oil pan of the engine would have reasonable clearance. In return, the seats were removed and a frame idea made so the seating would be raised up higher to account for the engine. Engine mounts were made to hold the long Mazda transmission too.


    Later on, when I returned from deployment, the Hijet's engine first cranked over and had spark. Later, they got the engine to first up... although having to jerry rig for gas, and the battery. And, not having a full exhaust yet... so it was insanely loud.


    Other issues that were overcome was the stoke brakes were not going to work with the extra power. So the RX7's were used... and along with that everything else connected. The rear axle was removed and independent suspension was introduced, along with insanely big Rotiform wheels.

    IMG_20170923_114432.jpg 22046093_10155739456099931_7637617855904895152_n.jpg

    Next, I went and bought dual Magnaflow exhausts. I bought one at night from Autozone, and picked up a second the following morning. After taking them over by help from a friend and his truck, we grabbed a lot of the old stock stuff to take home. We also got to hear how loud it was... imagine a 2-4 Kei trucks revving high idle with no exhausts installed. Our teeth vibrated. But after we left, the shop installed the exhausts and sent pictures back. She was still loud, but reasonably loud. Nothing a resonator can't fix we guessed.


    J-Rod's also made a cool wire shifter conversion box. And it has a dummy driveshaft on.

    New balanced driveshaft next to a BMW E30 length one.

    With the drive shaft and shifter all done up, the Hijet now was able to move forward and back. The catch being the wheels so big and them so far out the sides. So now the focus has been the body kit and wrapping up loose ends like cooling and most importantly, the interior.

    Latest pictures to drool over.

    Steel fender flares make all smile.

    Here, I'll have all videos or pictures so I can have them all in one place instead of posting in the "What did you do Today?" thread. Hope you guys enjoyed.
  3. mr.mindless

    mr.mindless Member

    Wow, that's really something! I bet it's good for a bit better than 73mph now.
    Tuskano likes this.
  4. Tuskano

    Tuskano Member

    Oh yes, and maybe even have a gear to spare to go faster!
  5. Tuskano

    Tuskano Member

    Went to visit my Hijet yesterday. Rode my scooter 30 miles to get to the shop and battled the beautiful weather as I rode there. Went there and back and maybe paid 5 bucks... one of the really nice things about just owning scooters as something to use as a backup.

    The front fenders are fairly complete, aside from touchup on welds. Once the back is done, and the end exhaust, among a number of other things, the Rotajet will visit a bodyshop to get paint touchups and fix some panel flexing that the flares had caused. The metal on these guys are super thin... I remember the shop having to be super careful on welding to not cut into and through the Japanese metal frame.

    IMG_20180324_145150.jpg IMG_20180324_154908.jpg
  6. ttc

    ttc Active Member

    serious metal work.
    Tuskano likes this.
  7. Tuskano

    Tuskano Member

    The owner of the shop calls the truck art now... which it pretty much I'd. Some of the guys who hated working on the truck now love it!
  8. Tuskano

    Tuskano Member

    Rear fender shape is coming along very nicely... too lovely even when unpainted.







    Isetta likes this.
  9. Isetta

    Isetta New Member

    Awesome build, great story, thanks for posting! Side pic of the scooter please.....

    JERRY GOULD New Member

    i had 3rx7s ;and one dihatsu
  11. Tuskano

    Tuskano Member

    I've never had an RX7, was more of a 3000GT guy. Although they were terrible to work on. This is my one and only Daihatsu... and maybe the most reliable car/truck I have owned. Plus owned it longer than anything else I had haha.

    Thank you! This is a good place to put everything so I don't miss any details. Would be good content if I were to do one of those books you have on a podium next to the car during car shows so people could see all the progress pictures and history.

    Which one of the scooter? The lowered black one? That is a Honda Ruckus clone that is called a Maddog. Had a 170cc GY6 on it until I got a hole in the engine case from being too low. Now it has a backup 150cc GY6 engine in it as the 170cc gets repaired.

    The 150cc engine

    The 170cc with ammo box.

    Future exhaust for the 170cc in the works...
    Isetta likes this.
  12. Isetta

    Isetta New Member

    Thanks for the pics, that is a sweet ride!!! thanks for sharing all the detail.
    Tuskano likes this.
  13. Isetta

    Isetta New Member

    Baaaddass!! Those are sweet
    Tuskano likes this.
  14. Tuskano

    Tuskano Member

    Her as of last weekend. Cooling system is about done... radiator from a RX8 is mocked up. I had came over to drop off the new gas tank, pump, and other things. She turns over... but when the shop tried to do that, we found the temparary tank on the roofrack was outta gas haha.

  15. Tuskano

    Tuskano Member

    Thought you guys would like the new updates. She runs, just have no coolant system installed or clutch or shifting installed. So it was manually putting it in either neutral or 1st gear.
    38281164_10156534746154931_8639856921026756608_n.jpg 38298025_10156534746074931_5909323894862381056_n.jpg

    And now even better. We were able to take Rotajet to a show today. Called the Hot Wheels Legends Tour Seattle... which was held in Mt Vernon. Lots or cars and ours broke necks too. Just couldn't get there on its own power, no coolant system installed, and only neutral or 1st gear if manually switch gears. Wasn't in the finals for the winning car because judges thought it didn't run... it can... just not for long times right now.

    Ohkei Dohkei and zxrx like this.
  16. Tuskano

    Tuskano Member

    No real updates so far. Appologise for not being as responsive. J-Rod’s Garage, the shop that has been doing the swap, was moving locations. They were temporarily in a smaller 2 car garage that had no room for Rotajet. But a few days ago he finally got to move into the bigger garage (4-5 car) and has been fixing it up the last 2 days. Soon Rotajet will be there and updates starting again. Hopefully there will be videos of all that here. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjZpV_o4fT1AS6U62KDKsLA …feel free to subscribe, I am sure he would like that.

    I think one of the big kicks in our ass for this build has been Hoonigan, a California shop that builds crazy stuff for people like the drifter Ken Block. Their new build has been a Suzuki Carry that some Swedish drifters used as a pit truck at events and they wanted a 13B in it.

    Rotajet can’t be a stepping stone for them and hopefully, they decide to use their own ideas.
  17. Tuskano

    Tuskano Member

    Now for updates! Rotajet is back at J-Rod's Garage and getting love and attention again. Plus, there is a video on it now for her cold start after sitting in storage for 6 months waiting on the shop move.

  18. Tuskano

    Tuskano Member

    Been a good minute since I put an update up.

    She has seats again! J-Rod's Garage has been on and off with Rotajet and has dealt with having to move shops about twice which had included a falling out with another shop that was supposed to help out. Now she is at his new shop that has car lifts and is amazing.

    He had to backtrack with the whole engine and lower it back to make room so the seats and a seat frame and fit better. With it before if you added any seating, your head would be close to the roof. Which in the long run would make helmets hard. Before, if you guys recall, the engine was raised as with the stock suspension (or at least when it was the Kei-Zone coilovers) the oil pan would be within 3 inches from the ground. What we all never thought of was when it got the RX7 coilover suspension and subframe, it raised everything back up. So he was able to lower it back 4 or so inches. With that he had room for the seat frame and seats while also having room to later add a heatshield. The plan is with the whole setup being removable by disconnecting the latches and unhooking the shift linkage (which she can shift now too!). That would give me a removable seat to relax on during car shows where the engine would be exposed.

    The new bucket seats... I was able to fall asleep in one having it in my living room floor watching a movie on the TV hahaha

    Seat frame

    Frame and seats test fitted. You can see how much it hugs the top of the 13B and see the corners of the bottom of the bucket seats.
    Side view. Steering wheel would be angled up more to not be in the driver's lap.
    69738805_2245458682229920_6792056123638677504_n.jpg 71294441_751010132006910_8487716483479109632_n.jpg 71589691_2457090111195177_5550690260175814656_n.jpg
    Without the seats and sheet metal covers.

    His custom engine mounts with forward subframe.


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