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1984 Mazda 323 Familia 1.5 Jolting Profusely While Driving <60km/ph

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New User

Jun 14, 2017, 3:23 PM

Post #1 of 3 (660 views)
post icon 1984 Mazda 323 Familia 1.5 Jolting Profusely While Driving <60km/ph Sign In

I've just bought one of the old 323 "Familias" - looking to bring it back to its former glory.

While driving under ~60km/ph (~35mph) the car jolts and jerks quite violently, but whilst gaining a bit of speed it begins to calm. The car also calms down (and flys!) with the choke pulled out (closed).

I've figured it might be a problem with the fuel pump, or perhaps the distributor cap, but can't be sure.

Perhaps someone here might have had the same issue. I would greatly appreciate your knowledge on this problem.

Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Jun 14, 2017, 3:39 PM

Post #2 of 3 (646 views)
Re: 1984 Mazda 323 Familia 1.5 Jolting Profusely While Driving <60km/ph Sign In

I'm not familiar with that model.....But you can always start off with the basics.......Give it a good tune up.. That's something that should be done periodically with its running good or bad.......That's right in the area where it may have points or electronic ignition.....If It has points, definitely put in a new set & condenser...
Running better when choked is usually an indication of a vacuum leak, of course that would only help at idle and low speeds. If this is running better choked at high speeds then you would be looking at something else than a vacuum leak....

New User

Jun 25, 2017, 6:02 PM

Post #3 of 3 (603 views)
Re: 1984 Mazda 323 Familia 1.5 Jolting Profusely While Driving <60km/ph Sign In

Hey, cheers for the response.

I've been having a look into the issue and still trying to troubleshoot the problem(s). I've confirmed one problem to be the vacuum leak, however, it's still missing quite badly while driving at the lower speeds. I'm beginning to theorise that it's only running on 3 cylinders instead of all 4.

Ended up pulling it to the roadside to whip open the bonnet and have a fiddle around. I decided to remove each ignition lead one-by-one to see if the problem was with one of the leads, none of them caused the car to run better than it did beforehand (not a problem with the leads), but once I had refitted the last one back on, it ran a little smoother on idle. Perhaps one was loose. Again, hasn't completely fixed the problem.

I've also found that as the engine gets hotter, it begins to run like a sick duck. The poor little machine begins to dread bridges and steep slopes. While cooler it seems to do alright.

Anyhow, if I (ever) manage to solve the issue(s), I'll post what I found back here so other's who encounter the same issues can get a basic idea on how to solve the problem.

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