26th Apr 2015, 13:03

Me again,

2,000 km since I bought the Laser (Mazda 323 - who cares what you call it).

Problems - none.

Leaks - none.

Failure to proceed (hah, Rolls Royce) - none

Alles in ordnung ist!

12th Aug 2015, 07:18

How did you go with replacing the speakers? There are some 6.5" Pioneer speakers for sale at SuperCheap Auto I'm eyeing, as mine are SHOT.

BTW, I have a 1991 1.8 EFI model with just 104,000km on it, one old lady owner etc. and it's a gem.

25th Aug 2015, 13:36


It's fiddly but not overly difficult to put larger speakers in.

Remove the end plates at each end of the dashboard, and the screw is there. Gently dislodge both end plates, usual plastic clip things there. There are about four or five screws in the lower part of panel under the steering column, one up in the coins etc box. Drop the panel and out with the old small speakers. You may have to do a little "surgery" on the old speaker mounts.

New speakers much bigger; the only way to put them in is part sideways and held by (looks bad but it works) cable ties. Make sure the speakers are "buffered" by hard plastic foam or similar to stop rattles.

The left hand speaker requires removal of the glove box lid from memory. Quite easy.

I know the job looks a bit thrown together, but that is about the only way to put the new larger speakers where they "should" go.

Unfortunately there's no room at rear of larger speakers to mount a box or similar.

Sound quality is OK I suppose, but sadly missing a lot of bass.

Thinking of trying again for better sound, but the Laser does not have much room under the dash to work in.

Good luck.

12th Dec 2015, 12:25

Probably boring, but a record of the small stuff. My Laser is a "keeper".

Bought 19 Nov 2014 - 117,334 km. Now 124,500 something km (Dec 2015).

1991 KF Ford Laser 5 door lift back - automatic 3 speed - air conditioned - manual steering - 1.6 litre.

Radio Code – #### (radio from Poontang Sally, the EF Series 2 Falcon - may it rust in peace).

Bore: 78mm

Stroke: 83.6mm

Capacity: 1,597cc

Compression Ratio: 9.2:1

64kw @ 6,000 RPM - 85.82 HP

123 nm @ 3,100 RPM - 90.72 ft lb

Tyre pressures :- A lot of different pressures recommended by different people. With manual steering, finding the correct balance (a matter of individual choice) is a process of "try this and see".

The manual steering is quite good being rack and pinion. A little firm at rest or in and out of parking spaces.

Tyre pressures too low and I can feel the wallow in corners, and low speed effort at the wheel is quite high. Conversely with pressures too high, a lot of small bumps and road irregularities come through.

Over a period of time (nearly a year) I have found what suits me for feel and effort at the wheel, handling, and "road feel".

Front - 30 PSI.

Rear - 28 PSI.

Some may disagree with these pressures. They suit me for a balance of wheel effort, feel at the wheel, and road feel. So all you so called experts, get a big black rat up 'ya! The pressures suit me.

Engine oil: 3 litre 25/60.

Automatic Transmission: 5.7 litre Dexron 2.

Coolant: 6 litre.

Under the bonnet everything looks factory new, and that is everything. Most unusual for a 23 year old car.

Where did this vehicle come from - what is its history. I have never seen such a complete re-build under the bonnet - everything is new down to the smallest screw. Everything in the engine bay has been replaced and it looks the same as a new vehicle. This vehicle is indeed a rare find.

Interior very clean and tidy. Again, looks almost like new. No problems - has never failed.

The 1.6 litre engine is the smallest lowest power engine for the Lasers of that time. Well, supposed to be anyway. Strange how this Laser tries to “walk” to the right when pressing on the “go pedal”. Torque and a little power from the horses and no limited slip differential. Only found the “walk” in much more powerful front wheel drive vehicles. Favourite gear is second. For the lowest power engine it is quite a surprise (auto trans). Have never taken the RPM over about 4,000 and never will, but in that rev range the “little engine that could” seems better at what it does than all the comments made from armchairs.

Things that have been fixed:

Exhaust pipe. Had been fixed before - simply needed some silicone sealant. Check next year and see if it needs welding.

Faded strips and trim - windows and front and rear bumper bars - painted. A work in progress.

16 Aug 2015 - oil and filter change. Ryco Z79 filter and Nulon 25/60 oil. All under bonnet fluid levels checked. All OK.

10 Oct 2015 - small cleaning up jobs under the bonnet - tightened a few fasteners nuts/bolts. More and more new components discovered. Seems the engine bay and engine and all components including the air conditioning were replaced with new. Dealer fitted new radiator/cooling system, hoses and all. Would say the engine is original, but shows signs of a total careful rebuild (from the engine and VIN numbers).

10 Oct 2015 - breather tube to rocker cover a little loose - fixed and sealed - seems to start and idle from cold easier.

13 Oct 2015 - definitely easier starting and cold idling after fixing and sealing rocker cover breather.

15 Oct 2015 - 121,869 km - new brake disks front - brake pads 75%, no need to change them. New rear brake shoes. Cheap, parts all up $92.00.

17 Oct 2015 - a little tidy up again under the bonnet - bolt head on air-con touching radiator hose - glued two thicknesses (cut to size and shape) of strong plastic between bolt head and hose - no nasty surprise with a punctured hose.

Sealed up tiny crack in cam cover (plastic).

Looked in rocker cover through oil filler with strong torch - have never seen such a clean (inside) cylinder head except on a new zero km vehicle.

18 Oct 2015 - Speed Demon! Trip to Westlakes - 80 km/h zone - took speed up to a terrifying 80 km/h. Just a muted "hmmmmm" from under the bonnet, perfect.

18 Oct 2015 - water blasted under bonnet - engine block - intake and exhaust manifolds - transmission casing - engine mounts - firewall and anywhere that looked like it could use a good water blasting. Tried to water blast underneath - sump - bottom of engine block - transmission - engine mounts. Well, tried as best I could. At least everything looks rather clean now (in fact very clean).

20 Oct 2015 - finally found a good place for the little MP3 player - right hand side of instrument panel with blu-tack. So, the blu-tack is hidden and the connect cable is tucked away behind the dash. The MP3 player is now in line of sight and it's much safer to change tracks without taking your eyes from the road or hands from the wheel. Looks fairly neat actually.

21 Oct 2015 - Found a good neat place under the bonnet for the jack and the jumper cables - deep well next to windscreen washer reservoir - jack and cables fit very well and neatly tied in so no movement or rattles. Made for it, amazing.

28 Oct 2015 - speakers moved to back - in the wheel arch cover, which is made for speakers. Right hand side done - easy job - much better sound as wheel arch covers act as speaker boxes. Will do the left hand speaker soon. Left hand speaker moved to rear. Very easy to relocate speakers front to rear. Result - much better sound and bass response - the job was well worth doing and gets the best (if there is a best) from a $14.00 MP3 player. The old radio from Poontang Sally and the el cheapo MP3 player actually do the the job - well enough for basic music listening anyway and much better than front mounted speakers.

Jobs to do:-

Slight oil leak at distributor or somewhere. Can't find it. 23 Oct 2015 - since water blasting under bonnet, the oil smell when the engine is hot seems to have disappeared - also cannot see any oil where it used to pool - fixed, don’t know just yet - keep checking. Leak seems to have stopped, if there was in fact a leak. Could have been a sloppy oil change by someone in the past.

Rattle under right side of dash. It comes, it goes.

1 Nov 2015 - el cheapo steering wheel cover - but somehow it gives much more "feel" and is very comfortable on the hands. Strange that a steering wheel cover can provide so much feedback and feel of the vehicle.

9 Nov 2015 – Long trip about 1,400 km.

Average fuel consumption 35.35 MPG – brilliant. Converts to 8 litres per 100 km. That is very good for a small capacity carburettor engine, automatic trans, and air-conditioning on all of the way.

Cruising speed, most comfortable speed, 100 to 110 km/h.

Highest speed seen – 120 km/h with H@@@@ driving. Also with H@@@@ driving, 85 km/h in 2nd gear. Not happy, Jan.!

Engine and transmission – smooth and more a hum than the typical noise of a small engine. Tappety noise seems usual for a small 4 cylinder engine (seems the Laser and Mazda 323 renowned for top end noise). Maybe I am just looking for something to complain about.

Air-conditioning – almost too cold, absolutely perfect and not too much impact on performance.

Engine temperature – stable at all times except idling for ten minutes on a very hot day after stopping from cruising speed. Gauge went up “one notch” and settled back to normal in two minutes driving.

Brakes – perfect, they work and work very well. Crash application of brakes to avoid being side swiped at high speed. On the brakes, lock up and flick sideways to avoid collision. Didn't know I could still do that.

Handling - interesting - when coming out of corner/bend in the road at around 100 km/h, a slight flick from the rear end if the "straighten out" is started too quickly. Not going to install a tougher rear sway bar, the car is for ordinary use, not racing.

Road noise - fairly high, still that is to be expected with a mish mash of tyres.

Slight muffler to body noise after crash stop only on engine shut down. Should be easy to re-align.

Overall – many reminders of the Mazda 323 wagon.

12 Nov 2015 - fitted USB charge/cigarette lighter thingy to charge the battery in my MP3 player - it works. Used a USB cable to get the length. Cost $8.00. No longer have to take the MP3 player out of the car and plug into the PC to recharge.

12 Nov 2015 - rattle under the dash seems to have gone with the USB cable fitted under there. Yeah, wait and see.

Interesting - the "tappety" noise when the engine is cold started has gone. Perhaps the long run of 1,400 km "unstuck" a sticky valve lifter (hydraulic lifters).

19 Nov 2015 - one year. 117,334 km a year ago today, less 123,773 today, is 6,439 km in the year since bought (4,001 miles).

27 Nov 2015 - things to try to do today :-

Remove tow bar - I don't want it and don't need it.

Look at how to move the PRND21 indicator to the left hand side so I can see it.

Can't be done and can't find/buy a left hand drive PRND21 indicator.

27 Nov 2015 - tow bar removed - easy, four bolts and cut/insulate wiring.

3 Dec 2015 – changed seat height – 1½ inch raise at front – ½ inch raise at rear. Seems to be the best it has ever been for comfort and support. Bar no longer digging into my lumbar spine. Yep, drive to shops, quite good and comfortable.

If anyone wants to know how (it's very easy), just leave a comment.

5th May 2017, 12:47

My 1991 KF Laser - 1.6 engine, auto, air. Over two years since I bought it. Troubles, none except the distributor module eventually failed. I do not class this sort of thing as a problem.

Great vehicle and as reliable as the proverbial Swiss watch.

28th Aug 2017, 12:42

I first posted about my 1991 KF Laser back in January 2015.

Now nearly an extra 20,000 km on the clock.

Failures - one, the ignition module in the distributor. Replaced. Electrical component failures are to my mind the same as a light bulb going "pop". Not a mechanical failure.

Problems - none.

Changes made - lowered the steering column an inch. An easy job when you look at what is involved, and no strain put on any steering component as there is a small "universal joint" on the column at floor level. Lowering the steering column makes the driving experience so much more comfortable.

Upcoming jobs - new hydraulic lifters. The usual "tick tick" is there as with most Mazda B6 engines. Easy job, cylinder head does not have to come off. Only one "specialist tool" required, a torque wrench for 16 to 21 ft lb.

That is it. A good reliable, "shopping trolley". A Keeper.