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byron12
byron12 Reader
5/14/11 10:12 p.m.

There has probably been a topic on this already I am going to get a first gen Rx7 about thre hours away in Ft valley GA. it is running car I will have more info once I am in full possesion the car runs but there appears to be some oil leakage. I just want to know everything I can about these cars. Any tips about restoration keeping them running potential problems etc is much appreciated thanks.

turbojunker
turbojunker HalfDork
5/14/11 10:59 p.m.

What year is it? If it has the beehive oil cooler that's almost a guaranteed oil leak.

rotard
rotard New Reader
5/15/11 12:41 a.m.

The FB is one of my favorite cars. I loved mine and will have another one in pristine shape some day. These cars are very reliable and will even get somewhat decent mileage. The 84-85 GSLE is fuel injected and is loaded with luxury stuff. It also has a more powerful engine, a 13B. All other FB's had carbed 12A's. Both engines are good. My carbed 12A got better mpg than my Rx8 does. I keep hearing people say that it's harder to find 12A parts now, but I never needed any, so I'm not sure. Check for rust in the usual places, under the battery tray, etc. Also make sure you lift up the carpet in the hatch and check for rust there. Underneath the storage tubs behind the seats is also a place that rust loves to start. I bought one in college for $1200 and drove it for 4 years. I wish I hadn't sold it. FUN FUN FUN

Don49
Don49 Reader
5/15/11 6:51 a.m.

rx7club.com is a good source for information and parts. Like any site you have to pick through to separate the good info from bad, but overall a good site.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 Dork
5/15/11 8:11 a.m.

I'll put in a plug for nopistons.com

Great cars. I assume it's a 5-speed?

byron12
byron12 Reader
5/15/11 8:56 a.m.

Awesome thanks for some much good info already. It is an 81 it actually is being given to me by my uncle it is a running california car with no rust he drove it from california to georgia a couple of months ago. It won't pass smog.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
5/15/11 9:30 a.m.

Awesome! I love FB RX-7's! An 81 will be either the base S or higher content GS model, no GSL (with rear discs) yet. If it's a hardtop car it will be desirable for racing. Don't worry about the smog, usually it's a bad thermal reactor and/or what passed for a catalytic convertor in 81. If you have smog where you live you can update that stuff. If there's no smog (like I had), then it's time for a Racing Beat header, pre-silencer, and exhaust, which is worth a good 20HP. Rotaries like to breathe. I highly recommend the RB air filter setup as well.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg SuperDork
5/15/11 9:51 a.m.

Check for rust behind seats, the upper control arms mount there and this is probably the major problem for these cars, yours will have the bins there, remove the bins and check it should be obvious. You can also see signs looking into the rear wheel arch over the tire, you will see a bracket used to reinforce the upper mount.

I recommend pre mixing and blocking off the old oil pump I used quality 2 stroke oil 50 to 1 mix, do a "rats nest" removal to simplify the nightmare under the hood. Unless you plan on restoring the car.

Also check out the 2nd gen coil conversion, it made a huge difference in my car's response and mpg.

I also did the aforementioned exhaust and added a Mikuni 44, with a stock engine this made a healthy and fun 150hp.

I would suggest adding the GSL rear axle as mentioned, you gain disc brakes and a LSD.

Then drive it like you stole it, rotaries love a beating, redline buzzer at 7000 rpm is when the fun starts IMHO

Woody
Woody SuperDork
5/15/11 9:53 a.m.

Did all GSLs get rear discs? What year did they come along?

aussiesmg
aussiesmg SuperDork
5/15/11 9:58 a.m.

All GSLs and GSL-SE cars have the LSD rear discs, however the GSL-SE has another issue due to a different lug pattern. (different LSD ratio and clutch set, offset is +40 rather than +26, plus bigger discs)

That is a good question but I think they started the GSL around 82, however halfway through 83 they went to a bigger bearing set up which is the preferred unit to seek. Although with 150hp the early GSL rear should be fine.

They are very strong rears, I know of one running 9's in Oz.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon SuperDork
5/15/11 9:59 a.m.

I heart 1st gens. '81 didn't have the beehive oil cooler. The known oil leak points: the external oil cooler will crack where the banjo bolts go in, generally due to overtightening. The oil cooler hoses themselves are another leak point, they are guaranteed to be too old for DD use now.

You can get adapter fittings that screw into the engine and allow you to use AN fittings and SS braided hose, when I did that on the Abomination I got the fittings from Pegasus. That's probably the quickest/easiest way to make up hoses but it can get a little pricey buying fittings, hose etc. I made braided hoses for my 13B with some banjo fittings I got from BAT Inc. and I used the stock banjo bolts. There were fewer fittings (thus possible leak points) but the damn fittings were something like $45 each. Ouch.

Whatever you do, don't drive it more than a few minutes if the oil cooler is bypassed!

It's going to be a 12A motor, those would leak between the front 'iron' and the front rotor housing. That's messy but the engine will run just fine. Toyman's '81 leaked there until he took the A/C compressor off.

A GSL limited slip/disc brake rear end is an easy swap, if you don't necessarily need disc brakes you can stick the GSL limited slip into the drum brake housing very easily.

My only complaint about the early cars is the stock steering, it takes about 3 3/4 turns lock to lock and has a LOT of free play in the wheel. ReSpeed makes a rack and pinion swap.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg SuperDork
5/15/11 10:02 a.m.

You can try to tighten the steering first, it takes a large flat faced socket and a wrench. Search this on RX7club also.

It worked for mine.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon SuperDork
5/15/11 10:12 a.m.

I tightened up mine too, the first thing I did was loosen the lock nut on the screw on the top of the box and adjust that. Here's the thing: to tighten the box, you adjust that screw OUT, not IN. Turn it out till it doesn't want to go any further, then go back in maybe 1/16-1/8 turn. Then the rest of it came from loosening the locknut where the steering column comes in and tightening the large nut underneath it. I did that with a hammer and punch with the front end off the ground and kept fidding with it, it took maybe 1/4 turn to get it all in pretty good order. The thing is, due to the way the box wears, if you really crank down on that nut and get rid of all the slack in the straight ahead position the box will 'tighten up' at the ends of its travel, meaning the steering won't return very well. I got mine down to where it had maybe 1" free play at the wheel rim. Not perfect but way better than the 3"- 3 1/2" of slop I started with.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
5/15/11 10:21 a.m.

Before you bother to tighten the steering box (which is a great mod), make sure the rest of the steering is up to snuff. Nearly every RX-7 will need tie-rod ends and a steering joint by now. Make sure all of that is up to snuff (and the ball joints in the suspension as well), then tighten the rack. The results are amazing!

byron12
byron12 Reader
5/15/11 4:03 p.m.

Killer tips I am getting really excited now. I have driven I am pretty sure it needs tie rod ends the steering does suck. I believe it is a gs it has a sunroof I will have photos soon I plan on sort of restoring/modding it for spirited driving and autocrossing. I will be on a somewhat tight budget though.

Chas_H
Chas_H New Reader
5/15/11 5:51 p.m.

Idler arm bushings are more likely the cause. Back in the day I had my own bushings machined from glass filled TFE and installed or sold a coupla sets a month.

turbojunker
turbojunker HalfDork
5/15/11 6:10 p.m.
aussiesmg wrote: All GSLs and GSL-SE cars have the LSD rear discs, however the GSL-SE has another issue due to a different lug pattern. (different LSD ratio and clutch set, offset is +40 rather than +26, plus bigger discs) That is a good question but I think they started the GSL around 82, however halfway through 83 they went to a bigger bearing set up which is the preferred unit to seek. Although with 150hp the early GSL rear should be fine. They are very strong rears, I know of one running 9's in Oz.

The 83 has the weird axle with the big bearings but the smaller driveshaft bolt pattern, something to keep in mind. I learned about that the hard way buying a junkyard driveshaft.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
5/16/11 8:35 a.m.

The driveshaft bolt pattern uses a flange that just bolts to the third member on the rear end. They are easily changed.

Karl La Follette
Karl La Follette Dork
5/16/11 10:44 a.m.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid HalfDork
5/16/11 1:29 p.m.

Call me a stickler, I hate when people call 1st Gens "FBs"

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago Dork
5/16/11 1:42 p.m.
SyntheticBlinkerFluid wrote: Call me a stickler, I hate when people call 1st Gens "FBs"

Why's that? I thought the early 1st gens were SAs and the later ones were FBs

SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid HalfDork
5/16/11 2:00 p.m.
thatsnowinnebago wrote:
SyntheticBlinkerFluid wrote: Call me a stickler, I hate when people call 1st Gens "FBs"

Why's that? I thought the early 1st gens were SAs and the later ones were FBs

All '79-'85 models are SA22Cs. 1981 was the change when the US government required a 17 digit VIN number which brought along the "FB" nickname. Everywhere else in the world 1st gens are SA22s.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg SuperDork
5/16/11 2:14 p.m.

Actually everywhere else in the world they are called Series 1 78/80, Series 2 81/83 and Series 3 84/85. 2nd Gens are series 4 and 5 and 3rd gen are Series 6.

Just saying...

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 Dork
5/16/11 2:30 p.m.
aussiesmg wrote: Actually everywhere else in the world they are called Series 1 78/80, Series 2 81/83 and Series 3 84/85. 2nd Gens are series 4 and 5 and 3rd gen are Series 6. Just saying...

When did they start making the twin cam ones?

rotard
rotard New Reader
5/16/11 2:36 p.m.
SyntheticBlinkerFluid wrote: Call me a stickler, I hate when people call 1st Gens "FBs"

Call me a stickler, but I hate when people are shiny happy people.

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