LainfordExpress New Reader
Dec. 29, 2010 10:55 a.m.

1980 1st Gen. RX-7... what do I need to know.

I've been reading about checking the coolant for oil and the hatch channels for rust. Rust doesn't look like it'll be an issue though.

Anything else I should know?

Mazdax605 HalfDork
Dec. 29, 2010 11:28 a.m.

Suspension mounts in the rear wheel wells tend to rust out. Oil leaks on the engine between the housings. Smoke on start up? 79-80 are the best in my opinion by the way.


Javelin SuperDork
Dec. 29, 2010 11:31 a.m.

Make sure the engine is cold when you get there and watch for the amount of smoke on start-up and the length of time it takes to warm up. Look over the coolant system carefully. Check for rust in: rockers, rear wheelwells, under the battery, in the cowl, under the storage bins, and the rear suspension mounts. Look under the car to see if all the heat shielding is still in place and how fubared the frame rails are (they are very weak and if used as a jacking point usually buckle).

Enjoy! I still miss mine greatly.

pilotbraden Reader
Dec. 29, 2010 1:39 p.m.

Mine, a GSL SE, would smoke heavily on cold days when I had too much oil premixed. It still starts easily and pulls hard, with 245,000 miles on it. I recommend a touch of 2 stroke oil at every fill up.

aussiesmg SuperDork
Dec. 29, 2010 2:19 p.m.

it's all covered there

corytate New Reader
Dec. 29, 2010 3:18 p.m.
Mazdax605 wrote: 79-80 are the best in my opinion by the way.

I'll second that
first gens are the only ones with solid rears, IIRC solid rear ftw!


pilotbraden Reader
Dec. 29, 2010 3:26 p.m.

I want to put the engine from an RX-8 in a clean (rustless) early RX-7

Moparman Reader
Dec. 29, 2010 3:59 p.m.

I have an 85 FB which is clean and was painted a few years ago and kept in may garage since that I could be tempted top part with.

Mazdax605 HalfDork
Dec. 29, 2010 4:06 p.m.
corytate wrote:
Mazdax605 wrote: 79-80 are the best in my opinion by the way.

I'll second that
first gens are the only ones with solid rears, IIRC solid rear ftw!


The 79-80's are also the only ones with the cool looking steel bumpers rather than the more socially accepted,but lame looking (In my opinion) urethane bumpers.

LainfordExpress New Reader
Dec. 29, 2010 9:09 p.m.

Can anyone point me in the right direction for aftermarket wheels on these? The bolt pattern is goofy... 4x100 maybe? 4x110? I dunno Tire rack is non helpful and I'm having difficulty figuring out how much offset I need.

Mazdax605 HalfDork
Dec. 29, 2010 9:58 p.m.

4X110mm pcd,and you are right they are an odd pattern. There are choices out there,but not nearly as good as if it were a 84-85 GSL-SE model which uses the much more common 4x114.3 pcd. There are some old school choices out there,but they are rare,and expensive,but very cool. I have a set of Weds Auto Bahn's in 15"x7",and I love them. You can also try to find a set of 83 Limited Edition RX-7 wheels that are a BBS basket weave pattern,and are a more friendly 14" size,and the proper offset. I have another set,but they are in need of refurbishing. I could be talked into selling them I suppose.

LainfordExpress New Reader
Dec. 30, 2010 6:00 a.m.

Yeah, I had found some weird brand that had fairly lightweight alloys with smaller sizes, 14", 15" x 6" or 7". It was something like 686 or 696 I think, but can't find them now. Oh well, maybe I bookmarked them at home.

I think I'd rather just pick up a second set of stock wheels to mount up for autocross. I'm planning on keeping it pretty stock anyway, and it'll be even harder to find something aftermarket in a stock size.

Toyman01 SuperDork
Dec. 30, 2010 6:37 a.m.

Konig and Rota still make 4X110 wheels for the FB. E-bay lists several of them. Unfortunately that is also a common ATV bolt pattern so you have to wade through the ATV wheels to find them.

Toyman01 SuperDork
Dec. 30, 2010 6:39 a.m.

Here's a link to a set.

As far as offset, +20 seems to be what fits.

Javelin SuperDork
Dec. 30, 2010 8:26 a.m.

Rota RB's are your only aftermarket choice in current production for the 4x110 RX-7 wheels. A lot of guys import over old school wheels from Japan or Australia.

I have a set of 14" Hayashi Street II's waiting for the right RX-7 owner though...

Moparman Reader
Dec. 30, 2010 8:28 a.m.

What about Konig Rewinds?

Dec. 30, 2010 12:29 p.m.

I have a '80 and it's the best IMO. My oil seals went between the rotor chamber and side housing. If there is any excessive smoke at startup, don't stress, it's rather common.

Has this car been sitting, or is it a running driver?

grimmelshanks HalfDork
Dec. 30, 2010 1:26 p.m.

doesnt diamond make steel wheels that fit 1st gens?

LainfordExpress New Reader
Dec. 30, 2010 8:29 p.m.

Guy called tonight, call is sold. Fooey.

Moparman Reader
Dec. 30, 2010 8:47 p.m.

I have an 85 I would consider selling.

You'll need to log in to post.

Also on Grassroots Motorsports

Classic Motorsports Mitty Presented by Hagerty Celebrates Porsche

10 hours ago in News

Gearhead heaven? We think it looks something like this.

First Drive: Turbo ND MX-5

2 days ago in News

We hit the track with Flyin' Miata's latest power adder.

This Weekend at the Mitty: The Ultimate Auto Festival

3 days ago in News

Gates open this Friday for the Classic Motorsports Mitty at Road Atlanta.

ND Miata Turbo Kits Now Available!

3 days ago in News

Add 70 horsepower and 70 ft.-lbs!

What's the Plan, Man?

4 days ago in Articles

Thoughts on our racing plan for the year.

Meet the Rebels Who Started the Cannonball Run

5 days ago in News

Relive those desperado days through movie excerpts, and hear the real facts and wild stories from the legends themselves.

Up for Auction: All of Level 5 Motorsports's Hardware

5 days ago in News

It's a pro race team part out.

Can You Really Live With a Low-Buck Porsche 911?

5 days ago in News

For the past two years, on of our forum regulars has been chronicling his life with a Porsche 996.

Project Turbo Miata: Fire Fighting

6 days ago in Project Cars

We transfer the fire system to our new Miata.

Reader's Ride of the Week: Autocross Abomination

1 week ago in News

Classic British styling with a rotary engine?


1 week ago in Articles

If you’re going to host the search for the ultimate street car, perhaps you should drive one yourself.

Chris Albin’s Flying VW Golf: What Really Happened?

1 week ago in News

What really happened to send Chris Albin's VW Golf flying?


Grassroots Motorsports Magazine

Subscribe Today

Also get your instant access to the digital edition of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine!

Learn More