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unevolved Reader
6/13/10 11:24 p.m.

In addition to running A&M's Challenge team (Civic & Miata), I have two project cars of my own. How? I really have no idea. I seem to attract crappy cars.

This car, a 1985 RX-7 GS had been abandoned at Texas World Speedway for the better part of a decade. It sat outside untouched until I was offered the chance to buy it for $500. Maybe I should have bartered a little bit more, but given the condition of the body (not paint) and interior, I decided to pull the trigger. Here are a few pictures of the day I signed the check in June of last year and dubbed her "Jane."

She sat outside at the track for a month or two at the entry to turn one, watching all the faster cars go by. I had to pull her into the shop to work on her, as at some point in her past, someone had changed the spark plugs and forgot to put one back. The motor was about as useful as a 400lb paperweight can be.

Pulling the damaged 12A out was the first order of business.

Last fall, a garage opened up, and I decided it was worth paying the extra rent to keep this car under a roof and be able to spread out. So Jane got a new home.

In a matter of questionable priorities, I jumped at the chance to pick up a set of 15x7 +7 4x110 Enkei 92s. Last winter, someone in Houston listed these for sale on CL in Monday, and within a matter of hours I'd agreed to show up with $400 cash the following Friday. These rarely come up for sale, and down the road this will really open up my tire choices. It may have delayed the project a little bit, but I think it's worth doing right. I have no plans of getting rid of this car.

In March I picked up a known-good 12A from a friend for $150.

A user on RX7Club decided to do some spring cleaning, and offered up several sets of tires for free to whoever wanted them. I picked up a set of barely used A048s, and a set of brand new A008Rs. Not the latest and greatest tires, yes, but they were free and they fit the stock wheels. I have enough race tires to last me for a while now.

Last Friday night, myself and two friends decided to push to get the engine in the car since not much progress had been made in a while.

It's amazing how something as simple as installing an engine can renew your motivation for a project. This has been on the back burner for a while now, and now that my courseload has lightened up for summer, I've got time to focus on this and our '10 Challenge build.

CaptainSpaulding New Reader
6/13/10 11:40 p.m.

Cool. Always did like those cars. Spinning triangles scare me.

unevolved Reader
6/13/10 11:43 p.m.

To be honest, the rotary engine and carb was what attracted me to the car, since I had never owned or worked on either one. It's an interesting challenge, although the carb may be heading out. A friend has offered me a Turbo-II swap for a good price.

CaptainSpaulding New Reader
6/13/10 11:46 p.m.

Boost is your friend.

unevolved Reader
6/14/10 12:11 a.m.

Yeah, carbs aren't really my thing. I've come to terms with the fact that I'm part of the new breed of gearheads that tune a car by plugging a laptop up to it rather than smelling the sparkplugs.

Vigo HalfDork
6/14/10 9:02 a.m.

they smell kinda bad anyway

unevolved Reader
6/14/10 4:45 p.m.


I got the radiator and windows installed today.

SilverFleet Reader
6/14/10 5:45 p.m.

Looks like a clean project. A friend of mine has an identical car, and they look great when cleaned up, especially in that blue color yours appears to be in.

unevolved Reader
6/14/10 6:02 p.m.

Yeah, I can't wait to get it cleaned up. This car is my inspiration, I'm going for an identical stance. It's also the reason I decided to splurge on those Enkei 92s.

Professional bodywork is one of the few things I'll pay someone else to do, and this color is worth preserving.

3Door4G Reader
6/14/10 9:59 p.m.
unevolved wrote: It's amazing how something as simple as installing an engine can renew your motivation for a project.

You sir, are a better man than I.

I could call installing an engine "simple" but I'd be lying.

Awesome car.

unevolved Reader
6/14/10 10:20 p.m.
You sir, are a better man than I. I could call installing an engine "simple" but I'd be lying. Awesome car.

Thanks, I'm getting really excited about this thing. Got some more work done today, it's starting to get more and more functional. Have to do some work on the SO's car tomorrow, so I can't play with it much, but I feel like it's a matter of weeks rather than months until she's on the road again.

3Door4G Reader
6/14/10 10:29 p.m.

Is this going to be a street-driven car or is it mainly for track use?

unevolved Reader
6/14/10 10:32 p.m.

Street driven. Probably not daily, as no AC in the Texas heat gets a little tedious.

I do plan to put some Kirkeys and a 4-point cage in it at some point, and put those race tires to good use. It's got a long list of mods ahead of it, but suspension is first up once she's running reasonably well. It literally has over a fist of wheel gap. Call me a ricer, but I can't abide that.

3Door4G Reader
6/14/10 10:37 p.m.

Post whenever you do things.

I want to see!

unevolved Reader
6/14/10 10:51 p.m.

Radiator and box/shroud painted and installed.

Water pump housing painted and installed. It takes longer to install things when you have to clean them up and repaint them before you bolt them in.

cloud81918 New Reader
6/18/10 10:42 a.m.

I love first gen RX-7s. I will be following this, keep it coming.

hamburglar New Reader
6/18/10 11:58 a.m.

Nice, I especially like the late-night floodlight powered engine install!

dean1484 Dork
6/18/10 5:05 p.m.

I know this is nuts but I always wanted to put a millenia S motor in one of those. I have no idea why and I know performing brain surgery on my self would probably be less painful but I just can not get the idea to go away.

unevolved Reader
6/19/10 4:23 p.m.

I know why. It's a high-revving V6 making 210 hp out of 2.3L, and it's not too heavy. Converting them to RWD is a pain, but it's doable. If I was going to swap in a reciprocating engine, that would be a strong contender. I'd rather play with rotaries for a while, though. It's unfamiliar territory and I kinda like them.

unevolved Reader
6/21/10 2:31 p.m.

Got the water pump and alternator installed today, as well as the fan and shroud. Going to strip down the carb later this week.

unevolved HalfDork
7/12/10 3:56 p.m.

Still trying to figure out this whole carb thing, but I got it installed today.

Got a lot left to hook up, but I'm getting closer.

WilberM3 Reader
7/12/10 5:45 p.m.

is that exhaust manifold used as some sort of chamber kinda like in 2 stroke engines? or is it just a huge chunk of 30yo cast iron?

turboswede SuperDork
7/12/10 6:12 p.m.

Rotary exhausts are notoriously hot, I think of them as small turbines. Hence the large chunk of cast iron.

Jensenman SuperDork
7/12/10 7:24 p.m.

Nice car! I lubs 1st gens.

That huge heavy cast iron exhaust manifold helps muffle the engine's note, the sonic pulses 'mix' inside the chamber and sorta cancel each other out. I've run a 12A with the front of the exhaust cut loose but the manifold still in place, it makes a 'popcorn popping' sound rather than the metallic snarl of headers. My daughter cracked up when she heard it. But it's also restrictive as hell and is one reason why 12A's wake up so quick with exhaust modifications.

unevolved HalfDork
7/12/10 8:22 p.m.

Yeah, a new header is probably going to be the first powertrain mods. First up is going to be front brake rebuild, then suspension. Then header.

It's probably going to get an RB Power Pulse muffler straight off, I had to torch the original one off when pulling it, it had seized up pretty good.

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