Zman None
Aug. 6, 2009 8:01 a.m.

So here goes, i'm still fairly new to driving, only been using a basic vanilla flavoured Vdub Golf for a while but now I have an RX-7 and I wanted some advice on what modifications to fit to it before I start practicing my speedy driving.

The aim of this is that in a years' time I want to get myself a Nissan 350Z but I want to be able to handle fast cars before I get one of those bad boys, so it was suggested that I get a cheap second and RX-7 and practice in an abandoned industrial park or something.

Does anyone have any advice to kick me off please? I'm a bit of a nublet :(

Rusty_Rabbit84 HalfDork
Aug. 6, 2009 8:12 a.m.

First off, welcome.

In regards to your ideas, i say start off in the suspension and brake catagories. You can add as much power as you want, but it will be no good if your car will not handle or brake.

For a little advice for testing out your new modifications, start researching for an open track day and go sign up. This way you could test your settings in a controlled enviorment with rescue personnel on site and no cops to worry about.

jrw1621 HalfDork
Aug. 6, 2009 8:15 a.m.

Get some real instruction.
Presented by SCCA, BMW Club and The Tire Rack... http://www.streetsurvival.org/

After that, contact your local SCCA Chapter or NASA Chapter and get involved with autocossing. Both organizations often have "training days" in the early summer.

Ian F HalfDork
Aug. 6, 2009 8:17 a.m.

As stated above, start with brakes and tires... maybe suspension... but even stock, the limits of an RX7 are higher than can be safely achieved on the street.

The easiest and cheapest way to get seat time under controlled conditions is to do autocross.

Granted, IMHO, I think I'd rather have a RX7 than a 350z...

Zman New Reader
Aug. 6, 2009 8:18 a.m.

OK nice, I take it they operate in the UK too? I am looking to study in either California or Tokyo atm but not sure where i'll end up so I cant say for sure that I will be able to visit any training days near LA .

If there is something similar in the UK Ten i'll check it out for sure, thanks for the advice guys.

Hehe the RX7 is a nice car for sure, but I fell in love with the 350Z, i'll probably end up keeping the RX7 though when I get the Z because they 're both nice cars.

Ian F HalfDork
Aug. 6, 2009 8:21 a.m.

Ahh... UK... (ya should have mentioned that first! )

IIRC, folks on that side of the pond don't call it "auto-cross"... look for Gymkhana or something. I don't know what the sports car club in the UK is called... but I can't imagine it being too hard to suss out...

Zman New Reader
Aug. 6, 2009 8:23 a.m.

No i'm searching for it now. :) LIke I say I may end up on your side of the pond soonish so I can always try then.

jrw1621 HalfDork
Aug. 6, 2009 8:24 a.m.

Please pardon my limited geographic view on the world. I never considered that you were in the UK.
I have no leads for instruction in the UK but I still highly recommend that you improve the driver before you improve the car.

Welcome, chap.

Zman New Reader
Aug. 6, 2009 8:28 a.m.

Thanks for the welcome everyone, I will take this advice to heart definately.

Actually the guy who led me to you lot lives on the West Coast, he used to own a garage in Philly apparently and he's been giving me advice for a wile and directed me to this site.

He's the one who suggested getting an RX7 first before I go mental and kill myself in a 3.5 liter V6 sports car :P

Ian F HalfDork
Aug. 6, 2009 8:38 a.m.

Oh... an RX7 can kill you too... especially if it's boosted...

Zman New Reader
Aug. 6, 2009 8:43 a.m.
Ian F wrote: Oh... an RX7 can kill you too... especially if it's boosted...

Ha! Very true :P

Aug. 6, 2009 8:50 a.m.

no advice for learning to drive at the limit besides what has already been said.

so with that out of the way, let me say welcome to the forum and also to the states. Ive spent time in LA, and loved every minute of it. The culture there is soooo different from where I live in the midwest, it was exactly my kind of place. If you end up there, immerse yourself in the culture, you wont be disappointed.

JmfnB SuperDork
Aug. 6, 2009 8:50 a.m.

It's been said, the fastest driver on any given track is not necessarily the guy with the most power. Most driver ladders start with sickeningly low power for a reason. Tempo, momentum and patience are the key points of a great drivers skillset wether on the race track or the highway.

Your VW is revered as a great drivers car for MANY reasons. I suggest keeping the Golf and adding a set of 15x7 Kosei K1s and a set of 205/50r15 Kumho XS, a set of proper GTi springs and struts, a nice tune and go hunting cones.

Zman New Reader
Aug. 6, 2009 8:52 a.m.

I really want an old Chevy Camaro to restore too but that means importing from that side of the pond, theres none for sale in the UK

Nice call on the Golf. That would save me a bit of cash :P.

ps: I am su re i will love LA if i end up there, not far to drive to San DIego too. [I'm a Chargers fan ]

carguy123 Dork
Aug. 6, 2009 8:53 a.m.

If you've got an RX7 and you are wanting to go fast, I'm presuming around corners, you're gonna hate the 350Z. I've got a low mileage '07 I'll sell you cheap!! I never drive it.

I've had the RX7 and I have a Miata and an S2000. The 350Z is a poseur when compared to them. It's fine in a straight line, but sux when it comes to a corner. Don't even expect it to go thru a slaloom without you having weightlifter's arms. For some reason the power steering doesn't take kindly to fast movements.

On the same 60 second autocross course with 2 different drivers switching between cars the Z was 8-12 seconds behind the S. That's with 2 drivers that are usually hundredths of a second apart.

Since you're in the UK where they have those itty bitty roads that makes the 350Z more of a liability than an asset.

Zman New Reader
Aug. 6, 2009 8:56 a.m.

Maybe yea...it's a shame because I Love the look of the car and the sound of the engine. I wouldn't get an S2000 cos its a convertible :P and I don't like convertibles at all

Maybe if I got the colf sorted I could get in that then move onto the RX-7. Shame it's gonna be sitting in my garage for a while :P

maroon92 SuperDork
Aug. 6, 2009 9:09 a.m.

you can get a hardtop for an S2000, and they look quite sexy with one as well. Maybe you could wait a little while, and get a 370Zed...I've heard good things.

Zman New Reader
Aug. 6, 2009 9:21 a.m.

YEah maybe I could stick wit the RX7 till the 370's come down in price. I did think that but dayum i'll have to wait a couple of years

Other than that, this may sound like sacrelige but can you replace the wankel engine of the RX-7 with a conventional engine? I hate the fact its so thirsty for oil :P

maroon92 SuperDork
Aug. 6, 2009 9:25 a.m.

You can replace it with an LS1. more power, more torque, not much more weight..Granny's Speed Shop has the swap parts...makes it easy.

Zman New Reader
Aug. 6, 2009 9:27 a.m.

Mhk thanks. May have to sell the RX-7 and the Golf in a couple of years to get myself a 370Z but its a dayum good idea.

Apexcarver SuperDork
Aug. 6, 2009 9:33 a.m.

yes, you can put a chevy LS1 V8 in there... http://www.grannysspeedshop.com/ (edit maroon snuck in while I was typing the novel below) would be MUCH more car then a 370z though.

I have done the power thing and let me tell you, its not the way to start. I have a mustang and its too much to take on a track, I just autocross it. Starting with something like an NA rx7 or you dub (im just not much for FWD) is the way to go. The more power you have the more depressing it gets to drive on the street. If you do more then poke the throttle you are breaking the law. With a lower power car (in my case a BMW E30) daily driving is much more fun because you can use much more of the cars capability. On the track the difference is with the power car it all becomes about putting down the power, with the other it becomes all about technique and line and finesse. If you eventually get to the point that you want alot of power thats fine, but get on the track with something slower and learn technique and finesse FIRST and you will be much better off in the long run.

The other thing is that with more power typically comes more expense. More power means higher speeds, means more brakes, means more (and bigger) tires. Tires for my E30 are literally about HALF the price then for the mustang. Is it more about you and having fun on the track, or is it about impressing women and your friends? If its about fun the lower power has a lot more bang for your buck. (then again, I could be wrong, I auto-x a mustang and the grass IS always greener...)

Capt Slow Reader
Aug. 6, 2009 9:39 a.m.

Have watched uh one or two episodes of top gear it seems that the trakday scene in brittan is alive and well.

Have you looked into finding an organisation that will let you have a go?

Zman New Reader
Aug. 6, 2009 9:44 a.m.

I've always wanted a 350Z but the 370Z is clearly a lot better. The RX-7 is more for gettin used to driving fast. I want to be able to handle the Z when I finally get it, having driven slowly in slow cars for a while i'm sure i won't be ready for a car like that.

I could use the Golf GTi which means i'd have to sell the RX-7 again seeing as there would be no need for it :P

In short it's about fun. Impressing girls is easier with a bit of humour :)

EDIT: They call them Trackdays in the UK so I could take the golf to that.

Haha Capt.Slow :) nice name, yeah i'm looking into it now.

carguy123 Dork
Aug. 6, 2009 9:45 a.m.

Locost + Hillclimbs = FUN!

Zman New Reader
Aug. 6, 2009 9:56 a.m.

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