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Cleverfrog
Cleverfrog Reader
3/24/15 9:09 a.m.

Let me start by saying hello to everyone. My name is Chris. It's been a dream of mine for a very long time to own a 2nd generation RX-7. Partly because of Initial D, but more so because I would drive by one that was for sale almost every day and thought, "wow that car is sexy". Well, after two mazdaspeed proteges, I finally managed to nab one up. It seems to be in remarkable condition for being 26 years old. All of the electronic buttons and switches work apart from the turn signals. The underside is rust free apart from a few brackets and other things, nothing on the shell though. The sunroof has some spots and the hood was extremely poorly painted. The exhaust needs to be replaced, you'll see in the pictures below. I would like to keep it very original yet tastefully "upgrade" or modify it to run better with perhaps a tiny bit more power. I had parted out my last mazdaspeed protege and kept my wheels, brakes and some other items that I knew fit the RX-7. So, here we go and enjoy!

PS: any advice, help, comments are always welcome :)

Said goodbye to this

and hello to this :)

Cleverfrog
Cleverfrog Reader
3/24/15 9:10 a.m.

Right, the first order of business is to fix any and all rust and plastics. So, I started this weekend by taking out the headliner and sunroof assembly. (I probably didn't need to take it ALL out, but whatever). Taking the assembly out caused me to accidentally break the a pillars just by looking at them. Sanded down the rusted areas on the panel and it slowly started pitting and disintegrating. I ended up cutting out the big rust spot and spot welded in new metal. It was way to cold to body work it though. Recommended temperature is 45F for mixing and good adhesion, but it was 37F. I ordered a new cluster bezel since mine has almost every mounting tab for accessories broken and also order some mazda red paint to repaint the sunroof, headlights and hood.

Edit: So, I found my mazdaspeed membership has perks. Found the A pillars there. Kinda pricey, but at least I was able to find some :)

fidelity101
fidelity101 SuperDork
3/24/15 10:12 a.m.

do your window wipers work in all speeds too? that is usually a good sign of an overall electrical condition and quite rare to find!

Cleverfrog
Cleverfrog Reader
3/24/15 10:16 a.m.
fidelity101 wrote: do your window wipers work in all speeds too? that is usually a good sign of an overall electrical condition and quite rare to find!

YEP! Really the only electrical issue is the blinkers. Which after some reading may be a relay or the board. I have yet to pull anything to look at it.

trucke
trucke HalfDork
3/24/15 10:48 a.m.

Nice score!

sethmeister4
sethmeister4 Dork
3/24/15 11:06 a.m.

Sweet! Looking forward to following along!

JtspellS
JtspellS SuperDork
3/24/15 12:01 p.m.

Nice, Good move up!

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
3/24/15 12:56 p.m.

Out with the 4 door econobox, in the a proper sportscar. You are doing it right!

monsterbronco
monsterbronco Reader
3/24/15 9:29 p.m.

Thank you for putting different wheels on!

ssswitch
ssswitch Reader
3/24/15 9:47 p.m.

Nice choice. I bet that muffler sounded "fun."

What's going on with the hood, is it clearcoat damage or did someone start power polishing it and get bored?

Cleverfrog
Cleverfrog Reader
3/25/15 6:27 a.m.

Thanks everyone!

ssswitch: The muffler was... uhm... loud haha. The hood, headlight and front bumper were repainted by someone who, from the looks of it, had no idea what they were doing. There are 3 different shades of red as you can see from the pictures. The headlights had red strips where the over spray from the bumper not having the flasher covers came through. Hopefully the paint I have coming will match it better. If not, I may bey painting the whole car even though I'd rather not.

JamesMcD
JamesMcD Dork
3/25/15 6:50 a.m.

I strongly recommend putting a relay in the headlight circuit to isolate the headlight switch from bearing the load. That switch likes to burn up otherwise. Replacing it carries high risk of cracking the cluster surround as well.

Cleverfrog
Cleverfrog Reader
3/25/15 8:22 a.m.

In reply to JamesMcD:

You'll have to elaborate on that. I've not seen that issue on the other forum and wouldn't know where to start. I'm a rotary NOOOOOB

Cleverfrog
Cleverfrog Reader
4/1/15 7:41 a.m.

Continued with body working the sunroof panel. Picked up some supplies to prep for paint. All of the exhaust parts and paint I ordered should be in by the weekend: 2 Vibrant TPV mufflers, stainless 2.5" piping, stainless v-bands as well as the red paint that got mishandled by the post office. I'll have to stop at my local welding supplier and pick up a different shielding gas and a stainless mig wire spool. Although, I am getting my wisdom teeth removed this weekend so I won't be doing any work I think. Hopefully I can get everything prepped and painted and welded up before the first autocross April 26th.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 SuperDork
4/1/15 7:52 a.m.

You don't need paint or exhaust to autocross.

Im going to miss the msp, but rotaries are cool too. Especially with lots and lots of boost.

Cleverfrog
Cleverfrog Reader
4/1/15 7:58 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13:

Mine is NA for the time being and will be for a while. No chance of even thinking about boosting the NA engine either. From everything I've read thus far, it's better to swap in a TII engine and driveline.

Cleverfrog
Cleverfrog Reader
4/2/15 8:47 a.m.

Mufflers and red paint came in last night . Spent some more time working the sunroof and finally got some primer on it. Checked the red color against the car and it matches almost perfectly (in poor light at least).

Skervey
Skervey Reader
4/2/15 4:17 p.m.

Looks good! I don't have the time to do the body of my 88 FC but one day I will repaint it and smooth out the dents and make it look nice. But your car looks like a good starting point for a clean RX7! What were your plans with the motor/mods?

Cleverfrog
Cleverfrog Reader
4/7/15 8:56 a.m.

In reply to Skervey:

To be honest, I've been reading a lot and there aren't too many options for more power with the NA engines other than exhaust, intake and porting. I'm working on the exhaust now. Not too sure if I want to pursue more power with the NA or to just turbo swap it. However, I do know that I won't be tearing apart the engine until after this autocross season. I really want to get some good baseline feels for how it performs. Plus, my wife would be very unhappy if I tore it apart. She has to go for cruises in it!

Small update: I received double the pipe that I ordered Not a complaint at all. Paint matches pretty well if you ask me. Need to lay some clear coat down after I wet sand it and then re assemble it all. Now that I know it matches good I can buy more so I can repaint the hood, front bumper and headlight tops. I'm really excited to take my wife around in my little red sports car

Cleverfrog
Cleverfrog Reader
4/13/15 10:11 a.m.

So, I'm not a metal fabricator. Only after I messed up did I figure out how to do it properly. However, I don't really want to start over with the Y pipe so it'll have to do. Stainless MIG is a bit more finicky and took a lot of setting adjustments to get it to lay a good bead down, of which I only had one good one. Not happy with it, but hopefully I'll have some better welds on the rest of the exhaust.

Cleverfrog
Cleverfrog Reader
4/20/15 8:09 a.m.

Had a very productive weekend. My wife was out of town and I had friday and saturday all to myself. Pictures can speak for themselves. Welded up the stainless 2.5" tube and mufflers, and got some paint prepping done on some parts.

Skervey
Skervey Reader
4/22/15 10:42 a.m.

Nice work on the exhaust! I would love to do one sometime but I will need lots of tubing because I would make a ton of mistakes!

How does it sound?

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/22/15 1:31 p.m.

<---- has 5 rotary engines in garage (2 that are in working vehicles!)

Skervey wrote: Nice work on the exhaust! I would love to do one sometime but I will need lots of tubing because I would make a ton of mistakes! How does it sound?

Like E36 M3.

It is an exhaust on an RX7 that isnt ported. It is going to sound like a pissed off weedwacker inside a tin can.

Cleverfrog
Cleverfrog Reader
4/22/15 2:32 p.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr: If I would have used smaller tubing it would have ahahahahahaha

I didn't start it until last night though. I believe Vibrant made a great muffler plus with the size of tube it sounds nice to me. It has a nice deep throaty tone to it at the rpms I heard last night. I guess I'll find out what's what if I end up autoxing this weekend There is a leak at the 2 bolt flange though I'll post a sound clip once I fix that up.

Thanks for the kind replies

Cleverfrog
Cleverfrog Reader
4/24/15 8:58 a.m.

So, it's pretty stinking loud hahaha. Has a really nice low throaty grumble at idle. Some of that loudness though is because of a leak somewhere on the manifold or the down pipe/transition pipe. I think it's one of the stock gaskets somewhere.

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