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The Staff of Motorsport Marketing
The Staff of Motorsport Marketing Writer
8/17/20 8:10 a.m.

[Editor's Note: This article originally ran in the November 2007 issue of Grassroots Motorsports.]

 

Story by Chris Stutters

It's not easy being different. Just about every car manufacturer has made some form of sports car, and each marque has tried a different tack to make its steeā€¦

Read the rest of the story

Fitzauto
Fitzauto Dork
8/17/20 9:56 a.m.

These are at the top of my "When I get a raise and want a nice project car" list. Something about the shape just speaks to me.

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
8/17/20 10:02 a.m.

They look and sound amazing, and I hear they drive just as great, plus I admire Mazda's hardcore, unwavering, uncompromised comittment to performance. But having seen people work on them, I would never want to own one, unless I could afford to just pay someone to fix it for me.

trigun7469
trigun7469 SuperDork
8/17/20 10:06 a.m.

Cool cars, the A80 Supra and this Rx7, were always my choice when playing the original Gran Turismo.

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/17/20 10:12 a.m.

In reply to NickD :

I've owned one in the past, and yes, the drive at least as great as they look.

Jay_W
Jay_W SuperDork
8/17/20 10:20 a.m.

I waited for them to come down to my level of affordability and darn, they never did...

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
8/17/20 10:41 a.m.
NickD said:

They look and sound amazing, and I hear they drive just as great, plus I admire Mazda's hardcore, unwavering, uncompromised comittment to performance. But having seen people work on them, I would never want to own one, unless I could afford to just pay someone to fix it for me.

How so?  Yes, the vacuum lines are a confused mess but other than that I haven't found working on mine to be all that difficult.

 

Powar (Forum Supporter)
Powar (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/17/20 10:43 a.m.
Fitzauto said:

Something about the shape just speaks to me.

Me too. It is the most beautiful car to come out of Japan. I'm also very biased since I can see my '93 R1 from where I'm currently sitting. The article was spot on with the 3k RPM hesitation and oil pressure gauge issues; mine suffers from both.

I agree with codrus in that working on mine has actually been straightforward and rewarding. Granted, I've only had it a couple of months, but nothing has seemed out of the ordinary or difficult so far. codrus: Is that yours in the photo? Ours are nearly twins.

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/17/20 11:12 a.m.

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

I didn't need to know that, you know, in case some of my current attempts at car purchases fall through.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
8/17/20 11:58 a.m.
Powar (Forum Supporter) said:

I agree with codrus in that working on mine has actually been straightforward and rewarding. Granted, I've only had it a couple of months, but nothing has seemed out of the ordinary or difficult so far. codrus: Is that yours in the photo? Ours are nearly twins.

Yes, that's mine.  It's a '93 Touring red w/ tan interior, which I think is the most common FD configuration.

I've done the clutch, radiator, water pump, oil pan, exhaust, a bunch of AC components, and various suspension/brake things on mine.  None of it was particularly difficult, although there were a fair number of things to remove to get to the front of the motor.  I can see how the limited access to the turbos and exhaust manifold might be a challenge, and certainly the vacuum line diagram looks intimidating.

Thread here:  https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/93-mazda-rx-7-fd-mostly-street-car/123739/page1/  Hasn't been updated much recently, mainly because the car hasn't needed much.

JamesMcD
JamesMcD SuperDork
8/17/20 11:59 a.m.
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

I didn't need to know that, you know, in case some of my current attempts at car purchases fall through.

People talk a lot about the vacuum hoses but as long as you have the diagram it's really not a big deal at all. I thought mine was very easy to work on, and I'm not a super awesome mechanic. 

JamesMcD
JamesMcD SuperDork
8/17/20 12:05 p.m.

There isn't any technology in the FD that isn't in the first fuel injected 626 from '85 or whatever. You can take the whole car apart with a very limited set of tools (until you get to the motor, then you need that big ass socket). 

wspohn
wspohn Dork
8/17/20 12:07 p.m.

I have always liked the styling of the FD a lot, Problem is that I would want one with a 2JZ engine stuffed in it.....

c0rbin9
c0rbin9 Reader
8/17/20 12:19 p.m.

This is relevant to my interests.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
8/17/20 12:38 p.m.
JamesMcD said:

There isn't any technology in the FD that isn't in the first fuel injected 626 from '85 or whatever. You can take the whole car apart with a very limited set of tools (until you get to the motor, then you need that big ass socket). 

You want a couple other specialized tools for the clutch & flywheel.  Rear main seal remover, flywheel lock, flywheel puller.  Those are common to all rotaries I think, though.

 

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
8/17/20 12:55 p.m.

I still remember the first time I saw an FD. I was like what IS that?! 

Its a stunner. Never driven one, sad to say. 

israel816
israel816
8/18/20 10:16 a.m.

They're not for everyone but they really are beautiful and engaging to drive. And comfortable! In stockish non-R form, anyhow. 

c0rbin9
c0rbin9 Reader
7/27/21 1:46 a.m.

I'm looking for some advice on a car I'm looking at out of state. Engine bay photo is above. What jumps out at me is the intercooler alignment - notice how it does not sit square. Could this be an indication of a collision in the front, or am I being paranoid? Car was repainted before seller acquired it, seller says he doesn't know why. Any thoughts appreciated.

amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter)
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/27/21 5:03 a.m.

In reply to c0rbin9 :

Wouldn't worry about that. I'm sure it's been removed and reinstalled many times and something didn't get adjusted properly. 
Most of them need a repaint at this point so I wouldn't worry too much about that so long as it's not salvage title 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
7/27/21 8:12 a.m.

The Carfax is probably the best way to find out if the car was ever hit.  With a respray, I'd be almost willing to bet that the car has suffered some sort of collision damage, but I'm not sure that would keep me from buying a properly repaired one.  Still, the more you know....

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/27/21 9:42 a.m.
c0rbin9 said:

What jumps out at me is the intercooler alignment - notice how it does not sit square. 

What kind of radiator is in the car?  When (not if) the plastic end tanks fail on the stock one, many people replace them with larger capacity aluminum radiators, and my experience is that this makes lining the intercooler back up a bit tricky.

 

Tyler H (Forum Supporter)
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
7/27/21 10:12 a.m.

What I see is a surprisingly stock engine bay and no rust on any brackets or bolts.  Looks good to me. 

c0rbin9
c0rbin9 Reader
7/27/21 12:27 p.m.

Thanks for the excellent replies everyone...

In reply to Tyler H:

I have been looking for a good condition, stockish car for a while now, and this one seems to fit the bill. According to the Carfax, the car spent its entire life in California, Texas, and Florida, so that explains the lack of corrosion. It also seems to have been spared from the usual tuner mods.

Only question mark for me at this point is prior accidents. I actually had a PPI done at a reputable shop (Rotary Performance in Garland, TX) on a previous FD I was looking at, and the shop identified that car had work done to the front from the alignment of the front engine bay components (stock intake/battery boxes, hood prop rod, intercooler) being off, so that's what initially alerted me to a potential issue.

Of course, all this would be much easier if I was able to see the car first in person. The car is actually not on the open market, I connected with the seller from a Facebook post I made for people to "post their R1/R2" and his was one of the cleanest, so I reached out. He has had this one for less than a year and also owns a RHD car which seems to be in slightly worse condition, and has owned a number of FDs over the years. Trying to gather all the info I can before flying out to look at it...

In reply to 1988RedT2:

Carfax is accident-free, so that's good. Of course, only incidents reported to insurance or a major shop are included on the report, so it's not infallible.

In reply to codrus:

According to the seller, only the downpipe, AST, and catalytic converter are aftermarket, so presumably the radiator is stock. I'll have to ask about the radiator, good info, thanks!

 

c0rbin9
c0rbin9 Reader
7/27/21 12:38 p.m.

Here's another photo showing the front end panel gaps. I don't see anything out of the ordinary here.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/27/21 1:21 p.m.
c0rbin9 said:

According to the seller, only the downpipe, AST, and catalytic converter are aftermarket, so presumably the radiator is stock. I'll have to ask about the radiator, good info, thanks!

FWIW the radiator is actually quite hard to see when the car is fully assembled, so if the previous owner did that work then it's possible the current owner has never seen it.

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