RexSeven Dork
8/4/10 10:12 p.m.

I found this car in New Paltz, NY on the RX-7 Club. I might go see it this weekend. The owner wants $3000 for it, plus it's titled and streetable. He says it was very fast at a recent autocross event and drives fine. It looks ugly-but-legit, however, I would like the GRM take on it since turbo rotaries are so finicky and swaps can be botched.

Info copied from (note: must be an RX-7 Club member to view)

-'86 RX-7 Sport chassis ~150k miles
-'91 JDM turbo II motor (including stock JDM ECU)
-New stock turbo
-emissions, OMP, etc. deleted and blocked off
-FD3S upper intake manifold -Custom front mount intercooler & piping
-Greddy throttle body flange
-Turbo II driveline (transmission, driveshaft, rear end)
-Manual steering
-KYB AGX struts
-Eibach prokit springs
-Turbo II 5-lug and brakes (cross drilled rotors)
-Turbo II wheels powder coated black
-S5 taillights
-Short shifter w/ custom rotary shift knob
-OS GIKEN clutch (unknown model and mileage...but very touchy and grippy)
-Apexi N1 dual exhaust
-Battery relocated to behind the passenger seat
-Racing Beat downpipe
-Racing Beat midpipe
-Solid aluminum motor mounts
-Electric fan
-Catch can
-Flacco yellow paint job. Car was originally gold.
-A-pillar mounted boost and narrowband AFR gauges

EvanB GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/4/10 10:17 p.m.

It looks ugly? I think it looks pretty cool, maybe paint the bumper to match though.

Luke SuperDork
8/4/10 10:25 p.m.

"Car was originally gold." Now Flacco yellow. That's a shame .

Pipe work looks neat enough...if that's any indication as to the quality of the swap, or not.

unevolved HalfDork
8/4/10 11:05 p.m.

I mean, T-bolt clamps, Vibrant couplers, (apparently) good welds on the charge piping, double-sheave alternator pulley. If you can get a rotary compression tester on it to verify engine health, I'd say it's worth $3K. Looks like it was pretty well done.

Platinum90 SuperDork
8/4/10 11:13 p.m.

yeah, I like the looks of the swap...looks like a good buy..

93celicaGT2 SuperDork
8/5/10 6:03 a.m.

That's hideously cool. If you get it, make it into a theme car and paint Ronald McDonald on the side.

The yellow on red is just BEGGING for it.

4cylndrfury SuperDork
8/5/10 6:10 a.m.
Luke wrote: Pipe work looks neat enough...if that's any indication as to the quality of the swap, or not.

my thoughts exactly.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that rotaries with tired apex seals tend to have a lot of blow by - if the catch can fills too fast, that may be an indicator of engine health. Is there a Mazda expert nearby who can evaluate the car? I always loved the FC cars

1988RedT2 Reader
8/5/10 6:38 a.m.

Car looks to be worth that much, IMO.

Mazdax605 HalfDork
8/5/10 6:53 a.m.

Have 914driver have a look at it for you. He is in the area as I know where New Paltz is,and it is pretty close to him.

RexSeven Dork
8/5/10 4:30 p.m.

In reply to 4cylndrfury:

Thanks for the tip. I will ask the owner about this.

In reply to 93celicaGT2:

If this were a LeMons car, I would say that's a great idea. But since it isn't, AW HELL NAW!

I'm thinking I will find a black or blue interior to swap in, get an aluminum Turbo II or GTUs hood (if the car doesn't already have an aluminum hood) and paint the exterior white. Maybe also a S5 front bumper/rear bumper/molding conversion. FCs are sexy in white.

Ryosuke Takahashi approved!

Mazdax605 HalfDork
8/5/10 5:06 p.m.

I believe all RX-7's are sexy in white!!! The 10th ann edition being the best of the bunch in my opinion.

Spinout007 GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/5/10 7:12 p.m.

Man it still has those unobtanium dash vents.....careful with those, I've heard of them shattering sliding off a textbook onto a table, as in a 2" maybe drop, bits and pieces. Looks good though, Turbo rotaries are nuts. Looks like a stock radiator, I would change that out in a hurry if you plan on keeping it long, If it even thinks about starting to get warm, shut it down. Good luck

RexSeven Dork
8/5/10 8:05 p.m.

In reply to Spinout007:

A Koyo radiator, Taurus or Mark VIII electric fan, and water temp. gauge are high on the priority list for this car should I buy it. If I do buy it (which is almost a given at this point...), I plan on driving it home closer to evening so the ambient temperatures are lower. The S5 water temp. gauge has three positions - "cold," "normal," and "your engine asplode," so I can't be too careful.

racer_ace Reader
8/5/10 8:33 p.m.

Overall it get's my vote. But... check out the cooling system carefully. The upper radiator hose set-up looks pretty shady. Don't forget to check the electrics out, lights, wipers, logicon, horn (I know those issues all too well). Curious...have the suspension bushings been replaced? Does it have the passive rear steer eliminator bushings?

As far as a re-spray...I vote black. FCs are SHARP in black

I would appreciate it if you could let me know how the car handles / rides. I am thinking about using the same spring/damper combo on my '88.

Good luck,


Spinout007 GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/5/10 9:26 p.m.

By the By, I'm diggin on the yellow paint job, just needs to be BRIGHTER! Arrest me red, isn't good enough, nope, look at me yellow, is soooooo much subtler. That combined with the N1 exhaust, whew... don't get me wrong it sounds great, but I think it's one of the loudest exhaust systems on the market.

Knurled Reader
8/5/10 9:33 p.m.

Turbo rotaries are God's way of telling you that your driving to wrenching ratio is out of whack.

RexSeven Dork
8/9/10 12:18 a.m.

I took a look at the car today and took it out for a spin. It is FAST- I think it's faster than my MS3. Not having a TPS hooked up to the ECU means the engine stalls if you don't rev it up to at least 3000rpm when clutching out. BTW, that OS Giken clutch is heavy and it's hard to tell the engagement point. I think I stalled that car more times during the test drive than I've stalled any other manual car in my lifetime. I'm wondering if there were any way I could get the FD3S TPS to talk to the S5 ECU (i.e. adding a resistor) as a temporary measure, as this car needs some sort of aftermarket ECU.

Spinout007 and Racer_Ace, you are right about those cooling parts: It's a stock S4 radiator, FAL fan (minus the shroud) and the upper radiator hose is poorly designed. The fill cap on the radiator hose is not at the highest part of the cooling system. EDIT: This is because the S4 cooling system had the fill cap on the thermostat housing, while the S5 cooling system has the fill cap on the radiator. An S5-specific radiator might solve this issue. The FMIC is huge and looks like it blocks some of the airflow to the radiator. In its current state, it would not survive the trip back to MA w/o overheating. I'm going to speak to my friend who has an tuned 10th Anniversary Edition turbo how his cooling system is set up and if he has his FMIC in front of the radiator or if he has a different setup (i.e. a V-mount).

The body has almost no rust and already has an aluminum hood. Stock bushings and DTSS. It needs front left wheel bearings and an alignment. Has the typical S4 electrical maladies (horn doesn't work so a new one was jury-rigged, wipers only work at one speed, etc.). I've dealt with all of that before with my current S4 and it just requires some soldering to fix. I didn't hoon it too hard, but the KYBs/Eibach springs rode well- they felt like the Konis on softest settings/stock springs on my current FC.

So, I'm not sure. I told the owner I'd have an answer on Wed. The cooling gives me pause. If it were up to the level of the rest of the car I would have bought it. The current owner and the previous owner (who was there today and actually built the car) have offered to trailer the car back to MA if I decide to buy it for the offer price of $3000 and to remain in contact with me via e-mail if I run into any snags. The person who built the car spent over $8000 to get the car to where it is today.


4cylndrfury SuperDork
8/9/10 7:38 a.m.

The offer to tow would probably sway me . Facts: a decent chassis, a fast engine, known issues with known (by you no less ) fixes, a reliable aftermarket PLUS transport to my home field? If I already thought I was gonna buy it, yet was unsure solely on cooling, but was able to get it home safely where I could address the issues firsthand? for me I would pull the trigger...course its always easier to spend someone else's money, so take that advice with a grain of salt I guess.

93celicaGT2 SuperDork
8/9/10 9:41 a.m.

You had me at FAST.

And then clinched it with the tow. I'd be all over that, even if it was MY money in question. I have a serious hard-on for FC Turbo cars.

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/9/10 2:56 p.m.

During the battery relocation, did they provide a method for the gas to escape out of the car? I'd hate to see anyone catch of fire for lack of a small hole and little rubber tube.I'd also make sure that the welds holding the battery bracket could handle a rollover. If the worst happens, the last thing you want is to have a battery slamming into you while you're crashing.

I also don't see a power steering pump in the picture. If there isn't a manual rack in there, make sure they depowered the rack properly and just didn't loop the lines.

Other than that, it looks like a pretty clean job. I just did the engine in my '87 (see the user pic) last year. They're great to drive when they're working well.

racer_ace Reader
8/9/10 7:38 p.m.

In reply to RexSeven:


Tough call. Considering the offer to tow it to your place; if you can swing the cost of re-doing the cooling system and replacing the wheel bearings plus the asking price then I'd say go for it.

Thanks for posting your thoughts on the suspension set-up.

Good luck,


RexSeven Dork
8/9/10 8:53 p.m.
racer_ace wrote: Tough call. Considering the offer to tow it to your place; if you can swing the cost of re-doing the cooling system and replacing the wheel bearings plus the asking price then I'd say go for it.

The Koyo radiator I have my eye on is $340 at the cheapest, so that purchase would have to wait. Which is fine, since the turbo FC would go into storage so I can sell my N/A FC as well as a few miscellaneous items I've been storing for too long. I can collect some cheap parts from the junkyard in the meantime like a Mark VIII fan (draws 30 amps) and Ford Tempo alternator (S5 alt: 80 amps, Tempo alt: 95 amps). Front wheel bearings are cheap , replacing them is hard.

racer_ace wrote: Thanks for posting your thoughts on the suspension set-up.

No problem. I forgot to mention that the KYBs were also on their softest setting. The KYB AGX has only for positions vs. the Koni's infinite positions. However, the rear KYB dampening adjuster is behind the wheel vs. having to remove the rear speakers to get access to the top of the Koni struts. Also, the front Konis are inserts so you will need a spare set of stock front dampers to cannablaize. IIRC, the KYBs are factory-fit.

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