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1994 Mazda RX7

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Discussion

Pelo

Original Poster:

503 posts

195 months

Thursday 20th April
quotequote all
I've wanted an RX7 since I was about 11 years old. I think the first FD I ever saw was a bright red one parked in a driveway, while I was walking to school. I had no idea what it was, but its beauty stuck in my mind.
One of my classmates was a big car fan, due to his father running a workshop, focused on rotaries, and had an RX2 rally car, and a HB Cosmo, and an RX7 dirt track car...! So my friends influence really set me on the path to RX7 obsession.

20 years later and I have bought an FD. I've daydreamed about it for a few years as my savings grew bigger.
Since 2016 I've been looking seriously, having inspected 5 cars for sale. Then this one turned up.
1994 Type R with 45,000 genuine, verified kilometres. It was imported last year by an old guy who is an old-school rotary fan and serial car collector.

big photo album: https://goo.gl/photos/1KavduxG5q638suD7
PH garage link: https://www.pistonheads.com/members/showcar.asp?ca...




The current mod list is short, and were all from Japan.
- Fujitsubo 3" cat-back exhaust, which sounds perfect to me. Quiet at cruise and idle, no droning, and a good sporty tone when pushing.

- 17" x 8.5" / 9" Racing Beat RB-02 wheels. Allegedly made by Work Wheels, they are a nice 3 piece set. I have to measure the offset as the labels have worn off, and the centre caps are missing.

- Apexi RevSpeedMeter mk1. This nifty but useless device shows a digital readout of revs and speed. It can estimate acceleration times and flash speed and rev warnings.

I need to investigate if the ECU is standard. The sills have "Blitz Access Super Computer" stickers, which was apparently a plug-in ECU upgrade from the '90s.

My current modification plans for the car, after tonnes of research:

water temperature and boost gauges
alarm & immobiliser - mandatory for insurance frown
aluminium AST
aluminium radiator
full set of tyres (eg. RE003 245/40/17). The current ones are over 10 years old and still have the coloured streaks from when they were brand new... not safe!
auxiliary injection

General maintenance comes first of course. Then, just drive it. I love track days so I'll be getting into those as soon as I can. I don't have any desire for more power, as I drive quite sedately on the street. The car is only a weekend ride so it always feels special to use.

Christmassss

200 posts

11 months

Thursday 20th April
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Looks nice. I do love an RX7

I would be tempted to do the AST delete rather than replacing it

5harp3y

1,144 posts

121 months

Thursday 20th April
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jealous!

so much want

LeoZwalf

2,749 posts

152 months

Thursday 20th April
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Hubba hubbaaaahhhhhh

Those things are just so cool. That's some crazy low kilometerage too, good find.

samoht

526 posts

68 months

Thursday 20th April
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Looks very nice, and still more red than pink!

FDs are fun on track smile By 'auxiliary injection' do you mean water injection?
I found air inlet temps went to 80 degrees C on track with the standard intercooler, so I have an FMIC now. However WI could be a viable alternative.
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declasm

382 posts

116 months

Friday 21st April
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That looks really clean! This forum could always do with more RX-7 content so thanks for sharing smile

Pelo

Original Poster:

503 posts

195 months

Friday 21st April
quotequote all
Thanks folks smile I'm really happy with it.
Due to the low kms on the car, it seems to have rarely been serviced. Just before I bought it the previous owner changed the spark plugs - they were the original ones from 1994! And last night I changed the air filter which also appeared to be 23 years old. My servicing to-do list is very long! At least the oil is good.



Pelo

Original Poster:

503 posts

195 months

Friday 21st April
quotequote all
samoht said:
Looks very nice, and still more red than pink!

FDs are fun on track smile By 'auxiliary injection' do you mean water injection?
I found air inlet temps went to 80 degrees C on track with the standard intercooler, so I have an FMIC now. However WI could be a viable alternative.
Yeah water injection, for example the AEM kit http://www.aemelectronics.com/?q=products/water-me... this is quite low on the priority list though.

Pelo

Original Poster:

503 posts

195 months

Sunday 14th May
quotequote all
This weekend I went to the track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=libEuBIiuY4

An unmodified RX7 on track? Playing with fire?! I drove conservatively. Cooldown was just cruising in 4th / 5th on the straights. I still caught up on the corners, as it was a pace car, no overtaking session.

The IC heatsoak was annoying, with noticeable high rpm power drop after sustained full throttle. It also might need new ignition leads, it felt like the motor was missing occasionally.

My tyres are crap, they are well past their use by date. But the car felt pretty good and getting sideways on the hairpin was easy. It certainly bumped around a lot on the straights. compared to the other cars on the video it moved around a lot more. Might need new shocks. Or that is just normal for a light car.

Pukekohe is intimidating with concrete walls everywhere. Very bumpy in some parts, with fast corners. I prefer Taup? or Hampton Downs, which have better sight lines and runoff.

Edited by Pelo on Sunday 14th May 19:49

samoht

526 posts

68 months

Sunday 14th May
quotequote all
Link broke - I think it should be
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=libEuBIiuY4

Hard to tell from the video, but it does seem a bit bumpier than I would expect, the standard OEM suspension (even the 'hard' setup) is a reasonable compromise, so I think it should be smoother than that.


Edited by samoht on Sunday 14th May 11:56

ZX10R NIN

8,336 posts

47 months

Friday 19th May
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Nice car I've always admired these cars.

fph

18 posts

39 months

Friday 19th May
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Smoth shape of the glass house really stands out once the rear spoiler has been removed. Great looking piece of design even after 25 years.

Cambs_Stuart

63 posts

6 months

Friday 19th May
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Utterly fantastic and slightly bonkers car. I'll follow with interest.

Nik da Greek

1,706 posts

72 months

Friday 19th May
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Welcome to the wonderful world of rotanoia... not some unexplored spot on the South Island but the overwhelming paranoia that comes free with every rotary hehe Best cars for smiles per buck ever. Worst cars for kicking you squarely in the bks when they're feeling menstrual and bhy ever.


If you have an alarm fitted DO NOT let the installer cut into the ignition circuit using piss-poor cock-hair-thin wire you wouldn't run a doorbell off. What will happen is your ignition will break up at high revs, the ECU will tie itself in knots because it doesn't know what's happening and then advance the ignition all the way round. It will detonate itself to the moon and you'll be picking apex seals off the garage roof. I can't stress enough that you can never have too strong an ignition setup on an FD.

The stock intercooler is about as much use as a paper fan in a solar flare. Heatsoak will break your heart every time and short of big bucks on a V-mount or front-mount there's really not much you can do about it. There just isn't enough air getting to it, and no route for air to escape from it. If you plan on buying an uprated radiator anyway, it may be worth spending the extra money to do the IC as well all in a oner. It may prove a false economy when you get fed up with heatsoak spoiling your trackday fun and then have to buy an intercooler anyway.

Nothing wrong with sticking with the AST concept, but if you replace the stock one (not a bad idea as they get cooked and then split around the hosetail unions) make sure the new one is the highest point in the cooling system. People end up with mutant cooling problems if they mount an AST too low and thus prevent it being able to do what it has to


All in all, just enjoy it. I kicked the arse out of mine with shameful neglect for years before it got the hump. Despite my rotanoia jibe, they can be surprisingly bulletproof if you get a good one. Red ones are faster, too. They just arebandit

Darkslider

2,427 posts

111 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
I love these, but never got the trend for removing the rear spoiler, they look so much better with one! Please tell me you're going to source one?

Pelo

Original Poster:

503 posts

195 months

Monday 22nd May
quotequote all
samoht said:
Hard to tell from the video, but it does seem a bit bumpier than I would expect, the standard OEM suspension (even the 'hard' setup) is a reasonable compromise, so I think it should be smoother than that.
Yeah I'll add replacing the dampers to my never ending list smile

ZX10R NIN said:
Nice car I've always admired these cars.
Cambs_Stuart said:
Utterly fantastic and slightly bonkers car. I'll follow with interest.
Thanks!

fph said:
Smoth shape of the glass house really stands out once the rear spoiler has been removed. Great looking piece of design even after 25 years.
Darkslider said:
I love these, but never got the trend for removing the rear spoiler, they look so much better with one! Please tell me you're going to source one?
The rear spoiler is always polarising! hehe I like the smooth look so I'm happy with either. I do have the spoiler but the paint is horrible on it. Mazda had a notoriously bad painting process in the early 90s, and most of their red cars from that era look pink with damaged clearcoat. Along with my door mirrors I plan to eventually get the spoiler resprayed and fitted.

Pelo

Original Poster:

503 posts

195 months

Monday 22nd May
quotequote all
Nik da Greek said:
Welcome to the wonderful world of rotanoia... not some unexplored spot on the South Island but the overwhelming paranoia that comes free with every rotary hehe Best cars for smiles per buck ever. Worst cars for kicking you squarely in the bks when they're feeling menstrual and bhy ever.


If you have an alarm fitted DO NOT let the installer cut into the ignition circuit using piss-poor cock-hair-thin wire you wouldn't run a doorbell off. What will happen is your ignition will break up at high revs, the ECU will tie itself in knots because it doesn't know what's happening and then advance the ignition all the way round. It will detonate itself to the moon and you'll be picking apex seals off the garage roof. I can't stress enough that you can never have too strong an ignition setup on an FD.

The stock intercooler is about as much use as a paper fan in a solar flare. Heatsoak will break your heart every time and short of big bucks on a V-mount or front-mount there's really not much you can do about it. There just isn't enough air getting to it, and no route for air to escape from it. If you plan on buying an uprated radiator anyway, it may be worth spending the extra money to do the IC as well all in a oner. It may prove a false economy when you get fed up with heatsoak spoiling your trackday fun and then have to buy an intercooler anyway.

Nothing wrong with sticking with the AST concept, but if you replace the stock one (not a bad idea as they get cooked and then split around the hosetail unions) make sure the new one is the highest point in the cooling system. People end up with mutant cooling problems if they mount an AST too low and thus prevent it being able to do what it has to


All in all, just enjoy it. I kicked the arse out of mine with shameful neglect for years before it got the hump. Despite my rotanoia jibe, they can be surprisingly bulletproof if you get a good one. Red ones are faster, too. They just arebandit
Cheers for the advice Nik. I've followed your various projects here and on RetroRides, you're a man with taste wink
The paranoia is certainly ever-present. The car has been reliable over the thousand-ish kms and 3 months I've owned it.
I'll be sure to mention the alarm issue to the installer. Maybe best to not use an ignition immobiliser at all.
Saving $$ for a cooling system upgrade, how boring. Should have bought a Nissan and just thrown some boost at it!

Pelo

Original Poster:

503 posts

195 months

Monday 22nd May
quotequote all
Oh wow, I'm stoked - Readers car of the week! https://www.pistonheads.com/news/ph-japanesecars/r...
I hadn't noticed - that happens when you check the forums more often that the main site!
Thanks PH smile

Pelo

Original Poster:

503 posts

195 months

Thursday 1st June
quotequote all
I've gone and bought a set of stock wheels. The 17s are nice but I want to see how the car drives as Mazda intended, and I do really like the 16s.
A test drive showed less tramlining, lighter steering, and a slightly more comfortable ride. Which is what I hoped for. Some of the roads I like to drive are not at all smooth!
The tyres are touring spec Goodyear LS2000. So the next thing to buy is a set of Potenza RE003 or Pilot Sport 3.


yellowstreak

314 posts

74 months

Thursday 1st June
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They really are beautiful cars. Its a fantastic design really, it doesn't have the "jelly mould" look that some cars from the same era suffer from and doesn't look old. Its great as it is without any fins or bumpers.

Great!