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Mazda RX-7 Buying Guide: At a glance

So you want to buy an RX-7? Here are the important bits to check!

By Alisdairsuttie / Monday, October 16, 2017

Who wouldn't want an RX-7? Fantastically pretty, dynamically adept and with the kind of incredible engine we're not going to see again, it surely ticks a lot of boxes for PHers. With values climbing, demand has arguably never been higher. What a shame so few made it to the UK originally...

Over the past few pages we've detailed the key points to check when assessing a secondhand RX-7 purchase. You will have noticed there's a fair amount, particularly around the powertrain section, which can look rather daunting. Here we have a one-page guide of the vital points, which should be handy when going to look at a car for sale. It's not the definitive guide, and you should always support each purchase with thorough research, though hopefully it'll remind you of the important areas when looking at a dream car. Good luck!


A compression is a must for any car you want to buy. A reading of 7 to 8 bar is healthy. Anything less means a rebuild is on the horizon.

The engine uses a little oil and the level must be checked regularly.

Look for steam from the exhaust on start-up as a sign of worn coolant seals.

Tuned engines are common, so be sure the work has been carried out to a high standard.

Rolling chassis
There are 32 bushes in the RX-7's chassis, so replacement is a common service item.
Listen for any clonks from the transmission that points to a broken power frame where the gearbox attaches.
Uprated suspension can make the ride very hard on the road.


Look for rust around the rear wheelarches.

Crash damage is likely, so check the chassis rails and suspension turrets thoroughly.

Larger aftermarket wheels can stress the suspension and spoil the ride.

Standard bodywork is desirable.

Door pocket hinges break and are hard to fix, so make sure they work smoothly.
Seats wear well but some owners find them too hard for longer journeys.
UK cars had rear storage bins in place of seats as standard.
Check air conditioning works.



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