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Thread: FC RX7 5.0 race car thread

  1. #1
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    Default FC RX7 5.0 race car thread

    IMG_1540

    1987 RX7 and its getting a V8.

    *Disclaimers:* Rotards, leave your harsh opinions at home. Love the rotaries, but this is not a rotary car anymore. Constructive thoughts are welcome, slander is not; I suck at taking pictures; I have no money but a lot of time; I wanna go drifting real bad.

    I told my self I wouldn't start a build thread until something actually interesting happened, and well tomorrow we start the cage.

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    So around a year ago my parents left town for the weekend. This normally means I buy a car (lol is kinda a coindence, but its happened multiple times) I found it on craigslist, got it for $450. The kid thought it needed a transmission and/or a clutch. I got it home to figure out that the slave was seeping and the clutch was out of fluid. If i had spotted that earlier I probably could've driven it home.

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    Car was in great shape, needed some TLC, however the awful stereo install had to go asap. I hit my knee on those stupid door pods every time I got in and out.
    I believe its a GXL, it has the turbo brakes, a clutch LSD, power steering, power everything else, even A/C (which didn't work)

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    Drove it for a bit and decided rotary was not for me. I love the idea of them, and in my head it should work better than pistons. Then when it wouldn't idle for more than 30 seconds at a time, and I decided to not invest any more energy into and look into other options. I wanted something easy, cheap and readily available. I did want to keep it mazda, or at least japanese. However I went parts shopping with my buddy who has a 5.0 fox mustang. Parts are dirt cheap, and I mean stupid cheap for the horsepower you get. They are also everywhere, and there are a lot of people who wrap them around trees, so parts where cheap and readily available. After a bit of research I learned doing the 302 swap would be laughably easy. I've yet to hear of a simpler cross-make engine swap. So the hunt began!

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    Sold the old engine/tranny for near what I paid for the car, to a guy going to put it in a Datsun 510! (sick!)

    This is where I made a slight mistake. Well even before that. I should have just driven it as is and make it work, start doing events and upgraded as I go. But instead I just took it really far apart and had all these plans to do cool stuff. But no money. I'm now still going to do cool stuff, but lol I should have planned that better. I've owned this car way to long to only have driven once, I'm barely familiar with it.
    /rant

    Stripped it right down

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    Sold stuff, threw a lot more out (interior was in rough shape)

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    found some change

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    kept the good bits

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    Then stripped it down even further

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    I have my buddies old mustang motor that needs head gaskets (or we hope thats all it needs). He built a 306 designated for turbo fox body awesomeness.
    Scored a T5 for $180! its even a word class rated for 225 ft-lbs. Got a swap kit on ebay for half price of a new one, and it even came with the aluminum driveshaft option!

    Bought a bunch of leftover parts from various people and I now have 90% of what I need to make this work the way I want it to.
    The plan is as follows:

    5.0 mustang engine long block
    Sn95 intake upper and lower
    Explorer front accessory setup (same as Sn95)
    Electric water pump (still figuring out what kind)
    3rd gen alternator (this will be the only thing on a belt)
    De-powered steering rack (I believe I have a 17:1 rack)
    TBA clutch setup
    Hydraulic clutch conversion
    All new wiring
    as much delrin/solid mount stuff I can get my hands on
    as much Lucky 10 stuff as I can afford
    stock e-brake for now
    JIC coils (used but were a steal)
    Dual master cylinder brake setup
    rebuild the stock calipers
    new pads/ rotors
    Formula D/SCCA solo 2 spec cage
    AN fittings e'erwhere
    probably use the stock Rx7 rad, unless I find out its not enough to keep it cool
    Big fat electric fan
    Momo Corse drivers seat, still working on a pass seat
    Crow harnessssssss
    Walbro 255
    NRG quick release (need some theft deterents here)
    Grip royal 'Hills'
    Custom gauge panels (i'll get to them in a minute)
    Going to Plastidip the entire car when done, I really dislike paint and body work, this way I can make the exterior rust proof but ugly, then just dip over it. goes on like 1.5mm thick, self levelling, easy to fix and weighs maybe a pound. can't loose.
    I'm forgetting some small things.

    I've found the more research and planning I do the less money I spend.

    Not sure on wheels yet...

    Also probably going to get a Volvo lip and maybe shine skirts. Though I'd rather spend money on not body kits.

    Onto today

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    hood will be very close, but should clear

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    Have a few things to fix while the welders busy

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    DOM is bent and ready to go

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    Now more on that custom gauge panel,
    So what we have here is the stock radio/climate bezel that I just added some 1/4" ABS to fill the space then sanded primed and painted to look like this:

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    And the gauge cluster bezel got similar treatment

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    Probably going to dye the dash black and flock it, the blue doesn't go with anything lol

    And incase anyone asks the gauges are Faria Euro. They are boat gauges, I think they look great and very different. They're fairly accurate (not auto meter or anything), much cheaper, water proof and built for shock. Still need a big 5" tach...

    That's all for now, I'll try and be diligent taking pictures of the cage build tomorrow.
    Last edited by Teeson1111; 03-12-2014 at 07:21 PM.

  2. #2
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    I saw your probe thread and I saw your below your sig the rx7 5.0 and got giddy and this is much better than expected

  3. #3
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    my hero <3

    IG: Nick475

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by axelillo_PR View Post
    I saw your probe thread and I saw your below your sig the rx7 5.0 and got giddy and this is much better than expected
    Haha thanx? what probe thread? I do have a probe, but no thread for it. lol its not likely to ever get a build thread.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nick475 View Post
    my hero <3
    thanx!


    small and disappointing update:
    My buddy (who's doing my welding) had his jeep blow out its rear caliper in the middle of last night. So fixing that bascially took all morning, which left about all of 3 hours to get started on the cage. Not a lot done, gonna go at it again in the evenings. i'll update when fun stuff has happened

  5. #5
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    Cool build I can't wait to see the updates. Btw I have a 5.0 fc as well lol and the hood doesn't clear on mine. Are you building custom mounts or are they the granny's kit?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaMaR- View Post
    Cool build I can't wait to see the updates. Btw I have a 5.0 fc as well lol and the hood doesn't clear on mine. Are you building custom mounts or are they the granny's kit?
    Nope granny's kit. The engine already sits as close to the steering rack as can be, so I don't see a point to making new mounts.
    I'm going to be using a Sn95 intake manifold, they sit considerably lower than any other manifold. Disty will probably be a marine cap on a standard EFI disty. I'm expecting to have to trim the inside of the hood. I have seen this done successfully before, but when I want real power, im probably going to have to cut a hole :/

    you have any pics or a build thread? I'd love to give it a read

  7. #7
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    I'm so jealous. V8 fc is my dream car. I hope to see jdm tails at some point as well.

    God Bless dude
    God bless this mess

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sawatsky View Post
    I'm so jealous. V8 fc is my dream car. I hope to see jdm tails at some point as well.

    God Bless dude
    haha thanx!, and me too but the going rate for those S5 tails is a little high to be inevitably smashed into a wall for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by FunfGang View Post
    Let's be friends.
    yes. Love your E30 sir. Carry on.



    And I got the whole day off work tomorrow, so I should get some stuff done.

  10. #10
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    Update!

    Started the de-powering of the steering rack, amidst helping a buddy do brakes on his Integra.
    So first clean the mess my dad had left for me (well some of its mine) so I'd have somewhere to work

    Before:

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    After: (sorry for blurries)

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    Then with my OCD taken care of, yank the the rack out of the car

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    Take it all apart, holy cow were those tie rod ends on there. Same goes for the pin at the top of the column.

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    It was also really grimy, so took care of that.

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    Then I bathed the piece I'm going to try and weld to prevent slop. It's been in an oily environment so long theres a good chance the weld will be full of porosity.
    Had to modify my bucket a little, which resulted in a mess on the counter :roll eyes

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    While I was busy cleaning things I pressure washed my T5, I should have taken a before shot. The bellhouse was at least a cm thick in grime, I couldn't touch any of it without getting my hands black. Fixed

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    Then the scary part. Cutting off the seal without damaging anything else. Came out fine, no collateral

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    While I wait for my buddy to have time to weld the steering column I continued chassis prep. Cut off and grinded away remnants of the seat mounts.

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    thats all for today.

  11. #11

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    Cool build I can't wait to see the updates.

  12. #12
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    update!

    Crazy times, I've hardly been able to work on the car lately. But got a 12 hr day in on it today so theres some progress.

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    Before that though I went to the ricer store with some friends. When in Rome...

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    Got some plug like thingys for the steering rack to keep dust out, also have some grease nipples to weld/drill into the other line caps so I can grease the rack down the road.

    By the way, I broke that stupid wire clip that holds the end of the steering rack on. The one that you have to spin out, anyone know where to get a new one? Dealer can't get them, even for a Miata. Edit: no luck at anywhere, found some wire that fit and made one

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    Also got this welded all strong, my buddy said it was horrible to do. I soaked it in cleaner and heated it up but not quite hot as did he when he tig'd it; but there was still oils in it, which happens after steel has spent the better part of 20 years living in power steering fluid. Its strong, no one will see it (except everyone because this is the internet) so I'm happy with it.

    And the best news is, I finally have some cage work happening! my buddy has been even busier than me so its been hard to find time to use his welder and skills.
    I found this awesome coping calculator site (link) which makes coping so easy and cool. You basically enter your pipe dimensions and the angle your putting them together, print out the little template it gives you, cut it out, wrap it around the pipe (leave extra on the wrap ends to ensure its on the pipe straight) mark it and cut! I used a grinder with a cut off wheel and another with a flap disc. Takes some time but works well.

    I made a bunch to template (and practice) so I have an idea before I cut the real deal.

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    Works really good with some technique and patience, basically all the shape requires is a cut from either side, and a bit of shaping/smoothing.

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    So I had my buddy do a trial piece or two to get an idea for power settings on his welder, tell me what you guys think, will we have issues with passing tech with these welds?

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    And finally some cage in the car, man this stuff is time consuming to do.

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    And the big news; I bought a motor assembly! I went to a yard that specializes in jeeps and mustangs, he had a 95 gt that looks like it smacked a curb good or something, bunch of BBK pieces on it, hadn't been pilaged yet. So I bought the whole engine, trans, all wiring, ECU, pedal assembly (long story), and everything currently attached to it. It should be able to pick it all up late next week, will update when that happens.
    This is great because my welder buddy wants my T5, he can have his fox motor back, and I was basically using mostly Sn95 stuff anyway. And apparently the ECU's have better processors.

    Winter is in full swing around here. The weather too
    Last edited by Teeson1111; 03-12-2014 at 07:30 PM.

  13. #13
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    Good. Keep it up.

  14. #14

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    Hmm, I always thought the fox body A9L computers were better. They take much more modifications without tuning. I've had a Fox and SN95 in my driveway and the fox seemed more simple and on point rather than the sputtering SN95. Anyway, sick build! I'll be sure to follow.
    The only thing lower than my standards is my truck.

    Build thread!!!

  15. #15
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    damn, thats going to be something sweet! subscribed FO.SHO.

  16. #16
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    Well then, I didn't expect this when I read 'no money.'

    Real excited to see how this turns out. Real nice work so far.




    The Kia has been parted.

  17. #17
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    Great work. You're making me want to tear apart my truck...


    Instagram - @choadyhighroller
    Quote Originally Posted by nickskater09 View Post
    I think Jody, along with Ashton, like to push the line between "street legal" and "realistically driveable".

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isuzupickup View Post
    Hmm, I always thought the fox body A9L computers were better. They take much more modifications without tuning. I've had a Fox and SN95 in my driveway and the fox seemed more simple and on point rather than the sputtering SN95. Anyway, sick build! I'll be sure to follow.
    Better is relative I suppose. The SN95s computer has a better processor, but also more advanced programming. From what I understand a slightly different approach has to be taken to prevent the learning procedure from ruining the tune. I think A9Ls are just more common and everyone got used to them. You can do a lot of mods with an A9L and it will just figure it out, it may not make the most power however. But even an A9L will benefit from a tune. I'm planning to get a Moates Quarterhorse down the road so i'll be able to tune it anyway, a friend has the software. I cant say I'm overjoyed to be working on yet another OBD2-but-not-really ECU (no live stream data)
    and thanx!


    Quote Originally Posted by philavon View Post
    damn, thats going to be something sweet! subscribed FO.SHO.
    thanx!


    Quote Originally Posted by andybob View Post
    Well then, I didn't expect this when I read 'no money.'

    Real excited to see how this turns out. Real nice work so far.
    Thank you, lol. I actually haven't spent that much yet, I'm trying to keep it a budget build. I'm doing all the work myself and spending a lot of time hunting down deals and researching time and money saving methods.

    Quote Originally Posted by milano_red View Post
    Great work. You're making me want to tear apart my truck...
    haha do it! I'm a really bad enabler lol


    Well I got my engine! I was surprised to get it so quickly.

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    The highlights are:

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    BBK 70mm throttle body

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    Steeda Tri-ax shifter (shifts really nice actually)

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    BBK equal length headers, (sorry for the blurry) I believe these are the SN95 specific ones so they should help keep the clearance I need from the steering column.

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    BBK (PO seems to like BBK) cold air, unsure if i'm able to use this yet.. but I'm gonna try!

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    and a fox rad with a huge electric fan on it. I don't think the rad will fit, but the fan should work!
    The guys at the yard were really good, I'm able to go back and grab whatever little wiring pieces etc i still need from the mustang. One of the guys there had actually done a chevy into an Rx7.

    Tomorrow looks like a lot of cleaning, and more cage work.
    Last edited by Teeson1111; 03-12-2014 at 07:37 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quick Update:


    Bought this:

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    made this:

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    look like this:

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    Much more cleaning ahead. And I gotta figure out the best way to mount those pedals so they are easy to remove with the cage in...

  20. #20
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    reminds me so much of my na fc 7. Would have loved to go all out on it like you have here but for now im subbed and loving progress!
    Like a glove

  21. #21

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    Lovely project, good luck with it!

    My Builds
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    Instagram: crisseh95

  22. #22
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    this is gonna be great

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teeson1111 View Post
    IMG_5262

    BBK equal length headers, (sorry for the blurry) I believe these are the SN95 specific ones so they should help keep the clearance I need from the steering column.
    Quote Originally Posted by Teeson1111 View Post
    Quick Update:


    Bought this:

    IMG_5367
    Pulling some pages out of my book. in for more.

  24. #24
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    looks great !

  25. #25
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    I came in here expecting another kid and his junky improperly pieced together car because of the title.



    But you're doing very nice work and planning everything out. I like this a lot! What are your goals as far as power and track times? Keep it up, sir.




    p.s. Yes, those welds should pass tech. I've seen some really bad stuff pass. If you're concerned about penetration, weld a couple of those test pieces together and look inside of them. If it's penetrated properly it will almost look like it's welded on the inside as well.

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