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Old 11-24-2010, 04:37 AM   #1
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One of my other projects...85 Rx-7

I decided it was time to share my misery with others, so here are some pictures of my ongoing Rx-7 resto. If you have ever, EVER complained about some of the design/manufacturing decisions made by the folks at saab, you need to take a look at an old Mazda.

So, a little backstory here: the car was my father in laws, who owned it from 87 or so up until around 2001. During this time, he took generally good care of it, and had a minor restoration performed in the mid-90s to take care of some paint/body issues. In 2001, he passed the car on to his son, who, in turn, drove it in the winter at college and parked it on a patch of dirt in his side yard, where it grew a healthy crop of rust. After 5 years of abuse, they considered selling the car, but by promising to restore it to its former glory, my father in law decided to just give the car to me. Since then, it's been a slow, slow accumulation of parts and occasional weekends spent under the car exfoliating my skin with oxidized japanese steel.

Some pictures of when I brought it home and cleaned it up:



And some pictures following my initial investigation of just how bad the rust was:






The sharp eyed among you will notice that the steel around the upper control arm mounting bracket. Fun.



Some in progress shots:




Some recent pictures of where it sits now:
Racing beat springs, Tokico blue's




I have a racing beat prepped Holley carb and intake manifold waiting to go on as well. Anyway, thought you saab peeps would be interested in another terrible oddball car, haha. I'll post pictures as I get em.

Chris
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Old 11-24-2010, 04:44 AM   #2
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Looks like you got semi-lucky starting with an original 1 owner car that hasn't been molested by someone else. Good luck.
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Old 11-24-2010, 04:54 AM   #3
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Those are neat cars - not so much a fan of the First Gen looks - I like the 2nd Gen's the best personally. A carbed Rotory can put down some nice numbers when tuned properly. Good luck with that car - they are neat for sure. I had a friend with a white one like yours with a large holly 4bbl on it - thing ran like nothing else, but would consume gas faster then anything I've seen. Another friend from school recently sold his 2nd gen RX-7. Those turbo versions are even more crazy.
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:35 AM   #4
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I hag a 2nd gen FC for a while between SPG's back in the day and they really are fun cars. Good luck with the restore. Also X2 on the big carb, or turbo it.
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:35 AM   #5
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We had one at school for a while. Our club treasurer(someone on this board...lol) put it into a light pole this year.

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Old 11-28-2010, 03:55 AM   #6
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I really enjoyed my GSL-SE. You don't often see someone putting this amount of time into a GS. Looks like its coming together nicely.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:25 AM   #7
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Cool project and nice work! Really well done! Glad to see that you had the ambition and courage to put in the sweat equity when others might have put it off all together. Good luck and great job!
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:11 AM   #8
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i miss my 87 n/a
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:52 AM   #9
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Nice job. I always admire a good rust repair job.
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:08 PM   #10
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Looks like your hands are full with rust repairs.
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:45 PM   #11
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That had more rust than my Mustang. Nice looking project! Doing good.
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Old 11-28-2010, 04:36 PM   #12
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very nice looking metal work man. when i saw the rust pics, i was thinking parts car. but that's what it would be for me. i don't have your welding talent!

they are nifty when they're all sorted out. definitly worth the work. i work with a guy who was a mazda mastertech when these things were new. the dude knows rotaries like the back of his hand so if you ever hit a wall with it i might be able to find some info for ya (but it looks like you're pretty good to go.)

thx for sharing!
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:03 AM   #13
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Thanks for the comments guys. It's been a lot of work spread out over way too long a time, but its coming together. The compound curves are mostly all my father's work, but I'm getting better with the welder. One of the things I've learned is that you can always grind away extra metal, but it's real hard to fill it back in if you burn through, which is too easy on an old japanese car. I'll post more pictures when I can, hopefully I'll have some time after the holidays to get working again.

I looked around for the suspension setup out of a GSL-SE for a while (rear disks, LSD), but they're super rare these days. Not really surprising that so many here have owned rotaries before. If anyone has a line on a used RB header-back exhaust, let me know!

Chris
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:19 AM   #14
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If anyone has a line on a used RB header-back exhaust, let me know!

Chris
I can make a call and ask one guy who could have a clue - or at least another contact who might. Guy has a speed shop/repair shop right down the street from me anyways.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:51 AM   #15
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Waiting for casey's input... It's only a matter of time, I know he has a sweet spot for early rx-7's
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:17 AM   #16
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Thanks for the comments guys. It's been a lot of work spread out over way too long a time, but its coming together. The compound curves are mostly all my father's work, but I'm getting better with the welder. One of the things I've learned is that you can always grind away extra metal, but it's real hard to fill it back in if you burn through, which is too easy on an old japanese car. I'll post more pictures when I can, hopefully I'll have some time after the holidays to get working again.

I looked around for the suspension setup out of a GSL-SE for a while (rear disks, LSD), but they're super rare these days. Not really surprising that so many here have owned rotaries before. If anyone has a line on a used RB header-back exhaust, let me know!

Chris
Nice looking project. I attempted some welding repai on the floor of my S10 but gave up as I put more holes in it then joined metal. I let my buddy take over, it is a skill I've yet to learn. I can weld BIG metal, thats easy, just turn it up!
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:14 PM   #17
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Waiting for casey's input... It's only a matter of time, I know he has a sweet spot for early rx-7's

haha so what?! yes yes i had an 87 TII. loved that damn car and all it need to be complete was a new fender and a respray..... miss that damn car!

keep us up to date with your project!
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:03 PM   #18
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Some sweet RX7 sounds and action:
YouTube - Crazy Group B Mazda RX7 in action on tarmac - with pure engine sounds

HOLY F*CK!
20B Triple Rotor RX7 with a MASSIVE Turbo that Runs a Low 7ET
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Old 06-19-2012, 03:16 PM   #19
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Random bump, only because my dad and I have been putting in some hours on this lately. Front subframe is out, stripped, being coated, and will be getting new ball joints, poly bushings, tokicos & racing beat coils. After this, it goes in and we start working on brake lines and getting the racing beat prepped holly installed. Hoping to have it back on the road by the end of July...

...which will make this a 5 year restoration. Ugh.

Believe it or not, this was halfway through sandblasting (but prior to wire wheel):


And after a coat of rust convertor. Still needs a couple coats of encapsulator/satin black, but should be in by the end of the weekend.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:21 AM   #20
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Bump, back on all four.

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