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  #1  
Old 06-19-2007, 09:48 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Location: Lafayette Indiana
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What about an old RX-7?

My son the realtor has a house he sold (to my daughter) which has an old red faded RX-7 with some flat tires. I just glanced at it but it does not look rusty, the interior is intact and it is a stick.

I have no idea what year...80 something?

I think I can get it pretty cheaply because the sellers don't really have a place for it and don't really want to move it again.

I am wondering what the chances are of putting some decent tires on it and some konis and using it for autocross.

Any opinions?

Tom W
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  #2  
Old 06-19-2007, 10:49 PM
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those RX-7's are a blast to drive.. fast as hell when you tune them right.. But the apex seals are the known failure point. The newer RX-7's (more streamlined) are track beasts. the older can be as well. They are loud too..

might want to get some coil overs and thicker sway bars and upgrade the brakes
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  #3  
Old 06-19-2007, 10:50 PM
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I had a teacher in high school who was an amateur racer, and raced the heck out of these RX-7's.

I have heard nothing but great things about these cars.

There ought to be a pretty active community of guys who still race these cars.
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  #4  
Old 06-19-2007, 10:51 PM
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big community.. you will pick out the rice boi's easily..
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  #5  
Old 06-19-2007, 11:11 PM
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From what I've heard about them, they need apex seals occasionally. The older ones might need them every 100K. You do not want to wait until a seal snags a port.
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  #6  
Old 06-19-2007, 11:16 PM
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their MPG is pretty crappy also.. but probably in the neighbor hood of low 20's
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  #7  
Old 06-19-2007, 11:18 PM
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Tom do you really need another car?
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  #8  
Old 06-19-2007, 11:30 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Of course not.

Hey! You sound like my wife!

You know, at the sniff of a good deal the old antenna go up.

My subconscience starts saying...I bet I could get that thing running.

Tom W
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #9  
Old 06-19-2007, 11:34 PM
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Excellent fun to drive car with great handling, if you maintain them right, they can last a while. The new RX-8 is a phenomenally good yet understated sports car available. The beauty of a rotary engine is its near constant torque, at any RPM there is torque available.
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  #10  
Old 06-19-2007, 11:45 PM
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Take a look at rx7club.com. Lots of info on all 3 generations of RX-7s. They have several quirks, and apex seals give you no warning of their imminent demise. And you don't just "replace a seal" when they break. They usually take the rotor housing with them. It requires a full teardown of the engine to the tune of $1200+ if you do it yourself. Of course that gives you the opportunity to upgrade various bits and pieces while you are in there. The second gen, which I had, is very well balanced and corners like a slot car. You don't want to drive it in the snow, at all.
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  #11  
Old 06-20-2007, 01:02 AM
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A friend of mine had a pair of first-gen RX7's. Great handlers, as they're essentially front mid engine. Not a lot of torque, so you had to wind them a bit if you wanted to hustle, but very smooth engines. Watch for rust.
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  #12  
Old 06-20-2007, 01:07 AM
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The engines consume oil by their nature so if the previous owner didn't check it every once in a while there is a chance the engine is not in great shape.
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  #13  
Old 06-20-2007, 07:20 AM
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I had the second generation model ('87) with a turbo. It was the best sports car I ever owned, and beat everything it came up against (including 944 turbos and 911's). Power to weight was phenomenal. Reliability was perfect in 60K miles.
Each wankel rotor is essentially a two-stroke triple, so it does what you would expect from such an engine: rev happily, drink gas, and need top-end lubrication. From what I've read - check wikipedia for wankels - the apex seal issue was limited to the 70's.
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  #14  
Old 06-20-2007, 09:41 AM
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Neat little cars and the rotary engines have always fascinated me. It would probably make a great autocross car.
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  #15  
Old 06-20-2007, 10:10 AM
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I owned a 1971 RX2 & a 1975 rx3 ....rev happy, no torque, eats fuel like a small block.
I overhauled the RX2 in 1976 because of a side O ring seal going bad (blown head gasket)
Nobody knew anything about these motors back then and i was 19 yo, so I buy the only book avalible at that time & step by step overhauled the motor. Man, was I suprised when it started and ran!

It was facinating to see how the rotors worked in the elliptical chamber; It blows your mind watching it. ( kind of like a spiral graph)
The motor is comparable to a 6 cylinder with no firing overlap. Very little recipricating mass.
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