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Old 09-24-2018, 10:43 PM #1
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TiVo FD Rotary Build




2/2/18



MODS

Suspension
- Stance XR+ Coilovers with Swift Springs (10k/8k)
- Powerflex polyurethane bushings
- Atomic Rex pillowball race bearings
- Delrin differential bushings

Shoes
- Volk GT-P 18x8.5 / 18x9 (Future)

Engine
- Blitz FMIC (Future)
- eBay intake pipes w/K&N universal filters (previously had M2 intake)
- Power FC ECU with OLED commander
- Koyo Aluminum radiator (regular flow)
- Tri-Point Air Separation Tank
- HKS Carbon Ti exhaust
- custom Magnaflow high flow cat

Electrics
- early 2000s Sony MP3 CD player unit
- Morimoto Mini D2S retrofit in Sonar Housing by TurboII
- AGM Miata battery in rear passenger cargo bin

Misc
- B&M short shifter
- rear wiper delete hatch

I've had this FD RX7 since November 2011. Picked her up from an RX7 reseller in Raleigh and drove her back. Pretty much the same route I did from Asheville, NC this past year in my 4th gen. I figure my build is a bit subdued for the rx7club members but I'll put it here out of the way. I came close to selling the car twice already too. Once 2 years ago when I had it for sale for 2 months with barely any takers and I listed it this past weekend for about 10 hours before I decided that I didn't realize what I had til I put it on the market. I had a change of heart after people started blowing up the thread.

At first, I didn't think I had the time to wrench on her, but the past couple months showed me otherwise. Back then when I first bought her, I used to have only 5-6 hours to do any kind of work in the parking garage of my apartment or my friend's houses. Now with my own garage, I can have her on jackstands while I spend extra time making sure everything is done right. I already have quite a bit invested time and money wise. I mean, even with the parts I have lying around, I'm pretty far from getting anywhere I want to with the car. Direction of the build will probably change too, initially I wanted a track build, but now I just want a weekend / clean JDM look. Time to do this right...again
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1999 2.7 5MT - SOLD // 2007 V8 4WD - Gone
2011 FJ 4WD - to new beginnings


// 4G V8 // 3G 2.7 5MT // Model 3 // IS300 5MT // FD RX7 //

Last edited by tv4184; 12-06-2018 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:47 PM #2
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Timeline

Saved for timeline
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1999 2.7 5MT - SOLD // 2007 V8 4WD - Gone
2011 FJ 4WD - to new beginnings


// 4G V8 // 3G 2.7 5MT // Model 3 // IS300 5MT // FD RX7 //
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:49 PM #3
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Introduction - Part 1

I'm gonna try to keep this short, since this is a recounting of events from seven years ago and wouldn't want to drone too much. The white RX7 is actually not my first RX7, I bought my first one about 6 months prior to getting the current one. I spent about a better part of the year on and off looking at RX7s, even while I had owned an AP2 S2000. I sold the S2000 to get my second 3rd gen 4Runner for practicality purposes since I was moving out of town. I tried to fill the sports car void with the purchase of my B7 RS4, but that was more of a grand tourer than a light weight sports car. I debated between getting another S2000 or trying my hand a new platform, the FD RX7. The rest is history.


05/23/11

My first RX7 was silver just like the 3rd gen I got the year before. It was a 93 with a manual swap and a few issues, including the usual blown pillow ball bushings, leaking ac system, and couple wiring issues due to the manual swap. It was a great deal at the time being less than $10k. The guy delivered it to the Target down the street from my apartment (on and I had to get a co-worker to bring me back (pre-Uber days) to get the 4Runner. I cleaned her up and got a few nice photos together.



Ended up learning several lessons along the way. The 93s had weak ass paint because blue painters tape tore off the clear coat. The keys to RX7s were pretty weak, being really long and having a slim point due to the cut, are prone to breaking. The clutch master cylinder ended up giving out a month into owner ship, which I replaced with a factory fresh one. I restored the AC system and got the system to blow cold air again. I also did a few "mods" including getting the RZ strut bar and replacing the wheels with some Enkei RPF1s that I had laying around. I bought them before I knew I wasn't going to have the S2000 anymore and didn't want to lose my $600 deposit on them. Funny though because I just sold those wheels last week on craigslist to fund my garage clean up project.





Here are the brand new wheels I had laying around for almost 8 months. Gotta admit, it was fun being able to mod again because at this point it was close to the end of my residency.


5/29/11

I did get in a couple other mods because my friend over in Ft. Hood, I was in Temple at the time, was doing an LS2 swap and was parting out his 13B parts. I bought a B&M short shifter and an HKS carbon ti catback off of him.




6/24/11

I remember being glad to get rid of that heavy stock exhaust that was already missing a tip. I also put in a mid pipe deleting the catalytic converter. The RX7 sounded pretty sick afterwards and I didn't care that it droned because I had three other cars at the time I could drive if I wanted to have peace and quiet.



7/5/11

I bought a full polyurethane bushing set along with "new & improved" bearings to replace the stock "pillow ball" bushings. More to come on this, but I was planning on it being a track build so I was moving towards a more solid suspension setup prior to fuel / power upgrades and ultimately exterior cosmetic upgrades.




7/30/11

This was one of the last things I did besides the AC, which I'll leave it out of the introductory post, was the clutch MC. I completely forgot I did this until I reviewed my build thread from back in 2011. Looked like at the time the car badly needed a full hydraulic system bleed, the RX7 shares its brake fluid reservoir with the clutch system. The clutch MC was weeping and caused the clutch pedal to not come back up after trying to clutch the car.

After restoring the clutch hydraulic system and ultimately AC system, I was able to daily drive the FD for the next four months. Until I found the white one with 50k less miles and a fresh engine swap. I jumped on it and flew out to Raleigh, NC to pick up the car in November of 2011. Stay tuned for part 2.
__________________
1999 2.7 5MT - SOLD // 2007 V8 4WD - Gone
2011 FJ 4WD - to new beginnings


// 4G V8 // 3G 2.7 5MT // Model 3 // IS300 5MT // FD RX7 //

Last edited by tv4184; 09-27-2018 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:44 AM #4
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Helluva "get home drive" through Asheville/Blueridge Parkway!
Still drooling from my romp earlier this month in the v8.. I cannot fathom how amazing it would be at 9,000+ rpm
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:11 AM #5
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11/05/11-11/07/11 - Introduction Part 2

In a decision I sort of regret later on and frequently curse myself for, I picked up a second FD RX7 because of my obsession with white cars. If you can't tell by now, I mostly shop for white cars, sometimes settling for other colors depending on the situation. One of these days, I'll learn me some patience and wait for the right car to show up, like my low mileage 5 speed IS300. Shortly after picking up my V8 4th gen, another one popped up with 35k miles at the cost of roughly twice what I paid for mine.


While still at the seller's garage

So I flew out to Raleigh, where the seller picked me up and we went to the bank for me to get him a cashiers check for the car. Short backstory, this guy buys shells / complete cars, rebuilds the engine, gives it a 1 year "warranty", and resells them on the forum. Unexpectly, we had to fish a key piece out of the passenger key cylinder since that was the only side I could lock the car from. I loaded up my tool box (checked a bag full of tools including my torque bar and wrench), along with my other luggage. Before leaving Raleigh, I promptly made 2 more copies of the keys in case mine broke at any point on the way back. I made the same journey to Asheville like I did with my 4th gen to visit my friends. This was before my friend picked up his own 4th gen.


Broken key that was fished out



Spent some time around town visiting local joints that my friend, who had just barely moved there a few months prior to my visit. I also had to dial back in some height because the previous owner had it pretty much slammed. This not only made the ride terrible but it also messed up the front fenders a bit. I'll need to get a shop to fix this in the future, but at least they didn't ultimately become bacon fenders. After a short day and a half trip, I started to make my solo 2 day journey back to Houston.


12 Bones Smokehouse for lunch


Thirsty Monk for dinner and a flight

I stopped in Meridian, MS after the first night of driving and stopped at a Holiday Inn Express. It was pretty rough because I ended up doing the Tail of the Dragon three times, which ate 3 hours total. I lost cell signal, this was back when 3G was all the rage, so I had to retrace some steps back to the beginning of the trail to figure out the quickest way back. I ended up having to go back the way I came, hence the third time. Spent only 6 hours on the road because of this slight delay and also trouble shooting a vacuum leak, which was a simple line falling off of a sensor. I did the fix on the side of the road with a flash light and re-installing the spring clip that wasn't in place before.




Fuel stop before hitting the Tail of the Dragon




Tennessee border


Alabama border


Mississippi border

On day 2, I left early in the morning and made a stop in Louisiana at a hole in the wall for some boudin. This was where the lack of AC in the car started getting to me because of the swampy heat and being mid day. Besides the heat, it was mostly uneventful except for a giant engine on the back of an 18 wheeler. I had the old Minnesota plates on the car the whole time since the car was insured but not registered in Texas yet.


Holiday Inn Express continental breakfast


Louisiana border


Hole in the wall boudin lunch





Texas border


One of the few pictures I have of the car with the elusive silver FD and the other cars in the fleet minus the CB7 Accord



My souvenir from my trip to the Tail of the Dragon. Each car always gets some kind of unique piece to them. I was glad to be home after 2 days on the road and was pretty stoked at the time to swap over all the parts from the old to the "new" RX7. I did note that the car felt loads better, might partly be due to the mileage (85k at the time) and also the freshly built engine. The engine might be questionable because, although it was rebuilt like the previous FD's transmission swap, it was cobbled together with new and old parts. Remember to also note the Minnesota plates, that will come into play later on in my build.
__________________
1999 2.7 5MT - SOLD // 2007 V8 4WD - Gone
2011 FJ 4WD - to new beginnings


// 4G V8 // 3G 2.7 5MT // Model 3 // IS300 5MT // FD RX7 //

Last edited by tv4184; 09-27-2018 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 09-29-2018, 06:04 PM #6
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Awesome thread. I'm a big FD fan, always been a bucket list car for me. I have an AP1 S2000 now, but would rather sell it for an FD. I just don't have the time or appetite for a 13B right now. Some day.
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Old 10-03-2018, 01:25 AM #7
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11/18/11


Some parts that I had ordered on 10/24/11 prior to picking up the white FD (which was on 11/5/11). Turns out I didn't even need the fuel filter. Looked like someone already did some aftermarket setup for the filters.



First thing I did when I got her back was to start swapping in parts from the old FD. This was exactly the next day too (11/7/11).




Went out to Harbor Freight on 11/14/11 to get the smallest shop press they had to start the bushing / "pillowball" replacement project.


Here's the stock "pillowball" and delrin bushings.


Barstock I had to get to make most of the weird angles work.






Took a few tries after that between my friends and me to push out the first couple of bushings. Took a few trips to the store and iron yard to get the right socket sizes, harbor freight bushing clamps, and iron bars to make the right contraptions to push out the stock / delrin bushings. I think the bar stock I got had slightly rounded edges so sometimes the pressure we had on the bushing from the press would sometimes have the bars go flying. Good thing we practiced safety with goggles and shoes at the time.


This is the first time I encountered problems where I couldn't get a seized bolt out. The stock bushing just kept absorbing my hammering so I ended up using a hack saw to cut out the bolt. No access to power tools because I was living at an apartment with no nearby electrical outlets. Lived life on the edge working on a car in a parking garage. I used my 3rd gen as a makeshift storage shed for tools and random parts.


The Powerflex bushings came with some grease but I decided to use Green Grease at the time to grease the bushings. I think I'll probably regrease them with Mobil 1 when I start taking her apart again.
__________________
1999 2.7 5MT - SOLD // 2007 V8 4WD - Gone
2011 FJ 4WD - to new beginnings


// 4G V8 // 3G 2.7 5MT // Model 3 // IS300 5MT // FD RX7 //

Last edited by tv4184; 10-03-2018 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:33 AM #8
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11/19/11 - B&M short shifter greasing

The next part I swapped over was the B&M short shifter I got from my friend back in July. I followed another forum member's DIY on how to regrease the shifter. The shifter is known to seize up over time so might as well do it while its out of the car.


A busted shifter boot is pretty common with the amount of heat build up from the exhaust system and the age. The main side effect from this is the smell of exhaust fumes in the cabin. Most of the time it would be apparant when the car is stopped and less whenever the car is in motion.




The stock shifter on this car happened to have the Mazdaspeed aluminum bushing. I should have swapped it over to my short shifter but it was more trouble than it was worth at the time.


I had to drill out the transmission tunnel to get to the bolt since I did the install with the transmission dropped on the old FD.





Disassembly, clean up, and reassembly was pretty straight forward. The only big deal was to make sure not to lose the shifter springs and magnets.



Green Grease came in handy again.
__________________
1999 2.7 5MT - SOLD // 2007 V8 4WD - Gone
2011 FJ 4WD - to new beginnings


// 4G V8 // 3G 2.7 5MT // Model 3 // IS300 5MT // FD RX7 //

Last edited by tv4184; 10-03-2018 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 10-03-2018, 11:17 PM #9
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11/20, 11/30, 12/1/11 - Steering rack bushings


Next up was the steering rack bushings. Found the usual issues with a car that was lowered more than it should have been. Bent front tow hooks...






...and trashed sway bar mounts. The sway bar mounts are flawed from the factory. Mazda designed them to be light weight with swiss cheese holes in the structure so most will bend under any kind of cornering load. Luckily the aftermarket support is still solid for FD RX7s, so Widefoot used to make solid mounts until they stopped delivering and another company called Sakebomb took up their place. What's the cost? $300 dollars...

Also discovered the radiator was meant for an automatic FD. The radiator has the same connections that an automatic 3rd gen radiator would have, although it doesn't have the strawberry milkshake issue like the 3rd gens do.




Removal of the steering rack clamp wasn't too bad. At least I already bought new hardware from Mazda to replace the old one.





The only downside to upgrading to Powerflex polyurethane steering bushings for the FD was that they needed triming. Powerflex makes them square when the stock ones have rounded edges. Superpro bushings actually fit better, but I didn't get them in time so I took out the dremel and spent countless hours trimming away and then test fitting them til they fit properly. Even the Superpro bushings need some trimming, just less because its a small line where the mould comes together.


Just like the polyurethane bushings I installed on my 3rd gen, it was more placebo effect than actually any change in feel. Still nice to remove a 85k mile 17 year old set of bushings. I'll probably have to regrease these too and maybe recoat that bushing clamp.
__________________
1999 2.7 5MT - SOLD // 2007 V8 4WD - Gone
2011 FJ 4WD - to new beginnings


// 4G V8 // 3G 2.7 5MT // Model 3 // IS300 5MT // FD RX7 //

Last edited by tv4184; 10-04-2018 at 03:57 AM.
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Old 10-03-2018, 11:40 PM #10
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12/2/11 - headlight shrouds & shifter boot

Small workings, painted the headlight shrouds with Rustoleum trim paint.


Replaced the broken shifter boot with a factory fresh one.






Also had a nice encounter with the factory alarm. My driver lock is busted so I had to disarm it by unlocking the passenger lock. Gotta refresh the lock set whenever I have a chance to remove the cylinders and find a locksmith that can do it.
__________________
1999 2.7 5MT - SOLD // 2007 V8 4WD - Gone
2011 FJ 4WD - to new beginnings


// 4G V8 // 3G 2.7 5MT // Model 3 // IS300 5MT // FD RX7 //

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Old 10-04-2018, 01:30 AM #11
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12/9/11 - rear toe links & lower control arm part 1



After working on both my 4th gen and the FD, these look oddly familiar. The aftermarket replacements for the FD and the long travel kit sold by Metal Tech are quite similar actually. If I ever get around to getting both, I can post a side by side, but I guess thats the thing with suspension parts.



Ended up ordering some non-powdercoated toe links. I also had the guy sell me a complete set of suspension bolts off a lower mileage FD. I was using some grade 8 bolts from Ace Hardware for about a month until these came in.






Another trip to Lowes to get a 1.5" socket to press out the bushing in the traction bar. The trick here is to cut off "ears" from the stock bushing so the bar stock can hold the lower control arm in place while pressing out the stock bushing.





Here's a side by side of the old and new hardware. The old pillowballs were really loose. The new hardware will probably wear out quicker but the miles won't be piling on like before so they'll last long enough until I need a new set. If I ever needed replacement pillowball bushings, there is an alternative produced by another forum member, since these have long since been out of production. There is also the option of aftermarket toe links, control arms, and traction bars made by various companies similar to how Metal Tech has long travel kits for the 4Runner. Using the factory hardware is always more cost effective though and if I polish up the aluminum everything will look like new.
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Old 10-04-2018, 04:15 AM #12
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12/14/11 - toe links part 1

It took a combination of sockets available to me, larger ones from Lowes again, and a ball joint service kit from Harbor Freight to tackle the toe links. Some work from the hacksaw was also required.





The aluminum lined bushing made it more difficult to press out.



All flaps around the larger bushing had to be removed so there could be a surface to keep the toe link in place while pressing out the bushing at the same time.


Both the ball joint kit and the bar method did not work for getting the larger bushing out on my first try. I had to throw in the towel and try again a few days later.
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2011 FJ 4WD - to new beginnings


// 4G V8 // 3G 2.7 5MT // Model 3 // IS300 5MT // FD RX7 //

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Old 10-04-2018, 05:41 AM #13
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12/16/11 - toe link bushings part 2

After hacking some more of the rubber and aluminum off along with a trial and error of several sockets / ball joint combinations, my friend and I were able to finally press out the larger toe link bushing.








The new bushing will probably have to be cut off if I ever need to remove it. The polyurethane bushings have a lip that extends around both sides of the toe link arm leaving no room to properly press out the bushing.




Then it was onto the last part, the trailing arm. These were fairly easy because the previous owner had delrin bushings in so they required very little pressure. The replacement bushing was another two piece, which will be easy to service later on.



The final product would look nicer if I had the tools to polish up the aluminum arms. That'll be a project for much later.

I'd like to say in retrospect, I would have skipped out on working on the toe links altogether. Aftermarket toe link arms would have retained the 3d movement the stock ones had because I noticed both the Superpro and Powerflex bushings do not flex like the stock bushings were designed to. Now taking into account the time/effort, the replacement arms I had to order, and the cost of the Powerflex bushings for the toe links, it would have been better just to go with the aftermarket toe link arms in the first place. Not to say I didn't enjoy the time I spent on them.
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Old 10-04-2018, 06:04 AM #14
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12/22/11 - Depo "JDM" bumper signals

I ordered a set of these on eBay a few weeks prior to this install. The delay was mainly due to the seller sending me some MR2 signals by mistake. It's funny because I think I've been buying lights from the same eBay seller since highschool. A set of clear bumper/corner lights both for my old 93' Corolla and first 3rd gen 4Runner.







I wanted the smoked ones, but most sites had them for almost 3x the price of these non-smoked ones. I figured if I really want smoked ones, I can do it later on my own. These can hold me over til I decide whether or not I want to do a 99 front end.
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:24 AM #15
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12/23/11 - rx7club retrofit kit

I received this retrofit kit in along with the TRS kit I used to retrofit my 3rd gen. At the time there were 3 options for the FD, one from Sakebomb garage ($$$), one from another forum member ($$), and DIY ($$). I say the DIY option is almost the same as the second option because you still have to get clear headlight housing and the parts to do the retrofit, plus the time involved in getting it done right. Just depends on how much your time is worth.







In a few years, I might consider redoing this setup with an MLED morimoto projector or just getting a set of RE-amemiya headlights for a sleeker look. The only problems are that RE-A headlights cost ($$$$), out of production, and halogen non-projector lamps. This means a retrofit would be done on some pretty expensive headlamps. The HID retros look and work great, way better than the fluted stock headlamps.
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// 4G V8 // 3G 2.7 5MT // Model 3 // IS300 5MT // FD RX7 //

Last edited by tv4184; 10-04-2018 at 07:27 AM.
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