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ISO fb RX7 teams for help!


jmcfarland
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It looks like myself, along with a couple of other crazies will be acquiring a retired 1985 IT7 SCCA RX7. I've already hooked up with a couple of people, but would love help with everything from the front bumper back to the rear bumper and everything in between. Used to dealing with FWD and traditional engines and this will be a big change. 

 

Already getting the list together. Dash bar, cell and fire system already on the list.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Black Magic said:

For the rest of us....lots of mufflers of high enough quality to not burn out in a race.....

Yep.  Just get a good exhaust from a known rx7 vendor.  Racing beat would be my recommendation.

 

I ran a borla catback for years on my 2nd gen.  It was quiet enough to run lime rock.   I'm not sure if they exist for 1st gens.

 

 

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You also need to find out if this is a gsl-se.   If so, there are a lot of differences between that and a standard 1st gen.  The vpi is higher as well.

 

Bolt pattern, rear end, fuel tank, etc...  and i believe brakes are all different.  

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I private messaged him, the car is an IT7 SCCA car so I am sure the engine is a stock carbed 12A. with that engine it would be a fun car to drive but quite slow to run in ChampCar with today’s speeds.

 

I would never race a GSL-SE with the stock front brakes, I was there the day that Rotary Rotards had a wheel fall off when the hub broke, the SE front hubs are terrible. Also when I started racing my car it had a GSL-SE 13B engine but I claimed a standard 12A car with a swap which got a starting value of 150 points instead of 200 points for a GSL-SE, not sure if you could get away with that nowadays, but by the end I was claiming a FC S5 13B, which you could argue was never available in a FB so had to be a swap.

 

Too true about exhaust on an endurance racing rotary. I spent years trying to get by with mild steel and standard exhaust components and it was a constant project which meant rebuilding the exhaust after every race. Then I went ahead and spent the $1000 and have a bullet proof system, 100% stainless, all v-band connections, and Racing Beat rotary specific mufflers.

 

In general, racing a first gen RX7, even though I raced one and built it into a car capable of running at the front of races I would probably not recommend that new teams started with one. It is attractive to someone looking to start out because you can find complete caged cars for $1000, but I would argue that there are better choices out there. ChampCar teams pretty much fall into 2 categories, teams that want to have fun and don’t care so much how they finish, and teams that want to run at the front. If you just want to have fun, there are cars that are less expensive to run and less likely to have issues that reduce track time during a race. If you want to run at the front, it is possible with a swap and 400 points to spend, but it takes a lot of money and work and there are cars out there that would be better to start with.

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Fortunately no money has changed hands and yes the low initial cost is what has us thinking of this particular car. My personal current ITA Nissan calculates way over 500 and I would probably not want to use it anyways due to the $$$ I have into it and it's rarity. I know the answer is always Miata but if this isn't the car, what would be? I know there are also a lot of BMW's.

 

This is a major budget for fun endeavor. No ambitions for pointy end.

Edited by jmcfarland
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A co-driver has a 1st gen RX7 that he uses for track days.  He put a 13B motor in it because it is just better-er.  (Does require cutting the front cross member, but he also put a 13B into his Porsche 912, so fabrication doesn't scare him)  I don't know how it does for laptimes or how long it runs a stint, but I know he truly enjoys driving it.

 

There is a strong "IT-7" group in New England at SCCA events.  Of any group of people in the paddock, no one will argue that they have the most fun.

 

So "budget for fun" + 1st gen RX7 seem to go together.

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A 1st gen with a 13b can be competitive.

 

There is a bunch of weight in that particular car that can be removed.

 

Rotary engines are actually incredibly reliable in this type of racing.  Ours went for years.

 

Wiring can be crap.

 

A 13b can be put in any first gen with all factory parts.  It requires an oil pan, and a front engine cover and it will bolt right in.  Those parts are still available brand new.

 

We raced ours for years and years with the stock brakes and hubs and never had an issue.

 

We run hawk blue front pads and HP+ rear pads because the stock bias is not perfect (As stated above).

 

Get around 3 degrees of camber in the front, get the weight out, and go send it!

 

Use idemitsu gear oil for the trans.  It's the only thing we have used that helped the trans last.  Went from rebuilding s ynchros every race to going years without opening the trans.  Use it!

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14 minutes ago, jmcfarland said:

Well against everyone’s better judgment, including ours, we are proceeding with getting the car. We like the RWD platform and there are options for upgrades in the future. 

I think you're making an excellent bad decision. Would do the same if I were you!

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4 minutes ago, jmcfarland said:

Love a challenge of an underdog misfit toy. My personal SCCA car is kind of a oddball (NX2000)

 

 

Very cool, and the NX is awesome.  We must have the same mindset because I race an '88 200sx SE V6. I'm a die-hard hopeless Nissan fan. 

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28 minutes ago, turbogrill said:

Aren't these car good swap candidates? Something like a Mzr 2.5 with header and cam, 07k with intake, the 1.6 Ecobost is in the VPI table as well for good power.

 

 

It definitely needs more than the stock 12A to run even remotely close to the pace nowadays. The easy button is a 13B from a second gen RX7, I was able to get up to about 210 at the wheels and the car was really fast at that power.

 

The MZR would be a very good swap, I saw some claims from people swapping them into an RX8 that it was actually lighter than the rotary. Rotaries are compact but rotors and housings are not exactly light.

 

What I want to do is swap a 2.0L MZR and then turbo it, but my motivations are completely different than anyone else in this case. I want to run a turbo car since most of my team are turbo engineers, and it would be fun to run with some of the turbos that we designed and manufacture. We build millions of EcoBoost turbos, which are based on the MZR/Duratec, the difference is direct injection, and variable exhaust cams. Neither of which are particularly useful for a race car, part throttle Miller cycle operation is not something that we would ever see anyway.

 

To complete the thread derail, the biggest obstacle at this point for what I want to run is what ECU to run, the Miata engine uses a drive by wire throttle and the EcoBoost turbos use an electronic wastegate actuator. That means that the ECU needs 2 H bridge outputs and the software to run the throttle and wastegate. This is a stretch for most of the popular low-cost standalone ECU’s out there, and spending $10K for a high end Motec or Bosch ECU that has the capability is not very attractive. The car has a nice MS3Pro in it right now which worked awesome with the rotary, but they have stated no interest in doing drive by wire, let alone electronic wastegate. If it comes down to it, I could convert to a cable throttle, and make a bracket to install a pneumatic wastegate actuator from an EFR, but who likes to go backwards in technology…

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44 minutes ago, jmcfarland said:

That was the suggestion of the seller. Do a 4.3 with a Getrag box and Ford 9" rear. 

Yuck!  A Ford 9 inch is WAY too big and heavy.  The 4.3 is a poop engine for endurance racing....  

 

If you are going engine swapping, I suggest the 60deg family.  Just puck what horsepower you are wanting to run and pick the engine that matches.

 

Then, get a flywheel and clutch from a 2.2 powered s10, and the trans from a 97 to 02 v6 camaro.

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Also, the 2nd gen 13b can be had from 140 to 160 hp stock, can be bolted in with factory parts, and are crazy reliable for endurance racing (really).

 

Plus, the 12a is worth some money if it runs and makes good compression.

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