Author Topic: What to look for when purchasing an FD (3rd gen.) RX-7  (Read 21237 times)

Offline Glenn Butcher

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What to look for when purchasing an FD (3rd gen.) RX-7
« on: December 19, 2002, 09:37:03 AM »
I have taken this from a combination of threads - thought it would be handy for people to read through (to save looking around the Forum too much).

The 3rd generation (FD) RX-7\'s have been built from 1992 onwards.

The RX-7 is probably one of the best value for money production cars available. It is a supercar, it has one of the best suspension/chassis/braking systems of any car to date.

Mazda have now stopped making the RX-7 in Japan (just August 2002) as they are now preparing to start producing the RX-8.

The RX-7 could be purchased in the UK from 1992 to 1996 I believe. There were only around 140 official RX-7\'s sold in the UK (probably due to price). But now there are many RX-7\'s available from importers, you can even have one hand picked from Japan for you. (They have been made in Japan from 1992 - Aug 2002).

You can purchase a decent one here from around £7,000-£15,000 (and even new ones still at one or two locations in the UK - around £25,000 however UPDATE - NOT ANYMORE :( )). Cheaper cars are available, some as low as £4,000.

As for performance, depending on the car you get (UK or Japanese) performance does vary slightly. 0-60mph is around 5.5 seconds, and top speed is 155mph+

Can be a handfull in the wet, being rear wheel drive.

It is basically a circuit race car for the road.

Common problems/items to note:[/u]

The turbo rotary can be an awesome but delicate engine. One of the main problems is that people start modifying them without knowing the knock-on effects. For example, changing the exhaust to a more free-flowing system without ensuring that the engine is running rich enough/and there is no boost spike/creep can very easily cause apex seal failure (which basically means an engine rebuild - expensive).

Fuel consumption is heavy on the twin turbo rotary, but performance is also equal/better than Porches and other top of the line Sports Cars - afterall it IS a genuine "Sports car".

Parts can be expensive like most Japanese cars, service isn\'t too bad as long as the engine is in good condition to start with.

Expect the engine to last around 50,000-60,000 miles before needing a refresh. But if you start modifying you will reduce the life of the engine - just like any car.

AST (Air Seperator Tanks) have been known to split, therefore you will lose coolant from your engine.  Aftermarket AST\'s can be purchased, and I believe that Mazda themselves built a more uprated one for later model RX-7\'s

Some important points with the rotary engine are:

* Ensure the oil and oil filter is changed every 3,000 miles
* Never ever run it low on oil - not even once!
* Always warm the engine fully before giving it the boot, remember that oil takes a lot longer to warm up than water - so the temp. gauge does not always say "boot it!"  give it a good 10-15 mins. of running before you give the engine a hard time.
* Always cool the engine down, by letting it idle for a good 5 mins (the oil will cool the turbo\'s etc.)
* You should always take it to the redline once during your drive (when you have reached full operating temperature of course) this will clear out carbon build-up in the engine
* If you are moving the car around the driveway etc. only running it a short time, it could flood the engine - it can be a nightmare to get started again (running warming spark plugs can help stop this problem).
* It is important to change the fuel filter every 15,000miles to avoid any chance of any fuel restriction that could kill your engine (this is often forgotten!)
* It is a good idea to replace Spark Plugs every 5,000 miles (depending on how you drive the car).
...

What to check for when purchasing:[/u]

Ultimately you should have a Rotary specialist check over the car for you.

As for things to check for:

One of your best bets to purchasing an RX-7 is to get a standard one, one that hasn\'t been tinkered with (unless by someone who really knows what they are doing).

1. Having a compression check done is a great idea...
2. Ask about the History of the engine - it may have already been replaced? if it has done that many miles (could be a good thing) but find out why in the first place...
3. Pull out the oil dipstick (on level ground of course, engine off, preferably when cold then hot), check the level make sure the oil is not thick and black will mean that it hasn\'t been changed for some time (should be nice and clear to show that it has been cared for)...
4. Check the coolant - check the level and make sure it is nice and green...
5. Get the guy to start the car from when it is cold - it should fire straight away...
6. Check to see if it blows and smoke on STARTUP - a little is normal, a lot is not!
7.  
8. Take it for a run, ensure it goes ok (no missing etc.) check the brakes, handling...
9. When you have finished taking it for a run, make sure you can start it up again ok - whilst the engine is nice and warm.


Getting the AA/RAC etc. to do an inspection for you is a good idea also.

Use common sense when purchasing, purchase with the head and not the heart :)

Just find out as much as you can.


(I\'ll add to this thread when I get a chance with any other information that comes to hand/or I think of :))
« Last Edit: April 26, 2006, 07:23:55 PM by Glenn Butcher »
Thanks,

mmilner

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What to look for when purchasing an FD (3rd gen.) RX-7
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2003, 10:25:10 PM »
Hi Glenn. A couple of requests. The first for me and the second for people new to the rotary:-

Could you expand on what AST (Air Seperator Tanks) are and where they are located on the FD?

Could you also expand on what you mean by a \'refresh\'. Is this the same as a rebuild? Are there any signs to look out for when it is due? (So people don\'t end up having to call the RAC, etc.)

Cheers,
Martin.

Offline clive

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What to look for when purchasing an FD (3rd gen.) RX-7
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2003, 03:14:11 PM »
Hi Martin,
The AST is to remove small air bubbles from the water system that can apparently erode their way through the alloy Rotor housings !
l will let Glenn explain the refresh bit but l presume he means just retip the engine .

All the Best Clive.
All the best Clive

Offline Glenn Butcher

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What to look for when purchasing an FD (3rd gen.) RX-7
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2003, 08:43:42 PM »
Martin,

Sorry I took a while to respond on this one, the AST tank by the way is on the front passengers side of the car (next to the radiator).  Sometimes when these leak people notice coolant coming from that area.

As for the "Refresh" - yes this is a rebuild, but more of a re-spring and seal rather than complete replacement of all parts.  Sometimes the parts are not re-usable of course, so you will have to go with new ones, turning into more of a re-build (just my terminology though!).
Thanks,

Offline richrx

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What to look for when purchasing an FD (3rd gen.) RX-7
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2003, 09:07:10 PM »
when you get the comp test, what should the results be for a good engine? I heard 100 psi is the lowest you should buy it at. Also when buying from a dealer check what the warrenty covers, in normally won\'t cover the engine, only a few places will.

Offline Fish

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What to look for when purchasing an FD (3rd gen.) RX-7
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2003, 09:19:02 PM »
Rich, yes anything above 100 psi should see you ok for a while, but that only really equates to 6.5/6.6 BAR which can be close to rebuild time. You really want something above 7.0 BAR.

Dan

Offline Jovic82

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What to look for when purchasing an FD (3rd gen.) RX-7
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2003, 01:42:28 PM »
it is true that you should redline the car everytime you drive it. i know the engines are built to be worked hard but surely this must dent the life a bit!

Nick

Offline Fish

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What to look for when purchasing an FD (3rd gen.) RX-7
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2003, 01:49:33 PM »
You should *TRY* and take it around to at least 6500rpm, this gets in to the zone for the second turbo working. This is just to keep to relays and solenoids working. ;)

Dan

Offline bnaellis

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What to look for when purchasing an FD (3rd gen.) RX-7
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2003, 02:06:17 PM »
A few months back I did enquire from Tim at rxmotors about what normal compression is on new engines, good engines with 35,000 miles, and bad engines suffering with with hot/cold startup issues due to low compression. Tim\'s reply was that rebuilt engines have around mid 8\'s, a good engine with approx 35k on the clock would have 7 approx 100 psi and low compression engine 5\'s. I did ask some detailed questions on this, but I was advised that an engine with 7.0 7.0 7.0 on front & rear rotor is in good condition and should deliver a good 30,000 more miles no problem. Also he said the numbers are more important that they are even compared to being high.

rgds

Offline Glenn Butcher

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What to look for when purchasing an FD (3rd gen.) RX-7
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2003, 03:18:27 PM »
Quote
Originally posted by Jovic82
it is true that you should redline the car everytime you drive it. i know the engines are built to be worked hard but surely this must dent the life a bit!

Nick


The other main reason for doing this is clearing the carbon build up out of the engine - surface of the rotors etc. as they don\'t actually come into contact with anything in the engine (apart from fuel/oil and air).
Thanks,

Offline Fish

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What to look for when purchasing an FD (3rd gen.) RX-7
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2003, 05:14:38 PM »
Taken from a US magazine, here are some more details.

Dan

Offline Fish

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What to look for when purchasing an FD (3rd gen.) RX-7
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2003, 05:15:31 PM »
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Offline Fish

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What to look for when purchasing an FD (3rd gen.) RX-7
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2003, 05:16:28 PM »
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Offline Fish

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What to look for when purchasing an FD (3rd gen.) RX-7
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2003, 05:17:22 PM »
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Offline Fish

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What to look for when purchasing an FD (3rd gen.) RX-7
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2003, 05:18:49 PM »
Last one....