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Thread: My New Rx-4

  1. #1

    My New Rx-4

    OK so here is the story, I have built and sold a turbo 12a but in the process I had in my back yard an old 83 rx-7 donor car that now I am ready to start building on.

    So being from a small town I went alley hunting for a new donor car for my old donor car for misc parts and such. I found a yard with a 79 SA, 83 GSL and an 85 GSL-SE.

    What I didn't see in the bushes was an RX-4 in decent shape no big rust and no big dents just needs paint. when I really looked at it I noticed it had GSL-SE wheels on it. After talking to the owner today he has offered me all four cars for free. He said they all ran when they were parked except for the Rx-4, he has never had the time to see if it runs. It has the big 13B in it.

    The owner said he was going to try and swap in the SE front suspension and rear diff but currently only has things just sitting half assed mocked up.

    Is this a swap that people have done before? Can you swap in SE suspension without too much hassle?
    he has all the original stuff but I would like the 4wheel discs, posi and rim options.

    Also I want to get the motor started can I bolt a nikki off a 82 rx-7 onto the old school 13b manifold? I would check but I do not have these in my yard yet(he just gave them to me today)

    went back and looked at the car and it is pretty sweet. Definatly needs some work but it is all there and in decent shape. The rear axle and tires are stock I thought I saw SE rims on the back but no just on the front.

    I took a short list of things I noticed I will need right away.. I imagine parts are very hard to find for these cars.. If anyone can give me an idea of the availibility of these parts it would set me in the right track.

    -Rear bumper -Rear tail light surround thing
    -Front bumper and lower valance
    -trunck latch
    -Driver door handle
    -Ash trey
    -rear facial that goes around the tail lights and trunk latch
    -Key and ingnition and door locks
    -Shifter boot and knob
    -Left outside tail light (signal?)
    -Right front headlight
    -Shifter boot
    -Drivers Mirror
    -Stuff for the windows cuz they do not roll down or sit in the track properly.. I will see if they can be fixed but they may need to be replaced.
    -Maybe a new front driverside fender.. rusty behind the front wheel not bad but it has gone through.. do I have to fix or can I get a replacement?

    Honestly not a bad list for a car this old

    Pics here: ... 73%20Rx-4/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Amstedam, The Netherlands
    Wow for free, thats cool Hope you will make a beauty out of it!

  3. #3
    I will if I can find parts... These are very rare to come by in northern canada

  4. #4
    Administrator john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Arlington, TX, USA

    Re: My New Rx-4

    Quote Originally Posted by john smack
    Maybe a new front driverside fender.. rusty behind the front wheel not bad but it has gone through.. do I have to fix or can I get a replacement?
    If it's fairly straight, I'd fix it. You'll spend a lot of time (and money) trying to find a rust-free straight replacement.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Queensland Australia
    Nice find champ these are quite readily available here in Australia parts as well. Let your fingers do the walking on the ausiie version lots on there. Good luck with the resto.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    San Antonio Texas
    If you can wait for about 2 to 3 weeks i can help you with alot of your list. we have talked a little on another forum you know me there as rotarydude. I have several rx4s and many of the parts you need off of cars now. I am currently in Iraq transisitioning back to the states.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    the US rotary forums are well, kinda crap (except for the big RX-7 ones) as they have little activity, but check out Ausrotary, especially the tech section as all of your suspension questions will be sorted. You'll have to work out though what we mean as we say Series I, II, III RX-7s etc, rather than US market specific trim levels (ie we never got GSLs, GSL-SEs etc etc)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Nice find.

    Having had a solid look through your 30 photos i can see its a nice original unit with some small problem areas that need attention. Although i am kind of puzzled why you stripped the whole car down.

    Some observations:
    The fenders are repairable.
    The floor pans appear ok (assume this is why you are removing the tar sheets)
    The rear tail light garnish is repairable but they are very flimsy and you have to use alot of finesse. Don't attempt a repair unless you are confident you won't damage it further.
    The roof will "pop" back to some extent.
    Pull the wiper scuttle panel and clean all the leaves and crud out then inspect it closely for rust around the fan inlet duct.
    Put the correct struts and suspension back in.
    RX7 struts don't work and result in positive camber.

    And for what its worth i think the stock paint colour is a really nice thing. I hope you put her back to original (within reason).


  9. #9
    I am stripping it down to get rid of everypiece of rust I can find, This car is soooooooo rare in northern canada no one has ever seen an Rx-4 so it will be worth the total build up.

    The floor is in mint conditiion and I pulled the tar sheets cuz there was moisture under alot of it from sitting, there were grooves in the floor the tar sheet covers over in the back and they were full of water.

    The car will not be put back to stock color, it will be a charcoal mettallic grey real dark with all the chrome redone.. should look sharp.

    The rear taillight garnish has holes in it like someone shot it with a BB gun so I think it will be easier to source one out used.. I have seen a couple here and there for sale on diffrent boards.

    Pulling the headliner is going to suck to get all the dents out of the roof. The headliner is in mint condition and it is glued or something in place and I am not keep on pulling it out... Looks hard and it looks like it will never be the same if you were to reinstall it. And pointers on pulling a headliner in these cars... the roof is way tooo dented to just leave it.

    As for the struts I was told that with Respeed camber plates the GSL-SE(series 3??) front suspension will work... I was also told that alot of people in AUS have done this swap. I am going to get ahold of respeed and see what they say.. I sure would like to run that suspension as I have a rear end for the car too.

  10. #10
    this is why i started pulling the tar off the floor it looked real rusty and with the clutch master cylinder leaking there was alot of brake fluid soaked into the carpet under lay so I thought it was going to be rusty

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