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 Post subject: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:31 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:00 pm
Posts: 15
Hey guys- been on here for a few months but never posted.

Definitely hooked on rotary engines, I keep buying RX-7s as they're the cheapest way to get them, ha!

Here's what all I've got so far:

1983 GS w/ 86K miles, 2nd owner car. Owned since 2006, no plans to ever sell.

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1988 Base model, with lots of mods. Got in 2009 for free, as it wouldn't start and was about to go to the crusher! Definitely saved this one. Now has a rebuilt engine, AC, etc etc a nice dependable daily driver

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Came out to the '88 one day, & someone had left a note on it. "would you like to buy another RX-7- 1987, runs/drives, has extra engine & trans..." I'm thinking, well, yea. So I ring the guy, & he wants $800. My GF & I were discussing a project car, & here's one that's fallen right into our lap. Upon seeing it, we realize it's a rare sport model, w/o sunroof, but has a bad coolant seal. We ended up getting it for $600, and are working on resto-modding it!

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I just graduated USF in mechanical engineering, & my parents bought this as my graduation present. It's an '89, with 67K miles. It was parked in a ladies garage just a block down the street, and hadn't ran since around 2003!! I spent a lot of free time (since school wasn't any longer a priority, haha) getting it back looking like it had the milage it had :)
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And after buffing/cleaning/getting it running reliably/etc

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That's all I own for now, however here's what I'm going to be picking up this weekend: an '89 GTUs. Another car that's sat some time (since 2004 this time). Shouldn't be too terrible to bring back to life :)

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And I'll also be trading some Turbo2 FC parts for this engine-less '83. Plan on it is to go either S5 NA engine, or possibly either S4/S5 T2, keeping all the stock ECU/wiring/injection etc, to have a nice reliable easy to drive car.

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I guess you can officially call me a hoarder, since I'll have 6 at one time. In my defense though, I can't bear to see them go to the crushers, or to owners who neglect them and catalyst their time to the crushers, haha. But hey, I'm having a blast fixing them up & driving them around. Hope you guys enjoy! I'll get some more pictures/story up once I get a free bit


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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:39 am 
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Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 11:37 am
Posts: 28
Location: Seattle
:tu: Love the collection! Some of us can never have too many rotaries.


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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:13 pm
Posts: 121
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
You can never own too many Mazdas. Looking at my 3rd 70's model Mazda next week! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:47 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:28 pm
Posts: 142
Location: Tampa FL
Nice Collection you have there!


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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:13 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:00 pm
Posts: 15
Thanks guys!! Glad you guys can relate, haha. All my non-RX friends in life think i've gone nuts.

I bought that red GTUs yesterday, and got the title to the brown '83 which I traded some T2 drivetrain parts for.. Really excited, what a weekend!

I'll have to post up the stories on all these cars here once I get a good while to sit down & write them :)


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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:31 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:48 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Qld
Now you just need a fd to complete the collection.
Nice cars buy the way wish I never sold my Fc.


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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:11 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:00 pm
Posts: 15
Good time to start writing about these cars, haha. I'll start from square one.

I'd always ask my dad what type of engine every car had, and it was all redundant. Porsche had a flat 6 in most everything, almost all trucks were 6 or 8's, & some 4's in smaller light duty pickups, etc. I'd ask what was what as it popped into my head. One day, back in... probably 1996 or so, a yellow FD passed us on the highway. I immediately asked him what engine was in it, and he answered "a rotary." I asked what it was, but he had no idea. It wasn't until I received a wankel engine model for my birthday years later that I actually "got" how it worked.

I checked out several books from the library just after getting my license on rotaries & early Mazdas, and thought it was the neatest thing. I'd always pull engines apart that I could get my hands on, mostly weedwackers & mowers found in the trash thursday night, but the idea of something that created rotating power completely differently than those just continued to amaze me. I had to own one!

So, when I turned 17 I bought an '87 FC. It wasn't all that bad, here's a picture of it:

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I ended up crashing the car, and selling it only a few months after buying it. I was again rotary-less.

A friend who rode w/ me a bit in the FC started to get the bug, and I found him an '85 S in the paper for sale. We went to look at it, & I test drove it for him, as I knew the cars a little better from owning one.

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The car wasn't too well off. Secondaries didn't work, turn signal was missing it's detent & spring, so it defaulted to "Left", and the headlight switch didn't work, keep in mind it was night time ;). Here I am test driving this unsafe car, thinking "I've got to buy this!". As I'm driving, I ask my friend "are.. are you going to buy this?"
"I'm thinking about it."
"Let me put it this way, I'm buying it." I said. & I did just that, 2 days later. This was the car that really got me hooked on these things. I drove it for the rest of highschool, and start of college. The 30 mile-each-way commute really did a number on the 195k mile car, and I didn't have time or money to devote to make it a reliable runner. So, in late October of 2006 I decided I needed a more dependable daily driver. A few weeks of looking later I found my brown '83, with 60K miles, from the original owner.

The ad read that it had never had inside it:
-pets, cigarettes, food or drinks
-meticulously maintained, etc. Upon seeing the pictures, my jaw dropped. The old man who owned it was an aircraft salesman, and owned a '47 Piper Cub. He was up to date on maintance with this car just like he was with his plane. It was exceptional! I bought the car a few days after seeing the ad, and was so over joyed!

It was my daily until mid 2007, when I was passed down a Camry from my mom to take to school, and left this car in the garage for only nice days. I would wash the first gen at least twice weekly, and it was ALWAYS covered the whole time it was my daily. I was extremely protective of it, haha.

Here's some pictures of it:

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The car has remained almost completely untouched, modification wise the whole time I've owned it. All that's been done: Louvers, glass sunroof. No radio, exhaust, or anything of the like. I will be keeping it this way!

That's all for now, I'll continue the other car's stories here soon :)


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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:13 pm
Posts: 121
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
I'm loving that brown(?) RX-7. I would love to own an early all origy RX-7 but all the ones I have looked at here in NZ have been tweeked in some way. I'll keep looking but must say I'm really jealous of your one!!
Keep the car pictures and stories coming please mate, loving your work!

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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:11 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:00 pm
Posts: 15
OK, here's the story on the white 88 4 lug car.

Back in 05, met a friend Joe, who owned the car. It was his daily, and I'd see him + the car at all the RX-7 meet ups, etc. Time went on, Both of us got busy with school, until one day back in Nov 2009, when I checked a local racing forum. He'd posted on there, saying he was giving his car away!

I immediately posted, saying I'd take it. 3 other people called dibs on it before me, though.

A few hours later & my phone rings, it was Joe. He told me the situation- Car'd sat for 8 months, wouldn't start, was parked at an apartment complex where he didn't even live at anymore. Had many tow warnings, & was set for impounding on Tuesday, it was currently a Saturday.. So that's 3 days only! Now, being a shit box 80s car that doesn't run, it's sure to be headed to the crusher, which wasn't OK with me.

He told me about the other 3 people who'd called it before me, but said he knew how much I cared for these cars, & would rather it go to me, so he just told them all that it had been sold. An hour later I was on my way with my dad's truck & a trailer to get the car. It was 3 hours north of me!

I got it home, and it looked like this-

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Not bad from far away, but there were MANY problems-

-It had no radio
- 4 flat tires
- No brakes (brake pedal went to the floor)
-A blown engine that would not even turn over
-Both door handles were broken (entry into car was by popping the hatch, and pulling speaker cable tied to the interior drivers door handle, which was left unlocked)
-What I would define as a “dis-tasteful” exhaust and wheel s set up (Wheel shop 17”s and 2 HUGE rice cannons)
-The only electrical items which worked were what nesicary to driving were: headlights/brake lights/turn signals, engine ignition system.
-A/C was FULLY removed, except for the evaporator, which had a hole in it.
-Sunroof was RTV’d (silicone sealant) shut
-Holes in roof from severe rust due to sunroof being glued
About a week after bringing the car home, I got a new battery for it, and started seeing what was wrong. Found that the negative lead to the starter solenoid had falling off, and that was the cause of the no start. Once installed, it started right up after 9 months of sitting, and not without a TON of smoke. A new brake master cylinder fixed the brakeless-ness of the car, and a parts car supplied some nesicarry goodies like the door handles. It was about this time when I found out the engine was blown…

Keeping in mind the initial cost of the car, I decided it would be wise to restore it back to daily-drivable condition, however I had to meet two personal goals along the way: 1) anything purchased for the restore would be either ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to the build, or would be bought at an unbeatable price. 2) Keep the car as 80s/original as possible, only upgrading parts when they’re cheaper/better than OEM.
I started out with the engine.

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I found a used, known running non-turbo rotary out of an S5 RX-7 (1989-1991). These had higher compression (9.7:1 as compared to the 9.4:1 which is in the car), but could be made to work with a few modifications, and use of the stock wiring harness. While I had the short block out of the car, I decided to tear it apart and rebuild it in my garage; to be sure there wouldn’t be a hidden coolant leak or the like. Upon finishing, I pulled the blown S4 engine out and installed the S5 engine.
From this point on is where I begun the true restoration, in my eyes, of the car:
-I was given an OEM stereo/cassette player (definitely goes along with the 80s them)
-A donor car in the junkyard provided most of the A/C components: condenser, evaporator, all hard & soft lines. I installed a reman’d compressor, new dryer, new expansion valve, and a new rubber o-ring at each coupling joint, and had it filled with Freeze12 (Like R12, but still legally purchasable). A condenser fan was also added, I’ve had vent temperatures of 37* F in April, in FL.
-The warning lights/clock did not work, the wipers only worked on 1 speed, the horn and factory alarm did not work, and the A/C control head wouldn’t blow but on defrost. Everything was fixed by removing the item, taking it apart further to get to the PCB boards within, and resoldering every solder joint. These cars are famed for having bad electrical (almost up there w/ old MG’s haha) but everything works in this car, with the exception of the power antenna mast, & 3 illumination bulbs in the stereo/AC control head.
-I added cruise control from another vehicle, as well as power mirrors, and ignition keyhole illumination.
-The wheels were a Craigslist score for $250, with brand new tires and center caps. They’re period-correct Enkei 92 mesh, 14x6.5”.
-Car was on cut factory springs, I found Tanabe lowering springs and switched to them and it actually RAISED the ride height.
-Rust in roof was cut out; panels cut from a donor RX-7 were welded in. An acrylic sunroof (very rare) was found for $50 and installed.
-The dash was pulled to remove the carpet, along with the hatch carpet and all seat/storage belts. Everything was scrubbed down with a hard bristle brush/soap & then pressure washed. The main carpet had to be dyed RIT “royal blue” to bring back its color. The interior, save for the seats, is like new.
-I installed the S5 Intake manifold, which has a more efficient flow path. Mazda engineers discovered that >5000 RPM, at the moment the intake port is shut by the rotor, a shockwave like pulse of intake air at ~1psi is sent traveling away from the port. This manifold takes advantage of this phenomenon by opening a passageway for the pulse to travel, when above 5000 RPM, into the other rotor’s intake port. The effect is called VDI, (Variable Dynamic-Effect Intake), and combined with the .3 higher compression, allowed this engine to make 160 bhp over the 146 of the original engine. (This engine was actually the record holder of the most power per liter displacement, only being 1308cc in size. The record was lost to the RX-8, with 238bhp, also 1308cc.) The intake manifold also has provisions for opening secondary intake ports above 3800 RPM. In the 1989 and up cars, these were opened from pressure actuators receiving pressure from the smog pump, and opened via solenoids controlled by the ECU. This being an 88, I had to use aftermarket RPM trigger switches, which send out 3V at a set-by-user RPM point (in this case, 3800 & 5100 RPM). The 3V travels to relays which step up the voltage to 12V, which is then sent to OEM emissions solenoids which weren’t used due to the newer emissions on the S5 engine. A factory smog pump supplies the air to these solenoids, which in turn, control the pressure actuators. A round-about way of making a newer factory design work in an older car.
-I did away with the exhaust, in favor for a fully stainless steel mix of Borla cat-back/ Racing Beat (Big name in rotaries) header & presilencer. New, it was a $920 combination; I got extremely lucky and obtained it for only $7!! This was probably the best deal I’d gotten on the car!
-The red hood is a rare factory hood; however it’s made of aluminum and is half the weight of a comparable steel hood.
-I put a sport aero kit (front air dam & front/rear rear tire spats, aero spoiler, and aluminum engine under pan) from an 86-87 sport RX-7. I plan to make a full underbody pan soon; similar to what’s going into new cars, for a better drag coefficient.
This being said, the only thing NOT touched yet is the paint/body work. I’ve buffed and waxed it, but that only does so much when there’s dents covered in rust-proofing paint, mis-matched hoods, and battlefield-esque welded panels on the roof. I’d love to have it painted, but that takes away from the do-it-myself aspect, as well as the cost aspect. I’ve got about $5000 into the car entirely, which is quite a lot.

I've learned SOOO much from working on this it's crazy. This is definitely the car that's gotten me hooked, and I'd almost venture to say I like it the most out of all of them just because of the amount I've done with/to it. Here's some pictures of how it is now!

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Only real goal is to pull out the big dent on the drivers side, and paint it. I think I can learn to paint once I buy the equipment, and do a good job myself. Just another skill to learn!

More coming soon!


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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:17 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:00 pm
Posts: 15
Onto the '87 Sport-

As I said, my GF & I bought it for $600 with bad coolant seal. It was ROUGH- The whole interior had been spray painted black, almost nothing worked, etc. Ouch. But we were determined to fix it up! So we picked it up anyway. & hey, it came w/ a spare engine (though had a bad apex seal) & trans, so why not.

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Bondo falling out of a poor bondo fill job, only "sport" item is the rear wing. No mirror glass, nasty S4 tails

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The awful interior

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Extra parts! Drove it home like this (barely)

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Under the hood- Note there's no belly pan, fan shroud, the clutch hose is a single piece of hose..

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Thermostat cover held on by vice grips- there wasn't a thermostat in the car either (between this & no belly pan or fan shroud, plus a bad radiator- this engine died of overheat)

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Another Gem lol

So yea... It was rough


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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:24 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:00 pm
Posts: 15
Well, just a few weeks after buying it, we lucked into a friend stripping down an 88 GXL with blue interior to become a race car. He was trashing the entire interior, so Landon+Rebecca to the rescue. We scored it for free. Before installing, we heavily cleaned it. My method is- take any soft upholstry item & damp it. Scrub it with OxyClean & a hard bristle brush. Let it soak a bit. I then sling the rugs/ up over a fence, & all other items (door panel fabric, seat, belts, etc) I lay on the concrete. Using a pressure washer (A MUST as normal hose pressure is too weak) I just blast until it runs clean.

Here you can see the interior as it's installed- looks as new as it will get!

The plastics are cleaned w/ soapy rags.

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After re-doing the interior, we saved up for an engine build, until realizing, hey, let's just put in a used engine!

I've yet to take pictures of any of the other progress, so I'll leave it on pause right here for now. One last picture of my 88 & this 87 sport next to eachother.

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Will update soon, so check back!


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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:49 am 
JNC Enthusiast
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Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:46 pm
Posts: 666
Location: Magna, UT
Love the details of each car. Keep it coming!

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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 8:16 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:28 pm
Posts: 142
Location: Tampa FL
Lol we have the same license plate frame :mrgreen: as for painting it, I think it won't be too hard, I havn't had a chance to use a compressor and spray gun but I've turned some of the crapiest spray paint jobs into impressive mirror finishes. I think the secret lies in laying down a good even color coat and then enough clear so you won't burn through the paint during the wetsanding process, then some foam buffing pads and good compound.


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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:43 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:00 pm
Posts: 15
http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/575966_10151116959272049_286631788_n.jpg

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Some new ones! haha. Here's a 9/85 build 86 4 lug model, that someone:

S5 engine with all emissions
S5 full wiring
S5 gauge's
S5 GTU black interior
5 lug w/ 4POT brakes

Car doesn't start- personally it's an ugly turd, but I got it for $600. If I didn't buy it, it was going to scrap the next day. Really only bought to keep out of the crushers :). Going to sell to a friend.

Also got this one-

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It's a late model 87 sport (late because, it has the machined alum finiish on the wheels, & T2 seats/matching door panels- the earlyer 87 &86 model sports had cast finish & 4 lug seats/matching door panels). Artic silver J5 color, matches my VERY first one I posted earlyer in the thread. Incase you can't tell, I love the quarky sport models (2 of them + the GTUs).

Currently in the process of looking for a house, so in the mean time I'm just "gathering inventory" of cars/parts to restore. I'll be sure to update this thread down the road when I get to these cars, but for now you may just see some parts bragging & no real work.

Oh, & there may be some BIG changes to that white '88 4 lug SOON. Stay tuned! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:56 pm 
Mild Cam
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Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:31 pm
Posts: 1675
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
I rather like your white Series 4. :D Cool cars and great story!

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1980 Datsun 510
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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:57 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:00 pm
Posts: 15
LOL, I've got lots of updates, hopefully I can post them sooN!


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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:24 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:00 pm
Posts: 15
OK so here's what I've neglected posting about--

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Bought a wrecked '87 T2:

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swapped EVERYTHING into that white '88 from above! Didn't take many pictures there, just rushed through to get to driving! Went well though.

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This car- which I traded the FC parts for- My friend I'd traded with aquired a GSL-SE that was badly wrecked, & needed something to put the drivetrain in, so we traded back. So long '83!

Still jones'in for a project FB- We went down & picked up this sweet light beige 84 GSL:

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$900, 143K, all original down to the radio & emissions. Even runs, BUT has bad water seals. I'll get to the builds of all these in other posts, too.

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Ironically, we picked up another first gen 2 days later, an '83 GSL. Only picture I have, as a "tradgic loss" of the cell phone I'd been using at the time occured. hah.

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True late '87.5 Sport model! Just like the other artic silver one. Has been in a wreck though, will need some good work to bring back haha. 212K, lady owned (lol doesn't show that much), MAZDA REMAN'D ENGINE w/ only 25k! I actually have some history w/ the car! It was parked at an apartment about 7 miles south of where I live. I'd pass by it all the time, wondering who's it is. Well, about 2 & a half years ago, it was wrecked... OH no! still hung around, though. Even left a note on it, asking to buy the whole car, but never heard back! But then, a year later, it was gone completely. Shit, it must have been sent to the junkers... bummer.

Well, a friend I'd met from going out to local RX-7 gatherings ended up buying it. When he realized he'd never get to giving it a proper restore, he offered it to me for sale first- $600. I ofcourse bought it. Now, at present I had NO idea it was the same car as above. The next day (purchased on a saturday) My GF & I went for a drive around town. While driving, I asked her what she wondered ever happened to that old crashed sport. I started to picture the car in my head, but THEN realized.... So I called my buddy and asked who he'd gotten it from, and sure enough, we'd just bought THAT sport! This just solidified that it's going to be restored, haha. This was bought back in early November

A few weeks later, my GF actually found another for sale! Haha, it was a '91 coupe, asking $3500 originally. Sat & sat on craigslist. Dropped down to $1000, with a line in the ad "if no one buys it, it's going to the crusher :(". Well, she offered the guy $500 just to save it, and lol, we got it.

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It literally runs & drives! All we had to do was throw a battery in it, and fix a fuel leak via JB weld that was on the carb (it's got a Holley carb). I feel embarrassed admitting to JB weld, but after talking to my dad, a carb rebuilder for years, & searching the internet, it was the most accepted fix, haha! Whatever. Plans for it: revert back to EFI, make it totally reliable, repair all the creature comforts (AC, resoldering of all the interior electronics), but then STOP working on it. No buffing, no full interior pulls & pressure cleans, just leave it ratty as is, and daily it. Something I don't have to beat my shoes everytime I get it in fear of getting dirt inside haha. That, honestly, is what the white '88's become, and I just don't enjoy it like I did any more. So this will be the new fun car.

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Remember this one? I ended up selling it yesterday, to a buddy. Never thought I'd do anything with it, I just couldn't stand it getting crushed hahah. Hope he enjoys it!

And our last, most recent aquisition, picked up yesterday. I think I overpaid for it, spent $1200.

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Friend of mine had one JUST like it, and when he sold it, he really regretted it. This was back, 5-6 years ago. Well about 4 years ago, he FOUND this one! He showed me the car, and I just could never get it out of my mind. Periodically I'd drive by, just to make sure it hadn't gone to junk yet. Finally, about 8 months ago, I couldn't take it any more, & rang the guy's door bell. He was hesitant about talking at first, but, as conversation carried on, he could tell that I really cared for these cars, and I'm the perfect person to finally buy it. It's an '87, BASE model, doesn't even have rear bins or PS. The radio, I'd only seen one like this a hand full of times, is ONLY a radio- no cassette player or equalizer. I think the only options the car has are the aluminum wheels (some, very few, did have steelies), AC, & that radio. I *think* you could get them w/ no radio period hahah.

Anyway, that's I guess as current as it gets. We're going to be buying a house soon, looks like we're closing on the 15th of Jan. It's on 2 acres, has a large pole barn which can probably cover 8 of the cars, though the walls are open. There's also a 2 car carport, & a 3 or 4 car steel building. PERFECT spot for us to work on the cars! My plan is to totally strip down, and do a car-rotissare style restore on: both artic silver '87 sports, the '87 4 lug grey car, the 89 GTUs, and the 84 GSL. All will be redone from the ground up, trying to keep them as original as possible. Just like the vert, only, more thorough and in depth now that I've got the space to do it! Can't wait!! So yeah, that's what's happening now, I'll probably not start updating until a little while after closing, but then expect full on tear down pictures!


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 Post subject: Re: Landon's Rotaries
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:01 am
Posts: 45
Location: South Africa
Hi Landon,

I love your passion for RX7s, and I like it that your feel a sort of need/duty to save them from the wreckers etc.
Keep up the great work and passion.

Adin

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