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Old 12-01-2020, 02:26 PM   #1
pat244ti's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Santa Cruz CA
Default 1979 Mazda RX7 Rally Car - Volvo powered R&D car

Recently over the past 2 months, I've kind of got the itch to go stock car racing again. I cleared out some space and earmarked some money for a car. My former crew chief from when I used to race linked up with me and we ended up finding a great car that has won a number of races and has a lot of potential.

The deal did not go sideways but it ended up with my crew chief buying the car. He's got a few other stock cars but he's always wanted to race a Nova. He's already got a Camaro, so he said if I fix the exhaust on the Nova for him [he got it with a really screwed up exhaust] and buy a set of new tires he'd let me race it when it's free as long as I cover the race expenses, which is fine by me.

With a big empty space [literally, since I was ready to bring a stock car into the fold] I get a message from my rally friend Alex. He tells me he recently picked up an RX4, and he has to get rid of his RX7 rally car project which I had followed along with for years on rally anarchy.,93878,page=1

He offered to give me the car - the catch being it would not have anything attached to it, just a body shell with a cage. His plan was to sell the rest of the parts seperate

That plan made zero sense to me as I thought the car was pretty cool as it sat, besides the rotary engine which I honestly I wanted nothing to do with. So a deal was made to pretty much get the car as a roller minus engine parts.

The cage itself is pretty beefy and tied/gusseted into the chassis very well, including the custom rear shock towers. As a roller, it came with that fuel cell too. The cell is sweet but I do need to add a return, and also work on a higher flowing pump setup, possibly a surge tank inside of it too.

The front suspension/steering is 40mm JVAB coilovers. The front subframe which sucks on the SA/FB has been completely swapped over to one from a FC RX7.

The rear suspension has custom shock towers, a custom 4 link setup, long travel coilovers, a Toyota 8'' axle with a Weir LSD and a 5.00'' gear

Look at all that travel. The Braids are pretty sexy too.

The interior is a hot incomplete mess right now with a giant hole in the drivers side floor. It'll get cleaned up and sorted. The floor will need to get dropped for any chance to me to ever drive this car, on stage or not.

Note the shifter. The car came with a World Class T5 from a Mustang installed, which has slightly had the input shaft modified to work with the rotary engine. I've got a good V8 input shaft to go back in there, so that it will work with a Volvo engine.

For the engine - a while ago, an OG TB'er gifted me a shortened oil pan and water pipes which came off the grand dad of whiteblock swaps on here.

For the engine itself - I am still undecided. I have two options - an RN engine which is set up for a light pressure turbo [9:1], and an NA motor from a 97' 850 I parted out - which I also saved all of the Motronic 4.4 harness from.

I really don't have any plans to be the driver of this car when it gets on stage since I am too tall for it. I'll squeeze in it and drive it on the street to make sure it works though. The engine choice is going to come down to whether or not I want to have power on tap for some of the drivers I want to put behind the wheel - which swings on the experience scale from my wife [no racing] and brother in law [2 lemons races] to some of my stock car and road race friends, including one who has a Rolex from winning the 24 Hours of Dayona.

I brought the car to it's current storage spot on Friday but before I can start work on it, I need to finish up my backyard which will have a little car port I can work in on this.

- Patrick
83 244ti - rally
73 1800es - resto mod cruiser
83 244ti - road race
79 262c - road race in the works
08 c30 T5 - daily recce car - M66, Lifted 1.5'', 215/65/16 Falken All Terrains on Method MR502's, iPD skid plate
97 Dodge Dakota 5.2 4x4
70 Ford F100 2WD 351M/C6
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