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Old 12-01-2020, 02:26 PM   #1
pat244ti
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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.

https://www.rallyanarchy.com/phorum/...5,93878,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.

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Old 12-01-2020, 03:31 PM   #2
culberro
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That's a crazy deal on a car for someone 5ft tall! Did you get the giant aluminum wang/spoiler for it too?

I think the Mazda pilot nearing size is the same as the Volvo redblock ones. You could probably skip swapping the t5 input... but that's not hard at all.
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Old 12-01-2020, 03:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by culberro View Post
That's a crazy deal on a car for someone 5ft tall! Did you get the giant aluminum wang/spoiler for it too?

I think the Mazda pilot nearing size is the same as the Volvo redblock ones. You could probably skip swapping the t5 input... but that's not hard at all.
I passed on the IMSA wang to shave costs. I still have left over lexan and adjustable rods from the one I made for the 240.

Only one of them is finished and on the car but I do have the other three Escort flares which should look really good when it's done.



Alex mentioned to me with the T5 that his wife modified the input shaft a bit to make it work with the rotary. I don’t know how much she took off of it though, I'll measure before I take it apart to see how significant.

Last edited by pat244ti; 12-01-2020 at 03:57 PM..
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:20 AM   #4
stick70
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The n/a 5 pot in my 122 was good for 150 wheel. Idk if that's enough for you but the wagon weighs 2500 lbs and it ain't slow.
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Cool car. Smells period correct. Would follow through twisties again. A+
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Old 12-02-2020, 01:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by stick70 View Post
The n/a 5 pot in my 122 was good for 150 wheel. Idk if that's enough for you but the wagon weighs 2500 lbs and it ain't slow.
That's what I am leaning towards. Let the newbs at it first with the NA engine and it will be easy enough to turbo down the line, especially once I get the chassis sorted too. I feel like with the mixture of stuff on this car it would be good to teeth it with something tamer anyways.
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:32 PM   #6
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Sweeeet
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:46 PM   #7
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does it still have the poster of Gert "one tough mother" Boyle stuck to the inside of the roof?


also, here is my suggestion for the spare tire: https://www.undiscoveredclassics.com...rick-feibusch/

Last edited by megulon-7; 12-02-2020 at 11:52 PM..
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Old 12-03-2020, 01:23 PM   #8
pat244ti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megulon-7 View Post
does it still have the poster of Gert "one tough mother" Boyle stuck to the inside of the roof?


also, here is my suggestion for the spare tire: https://www.undiscoveredclassics.com...rick-feibusch/
My head must have been too close to the ceiling to notice but I love finding easter eggs like that



Spare should fit behind the hoop in front of the cell - getting it out might be tricky, so I was thinking it would be good to integrate a "ramp" at a slight angle that mounts up to the fuel cell cover [that will have a little door dealio for the fill] and put some sort of tie down strap in to keep it secure to the hoop, than a pull strap to lift and slide the spare up ramp and on top of the cell.

Another solution would be to build something like the Mariah Motorsports hatch and find a way to secure it flat right behind the hoop and between the louvered areas. That way, it would make an external fill for the cell super easy [as well as making it fully contained] and kill two birds with one stone.

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Old 12-14-2020, 11:38 AM   #9
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Hi Pat! I don't wander in here much, but this is a good thread. I had an 83 RX7, and always thought it needed a normal engine. I like RX2 the best, though.
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