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I'm 28, fairly mechanically inclined, live in LA, and drive about 15,000 miles a year.
Currently, I'm leasing a 97 Prelude SH. The lease ends in December and the buyout is 14.5k.. about the same as a FD. I've enjoyed the Prelude.. so reliable that I miss working on cars, good gas mileage, competent handling, and I've got it running mid 14s on the nitrous.
Then I drove an R1 last week and it exceeded all my expectations. That thing was INCREDIBLE. The lack of body roll in the corners was amazing, and the power delivery of the rotary was the smoothest I've ever felt.
I've noticed many of you have a daily driver and a FD. I have no interest in doing this. I plan to have a fast, great handling car as my daily, because I love driving. I also have become OK at drag racing, and would love to step up to road racing.. maybe buttonwillow? So I plan to hit the track maybe one a month.
Other cars I'm considering are 300z TT or a VR-4, but they don't seem to have the same feel as the FD.
I've read the newbie posts and spend alot of time lurking on the forum trying to feed my head with FD knowledge. I plan to do all the reliability mods, and have always been religious about maintenance with all my cars.
So, experienced FD owners.. can you help me out? How much cash do you recommend I keep in a FD repair fund? Am I stupid for trying to keep a FD as a daily driver? I usually drive mellow, but love to have some fun every now and then.. also I'll be stuck in LA traffic often.
Is the FD for me? (Please say yes!!) Any and all opinions are greatly appreciated.
I have a daily driver FD. I dont live far from work so that works out good. Regular maintance is a must on this car. I have not had any problem since I got it (except damn shifter bushing which is common). If you can do the work yourself you will save a lot of money if not than you can still own an FD but you will be paying high dollar mainly because you should take your car to someone who knows rotaries. Looking for an FD is not going to be easy, there are too many beat up ones out there, atleast in TX. If you get one with over 70K miles and original engine be prepared for a new engine. Just my 2 cents.
dogg, you definitely should get an fd. you need to be very picky though, you need a very good quality fd to have it as a daily driver. look for one that's had a recently rebuilt engine and turbos and maybe some reliability mods and you'll be okay. as for a repair fund, it can cost upwards of 5g's for a rebuild if you need new rotor housings. that's only the motor, that's not to mention the turbos which can cost a couple grand new from the dealer. you can get em rebuilt but that doesn't ensure that they'll be like new, a lot of rebuilds leak oil and smoke, plus you need a good rebuildable core.
I used to think that the most important thing to have when you own an FD was an experienced rotary shop or mechanic close by. But judging by my current situation...the most important thing is having a second (reliable) daily driver. As long as you can afford a daily beater for emergencies, I'd say the FD is for anyone who can truly appreciate a beautiful, unique, kick-*** , and unfortunately moody and quirky car. Not too many cars like the FD out there. Gotta love'm.
Originally posted by gohorns Looking for an FD is not going to be easy, there are too many beat up ones out there, atleast in TX. If you get one with over 70K miles and original engine be prepared for a new engine.
So true. When I bought my FD it was so ragged out it wasn't even funny. I found like 13 packs of empty cigarettes, leaves, bugs and anything else you could think of under the seats. The paint was faded and the back bumper's clear coat was pealing real bad.
Since then I have put a lot of work into it, like paint job, shampooed the carpet, and some other little stuff. It looks like a different car now.
As for getting an FD, you will not regret buying it. The mainenance is well worth the thrill of driving and owning an FD. I say yes!
I would get a fd if you can find you thats in very good mechanical condition and has low mileage. It snot fun when you buy a fd and have to fork over tons of money just to get ti running right. You will never beat the honds gas mileage but the fd is a blast to drive. By the way i get 10 mpg all city driving. But hwy is a lot better. If your mechanically inclined, worked on cars before, have a good manual and have lots of patience, they buy you should buy a fd.
I have a daily driver and an RX-7. I open track the RX-7 and occasionally drive it around town. Till now there have been no problems. Little oil leak, I'M WORKIN ON IT!!
I say find a car with a new engine. Mine has 11,500 miles and is about 4 years old. My brother has one that has somewhere over 60,000 miles and is original engine. All the hoses are hard and brittle and are causing him probelms. With 76 vacuum lines it is not always easy to find the culprit.
Find a guy that knows about rotaries. Being in the LA area you have Tri Point in Canoga Park. I think there is another shop down Long Beach Orange County way.
It was my daily driver in California while I was temorarily working in Chcago. No racing then. Personally, and you know what opinons are worth, I would be hesitant to race any car that has to be my only source of transportation. Not having a car sucks.
you seem to know enough about 'getting' a 3rd gen that i don't know why you'd be asking... i'm not lecturing you just offering my 2 pennies.... and i have to agree with everyone here, having a different daily driver helps out alot. as for the 'fd emergency fund', fdracer was pretty much right-on...
you are already heading in the right direction looking around on the forum and reading before posting some question like 'i heard the 3rd gen rx7 isn't very reliable...'
Definitely a FD, mine is a daily driver in the summer time. Cause I live in Toronto, Canada and in the winter there are SNOW, so I have a previa for that. The FD have it all, cheap price tag, fast, looks both inside and out, handling, performance and reliablilty (if it is treated right). I haven't got much problems with mine, only the vacum hoses and coolant leak (long story). If you have done every right, treat it right, it will do wonders for you.
When hunting for one, you will have to be very careful. That is gonna be a long story, so have a FD owner goes with you when you look at the cars.
BTW the stock FD runs low 14 to high 13s on 1/4mile.
Dude you sound like you really want one. It's nice to hear someone that says they're religious about car maintenance and will go the extra mile with reliability mods. Guys like you wouldn't make an FD look or preform bad and give them an ulgy name. I used to own a 98 prelude and was a real big road racer. I was never much into drag racing, but once you go out to the track on a road course i think you'll be hooked on it. It's the longest rush i've ever had. I sold my prelude to get an RX-7. I wanted an unstopable track car, and believe me I got it. Even stock they are one force to be recconed with. Thats why the ads used to say "lighting in a world of thunder". I do miss my Prelude because it got me into road racing but i'll never let go of my black beauty. Go for it man!! Don't look back!!!
First off, Thanks for all the positive replies and help. Knowing that there is a good supportive community of enthuiasts is totally reassuring, so the quest for a FD is on.
Besides a boost and compression gage, what else do you all recommend I bring when inspecting a FD? Does anyone have a specific compression gage they recommend? I've read thru Buying an Rx-7 links.. but does anyone have any tricks or anything else to add when inspecting a FD?
Finally, I know this is an extremely general question.. but roughly how much do you all spend per year on non-regular maintainence items when driving around 15k miles a year?
This is assuming that the FD passes a solid inspection. I know this is going to vary greatly from person to person.. but any rough guestimates or ranges would help. I just want to plan accordingly so I can eliminate as many surprises as possible.
Thanks again for all the help! I can't wait to be an owner of a FD!
I have owned my FD since Jan 2000 and have put almost 50k miles on it in that time - Ins runs about $600/year for full coverage w/$500 ded. I have spent aprox $15k in repairs & mods in that time including a Full rebuild and street-port (not counting 16 oil changes and 3-5 Qts of oil between changes) it is used for my daily comute from Ventura to Santa Barbara and has seen Track Duty at Willow Springs. However it is not my only car. for a person willing to keep up with the maintence it is a fine daily driver, though it is like being married to a super model! High Maintence and everbody always staring and pointing at her.