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Old 08-25-13, 02:14 PM   #1
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AZ FD 20B street/autocross build

I'm new to the forum, been reading just about every spare minute I have on here though.

I'm Jake; 33 years old, been working on/building cars for about 17 years. I restore the older FJ series land cruisers for a living. I was into sports cars first, have owned a Supercharged MR2, Mazda RX2, and an E30 M3 that made the cover of grassroots motorsports, also a slew of trucks. Welding/fabricating is my hobby but I find myself doing it for $ more often than not lately.

I've converted a VW vanagon to a SVX subaru flat 6 with a porsche 911 trans, helped a friend put a M42 in a 320i BMW, put a OM606 Merc diesel in a landcruiser and recently in the Ford in the pictures I put a Cummins out of an older dodge. I love cars, love modifying them and get OCD when it comes down to a project.

On to the FD, I purchased it very recently with the intentions of putting a 20B in it. The FD is a 93 with 151K miles, an automatic transmission (yuck) and either a blown oil control ring or a bad turbo. It smokes like crazy, but I picked it up for the right price. It's just clean enough to make a good project, but needs an engine and a manual trans...

The 20B is a non lettered block, but appears to have very low miles. All the rubber hoses are soft, oil passages look spotless and seems to be in very good shape. I have had some help on here with it's limitations being a non C or D code engine, but I think I'd like to attempt to do something with it.

The car in Phoenix before purchasing:



My wife took these when I brought it to our home in the middle of nowhere:











The dog "Nitro" approves



Love these cars



Here's my dumbass in the car. I have NEVER driven one of these, always wanted one, could never afford one, the previous owner loaded it on the trailer, and my wife drove the smoky bastard into the shop:



Started taking it apart; I bought this car for fun- as a project. I love projects and learning new things about new cars. I had an RX2 but didn't do much to it, I gave the car (not sold) back to the original owner who was my mentor/boss a long time ago.



20B, believe it or not someone GAVE me this 20B. Long story but it's mine now. I wouldn't have bought the FD if I wasn't given the engine, it's been the inspiration for this project.



Serial # on housing:



So, all that being said- I'm going to be doing this entire job myself. Short of any crazy machine work that is Rotary specific; I will do every last bit myself. I can't balance tires but all fabwork (with some help from a friend with a laser), welding, wiring, exhaust, tuning etc will be done by yours truly. That's why I bought it, I love the project aspect just as much, maybe more, than driving the car.

I'm planning on stock drivetrain, converted to a manual of course, a small single turbo (GT35?), megasquirt V3 pro, and will be fabbing up everything else. I want the thing to run out of steam at about 7500 rpm to hopefully not kill this early code 20B (thoughts?)...

I know I can't compete with some of the guys on here, hol-e-cow there are some nicely done cars on here! Kudos to you guys, seriously, amazing builds on here. What I'll be trying to build is a somewhat affordable 20B somewhere in the 450 hp range.

The only things I know about rotaries are: Cool, bad reputation- uh I guess that's about it! So if you see me doing or about to do something dumb on here, please let me know. Any input is appreciated.
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Old 08-25-13, 02:32 PM   #2
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I like where you're headed with this. A GT35 might work with a big A/R. I think it's a little modest, even for your street build. A 20b will need a big hot-side/exhaust to evacuate the heat from the engine.
I recommend you keep the stock porting as much as you can. It will idle better and make more power down low. Good luck on your journey!
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Old 08-25-13, 02:47 PM   #3
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Car looks very clean, can't wait to see the outcome!
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Old 08-25-13, 02:48 PM   #4
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I like where you're headed with this. A GT35 might work with a big A/R. I think it's a little modest, even for your street build. A 20b will need a big hot-side/exhaust to evacuate the heat from the engine.
I recommend you keep the stock porting as much as you can. It will idle better and make more power down low. Good luck on your journey!
Thanks for the input! I'm somewhat torn between a smallish turbo and going N/A, if for any reason I want a turbo car. It seems some go N/A, port them somewhat aggressively then go turbo and have too much port. The snap torque killing the early e-shafts I've been reading about is my only fear of running a small turbo... But then if you run a big turbo you're still damned.

The direction to go with this car is proving to be one of the most difficult (yet exciting) auto mod choices I've ever made...
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Old 08-25-13, 02:52 PM   #5
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Car looks very clean, can't wait to see the outcome!
Thank you! The carfax on the car is silly, the original owner was super paranoid and took it into Mazda every 2000 miles for "oil change and turbo system inspection" haha

The worse thing I've found is the front 18" tires hit the fenders and peeled them open, craking the paint in the process. Seems all the damage was done by the 2nd owner of the car in the last 10,000 miles.
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Old 08-25-13, 03:28 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum, and congrats on the free 20b! I like the direction you are heading with he fairly modest power goals. Tons of power can be fun, but IMO too many people just ruin the car with huge power builds. The main attraction of a 20b is more torque, why screw it up with a monster snail that still doesn't spool until 5000rpm? As mentioned above though, a 35r may still be a little on the small side, so do some research and ask around. Perhaps a very large hot side may still work well and not choke it off too much. Look into borg warner turbos as well. They've been proving themselves quite well and are a good bit cheaper. Good luck on the build and welcome to the 20b family!
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Old 08-25-13, 03:54 PM   #7
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Old 08-25-13, 09:59 PM   #8
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I love guys like you, super build ahead.
I do everything my self,polishing controls arms,every bit off aluminium in the engine bay, and now custom body kit.
keep on doing what doing cheers
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Old 08-26-13, 09:45 AM   #9
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Streetport N/A
That is so tempting! I love the simplicity, reliability, they supposidly sound awesome...

I wish there was more info out there on how they perform.
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Old 08-26-13, 10:07 AM   #10
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If youd like any more info on these, check out my build thread as well as user "GMonsen"'s thread. His should be getting dyno tuned today, and mine hopefully in the upcoming month or 2. Although it is not a cheap or easy route. You would make more power/torque on stock ports and a medium framed turbo and it would be cheaper. The whail of an uncorked N/A 20B is a sound to be heard though

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That is so tempting! I love the simplicity, reliability, they supposidly sound awesome...

I wish there was more info out there on how they perform.
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FD's are good at 3 things: going fast, taking turns, and looking good. Everything else sucks.
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Old 08-26-13, 10:59 AM   #11
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Awesome this looks like its going to be a fun car, I like the fact that you went for response instead of all out power
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Old 08-26-13, 08:30 PM   #12
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If youd like any more info on these, check out my build thread as well as user "GMonsen"'s thread. His should be getting dyno tuned today, and mine hopefully in the upcoming month or 2. Although it is not a cheap or easy route. You would make more power/torque on stock ports and a medium framed turbo and it would be cheaper. The whail of an uncorked N/A 20B is a sound to be heard though
Thx for the heads up! I cant wait. Your projects/cars are quite impressive.

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Awesome this looks like its going to be a fun car, I like the fact that you went for response instead of all out power
The early code 20b I have is limiting me on power, my wallet will thank me too. Also my wallet just isn't capable of a crazy build
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Old 08-28-13, 06:15 PM   #13
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Id like to hear the long story of how someone gave you a 20b! This looks like its going to be an awesome build though, i cant wait to see more
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Old 08-28-13, 08:51 PM   #14
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Welcome to the forum! Beautiful scenery you have outside of the garage! You're off to a good start and can't wait to see your progress on this. Best of all, it's good seeing a new guy sticking with the rotary and not taking the "easy" way out with an LS engine I have nothing against piston swaps but a 20B RX-7 is something special, in my opinion, and sounds like nothing else on the road
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Old 08-28-13, 09:14 PM   #15
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I'm a big believer in the street ported NA route. Great deal on a 20b.

Gordon
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Old 08-29-13, 10:07 PM   #16
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Id like to hear the long story of how someone gave you a 20b! This looks like its going to be an awesome build though, i cant wait to see more
The story goes: I worked for a guy that fixed Toyotas, became good friends with him over the years; he was my mentor as well, I learned so much from him. He had a 73 RX2 that he somewhat restored, painted with Toyota racing colors. One day he decided to part with it, I purchased it from him for $2500. I played with it for about a year, made it have manual secondaries, put ground control coilovers and Koni's on it- autocrossd it a bit. I got bored of it and sold it to a guy who had plans of putting a 20B in it and making it into a drag car (Like the PAC car I guess...) Anyways, he took the engine out of it, let the pack rats get into the car, car is basically rotting away 10 years later. So the guy calls me and asks if I want it. Not to buy, but to have. And I can have the 20B that he bought with it- it was too heartbreaking to see it sit there rotting away I guess. The RX2 wasn't too gone, but I didn't really want anything to do with it- at the time I had way too much going on- so I gave the RX2 back to my old boss, and kept the 20B for myself. Here's a couple pics of the car when I owned it in 2000-2001:



Notice the 13" Advan tires and Enkei wheels, rare setup!



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Welcome to the forum! Beautiful scenery you have outside of the garage! You're off to a good start and can't wait to see your progress on this. Best of all, it's good seeing a new guy sticking with the rotary and not taking the "easy" way out with an LS engine I have nothing against piston swaps but a 20B RX-7 is something special, in my opinion, and sounds like nothing else on the road
Thanks! We live way out in the desert, lots of rattlesnakes, scorpions in the house etc, but we love it here. It's so peaceful until I start grinding or hammering something haha. The dirt road we live down is 3 miles long, so the RX maybe a trailer out setup, I guess that shows how much I wanted to do this-

I actually made an excel spreadsheet to compare engine options once I found out the 20B was an early pre-code motor, I was really tempted to sell it, I had the LS1, 2JZ, 13B, 20B and even a Honda F20C engine on there. The LS1 won out on points for my criteria, followed by the F20C, but then I thought- wait- NO, I bought this car to have fun with, and a 20B was given to me, I HAVE to make something of it, and I really don't care for V8's

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I'm a big believer in the street ported NA route. Great deal on a 20b.

Gordon
Thanks Gordon, I'm leaning more and more in that direction. I'm thinking a super simple, clean 20B NA, get it going, then I can play with intakes, maybe fab up something like what you have done- but keep the project going. That sounds exciting to me.

I saw in your sig the E30 M3, I had one back when I had the RX2, I LOVED that car, I autocrossed it and was really good with the car- it's the primary reason for wanting another sports car, the E30 M3 will always have a place in my mind.

It ended up on the cover of Grassroots motorsports magazine about a year after I sold it. The car was kind of a wreck when I bought it, I spent countless hours and dollars restoring the car and getting it up to the performance level I wanted. I never did the 2.5 crank but almost!



Notice the SCCA license plate, I was really into autocross...

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Old 08-29-13, 10:17 PM   #17
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my name is jacob and i have a red FD.

dufuq?
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Old 08-29-13, 10:29 PM   #18
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my name is jacob and i have a red FD.
You, I and our parents have great taste, what can I say
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Old 08-30-13, 01:02 AM   #19
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Old 08-30-13, 05:59 AM   #20
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Got both Jacobs posting here!

Love the E30! It and my 20b FD are my two favorite cars of all time. I still drive the E30 a lot. May be the best car ever for my tastes. The FD is equal to it, but different. More the pure thing. Always wanted a Zinnerot M3, but have had 2 Alpine whites.

I'll have to follow your build thread.

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Old 08-30-13, 09:16 AM   #21
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Nice pick up. 450hp fun car sure would be fun
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Old 08-30-13, 10:48 AM   #22
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Hey Jacob,

Tim here from Phoenix. Welcome to the community! Love the story as you begin your project. I live in Phoenix and an old highschool friend of mine lives in Vail. I'm president of the local rotary club here in Phoenix. We have a couple members in Tucson and one in Green Valley. We'll be heading out to California Speedway in Fontana on Nov 9th for Sevenstock. You really should join us. Since they're celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the FD at Sevenstock this year, there will be tons of cars and owners to meet and share ideas. Gordon is coming along with Logan and bringing their cars. PM me if you'd like more details or if you want to be added to the email list as the Phoenix to LA caravan starts to form.
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Old 08-30-13, 02:54 PM   #23
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welcome to the club, awesome story, good luck with the build!
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Old 08-31-13, 12:18 AM   #24
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Hey Jacob,

Tim here from Phoenix. Welcome to the community! Love the story as you begin your project. I live in Phoenix and an old highschool friend of mine lives in Vail. I'm president of the local rotary club here in Phoenix. We have a couple members in Tucson and one in Green Valley. We'll be heading out to California Speedway in Fontana on Nov 9th for Sevenstock. You really should join us. Since they're celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the FD at Sevenstock this year, there will be tons of cars and owners to meet and share ideas. Gordon is coming along with Logan and bringing their cars. PM me if you'd like more details or if you want to be added to the email list as the Phoenix to LA caravan starts to form.
Thanks Tim, and thanks for the info- great to know of others with similar interest in the area! We're overdue for a vacation so going to sevenstock sounds like a great way to dive into all this heads first. I doubt my RX will be drivable by then, but I guess anything is possible. Will send pm for email list.

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welcome to the club, awesome story, good luck with the build!
Thanks!
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Old 08-31-13, 12:39 PM   #25
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Looks good!
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Old 08-31-13, 12:39 PM
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