My 1st RX-7: Rough Entry but still Optimistic

 
 
 
 
Old 08-25-01, 12:25 AM
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My 1st RX-7: Rough Entry but still Optimistic

So I just bought my first RX-7 and its been a bit rough going. I thought I would share a little of whats going on. I am still optimistic but could use a little encouragement.

Let me first say that I am so glad I found this website and especially this forum. It has been a tremendous asset and I am so appreciative to everyone who is involved with it. I have been a huge fan of the 3rd gen FD since I first sat in one in the Mazda showroom back in '93 in Van Nuys, CA.

So here's my story for those who are interested:
I found a white '94 FD that looked in very clean condition at a nice (by appointment only) dealer in Orange County. I had been doing a pretty good amount of research for the past few months to get up to speed on the reliability issues so I would know what to look out for. I had the car inspected by Anahem Mazda which was both a good and bad decision. They did their typical 100 point inspection and I also had them do a compression test.

The compression test came out pretty good (Rotor #1: 8.0, 8.3, 8.3 - Rotor #2: 8.3, 8.3, 8.5). The mechanic said that the rear main engine seal, O-ring & oil pan were leaking and needed to be replaced. Other than that he assured me that everything else was in very excellent condition.

I got the dealer to drop the price by $1k to cover the repair costs. Fortunately, I was able to purchase an extended warranty with Western General Insurance, which was recommended by 3 different Mazda repair shops. The only thing I am currently waiting upon on is to see if I can get the seals & gaskets option since my car is a few thousand miles over the limit. They said on the phone that it shoud not be a problem. and I should be able to get the option.

To get the warranty I not only had to submit the Dealer inspection but also show the repair invoice to prove that the known problems were fixed. LUCKILY, I found out about Tripoint Engineering in Canoga Park, CA. They are absolutely incredible and I cannot recommend them highly enough. They fixed the engine seal and o-ring and told me that they think the oil pan is fine. Then I got the news about what else is wrong with the car that the Mazda dealership did not find.

1. Rear bushings and some other parts of the suspension need to be replaced (this was no surprise, I already figured this after driving it home on my bumpy street the first day).
2. Intake manifold gasket needs to be replaced.
3. Left motor mount broken.
4. EGR Valve needs to be replaced.
5. The engine has some worn oil seals causing some white smoke which will need to be replaced at some point.

My warranty should cover everything except the motor mount & EGR valve repair. That is assuming that I get that seals and gaskets option (fingers crossed). The other weird thing about the car is that the previous owner had a second oil cooler added. Tripoint does not now why and at this point we just gonna keep it on.

At first I was extremely bummed and thought I bought a lemon. Mark at Tripoint reassured me that these were all normal repairs for a car with 78k miles. He just couldn't believe that the dealership inspection did not find these problems. The ironic thing is that I am glad thay didn't because I would have to pay to have all these items fixed first before I could get coverage. The tricky thing will be to figure out when and in what order should I fix first. I will definitely keep an eye on my oil levels in the mean time. I would love to get everything that my warranty covers fixed the first day, but I don't know if thats the smartest idea.

Anyway, I will you keep you posted on what happens. I realize it could have been much worse and there are people with a lot worse stories than mine. Regardless any advice or encouragement would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-25-01, 02:04 AM
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Let the modding begin . Without voiding the warranty, of course. I bought my R1 almost three yrs (and 40k miles) ago totally stock. Check out my sig; she ain't stock anymore :p !

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Old 08-25-01, 02:14 AM
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what deler did you buy your white 94 from? i believe i looked at the same one but i decided to buy mine from a private seller.
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Old 08-25-01, 08:50 AM
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GeorgeB, congrats on your purchase. Yes, thos are fairly typical repairs. Here's why:

The left motor mount is the one that receives the most punishment from engine load. Mine went out at 50,000 miles.

The intake manifold gasket is typical since Mazda originally used a cheap paper gasket. Mazda DID learn their lesson, though, and the replacement gasket is a high quality metal one.

The EGR valve is just one of those silly things that you NEVER know when it will go :p

The bushings, well, you know already the FD is one of the best handling cars on the road. Our bushings receieve a LOT of punishment because of this. At less than 70k miles, I've already had to replace my rear toe-links, one rear lower control arm, one front lower control arm bushing, and the front sway bar links bushings.

Hey, race cars are in constant maintanence

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Old 08-25-01, 10:23 AM
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Thanks for the replies, it is greatly appreciated.

The dealer I bought the car from is called Prestige Motor Imports in Orange County. In regard to the Intake Manifold Gasket, Tripoint told me the exact same thing. They said mine was the original paper version and the new ones were metal and once replaced, should not have to be replaced again.

My biggest concern at this point is the worn engine oil seals. That will be an expensive repair due to the labor. Hopefully, the warranty will cover that.

I do have another question. When I bought the car the dealer put on a very nice set of 18" rims (I do not know what make at the moment) and new Pirelli tires. He had swapped them from a Silver RX-7 sold the week prior. I guess the buyer of that car wanted the original stock rims so he swapped them from my car. The dealer said that if I did not want the 18" rims and tires he would swap them from another RX-7 in stock and even give me a few hundred dollars. I like the way the rims look but I want want what's best for the car. Tripoint told me the rims and tires pose no problems to the car. Does anyone have any opinions on this?
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Old 08-25-01, 11:47 AM
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You better take your rims off and get some stock ones if the place you got the warranty comes out to inspect the car to see if they will honor your claim. I guarantee that they will say that you voided the warranty by putting unwanted stress on the motor with the bigger rims and tires. It has happened and the place that I am getting my warranty through said the same thing.
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Old 08-25-01, 03:24 PM
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If I remember correctly 94 is also the year that Mazda made the RX-7 R2. But I don't know how many were produced and in what colors. But what I do know is that the R2 came with 2 oil coolers stock. Should have also came with a strut tower brace and a bit of a revised suspension. But I don't know if they were produced with leather or a sunroof either. I'm pretty sure they weren't though.
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Old 08-25-01, 04:20 PM
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I totally agree about the rims and the potential to give me problems with the warranty. I was warned about this by Tripoint and will decide what to do Monday morning when I pick up the car.

I never heard of the '94 R2 model with the 2 oil coolers. That is very interesting, I'll look into that. I assumed mine was the touring model due to the sunroof, Bose acoustic wave stereo & leather interior.
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Old 08-25-01, 09:49 PM
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Adding the 2nd oil cooler on a touring is also another insurance method since it helps keep the engine oil cooler.

Exactly WHAT oil seals on the engine did they tell you are bad? Is the oil coming from the exhaust gases or from the engine bay?

EVERY R1/R2s came with dual oil coolers. The R1/R2s NEVER had an automatic tranny, which is why they through the 2nd engine oil cooler in there. The automatic bases and tourings have a tranny oil cooler on the front right of the car.

Why don't you just call the extended warrany company? Tell them you are planning to put 18" wheels on the FD, and you would like to know if, by any chance, that would void the warranty. There is ALWAYS a way of asking a question without looking guilty .
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Old 08-25-01, 10:35 PM
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Have fun with your FD! Plan on joining FD guys in about a year.

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Old 08-26-01, 12:47 AM
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"If I remember correctly 94 is also the year that Mazda made the RX-7 R2."

Correct me if I am wrong but i thought mazda also made the R2 in 93 ...and none of the R1s' or R2s' came with leather, sunroof, cruise control, or rear wiper..and they also didnt have the bose acoustic wave thing did they? I am pretty sure I am right i just dont want to sound cocky or anything like that. They had a stiffer suspension, front and rear sway bars, and two oil coolers. Might have left something out on the "have" list.

Well
later
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Old 08-26-01, 01:38 AM
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Now you got me really curious. For whats its worth, let me reiterate the options of my FD:

1994 White RX-7
Automatic Transmission
Leather Interior
Sunroof
Cruise Control
Rear Wiper
Bose Acoustic Wave Stereo System
According to my mechanic, 2 oil coolers

As I mentioned earlier, I just assumed it was the standard touring edition. Any other ideas on what model I have would be appreciated.

I do have a question in regard to the stereo. The CD player doesn't work, so I am thinking about replacing the stereo. If I replace the original bottom receiver/cassette unit with a new cd/receiver unit, can I purchase a din size compartment with a cover like I have seen in many FD's to put where the original CD player was? If so, where can I get it?
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Old 08-26-01, 02:34 AM
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since it's an auto... it's the tranny cooler. If you do have problems with the warenty company, I'm sure there are several SOCAL7'S members who would let you borrow their spare sets of rims.

For the stero, your going to have to replace more than just the head unit. the bose speakers use non standard components. If you just plug them into a new head unit you could damage them.

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Old 08-26-01, 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by spigot
[B]since it's an auto... it's the tranny cooler....[B]
Yep. Its a good thing I mentioned it. Otherwise, you never would have told us it was an auto :p. At least now you know why that 2nd oil cooler is in there. It's for the tranny.

Crutchfield sells a kit which includes a high to low lever converter for replacing the factory headunit and a wiring harness. There IS one thing that the insutructions don't tell you, though. The factory headunit has a pin on its harness which, when turned on, the pin activates a relay which then sends power to the Bose amps. The solution is to simply bridge a wire from the ignition power pin on the harness over to that pin which goes to the relay. This is the most COMMON reason why 90% of the world thinks the Bose speakers do not work with aftermarket headunits. They slap in a radio, they see the speakers don't get power, and so they automatically assume the speakers sucks since they now think they only work with the factory headunit. I've certainly done it, and a few other guys around here have done it.

When you get to this stage, let me know, and I will post a wiring diagram of the Bose system, so you will know exactly which wire it is and what wire does what.

You CAN buy a pocket compartment which came with the R1/R2s to fill the empty din space, but I figured I'd might as well make the best use of that space and I put a few gauges in there.


Last edited by Flybye; 08-26-01 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 08-30-01, 04:42 AM
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I thought it was because the standard car/home audio speakers are of the 4Ohm type, and the Bose are around 1Ohm.

Excerpt from Steves site http://www.scuderiaciriani.com/rx7/stereo_upgrade.html

"
BOSE generally uses speakers with an impedence of roughly 1 ohm, compared to the common 4-ohm rating on most widely available components. The BOSE speaker places far less load on the amplifier, allowing lower power output to be used to achieve a given volume level. A BOSE power spec would be rated at the lower impedence, but if connected to a 4-ohm speaker, the actual output would drop significantly. If BOSE speakers are connected to a conventional amp, it'll most likely destroy the speaker AND fry the amp. Most conventional amps can't handle the 1-ohm load. DO NOT TEST THIS THEORY UNLESS YOU HAVE DISPOSABLE COMPONENTS!
"

Matt
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Old 08-30-01, 06:59 AM
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Yes, the Bose speakers in the FD DO run at 1ohm, but that's why they have 1ohm amplifiers running them. It's not the factory headunit that runs at 1ohm. The amplifiers don't care how many ohms they get. Once the signal is processed through the amplifier, it is converted to 1ohm. So yes, you can connect a 4ohm radio to the amplifiers, and it will exit the amplifier at 1ohm right to the 1ohm speakers.

The factory headunit has NO amplifiers in it. The center speaker, the door speakers, and the rear sub all have their own independent amp.
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