3rd Generation Specific (1993-2002) 1993-2002 Discussion including performance modifications and Technical Support Sections.

FAQ for 3rd Gen & other useful links

Old 04-06-02, 09:55 PM
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Exclamation FAQ for 3rd Gen & other useful links

Links for the future FD owners..



You will see that those 2 links above will cover most of the basics of the FD...model differences, reliability, ETC ETC.

Please dont forget to search the archive...lots of useful info there too before posting a new thread..such as :
Boost issues
Model differences
as well as performance products that other forum members have..

Now the description of this section states it is for performance modifications and technical discussions...so please resist the urge to post links to things like EBAY making fun of someone's car...no matter how terrible, or other trivial dribble Please use the appropiate sections when making threads....

Body kits parts belong in the interior/exterior section
Wheels and suspension belong over there...
Please check the 20B section if you are a newbie wanting to put a 20B in your FD

Lets's all try to use a little common sense....

Johnny FDMod

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*New to the site? Looking to buy an RX-7? Read these, you'll find the info you're looking for more quickly than waiting for people to reply to a new question:

see also: Buying an RX-7 (below),

**Useful websites, worthy of special mention**

5th Gear Synchro Fix:

20B info:


See section T for Tuning for info on Air Fuel Ratios

ABS pump rebuild

ABS module repair procedure: https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generation-specific-1993-2002-16/93-diagnostic-module-rebuild-807185/

ABS Brake Upgrade to later 4 channel H12 specs

Advice for new owners, suggested modifications, etc... look for the long post by jimlab:

Aftermarket gauge install into the stock dash cluster:

Air Separation Tank / AST / Coolant Expansion Tank:
Often fails due to heat and pressure. Many people replace them or remove them from the system.

Air Temp sensor - replacement fast reacting Intake Air Temp sensor (IAT)

Air Temp sensor testing compared to stock - replacement fast reacting Intake Air Temp sensor (IAT)

Airbox mod (thanks adam c)

Air to Water ( A2W ) Intercooler How to:

Automotive Electronics info, Toyota-based, but excellent basic information site for learning about how ECUs work, ABS, etc...:

Auto to Manual Transmission swap:

Auxiliary Injection:

AWS Removal: Accelerated Warm-Up System is what causes your car to idle at ~3000 RPM's when it's super-cold. This heats up the cat converter(s) quickly, but can't be good for the engine.

[Rear] Axle replacement

Antenna replacement options - Miata


Battery relocation guide (passenger storage bin) w/ photos:

Battery Replacement : Hawker Odyssey PC680 , or Optima size 51R

Blower motor (HVAC) restoration

Boost Control - "free" Power FC single turbo (and probably nonsequential) boost control by arghx (Raymond Herchenroder)

Boost Controller comparisons:

Boost Gauge Install:

Boost Leak:

Boost Restrictor Pills: pill vs. nipple restrictor:

Bose stereo: how to add aux input:

Brake Bleeding: get rid of air bubbles for improved pedal feel and fade resistance.

Brake Upgrade - ABS Brake Upgrade to later 4 channel H12 specs

Brake Caliper Rebuild and Repaint:
Rears: https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generati...en-fd-1099583/

Brake Job: how to change pads on all corners.

Brake Job: how to change pads and rotors on all corners.

[Manual] Brake setup on Damian's race car

Buying an RX-7 / Buyers Guide / Used Car Shopping:


Check Engine Light on non-US models:

Clutch, how to release throwout bearing:

Check Pedal wear and failure

Clutch Switch fix:

Coilover Installation:

Compression Test:

Coolant Burping Tool/ Radiator Cap Funnel

Coolant hose part numbers: replace all the rubber coolant hoses in your system.

Coolant Level Sensor troubleshooting - best thread

Cooling / Radiator Fan Control information:

Cooling System - AST and waterpump Cap problem

Cooling Fan Controls - by arghx (Raymond Herchenroder)

Cooling Fan Control system - DaleClark's all about fan control and the fan system

Cooling fan modification. Lets you run your fans when you want to run them:

Cooling fan design / theory:

Cooling system thermoswitch replacement:

Cooling system diagram:

Cooling system info:

Cooling system pressure test procedure:

Cooling system Thermostat info by arghx (Raymond Herchenroder)

Coolant vs Evans (one of many threads on Evans Coolant. This one w/ useful info by arghx)

Cruise control- how it works and how to troubleshoot it. By Dale Clark


Dashpot : dampens the throttle stop, for smoother on/off throttle transition, less backfiring, bucking

Design / Styling Concept: Wu-Huang Chin, artist whose design was chosen for the FD3S's styling
http://cardesignerart.com/products.aspx?ID=1&f=artistID&v=1&t=i&ttl=artistNa me&tmp=2&cID=C37&openID=C37

Differential: Stock, Aftermarket, and Custom info:

Differential Rebuild:

Differential Bushing Install:

Double Throttle removal:

Downpipe Install:

Downpipe / Exhaust Gasket issues:

Downpipe studs & nuts: factory part numbers, also socket-head screw sizes:


ECU Codes: how to pull and interpret diagnostic codes

ECU diagram:

EGR Blockoff: to simplify, reduce weight, and prevent possible catastrophic failure due to malfunctioning EGR valve (note: many japanese RX-7's don't use EGR valves, including the 99+ models):

EGR Switch Bypass: the EGR switch is the sensor that causes a check engine light ( code 16 ) when it doesn't detect the EGR valve opening and closing. This sensor tends to fail from heat, and give a false alarm even when the EGR valve is working properly.

EGR Test: ensure that the Exhaust Gas Recirculation valve is functioning properly:

EGT Threads

EGT - Dual digital EGTs

Emissions / Smog Test Info:

Emissions / Smog Info
http://www.zeroglabs.com/rx7/emissions.htm (denatured alcohol , electric air pump)

Engine Components, weighed individually (tons of photos):

Engine Housing / Rotor information, weights, interchangeability:

Engine rebuild (DIY style):

Engine removal & installation:

Exhaust system pics/sound/video clips:

Emission Controls - article and thread by arghx (Raymond Herchenroder)

high flow metal cats vs traditional ceramic cats explained - article and thread by arghx (Raymond Herchenroder)

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Old 11-11-04, 09:56 AM
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Factory Service Manuals (FSM):

Fan Switch Mod: run your radiator fans anytime you want, for better cooling at low speeds

Fan Control system - DaleClark's all about fan control and the fan system

Front Mount Intercooler Installation Guide (thanks TracyRX7)

Fuel Filter:
Change the stock one every 15k miles, to be safe. Helps regain a little smoothness and MPG:
https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generation-specific-1993-2002-16/fuel-filter-replacement-upgrade-pics-272305/ more pics here
Dale Clark's 20 minute fuel filter change:

Fuel Hose - Teflon vs. rubber and other good insights

Fuel Leaks or Odor:

Fuel Pulsation Damper Replacement:

Fuel Pump Installation:

Fuel Pump Rewiring - Dale Clark's thread:

Fuel Pump Rewiring - Ihor's thread:

Fuel Starvation fixes (improvements to stock tank baffling):

Fuel System Troubleshooting:

Full Exhausts (what you need to know):


Gauge Cluster Repair (Tach, Speedo, etc):

Gauge Installation info, which wires to tap for illumination:

Gauges / Stock Water Temp Gauge Linearization:

Gauge Install: Oil Temp, Water Temp, Boost, DIN panel mount:


Headlight motor mod / sleepy eyes

Helicoil How-To (repair damaged threads)


Idle adjustment, fix idle / hesitation problems Throttle Position Sensor ( TPS )

Intake Air Temp sensor - replacement fast reacting Intake Air Temp sensor (IAT)

Intake Air Temp sensor testing compared to stock - replacement fast reacting Intake Air Temp sensor (IAT)

Intercooler theory:

Intercooler/Front mount installation guide (thanks TracyRX7):

Intercooler/Stock mount installation guide (thanks Gen2n3):

Interior Plastics - fixing and restoring broken interior parts

Ignition - HKS Twin Power vs MSD 6A etc - by arghx (Raymond Herchenroder)

Apexi Power FC - new PFC idle sticking problem solving strategy (ISC installed) by arghx (Raymond Herchenroder)


Japanese '99 Rat's Nest solenoid vacuum " black box " info and photos:

JDM aftermarket suppliers:

JDM Side Marker Lights

Converting to LED turn signal lights - modification and how to by Dale Clark


Malloy Mazda , Ray Crowe is the parts manager, gives great prices to RX-7 owners, quick shipping:
(888) 533-3400 , (703) 490-8170 , fax: (703) 490-3864 , [email protected]

Manual Boost controller / Greddy Profec B II install & review:

Manual Boost controller Installation:

Midpipes and boost control:


Non-Sequential Turbo modification:
more pics here:


Odometer repair:

Oil Cooler cleaning / reconditioning:

Oil Cooler DIY Dual Installation:

Oil Cooler: Installing R1/R2 dual coolers:

Oil Filter Recommendations: K&N , Purolator PureOne, Mobil1

Oil injectors: different designs 93 vs 94-95:

Oil Pan Leak fix:

Oil system diagram:

Oil viscosity information (very readable):

O2 Sensors (OEM):

OMP (oil metering pump) Declassified threads by ttmott

OMP - Keep it?


Paint Codes:

Parts: buy them here
Malloy Mazda , Ray Crowe is the parts manager, gives great prices to RX-7 owners, quick shipping:
(888) 533-3400 , (703) 490-8170 , fax: (703) 490-3864 , [email protected]

Parts: Japan vendors:

Poor Man's Non-Sequential Mod:

Power Plant Frame Reinforcement:

Power Steering Pump removal: (thanks jimlab)

Power Steering Rack Rebuild:

Apexi Power FC - HOW TO: Make your untuned PFC basemap safer/idle better (no Datalogit needed) by arghx (Raymond Herchenroder)

[Koyo] Radiator Install how to with pics

Rear Axle replacement

Rear Differential bushings how-to:

Rear Suspension Pillow Ball replacement, fix clunking in rear:

Recommended modifications:

Reliability Mods:
https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-gen-archives-73/need-questions-answered-experienced-3rd-gen-owners-27053/ << read the post by jimlab

Reliability mods / $1000 to spend

Reliability - How to achieve by Fritz Flynn:

Reliability mods - Water Injection - howard coleman's thread on Water/Alcohol Injection


[JDM] Side Marker Lights

Sleek light kits: RE Amemiya vs. C-West vs. East Bear: (thanks nickpapagiorgio)

Smog Info / Passing Emissions:

Spark plug photos, with mileage and analysis:

Spark Plug Replacement:

Starting issue - click/click/start - Security Relay

Suspension bushings removal using hydraulis press: (thanks jimlab)

Suspension bushings removal using hydraulis press w/ VIDEO: (thanks RaceDriver7)

Suspension setup / mods: (according to the noted FD suspension guru Howard Coleman)

Suspension - aftermarket heim joint toe links bushing/bearing replacement


Sequential turbos demystified - by arghx (Raymond Herchenroder)

Updated Tail light harness from Mazda

Throttle Position Sensor ( TPS ) adjustment, fix idle / hesitation problems:

Toe links - aftermarket heim joint toe links bushing/bearing replacement

Turbocharger Overview:

Turbocharger ID info: (FD twins vs. Cosmo twins)

Turbo Rebuild w/ pics:

Turbo FAQ's, including sourxe of oil in intercooler / intake pipes:

Turbo Solenoids - Custom replacement solenoid system

Turbo System troubleshooting (Stock Sequential): (thanks spurvo)

...at high altitude: (thanks LAracer)

...with higher than stock boost:

Testing Solenoids - How to w/ pics

[Sequential] Turbo troubleshooting - Testing the vacuum and pressure tanks

Testing the Turbo Control Actuator - video

Thermostat - Another reason to use OEM thermostats by arghx (Raymond Herchenroder)

Tuning - Apexi Power FC - HOW TO: Make your untuned PFC basemap safer/idle better (no Datalogit needed) by arghx (Raymond Herchenroder)

Tuning - How pulsewidth/duty control works - by arghx (Raymond Herchenroder)

Idle Tuning - new PFC idle sticking problem solving strategy (ISC installed) by arghx (Raymond Herchenroder)

Tuning - Stock Mazda Fuel & Ignition Maps by hwnd

Tuning - Comparing target Air Fuel Ratios (AFR) betw/ Apexi Power FC maps to turbo piston maps by arghx (Raymond Herchenroder)


Vacuum hose diagrams:

Vacuum Diagrams(Stock, Simplified Sequential, Non-sequential, Single Turbo - thanks twomucboost4u

Vacuum hose removal tips:

Vacuum hose replacement how to: (thanks Rated R1)

Vacuum hose: solenoid ( rats nest ) removal, lots of photos:
DEAD LINK>>>> http://www.face2faces.co.uk/RX7/howto/ratsnest1.htm

Vacuum hose reliabilty test (scientific experiment): Viton vs. Neoprene vs. Silicone (thanks TracyRX7)

Vacuum Hose info, tricks and tips - DaleClark's guide to vacuum lines and your FD

V8 Swap info:


Wastegate Actuator adjustment / modification:

Wastegate Porting:

Water Injection - howard coleman's thread on Water/Alcohol Injection

Water Pump - RE-medy upgrade waterpump from Mazmart (Rick Engman)

Water temperature gauge sender/sensor location. Thermostat housing & Throttle Body coolant line:

Water temperature gauge linearization:

Wheels: (stock 'light' vs 'reinforced' version)

Wheel Fitment:

Window Switch repair

Wiper linkage rebuild

Power Window maintenance - motor, tracks etc.

[Front] Wiring Harness - pics and annotations

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Welcome to the 3rd Generation section of the RX7club. The 1993-1995 RX-7 has been available for over 10 years now, and people have been discussing it on the internet for nearly that long. The internet can be an excellent source of information, but finding that information is not always easy.

This Frequently Asked Questions page is a list of answers to many of the basic questions that many people have asked. Please read this entire page carefully, it is a very thorough introduction to the 1993-1995 model year RX-7. You can also use the Find ( [Ctrl]-[F] ) function of your browser to quickly find any specific topic or keyword you are looking for on this page. For greater detail, use the forum-wide Search tool to read past discussions. You can learn more about how to use the forum features here: https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generation-specific-1993-2002-16/how-use-forum-tutorial-series-614002/

Also included is a list of useful links regarding common modifications and other noteworthy topics that have been discussed in the past. Feel free to PM a moderator with links to other threads that you think should be included. Thanks.
To PM a 3rd Gen forum moderator:
Mahjik (Send PM)
dgeesaman (Send PM)

FD FAQ, version 0.6

D. Geesaman, 11/13/04, with contributions from Jimlab, Jonski, Adam_C, and Rated R1.
Edited, 10/20/05

1) Why did I get flamed in my 3rd gen forum post?

2) Why am I being told to 'search'?

3) What is a SMIC/DP/MP/CB/<acronym>?

4) Is the FD a good daily driver? How reliable are FDs?

5) What should I look for when buying an FD?

6) This will be my first car.

7) How much does it cost?

8) Which versions of the FD have turbos?

9) What is an R1? What is a touring?

10) Should I get a 94 or 95 since I heard they are better than 93s?

11) How many FDs were made?

12) Can I import an FD into the US from overseas?

13) What does RX-7 stand for?

14) What does FD stand for?

15) How fast is a stock FD?

16) What is the stock horsepower? What does it weigh?

17) What mods do I need to make 300hp? 400hp? 500hp?

18) What mods do I need to make 12s? 11s? sub-11s? (in the quarter mile)

19) How hard is it to put a 3 rotor / 20b in an FD?

20) What about a 4 rotor?

21) Is a 6 speed transmission an option?

22) How much Nitrous Oxide can it handle?

23) What about the RX-8 engine (Renesis)? Isn't the RX-8 is an upgrade of the RX-7?

24) When does an engine need rebuilt? I heard FD engines only last 60k, is this true?

25) What does a rebuild cost?

26) Is an original engine better than a rebuilt? Does a rebuilt engine indicate the car is a lemon?

27) If running lean is such a problem, should I add an Air/Fuel Ratio gauge?

28) What should the compression be?

29) What's the best BOV?

30) What's the loudest/quietest/best exhaust?

31) How do I turn up the boost?

32) Can I work on this car myself? What manual is best?

33) Which oil should I use?

34) How should I drive it? How do I maintain it?

35) How does a rotary engine work, exactly?

Welcome to The RX7Club 3rd Gen Forum:

1) Why did I get flamed in my 3rd gen forum post?

Four common reasons:

1) You raised an issue that was discussed many times in the past. Redundant threads cluttering the forums take visibility away from threads about new subjects. Members on this forum are expected to educate themselves as much as possible BEFORE starting a new thread. Use this FAQ, the links above, and the forum search tool as much as possible before posting new threads. If you don’t have the patience to find your answers by searching, then our experiences with FDs suggest this isn’t a good car for you. The first page of the 3rd Gen forum is a very busy place, and one day when you really need help you’ll appreciate that your question isn’t being bumped off by unnecessary threads.

2) You aren’t writing in clear English. The problem is not people who speak English as their second language (don’t be shy if you're not good with English!). The problem is lazy English speakers who choose not to spell words correctly, use complete sentences, and break their text into paragraphs. If you want serious expert responses, don't write like a child.

3) Your subject line was inaccurate or belongs in a different forum. Don’t put to get more attention for your question about a squeaky hatch. Put the main question in the subject line – after doing a few searches you’ll come to appreciate why the subject line is important.

4) Displaying a lack of understanding AND unwillingness to learn for yourself. Turbo rotaries are much different from other sports cars, and there is much to learn. All of us went through this learning process, so we’ll be helpful if you are genuinely trying. Continue reading this FAQ and the links in it, and you’ll be very well on your way.

2) Why am I being told to 'search'?

Before creating a new post, check to see if the 'bible' reference sites cover it, and next run a forum search. The big sites include: Scuderia Ciriani, Rob Robinette’s site, Max Cooper’s Site, Derek Vanditmar’s Turbo Troubleshooting site, Dave Disney’s site, and TurboRX-7. There are other FAQs, too: FAQ 1, FAQ 2, FAQ 3, FAQ 4. Most posters refer to them, and expect the same from others. With a little practice, obtaining answers this way is much faster than relying on a new thread. It takes time for people to write responses, so be respectful and do your best to search even if "I don't have time for a search". Use the words and abbreviations that get used here: so, use “downpipe” or “precat” instead of “Primary Catalyst”.

3) What is a SMIC/DP/MP/CB/<acronym>?

Refer to the glossary section at the end of this FAQ. Or do a search. (Tip: if the term is only 2 letters, add an asterisk: ‘DP*’)

Considering a third-gen RX-7?

4) Is the FD a good daily driver? How reliable are FDs?

Not really and not very. Fuel costs are high due to low gas mileage and the requirement of premium grade gasoline (91+ (PON) octane in the US, or 95 RON). The interior doesn't fit much cargo and is limited to one passenger. The low stance can cause other cars to not see you, and you won’t easily see around them. They are a poor choice for driving in bad weather. Most forum regulars either use a daily driver car or have some alternate transportation in case the FD needs work. You do not want be tempted or forced to drive your FD with an undiagnosed problem.

This car is as reliable as you make it. A stock engine, with reliability mods, up-to-date maintenance, driven properly, will be fairly reliable. But modifications or neglect by past owners will generally reduce reliability.

5) What should I look for when buying an FD?

There are at least two versions of the unofficial FD buyer’s guide: version 1, version 2. The condition of FDs overall has declined since those guides were written. Take care buying a car with broken/missing parts - interior panels, door panels, floor mats, switches, window and door seals, floor mats, seats, wiring harnesses are among the most expensive or scarce original replacement parts.

6) This will be my first car.

First, please respect your vehicle. The number of FDs is steadily dwindling, and new drivers will subject their car to abuse both by accident and by laziness. FDs do not handle such abuse gracefully. But the more important point is that an FD is not a beginner's car. The low weight, turbocharged engine, rear-wheel drive require the driver to respond very quickly and accurately. Young drivers (we all were new drivers once) will make mistakes. This is arguably one of the worst cars to 'learn' in. It takes very little effort to make a deadly mistake in this car. If you are starting out and insist on power and performance, we suggest a 1st or 2nd gen RX-7 or an AWD sports car like an Evo or WRX.

Also get an insurance quote first - the insurance industry is well aware of this track record and you find insurance rates reflect that. High risk drivers will pay.

If you intend to do any high speed driving on public roads, even deserted ones, please review this thread: https://www.rx7club.com/showthread.p...98#post4454598

Last edited by dgeesaman; 10-04-09 at 07:57 AM.
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7) How much does it cost?

The additional costs of an FD are not just high compared to all cars, but even to most sports cars in the same price class. Be sure to consider the price of the car, additional insurance, maintenance, gas, reliability modifications. As of August 2004, stock FDs in good running condition sell for $11-18k US. Even with a stock setup, the annual maintenance can easily exceed $1k/year, and modifications add much more. Owners should ideally have extra money available in case of a major repair. Even with these costs, the sheer performance of the FD makes a great value, which is why they are still used by many for autocross or track racing.

8) Which versions of the FD have turbos?

All FDs left the factory with twin turbos. These run at 10psi in sequential mode and can be felt from 2k all the way to redline, especially from 4500 up, when both turbos are operating. Any single turbo installations you see are aftermarket.

9) What is an R1? What is a touring?

Different option packages. The R1 was the sport version in 1993, and the R2 was the equivalent sport version from 94-95. R1/R2s have different suspension, synthetic suede seat covers, an extra oil cooler, front lip and rear spoiler, were not available with automatic transmissions, and more. The Touring (similar to the PEP and PEG) has conveniences like Bose stereo, foglights, leather seats, moonroof or sunroof. The Base model could have some of these options added. It is possible to mix/match these optional components yourself, so when shopping it can be tricky to identify the option package. The option package is not in the VIN code, however you may use the VIN code to request the build sheet from Mazda which contains details of the original factory configuration. See the links for detailed info.

10) Should I get a 94 or 95 since I heard they are better than 93s?

The 94s and 95s have some improvements that were not in the 93s, however today the differences are not signficant compared to maintenance history, repairs, and condition. There are 3 recalls on some of the 1993 models, contact your dealer to find if your 1993 car has had them performed. If not, get them done immediately – Mazda will perform them for free. Generally, the differences are minor and are overshadowed by issues of condition, maintenance, mileage, and aging. If you insist on having a later year, expect to pay more and search harder.

11) How many FDs were made?


Here are the numbers of RX-7s sold in the United States through 1995.

Model 1992 1993 1994 1995
Base . 763 1245 392 153
R-model 1107 1015 275 182
Touring 2991 2734 1010 648
P.E.G. 0 53 533 416

· P.E.G. = "Popular Equipment Group" (Formerly called "PEP")
· The 1992 vehicles are considered to be part of the 1993 US model year sales.

US importation declined quickly after the 1993 year due to reduced demand blamed largely on the cost and reliability issues. In 1996, the new OBD-II emissions requirements and lagging US sales effectively ended its importation, although non-US markets saw the 3rd Gen up to 2002.

Some information about non-US production is here.

For information about other generations and versions offered in non-US markets, this wikipedia article, this website and this website, and this thread, this thread, and this thread offer good information.

12) Can I import an FD into the US from overseas?

Not legally, that any of us are aware, but it depends on the state and the intended use of the vehicle. Some owners have managed to import a 92-95 model and get the cars registered and insured fraudulently, but considering there is essentially no difference it is generally not worthwhile. In other words, it requires lying on federal documents. It would be extremely expensive to legally import a later version of this car for many reasons, much more than the cost of the cars themselves. If you see a LHD FD with 96+ trim on US roads, it’s probably a 93-95 with imported parts added later.

For more information, read this thread: https://www.rx7club.com/forum/showthread.php?t=719206
another thread, updated to 10/09: https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generation-specific-1993-2002-16/imported-fd-legal-post-up-if-you-got-one-870611/
US DOT/NHTSA Importation Regulations: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/
US Customs Importation Regulations: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/cl...utomobiles.xml
US EPA Emissions Regulations: http://www.epa.gov/OMS/imports/quiktext.htm

13) What does RX-7 stand for?

According to Moray Callum of Mazda, RX officially stands for Rotary Sports, and always has.

14) What does FD stand for?

FD is a nickname for the 3rd generation RX-7. It comes from the chassis code FD3S, also included in the VIN. Likewise, the first generation RX-7 is commonly called the FB, and the second generation goes as FC3S (FC). FD is also the 4th and 5th characters of the VIN. (JM1FD…)

Performance and Modifications:

15) How fast is a stock FD?

Magazine reviewers published 0-60 times from 4.9s to 5.4s. Published quarter mile times vary from 13.8 to 14.1s at about 100mph. For automatic transmission-equipped models, the times are a few tenths slower in both tests. Mazda did not officially publish these numbers.

16) What is the stock horsepower? What does it weigh?

255HP, 217ft-lb at the flywheel. This is about 220Hp at the rear wheels (DynoJet dyno). Modified cars are always quoted in rear wheel horsepower, and remember that this rating differs depending on the dyno used.

The FD weights are as follows:
Base, 5-speed		 2,789 lb
Base, Auto			 2,857 lb
R1/R2, 5-speed		 2,800 lb
Touring/PEP, 5-speed 2,862 lb 
Touring/PEP, Auto	 2,923 lb
For more detailed performance specifications, see here.

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17) What mods do I need to make 300hp? 400hp? 500hp?

Since stock power levels already push the limits of the car, begin with maintenance items: fuel filter, tranny and differential oil, spark plugs and wires, coolant change, injector cleaning, bleed brakes, replace fuel pulsation damper, coolant hoses, etc. Next, install reliability modifications (alternate list) to correct weaknesses in the factory design: all-aluminum radiator, downpipe, aluminum AST or AST elimination, vacuum hose job, boost gauge, coolant temp gauge, modify cooling fans by thermoswitch replacement or manual control, and others. Finally, it is time to add power mods. FDs respond to power modifications and tuning but can’t handle more than a couple bolt-on power mods until fuel, boost levels, and re-tuning are considered. This advice isn’t meant to slow down your progress, but to ensure you don’t destroy your car. It’s happened many times before, and with modified engines pushing the limits of the stock engine systems, the reliability mods become necessities. See this thread for further info.

i) 300HP can be achieved with some bolt-on mods and piggy-back ECU tuning. For example, Pettit Racing offers a +60hp package for under $1500. M2 Performance has a 290HP kit for $2000, and 315HP kit for $3500. 300hp already exceeds the stock ECU’s fuel maps, so the list includes a remapped ECU as well as intake, exhaust, and intercooler upgrades. Any similar set of quality bolt-on will yield similar performance. Any power beyond this point is difficult to pass emissions testing.

ii) 400HP – At this point, it gets tougher to keep the power on the road, so upgraded tires and suspension should also be considered. One fellow planned his path to 400hp in advance to be $10k plus installation time. This list of power mods includes full exhaust, intake, upgraded turbos, reliability mods, upgraded fuel and ignition system, engine porting, standalone engine computer and wideband O2 sensor, clutch, intercooler and tuning. Auxiliary injection would make sense at this point to improve reliability.

iii) 500HP – See if you can afford 400 first. Tens of thousands have been spent to get and remain in this range. Don’t expect your engine to last long. Update: 500hp still isn't cheap, but with auxiliary injection engine life is greatly improved over past high HP setups.

This excellent site is a compilation of modified cars and their dyno performance.

18) What mods do I need to make 12s? 11s? sub-11s?

12s: 300rwhp with drag radials or slick tires, skilled driver, and good conditions can go sub-13s.

11s: 350rwhp with slick tires, very skilled driver, and good conditions. More info here.

10s or lower: Get into 11s first, add slicks, single turbo, drivetrain upgrades, and a driver with outstanding launching ability. FDs with this configuration are generally not streetable.

19) How hard is it to put a 3 rotor / 20b in an FD?

It is not a bolt-in swap. 3 rotor engines were produced by Mazda for the Mazda Cosmo luxury car. It’s called the 20b because it has 2.0L total displacement and it was never sold in the US. The engines are imported and installed in an FD with significant work, including modification to the firewall or a custom engine subframe. Many systems require modification, and much of the installation and tuning is manual labor. The simple fact is a 3-rotor motor is not expensive by itself, but the installation and tuning is. 3-rotor FDs require a budget exceeding $35k, not including the car. The good news is that a 3-rotor creates significantly more torque and horsepower than a 2 rotor. If you’re serious, and have the funding and time, start here.

20) What about a 4 rotor?

It’s a more challenging project than a 3-rotor because the engines hardly exist. The only 4 rotor engines in existence exist as racing engines (used in the 1992 Lemans-winning 787b race car) or custom fabrications. The engine eccentric shaft is extremely difficult (costly) to make in a 4-rotor configuration, plus custom intake and exhaust manifolds are required. Budgets for 4-rotors substantially exceed 3 rotor projects, and so only a handful of 4-rotor cars exist. Here is a link that describes a bare-bones 4-rotor engine, and another link with some component prices.

21) Is a 6 speed transmission an option?

There are no drop-in 6 speed transmission options for the FD. However, it should be known that 6 speed transmissions are becoming popular with new cars to improve highway fuel economy, not performance. An RX-8 6-speed transmission will not bolt up directly and is not designed for the torque of a modified or even stock FD. Because of the cost, limited advantages, and the fact that the stock gearbox generally works well, 6-speed upgrades remain uncommon. Differential final drive ratio and lower-ratio 5th gear are more practical drivetrain mods.

That said, the 6 speed upgrade options come in various configurations from HKS, Trust/GREX, G-Force, Guru, Quaife, Borg-Warner, and Hewland. Most use straight-cut gears and dog-box engagement. This results in more noise, harsher shifts, and more frequent servicing. These kits run from $3k to 15k and involve some modification for installation. Here is one example of an install.

22) How much Nitrous Oxide can it handle?

Usually not much. Nitrous Oxide can work in FDs the same way it does in piston engines, but due to the FD's sensitivity to tuning mistakes, very few use it. Nitrous Oxide can work best with a wet spray setup, where the additional fuel is injected with the NO. Most modded FDs skip Nitrous and focus on turbocharging improvements. Nitrous Oxide can also be very effective as an intercooler sprayer.

23) What about the RX-8's Renesis engine? Isn’t the RX-8 the upgraded version of the RX-7?

The RX-8 Renesis is a 1.3L normally-aspirated engine. It is basically a refined version of the FDs 13B-REW engine without turbochargers. Putting a stock Renesis into an FD would be a power loss, and putting a turbocharged Renesis into an FD would be much more expensive than modifying the 13B-REW and provide very little benefit. So it isn't very practical.

The RX-8 is not designed to be the same type of car as the RX-7. The RX-7 has more power, smaller weight and size, and only 2 seats. The RX-8 is normally aspirated, has 4 doors, and seats four – it is designed for more comfort and practicality while keeping sporty performance. The RX-8 is not the all-out performance car that the 3rd Gen RX-7 is.

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24) When does an engine need to be rebuilt? I heard FD engines only last 60k, is this true?

It needs rebuilt when the internal seals or components are damaged.
FD engines usually fail at one of these seals:
Apex seal - hard, spring loaded seal that separates the chambers of a rotor from each other. Often damaged by detonation, which is usually triggered by running lean under boost.
Corner seal - hard seal that fits at the ends of the each apex seal, helps separate the chambers of a rotor from each other.
Oil seal - Rubber O-ring that separates the chamber from oil flowing around the center of the rotor.
Coolant Seal - Rubber O-ring that separates the chamber from coolant flowing in passages in the rotor housing. Also called a water jacket.

Low compression indicates chamber-chamber leakage, either from overall wear or broken apex or corner seals. Broken apex seals cause the engine to suddenly run very rough and shaky with poor idle and little power. The car should be driven in this ‘limp mode’ as little as possible to avoid further damage to the engine internals and turbos. The most common cause of apex seal failure is detonation (from running too lean during boost), where the shock wave shatters the apex seals. This is sometimes referred to as 'grenading', 'blowing', or 'popping' your engine due to the sudden nature of this problem.

Symptoms of burnt coolant or oil in the exhaust, or combustion gases in the coolant can indicate damaged engine o-rings. A coolant pressure test is one test to detect this kind of failure. Overheating is the primary cause of o-ring failure, either by one overheat episode, or repeatedly driving the car too hard before it’s fully warmed up. Overheating can warp the housings, which exposes the coolant o-rings directly to combustion that breaks them down prematurely. Stock engines have had a history of coolant seal failure between 50-75k, probably because average owners were not careful enough with their treatment of the car, and because the stock temperature gauge does not provide a clear warning of overheating. Generally, the cooler the engine is run the longer it will last, and so most of the 'Reliability Mods' address cooling. Refer here for more info on the stock cooling system: https://www.rx7club.com/showthread.php?t=571088

In good hands, stock FD engines without modifications have lasted over 100k. However, FD motors will never last as long as older NA motors because turbochargers add heat to the engine. Boost and higher horsepower always reduce the life of the engine.

25) What does a rebuild cost?

The cost of a rebuild varies. Exchanging your engine core for a Mazda remanufactured unit will cost around $3000 plus labor. Rebuilding an engine with no warped or damaged hard parts may cost less than $1500, plus labor. It is possible for an experienced DIYer with proper tools, clean workspace, and patience. Having a rebuilder do the rebuild provides options for additional performance, ranging from $2k for a stock engine to $5k+ for a performance ported engine. Many owners recommend keeping a few thousand in the bank in case (or when) it happens.

26) Is a rebuilt engine weaker than original?

It depends how well the rebuild was done. New housings and rotors are generally out of budget or unavailable for rebuilds, so the longevity isn’t quite as good as new factory motors. Rebuilds done by DIYers generally do not last as long as professional rebuilds. Most cars currently on the market have a rebuilt engine or have stock engines with significant mileage. In both cases, a potential buyer should very carefully evaluate the car and have a compression test and coolant pressure test performed. For more detail, see here: https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generation-specific-1993-2002-16/oem-vs-rebuild-why-lifespan-difference-480766/

27) If running lean is such a problem, should I add an Air/Fuel Ratio gauge?

It's a good idea – but the FD requires a wideband oxygen sensor to get accuracy through the full range of AFRs. An economical alternative is an Exhaust Gas Temperature gauge – higher temperatures indicate leaner burn. The general consensus is that FD owners should start with a boost gauge, then water temp gauge, then maybe the EGT gauge. Keep in mind that none of these tools will allow you to avoid detonation like proper tuning does.

28) What should the compression be?

Compression test results are reported as six numbers: 3 per rotor. (This is not the same as the compression ratio). Higher, more equal numbers are best. The original Mazda specs dictate 8.5+ kg/cm² as new (121+ psi), with 6.0 kg/cm² (85 psi, 690kpa) being minimum acceptable. Maximum difference should be 1.5 kg/cm² (21 psi, 150kPa) from the highest to lowest value. It is important this test is carried out using proper equipment and under the correct conditions for rpm and engine temperature. Mazda dealers are generally reliable for performing this test, so long as they follow the procedures precisely.

29) What's the best BOV?

Aftermarket BOVs provide no benefit for the stock turbo configuration. Unlike some cars, It does not allow control of boost levels in an FD. Some owners install an aftermarket BOV simply for the extra "psssh" sound. When vented to the atmosphere, the stock BOV actually makes the same sound. If you do that, be sure that you filter the air for the stock BOV, as it takes in air during vacuum (idle and downthrottling).

30) What's the loudest/quietest/best exhaust?

Search for threads discussing cat-backs and sound clips. The quietest aftermarket cat-back is the Racing Beat dual tip. The loudest cat-back are any canister style mufflers such as the Apex’i N1. The quietest straight-thru setup is a midpipe with Borla XR-1 muffler. A high-flow catalytic converter is a good compromise of performance and emissions absorption. Changing the engine porting or modifying the stock turbos to run non-sequentially will also increase noise.

31) How do I turn up the boost?

Allowing the stock system to run above 11psi is not advisable without modifying the stock ECU, since it isn't programmed to respond to boost above 12psi. As well, the fuel system is limited to 13psi. Once those systems are upgraded, boost level can be controlled by installing an electronic boost controller, a manual boost control valve, or installing a pill with a smaller orifice. BOV settings do not affect working boost level. For smaller increases in boost, the PFC and other tunable ECUs allow adjustment of boost using the stock wastegate components, however at higher boost levels this is not advisable due to limitations of the stock wastegate solenoid and actuator.

32) Can I work on this car myself? What manual is best?

Yes, you can work on this car yourself and many forum members do. You will need proper tools and precautions, and patience. Chances are that whatever it is you need to do, it has been done by someone here already, so the forum is an excellent source for guidance. Search first and post questions only if you do not find what you are looking for. The Mazda Factory Service Manual is highly recommended. It can be purchased used or downloaded from here. The published copy is preferred by many because it is clearer and easier to browse. It is also useful on your workshop table, unlike a downloadable file.

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33) What oil should I use?

First, there is the synthetic vs. dino (mineral) debate. There is no consensus to this issue. Some experts recommend synthetic, others insist on mineral oil. Mazda only endorses mineral oils. Early on, synthetic oil did not burn well in the combustion chamber - but this is not an issue with modern synthetics. More info here: https://www.rx7club.com/general-rotary-tech-support-11/mazda-vs-synthetic-oil-789564/

What matters most is that the oil gets changed on a regular schedule – every 3000 miles or less. Some owners choose to change at 1500 miles to offset the fact that much of the oil cannot drain during an oil change. The most popular weight is 20w-50 in warm climates and 10w-30 in any place that gets cold in winter.

Most FD owners run from 10w-30 to a 20w-50. It depends on whether the car will experience use in cold winter conditions, or extended track conditions. In either case, the thicker 20w-50 is usually ok since fuel dilution will occur and thin the oil. Very thin oils (0w-20) used in some newer cars are not a good choice because the fuel causes them to become even thinner.

34) How should I drive it? How do I maintain it?

There are seven deadly sins:

1. Adding modifications without understanding the requirements and monitoring the effects.

2. Continuing to drive when an overheat condition is indicated. Stop pushing it immediately, switch your heaters on full blast, and drive lightly until it is cooled. If you are in a situation which should not cause the engine to get hot, you have a problem and you should shut off the engine immediately.

3. Not changing the oil every 3000 miles or less and keeping the correct level. (Rotaries consume oil)

4. Running less than premium (91+ US octane, or 95 RON) fuel

5. Running the engine hard before it is fully warmed up

6. Wrecking it, especially by overdriving on public roads

7. Ignoring a fuel odor or coolant leak. Leaky FPDs, coolant hoses, fuel lines, and injectors have caused many catastrophic engine fires, and small coolant leaks can lead to bursts that quickly drain the system of coolant and overheat the engine.

Maintain your FD by following all of the recommended service. Mazda dealers frequently do a poor job with FDs, even if they have significant experience with the older RX-7s. Don’t rely on a Mazda dealer for trouble diagnosis unless they are known for their experience with FDs. This is because the turbo system is completely unique in the FD and massively complicated, and because servicing the car involves much knowledge that is not documented in the Mazda service literature. The best place for servicing an FD is usually a rotary specialist mechanic.

35) How does a rotary engine work, exactly?

These old promotional videos cover the question nicely
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyItjvs8nvI
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xys2q_uItng

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Glossary words and abbreviations:

ACV - Air Control Valve - a valve located under the UIM that controls the flow of air through the secondary air injection system.

AI - See Auxiliary Injection

Apex Seal – The hard iron or ceramic seal that keeps the 3 sliding edges of the rotor in contact with the housing.

AST – Air Separation Tank - a tank in the coolant system that is susceptible to embrittlement and cracking.

Auxiliary Injection - Auxiliary Injection works similarly to Nitrous Oxide, except that the fluid injected is designed to lower combustion temperatures. Unlike Nitrous, AI does not directly add power. AI allows running pump gas at higher boost levels while maintaining reliability. The injected fluid can be combustible (alcohol) or inert (water).

BB - Brilliant Black - an original paint color

BOV (Blow-off Valve) – the valve that keeps the maximum boost level constant. On most turbocharged cars, the BOV controls peak boost level. This is not true on stock sequential turbo FDs. Mazda calls this the Air Bypass Valve because it serves to vent boost when the throttle plates are closed.

Boost Creep - A steady increase in maximum boost, usually at higher rpm. Creep is caused by the exhaust flowing more than the wastegate and turbo can control. The (only) solution is to either restrict overall flow or enlarge the wastegate opening. Installation of a cat-less midpipe often cause boost creep.

Boost Spike - A sudden surge in boost, usually appearing between 4500 and 5000 rpm. This is dangerous on stock ECU systems, which sometimes do not detect and compensate for this extra boost before detonation occurs. Boost spikes often begin to occur after installing a modification that increases flow, and can be resolved in most cases by installing a better boost controller.

Cat, Hi-Flow Cat – the main catalytic converter. A high-flow cat is an aftermarket replacement designed to maximize performance.

CB – (Cat-back) – the muffler and section of exhaust piping leading from the catalytic converter.

CCA - Charge Control Actuator - actuator controlling CCV.

CCV - Charge Control Valve - valve controlling the flow of air from the secondary compressor to the engine. When it opens at 4500rpm, it allows boost from both the secondary and primary compressors to flow to the engine.

CW - Chaste White - an original paint color only available on 94-95 FDs.

CRV - Charge Relief Valve - a blow-off valve that relieves secondary boost during the prespool phase, around 3000-4200rpm.

Crossover Pipe - The section of pipe that leads from the Y-pipe toward the intercooler. It crosses over the air pump and water pump housing.

CYM - Competition Yellow Mica - an original paint color available only on (1993) R1s.

Compression - the ability of the motor to seal the combustion gases while running.

Coolant Seal – An o-ring that seals the coolant passages in the walls of the engine housing from the combustion chamber. Usually the first seal to fail in an aging or overheated engine.

Detonation – explosive firing of the combustion mixture due to lean air/fuel ratios and boost. Detonation is extremely destructive to rotary engines, often resulting in apex seal damage.

DP – Downpipe – the section of exhaust piping from the engine to the catalytic converter. The stock downpipe includes a catalytic element that maintain higher temperatures on the exhaust side of the engine and is prone to clogging. Aftermarket downpipes do not include the catalytic element for better performance and longevity.

ECU – Engine Control Unit / Engine Computer.

Efini – An alternate brand name for Mazdas sold in the Japanese market. Analogous to Honda and Acura. Since the FD was sold for some years after sales stopped in North America, certain updated parts from these JDM cars have come to be known as "Efini".

FMIC – Front MountIntercooler – moves the intercooler forward to receive the intake air first.

FPD – Fuel Pulsation Damper – a small unit on the fuel rail that is designed to absorb surges in fuel pressure. Aging stock FPDs are prone to leaking fuel and should be replaced as required to avoid engine fires.

FPR - Fuel Pressure Regulator - a small unit on the fuel rail that maintains a consistent fuel pressure.

FSM - Factory Service Manual

Fuel Cut - When the stock ECU detects excessive boost levels, it stops ignition for a moment to avoid running beyond the defined fuel map. Unfortunately, the fuel cut detection of the stock ECU should not be relied upon - particularly, boost spikes can initiate detonation and damage the engine before the ECU can react.

IC – Intercooler. See http://www.fd3s.net/intercoolers.html

LIM - Lower Intake Manifold

MB - Montego Blue - an original paint color. It varys from blue to green to nearly black depending on the lighting.

MP – Midpipe – a section of exhaust piping that replaces the catalytic converter. This results in better performance but allows 100% of harmful emissions to pass out into the atmosphere. Installing a midpipe is usually the final step to a full straight-through exhaust, after a downpipe and performance muffler.

NO2, NOS – Nitrous Oxide - injecting Nitrous Oxide gas into the engine intake to increase power without increasing boost level. NOS is a brand name of Nitrous Oxide products.

Piggy-back ECU – a modification to the existing engine computer that does not entirely replace it.

PFC – Power FC – Apex'i's popular fully-programmable standalone engine computer.

Porting – Modification of the entrance/exit passages to the rotary engine’s chambers. Affects the stability of idle and emissions for additional performance. The three classes of port in ascending magnitude are street port, bridge port, and race port. Some more details here: https://www.rx7club.com/new-member-rx-7-technical-256/fd-794841/

Pre-cat – The stock downpipe, which contains a catalytic element. Exhaust flows through the pre-cat prior to reaching the main catalytic converter. It's primary purpose is to reduce emissions during cold start-up, and it was only found on US models.

SMIC – Stock Mount Intercooler – fits with minimal alteration of components. The stock location is above the radiator, and receives air through ducting.

SSM - Silver Stone Metallic - an original paint color available only in 1993.

TB - Throttle Body

TCA - Turbo Control Actuator - a piston actuator that controls the flow of exhaust gas into the secondary turbocharger.

TSB - Technical Service Bulletin - a documented problem and solution that Mazda has noticed on many cars, but does not warrant a recall. TSBs are internal documents sent from Mazda to the dealer techs.

UIM - Upper Intake Manifold - the aluminum block with 4 tubelike shapes, located top and center in the engine bay

V-Mount – V-mount Intercooler – relocates the intercooler and radiator so that neither directly blocks the other.

VR - Vintage Red - an original paint color

Y-Pipe - The aluminum piping that joins the primary and secondary compressor outputs.

10-8-10 – the boost pattern. When running a stock FD at full throttle, the primary turbo reaches 10psi from 3000-4500rpm, followed by a quick dip to 8 psi at 4500rpm, then 10 psi from 4500-8000rpm. 4500rpm is the transition point where the stock turbos switch from primary boost only to both primary and secondary boost. The boost pattern is a critical starting point to diagnosing turbo problems.

13B-REW – the engine code for the turbocharged 1.3L FD engine.

20B – the engine code for 2.0L 3-rotor engine.

787B – the name of Mazda’s 4-rotor race car that won the 1992 Lemans race.

99 Spec - Mazda updated the appearance and function of some 99-02 RX-7s, including spoilers, bumper, intake, turbos, brakes, and lights. These updated features / parts are known as '99 spec' upgrades.

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