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My First Build - Video Build Log

Old 11-08-15, 04:47 PM
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My First Build - Video Build Log

My name's Jonathan and this is my build log about my 1994 RX-7.

A little car background:
My first car was a 2003 Ford Focus Split Port (first gen, base model). It was terrible! The quarter panels rusted through after five years and it dropped a valve. Got a $1500 trade in on the car when I bought my Honda.

I've owned a Dodge Stealth as well as a project. I bought it in non running condition. Fixed it up, got it running, and then the timing belt slipped, which destroyed the engine. I junked the car because engines were $5000 at the time and I only paid $1300 for the whole car. You can buy a TT/ VR4 in descent condition for $6000 now a days.

I bought a 2006 Honda Civic after my focus bit the dust and have been driving it as my DD for 5-6 years. I love this car and hope to drive it for another 5-6 years.


A little RX-7 background:
I had been looking for a nice project car for about one year before I bought the RX-7.

I came across a few R32 GTR's in the $6k-$11k price range but none of them suited my needs. One was in very good condition and was prices VERY well but I wanted something that needed work. The second had a blown engine but the guy wanted way too much for it and was firm on his ridiculous price (it's still for sale). And the third guy was a complete idiot to deal with.

There was also an NSX for sale in Newfoundland that needed work. I had talked to the owner and did some background checks on the NSX. The car needed so much work that I could have bought two working NSX's for the price of the restoration.

I was also keeping an eye on the RX-7 market and in July I saw one listed in PEI for $6500. I kept it in the back of my mind and kept checking the add. The owner kept relisting the car and in September I gave him a call.

He told me that he had had a lot of interest in the car and a lot of test drives but that no one had made a serious offer. The car was imported in to PEI in 2009 just as it passed the 15 year importation law (PEI has since changed this law to 25 years). His friend bought the car for $13k in 2009, drove it for a few summers and then ran in to money problems. The seller then bought the car with the intention of seriously modifying it but never got the cash together. The car sat in storage during winters and in the seller's driveway during summers. We talked some more and the car was right up my alley. Good engine and good body with a lot of minor issues.

I offered $5000 for the car but he was unwilling to go below $6000. No problem. I can wait. I'm in no rush.

A month later, in October, the Seller relisted the car again. I sent him an email and we agreed on $5500. I packed my stuff, picked up my co-driver, and we went to PEI the next morning to pick up my new car. The whole trip took 18 hours of non-stop driving (we didn't eat, we didn't pee, we just drove).

After a massive road trip, I had a new project.

This project is going to be slow-and-steady. I'll work on it, make videos, and update the build log when I have time away from work. I'm really looking forward to working on and learning about the RX-7. I want to get the car road worthy by May, when the snow melts, haha.


So, here's the breakdown:

Stage 1: get everything running by spring
Budget $10,000k (All Prices are in CAD)
car $5500
Title transfer $735
Remaining $3765


Here's the first part. This is a quick overview after I got the car home.

Last edited by H_M; 11-08-15 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 11-08-15, 04:49 PM
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Part 1:
A quick update. I didn't have much in parts and decided the remove the back spoiler. It looks much cleaner without the spoiler, IMO.

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Old 11-08-15, 04:54 PM
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Part 2:
This time I clean the interior (there were a ton of cat hairs in the seats) and I replace the broken gauge cluster. We dismantled the old gauge cluster and tried repairing the damaged resistors & capacitors but the damage was too great. I ended up buying a new used gauge cluster from a seller in Ontario for $158 with 77k KM on it. The original cluster had 95k KM.

Stage 1: get everything running by spring
Budget $10,000k
car $5500
Title transfer $735
Gauge cluster $158
Remaining $3607

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Old 11-08-15, 04:58 PM
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Part 3:
I got new brake rotors and brake pads in the mail this week. the rotors on the car were warped and the brake pads were ground down. This took about 11 hours of work over two days (Friday night & most of Saturday.

- All four brake rotors were rusted to the spindles
- All four Phillips screws on the front rotors were rusted in to the rotors and needed to be drilled out
- Three calipers had seized pistons

I want to eventually replace the brakes with a big brake kit but that's not in the budget any time soon (if ever)

Stage 1: get everything running by spring
Budget $10,000k
car $5500
Title transfer $735
Gauge cluster $158
Brake rotors 7 pads $300
Remaining $3307

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Old 11-08-15, 05:06 PM
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Part 4:
Decided to refurbish the windshield wipers. They were rusted and looked really bad. I'm waiting for some more parts to come to continue the project.

I bought a down pipe for $100 last week ($40 USD plus shipping an import charge). It's a LHD downpipe that I sniped off ebay. (It's a LHD car so I have to use a LHD downpipe because of the steering column). The guy didn't know what he had. One of my best ebay finds in years. I will wait until I have the rest of the exhaust before putting on the downpipe.

I also bought two aluminum door handles last week. The passenger side door handle broke off, which means replacing them.

Stage 1: get everything running by spring
Budget $10,000k
car $5500
Title transfer $735
Gauge cluster $158
Brake rotors 7 pads $300
Downpipe $100
Door handles $105
Remaining $3102

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Old 11-09-15, 10:25 AM
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Loving the detail brother. Good luck
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Old 11-11-15, 02:22 PM
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thanks man

I decided to pull the exhaust this afternoon. i wanted to figure out where the exhaust leak was coming from. I figured that the top of the muffler was the cause of the leak but was not prepared for what I found. the pics show the results of my investigation.

new exhaust it is...

Here's the video of today's antics. It's pretty short because I didn't do anything else. Door handles should be here tomorrow, which should make for a nice Saturday project.

Also bought an Apexi Intake from the classifieds

Stage 1: get everything running by spring
Budget $10,000k
car $5500
Title transfer $735
Gauge cluster $158
Brake rotors 7 pads $300
Downpipe $100
Door handles $105
Apexi Intake $110
Remaining $2992

Attached Thumbnails My First Build - Video Build Log-1.jpg   My First Build - Video Build Log-2.jpg  

Last edited by H_M; 11-11-15 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 11-12-15, 10:20 AM
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The new door handles came today. I'll install them on Saturday.
Attached Thumbnails My First Build - Video Build Log-wp_20151112_001.jpg  
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Old 11-18-15, 11:09 AM
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I've been a little slow getting things done. I've had to repaint the door handles 3-4 times since Saturday. The weather here has been changing from day to day and the paint was always peeling.

I should have a real update soon.

In the mean time, the intakes from duck91 came today. I Also bought an exhaust/rad/rad hoses, which I should have in a couple of weeks. That should finish everything off before Christmas comes. around

Intakes:
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Old 11-21-15, 11:56 AM
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Old 11-22-15, 11:01 AM
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I changed the downpipe on Saturday and took out the old radiator this morning. The downpipe took almost five hours to change. The nuts connecting the old downpipe to the catalytic converter were seized and I had to cut one off.

It's so tight between the engine and the side wall in a RHD car that it probably took 30 minutes to unscrew and 30 minutes to rescrew each bolt.

I didn't take any pics of the new downpipe on the car as it was getting dark by the time that I had finished.

The radiator took 45 minutes and only had two broken bolts on the fans, lol.
Attached Thumbnails My First Build - Video Build Log-dsc_0112.jpg   My First Build - Video Build Log-dsc_0114.jpg   My First Build - Video Build Log-dsc_0116.jpg  
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Old 11-22-15, 07:06 PM
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Watched all your videos this afternoon, really good stuff! I subscribed to your Youtube channel, I'm looking forward to more updates!

Some (belated) tips -

- WD-40 is a crap penetrating oil. It's a very handy product, but it really doesn't do much for penetrating rusty fasteners. PB Blaster is fantastic at this.

- The screws that hold the rotor to the hub need an impact screwdriver to remove.
Impact Screwdriver Set with Case

They're not very expensive and VERY handy. You hit the back of it with a hammer, it digs in and twists. Lots of screws on the car (like fuel rail screws, fuel pump assembly) need an impact driver to come off.

- The OEM rotors (and good aftermarket rotors) have a threaded hole near the holes for the lug studs that you can thread a 12mm bolt in. Thread it in, tighten it down, and it pushes the rotor off the hub. The 2x4 trick is a good one, though!

- Many times I've seen replacement door handles only fix the obvious, not the root cause. Many door handles have worn linkage and that puts more load on the handle, causing it to eventually break. With the aluminum handles its still stiff and a problem to open. New door handles are pretty cheap now from Japan (like $80 or so) so if you have problems with them down the road I'd look at that.

Your car looks to be the JDM equivalent of an R model - wing, front lip, strut bar, suede seats. Also, I think those are Stern wheels, it's a JDM brand. Usually inside the spoke is a stamping with the size and offset, or it may be a sticker inside (if it's still there).

Keep up the good work! Looking forward to some new videos!

Dale
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Old 11-23-15, 05:25 PM
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Thanks for the tips. I'll see if I can pick up some PB Blaster locally. I want to replace the catalytic converter in the spring and that will come in handy.


I'll take a pic of the wheels this weekend. One did have a sticker on the inside but it was very degraded and I couldn't find much information.
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Old 11-28-15, 09:04 PM
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My radiator, radiator hoses, and exhaust arrived in Houlton on Monday. So, I decided to take a drive over the border and pick them up that night. The snow had stopped by then and the highway was bare.

I decided to go ahead and install the Koyo radiator this week since I'm waiting on an O2 sensor to finish off the downpipe & exhaust and the intake. The removal of the stock rad was pretty straight forward but installing the much thicker Koyo rad was tricky. I probably installed and pulled out the Koyo rad 15 times before I got it to fit properly (I didn't put this in the video because it would have been hours long).

The problem was that one of the lower rad brackets wasn't sitting right and was pushing the Koyo rad up too much. I couldn't see the bracket with the rad in place so it took me a long time to figure out the problem. After I bent the bracket down a little bit, the thicker Koyo rad fit and everything lined up.

I also tried getting some PB Blaster but it was completely sold out. I'll pick some up next time because I want to eventually put a high flow cat in to finish off the exhaust.

Stage 1: get everything running by spring
Budget $10,000
car $5500
Title transfer $735
Gauge cluster $158
Brake rotors 7 pads $300
Downpipe $100
Door handles $105
Apexi Intake $110
Koyo Radiator /RB Hoses/ Blitz NS exhaust $822
O2 Sensor $58
Remaining $2112


Last edited by H_M; 11-28-15 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 12-01-15, 09:42 PM
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Yep, installing a radiator is a JOB, and getting the stock IC and duct out can be a pain in the ***.

One tool I highly recommend that you get is a 1/4" drive ratchet, a LONG (about 12") 1/4" extension, and a 10mm 1/4" drive socket. Getting to the bolts that hold the intercooler down is a snap with that setup. Also long extensions help out a lot, you can get the tool up and out of the way so you can have more range of movement and get the fastener out faster.

I don't know how much I would trust the patch job on the AST. That sees 200+ degree coolant at 14psi, that's a LOT of stress. Also, if the nipple broke off, it's possible that the rest of the AST doesn't have long to live either. You mentioned getting a Pettit (BTW, it's pet-it, not pe-teet) AST, I would probably hold off and put that in instead of the patched AST. Used aftermarket AST's go for cheap all the time as well.

I think one of the turbo intake hoses on the airbox (the 2.5" hoses) still had the stock spring clamp - go to the hardware store and get worm drive clamps to replace those. I have no idea why Mazda put those insane clamps on the car, they are complete overkill for the intake. The spring clamps for all the smaller hoses are OK, though.

Stock O2 sensor is typically available at parts stores, it's a plain vanilla 1-wire sensor. You just cut off the wire going to the original sensor and use the provided crimp connector and heat shrink.

I'm enjoying the videos! Keep it up!

Dale
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Old 12-02-15, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by DaleClark View Post
Yep, installing a radiator is a JOB, and getting the stock IC and duct out can be a pain in the ***.

One tool I highly recommend that you get is a 1/4" drive ratchet, a LONG (about 12") 1/4" extension, and a 10mm 1/4" drive socket. Getting to the bolts that hold the intercooler down is a snap with that setup. Also long extensions help out a lot, you can get the tool up and out of the way so you can have more range of movement and get the fastener out faster.

I don't know how much I would trust the patch job on the AST. That sees 200+ degree coolant at 14psi, that's a LOT of stress. Also, if the nipple broke off, it's possible that the rest of the AST doesn't have long to live either. You mentioned getting a Pettit (BTW, it's pet-it, not pe-teet) AST, I would probably hold off and put that in instead of the patched AST. Used aftermarket AST's go for cheap all the time as well.

I think one of the turbo intake hoses on the airbox (the 2.5" hoses) still had the stock spring clamp - go to the hardware store and get worm drive clamps to replace those. I have no idea why Mazda put those insane clamps on the car, they are complete overkill for the intake. The spring clamps for all the smaller hoses are OK, though.

Stock O2 sensor is typically available at parts stores, it's a plain vanilla 1-wire sensor. You just cut off the wire going to the original sensor and use the provided crimp connector and heat shrink.

I'm enjoying the videos! Keep it up!

Dale
I used a 6"extension and a 4" socket to take the IC bolts out. it was a little tight but still worked pretty well. much easier than taking the downpipe out. I was surprised that the duct was not screwed down. the whole thing just slides in & out.

I'll definitely keep an eye out for a used AST. I won't drive the car until the spring, which should give me plenty of time to find one.

Pettit is a french word and is pronounced puh-tiii in Canada (my accent makes it sound weird). It means "small." If you say "pet-it" to an acadien (french person) around here, they'll file a discrimination suite with the government and you'll pretty much be driven out of the province, hahaha.

I''ll recheck the IC hoses the next time that I work on the car. I should have the O2 sensor soon. shipping was delayed due to Thanksgiving.
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Old 12-02-15, 09:02 PM
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FYI, Pettit (as in Pettit Racing) is spelled differently than Petite. It's pronounced "pet-it" because it's a guy's last name. Cam Worth, the owner, raced a car sponsored by Pettit for many years and was known as the Pettit Guy. He hung on to the name when he started the business.

Back on topic .

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Old 12-12-15, 06:56 PM
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No much has been going on lately. I've been working and the car has been in pieces for a couple of weeks. I've been waiting for an O2 sensor to arrive so I could finish everything. Luckily, that sensor arrived this week and I got the downpipe finished, the exhaust in, and the apexi intake installed.

I did this over a couple of days because I mostly work on the car at night, after work, and we've had a few cold nights lately (-12C). Jamming your fingers when they are frozen hurts much more than when they are warm.

I've been holding off on buying more parts lately because the Canadian dollar is so bad right now and keeps getting worse. It dropped another 6% this week. After you factor in exchange costs, banking fees, and Paypal fees we're paying about 41% more for the same parts as we were a year ago. I still plan on buying a high flow cat in January or February and then some coilovers in March or April but it'll be slow going from here on out.

Despite what the news says and what our government might say, people in Canada are getting crunched hard and we're on the cusp of a recession (if not already in one). On the East Coast, many people are earning less (including myself) despite working more. Food prices have increase 5%-10% in the last year with many vegetables having increased 50%-100% since many have to be imported from the US during the winter months. I think Canada has had a negative GDP for two or three consecutive quarters now (two consecutive quarters = recession).

All this is driving down our stock market something fierce. I have been been on a buying spree since late summer. Buying good blue chip companies with good financials and an excellent dividend payout history. Collecting dividends to pay for RX-7 parts

Here's the video of the intake, downpipe, and exhaust install.

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Old 12-12-15, 10:11 PM
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Just watched it, good times! Thanks for the good words at the end, hope the AST gets there in a timely fashion and works well for you.

For the BOV hoses that are cracked, read my thread -

https://www.rx7club.com/3rd-generati...valve-1060209/

Good way to fix that for now and for a long time to come.

Also, a 2.75" silicone intercooler coupler will replace that y-pipe coupler that's split and broken. That is an extremely common problem on the FD, the stock part is crap.

Oh, the large spring clamps on the 2.5" rubber intake hoses all could stand to be replaced with worm drive clamps. I saw you replaced one in the video, you can get them inexpensively at the hardware store and they work so much better. Nothing like having the stock hose clamp pop off your pliers and go flying 20 feet in the air - been there done that. The spring clamps on the small hoses are fine, just the large hose clamps I have issues with. Total overkill for those connections.

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Old 12-15-15, 05:13 PM
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Subscribed ,
Aaah so your the one that bought that car in PEI , I was looking at it intensely and if I would of been closer I would of bought it for sure
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Old 12-16-15, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 7krayziboi View Post
Subscribed ,
Aaah so your the one that bought that car in PEI , I was looking at it intensely and if I would of been closer I would of bought it for sure
Thanks man.

I know. I hate how big Canada is, lol. I had my eye on a red NSX in Edmonton last summer but couldn't get the time to fly out and look at the car. I would have bought it if it would have been within a 10 hour drive.



Not much to update on the car. It's been slow going lately. We had an ice & snow storm yesterday, which shut down a lot of things in the city. We had about 24 hours of freezing rain and ice rain followed by about 10-15cm of snow. It was nasty. I took some pictures of the trees in our yard this afternoon.

Things have been slow at the shop too. People are also getting a bit crazy during this time of the year. We've been getting so many nut jobs at work in the last three weeks that it's almost unbelievable.

On the good side though, my new RE-Amemiya AST from DaleClark came today.


Stage 1: get everything running by spring
Budget $10,000
car $5500
Title transfer $735
Gauge cluster $158
Brake rotors 7 pads $300
Downpipe $100
Door handles $105
Apexi Intake $110
Koyo Radiator /RB Hoses/ Blitz NS exhaust $822
O2 Sensor $58
RE-Amemiya AST $178
Remaining $1934
Attached Thumbnails My First Build - Video Build Log-dsc_0143.jpg   My First Build - Video Build Log-dsc_0132.jpg   My First Build - Video Build Log-dsc_0134.jpg   My First Build - Video Build Log-dsc_0135.jpg   My First Build - Video Build Log-dsc_0136.jpg  

My First Build - Video Build Log-dsc_0138.jpg   My First Build - Video Build Log-dsc_0142.jpg  
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Old 12-17-15, 08:17 AM
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Glad it made it to you safely! That's a nice AST, fits well, fits the hoses well, uses the stock radiator cap, and looks good.

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Old 01-04-16, 10:52 AM
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Update: nothing to update...

I took a couple of weeks off over Christmas but didn't work on the car. I was sick for a few days and then spent the rest of my vacation visiting family. I did buy a high flow cat, which came just before Christmas. At least I can update the build budget.

Stage 1: get everything running by spring
Budget $10,000
car $5500
Title transfer $735
Gauge cluster $158
Brake rotors 7 pads $300
Downpipe $100
Door handles $105
Apexi Intake $110
Koyo Radiator /RB Hoses/ Blitz NS exhaust $822
O2 Sensor $58
RE-Amemiya AST $178
High flow cat/midpipe $254
Two exhaust gaskets $54
Remaining $1626

I'm actually quite a bit further ahead than I thought. The next purchase will probably be fluids and some coilovers. I'll make a few more videos soon.
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Old 01-12-16, 08:36 PM
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Another small update.

It's been cold here and I haven't felt like working on the RX-7. I've been mostly collecting a few parts and tidying up a few things on the car. I got a photobucket account too so I'm hoping that these pictures will show up better than before.

RE-Amemiya AST
High flow cat & midpipe
20w50
fl22 coolant
oil filters
dot 4 brake fluid


Headlight cover with the broken mounts


Broken front mounts


Broken rear mounts


The rear mounting points on the headlight cover had been broken several times before. They had been glued back on once and, more recently, taped back on. The tape was the only thing holding the headlight cover in place so i'm quite surprised that it didn't blow off during the long tow home. i'll make up some brackets for the headlight cover and glue them on. Then it should be as good as new again.


Stage 1: get everything running by spring
Budget $10,000
car $5500
Title transfer $735
Gauge cluster $158
Brake rotors 7 pads $300
Downpipe $100
Door handles $105
Apexi Intake $110
Koyo Radiator /RB Hoses/ Blitz NS exhaust $822
O2 Sensor $58
RE-Amemiya AST $178
High flow cat/midpipe $254
Two exhaust gaskets $54
Fluids $166
Remaining $1426

Last edited by H_M; 01-12-16 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 01-13-16, 12:14 PM
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I would recommend getting new headlight covers from Mazda. I've yet to see any fix for broken headlight tabs that lasted any substantial length of time. They come from Mazda in primer and ready to paint. They aren't too pricey either.

Aftermarket ones are out there but the fit is crap on them.

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