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88 t2 body restoration/ 400 hp build

Old 05-17-19, 09:54 AM
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VA 88 t2 body restoration/ 400 hp build

Hello everyone
Sorry if this is a long write up,

I first bought this 88 Turbo 2 in Jan 19, 2018. I am the 3rd owner. The car was originally from Maryland. This is my 5th FC. All have been N/A but 2. I first got into rx7's back in 2012, when a guy from work was talking about Jacksonville, FL where he was notorious for his built rx7's. His name is Santi. I moved back to VA in 2015 and was looking for another turbo 2 like I had in California before I left the Navy. It took me 3 years to find one. I got the car for $1500 and it came with an extra motor (the car was not running) it wasn't a problem whether it was running or not. Me and Santi went to go get the and at FC at first glance I fell in love lol. There was a few minor body things wrong, some rust on the bottom of the drivers side door, sunroof, and drivers side front fender. Side trim was off like every rx7, but the interior looked really clean. The engine bay has some surface rust as well but nothing too bad as eventually my plan is to paint it. The main problem with the car was that it had been sitting since 2001 and David, the previous owner told me he took the car to Angel Motorsports to see if they could rebuild the motor but after the motor was opened up he was given the run around he decided to sell. The original motor locked up and was pretty much no good. All 4 brakes were locked up too, the car was ridiculously hard to push out of David's yard. There are signs of some interior water damage I later found out but nothing too serious.

Funny thing about the other motor though..As soon as my friend saw the motor he asked David, the guy I got the car from where did he get the motor from. Apparently my friend Santi built the motor in Jacksonville, 13 years ago. It was his first rotary motor he ever opened up and built/ported, It was a half bridge 6 port with a hybrid turbo and rtek 1.7 ecu. The motor was sentimental for him because he had the same motor in a fc he nick named true blue for the sapphire blue paint it had. A few years ago he and his friend drove true blue back up to VA and he ended up selling it later on. A week after it was sold, it was crashed and the motor was pulled. I believe it was put into another fc before it gotten taken out again (I was told overheating issues) I was able to track down the guy who had the engine last and he confirmed it. Santi was excited on the way back home about getting the motor running again. Around this time I was working back at the same shipyard I met Santi at and back on 3rd shift again, mind you its been 6 years since I was back working there and it was doing a toll on me and especially him he'd been there ever since 2012 and still doing it. It was funny to see certain electronics still working, like the original light in the door handle, storage bin lights, dome lights, ignition keyhole light, and alarm system (New to me I had never had a FC with any of it working).

To make a long story short, I gave the original t2 block to Santi he can do whatever he wanted with it as I had no use for it since I had another motor. It was my gift to him for helping me work on my rx7 and having it on his yard. We dropped the other motor in the car the car Jan 22, 2018. No we didn't rebuild it. I should have tho, but I just wanted to get the car running and when it was time to get it running it was just cranking. Everything looked good though. The city got on him about all the cars in his yard and most of them had expired tags, no inspection etc so I was left with the only other option to drop the car off with Angel Motorsports. This was on July 18, 2018. I hate that I had to do that but I had no other choice there was no where I could keep the car. The car wasn't running til 9/12/2018. Stock T2 ECU was fried.. Mike put another ECU on it and it fired right up. First sign of Water corrosion.

From 9/12/2018- 10/14/2018 I went through a lot of bs during this time. I moved 3 hrs away months before so it was always a challenge to try and come down and work on the rx7. I had a girlfriend at the time so I would use her car to come down. After the car left Angel Motorsports, it was really time to get things going. I was rushing things trying to juggle taking a risky drive back in the rx7 and see if it would make it back for work in time. I had a few parts and other things I had to finish. I had to run the rtek 1.7 so I picked up some 750cc injectors and some s4 injector connectors to run the injectors off a guy in the area. I asked him if they were high impedance but they ended up being low impedance. Santi wired up an oem resistor box so I can run the injectors. When we got it running, I had an extra friend with me to help out and I ended up having to drop him off an hour away. That night was a disaster I can't remember what was going on with the way it was driving but I remember my friend Desmond tried to adjust the idle and did it wrong, it was idling at like 3,500. It was obnoxiously loud. My original plan was to take the 3hr drive head on that night but I called out. There was no way I was going to make it. The next morning I had Santi adjust TPS/Idle and he had it set perfectly. Another time I came down and tried to take the drive head on again failed, this time was a leak from the heater hose from the block to the fire wall I didn't notice and learned the hard way having to pull over on i64W due to overheating, another exciting night. Changed out all the hoses to silicon. At this point I parked it another friends house where it sat until December.

-4 new brake calipers
-4 new brake pads
-non abs master cylinder
-abs module delete and ran new lines
-3" exhaust no cat
-4 750 cc injectors
-All new heater & radiator silicon hoses

11/3/2018- 2/26/2019

On 11/03/2018 I came down and tried to start the 7 to my suprise it wouldn't start, even though it was just running a few days prior to me coming down. I told my friend to run the car every few days while it was sitting in his yard. I left and moved back to the area on 11/30/2018. I started to really get frustrated with the car, it somehow fried the rtek 1.7 so I put a rtek 2.1 in it and it had a really really rich tune on it. The car was running overall crappy I wish I had a standalone at that time. Santi's cousins fc vert was getting built and he offered to trade me block for block, since his block was freshly rebuilt hadn't even fired up yet I was willing to trade. Afterall, he was the one who drove true blue from FL back to VA so the motor was sentimental to him. I basically downgraded to a monster street port, just needs the bridge one day.I bought him a wideband and he jus bought him self a rebuild kit. Santi and me dropped the motor in and fired it up on 2/26/2019. I drove it for about a month before I got a daily and here I am today.The motor is another 6 port, hybrid turbo, this time streetport, on stock ecu all stock pretty much. I took out the gray interior and swapped it with black s4 interior that I took from a shell 10ae I bought in March. Pretty soon I'm going to paint it. The stock seats are getting re-upholstered as I type this. The motor is going to get pulled for engine bay paint.My goal for this build is 400 or so horsepower before I open the keg again and port it.Motor is still being broken in, has about 3k miles on it. I also want to fix any grounds in the interior which I should of done when the interior was pulled but it was my only car at the time. There's a few other things I need to look over from the interior. I recall one time the main fuse even shorted out and blew out so I need to look over some wiring.

-full silicon vacuumn lines
-banzai alternator bracket
-koyo radiator
-energy suspension bushing kit
-banzai street poly engine mounts

Next month I plan on buying a microtech lt10c
Also going for Borg Warner EFR 8374
In the works of fabricating a vmount.
I've been welding since 2009 and although I like the Gleaseman manifold, I should just weld my own manifold and save money.

Last edited by iwantarx7!; 05-17-19 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 05-17-19, 10:28 AM
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Some of my welds


I bought a rb y pipe and mufflers that I couldn't use because they were 2.5" lol. Maybe soon i'll go rev t2 rb

as she sits right now in dire need of paint. I recently changed out my whole sunroof assembly works like a charm. I fixed some rust but there is still some on the bottom of the drivers side door, honestly should either take the doors from the 10ae or cut out and weld over this door i'm not sure..

right before I swapped the new motor in

my old motor i kept the intake manifold and turbo/exhaust manfiold

The original ad on fb
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Old 05-17-19, 12:48 PM
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when I dropped it off at AM

i took that silencer out but we were changing out the locked calipers, installing new brakes pads, and my exhaust.

after i got done cleaning the old fuel pump assembly
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Old 05-17-19, 01:57 PM
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Glad to see you started a build thread man! Sub'd.
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Old 05-17-19, 02:05 PM
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That's a lot of work and love for the car, I wouldn't have stuck that out.

One question about your build, in 2019 why would you go with an LT-10C? Its a very limited EMS compared to other ones on the market for a few hundred dollars more.
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