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Looking into buying a FD

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Old 11-08-18, 09:11 PM
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Looking into buying a FD

Hi guys,
Intro
So recently I've been scouring the internet for cheap FDs and I think I've found one. It's a 93, No engine no transmission, its missing several parts such as the tailights, headlights, some interior pieces, several parts are in different colors, etc etc. Would you guys recommend buying it in the first place, and if I do what should be my first plan of action?

Personal plans if I buy it
Possibly a Rocket Bunny V2 kit, RB25 swap (there's not many rotaries for sale near me also I think the rb25 will suit my needs more than a rotary), Bonnet exhaust, fender exhaust, Stripped interior w/ Roll Cage, Bride Seats, Momo/Sparco steering wheel, Dmax hood, Big turbo setup (450-600hp tops), Enkei VR5's, Mishimoto Intercooler, Baby Blue repaint. and more I haven't decided on yet.

What do you guys think about my build ideas? anything you think I should fix or change? Also how much do you think this would cost me in the end because I haven't done many calculations yet. Thank you!
Sincerely
~Elijah Sipe

Last edited by diabolical1; 11-08-18 at 09:48 PM. Reason: removed price references
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Old 11-08-18, 09:56 PM
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With all of the needed work, listed modifications, and the ancillary support modifications that would be required you could very easily spend $30K. I recommend you start a Google sheet document and begin listing these things out as you continue your research. I suspect you will quickly realize how easily the associated expenses to such an ambitious project can swell beyond your initial expectations.
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Old 11-08-18, 10:00 PM
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Thanks, I'll make that document soon, would you recommend buying it and keeping it parked and adding on little by little until I'm sure i can start modifying it or something along those lines?
Thanks
~Elijah Sipe
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Old 11-08-18, 10:14 PM
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Welcome to the board, Elijah.

I'm not a Gen 3 owner, but given your outlined plans, I guess I don't really have to be in order to weigh in with an opinion.

So I guess the first questions would revolve around what are your automotive experiences, if any? Have you built a car before - whether personally or per contract? I ask because building a 400+ HP car out of a functioning vehicle is a daunting task by itself and you're saying you want to build one out of a bare shell. Your last question was literally how much will it cost you. Now, I don't consider myself a judgmental person, but that is a bit telling from this side of the computer screen. You either need a lot of skills and resources OR you need a lot of money. That is fact.

Here is what I would suggest - and the reason is simple ... it will give you an exit strategy. Try to build the car back to a stock (or somewhat stock-ish) state. It will give you a taste of what the sort of resources it requires (not just money, but time and labor). If you find yourself running out of funds or interest, you have a car (or partially built car) that an Rx-7 enthusiast will want to take off your hands as opposed to a hacked up vehicle that used to be an Rx-7 that some low-baller will eventually beat you down for. For the record, if I sound harsh, that's not my intent. I would encourage you to follow your dreams, but I'm not convinced that that would be the BEST advice. I wish you the best either way.

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Old 11-08-18, 10:53 PM
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My first automotive experience dates back to when I was I think 8 years old. My uncle had a Foxbody mustang that he was putting a supercharger on and he asked me to help him with it so I helped him with a few things like handing him tools and stuff not actually installing it, but he talked throughout the process so i learned a little bit through that. And then when I was 12ish my same uncle had me help him take an engine out of a corvette that he was working on so I know a little bit with hands on experience but I know a lot more from just researching stuff. I don't have much money myself but I'm sure a few of my family members especially that uncle would be willing to "donate" some money to the project and gift me parts on holidays and such. I was considering getting it back to stockish but I personally thought instead of just buying parts i would probably get rid of down the line wouldn't be that good of an idea but I think your right in that sense to where in case it does fall through i can just sell it off. Thanks .
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Old 11-09-18, 06:52 AM
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Nothing you mentioned involved any serious experience with mechanical, fabrication, body work or electronics. You're 18 yrs old without your own finances and without any real idea of the expenses. You also didn't mention WHERE you planned to work on the car and if relying on relatives to finance or "gift" you parts is your strategy then in addition to their generosity you'll need a well equipped garage for years, not months.
Put bluntly, walk before you run. And no...I wouldn't recommend you buy the roller.
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Old 11-09-18, 09:39 AM
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Sounds like a big expense project.

I would start off with something not as complex and expense.
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Old 11-09-18, 10:38 AM
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I plan on working on the car in my 2nd garage, the 1st garage is mainly used for the family cars but we have a relatively large 2nd garage that can fit 2-3 full sized SUVs inside of it that we aren't using at this point of time. And yea I'm not very hands-on knowledgeable or anything but I know enough to probably get at least 85% of it built before having to ask for a lot of help.
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Old 11-09-18, 10:39 AM
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Should I start off with like a FC or should I not even start off with a rotary at all?
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Old 11-09-18, 11:47 AM
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My advice if you want a FD, then buy the best running driving car you can find. That way you can do a little here and there while you still can enjoy it. Now if you can't afford a 10k+ complete, drivable, but in bad shape FD then start looking for something else like a honda and learn on it. There is nothing wrong with learning basic skills on a honda, plenty of them out there and parts galore unlike the 7 so you can save up for a better car and learn at the same time.
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Old 11-09-18, 12:29 PM
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Should I start off with like a FC or should I not even start off with a rotary at all?
I wouldn't be discouraged from the FD or rotaries generally if that's what you want to go for. There's just a massive difference between maintaining a car that has lots of great documentation and knowledgeable folks available to help, and building something that's charting new territory.

I was nervous when I got my FD, as it's got a reputation for heavy maintenance; and while I had a bit of wrench-turning experience, I had never really ventured beyond bolt-ons and oil-changes. But when I finally did take the FD plunge I realized that while yes, it requires more maintenance and attention than your normal Camry, its actually a pretty easy and fun car to work on. Under-hood space is ample, and very importantly, there's a huge community of people who have documented just about everything that can go wrong and what to do to fix it. I think that above everything, that's the key to why we're all still on the road today!

My advice if you're anything like me, is to buy a car that works and learn how to care for it. It's a fun journey.
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Old 11-09-18, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Elijah Sipe View Post
Should I start off with like a FC or should I not even start off with a rotary at all?
It's got nothing to do with the car or the engine, per se. Your problem would be the scope of your project versus the experience and resources you have. You have no real experiences or skills, by your own account ...
Originally Posted by Elijah Sipe View Post
And yea I'm not very hands-on knowledgeable or anything but I know enough to probably get at least 85% of it built before having to ask for a lot of help.
... and you haven't quite grasped just how much work you have ahead based on your plan presented in the original post. It would be the same for a Gen 2 Rx-7, Gen 1 Rx-7, a Honda or a Camaro in the same condition.
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Old 11-09-18, 06:24 PM
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U ainít gonna learn by dreaming about it. If you have your heart set on it Iíd say get that dang car and start on it! Whether it takes you 10 months or 10 years all you need is the ambition to learn about it and do things for yourself, while also realizing what you canít do on your own and have done. Unless you have bottomless pockets there are always risks involved in the financial aspect. Donít depend on someOne else to get you from point A to point B and anywhere in between tho. But yea, itís gonna be difficult, yea itís gonna cost ya (especially interior pieces) and yea youíre not gonna go into it knowing everything. Gotta learn sometime right? I bought my FD with basic mechanical knowledge, absolutely no knowledge of rotaries, and itís a JDM car. Granted I havenít done anything extensive on it, but everyone on this forum is a huge help, and so is google lol
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Old 11-09-18, 07:40 PM
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If the rotary doesn't fit your needs, I would recommend just getting a Skyline if you're dead set on an RB25 and big power. Not being able to drive a car really kills motivation and if you don't have the ability to fabricate everything, it's going to be an insanely costly journey financially and emotionally. The best thing to do is to start small and work your way up or you're going to make expensive mistakes. I would bet this project would cost at least 30k if you aren't capable of the fabrication, tuning, and wiring such a project requires.
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