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Looking to buy and make a FC track car, what should I look for?

Old 04-26-03, 10:21 PM
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Looking to buy and make a FC track car, what should I look for?

Like the title says I am looking to buy a NA 2nd generation RX-7 as my track car. I don't know which year and model to look for. My friend says to stay away from Series 4 RX-7s and get a Series 5 because they are mroe refined. If not I may be getting a Miata. Is the difference between the Series 4 and Series 5that great? Money is tight for the car so I am not sure I will eb able to afford the Series 5 (usually cost around 3-4k). Will a Series 4 SE be a fine track car ro should I really look for a Series 5?
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Old 04-27-03, 05:30 AM
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S5 is alittle faster and alittle heavier. But if this is going to be a race car the weight isn't going to be a issue, since you are going to completly gut it out. The extra horse power will be a plus.
This is the problem with the S5, If you are going to race you will eventualy need a new engine and other parts. Parts are harder to find and are more expensive. The thing that make the S5 faster is that it has higher compression rotors. Trust me, they are hard to find and expensive. I'm building a S5 as a race only car right now. And even if you want to just buy a rebuilt engine, it will be hard to find because the rebuilders don't get enough core exchanges. And also junk yards don't have as many because Mazda only made them from 1989 to 1991 ( very few in 1992 ) .
So if you have a tight budget I would say stick with the S4. But if you are going to try and be as competative as possible and money isn't a issue , then every little bit helps, so get the S5.

My 2 cents
Brett.

Last edited by Bruhman; 04-27-03 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 04-27-03, 05:48 AM
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Well this isn't a pure competition car. I am going to take it to track days and autocrosses instead of takign my daily driver. I don't need to worry about making it competative, just more fun and a better learning tool. But yes I am going to gut everything I can from it. In general how long do the engien internals last on a car like this (my first rotary).
thanks for your input
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Old 04-27-03, 07:40 AM
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Big brake S4 with no sunroof. Buy one cheap. We just bought a straight S4 TII at the boneyard yesterday with a blown motor for $250. I've got a super straight big brake sport sitting outside that needs a motor that I picked up for $300. Have a 60k miles S5 long block to throw in it if I wanted that I picked up for $450. The point is shop around and don't be in a hurry. The deals will come. The S4 cars are slightly lighter and the S5 motor parts aren't that hard to come buy. I've bought two long blocks and a short block in two years.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe it's the intake of the S5s that accounts for most of the added power over the S4 and not the compression. I currently have an S4 short block with an S5 intake in my ITS car and no other ITS RX7s ran away from me last year. Two wins and two other podiums tell me I'm not too under powered anyway.

As far as more refined. If it's going to be a track beater, who cares? And what is more refined? The airdam and moulding look better and the dash is a bit nicer but it won't make you faster and it'll cost more.

If you have a fresh engine built by a good builder it should last years. And years. I buy cheap less than 100k short and long blocks when they pop up. I currently have the motor in my car and two others sitting waiting. All were had for less that $600. That's my approach. I'm probably good on motors for the next five, six years.

The moral is to take your time and hunt for the deal.

Chris

Last edited by C. Ludwig; 04-27-03 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 04-28-03, 01:28 AM
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Ditto what Chris said S4 rules!

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Old 04-28-03, 06:58 AM
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Yeah, and who needs them damn expensive round tail lights anyway?
I like my 86 GXL a lot. With a few exhaust mods, it's gotten a LOT more fun to drive.
It's not going to be whoopin-up on the miatas and MR2s in stock form but, well, I'm having fun and autocross is VERY inexpensive.
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Old 04-28-03, 10:34 AM
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You may want to get a rule book before you start stripping/gutting the interior. If your on a strict budget you don't want to build a Prepared car much less a Street Prepeared car. To be competitive you have to spend much more than running a car in a stock class. If your a beginner you want to stay in a stock class anyway to begin with. Learn to drive the car before you modify it. Learn the rules and decide later were you want to end up. If money is tight and its going to take you while to get the parts to mod your car car then I would suggest looking at a Miata. They can be very fast properly driven. Cost of the early 90 Miata's is about the same as an S5.
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Old 04-28-03, 06:20 PM
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On an unrelated note, the $250 TII I spoke of in my first post turns out to be a RUNNING!! YES RUNNING!! TII. I loaned my buddy the $250 so we could drag it home. About two hours and a new fuel pump later he was driving it around the block. Good compression and everything. He got a hold of the previous owner (for sale sign was still in the car) and he said he'd taken it to a Mazda dealer and they had told him it had bad injectors and quoted hime $2k to fix it! So he junked it. I'm still kicking myself because I a) passed on it and b) loaned the money out to buy it!!! Oh, well I'm happy for my buddy and we are in good shape for the $2004 Challenge!

Chris
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Old 04-28-03, 10:17 PM
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Well, thanks for all the responses. I am plannign to get the car sometime this summer so I have a few more months to look around. In addition to RX-7s I am looking at miatas (Hard to find a 91.5+ that I can afford, I don't want to deal with the crank problem) and MK1 MR2s (My friend says that these are not very good cars, I have to test drive one). The main differences my friend is pointing out between the S4 and S5 is that the S5 chassis and steering is better than the S4. Unfortunatley I don't know if I have the tools, time (well maybe that over summer), or the experiance to do an engine swap or rebuild, so I am looking for a running car that I can flog on and learn on until next summer when I have more funds and experiance. Of those 3 cars which one do you suggest. BTW this isn't going to be competative, I am buying this car to learna dn have fun with. So I really don't mind if I get placed in a very hard autocross class with it (I can always Auto-x my stock daily driver 01 celica if I want to be semi competative).
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Old 04-29-03, 12:29 AM
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blah.

S5 chassis, doubtful it gives up much, if any to the S4.

Steering, I use a manual rack, it's fine for track or street driving.

Which of the 3 (miata, MR2, or RX7)? RX-7 hands down. Miata is nice, but more power in the RX-7, and better brakes. Plus you need a roll bar minimum in order to take it out on track. MR2 is uncompetitve (IMHO) as a future race car in ITA, plus weight balance isn't really in it's favor, it's not got a lot of power, etc. etc.

You can find S4s in junkyards easily, if you decide to eventually move to an S5 motor, those can be found pretty simply.

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Old 04-29-03, 04:46 PM
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There is no practical difference between the S4 and S5 suspension or steering. For a truely top notch car you'll want the manual rack out of an early car anyway.

Sure he isn't confusing S5 with 3rd Gen?

Chris
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Old 04-30-03, 09:10 AM
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I don't have any hard data but I have heard that the S4 chassis is a better starting point. The S4 has a lighter dashboard assembly for one, and more S4's came without sunroofs or power windows.

There is no question that S5 motors make more power. Stock your looking at 143 vs. 160. The motor internals are 100% compatible so you can easily get the S5 power.

I always prefered the S5 look (bumpers, trim, mirrors, taillights) plus I already owned a `91 track prepped car so that is why I race an S5. If I woul ddo it over again I woul dstart with an `88 GTU and swap all the "pretty" parts from a S5.

But that is just me.
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