Project Old School - 1988 Mazda RX7 Convertible - with added turbo!

Discussion in 'Reality Check' started by Jenn, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. JoeLouie

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    I remember when I had my CRX I took apart 2 or 3 seats to make one good seat, and I don't know if I've ever cursed as much as I did fucking around with those damn clips. I can't imagine basically building a new seat.
     
  2. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Yeah, it's....not fun. LOL Definitely hard work. I need to start the second seat now, so hoping it'll go quicker with the lessons learned in the first one.

    I find the hog rings aren't the hard part - I have a good set of hog ring pliers - it's getting the foam to fill out the vinyl properly and test fitting over and over again.
     
  3. Boots

    www.reality-check.ca

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    Are you worried about temperature changes affecting the material and fitment?
     
  4. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Not really - I am able to take the rings out and readjust as needed. Plus, I bought a really good quality foam to start with to make sure it'll last.
     
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  5. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Updated to-do:

    February:
    - Rebuild passengers seat (3 days) (Just half of one seat to go now!! I was able to reuse some foam that was in good shape!)
    - Install seats (1 hour)
    - Swap over adjustable suspension from race car (KYBAGX, Ground Control Sleeves, Camber Plates) (1 day)
    - Install new brake flex line on Driver's front (when suspension is done)
    - Get engine porting done (this is in progress) - going half bridge
    - Put exhaust sleeves back on the housings I'm using - the guy before me removed them, good thing I have a spare set (a few hours tops)
    - Get stuck side seals out of my rotors (working on this) (Finished this last night)
    - Clean all engine pieces (a few hours)
    - Install boost control solenoid (1 hour)
    - Create custom gasket for turbo-to-downpipe flange - since my turbo doesn't have a standard flange on it (30 min)
    - Install e-fan and have it trigger off the ECU (1 hour)
    - Install RE-Amemiya front bumper and wire up headlights (a few hours)
    - Make new lexan headlight covers (2 hours)
    - Install sideskirts (a few hours)
    - Install S5 tails (30 min)
    - Sand the car and fix any spots that need fixing (1 day)
    - Order the rear diffuser (Shine)

    March:
    - Install S5 rear bumper and moldings (a couple hours)
    - Assemble engine with Atkins seal kit (a few hours)
    - Install rebuilt engine with turbo transmission, Centerforce clutch, turbo clutch slave, turbo starter, Mazdatrix adapter driveshaft(a few hours)
    - Install new fuel injectors (10 minutes)
    - Fabricate AN oil lines to replace factory (all the fittings are coming for that) (1 hour)
    - Replace turbo coolant line with better quality line (5 minutes)
    - Have it vinyl wrapped (3 - 4 days)
    - Reinstall rear window in the top (1 hour)

    April:
    - Install rear diffuser (2 hours)
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  6. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Did a lot of work on the weekend.
    - Full suspension swap to KYB AGX's with Ground Control Sleeves and camber plates.
    - Cleaned up most of the engine parts in prep for painting or polishing.
    - Found a set of irons that will work and cleaned them, packed them up for shipping to get ported.
    - Installed the new brake flex line.
    - Test fit the bumper and one of the headlight covers - I need to fab new covers out of the sheet of lexan I just bought and do a little fiberglass repair to the bumper around the fog lights, then sand it and prime it all one color. Wiring looks fairly straightforward, so I'll get that wired up shortly.

    Waiting for all of my fittings and hose to arrive so I can fabricate all the fuel and oil lines. Also need to get the T2 front cover tapped for an AN fitting in the oil return line hole.

    I found 2 trashed housings from friends of mine this weekend as well that I can steal FD exhaust port sleeves from - waiting for my super duper drill bits to get here to drill out the roll pins - had no success with a couple other DIY methods for getting those out. I'm going to tap the holes and use a set screw instead when it goes back together - countersunk so it lays just below the mating surface of the housing where it seals against the iron.

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  7. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Updated to-do:

    February:
    - Rebuild passengers seat (3 days) (Just half of one seat to go now!! I was able to reuse some foam that was in good shape!)
    - Install seats (1 hour)
    - Get engine porting done (this is in progress) - going half bridge
    - Put exhaust sleeves back on the housings I'm using - the guy before me removed them, good thing I have a spare set (a few hours tops) (waiting for drill bits)
    - Create custom gasket for turbo-to-downpipe flange - since my turbo doesn't have a standard flange on it (30 min)
    - Install e-fan and have it trigger off the ECU (1 hour)
    - Install RE-Amemiya front bumper and wire up headlights (a few hours) (IN PROGRESS)
    - Make new lexan headlight covers (2 hours) (IN PROGRESS)
    - Install sideskirts (a few hours)
    - Install S5 tails (30 min)
    - Sand the car and fix any spots that need fixing (1 day)
    - Order the rear diffuser (Shine)

    March:
    - Install boost control solenoid (1 hour)
    - Install S5 rear bumper and moldings (a couple hours)
    - Assemble engine with Atkins seal kit (a few hours)
    - Install rebuilt engine with turbo transmission, Centerforce clutch, turbo clutch slave, turbo starter, Mazdatrix adapter driveshaft(a few hours)
    - Install new fuel injectors (10 minutes)
    - Fabricate AN oil lines and fuel lines to replace factory (all the fittings are coming for that) (1 hour)
    - Replace turbo coolant line with better quality line (5 minutes)
    - Have it vinyl wrapped (3 - 4 days)
    - Reinstall rear window in the top (1 hour)

    April:
    - Install rear diffuser (2 hours)
     
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  8. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Decided to fix up the RE-Amemiya bumper a bit - the fog light holes had been cut, so I got out the fiberglass, found a tin just the size of a fog light, some stiff plastic to use as a form for the angle, and repaired them. I need to lay a few more layers on here, but the basic shape is hardened now! Then, just to fill the other side and smooth it all out, and prime the whole bumper.

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    I also did a little detail work on the upper intake manifold last night.

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  9. Dewie

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  10. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Yeah right now I'm on the hunt for 4.5" fog lights to fit my newly fixed holes. LOL
     
  11. v-mac

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    That looks awesome!
     
  12. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Thanks! Just need to touch it up with a second coat, but I'm pretty happy with it. :)
     
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  13. Jenn

    Jenn
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    More polishing - this time fuel rails...
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    Working on finishing the prep of the bumper - filling the front side of the newly rebuilt fog light holes and sanding the whole bumper.
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  14. Dewie

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    Fiberglass is weird and wonderful stuff - looking forward to seeing this come together!
     
  15. Jenn

    Jenn
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    And stinky.

    There are 5-6 layers of cloth in these now, so I think it'll hold. Doing final sanding tonight and then cutting off the rough edge on the back to go in line with original line of the bumper.
    I also need to sand a few rough spots on the car and prime them - that way it'll be ready for vinyl wrap.


    Another update - I sent my engine irons (side housings) off to Ontario for porting work - they should be there today. Hopefully I'll get them back soon and I can build the engine. Doing everything else I can in the meantime to clean everything up and get ready to put it all together! :)
     
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  16. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Progress on prepping the bumper!

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  17. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Officially finished the prep of the front bumper - went back and fixed a few odds and ends.
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    Started prepping the body this weekend - sanded out the orange peel/runs/dirt from the crappy paint job, more sanding to do this week.
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    Removed the tail lights,etc so I can prep the trunk area - need to remove the 3rd brake light tonight, and sand down in there. Spraying around the trunk area with color match paint that should be close to the color the car will be vinyl wrapped. I also took off the S5 rear bumper and trim from the parts car and have those in the garage to be prepped.
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    Discovered some dents in my doors that I can't live with, so I am swapping to my spare doors - need to put the mirrors on them, put the new speakers in them, and fix a couple small rust spots this week, prep them to go on the car. All trim needs to be removed from the car as well to make room for the S5 trim.

    Speaking of the color the car will be wrapped - I have a swatch of it here - it's a fairly dark gunmetal type color with lots of metallic in it.
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    Sideskirts and rear diffuser are getting ordered this week.

    Updated to-do list:

    March:
    - Rebuild passengers seat (6 hours) (Just half of one seat to go now!! I was able to reuse some foam that was in good shape!)
    - Install seats (1 hour)
    - Get engine porting done (this is in progress) - going half bridge
    - Put exhaust sleeves back on the housings I'm using - need some set screws
    - Create custom gasket for turbo-to-downpipe flange - since my turbo doesn't have a standard flange on it (30 min)
    - Install e-fan and have it trigger off the ECU (1 hour)
    - Install RE-Amemiya front bumper and wire up headlights (a few hours) (IN PROGRESS)
    - Make new lexan headlight covers (2 hours) (IN PROGRESS)
    - Install S5 tails (30 min)
    - Sand the car and fix any spots that need fixing, prep rear bumper, prep moldings, fix spare doors and install (2 days) (IN PROGRESS)
    - Color match door jambs, trunk area
    - Order the rear diffuser and side skirts (Shine)
    - Remove wiring harness and de-pin anything not being used after emissions removal
    - Install boost control solenoid (1 hour)
    - Install S5 rear bumper and moldings (a couple hours)
    - Assemble engine with Atkins seal kit (a few hours)
    - Install rebuilt engine with turbo transmission, Centerforce clutch, turbo clutch slave, turbo starter, Mazdatrix adapter driveshaft(a few hours)
    - Install new fuel injectors (10 minutes)
    - Fabricate AN oil lines and fuel lines to replace factory (all the fittings are coming for that) (1 hour)
    - Replace turbo coolant line with better quality line (5 minutes)
    - Have it vinyl wrapped (3 - 4 days)
    - Reinstall rear window in the top - I have decided to get an auto glass guy to do this while it's being vinyl wrapped

    April:
    - Install rear diffuser and side skirts (4 hours)
     
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  18. Duggan

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    This is pretty fun to watch come together.
     
  19. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Going to start happening quickly soon.....
     
  20. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Rustproofing time....
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    Prepping the spare doors to go on the car - removing rockerguard and trim, fixing any dents and rust.
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    Almost all the supplies are here to build my new oil and fuel lines...
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    Doesn't look like much right now...
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    Got a pic of the rough cut on my porting - waiting for the finished product now!
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    Removing more rockerguard...
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    Fancy new dust mask.
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    Took off the fender and there was a bit of a problem - fender was rotted, but so was what was under it.
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    Looking less like a car...
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    Fixed the fender with fiberglass and fill
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  21. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Painting the door jambs to match the vinyl color
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    More rustproofing...
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    Rustproofed and painted the back of the car
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    Welding in some metal in the spot where the big hole was
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    It's starting to come back together, missing a few things though...like the engine.
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    Always wear gloves when working with POR 15. My not so girlish hands.
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  22. Jenn

    Jenn
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    A little more progress - S5 moldings are sanded and a coat of bumper and trim paint added.

    Also took a beat up old S5 rear bumper off the parts car and sanded it smooth, coated it in bumper paint to get ready to wrap it. Need a little more paint, but it's getting close.

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  23. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Progress has been a bit slow - I've been dealing with a sinus infection, bronchitis, and now pink eye. :lol: I can't catch a break!!
     
  24. v-mac

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    Excuses, Excuses! :lol:
     
  25. Jenn

    Jenn
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    haha tonight I'll finish that bumper/trim and then give the driver's side a final sand. Need to let the car down on the dollies and shift it over so I can access the passengers side and do the sanding/rockerguard removal there and swap out the passengers door (swap over the lock actuator, speaker, door handle, and door card as well).

    My package including my clutch, injectors, and engine seals got released from Customs and will be here Friday, and hoping my other engine pieces get shipped from Ontario ASAP so I can build the engine next week and drop it in on that long weekend.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  26. Beaker

    Lifestyle Enthusiast

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    why are you doing a wrap instead of paint?
     
  27. Jenn

    Jenn
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    A friend of ours has a vinyl shop and I'm getting a smoking deal on it. Also, no masking/overspray. It'll likely get used as a demo car as well at some shows for his vinyl work.

    The vinyl I picked looks just like paint really - very heavy metallic and quite glossy - there are also special waxes for vinyl wraps to keep it looking nice. :)
     
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  28. Jenn

    Jenn
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    A little more progress...

    Building up quite a collection of parts in my basement.
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    Fitted the e-fan to the rad:
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    Wired up the relays for the e-fan, as well as a new mini fuse block for some accessories - (Fan, fuel pump, headlight assembly)
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    Going to make an aluminum cover to put over this area to cover up the wiring.

    Also wired in the boost control solenoid. Tape is to mark which port is which until I hook it up.
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    Now, just need to program the ECU to do the outputs that I want to mate up with all the new wiring. :)

    Pushed the convertible over so I can work on the other side, looks like the 2 cars are snuggling now - hers and his.

    [​IMG]
     
  29. Wayne

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    Nice work, impressive.
     
  30. Jenn

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    Engine plates are ready - shipping to me today!
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  31. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Had a great weekend fabricating and working on the car!
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    Cleaned up some brackets and things, and made some brackets to mount up the e-fan.
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    Made my turbo-downpipe gasket with the new gasket material
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    And I'm ALMOST done body work! Painted the passengers jamb, just need a few other odds and ends to have a final sand.
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  32. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Updated to do:
    Completed:
    - Engine Porting
    - Install e-fan and have it trigger off the ECU
    - Wire up headlights
    - Install boost control solenoid
    - Sand the car and fix any spots that need fixing, prep rear bumper, prep moldings, fix spare doors and install
    - Color match door jambs, trunk area
    - Create custom gasket for turbo-to-downpipe flange - since my turbo doesn't have a standard flange on it


    March:
    - Put exhaust sleeves back on the housings I'm using - need some set screws, which are on order
    - Make new lexan headlight covers (2 hours) (IN PROGRESS - should be done tomorrow night)
    - Paint housings and irons when they get here
    - Clean up transmission
    - Clear coat polished fuel rails


    ENGINE ASSEMBLY AND INSTALLATION
    - Assemble engine with Atkins seal kit (a few hours)
    - Install rebuilt engine with turbo transmission, Centerforce clutch, turbo clutch slave, turbo starter, Mazdatrix adapter driveshaft(a few hours)
    - Install new fuel injectors (10 minutes)
    - Fabricate AN oil lines and fuel lines to replace factory (all the fittings are coming for that) (1 hour)
    - Replace turbo coolant line with better quality line (5 minutes)

    - Have it vinyl wrapped (3 - 4 days)
    - Install RE-Amemiya front bumper
    - Install S5 tails (30 min)
    - Install S5 rear bumper and moldings (a couple hours)
    - Reinstall rear window in the top - I have decided to get an auto glass guy to do this while it's being vinyl wrapped

    April:
    - Rebuild passengers seat (6 hours) (waiting for some springs)
    - Install seats (1 hour)
    - Install rear diffuser and side skirts (4 hours)
     
  33. Jenn

    Jenn
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    I love when parts people argue with me like they know more about the cross compatibility of parts with rotary powered vehicles than I do. Like, I get that I'm a girl, but I'm not an idiot.

    Called to order a part, couldn't find it under the part number I had (it seems like it was an older version of the part number) so I asked them to look up the RX8 equivalent of it, since they're the same and it should be more current. I got a HUGE song and dance about how they're totally different cars and the part won't fit, and he COULD do it, but it's not going to work. I told him I've already checked the cross compatibility on it, which is 1974 - 2011. Attitude continued.

    So it was "Well, if I'm going to get this kind of attitude, I'll just call another dealership. *CLICK*"

    Found the new version of the part number myself, it was the same for all RX7 and RX8 - called dealer #2 - "Yep, no prob, it'll be here Monday."

    Part was a pilot bearing seal - which is a little rubber seal that's the same for all of them.
     
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  34. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Only missing the hood, bumpers, and drivetrain now. Parts won't be here in time for the weekend - but next week engine will get built.
    [​IMG]
     
  35. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Engine plates arrived!
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    Painted the irons and front cover - painting the housings tonight.
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    Bumpers and trim are off to the vinyl shop to get a head start on the wrap!
    [​IMG]

    Engine assembly will happen this weekend. :)
     
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