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RX7 for rally car... 2nd gen me thinks

Posted by mhooper 
mhooper
Michael Hooper
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RX7 for rally car... 2nd gen me thinks
February 06, 2016 07:05PM
Kicking around the idea of building another car. Looking at Mazdas for obvious reasons...

I have seen a lot of 1st gen RX7s, but not too many 2nd gens. 2nd gen would be my choice, but I am curious as to there limitations.

Anybody here have considerable experience with 2nd gen RX7? Ive read here the front suspension is good, how bout rear? I remember from JDM days they have a big mustache style subframe and if memory serves pretty long arms... so maybe ok?

What would stop one of these things from being at the front of 2wd? Full disclosure I'm not a huge fan of rotory and would be considering boosted duratec if that would fly for mazda contingency.

Thanks fer thoughts....
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Re: RX7 for rally car... 2nd gen me thinks
February 06, 2016 08:45PM
My first rally car was a 2nd gen RX7 that I 'built.' It wasn't bad but wasn't ever going to be great.

With the current cage specs, I'd strongly advise looking at a shell with more room, mine was pre-256.8 spec, and tight for me at 6' tall.
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mellow65
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Re: RX7 for rally car... 2nd gen me thinks
February 06, 2016 11:22PM
Quote
mhooper
Full disclosure I'm not a huge fan of rotory and would be considering boosted duratec if that would fly for mazda contingency.

If you read the Mazda contingency rules, it doesn't cover engines. My subaru powered 1st gen is A ok in their book, or at least it was when I asked a while back.



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Re: RX7 for rally car... 2nd gen me thinks
February 07, 2016 07:05AM
I built arguably the most successful Gen. 2 RX7 in the U.S. Dave and Rick Hintz won several regional titles and the 2002 SCCA ProRally Group 5 national championship with it. It can be a good car but it does have it's weaknesses. Better choice than a Gen. 1, in my opinion. I don't know why some people are so against rotaries, it's hard to find a more reliable race engine. The Turbo 2 engine in that car was rebuilt in 1999, just before becoming a rally car, and that same engine is still running strong today. In fact it's never been out of the car since 1999. I wouldn't do a turbo rotary again, though. Too much trouble and expense trying to keep it cool and get a reliable turbo setup. It's been reliable for a long time but it took some development and it's more maintenance than N/A. Still, the power is good at 300+hp, depending on the boost but you can get plenty out of a good ported N/A motor.

Some things to keep in mind. You need to to lock up the passive rear wheel steering. There are kits for that. The rear suspension has a lot of camber change so it always wears the tires funny. The differential mount likes to break, even the Mazda Competition one. You need a good skidplate and underbody protection as the car is low and the exhaust system will be the biggest maintenance item on the car.
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Pete
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Re: RX7 for rally car... 2nd gen me thinks
February 08, 2016 04:52PM
I would not want to rally any generation RX-7 unless I was 5'6 or shorter.

They're a snug fit without a cage. FCs have the snuggest fit of the RX-7s.



Pete Remner
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mhooper
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Re: RX7 for rally car... 2nd gen me thinks
February 09, 2016 07:36PM
Thanks everybody for the responses. I am hearing about the size quite a bit. Surprised FC smaller than FB adn FD. I'm 5'9" so not partiularly tall, but snug is no fun. Im gonna see if I can find one locally to sit in.

If Chuck Mc. could rally the snot out of one back in the day, surely I can fit. That was FB though.
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Re: RX7 for rally car... 2nd gen me thinks
February 09, 2016 07:41PM
Sitting in a street version of the car is not the same as sitting in a caged version.
The snugness comes from the cage more than anything else, and some of it can be mitigated by how you do the door bars.
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mhooper
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Re: RX7 for rally car... 2nd gen me thinks
February 09, 2016 08:08PM
Morrison... Thank you... I know, been in lotsa rally cars, built lotsa (well several anywho) rally cars... Good point though!


So, was just reviewing RA rules and the say OE ports for GR2. I'd wanna stay GR2. My understanding is that NA power comes from porting... Gonna consult google, but open to input on what you can actually get from oe ports NA. FC is not particularly light... Hmm.
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Re: RX7 for rally car... 2nd gen me thinks
February 09, 2016 08:56PM
Quote
mhooper
Morrison... Thank you... I know, been in lotsa rally cars, built lotsa (well several anywho) rally cars... Good point though!


So, was just reviewing RA rules and the say OE ports for GR2. I'd wanna stay GR2. My understanding is that NA power comes from porting... Gonna consult google, but open to input on what you can actually get from oe ports NA. FC is not particularly light... Hmm.

It's all down to the porting (since nobody ever bothered to fit reed valves and a proper expansion chamber). RA rule is brilliantly thought out. Just like all their incisive and unique interpretations of the rules...You'd have try hard to match the brilliance of their rules.



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Re: RX7 for rally car... 2nd gen me thinks
February 10, 2016 10:14AM
I think I remember Mike Summers talking about the restriction of porting on his gen2 rx7 as one of the reasons he decided to build a gen1 rx7. He didn't want to have to change classes in order to make the car more competitive. If you really want to go down the 2nd gen road, his old car might be available.



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mhooper
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Re: RX7 for rally car... 2nd gen me thinks
February 11, 2016 12:24PM
Where is he located?
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Re: RX7 for rally car... 2nd gen me thinks
February 12, 2016 12:46AM
He's in the UP. Summers' Rotary Racing on FB.



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Re: RX7 for rally car... 2nd gen me thinks
February 12, 2016 11:29AM
Actaully the rules say oe porting and induction. I asked for clarification on induction. It requires the stock manifolds or carb. Personally i feel the rule is antiquated since we have 3.0l m3s running whatever the hell they want but an FB has to run a stock nikki carb. Without swappjng engines or maybe the renesis from an rx8, group 5 is almost a requirement,



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Re: RX7 for rally car... 2nd gen me thinks
February 12, 2016 01:46PM
Why would you want to stay G2?

Having driven both 1st gen and 2nd gen RX7s extensively on the street. I agree that the 2nd gen is smaller on the inside (at least where it counts as a driver) than the 1st or 3rd gen cars.

1st gen pros:
Looks
Interior space
Weight

1st gen cons:
Rear suspension binds
reticulated ball steering is awful
Brakes are meh

2nd gen pros:
easier to find?
better steering up front
larger wheel wells for rally tire
great brakes stock

2nd gen cons:
floor pan and roofline make cockpit unreasonably small
rear steer stuff makes car wonky at the limit especially under braking
weight



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Pete
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Re: RX7 for rally car... 2nd gen me thinks
February 12, 2016 04:50PM
2nd gen actually can make power... with a G2 legal engine you can make 200ish HP. The stock intake is pretty dang good as OE manifolds go and the stock porting is too big, if anything.



Pete Remner
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