I have been unfaithful and strayed.
The past several weeks, Sprocket has not been the center of my hardware fantasies...she's been supplanted.
Not really her fault, if anything, her goodness had lulled me into a state of complacency...dare I say boredom?
I needed some strange.
As it happens, the solution found me.
I answered an ad for help on a car project- a project that's long been near and dear to me...swapping a V-8 into a Mazda RX-7.
This is something I've been considering for well over a year and the chance to get paid while practising on someone else's car was irresistible.
A bit of background...
This car (a third generation 1993 RX) was purchased by the current owner last March.
The engine had already been installed and (supposedly) the car had been driven on the street for over a year.
When purchased, the transmission had issues and the engine was thought to have a blown head gasket.
The new owner flailed away but made little headway and finally sought help.
We've been working one day each weekend and there is finally light at the end of the tunnel.
I should note that IMO the engine was improperly installed from the git-go and, while the new owner agreed, he wanted to continue so he could actually drive the car and see what he thought.
So, it's likely that we're going to rip out the whole install and start all over with a proper engine mount, but that will happen in the future.
Anyway, when we started the car was in need of a lot of basic assembly.
We started with the easy stuff, new ignition, wires & plugs, oil and filter...
The engine is an iron block LT1 with a six speed T-56 transmission from a '96 Camaro. It's been ported and has solid lifters and a more aggressive cam.
After installing the new Optiplex ignition and waterpump we moved on to the intake and cooling...
All of this had to be pieced together to fit into the limited space we had to work with.
At this point we were able to start the car and decided that it ran too well to have anything seriously wrong...it had probably been suffering from a flaky ignition.
So far, so good.
More detail work and wiring followed.
New brake pads and wheels/tires were installed.
This week I rolled her out and she got her first bath in over a year...
(That's my red second gen RX on the street...)
Still to go is installing the new (to us anyway) bodykit...
There are also sideskirts and rear wheel spats.
Sometime next week the car goes into the shop and the transmission gets rebuilt/upgraded.
After that she goes to have the final exhaust fabricated.
While she's out getting worked on, we'll be recovering all the interior panels with black Alcantara.
We already have new carpet and new Corbeau seats.
I can't wait to drive this thing.
Compared to the stock car, we've added @ 125-150 horsepower and tripled the low end torque, something the Wankel engine is notoriously lacking.
Gas mileage should be similar to- if not better than- the original engine.
All told, the new engine weighs about 75lbs more than the stocker and this is exacerbated by the poor engine location (it's about 4-5" further forward than it should be).
Effects on handling and suspension are as yet unknown.
We'll deal with that after it gets driven for a while.
The owner plans on using this as his daily driver.
Should make the daily commute interesting.
So, that's what I've been up to.
Sprocket has been understanding so far...