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Thread: Sprocket's Competition

  1. #1
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    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.
    Enter moi.

    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.
    Finally, paint.

    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...
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    Detale's Avatar Go Snatch a Judge
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    So far she has, wait till you "a come a callin'" Then we'll see.

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    After this weekend I'll have some downtime from the car and have some plans for Sprocket.
    There's a different CPU waterblock to try and an OS upgrade (with possible hard drive rearrangement) in the works.

    It's actually been kind of weird to just use the computer and not work on her constantly.
    This may be the longest she's ever gone without an upgrade or change.
    I think this is how normal people deal with their PC...
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by clocker View Post
    I think this is how normal people deal with their PC...
    Just so.

    1) What kind of transmission upgrades.

    2) Did you get the other three through the shifter yet, or will this fix that, as well.

    3) Have any other of us done this type of stuffs.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    1) Improved shift forks and synchros

    2) The new shift rod block finally arrived and will be installed Sunday...then we'll see.

    3) I dunno.

    We were going to drop off the car today but Mother Nature intervened with a spring blizzard.
    Now going to work on the car some more Sunday and take her in Monday.
    The owner goes into the hospital Tuesday for back surgery, so I don't know our timeline from there.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by clocker View Post
    1) Improved shift forks and synchros

    2) The new shift rod block finally arrived and will be installed Sunday...then we'll see.

    3) I dunno.

    We were going to drop off the car today but Mother Nature intervened with a spring blizzard.
    Now going to work on the car some more Sunday and take her in Monday.
    The owner goes into the hospital Tuesday for back surgery, so I don't know our timeline from there.
    Ah.

    Back to 'bated breath, then.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Indeed.
    The scope and conditions of his recovery are unknown (to me, at least).

    This is a concern because I've expended a lot of energy into the project and have become quite invested in it's success. It's also been a source of income.

    To date, money has not been an issue...the owner has spent freely when necessary (and sometimes, even when not) but I really have no idea what the budget- if there is one- might be.
    I am also unaware of what "finished"- as he would define it- is.

    No matter the outcome of this particular car, my desire to perform a similar swap has only intensified.
    A lot will depend on the difficulty we experience passing emissions.

    In Colorado, any car less than twenty five years old must pass a regular sniff test (which includes a visual examination).
    Cars older than that (i.e., model year 1984 and earlier) are subject to a more relaxed test and qualify for "historic" status.
    This status not only gets you a tag good for 5 years at a time (my 240Z had one) but also only gets tested the first time you register the car. From then on, as long as you own it, the car is never tested again.

    This means that if I bought a pre-1985 RX ( the first generation body style), I could test it with the original engine and then perform the swap with no further inspection at all...ever.

    It also means I could use a carbed engine which is not only cheaper but significantly simpler as it is absent the computerized engine management system.

    So you can see why I have more than just one pony in this race.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  8. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by clocker View Post
    Indeed.
    The scope and conditions of his recovery are unknown (to me, at least).

    This is a concern because I've expended a lot of energy into the project and have become quite invested in it's success. It's also been a source of income.

    To date, money has not been an issue...the owner has spent freely when necessary (and sometimes, even when not) but I really have no idea what the budget- if there is one- might be.
    I am also unaware of what "finished"- as he would define it- is.

    No matter the outcome of this particular car, my desire to perform a similar swap has only intensified.
    A lot will depend on the difficulty we experience passing emissions.

    In Colorado, any car less than twenty five years old must pass a regular sniff test (which includes a visual examination).
    Cars older than that (i.e., model year 1984 and earlier) are subject to a more relaxed test and qualify for "historic" status.
    This status not only gets you a tag good for 5 years at a time (my 240Z had one) but also only gets tested the first time you register the car. From then on, as long as you own it, the car is never tested again.

    This means that if I bought a pre-1985 RX ( the first generation body style), I could test it with the original engine and then perform the swap with no further inspection at all...ever.

    It also means I could use a carbed engine which is not only cheaper but significantly simpler as it is absent the computerized engine management system.

    So you can see why I have more than just one pony in this race.
    The "pony" reference would be of greater significance if you were talking a Ford swap.

    Have you given that any thought?
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  9. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    All options would be open...I'm not really knowledgeable about any American drivetrains.
    Which do you prefer?
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  10. Software & Hardware   -   #10
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by clocker View Post
    All options would be open...I'm not really knowledgeable about any American drivetrains.
    Which do you prefer?
    The underdog in me says go Ford, and there are more options, but it just stands to reason Chevrolet will hold the edge in installation numbers.

    Personally, I like the OHC options Ford offers (they go back a few more years as well, and should have good availability), but it comes down to the best deal you can find.

    I can't claim to be right up-to-date on this stuff, but the install-kit websites ought to be a resource.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

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