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gav240z

Car Buying Advice - Mazda RX-7 FD

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Hi Everyone,

I realise this is off topic, but I have been living in Ireland for a while now and whilst I miss home, I think I could be here for a while longer.

 

Recently I have been considering buying a car, because I want to go surfing on the West Coast in Summer and its a 4.5 hr drive. I could hire a car, but weather conditions are not easy to predict and booking a car in Dublin could get expensive if I do it often. I don't need a car for work so it would be my weekend warrior.

 

I have more than enough cash to buy the car outright and I've always loved the Mazda RX-7 FD. You can get them relatively cheap here. From 4,000 euro - 12,000 euro depending on the year of the car. Compared to what they go for in Australia I consider this a great price.

 

Other thoughts to consider I'm still a young man with no mortgage or kids so I want a 2 seater sports car I can enjoy. I would get a Z but the only 1 for sale in Ireland right now is going for about 22,000 euro and I have nowhere to work on her anyway.

 

So what I'm looking for is feedback on the FD Mazda RX-7, have you ever owned 1? Have you ever owned a rotary? What's the general consensus / feedback on them?

 

I'm trying to get a copy of Brian Long's Mazda RX-7 book (same guy who wrote the Fairlady Z Story) but Amazon have it at a very high price and the publisher says its out of stock on their website. But I will order it soon as it has a buying guide and outlines the changes in the years.

 

The Spirit R version seems to be the duck's nuts but could be too expensive and I don't even know if any exist in the Emerald Isle anyway?

 

Here is a few examples in Ireland for sale right now:

http://cars.donedeal.ie/for-sale/cars/894220

http://cars.donedeal.ie/for-sale/cars/1210549

http://cars.donedeal.ie/for-sale/cars/1188581

http://cars.donedeal.ie/for-sale/cars/1146387

http://cars.donedeal.ie/for-sale/cars/1209453

http://cars.donedeal.ie/for-sale/cars/1200624

 

So have I sold my soul here if I buy a Mazda? :) I realise the same money spent on this car could be spent on my 240z back home and get lots of nice things done but I could always resell the Mazda RX-7 before I leave the country.

 

Insurance, maintenance, NCT (National Car Test) their version of RWC are also things to consider in the cost of a car.

 

Oh and I'm looking for a car as close to standard as possible. Not interested in silly rear wings, big chrome wheels, massive exhausts or other non-sense (or at least I think that's all non-sense). I'm looking for a car that's been meticulously cared for and babied.

 

Thanks guys.

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what i have learned from my mates with rotors.

They only get 80,000 to 100,000 kms out of them before the apexi seals go and need a compleat rebuild

they are very expensive on fuel

my mates seems to spend more time in the shed being worked on than on the road

they go like stink, but sound like a fart in a bottle.

 

Mind you theas are series 4/5 rx7 I am not sure if they improved the reliability and economy of the fd series 

 

 

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i say go for it gav, seems like the perfect time to buy one considering your circumstances. my house mate's a mechanic and has a nice fc, and ofcourse would really like to 'upgrade' to an fd. whenever i ask him about its realiability he says its the same as any other performance car and you just have to look after it with oil changes to protect the seals, but i've heard the 80,000-100,000km thing before. it however does go through more petrol than his old 70's v8 statesman!

 

i quickly consider an fd, but figured as i needed a semi daily, a silvia was a cheaper and less risky option. there was a bathurst r sitting an importers was checking out, and the guy was complaining that he'd pushed someone into the car opposite it, and they had rebounded off it and landed on the FD, putting a massive dent in it due to how thin all the panels are to reduce weight, where the car he was pushed into was fine! and he was saying that without their undercar bracing they twist like anything, and he'd imported an accident damaged car that one of his customers really wanted, and he said you could put your head inbetween the door and b pillar!

 

...where will the surf board go? gangsta roof racks?

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Ah rotary head ache. why not just get the real car they copied. A mid 80's 944 would cost peenuts in Ireland I imagine. Just put some club sport wheels on it and get it lowered. Like this one:

 

7103938.jpg

 

Sulio

 

EDIT: just realised it is the later model RX your looking at. Yep I like that series better than the new models. Still the 944 is pretty cheap seeing it will only be transitional at best.

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will a surf board fit in a RX7?

Or is it going on the roof?

 

Most people i know with rotaries dont drive them often, due to a massive cost of fuel.

They also spend a fair bit of time on maintenance, and over here rotary parts arent cheap, no matter where you shop.

What is premium fuel worth over there? Coz the rotor will drink fuel like an irishman with guniess ;)

 

Maybe another kind of hot road warrior?

Turbo Vauxall Astra?

Peugeot 206 GTi?

Escort Cosworth Rs2000

Better yet, if its more for cruising around than tearing up the roads, how about an old school merc landbarge?

I would suggest watching top gear to get some ideas from them, seeing as they frequently review some well priced sporty cars between the million dollar exotics.

 

Personally id be looking for something that isnt easily available over here, enjoy it while your over there and its cheaply obtainable.

Maybe even play your cards right and import it overe here as a private car, then sell it on.

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Little cheap and quick (ish) 205 GTI??

Rocket powered rollerskate that can actually be used.

 

Huw

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Personally id be looking for something that isnt easily available over here, enjoy it while your over there and its cheaply obtainable.

Maybe even play your cards right and import it overe here as a private car, then sell it on.

 

This is an excellent point - if you're going to be over there for another 12 months, this would be a good option....

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As cool as FDs are, I reckon go for a Euro car too.  Though an FD would be quicker and if the coastal roads are some fun, well...

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Gav

 

Sulio's spot on ... get a 944 S2 or turbo. They are bullet proof and parts are pretty easy to get (especially in Europe). They are very cheap also. Make sure you buy post 1985, as pre 85 they had cacky interior and were lower on grunt. The S2 is a 3.0l four cylinder and it a bullet. If you want some inspiration, have a look on Lyndsay Racing in the USA .. they regularly get 600HP from the 2.5 turbo motor.

 

Go and drive one before you buy the rotary. While the FD rx7 is a really nice car, i agree on the fuel and reliability issues. They seriously (i mean SERIOUSLY) chew fuel... think 351 carb Ford V8 style economy. The porsche 944 turbo will be faster too !

 

Oh, and the Porsche is well umm a Porsche. The Mazda is not!

 

Have fun with it.

 

Cheers

 

Adam

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gac agree with nizm0zed and guys bellow.

 

fd is nice but rotary = pain.

 

like they said get a porsche 944 turbo or even later model 968 big 3L 4cyl or cosworth escort something bit rare here and kinda cheapish up there,  that u can bring over here via personal import.

 

my plan is to do top gear euro trip. ie get a car in UK drive accross europe than pack it on container and bring it back here. was thinking cosworth, porshe, m3 etc.....

 

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Gav a mate from the UK (now lives in the US but the car is still in UK) has an FD Rx7 and it goes like a cut cat - when it is going that is. It cost him a packet in fuel and maintenance hence why it is still in the UK and not the US. I do like the style of the batmobile RX7 the back seat is a joke so I think of them as a 2 seater.

 

I would go with a euro too, the Porka that others talk about is a good car there is one that races in the time trials here in NZ and the old boy just pushes that car and he never lifts the bonnet. Those big 4 cylinders (1/2 of a 928 V8 I was once told not sure if that is true) are strong and reliable it seem.

 

I also agree with some other comments - get a Cosworth Esky or the like you know the YB powered cars - as worse case is you bring the car back to OZ and sell of the engine to a MK1 or MK2 escort boy to put the head onto his pinto bottom end (there are a number that race engine like that here in NZ - but they are 40K+ engine builds and big HP, but they also have alloy blocks too)

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Go for it - Rotaries are expensive to run but they are SO much fun!  Mmmmm FD....  ;D

 

My first car was a 1st Gen RX7, what a car it was...  :)

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Gav

I vote for a late 80's 944 (968 could be outa the budget) or a nicely worked 90's escort..a cosworth esky would be sensational  8) and 'probably" better resale....even a non turbo 2-door sierra (turbo could be expensive to buy)

 

or perhaps a Hillman Imp  ;D

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Can you buy 280zx two seater turbo?

Lynton 8)

only in LHD I believe - the US got them and so did LHD EU markets - don't think they were RHD 280zx Turbo - Fairlady Z turbo aka L20et powered but L28et powered in RHD.

 

The issue with most RHD 280zx 2 seaters in the UK is rust due to salt on the winter roads

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only in LHD I believe - the US got them and so did LHD EU markets - don't think they were RHD 280zx Turbo - Fairlady Z turbo aka L20et powered but L28et powered in RHD.

I thought there was one for sale a year or so ago in Perth ???

Maybe an aftermarket turbo then...

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I've also been looking at these E9 BMW lately, get em in a 2.8 or 3.0L. Nice car to ring back home later.

 

102501973.bXdokHmb.MGS_3124_copy.jpg

102499895.YrjON1Qq.MGS_3289copy.jpg

 

Sulio

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Bit of an update. I took a look at an FD3S RX-7 yesterday and I have to say I really like them. Very much reminded me of the feel of the 240z interior wise and even the way they drive.

 

I haven't driven a 944 yet, but I did see this:

 

Which inspired me to give them a look, I never really liked the styling though. It wasn't bad, but it's wasn't timeless (if you ask me).

 

It's worth having a look at them though.

 

Both cars could be risky to buy, the FD in case the engine decides to give up the ghost and the Porsche if it needs major parts (since Porsche parts = expensive).

 

I think I'm hooked on the rotary idea though, so smooth you don't realise it's time to change gear :).

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I've worked on my mates series 4 rx7 a bit. Is this one a turbo?

They have a lot of dramas and different parts through different models like the diff is weak in some (even turbos models) and the autos are rubbish so you need a manual. Carbon build up etc so you want to make sure the PO drove it like he stole it and not like a grandma.

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I've worked on my mates series 4 rx7 a bit. Is this one a turbo?

They have a lot of dramas and different parts through different models like the diff is weak in some (even turbos models) and the autos are rubbish so you need a manual. Carbon build up etc so you want to make sure the PO drove it like he stole it and not like a grandma.

 

Yeah it's a twin turbo, as far as I know all the FD's were twin turbo. The hitachi units were good but a lot of people convert them to non-sequential turbo which causes a little more lag lower down, but simplifies the engine bay dramatically. Not sure if I would do that, but I must say I really did enjoy the drive in it.

 

The previous owner seems to have meticulously looked after it, but I'm going to be looking at a few more to get a feel for how different cars behave and compare condition of them etc.. He now owns an RX-8 for the more practical side of things (small children), but says the RX-7 is loads more fun.

 

This car is pretty stock other than an Apexi-ECU (For Mapping to Irish Fuel - lower octane than Japan), a stainless steel airbox and silicon vacuum hoses (rubber ones tend to crack and cause boost leaks due to heat in engine bay). It's not got the stock wheels, some 17" SSR rims (which I'm not that fond of mind you).

 

I realise the car could be a maintenance queen, but it will be a weekend toy and something I wouldn't mind tinkering with here and there. If it ends up starting to cost me a fortune I can always reassess ownership and decide to pass it on if need be. I might take a look at a 944 just for comparison, but as much as I like the Porsche marquee I told my g/f if I ever considered a Boxter to shoot me and a 944 isn't far off that haha.

 

 

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Gav if it is any consolation I am about to turn over 250,000kms in my Nissan 200sx R spec I bought new in 2001. I have had absolutely no grief at all with this car being the only major expense, front and rear disc rotors and tyres about every 50,000km. The car is unmodified other than a manual boost switch running at about 11-12lbs mainly for highway overtaking BB transport very smartly.

 

I am still on original clutch, turbo, fuel injectors and the car basically is still like new and tight and in my opinion is a 4 cylinder Zed in modern day form. I am about to put it on the market for sale but find little else comparable to replace it with in terms of personality maybe an Alfa Brera.

 

The 944 Turbo I would personally rather purchase provided it has been Porsche serviced. They are a very tight solid thoroughbred car to drive and handle extremely well. They suffer from cracked dashboards and have an awesome inside cabin snarl from the engine.

Lynton 8)

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Bit of a revival on this thread I know but came across it while searching for something else and thought it was a good time to give an update.

 

So as many know I did end up getting an FD RX-7 and I've had it 5 years now. It's been reliable in that time, the only major issue was the original radiator started to leak and was replaced by an upgraded Koyo Radiator, which is recommended anyway given the heat these generate.

 

The biggest issue I had with the car was that it was stolen and damaged, I spent significant time putting her back together but she's now better than when I started. The rear suspension has started to develop a bit of a click (pillow ball bushes) which is common at this mileage (just over 102,000 km's now). I had to replace a leaky sump (again common) and so far I've resisted modifying it with a big exhaust or upping boost etc..

 

I have no regrets buying it, fantastic car. In fact I loved it so much I imported it back with me to Australia. I even took it on a drive day a while back.

IMG_20140615_112415.jpg

IMG_20140615_112354.jpg

 

So why the thread revival? Well a friend recently bought a 944 (non turbo) 83 model and on the weekend I took it for a drive.

IMG_20150606_103900.jpg

IMG_20150606_103927.jpg

 

I have to say I really did enjoy it, what a great little car.  It's been well look after and is a good honest car. Even though it was non-turbo it still went quite well and was really enjoyable to drive. If I didn't have the FD I'd probably consider a 944 Turbo S or maybe the S2 (3.0ltr) N/A version. My friend picked his car up for $10k which I think represents excellent value, I actually can't believe you can get so much car for so little money.

 

Driving it I noticed a lot of 911 owners were looking at it on the road, I guess that's how many 911s are on the road. They seem like a well built car that's for sure. I was never really a massive fan until I drove 1.

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