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Fairlady Z

My new soon to be daily mini project RX7

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Time for me to downgrade my current daily so the funds can be used elsewhere.


I bought this as a cheap run about to get me to and from work till I complete my other project car and the Z.


Please refer to my intro page before passing any comments. If any questions regarding that please PM me




now to the fun stuff.


It is a S2 Rx7 besides needing TLC as you can see there are no mods what so ever on this car.  Everything is stock. One of the reasons I ended up buying it.


Pics of the car when I went to check it out.









Delivered to my place. After a quick clean up of the junk inside and quick assembly to see what parts I'm missing.






it was running but never driven it as brakes and clutch were not operational.

After quick clutch flush and bleed and top up of brake fluid test drive was in order in my backyard  ;D



yep she boogies  :P


As the car came with few spares including new hatch rubber, spark plugs,2 spare doors cracked tail lights and 4lt of original colour, plan was quick patch of the small rust area at the hatch and quick rub down and spray to make it more respectable. No show car job just a quick spray to get rid of primer patches.


But as we all know plans change. And I couldn't accept myself doing crap job. So after bit of snooping and digging there was more rust to be found.


what I saw




what i didn't




what I thought "she be ok"  :o




and what I ended up doing is striping it to metal to see whats lurking under there from previous owners repair attempts.








Lucky I went with my gut feel and investigated it further. it was a time bomb.  The car was mostly in such a good unmolested condition that deserved to be saved properly. so my "quick fix" ended up "lets fix it properly".




next chapter tomorrow. 8)

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thanks Dimitri,


yeah I didn't want a perfect car but getting carried away with it.


Mick yeah the repairs hmmmm there are too many wanna be car repairers out there. As far as I know could of been done by "professional" as seen some pros do worse job than this.


I tried turning a blind eye to the dodgy repair to the left side hatch area so welded all the holes. (it was meant to be a "quick fix" and back on the road)

Tried burning the rust out and spot welding the holes.




Yeah lot better but wasn't too happy. It will pass now. So I continued fabricating the rest of the gutter.













This turned out so well. I couldn't stop thinking about that left corner and what did I actually seal underneath all that crappy previous welded plating.

Couldn't hack it so got trusty grinder out to find out.




The corner is out. Lucky I did as there was more dodgy work underneath it.  The so called previous repairer just hammer the rust in and welded a galvanised fence sheet on top of it.  >:( it was rusting to buggery.


Next step was to fabricate the corner I just cut out. Thanks to the 240z rusty leftover panels that I cut out a clean peace to fabricate the corner





Ranex rust eater/converter was used to remove any surface rust in surrounding areas and than coated with Wattyl Super Etch primer before welding in.




Few tack welds to keep it in shape and correct position



checking the profile


all welded



little bit of grinder time to annoy my neighbours  ::) also to make it look pretty and feel smooth



That's it for today. Next fabricating the inner corner and the hatch gutter.


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Thanks Mick, I'm always making progress just on other things and Z seems to be taking the back seat most of the time. Soon Z work will be going full steam ahead.


I know its not as impressive as Ledges work, but thanks to Ledges post i have learned a lot and still to learn lot more. Pitty i only read his post yesterday so didn't get to use any of his tips.


Ledge if if you reading this and need an apprentice let me know.  ;D Or if  giving lessons let me know. Got few panels to make up for the old Z.


so bit more on the Rx7.


The left inner section replacement







the inner gutter corner section (was a pain definitely need to invest into shrink/ English wheel tool)




Finalising the top section of the 1/4 panel and gutter channel







Now the bit I somehow missed to see.








that finalises the Left side of the rear 1/4 panel now to the right side and that tailgate gutter.







now before welding in the above i thought better finish of the inner panel on the left side





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Not wanting to upset my neighbours  8) grinding and cutting after work I thought I leave the noisy bits for the weekends and have a look at the issue of hard starting and flooding the engine.


Noticed few vacuum lines were loose perished and not connected or blocked with screws.  >:( got to love the bush mechanics.


Thanks to the WWW and few hardcore RX fans for having a full service manual available for free on line . Ive printed it and bound it and went to figure out where the vacuum lines should be connected.


With all the hoses and wiring checked/fixed time to hit the start key.  Thinking all the stuff is connected properly should be an improvement. But No...... she was cranking and wanting to start but just no go. Damn rotaries, this one is living up to its reputation.


Decided to take the plugs out de-flood it so I can hear it run again. This seemed to have worked with previous owner.


took the first plug out and was soaked with fuel.


once cleaned i noticed this



This can not help in starting it first go. Took the other ones out and out of 4, 3 had damaged spark plugs.  I remembered when I got the car that were 4 boxes of NGK plug hidden under the seat. Once opened the box they were brand new ones. once I cranked the engine without spark plugs and got most of the fuel out of it replaced it with new plugs.


Hit the Start key and she purred (buzzed) to life burning off lot of excess fuel. Once the fumes and smoked cleared and engine warmed and choke disengaged noticed the revs were a bit too low since all my vacuum repairs. decided i leave the tuning and to later date and probably hand it over to the experts.


bought few bits for engine bay to "bling" it up a bit.


New filter cover vs old




As from earlier pics engine bay is in need of TLC. Sprayed bit of Septone Ripper on few sections to see how bad it is under all that muck. to my suprise check the results.






Not sure how many of you guys used Septone Ripper before. Its awesome product.


with above I sprayed it, left it for 2min and wiped it with cotton rag. no water.

from de-greasing engines and engine bays, to cleaning upholstery (any cloth) and vinyl from oil and other nasty stains you may have in your car.

It works wonders almost as good as wd40 for 100001 uses for cleaning around cars or homes. Stained your shirt with oil or blood. Spray some Ripper and see it disappear. 


;D I sound like the father with his Windex remedies from the My Big fat Greek wedding movie.  ::)


more rust repairs later on finishing the Right 1/4 panel, replacing both doors and some rust repairs on them, removing that nasty bog on front left guard to see whats lurking under there.



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Looking good mate.  Almost invisible repairs.  well done.



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Cheers MaygZ,


bit of an overkill for a "Quick fix"


got more pics. All the rust repairs have been completed now have started body prep and hopefully have it painted this weekend. 


Ill update the pics soonish.


Looking good mate.  Almost invisible repairs.  well done.



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Ok where was I.


oh the tailgate channel thingy.





Drain and Interior brackets welded in.




the hatch area completed




now to other bits




and the stuff that was behind the front guard previous repairs done by some "professional"


my repairs





Now the original doors on surface looked good. but the inner panel was very rusty. can be fixed but as it came with two spare doors wasn't going to worry about it.


the passenger door was good with slight surface rust. that i cleaned up quickly



the driver door was not as good. but better than the originals.




now the repairs









that finalises the rust repairs.


these are some of the bits I cut out there was more but I chucked it before the pic moment



now the boring and annoying body filling and prep work for paint.


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I wish I had your metal work skills, seriously I envy what you and some of the guys on this site can pull off.


You certainly don't pick easy projects do you? I always pick something in as good condition as possible and work from there. You on the other hand seem to pick something that resembles a basket case. I guess that's the challenge you enjoy right?


Don't worry about rotary's they are not that bad. They get a bad wrap but look at the state this car was in and you got it running with a fresh set of plugs.


I'm gonna try that Septone Ripper stuff in my FD's engine bay to clean up all the grease and grime that accumulates under there. Just not sure if I can get it in Europe.


Love the red on red colour combo by the way, looks great.


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Thanks guys for nice words greatly appreciated, keeps the motivation going. I always seem half way through a job "I had enough of this crap can't be stuffed anymore" and this so called mini project is no exception.


Roberto yeah I call it mini project. Driveline is staying, doesn't need blasting, just a full on clean up and detail So its mini.

Unlike my Zs that need rotisserie rebuild,engine gbox rebuild etc which are my I must be mad projects. IMMP


Similarities between the early Rx7 and 240z are incredible. door hinges look like a 240z copies.Long front flipping bonnet, sweeping rear end. length width is approximately similar, only thing Mazda is roughly 2" lower in body height, thanks to that tiny 1L rotary engine sitting behind the wheels.  oh and it has two extra seats for your luggage  :P


Its fully equipped with most modern items like all button operation fuel flap, hatch release,power windows and mirrors, auto shut off choke.


Don't think anyone has looked at using Rx7 electric door mirrors or power window setup. very compact. Upper door profile is identical to a 240z. Tried fitting the door mirrors and perfect fit.


you can guess where the  spare mirrors are probably going to end up.  ;D

So as the power window mechanism. seem like an easy adaption to the Z.


Hoping if weather is good and car is prepped by this weekend to give it a new shiny coat of sunset red. Too depressing at the moment with all the multiple colours and patch work.


will post more pics as more exciting progress shows. no one want to see dusty messy boring filler stage.


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Any chance you can reduce the size of the pics ? Ive been trying for a few days to view this thread, but my i-pad flickers and goes bananas .....something to do with the size and scrolling of the pics in it I suspect...anyone else with the same prob. ???  I really want to check this early rx7 out ......arrrrgh.

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Finally, Got 70% of the pics...

All I can say is awesome job.

Definetely one of my favourite cars is the series 2 & 3  :) :)

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yeah works fine on my iphone too. may need to leave it for few seconds alone without scrolling till allpics load up. There is a lot of pics it takes time to load.


as I take pics with iphone than upload it to photobucket using the app. Just found the settings so have reduced the size of the latest uploaded pics. i will fix the other ones later. over 150 pics in album so it will take a while


Bit of an update. Yes have been working on it over the weekend and still no primer on it.  >:(


as this stage is least of my favourite parts in car rebuilding its taking bit longer for few reasons:


1. I hate it

2. I really hate it.

3. To anal about getting it right so some sections are redone several times.

4. Physically demanding. using power tools may be quicker but lot easier to get the shape wrong too. So I prefer good old hand sanding. My health not the greatest so its not helping at all.


maybe 3-4 hrs still to do final touches and she be ready for primer in a day or two. Next Saturday hail, snow, pigs flying etc.... shes getting colour no matter what.


ill post one or two pics that i took just to show work is being done.




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few pics and dropped resolution let me know if better on page 2 or should i drop the size to 640x640.


bit of sunshine it needs vitamin D  :P







and some parts arrived for my 240z projects. thanks to ebay.


ZG rear spoiler. love the rear sticker that is on it, so true.  ;D if previous owner of the spoiler is on here , cheers for good packaging.





that enough for now. hopefully next set of pics the car would be gray.

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Last weekend was hectic but managed to get it done.


We have primer now.


First bit off etch primer to cover the bare metal




Than 2pk high fill primer over the whole car and bumpers.







Next bit of sanding after work.hopefully all turns out well than on weekend colour goes on. Finaly I can see little glimpse of bright light at the end of the tunnel.


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Awesome work mate i feel inspired. It's interesting to watch the value of these first gen RX7s going up.


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Cheers guys,


Mick sometimes not fast enough. but as you know there are always things that pop up unwanted to slow things down.


d3coy, yeah it is interesting how the value of these things are changing. I got some spares for sale on gumtree and a chap called. He just bought one rougher than mine paid twice as much. Aperrently he  hes been after one for some time. they get snapped up very quick. So something is going on. Seems like I got a good deal after all.


May hold on to this one for while longer to see what eventuates. Could be good investment after all. Think these were what 280zx should have been in the 80s.

they cheap now. if got room people should start looking for reasonable cheap ones and stock up. In few years they be all buckets and good ones will be out of reach of most.


Don't think it be good daily as 14-20l+ per 100km is not what I had in mind. Should have kept the Z32 than.




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After all the effort you have put in, you have to keep it.. You have taken care of any body issues so  its not going to get worse, just increase in value!

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