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Current Condition   PDF  Print  E-mail
Written by Mark M.  
Monday, 16 February 2004

This is my 1988 Turbo II in it's current as-purchased condition.  Paint and body are very clean for a 16 year old car, and there is very minimal rust (mostly on the sunroof).  The previous owner added some minor modifications -- an HKS downpipe and Pacesetter exhaust, along with some Pilot fog lights.  Otherwise, it is completely stock.  Shortly after buying it, I replaced the starter which had a bad solenoid (probably from repeated attempts to start it, due to the hot start problem described later).

  Mechanically, it has a few issues.  First, like most RX-7s of that era, it has hot start and idle quality problems.  This may be due to vacuum leaks, post-MAF intake leaks, leaking fuel injectors or some other engine control factor.  These are all pretty well known, so it's just a matter of going through the troubleshooting process and identifying the issue(s).

  A second problem that needs to be addressed is the clutch.  It's the original clutch, and is slipping badly.  I am still considering options, and will probably use a stock type disk with ACT pressure plate.  Depending on the condition of the flywheel, I may also choose to replace it with a lightweight one, such as a Firanza.

Moving inside the car, another lesser mechanical problem is the very sloppy shifter.  This is most likely due to worn shifter bushings.  The throw is also somewhat long, so the car could benefit from a short throw shifter as well.

Pedal placement and type are another issue that I would like to address.  Right now, heel-toeing is nearly impossible due to the very narrow gas pedal and the vertical spacing of it.  I need to do some research into exactly how to fix this.  New pedals will help, but I am also going to need to move the gas pedal to the right height.  Hopefully that will be possible.

A final maintenance item that needs to be taken care of is the blown turbo gasket.  The car very loud (and probably annoys my neighbors), and the leaking gasket is also causing a large power loss.

Beyond maintenance, to get ready for a serious track day there are some modifications I'd like to make.  First, new brake pads, rotors and tires.  I'll probably also rebuild the calipers and lines just to be on the safe side.  Of course, I high quality brake fluid and thorough bleed are in order as well.  I'd like to get new lighter weight rims, but that's probably not part of the budget right now.  We'll hold off on that until I burn through the first set of tires.

  Next up on the mods list will be suspension bushings, springs and shocks.  I'm still trying to make a decision on what way to go with all of those items.  Hopefully I will have some answers in the next update.  The car currently rides very soft, which is nice for driving on rough Ohio roads, but is probably less than optimal for whipping around Nelson Ledges or Mid-Ohio.  I'll be looking into sway bars as well, but the shocks and springs will come first.  Also, along with the bushing change I will be eliminating the rear toe steer that these cars were designed with.  My understanding is that while it's not really a big problem, it can feel somewhat unsettling for the driver.

  That pretty much covers most of the early mods.  If I discover that the injectors are bad, I'll go ahead and upgrade to a larger size and raise the boost a touch.  For now, I'm not terribly concerned with making more power; instead, I'm more focused on getting the suspension set up well and on improving my skills.  Too much power tends to mask chassis and driver deficiencies, in my opinion.

Okay, that's my first entry.  My next one should involve actual work on the car!

Last Updated ( Monday, 16 February 2004 )
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Columbus, Ohio
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S at 10 mph
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