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2,331 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Alright, let's start with the beginning of my story.

On Saturday, April 25th, 2009 I was at work at discount car rentals car wash. Some guy came by to get his car washed (obviously, DUH). He saw my Misa parked outside and came in asking "Who's MX-6 is that?! WHO'S SIX IS THAT?!" I answered it was mine and asked why. He told me his best buddy (J-F) was looking for that specific car, and since that was the week I had decided to sell my car, his timing couldn't be better. J-F came by about an hour later to test drive Misa. He fell in love - who can blame him right? :p take a look at this hot babe!

He gave me a deposit and we set a time to transfer the titles the following weekend. Saturday came and it was done, Misa was his.

Later that day I decided to go check out a few FD's, considering I had a few grand saved up and the $2K I got for Misa (I know, I sold for WAY under what I could've gotten) I had $7000 in my pocket. So I went to a few import shops who were selling RX-7's.

Here's the first one I went to see:

This one had no motor at the time so I couldn't test drive it. I moved onto the next one:

[I'll insert a picture here when I find it]

This one had one turbo blown, ran like crap, the body needed to be completely redone and the guy decided to raise the price $2000 after I test drove it. So I was off again, this time to try out this yellow and black one:

[I'll insert a picture here when I find it]

This one I just wasn't feeling although everything ran right and the body was clean. Since something felt off, I didn't make an offer and ended my day there...

NOT! On my way back home, I went by the first place I had been to again (it was on the way home anyways). This time, the owner's nephew was there, and he happened to drive this beauty, in the EXACT condition portrayed in this picture:

Ugly red interior, automatic, nasty non-matching wheels, airbag in the steering wheel, sun-roof, damaged front bumper, the works. I went up to him and asked if it was for sale, he said yes and we went for a test drive.

Since it was a turbo automatic, I wasn't expecting so much lag from the odd gearing, and at the first curve I took it, I had it broke side, accidentally drifting the corner. It felt PERFECT. We got out and I asked his price. $6000 was what he was looking for. Being the JEW I am, I offered him less ($5000) to which he refused, so I said "fine, I'll take it for $6000, but I want that set of wheels" pointing to a set of FD wheels with brand new Dunlop tires. We agreed, shook hands, and I reached into my pocket and pulled out the $6K. We filled out the paper work and I drove her home!

I had trouble sleeping that night, can you blame me? :lol:

The next day, I did the first logical thing: I changed the wheels, washed polished and waxed her, gave her an oil change, coolant flush and made sure the tranny fluid was good. Once all that was done, I called it a day and took a few pictures:

After a wax:

FD's on:

Fast forward to a week later; Time to take care of that ugly interior and give it an engine shampoo!

The interior as it WAS:

And as it became:

Engine after it's cleaning:

A few weeks go by and I finally get tired of seeing that damn cracked bumper; time to fix it!
Here's the after ( you saw the before up there^):

A few more weeks go by and I can no longer stand those lame stock wheels, so I call my buddy Joel up who I knew wanted to sell his wheels so he could go bigger for HIS FD. That's when I got my hands on these bad boys:

I painted them gold, and re-polished the lips so they looked like this:

And on the car they go!

Once that was done, I stored the car and...

Me outside just before storing it for the winter - First snow of 2009 btw.

(I put on crappy wheels for winter storage not to damage my good tires and wheels)

Heading to the garage for storage, a fun video for all! :p pretty much stayed as is until the stock 19 year old suspension decided to give up on me. It had run its time. I opted for Tokico Illuminas and H&R springs at the time.

Mounted on her:

This set-up is designed for a 5-speed car, so the extra weight in front makes the car droop and since she's now stripped, the ass raises up giving her a nose dive look. With the extra weight in front, other issues arise, like tires rubbing up in the wheels wells because the spring rates are too low. Damn...

[to be continued...]

181 Posts
Dude thats a pretty nice fd. I want one so bad but cant afford it:(

2,331 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The "Transmission" saga.

As most of have noticed from the early posts/threads I have made, my car was automatic. I bought it this way to save money, seeing as a 5-speed FD in clean stock condition was $4000-$5000 more than this, I knew I'd be saving money in the long run. After early vague conversations, Dom, a "buddy" of mine and I came to the agreement that he would do my swap for me. (pay attention to the dates)

Sunday, December 27th, 2009:

I get a phone call from Dom telling me his in a bit of a pickle financially. He asked me if I could help out by giving him a deposit on the parts I would use from his parts car for my swap, and by "deposit" he meant, the whole amount, which was $350. Being the nice guy I am, I accepted and went out to meet him. Coincidently, he was driving his new BMW that day - go figure. I handed him the $350 and figured my car would get done shortly. I was wrong.

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010:

I call Dom and let him know I finally received my flywheel and that I wouldn't need to resurface my stock one and that I was ready to do the swap. We talked for a bit and agreed on the weekend of the 5th-6th of June, 2010.

Friday, June 4th, 2010:

I call Dom up and ask him "Are you ready for tomorrow?!" - "Why? What's tomorrow?" I remind him that it's my swap and he tells me I'm wrong, and that we had agreed on the following weekend; the 12th-13th. That was the weekend of the Canadian Grand Prix. My last name is Villeneuve. Do you really think I'd book myself and be unavailable to go see the big race live? Didn't think so. I let him know I'm not available and he says the week after doesn't work for him. So we were looking at a possible date, 3 weeks from then. I told him that in that case, I'd rather wait an extra week or 2 to get my after market clutch, which I did.

Saturday, July 24th, 2010:

We had agreed on this day to do the swap and I showed up that morning at his garage. First job of the day: a 3 hour clean up because there wasn't any room to work. Yay...The car finally goes in and we begin. During this time, he assures me that I'd be driving home that night as the swap would only take one day. Lol. End of the day comes = incomplete. I returned home with the beater.

Saturday, July 31st, 2010:

I go back to his garage where we get more work done, and real progress is made this time. I say "we" but I mean "I" seeing as I did 75% of this swap myself - more details on this later. 10:00 PM that night, 5-speed is in, drive shaft as well, everything is physically done except the fluids in the transmission and differential. I get in the car and turn the key in the ignition. Nothing. Turns out there is a Park/Neutral relay that needs to be bypassed for the car to start. So I called my girlfriend and went home in the beater, again.

Thursday, August 12th, 2010:

I go by Dom's garage to pick up a few things in my car. Since he was there, I decided to chat with him a little about my car and when it would be ready. He said he was busy that weekend, but that he'd spend all of next week on my car until it ran. That he wouldn't take any other clients until it was done.

Thursday, August 19th, 2010:

I catch Dom on MSN and ask him if he worked on my car. He tells me "I said I'd work on it next week." Apparently, I was wrong again about the dates. After some more discussion, he confirm to me that the car would be ready by Friday August 27th, since I needed it the following Saturday night.

That following week, I tried contacting Dom non-stop. Phone calls, text messages, Facebook message, forum messages and e-mails. No response.

Thursday, August 26th, 2010:

I get a text message from Dom saying he was planning on doing my car on Sunday. Nothing more.

Friday, August 27th, 2010:

After talking with his girlfriend on MSN and telling her I was upset with Dom not keeping his word on the dates we had agreed on, she tells me he's at the garage, so I go with my girlfriend. When I got there, I was "greeted" by Dom and a few of his friends with a "What the [fizzle] are you doing here?" - "I'm here to pick up my car like we agreed." - Pointing at my car, he says "Well take it and get the [fizzle] out of here." At this point my car still wasn't running and it was dark at night on top of the fact that I didn't have my tools with me. So I left to return the next day.

Saturday, August 28th, 2010:

I get to his garage at 9:00 AM to start work. I filled the transmission and differential with fluid, and did what was necessary with the wiring to fire the car up. An hour and a half later, a bit of smoke, coolant and rough idling at first brought it to life. I then drove her home slowly and parked her in front of my place.

Run down of what it was supposed to cost and what it ended up costing:

The initial deal was to be $350 for all parts I needed and $200 for labor. Dom at some point decided I was wrong and that we had agreed on $350 for parts and $250 for labor. In the parts, I got a clutch pedal, a rubber shifter silencer, a drive shaft seal and an ECU(all together, worth about $150 btw). I also got a new water pump, but that was only because Dom had the great idea of hitting mine with a hammer to get the Greddy pulley on instead of removing the coolant hose. The Greddy pulley and belt, which I also got off his parts car, cost me an extra $75 because they "weren't part of what needed for the swap." Add to that the fact that he stole a belt, transmission(auto), drive shaft(auto), spare drive shaft (Manual) stock clutch and flywheel, transmission shifter and a few other random parts that I "left there", all valued at a total $400 for resale. He now has taken $1075 from me, for a swap that I did mostly myself, that took over one month to do...when it was only supposed to take one day. All this doesn't included the $550 for my Spec stage 3 clutch and $275 for my ACT lightweight flywheel.

Run down of what Dom and I each did:

-unbolted and removed automatic drive shaft
-unbolted automatic transmission
-with my help, dropped the auto transmission to the ground
-torqued new flywheel
-did some research on what to wire to start the car.

-unbolted and removed automatic shifter
-swapped brake pedals
-installed clutch pedal
-installed master cylinder and clutch line
-placed clutch disc
-bolted pressure plate
-mounted and bolted 5-speed transmission
-replaced drive shaft seal
-mounted and bolted drive shaft
-installed slave cylinder and bled clutch line
-removed transmission CPU
-swapped ECU's
-changed water pump
-removed air pump
-installed Greddy pulley and belt with necessary block-off plates
-filled transmission and differential with fluids
-wired the car so it could start

All in all, this swap was not worth it WITH HIM, but even though I got massively raped price and work wise, it still cost me less than a stock 5-speed and I have a clutch good for upwards of 700HP and lightweight flywheel.

(I unfortunately didn't take many pictures during the swap and the ones I did take came out blurry. I also do not have many pictures of the new transmission in but I will take some this weekend as well as pictures of the next update.)

More pictures coming soon!

2,331 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
[...Continued from first post.]

The Tokico/H&R set-up being too droppy and too low up front caused problems, like burning through my wiring harness. It burned through my MAP/boost sensor cable and I was stuck figuring out what the problem was. In this, I changed my spark plugs and opted for colder performance ones. :)


At some point during summer 2009, I got fed up with the stock steering wheel and stock BOV so I decided to upgrade. I really wanted a MazdaSpeed steering wheel, but at the price people were asking, I said "forget it." I studied the specs a long time and found a cheaper alternative. A replica that only has the horn button as a difference. YAY!

As for the BOV, I got myself an HKS SSQV.

Here is the steering wheel:

And the BOV.

Since we're now in the engine bay, I may as well tell you all about how I'm cheap and I like to find easier less expensive ways to do things. By this I mean there was no way in hell I was paying $300+ for an intake system. After all, a fresh filter is nothing more than a filter. I4MX6 had been talking to me in this time and we were to try and work something out, but I ended up finding something else closer and easier for me to work with. (thanks again Matt! :tup:) I used 2 standard 2.5" filters mated to the stock intake piping via exhaust couplers! That's right, custom intake system for less than$50. You can't even tell it was "hacked up" by me.


If you look closely, you'll also see that there is no more air pump behind those filters! With the block-off plates, this was eliminated and upgrades power. Mazda had put this is to improve emissions. There are no E-tests here, so why keep holding power down? :p

In the engine bay, I also installed a custom colored R1 strut bar. I painted it the same color as my wheels and will be doing the BOV as well.

Now, for the more observant of you, you've most likely noticed some green in the engine bay pics. To that I say "you sneaky devils you, you beat me to the punch!" :p

Remember that suspension problem I had? Well, since I changed my plan and decided to build a track car, I decided to get some coilovers. Good ones. I ordered myself these guys:
[generic picture]

Full HSD coilovers;
-12Kg/mm front and rear
-16-way Damping
-Height Adjustable
-Pre-load adjustable
-Bounce adjustable
*There is no camber adjustment on mine because the FD already has camber adjustment arms built onto it stock.*

And this is now what the car looks like.

Just to give you an example of how low the car is, here is a pic of me standing/leaning on it. I'm 5'11". Do the math :p For the lazy ones who don't like math, the car currently stand at a whopping 44 inches tall.

Although I like the front, the rear still could be half an inch lower for my liking. I won't know until body "upgrades" will be finished though.


A very short period of time before the "Transmission" saga, I also stripped the car of anything else I didn't want to save a few extra pounds. There is no more carpet, rear seats, center console, rear seat belts, extra bolting arms for front seats, A-pillars or headliner. I also removed all plastic trim in the trunk as well as the spare. Basically all that is left other than the front seats is the dash and door panels.


2,331 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Well, I WAS going to save this for another update, but you kinda forced me into showing it off now:

This will be going in when I finally fabricate the custom anchoring for it. This bad boy weighs in at only 20 pounds compared to 55 for my current seats. :)

1,588 Posts
nice work joey - i have similar sparco's in my mx6- it will weigh close to 35-40 once you have all the bracketry ready...pretty decent weight redux though

your transmission saga lasted as long as my clutch saga

i won't go into all the details but bilstein tells me they can rebuild my shock - after a month of doing nothing they tell me that they TOLD me they couldn't. They ended up selling me a new insert (which they normally don't do) with all the work done - 3 months

TWO centreforce clutches fell apart on me (i.e. i pick it up and the friction surface on the clutch plate falls off). They actually were really good about it and sent me replacement clutch plates for free even though they weren't under warranty. This all while fidanza has 2 different friction plates for their flywheel with the SAME part number - no i didn't get the right one first. - 2 months

not only the time put in but the amount of labour was really annoying - all done by me

first time i've been able to drive the car was this weekend.....great for a summer

1,358 Posts
Is it just the lighting of the picture or is your ps fender a different color?

Very nice thread man, it's like i've watching your rx7 born and growing up. haha

Premium Member
3,955 Posts
Looks like the fender is gray instead of silver like the rest of the car.

Great thread :tup:

2,331 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Damn it guys! You just keep beating me to the next update:p. The DRIVER SIDE Fender is technically the same color. I had rolled my fenders and the paint on the driver side chipped and began to rust, so I had my paint supplier mix me the color code of my car and I redid my fender. However, this is not his best work mixing and the color didn't match. Oh well, at least there's no more rust:D. I'm repainting the car anyways! THAT, you won't get to see until next spring, hopefully.

1,358 Posts
Damn it guys! You just keep beating me to the next update:p. The DRIVER SIDE Fender is technically the same color. I had rolled my fenders and the paint on the driver side chipped and began to rust, so I had my paint supplier mix me the color code of my car and I redid my fender. However, this is not his best work mixing and the color didn't match. Oh well, at least there's no more rust:D. I'm repainting the car anyways! THAT, you won't get to see until next spring, hopefully.
Maybe it was the wrong primer used? did you use grey or white? Sometimes they don't put enough flake in the paint too and it'll look different, I've heard it can be difficult for silver cars.
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