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Fletch1
Fletch1 HalfDork
2/22/13 8:52 a.m.

I have the chance to buy a 1984 RX7 GS 5-spd from my brother's best friend. It's all original (except paint) with around 60,000 miles. My brother had bought it back in 2007 or so. It's in VERY nice condition except for the paint job is chipping a little. I'm in Ohio too so finding older cars without rust is hard. I don't believe it needs anything and it's been stored in a garage at least the last decade when not driven. The price is $2500, which is a good bit lower than what my brother had paid for it. So what's it like owning/driving and maintaining these cars? It would be used just as a fun car to get out and drive sometimes.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill HalfDork
2/22/13 9:02 a.m.

Ah the 12A GS. That was my first RX-7. It was 8 years before I bought another vehicle with pistons (87 Toyota 4x4).

My 85 GS made it through 2 years of me being an idiot teenager. She went through fuel filters rather quickly and once I grenaded a distributor rotor. But she never needed any major repairs, put up with crap-tons of abuse and zero maintenance (aside from filling up the oil), and never fussed a bit. Her final undoing came around when I went to bootcamp. My dad flooded her the first time he tried to start her and she sat for about a year before I could get to her. She never really ran right after that.

If you've never driven an RX-7 before I'd think that you'd find the power very smooth, they really like RPM's, and they're very forgiving in the corners.

I'd give a testicle to have that car back.

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy UberDork
2/22/13 9:12 a.m.

I've had an '83 GSL and an '84 GS, both 12as. They are very fun, light and tossable. Super easy to work on, I did a clutch in my GS in about 3 hours by myself. The steering kinda sucks but there is a rack and pinion retrofit that does wonders. Removing the "rats nest" and smog pump while adding a test pipe will REALLY wake the car up. They respond VERY well to bolt-ons. Rust problem areas are behind the rear wheels/storage bin area and the frame heads at the firewall. 4x110 wheels aren't terribly common but the JDM craze made a few good-looking wheels available for pretty cheap at least. I always got terrible gas mileage in mine; my GSL did a consistent 19 no matter where I went but the GS, which was admittedy modified and driven hard, never did better than 13.

$2500 sounds like a perfectly fair price. Check your oil at every gas fillup (they inject oil into the combustion chamber to keep the apex seals moist; many an idiot has killed a rotary simply by running them down on oil).

cutter67
cutter67 Reader
2/22/13 9:18 a.m.

BUY IT!!!! you will not regret it....the first gen RX7 saved the sports car in America i feel. i mean we are talking about a car that has a manual choke a reciprocating ball steering box and they are a blast to drive....i always eliminate the oil injection and mix 2 cycle with the gas and now they make "different" flavors so you can have it smell like strawberries if you want i still perfer amsoil domiator oil. get a racing beat header and a weber nothing sounds sweeter. check out Black Dragon for parts

EDIT: if you dont buy let me know i will

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter UberDork
2/22/13 9:19 a.m.

The thing I don't like about rotaries is that with the nature of the powerband I always feel like I'm short-shifting. With a boinger I can feel the power start to drop off and know I've got out of it everything I'm going to get, with a rotary the longer you stay in it the more it makes.

Speed can sneak up on you, too. I had an FC for a short stint, and that's the only car I've ever looked down to have a "Wait, I'm going how fast?" moment. I wasn't paying too much attention, was intending to be cruising at ~70, and looked down to see I was doing triple-digits.

Look into modifying/deleting the over-rev warning.

fidelity101
fidelity101 HalfDork
2/22/13 9:21 a.m.

Low miles could prob use some serious thrashing, pick up a can or two of seafoam and drive the piss out of it, that should open her up. No rust in our area is excellent, you will see asking price for one with some rust and other issues for about the same price 2k to 2.5k. If you just want to drive it around thats great but if you wanna go hogwild, there are oodles of options.

yamaha
yamaha SuperDork
2/22/13 9:26 a.m.

Do it, then buy a parts car for a spare drivetrain and sell the rolling chassis to me for cheap......

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
2/22/13 9:42 a.m.

Do it, of course!

My old 83 GSL: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/reader-rides/120/

JeffHarbert
JeffHarbert Reader
2/22/13 10:15 a.m.

The answer is always 'yes' when it involves a first-gen RX-7. Do eet.

pilotbraden
pilotbraden SuperDork
2/22/13 10:50 a.m.

They are wonderful cars. I owned a 1985 GSL-SE for several years. I too had the ReverendDexter's speed problem on many occassions. Mine had 160,000 miles when I bought it. I replaced the clutch and transmission (worn bearing) in a easy day. The electrical system was weak and the car could flood on the first start of the day when it was sub zero. I always carried a set of plugs and a wrench with me. Pulling the plugs is very easy. I would pull them, spin the engine over for a few seconds and put in the new plugs. The it always started. Replacing the battery cables and adding a ground strap fixed the cold start / flooding problem. I sold it in 2009 and always wanted another one.

Last december logdog advertised his 1984 ex IT7 car for sale. As he is local (35 miles) I went to look at it. 2 friends and I spent about an hour looking for reasons not to buy it. A couple of weeks later the car was trailered to my house. I am learning the ins and outs of owning a carbureted RX-7.

I would recommend buying the car.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg UltimaDork
2/22/13 1:49 p.m.

Miata's Dad, need I say more

TR8owner
TR8owner Reader
2/22/13 4:03 p.m.

My brother had one back in the day. He liked it but sold it only because he wanted a convertible so bought a TR6. Otherwise he would still own it.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
2/22/13 4:06 p.m.
TR8owner wrote: My brother had one back in the day. He liked it but sold it only because he wanted a convertible so bought a TR6. Otherwise he would still own it.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/22/13 4:36 p.m.

Buy it.

rotard
rotard Dork
2/22/13 4:41 p.m.

One of the best cars I've ever owned.

J308
J308 Reader
2/22/13 4:44 p.m.

Yeah, buy it. I had an 83 LE, champagne color with the BBS wheels and loved it. And I can third the "keeps building power" story.

Toyman01
Toyman01 PowerDork
2/22/13 5:09 p.m.

Buy it, buy it, buy it. You won't regret it. I've still got mine, a 83 GSL. It finally ate an apex seal after 190K miles and countless autocrosses. It might take me 10 years to get it back together, but it's one car I'll probably never sell.

Buy it and drive the piss out of it. 7K RPM shifts, every time you crank it, are required.

This is the best picture I have at the moment. Just after a paint job.

racerdave600
racerdave600 Dork
2/22/13 5:18 p.m.

I owned one many, many, many years ago and loved it. It was an '83 GSL. In fact, it was the car that got me started autocrossing in '86. It only had two issues that I didn't really care for. First was the steering, it was a bit vague, but there's a rack and pinion conversion available now, and the second was MPG. I was just out of college and that was important then.

Now, I'd just like to have the car back.

Get it, you won't regret it!

TxCoyote
TxCoyote New Reader
2/22/13 5:51 p.m.

Do it. I love my 85 GSL-SE roadracer

JeffHarbert
JeffHarbert Reader
2/22/13 6:24 p.m.

In reply to Toyman01:

Oh, man. I love how those Mustang wheels look.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim PowerDork
2/22/13 7:34 p.m.

I used to have an Elford Turbo (UK-only 1st gen turbo conversion that was approved by the factory IIRC) and I miss that car. Pity that it didn't hold up to the British climate too well.

Still tempted to get another 1st gen, just need to find the right one at the right time.

JtspellS
JtspellS Dork
2/22/13 7:54 p.m.

Hell yes, Hell E36 M3 berkeley yes, just do it!!!!!

Spinout007
Spinout007 SuperDork
2/22/13 8:47 p.m.
ReverendDexter wrote: Speed can sneak up on you, too. I had an FC for a short stint, and that's the only car I've ever looked down to have a "Wait, I'm going *how* fast?" moment. I wasn't paying too much attention, was intending to be cruising at ~70, and looked down to see I was doing triple-digits. Look into modifying/deleting the over-rev warning.

Don't drive a bone stock FD, seriously. Was running late to work one morning right after I first bought it, knew I was going fast but didn't realize how fast till I blew by a state trooper and looked down....140mph he never even tried to turn around. My best friend at the time described it as the Jetsons car, it didn't make any noise other than the turbos spooling.

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke HalfDork
2/23/13 12:24 a.m.

I've seen some enabling on this forum, but WOW this is some serious enabling. You should definitely get it. Like right now. What are you waiting for? Also post pics!

Fletch1
Fletch1 HalfDork
2/23/13 6:56 a.m.

Man, alot of excitement over these. Thanks for all comments/info/enabling. I'm still waiting to hear back from him. FWIW, it's white with burgundy cloth. Actually, EXACTLY like this: http://bringatrailer.com/2011/02/12/cheapskate-survivor-1985-mazda-rx-7/

Not much for red interior. Should have had black.

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