View Full Version : ITS RX-7s

11-13-2001, 01:57 PM
i'm wondering if someone can help. i'm starting to build an ITS RX-7. can someone point me in the direction of pics of other ITS RX-7s. just trying to see what other cars look like (engine bay, interior, exterior, etc...). also, i'm using my '90 GXL body. i'm planning on having my sunroof welded shut. anyone else done this. i can't afford to purchase another body, so...


mike frazer

11-13-2001, 02:16 PM
Mike, it's none of my business but to save you a lot of trouble spelled $$$$$$$ the questions needs to be asked. Have you spent any time with someone who has a road race race car or have you spent time looking at ITS 2nd gen Mazdas ???? Not knowing you at all please don't go off with a blank sheet of paper & think you cab fab/build a better mouse trap from scratch. Take a camara to the track talk with car owners & with permission take pictures of a known sucessful car. Better yet find a car & buy your first race car complete.

Have Fun


11-13-2001, 02:37 PM
actually i've studyied quite a bit on the ITS RX-7. i've just recently decided to take the 'big' step forward. i'm actually planning on doing driving schools starting next spring. this is going to be a pretty slow process due to funding (which is why i atleast want to have money for schools). anyway, i'm just excited and wanted to see some pics of other RX-7s.

thanks for the reply,


[This message has been edited by frazer (edited November 13, 2001).]

11-13-2001, 02:51 PM
Just for kicks is it? Try: http://www.racer-net.com/sccaits.htm

I spend alot of lunch times *wishing* I was still racing.. http://Forums.ImprovedTouring.com/it/frown.gif

[This message has been edited by NoRaceCarYet (edited November 13, 2001).]

C. Ludwig
11-13-2001, 07:58 PM
Speedsource has some photos. www.speedsourceinc.com (http://www.speedsourceinc.com) To see some pictures of my car in progress go to www.photopoint.com (http://www.photopoint.com) and enter the email address [email protected] I should have some pics of the completed car up soon.


11-13-2001, 09:17 PM
Here's my car buildup





C. Ludwig
11-14-2001, 07:06 PM
Silkworm, I was gonna add yours to my list but couldn't find the address. FYI, I used pictures pirated from your site to give my cage builder an idea of what I wanted. You all about done? Mine's done except for figuring out how to make the thing run half-way decent (see the FI thread). You might end up really helping me on that end too with the last comment in that thread.


11-14-2001, 08:36 PM
List? Email list? Here you go: [email protected]

Yeah, I'm really proud of how that cage came out. We spent hours trial fitting and just thinking about where the strong points of the car are, and where the cage points would be placed the best.



11-14-2001, 10:43 PM
I am a notorious fun-spoiler but I just can't go to sleep tonight unless I share the harsh reality - ONLY because it sucks more to find it out for yourself than it does to hear it from a stranger...

If you can't afford to buy a prepared car, you can't afford to build one with the same parts.


11-15-2001, 02:15 PM

You know that's not true... Some of us don't care if we build what we can aford to, race, then build some more when we have saved some more... and so on...

That's what I plan to do.

The rule: "buy a prepared car" is only applicable IF you have the cash to buy a prepared car and have the euipment necessary to tow that prepared car to the track.. (there is no such thing as a racer who gets a loan for a racecar unless their brain is mushy).


11-15-2001, 03:41 PM

does your car have a sunroof (looked like it in the pic)? mine does, but have considered having someone weld it closed. if yours does, or someone else for that matter, what did you do to close it.



C. Ludwig
11-15-2001, 07:03 PM
Yeah, it's got the sunroof. I removed all the mechanism and used two 1" wide aluminum straps that bolt to the factory studs in the roof panel and then are riveted to the rest of the roof. It's pretty strong. I'd really advise sealing it too if you do something like that. I had the upper rad hose blow off on my first shake down stroll down the road. No hood on the car meant all the water went straight up and drenched the car and then me. Luckily it wasn't too hot. http://Forums.ImprovedTouring.com/it/smile.gif


11-16-2001, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by NoRaceCarYet:
K. You know that's not true...

I am actually very confident that it is true but, in fairness, you'll note that I included the qualifier "with the same parts" in my original comment.

If you could find an already-prepared ITS GenII RX7 roller with just a cage and paint (say, in the form shown in Silkworm's great picture), its market value would be far less than you would spend getting a street car to that same point.

The same math just ramps up as you add more bits to the point where you can buy an ITB GTI with $20,000 worth of contract labor and parts for half of that cost.

I also tend, though I don't include it in this math, to think in terms of a person's time being worth money, but have rethought that. For a LOT of racers, building the car is a benefit (fun) rather than a cost - I'm just not there anymore!

Strictly in dollar terms, if your goal is to just get on the track and you are "credit-constrained" (yup!) then it is cheaper to piece things together as you go. However, I have seen LOTS of folks fail at this process and not even get out there because they seriously underestimated even the minimal costs involved, particularly if their original choice of car was motivated by what they already had in the yard, rather than what makes sense (e.g. 1st gen RX7 - still the best bet).



11-16-2001, 02:06 PM

Essentially I agree, the idea of building a car with it partly complete is a benefit.

However, there are guys like us with 10+ years of track experience that don't budget very much for racing, I mean, yes tomorrow I could pop over to 7's only racing and buy a used Pro7 or ITA car, but that isn't practicle for my needs.

I really enjoy racing, but I'm busy with the BMW Club and various other things and what I am really after is a car that I can run out and play in... I don't need all the bells a whistles, I am confident in my experience enough to race with all but the most fanatical (like I was when I was 22).

I beleive in the true old IT, you remember... A cage a set of "race springs" and a copy of your registration in the glove box.


11-17-2001, 12:58 AM
After spending 2 years on mine, with another 2-3 months before I can get on track, I really appreciate how important that advice (buy instead of build) was to me. My friends, who decided to go racing before me, already have a season and half on me of experience.

However, it was very important to me to understand my car, to have pride in how my car was constructed, and to enjoy the process. So I don't regret the decision one bit.



Bill Miller
11-17-2001, 09:09 AM
I've got to weigh in on this one as well. I'm w/ Kirk on the buy vs. build issue, especially for your first car. And while I think it's appropriate to ascribe some value to your time, I also can understand the 'fun' aspect of building a car. Not to mention the in-depth knowledge that you'll gain about the car.

However, unless you have a shop to work in, are fairly good at working on cars, and have some specialized tools (mig welder, etc.), I would really suggest that you re-think buying a prepared car. If you want a 2nd gen. RX7, that's fine. I'm not sure what kind of shape your '90 GXL is in from a street car perspective, but have you thought of selling it and using the proceeds towards buying a prepared car?

I think Kirk's right on target when he says that people underestimate what it will take to get their street car on the track. And that can lead to a couple of things happening, neither one of which is very good. On one hand, you may end up spending a LOT more money than you thought you would (or that you would have had to pay for a prepared car). On the other hand, you may not have the extra funds beyond what you've budgeted (and won't go credit-card racing), so that you have to start cutting corners. I'm not saying that you have to go out and buy the best or most expensive bits and pieces for your car, or try to build a totally developed car right away, but if you have to control costs by going w/ less than desireable alternatives, you're probably not going to be happy with the result.

When I first wanted to get into racing, I had a Rabbit GTI that I had been driving on the streed and running Solo I events with. I loved the car, and was very comfortable driving it. I had gotten to be pretty quick in the Solo I stuff as well. So naturally, I wanted to build it into a race car. I didn't intend to build a full-blown car right out of the box, just something that I could get on the track. I was going to go w/ a good racing suspension (but not all the way to coil-overs), have a custom cage installed, buy an extra set of wheels, 2 sets of race tires, and have the car painted. And of course the standard safety stuff (belts, window net, etc.). I was going to run the stock motor and transmission, at least for a little while.

Well, I went to speak w/ a guy I new that did car prep and built cages. We sat down and talked about what my goal was, and what I was planning on doing w/ the car. We came up w/ a list of what needed to be done to the car, and started figuring out how much it would cost. At the time (1995), w/o doing anything to the engine/transmission, it was going to cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of $6000 (and a good 2 months work of work) to get a car that I could take to my first driver's school.

Well, in addition to doing car prep and building cages, this guy also rented race cars, and had a couple of cars for sale. We talked about the whole rental option, and I decided against it for financial reasons. I would rather be in a position that I have to sit out a few races (season?) if my car got wadded up than to have to write a check for several thousand dollars to pay for a rental ride that got wadded up. But that's just me.

Then we started talking about the cars that he had for sale. One was an ITC Toyota Corolla and the other was an ITA MR2. Both were already prepared cars w/ log books. The Corolla was more developed than the MR2, but probably would have required more care and feeding. Bottom line is that I was able to buy the MR2 for a little more than half of what we figured the cost to build my car was. And that included a reasonable spares package (motor/tranny/suspension parts/some body parts/etc.). It got me to the track 2 months earlier, I had a car that was a VERY good car to learn to race in, and I got some track-side support from this guy since he new the car.

I ended up running 4 races w/ the car that year. By the time all was said and done for the season, I spent less money buying the MR2 and running it for the season than the initial build budget for my GTI was.

Anyway, sorry for the long-winded post. Good luck w/ getting a race car, whatever way you go.

MARRS #25 ITB Rabbit GTI

11-18-2001, 09:34 AM
As someone who has gone the "build from scratch" route, I absolutely concur with Bill! To get the car reliable, safe and sorted you will spend at least twice as much to build than you would to buy. Its fine to build if you have the skills and desire, but don't do it to save money.

Consider as well that with a dependable, sorted car you can focus much more of your time and energy to learning how to drive and race, not worrying about the car, or if it's handling correctly.

I feel I was fortunate in that I was able to build the car over one winter and get it on the track early spring for my school. But it has been a constant battle getting handling and cooling sorted out, among other things. This is the end of my third season and I have to this point been continually tuning. The car is locally competitive, but not nationally. So I'm now moving on to another car and will either keep the old stuff for spare parts, or sell it as a w2w starter car.

While the knowledge you gain from doing all the prep work is invaluable, I also know many people who never made it to track because of grossly underestimating the resources and amount of work required to build from scratch.


Karl Bocchieri
11-18-2001, 01:37 PM
The buy vs. build it yourself question is always a debateble question. There are to many variables to consider to say one is better. Is the owner very skilled and can do most of the work? Is it a car that has a proven suspension that can be bought off the shelf? These are just some of the many questions to consider. I have done both, my first car was bought and I spent the next 3 years redoing everything I diden't like.
My next car ( 2nd gen RX-7) I did mostly everything but the cage. The 7 is a perfect car to build your self, everything is avaliable with almost no fabrication needed. Parts are cheap thanks to Mazda Motorsports, and there is a large racing aftermarket which is very helpfull.
If your skilled, and take the time to look at alot of cars so you know what you want, I think you should build it your self. There is nothing like the knowledge you get building the car. As far as cost, my top ten Mazda cost way less than $8,000 with out a race motor.

11-19-2001, 01:26 AM
One from the 4 time champ himself BUY IT ...built! I own a body shop and I play w/ sheet metal all day ( and it was hard to cut up a 1989 RX 7 GTUs... little "s" means only 100 were imported into USA) and I've got at least $100,000 worth of hand and power tools and a shop to work in and I've been at it for 6 weeks every evening just about and I'm not EVEN close!!!!! OK, lets say you go Racer Wholesale on us ... cage, seat, steering wheel, guages, fire sys., belts, net, pads, mirrors, kill sw., brake bias adj., you're at a grand easy w/ no fuel cell or anything fancy. Then about 2 weeks tweeking a cage in an rx wich is a task do to small head room, then we'll go to suspension, drop $1,800 to even get into the game at entry level. OK now we'll go for the motor $3,500 to start if you want the thing to last more than 2 races, then $800. in gadgets for the motor( air int.,ext, pullies) then if your as crazy as me you spend $800. on a radiator alone plus your going to need a heat exchanger $200+ and en exsaust sys. including a pricey muffler($144.00 for Stainless). If you do make it to the ground plan on Tire Rack cheapo rims for $139.00 ea+ a set of your favorite skins $500-800, ands then you can start saving for drivers school. Well my math sucks but w/ out a fuel cell,and an aftermarket ECU ( upwards of $2,000)and all the good stuff, and a few things I forgot to mention, I come up w/ about $8,144.00+ labor(not free if your married)!!!!!! But in all honesty, me and alot of other fools would rather build... just because!!!!!!Right now Ive got 2 Toyota IT cars I can't get rid of so there must be a whole bunch of us crazies out there in the world building instead of buying my good old proven class champ cars . Either way good luck, Glad to have any one w/ interest in our sport giving it their all. PS if you want extensive photos via email, reply this forum and I'll shoot ya some. One last one, Silkworm, I did usse some of your cage ideas(but mine's better,ha,ha,)nice job, but if you'ld quit polishing your intake you'ld be a season up to your buddies, PS< I thought you where sposed to polish the inside for performence,... oh yeah we race SCCA duhhhhhhhhhh. RP

11-19-2001, 10:54 AM
i want to thank everyone for their responses. it has definetly give me a new perspective. but, after everything, i am going to start this alone, atleast for now. i removed the carpet, bins, etc... this weekend during my daughter's naptime =) this will be a fun project (learning experience). i want to be able to do some driver's schools next season. in the future, i may buy another rx-7 to strip down and have someone else build, but for now i want to enjoy the process and track time. i had the motor rebuilt about 10k miles ago, so it should be problem free for track days right now.

hey ballzout, if you could e-mail me some pix at [email protected] that would be great.

thanks again,


Chris Wire
11-20-2001, 12:01 AM

One of the benefits of building a 2nd gen. yourself, is that there is a great demand for a lot of the items you won't be using, and would otherwise discard. To date, I have sold my seats, visors, headliner, wheels, and more. I have recouped over half of my original investment in my non-running 1989 GTU. Instrument clusters, A/C logicons, carpet, and door panels all seem to be in high demand on places like Ebay. If you have the willingness and ability to box and ship parts all over the country, it is worth it.

I am building my own car for several reasons. First, I am not in a hurry to get back on the track. I have rented a couple of rides this year to retain my license, and now I am concentrating on my project. Second, I built my AS car and can't imagine doing it any other way. Third, I get more satisfaction out of the experience, even if it takes me longer or costs more money than buying a car already built. It will get even better if I can pass a few $30K Speedsource once I get there!!!

Good luck to you.

Chris Wire
Team Wire Racing
ITS Mazda RX7

11-20-2001, 02:21 AM
Hey Frazer, I emailed you so many picts of this wild cage I think I over loaded your rig... my mail said NO. I'll spend some time to really find the important ones and get them off tomorrow, I've got serios cage details, and a fuel cell install that is way too easy,light, and effective, and w/ a removeable bracket for diff. access. Let me know if you want a play by play. RP at [email protected]

11-20-2001, 10:19 PM
While Buying a racecar is generally the best way to go, I'll play Devil's advocate here.
I had a friend who bought a used racecar for these reasons. He got a great price on a car but unkownst to him, it had a cracked rotor housing, 4 unmatched shocks, shoddy wiring, an unsafe rollcage, and poorly installed braking system.
The problem I see is that most peope who might buy a used racecar are probably novices. And with that, comes less experience in finding the hidden problems. It's easy to be dazzled by the fancy graphics and paint job and forget about the really important stuff underneath.
Like buying any car, make sure you do a thorough mechanical inspection. You can just as easily end up with a Lemon.


11-25-2001, 09:44 PM
ITS RX7 For Sale

With the past discussion, I hope this is not inappropriate. I made a new post to the classifieds and am in need of make some quick space.

This car is fast, sorted and dependable. Package can include car, open trailer, clean 89 chassis and lots more. Check it out at http://home.att.net/~jeffgio/index.htm


11-26-2001, 02:20 AM
Originally posted by RealRideRacing:
You can just as easily end up with a Lemon.

As one of the "buy it" guys, I have to thank RRR for reminding us of this. I like the strategy of planning ahead enough that you can hang out with the team from which you are thinking of buying a car, the season before you start with it. Ideally, buy it as it rolls off of the track after the last race of the season so you are assured that you are getting the good stuff with it...