View Full Version : New to 2nd Gen

08-05-2002, 10:21 PM
I am exploring what to build next (About a year out) and was considering a Second Gen RX-7. I know they can get expensive. Does anyone have any advice on which model to start with or avoid? Which ones were 4 lug versus 5 lug, etc?

08-06-2002, 02:50 AM
Model to start with: 86-88 base model RX-7, no sunroof. Lightest of the bunch. Aluminum hood would be a bonus, but not necessary.

4 lug vs 5 lug. 4 lug came with 9.x" rotors, single piston front calipers, and non vented rear rotors. The 5 came with 10.x" rotors, 4 piston front calipers, and vented rears. I forget the exact sizes. Easy retrofit as long as you're a decent mechanic if you buy a 4 lug car.

All IMHO of course.


Aged racer
08-06-2002, 11:08 PM
One other nugget of advice- start with a later model car. Yes, the '86-'87 are lighter, but the later cars have better
intake manifolds and electronics.

If you have enough money (or time), you
can use the early tub, with the later wiring
harness. Seems easier to go late model, all things considered.

All other comments regarding hubs, no sunroof, etc, are right on.

08-11-2002, 12:56 AM
You might want to look at buying either an 86-88 GXL or an 88 GTU. I run a 86 GXL and it might be a little heavier then the base model but I have taken most the extra stuff that the GXL had out and it came with the big brakes and the 5 lug spindles. I have an 89 motor in it and it pulls with the best of them down the straightaways and I have to put weight in so that I am legal. True the sunroof does way a little more but once you take the motor for it and all the other stuff off, all you have is a bare panel and don't think that it is really that much heavier but then again weight is weight and it is in the worst place to have it. You do want the 89-91 motor and intake manifold. More power then the earlier motor.

08-11-2002, 01:31 AM
This is an example of why the GenII RX7 is a good answer for a lot of people. There is a body of knowledge built up for them, to the point that it is pretty much a formula now...


08-11-2002, 11:36 AM
AS Racer,

I disagree, the GXL (the original starting point on my car) has too much luxo junk in it that you have to strip out (AAS, ABS, Power Steering, All the extra stereo crap, power windows, security system, sunroof, etc etc), vs adding the big brakes and front/rear hubs to a base model, which is a plug and play operation, once you have the right parts. Just my .02$


C. Ludwig
08-11-2002, 03:47 PM
But it's a WHOLE lot cheaper to strip the luxo crap than it is to buy hubs, discs, calipers, brake lines and hardware. I added a manual window crank to my GXL to complete the base model swap. Cost me all of $20 and there is still some debate as to which is really lighter. When you've stripped all the goodies put them on ebay or any number of RX7 boards and make a few bucks. IMO the only downside of an early GXL is the sunroof. The wieght penalty is very slight (to the point I wouldn't worry about it), but I'm sure there is a stiffness difference.


Chris Ludwig
08 ITS RX7 CenDiv

[This message has been edited by C. Ludwig (edited August 11, 2002).]

08-11-2002, 11:34 PM
While looking at the weight and the sunroof vs. non-sunroof issue please learn from my mistake (BONDO). Story:

I raced in a club where there was not a minimum weight!

I had a sunroof car that I stripped off every non-required part. This car weighed 1900# dry.

I crashed it. Stripped it to a tub and started over with a new car and a pile of parts.

After a long search I found a non-sunroof car.

I wanted to get this one even lighter. I had a goal of 1880# without using fiberglass panels. I went with a 1.5 x .095 cage to save weight. The day of truth came...put it on the scales and it was heavier...200# of bondo give or take!!! Damn! Too excited that it was a non-sunroof car to look at the apparently straight body closer.

08-12-2002, 04:13 PM
Is it? Stripping AAS isn't too bad, but removing the ABS unit is messy, and you'll have to rerun the brakelines (unless you like kludging things together).. Removing the AC is a bit of a pain..

On the other hand, adding 5 lug hubs and the brakes isn't that bad. 4 hubs, new rotors (you'd want that anyway), new calipers (another good idea)..

each to their own, I'd rather started with a base model, I did it the wya Chris said (started with a GXL). YMMV


C. Ludwig
08-12-2002, 05:30 PM
My 86 GXL didn't have ABS. And as far as the rest of the stuff you should consider stripping the car to a bare shell for proper prep anyway. Taking the dash out is the biggest PITA on these cars. Once that's out you're home free to remove any other interior component. And the dash had to come out to do the cage and remove all the sound deadner....so....

I'll say cheaper again. Have you seen what used leather GXL 2g seats go for? I gave mine away for $100 for the pair and threw the "rare" back seat away before I realized it was probably worth that much too. I paid for my shell and then some with all the gidgets I took out.


Chris Ludwig
08 ITS RX7 CenDiv