Engine Work Part 1

So while the body work and reassembly gets wrapped up, attention needs to be turned to the powerplant for the RX3. Keeping with the GRM $2013 budget (we may need that extra $1 this year) we wanted to keep it simple but still make decent power to post some decent times during the dragrace portion of the challenge.

The car HAD a bridgeported 12A in it that more or less detonated and left very little useable parts for a rebuild. We work on many RX7s at any one time and it’s not usually difficult to find a good deal on a parts car (especially the older FB/SA models). For the cost, doing an EFI swap was probably out of reach, so cruising around the forums, craigslist, local papers, etc we were able to find a listing for an “85 RX7 For Sale – $500 obo”.

Ended up picking up two cars that day. The guy had an ’85 GSL-SE (fuel injected model) with no title that he had planned to swap into his ’85 GSL 12A powered car that lost it’s coolant seal but ran out of time/interest. SCORE! Brought both cars back home. We were a bit torn between the EFI 13B or to rebuild the 12A. Again, to save costs, it was decided to go with the 12A for now. Who knows, after the challenge maybe we’ll swap it over. Oh, did I mention both cars were picked up for $250?? Yea, keep an eye on those local papers folks, some of the best deals aren’t on the internet!

As for the now decided 12A build, we will be keeping to the “old school” roots of this little racer and do a cheater bridge (or tear drop bridge). MC’s father used to race rotaries and build race engines, so we were able to get a good copy from some old irons laying around.The plan is simple. Tear it down, pray the coolant seal is the only thing bad, port it, slap it together and drop it in.

It was quick work, so not many photos of the cars coming home, etc but here’s some shots of the engine build progress.

Pulling the engine from the ’85 donor:

Funny thing, while pulling the engine, the previous owner gave us a little hiccup we’d never run into before. They had so much faith the reliability of the 12A powerplant, they welded the hood shut.


After removal, the engine had to be loaded up and taken from MC’s home where the cars are to Bill’s home where the engine porting and rebuild will take place. Having limited space is a bit of a logistics issue sometimes and with all the projects going on, we just make due.

The donor car registered 204K miles, but this engine has been out before, so we’re betting the wear on the internals should be pretty fair.

Here’s the engine awaiting its tear down. The rebuild process will be in Part 2.

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