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Calvin Wan's 1993 Mazda RX-7

A Privately Owned, High-Caliber Drift Machine

Dec 1, 2003
0312_sccp_02_z+1993_mazda_rx7+sideview Photo 1/1   |   Calvin Wan's 1993 Mazda RX-7

Destruction gets a bad rap. Most people think it should be avoided at all costs, like warm beer or, but there are a few more enlightened souls who see destruction for what it really is: a foundation for change. And with change comes opportunity, and opportunity always opens the door to success.

Calvin Wan, the owner of this 1993 Mazda RX-7, knows this lesson all too well. He's on his third engine and his second chassis, but Calvin's drift machine is now, without a doubt, a success, earning a spot to compete in the U.S. D1 Grand Prix, which is covered on page 82.

Fully aware of the 13B's tendency to overheat and eat itself, Calvin's first improvements to the Mazda were a new radiator and new coolant lines. It didn't work. During an autocross event back in 2001, a bad thermostat fried the engine.

A month later, opportunity knocked again, only this time it kicked in the door like the LAPD with a search warrant. Calvin stuffed his FD and his freshly rebuilt engine into a tree during an ugly and highly illegal drift attempt at a local mall.

Still unfazed, Calvin purchased his destroyed vehicle from the insurance company and used it as a parts car for this red FD R1 model. Soon he was autocrossing again, which of course led to a string of modifications to improve performance. In went an SR Motorsports downpipe, a custom straightpipe, a K&N drop-in filter, an M2 Stage 3 ECU and Tein HA coil-overs. This combination, along with Calvin's driving skill and the help of co-driver Dan Pina, was potent enough to capture first and third place in the 2002 season of the ASP class of the SCCA's San Francisco region Solo 2.

But Calvin was unsatisfied. He had been bitten by the drifting bug back at the mall, and yearned for some sideways action, which he found at a sanctioned Battle Version track day. Calvin was having a blast. The RX-7 was in a full opposite lock slide, with its rotary just kissing the rev limiter, when-knock, knock- the evils of high-intake temps wreaked thermal destruction on the Wankel. Engine number two was trashed.

Luckily for Calvin, Japan Parts, a parts importer in South San Francisco, had a J-spec 2000 RX-7-type RZ front clip waiting. Ivan's Auto Palace of Sunnyvale, Calif., installed the engine and even swapped the JDM motor to the U.S. eight-bit engine management system.

Equipped with a fresh new J-spec engine and a burgeoning interest in drifting, Calvin and his FD proceeded to attend every drift event in California, earning several honors, including second place at the Hyperfest U.S. Drift Nationals, and making it to the finals of the U.S. D1 Drivers search, which is what really convinced Calvin to get serious.

Rotary Extreme stepped in to provide its V-mount intercooler/radiator combination, along with its V-mount intake, in order to stop Calvin's collection of overheated and blown motors from growing any further. Rotary Extreme also provided the mini battery kit, which utilizes a lightweight Odyssey PC680 battery to shave precious pounds and Samco hoses to keep heat where it belongs.

A'PEXi provided its flagship GT-spec exhaust and a Power Fuel Controller with a boost control kit. Calvin says these parts, in conjunction with an HKS Super Sequential blow-off valve and a Bosch Hi-Flow fuel pump, allowed the A'PEXi R&D team to tune the 13B to a healthy 313 hp at 6650 rpm and 263 lb-ft at 5250 rpm.

Power gets turned to tire smoke through a mostly stock drivetrain, with the exception of a six-puck race disc and a heavy duty pressure plate provided by Advanced Clutch Technology. A stock Torsen LSD handles power distribution out back.

But drifting isn't all about power. Careful suspension tuning is necessary in order to control a car at the limit of adhesion. A'PEXi offered up its N1 Damper Type Pro coil-overs, while Rotary Extreme provided its rear trailing and toe links. Cusco carbon-fiber strut bars are in the front and back, while stock R1 front and rear anti-roll bars tighten the chassis. The stock spinners were tossed in favor of a set of Volk Gram Lights 57Pro wheels sized at 18x9 in front and 18x10 in back. Rubber requirements are dealt with Falken Azenis ST115 tires, measuring 225/40-18 in front and 225/35-18 out back. Falken also provides these tires to Japanese Falken D1 drivers, so they were a natural choice. Calvin's alignment settings are -3 degrees of camber in the front, -2 degrees of camber in the rear, 0 toe in front, .06 toe in rear and 6 degrees of caster.

To bring the 2,600-pound car to a halt, Hawk pads and ATE Super Blue Racing fluid assist the stock rotors and calipers.

Inside, it's all business. Calvin stripped the interior of the FD and removed the A/C. He added a Bride XS3 seat, Sparco three-point belts, an R-Magic cage and a MOMO steering wheel. In an RE Amemiya gauge cluster, he added boost and water temp gauges from Defi. The dash and console, however, have been left completely intact.

Red paint was slathered on by Almega Auto Body of San Carlos, Calif., to help swing the judges' scores in a favorable direction when Calvin drifts. Additional modifications to the paint and body were performed by the various tracks and courses Calvin visits with the FD. For example, a stack of tires at California Speedway augmented the driver's door.

But damage is just part of the drifting game. It happens to everyone. It's the few who see destruction as opportunity who find success. Thankfully Calvin did, because if he hadn't, his FD would be in the boneyard, and he'd be swigging warm beer while surfing the Web right about now.

Check out Calvin's latest destruction on pages 80 and 81. -ed.

1993 MAZDA RX-7
Engine Code :13B-REW
Type :Sequential twin-turbochargedand intercooled rotory
Internal Modifications :None
External Modifications : Rotary Extreme V-Mount intercooler/radiator, RotaryExtreme V-Mount intake,Rotary Extreme mini batterykit, Samco hoses, A'PEXi GT-spec exhaust, SR Motorsports downpipe andmidpipe, E-Fini Y-pipe, A'PEXiPower FC Boost Control kit, HKS Super Sequential blow-off valve, Bosch Hi-Flow fuel pump
Layout :Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Drivetrain Modifications :ACT heavy-duty pressure plate with six-puck race disc,steel braided clutch line
Front :A'PEXi N1 Damper Type Pro,stock R1 anti-roll bar, Cuscocarbon-fiber strut bars
Rear :A'PEXi N1 Damper Type Pro,stock R1 anti-roll bar, Cuscocarbon-fiber strut bars, RotaryExtreme trailing and toe link
Front :Stock, Hawk HP + pads
Rear :Stock, Hawk HP + pads
Wheels :(F) 18x9 Volk Gram Lights 57Pro 40mm offset, (R)18x10Volk Gram Lights {{{57}}} Pro 38mm offset
Tires :(F) 225/40ZR-18, (R) 255/35ZR-18 Falken Azenis ST115



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