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1989 Mazda RX-7 - Eye of the Tiger

David Hruska’s FC RX-7 has all the right parts in all the right places, and stands as a quality example of a great platform that

Mike Maez
Aug 1, 2008

With the proliferation of the S-chassis into the hearts and souls of everyone from 16 year old JDM fanboys to Formula D champions, the all capable FC has been somewhat overlooked. Lucky for those brave enough to delve deep into the annals of rotary wasteland, or for those who truly believe (and rightfully so) that the chassis brings forth one of the most capable platforms for drifting anywhere around, the FC has not been ENTIRELY overlooked.

Modp 0808 01 1989 mazda rx7 front view Photo 2/13   |   1989 Mazda RX-7 - Eye of the Tiger

This season’s first round of Formula D showcased that fact, with Kyle Mohan’s FC nearly pulling off what could have been the upset of the year had he not lost third gear during the home stretch. In addition, all points aside, during the Team Drift competition one week after Formula D, Modified Mag witnessed (from the inside of turn 1, mind you) what was arguably the most ridiculous entry onto Aquarium Way by any driver. Kyle would literally initiate at the beginning of the grandstand area seating that was well ahead of the turn, and with careful ebrake, steering, and throttle techniques would carry the drift alllll the way through turn 1 and onto Aquarium Way. All doubts were set aside. The FC platform is the real deal, and this gem by David Hruska is certainly no exception.

David purchased the car initially with a blown motor for the sole purpose of turning it into a full-on drift machine. Intrigued by the prospect of a true s13 alternative that remained lightweight, RWD, and had styling that was far ahead of its time, David figured he couldn’t really go wrong with the FC. However, like many full-on projects that start off as more of a dream than a realization, it was set-aside for an extended period of time while David brainstormed exactly how he would plan his attack. Two years passed and David finally got cracking after finding inspiration from a friend in Osaka, Japan.

In tearing down the engine for the first time, David found some of the expected rotary gremlins. Several apex and side seals were blown in the rear housing, and although he didn’t have a tremendous amount of rotary building experience, David decided to take on the build and began to piece the venerable 13B back together bit by bit, with some stout reinforcement in the form of a new intermediate housing, RA 2mm Super Seals, and Mazdatrix Solid Corner Seals. To keep temps down David also added a custom V-mount intercooler setup, a Koyo radiator, and twin FD3s oil coolers. He also added an absolute barrage of monitoring gauges from Autometer to make sure everything was running smoothly, even going so far as to make a custom cluster and triple pod setup to keep the install clean.

While continuing the motor buildup David also made a Stance in the suspension department by dumping the car on a set of Stance GR+ 3 way coilovers. A host of bushings were also replaced in both the front and rear, along with camber and toe adjustable arms from the likes of MMR and AWR. With the suspension setup properly David now faced the task of putting power to the pavement, which he addressed by installing the requisite KAAZ 2-way, along with stiffer tranny and diff mounts to keep movement in check. A CAP Clutch would also handle the rigors of repeated clutch-kicking during peak action, while an R magic shift knob complimented by the hand made Gucci shift boot from Logan Yoshida would remind him that it’s not all about business; drifting is certainly THE motorsport where if you aren’t sliding in style, well, you shouldn’t even be sliding in the first place!

Modp 0808 08 1989 mazda rx7 front rim Photo 6/13   |   1989 Mazda RX-7 - Eye of the Tiger

Speaking of slide style, David also had a vision for his FC build that would really set it apart from the masses. Once again being inspired by Japanese styling and culture, he was able to acquire several hard to get pieces that currently stand out as nearly one of a kind here in the US. A friend, Rob Riter, in Japan, was able to source a Garage BB GT Wing along with Saturo Works knuckle arms. Not trusting these precious gems to any shipping company on the planet, David literally hand carried the parts back himself. ”It is interesting getting looks from people on the train and in the security line at the airport. Japanese people don’t like being caught looking,” David mentioned, as if carrying a huge GT wing in an airport is an everyday occurrence! “When I go to Japan, I am really impressed by the street drift cars. The cars are low, loud, and built but a lot of them retain the interior and almost all of them have DVD players. I had to follow suit!”

Often a make or break factor for many of the feature cars seen here in the pages of Modified Mag, a set of classic Work Euroline’s was sourced from Yahoo Auctions and sent over by Fred Kaneko, a good friend. Although somewhat representative of VIP styling, the aggressive fitment along with stretched tires still provided the right look and feel for what David was going after. But perhaps the most controversial aspect of this build is not the aggressive wheel and tire fitment, but rather the color that David chose to adorn the FC with in all its glory. Starting off by fitting a full Origin Stream kit along with wide fenders F/R, a Shine Auto Hood, and aero mirrors, a splash of paint was then added. “I get a lot of comments on the color and I sort of kick myself for choosing it since the car will be drifted and pieces will need to get repainted. It is a three-stage paint based on the limited edition Lexus Tiger Eye Mica. The color shifts from gold to dark chocolate. I think brown is such a cool color and yes I know we are not in the 70’s but I think if you combine everything correctly, you can pull it off,” David says. Obviously since the car is here in the pages of Modified Mag we can’t agree more, but nevertheless it is not your everyday FC!

Modp 0808 05 1989 mazda rx7 center console Photo 7/13   |   1989 Mazda RX-7 - Eye of the Tiger

Although he struggled to come up with a graphics scheme that was expressive but not overpowering, David tossed around numerous graphic schemes before deciding on mirror gold over black galaxy graphics. “The worse thing would be to cover up all the paint. So, I kicked around the idea of turning the wheels into a ‘bomb.’ Imagine the wheels spinning and smoke coming off the tires!” While we aren’t completely sold on the ‘bomb’ idea, it’s clear that David Hruska’s FC RX-7 has all the right parts in all the right places, and stands as a quality example of a great platform that even 20 years later can compete with the latest and greatest cars around. Hopefully by the time this story hits the newsstands David is still rocking the Tiger Eye Mica paint and hasn’t come too close to any k-rails or curbs. This is one FC that will not go quietly into the night, after all – It's the eye of the tiger, it's the cream of the fight… Risin' up to the challenge of our rival!!!

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SPECIFICATIONS AND DETAILS
1989 Mazda RX7

ENGINE
13BT

ENGINE MODIFICATIONS
New Intermediate Housing, RA 2mm Super Seals, Mazdatrix Solid Corner Seals, Street Port, 13BREW Rotors, JDM Housing, Emission Controls Removed, Oil Injectors Removed, Ported Wastegate, MSD Custom Ignition Wires, LS1 Coilpakcs, RC550cc Primary / 1000cc Secondary Injectors, Greddy Throttle Body Inlet, Greddy AIRNX Intake w/custom aluminum piping, Custom V-Mount Intercooler, Samco couplers, HKS SSQV BOV, Koyo Radiator, Motoria Down Pipe, Motoria Test Pipe, Motoria 3” Exhaust + Ti Exhaust Extension, MMR Engine Mounts, FD3S Twin Oil coolers, Aeroquip Braided Hoses, SARD FPR, Walbro Fuel Pump, FD3S Alternator, Racing Beat Underdrive and Twin Alternator Pulley

ENGINE MANAGEMENT
Haltech ECU

DRIVETRAIN MODIFICATIONS
KAAZ 2-way LSD, Mazdatrix Short Shifter, CAP Clutch, MMR UHMW Transmission Mounts, MMR UHMW Poly Diff Mounts

SUSPENSION
Stance GR+ 3-Way Coilovers, MMR/Delrin/UHMW Front Control Arm Bushings, MMR Delrin Rear Control Arm Bushings; MMR DTSS Eliminator Bushings, MMR UHMW Subframe Mounts, AWR Toe Adjustment Links, AWR Camber Adjustment Links, Satoru Works Front Spindles, NAMS Front Fender Brace

WHEELS, TIRES, BRAKES
18x9.5 +10 / 18x10 +0 Work Euroline DH w/5mm Front+15mm Rear Project Kics spacers, Falken FK452 225/40/18 F and 255/40/18 R, Hawk HP Brake Pads, R Magic Braided Lines

EXTERIOR
Origin Stream (FRP) Front Bumper, Side Skirts, and Rear Bumper, along with Origin 20mm Wide Fenders, Origin 30mm Overfenders, Shine Auto Hood, FRP Aero Mirrors, Garage BB 1700mm Wing, Shaved Third Brake Light, Tiger Eye Mica paint, Mirror Gold on Black Galaxy Graphics

INTERIOR
Autometer Sport-Comp II: 3 3/8” Tachometer, 3 3/8” Speedometer, Full Sweep 2 1/16” Water Temp; 2 1/16” Fuel Level; 2 1/16” Fuel Pressure; 2 1/16” Oil Temp; 2 1/16” Oil Pressure; 2 1/16” EGT; 2 1/16” Wideband; 2 1/16” Boost, Custom Cluster, Custom Triple Pod (FRP), Buddy Club Seat, Bride Seat Rail, D1 Spec Steering Wheel, Boss Steering Wheel Hub, R Magic shift knob and custom Gucci shift boot hand-made by Logan Yoshida (Hngloose)

NUMBERS
Est. 300+ RWHP

By Mike Maez
50 Articles

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