Consumed is the best way to de-scribe Wayne Lin's mindset when it comes to Mazda's pinnacle of rotary performance, the FD3S RX-7. It all started for the Walnut, Calif., native when he was about 12 years old."My dad used to own a dealership in Taiwan before we moved to the U.S.," Wayne says."I remember the day he took delivery of the first FD; he immediately took me out for a ride.From the sound of the twin-turbo rotary, cool flip-up headlights, and stylish interior to the ultra-low center of gravity and amazing handling ability, I was on overload.
"I couldn't afford one while going to school. But as soon as I landed a decent job and had enough saved up, there was no question that I was going to get myself an FD. Friends always argued with me, 'Why not get an M3 or used 911 instead.' My answer is simple; 'You don't see FDs on every street corner.' To me, FDs, if properly built, are more unique and stylish than most cars you see on the street.They truly authenticate a real car enthusiast.
"My dream wasn't to build a 500-plus horsepower drag machine, but rather an all-around balanced RX-7. By balanced, I mean a car that's enjoyable as a daily driver (in front of the cops), eye catching as a show car, a thrill to drive on the track, capable as an occasional drifter, and most importantly, stone reliable under all of the above situations."
The rotary engine is a real physics bender. It's easy to forget that the FD is powered by a scant 1.3 liters or 86 inches of displacement. That's the size of the latest gasoline hybrid engines, never mind a world-renowned motorsports legend. Physics will only bend so far; soon boost addicts and power fiends will find the 13B's breaking point.
The foundation of a successful rotary begins at the seals and rotors and ends with competent tuning and realistic boost levels. Neptune Speed of nearby Huntington Beach assembled fresh apex seals and ported rotors.
Going single turbo is a great way to maximize the 13B's potential plus you get to discard the hundred or so vacuum lines of the sequential twin setup. Wayne tapped A-Spec Tuning of Schaumburg, Ill., to fill the boost gap. The Mazda's thrill generator is an A-Spec GT3574 kit featuring a non-ball bearing Garrett turbo with a responsive 0.84 A/R turbine housing, 74mm turbine wheel, and an 82mm compressor wheel. This turbo shares compressor wheels with the GT35-R but has a bigger turbine wheel compared to the GT35-R's 68mm unit. The rotary isn't a four-cycle engine; combustion happens differently in rotaries and they rev high, making for a good deal of exhaust flow given their diminutive displacement. The A-Spec kit takes full advantage of the engine's flow characteristics and, with its non-ball bearing center section, it's a cost-effective alternative to straight GT series based kits. The remainder of the turbo system consists of a stainless steel A-Spec turbo manifold, A-Spec down pipe, TiAL Sport wastegate, HKS SSQ blow-off valve, and the prerequisite GReddy polished elbow. Neptune Speed arranged the ARC front-mount intercooler and Koyo aluminum radiator in a V-mount configuration.
Fuel enrichment is handled by an A-Spec 450R package that includes two 1,680cc primary injectors and clips, top-feed fuel rail, fuel pressure regulator, ACV block-off plate, resistors, fuel pressure gauge, and a high-flow pump. Wayne has added 850cc secondaries to the mix and uses an A'PEXi Power FC to tune the combo. XS Engineering did the honors and dialed in a conservative 380 whp, which is a nice gain considering the FD was originally rated at 255 at the flywheel.
With reliability at the forefront of his project, Wayne upgraded the driveline with ACT products, namely a counterbalanced ACT Streetlite XACT flywheel, ATC strip disc, and a heavy-duty ACT pressure plate.
The RX-7's seductive body lines have been enhanced with a rare Veilside D1 GT body kit that was installed by K&W Autobody. K&W also installed a Sine Auto undertray, a custom bumper plate, and a full fender roll. P.J. Bonifacio did the spray gun honors, laying Porsche 911 metallic gray and smoking the taillights. "The taillight is one of my favorites," Wayne says. "The original taillights were replaced with Altezza-inspired LED units. Since I was never a fan of the Altezza treatment, I had the entire taillight custom smoked just enough so people can't see the chrome surface until the brake light comes on. It looks amazing at night."
Body tuning and stance make the look and Wayne has persevered in this area. Richard Tang of S.I.X. Autoworks bolted on a set TEIN Super Drift coilovers that are fortified for the side loads unleashed in mid-drift. They feature 16-way adjustable damping, pillow-ball mounts, and separate pre-load and ride height adjustability. An evolution of the HE series, the Super Drift are compatible with TEIN EDFC in-car controller. The final piece of the stance puzzle is rolling stock and Wayne's RX-7 hits the target with gold-hued Gram Lights 57 Pro wheels wrapped in Toyo Proxes tires. Beefy four-piston Rotora brakes back the wheels at the corners delivering eye-popping stopping power.
Adding to the already race-ready cockpit, Wayne swapped the factory seats for red Bride buckets, had custom suede door panels fabricated, and dotted the dash with carbon-faced Blitz MD meters, Blitz boost controller, HKS turbo timer, and A'PEXi Power FC Commander. MacCar Stereo finished the cabin off with a trick audio install.
On the road, Wayne says his FD is absolutely amazing. "When I'm in my car nothing else matters. Not only is it a chick magnet, it catches attention just about everywhere I go. The car is really easy to drive. The power is just right-not too much, but enough to scare people away-and the rotary delivery is so smooth.The damping is adjustable through EDFC.It's comfortable to drive on the street but with one touch, it can turn into the meanest machine in the canyons."
The FD is a key component in Wayne's life but things got off to a shaky start. "It started giving me tickets before I even got it back from the shop.The car was cited for no front plate, modified exhaust, too low, and tinted windows, just sitting out in the shop's parking lot." It's all good now, and Wayne may tinker with the interior a bit, but for the most part this Mazda is ready to prowl the open road
Bride Zeta III Sport seats
Bride seat brackets
Crow racing harness
Shift knob and boots
Sparco 285 SN steering wheel
Steering wheel hub adapter
Custom suede door panel
Auto Meter pillar gauge pod
Custom painted interior panels
Black rear storage bin and panels
Replace stock trunk strut
JDM aluminum scuff plate
Blitz MD pressure meter (carbon)
Blitz MD boost gauge (carbon)
Blitz MD temperature meter (carbon)
Blitz boost controller
A'PEXi PowerFC Commander
HKS turbo timer
Blitz water temp gauge
Blitz oil temp gauge
GReddy gauge stands
Veilside D1 GT Kit
Veilside Type II carbon-fiber GT wing
Custom HID Kit
Carbon-fiber door handle
'99-spec bumper lights
Seibon TS carbon-fiber hood
Shine Auto Project front undertray
18.8.5 +43mm front Toyo Proxes
18x8.5 +45mm rear Toyo Proxes
Kics 4g racing lugnuts
TEIN Super Drift coilover
Cusco trailing arms
Rotora four-piston big brake kit)
Rotora SS brake lines
Rotora brake pads
15mm wheel spacers with extended stud
10mm wheel spacers with extended stud
Cusco front strut bar
Koyo radiator kit
HKS Ti-carbon cat-back
Racing Beat single-tip cat-back
ARC front-mount intercooler kit
HKS SSOV blow-off valve
GReddy pulley kit
A'PEXi super grounding system
GReddy oil filter block
Replacement rotary engine with street porting
A-Spec GT3574 single turbo kit (GT ball bearing turbo, SS manifold, down pipe, TiAL wastegate)
A-Spec 450R fuel system kit (1,680cc injectors, regulator, rail, resistor, gauge, pump)
Nippondenso 850cc primary injectors
Gotham Racing AST
Gotham Racing oil cooler
Gotham Racing oil catch can
Ceramic Coating Service (manifold, down pipe, turbo, turbo piping)
Polished OEM alternator
Polishing LIM and UIM
Magnecor ignition cable set
Noltec engine mount
Random Technology high-flow cat
HKS S-Series Super Fire racing plugs
Custom heat shields
B&M short shifter kit
ACT strip disc with heavy-duty pressure plate
ACT StreetLite XACT flywheel with counterweight