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1997 Mazda RX-7 - Question It

Fixing What You Broke

Feb 1, 2009
Impp_0902_02_z+1997_mazda_rx_7_questionit+eric_hsu Photo 1/4   |   1997 Mazda RX-7 - Question It

Just like this month's Going Postal submissions, we actually received so many hand-written questions for Eric Hsu, that we're dedicating this month's entire section to your clumsily written catechisms. Whether you're in prison or high school, dreaming about engine swaps or looking for extra credit, drop Eric a line via Import Tuner: 2400 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA 92806. The rest of you, click questionit@importtuner.com

Da Celica Man
I think you have the 2.2L 5SFE, but before you make that decision, you should figure out what you want to do with the car and think about your budget. Turbocharging your car (properly) could be a pretty big investment. The 3SGTE factory turbo and exhaust manifold will bolt right on the 5SFE. The 3SGTE engine bolts right in, but they are getting harder to find. Along with the engine, you'll need to find an intercooler assembly, intercooler water pump, intercooler water heat exchanger (or say "screw it all" and fabricate a front mount), and all of the electronics that go with the engine. While it's not impossible, it is definitely time consuming and will most likely be expensive. If you have the skills and a second car, you could attempt it yourself. If you have some mechanical ability and can read a service manual, it shouldn't be too hard. Older cars are so much easier to work on compared to today's cars. A Toyota forum can be helpful for some tips and tricks with the swap too.

Mazda Speed
Nice. I have a soft spot for the 626 GT turbo, because me and my buddy in high school used to take one up to the street races and smoke fools for lunch money, back when nobody even knew there was a 626 turbo. Anyhow, I don't know my Mazda F engines very well, but I do recall a Protg with an FS engine swap a few years ago. The 626 had an FET engine. Given that the FS engine is 16 valve and is probably much more evolved, I would start with the newer FS and get the exhaust manifold from the Mazdaspeed Protg and a Garrett GT2860RS as a starting point. If you're going low-buck, get a good old T3/T04E 46-trim junkyard special. Next, get yourself a good front-mount intercooler from XS Engineering (they always seem to have blowout clearance items), and ask them for guidance on the rest: www.xs-engineering.com (714.881.3401).

Old School
I dig the old school rotaries. I wish I would have kept my R-100 and my various RX-7s, but I had to build newer cars for my business at the time. The rotary and old school Mazda pros of today are: Mike at Racing Beat (714.779.8677) and Nick or Louie at Rotary Racing & Reliability (714.839.8018). Both are in the SoCal area. And just in case you're ever looking for old school Toyota schwag, you can hit up Toysport in Lawndale, CA (310.643.6432). The rest is up to you and the Internet.

Sources

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