1988 Mazda RX-7 Restoration Project

This project was born out of one person’s frustrations in finding a decent new car. After having purchased a Mazdaspeed Protege and being thoroughly disappointed with it he decided to restore this 1988 Mazda RX-7 from the ground up. It was stripped down completely and painted Titanium Gray to match his Miata and Protege. A new engine, transmission, suspension, and brakes were also installed, and it was given a black interior to replace the red one the car came with.

RX-7 Restoration

The car had rust on it, so before it went to the body shop we stripped it down completely to have it painted at the same time. The moldy interior was pulled out and the old 13B rotary engine was removed to be used as a core. With the engine and all the accessories out of the way, the engine bay was painted black before loading the car onto a flatbed truck. It was at the body shop for a long time due to the rust, dents, dings, sanding, priming, and painting.

After painting, the RX-7 was trucked back to Eunos Custom Automotive where the long re-assembly could begin. We masked the bumpers in order to paint the belt line black, as new pieces were brought in for the doors. The carpet and stereo wiring went in next, and it was given a full Alpine stereo, amp, speakers, as well as connections for a subwoofer and iPod. Once the wiring was done and the carpet was cut and trimmed, the heater, vent tubes, and dash were re-installed. At this point the interior was as done as it could be, and the seats and door panels were sent out to be re-upholstered in leather. Now the attention was put towards getting the engine back in as well as all of the accessories that go with it. A stock rebuilt 13B rotary engine was installed along with a brand new (not rebuilt, but new) Mazda transmission. Exhaust is now handled by a combination of a stock exhaust manifold, Bonez catalytic converter, and Racing Beat cat-back systems. The suspension was given new KYB shocks and new Mazda springs, and the brakes were given a 5-bolt conversion from one of the many RX-7 donor cars that contributed parts to this project. It rolls on factory BBS wheels from a convertible, wrapped with Falken Ziex ZE-512 tires.

The seats and door panels came back looking better than ever, so with the interior complete we turned our attention to the finale. With the suspension and brakes taken care of, and the drivetrain all in place, it was time to prepare for starting the car. All the belts were double-checked, all the fluids topped up, all vacuum lines checked, and everything was plugged in. After priming the motor and checking for fuel and spark, the big moment came. Would it fire right up, or would it sputter and die?

The answer: it fired right up and ran like a champ.