You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dreamI guess seeing and hearing the FC was all he needed to make a move. Just two more weeks after our encounter, he was already actively searching for an RX-7 of his own. But he wanted an FD and one that would not require much tinkering for that matter. He found a pristine-looking, 1992 model, some 1,553 miles (2,500 km) away from our hometown. The car already had a bunch of basic upgrades, and it seemed to be the perfect choice for him.
His FD cost almost three times as much as my car did, and that would only be the beginning. The 13B-REW engine had been rebuilt just 8,000 miles (12,874 km) before the moment of purchase. The car had been dyno tuned to 318 horsepower and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque, using an Apexi Power FC. On the outside, the car was still rather stock, except for the Ultralite GT2 rims. It came on Michelin tires, but those were quickly replaced by a set of Yokohama Advan AD08R semi-slicks.
There is always room for improvementThe seemingly flawless machine started showing signs of wear and tear as Mike drove it around town. The brakes, suspension, and clutch were all faulty and needed replacing or upgrading. On a particular spring evening, he called me and asked if I'd like to take the car to a local Mazda meeting. I honestly couldn't believe that was happening to me, as I had been dreaming about that moment for more than a decade.
Still to this day, that was one of the best nights of my life. The Kakimoto cat-back exhaust felt deafening and the acceleration was visceral, to say the least. And the car felt so amazingly controllable, even when going sideways. But that night quickly became a disaster, as I went overboard with my driving, and snapped the FD's diff. About two months later he managed to bring in a replacement from Japan.
The climb is tough, but the view from the top is worth itHis passion for the Japanese brand kept growing, and he added two more cars to his garage: a Mazda 2 and a Mazda 5. The list of upgrades on the 7 also kept getting longer and I'll just point out some of the basics: a kit of SuperPro polyurethane bushings from Australia, a kit of uni-ball bushings from J-Auto in the USA, a Mishimoto thermostat, AEM smart ignition coils, an AEM AFR gauge, and it doesn't stop there.
But Mike's plan was clear all along. Although there are several benefits to having a twin-turbo RX-7, he wasn't going to stop at 320 horsepower. The moment I found out what his master plan was, I started shivering with excitement. For years and years, I had been drooling over FEED's monster of a single-turbo FD, and now my fellow rotor head buddy was about to go down the same route.
He went down the same ECU route as I did, using an Adaptronic M2000 unit, 4 Bosch 1,650cc injectors, a Turbosmart fuel pressure regulator, a 525 LPH Walbro Hellcat fuel pump, and a lot of other parts required for the conversion. He even did all the wiring from scratch, as he had previously done for my FC. All in all, it took him several months to get it done. Right now, we've done several tests with the new turbo, but it's not over yet.
The way the car feels right now, even while running at about 0.5 bars of boost, is hard to describe in words. The turbo almost sounds like an HKS T51R, and by the time the car gets dyno-tuned, with the help of Xeno, the FD should be up to about 450 horsepower. And if you've ever experienced a rotary car before, you'll understand how impressive that is, especially for a car that's meant to be driven on public roads and not at the racetrack.