Dude, I've had an RX7 for 6 and a half years. It's never left me on the side of the road and has been most reliable. Don't go and put cat converters back in... flow the car up with a 2.5 inch single free flow exhaust... it should do wheel stands after doing this.
The engines can last reliably up to about 120,000 kms depending on the maintainance and how hard you thrash it... just do regular oil changes.. every 5000 to 10000 km and you should be right.
Don't get a piston engine mechanic to do ANYTHING on a rotary engine cause they don't have a clue... find a good specialist... a reconditioned engine should only cost around 2000 dollars (New Zealand) so I'm thinkin it should be about the same for Canada or America... provided you don't need new housings which unfortunately get trashed when you blow an apex seal... Not much else goes wrong with rotary engines, but when it does it usually means a new one is needed.
Other than that they ROCK!! Shop around when buying one and it's best to purchase off some one who is an RX enthusiast.
I had the same flooding problem with driving my RX7 for short distances.
There is no real fix for the flooding problem without spending major money.
The easiest fix is if the car is flooded and won't start, is to pop the hood and pull out the second plug on the drivers side where your main fuses are (the green one). This turns the engine without using the fuel injectors and the fuel will drain. Turn the key about four times for no more than 8 seconds. Then put the fuse back in and start her up. If it still doesn't work do it again. Another way is after you have drove before you cut off the engine, let the car idle for a bit before shutting off without pressing down on the gas pedal.
I've had two RX7's and shortly will be looking for my third. They are FANTASTIC cars!!
They deliver incredible performance for the money, are incredibly durable (if properly maintained) and are also amazingly cheap and easy to maintain properly.
My first RX7 (a rare, 1985 GSL SE model) that I bought used with 18,000 miles on it, directly from the original owner, lasted me 367,000miles on the original engine!!!, with nothing done to the engine, except routine maintenance (regular oil + filter changes) and my insistence of replacing all of the cooling system hoses, thermostat, radiator cap and belts EVERY YEAR with genuine Mazda (and NOT after market) parts!!
My second one was also perfect (a 1987 second generation) Rx7, that I bought used from it's original owner, who like me, LOVES these cars and did very careful, regular maintenance on it.
Sadly, this one was demolished in a horrific car crash on the freeway (not my fault!), but that amazing car literally saved my life and spared me completely from any injuries!
**The key here, is regular consistent maintenance, WATCH YOUR OIL LEVEL! and baby the cooling system, by replacing houses, the thermostat on an annual basis so as to insure against a breakdown! And also, INSIST (or buy them yourself) on only using genuine Mazda replacement parts. IT DOES make a difference!
When buying one, only buy a used one from an RX7 owner/enthusiast who also has a passion as well for these cars and takes care of them!
I've had mine for 5 years or so. The key is, TAKE CARE OF IT, you can't rod it around with no oil and expect it to last long. I learned the hard way, I got it when I was 17 and rodded this piss out of it (I was a stupid kid) and of course the motor blew up. But I got it rebuilt and streetported, with and exhaust and intake and some other goodies :) and I love it. I check the oil every 2 days or so and always let it warm up before putting my foot in it. Very fun to drive.
I have an 88 RX7 SE. I have never had any flooding problems with it, even when I shut it down when it's in the warm up stage.
With the sunroof sticking problem (common), just pour some clean engine oil in the track and you'll be fine.
Don't disconnect the cold starting assist fluid to fix the flooding problem. Just pull the fuse that is closest to the engine in the fuse box. Crank the engine a couple of times and put the fuse back in; it will start right up.
I got my RX7 when it sat for 2 years at some guys house. I just need to replace the vacuum hoses and clean my TPS (throttle positioning sensor) and my BAC valve, and the car runs great. Replace your sparks every 1500-3000 miles. Use only NGK plugs. Replace wires as needed.
I have 2 matching 1987 GXLs one for parts and one for the street. When owning a RX7, my best advice is to obviously baby the thing, but to have a complete parts car if possible.
I own an '88 Rx-7 GX
After doing some internet research, it seems that the flooding problem is caused by leaking fuel injectors. The design of the engine intensifies the problem as fuel will not easily drain out after its in there. The biggest problem is that the gas in the combustion chamber (?) dissolves the oil which makes a seal to get compression. No compression=no start!
Removing the EGI fuse and cranking the engine works like a charm.
Here's how to avoid ever having to do that: when you turn the engine off, give it a bit of gas as it is dying. This way, you will burn up all the fuel that is left over in the engine. since I started doing this, I have been able to run the engine for a couple seconds cold (moving to a different parking spot, etc) without having a flooding problem!
I have a 1987 mazda Rx7 GXL that I bought about 6 months ago it runs great with little truble except that it seems not to have the power that it should, I never had a problem with it flooding it just cranks a little more than most cars before starting.
I bought an 87 RX7 GXL last year and it runs great. I have even done a couple of races and blew away an RX8 on hairpin turns. Its all stock but slowly but surely it is getting fixed up. (I have kids so I can't spend all my money on the car.) As everybody else mentioned the key is maintenance. But that's with any vehicle. Also keep checking that oil! The rotary motor was designed to burn a little oil. The Apex seal probably blew because the oil was low and you had your foot stuck in it. The rotary motor was designed by the Germans first so all the Mercedes people that look down on my car can just remember, my engine is a better design. German engineering with Japanese refinement. Drifting is a breeze in it too.
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