'93 RX7 Repair and Maintenance

Hello all,

My girlfriend’s father talked her into getting a 93 RX7 for her first car, and its now falling to me to care for it.

The car is stock with 106k miles.

There are two issues I would like to ask about.

1) When driving, in any gear it seems, under constant speed of light acceleration the car will jerk back and forth (forward and backwards) quite violently. If I accelerate it stops. I usually downshift and just run it at a higher RPM, where this has not occurred at. About 6-months ago the clutch was replaced, and I do not know if the issue was present before then.

2) The car smells like the devil (I know it burns oil). When its warming up in the morning the exhaust bellows from the back right wheel well, not as much (but some) from the tailpipe. I have not had a change to look under the car.

I’m not really automotivly-inclined, so I feel a professional checkup is in order, but I would like to try to learn myself.

Also, I would love any advice people could provide for general care and lovin’ for the car.

There is a rotary engine in this car. Meaning it is rare and only a few posters here have direct experience with rotary engines. Look for a Mazda rotary engine forum and/or user group for more and better information.

As to burning oil, this is a common issue with rotary engines. The seals on the rotor do wear and it allows oil blowby. The jerky action could be some ignition problems. There are 2 spark plugs and either one or both plugs could be bad.

Oil leaking past the seals means compression could be compromised too. Not good if this is the case as it means the seals are worn and need to be replaced.

Everything on this motor is different. You need to find a mechanic with rotary motor experience or you may need to use Mazda dealer(s) for repairs. You can do oil changes yourself, but beyond that you’ll need a user group, or a very detailed repair manual to guide you.

If your girlfriend’s dad talked her into it, and she drives it, why is it up to you to maintain it?

Not only does this car have a rotary engine, it has a turbo-charged rotary. Twin-turbo, if I remember correctly. They burn some oil as part of normal operation. If it’s burning oil excessively it means there’s lots of wear inside. Considering the mileage that’s probably the case.

Checking the oil level FREQUENLTY is absolutely essential.

This is not a car for the faint of heart or the non automotively inclined. Nor is it something I would try to use as a daily driver. It’s almost a racing car built for the street, and its maintenance needs are race car intensive.

The engine management and emission control systems on this car are NASA complex.

My advice to you is to buy a service manual (factory would be best) and help your girlfriend find a mechanic who’s qualified to work on it. Not many are.

Start searching the RX-7 enthusiast sites. You’re going to need all the help you can get.

Wasnt this also a TURBO ? I have owned 3 RX7’s so far… They do have their issues. Def go to an RX 7 forum…they will fix you up and give you some bad news about your apex seals… If your RX is a Turbo…which I think it is…YOu more than likely have bad turbo oil seal…which would make it stink and burn oil…Your apex seals will go after lots of miles… Turbo seal first.

For issue 1, a pure guess but something is likely amiss with the turbo setup. This car actually two turbo’s. One for lower RPM power and another comes into play at upper RPMS’s. There may be a boost leak or failure of first turbo which explains the the 2nd issue.

Good luck.

To clarify, I do believe the oil burning is the normal amount and I am aware that it is part of the normal engine operation. I keep a quart of oil and radiator fluid in the cab for when one of those warning lights go off.

The GF’s father was a racer, and hence why we have this car now. I maintain it because we are both out of the house and she isn’t going to do it.

I have a feeling this car deal is going to go south and it sounds like the GF’s dad bought it because he thought it was the cool thing, if not the smart thing, to do.

The racer dad bought the car with known and potentially serious problems and odds are the seller of this car unloaded it because they did not want to pony up to fix it.

Turbocharged and a clutch replacement at appox. 100k miles can easily point to a car that’s been whaled on by the previous owner, or owners in the plural.

Although I don’t know the full history, it’s been well cared for and not been raced sine my GF got it 6 years ago. I do agree, a high performance sports car is not a good idea for an 18 yr old.

Something I’m missing here? The GF is 18, this is her first car, and she got it 6 years ago? At 12 years of age?
Does this mean the car has been sitting all of that time or what?

The history may be known for the last 6 years but what about the prior dozen years?

Who was driving it at the time the clutch went out?

A clutch going at 100K isn’t bad. It can go longer, but I would expect 100-120 out of a clutch.

She got it at 18 and she has had it for 6 years (well almost 7 now), making her 24 currently.

Again, I can’t speak for the time before she owned it, but if an owner abused it I doubt he would fess up when trying to sell it. Having these issues appear 6 years after purchase is mighty sinister of the previous owner.

She was driving it at the time. When I started driving it two years ago I could frequently not get it into first gear it was so worn.

I can tell you that your #1 is not normal for that engine.  I had an older one and it was as smooth as glass.  There is some sort of problem there.  I can't remember when they changed but I would think that a 1993 would have been a RX8.  

I would start by having that clutch checked out. 

I loved that car.  Just was not practical for me at the time.