Taking The Time To Build An RX-7 The Right Way

It took me two years to get back into the rotary scene.

I had just come back from spending a year overseas and hadn’t owned a car since my last RX-7 took an unexpected trip to JDM heaven after an unlucky accident. I felt it was time to get back into my passion of Japanese cars and builds, so I bought my current FD3S in early 2016.

That’s where my journey starts.


I came across an abused RX-7 from Sydney’s western suburbs. At the time, it had all the gaudy hallmarks of an Australian ‘sex spec’ build including 19-inch chrome rims, red-wall tyres, and countless cheap eBay accessories. I wanted this build to be my best yet, so I started a painstaking journey of buying the highest quality parts.


Once I had the engine completely rebuilt I decided I needed to turn my attention to the exterior. I’m not a fan of bulky body kits because they can take away from the original body lines of the car, so I searched for external parts would complement the build rather than overdo it.


The carbon fibre diffuser and the Top Secret edition gold RAYS Volk TE37s in a 18×9.5-inch +12 fitment at each corner gives the FD a refined and timeless look.


My car was at a healthy 370hp running a T04E turbo kit, but I wanted more. I wanted numbers that went to another level and put me into a league of my own. I  fitted a Turblown turbo kit based around a BorgWarner EFR 8374 and overhauled the fuel system for E85.


Ben from Rotary Motorsport tuned the RX-7 to 500hp, with boost coming on at 2,000rpm and delivering the full 25psi by 3,500rpm.

This is a huge step into creating the ultimate RX-7 build, but I’m not done yet.

James Pelecanos
Instagram: xx77.fd

Photos by Vladimir Knust
Instagram: knust.media
Facebook: KnustPhotos

James would like to give a special thanks to Ben from Rotary Motorsport, Elliot from Turblown Engineering, and his fiancé Sarah for agreeing to let them drive such an impractical car.


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Absolutely PERFECT. No buts.


But that wing is terrible


What? That wing comes stock straight from the factory.


The one while he is at the fuel station doesn't. Looks frigging lame.


I saw one of these in blue in Sydney a couple of years ago, and I just thought that the RX 7 is the nicest JDM car I have ever seen.

Nice car though. I really love that duck-tail spoiler in the last pic.


god damn it really takes only 1500 engine rpms to really push 25 psi? that's seriously impressive in my eyes. and i wondered why you didn't get many interior shots like i wanna know if you turned it racecar with stripped interior, or a full street interior with sound system, a/c, some nice seats, etc. but judging by the exterior alone, i can already assume the interior wasn't skimped on either.

Quinlyn Bernstein

What is up with this? Love the car and the article, but some pics it has a massive wing and some other pics it has the Spirit R wing. Am I crazy, or what?


The Spirit R is right up there with the Porsche whale tail, it needs to be put back.


The massive wing is used while refilling only, may have some wizardry to cheat the flow meter.
I think it might be a track/daily drive setup.


It's active aero. It only extends when it's being refueled.


Okay so basically the photos were shot last year, but around in December/Jan it was sent in for the whole motor rebuild with the new turbo setup and all that, I only got a chance to see him once recently as it took half a year for the rebuild. And he now has the wing and all that


I don't know if the wing is effective or just decorative but as a personal taste the smaller wing is way better specially that the target is to enhance the original body lines.


About time an EFR-powered RX-7 got attention on this site! Absolutely love this build


looks great!


Nice to see an RX-7 NOT having an LS swap. Beautiful one!!!


Splendid job bud. Been seeing your build pop up on IG now and then. Must say it's nice to see another RX7 build that shares the same ethos as mine, preserving stock body lines and tweaking it just enough to stay timeless. That EFR setup looks killer, my Borg S360 doesn't get to full boost till a bit past 4,500.


Amazing build!; FLAWLESS photography!


Who doesn't love quality reporting at cost. Great article.


Love the passion flowing through this article. Gorgeous car too, and well captured.


Well done sir. Stunning car, proving that less is often more. Great to see such a wonderful car in the hands of a true rotary enthusiast.




I'm thinking of importing a FD Series-8 but I feel like it's gonna cost me a lot of money. Not for the actual car but for what can happen after, like a rebuild.

Just how reliable are they if they're pretty stock?

Let's say buying one with 90000kms and taking care of it.


Join RX7Club.com

Do some research, sounds like you have a lot to learn!


If this were my car, I'd change three things about, and they are purely personal tastes. This thing is basically perfect.

1) Go back to the Spirit Type R wing.
2) Change the color to Innocent Blue Mica/
3) Swap it to LHD


Tick.....tock......tick ......tock............BOOM.

Apex seal out!


Why does someone ALWAYS make this kind of comment?

Rotaries are just as reliable as and performance engine IF they are maintained properly.


edit - sp :

Rotaries are just as reliable as any performance engine IF they are maintained properly.


Best looking FD I've seen in a long time. LOVE it.

Nice pictures also. BUT, the article... Man, we need to know more. Tell us about that OEM wing, that pop-up with an intanke, something about suspension, brakes and interior, why two different wings, etc...

You took the time to build the perfect RX7, but didn't have time to tell us what you really did to it. All we get -information wise- is that it was riced out, and now it has a powerful engine, TE37s and a difuser!


So fine. I do note 2 of the 22 pictures show buying gas. About right for a high boosted rotary.


Jesus guys, I have been waiting for the rest of these photos since JUNE. That's when I first downloaded the header image for one of my computer desktop backgrounds. Can we not wait 4-5 months to post features?


Id stay spot on with the body, like it either simple like this or RE kitted but seeing this i do love it and the engine set up sounds killer! cant wait for updates


Thanks for an FD article, I have been waiting a while for a new one!

Car looks great, glad to see another FD being maintained and on the road