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Old April 24th, 2016, 02:00 PM   #1
marcdh
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Project Casper - KL Rx7

I was going to just unveil this at completion but being as I started this in 2012 I figure I could do with some motivation!



The car was acquired for £800 as a rolling chassis listed in a local car forum. It had no engine, no bonnet, no seats, surface rust, no spoiler and a badly fitting bumper. The previous owner needed to rebuild the engine but lost interest. It was yet another Rx-7 ready for breaking and scrapping.

How it all began... bonnet not included
About me

I'm a mature student, on a very slim budget. I've been modifying Mx-3s for years, going through many iterations:

KLZE 2.5 swap into 1.8 v6
KLZE supercharged with clutched M62 Eaton
KLZE on T595 throttle bodies
KLDE with t3t4 turbo at 291bhp
B5ZE on evo 8 16g turbo

I've loved Rx-7s since I first saw them, and found them incredibly exotic in appearance.
Why v6

Engine budget - I can't throw 3k into buying a rotary, having it rebuilt and buying all the ancillaries. I love the rotary engine but it's just not for me right now.
Fuel economy - from reading forums and talking to owners it seems sub 20mpg is realistic. It's a quick performance car but that's thirsty. I aim for 30+mpg mixed driving at the same power levels.
The challenge - this is as important as the first point. I've always liked doing my own thing. I prefer to see things that aren't normally done. Bolt on modifying is fun and easy, but it doesn't provide the challenge or push your creative requisites.

Why KL Mazda

Lightweight, compact V6.
Made by Mazda. I like to approach this with a mindset of a V6 option by Mazda.
Bonnet (hood ) clearance.
Available in 200hp naturally aspirated form.
Proven performance 291bhp with an eBay £140 turbo and £120 scrapyard engine with 0.5 bar from my Mx-3 days
I have a lot of parts and spare blocks already and the knowledge of the engine.
Easy to work on.
Reliable. My first K series engine ran for 150,000 miles.
Glorious soundtrack.

Project Rules

The shell must be entirely reversible to rotary if required.
Maintain front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout as far as possible.
Keep weight to equivalent or less than the factory rotary twin turbo.
No butchering the firewall.
No movement of key components including the steering rack.

---------- Post added at 08:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:56 PM ----------

Mock ups
SketchUp

Before I even bought the shell I wanted to make sure the KL was going to fit comfortably. One of the core principles of the project was to maintain the Rx-7s integrity: no cutting firewalls, no moving steering racks. The compact nature of the KL excelled here. It required no modifications to the engine bay nor scoops in the bonnet. To check this I visited the shell, measured up then mocked up the key dimensions in SketchUp, cheap and nasty



Lets get real

I needed to see how things were going to be laid out. I had an old 1.8 K8 which shares the same external dimensions as the KL. I took the crank out and was able to just lift the block in by hand, which made things easy to manage. The result was pleasing. Things were fitting in nicely.





K8 Rx7 v6

One long ass gearbox. The K series block looks tiny!




Adapter plate MDF

The next key step was deciding how to combine my power source to the gearbox. I debated using the KL flywheel VS the Rx7 flywheel and clutch assembly. In the end I decided to keep it simple. Rx7 from the flywheel onwards. I began measuring and drawing up CAD files. After a bit of a learning curve I was ready to make my own MDF prototype.

I printed out my drawings, glued them to MDF and got cutting and drilling. Things seem to be lining up nicely.



K8 Rx7 v6

Still front-mid engine layout, much rejoice. Lots of room for turbo parts and cooling!



I then began mocking up a very crude flywheel to crank adapter.



Thicknesses were modified to maintain all original gearbox clutch and starter function. Maintaining the core principle of no butchering.



The bell housing was scanned to assist accuracy in hole placement.



Sketch up mock was made of clutch interface. I didn't wan't to have to pay twice for manufacture.



Before long I had finished the CAD. The flywheel adapter was to be manufactured in a steel comparable to the forged factory crankshaft. This could not be a point of failure!



The adapter plate was intensely irritating to finalise. Holes clashed, but ultimately it would work out.



---------- Post added at 09:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:59 PM ----------

Adapter plate trial with bell housing:
rx7 kl v6 adapter plate



That was a relief...

And the flywheel spacer fit too! Nice lightweight exedy flywheel for FD3S. Whole clutch/fly assembly weighs in same as standard KL and less than RX-7 assembly.


Changing the v6 from transverse to longitudinal logically implied moving the oil pick up to the new deepest point.


Custom sump to match and fit in the rx7 subframe:

I wanted my intake manifold to flow from the front back. Unfortunately the coolant neck was in the way... so chop and weld time:
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Old April 24th, 2016, 02:10 PM   #2
marcdh
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More to come...



Current status:
Megasquirt fried.
But was running - just need a new megasquirt now...
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Old April 24th, 2016, 03:26 PM   #3
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Currently buying all my parts for my future part-out thread...
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Old April 24th, 2016, 05:36 PM   #4
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Looking good!
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12" brakes, ZE, T3/T4 turbo, 2.5" exhaust , ACT 6-puck, MSD6AL+2step, Coilovers, 245/45/17x9 cobra r, 67mm TB, MS II, traction bars, meth inj. and more.
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Old April 24th, 2016, 06:39 PM   #5
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I love it. I have also loved these cars for a long time, but a LHD fd has and will always be out of my price range. Can't wait to see some roller vids
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Old April 24th, 2016, 07:18 PM   #6
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Wow crazy nice build
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Old April 24th, 2016, 07:45 PM   #7
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Oh wow I like where this is going.
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Old April 24th, 2016, 08:59 PM   #8
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I just blew my load. Speaking of which, what internals are you going with?
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hopefully running by the end of the year check
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Old April 25th, 2016, 04:00 AM   #9
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This is good inspiration for me to get going on my project too. Thanks man. Looks great!
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Old April 25th, 2016, 09:17 AM   #10
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Very nice build for someone on a tight budget!

Imo, I think you made the right decision when it comes to the engine. At the risk of pissing off any rotary fans on here, I personally think the rotary, while a great design in paper, is not a great design for real life conditions and for reliability. Not only do you not have to deal with the high heat issue and have to worry about rebuilding the engine a whole bunch of times, you now have plenty of space to add some forced induction.

Have you considered building a custom oil pan? I think that might be a pretty good idea given the KL's now longitudinal. You might even be able to design one with a deeper sump for greater oil capacity...
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Old April 25th, 2016, 10:48 AM   #11
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This is amazing, love it. And the fact that you A) don't want to butcher it and B) do the work yourself make it even better.

Definitely keeping an eye on this thread.
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Old April 25th, 2016, 06:40 PM   #12
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Exceptional fap material.
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Old April 25th, 2016, 06:52 PM   #13
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Awesome! This is a build that I've always wanted to do! Problem is non-running rx7 shells are like $5k around here...
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Old April 26th, 2016, 10:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proboner View Post
Awesome! This is a build that I've always wanted to do! Problem is non-running rx7 shells are like $5k around here...
They aren't much cheaper elsewhere.

Great job marcdh! Can't wait to see more!
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Old April 26th, 2016, 11:42 AM   #15
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They aren't much cheaper elsewhere.

Great job marcdh! Can't wait to see more!
Really? I am in Oregon and you can pick them up all day here for $1000 or less.
I sold my 86 non running (no compression...apex seals?) for $400. It even had the rare as hell 2+2 BACK SEATS!
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Old April 26th, 2016, 04:59 PM   #16
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yeah, thats a 2nd gen... 3rd gen is a whole different animal
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Old April 26th, 2016, 05:49 PM   #17
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yeah, thats a 2nd gen... 3rd gen is a whole different animal
OK -I don't know my RX-7's very well. I thought it was a third gen. So that was my thinking as to being expensive to buy.
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Old April 26th, 2016, 06:04 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by KLZE Porsche View Post
OK -I don't know my RX-7's very well. I thought it was a third gen. So that was my thinking as to being expensive to buy.
it is a 3rd Gen


3rd Gen- http://www.rotaryheads.com/PDF/images/3rdGenRX7.jpg

2nd Gen - http://www.rx7club.com/attachments/2...-rocky-075.jpg

1st Gen - http://www.rx7club.com/attachments/1...en-rex_17s.jpg
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Old April 26th, 2016, 07:53 PM   #19
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That is what I thought with my original statement -but I wasn't going to argue. I thought it looked an awful lot like a FD -but I could have been wrong!
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Last edited by KLZE Porsche; April 26th, 2016 at 07:54 PM.
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Old April 26th, 2016, 09:44 PM   #20
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Haha I was commenting on what branscoset said... about how his 86 rx7 sold for so cheap. I was pointing out that his 86 is a 2nd gen which is much cheaper than this rx7, which is a 3rd gen.

I should have quoted him to clarify
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Old April 26th, 2016, 09:54 PM   #21
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RX-8s are much cheaper than 3rd gen RX-7s, that's why I chose mine based on price, can't beat $2100 for 2004 clean title RX.
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12" brakes, ZE, T3/T4 turbo, 2.5" exhaust , ACT 6-puck, MSD6AL+2step, Coilovers, 245/45/17x9 cobra r, 67mm TB, MS II, traction bars, meth inj. and more.
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Old April 27th, 2016, 07:11 AM   #22
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I'm kind of offended, but to each is their own..
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Old April 30th, 2016, 12:59 PM   #23
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This is awesome, I have only dreamt about an RX swap! Awesome work marcdh!

Honestly, I've been fantasizing about building a K3 V6 turbo for an RX8.
It involved a K8/KF crank in the bigger bore/bigger valve KL block. It would have displaced 2.3L and had a 2:1 r/s ratio. It would have redlined at ~9500rpm. It would have had a powerband between 6.5k and 9k. It would have been ultra reliable with the short stroke long rods. It would have had lower CR around 8.5. It will happen at some point in my life. Threads like this are just awesome!
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Old May 16th, 2016, 09:14 AM   #24
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Hi,

I'm doing a similar swap, mating a K8 with an RX-7 transmission. Although I successfully modified the stock intake and valve covers so it would work turned 180 degrees, I decided to fabricate a custom intake that will use stock injectors and throttle body. It will look similar to the one discussed in this ProbeTalk thread.

My custom water outlet is a cousin to yours, though I decided to keep all the sensors there:



I noticed when I compared my adapter plate to yours that we match perfectly on the K8/KL holes (green), but diverge pretty significantly on some of the RX-7 bell housing holes (red). But, my MDF template appears to be spot on. Is that version of your drawing the one you used to make your adapter:



Also, I wonder if you could do me a huge favor. I don't have access to an RX-7 engine, so I have no idea where the flywheel is supposed to sit relative to the back of the engine block, so I don't know how thick to make my adapter. Would you be willing to share the dimension called out in red:



Delighted to find someone else doing this swap. Keep up the good work!
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Old May 16th, 2016, 06:52 PM   #25
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It could be that the difference in our bolt hole positions is because you have an FD and I'm working with an FC transmission....
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