1984 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE

(AKA The Blue Bomb)

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This is my "new" 1984 RX-7 GSL-SE. I bought it off of Rob Windsor a fellow RX-7 enthusiast (and owner-operator of the RX-7 FB mailing list) who purchased it as a project, then found a better one. It's in OK shape, with a 2nd gen 13B installed, a few dents and scrapes, and a reasonably sound chassis. The bonehaeads who installed the engine had no idea what the hell they were doing; almost every vacuum hose on the thing was bypassed, meaning the vacuum advance on the distributor was nonfunctional, as were the vacuum regulated oil injectors. They also removed the very needed external oil cooler, and the six-port actuators! You can see a couple of the looped-back vacuum ports on the dynamic chamber, and the missing actuator location here (if you look closely, you'll realize the cooling fan is backwards, too!). Rob thinks the engine's leaking compression into the water jacket, as it heats up when loaded, but stays cool idling. If so, it was probably overheated, which is easy to do when you don't have an oil cooler. I've already straightened out most of the hoses and wires (and discovered a buncha bits missing), tightened the screw on the pulsation damper (those of you with GSL-SEs should know exactly what I mean), put in a new thermostat and upper radiator hose, and flushed the cooling system. I found an oil cooler for it on the Parts Trader, but she still overheated, so I tried a little CRC Block Seal on it. I don't think the Block Seal did anything, but removing the thermostat to back-flush the motor seems to have cured the overheating. I still get bubles in the recovery tank ( a good sign of exhaust bypassing the o-rings), but now it doesn't go past 1/4 of the temp guage, even when driven kinda hard! Just have to top off the water every so often. I'll be on the lookout for another motor.

The interior's about half there, and what's there is dirty, but may be able to be rescued. What's missing is mainly cargo area carpet and trim, and a few little trim pieces here and there. the factory radio and amps actually work! Needs speakers, though. Rob's removed the remainder of the AC (compressor was missing when he got it) and the power steering pump (was missing the pulley). Power windows need lube and adjustment (don't they always?); in fact, the *doors* need lube and adjustment. Lots of little minor stuff that 16 year old cars need, especially when they haven't been loved.


Well, I discovered from Rob's FB Mailing List that I had done the Block Seal procedure wrong. You don't follow the label. On a rotary, it takes two bottles, and you don't drain the water. The also suggested flushing and filling with degreaser several times, then just water, to clean the passages. Amazingly, it worked! The temp guage now stops at about 1/3 scale, and will go up to 1/2 if I let it sit still while messing with the motor for too long, but no higher.
Happy with that, I spent the cash for plugs, cap, rotor, and fuel filter. Now it was a little smoother. Then I put the air pump that I had gotten from my buddy Tim on. Suddenly, it won't idle. At first, it just died. After a bunch of fiddling, it now surges between 1500 and 2000 RPM. The list consensus is that I have a vacuum leak somewhere, and apparently had it before the air pump went on. It wasn't bad enough to kill the idle by itself, but now with the extra air provided by the air pump, it's confusing the heck out of the EGI computer. The hunt for the elusive Vacuum Leak begins!

While under the car changing the fuel filter, I also noted that the left lower rear control arm is bent to a 150-degree angle. <sigh>. I should also note that the previous owners apparently cut or otherwise collapsed the front springs. The stance is pretty cool, but it rides on the bump stops. Ouch! Probably killed the struts if they weren't already dead...

The driver's side power window works much better with the motor and pivots lubed, and better condition (used) window weatherstripping. The original was crispy as all get out. Passenger side's next.

I have most of the interior now, and I was able to remove the grease from the carpet. Still rust-stained, but I'm hoping that dye will cover it. If not, oh well.

More to come, as the plot thickens!


I removed the intake manifold from the car and discovered a number of things.
1) there were no six port sleeves in the engine.
2) the rear auxiliary port actuator rod was frozen in the intake
3) the ACV was rusted up and/or corroded

I've aquired a pair of sleeves for the auxiliary ports, and a new actuator rod (I broke the old one getting it unstuck), and I had the good fortune to have a spare (nearly new!) ACV removed from a friend's (now) race car. I haven't put the intake back yet because I decided that I wanted to clean it up a bit first (it was pretty crusty). The wire brush wasn't enough, so I'mn going to glass bead-blast it. Haven't gotten around to it yet, other projects, yadda, yadda.


Still haven't put the intake back on. 1) it's cold and 2) I've aquired more parts and options. I have 2 more SE intakes at the moment, courtesy of Rob Windsor losing his garage, and a second-gen intake as well, sourced from a list member. I sat down and mapped out the vacuum ports on the SE and FC intakes, so I should be able to put the FC intake on and still have all the SE vacuum dinguses and such work (comparison diagram here). I will need to put the SE BAC onto the FC dynamic chamber, but that's no problem; they have the same flange.

Honestly, I seem to attract parts and cars...

A-heh. Um, still no movement. Haven't had the time or money (bead-blasting, all those gaskets, etc.) to get it done. Got that new daughter thing going on, and some additional troubles and what not. And the Cutlass is getting jealous and needs attention, blah, blah, blah. Seriously thinking about swapping all the SE-specific stuff over to the '79 (including the engine, when it'shealthy), but that requires that we get my wife's van back (one of the troubles) so that we still have two cars to drive in case of "poop happens." Too many ding-dang projects, not enough moolah. Or time. Sigh.

See more pictures of the car!

Dave Disney has a GSL-SE that not only looks like mine (same color - V3 Tender Blue Metallic), but he's done pretty much what I want to do to mine! Nice to have somebody else's experience to learn from! See Dave's car here (it's under How-To, Autocross/RoadRally/RaiseHell Project Car).

Another 1984 GSL-SE!


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