Author Topic: 1984 Mazda RX7 GSL - 2JZ swap!?  (Read 5658 times)

June 24, 2015, 02:51 AM #0

Vex Offline

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Update: It's running and driving. You can read further here

So, this is the start of my journal for my 84 GSL RX7.

I was browsing my Youtube subscription feed when the "Zero ****s given" RX7. It was love at first sight <3, the stance, the roar, the "**** you, get out of my way" factor just sold me completely with these cars. I knew I had to get my own so I saved my laundry quarters and bought it off @bradenpurchase

Here it is currently (Last updated: October 7 2016)





Anyways, I got it in the cold of winter and parked it. Here it was from day one.

Here is the before:

List of mods that I remembered off the top of my head...

  • 13b swap
  • webber 48ida carb
  • Fuel pump upgrade
  • Tokico Illumina
  • Some alternate rims (no idea what they are)
  • Boss kit





It had a few issues
  • 1) The aftermarket fuel pump he had installed was running on a separate circuit and used it's own fuse block and directly ran from the fuse to fuel pump. Making it never turn off.
Simple switch install fixed that (I never did install it properly from the ignition but this way works too).
  • 2)Coolant leak
Just a loose hose
  • 3)Diff leak
Loose bolt  :unamused:
  • 4)Engine oil leak
This was a mix of loose bolts and ****ty gasket. In my attempts to tighten said bolts, I over tightened one and snapped it off fml. Drilling attempt did not help. After 4+ hours of laying under the car drilling, I gave up and made a steel bar with a slight bend that would press against the gasket over that missing bolt. (No pics unfortunately). I made a new gasket and installed the new plate, and it worked. No leaks anywhere.

This was one of my first runs with it after the winter.
https://www.instagram.com/p/0vpcLCu40m


Holy **** was this thing fun. It sure drew attention.



The fun died off quickly though with the problems it would bring up.
  • The idle would like to flip **** at random and die. No matter how much tuning I did to the carb (even with the plugs being perfectly brown).
  • It would over heat constantly. Idle for 5 mins? Over heat.
Sometimes it got a little embarrassing to start it up in front of people and have it idle like **** or hardly start.

So after a bunch of thought and research, it was either EFI swap this thing or a complete motor swap. I went against EFI swapping it, as
  • Rotaries have a short life and need constant expensive care.
  • Replacement parts are hard to find
  • Parts to do an EFI swap will be next to impossible to find.
  • Much more resources for regular piston motors.

So I picked up a 2JZ-GE non turbo w/ auto tranny. Why?
I like them
Because race car
JDM as ****
Also, I hear they're pretty fast  ;)

Here it is.


My dad was pretty surprised when I brought this home. He didn't expect an inline 6.



So it was time to remove the old motor.

Bye bye hood


Bye bye coolant





This picture skips 3 days of riping apart the engine harness and removing 90% of the wiring. But it's out.


Now that the engine bay is cleared of the old motor, wiring, piping, other junk it's time to prep.

I started of with the cross member. I at first thought I would need to make a complete cross member from scratch and motor mounts but I figured I wouldn't need to. If I flip the cross member around and use the mounts from the donor car, it'll be fine.
So I started with removing the cross member


Now that it's out, lets fabricate it. I'll start with cutting the old mounts off.



What I didn't picture, was me cutting off the actual mounting points to the frame and flipping them backwards/switching places. I got them re-welded, here's the final product.


It was actually clipping the center link (the picture above was with the steering cranked completely sideways)

After some minor trimming...



I also chopped off the headers.

but now it was what I thought was ready.

I was planning to line it up over the cross member drill a hole and freed the bolt through in one afternoon  :lol:


I'm not the one looking majestic as ****

The problem was the brake cylinder, it was facing width wise of the car and it was directly in the way. So I tried to flip it, but that's harder than I expected. So we put the motor back and I was defeated for that day.

That quickly turned into 2-3 weeks of lifting in and out 5-6 times, drilling 2 wrong holes, and moving that brake cylinder.

Here it is sitting loose in the engine bay. It was at this point I knew it was gonna be possible. It's so much more intimidating and soul crushing sitting outside of the engine bay.

As you can see, hood will not clear. Like at all. I knew this buying this motor. It's a tiny car with a giant motor.

So, here it is mounted (wrongly) for the first time


See how far forward it is? Yeah. This would work but it wasn't done right. The correct place was 1 1/2 inch backwards, off of the bar FML.

So I made an extension.

Motor came out, cross member came out (much easier the second time knowing how to do it)

So I got it in, and wow. Was it ever a perfect fit. Everywhere. The oil pan form fit the cross member, the original fan fit, the vacuum lines weren't being crushed, there was room for twisting.

Mazda, are you sure you didn't intend for a 2JZ to be put in there?

So, now I got a mounted motor but till this point the transmission has been sitting on wooden blocks.

It time to unite the motor with it's new owner.

There was 2 issues, the mounts on the frame were a bit backwards from the transmission mounts. and it was also higher. So I had to offset this.

It was simple in concept but a pain in the ass to do. I took a steel bar and a metal spacer and drilled 2 holes for the frame, and 1 for the transmission mount.
This took a while, and many trips to Rona but it held itself in.

Here it sits today.



LOOK AT ALL THE ROOM FOR TURBOS

You can read further here[/i]
Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 01:48 PM by Vex

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    1984 Mazda RX7 GSL - 2JZ swap!?
    « on: June 24, 2015, 02:51 AM »

    June 24, 2015, 06:33 AM #1

    bobjacobson Offline

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    Nice man. Very cool swap keep it up.

    What do you guess at the weight difference between the wankel and the 2jz?

    Either way light car with 200 ish horsepower will be lots of fun.

      June 24, 2015, 06:41 AM #2

      Nismoline Offline

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      Awesome build. Cant wait to see the finished product
      Jdm parking fo life!
      #driven2016

        June 24, 2015, 10:58 AM #3

        Vex Offline

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        Thanks guys, it's been a ton of work so far.

        Originally posted by bobjacobson
        What do you guess at the weight difference between the wankel and the 2jz?

        Either way light car with 200 ish horsepower will be lots of fun.
        Let's put it this way, we carried the original 13b and transmission into my truck to haul off. The 2JZ nearly crushed the truck.

        and yeah it'll be a blast. Honestly, I'm bummed it's an auto trans but I got all the hook ups ready to go for manual swap one day.

          June 24, 2015, 11:36 AM #4

          pjcarey Offline

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          solid build so far! interested in seeing where this thing goes! I remember driving with purchase in this thing and the entire thing smelling like gas but it was light as hell and fun to rip around in!
          [Feb 23 16:03:56] Dan:gotta laugh it off, can't take shiz seriously

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            June 24, 2015, 11:48 AM #5

            Vex Offline

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            Originally posted by pjcarey75
            solid build so far! interested in seeing where this thing goes! I remember driving with purchase in this thing and the entire thing smelling like gas but it was light as hell and fun to rip around in!
            No gas smells so far but my god, the mold smell when you open that center console. Washed it 3 different times and can't get that smell of axe/mold out. 4th times the charm. :lol:

              June 24, 2015, 12:24 PM #6

              Rx7rotary Offline

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              Nice work. Very interested to see how this turns out!
              Are you sticking with the auto trans? I bet a W55/58 would fit the FB pretty good and hold up well since its a light car. Probably wouldn't even cost that much since everyone wants a R154 or V160 these days. If youre looking to get a drive shaft made, Driveshaft Specialist Inc. in Texas made me a beautiful aluminum shaft for my turbo swap. It was about $300, uses HD spicer joints and is a real work of art.


              Its a shame the motor didn't work out better for you, it was a monster when it was in my car and was tuned right. I put a lot of time and effort into dialing it in. Guess that went out the window when I sold it. My money is on a fuel pressure issue, that carb never liked more than 2.5-3 PSI. At 5 PSI it would literally dump fuel onto the throttle plates. I gave Braden a pump and regulator, but my guess is the regulator never made it in. What did you end up doing with the motor?


              Side note: I found most of the parts you emailed me about but I lost your emails/email addy. I didn't realize you were on here until now! Shoot me a PM if you still want to drop by and have a look at my pile of FB stuff. haha

              Also, If you need a hand with anything let me know. Ive had a pile of first gens and daily an IS300 so I could probably help if you run into any snags ;)



              Keep up the good work. Should be fun when its all sorted out!
              Shiftin gears, eatin cheeseburgers

                June 24, 2015, 01:21 PM #7

                Vex Offline

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                Originally posted by Rx7rotary
                Nice work. Very interested to see how this turns out!
                Are you sticking with the auto trans? I bet a W55/58 would fit the FB pretty good and hold up well since its a light car. Probably wouldn't even cost that much since everyone wants a R154 or V160 these days. If youre looking to get a drive shaft made, Driveshaft Specialist Inc. in Texas made me a beautiful aluminum shaft for my turbo swap. It was about $300, uses HD spicer joints and is a real work of art.


                Its a shame the motor didn't work out better for you, it was a monster when it was in my car and was tuned right. I put a lot of time and effort into dialing it in. Guess that went out the window when I sold it. My money is on a fuel pressure issue, that carb never liked more than 2.5-3 PSI. At 5 PSI it would literally dump fuel onto the throttle plates. I gave Braden a pump and regulator, but my guess is the regulator never made it in. What did you end up doing with the motor?


                Side note: I found most of the parts you emailed me about but I lost your emails/email addy. I didn't realize you were on here until now! Shoot me a PM if you still want to drop by and have a look at my pile of FB stuff. haha

                Also, If you need a hand with anything let me know. Ive had a pile of first gens and daily an IS300 so I could probably help if you run into any snags ;)



                Keep up the good work. Should be fun when its all sorted out!
                I would love a W55/58. If I could find one when I get the cash sorted out for it, I'll get it for sure.

                As for the drive shaft, I assumed I could get someone local. Someone on the forums mentioned Westrans on Rt 90. Even if they're more expensive, I'd rather do it local than ship to Texas.

                Yeah I was told it could be a fuel pump issue as well but who knows now. The motor was sold to my friends uncle to use in an RX8 shell he had. I'm 90% sure that it won't work, but he didn't question it, so it's all his. I have everything else besides the motor and trans. I kept the carb and oil cooler.

                Oh man, I forgot about those parts. I can't say I'd want them right now but maybe eventually. That interior does need a little bit of loving.

                But that's actually oddly perfect, you know both of these cars. I haven't truly sat down and figured out the wiring for the ECU but I'm a little snagged. There's 3 connectors on the ECU and 2 connectors coming off the motor. I'm assuming those 2 off the motor are just various sensors for the motor and the 3rd connector is various sensors around the car, I'm assuming that entire 3rd connector will have to be ghetto rigged together to hook up to the cluster and sensors. I guess my question is, to get this motor going I'm going to need to hook up that 3rd connector, starter motor, alternator and what else? That should really be all it needs to run. The guy who bought the shell of the donor car says I'll need some vacuum parts off of it, (correct me if I'm wrong) but

                the stuff in green is the only stuff I'll need since it can have a EGR delete.

                  June 24, 2015, 05:01 PM #8

                  Magner Offline

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                  Congrats on ditching the boat anchor and going with something other than the usual small block  v8 swap. Looking forward to updates.

                    June 24, 2015, 05:54 PM #9

                    Ænimal Offline

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                    Originally posted by Magner
                    Congrats on ditching the boat anchor and going with something other than the usual small block  v8 swap. Looking forward to updates.

                    Originally posted by Vex
                    So I picked up a 2JZ-GE non turbo w/ auto tranny.

                    hmmm...... 500lb+ for the motor, and ~100lbs for a W58.

                    @OP: Looks good! You'll find that you can shave down the weight and complexity of the motorset pretty quickly by deleting a few systems that you won't need.
                    Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 05:58 PM by Ænimal
                    [Aug 01 15:48:26] dolan:Guys i really dont care, im still young enough to learn from all my mistakes.

                      June 24, 2015, 06:29 PM #10

                      Magner Offline

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                      Rope + Rotor = boat anchor
                      Originally posted by Ænimal
                      hmmm...... 500lb+ for the motor, and ~100lbs for a W58.
                      Rotor  + Rope = literal boat anchor  ;)

                        June 24, 2015, 08:01 PM #11

                        Vex Offline

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                        Originally posted by Magner
                        Congrats on ditching the boat anchor and going with something other than the usual small block  v8 swap. Looking forward to updates.
                        I appreciate that, but come on. It isn't that bad, I just cannot stand it being carbbed.

                          June 26, 2015, 12:55 PM #12

                          Rx7rotary Offline

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                          Haha, That motor actually spent at least 95% of its life fuel injected. I ditched F.I. for the weber, and when it worked properly it was wonderful. Best throttle response ever. :P


                          Anyways, Your 2J is from an SC300?
                          I think you're on the right track with the ECU but I am sad to say the RX-7 cluster wont integrate well with the Lexus ECU. The best option for retaining gauges is to use as many RX-7 sensors as possible (oil pres/temp). They used an unusual resistance/range and aren't really compatible with anything newer than '85 (even newer Mazda stuff). Swap in FB sensors if you can or get aftermarket gauges...
                          The tach will need a converter box, I think you could get something like that from Dakota digital. The auto trans likely has a speed sensor whereas the RX-7 speedo is cable driven. I have no idea about converting the auto trans speed sensor to cable drive, but if you go with the W55/58 you will be able to make it work without too much trouble. If there is anything Ive learned about doing this kind of swap, it is getting it mounted and running is easy but all the little things that go into a nice, clean swap add up and take time.

                          Figure the basic wiring out, get it running and just plug away at it. It will come together!!



                          Also, Driveshaft Specialist works off measurements. I measured everything up, emailed them the specs and had a 100% brand new driveshaft to my door in less than a week. High speed balanced, rock solid construction, and very reasonably priced. One of the best companies I have dealt with for custom driveline stuff.


                          Cheers!  :banana:

                          Shiftin gears, eatin cheeseburgers

                            June 26, 2015, 03:30 PM #13

                            Vex Offline

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                            Originally posted by Rx7rotary
                            Anyways, Your 2J is from an SC300?
                            It's actually out of a GS300
                            Originally posted by Rx7rotary
                            I think you're on the right track with the ECU but I am sad to say the RX-7 cluster wont integrate well with the Lexus ECU. The best option for retaining gauges is to use as many RX-7 sensors as possible (oil pres/temp). They used an unusual resistance/range and aren't really compatible with anything newer than '85 (even newer Mazda stuff). Swap in FB sensors if you can or get aftermarket gauges...
                            The tach will need a converter box, I think you could get something like that from Dakota digital. The auto trans likely has a speed sensor whereas the RX-7 speedo is cable driven. I have no idea about converting the auto trans speed sensor to cable drive, but if you go with the W55/58 you will be able to make it work without too much trouble. If there is anything Ive learned about doing this kind of swap, it is getting it mounted and running is easy but all the little things that go into a nice, clean swap add up and take time.


                            Figure the basic wiring out, get it running and just plug away at it. It will come together!!
                            Well I'm glad I kept the sensors, I'll see how that goes. The speed tach never worked actually, but as long as I can get it moving I can pick at it over time. Just really need the temp gauges to work.


                            Originally posted by Rx7rotary
                            Also, Driveshaft Specialist works off measurements. I measured everything up, emailed them the specs and had a 100% brand new driveshaft to my door in less than a week. High speed balanced, rock solid construction, and very reasonably priced. One of the best companies I have dealt with for custom driveline stuff.


                            Cheers!  :banana:


                            I have both drive shafts from both cars. It would just need a slight trim and have the end from the Lexus one put onto the Rx7 one. So buying a whole new drive shaft would seem over kill wouldn't it?

                              June 26, 2015, 05:20 PM #14

                              Rx7rotary Offline

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                              Yes and No.
                              The stock RX7 universal joints aren't very strong and cannot be serviced, so I personally dislike like that option.
                              When I put a TII trans in my FB, I had a good driveshaft as well as a TII slip yoke but to piece them together and balance would have probably been at least $100 anyway.
                              After seeing what a local "driveline" shop did with a project I ended up with (Ford 8.8 diff in FB), the aftermarket unit was the only way to go (for me).
                              Booger welds and a thick-ass fender washer to balance.. No thanks. Im also not sure if the local shops do high speed balancing like Driveshaft Specialist.

                              You might get lucky and end up with good u-joints and a proper balance, but I personally didn't want to risk it. It all depends on your end goal, and your confidence in the shop doing the work. In reality, it shouldn't be that hard to get right but people these days are downright lazy. I take pride in my work and when I pay someone to do something, shortcuts frustrate the hell out of me.

                              Regardless of how you do the driveshaft,  pay very close attention to the trans / pinion angle. If you don't get that spot on, you're driveshaft is in for some punishment.
                              Shiftin gears, eatin cheeseburgers

                                June 26, 2015, 06:03 PM #15

                                Vex Offline

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                                Originally posted by Rx7rotary
                                Yes and No.
                                The stock RX7 universal joints aren't very strong and cannot be serviced, so I personally dislike like that option.
                                When I put a TII trans in my FB, I had a good driveshaft as well as a TII slip yoke but to piece them together and balance would have probably been at least $100 anyway.
                                After seeing what a local "driveline" shop did with a project I ended up with (Ford 8.8 diff in FB), the aftermarket unit was the only way to go (for me).
                                Booger welds and a thick-ass fender washer to balance.. No thanks. Im also not sure if the local shops do high speed balancing like Driveshaft Specialist.

                                You might get lucky and end up with good u-joints and a proper balance, but I personally didn't want to risk it. It all depends on your end goal, and your confidence in the shop doing the work. In reality, it shouldn't be that hard to get right but people these days are downright lazy. I take pride in my work and when I pay someone to do something, shortcuts frustrate the hell out of me.

                                Regardless of how you do the driveshaft,  pay very close attention to the trans / pinion angle. If you don't get that spot on, you're driveshaft is in for some punishment.
                                Cool thanks for the tip!

                                  June 26, 2015, 08:23 PM #16

                                  benz88 Offline

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                                  Take the Driveshafts to Westrans. They made me a new one for $300.
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                                    June 26, 2015, 09:52 PM #17

                                    Vex Offline

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                                    Well, currently I'll get wiring out of the way and see about a drive shaft.

                                      August 30, 2015, 09:37 PM #18

                                      Vex Offline

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                                      Wow, so I didn't expect this but I'm sorry to hear the news about Braden's passing.

                                      I heard that he had lots of memories in this car and it was a big part of his life for him. So, I'm glad I was able to get his brother the steering wheel as a memento.

                                      But, this car is now a build in his honor. I knew he was excited about this build but didn't get a chance to see it. I've made major progress and I'll have it fired hopefully in not too long.

                                      RIP Braden.

                                        August 31, 2015, 08:28 AM #19

                                        jordisonjr Offline

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                                        Originally posted by Vex
                                        Wow, so I didn't expect this but I'm sorry to hear the news about Braden's passing.

                                        I heard that he had lots of memories in this car and it was a big part of his life for him. So, I'm glad I was able to get his brother the steering wheel as a memento.

                                        But, this car is now a build in his honor. I knew he was excited about this build but didn't get a chance to see it. I've made major progress and I'll have it fired hopefully in not too long.

                                        RIP Braden.
                                        Yea, such a terrible thing that's happened.
                                        It's hit a lot of people pretty hard, myself included.
                                        Originally posted by Madbuzz41
                                        I'm not a fan of blowing for a long time anyways ; )


                                        [Mar 31 23:03:18] Basil:Dan go outside without your pants and let your beef curtains flap around in the wind like a windsock

                                        [Dec 11 14:00:38] alexatwork21:I

                                          August 31, 2015, 12:47 PM #20

                                          pjcarey Offline

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                                          was thinking of this thing the other day when i heard the news! Sad to hear such a young and happy guy passed away!
                                          [Feb 23 16:03:56] Dan:gotta laugh it off, can't take shiz seriously

                                          Link to my supra album all photos taken and edited by Colby Spence (@BD5)  https://www.flickr.com/photos/colbyspence/sets/72157647259073436/

                                            May 03, 2016, 12:55 PM #21

                                            Vex Offline

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                                            I'll be having an update real soon.

                                              July 28, 2016, 10:55 AM #22

                                              pjcarey Offline

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                                              updates coming soon?
                                              [Feb 23 16:03:56] Dan:gotta laugh it off, can't take shiz seriously

                                              Link to my supra album all photos taken and edited by Colby Spence (@BD5)  https://www.flickr.com/photos/colbyspence/sets/72157647259073436/

                                                August 05, 2016, 08:57 PM #23

                                                Vex Offline

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                                                Originally posted by pjcarey
                                                updates coming soon?
                                                Yup, drive shaft is currently being made, then it's all done! Should be one more week.
                                                Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 10:34 AM by Vex

                                                  September 01, 2016, 08:21 PM #24

                                                  Vex Offline

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                                                  As it turns out, my driveshaft was never ordered because I never made a deposit, oops my bad. If anyone has a 99 bronco driveshaft, it'll speed up the process. Otherwise, 2 more weeks :/

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                                                    1984 Mazda RX7 GSL - 2JZ swap!?
                                                    « Reply #24 on: September 01, 2016, 08:21 PM »