Going back a few years, seeing a swapped RX-7 would have created feelings of awe and curiosity. Now, the cards have flipped and there are actually more V8 powered RX7s on the road in the Bay Area than there are rotary powered ones. Interesting, indeed.

I think the strong surge of people pushing forward with swaps speaks volumes on the underlying motivation. As logic would suggest, good ideas and products by nature lead to widespread adoption. Like with any specific powerplant or car in general, the thoroughness and cleanliness of a V8 swap varies greatly.

Last Sunday, I met up with Sonny, a local RX-7 owner who also swapped in a LS3. We chatted for a bit and I got tips from him on how to wire in the transmission’s reverse light switch to the factory Mazda harness via the X-14 connector. Then we went for a drive.


I can barely remember the last time I went on Palomares road, which used to be my local favorite twisty, especially back in my motorcycling days.

Needless to say, the relatively tight and bumpy road may not be the best suit for the RX-7. The car has simply too much power for such a small road. The slower speeds and bumpiness required more work with the manual steering, although it was still fun to wrestle the car around. And of course, long tube headers do not fair well with sudden dips.




It was great to finally take the RX-7 off of regular surface streets and explore some of its potential and characteristics. Driving with another car is always cool. Next, I would like to find a smoother road with more open sweepers and capitalize on the RX-7’s strongpoints.


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