2020 Mazda Touring

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When maintained and operating correctly, Mazda’s twin-turbocharged 13B-REW rotary agent that came beneath the awning of the third-generation (FD) Mazda RX-7 has affluence of advantages over your archetypal agent apprenticed engine, such as beneath affective parts, a bigger power-to-weight ratio, bland ability delivery, and a college revving beam (not to acknowledgment they complete frickin’ awesome). But some FD RX-7 owners accept additionally accomplished the altered Wankel engine’s, er, bitchy side, which was the case for Southern California’s John Ubalde.

New 4 Mazda CX-4 Touring FWD Sport Utility | 2020 Mazda Touring

New 4 Mazda CX-4 Touring FWD Sport Utility | 2020 Mazda Touring – 2020 Mazda Touring

4 Mazda4 Grand Touring FWD 4dr Car | 2020 Mazda Touring

4 Mazda4 Grand Touring FWD 4dr Car | 2020 Mazda Touring – 2020 Mazda Touring

New 4 Mazda4 Grand Touring FWD 4D Sedan | 2020 Mazda Touring

New 4 Mazda4 Grand Touring FWD 4D Sedan | 2020 Mazda Touring – 2020 Mazda Touring

Indeed, the car you see actuality isn’t Ubalde’s aboriginal FD Mazda RX-7 but his second, and it’s powered by an LS1 V-8 agent out of a 2002 Chevy Corvette. Why? Well, let’s aloof say his aboriginal anatomy didn’t absolutely assignment out so able-bodied (see photo below).

He vowed to repurpose his abutting FD activity to be as reliable and artery affable as possible, which meant abnegating the achievement allowances and JDM breach of Mazda’s 1.3-liter twin-turbo rotary for a added dependable, artlessly aspirated American-powered V-8.

While an LS bandy is frowned aloft in some circles, that doesn’t beggarly the car can’t still be absorbing in its own right. In fact, this isn’t the aboriginal time an LS-swapped RX-7 has apparent the spotlight. Aback in 2015, Super Artery featured a  450 hp LS1-powered RX-7 cutting one of the aboriginal Rocket Bunny FD anatomy kits and Volk Racing ZE40 wheels. We afresh had a adventitious to bolt up with Ubalde to allocution about his claimed adventure and latest RX-7 build.

MotorTrend: Can you acquaint us about how you got into modifying cars in the aboriginal place?

UBALDE: My ancestor will consistently be my capital contributor to giving me the affection to assignment on and adapt cars, from teaching me to change oil aback I was bristles years old to alteration timing chains on our ancestors Dodge Ram van. Plus, growing up in the ’80s area TV shows like Knight Rider, Artery Hawk, Dukes of Hazzard, Transformers and movies such as Mad Max, The Cannonball Run, The Wraith, Smokey and the Bandit, and Condorman were aloof highlighting admirable cars to ammunition my affection alike more.

MT: Demography it way back! So, what was your aboriginal car?

UBALDE: In the ’90s, I was into both domestics and imports. My aboriginal car in aerial academy was a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am. I kept this car actual apple-pie and simple because I knew I had bigger affairs to try in the acceptation scene. Afterwards I accelerating aerial academy and during my time at SDSU (San Diego State University), I bought a 1991 Nissan Twin Turbo 300ZX. This was one of my dream cars to accept abutting to the RX-7, and this additionally led to my affection with the ’90s JDM car scene.

MT: Your antecedent RX-7 dates aback added than 10 years ago…

4 Mazda 4 Grand Touring: Anything New After 4 Years??? | 2020 Mazda Touring

4 Mazda 4 Grand Touring: Anything New After 4 Years??? | 2020 Mazda Touring – 2020 Mazda Touring

UBALDE: My friend, Jack, and I bought the car aback in mid-2008 during the banking crisis. The car was modded some with a ’99-spec advanced and some agent work, but overall, the car still bare assignment and we acquainted it wasn’t a acceptable time to dive abysmal into it financially, so we put it into accumulator until things got better. I confused to the Philippines in 2009 and backward there for a acceptable brace of years (even got affiliated there, too!). In 2011, afterwards abiding from active in the Philippines, Jack and I assuredly acquainted it was a acceptable time to booty “Blue7,” as we alleged it, out of storage.

We rebuilt the engine, did some anatomy work, new wheels, and in 2014 I absolutely took over the car and bought my friend’s bisected out. Afterwards a little bit of time, it started growing into a absolute project/show car, with the focus of authoritative it an accessible archetype for added ambitious FD3S owners. Then, in backward 2018 I was demography Blue7 to a car appearance aboriginal in the morning aback the agitation for one of my rotors chock-full firing, yet the car was still pumping a ton of ammunition into the rotor. Basically, so abundant ammunition congenital up that it bent blaze beneath and at the rear of the car. Alike with two extinguishers, it was actual difficult to ability the areas beneath the car, so I had to let her go.

MT: Sorry to hear… Is this a accepted affair with rotaries as I affected it’s usually a allowance issue?

UBALDE: Rotary engines are somewhat of a altered monster if you don’t apperceive annihilation about them. Apex seals are one way they fail, not to acknowledgment baptize seals, bend seals, bad housings, etc… They aloof charge a little added absorption than the accustomed agent agent area you can get serviced anywhere. The agitation activity out arch to a above blaze is not a accepted theme, although fires nonetheless are appealing accepted for rotary owners. Abounding acquaintance agent bay fires due to adulterated ammunition cadence dampeners that get old over time amid old ammunition lines.

MT: I’m academic this afflicted your accommodation in activity adjoin a rotary and against article added reliable abutting time around?

UBALDE: While I had the Blue7, a aide of abundance had a red LS-swapped RX-7 sitting alfresco of his home for about eight years. I anamnesis cogent him years ago that I will appear to acquirement that red FD from him. The plan was to aces up a abundantly swapped LS adaptation of the FD for continued ambit cruising, but still accept a rotary FD congenital for clue and appearance days. So my all-embracing plan was to accept the Blue7 and “Phoenix7” (the car I accept now) sitting in the barn calm in harmony. Unfortunately, the rotary gods had a altered fate for Blue7.

MT: A bummer, but luckily you were able to aces up Phoenix7 afterwards the adventure to accumulate the dream alive. What accept you admired about the LS bandy the most?

UBALDE: The adorableness about the LS is that it is way added airy compared to the aftermost FD. Genitalia and places of account are plentiful. At my age, it’s article I admire because accepting a ancestors and added responsibilities makes accepting this car a advantage activity in a way.

MT: Why the LS1 in accurate and can you busy added on the agent spec?

UBALDE: The LS1 is from a actual low breadth 2002 Corvette donor with beneath than 20,000 afar on it. Hinson Supercars put the agent calm with Patriot date 2 ported and able 706 5.3-liter heads. Giving the agent added compression are bigger springs and Ti retainers, and a balmy cam with ASP pulleys fabricated the car bigger for added street-oriented driving. Demography a LS6 assimilation assorted from a Z06 added accessible horsepower, too. The one adorableness of the LS1 is that it’s all aluminum, so it isn’t as abundant as its added adamant counterparts.

MT: I accept stock, an LS1 makes 345hp at the crank… What’s your babyish do?

UBALDE: The car is putting bottomward a reliable 415 whp and I’ll be putting the nitrous arrangement aback assimilate the car to get it to 500 whp. I’m actual blessed with the accepted bureaucracy and do not see alteration it anytime anon unless addition wants to put a nicer agent in there for me!

MT: Can you busy added on what makes this a artery car because it could calmly be mistaken for a weekend show/track car?

UBALDE: I capital to accomplish abiding that this will be a adequate and about worry-free car to own with no headaches aback I accomplish continued alley trips to Las Vegas or added places. I fabricated abiding the A/C formed altogether and ability council is adjustable. The carbon-fiber seats fit central after any issues, recline, and are adequate alike for an eight-hour drive. I additionally chose the Reinhard Double Cannonball Ti bankrupt to acquaintance with the 3.5-inch piping. This bureaucracy absolutely has a low rumble, so my neighbors accumulate sane and don’t complain—trading ability for abundance and a added worry-free and agreeable ride.

MT: The abeyance is additionally called for its artery characteristics as well, correct?

UBALDE: Yes, the Fortune Auto air agent lift arrangement is a advantage aback activity through bumps, inclines, declines or ramps. Instead of a bagged suspension, I capital article to still accept the accomplished administration of a coilover arrangement but able to accept the car ride at a nice height. Then, aback bare I’m able to bound accession the car up to get about obstacles.  The arrangement raises the car up about 4-inches.  This has absolutely adored all the low blind genitalia on the car abounding times.

MT: What blush was it originally?

UBALDE: This was originally an automated chiral Touring archetypal in Vintage Red. During the bandy and chiral conversion, the car was absolutely bare and corrective in 50th Anniversary Red Brownish Candy. It’s a admirable and active color!

UBALDE: I absolutely do not appetite to lose this acrylic job, appropriately why I went with a affection wrap. Aback captivated by a able and accomplished installer like Omnium Auto Styling, about anybody that sees the car absolutely thinks it is a multi-stage acrylic job.

MT: The Blitz auto are one of my admired changes you did. Why did you accept this accurate design?

UBALDE: The Blitz Type-03 were one of my admired auto aback in the backward ’90s. I absolutely had one of the aboriginal sets in the U.S. on my 300ZX! The Type-03 is such an iconic ’90s era specific caster meant for a ’90s JDM car. They were discontinued in the early-2000s and it took me years to acquisition a absolute set. Once I begin a set of 17s, I capital to accomplish the caster accept the aforementioned personality as the Phoenix7, adapted for the new millennia. My caster architect “ChamorrowBoy86” gave it an adapted 2020 blaze accretion them to an 18-inch with footfall lips, gunmetal faces, atramentous gold centermost caps, and gold hardware.

1993 Mazda RX-7 LS1 Engine-Swap Specifications

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