Friday, May 16, 2014

Project FD: Second First Impressions - Saving, planning, and re-planning...

As I have mentioned a couple times now, I have not exactly been overanxious or incredibly restless in regards to modifying the RX-7. I have been holding off on buying parts, partly because of the simple fact that I am in no rush to build this car at the moment, but also because I am still attempting to figure out the exact modification route I would like to take. Doing things right the first time is the objective. I fully expect to swap some parts and endure changes of mind throughout the build process, but, for the most part, I am hopeful that the majority of the decisions I make in regards to the parts and modifications I choose for this car will be favorable, gratifying, and final.

I have had the car in my possession since February and I have put roughly 60 miles on it, most of which coming over the past week or so. I have to say, though I had my first FD for only two weeks before it was totaled, this car is somewhat different than I remember. I do not know how much I have grown physically in the past ten years (other than putting on a few extra pounds), but I do not remember feeling cramped in terms of headroom. In a comfortable driving position, I find myself extremely close to the roof of this car and I do not necessarily believe it is because I am overly large. I am not particularly tall. There are certainly taller RX-7 owners out there. I find it difficult to describe, but, even if the roof of the car extended an extra inch or two, I really do not think it would matter. I am just not comfortable with the height at which I am positioned when driving the car.

Additionally, maybe I have been spoiled with my Z and my G in regards to shift throw, but I am not particularly enthused with the throw of the 5-speed transmission in the FD. It seems a bit longer and notch-ier than I remember. Perhaps I just need to get some more time behind the wheel...

I also did not think the lack of adjustability of the steering wheel would pose too big of a problem for me. In fact, thinking back, I just do not recall the fixed wheel position of my first RX-7. Needless to say, it is a bit tight.

Other than these few concerns, I really enjoy driving the car. As I noted above, I believe I do have to drive it a bit more to garner that confidence, poise, and comfortability. It really is a fun driving experience; a fun car. And, despite these minor inconveniences, I like the smaller cabin. The cockpit-like feel is appealing to me. I remember always wishing the G's interior was a bit "tighter."

The above-mentioned "issues" I have with the interior are, ironically, somewhat exciting to me mainly because they are all aspects of the car's make-up that can be addressed with somewhat relative ease. Planning and saving money for a project can be frustrating and trying, but it also makes it all worthwhile when the time comes to order the parts, and then even more so when the parts finally arrive. Over the last couple months I have had a general idea as to where I anticipated my scrupulously squirreled cache of funds going in regards to this project. Up until recently, I have been planning on addressing the aesthetics of the vehicle by purchasing aero first. At this moment, I still cannot say for certain what my first few parts purchases will be, but it may not be a far-fetched notion to suggest that they just may be going towards some interior modifications.

I have done quite a bit of research and I believe I have figured out (with some help from my friend Brian) what brackets I would need to use in swapping out the stock seats for aftermarket seats that would allow for a lower seated position, as well as the viable seat model(s) for these brackets. I have also looked into a few short shifter options, although reading product reviews on forums is a bit tricky, as I often find people attempt to validate and justify their own purchase, as opposed to being honest and objective. I would like to do a bit more of my own research on this modification before making any decisions. And, as for a hub and quick release, I have been happy with the Works Bell products I have owned in the past, so I believe I will likely go that route again. Other than that, a 330MM (or there about) steering wheel will be my choice, as I believe the smaller wheel will suit me well and adequately address my concerns with the lack of adjustability of the stock (380MM) wheel.

Just for reference, below is a picture I came across on a forum comparing the stock FD wheel (380MM) to a Momo (320MM) wheel.

We shall see. Stay Tuned

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