Again. I’m going to start off another post here on the blog with an apology.

If you follow the website, and not any of our social media profiles. It may seem that we’ve just dropped off the face of the Earth here at Afterburner. I assure you, that isn’t the case. However, quite the opposite actually.

We’ve been hard at work these past few months. Working on our own projects. The reason for our lack of new posts is simple. We haven’t been traveling as much as we have in years past. Though, we haven’t been shut-ins completely.

Vintage racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is always a great experience. So when the Sports Car Vintage Racing Association made another trip out to the hallowed speedway. You know Brad and I had to make the trip out. To take in the sights, sounds, and smells of one of the best events we’ve ever been to. You can expect a recap of that in the coming weeks.

We even made the trip out to GridLife Midwest 2017. Where Brenden drove and I watched……again. I did bring my Canon T60 film camera along to capture all the sights for you guys and gals……well you know what happened. If not THIS will fill you in.

Now. This brings me to my little difficult situation. Since February this year. Project Rx7, now dubbed “Project Valentine” (with the addition of Brenden’s Rx7) has been off the road. Sidelined with an immense oil leak. Now, in the following months. I’ve spent all too much time, thinking and deliberating. Weighing my options as I try to anticipate what I need to do next. All the while, missing out on valuable track time. I’ve come up with a few answers to my problems though.

First, is the lack of seat time. I know what you’re going to say. “Well why don’t you just drive our BMW. That’s what it was originally intended for right?”  I see what you mean, and I have but one retort. I reliable daily is what I need to help move forward. End of story. During all this time, with the Rx7 out of action. I’ve been working on getting the BMW where I want it to be as a daily. I even took it out to an autocross to see what it could do. I ended up breaking it. Of course.

That was the final nail in the coffin for me. I didn’t need two broken cars AGAIN. So I fixed what was broken and since, I’ve only had small problems here and there. Funny enough. I’ve almost put 5,000 miles on the car since I got it running this spring. With many road trips under it’s belt, and nearly half a year of constant daily driving. I couldn’t be more proud of what my friends and I were able to accomplish with that car. We wouldn’t be where we are now without the experience we gained from working on it. I can speak for myself and say I certainly wouldn’t be as confident with doing work on my cars by myself if it weren’t for diving in head first with the Bimmer.

It’s with that. We arrive at where Faye is at currently. Sitting without a drivetrain in my driveway. Waiting patiently for everything planned to be set into motion. A few weeks ago. Brenden had ended a GridLife track day at Autobahn Country club by laying waste to the front rotor of his 13b. Now, teething issues were to be expected when the car had sat for an unknown amount of time prior to Brenden acquiring the car. This, however, was completely unexpected.

So rather that just lie down and take his punishment. He acted quickly. Getting the engine out of his car so he could assess the damage and hopefully get the car back on track as soon as possible. Now, that isn’t the case, to which I’m sure he will fill everyone here in shortly as to what happened and what will happen.

Spurred on by his effort and the tenacity to which he attacked the problem. I sprung to attention. Months of waiting and contemplating were over. It was time to act.

So, using the engine hoist Brenden borrowed to pull his engine. Faye was pushed into my garage and within a few hours, I had the full drivetrain out of the car. With the help of some friends and a couple family members. I encountered no real issues. Other than having to basically disassemble the carburetor in order to remove it, everything went smooth. Which says something for the simplicity to which Mazda built this car with originaly. After pulling the engine and transmission out of the BMW so many times and watching Brenden pull his out of his Rx7. I knew what to look for and what to do.

The next few days were spent wrestling with a stuck starter bolt and disassembling the outside of the engine. To prep it for a proper tear down and inspection.

We’ll burn that bridge when we get there though. For now. It’s just the little things that need to be done. Things need to be removed, cleaned, stripped, painted, etc. It is eight months till the possible start of the 2018 season. While that might seem like a long time. I know for a fact it may not be enough. I’ll just have to try my hardest.

It hasn’t been all subtraction lately when it comes to work on the car. The rear end has received most of the new additions to speak of as of late. Getting a multi-colored rear bumper off of the parts car that Brenden bought to repair the front end of his Rx7. Now, there really wasn’t anything majorly wrong with the old bumper. Just that, I didn’t like the fact that part of it had broken off at some point. It looked incomplete. I really like the look of the new to me bumper on the car. It really ads to the “worn in” character that Faye oozes from every little detail. It’s really my favorite part of the car and a common theme I would like to keep for this first iteration of the car.

Also joining the bumper on the back of the car is Techno Toy Tuning’s brand new rear tow hook for the SA/FB Rx7. Once I saw they released the new tow hook for the 1st generation Rx7. I immediately called up Touge Factory in Chicago and placed an order for one. While it serves the same purpose as the factory part it replaced. I really like the look of it on the car. It also serves as a much more accessible place to hook the car from, should I need a tow off track. Installation was a breeze as I had the bumper off already. Using the factory mounting points and hardware. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

My favorite addition to the car lately comes in the interior. The controls just got heaps better. Now, a Nardi Classic has been my dream wheel for the car since I bought it last spring. When this one came up for sale on Get Auto Factory , I had to scoop it up. Fitting with the “worn in” theme. This previously loved wheel has had just enough use to be broken in perfectly. Also, when I saw the scrumptious leopard print horn button. I knew I had to have it. It’s just dripping with personality. I love it.

That’s all for now for this most recent update with Project Valentine. I hope to be able to give you guys more progress updates soon!



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