Owning an RX-7 is like riding a motorcycle. It’s not a matter of “IF” (the car catches fire) but rather “WHEN, and how bad?”. A small engine fire changed the path of our entire build, for the better?
While at Buttonwillow Raceway to test the new Continental ExtremeContact FORCE tires, Titan 7 Wheels, and baseline the performance of a relatively stock FD RX-7, I noticed some smoke coming out of the shift boot. Then the smoke started to come out of the base of the windshield. After popping the hood, there was a little fireball under the intake manifold that was quickly put out. The sad part about all of this is it happened while in the paddock before there was any track time!
Once back at the shop, we removed the upper intake manifold to assess the damage.
We removed the silicon vacuum lines and solenoids in the “Rats Nest”. Some of the silicon lines were burnt. Silicon actually melts much quicker than traditional rubber lines.
With the “Rats Nest” hard lines out of the way, we could inspect the wiring harness.
When the car was purchased, the previous owner installed a brand-new crate 13B rotary engine from Mazda, as well as a brand-new $1,400 OEM wiring harness.