More Hints and How To's
Download the Corner Balance and CG Height Spreadsheet
This Excel spreadsheet Corner Balance.xls
will calculate your optimal corner weights and approximate your car's center of
gravity (CG) height above ground (vertical CG). You input the scale reading from
each wheel and it will solve for a 50/50 diagonal weight distribution. It also
displays your front, rear, left, and right weights and percentages. If you raise
the rear of the car by at least 10 inches and input the new front wheel weights
it will give your vertical CG. See How I Corner
Weighted My Honda S2000 for more information on corner balancing a car.
Locating the troublesome oil pressure sender [Brian Davies]
Stand on the driver's side of the car and lean over that fender. Now, locate
the oil filter. This is on the driver's side of the engine, at the rear close to
the firewall and it is mounted vertically. Now that you have found that, start
looking under it (more toward the ground). You should be able to locate a small
cylindrical unit with one wire that is clipped onto it. It is screwed into the
side of your engine. The unit is small, about 2 inches or so in diameter. It
sticks out of the side of the engine by about 3 inches. I am sure you'll find it
after a minute or two.
Stop the hood squeaking [me]
The official way is to raise the rubber bump stops to add tension to the
u-bolt. This didn't work for me, so I wrapped electrical tape on the u-bolt. No
chirping what so ever and those crickets are history!
Stop the rear hatch rattle [Kevin Terris email@example.com]
To fix that rattle, just remove the plastic moulding from the hinge area. It
just snaps out and pull it straight up. You will see the hinge secured with two
bolts. Loosen the bolts and just push the hinge all the way down to its lowest
point. Re-tighten the bolts. You may experience a very tight fit and some extra
muscle to close your hatch, but you won't have that annoying rattle. I had a
little difficulty replacing the plastic moulding, it may take you awhile to
reposition it just right and snap it back in place, but can be done!
Silicon Coolant hoses [me]
In the UK, you can buy Samco hoses from Demon Tweeks, but you will have to
work out the sizes yourself. DT can be contacted at http://www.demon-tweeks.co.uk
or +44 1 (0)1978 664466
Drewm@earthlionk.net said you can buy a kit from Pegasus racing.
Pegasus Racing (800.688.6946) stocks SAMCO Silicon Radiator hoses for 3rd
Gen RX-7s. The 2 hose set is a direct replacement for the upper and lower large
radiator hoses. Cost is $155.00 for both. The Pegasus part # is TCS23.
The catalog describes them as "Bright Blue silicon rubber construction
with 3-ply reinforcement...." Temperature rating is -50degrees C to +200
Go to http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/ you can view Recalls and TSB's.
Replacing Rear Bushes [anon]
As repairs go, this is one of the easy ones.
(1) Get two new bushings (FD01-26-230)
(2) Remove rear wheels
(3) Remove bolts at both ends of toe link. Nothing is in the way!
The links will fall out.
(4) Get the new bushings pressed in.
(5) Put it together and check the toe adjustment.
Water pump replacement [anon]
Replacing the pump is relatively simple (it's not much more difficult than
replacing the plug wires).
The pump is above the radiator, and if yours is seriously leaking, there is
probably no reason to drain the radiator before changing the pump. If you don't
have a leak, it may be necessary to drain a little bit of coolant out before you
remove the pump. I did mine without draining anything, and didn't really spill
that much fluid.
It will probably be really helpful to have a universal joint extension for
your socket. There are a couple of bolts on the water pump that are fairly
difficult to access. and the additional flexibility is really helpful.
You need to remove all of the intake piping between the turbos and the
throttle body. I also removed the airbox. I'm not sure this is really necessary,
but it is easy and gives you a lot more space. You can leave the intercooler in.
Remove both of the belts.
Remove the tensioning bolts from the alternator, and remove the bracket that
tensions the alternator. There are two bolts holding the bracket. The obvious
one goes through the front of the water pump, the other one is kind of under and
behind the power steering pump.
Remove the pulley from the water pump. I took a small wrench, and braced it
across two of the bolt heads, while loosening a third. You can break all the
bolts loose this way, and then remove them by hand.
There are three small bolts/studs, four nuts, and one long bolt (the one
that went through the alternator bracket, you've probably already removed this
one) holding the pump to the engine block.
Scrape the old gasket, and put on a new one.
Re-assembly - now you just have to put it all back together. You do know
where all those little bolts go, don't you?
Remember to not put the pulley back on the pump until after it is back in
the car. It blocks access to a couple of the bolts.
And don't put the long bolt back on the water pump until after you put the
alternator bracket on it.
I don't think it took me more than 4 hours for removal and re-install, and I
certainly wouldn't call it difficult, just time consuming.
Replacing Tail lamp bulbs [anon]
Remove the center panel in front of the third brake light first by removing
the four screws holding it in place and pulling it up and out. You can remove
the side panels without removing the center panel, but they interlock with the
center panel and are difficult to replace properly. Removing the center panel
makes it much easier and reduces the chance of damaging something.
Remove the tail light cover panel on the side you're working on by removing
the three screws holding it in place. The rearmost and outermost screw is a long
one, the other two are short. Be sure to replace them in the same order.
Get down on your knees so that you're on the same level with the light.
Place a hand on the outside edge to avoid shooting the thing across the street
when it breaks loose. Apply gently pressure to the top of the light, pushing
towards the outside edge of the car. There are three tabs on the back of the
light housing, and they should pop loose easily. If they have not been moved for
years, though, they can take some force.
Replace the bulb, or whatever.
Pop the light assembly back on to the car in the reverse of the way in which
it was removed. It will seat easily onto the three body posts when everything is
Reinstall the tail light cover panel with the screws in the correct
positions. Do not over-tighten the screws, as the plastic inserts they thread
into will strip easily.
Reinstall the center cover panel behind the third brake light. Again, easy
on the screws. These are even easier to strip.
Replacing Headlight Bulbs
Pop the hood and with the headlights down, remove the two Philips screws in
the rear of the headlights which hold the headlight cover on (these are in the
engine bay area). Then facing the front of the car, pop up the lights and remove
the 4 Philips screws on the left and right side of the Black plastic cover that
goes around the headlight. Now you can see the last Philips screws that hold on
the top cover. Remove these and pull off the top cover. Now you can see the
rubber boot and metal retainer clip. Remove the wires into the light, then the
boot and the clip. Pull out the Bulb and you got it.
Remember not to get any grease or oils on the new bulb when replacing. And you
will probably have to pop the lights up and down a few times to get the cover
realigned with the hood and body when putting it back together.
For safety, the recommended approach is to disconnect the battery since it
is easy to get a hand caught under a retracting headlight. If you take this
approach, then you can raise the lights one by one by rotating the circular knob
behind the headlight. On many cars this will be under a rubber cap with a
rotating arrow on it.
Non-Bose Stereo wiring mapping
The results of tracing the standard Clarion radio are shown below.
Note that it may not apply to the Bose system which outputs preamp levels
and has powered amplifiers in the speakers. There are two main connectors to the
Clarion radio which may be similar to those on the Bose. For instance, there is
a power supply to the speaker connectors in the doors which is not used in the
Clarion setup but would need to be used to power the amps in the Bose speakers.
If you are replacing the Bose setup, you will probably need to get a stereo with
pre-amp outputs. In my setup there are 10 wires to one of the main connectors
and 5 to the other.
Wires I traced are as follows. (Note that some of the wire colours are
subject to fading!)
Note: some wires have pink, (possibly silver) rings on them as well as the
colours listed below, but these may be worn off the wires.
Note: where two colours are listed, that the major colour is listed first.
Final note: this list is from an Efini RX7, similar to an R1, but it is right
Red: Front Right door speaker
White: Front Right door speaker
Blue: Front Left door speaker
Green: Front Left door speaker
Grey/Black stripe: Could not trace - maybe front dash tweeter crossover
Red/Green: Instrument dimmer illumination connector
Green/Red: Aerial (Antenna) power lift feed
Black/Red: Could not trace - maybe front dash tweeter crossover
Blue/Red: 12v permanent supply
Blue/Black: 12v switched supply
Yellow/Green: Rear Left speaker
Yellow/Blue: Rear Left speaker
White/Blue: Rear right speaker
Blue/Yellow: Rear right speaker
Beige (light brown): Could not trace
Black: Negative Earth
Antenna connections for diversity system
Large socket: Main retractable aerial mast
Small socket: Rear window built-in aerial
Changing the diff and transmission fluids [anon]
The diff is easy the transmission is tricky. First I went to Home Depot and
got 8 Ft of 5/8th od dia clear tubing and a plastic funnel set. That's how you
get the oil in the transmission and differential. Now, make sure you have 3 new
aluminum washers for the large transmission drain plug, the differential fill
plug and differential drain plug before you start. I get mine from the dealer. I
don't like using the copper ones that the parts stores usually carry because, at
least here at the beach, galvanic corrosion (from dissimilar metals) can be a
problem. Make sure you have a tube of liquid Teflon thread sealant for the small
transmission drain plug and the transmission fill plug (also at Home Depot, or
you can get the fancy automotive stuff at the parts store). You also need a few
large metric combination wrenches and sockets I can't remember the exact sizes
but I think they were ~22-25mm. Finally you need 3 quarts of oil for the
transmission and 2 quarts for the differential. I used Redline MTL for the
tranny and Redline 75-W90 for the diff.
The differential is easy the plugs are in the back, undo the fill plug then
undo the drain plug. Put the new washers on the plugs, and put the drain back
in. Stuff one end of the hose into the differential fill hole, push the funnel
onto the other end of the hose. Stand up next to the rear of the car while
holding the funnel. Slowly pour in the oil until it just begins to spill out of
the fill hole. As a side note, the car should be completely level while doing
all filling operations.
Now for the transmission, there are two drain plugs, one fill plug and one
plug that you don't touch. First remove the sheet aluminum cover and set it
aside. On the bottom of the transmission case is an obvious big drain plug. The
other three plugs are on the driver's side of the transmission. The highest one
has a recessed square socket don't touch it. Approximately below it is a plug
with a protruding square socket, this is the fill plug. Behind and a little
below the fill plug is another protruding square socket plug, this is the second
drain plug. Remove the fill plug then the big drain plug let the oil run out.
Then remove the second drain plug. You remove the fill plug first other wise the
oil "plops" out everywhere except in your drain pan (you did remember
to put a pan under the drain plug :).To fill the trans put the new washer on the
big drain plug and the sealant on the second drain plug and put them back in.
Stuff the funnel in one end of the hose and ~3" of the hose in the fill
hole (it just barely fits) stand up next to the car while holding the funnel and
slowly pour in the oil until it just starts to spill out.
Getting better horns
There are two horns on the RX-7 and if both don't work, this is an
indication of a badly repaired front-end crash. When the do work, they are not
all that loud. Heller produce decent horns for around $100. The easiest way to
replace them is to mount them both in easy reach of the existing wiring and cut
wiring to the old ones out. Leave the old horns in place