3rd Gen RX-7 Notes
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All of the engine related notes are here: Engine Related Notes
They're hard to find
The 3rd Gen's stock radio has two antenna connectors, a normal size one and a small
one. The large one goes to the motorized mast antenna. The small connector goes to a
"diversity" wire antenna on the rear hatch glass. The radio uses the glass
antenna to figure out which signals are direct from the transmitter and which ones are
reflections that cause interference. If you replace the stock radio and the new one only
has one antenna input, hook it up to the large antenna connector and leave the small one
disconnected. Connecting the two antennas together will cause sub-optimal performance.
I finally decided to replace the small garden tractor 12 volt battery I've been using
in my 93 for the last year (it worked great). So I called AVT Battery, they sell the
Genesis 26 amp dry battery that Pettit uses in it's TKT cars. Pettit charges $175 for it.
The battery is rated at 600 cold cranking amps, is small, 6.5" X 6.9 X 4.9",
light weight at 23 lbs and fits in the bin behind the driver or passenger. It cost me $89
+ $17 shipping. For an extra $10 you can upgrade to a metal case. Tell the receptionist
you want to place an order, she'll try to tell you that they don't sell batteries for
cars. See the Secure Battery how to for instructions on securing it in a storage bin.
Ordered From: AVT Battery
Genesis G26 EP 12 volt 26 amp, $89
Genesis G26 EPX has metal case
Part # 0765-2001 Plastic
Part # 0765-2003 Metal Case
Just been reading up on the K&N A/F meter cause I wanna get one. For whoever
wanted the numbers to go with the lights, according to this faxed extract from Demon
Tweaks catalogue, they are:
They dont quote the voltages. Looks like we can only afford to see the last few
of these LED's go out. Should brighten up the cockpit a bit.
Just installed my Cyberdyne A/F gauge this last weekend. While I was at it I measured
the voltages corresponding to each LED. This is what I got from lean to rich:
red 0.10 v Lean
red 0.20 v
yellow 0.30 v
yellow 0.39 v
green 0.49 v
green 0.59 v
yellow 0.69 v
yellow 0.78 v
red 0.88 v (want this one lit at WOT, 0.82 is best performance, you
want to err on the rich side)
red approximately 0.97 v Very Rich
0.82 = best performance. Also this is for my sample, others may get different values.
With Cyberdynes price, Im not sure how good their quality control is. As this
shows, the unit does not have enough resolution in the area of interest (only 2 LED's
covering 0.78 to 0.88 volts) to be very useful for tuning, but can provide an indication
of going too lean.
AutoMeter Air/Fuel Meter LEDs and Their
The LEDs indicate .05 volts each, the first 4 are red
(lean), there are 10 yellow (stoich), and 6 green (rich). We want # 16 and 17 to light,
indicating .8 and .85 volts--so we want
the 2nd or 3rd green (rich) LED lit under wide open
throttle. It's a good idea to mark the 2nd green LED with a small piece
of tape. For more info click here.
The book, Auto Math, says that a 15% drivetrain loss is typical. A fair multiplier is 1.176 -- 195
rear wheel HP * 1.176 = 229.32 Flywheel HP. Multiply by 0.85 to go from flywheel to rear
wheel HP. See automath.zip Excel spreadsheet for more useful automotive math.
My totally 100% bone stock 93 Touring (2/92 production date) put out 230 RWHP on
the first run (it was nice and cool), then backed it up with a pair of virtually identical
219 RWHP runs. 219 * 1.17 = 256.23, or DAMN close to the 255 HP its supposed to put
out. 230 * 1.17 = 269.1 HP, which is what I can expect after a cool down period and a
minute or two warm-up.
I was VERY pleased with those numbers, and they were confirmed almost EXACTLY by the
G-Tech Pro I purchased. (+/- 2HP). Now that Ive got the car baselined, I can use the
G-Tech to tell if modifications are helping or not, and exactly how much, and only hit a
Dyno once every 6 months to a year. :]
Note: People use multipliers of anywhere from 1.1 to 1.2 or better. YMMV. 1.176
very accurate. The use of Synthetic fluids will reduce the amount of HP lost through the
drivetrain. (We actually did back to back runs with friction reducers and saw a benefit.)
The G-Tech is a very useful performance and tuning meter. It will give an accurate
measure of horsepower, 0-60 and quarter mile times, and cornering g. It's very
useful for doing before and after analysis of modifications. It retails
The main headlight bulbs are H-4's. There are many high wattage upgrade
Previously I mention I had changed from Redline MTL
(manual transmission lubricant) to Amsoil Series 2000 75w90 in the
tranny and that shifting suffered, particularly when cold. Well, stupid me and my
mechanic. There are two drain bolts, drain them both. There are two fill holes on the tranny, one a regular bolt and the other a T55
Torex. The Torex bolt is above the other one and was used to refill the tranny with the
Amsoil 75w90. This is NOT the one to use. Using it to determine when the tranny is full
results in overfilling the tranny by at least a quart and very hard shifting. The Amsoil
would probably have be fine if the tranny hadnt been overfilled. This Torex bolt
doesnt appear anywhere in the service manual and I havent been able to fine out
what it is for. The tranny is now full of Redline MTL (naturally we figured this out
after the Amsoil was dumped!) and shifting is again excellent. Hope this saves someone
else a hassle. Using the proper fill hole the tranny takes exactly 2.5 quarts,
just as specified.
The turbo timers are designed to counteract two things (which are actually interrelated
anyway): Turbocharger bearing wear caused by the turbos continuing to spin after you shut
down the engine immediately after high-boost driving, and "coking" which is a
tar-like build-up in the turbo oil passages and bearings caused by high temps (from the
oil being cooked). Coking is usually something that happens after you get the
"spin-down" problem first. In your case you shouldnt have either problem
due to the sedate nature of your driving.
BTW, Im not much of a believer in these devices and dont have one
installed. This is for these two reasons: I use only the factory alarm, and it
doesnt get activated (in my 93) unless the engine is turned off before I lock
the car. Also, the "spin down" problem is easily remedied by being easy on the
gas the last minute or so before shut down.
The coking issue is more serious, but its pretty rare that the turbos get hot
enough to cause this. Only if youre racing in a track event, or lead-footing it on a
hot day in the mountains, THEN come to a quick stop and instantly shut down does this
become a problem however. If you dont do this, then coking isnt likely to ruin
your turbo. What I do is just idle for a minute or two before shutting down, which
alleviates this problem, and allows the turbos to spin down too. If you CANT wait,
then, and only then, is the turbo timer going to be of any value. I would set it for as
long as you feel comfortable with, up to about 5 minutes max. And I would probably just
turn it off for most of your type of driving.
The ideal turbo timer would have a sensor in the turbo housing that would keep the
engine on until the turbos temp had dropped below some set value. The higher the
temp the longer it would stay on to allow the oil to cool the turbos enough. Below some
specific temp it wouldnt even come into effect. No temp sensors are available that I
know of though, but it would probably be simple to add on a temp-controlled solenoid to
accomplish this. It would simply disable the timer unless the temp was above "X"
You can also use common sense to dial in your regular timer manually. On cold days when
youre just commuting, turn it off. On hot days, maybe for a minute or two. On hot
days when youre playing "Foo Fighters" on your CD player or something,
turn it up to three or four minutes! :-)
Another thing to consider is the electric oil pumps discussed on the list recently.
They can be set up to oil the turbos _before_ the engine is turned on, as well as
keeping just the oil pump going to cool the turbos after shutting down the engine.
I ran my TII at lapping events for 5 years. I have been running my 3rdGen on
lapping events for 3 years. I'm not an expert or even very fast but I have had
good luck keeping the cars reliable. I have the following advice in order of
mods: Notice how low horsepower is. For the street I would put that first.
6 point belt - lapping is more fun when you don't have to spend
effort hanging on.
Race tires and race brakes - don't try to run them on the street
(dead rotors, heat cycled tires) I have tried the Hawks and Porterfields and I
prefer the hawk gold (cheaper). I go through a set of pads in a weekend. I went
through a set of Porterfields in one day! I go through a set of tires in two
weekends. The more experience you have, the faster the tires and brakes wear.
Temperature control - seal air leaks in belly pan and add Water temp
gauge - check it every lap and lift when you pass 235. If you are lifting all
the time then add a bigger radiator. If you run events in over 80 deg regions
then you will exceed 235. Raising horsepower makes this worse. You can make a
center mount from a PVC elbow or spend $100 and get Pettit's. Get the long
version of the mechanical cable for the temp gauge and tap the fat part of the
aluminum housing (requires removing the intercooler).
Track alignment - more neg camber gives better lap times at the
expense of the inside of your street tires. Play with your rear neg camber at
the track to balance car. Mark the current setting and you can change it as you
like. I like LOTS of understeer at the track. I run almost equal neg camber
front and rear. Most after market antiroll bars add understeer and may change this.
Shocks, springs and antiroll bars - this will have a bigger effect on lap
times than a cat back and not decrease reliability. This makes car harder to
drive but ultimately improves lap times.
Computer/intake/catback - do these together as the computer map depends on the
mods. DO NOT change intake and catback without computer. This is OK for the
street but lapping is a different animal.
Add oil premix during lapping weekends. Pull the AC fuse and run ac
to help cooling (forces fans to high). Change your brake fluid to high temp
stuff before every weekend.
I was fooling around in the garage last night with the seven. I climbed in and felt the
black plastic on the drivers side door. Man, it is peeling really bad. I figure, what the
hell.. and grab the lacquer thinner I have sitting on the shelf. Ill give this a
shot. It cant be any worse than the peeling itself (were talking Swiss
cheese!). Guys, it worked. After about 1 hour of back and forth with a rag and lacquer
thinner, the "extra layer" came off. The black plastic may have faded a shade,
but you really cant tell and with some armor all or whatever it looks just fine. It
is MUCH better now. Its actually shiny clean. Please if you try this, only do it if
your peeling problem is out of hand.. and try it on an inconspicuous place (like there is
one). Also make really sure you dont wipe the white lettering or bye-bye white
lettering. Hey its your car and you already know how to work it so feel free to!
Just kidding.. anyways, take care.
Since several people have expressed interest in the fix, or
Thanks to Firas for pointing out that the Bose CD player has a Clarion sticker on it but
it is really a Panasonic unit. At least it had a Panasonic return address when it came
back. Panasonic says they replaced the optics in the CD player. Bill was $200 parts + $22
labor + $16 tax = $238 total, covered under my extended warranty. The lady said
individuals may send the CD players back for repair, to Panasonic Co. OEM, 6550 Katella
Ave, Cypress, CA 90630. Phone (714) 373-7500. For individual return they charge $120 flat
rate plus parts, she quoted $106 for the optics, plus tax. The repaired unit so far has
performed extremely well, not missing a beat even when cornering hard over some bumps.
Hope this helps someone.
The ONLY system similar to this that seems to be effective, is the type that you unlock
the steering wheel and take it with you....
Things to do when selecting/installing an alarm:
1. The cut-off switch MUST be of the normally OPEN variety (this discounts 99% of the
crap on the market)
2. Do not install the main board/module/brain in the drivers side kick panel or dash
area. (again this is where "Jiffy-Alarms" installs 99% of all alarms). Prefer:
1) Rear area, 2)Mid-upper dash or if you must...the 3)passenger kick panel.
3. If you have a manual trans, cutting the starter is NOT enough....many of these cars
are push started (believe it!). I highly recommend a fuel relay cut-off for all cars.
4. Code jumping is good!
5. Sounds etc... do nothing to deter a thief. I have installed all my alarms w/o the
stupid noise maker. I know if the car is armed with the parking lights blinking. Sounds DO
piss off your neighbors and may get your car impounded (or worse...a trash can through the
windshield, because your car keeps making noise).
6. Motion sensors are questionable at best (I dont install these either).
Voltage drop, door switches and infra-red sensors are good.
7. Keeping guns in cars is bad....if you are not there to attend to the gun: you have
now armed a criminal, made it impossible to stop the in progress theft of your car and
might get you arrested.
Finding Vendors On the Web
I found a great resource for finding vendors, parts, etc. Check it out at:
I have seen a few posts on the FD lacking a cup holder. I noticed that in my
grandmas car (a late 80s Taurus) that has a stock cup holder built into a
stereo DIN box. I think for those of us that do not have a CD....this just might be the
ticket. The DIN box should just slide in and you should have cool cup holder. It might
interfere with the shifter though.
I also called my local postal inspectors office (any post office can give you the
number for your area) and got the forms necessary to initiate a mail fraud investigation.
Its a really simple form where you just describe the situation and attach any
documentation that you have and then send it in. I dont have a lot of confidence
that Nathan will send refunds anytime soon, so I am going to go ahead and complete the
form and send it in. Maybe a phone call from the Feds will scare him into action.
Being the almighty avoider-of-paying-speed-tickets (pulled over over 20 times, 17 years
old, given only 5 tickets, NOT A ONE TICKET ON MY RECORD, only had to pay 3 of those) I
have some advice for you:
The last ticket I got - In Louisiana (I live in FL) was for 75 in a 55mph.. Cop was
real nice, I was nice back to him.. When I got home, I called and talked to the clerk of
courts about this not getting onto my record so my insurance wont go up. She was
VERY helpful and gave me a name to write a letter to (and just include with the
ticket/payment and shell give it to him, it was the DA I think) stating that it
would be appreciative if this was not put onto the record (or in my case, sending the
ticket back to FL so USAA can see and charge me more!). I mailed the payment ($193.50 -
which I have NO problem paying, as I WAS speeding) and included a letter to the DA nicely
asking him to "withhold adjudication".
The other tickets have been around here - One for 87 in a 70mph zone - $143, talked to
a lawyer in town (get a lawyer that was a former state prosecutor, you can find them all
over) that my company does work for and he called the judge in that county (which was
different than the county I live in) and told him that this was my first ticket (it was,
if you look at my record) and it would hurt me financially (insurance). The judge
"withheld" the ticket and points against my license, and charged me a
"court cost" (although I never went back to the county) of $143 - the ticket
My advice is to call the judge - Especially now - As most places are having the
elections Sept. 1st, tell him that you saw his "re-election" sign
somewhere (pending he is running aghast someone) and figured youd come to him and
ask some questions. Tell him that you were speeding, tell him that you don't do it often,
and ask him if it would be possible to withhold adjudication.. He should do it.. DO NOT
UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TALK TO THE DA FIRST! That can have bad problems.. Like harsher
penalties if they don't like you..
Hope that helps,
feel free to ask anything else.. I have a bunch of lawyer friends..
TSB Number Issue Date
F00596 MAR 96
RECALL - Service Points For Fuel Leakage
TSB Number Issue Date
AD00794 AUG 94
Recalls Prior to Customer Delivery
TSB Number Issue Date
0101899 MAY 99
Year 2000 Compliance
K00598 DEC 98
Automatic Transmission Cooler/Line Flushing Procedure
F01498 DEC 98
TAS (Throttle Adjustment Screw) Adjustment
G00198 OCT 98
Dead Battery (Inspecting for Back-Up Current)
S0800598 AUG 98
Seat Belt Extenders
S0901898 JUL 98
Wind Noise Around Doors
B00398 JUL 98
Oil Leak At Rear Stationary Gear O-Ring
K00598 APR 98
K00598 - 04/22/98
S0800598 APR 98
S0800598 - 04/22/98
N00196 APR 98
N00196 - 04/15/98
N00198 APR 98
Steering Wheel Slightly Off Center.
ST00198 FEB 98
New V5.0 NGS Card & Reprogramming of V3.0
AD00295 NOV 95
Vehicle Storage Management
ST00895 OCT 95
S03195 OCT 95
U00995 SEP 95
A/C O-Ring Replacement
K00295 AUG 95
Automatic Transmission Repair Policy
U00895 JUL 95
Air Conditioning Malfunction
S02095 JUN 95
Door Mirror Vibration
F00595 JUN 95
Intake Manifold Gasket - Precaution
Repairing Brake Judder
ST00295 APR 95
Required Tool (MRT) Inventory List
F00695 APR 95
Air Pump Failure - Use Of Non-Genuine Air Cleaners
G00295 APR 95
Maintenance Free Battery Diagnostic/Charging Procedure
F00595 MAR 95
F00595 - 03/28/95
B00595 MAR 95
HLA Noise After Long Storage
N00595 MAR 95
Steering Wheel Slightly Off Center
U00195 FEB 95
Receiver Dryer Replacement Criteria
N00195 JAN 95
ATRATB294 JAN 95
Axle Nut/ Lug Nut Tightening Specifications
P00694 DEC 94
Brake Vibration/Pulsation Repair
N00394 DEC 94
ST00294 NOV 94
Shipment Of NGS Program Card - Version 2.0
ST00394 OCT 94
Brake Pulsation Repair
E00194 OCT 94
Propylene Glycol Based Coolant
K00294 OCT 94
Automatic Transmission Diagnostic Procedures
AD00594 JUL 94
Key Replacement (California Dealers Only)
B00494 JUN 94
Partial Engine Availability (Long Block)
U00194 APR 94
A/C 0-Ring Replacement
S01094 FEB 94
Door - Squeaking Noise When Opening or Closing
J00194 JAN 94
Manual Transmission - Grinding In 5TH Gear
J00294 JAN 94
1st and 2nd Gear Hard to Shift
S00194 JAN 94
Seat Belt Caution Label Cover
H00193 DEC 93
Clutch - Slipping
S04293 OCT 93
Glove Box Lamp-Stays On
N00293 OCT 93
Steering Wheel-Noise From Front While Turning
AD00793 OCT 93
Vehicle Preparation Program
ATRATB188 OCT 93
Retrieving Trouble Codes
F00593 APR 93
Proper Preparation For Emission Inspection Test
AD0093 MAR 93
Theft Deterrent System Info. - Owners' Manual Correction
S01093 FEB 93
Noise From the Rear Hatch Hinge
B00293 FEB 93
Unusual Noise From the Right Engine Mount
S00293 FEB 93
Wind Noise From the Door Windows
F00193 JAN 93
Fuel Injector Cleaner Kit Available
F03292 DEC 92
Engine Stalls During Warm-Up/Idle Fluctuation
S05692 DEC 92
Black Finish Peeling From Interior Trim
S05792 DEC 92
Squeaking Sound From the Hood
AD02892 NOV 92
Proof of Emissions Recall Correction Label Calif Vehicle
Radio Removal Tips ( W/CD Player )
S05092 OCT 92
Installation of Tie Down Hole Plugs
S04992 OCT 92
Whistling Noise From the Windshield Molding
Q00392 SEP 92
Wheel Center Cap Sticks Out
W02892 JUL 92
Fuel System, Manual Transmission - Manual Update
Q00291 JUL 92
Tire Pressure Specifications
K01292 JUL 92
Hold Indicator Light Flashes - Code 57
F01892 MAY 92
Premium Fuel Recommendation
AD02592 MAY 92
Pre-Delivery Inspection Process
02692 APR 92
Transit Coating Removal
ATRATB078 NOV 91
How To Use A Pressure Gauge - Automatic Trans.
ATRATB028 OCT 90
Engine Testing With A Vacuum Gauge - Auto Trans.
ATRATB9002006 FEB 90
Automatic Transmission Fluid
ATRATB8930 OCT 89
Automatic Transmission Math Part 2
ATRATB8927 SEP 89
20 Steps To successful Auto Transmission Repair
ATRATB8923 AUG 89
Automatic Transmission Math Formulas
ATRATB8754 SEP 87
All Automatics - Front Bushing Wear
ATRATB8748 AUG 87
Metal Sealing Rings - Automatic Transmissions
I tried hard to keep it looking stock, the only difference is the Alpine 7914 (may soon
be upgraded) head unit. The storage buckets (gutted under the lids) behind the seats
actually hold the amps (PPI PC450 and Rockford Punch 150 and Phoenix Gold Crossover. It
took a while to build custom amp pads that bolted into the extra bolt holes in the back
storage area (wonder what they were for?) Plenty of room. The factory speakers were
replaced by MB Quart 5.25 coax in rear and Boston Pro 5.25 components in the front.
Tweeters hidden in the front air vents (my favorite). The topper is the recently added JL
stealth sub (2 8s) in the spare tire well. It looks like any other base model red
93. But it does rock.
Service Manual for 3rd Gen
Check out the phone number in the owners manual. Or they can be reached at
800-782-4356. This is their return department, but they should be happy to put you in
touch with their sales dept. Cost is about $75. Their address is:
Helm Publications Division
14310 Hamilton Avenue
Highland Park, MI 48203
But Ill warn you. Apparently this manual is different than at least one other in
regards to compression test minimums.
Another GREAT resource is Classifieds2000 -
The Internet's Classifieds (http://www.classifieds2000.com). They're easier to use
than trader online. I like the interface better. But there are always PLENTY of 3rd gens
for sale on both. There's a lot of 3rd gens for sale period. Though the auto dealers seem
to think they're worth $5000 more than they actually are!!!
Floor it at about 35mph and time from 40-70mph is the commonly accepted method of
determining 40-70 times. My 40-70 times were 3.9-4.2s in third gear.
I took my bone stock 94 touring model to the drags last night for the first time.
I have Dunlop D40-M2 tires, stock size. It was 60 degrees out, and my best run was 13.49 @
102.12mph. After it heated up and I was making pass after pass, it slowed to 13.80s
at 100-101mph. My best 60 ft. time was 1.842". I was shifting at 7200rpm. Can
somebody tell me if these times are normal for our cars in totally stock form? I thought
it would be a tad slower. Could it be because the engine is broken in quite well
now(50,000 miles)? Now at least I have a good baseline to reference to after doing
modifications. Any thoughts are welcome.
Congratulations!!!! Those are very good numbers for a stock car! The reason your car is
running good numbers is that A) you are making good power for a 100% stock motor as your
102 MPH indicates and B) a 1.84 60 foot time is very, very good for street tires!!!
Specially considering this is the first time you have taken the car out there! Now you
need to start modifying!!!
As far as I know I have the best ET ever in a stock 3rd gen at 13.36 at 105
mph. The majority of people are running 13.7 to 14.2. Unless youre an extremely good
driver youre not going to hit 12s by simply adding tires. 13.49" et in
bone stock 94 touring, and proud of it.
The biggest factor will be driver by a long shot. From what I have seen myself or
Brooks, now that he has a lot of practice could probably beat cars with your level of mods
in a stock car. It seems to make up to a half second or more in the times I see. If your
asking what could an optimal driver with your car run, i.e.: what is your car actually
capable of I would take an educated guess and say a mid to lower 12. Maybe 12.3 or so. If
your going for your first drag race I think youll hit upper 12s to lower
13s. Either the room just got smaller or my head got bigger. Hmmmm.
Wheel Color Paint
The center caps of my wheels were beginning to show through the black plastic that they
really are so I decided to pop them out and repaint them. This, of course, involves
removing the wheels and then popping them out first. Not a big deal. Well, I found some
touch up paint that matches the color exactly.
Dupli-Color is the brand. Import Touch up #77-01579 code 176 made for Platinum Silver
Clear-coat for 1989-1994 vehicles. The UPC is #26916-71579. I got it at AutoZone for
like three bucksa whole lot cheaper than replacing the caps!!!!!!!
Gear Shift Technique
I find that besides the too high boost below 4000 rpm, there just isnt enough
torque coming out of the "offending" corner. The break point on a third
generation is perhaps just above 4000 rpm. I try like the dickens to use little enough
brake to not have to downshift, but if after trying I still fall below 4000 I shift from 4th
to 3rd. The problem with downshifting is that you tend to brake more than you
would if you were not shifting. While this isnt necessary its tough to avoid.
If anyone is in search of a stud extractor check out Snap On. Part number LA45. It was
the best $40.00 I ever spent.
The hood glove that you need is Mazda part number 0000-88-0593-1H.
The Mazda suggested retail price is $19.95 and we sell it for $15.96
Racing Beat springs and 18" wheels work together OK
3M Plastic Emblem Adhesive or 3M double sided tape works well for trim
Hood release cable is a good place to go through the fire wall
Drag race tire pressure is around 18 psi
RX-7 Book Source
There are a number of RX7 books that are out of print etc.
One place that specializes in out of print automobile books is
T. E. Warth Esq. Automotive Books
Marine On St. Croix, MN 55047
How to Modify Your RX-7 Book (currently out of print)
Bar Code is 75478 63839
ISBN # is 0-89586-383-9
Publisher is HP Books, P O Box 5367, Tucson, AZ 85703
Metal Polishing Technique
I always use "Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish" that is sold in most of auto
shops. The tip is to use newspapers as the polish clothes. It works really well especially
on polished aluminum.
There are a number of "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs) available for RX7
models. They are available from the respective maintainers. Here are the locations:
A 2nd Generation (1986 - 1991) specific Web Site is at:
Some more general RX7 pages are available at the following URLs:
http://www.gate.net/~mrmazda Felix Miata's FAQ