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DavidPHumes' turbo LSx S5 FC Swap Thread...


New Member
Hey guys,

I guess this is both a "welcome" thread as well as a build thread. I've had my RX-7 since I was 17 (22 now) and last winter converted it from an auto/N/A Rotary to a 6 speed/N/A LS1. The car made just over 400RWHP. Well, my never ending love for boost has started me on a new project for this winter.

Some background on me... I'm a 22 year old MIS major at UMD. I'm currently a Junior and am also working full time at one of the top managed IT service providers in the country providing desktop, server, and network support. My dad owns a body shop up here but I never really loved cars until a couple of years ago. I've had a few Subarus (a track ready 2.5RS, stage 2 Legacy GT Limiteds, etc.) and currently drive a "Mopar Stage 3" '05 SRT-4 as my daily. It makes about 340WHP. It's fun, reliable, and quick. Despite being a Neon I love the shit out of it.

I've had 2 RX-7s. The red GXL you see below and a 1987 Turbo II that I sold a long time ago. I'd like to say that I've got nothing at all against the Rotary. Mine ran great until pulled. For what I want out of a car, though, an LSx really fits what I require. And yes, it still handles awesome, even with the V8. I actually dropped weight when doing the swap since I don't have AC, power steering, or heat ;) I will never sell my GXL. I will keep it until the day I die.

The goals with this car are "simple". It's going to be a 600RWHP, 9 second daily driver that I can take my girlfriend out to dinner in, listen to some tunes, go grocery shopping, and whoop some Corvette ass. It will be tuned for E85.

2002 LM7 (5.3L, iron block, aluminum heads)
ARP rod bolts
ARP head bolts
LS6 cam
Comp Cams 26918 valve springs
Comp Cams 7.400" Hi-Tech pushrods
LS2 timing chain
Melling "296" high flow oil pump
LS7 Lifters
Lokar throttle cable
Lokar throttle cable bracket
Lokar engine dipstick
LS6 Intake manifold
Ported stock throttle body

Injector Dynamics ID1000 (1000cc) Fuel Injectors
Aeromotive 340 "Stealth" fuel pump
Aeromotive LS1 fuel rails
-6 stainless feed and return lines
Corvette Fuel Pressure Regulator

Turbo setup:
Turbonetics TC76 (.96 A/R, F1 turbine wheel)
Turbosmart 48mm Pro Gate external wastegate
Turbosmart 52mm Race Port BOV
SSAutoChrome 24x12x13 FMIC
2000* Jet-Hot On All Hot Side Components

26"x19" Speedway Tru-Cool GM Aluminum Radiator
Spal 16" Electric Fan
Custom Lower Radiator Mounts and Fan Shroud

ATI Racing Transmissions PowerGlide w/ undecided 3600 stall converter
B&M Ratchet Shifter
Granny's Speed Shop motor mounts
Granny's Speed Shop Transmission Cross Member
Energy Suspensions Polyurethane Transmission Mount
Tydo Race Cars prepped Granny's torque arm setup
Strange spool
Strange axles
LPW Extreme 8.8 rear cover with torsion bolts
Extreme Duty watts linkage and brackets
Extreme Duty lower 3x reinforced control arms with heavy duty heim joints

Front: Enkei RPF1 17x8.5 with Nitto NT05 (235/40/17)
Rear: Enkei RPF1 17x10 with Nitto NT05R Drag Radials (275/40/17)
Aerospace Components rear disc brake kit
Moser 5/8 wheel studs
BC Racing front coilovers
Strange single adjustable rear coilovers
Hawk HPS Pads
Mazdatrix Stainless Steel Brake Lines
AMSOIL Series 600 DOT4 Brake Fluid

Autometer 3 3/8th Speedometer
Autometer 3 3/8th Tachometer
Autometer 2 1/16th Voltage Gauge
Autometer 2 1/16th Fuel Level Gauge
Autometer 2 1/16th Oil Pressure Gauge
Autometer 2 1/16th Oil Temperature Gauge
Autometer 2 1/16th Water Temperature Gauge
AEM Huego Digital Wideband O2 Gauge
AEM 35PSI Digital Boost Gauge

2002 Dodge Viper GTS Seats
Auto Power 4 Point Race Roll Bar
Acura TSX HID retrofits (OEM housings, 25w 4300k bulbs)
CorkSport rear strut tower bar
CorkSport Front Lip Spoiler
Shine Auto Project Roof Spoiler

Here is the car as it was with the LS1 in it:

Here's the turbo kit:

Intake cleaned and painted:

Wideband/boost gauges:

Intercooler installed:

The top is hard mounted:

I wanted some play in the IC, so I used these cut down rubber stops to help protect what little movement it may have (the IC pipes will hold it even more securely):

HID ballasts mounted way out of the way (don't mine the small amount of over spray :)):

And a view from the back:

AutoPower 4 point installed:

The parts car I'm going to get:

It's not the prettiest thing to look at, but you have to look past that. It's in Cincinnati and I'll be going down to get it the first week of November.

And lastly here is a friends' car running in the quarter. His setup is very similar to mine, although he has a bigger motor and more efficient turbo. My car will not run this fast.



New Member
Tonight I got my front bumper trimmed for my FMIC. Here's a picture with the bumper just sitting on the car and the front lip screwed into a couple of places. Don't mind any gaps in the body, I'm just demonstrating what it should look like:



You sir, have some serious attention to detail. I'm quite impressed with your work..... can't wait to see more. That one's already cleaner than most of the FC's I know... must be nice to have an in house body guy lol.


New Member
Thanks for the comments guys! Yes it's awesome that my dad lets me use the shop for my project. I still have to pay for any work done to my cars though :)

I "finished" getting the 4 link installed tonight (all by myself I might add :)). I put countless hours into cleaning all of the components up and applying liberal coats of POR-15. I've been working on it after work for the last week or so. I'm pretty happy with the outcome. I will say, the narrowed rear end makes my 275 drag radials look tiny. That may be a sign I need 315s and some 17x11s :). Anyway, here's where I'm at with it right now:



New Member
I wish I had the skill, time, resources and $$ to do something like this. Car looks clean and very well done.


New Member
Thanks for the comments guys. I am buying things as I have extra money... I will be finishing buying things come January probably and then go into final build mode.

I plan on being at BIR events as well as down in the cities at Cars and Cafe, etc.

I'm still trucking away at this thing.

Last weekend I worked on the roll bar a little bit. It came with a real flimsy coat of gloss black paint that chipped easily. I'm too cheap to pay the $$ to have it powdercoated so I grinded all of the paint off and painted it with 2 coats of POR15. It turned out looking good, but not perfect. I'm OK with it though since the rest of the car isn't perfect either (some would argue otherwise but hey, I'm a perfectionist).

I also bought a mount for my GoPro to put on the roll bar.

I also had to trim the gas tank cover to clear the rear cover for the rear end. It turned out good after a coat of POR15 :)
There's still 2.5" of clearance between the rear end and the gas tank... I'm not the least bit concerned in the two ever coming into contact.



That POR-15 is great stuff, eh? I used it on my engine block this spring, and frankly it seems to be the most durable shit out there. Nice and thick too, so as long as you put it on liberally it covers up a lot of imperfections.


New Member
Haha thanks guys. It should be a fun car at the track, but that's not my principal reason for the build. Also I have never been down a 1/4 mile in my life so that will be interesting LOL. She should 60ft pretty well with the rear end and drag radials. Did I mention the previous owner did wheelies? Yeah... lol.

The summation of my weekend:

Here's the finished wire tuck:

I removed the brake booster and sanded it down for paint (black wrinkle coating):

And here's the new location for the fuse box. Ignore the long bolt - just there to mock it up.

The whole "while I'm at it thing" is killing me, but once the bay is prepped and painted I will be a happy camper I think (also I'm going to put the motor in and turbo stuff to get my clearances right and really figure out what I'm going to do about my radiator/tranny cooler setup).

Basically what I did was remove everything possible from the bay. My dad told me to just sand down the paint in the bay by hand with a scuffer (since the Mazda paint is a pretty good base as it is) so I did that twice. On the frame rails I had put undercoat so I had to grind most of that off which you can see... that really sucked. I also cut out the upper cross support for the radiator, as you can see. I cut it a little too much on the left side but that's OK because I'm going to weld those two pieces together for reinforcement (and do the same on the driver's side). I also cut out some of the studs in the bay that weren't needed.

I still haven't decided what to do with all of the holes in the firewall. Part of me wants to weld in pieces and really make it clean, but if I ever need some of them in the future I'd kind of be screwing myself. I think I might make plates that bolt into plate to cover the holes. It wouldn't look as clean but it would be safe and they could always be removed if I wanted to in the future.

I also cut the holes for my FMIC. I figured one picture was good since you all know what holes look like. The driver's side sucked because there's an existing hole there meaning a hole saw can't be used. I took my time with a reciprocating saw and grinder and it looks great. After paint I will put some U channel molding around to finish the look. I also notched the firewall for clearance with intakes, wiring, etc. With my Granny's mounts I was REALLY close before, so I figured while I was doing it (a common theme). I will bondo it up to make it look factory.



New Member
By the way, as for the track thing, it will be interesting because I only have a 4 point. I will definitely run faster than 11.49 (a similar car ran 9.2x at 149MPH) so I may never get to know my true 1/4 time unless somewhere like Rock Falls turns a blind eye lol. I'm all about safety but door bars scare me in a DD. I may look into removable door bars at some point. It would be easy to add to my current setup.


New Member
Tonight I picked up this beast. Patent pending on the engine transportation.

But seriously, I was going to borrow my dad's dually when I said fuck that, I'm using one of the rental minivans from the shop to pick this thing out. Worked magically. The van definitely is no SRT4/RX-7 in the handling department lol

And here's the main attraction. 2005 L33 5.3L with unknown miles. It is SUPER clean (considering it came from at truck) and I even got to check out the cylinders with a boreoscope before buying - they looked good. I paid $550 for it. I think that was a pretty good deal on my end.