The Final Tally is Added Up

So here we go folks, a breakdown of all the costs to date and how financially I’ve survived, or not survived as the case may be, having bought and sold Rusty throughout the whole ordeal of building up a race car. Bear with me as I walk through the numbers. Some notes in paranthesies indicate if I purchased the part new or used and all actual costs are noted. Items in italics were kept after the sale of "Rusty" for use on RC. In short had I not purchased "Rusty" and gone straight to RC it is easily possible to have built this car for well under $7000 which in hindsight was my ultimate goal as noted way back when in Installment 12 of this sage

In the Beginning There Was "Rusty"

It began with the purchase of “Rusty” in April of 2003, a 1986 Mazda RX-7 Sport for $1000.00

To get “Rusty” streetable the following was purchased/needed:
OE pax motor mount (new) $39.19
Front brake pads (new) $17.99
Headlight (new) $ 9.00
Rust repair materials $35.00
Spray paint for body and wing $15.00
Exhaust gaskets for temporary main “cat” install (new) $11.41
Spare key $4.00
Corksport SS brake lines (new) $89.00 {kept for RC}
Corksport SS clutch line (new) $18.00 {kept for RC}

Valvoline DOT4 synthetic brake fluid $5.99

And to register the car as street legal $236.28 in fees were paid to Big Brother
MD state Inspection $85.78
MD 2 year registration $136.50
MD emissions test fee $14.00

Sub total: $1480.86

Then I did some exhaust work on “Rusty” which included:
Corksport SS Single catback (new) $289.00 {kept for RC}
Exhaust shipping $35.00 {kept for RC}

Racing Beat Header (new) $187.00
Racing Beat Presilencer (new) $198.00
Header to block gasket (new) $18.00
Bosch O2 sensor (new) $17.99
Muffler insert (new) $18.00 {kept for RC}

Sub Total: $762.99

Work done to clean up “Rusty’s” engine bay which included:
Manual Steering Rack (used) $50.00 {kept for RC}
Corksport SS oil cooler lines (new) $140.00 (incl. shipping) {kept for RC}
Dual alternator pulley (new) $20.00 {kept for RC}
Water pump/alt belts (new) $10.99 ea. x 2 $21.98 {kept for RC}

OE Mazda thermostat and gasket (new) $18.00
Oil metering pump o-ring (new) $5.49
Oil metering pump copper gasket (new) $4.59
Fiero electric fan (used) $20.00
Electric fan relay/controller (new) $30.00
Fuel rail hoses and clamps (new) $7.00
Tube of JBWeld $3.99
Battery (new) $49.95

Sub Total: $354.00

And some work on the suspension which included:
New “used” front struts (for the housings) (used) $80 (incl shipping) {kept for RC}
Koni adjustable front strut inserts (new) $330.40 {kept for RC}
Koni adjustable rear shocks (new) $232.40 {kept for RC}
Ground Control Coil-over kit (new) $350.00 {kept for RC}
Adjustable rear camber bar (used) $95.00 {kept for RC}
Volk Racing Wheel spacers (new) $200.00 {kept for RC}

Prothane Bushing kit (new) $95.00
Corksport urethane rear toe steer eliminator bushings (new) $53.00
Cusco front adjustable front camber plates (used) $172.00

Sub Total: $1607.80

Some Instrumentation was installed which included:
FC3S oil filter sensor pedestal.(new) $70.00 {kept for RC}
oil pressure Sensor (new) $22.50 {kept for RC}
Digital Oil Pressure Gauge (new) $32.39 {kept for RC}
Digital Oil Temperature Gauge (new) $32.39 {kept for RC}
Digital Water Temperature Gauge (new) $32.39 {kept for RC}

oil temperature sensor (new) $13.49
coolant temperature sensor (new) $13.49
Wire (w/inline fuse) for gauges & fan switches (new) $3.99 X4 = $15.96
Gauge panel $2.00

Sub Total: $234.61

All the work on “Rusty” to this point totaled:

And Then There Was RC

Enter "RC", the Alabama race car. A 1986 Mazda RX-7 Base for $2200.
Purchased w/full roll cage and spares but no motor or differential in January, 2004.

Duplicate Parts were sold off RC before the new buildup commenced. These included:
GC coil overs and KYB shocks $675
Header and Midpipe $135
Seat Backbrace $50
SS Brake lines $60
Steering Rack $80
Momo pedals $10
Spare Oil Cooler and lines that came with the car $40
SS Oil lines $30
Kirkey Racing Seat $152.50

Total $1232.50
For an as-Purchased Net Cost of RC of : $967.50 ($2200.00 - $1232.50)

To continue with the buildup of RC the following was purchased:
AL Hood [used] $200 (05/15/03)
Sparco EVO seat [new/used] $400 (12/12/03)
S5 differential fitted w/’94 Miata Torsen LSD w/4.33 GTUs R&P $400 [used] (12/12/03)
Sparco seat mounting brackets [eBay] $25.00 (12/22/03)
eBay Front strut bar $18 [included shipping/eBay] (01/18/04)
Sparco Camlock Harness set [new/group buy] $153.70 (03/10/03)
Steering wheels [used/2 wheels - Momo Fighter and a Sparco “D” ring] $150.00 (01/10/04)
Tekniq Quick Release steering wheel hub $180.35 [new/group buy] (02/08/04)
EXEDY Clutch/pressure plate, throw-out bearing and pilot bearing w/seal [new/eBay] $183.00(02/23/04)
‘88 Long block engine and tranny [used] $350 (03/07/04)
‘88 N338 ECU for engine [used] $25 (03/14/04)
Engine degreasers and cleaners for RC $25.00
Racing Beat Header [new] $187.00 [for RC] (05/03/04)
Racing Beat Presilencer [new] $198.00 [for RC] (05/03/04)
Racing Beat front sway bar [new] $150 (05/03/04)
exhaust shipping $25.00
Bottle of Valvoline DOT4 brake fluid $5.99
Windshield Wipers [new] $16.00
Fuel line hose clamps $3.00
Heater hose hose clamps $6.00
Differential oil 2 quarts 80W $8.00
Transmission oil 3 quarts 80W90 $12.00
Engine oil 5 quarts $10.00
Coolant and distilled water $15.00
Roll Bar padding (8 sticks@$3.50ea plus ship) [new] $37.00
Wilwood Brake proportioning valve [new] $75.00
oil temperature sensor [new] $13.49
coolant temperature sensor [new] $13.49
Junkyard parts for RC [used] $40 (05/–/04)
[included: manual steering rack bracket - drivers side, radiator temp sensor, heater engine bay hard pipe, accelerator cable, speedometer cable, Logicon, Logicon/HVAC wiring harness, shifter boots, defroster wiring, a brake pedal, windshield defroster plastic ductwork, complete instrument cluster, all the switches (headlights, wipers, cruise, etc.), idiot light dash top cluster, a new fuel filter, clutch slave cylinder, clutch pedal assembly, water temp sensor from filler neck, pressure sensor, and a handful of solenoids and check valves.]
Aluminum for custom door panels 0.063" T5052 AL 20"x48" 2 pieces $70.97
Hi density Roll Bar padding - 2 sticks (new) $16.00
Oil Bypass Pellet (new) $18.00
OE Mazda thermostat and gasket (new) $18.00
2 spare keys for RC (new) $5.00 [car came with only one bent key]
15x6˝ RX7 convertible wheels w/Toyo Proxes RA-1 tires (used) $400.00 [09/03/04]
Paint and supplies for AL hood $25.00
Hood Pins (new) $14.99 [11/19/04]
Technalon Car Cover (new) $99.00 [11/19/04]

Sub Total: $3591.98

Total RC cost to date $3591.98 + $967.50 = $4559.48

Junkyard parts for “Rusty” $50 [things I needed to transfer my *good* parts to RC which included: brake lines, clutch line, oil cooler lines, front strut assemblies, and rear shock assemblies, and washer fluid bottle]

Sub Total: $50.00

I was also able to sell/resell some parts from “Rusty” over the course of ownership which included:
A/C system $50.00
Radio and speakers $20.00
Console lid cover and trim piece $30.00
Cusco Camber plates $200

Sub Total: $300.00

“Rusty” is sold as-is for: $1500

So where does this leave me? All the parts needed for the buildup of RC, the cost of ownership of Rusty, plus the cost of buying RC.
Effective investment in “Rusty” $4490.26 ($4440.26 + $50.00) - $300.00 - $1500.00 = $2690.26

[of this $2690.26, $2158.45 was in “good” parts that were kept and transferred to RC - items in italics listed above]

Total cost of ownership of “Rusty” for a little over a year and about 4000 miles was therefore $531.81
[of this $531.81, $236.28 was in fees simply to register the car for street use]

Total Investment in Track/Race Car development: $2690.26 (from “Rusty”) +$4559.48 (from RC)
= $7249.74


Mods list for RC - what you get for your $7250
1986 RX-7 Base model, NA w/5 speed manual transmission.

Stripped interior as far as ITS rules will allow (no passenger seat)
Kirk Racing 6/8 point roll cage (1.75"x.120 DOM tubing) w/dual tube door bars
All sound deadening material removed
Rear wiring harness “weeded”
HVAC wiring harness “weeded”
Functional heater and defroster (working on it)
Sparco Evo racing seat
Sparco 6 point camlock harness
Summit Window net (not installed)
Momo Fighter 350mm Steering Wheel
TekniqAuto Quick Disconnect Steering wheel hub
Custom Center Dash Panel
Digital Oil Pressure, Oil Temperature, and Coolant Temperature Gauges
Relocated Logicon
I/O camcorder mount
2.5lb Fire Extinguisher mounted to cage
Speedsource front lip air dam
Aluminum Hood
APC hood pins
Horns removed

Engine and Drivetrain:
1988 120,000 mile S4 motor (from a convertable) w/N338 ECU
Throttle body modified to remove secondary butterflies and AWS
6 ports wired open
New fuel pulsation dampener
New fuel lines and clamps
EGR removed (blockoff plate)
ACV removed (blockoff plate)
Cold start assist removed (blockoff plate)
Air pump removed
A/C system removed
Power Steering system removed - extra pulleys removed
Open air intake filter custom mounted
FC3S oil pressure/temperature sensor plenum/pedestal
Double alternator pulley
New water pump/Alternator belts
New OEM Thermostat - w/4 drilled bypass holes
FC3S Oil Bypass pellet modification
Corksport SS oil cooler lines
New heater hoses and clamps
Fluidyne racing radiator
ACCEL Spark plug wires
MSD ignition box running leading plugs
Wired Kill switch to rear deck of car
Mazda competition motor mounts
Mazda competition transmission mounts
Racing Beat 2 into 1 Street Header
Racing Beat Pre-silencer
Corksport Single outlet 3" SS catback exhaust
New EXEDY pressure plate and clutch disc
New Throwout bearing and Pilot bearing w/seal
Corksport SS clutch line
Miata Torsen Limited Slip Differential
GTUs 4.33:1 Ring and Pinion gears

Brakes and Wheels:
Heavy Duty FC Brakes on 5 lug hubs
Corksport SS brake lines
Valvoline DOT4 synthetic brake fluid
Powerslot brake rotors (not legal but they are so worn you can hardly see the slots!)
Porterfield race brake pads
Wilwood “lever type” brake proportioning valve (not installed)
3" hardened wheel studs front and rear
New wheel bearings front and rear
Stock GTU 15x6 wheels w/ Toyo Proxes RA1 205/50-15 R compound tires (short tracks)
RX7 convertible 15x6 ˝ wheels w/ Toyo Proxes RA-1 225/50-15 R compound tires (long tracks)

Ground Control Adjustable Caster/Camber plates
Koni adjustable front strut inserts
Koni adjustable rear shock absorbers
Ground Control ride height adjustable coil-over conversion (400lb front/275lb rear springs)
Full Poly Bushings throughout - front and rear control arms
Rear adjustable camber link
DCSS urethane toe eliminator bushings
Racing Beat front sway bar w/poly bushings
Removed rear sway bar
Racing Beat adjustable front sway bar end links w/poly bushings
eBay front strut tower bar

Plus Spare Parts Including:
Complete transmission
Throttle body
Oil cooler and lines
S4 complete intake
Too many solenoids to count
Flywheel and useable clutch
plus tons more small items that “could” be resold or used


Chapter I: To Begin the Hooptie to Hotrod Saga: Part 1 of the First 16 Installments
Chapter II: The Saga Continues, A Good Rear End: Part 17
Chapter II: Ritual Cannibalization: Part 18
Chapter II: A Drivers Perspective: Part 19
Chapter II: The Final Touches?: Part 20
Chapter III: Racing Begins - How does Rusty perform? And what needs fixin' Part 22



If you would like to contact me and converse about my experiences with my RX-7's:
please feel free to send an e-mail to

This page last updated December 21, 2005

Disclaimer: All images contained on this page are the sole property of C. Regan.