How To Buy A Mazda RX7 FD3S

What To Look For When Buying A Mazda RX7 FD3S

This was one of the photos in the advert when I bought my very own FD RX7. It was a 1997 Type R2 model. Mine actually came with a few JDM goodies such as uprated shocks, Blitz Nur Spec exhaust system, Buddy Club P1 alloys and an ultra rare Knightsports front bumper. However don't be sucked into buying one with the most extras bolted on! In this article I am going to share some tips with you on what to look for when buying your first FD3S.

Engine History

It is well known that rotary engines may need a rebuild from around 60,000 miles. Mine actually lasted until around 85,000 miles before the engine blew. I was not expecting it as the garage had initially sold it to me as having a rebuild, also providing compression test results of 8 bar consistently. However you may be able to find (and pay more for) one with a recent rebuild - but if so are they selling it because it still has problems? You wouldn't know for sure until after you have handed your money over. But if you do buy one with a rebuild make sure you get receipts or proof of the work being done and ask if it has any kind of warranty that will get passed over to you (in most cases it won't get passed onto you as the new owner).

The other option is to buy a recently blown RX7 FD3S for around £1,000 to £2,000 with all the interior etc intact and have it rebuilt yourself by a specialist for around £2,000 to £3,500 (nearer the latter to be honest).

The Compression Test

It is wise to see if the seller is willing to have a compression test done so that you have an idea of the current health of the engine itself. Results from a compression test often range from 5 bar up to 8 bar. The higher the better, and the more consistent, regular readings across the engine the better. If there is one reading over half a bar out compared to the others, a rotary specialist may begin to wonder why.

Body Damage

These cars are used for going sideways a fair bit so open up the bonnet and have a look at the inside of the front wings. These front wings are part of the body so you can't just unbolt damaged ones and bolt on new ones. Often you'll see the damage here if there is any. Also check the boot, make sure you look under the carpet and around the spare wheel.


Look especially underneath the car as JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) cars are prone to rust, so be sure to check this, especially on the older models that may have seen more waves of harsher weather conditions. Many people wax oil the underside of the cars to withstand climates such as the winter months in the UK. 

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