What began as a modest RX-7 project for Kyle Bacon of Columbus, Ohio, turned into an obsession for horsepower. An electrical engineer by trade, Bacon was compelled to understand the mechanics of Wankel's rotary engine. He read books, crashed Internet chat rooms and asked typical newbie questions.
Finally, Bacon enlisted the expertise of Pineapple Racing and its owner, rotary guru Rob Golden. Golden has been in the rotary business for more than 20 years and worked with thousands of high-performance vehicles ranging from nitrous-injected 12As to four-rotor monsters.
After numerous conversations with Golden, Bacon opted for a custom port job, somewhere between a large street port and full race port. Pineapple Racing named the custom port job "NOCAB," which is Bacon spelled backwards. With the success of the port after completion, Pineapple Racing now offers the same port style to its customers on request.
Additional engine modifications following the "NOCAB" port include oil flow porting, internal oil flow equalization, special high-rpm mods, and a custom Stage III Pineapple setup. The engine was topped off with a set of 2mm A'PEXi ceramic seals and shipped off to Bacon via freight to his front doorstep.
Next, the twin-turbo setup was eliminated in favor of a single HKS GT35/40 dual ball-bearing turbo. Not only did the engine benefit from the single turbo, but the infamous rat's nest of vacuum lines under the intake manifold was eliminated. A set of 860cc primary injectors now resides in the custom port-and-polished intake manifold, while 1680cc injectors run the secondary units.
Fuel delivery is supplied via a custom Keith polished fuel rail through a Bosch in-tank fuel pump. On the hot side of the compressor, spent gases exit through a custom A-spec tuning downpipe and out the JIC Bullet titanium exhaust. HKS Twin Power ignition amps ensure consistent spark is delivered as the engine roars to 9000 rpm.
Boost control is under the watchful command of a Blitz SBC-ID II meter, while a PSR 45mm wastegate maintains consistency when the wick is turned up. Bacon is well aware of the "one ping and your motor is history" theory with any rotary. Not the type to take chances, Bacon installed a GReddy two-row intercooler that replaces the inefficient factory corner-mount system, while a Koyo aluminum radiator keeps engine temperatures at safe levels.
Controlling fuel and ignition timing is an A'PEXi Power FC and optional commander unit. Using Datalogit software, Bacon unlocked the necessary maps within the Power FC to perform his own street and dyno tuning. Tapping away at the laptop and monitoring the A/F with an OZ-DIY wideband meter, the 1.3-liter spun the dyno rollers to the tune of 416.2 whp at 7300 rpm at a modest 15 psi. The RX-7 didn't disappoint at the track, either; it laid down a 12.196 at123.81 mph at 15 psi, combined with a Race Logic Traction Control System.