Dressing up the engine bay is a Hose Techniques silicone hose kit for the vacuum lines and fittings and a Hyper Ground Systems wire kit. The Hyper Ground kit uses thick gauge wire, made of 99.99-percent pure copper, to connect directly from the cylinder head and other points under the hood to the battery to engender an ultra low resistance connection. This helps the vehicle gain torque and horsepower and can increase gas mileage and throttle response, among other benefits. Ground wires are a detail that many performance enthusiasts overlook but are a worthwhile investment.
Nology HotWires paired with NGK spark plugs create the most powerful spark possible. A built-in capacitor in each wire allows energy from the ignition coil to be stored in the capacitor until the voltage at the spark plug electrode reaches the ionization point. When needed, the stored energy is discharged at once, creating a spark 300 times more powerful than stock. We like applications that increase horsepower and are smog legal.
Transmission modifications are kept to a minimum with only an Exedy Hyper Twin clutch. This clutch is suitable to handle most any abuse thrown at it, either on the street, at the drags, or during road or rally racing.
Signal Auto of Torrance, Calif., engineered and installed a custom V-mount intercooler (the slanted-core look popular with the drifting crowd) and Koyo aluminum radiator setup for maximum cooling efficiency. This was Signal's first RX-7 V-mount setup in the United States and the results are astounding.
ZEAL Function-B6 damping and height adjustable coil-overs with aluminum rigid mounts and a large piston, for direct feel and a solid ride, were used for suspension handling. Height adjustability without sacrificing stroke is not a problem here. Les credits the RX-7's very responsive handling to the ability to tune the suspension to handle the engine's power without sacrificing a civil ride. The ZEAL adjustable damping dial is one of the most aesthetic we've seen to date.
Additional suspension modifications include an AutoExe full underbody crossmember brace kit for increased body rigidity and Tanabe Sustec Stabilizer large diameter sway bars at both ends. The sway bars increase roll resistance and cornering stability without the need to increase spring rates. Carbing's three-point strut tower brace, one of the newer looks for JDM engines, finishes off the suspension mods.
The ever-popular A'PEXi USA crew was kind enough to provide a new DECS Tachometer. It sits in the center dash area, lighting up beautifully to match the other JDM parts in the car. The DECS tachometer features a digital display on a 120mm large analogue panel with an 11,000 rpm scale reading. Temperature and pressure readings (i.e., water, oil, etc.) can be shown with the addition of optional sensors. It also features an external shift lamp to keep shifting efficient.
For the I.C.E., Les went all out with a Sony ES 1000-watt amp to drive the Xplod 4x8-inch subs. An ES five-channel amp with EQX powers the front component speakers. A PS2 was installed for when the gaming bug bites. Paradyme claims credit for the very cool RX-7 etched glass amp enclosure.
For viewing pleasure, Les chose a Kenwood DDX7015 in-dash 2-DIN 6.5-inch monitor . So the backseat passengers don't feel left out, a Pioneer W6000 monitor and a Kicker component set were installed. This whole setup is better than our home entertainment system so we'll just hang out in Les' car next time there's a good DVD to watch.
Les states this blue panther "feels like no other street car I've ever driven. Stiff enough to be stable in quick turns, yet smooth enough to handle the imperfections of the normal road conditions. All in all, the perfect balance of suspension to power ratio." Les also relished working directly with some of the most reputable Japanese manufacturers and tuners. As he says, "it's a JDM lover's dream come true." Les hopes he has helped to promote and educate car lovers in the United States to "spend a little more and get a little more." Well said, Turbo couldn't agree more. You get what you pay for, so let this be your lesson of the day.