Rotor Head Defined
What do you do when you own a naturally aspirated first-generation RX-7? You look for a turbocharged one of course. No offense to the all-motor first-gen guys, but we're pretty sure sourcing something turbocharged is on just about all of their radars. At least it was for Bruce Boulan, who while in 1999 happened to own such a non-turbo rotary all the while searching the Pacific Northwest for something more suitable, something turbocharged. The day Bruce, president and founder of www.idahorotary.com, happened upon one '88 RX-7 Turbo II in particular was the day he realized his current RX-7 would no longer cut it. Despite the first-gen's fun factor, there was just no comparison between the two. "I was astonished at the difference in power," we believe were Bruce's exact words. "I had to have one."
Bruce passed on the high-mileage '88, but the bug was planted and his search began, which ultimately led him to Salem, Oreg., where he located his very own FC3S. A straight body with a decent exterior led to the hole in his wallet and a damaged powertrain that had seen better days led to the JDM engine swap. At first Bruce sought professional help but soon decided due to monetary concerns to learn the process and tackle the install himself. The lesson paid off as Bruce has since blown and re-installed more engines than one can count on a single hand; apex seals and several hundred horsepower often yield such results of dismay. Bruce has since struck that perfect balance with his current 1.3-liter, which happens to belt out a healthy 450 whp-enough for an 11.8-second pass on street tires.
Power comes relatively easy with a Precision Turbo PT67-GTZ paired with an Aquamist water/methanol injection system, which helps alleviate all of the A'PEXi AVC-R controlled 22 pounds of boost. The usual suspects follow including dual Walbro fuel pumps, 720cc primary and 1,600cc secondary injectors, a Mallory fuel pressure regulator and an A'PEXi GT Spec exhaust all tuned with a Haltech E6K. A GReddy Type R blow-off valve and front-mount intercooler along with an external wastegate and exhaust manifold from HKS round off the turbo system. Bruce ensures against any more unplanned engine installations with a host of GReddy meters and a PLX wideband air/fuel controller.
Despite plans to later build a 600whp 20B, Bruce failed at neglecting the rest of his FC. An ACT clutch paired with a brand-new S5 transmission and rebuilt differential were invested in as well as KYB AGX struts and Eibach springs. A host of strut tower braces and bars from JIC Magic, CP Racing and Racing Beat are also put to the test. A set of Hawk brake pads bring either the Nittos or the Mickey Thompsons to a halt, depending on the situation.
Bruce prefers to think of himself as a "rotor head." And, in light of his turbocharged FC, we really can't think of any better name to give the guy.
As MKIV twin-turbo targa top Supras go, they're relatively expensive, equally as costly to modify and not always easy to find. John Tachibana is all too familiar with each of these sentiments, yet just doesn't seem to mind. And it's likely you wouldn't either, given that you happened across the '94 garage-kept, low-mileage beauty John did. Of course, happening upon such pristine displays of 2JZ-GTE goodness isn't entirely rare; after all, most who offer up the entry price for such pieces of machinery often care for them in predictable ways. And although John is the second owner-picking up the MKIV in mid-2003 with just over 40K under its belt-one wouldn't know the Supra's ever left the driveway, let alone seen the light of day from the confines of its climate-controlled garage, hidden underneath its genuine Toyota car cover. No matter how you say John's Supra was pristine upon purchasing it, it'll always sound like an understatement.