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THE COMFORT, OR NOT SO COMFORTABLE, ZONE....
DEPENDING ON HOW YOU VIEW DRIVING.
Where I park my derriere.

TWO POINTS OF VIEW
There are two areas to consider when outfitting a car: aesthetics and functionality. I like to think that I have come close to accomplishing both. I will begin by saying that this is a drivers car so no effort whatsoever has been made towards installing a ground pounding stereo. I specifically bought an R1 model to avoid the Bose system. About the only thing I've done is install an OE CD player just to have the ability to play CD's. In my opinion the interior of my car looks good and is pretty functional. No big speakers, video screens, or phone mounts. Mainly just the stuff that will serve a purpose when at the track not only from a driving standpoint but also from a safety standpoint. I can honestly say that when I started twiddling with stuff inside the car I just wanted it to look good but the more time I spend on the track the more I wanted it to work well and increase the likelihood that I would come away unscathed should I attempt to do any off road driving and encounter an immovable object.
INTERIOR
(I'll start with the important stuff)
Simpson 5 point racing harnesses w/Camlock releases (drivers and passengers side)
Kirk Racing 4 point roll bar w/diagonal brace and drivers hoop (click for install pics.)
Autometer "Quick-lite" mini shift light (click for install pics.)
Pettit column mounted boost gauge
w/SPI white faced Boost Gauge (30inHg-20Psi)
TriPower Design dash top dual gauge pod
w/Nordskog Digital Oil Temperature Gauge (0-300degF)
and Nordskog Digital Fuel Pressure Gauge (0-100psi).
GReddy Turbo Timer w/RX-7 specific harness
Custom Fabricated Apex'i Power FC Commander Holder
Custom Fabricated drilled and polished alloy gas pedal extension
Momo Competition Shift Knob & shortened shift arm.
Mazdatrix Short Shifter.(click for install pics.)
Mazda SS Scuff plates. What I felt necessary to cover up my severely scuffed door sills-aesthetic? Ok you be the judge. http://www.alpine-usa.com/
Alpine CDA-9853 CD player headunit.
Custom cut Efini DIN panel for Boost controller and Turbo Timer.
Tinted windows (35%)
PIAA 1000 85 Watt Clear Driving Lights (switch in dummy blank in center console)
EXTERIOR
Knightsports four vent hood from Pettit Racing (click for a four part series on the installation)
Rotary Extreme Hood Prop Kit.
Rotary Extreme FEED "style" Carbon Fiber sideskirts.
1999 Mazda Adjustable Rear Wing
1999 Mazda style (license plateless) front bumper and turn signals
1999 Mazda Front Lip Spoiler
1999 Mazda Rear Tail Lights
So what do I have to say about all this junk? In General,the items that I have added that I have been most pleased with are the safety enhancements, i.e., the roll bar and the harness sets. A definite must have for anyone serious about driving at the track. At my first AutoX with the stock seat belts I found myself sliding all over the place, even with the R1 type seats. I came away with bruises on the outsides of my kneecaps where I was trying to pin myself in the seat by pushing on the door handle and the center tunnel. Gauges are also a much needed augmentation to any dash. Not necessarily the gauges I have but at least in this car a boost gauge and a water temp gauge are absolute musts. Boost for obvious reasons and water temperature gauge simply because the stock gauge is useless and only indicates an overheated condition at a point in time when it's probably too late to save your motor.

SOME NOTES ON THE SPECIFIC UPGRADES I HAVE CHOSEN

SPI white faced water temperature gauge and Cyberdyne Digital Air Fuel Ratio Gauge removed! (still pictured) In an effort to simplify my car these two guages were deemed duplicative so I removed them. Why? The water temperature gauge duplicates data I can get from the Power FC Commander and the A/F ratio guage has been supplanted with a Wide Band O2 sensor and display. The added hardware and wiring of keeping these guages made thing overly complex. So all was removed and sold.

Pettit column mount is a nice addition BUT it's IMO overpriced and does not sit dead center. It's hand formed fiberglass so the gauge sits slightly off to the right. Annoying but you get used to it. Plus with the lack of space for gauges in this car it is pretty much your only option. Pettit is the only supplier of these unless you want the $250 RE Amemiya mount from Japan!

The GReddy timer was a late addition to my car. I never really had a use for it as the car is pretty much only weekend driven so I always had the time to idle it down and let it sit in the driveway running for a few minutes before shutting it off. (yes, I live in a neighborhood where I can do this) And at the track I would always let it idle for a minute or so to make sure the fans will stay after I shut it down. Well after installing the timer I learned that it can also be used to keep the fans running after the key has been removed - I use it more for this than anything else these days.

The gas pedal I made myself, as I have many other of the alloy components on my car. I have made several for my track buddies and they all seem pretty happy with what they have. It greatly eases the difficulty of heel-toe shifting. The only drawback is it is a little too high as it attaches to the top of the OE gas pedal For my purposes and skill level it's perfectly adequate and only cost me about $2 to make.

At one time I had fitted white gauge faces in the main gauge cluster. These were an NR Accessories part that replaces the OE gauges faces with white laminate faces. Aesthetically, they look fabulous but were, for me, a functional nightmare. Where to begin? DON'T DO IT! It was the biggest pain the ass. They were difficult to install and gave me trouble until I removed them and completely replaced my main gauge cluster. I had problems with my gauges being sluggish and in the case of my tachometer, total death. If you do decide to do it, have it done by a professional. I would consider myself a pretty good mechanic, I have done every single piece of work on this car, but these were hard, and the price for installing them incorrectly is very high (try $600+ for a new tachometer!) The problem being that you are required to remove the needle to replace the gauge face. OE gauges are all electrically driven and any shift in the location of the needle axle from its bearings and drive motor will affect gauge response. The result a sluggish or completely unresponsive gauge.

The Momo shift knob was primarily for cosmetic reasons but the more I use it the more I like it. It's smaller than the OE knob and weighs less so gives you better shift feel if not a bit more notchiness. The Mazdatrix short shifter is a real treat, shortening throws from 6 inches to 3 1/2 inches. While I was at it I also fabricated the alloy radio bezel clips to match the shift knob (awww....isn't that cute.)

PIAA driving lights. These things are bright! They are the 85 watt clear bulbs that when viewed from the front are even brighter than the OE main headlights. However, even though they are brighter they do not penetrate as far as the OE lights due to their low height but they do provide a tremendous amount of additional peripheral lighting. I also have upgraded main headlight bulbs rated at 85W low beam and 100W high beam. Simple upgrade using H4 motorcycle bulbs.

What's left? CD player... no car today should be without one so I picked up a used OE player and plugged it in - a no brainer - about 30 minutes to install. The OEM CD player/tape deck headunit has since been removed and replaced with a single DIN Alpine headunit to make space for other accessories in the now vacant DIN space. Also got SS scuff plates to hide the damaged/scratched up door sills (but overpriced from Mazda), and tinted windows...just because I like tinted windows and with a black interior the car got so damn hot!.

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This page last updated January 5, 2006
rotorphiles have visited this page since April 17, 2001

If you would like to contact me and converse about my experiences with my 7:
please feel free to send an e-mail to crispyrx7@yahoo.com

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