Project RX-7 – Its Whats On The Inside That Counts

Its whats on the inside that counts. We have all heard this expression before but it couldn’t be more true than when describing a car. Sure, we all like a car that looks good on the outside. That isn’t where you are spending the majority of your time though. The inside of your car should feel like home to you and that is what my goal was for this RX-7.

This particular car that I purchased had already received some interior upgrades thanks to ESH upholstering. The headliner, a pillars, seats, and center divider were all recovered in alcantara. The dash had been replaced with that of a 1994. It was a good start but more needed to be done. I wanted to smile every time I slid into the driver’s seat. I wanted something that felt both sporty and refined. Pinkies up while clipping the apex.

Tan, the official color of middle management.

The Carpet Matches The Drapes

My first step in this journey was to get rid of the dirty and unattractive caramel covered carpeting. I had this in my last RX-7 and I wanted to replace it before everything got bolted back together on the car. I decided to go with a brand new carpet rather than try to find a good condition used one.

Still looks better than tan

Replacing the carpet in your car is not an easy task. Seats have to be removed. Trim panels have to be removed. Patience was almost removed. I spent the better part of a day disassembling the car to be able to get the old carpet out. Once done, I took stock of what I could also tackle while I was in there. Any loose debris was cleaned up (not much). I also decided this was a prime opportunity to replace the rear speakers.

Only one catch there. There were no rear speakers. The car was even missing the speaker brackets.

Luckily, this is what social media is good for. I quickly plowed through dozens of political rants to find one of my many car groups and posted a want ad. Within hours, a pair of brackets were being shipped. A quick trip to Amazon and I had new speakers and wire incoming.

Luckily blood doesn’t show up on black carpet.

While I awaited the new stuff to get shipped, I began the work of trimming the new carpet. I used the old one as a rough template to trim the outside and create some guide holes. The carpet would now be workable enough to finish the job inside the car. With a handy serrated knife, I was able to massage the carpet into place and make sure all the needed holes were there to bolt everything back in.

Fat Man In a Little Car

Mmmmmmm

Ok, I’m not fat but anyone who has ever been in a 3rd generation RX-7 will tell you that its a tight fit. Especially if you are anywhere over 5’8″ and it has a stock interior. The fact that the steering wheel does not adjust at all is another hindrance. As the seats were in pristine condition after being recovered, I decided to focus on the steering wheel placement instead.

To get this right, I needed to cobble together a setup. I went with a low profile quick release from NRG because you need that cred and a collapsible hub from MOMO. This combination should give me enough extension on the wheel to clear my knees. If you are on the wrong side of 30, you know knee comfort is a good thing. For the wheel itself, I went with a MOMO Jet to add some class to the interior. Now it was time to hook up the horn.

Wait.

Where is the horn wire? Apparently the previous owner had an aversion to useful wires. Because racecar I guess.

Anyone who has ever worked under a dash knows this position.

Instead of trying to spend eternity tracing back through the dash to find the horn wire, I ordered a whole new relay and wire kit. The car was also missing another crucial bit. The horns themselves. I ordered a set of bright yellow Hella horns because I am a ricer and that’s how I roll.

With everything back together, the only thing left for the interior was a new stereo and speakers for the doors. I decided to wait on this and have a professional do it once the car was back together and able to be driven there.

 

Make sure to check back often to follow the build of my Blackbird RX-7.

Cheers!

Find RX-7 Project Part 1 HERE

Find RX-7 Project Part 2 HERE