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RX-7 1st Gen Specific (1979-85) RX-7 1979-85 Discussion including performance modifications and technical support sections

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Old 06-01-2017, 03:45 PM   #1
Mperell1
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Default 1980 RX7 LS White with Gold Stripes: What would a fair price be?

Hello,

I bought a 1980 RX7 LS from the original owner back in high school with 54k miles on it. Currently it has 64k and is still all original. The interior is still all leather with some places cracking from heat. All the paint exterior is all original as well as the engine. The only things I've changed are spark plugs, ignition cables, and a new radio. The biggest flaws in the car are a broken speedometer (currently trying to find a replacement with no luck), a slightly cracked rear break light, some dirt of the gold alloy wheels, and some fading of the golden stripes on the white LS models.

With all this in mind, does anyone know what a fair price would be for the car? I'm considering selling it or trading it in and want to know what would be the best deal.

Thank you!






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Old 06-02-2017, 09:21 AM   #2
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"A picture tells a thousand words"

Do you still have the original radio? At this point its worth is subject to its originality. Do you know why the speedometer doesn't work (e.g. broken cable)? Definitely don't trade it in. Hagerty values a "good" condition 1980 GS (they don't have the LS option) at $4300 and one in fair condition at $2500. Based on your description you're somewhere in between those but the LS should bring the value up some. Someone out there is looking for an LS in good condition. Hell, ask for $5000 and see what happens. I paid far more for my 79 GS with only 26k miles.
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Old 06-02-2017, 03:11 PM   #3
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We need pictures inside, outside, under hood, under car etc. Then we can give you a good
idea. A LS SA is going to draw a better price than almost any other 1st gen you could
have. The range would be 3-10K depending on how it looks and how original it is.
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Old 06-04-2017, 01:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infernosg View Post
"A picture tells a thousand words"

Do you still have the original radio? At this point its worth is subject to its originality. Do you know why the speedometer doesn't work (e.g. broken cable)? Definitely don't trade it in. Hagerty values a "good" condition 1980 GS (they don't have the LS option) at $4300 and one in fair condition at $2500. Based on your description you're somewhere in between those but the LS should bring the value up some. Someone out there is looking for an LS in good condition. Hell, ask for $5000 and see what happens. I paid far more for my 79 GS with only 26k miles.
@infernosg I believe I have the radio in my garage somewhere, but that may be doubtful. The mechanic I took the car to to double check said it's not a cable, but the actual speedometer. I'm having a rough time finding a new one. Thanks for the tips!
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Old 06-04-2017, 01:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t_g_farrell View Post
We need pictures inside, outside, under hood, under car etc. Then we can give you a good
idea. A LS SA is going to draw a better price than almost any other 1st gen you could
have. The range would be 3-10K depending on how it looks and how original it is.
Here are the pictures I have. Unfortunately I'm at school and don't have pics under the hood, but I can get some and post the later on.
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File Type: jpg IMG_3794.jpg (99.3 KB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3795.jpg (113.3 KB, 14 views)
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Old 06-04-2017, 01:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t_g_farrell View Post
We need pictures inside, outside, under hood, under car etc. Then we can give you a good
idea. A LS SA is going to draw a better price than almost any other 1st gen you could
have. The range would be 3-10K depending on how it looks and how original it is.

And here are these
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_3796.jpg (170.5 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3797.jpg (85.9 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3798.jpg (163.8 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3800.jpg (106.0 KB, 11 views)
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Old 06-04-2017, 08:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mperell1 View Post
The mechanic I took the car to to double check said it's not a cable, but the actual speedometer. I'm having a rough time finding a new one. Thanks for the tips!
Doubting that. . . I would check the gear in the transmission (cable attaches to this by hand and is held in place by one 6mm screw), this gear is made if plastic and does fail.
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Old 06-04-2017, 08:43 PM   #8
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Until I saw this. . pretty sure the gauge should return to zero when cable isn't rotating. I'd still check the gear in the transmission for the hell of it.

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Old 06-05-2017, 07:26 AM   #9
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The speedo may be broken but check to make sure the cable is pushed in and seated
correctly at the rear of the speedo behine the console and at the tranny. Not returning to
zero implies it may be gummed up or otherwise foobarred. Do not try to fix or lube it as it
is very easy to permanently screw it up. There are places that can refurb the speedo or
you can get another with a want to buy on the forums.
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Old 06-05-2017, 08:07 AM   #10
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First off, nice car even though its a little rough. It looks to represent its mileage and age
really closely. Given the New Mexico plates I would assume little or no rust underneath.
All things considered you can probably get somewhere between 4-6K for it in this
condition. I'm assuming its original and clean under the hood and under the car.
You will get nothing for it on a dealer trade in, so don't even think they will give you
squat on a 35+ year old car.

The more you go through it and detail it, clean up small items (like the dangling
connector on the rear defrost) etc the better it will present. Also the more likely you
will get better money.
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:44 AM   #11
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I thought all LS models had a digital clock.

For the needle to be stuck at a certain speed like that makes me think something is off in the speedometer. My understanding is the speedometer should read "0" unless it's getting a signal from the speedometer cable. Does the speedometer work above 35 mi/hr?

I just noticed this weekend my speedometer is bouncing at lower speeds. I don't recall it doing this before so maybe it's a function of the higher ambient temperatures we've had lately. Either way, it appears the signal being generated by the cable is being disrupted somehow.
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:19 AM   #12
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There is no signal generated, the speedo is an old school analog that has the cable spinning
a magnet around the needle armature which causes the needle to move. Its very precisely
made and can get out of whack by dirt and stuff building up in the speedo, or by well
intentioned lubing of the mechanism or just age.

A bouncing speedo at low speed may be a sticking cable. You can unplug the tranny end
and remove the cable, clean it and very lightly lube and reinsert. If you get really
ambitious while its out unplug the other end from the speedo and clean and blow out the
casing with compressed air and some light solvent. Very rarely do the tranny gears go
bad. Its usually a cable or speedo that causes problems. The cable is easy to address to
rule it out.
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Old 06-06-2017, 08:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t_g_farrell View Post
There is no signal generated, the speedo is an old school analog that has the cable spinning
a magnet around the needle armature which causes the needle to move. Its very precisely
made and can get out of whack by dirt and stuff building up in the speedo, or by well
intentioned lubing of the mechanism or just age.
I should have clarified the magnetic field is what I was referring to by "signal." If the speedometer isn't working either the magnet isn't spinning or something is disrupting the magnetic field. The stuck needle tells me something is gunked up inside the speedometer. There's no way the proper magnetic field is being generated to indicate 35 mi/hr without the cable spinning. If the speedometer works above 35 mi/hr it's functioning properly but is getting stuck for some reason. If it doesn't work at all either the cable isn't spinning or there's something wrong internally with the speedometer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t_g_farrell View Post
A bouncing speedo at low speed may be a sticking cable. You can unplug the tranny end
and remove the cable, clean it and very lightly lube and reinsert. If you get really
ambitious while its out unplug the other end from the speedo and clean and blow out the
casing with compressed air and some light solvent. Very rarely do the tranny gears go
bad. Its usually a cable or speedo that causes problems. The cable is easy to address to
rule it out.
I didn't realize you could pull the entire cable out through the transmission end. I'll have to give that a try. I love that you can easily reach the back of the speedometer in SA's.

Believe it or not I once broke the speedometer drive gear on the transmission output shaft on my FC once. I changed the final drive ratio and was changing out the speedometer driven gear to account for the difference. I didn't realize the housings were different and ended up crashing the gears into each other. 20+ years of gear oil apparently makes plastic quite brittle.
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:02 PM   #14
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Thank for all the comments. Sorry I didn't respond earlier, long week at work. I took it to the mechanic and they said it wasn't a problem with the cable but with the speedometer itself. The speedometer just waves back and forth especially at higher speeds, does that mean anything? Thanks for all the tips.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:05 AM   #15
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You mention purchasing the car from the original owner back in high school but do not say how long you've owned it or when the last time it's been driven or on the road? You may think you are not mechanically inclined, but I would not let it keep me from looking at the speedo cable yourself. It's a pretty basic mechanism.

I'd do as previously suggested, take the cable out, check where it attaches to the tranny for anything broken or chewed, lube the cable up and make sure it turns free and smooth (off the vehicle). The instrument cluster comes out fairly easily as well. 2 screws gets the trim ring out, then a few more plus disconnecting a couple electrical connectors from the rear of the cluster and you can pull the whole thing out the front. You may need to remove the steering wheel, which could be the biggest pain. Might need a puller depending on how much the hub is stuck to the spline.

You may be able to open up the cluster and carefully blow out the speedo with some compressed cleaner in a can (like for computer keyboards and such). If you need to replace it, you would probably have better luck searching for the whole instrument cluster, which are not all that hard to find (probably a couple on ebay as I type).

1980 is when they went to the 85 MPH mandated speedo and a bunch of 80's were later in life, fitted with 1979 clusters to get the 120 MPH speedo. Either one (79 / 80) will work, the 80 is probably more available today as those are the ones that got retro-replaced. Should be able to find one for $100 or under.

As far as value, a LS is a more desirable model. (1000 of 2,500 total were made in Aurora White) Tim is pretty close in the 4-6K range. You could always ask 5 and adjust according to interest and desire to move it.
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