Time Attack RX-7 FD3S

Post By: Chris Johnston

Date: 01/09/2024

The Story

Chris's love for the FD3S platform began during childhood. The sleek, timeless lines paired with the unique rotary sound was so alluring. Fueling the interest further was content from Option Magazine, Hot Version, Need For Speed, and of course Initial D. The avenues for modification of this platform seemed endless. Back in 2005 Chris Johnson attended his first SEMA show in Atlantic City NJ. An experience he would never forget. At that moment, he set a goal for himself to one day have a build worthy of attending what is considered the greatest car event in the US. Come one lucky day in 2009. A bone stock PPE model automatic FD came up forsale about an hour north of him for a bargain of $7,000. An opportunity that couldn't go to waste. Allast, an FD was finally in Chris's possession. With many ambitious dreams in his mind, he could not wait to start crafting this FD into one that expressed his style and love for the chassis. However, on it’s initial trip home, the car broke down. Many would assume the worse, being a rotary and all but luckily It was just a minor electrical issue. The next morning he was on his way home, once again. What no one could have predicted, was the spell of misfortune that laid ahead. Within a few months of being an FD owner, Chris experienced the heartbreak of losing an apex seal. This led to the car going to the local Mazda dealership for a fresh reman motor. ( in hindsight, a total mistake.) 8 months passed before the car was running under its own power again, but it was not running well. Despite his concerns, he took the car home. Unfortunately, the car never made it home under it’s own power. It died ten minutes from home. After quite a battle with Mazda, Chris decided to go a different route. Of course not wanting the car to remain an automatic, Chris decided to go ahead and buy a JDM motor and transmission from a local Japanese parts dealer, JSpec. A friend recommended a trustworthy mechanic he knew to take on doing the motor and transmission swap. A few months passed and the car was running again. Better than ever! And with the proper 5 speed attached. Now it was time for more power. With the unknown condition of the JDM motor, Chris decided to pull it and have it rebuilt. the “while we’re in there” mentality started to compound. The new engine build ended up with a Garrett T04z turbo, Apex'i PFC, bigger injectors, a v-mount intercooler and much more. From the stock 255whp to an impressive 420whp was quite the gain. With the motor being squared away, it was time for some much needed appearance mods. The First order of business was a change in elevation with Fortune Auto coilovers and a set of just then released TE37SL's. The wheels contrasted beautifully against the Montego blue paint. Followed up by a 99 spec front lip, Feed side steps, RE Amemiya diffuser, sleek headlights and an RE Amemiya tail light cover. The car had acquired an entirely new look to match the new power. It was quite pleasing on the eye. Though this was not the end of the road for Chris's overall goal of the car, in fact it was just the beginning. After a few years of enjoying the OEM+ look. It was time to step it up a notch. A Feed widebody aero package came up for sale from a local friend. It was at the same time Chris was getting settled in as an Automotive painter. It was a great new challenge to take on. During this transition, the TE37s were replaced with a fresh set of Work Meisters. With the widebody, new wheels and the addition of an RE Amemiya GT wing, the car took a big step in the level of aggressiveness it presented. It was also a proud moment for Chris as it was his first time installing a wide aero package and painting an entire car himself. Despite this new look of the car, It was still a long way from the end goal Chris had in mind On December 3rd, 2014, his birthday I might add, the motor decided to go out yet again! Forcing him to limp the car home once more. Chris decided that this time, a full makeover to create the final dream build was in order. Much inspiration for this build was drawn from Keisuke's iconic yellow FD rx7 recognized from initial D. This paired with seeing all of the crazy time attack cars running around Tsukuba that Sean from Narita Dogfight so elegantly captures. Chris was determined to bring that Japanese Time Attack style to the states. It was with no question that this would be quite the project to pursue and would take quite some time. Many hours were invested parts searching, sketching, photoshopping and making renditions in video games of how he wanted the car to look.. Over the next 7 years, the car would slowly come together piece by piece. A very slow process that had no detail left untouched. No room for compromise. Chris could not do this alone though. It was at this time that he reached out to some friends, both new and old, to help move towards the next chapter. Through the years of owning the FD and being submerged in the relatively small, tight-knit scene surrounding these cars, Chris made some lifelong friends who would become essential to this ultimate FD build. A reminder that arguably the best part about the car scene is the people you meet along the way. If it was not for the help of Zach and Klint from Eccentric Motorsports, Terry from Fortune Auto, Danny from 945Garage, Benny from Bubbletech along with many more helpful hands, the car you see featured here today would not exist. Chris's Rx7 was heavily influenced by the late 90s, early 2000's era of tuning and grassroots Time Attack in Japan. This derived from avidly thumbing through Option magazine along with binge watching Hot Version and Narita Dogfight videos. Chris was determined to bring this style to the States, but knew it had to be executed to perfection. Over the nearly two decades of RX7 ownership, Chris amassed a plethora of knowledge of Japanese Rotary specialists and the parts they offered to the community. With endless options to choose from, a few Rotary Tuning shops stood out to him the most. Those being the Legendary RE Amemiya and R magic. The Aero package on Chris's FD is a bit of a melting pot of authentic Japanese parts. RE Amemiya parts on the front end including the first gen N1 bumper, sleek lights and hood paired with a modified R Magic wide body, Esprit Wing and CarShop Glow Diffuser. Carbon add ons to compliment the body panels. Speaking of carbon fiber, the car also sports a massive Klaus composites splitter, Marsh Composites full carbon roof, and Seibon doors and hatch. Chris specifically chose these particular parts to keep the aesthetic in the 90s/00s form. The car was painted by Chris himself in the captivating Sunburst yellow from Mazda. Inspired by Keisukes's Iconic RE Amemiya FD from Initial D. This FD with all of this aero and the bright and vibrant shade of yellow really make it stand out in a crowd. The FD's new motor setup by the amazingly talented twins of Eccentric Motorsports gives this FD the bite to match the bark. The bridgeported 13b puts down an impressive 521 whp at 20 psi with the help of a Borg Warner 8374 turbo, Haltech Elite ECU and a ton of other top quality parts. That power along with weighing in at right around 2300 lbs makes for one serious FD. Eccentric Motorsports not only handled the motor itself, but also the Fab work, wiring and a ton of odds and ends on the car. It is pretty obvious that their attention to detail is second to none. Which is what Chris was reluctant to compromise with this build A set of OG CE28n's in bronze give good contrast to the bright yellow. Yet again, more periodically correct goodness. (There is also a set of newer CE28n's in Diamond dark gunmetal as track spares.) To help give the car a proper ride height is a set of Fortune Auto Pro 2 way coilovers and a ton of new bushings and other suspension goodies amassed from JAuto. The interior is all business, with just the essentials which include a custom 10 point roll cage by 945 Garage, aluminum race dash and door panels and heel plates by Bubble Tech, a sparco steering wheel and quick release, Bride seats, takata harnesses, racebread shift knob and a super light antigravity battery. Remember that first SEMA show Chris attended in 2005? Well, in 2021, Some 16 years later, that dream became reality as the new era of his FD came to life and was set to be revealed at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas with Fortune Auto. A surreal moment for Chris as it has been a dream for so long. With how social media tends to make things seem as if they come and are built overnight. It is to be known that like any great thing, It did not come fast nor easy. This car was at one time Chris's primary mode of transportation and his home during the lowest of lows. It took almost two decades of never settling, never giving up and a lot of help from some great friends to make this happen. With great friends, enough time, dedication and a desire to never settle, anything is possible. Rx7 Build list ◦ E85 521 whp / 435 ft tq ◦ 93 424 whp / 377 ft tq ◦ MOTOR: ◦ Brand new 13b REW built by eccentric motorsports ◦ Half bridge port ◦ Lightened Balanced and clearanced rotors and e shaft by chips motorsports ◦ Stud and dowel kit ◦ Goopy solid apex seals ◦ Oem corner seals ◦ Borg Warner efr 8374 ewg turbo ◦ Eccentric motorsports stainless and billet manifold ◦ Twin turbosmart wastegates ◦ Custom fender exit waste gate dumps ◦ Eccentric motorsports v mount with pwr core ◦ Custom eccentric motorsports throttle body elbow ◦ Eccentric motorsports radiator with pwr core ◦ Custom ducting by eccentric motorsports ◦ Davis Craig electric water pump ◦ Projay water pump delete ◦ Eccentric Motorsports alternator bracket ◦ Spal electric fans ◦ Custom ast ◦ Eccentric motorsports catch can ◦ Custom oil filler neck ◦ Jp3 throttle cable ◦ CJM billet fuel rails ◦ Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator ◦ Injector dynamics 1000/2000 injectors ◦ Custom fuel hardlines by eccentric motorsports ◦ Radium in tank surge tank ◦ 2 Walbro 525 pumps ◦ 1 Walbro 450 high flow pump ◦ -8 Ss fuel lines for underbody ◦ Sakebomb ignition coils ◦ Setrab twin 19 row oil coolers ◦ Eccentric motorsports oil pan ◦ Eccentric motorsports downpipe ◦ Eccentric Motorsports full titanium exhaust ◦ Titanium intercooler piping ◦ Turboguard filter ◦ Haltech 1500 elite ecu ◦ Haltech engine harness ◦ Aem meth injection ◦ Irp alternator ◦ DRIVETRAIN: ◦ Exedy twin disk clutch ◦ Exedy lightweight flywheel ◦ Custom transmission brace ◦ Mazdaspeed short shifter ◦ Racebread shifter ◦ Kaaz 1.5 way differential ◦ Rx8 4.44 final drive ◦ Eccentric motorsports differential brace ◦ Super now differential bushings ◦ SUSPENSION/BRAKES: ◦ Fortune Auto dreadnought pro 2 way coilovers with 18kg swift springs ◦ Super now polyurethane adjustable bushings ◦ Racing beat sway bars ◦ Super now bullet sway bar mount brackets ◦ J auto sway bar end links ◦ All new oem wheel bearings and boots and ball joints ◦ J Auto pillow balls ◦ Mazdaspeed titanium strut bar ◦ Project mu 4 pot front big brake kit ◦ Project Mu rear rotors ◦ Mazda spirit r rear brake caliper brackets ◦ Custom abs delete hardlines and full chassis hardline kit by eccentric motorsports ◦ 929 master cylinder upgrade ◦ Eccentric motorsports booster delete ◦ WHEELS/TIRES ◦ Volk ce28n bronze 18x10.5 18j front and rear Volk ce28n club racer II diamond dark gunmetal 18x10.5 22j/15j track spares ◦ Toyo R888r 275 35 18 front and rear ◦ Project kicks lug nuts Ichiba extended studs H&R 15mm spacers ◦ EXTERIOR: ◦ Re amemiya first gen n1 bumper ◦ Re amemiya dual carbon canard ◦ Re amemiya carbon undersweep ◦ Klaus composites dry carbon chassis mount splitter Custom splitter mounts by eccentric motorsports Professional awesome racing splitter support rods Re amemiya sleek headlight kit Re amemiya headlight intake duct ◦ Re amemiya ad9 hood ◦ Re amemiya carbon hood gurneys ◦ Ready go next carbon hood vents ◦ Modified r magic n1 widebody kit ◦ R magic carbon side steps ◦ R magic air deflector ◦ R magic rear canard ◦ Seibon carbon doors ◦ Seibon carbon hatch ◦ Fal lexan rear window ◦ Marshpowerhouse carbon roof ◦ Esprit gt wing ◦ Esprit gurney flap Car shop glow carbon end plates ◦ Custom wing stands by eccentric motorsports ◦ Eccentric motorsports chassis mount wing stand mount brackets ◦ Carshop glow carbon diffuser ◦ Re amemiya carbon diffuser vortex generators ◦ Re amemiya center dividers ◦ Re amemiya carbon tail light cover ◦ Craft square carbon mirrors ◦ All new oem moldings ◦ Bubble tech lexan door windows ◦ Sponsor stickers by fancy logic design Narita dogfight custom banner ◦ Re amemiya front tow hook ◦ Bubble tech rear tow hook ◦ Eccentric Motorsports side step guard for wastegates ◦ Custom cut oem rear bumper ◦ Aero catch hood pins ◦ Evo r carbon door handle covers Garage alpha carbon cowl panel ◦ Paint and body work done at drp Collsion using ppg evirobase basecoat and ppg dc2021 clear coat Led tail light modz tail lights ◦ INTERIOR : ◦ Bubble tech aluminum race dash ◦ Bubble tech aluminum v2.0 race door panels ◦ Bride zeta 3 seats ◦ Takata 6 point harnesses ◦ Haltech dash display ◦ Bubble tech switch panel ◦ 10 point roll cage by 945 garage ◦ Fire suppression system ◦ Garage alpha aluminum widened gas pedal ◦ Bubble tech heel plates ◦ Ronin Speedworks seat rails Custom chassis wiring by eccentric motorsports Sparco steering wheel Narita dogfight steering wheel ( spare / show ) Sparco quick release Sparco hub Sparco hub spacer Garage alpha titanium e brake handle Feed shift knob Garage alpha titanium shift knob Racebread shift knob Eccentric Motorsports light switch panel Eccentric Motorsports boost controller

Current Setup

  • Suspension: Fortune Auto Pro 2 way coilovers


Chris Johnston

Attack_fd3s on IG. Bringing Japanese time attack style to America.