The Wildest RX-7 Build Ever? Visiting Rob Dahm’s Rotary Palace


– [Hertrech] Oh my goodness – That could give sweet,
sweet love to you. – [Hertrech] Can I touch it? – Yes. – [Hertrech] Oh my goodness. – [Rob] I cradle it.
– [Hertrech] Oh my goodness. – And you just had a baby? – [Hertrech] Oh my, Yeah. – Congratulations. – [Hertrech] Thank you,
thank you. Trade you. (Laughing) I’m just kidding. I’m just
kidding. I’m just kidding. (laughing) My girl is gonna kill me for that one. – Yeah, oh my god. (laughing) – [Hertrech] Well, how big is this turbo? – This is 106 millimeters. – [John] Look. It’s as big as my phone. – Yeah, I’ve been wanting
to put it on the Insight which is a little three cylinder one liter and see if it even spins it. – [Hertrech] Yeah I don’t
even imagine it would move it. (rewind scratch) (sci-fi music) (tv hiss) – [Hertrech] All right,
so today I put out a call for my rotary bro’s, Dorito Daddies, to join me on a road trip to check out Rob Dahm and his mecca of a four-rotor. Piston or a rotary lever, you
probably want a four-rotor just because they are one of the sickest motors ever created. (upbeat keyboard music) – [Robot] Mazda is often
credited with the development of the rotary engine in the sixties. But this engine traces its
roots three decades earlier, far away from Japan. Felix Wankel, A german
mechanical engineer, is regarded as the father of the rotary engine. He received the first patent
for his Wankel Engine in 1929. In 1957, at Germany’s NSU
Motorenwerke AG, Wankel completed his first working prototype known as the DKM 54 Drehkolbenmotor. Wankel’s DKM motor was a complex design where both the rotor and
housing spun independently. Soon after, Hanns Dieter
Paschke developed a simpler fixed housing KKM motor that became the basis for the modern Wankel engine. Many manufacturers signed
license agreements for the Wankel engine including
Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan,
Porsche, and Rolls Royce to name a few. NSU won the race to bring the
first rotary powered vehicle to market with its 1964 NSU Spider. However, this sporty two-seat
convertible was plagued with premature Apex Seal
wear and poor fuel economy. It took many more years of development, but in 1967 Mazda introduced its first Wankel powered car, The
game changing Cosmos 110S. – [Hertrech] Rallied
up the boys. Got John. – I can’t see shit. – [Hertrech] These are prescript– – Do I look cool? – [Hertrech] Take off my sunglasses. – Do I look cool though? – [Hertrech] Take off my sunglasses – Answer the question. – [Hertrech] They are prescription. Your face sucks, take them off. Anyway, we got our boy RJ here. You may not have met him but you may have seen him on Instagram
because we post his FD a lot because it’s gorgeous. RJ comes here and he’s
a certified back doctor So he hits us with (punch) some elbows, straightens us out. We appreciate you. – [RJ] You got it. – [Hertrech] Plus we needed
a little more sex appeal. Look at this. (laughing) – They look like my welding
shoes were built in battle. (laughing) – [Hertrech] Anyway, I want
to talk about this car. You know, we already know about our cars. Let’s talk about this car. (bass thumping beat) – What you wanna know? – [Hertrech] I wanna everything about it. – I built this car when
I was back in Virginia. – [Hertrech] Oh you built it? – Yeah. (laughing) – I actually bought the car in Virginia. Completely stock. Like
eight, nine years ago, and every since it’s been a money pit. – [Hertrech] Like all RX-7s are. Let’s just get to the
nitty gritty, pop the hood and let’s see. I love
this hood, by the way. – All right so home build, street port, single turbo V-mount. – [Hertrech] You don’t sound excited. – BorgWarner S360. She boogies but– – [Hertrech] You know how much
power you’re putting down? – I don’t. – The cool shit is right
here. It’s a molded rear. – [Hertrech] Yeah because these are like 11 inch wide wheels right? – [RJ] Yeah, 11 all around. – [Hertrech] This car is gorgeous, man. – Thank you. – [Hertrech] 11 all the
way around, you square? – Yeah. – [Hertrech] What fenders are these? – So this is the Shine
Feed kit. Molded rear. – [Hertrech] What did
you build this car for? – I built it to — – [John] Flex. – Just do like canyon runs. – [Hertrech] Yeah. It’s very clean. – [RJ] Thank you. – [Hertrech] You mind if I? – [RJ] Go for it. – [Hertrech] I know these. – [John] You know what you’re doing? – [Hertrech] I don’t know how to FD yet. Maybe someday I’ll learn. – This is what you need. So you’re a big boy, you got to get panels so you don’t hit the (scribbles) doors. – [Hertrech] Oh you kept the
power windows and everything. That’s smooth. Nice and clean. Let’s hear this thing actually
before we get started. (car engine revving) – It’s not as loud as yours. – [Hertrech] That’s good (laughs). My car is really loud. It’s perfect, dare I say it. – Thank you. – [Hertrech] It’s
actually really well done. Fitments on point, fenders
on point, colors on point, everything is on point, I’m with it. And today you’re honored to get the cruise with my piece of shit. (laughing) – I am honored. – Our pieces of shit. (upbeat music) (car engine revving) – A cop just pulled up next to us. Got on his horn and said “hey guys, be safe and have fun.” and drove away. So wild. – All right we made it to Rob Dahm’s shop. The man, the myth, the legend. (car engine revving) – [Man] Oh shit. (laughing) – Oh my god! what! – Rob Dahm from Monroe who
was one of the contestants on this season of the Bachelorette. (high five slap) – [Hertrech] Thank you for
inviting us into your domain. Obviously we like rob as a person. – Right. – [Hertrech] But he’s got a four-rotor. Might even have two of them, so. – Yeah. It’s not my personality
that you’re here for. (laughing) – [Hertrech] It’s not every
day you get to see four-rotors. – Yes. – [Hertrech] First off,
tell us about this place. How long have you had
it? Why do you have it? – This has been the boom for my Channel. It is something where I took
it very seriously. I’ve been doing YouTube for so long
but not taking it seriously. I have a main job. Put computers on it. So this was my commitment
to making a world. My little Dahmpound. A
place to work on all my cars and have them all in one spot. – [Hertrech] So this
is you making it real? – This is it. – [Hertrech] This is
you chasing the dream. – Yep. – You can tell by the McDonalds bags. – Yes. All the McDonalds bags, Taco Bell. – [Hertrech] You look good
for someone who hasn’t slept because I’ve been watching you’re videos so I know you’re going hard. – Yeah, I actually pulled
an all nighter tonight cause I wanted to show you
guys the best of the best. There is a lot of stuff
just going on all at once because getting that core. That four-rotor block ready to run – [Hertrech] Let’s go
ahead and get close to it. – Yeah. Let’s start here. – [Hertrech] Oh my goodness. (bass thumping beat) – [Hertrech] So tell us
about your mecca here. – Okay. So this is like you said mecca. This is a pinnacle of the
things I’ve been dreaming of for so long cause a lot of you
guys know about the chassis a lot of people do. It’s very special to me
that you’re here because you guys are the ones
who inspired me to solve the challenge I had with the things I was capable of doing. My brother whooped my ass in his all wheel drive GTR and I had my rear wheel drive two-rotor FD and so I was like, this has got to change. – [Hertrech] Done with the
rear wheel drive stuff. – Done with this. – [Hertrech] I want all the grip. – Yep. And so the chassis is one piece but it’s gotta have a
heart and this is it. This is one of two. – [Hertrech] One of two. – One of two four-rotors.
This is a complete one. There are rotors in here.
There is eccentric shaft, there is probably a Apex
seals, I am hoping (laughs) give or take. Without the key way here, this is the eccentric shaft that was lost. – That I bought, I just bought. – I gave it to you. Hold it. Just cause that key– – [John] If you drop it you
gotta leave your car here. – Well what you guys don’t
know is Rob and I talked so I’m on his will. – [Hertrech] Oh yeah. So
you’re already in line to collect his four-rotor parts. – [Rob] That’s right. – We had a long talk. – [Hertrech] So is this a multi– – [Rob] It is three piece. (parts moving) – [John] Grab this part. Don’t drop it. This is mine. – (laughs) now I got a three-rotor. (laughing) a really long shaft. – [Hertrech] Just like that. – [Rob] Yeah so this is a three piece so the center two are
like on one piece of metal and this ones on one piece of metal and that ones on the last. – [Hertrech] That’s pretty trippy. – [Rob] Yeah. – [John] Yeah. And but the one on there it has another one right. – [Rob] It’s special. – [John] Well you don’t know where. Somewhere it’s split. (parts moving) – [Hertrech] So aggressive. – [Rob] Yeah so this is– – [Hertrech] That’s the four-rotor shaft. How much do those cost? – [Rob] I think $4,500, I think it was. – [Hertrech] That’s not terrible. – [John] Yeah, three-rotors are like that. – [Rob] I also got, obviously you know you have your counter
weights for both the front and the rear four-rotor. Got all those bolts which
I’m not going to use. – [John] Those are sick. – [Hertrech] Yeah those are
long, long boys. The studs. That’s what keeps the motor together. This wasn’t build here in the U.S. – No, no. This is a Kiwi. This is a New Zealand
build piece of equipment. – [Hertrech] Arguably the New Zealanders are better than Puerto Ricans at rotaries? – We’ll leave it at same same. – [Hertrech] Same same? Okay. All right. – This is a very custom block
and so there is a lot of secret behind the scenes inside of here that is not found in any other four-rotor. And that could be good, that could be bad but the idea is make more power than anyone else has ever made. – [Hertrech] So you’re
going all the way in. – All the way in. – [Hertrech] Do you have a number in mind? – I want to see 2000 brake horse power. So I want to see 2000
horse power with brake. – [Hertrech] Okay so that
means you have to throw it on an engine dyno. – Yeah so there is three phases in this crazy plan of mine. One is to get it fired up on that stand. Two is to take it to an engine dyno place, which we’ve got all lined
up. You know, try things. Try different exhaust housings. Try all that sort of stuff.
You know, scientific approach. And three is of course. Put it in the car. – [Hertrech] Oh man. I’m excited
to see this come together. Looks like you got billet
everything. Billet iron. – The only thing I don’t
have billet is a wallet. (laughs) that’s definitely
no longer billet. – [Hertrech] Yeah, you
don’t have a wallet at all anymore after this. – No, no. Like I mean, it’s a baby. It doesn’t look very big – [Hertrech] So your idea
is to take the rotary mecca, slapping it on the Hoonicorn
drag train and partying. (whoopsie) – Yeah. You know what’s
funny? Is that Hoonicorn, The Sahdev that made Hoonicorn,
they would not sell me their equipment because the Hoonicorn is limited purposely to 150 miles an hour and I’m trying to do a
lot faster than that. – [Hertrech] Ah so that’s a no go. So it’s not actually the
same stuff you are running in the Hoonicorn. Its
just kind of designed– – Same spirit. – [Hertrech] Oh my god.
How many injectors? – There are 16. I’m only going to go three stages. So I’ve primaries and
secondaries right now and then I’ll probably
do a third row of E-85. – [Hertrech] Just for fun? – Yeah. Primary, secondary, third,
fourth but I’m not gonna. I’m gonna plug the fourth. – [John] I thought you
were gonna add another row. – [Hertrech] Oh I see, I see. – Oh god no. (laughing) – This is will already
accomplish the power goals. – [Hertrech] I have
dreams of going four-rotor by the end of 2020. Fingers crossed. – [John] I was sad when you said you weren’t going to move this
because this thing is tight. – Yeah well I’m going
to cut the flange off. I’m gonna go drive by wire because with the, you know, slapping gears I want the car to
automatically pick the gear. – [Hertrech] So this is a
full sequential, paddle shift – Yes. – [Hertrech] Did you design
turbo manifold yourself? – It’s funny. I actually re-welded it and you can see how bad these welds are. That was my first time welding stainless. And that did not go well. – [Hertrech] Does it seal? – Yes. – [Hertrech] So that’s
all that matters, right? – It was the first. It’s
my best and my worst work. (laughing) – [Hertrech] So what are you
missing to make this work? – There are no waste kits on here. – [Hertrech] Oh yeah you
have no flanges or anything. – You don’t need that you
just run all the boost, man. – Actually this manifold is the wrong manifold for the car now. Originally, the drivetrain
going through here – [Hertrech] Oh okay. – We were able to get the
drive shafts underneath here so these pipes are now
going to come up higher up. So what I am going to use
this for, there is going to be four exhaust gas temp
sensors, four O2 sensors, back pressure sensor, basically
just tons of stuff on this. Like it’s going to be our test mule. Logging all the type of data possible. So we that we know what’s going
on per rotor, all of that. So it’s going to get ugly. – [Hertrech] So before we got
here, we walked around RJ’s FD because we wanted to give
the people a baseline of a normal person car vs. a Rob Dahm car and I guess that brings us
over here to this thing. (upbeat techno music) – [Hertrech] Oh, would you look
at that? Another four-rotor. – Another four-rotor. Yeah.
This one is empty on the inside. These are the correct irons. – [Hertrech] They got
all the important stuff – I’m buying this one. This is mine. – Yeah, actually, he’s got a good point. Is that this is actually
almost the third– – [Hertrech] No don’t shake no– (thunder) – [Hertrech] No what did you
do? What did you just do? – I was thinking he needed
help. What did I do? What did I do? Cut it off. (laughing) I wasn’t paying attention. – [Hertrech] Yeah what were you thinking. That was a good one, John. (Thunder) Yes! It’s mine now. (laughing) – [Hertrech] So walk me through the design of this chassis here. – Yeah this design of this chassis will be very familiar to you cause this is the same suspension mounting
points as the Hoonicorn. So that’s the one thing
that we do share is that if you measure the Hoonicorn
upper and lower control arms from the front of the
car, the upper and lowers and all that are identical. – [Hertrech] How’d you
get those measurements? – Uh, posed as an employee of Hoonigan. (laughing) – [Hertrech] Oh hello, I slay tires, let me check this out here – Wanna know the truth
though? I did call ASD and they knew who I was at the
time which was super exciting and I told them what I was going to do. I told them I wanted to
make OverDrive rotary car. And I said “it has nothing
to do with Hoonicorn, it’s I need an all week drive chassis” and he goes, “you sound
(scribbles) crazy, I’m in.” – [Hertrech] Ian? – Ian. Yeah and so that was
the most exciting thing. So all he gave me was one piece of paper that showed me the front
geometry. That was it. And then I actually ended
up reverse engineering the rest of the car from
a Speed Hunters article. – [Hertrech] Oh okay
okay. You really dove down the rabbit hole, huh? – (laughs) you want to
know the funniest part? This is bad. I called Wilwood
pretending I was actually from Hoonigan and I was like “hey
what was the part number we used on the Hoonicorn?”
And they were like “oh hang on, hang on, hang on” found out that they were
Corvette rotors and brakes and I was able to reverse
engineer the Corvette hub and everything like that. – [Hertrech] You son of a bitch. (laughing) – The worst part of all of this, dude. I did all of that work to
find out that those are just Corvette new wheels. – [Hertrech] Just Corvette everything. – Yeah. It’s a Corvette wheel. – [Hertrech] Were talking about this– (part falling) oh god. Good job, John. – [Rob] John. – [Hertrech] And he hit your Diablo. – No, I didn’t. (laughing) (popping) – [Rob] It’s not on there. – I got this. – [Hertrech] John, you just
love going to peoples places and disrespecting things. So Hoonicorn, Hoonicorn, Hoonicorn. – BMW. That was not a Hoonicorn thing. That’s a weird, upside down, backwards and because there is a hold on sorry I’m a little
disconnected on this part. This is the work in progress. This is actually the middle
part of my front drive shaft. So you’re seeing it right here. So carbon fiber gets bonded to that carbon fiber, second piece. – [Hertrech] You are
sparing no expense, huh? – Yes I am doing it right. My goal, from the beginning, was to build from drop to clutch and then
let whatever happen, happen. Except for brakings. (laughing) That was my goal. I told
every vendor, I’ve been like I am going to drop the clutch
on an all wheel drive car, I’m just gonna do it and
not to drift but to launch. – [Hertrech] Right. You don’t want to have to worry about anything. – Yeah so 35 spline axles.
They are all off of ZR-1’s – [Hertrech] I’m feeling
your color choices – Thank you, thank you. – [Hertrech] Where is
the rest of your car? – (laughs) Weight Reduction. – [Hertrech] Is that a Winners? – Yes, Winners 10 inch. – [Hertrech] This thing is bananas. – So I can go from all
rear wheel drive to 50-50. – [Hertrech] Oh you can? – Yes, dynamically it’s the GTR. R32 GTR transfer case. So the transfer
case can hold the power. – [Hertrech] Oh you’re using
a R32 GTR transfer case? – Yes. – [Hertrech] If I remember
correctly, obviously these aren’t stock fenders. – Correct. – [Hertrech] And this
car looks a bit longer than a normal FD. – Slightly longer. So to make
the all wheel drive system play nice with rotary, cause
piston engines are Y shape so you can run a drive
shaft to the next of it. The rotary is like hey all the
business is right on the side and so we extended it because
I wouldn’t have a passenger if we cut it the normal
length because that transfer case would be
sitting right on your ass. – [Hertrech] Right. So
you extended it both ways? – So the crazy one is that the
chassis extended eight inches – [Hertrech] Ah I see I
see, you moved it forward so you have space to put this here. – Yep. And you know, one of
the bragging rights is that the engine is behind
or in between the axles – [Hertrech] In between the
axles, behind the steering. – Yeah so it is a mid-engine
car. Front mid-engine. – [Hertrech] Mid-engine. – Mid-engine. The car is nine inches wider but the important part is it’s not just deep dish wheels. It’s
not stock suspension. You know, so the tires are
meant to turn less an inch. You know there are three
fenders inside of this. – [Hertrech] Three fenders. So you needed three fenders to build– – Build one fender. Yeah.
You can kind of see it. There’s two metal fenders and then the rocket bunny piece
of fender hidden in there. – [Hertrech] Oh yeah, I
see it. One, two, three. – Yeah cause the two
metal ones were to extend. Kind of like what I do to those hoods. You can see that I
extended to make one hood, I extended it with two hoods. – [Hertrech] So this is the hood for? – The car, at the moment. To model. – [Hertrech] So you
literally had to take a third of another hood. – Yes. – [Hertrech] Yo, I’m excited
to see this car done, man. Is that a stand for the motor? – Yeah, so what I was going
to get ready for you guys is that I’m going to start the motor here. – [Hertrech] That’s not something that would happen today, right? – That was not something
that would not today. Yeah. – [Hertrech] All right, just making sure. Otherwise I was going to say
were hanging out all day. (laughing) – Yeah so the motor is going to sit here. Radiators, inner cooler
and all the oil coolers and everything are going to sit up here just like the same spot in the car. And then all the drivetrains out back. So I can do all the testing,
spark plugs are right here, all that sort of stuff is all. – [Hertrech] So is built
to spec to your FD. – Yes. Basically build another chassis. – So your saying this is
how big your drive way is. – Yeah, yeah. – [Hertrech] So tell us about this car. – Yeah this car– – [Hertrech] This is obviously your baby. – My baby. You know what’s funny? I want this to go in a
museum and I want this to be destroyed when I die. – [Hertrech] You don’t
want anyone to (laughs) – No, I busted my ass for this car. – I’ll destroy it, man. – You can count on me to do it right here. – Yeah the vultures are coming in now. – [Hertrech] And then
we have this abomination that is so perfect. – I first spoiled this that
I was going to build this when we live streamed. – [Hertrech] Oh yeah that’s
right. If you don’t remember, he came on to Hertbreak and took down a spicy slice like a champ. (rewind scratch) – All right guys. – Oh my god. – Man, my glasses are fogging up (rewind scratch) – It was the second coming
of it that was very painful. (laughing) I was crying. It was so bad. So yeah this is the spirit of my troll. I loved how people reacted to this. It created an emotion, one way or another. Either you loved it or
you’re like I don’t get it. You know? And really deep down you’re like I can’t say it’s cool but it’s cool. If they look at it and they’re
like well that’s extray then you did a good job doing it. – [Hertrech] Is this the first one? – No. That’s what’s weird.
It’s the first C5 Corvette but GM made a rotary
Corvette back in the ’70s. Their first mid-engine
concept was the Aerovette. (rewind scratch) (rock music) – [Robot] One of the first four-rotor powered vehicles
was not even a Mazda. Chevrolet’s four-rotor
Corvette was an evolution of the mid-engine XP-882 prototype. The radical four-rotor
Corvette dazzles audiences at the 1973 Paris Motor Show. Two separate two-rotor Wankel engines were mated with a single shaft. The resulting displacement
was 585 cubic inches, or nearly 9.6 liters. Making it one of the largest
rotary engines of its kind. Sadly, poor fuel economy
and a lack of reliability were just some of the factors that prevented this segment busting ‘Vette from seeing showrooms. (rewind scratch) – [Hertrech] Honestly I was
hoping this thing was together cause I wanted to do a burn out in it. – I will make it my effort.
You wanna know why I am so confident about that, these
tires are dry rotted (laughs) – [Hertrech] Oh so you can roast them up. – Guaranteed. – [Hertrech] Okay so Daily Transmissions. Come to the burn yard, bring the Corvette we’ll have some fun with it. – Yep. – [Hertrech] Beautiful. – You know, I think it was
important to tell you guys, just like we did with the rotary Corvette, I talked about it and it exists. And this time, I’m talking
about it, it does exist, but I’m gonna make it run. So you guys are on the
ground floor every time now. – [Hertrech] Well we are
excited to see this thing run. You better hit us up first. All right, there you
have it. Rob Dahm’s shop. Nice, simple , sweet. It’s
crazy what you can get out of a shop. You know,
like this isn’t anything over the top but you are doing
crazy, wonderful things here. – Yeah, you know, I think
that if I had to say one last thing, it’s just that I want to show that a random guy can start learning how to fabricate
with basic inexpensive stuff and you can get to this
level. Piece by piece. – [Hertrech] Everything
takes time. Seat time. Doesn’t matter what it
is. It’s all seat time. All right man. Thanks for having us. We’ll catch up later. (high five slap) Jared. (high five slap) Thanks for having us guys. (laughing) (rewind scratch) Hey, I’m proud of these things though. Well mostly my thing. I
know yours are street cars, this is not a street
car, it’s been a while since I’ve driven that far. – You know the worst
part of driving here was? Me behind you. I can’t hear shit. – [Hertrech] Smell (laughs) – I just can’t hear shit.
I can’t hear my own music. I turned the radio off. – [Hertrech] (laughs) you
don’t have to be behind me. – I was like these guys, they’re here. And it was like 15 minutes
before I could hear you. (laughing) (car engine revving)

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