RX-8 – Sold

August 2015
I finally convinced myself to sell the Fiero and focus on the 924 Turbo but I foolishly didn’t put the money in the bank and put the envelope on my dresser instead.  I was struggling to find seat sliders for the 924 and missed having a fun car to drive so I started looking at what was available on Kijiji and Autotrader for the money I had.  Some guys at work had told me that Mazda RX-8s were going cheap and after a bit of googling, the rotary engine sounded like it would be a cool thing to explore.  I found this cool looking 2005 model on Autotrader and worked out a good deal with the young lad selling it.

RX8-AsRec3  RX8-AsRec2

RX8-AsRec4  RX8-AsRec1

RX8-AsRec5  RX8-AsRec7

This is how it looked after I installed the new wheels and had done some tinkering …

Roadworthy1  Roadworthy2

To Do List

Tasks that didn’t get done

Remove and overhaul engine!
Mazda recall on fuel pump
Check trunk light wiring under parcel shelf, battery dies if trunk light bulb is in place
Re-spray trunk, properly this time!
Fix rust spots on rockers and rear wheel arches

Completed Tasks

PS tail light misting up – drilled drainage holes in bottom
Install small hose clamps on fuel pump – not required
Parasitic power leak with ignition off – removed trunk light bulb
Replace ignition coils – ordered set of Napol coils from Amazon
Fix button on central console lid – see post here
Replace spark plugs and leads – NGK plugs, STI leads
Freaking weird intermittent power loss issue!?!?!? – fixed at last
Replace broken fuel pump housing and pump – picked up used housing, ordered new ring and 340L/h pump
New battery – thanks again John
New battery holder
Change oil and filter
Front headlight level sensor bracket broken – welded up
Re-attach muffler hangers
Replace hardware in rear bumper
Repair all four broken bolts in spoiler
Tire inflation kit
Heater not working – resoldered joints on heater dial (DIY instructions here)
Install windscreen washer fluid tank
DS headlight unit cracked and misting – sealed crack with silicone
High beams not working – replaced relays in DRL module and both bulbs (DIY instructions here)
Repair and reinstall plastic underbody and wheel liners
Repair front bumper
New tuner lug nuts with small OD adapters
New tires (and wheels) – found some 18″ Mazdaspeed wheels with BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW-2 tires for $500, awesome deal, thanks Nick!
Replace 2 x wheel lugs

10 thoughts on “RX-8 – Sold

  1. MTOAuth

    It was relatively warm today and I had finished insulating the garage so I took the fuel pump out to check the hose on the pump outlet. The outlet was fine and the other hoses all looked fine so I decided to try the siphon mod described in a post over at rx8club that makes a lot of sense. Basically, the new pump I installed gives a higher pressure output that causes the overflow valve to open. I blocked off the output port with some hose and put it back together. Now, every time the RX-8 has been stood for more than about 10 days, it has been a nightmare to get started as in firing here and there but not starting for many many cranks.
    So today after hooking the battery back up, I didn’t hold out a great deal of hope but it fired right up!! Amazing! That has to be a good sign, it will be a while before I can do any more testing though.

  2. MTOAuth

    Check out this wild deal I got on some rims with almost new all season tires …

    I’ve been will impressed with the Bridgestone Turanzas on the GTI and I totally agree with the philosophy of the BRZ where you don’t want super sticky tires to have fun on the road so I am stoked about this deal. Could use the rims I have now for lapping days at Cayuga.

  3. MTOAuth

    Well the RX-8 has been on the road for a couple of weeks now with the temperature hitting the teens a few times and no sign at all of any power loss issues!! Woohoo!!
    Even at the top of the highway on the way home where it used to struggle to accelerate up the hill in 5th, now it will pull and increase speed by a good 10kph in 6th at the same place! It was running pretty crappy for a while but a couple of tanks of fresh gas seem to have cleared it out.
    Now it’s just relatively low priority jobs to do, rear tail light gets condensation inside, some little rust spots to sort.

  4. MTOAuth

    Still no real signs of the power loss issues, sometimes it feels a bit down on power but it’s not bad or frequent enough to be considered an issue – to my mind. Sadly the starts have been steadily taking longer to catch, not just hot starts but even first thing in the morning that doesn’t line up with low compression due to worn apex seals.
    https://youtu.be/WbyQTgaucGU
    I wondered if a spark plug had come loose but checked them and one turned about 30 degrees or so before hitting the torque. Then while staring at the engine bay and scratching my head, I noticed that the negative terminal on the battery was a little loose. After tightening it, it fired right up and the next hot start was perfect!
    https://youtu.be/ba7M9qPg4RA

  5. MTOAuth

    It’s been a while since I have posted on here but quite a lot has happened. Not much, if any of it is good so I haven’t felt much like posting.
    Starting was still dicey and it was getting to be a real bind coming out of McDonalds with fingers crossed hoping that the car would get me home. The idle was still not quite right and the fuel trims were still suggesting that there was a vacuum leak. I decided to remove the Upper Intake Manifold and check for leaks. Didn’t take long but could not find any signs of a leak anywhere. Then the CEL started coming on with codes related to the vacuum solenoids for the intake valves, apparently it gets hot back there and the wires can become brittle and cause connection breaks. After removing the UIM several more times to solder in new wire, then replace the vacuum lines, then put the old ones back I was an expert at removing and installing the UIM but hadn’t made any progress with the supposed vacuum leak. In fact I ended up going backwards. Now it was very hard to start, didn’t want to idle at all and my lad noticed a sound like air escaping right under the UIM. I found a couple of videos online that were almost identical to the sound mine was making and apparently they were bad apex seals!
    I took the lower spark plugs out from each rotor and manually rotated the engine to see each apex seal and spray a load of Sea Foam in. The seals looked fine and moved easily when pushed with a wooden dowel but now it won’t start at all. I’m finally having to admit that it appears to be a low compression issue after all, ugh.
    It’s parked right now, think I’ll have to get a compression test next – or just rip the engine out and overhaul it over winter perhaps.

  6. MTOAuth

    I did a bit of thinking and it struck me as a bit odd how the engine was running with a bit of a dicey idle and tough starts … but still running and then suddenly lost compression when I was playing with the upper intake manifold. Decided that it might be flooded so did the de-flood procedure to get any gas out of the chambers and then poured a bit of ATF in to give some compression. Managed to get it started but it did not want to idle and sounded really rough and lumpy under 2000rpm.
    The other day I drew 200ml of Sea Foam in through the ports on the intake (and lost one of the bloody rubber caps in the process), I’ll probably do another 200ml tonight and then let it sit until the weekend. Hopefully this will remove/soften any carbon deposits and restore some compression … worth a try.

  7. MTOAuth

    Since doing the Sea Foam treatment, I have not been able to get the car started. I tried de-flooding again and adding 20ml of ATF but it just refuses to start. It is firing and blowing a bit of smoke out the back but it seems like it could be firing on only one rotor and possibly only on one chamber on that rotor. The next step would be to get a compression test done but since I need parts for the blown up dirt bike and the 924T I think the best option is to sell the RX-8 to provide a bit of money to put towards these other projects. The RX-8 is a blast to drive and has AC and a nice Bose stereo but I would much rather keep the 924T.
    I listed it last weekend and got plenty of crazy offers from the low balling crowd that were ignored, a couple of more reasonable offers but not one single person wanting to actually come and see the car. It’s gone a bit quiet now, we’ll see what this weekend brings.

  8. MTOAuth

    A man is only as good as his word …

    A bit of a crappy weekend as far as sales go. I also listed my downhill mountain bike and had a guy offer $500 that I accepted and then when he got here, he actually wanted a cross country bike and tried to knock more money off?!?!? Ermm no. So no deal done there and then some guy offered $1400 for the RX-8 and said he had booked a Uhaul trailer and was coming to pick it up on Monday at 5pm. I got the UVIP and other paperwork ready but the guy didn’t show up, no message, nothing. Sersiouly, what’s the point??? I still have some interest, maybe one of these guys will be ‘a good man’.

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