RX-8

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

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

Show completed tasks

7 thoughts on “RX-8

  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.

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