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Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
3/26/21 3:20 a.m.

Any day you show up and your desk greets you like this is going to be a good day:



Much grass.  Very roots.  so Brap

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
3/26/21 3:26 a.m.

So I had about an hour yesterday when I got home to put the car together so I wouldnt have to ride the bicycle again today.  But instead of doing that, I did this:



You know... I was once told that I should always be on my best behavior because to someone out here, I would be the only American they knew (and that they would judge the rest of us Americans accordingly).  I can promise that I'm the only Grassrooter these guys are going to know.  Please allow me to offer my apologies in advance for the judgement we all are about to receive...

Obligatory post commute photo:


good times

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
3/26/21 3:44 a.m.

Ooh! and look what arrived in the mail!

Let me explain how this works:  See, I have no money.  So I poke around the internet looking for ANYTHING that is free that would net me some benefit over stock trim.  Instead of finding those magical free mods, I see things where people delete emissions thingies, or port their engines, or modify their exhaust, or lower their fan settings (so they turn on sooner), and so on...  And I get to thinking "Hey!  I want to do that!"

And my brain promptly says "Hoser, you haven't done any of those mods...  You don't need to change anything in the ECU."

and I say "Yeah, but I MIGHT one day"

Admittedly I was drinking when I found this on E-bay UK so I did the responsible thing and put it on my "watch list" and went to sleep.  The next morning the idea still sounded completely unnecessary so I parted with my 9 British Pounds and here she is!laugh

Again:  I have no need for a second ECU, I couldn't afford to have it sent off for programming right now if I wanted to, it might not even work in the car because of the security system.  But it was 9 Pounds...  and it might work...  and I might need it one day...  because I might suddenly find myself in a position where I can drop a several grand on expensive exhaust components, rebuilds, and porting work...  and if all that happens I might put this thingie in and gain a whopping total of 25hp over stock (at a rate of approximately $200 per horse).


(Chart from Racing Beat)

Another triumph of optimism over reality wink

Good times.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/26/21 9:07 a.m.

In reply to Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) :

Oh I have a long history of doing that exact thing. Then I sell the vehicle & either the buyer isn't an enthusiast or they're not interested in paying extra for all the junk I've accumulated, so I keep the parts until I stumble upon them many years later & give/throw them away just to make room.  

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
3/29/21 2:15 a.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) :

Oh I have a long history of doing that exact thing. Then I sell the vehicle & either the buyer isn't an enthusiast or they're not interested in paying extra for all the junk I've accumulated, so I keep the parts until I stumble upon them many years later & give/throw them away just to make room.  

Oh man, I got pretty lucky in that department.  When I left the states for Kuwait I was relatively certain I would ship the Alfa back to me and all would be well (hence the reason I kept all the parts). 

Unfortunately that was the "denial" talking...  Shipping the Alfa to the states was one of the most expensive and hair graying experiences of my life and when it came time to do it again all those terrible memories came flooding back.

Luckily, Mr. M4ff3w from the forum was in a position to take over ownership and came to the rescue.  We were able to get him some (but not all) of the spares so he could finish that last 10%, but yeah.  Lots of leftovers laugh

True to form though, whoever gets this RX8 next is destined to get a bin full of crap as well

Good times

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
3/29/21 2:18 a.m.

First ice cream of the season laugh

Quite possibly my favorite perk of this place is the fact that ice cream is readily available and costs less than $1 a cone.

It's the simple things laugh

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/1/21 3:26 a.m.

Finally.  All back together and ready to be back on the road!

Unfortunately, I was not able to get the thermopellet installed.  The torch idea worked.... mostly.  It started out working like a torch should but every 5-seconds or so, it would "burp" and the flame would get all orange, big, and dancy.  I held it on the nut for as long as I felt comfortable (a good couple of minutes, at least) but eventually felt uncomfortable enough about the burping to stop.  I didnt want to set anything on fire accidentally.

When I put the aforementioned "I wasn't asking bar" with its extension on, it still wouldn't move.   This isn't a super important mod (some argue that it's completely unnecessary...  because rotary club) so I put it in the "later later" bin.

Main pulley bolt: 1
Hungary Bill: 0


One thing I did do, though, was disconnect the VFAD (Variable Fresh Air Duct) Actuator.  This is a vacuum operated valve that opens a shorter intake duct when you stand on the "go pedal".  The idea is to keep the intake noise down when you're just driving around town and it's normally closed when there's engine vacuum.  Disconnecting it will have it staying in the "open" position regardless of "go pedal" position.


Disconnecting it is reported to have no effect on the car's performance and I'd really like to save my pennies and get a Racing Beat REVi Intake Duct one day, so I figured (you guessed it) while I'm in there, I might as well remove the vacuum line and any unnecessary components to save myself time in the future.





And in the bin they go.  I figured I might have to return this to its original configuration one day, so I better keep everything (See:  Pete and I's curse, and the plastic tub in previous comments).



I mentioned removing the VFAD should not affect the car at all, but I have to say that the throttle response definitely feels different (improved).  The first day I drove it, I wasn't nearly as smooth as I usually am when driving around town.  It took a second to get used to, but I like it.

Good times.


Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/1/21 3:30 a.m.

The $300 toy you bought:






And the box it came in...

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/1/21 3:38 a.m.

Low blinker fluid is a common problem with the RX8.  Perhaps worse is the fact that Mazda didn't give us any way to top it back up once we ran out:


I was able to source a second-hand unit on the local classifieds that looked to be topped up.  The owner warned me that the gasket might be bad, but I wasnt worried.  For 8000 Hungarian Forint (about $25 USD) and he was willing to post it to me, I wasn't going to be picky.


The old gasket kinda half came off, and half stayed on.  The new gasket looked to be in MUCH better condition so everything got cleaned up before stuffing the new unit into its new home.

(Ew.  sorry about the potato shot on that last photo there.  No idea why my phone did that!)

At any rate, we're finally off of the bicycle and into the drivers seat!

Good times.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/1/21 3:49 a.m.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/1/21 4:10 a.m.

Of course we're still juggling car work with our house work and things are getting done there as well.  The architect we hired told us she needs to inspect the main beams of the house so we had to strip away the floor material in the attic.   We'll be building a sitting room, wc, and two bedrooms up here so she wants to make sure the old place was up to take the weight:

While we were there, I was noticing a lot of what looked to be water damage on the ceiling of the first floor.  When I investigated I found that a skylight had installed itself without our knowledge or permission!

Turned out to be not too bad.  Just a roof tile that slid itself down off of its mounting point.  One tall ladder and a readjustment later, and we're water tight again wink

Good times.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/1/21 4:34 a.m.

Second ice cream of the season.  This time with heckin doggos!


The country is pretty much shut down as we're predicting a third wave of COVID cases.  Grocery stores, DIY stores, gas stations and pharmacies can stay open, but everything else has to close its doors (schools included).  For the first time, though, I saw the big church in the town square had its main doors open.  So of course I had to check the place out (embarrassingly enough, I've lived here twice now and never once have I taken the time to look inside).


Unfortunately I didn't have any cash to drop in the donation box,  but was sure to make a mental note to go back that way and drop off a few forint the next time I'm free.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/1/21 4:44 a.m.

and speaking of DIY stores!  Now is the time!!!!!!

I've owned this darn Eastwood 200DC Tig welder for nearly 5 years now and have used it exactly 3 times.  Near constant moving, other projects, etc all kept getting in the way.  But, darn it!  This is the year I'm going to learn now to PROPERLY melt metal together with electric fire!!  (rawr, darn it!)


OOf, that hurts to look at.  It looks like we have a darn long way to go.  Luckily for me, I have Mezzanine and Burrito (two awesome guys, by the way) on speed dial so they can verbally berate me as needed.


Did I mention that it's been 5 years since I bought this thing?  5-years, it seems, is just a bit longer than the lifespan of the batteries in a harbor freight welding mask.  It's SO long, in fact, that I didnt even realize it wasn't working until about the second or third pass (interesting, I don't remember seeing spots when I did this last time...)

Luckily those DIY shops were open, so a new mask could be found. 


At about $160, this was the most expensive mask the store had to offer.  Then next one down was about $60, and I just didn't trust it.  Panther here works like a champ though!  It turns out it's much easier to weld when your dimmer is dimming.

I'll be sure to post progress as it comes in, but the goal here is going to be to build an exhaust for the Mazda.  Money's been coming in slow, and most of it goes to the house.  As such, plopping down the required $$$ for an exhaust and shipping it here isn't exactly possible.  BUT chipping away a little each month is, so that's where we're going to begin.

Good times.

RedGT Dork
4/1/21 10:43 a.m.

I am a huge fan of keeping the factory resonator.  There's 4 RX8's in my group of friends at this point (oh god what is wrong with us) and they all sound really nice.  Do your own header, go to a high flow or no cat, redo the muffler and piping to be smaller and lighter, whatever your goals are...but keep that factory resonator or equivilant if you want to avoid the painful raspiness.  It's like 3" and straight thru, doesn't hurt performance a bit.  Mazda nailed it with that thing.


I assume you have read up on the REV-i Intake but even Racing Beat's own explanation didn't convince me it was worth it.  There is a bona fide velocity stack inside the OEM airbox and CAI's don't seem to make a big improvement on these cars :(

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/6/21 1:43 p.m.

Damn it man!  Where were you when I started cutting that thing up???  I swear, I really should be required to ask permission from an adult before I start things on my own...

Actually, I do still have it.  I have a rule that I dont throw anything away until I have a equal or better replacement installed and can pinkie promise that I never plan to go back (see 2" lift kit on Toyota 4-Runner.  That things never getting put back in).  I'll weld that silencer (or an equivalent) back into place when I go back and do this correctly.  Thanks for the heads up!

(Photo evidence of posession)

For the REV-i:  So I'm actually only interested in the little duct that drops the intake into the grill:

 : Intake - Kits/Air Filters : REVi Ram Air Duct 04-08 RX-8

not the whole shebang (airbox, aluminum MAF tube, etc).  Spending that much money on something I dont consider to be a restriction didnt sound very appealing to me.  But spending $150 on that little scoop that I thought was neat wasnt such a big deal.

However (there's always a catch, isnt there?), while I typed this, I looked again at Racing Beat Europe's prices:  That little $150 duct isnt $150...  It's almost exactly the cost over here as the entire kit is over there!  (man we have it good in the states, dont we?)

(Current prices have 214gbp at $300usd.  Current US price for the entire intake is $399)

Yeah, I think that's all going in the "later later" bin...  It seems the ONE thing "Rotary club" can agree on, is that Mazda got it pretty darn right with regards to the intakes on these things.


I meant to ask you in your thread, what was the part number of that little catalyzer you're running?  That looks to be EXACTLY what I'm looking for.

And speaking of exhausts...

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/6/21 2:08 p.m.

So, going back to the day I bought the car, I heard two things.  The first was the clutch release bearing noise, and the other was a "jingle jingle jingle" coming from somewhere in the rear section of my exhaust.

The first wasn't a problem for me as I've owned an FC that made that very same noise its entire life, the second had the potential to be a problem because catalyzer issues on these are a "thing".  If the car doesnt plug them, then often times they're punched out by the owner, or just removed.

Mine was probably the first (plugged) which is what likely led to the second (punched out)


The photo was what I found when I had the mid-section off for inspection.

But before I can tell you that story, I have to tell you this story:

So Zsolt comes out for a trackday with me and complains that my car sounds "electric".  All he can hear is the tire noise.  And that's probably the most insulting thing I heard that day because sitting inside, I hear this thing making all KINDS of glorious sounds!

So he took a video (Volume up, yo)


That exhaust you hear?  That's the lotus-7 replica infront of me...

This sucks.  I mean, I like the car being understated and all, but this thing twists more necks out here than a cordless screwdriver!

People give this thing the same attention and reactions as they would a UFO!

NO ONE drives ANYTHING rotary out here.  They're the exact opposite of the entire european market!  When this car goes by on the track, people have that "Hey, here comes that car.  I wonder what that thing could do" look on their face, and this whole time I thought I was basking them in glorious sounds (and smells!) of Rotary awesomenes and Zsolt here has to go and record this stinking video!

I was shocked.  This most certainly would not do...

So I figured the quickest, cheapest, and easiest way to waft some more wankel sound waves out of this thing (without being completely obscene) would be to delete that there pre-silencer...  'Cept when I had that mid pipe off for modification, I noticed the cat was just as empty as I expected.  Me being me, I decided to hack the ends off the pipe (to use the stock flanges), order some mandrel bends off of fleabay, and Robert would be my father's brother.

To hold me over (and to pass inspection) I ordered a $160 unit online that had a catalyzer that I thought would hold up just long enough to let me finish my work (and if "smell" is any indication, it's stopped "catalyizing" months ago)

Which brings us up to today's shenanigans:  The welds are dirt, it probably wont fit, but this ugly little duckling is getting shoved underneath (because I dont trust my cheap-o to survive an event)


I mustered the required courage, jacked the car up, got it all ready to remove the chep-o cat, and tack in the new one when...

Wait, wasnt Mrs. Hungary's car making a "clunk" sound the last time I drove it?  Maybe I should have a look at that first.


Spring has sprung!

Good thing we have those bikes, eh laugh

Good times.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/6/21 2:19 p.m.

and speaking of welding, here's where we're at:


First is "brrrt", dip-za-tip, then more "brrrt" (while trying to use filler rod)

middle is no rod, slightly less amps (40, down from 50)

third, I tried to use filler rod again but the material is too thin (1mm) so I got frustrated and stopped

Then I figured I'd play with just the torch some more:


Rock on, y'all.


Next up, I was instructed to buy 40mm flat stock which I am to make "test coupons" with that are 40mmx100mm.  Overlap 50% and "brrt" it.

Got the flat stock today



Now it just needs cleaned and "brrt"ed.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/6/21 2:24 p.m.




RedGT Dork
4/6/21 3:18 p.m.
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) said:

I meant to ask you in your thread, what was the part number of that little catalyzer you're running?  That looks to be EXACTLY what I'm looking for.


Flowmaster 2000130.  Specs and pictures on websites seem to vary sometimes but buying that part number has produced the same part several times from different sources.  I bought from Holley as they happened to have the best availability when I ordered.  Also available from jegs, summit, etc.


This keeps the rear O2 completely happy BUT there is a bit of mild un-catalyzed odor if you sit idleing, or if you stand behind the car and bathe in the glory of the exhaust.  There is plenty of room to put two of them in sequence which, I imagine, would be even better, but haven't tried it.  I can confirm it is WAY WAY WAY WAY better than running no cat though.  Did that briefly in the process of building midpipes and cannot stand it.  Also one of the cars I know running this cat has seen significant track time and the cat is doing fine with that abuse.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/13/21 10:42 a.m.

In reply to RedGT :

oooh, awesome!  and thank you for that.  That's on the shopping list.  3" and stainless is exactly what I'm after and it looks like Summit can ship it here.

Once I get this welding thing mastered my plan is to start at the tip and work my way forward.  I'll consider my welding attempt a success when and if I can make my own headers (don't hold your breath folks). 


(Obligatory photo of R-Magic headers)

Headers or no? - Page 2 - RX8Club.com

I have no idea what's goig on in that photo...

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/13/21 10:47 a.m.

Mrs Hungary:  "Hey, your first trackday is a month away!"


Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/13/21 11:24 a.m.

I went out for a jaunt down the local B-roads on Saturday, just to rotate the tires a bit.  For the most part, I was driving "spirited" but kept her under or around 6000rpms.  On the return trip, I overtook two vehicles on a long straight (slow-moving commercial type vehicles) and hit the redline once or twice while rowing through the gears.  JUST as I was merging back into the lane all power cut and blue smoke BELCHED out the back...

"oh crap" thought I. 

I backed off the gas, the engine caught, and things were smooth again.  But when I went to give her the beans again (you know... to test things out) power cut above 6000rpms with any aggressive throttle input and a smoke screen followed...

That's about when the check engine light started flashing at me.

Then the oil light came on...

"Ok.  Systems check"  and thank god for those Racing Beat gauges...

(I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but those gauges on the dash?  Purely ornamental.  Absolutely no useful info concerning oil pressure or coolant temp to be had)

Oil pressure:  60psi

Oil Temp:  85deg c

Coolant temp:  85 deg c

"What the hell is going on here???"

I begin to run possible scenarios through my head:

1) Misfire at high RPMs.  Possible culprits are a dead coil or wire.

- Unlikely.  Engine runs smooth at low RPM with any amount of throttle.  6krpms is a repeatable failure point and is too accurate for such a failure.

2) the oil level is low and you've gone below the sensor

- Unlikely:  Oil was changed one month ago, and I've barely driven the car since.

3)  Oil level sensor failure.  Car is in limp home mode because the oil level sensor has incorrectly sensed low quantity.

- Most Likely:  The pressure gauge isn't showing any signs of slurping, the oil temp is holding, and the coolant temp is normal.  Were the quantity to be THAT low, duty cycle would have increased and temperature would creep.

Suggested course of action:  Keep it under 6krpms and get her home for an inspection.

With that established I felt comfortable just driving as is, and got home no problem (I did smoke screen a couple motorcycleists coming out of a roundabout... sorry guys!).  First thing I did was check the oil level, and the stick was only showing half a quart low...

A quick bit of googling led me to a service bulletin for this exact issue...


It figures, though.  I was just in there doing the pressure regulator.  Had I known, I would have knocked this out at the same time.  Oh well.  I'll need to clean the connection and take her out for another flogging before that first trackday, just to see if the fault is going to repeat.

When I ran codes, I did get a "P0302" code pending, which could have been there just because of my "on the road troubleshooting", but I did a spark check anyway.  Spark checked good on all four holes, but when I put it all back together I couldnt help but notice the engine was running much smoother....  There was a vibration before at idle that wasnt present after I put it all back together.  Did I have a loose boot on a plug all this time?  

Yikes! surprise



Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/13/21 11:39 a.m.

With that "one month" warning from Mrs. Hungary, and having a rather pleasant, sunny Monday, I decided it was time to quit being a chicken and slap that ugly exhaust under my car.  The cheap-o cat came out looking like this:



That is really not bad for 6-months of opperation (and pre-mix!).  Maybe this thing would hold up to a trackday afterall, but I'm still not willing to chance it.


New pipe was roughed in, tacked up and boogered to hell with my TIG (I dont care at this point.  I just want it to direct exhaust gasses in the correct direction until I can do this again and correctly).

First things first, 100% of the threads in the rear flange decided they would pack it up and leave.  So out had to come "The Coffee Can":


The best I could do was find a set of bolts/nuts/washers that I could thread inside the holes and then clamp down.  They're nowhere near the correct size, but they're doing what I'm asking of them




Second things second, the new pipe contacts the forward cross brace underneath the car...  No idea how I managed THAT one, but pictures dont lie


So that will have to be installed at a later date...

Third things third, I somehow managed to get the flange angle COMPLETELY wrong...  and no amount of cranking down on the bolts was going to fix it.


So out had to come the danger wheel...

The plan was simple:

step 1, cut most of the way through the pipe (like 99%)

Step 2, tighten down the flange on the manifold.

Step 3, tack, tack, tack...

Step 4, remove and re-weld.

(I'm guessing the picture on my phone that's turned itself completely black is the one I took of the boogered weld I finished with.  Sorry...)

I figured with enough filler rod, anything was possible.  At the bottom of the pipe I had a good 1/4" gap going but after throwing a ton of argon at it, eventually I got it plugged up and back under the car. 

It's ugly, it's raspy, it's installed, and I'm fine with that (Hey, you gotta start somewhere.  I'm starting at the ability level people would make memes of wink).  I'll do better little RX-8, I promise.

Good times.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/13/21 11:43 a.m.

The rest of the weekend was spent at the house.  I had to remove a bunch of insulating material from the attic so the architect could inspect the beams underneath.  Here's what the attic looked like when I started:




And here's what the rest of the house was looking like while I was working:


Not done yet by any means, but I got the beams exposed enough to proceed with the inspection.

Good (and dusty) times.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/13/21 11:47 a.m.

And this is where I'm at with my welding.  My second attempt at a pass with those coupons I'm making:



We're guessing that hole came from somesort of contamination.  See, I set this all up so I could use my vice to hold everything so I could start practicing with my foot pedal.  I set my torch on my workbench to clean everything and when I picked it up it dropped sawdust all over my coupon.  I thought I got it cleaned back up, but I guess I missed a speck.

Good times.

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