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RedGT
RedGT Dork
8/24/20 8:12 a.m.

Due to personal schedule changes, as of this fall I will have less time to attend motorsports events but a little more time to work in the garage.  My Camaro is ready to drive/autocross, but I never have time to do so lately.  And it is a really nice car that makes me feel guilty if I don't keep it clean, waxed, garaged, etc.  So that's for sale and I'm picking up a POS RX-8 later this week.

Progress so far?  Seats!

 

I have no space to bring the car home until the aforementioned camaro leaves (hopefully today).  But the RX8 has power leather seats and a sunroof.  I have always disliked leather seating and the power seats have my hair brushing the headliner.  Manual cloth seats go a bit lower and ... are not leather, naturally.  This set looked SO clean I had to go grab them, before even making a deal on the car itself.  If something falls through with the car, at least I can flip the seats.

Not my garage, sadly, that's just where the car is living for another week or so until I drag it home.  My place is the ugly concrete mess with a miata in it from the first pic.

It's a 2007 Rx8 with about 110k miles on it.  Unknown history, the seller bought it from auction a year ago with intent to do a DSP Autocross build that never started.  But it has sorta ok compression numbers, starts cold, starts hot and looks to be rust free.  Except for the huge ass dent by the fuel filler cap.  I ran the carfax and it would appear to be the original motor, has been through 5 or 6 owners, got repossessed in 2014, and has been auctioned 3 times in its life.  But it's cheap and I have not yet checked 'rotary' off my bucket list of cars so HEEEEEERE WEEEE GO!

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/24/20 8:20 a.m.

Get some Idemitsu premix - my RX8 really liked that, especially as they don't inject that much oil in the first place.

Oh , and a redline a day keeps the rebuild at away 

RedGT
RedGT Dork
8/24/20 8:41 a.m.

That aligns with what I have been told - 1, premix.  2, evidently the first job is to replace the cat.  3, evidently the second job is to replace the ignition system.

 

 

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/25/20 7:57 a.m.

Mine had roughly the same mileage on it as yours did, and the cat was fine. I'd second the comments about the ignition system, though. 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise SuperDork
8/25/20 10:13 a.m.

Do people LS swap RX8 as frequently as they do RX7?

racerdave600
racerdave600 UltraDork
8/25/20 10:19 a.m.

I've been interested in these lately, very interested in how yours comes out.

rustomatic
rustomatic New Reader
8/25/20 10:26 a.m.

It sounds like you've got a good one, as 110k seems like an awful lot of mileage for one of these.  Score!

RedGT
RedGT Dork
8/25/20 1:32 p.m.
rustomatic said:

It sounds like you've got a good one, as 110k seems like an awful lot of mileage for one of these.  Score!

Yeah, exactly - it means if the engine is original, it's due to let go any day now :p

RedGT
RedGT Dork
8/25/20 1:35 p.m.
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) said:

Mine had roughly the same mileage on it as yours did, and the cat was fine. I'd second the comments about the ignition system, though. 

The explanation I got was: 'weak ignition system leads to clogging the cat, which leads to increased backpressure, which leads to busted apex seals'.  So given the unknown history, get the cat out of there first.  And since you've gone through all the work to get the cat off to inspect it, may as well just weld a new one in.

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/25/20 1:35 p.m.

In reply to RedGT :

Not necessarily. It seems like for every one that is one engine #3 at 40k, there is one that's made it to 200k on the original engine. Not that there are that many of the latter either, but that's also partially because of the rust.

The ones with the really short engine lifespans seem to be the early ones (04 and 05), they improved the oil injection from 06 onwards.

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/25/20 1:38 p.m.

In reply to RedGT :

Ish, and if you're pulling the cat anyway...

Just keep in mind that cats on rotaries get HOT and ISTR there are issues with some aftermarket cats that basically decide to call it a day quickly, especially on an RX8. I'd get a replacement from a rotary specialist or Mazda themselves.

The apex seals also have issues with lubrication, hence the pre-mix.

RedGT
RedGT Dork
8/25/20 4:44 p.m.

The other thing i will need to sort out sooner than later is that the car comes with one valet key only.  Not finding a clear answer online but this is looking like i need to wait til i get the title back from the state and then go spend way too much money to have a dealer program a new key.  Not because i need the keyless entry to work, but because if i have only 1 key it looks like a giant PITA to deal with if it somehow gets lost or broken.

sevenracer
sevenracer Reader
8/27/20 9:43 a.m.

I was told it's possible to disable the security module through Mazda Edit.  If you can find someone to do that for you, maybe that makes a spare key, just a physical key cut?

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
8/27/20 11:26 a.m.

Following with interest. I've also been wanting to live the RX-8 life lately. I'm torn between finding the nicest lower mileage one and paying more, or buying one that already has a blown-up engine for cheap and putting a fresh Mazda engine in and having the peace of mind that its a new engine and should last for a while

RedGT
RedGT Dork
8/27/20 1:43 p.m.

Some more research and asking questions of friends with these cars, and it looks like the key(s) should, in theory, be able to be programmed using FORscan and a free trial of their extended license.  Since, you know, an RX-8 is basically a Ford. 

Also looks like what I have is the key from a smartcard key, which might be a fully functional cut and can be copied by any locksmith.  Bypassing the dealer entirely would be great.

The car should come home this weekend and then I can dig in.

RX8Club has a nifty VIN decoder which says this is a fully loaded Grand Touring model.  The heaviest possible setup, wonderful.

glueguy (Forum Supporter)
glueguy (Forum Supporter) Dork
8/27/20 1:53 p.m.

Something this old and "only" a Mazda, you might not need the dealer.  Locksmiths have to make a living, which means they have to have the tools.  Might want to call around.  I am scheduled next week to have one drive to my house and cut & code a 2000 Jaguar key duplicate in my driveway for $160.  Beats the $425 Jag dealer quote and I don't even have to leave the house.  

 

RedGT
RedGT Dork
8/29/20 11:23 p.m.

Today we did paperwork and i drove it home.  In the rain.  With no wipers, on old hard generic tires.  With very grabby clutch and very grabby rusty brakes.  10 miles later, i made it home... the clutch was improving, the brakes were still rusty since i was trying not to use them, and the traction control fired off about 45 times in those 10 miles.

Haven't driven it in the dry yet.  I can say, it is definitely 'not fast' and at the same time it will blow the tires off at 50 mph in 2nd gear if you step on it.   Ah, cheap all seasons, how do normal people survive on these?!

I tried leaving it out for the remains of Hurricane Laura to wash, but the day turned out to just be some drizzle and clouds and eventually sun.  So i had to wash it myself.  I like it a lot more now in gloss silver rather than matte-silver-and-mildew. 

Look at that nifty sunroof, open along with all the windows, to air out the new car! So I proceeded to wash all 4 of our cars, leave the windows open, and went inside for dinner.  That's when a line of thunderstorms finally decided to roll through, leading to a panic of running around closing everything up, which meant i got fully soaked, all the cars got soaked,  and i am sure the neighbors had a good laugh if they were watching.  I dried the hard surfaces in the daily drivers and let each run with the AC cranking on recirculate for about 20 minutes.  Had to take my Fiesta on an errand tonight anyway, so it is dry after doing 60 miles with the windows down.  The wife's Focus will get more attention in the morning.  And I pushed the RX8 (no working AC right now) into the garage, mopped up the standing water, and left a few fans inside along with the garage AC and dehumidifier running overnight.  Fun.  At least the interior is 'washed' now.

RedGT
RedGT Dork
8/29/20 11:39 p.m.

This is the musical taste of the pre-auction owner, in case you were wondering:

And an interior shot, pre-soaking - it's really very nice inside.

RedGT
RedGT Dork
8/29/20 11:53 p.m.

Found this in the trunk.  The seller didn't just replace the oil cooler lines, he used The Good Stuff.

And i noticed while washing that there is absolutely no protection for the oil coolers themselves.  Evidently this is normal.  I need to get some screen or something to put in here.

Scotty Con Queso
Scotty Con Queso SuperDork
8/30/20 1:34 p.m.

Love those seats. That settles it. Going to put a set of those in my Colorado. 

RedGT
RedGT Dork
8/31/20 12:09 p.m.

-CELs pulled.   Both for front / primary O2 sensor.  Cleared it.  Drove about 30 miles, shut off car, restarted, CEL is back.  Ordered primary O2 sensor.  It's a wideband and over $100.  Neat.

-popped off the air filter box.  Dirtiest filter i have seen.  New one ordered.

-new cat arrived, waiting on some pipe. 

-the chassis, bone stock with 100k miles, drives REALLY nicely.  Wow.  Love it.

-a friend with an S3 rx8 with brand new engine stopped by yesterday and i was able to drive it.  Power level doesn't feel different but his car is much smoother at speed and has better throttle tip-in characteristics.  Ordered new MAF just because, and need to see how my engine mounts look. In my experience a 100k mile MAF is not right, even if it isnt throwing a code yet.  Installing a new one around 80-120k miles has become habit in my mid-2000's model year fleet, and every time its resulted in a marked improvement.

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
8/31/20 12:25 p.m.

In reply to RedGT :

Be careful about screening your oil cooler. While it's probably worth it for the street you should realize that it will cut down on air flow through the cooler. 
Screen on cost me 20 degrees.  Screen off back to normal. 
If you're already over cooling your oil it won't matter  but I would rather partially tape over the air intake because that reduces the drag  and allows higher top speed. 

RedGT
RedGT Dork
9/2/20 10:51 a.m.

The only useful parts that have arrived so far are the basic filters 'n' fluids.  Disgusting.  However it's worth noting that the cabin filter change process has got to be the easiest one i have ever done.  The intake airbox, meanwhile, is kind of a pain.  I'd read that the intake on these is VERY good straight from mazda and there is very little gain to be found from aftermarket ones - and i can see why - a really neat little velocity stack and air straightener are hidden in that airbox just before the MAF and throttle body.

RedGT
RedGT Dork
9/4/20 1:22 p.m.
Scotty Con Queso said:

Love those seats. That settles it. Going to put a set of those in my Colorado. 

The black leather ones coming out of the car are for sale, if relevant.

 

O2 sensor installed.  Removed oil filter to get to connector on top of the transmission.  Little bit of a pain in the ass but not terrible.  If you have big manly hands, find someone who doesn't.  The sensor i removed was a non-factory so I'm hoping they just die every 50k miles, and not that something is fundamentally wrong here.  Ran out of time, will clear codes + test drive tonight.

fidelity101 (Forum Supporter)
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/4/20 2:00 p.m.

Are you the 3rd owner? How sure are you that music was from the 2nd, unless you met the person... lol

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