dollraves Reader
3/22/19 7:14 p.m.

Hey, GRMers! Long time, no chat. :D

I've been mostly out of cars the last few years; rage quit my corporate gig to start my own consulting thing, took a year off from that when mom died and I had to take care of dad, started back to consulting, now doing a tech startup with a friend. You know...small life changes. :D

So I was in San Francisco a few weeks ago and accidentally bought my '04 Mazda RX8 back from a friend - she had surgery on her ankle last year and hasn't been able to drive anything with a clutch since. :( The good news is...I didn't pay much for it. The bad news is...if I actually make it all the way to NC in this car I'll be very, very surprised.

The drive from San Francisco to Salt Lake City was rough - lots of stalling when accelerating from idle, massive power drops going up through the mountains, etc. It's a rotary, so it burns oil - did an oil change before I left and was about a quart down by the time I made it to SLC (~800 miles). I replaced the plugs, wires & coils and that made a HUGE difference in power and gas mileage (from 16.2 up to 19.4 mpg), hooray! No oil fouling the plugs when I changed them, so that's nice, but the burnt oil smell has gotten worse. Surfing RX8 forums, I probably either have a clogged cat or I'm gonna blow an engine up soon. :D

I'm in Denver at the moment, going to cut through Kansas City and stop in Louisville, KY, to visit a friend for a few days before finally getting to Raleigh. In case the car does blow up, mind letting me know If you're within 200 miles of my route and have a place to store a car for a few weeks? I'm hoping I can nurse it all the way home, but if it blows up, I'll fly home and drive my Touareg back to to tow it the rest of the way.

Miss you guys!


Indy-Guy UberDork
3/22/19 7:43 p.m.

In reply to dollraves :

Sounds like a "fun" adventure. I hope you make it without any further incident. However if you need a place near Louisville, I have friends and family there, and I'm only a few hours north in Indy.

AngryCorvair MegaDork
3/22/19 8:24 p.m.

GRM on the road assist list map

has GPS locations for GRM’ers all over the planet!

dollraves Reader
3/23/19 3:11 a.m.
AngryCorvair said:

GRM on the road assist list map

has GPS locations for GRM’ers all over the planet!

THAT is extremely helpful! Thanks!

clutchsmoke SuperDork
3/23/19 10:23 p.m.

I'm going to hope it's a clogged cat. Abuse that clutch to avoid any more stalls.

Bent-Valve Reader
3/23/19 10:42 p.m.

I have an RX-8 so am a fellow rotary owner, I'll watch this thread.

The good -- I am also southwest of Kansas City about 60 miles. I have room if need to leave it for a few weeks. I have tools and can unclog that converter, of course you will need to replace it when you get it inspected. wink

The bad -- I am on the road Tuesday thru Saturday and not able to help. My place is not easy to find, even google maps misses by several miles.

My wife says she could show you how to get here if you need to.

Let me know.

dollraves Reader
3/24/19 12:29 a.m.

I have successfully bedded down in Blue Springs for the night! Seems to run better with a bit of Seafoam in the gas. I'll drop a bit in the oil tomorrow, too.

I'm heading to Louisville, KY tomorrow. Will post by 10am local time if I have any troubles launching. :D

dollraves Reader
3/24/19 12:36 a.m.
clutchsmoke said:

I'm going to hope it's a clogged cat. Abuse that clutch to avoid any more stalls.

The good news is the oil wasn't burning off as rapidly from SLC > Denver; I wasn't noticeably down any by Denver. It's a bit more down in the Denver > KC haul, but nothing like getting through the CA mountains. It was running nice and smoothly until I put in a 3rd tank of gas. I'm guessing the seafoam ran out...and I probably need to replace the fuel filter anyway...

Burn smell is just as bad when it's not eating oil as when it is, so still holding hope out that it's the cat. If I can get it home, I'll run a compression test & otherwise poke/jiggle things. Clutch is in great shape, so abusing it freely!


Bent-Valve Reader
3/24/19 9:49 a.m.

Looking at post time I hope you actually got some sleep before setting off again.

Hang in there.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
3/24/19 9:57 a.m.

Look who's back !

From prior experience with RX8s, I'd be tempted to put some synthetic two stroke oil into the gas instead of Seafoam, for two reasons. One, especially the early ones are (as usual) getting not quite enough oil for lubrication, and second, it seems to be quite good at reducing carbon buildup with the newer stuff.

I ran Idemitsu premix in my RX8 (which admittedly still had an engine that was in spec compression wise) and it made a noticeable difference. Although overdoing it can admittedly make a clogged cat worse.

Bent-Valve Reader
3/25/19 7:46 a.m.

So did you make it?

Update this thread with your adventure / repairs / upgrades to the 8.

I.E. don't be a stranger. smiley

RXBeetle Reader
3/26/19 2:38 p.m.

Hoping all went well. The fuel filter is integrated with the pump module. Safe to say it's never been changed. There's a recall that may bail you out on that one though.

 If the clutch starts feeling strange check the pedal bracket. The spot welds on the thin sheet metal break easily. Mazda graciously extended the warranty on the bracket but that's long expired. 

Also control arms

and of course air bags. 

I've swapped for an old 13B so I have an abundance of Renesis parts laying around if you need anything. 

dollraves Reader
3/28/19 8:17 p.m.

You guys are awesome!

I stopped in Louisville, KY, but did not partake of the bourbon trial. SADNESS. :( Must schedule that for another trip!

I made it all the way to Raleigh, NC. I cracked open the back vent windows to help with the burnt oil smell, so the trip was a bit chilly. Other than burning about 3.5 quarts of oil, the trip was much smoother once I swapped the plugs/wires/coils.

I got to sleep in my own bed for one entire night before hopping into my '13 VW Touareg TDI and heading to Atlanta for a client meeting today. And...guess who's leaking oil now?? It's a curse, I tell ya. :(

Thanks for being there when I needed the emotional support, guys - you're really the best! :D I'm moving into mom's house in Montgomery, AL, for a few years while I build my garage mahal (oh, and I suppose I'll build a house, too) in Moncure, NC. I may actually put in an appearance at a Challenge or something this year; no out of country plans until Jan 2020.

Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
3/28/19 8:39 p.m.

Crap. I just realized the burning oil smell might be broken OMP lines dumping the oil that is supposed to go into the engine onto the engine and exhaust. I sent you a message.


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