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My car has been declared a total loss, unfortunately its my second car to be in this situation. However, they were both not my fault. From these two accidents i was able to save up some money to afford an rx-8. They look and drive amazing. But i do no know much about them. I was hoping for some advice on the following.
This rx-8 is in black and is a 4 door coupe, 1.3L, 6 speed manual.
It has done 117, 422 KM and is a 2003 model. Here is the link. I have seen it in person and it sounds as if it is in good condition.
I don't see any compression numbers listed. That is by far the most critical part of the information for purchasing this car.
New and Potential Owners START HERE! (New Owner's thread)
If you haven't read that thread yet, the first 9 posts have information that you need to know before purchase. This quote is just one of the points.
So I need a compression test right?
Yes. And it can not be done with a standard analog compression tester for piston engines. A typical cheap analog tester just plugs into a spark plug port and as the engine cranks, the needle moves, and you can easily see where it's swinging to every compression stroke. 1 spark plug, 1 cylinder, 1 compression number.
The rotary however is 1 spark plug, 3 rotor cavities, 3 compression numbers per revolution. There is no way for a simple analog tester to record each face of the rotor independently as it spins, updating each number correctly as it compresses.
Piston engines also have relatively the same compression number regardless of how fast the engine is pumping. If there is a loss of compression due to a seal or whatever, there will be some loss as it compresses, and a slower RPM will read slightly less as it allows slightly more time to leak. Rotary engines have plenty of 'gaps', and there is a very real and measurable difference in compression depending on engine cranking speed. The faster it spins the higher the compression. You can even remove the apex seals completely, and it gets enough compression at 9,000rpm to stay alive, though not much below that it won't. (incidentally, this is an often over-looked dynamic of how the engine produces it's power curve, and how it doesn't have severe drop-off in power the higher you go in RPM the way piston engines do, and one of the reasons low rpm torque is so poor. Not the only reason, but a contributing factor). So, in addition to the 2 sets of 3 numbers for each of the 3 faces of each of the 2 rotors, you need the crank RPM for the test. A normalization chart based on RPM determines if you are pass or fail.
Many dealers also obtain a BARO voltage reading test to determine vacuum as another method of determining pass or fail. Vacuum is related to compression, but it isn't the same thing, and is possible for them to differ more than expected. There have been quite a few reports of Mazda techs returning BARO numbers that clearly fail and stating that they pass, so if it fails compression but passes vacuum, I'd question the techs quite a bit about making sure they did it right. If anyone comes across the testing proceedure for this test, please PM me, I'd love to link it
Originally Posted by omgitsdomie
1. While i've been searching around for rx8's there are some at different dealers. EX: an rx8 at a Nissan dealer. How would you go about asking to get a compression test since usually most dealers wont let you take a car somewhere without a representative, and usually they only go with you only for test drives, and test drives only?
Only Mazda dealers will be able to do a compression test, unless you happen to live near one of the bare handful of non-Mazda owned rotary compression testers.
Your best bet is to simply ask the dealer if you can take it to get a compression test. If they decline, they ask if they can do it. If they still decline, then they probably have something to hide and you should immediately cross that 8 off your list, no matter how much surface appeal it has.
No reputable dealer will object to having one of their cars checked over by a 3rd party, ESPECIALLY when it's a particular check that only Mazda dealers can do. A129 million point inspection means nothing if they don't have a rotary compression tester to check the most critical part. Or convince them to cover the engine with an extended warranty on THEIR dime. "Hey, if you can't check the engine, I'm taking a risk buying it, and you need to cover it in case I'm buying a time bomb."