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I have 2 days to buy a car.

Old 04-16-2013, 04:29 AM
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Lightbulb I have 2 days to buy a car.

First choice was Focus SVT, but I'm already frustrated trying to fish one out in good condition and reasonable price - so now with just 2 days left to pull the trigger, RX-8 is an option.

I would like to know how is the RX-8 community in Houston? Are there any rotary shops here?

I ask because I want to know if I will have some kind of backup as an owner of older model RX-8, and when things start to go wrong (and they eventually will). My biggest problem is price limit of $7,5k which leaves me with manual transmission '04 models as potential candidates.

I spent all night reading forums trying to get as much info as possible before I set out to test drive cars. I know compression check is important part of pre-buy inspection, can you recommend best place to do it?
Also if you know of any RX-8 in good condition for sale within 300miles from Houston please let me know.

Lots of questions Well, have a nice Tuesday, I'll be checking forums as I work my way through offers on Autotrader and CL.

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Old 04-16-2013, 07:22 AM
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go to mazda for a compression test or a shop thats primary focus are rx models/rotary motors

http://rx7club.com/introduce-yoursel...ton-tx-830291/

rotary performance
311 E Buckingham Rd
Garland, TX 75040

(972) 530-3335

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Old 04-16-2013, 09:07 AM
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good link, thank you.

good people please keep advices coming, the more the merrier

i will probably test drive this one 2004 MAZDA RX8
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:41 PM
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PLEASE have a look at this one, 2004 Mazda RX8 Grand Touring * GT * 6SPD * Factory Zoom Kit * RX-8 * S - it had engine replaced 2 years ago at 79k miles

it will cost me about $10k out the door with 3 year bumper to bumper warranty.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:43 PM
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Buying an RX-8 in a rush is a recipe for a distaster. Financial and emotional.

Please read this through: https://www.rx8club.com/rx-8-discuss...t-here-202454/

You can't be in a rush to buy an RX-8 and hope to get a good one.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:49 PM
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I appreciate it, and I will read it through. Unfortunate part is that I have just today to start the paperwork and tomorrow to pickup a car.

Please have a look at the latest link I posted, I know I need to crunch into service history details myself, but if you can assume general condition is good, then is it a good choice?

My way of thinking is that if it had engine replaced 2 years ago, then it should be through all the recalls. And extended warranty should keep me on the road for next 3 years without any major hits to the wallet.

Let me assure you, I don't take anyone here for a wizard, and any advice I will take as it is - based on minimum information provided.

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Old 04-16-2013, 12:58 PM
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No compression numbers are posted, so I can't provide any advice other than: "get a compression test" Which will take more time than you have to get one scheduled and into a dealer.

This is exactly why I don't recommend an RX-8:
Originally Posted by Chris_HT View Post
My way of thinking is that if it had engine replaced 2 years ago, then it should be through all the recalls. And extended warranty should keep me on the road for next 3 years without any major hits to the wallet.
It simply isn't true, and is a terrible assumption on a rotary.

I'm not saying "get more time to buy an RX-8", I'm saying "pick a different car for now", and come back to the RX-8 when you get time to do it properly.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by RIWWP View Post
No compression numbers are posted, so I can't provide any advice other than: "get a compression test" Which will take more time than you have to get one scheduled and into a dealer.

This is exactly why I don't recommend an RX-8:


It simply isn't true, and is a terrible assumption on a rotary.

I'm not saying "get more time to buy an RX-8", I'm saying "pick a different car for now", and come back to the RX-8 when you get time to do it properly.
Iagree with RIWWP completely but if your stubborn and deadset on an 8 then at least get 1 with a year powertrain warrenty (assuming the factory warrenty is void) and 1 with a clean carfax.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:25 PM
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I think, actually I know, that you are right. I'm reading through the link you gave me, that's a brilliant guide for someone like me. I will hold all questions till I'm done reading. I respect your time.

But there is one thing I want to ask now, because you left me with impression that warranty would, or could, not help much. Why is that?
The warranty I'm getting is 3 year bumper to bumper.

And about me choosing RX-8, well, I'm not expecting a car that requires no more attention than oil change and tire rotation, for that I bought my wife a Civic. My current car, the Focus SVT is spending more time on jack-stands than on wheels, not because it's a bad car, but because I bought it in very bad shape and decided I'm gonna bring it back to life. Now it's undergoing a longer downtime for major work, and that's why I need other car right now to get to work every day. And I want it to be a fun car too.

I hope to get a car that will drive me to work for next 12 months, be dependable enough just that one year, till I rebuild Focus. Then... all hell can brake lose on RX, as the Focus will be my daily and Mazda will live it's life of Autocross Car.

Last edited by Chris_HT; 04-16-2013 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:32 PM
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Ah, well, if you are getting a 3 year bumper to bumper warranty, AND you check the fine print to make sure that all the common stuff is actually still covered, then yes, you have much less of a risk.

Many aftermarket warranty companies will balk at doing engine replacements on the 8, so make sure you know what you are getting.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:08 PM
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My biggest fear here is you buy the 8, then a week later you end up with 2 cars that spend all their time on jack stands. Either way, i'm subscribing as you seem to have a good head on your shoulders and i'm curious as to how this turns out. Good luck!
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:09 AM
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well, it's 3am... just came back from Austin, in that blue RX8
details tomorrow as I'm too damn tired to write at length.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:19 AM
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welcome to the WB community bro
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:38 PM
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So here it is, I picked the blue one from Austin, 119k miles, looks-wise this car is pure sex. (I already got rid of that fugly front bracket)







Decided I want this one around 4pm, by 6pm I had insurance and loan, and was on my way to Austin. Got there around 9pm, cashier waited for me, I test drove the car and signed the paperwork by 11pm, and around 3am I was back in Houston. ....talk about fast decision, and making things happen, right?

Now the car.... well, most of you would walk away from this deal. This one was not well maintained and it shows.

The BAD:
- Engine mounts feel worn out.
- Rough idle, it never dies but it does drop to around 700rpm and shakes the whole car before recovering and soon repeating the same thing over and over. Seems to make no difference having AC on or higher electrical load.
- There is some metal clunking sound coming from rear end/exhaust area that I didn't track down yet.
- There is a constant 'humming' sound coming from rear area, i think around wheels, that is very noticeable and annoying at speeds 40 to 80mph when I drive on highway. And it never goes away at those speeds. Independent of RPM or brakes being pushed or released.
- Car has some minor damage just in front of the right rear wheel area
- Engine bay was not cleaned in loong loooong time.
- hand brake is close to none existent in effect, even when pulled to max
- brake pedal is much stiffer than I imagine it should be, and braking power is low



The GOOD:

- it is blue
- engine pulls nicely, I'd say it has some life left in it.


So why did I buy it? Well, to put it in scientific terms -> THE GRIN FACTOR

This car is so fun to drive, and it's my favorite trim - blue GT, with no wing, and full leather interior. So then and there when deciding if I should buy this car, I asked myself: "will I enjoy this car, for better or worse?" Yes. yes I will.

So I took it raw, no warranty, kinda getting ready to start feeling some nasty hits to my wallet sometime soon. I was told it had engine replaced in 2010, and the engine block actually looks much more new/fresh than other stuff in engine bay. I will still try to confirm it with Mazda.

Having no idea what else and when was done to this car, my first Focus is on things that are crucial to engine health yet still are relatively cheap to take care of.

First stage:
- Coolant flush and refill (right now coolant level is low)
- Oil and filter change.
- air filter
- spark plugs/wires/coils <- also hoping it will help with rough idle

Second Stage:
- brake pads
- motor mounts

Third stage, by the end of the year:
- suspension refresh

Then, by the end of the year I should finish rebuilding my Focus, and once it's back on the road, with a car that can take me to work and some funds now untied and available - the RX8 will receive some love. By that time I shoudl be already familiar enough with this car to know what mods provide best performance gains.

For now I'm just reading through all guides on this site, I don't even know what kind of coolant I shoudl use, or which spark plugs... small steps, my friends, small steps.

Sometime soon I will be trying to crash on one of Houston meets to get first hand advice on maintenance of my new baby.
I need to confess: I'm getting addicted to 9k shifts very, very fast. But I'm being nice with my car, only premium fuel, and I always let it reach operating temperature before driving it, as well as letting it cool off for a minute or two before shutting off the engine.
Seems like it got quiet a good MPG on my trip back from Austin to Houston, burned about 7 gallons on 170miles ~ 24mpg

oh and, here's my Focus SVT, see if you can notice the patten for my preferred color/trim...


Last edited by Chris_HT; 04-17-2013 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:43 PM
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I'm going to get to an actual response in a minute, but I must say I had a chuckle when you capitalize "Focus". Was that a "homage" to your SVT?
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris_HT View Post
First stage:
- Coolant flush and refill (right now coolant level is low)
Any green coolant will be perfectly fine. If you're the spendytype, Mazda "FL22" OEM coolant is recommended.
- Oil and filter change.
5W-30 or better, do NOT use 5W-20 as recommended in the owners manual. As to why, just search around.

- air filter
OEM only

- spark plugs/wires/coils <- also hoping it will help with rough idle
Do this first! The BHR ignition kit is HIGHLY recommended.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rickeo View Post
I'm going to get to an actual response in a minute, but I must say I had a chuckle when you capitalize "Focus". Was that a "homage" to your SVT?

haha, definitely homage, even tho not an intentional one
And it deserves it, because it's a really sharp car, most people never even heard about SVT version, but some of you probably had a chance to see em in action at Autocross - definitely not your average 'Focus the grocery getter'.

and thank you for a tip on coolant and all that

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Old 04-18-2013, 07:45 PM
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ok, so first visit to dealership left me $1,000 lighter

- oil&filter change
- refilled all fluids
- replaced all 4 tires, got me Kumho Ecsta SPT
- wheel balance and alignment
- washed the car (it really needed it)

Oh, and they did this basic 22 point inspection, recommending on top of what was done also a coolant flush and air filter change. I declined, because for now coolant flush is a $160 dollar that I can spend better, and air filter I prefer to get the K&N instead of OE.

so the next thing: on the list -> K&N filter and ignition upgrade.


What was most important for me, is that they confirmed engine was replaced in 2010.
So here is roughly what is worth mentioning from service record:
- engine core and mounts were replaced in 2010
- catalytic converter in 2006
recalls that were done:
- MSP16 Engine lack of power
- Passenger front air bag
- Fuel tank issue
- Lower arm ball joint
- Emission recall

Last edited by Chris_HT; 04-19-2013 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:50 PM
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There's a reason I suggested an OEM air filter as the K&N is proven to let crap into your engine and have ZERO benefit. Please, we've been doing this for a long time, listen to us.

Get on that igintion ASAP. If you just want to go all brand new OEM, rockauto.com is as far as I know the cheapest you're going to get. Go with the OEM wires and OEM NGK plugs they suggest.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:13 PM
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DO NOT buy a k&n filter .... they filter like ****
AFE Pro-Dry S Air Filters
/\ there u go
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Lvis View Post
DO NOT buy a k&n filter .... they filter like ****
AFE Pro-Dry S Air Filters
/\ there u go
Don't even go for that $60 waste of money. A WIX OEM replacement on rockauto.com is $18.59.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rickeo View Post
Don't even go for that $60 waste of money. A WIX OEM replacement on rockauto.com is $18.59.
the hi flow afe last a lifetime and uses no oil and dry filters are better then oil (according to most )
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:06 PM
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Just came back home from work.... sat in my car for a while thinking "daaam, I don't wanna get out"

anyways, I will be getting OE air filter from local Mazda for $34. The one on Rockauto is $26 shipped but I just don't want to wait till Monday to get it.

I need to admit that car is sort of "braking in", the unstable idle that I mentioned is getting better every time I drive it. Made me think maybe I should have decarbed the engine with seafoam before oil change. But oh well, I will drive it for 1k miles and then I will do that. In the mean time taking care of ignition system......

...oh, and about that, the frickin BHR thing is $500 + plugs. Gonna have to wait till first May paycheck comes in.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:38 PM
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Got me an OE air filter, replaced it, and here are the results + small rant

let's start with the rant: who da f.. lets it get this bad?










ehhh.....



anyways, can runs and idles a little better now, but here is a CEL that I got after just few miles of filter replacement:



The dreaded P0420. Trying to figure out why it came on just after filter replacement.

...so, does anyone know how to use a cheater to pass emission test???? sorry just couldn't help, hehe, after reading it in some other threads on this forum I know you all miss reading that question.

But seriously, my inspection is due in 2 weeks, so while I know that I need to get over checking o2 sensors and cat, I may resort to clearing code and throwing old filter back in for one day hoping that maybe it was greater volume of air at idle that let ECU notice a problem with otherwise failing sensor/cat. and maybe I can hide it again for inspection - however silly this way of thinking is.


And here is a shot of my baby, at the end of the day:


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Old 04-20-2013, 08:42 PM
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P0420 on 4/20...

Its telling you something...

Looks like a failed rear 02 sensor. You can clear the code with a code reader and see if it comes back, or just replace the sensor.
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