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RX8 Restoration (long)

Old 01-08-2013, 11:13 AM
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AR RX8 Restoration (long)

TL, DR: doing a 4 port AT to 4 port 5 MT swap with the aid of the forum archives and a lot of gin.

I figured I'd do a little brain dump on the forum as to the absolute mess I've gotten myself into with this RX8. <<< I'm sure nobody has ever said that before. ha ha.

Anyways, so the story goes, I picked up a 2005 RX8 Base Auto for peanuts, thinking to myself "how bad can it be? it's only 7 years old!"

Famous last words.

The car was a disaster. Well, let me start off with the good because that's shorter.

Interior is perfect, I mean you could eat off it, and to be fair the exterior is great too.

And uh.... that's it.

OK I got the car as a non-starter, with the previous owner saying that her "ace mechanic" said that all it needs is an metering oil pump, set of tires and a battery. I'd also been assured and reassured (with what appeared to be a dealer-produced "good" compression test from 5/16/2012) that the compression is fine, and that's not the starting problem.

This mechanic had been working on it for months and had drained this poor woman's bank account of well over $3000(!!!!!!) trying(?) to get the car running with binders full of receipts. More on this in a bit.

So the woman was convinced it was a good car but she was just out of money so she sold it for a pittance to pay down her new car. This car was the one she'd had since high school and she had a lot of sentimental attachment to it. It was like taking away a member of the family, and I think there were a few tears shed. This was around Thanksgiving.

Fast forward to a few days ago. Between Turkey Day and this time I was able to coax the car into starting somewhat reliably, but crank times were astronomical and forget about starting it when warm. If I didn't have a set of alleged compression numbers allegedly from Mazda saying it was allegedly fine, I'd have immediately guessed compression.

I replaced:

Metering Oil Pump, lines, injectors
Coils, plugs, wires
Oil, oil filter, air filter
A few coolant hoses that were leaking
Starter
Battery
Cleaned all grounds
De-carbed about 4 times

Car had great vac, no blowby, wasn't burning coolant, and when it was running was silky, silky smooth, no CEL's, no misfires, no weird noises, nothing. I had the injectors rebuilt by RC Engineering thinking they weren't spraying properly. This did nothing except cost a few hundred $$.

Anyhow, at wits end last week I drove to the Mazda dealership where the previous mechanic told the previous owner he had taken it to get compression tested.

Ready for the comp #'s? (converted to PSI)

Rotor 1: Face 1: 56psi Face 2: 55psi Face 3: 62psi
Rotor 2: Face 1: 59psi Face 2: 65psi Face 3: 63psi

Normalized to 250rpm, on a cold engine (because they couldn't start it to warm it up). The techs were amazed I was able to get it started at all, as they flooded it every time they tried. I did my 2 stroke into the LIM "trick" I'd been using to hot start it, and it fired up after a few 20 - 30 sec crank sessions, parted with $180, and drove it home.

Anyhow, to say I was irritated would be an understatement. The previous mechanic had somehow fabricated the compression numbers and delivered them to the previous owner to bait her into throwing more $$ at the car, and thus at him. I was (am) furious.

Not so much at the previous owner, in fact not at all at her, more at the previous mechanic who knew damn well the car had less compression than a fart yet still strung her along with promises to get her baby running again, draining her bank account in the process. Plus, this guy told her he'd replaced the plugs, wires and coils (he didn't, but he did put the plugs in the wrong holes... both leading plugs in rotor 1, both trailing plugs in rotor 2), etc. I understand being an educated consumer, but there needs to be a bit of professional ethics / integrity and that mechanic had none.

But the icing on the cake for this "mechanic" was that he gutted the cat. Typically I could care less, but in this case he went beyond negligence / deception and actually crossed into destroying property under the auspices of repairing someone's car, and had the gall to ask for PAYMENT to do so. committing a federal offense in the process. He cut so many corners in trying to fix this car, it's amazing it even ran at all.

Now here I am, naturally with more money than good sense (read: brains) trying to resurrect this thing.

Plan: 4 port A/T to 4 port 5 spd M/T swap. I'm doing this because 1. I hate automatics and if I'm going to have everything out and apart anyways, why not try something different?, 2. I'm an absolute, unapologetic (idiot) glutton for punishment, 3. I have a heated garage with all of the tools one acquires over 10+ years of wrenching, 4. I could get a fully dressed JDM engine and gearbox shipped to my door for less than a used shortblock from the US. Being 4 port to 4 port simplified things greatly for me should I need to reinstall my A/T PCM for CA smog.

Progress:
Old engine ready to be hoisted
Dropped old trans
Replaced "while I'm in there" maintenance stuff
Degreasing in progress
Purchased fully dressed (uncut harness, PCM, etc) 4 Port JDM 5 M/T w/19,000 km on it and dry compression numbers orbiting around 90psi at ~140 RPM (arrives 24 JAN)*
Ordered 5mt clutch kit & PP from ebay.de
Ordered 4 port M/T gauge cluster w/110,000 miles from UK (not sure if this'll work but it was only $55 shipped)
Ordered 5-spd illuminated RX8 shift **** from same UK seller.
Ordered new clutch master hard line (on firewall) from Tasca for $18 shipped
Ordered used clutch master, brake master reservoir, all soft lines, all pedals, sensors, brackets, clips and spares from Rotary Innovations
My ham-fisted *** also broke the coolant bottle during extraction, so had to get one of those too, also from Rotary Innovations (shameless plug: Curtis is the man)
Not going to change the steering wheel out yet

31 JAN 2013:
Swap complete, working on DTC issues with A/T PCM looking for a non-existent TCM. Keep reading the rest of the posts in the thread for more detailed status updates.

*I'm not so daft as to think this engine is going to be perfect and ready to drop in after sitting in a warehouse for 2 - 3 months, but I probably will anyways as opposed to doing the right thing (having it rebuilt) but it does have a 1 year warranty on it. If I can get a year out of it while learning how to rebuild the old engine, I'll call that breaking even.

I'm fully aware that there are folks (my wife included) on here who will call me crazy / stupid and I'm cool with that. I have no delusions of trying to get out of this for cheaper than just selling the car and getting an M/T one... There are absolutely cheaper ways to do this, but those are also boring and not much of a challenge. I'm not going to learn anything just yanking the engine and replacing it with the same thing, I've done that a hundred times on different cars already. I have the good fortune of my RX8 being a 3rd / 4th car, and I'm OK with paying $$ to be entertained / challenged and learn something in the process. I didn't get this car to do a quick flip and dump it off on someone else or to strip and crush it... I bought it as a project. Now it's just more of a project than it was when I started out.

I'll update this thread with pics as soon as the replacement engine arrives, but honestly it isn't going to be very interesting as RR has already posted about everything ad-nauseum with pics and step by step how to's.

I know there are a few people who have done what I'm doing so I don't profess to be the first, or the best, and that's why I'm posting it here on the regional forum vs. cluttering up the primary forums with this stuff.

If there's anyone who wants to watch me bull-in-a-china-shop this swap, feel free to drop in. I have a heated garage and plenty of seating.

Cheers

Ryan

Last edited by McKennaR; 01-31-2013 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:18 AM
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It's rare someone goes into this with the proper mindset and mental toolkit in addition to the finances and physical toolkit needed. Best of luck on this
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:32 AM
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agreed, and please document the whole process with plenty pictures.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:38 AM
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Chiming in for sub.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:43 PM
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Good Luck...when you are in the nasty parts..give us a ring and we'll try and help you out as much as possible

You will likely have a few interesting electronic glitches to figure out........
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:24 PM
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As far as documenting the whole process, I'll have to defer to Rotary Resurrection as I'm following most of his guides step by step. He's already "been there, done that" and provided pictures. I'll do what I can when it comes to requests, but a 4 port is a 4 port... and a 5 M/T is a 5 M/T.

https://www.rx8club.com/specific-per...t-swap-151684/ -this helped me ensure I ordered the correct parts. It is serving as my common-sense check whenever I get stumped.

https://www.rx8club.com/tech-garage-...-hours-164502/ -this helped me remove the A/T in about 20 minutes (I love rust-free southern cars!!!). Naturally I made a complete hash of it. It didn't click that there isn't an input shaft on the A/T, so as I slid under the car to bear-hug the transmission expecting a fight, it... uh... came off into my hands on the first tug. Don't read too much into that last statement. It dented the crap out of my creeper, but the transmission is fine. Get your mind out of the gutter.

https://www.rx8club.com/tech-garage-...w-pics-178937/ -I didn't need this to pull the engine... taking things apart is the easy part of any R&R. I'm going to read this backwards when I go to put things together, as remembering where everything goes is the hard part.

Naturally I also printed the step-by-steps and notes pages from the FSM to have them handy, but the diagrams therein kind of remind me of putting things together that I buy at Ikea. RR's threads are far, far superior. The FSM pages are only good for part numbers in my opinion.

As I mentioned, the only pictures I've taken so far have been of the parts that perplexed me (WTF is this cable on the A/T shift mechanism? ooooooh ignition / brake interlock, check) etc. If anyone has any special requests for specific pictures or walkthroughs beyond those that Rotary Resurrection has already documented, I'll do my best. Until then, here are some pictures of my garage... and the hole where the A/T used to be. Not really all that helpful, I suppose but here goes. Pictures are numbered left to right.

1. Car running, about to enter the garage for its surgery, 6000k HID bulbs (35w DDM kit) in headlights; blown running light bulb on p-side. I'll be removing the 6000k kit shortly as it's waaaaaaaaaaaaay too blue for my taste. Looking closer at 4500k - 5000k.

2. Took about 4 hours to get to this point. Motor mount bolts are all broken free but still on. This was day 1. The only thing I needed to use a breaker bar on were the PPF nuts (22mm for reference). Everything else, even the torque converter nuts were done without even breaking out my good tools. In fact, I've done everything except the PPF bolts with the same $20 tool kit my parents bought me when I was in high school. It's been a real pleasure working on the car so far. No trips to autozone or Sears looking for obscure hex bits or special tools... yet.

3. Car as it sits today, waiting for my brother in law return my wagon (in pic 1) so I can go get an engine hoist. I know, talk about putting the cart in front of the horse, but up until 48 hours ago I still wasn't sure I wanted to do this. I was seriously considering stripping and scrapping it.

4. That thing next to Billy Beer Bat (left of the door) is the natural gas heater I finally got working. That + insulated garage = warmer than the inside of the house.

5. Hole where the shifter used to be. Motorcycle helmet. If you look closely where the seat-heater connectors should be, you'll notice that they ain't. I remember some discussion / confusion about this. For the record, my car is an '05 Base A/T and it doesn't have the seat heater connectors on the interior harness, nor does it have the extra pins for the power seats.

6. Not shown: transmission sitting on the front lawn on a tarp soaking in simple green, driving property values through the floor and generally irritating the neighbors.

I suppose that's it.

If I come to a point where I get stumped, or I see that something isn't covered by RR's threads, I'll add it in here.

Cheers

Ryan
Attached Thumbnails RX8 Restoration (long)-2013-01-02_09-56-01_812.jpg   RX8 Restoration (long)-2013-01-02_19-52-13_783.jpg   RX8 Restoration (long)-2013-01-08_10-56-20_100.jpg   RX8 Restoration (long)-2013-01-08_10-57-09_47.jpg   RX8 Restoration (long)-2013-01-08_10-57-51_649.jpg  

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Old 01-08-2013, 03:24 PM
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It looks good man! Hopefully you'll have it finished for our next meet/cruise, whenever that may be.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:40 AM
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Good luck! Been curious about this swap for a while, but no one had the ***** to do it till you.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:32 AM
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"It's a hobby, not a car."

Have fun!
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:27 AM
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I had a 30-ish step process written about every single thing I ran into while pulling the automatic trans, I clicked post and it said something about not being logged in.

OK I'm going to try this again. These are the nuances of A/T removal. Rotary Resurrection mentioned 99% of these in his linked-posts (above). For the most part, if you follow his M/T guide to a T, you can pull the auto trans without much difficulty.

DISCLAIMER: I am neither an expert, nor a professional. I probably missed a few steps as I'm now going from memory vs. typing step by step as I did it. Before doing anything to your car use common sense.

Before you start:

-Ensure all of the ATF is drained. ALL OF IT. Use the shop manual procedure to do this.
-Ensure you have the vehicle properly supported with jack stands. I don't trust them, so if I'm under the car I usually lay a wheel down under the rocker panel with me for insurance in case the stands fail. If you don't have jack stands, you could probably put your car on ramps, but I strongly suggest jack stands. If you don't know how to use them, you shouldn't be doing this.
-Chock rear wheels if they're still on the car, e-brake on, etc.
-Also ensure that there is at a MINIMUM 15" between the bottom of the oil pan and the floor. The A/T bellhousing measures 14.75" at its highest point, and will be a bastard to remove if you don't jack the car high enough in the first place.

1. Car off, key out, hood open, disco batt neg, unscrew shift ****, remove ash tray and console cover, don't break that bastard clip everyone breaks by the e-brake handle on the console cover.

2. Un plug all of the electrical connectors on the shift assembly. Marvel at how disgusting it is under the console cover if the previous owner of the car had kids and / or used the car as a rolling dumpster.

3. Remove ignition / brake interlock cable on shift assembly.

4. MAKE SURE the tranny is in neutral, e-brake on, wheels chocked, appropriate restraint / lifting devices are in place etc.

5. Get under the car, remove all of the crossmembers (front, middle, rear)

6. Remove catalytic converter.

7. Unplug everything you can find that's plugged into your A/T. On the passenger side there's a heat shield covering the auto shift selector module, so pull that too once the kitty is off. Also remove their clips / zip ties where the wire harnesses mount to the trans itself. Pay special attention to the front O2 sensor wire that runs on the back side of the bellhousing. I had to cut the clip w/ a pair of diagonal pliers.

NOTE: The transmission wiring harness IS A PART OF THE ENGINE HARNESS, as in, it's connected, no foolin'. You can't pull the transmission independently of the rest of the engine with these wires still clipped / zip tied onto the transmission case. Well, you can but it'll damage things that are expensive.

8. Unbolt the shift rod linkage from under the car. If you're reinstalling the A/T after this, ensure you mark where the nut went so the linkage will align properly when you put everything back together.

9. From inside the car, remove the shift assembly. 4 bolts, NOT the 4 phillips head screws that look oh so tempting to hit with your electric screwdriver Resist the temptation and go for the bolts. Some of them have plastic clips for wiring looms on them. use a small flat blade screwdriver and gently pry these off, you'll be reusing them. If you've unplugged everything and properly disco'd the linkage under the car, this will pull right out.

10. Make sure you drain ALL of the ATF. I assumed this would be like draining regular gearbox oil. I was incorrect. Read the procedure in the factory shop manual. It should hopefully be drained before you start but if not, have a spill kit handy.

11. Remove starter, AT cooler lines from the transmission and un-bolt them from the engine if you haven't already, also remove inspection cover at the bottom of the bellhousing.

12. With a flat head screwdriver inserted in the "notch" in the inspection hole immobilizing the flywheel, with a 14mm shallow socket or gear wrench, begin removing the NUTS that hold the flywheel to the torque converter. There are 4. If your transmission is in neutral, you should be able to move the flywheel with your flat blade screwdriver inserted into the inspection port notch to gain access to all 4 nuts. I say again, NUTS not BOLTS.

13. At this time, I removed the PPF after supporting both the rear diff and transmission with jacks. There are 4 22mm nuts, and a 22mm cross bolt in the rear diff housing. ENSURE transmission and rear diff are supported. FSM says use a block of wood behind the rear diff but I didn't have the right thickness so I used a bottle jack I had laying around.

NOTE: you can remove the cat back portion of the exhaust, but I didn't bother because it wasn't in the way.

14. I lowered the jack on the rear diff until all 4 nuts/bolts were within reach where the propshaft meets the rear diff. I used a blue grease pen to mark the orientation of the propshaft as it relates to the plate to which it bolts because I'm reusing it. I'm not sure if this is mandatory in the RX8, but it's in my "mental" kit bag as a best practice, so I did it.

15. Remove propshaft, set aside. It simply slides out of the transmission once you've unbolted it from the rear diff. Nothing fancy. It's not as heavy as it looks, but it's definitely overkill for a car with less torque than a leaf blower.

16. At this time I also removed the dipstick tube from the transmission. Not sure if this is mandatory either, but it was easy enough. A few 10mm bolts and a breather hose (?). Make sure you put some kind of plug in the hole when you're done. I didn't and when the trans came out, I got a few drops of ATF on my garage mat (despite having filled a drain pan to the brim with ATF during the draining process, there was some left in the bowels of the transmission, I guess).

17. Ok, now's the time to go for the bellhousing bolts. There are 6 of them, all 14mm. I lowered the jack I used on the trans as low as it would go and went at the top bolts first. There are 3 that I'd consider to be "difficult" to reach. I used about 2' of extensions on those 3 and made short work of it. If you don't have extensions or wobble joints (priceless in this situation), you're going to have a hard time getting enough leverage in the limited space available to work in.

18. Once you've done the top 3, there's a bolt above the starter opening, 14mm, remove that and you're left with the 2 bottom bolts. At this time I jacked the transmission back up so it was level and pulled the bottom 2 bolts.

CAUTION: if you've done this right, the transmission will no longer be connected to the engine, so treat it with RESPECT. It isn't that heavy as far as auto transmissions go, but it'll break bone if it isn't removed in a controlled manner.

NOTE: IF YOU are reinstalling the A/T, REMEMBER which bolts go where. They're all 14mm, but some are shorter than others. It's somewhere in the shop manual, but to save yourself from having to dig through it just mark with a grease pen where each bolt goes. My system was to number them starting with the bottom bolt on the d-side under the starter, and go around clockwise. This will help when I reconnect them after they're out of the car for movement / storage.

19. The proper way to separate and lower the transmission safely is to leave your trans or wood-blocked trolley jack connected to / supporting the trans and gently push rearward until the bellhousing is clear of the flywheel, and then lower slowly and in a controlled motion. If you have a transmission jack, you get a cookie.

NOTE: The torque converter is now also loose. DO NOT tilt the transmission "forward", as the torque converter could slip off of the shaft it rides on and damage something important. Like you, or perhaps your garage floor if you don't value yourself all that much.

DON'T DO WHAT I DID: It was at this time I forgot I had an auto transmission and started lowering the jack, expecting to have to fight with the input shaft. The speed at which I lowered it was enough to separate the 1/2" placement dowels on the rear cover from the bellhousing, and the transmission slipped a few inches and the flywheel hit the top of the bellhousing. This caused it to slip off of the jack and the extension housing landed on the "pillow" of my creeper, crushing it. The flywheel kept it from falling further, so I just jacked it back up until it was level, pushed it back until it cleared the flywheel, and then lowered it.

So USE FREAKING CAUTION, or better yet, USE A TRANSMISSION JACK or at least a transmission cradle attachment for your trolley jack. I'm all for ingenuity, but there's no replacement for the proper tools. I've done this on other cars probably 50 times and this is the first time I've ever had a transmission slip off of a jack, so it can happen to anyone.

20. Your A/T is now out, and presumably sitting in your wife's garage space on a creeper or trans jack and leaking some ATF.

21. Disregard this and pour yourself a nice gin and tonic and go out back and try to get a few puffs off of your pipe (tobacco, not the other kind) before the wife gets back. Or, if you're not an old man who is scared to death of his 5'1" 100lb wife like I am, do whatever it is that you do when you celebrate things.

22. Now, before the wife gets home, clean up your mess and for goodness sake, hide that greasy transmission. Note: the front lawn is NOT an acceptable "hiding" place according to the HOA and the wife. Nor are the front porch or the wife's garage spot suitable locations. The transmission fits nicely in the RX8's trunk, but it's a heavy bastard, and I'm pretty sure I broke something when I put it there.

Remember that torque converter, find a way to secure it, otherwise it might decide it wants to separate itself while you're muscling the transmission around trying to find a suitable place to leave it out of the wife's line of sight.

I think that covers it. I'm sure I missed something because I'm going from memory from a few days ago. Let me know if I missed anything, or if you want specific pictures. I didn't take pictures of each step because I only have 2 hands. If you need specific measurements, I can go out and take them and report back.

Again, and I'll stress this once more because I like to hear myself talk: I'm not trying to spew bad advice or get people hurt / things broken. I'm just passing along how I did this, in my garage, with a $20 set of hand tools and a few minutes of my time. It took longer to type (and then re-freaking-type) than it did to actually pull the transmission. It is by no means comprehensive, and there are MUCH BETTER guides out there (Rotary Resurrection's thread, factory shop manual in that order).

Cheers

Ryan
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Nopstnz8 View Post
Good luck! Been curious about this swap for a while, but no one had the ***** to do it till you.
There have been a few people who swapped 6 port / 6 speed M/T into their formerly 4 port A/T cars. Rotary Resurrection being the first.

As far as the 5 speed swap, I have seen at least one in the US on this board, but their car (I assume) was 6 port M/T to begin with... and I don't think it's the same 5 speed. It is perhaps a built racing gearbox vs the 5 M/T found in the standard power Japanese / European cars.

4 port to 4 port, it should be pretty straightforward. Should. hah. Famous last words. I'm holding off selling parts until I know the donor engine has everything I need and an uncut harness.

The engine / trans / harness / PCM will be here on the 16th.

The pedals, clutch master, lines, brackets (etc) will be here this Friday.

The cluster and **** arrived this afternoon. Looks like the cluster is a direct fit, except the 2 plugs in the back are identical but on opposite sides to their US counterparts and the dash harness in my car doesn't quiiiiiite reach. Time to snip some zip ties and hope it fits. I'll update when I figure something out. EDIT: THIS IS NOT TRUE. The plugs are on the same side, I say again SAME SIDE. I ASSUMED they were when I first looked at it, but placing it next to my cluster they're on the same side. Plugged it in, can't test it until the car is done.

Oh and *****... sure, they're present and accounted for, but I'd attribute this endeavor more to the genetically coded combination of stupidity / ignorance and bull-headedness I was graced with upon birth.

Last edited by McKennaR; 01-09-2013 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by McKennaR View Post
4 port to 4 port, it should be pretty straightforward. Should. hah. Famous last words. I'm holding off selling parts until I know the donor engine has everything I need and an uncut harness.

The engine / trans / harness / PCM will be here on the 16th.
damn... if only your engine was good, then you wouldve only needed the PCM and engine harness imported. the 6spd MT does fit on the 4 port motor. All you would have needed to do then is swap the AT flywheel for a MT one and get a clutch kit (while keeping in mind that the AT has lighter weight counterweight so you would need to get the proper flywheel and clutch to balance it out, or install the MT counterweight)

I already have everything i need to do this same swap except for the PCM, harness, clutch kit and trans.. Did you also get yourself the passenger side oil cooler? wouldnt be bad to look into honestly..
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:38 PM
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The passenger side oil cooler crossed my mind, but seeing as how the replacement engine comes only with the driver's side, I'll be leaving it as-is.

If my engine was good, I wouldn't even be considering this swap in the first place, heh heh. I'd have shipped the car to CA and used it as-is as my "rental car" for when I'm out there on business (I spend between $700 and $1100 a month on rental cars when I'm in SoCal for work).

Now I'll be doing all of this, working the bugs out, then shipping it out there. It'll just take a few more months to get a return on this car, but it will be worth it after about a year, providing it lasts that long. During that year, I'll probably either rebuild the old engine, or have it rebuilt by someone who actually knows what they're doing (not me). That way, WHEN (not if) this "new to me" engine craps itself like they all inevitably do, I'll have a backup.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by McKennaR View Post
The passenger side oil cooler crossed my mind, but seeing as how the replacement engine comes only with the driver's side, I'll be leaving it as-is.

If my engine was good, I wouldn't even be considering this swap in the first place, heh heh. I'd have shipped the car to CA and used it as-is as my "rental car" for when I'm out there on business (I spend between $700 and $1100 a month on rental cars when I'm in SoCal for work).

Now I'll be doing all of this, working the bugs out, then shipping it out there. It'll just take a few more months to get a return on this car, but it will be worth it after about a year, providing it lasts that long. During that year, I'll probably either rebuild the old engine, or have it rebuilt by someone who actually knows what they're doing (not me). That way, WHEN (not if) this "new to me" engine craps itself like they all inevitably do, I'll have a backup.
haha yeah i understand you, thats what im possibly planning to do however thanks for documenting the whole thing and if you need help LMK
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:51 PM
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I'm going to do a brain dump of my concerns so I can check back on them after the swap and either validate or invalidate them. Consider this post a placeholder / work in progress.

1. PCM compatibility
-Using the A/T PCM to fire the car and drive it to Mazda, will they be able to program the JDM PCM to work with the immobilizer in the car?
-If I am stuck with the A/T PCM, will I get CEL's because it can't talk to the TCM, or will it just be the "A/T" light on the dash? (which can be worked around with the M/T gauge cluster, but it won't eliminate the CEL)
-Does the M/T neutral safety switch register as such in the A/T PCM?

2. ABS module compatibility
-I don't have TCS in this car, and as far as I know the 5 speed standard power cars in Japan didn't come with it either.
-The above being said, will there still be ABS lights because the PCM is looking for a specific ABS module as in RR's thread?
-After further reading, it looks like the ABS module and PCM are paired at birth. So it looks like I'm going to have to choose between a CEL for the AT PCM not being able to talk with the transmission, or no ABS using the MT PCM with the AT ABS module. Or, shovel more cash at the Mazda dealership to try and make a JDM PCM talk to a USDM ABS module. Good times. If I figure anything else out, I'll post it here in Red.

3. Smog. The above two lead me to this. If I'm in CA and getting the car smogged, any CEL's are going to immediately fail the car without scanning it. If the AT PCM is in the car, there's likely going to be a CEL for it not being able to talk to the TCM, I'm assuming. Even if I swap gauges to a M/T cluster where there is no A/T light, the CEL will still illuminate, I'm assuming.

If there are no CEL's, the tech is going to plug in the scanner and it will automatically look to see if the VIN in the PCM is valid, and matches the car's VIN, and if there's a "CAL ID" or a CVN in each module ($09 I believe) on the CAN, or AT LEAST in the PCM. The JDM PCM has neither the correct VIN, nor a CAL ID/CVN.

Of course, if the smog tech just goes in and looks for MIL's and there aren't any, then I guess no harm, no foul... but I'm 99% sure it won't be up to the tech, but instead to the standardized testing equipment C.A.R.B. mandates these shops to have. Should be fun.

4. Starter trigger wire to clutch switch. Not looking forward to shaving, soldering, heat shrinking and re-taping my ignition harness. Beyond that, I see the ability to start the car in gear as a feature in the event of a clutch master / slave failure in traffic

If nothing else, I'm seriously considering running the trigger wire directly to the male spade on the starter without the clutch switch in between. If I ever sell the car, I'll probably do it the right way, but until then, I want an emergency source of propulsion.

I'll edit this post in red when I get the answers over the next 6 - 8 months as I finish, troubleshoot and move it to CA.

Last edited by McKennaR; 01-10-2013 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:15 PM
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Do you know whats the color of that trigger wire?

Will it cut the trigger signal to the coils??
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:40 PM
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On my car's ignition switch harness, when I turn the key to "start" the only wire that does anything different than when the key is in the "ACC" or "ON" positions is the white wire with the blue stripe.

I can only assume this is the starter "trigger". I do not believe it does anything else besides tell the starter to engage.

Perhaps you can post a more detailed version of your question in its own thread, say in the tech section, and you might get someone with a bit more knowledge than I have.

Also, try the links below if you're looking for which wire does what on the interior harness:

https://www.rx8club.com/interior-aud...mation-104886/

https://www.rx8club.com/interior-aud...ations-114757/

Good luck

Ryan
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:45 PM
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Clutch switch "pigtail" connector part number

BLUF: Kragen / O'Reilly auto parts sells the BWD 28423 connector, which is an exact fit for the clutch start switch on the RX8. So if you aren't swimming in Nippon Denso injector pigtails, this is the one you want.

Narrative:
I finally bit the bullet and spliced the clutch start trigger into my ignition harness vs. the straight shot I had to the male spade on the starter.

In looking through all of RR's threads, I came across where he says to use an "older nippon denso square style fuel injector" connector. Being fresh out of those connectors, and not wanting to half *** it like I do pretty much everything else, I decided to start looking on the innerwebs.

I ran the switch P/N, which incidentally is a Ford / Motorcraft part, and came up with a listing on O'Reilly Auto Parts website. In the description, it indicates that this switch uses a BWD 28423 connector. Cost $7.49 and looks factory.

Additionally:
Seeing as there are two clutch switches on the pedal, I wasn't sure which switch was which so I pulled out my DVM and sho' nuff the circuit is closed when the plunger is pushed in, and open when the plunger is out on the switch on the side of the pedal assembly that I chose. RR alludes to this switch as "the one on the back" and "near the firewall" but I wanted to be sure.

Cheers,

Ryan
Attached Thumbnails RX8 Restoration (long)-connector.jpg   RX8 Restoration (long)-attached.jpg   RX8 Restoration (long)-place.jpg  
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:19 PM
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Random notes:

For adding the barb to the Automatic brake master cylinder that will feed the clutch master, center punch the hole (not entirely necessary, but I'm ****), drill a pilot and step up 2 sizes at a time until you hit a 1/4" drill bit. You can tap the hole if you want, I did very carefully and I used a 1/4" NPT threaded plastic fitting w/thin rubber o-ring that feeds a 3/8" barb from Home Depot, $1.74 after tax. Fits & looks like factory, no leaks. Make sure you flush the BMC with old brake fluid until all of the tiny plastic shavings are gone. Took me 3 go-arounds but finally got the last bit of plastic shavings out.

Note: The BMC reservoir from cars with DSC will not fit on the BMC of cars without unless you take a bunch of material off of the part where it mates up with the metal part of the MC, and rod-out the hole for the reservoir clip. I found it easier to just drill out the A/T reservoir and add a barb a' la RR's thread.

The 192ps 5 m/t UK RHD but MPH, gauge cluster fits and hooks up fine to the US gauge "hood" and dash harness. Whether it works is another story entirely. Will post back when I figure that out. I wanted to do it because the USDM M/T cluster had a higher redline, and I wanted that to display correctly (if nothing else).

USDM fuel sender, JDM PCM, UK gauge cluster. If that's not begging for trouble, I don't know what is. Fingers crossed.

All for today. Will fire the car probably tomorrow or the next day and get a picture of the gauges to see if they work.
Attached Thumbnails RX8 Restoration (long)-sidebyside-front.jpg   RX8 Restoration (long)-sidebyside-rear.jpg   RX8 Restoration (long)-lhd-.jpg   RX8 Restoration (long)-rhd.jpg   RX8 Restoration (long)-assembled.jpg  


Last edited by McKennaR; 01-18-2013 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:39 PM
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Update with pics of the master cylinder / barb installed and RHD dash installed.

Disregard the master cylinder retainer clip being partially out. I'm waiting on replacement o-rings for the reservoir to master cyl seal. If you do this, make sure your o-rings are good before reinstalling. Mine happened to have some small cracks in them, so out they came.
Attached Thumbnails RX8 Restoration (long)-2013-01-18_14-09-24_790.jpg   RX8 Restoration (long)-2013-01-18_14-09-58_295.jpg   RX8 Restoration (long)-rhd-dash-lhd.jpg  

Last edited by McKennaR; 01-19-2013 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:43 PM
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Finally stripped the old engine of all harnesses, sensors, manifolds and wires.

It took longer for me to strip the engine than it did to get the thing out of the car. Even though I had just been into the thing for a MOP, lines and injectors, it was a bastard getting some of those fasteners to break loose. Perhaps I'll use anti-seize next time... or not.

Fully stripped, this thing is tiny. Not that its news to any of you, but I was definitely impressed. This thing is the Noisy Cricket of engines. Awesome.

The high output alternators (400a, 28VDC) we used on our MRAP's were about this size.

I'm going to start selling the un-needed accessories / sensors / harnesses (etc) from this engine once I determine which ones I need to keep as spares.

Cheers

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Old 01-26-2013, 09:13 PM
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Small status update, everything is in, bled, connected, hooked up, torqued etc... except now I'm waiting on tires (of all the stupid things to be waiting on... I procrastinated) to see if the thing will move under its own power. I've only run it 2 or 3 times for very VERY short periods of time but it does start and run nicely. I haven't had the ***** to see if it'll go into all of the gears with the engine running because it's still on jack stands in the front and I don't want to grab at all... If I turn the key to "on" however, the reverse lights will illuminate, which is a plus.

I'm out of town for a few days but when I get back, hopefully I'll have time to get the tires mounted and take 'er on a test drive. I'll post video when I do. Expect it "sometime" next week / week after next depending on when I get back to Arkansas.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:21 PM
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Oh and if any of you are planning on a 5MT swap, make sure the seller / importer includes the entire shifter assembly (gear lever, inner and outer boots) with it... the one from the 6 speed won't fit.

On an unrelated note, I have a 6-spd gear stick for sale, super cheap. heh heh.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:15 AM
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Awesome! I can't wait to see it!
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:36 PM
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Thanks man, can't wait to get it on the road.

Also:

I've been talking with a few folks via PM about the fact that the A/T engine block doesn't have the provision for the M/T starter "long bolt". This might add some complications to anyone who is trying to put a M/T behind their A/T block.

Something to consider / discuss. Anyone know of a workaround for this?
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