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Need a good Utah (SLC) mechanic

Old 08-08-2011, 02:23 PM
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UT Need a good Utah (SLC) mechanic

Hi everyone,

I've been searching furiously for a good, used RX-8 here in Utah (budget is around $10k), and was wondering if anyone had suggestions for good mechanics in Utah, more specifically in Salt Lake City, who understand rotaries and the RX-8 specifically. I figure it's no use getting the car checked out by a mechanic if he/she doesn't understand what to look for because everything looks foreign

I think I read somewhere on this forum that D-Dahle Mazda had some bad mechanics, but no suggestions on good ones...

Help?
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by raji View Post
Hi everyone,

I've been searching furiously for a good, used RX-8 here in Utah (budget is around $10k), and was wondering if anyone had suggestions for good mechanics in Utah, more specifically in Salt Lake City, who understand rotaries and the RX-8 specifically. I figure it's no use getting the car checked out by a mechanic if he/she doesn't understand what to look for because everything looks foreign

I think I read somewhere on this forum that D-Dahle Mazda had some bad mechanics, but no suggestions on good ones...

Help?
Welcome raji!

None of the local Salt Lake (or all of Utah, really) dealers have full-certified rotary mechanics. If you need a rebuild, they just swap-out your old engine for a remanufactured one. All they do locally is check compression, tune-ups, etc.

You'll get horror stories from people about all the local Mazda dealerships, but my current favorite is Bountiful Mazda. They've broken the fewest parts on my 8 when I've taken it in.

Your best bet for local service is to join slcrotary.com and get to know all the local "experts", most of whom do their own repairs/service.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Jethro Tull View Post
my current favorite is Bountiful Mazda. They've broken the fewest parts on my 8 when I've taken it in.
ouch!

thanks for the tip though, i'll bookmark slcrotary and check them out. Still working on actually GETTING an RX8 i want
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by raji View Post
ouch!

thanks for the tip though, i'll bookmark slcrotary and check them out. Still working on actually GETTING an RX8 i want
I'd hurry if I were you.

Production is essentially over for the RX-8 assembly line; any new ones are either already on dealership lots or in transit. I haven't seen a new one on a Salt Lake lot since last winter. Trade-ins only.

Avoid any used one that is near 100,000 miles since the engine core warranty only covers replacement to 8 years/100k miles. After that, a blown engine will cost you anywhere from ~$2500 for a good rebuild (plus freight charges since you'll have to ship it out-of-town) up to over $6,000 for a new-in-the-crate engine.

I predict that a lot of high-mileage beaters will come to market soon, as they pass 100k miles or 8 years old.

Production numbers dropped after the first two or three years of production, to match sales numbers better, so the later models (after '06) will be harder to find because there aren't as many.

The best ones will typically be kept by their owners and remain pricey when they do come up for sale.

Also, interest rates may climb soon, so if you will be borrowing money, the sooner you do, the less it will cost you.

Good luck!
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:12 PM
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Thanks Jethro,

I actually posted a WTB on the forum and a guy from Texas responded with a car that has 93k miles and is exactly how i'd want it (red, no spoiler, no mods, cloth interior, looks great overall) and the engine was replaced at 87k miles under warranty. I figure that's probably a great thing, but I've been reluctant to jump on it because it's so far away. Last time I bought a car without getting a chance to drive it was an SRT-4 (from a dealership though), and it was a horrible experience owning it in the 2 years afterwards.

Meantime, I'm finding decent luck with relatively low-mileage RX8s (90k miles or less) for around $10k in and around SLC on ksl.com. Just nothing perfect yet... I know, maybe i'm being **** about this, but i figure it's gonna be expensive so i don't wanna settle.

Good to know about the production though! I thought Mazda was still pumping out RX8s for 2011 and 2012... Are they working on an RX9 or something?
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:17 PM
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actually, i found one in Tremonton with 65k miles on it for $10,500. Only thing is, i don't want the spoiler on it... is it usually expensive to get that removed from Mazda? Does it leave any marks/signs of removal?

oh and i forgot to say, i own my current 2006 Honda Civic LX (no debt), so i'll almost be trading it in for an RX8
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by raji View Post
actually, i found one in Tremonton with 65k miles on it for $10,500. Only thing is, i don't want the spoiler on it... is it usually expensive to get that removed from Mazda? Does it leave any marks/signs of removal?

oh and i forgot to say, i own my current 2006 Honda Civic LX (no debt), so i'll almost be trading it in for an RX8
If you remove the spoiler, there will be 2 holes on each side (4 total), that you will have to fill, bodywork, and repaint the trunk lid. I'm guessing about $200 - $300 if you have a bodyshop do it for you.

Your other option is to find a wrecked 8 and buy the trunk lid without the spoiler.

The cheesy alternative is to just put plastic hole plugs in the holes.

Why don't you like the spoiler? It actually does some good over 100 mph, lol.
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:48 PM
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Plastic/rubber plug holes would be uglier than all hell... lol. I can't imagine that looking good.

Higgins Auto Body & Paint just quoted me about $420 for removing the spoiler and welding the holes + repainting. A new lid would cost $750 + paint + labor (about $1100)... Hmmm... I'm worried they'll do a half-assed job of removing it and there will be 4 visible marks or whatever else could go wrong... Do you know that body shop? Any body shop you'd highly recommend? Bountiful Mazda said they'd never done that kind of removal/replacement (wtf?) and they were the ones that referred me to Higgins Auto Body

As for why i don't like the spoiler... Not sure. I've never liked them much, ever since i was a kid. Still don't like 'em. I'm an artist myself (photographer), so i place a lot of importance on the purity of the original design, which, from what i can remember of the early RX8 sketches, never had wings and other extras.
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:15 PM
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I'm an artist too.. well, used to be. I used to draw cartoons for network TV a long time ago, as well as drawing and painting commissioned works. But I moved on.

I would do the bodywork job myself if it were mine. $420 sounds awfully steep for that small job. The old holes would only "print through" if they did a bad welding job (read: too much bondo) or used fiberglass to fill the holes.

You should just look for a used trunk on a wrecked 8, or check the classifieds here. It may take a month or three, but sooner or later someone will be parting-out a wrecked 8 and you can get a hole-less trunk lid for a lot less money than new.
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:47 PM
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i'm gonna sound like a total noob now, but how do i search for parts on wrecked cars?...
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by raji View Post
i'm gonna sound like a total noob now, but how do i search for parts on wrecked cars?...
1. There are not too many wrecking yards in this area, you look them up in the yellow pages and call them. You may get lucky and find an online list, but I'm not hopeful here. We live in the boondocks, remember?

2. Search the ads on this site, using "trunk lid" as a search term. Or get creative with the search terms, I've had a couple of whiskeys since getting home from work and not as sharp as I was six hours ago.

3. Look over the various vendors here who sell parted-out cars. Many of them actually post when they get a car in, what's available from it, how much. Visit their websites. They list all the parts they've pulled for sale. And you can sometimes get on a list to be notified when they get a used part you are looking for.

First off, I'd get the car and not let the spoiler keep you from a good deal on a fine automobile. A bare trunk lid will come along, sooner or later. You may even find one in your color and not have to pay to have it repainted.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:46 AM
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Thanks for the response. I actually found a red wingless trunk lid 5 minutes after your post last night, for $250 obo + $75 shipping!! I'll have to find out how hard it is to install myself. I hear it's easy, but that's relative and I suck at working on cars (mostly because... I don't).

I actually started another post about what I've discovered from having the VIN number to work with (here: https://www.rx8club.com/rx-8-discussion-3/looking-%40-used-rx8-help-221486/)

The engine's been replaced TWICE on this one (in 2004 and 2006) and I can't help but wonder if this might be something to keep me away from it... Mazda wouldn't tell me what the reason was for engine replacement and can't tell me the mileage when it was replaced.

There's been no MSP13 (guy said he'd never heard of it) but it has had the MSP16 performed on it.

Hoping to see it in person today along with service records and such.

Any thoughts?
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by raji View Post
Thanks for the response. I actually found a red wingless trunk lid 5 minutes after your post last night, for $250 obo + $75 shipping!! I'll have to find out how hard it is to install myself. I hear it's easy, but that's relative and I suck at working on cars (mostly because... I don't).

I actually started another post about what I've discovered from having the VIN number to work with (here: https://www.rx8club.com/showthread.php?t=221486)

The engine's been replaced TWICE on this one (in 2004 and 2006) and I can't help but wonder if this might be something to keep me away from it... Mazda wouldn't tell me what the reason was for engine replacement and can't tell me the mileage when it was replaced.

There's been no MSP13 (guy said he'd never heard of it) but it has had the MSP16 performed on it.

Hoping to see it in person today along with service records and such.

Any thoughts?
The trunk lid swap is easy.

Those engine replacements predate the 8yr/100K engine core replacement warranty, so I'm not sure how that would affect a future claim. I believe that the remanufactured engines are only themselves warranteed for 12 months, but I'm not sure about that either. There is a dedicated thread for the 8/100 warranty, search for it and read through it.

If you do buy it and swap the trunk lid, let me know and I may buy the old one from you.
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:03 PM
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kewl
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:02 PM
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car was no good... plenty of cosmetic problems, compression was consistently at 80psi, power delivery felt weak, brakes were pulsating like crazy... bah
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:37 AM
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Don't give up the search raji. Have you checked on KSL.com?
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:11 PM
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that's where i've been finding the most luck. Autotrader.com has nothing but dealers selling crap cars (i'm pretty sure i've test-driven all of the ones currently available), craigslist has the same cars as autotrader and ksl has a large selection of them. Just waiting for the right one to come along
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