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Looking to buy an RX8

Old 12-28-2018, 04:10 AM
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Looking to buy an RX8

Hi everyone,

So im looking to buy an RX8 and already have one in mind and looking for some advice from the more experienced.

So the car itself is a 6speed hi power model with 70,000KM on the clock. However the current owner is having problems with the water, apparently it is loosing coolant. He hasnt looked into the matter further and the car has been sitting for months, but as far as I understand the coolant seals on the engine have gone and it will need an engine rebuild.

Before this happened he had it fully serviced and fitted brand new tyres and battery - He is willing to let me have it for 600Euros.

My question is is this a good deal? Also, because im not very experienced with rotaries and the RX8 is there anything else I should look out for when checking the car so there are no expensive hidden costs other than the engine rebuild?

Thanks for reading.

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Old 12-28-2018, 07:08 AM
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I don't know how the prices translate to the European market (I'm guessing it's not just a straight exchange rate since the markets for such a niche product are different) but a replacement motor from Mazda is about US$3000. A rebuild that costs less than US$2500 isn't likely to be very good. Add about US$1000 for tools and incidentals (worn parts, fluids, preventive maintenance). Add another US$1500+ for labor if you have somebody else do the work.

If it blew a coolant seal, it's likely that there is a serious problem with the cooling system and/or catalytic converter. Add another US$500 to cover your bases with cooling and US$1000 for an OEM replacement catalytic converter. You might be able to go aftermarket with the cat (or run without one) if your local laws allow it. Keep in mind that rotaries run hot and if you get an aftermarket cat welded in, make sure it's sized for a motor about double the power output of the Renesis.

Rounding up for safety and market oddities, can you afford US$6000 on top of the purchase price? If so, it can be a very rewarding car to own if you don't mind paying out the *** for fuel. If not, then you should run away from the platform as a whole.

I'm the 1st and 4th owner of my car. It's been through several transmissions and engines and my only regret is falling in love with it in the first place.

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Old 12-28-2018, 01:07 PM
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I mean, coolant loss could just be from a hose or a cracked coolant bottle. I'd suggest you check it out.

If it's the engine, then yeah, you will have to spend some money to get it back to working condition, but at the same time, it could last you a good while once you replace the engine if you take care of the car.
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Old 12-29-2018, 06:45 AM
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Hey guys,
​​​​​​So i went to see the car today, started it up and the engine sounded absolutely fine, no white smoke out the exhaust and it was idling perfectly, even revved it a bit an still nothing. Had the coolant tap off an it was spewing rusty water off the top. However there was no water running underneath the car.
I read somewhere that it might be loosing water from a tap on the front cover of the engine
Any ideas?
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Old 12-30-2018, 03:37 PM
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So i went and saw the car.
It had a dead battery so we started it without the battery connected via jump leads.. It was running and idling fine, no white smoke either, when the coolant was open it wad spewing out water from the top which i assume is normal?
I returned later with a battery i had removed from another car as i wanted to test drive the car to see if all was ok in terms of suspension, gearbox clutch etc.. All looked ok until i tried to open her up. I didnt put my foot down completely i slowly eased into it in 2nd gear as it is not my car.. As it went up the rev range i felt a lot of hesitation and a huge loss of power.
Is there a possibility a weak battery could have caused this?
At the moment from what i saw and the very little knowledge i have on rotaries i walked away. But the rx8 is constantly on my mind and i am thinking if this one is still a good option, i know its hard to advise or diagnose without physically being there, but based on what i have written has anyone got any ideas?
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:39 AM
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Probably ignition issues. They do that as they age.

If it starts up fine when hot, then it's at least worth looking, although it's good to run a compression test to be sure.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:46 AM
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I am planning on running a compression test and a champagne test also, however I cannot do this if I have no purchased the vehicle. My dilemma is should I take the risk and go for this one, or should I just buy a already running RX8 for around 3K Euros.
The problem is the already running cars are also a bit of a ticking time bomb as nearly all of them have no service history and I do not know what kind of abuse they have had over the years. However, this specific one is owned by a 50 year old man which happens to be neighbours with a good friend of mine who owns an RX7 - he also tells me that it has been looked after but this guy has no time or cash to find out what is wrong exactly.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:58 PM
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If it is spewing water out of the radiator when running, that is an engine seal, my guess is down on the compression side of things. The exhaust gasses are getting forced into the coolant, and blowing it out. You will not get water back in unless the motor is off and the cooling system pressurized. I would recommend a cooling system pressure test. It is rather non invasive, just put a special cap on the coolant tank and pump it up. It should stay pumped up. It will have a pressure gauge to check.

You comment about getting a good engine, as opposed to a ticking time bomb is a good one.

A path would be to get it, if it leaks, toss in a can of head gasket sealer (Because they do NOT sell rotary engine coolant sealer, not because there is a head gasket) and see where you end up. For a rebuild, I seem to recall Pettit setting up a UK shop, not sure how far away from you they are, but I am very happy with the last 2 engines I got from them.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:56 AM
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Hello club. I am about to also buy an Rx8. I had the seller have a compression test done by a local Mazda dealer.

This question is for anyone who knows about compression testing.

I read about normalizing the numbers and used Foxed.ca rotary compression calculator however I wanted to ask just in case I missed something and accidentally buy a lemon.

Are these compression numbers indicative of a healthy engine. (It was replaced 2 years ago and has around 23k miles)

Altitude: 88.6'
Rpm's: 215


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Old 01-10-2019, 07:53 PM
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OP, if this is your first Rotary, I suggest you get a decent one to start your Rotary experience on a good note. Drive it, enjoy it and be happy with life.

Unless youíre the type of guy who doesnít mind throwing some cash at a restoration project, I would pass on this RX-8. It sounds like it needs unknown work, which can get expensive.

You COULD go for it and simply drop in another used Renesis to get the car back on the road ASAP to start enjoying it. That would be the cheapest option, technically. You donít need to do a full drivetrain rebuild to start driving and enjoying the car. Leave that to someone knowledgable with Wankels. Lol.
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