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Newbie's Guide to Modding the RX-8

Old 07-18-2012, 09:26 AM
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No, if the AP is uninstalled then the ECU looks totally OEM to them.

Even with the AP flash installed, they might not notice it, as they still have to look, but it's not worth the risk at all given how easy it is to uninstall/install.
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:10 AM
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Thanks for the info. I always un-install the AP before taking it in but I didn't really know if they had some way to tell it had been there.
This is an awesome thread as well as your New and Potential Owners thread. I have gained a ton of knowledge from both.
Thanks again!
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:15 AM
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I just linked a new member her asking about an aftermarket clutch. Breezed through real quick again and noticed you didn't mention anything about clutches.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:22 AM
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Yeah, did as well when I saw that thread. Adding it as a to-do
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:31 PM
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Nothing to really input but big thanks to RIWWP, after a few nights and several hours of reading it can be frustrating, a lot of people on here with contradicting opinions mixing fact with well, opinion. After owning an SRT and knowing just enough about it to get by(srtforums were a huge part, good forums), a rotary is a whole 'nother monster. Plus anything I know about a car is purely research/self taught/I made a mistake and had to fix it lol good threads for newbs.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by bse50 View Post
Vcoil is mr weight loss.
Yes, I am

loosen 185kg (but not yet finished)
added 87kg
net 98kg

Last edited by vcoil; 08-16-2012 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:35 PM
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WA Thank you!

Hey RIWWP,

I really appreciate this post. I hopped on last night as I'm itching for another rotary and read through the whole FAQ.

I think it's been brought up above, but if you get a chance I would love to read about weight reduction (even extreme weight reduction).

Thanks again sir!
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:32 AM
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Thanks for this wonderful and helpful guide, This is the first thread that I read after registration. Asian Handicap Betting

Last edited by Wiggins; 09-28-2012 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:44 PM
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Just found this thread. THANK YOU, RIWWP, for putting this all together. Not really thinking of doing any mods, but it was all very interesting, and the nugget about running A/C over 50mph to improve mileage was completely counter to what I always thought about A/C, and therefore worth its weight in gold!
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:59 PM
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Np.

Test it to be sure, don't take everything I post as gospel

It's what I found to be accurate for my 8 though, so it is probably accurate for yours as well.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:23 PM
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I need to spend some more time on this, but things have been quite busy. Added a Premix section to Lubrication Mods while it was on my mind though.

Premix
(no impact to warranty)
Premix thread: https://www.rx8club.com/tech-garage-...-thread-99636/
Premix is mixing 2-stroke oil with the gas in the gas tank to assist with lubrication of the apex seals. Why 2-stroke? Because 2-stroke (in general) is designed to be burned. Unlike 4-stroke that you use in during oil changes. Why premix? This gets a bit more vague when answering. The short answer is as noted, to assist with apex seal lubrication. But do we need it? That's a tougher question to answer with facts. Some people swear by it, others do just fine without it. Series 1 has 2 injectors pointing at the side seals, Series 2 adds a center injector to help with lubricating the center of the apex seal. Mazda added this, so they must have found excessive wear in the center of the apex seal, so it's circumstantial evidence for the need to premix. It's hard to say if this will save your engine from apex seal wear failure though. About the only confirmed difference premixing really makes is that the carbon buildup inside the engine appears to be "softer". In theory, makes it easier to clean, and if it comes off it won't come off in dangerous flakes that could cause carbon lock.

Which premix to use? Lots of debate here too. There are lots of options, and not all of them are even oil. The list below is ordered from most ideal at the top, least ideal/not recommended at the bottom.

Idemitsu Premix is generally considered to be the best out there. The only draw back to it is accessibility in that you have to order it, and there are minimum order quantities. Often a member here will order a larger case and split it with locals, making this a bit easier, but it's also usually a 1-time thing.

Amsoil Saber Pro is highly regarded, and a bit easier to get than Idemitsu.

JASO FC and ISO oils basically other oil brands of the same type and grade as the two items above. May be easier to obtain than those.

TWC-3 Oils are usually easy to find, however it's not likely that you are doing much good with them. Not much harm, but small engines that require this type of oil can fail due to lack of lubrication from it, so it might not be sufficient for us. Post from Emery on this:
Originally Posted by Emery_ View Post
I think some things should be clarified, after several PM's between me and STEALTH and doing some online research on TCW-3. It is definitely designed to be burnt and fully combust without leaving any residue or ash (if it is a synthetic ashless oil). It is made WITHOUT any metallic additives, as it is meant to burn ashless it does not contain any.

While it probably wouldn't do any harm to the car (besides the catalyst), the problem with TCW-3 lies within it's lubricating capabilities. It is not as good as an oil at lubricating as a ISO or JASO FC certified oil is. TCW-3 is an oil that is not good enough to lubricate snowmobiles and motorcycle engines, and has lead to failure to those engines that TCW-3 oils were used in. Not because the oil itself caused the failure, it just didn't serve it's purpose in lubricating the bearings and engine parts that needed lubricity, hence the failure.

So what I'm trying to get at is... TCW-3 oils suck as a lubricating oil. A JASO FC and ISO oil would do a much better job. TCW-3 premix is not the worst thing you can put in the car though, it shouldn't harm it, and it should lubricate some what, but it just isn't the best lubricant we would want for our engine; we would want to get the best we could in there. I just wanted to clarify this and explain some of these details, so that people using TCW-3 as premix don't get scared and think that they have potentially harmed their engine by using a oil with metallic particles (not true) that isn't meant to combust in their car (not true as well).

If you were using TCW-3 oils as I was, you should definitely switch to something else like idemitsu or any other 2-cycle oil JASO FC or ISO rated. This is one long assss thread, and reading through it is a pain, but if one does so you would find how contradicting a lot of the information is. I just wanted to make it easier for some people, and so that others don't make the same mistake I and many others have made.
Marvel Mystery Oil (MMO) is common, and easy to obtain. Some people swear by it, others denouce it totally. The people that love it can't prove that it does anything good, and the people that say that it is worthless can only point at it's cleaning agents as being a problem, which doesn't even sound like it's that big of a problem. All in all though, it probably doesn't have much lubrication compared to some of the other options above, so it could be considered to probably be on the same level as TWC-3. I.e., not doing much.

Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant (Lucas UCL) is a non-oil you can find out there, but we can't recommend it. We can't prove that it causes any fuel filter problems, but for some unknown reason it shows up in a significant percentage of fuel filter problem threads (>2 in 3 threads at a guess). Doesn't even make sense why it would cause problems since it's still just a liquid that can go through the filter, but often fuel filter problem threads include the owner using it for a while before hand, and then stops using it and the problem clears up.

How much premix? The standard amount is about 1oz for every 2 gallons of gas. Some people go 1oz for every 3 or 4 gallons, and some go for 1oz to 1 gallon. 1oz for 1 gallon is getting on the high end though, so don't just use that to use it. Dig into why you want that much. One of the common reasons for going to 1oz to 1 gallon is for a track day. Lots of heat means a bit better lubrication could be a good thing in the end. Note that these values are for how much fuel you are putting into the gas tank. So if you are filling up at halfway and adding 7 gallons, then about 3.5oz is ideal. If you never fill till the light comes on, then around 6.5oz is more accurate. Some premix containers come with a measuring method built right into the top, otherwise it might be useful to find some small plastic containers of the ideal size to keep several on hand. I lost them in a prior move and haven't replaced them, but for a while I was using four 6oz bottles that were originally intended for hair products. Clean them out thoroughly, let them dry, fill ahead of time, and keep tucked in the car to easily add when I fill up. If you opt for this and don't use glass bottles, I'd recommend replacing the bottles periodically, maybe every 6 months. Most plastics aren't of a grade that is designed to hold petroleum products, and it will start to break down from the inside after a while.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:04 PM
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From what I remember, Pettit racing had a side-by-side of two rotor housings showing the wear with premix vs no premix. Aprox. same mileage and driving conditions. Pretty interesting to see.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:28 PM
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RX-7 housings or RX-8 housings?
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:55 PM
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Renesis. Ill try to find the link.

edit: Maybe it wasn't Renesis. Its labeled only as 13b. The pic is of the plug side not the port side so I cant tell personally. Either way the theory is still the same. They mention the Renesis in the writeup as being a high rpm engine that will benefit from it.

http://www.pettitracing.com/protek-r/

Last edited by godesshunter; 09-17-2012 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:19 PM
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I'm pretty sure those are RX-7 housings from the exhaust port reference related to chrome chip. No chrome near our exhaust ports.

I personally agree that premix certainly benefits our engines (that is the whole basis of that section), but I hesitate using RX-7 proof as valid for us since the oil injection system IS different. Doesn't mean that it's not still accurate, it's just not using anything solid.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:06 PM
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wrt premix: Considering the numerical illiteracy of the general population, you may wish to point out the gas/oil ratios of the premix vs stock MOP injection. Example:

13 gallons x 128 = 1664 oz
1664 oz gas / 8 oz oil = 208:1

MOP, 1 qt per 1500 miles. 1500 miles @ 19 mpg = 79 gallons = 316 quarts.
316 quarts gas / 1 quart oil = 316:1

In 1500 miles, (79/13) x 8 oz = 48 oz = 1.5 quarts of premix will be used.

So the overall gas to oil to gas ratio is 316 / (1 + 1.5) = 126:1

That's quite a lot of oil. It's important to remember though, that the injected oil goes into a place where it's considered most effective. Eric Meyer, and likely other racers too, keep the stock injection system. His claim is that EGTs are lowered and engine life is better through longer-lived side seal springs when keeping the injection vs removing it and going with premix only.

YMMV.

Btw, empty "Ensure" diet milkshake bottles have great screw-on tops and quality plastic bodies. I've been keeping doses of premix in them within the engine compartment and after two years use, they don't seem close to failure.

Last edited by HiFlite999; 09-17-2012 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by RIWWP View Post
I'm pretty sure those are RX-7 housings from the exhaust port reference related to chrome chip. No chrome near our exhaust ports.
Thats what I was thinking it sounded like. I just dont know enough about the internals as I would like to.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:02 AM
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Regarding Premix,
I have a Pettit Racing engine in my 2004 Rx8 which has 26k miles on it (130k total on the car). Since the rebuild, I've been using Penzoil Marine Premium Plus 2-cycle synthetic blend oil as my premix. It's been absolutely great, cheap, and easy to find at any boat supply store.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:05 AM
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The reasons why marine oils are not suited for our application are well documented across this website.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:34 AM
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Considering pennzoil marine TCW-3 is a synthetic ashless based premix. It most likely has not caused any damage to your car (side seals, apex seals) your cat excluded, and probably does lubricate it in some form.

But the issue with these oils, is are they really enough to lubricate and protect for what we are using them for? If anyone is going to use a TCW-3 oil for whatever reason, synthetic would be the way to go. But there are much better oils than TCW-3. Compared to Jaso-FC, ISO, and Jaso-FD, TCW-3 just doesn't have the qualities of an oil that we would want to be using in our rotary.

I used to use TCW-3, but after reading up online and finding out that TCW-3 is not recommended in use for snowmobile engines, and even chainsaws and various small 2-cycle engines. TCW-3 is meant for marine applications, because these motors are water cooled and operate at very low temperatures. Our engine are more similiar to higher revving snowmobiles and even chainsaws that are operating at wide open throttle most of the time. TCW-3 does not provide enough protection for those kinds of engines because they operate way hotter, and in the end those engines fail. Jaso-FC and anything better or equal to it, does provide protection and can make those engines last. Also JASO-FC and oils that are better, go through rigorous and extremely tough tests in order to receive approval as such certified oils.

Don't use TCW-3, yeah you had been doing it, while it probably wasn't bad for your engine, but whether it really did much is the question. Idemitsu is recommended by many, and even home depot has an Echo oil for 2 cycle engines that is actually Jaso-FD approved. These oils are pricier and sometimes harder to find, but remember the quality is much better.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:37 AM
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Exhaust system Questions.

Great thread!

I learned a lot from it, although it has also created a few of questions. I want to know which is the best exhaust system to fit he RX. I was thinking about the HKS Legamax and to couple it with the HKS Racing Suction cold air intake. Is the larger price tag worth it? To finish the exhaust system, I would like to buy a high flow cat and a new header. Heres the problem, I don't know what parts would be compatible with each other. (Sorry if I posted this on the wrong thread, Im a new user to the club)

Best regards
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:25 AM
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Posting the question here is fine.

There is no "best" exhaust. From a power perspective, all the cat-backs are basically the same, perhaps the HKS HiPower having a slight edge. From a midpipe perspective there are a few that are a bit more power than the rest. Headers are really hard to determine because no one compares just headers against each other. If you are replacing all 3 parts, going to a bigger diameter for all 3 will be a clear power winner, but you can't mix and match diameters and make that power gain, because they still end up choking down on the smaller flange points.

The majority of what makes one exhaust "better" than another comes down to what exhaust note and tone you find more appealing. This isn't something that we can hope to answer for you. Racing Beat and Borla are popular catbacks for sound quality. The HKS Hi-Power often disliked due to sound quality. One owner described a RB resonated midpipe with the Hi-Power catback as having a sound "like attacking a tin shed with a chain saw". I'd agree with the description and I was a bit embarrassed to drive it around due to the sound alone. Make the best power though (by a tiny tiny bit), and that is all that matters to some people.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:10 PM
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WOW - just noticed this thread . Great work RIWWP !
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:34 PM
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Great read even though I have most of the mods.
Spot on!
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:44 PM
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I bought a 2011 rx8 sport - black mica...I love the car , was looking to put an intake on it...but after reading this...is it just a waste?
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