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RX8 Purchased and now no start trouble shooting begins

Old 12-13-2018, 10:10 PM
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Smile RX8 Purchased and now no start trouble shooting begins

Hi everyone. Spent the better part of the evening reading through the stickies up top and great info....thanks.

So going to look at an 8 tomorrow and the owner says that it has blow Apex seals. Is there anyway to verify this other than a compression test and could it be something else causing the car not to fire. His ad described the car as no compression to start. I read somewhere that even with blown Apex seals the engine should still fire but I wanted to verify here first.

Any input would be fine.....and thanks for a great informative site.

Last edited by RX-GR8; 12-29-2018 at 06:34 PM. Reason: OP requested thread name change
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:26 PM
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Apex seals aren't the only way to lose compression. If it has trouble starting, it could be flooded, or it could actually have a dead engine. Compression test is the only way to confirm. Don't buy a dead RX8 unless you have budget to replace the engine.
The odds that it's something small are slim.
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:28 AM
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Thanks Loki. If the body is in good condition it may still be an option. I see a lot of JDM engines for sale for about 1200 +.....would that also be an option?
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Old 12-14-2018, 01:29 PM
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It could be an option but you don't really know the condition of the engine you will get or how many miles it has. But I did buy a JDM engine off of ebay which had had a compression test done which they said it was good and so far so good, even tho they most likely never tested the compression with a rotary compression tester but you can still get an idea of how the engine is with a normal compression tester. I spent about 3k on mine if I remember right
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Old 12-14-2018, 02:36 PM
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A Mazda reman is 3k and is the best option.

Most pullers won't warrant used rotary engines. Some may give you a "will start" guarantee and that's it, which still doesn't help because some low-compression engines can cold start easily, but not hot start. Read the fine print of the seller's warranty if you want to go this route.

Last edited by UnknownJinX; 12-14-2018 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 12-14-2018, 02:43 PM
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Ok thanks for all the info guys. Being the hands on type is rebuilding the 6 port (im assuming its a 6 port since it 06 and 6 spd) even an option? Or once they are gone pretty buch bricked?
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Old 12-14-2018, 02:56 PM
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Depending on what parts you need to replace, a reman could be cheaper.

Housings are supposedly more than $800 each, and you will very likely need new ones. Add in new seals and it can go past 3k easily. The reman comes with a lot of new parts nowadays, and plus it's already assembled and ready to be installed.
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Old 12-16-2018, 06:47 PM
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Ok so a little update. After speaking to the owner a bit not sure exactly what happened to the car but it obviously needs to be rescued form his hands. Claims he was driving and then it shut off.....no smoke nothing. He then tries to fire it up and it has no compression. He spoke to several friends that are mechanics and they told him it was the Apex seals. I asked if he did a compression test and he said yes he pulled the plugs and it had no compression. I asked if he was using a rotary engine compression tester and he had a blank look.

So not sure of the condition of the engine....but I will be purchasing it juts to get it from him and do the car some justice.

Will keep everyone posted.......worse case.....it needs an engine. LOL
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:43 PM
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So here are the codes that I got so far.....

P0300
P0302
P0171
P0336

Reset the NVRAM and when you try to start the car you get get a backfire and then its just cranks.

Any input will be appreciated.
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Old 12-23-2018, 04:54 PM
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Do you have a specific question, or do you want someone to do two minutes of work and Google the codes for you?

Fine. site:rx8clubcom P0300

Originally Posted by Letsride View Post
So here are the codes that I got so far.....

P0300 - random or multiple misfire
P0302 - engine misfire
P0171 - system too lean
P0336 - eccentric shaft position sensor circuit range/performance problem

Reset the NVRAM and when you try to start the car you get get a backfire and then its just cranks.

Any input will be appreciated.
If you can't search for the codes on your own, I'm not sure you will be able to fix the car...

Last edited by Steve Dallas; 12-23-2018 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 12-23-2018, 06:07 PM
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Shots fired!

Start diagnosing... Ignition health would be the obvious next step. Maybe ignition not connected correctly.
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Old 12-23-2018, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Dallas View Post
Do you have a specific question, or do you want someone to do two minutes of work and Google the codes for you?

Fine. site:rx8clubcom P0300
If you can't search for the codes on your own, I'm not sure you will be able to fix the car...

You must be a funny guy. Probably did not read the whole thread and wanted to be the tough guy on the newbie....lol.

So let me clarify......the codes were retrieved today and what I was specifically looking for was if this sequence of codes was normal or seen before as a group. NOT INDIVIDUALLY! The car was sold to me claiming to need apex seals and if you read the responses from others above you I am trying to see what the true condition of the engine is.

And had you also taken the time to decipher what I wrote you will see that I have already started the basic diagnosis by cleaning the eccentric shaft sensor and trying the reset procedure. I am mechanically inclined but not a keyboard commando.

But thanks for bringing this back up top.
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Old 12-23-2018, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Loki View Post
Shots fired!

Start diagnosing... Ignition health would be the obvious next step. Maybe ignition not connected correctly.
Thanks again Loki......cleaned the es sensor but did not take the connector apart to verify the wiring was in good shape. I will do that in the morning and check the plus as well.
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Old 12-23-2018, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Letsride View Post
You must be a funny guy. Probably did not read the whole thread and wanted to be the tough guy on the newbie....lol.
Yes, I read the whole thread. It's short. It took about the same time as searching for your codes for you. There isn't much here and the situation is not difficult to comprehend.

Not trying to be tough on the newb. I'm one of the nicer, more easy going members. I just want you to demonstrate that you are willing to put forth at least some effort, instead of asking for hand-holding.

Originally Posted by Letsride View Post
So let me clarify......the codes were retrieved today and what I was specifically looking for was if this sequence of codes was normal or seen before as a group. NOT INDIVIDUALLY! The car was sold to me claiming to need apex seals and if you read the responses from others above you I am trying to see what the true condition of the engine is.
You have codes related to misfires, which are often, but not always, caused by poor ignition health. (See the sticky called "Suffering from Misfires?" or something like that.) The car most likely needs a complete ignition refresh: coils, plugs, wires. Most owners do not know these are wearable items that typically last around 20K miles, so they never replace them. That results in a clogged cat, which results in a damaged engine. It is a very common cascade, and it is how many, if not most engines die.

You also have an ESS code. Clean the sensor and try again after you have addressed the ignition system (reset the ESS profile again too). If that doesn't work, test the sensor according to the procedures in the FSM.

The lean condition code could be caused by either of the other problems. Fix those first, and if it doesn't go away, post the short and long term fuel trims, assuming you can get it running.
Originally Posted by Letsride View Post
And had you also taken the time to decipher what I wrote you will see that I have already started the basic diagnosis by cleaning the eccentric shaft sensor and trying the reset procedure. I am mechanically inclined but not a keyboard commando.

But thanks for bringing this back up top.
Nowhere did you say you cleaned the sensor. You said you reset the NVRAM, which is a separate procedure. Cleaning the sensor is a good idea, but doing it rarely solves anything, as it is a magnetic sensor. If it picks up enough metal bits to throw off its field, cleaning it can be beneficial, but that doesn't happen often.

Going forward, if you are going to post codes, also post the descriptions. Not many people will bother to look them up, so you will see little response. Also try to post specific questions. No one wants to try to read your mind.

So, here's your hand-holding for the day: get a rotary compression test now to get a baseline on engine health, before you spend any money.

If it fails, plan on buying a Mazda reman. You can find them for around $3K plus freight both ways after core exchange at various Mazda dealers. Try to buy local. It is RARE to end up with a quality rebuild for less than that.

Budget another $1K in incidentals (seals and gaskets, ignition components, hoses, OMP parts, coolant bottle, sensors, solenoids, clutch, fluids, filters, etc.) to really freshen things up and give the new engine the best possible chance at life.

If you can't do the R&R yourself, plan on spending another $1K+ in labor to have a good rotary shop do it. Plan on spending $5K total, and be pleasantly surprised if it costs less than that.

If it passes, continue troubleshooting until you get everything sorted out. Other than the ignition components and the cat, use the test procedures found in the FSM to test various components as they come up. Eventually, you will find everything wrong and fix those things for the least possible outlay. In other words, don't diagnose via replacement, unless you just want new stuff or like spending money.

Last edited by Steve Dallas; 12-23-2018 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Dallas View Post
Yes, I read the whole thread. It's short. It took about the same time as searching for your codes for you. There isn't much here and the situation is not difficult to comprehend.

Not trying to be tough on the newb. I'm one of the nicer, more easy going members. I just want you to demonstrate that you are willing to put forth at least some effort, instead of asking for hand-holding.



You have codes related to misfires, which are often, but not always, caused by poor ignition health. (See the sticky called "Suffering from Misfires?" or something like that.) The car most likely needs a complete ignition refresh: coils, plugs, wires. Most owners do not know these are wearable items that typically last around 20K miles, so they never replace them. That results in a clogged cat, which results in a damaged engine. It is a very common cascade, and it is how many, if not most engines die.

You also have an ESS code. Clean the sensor and try again after you have addressed the ignition system (reset the ESS profile again too). If that doesn't work, test the sensor according to the procedures in the FSM.

The lean condition code could be caused by either of the other problems. Fix those first, and if it doesn't go away, post the short and long term fuel trims, assuming you can get it running.


Nowhere did you say you cleaned the sensor. You said you reset the NVRAM, which is a separate procedure. Cleaning the sensor is a good idea, but doing it rarely solves anything, as it is a magnetic sensor. If it picks up enough metal bits to throw off its field, cleaning it can be beneficial, but that doesn't happen often.

Going forward, if you are going to post codes, also post the descriptions. Not many people will bother to look them up, so you will see little response. Also try to post specific questions. No one wants to try to read your mind.

So, here's your hand-holding for the day: get a rotary compression test now to get a baseline on engine health, before you spend any money.

If it fails, plan on buying a Mazda reman. You can find them for around $3K plus freight both ways after core exchange at various Mazda dealers. Try to buy local. It is RARE to end up with a quality rebuild for less than that.

Budget another $1K in incidentals (seals and gaskets, ignition components, hoses, OMP parts, coolant bottle, sensors, solenoids, clutch, fluids, filters, etc.) to really freshen things up and give the new engine the best possible chance at life.

If you can't do the R&R yourself, plan on spending another $1K+ in labor to have a good rotary shop do it. Plan on spending $5K total, and be pleasantly surprised if it costs less than that.

If it passes, continue troubleshooting until you get everything sorted out. Other than the ignition components and the cat, use the test procedures found in the FSM to test various components as they come up. Eventually, you will find everything wrong and fix those things for the least possible outlay. In other words, don't diagnose via replacement, unless you just want new stuff or like spending money.
I agree, one should at least do some research first before asking. If you show your research and want some more information then that's perfectly fine.

Also, I think at some point(06, maybe?), Mazda added a shield around the ESS, so it doesn't get dirty as easily. The shield is definitely there on the S2. I know 04 and 05 don't have that shield and cleaning the sensor is more warranted.
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Old 12-26-2018, 12:01 PM
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For any of those following......


Cleared all the codes put the car on a jump box and tried to fire it again. The code that popped up again was P0336.....one verified and one pending. Cleared the code one more time, cleared the NVRAM and tried a restart once again.

Almost instantly the code came back so I verified that the wiring was intact in the connector and it was making good contact etc. Everything checked out so I replaced the ESS with a new one, verified the connector was clean once again and tried a restart. Same code again.

Now I have read on here that there is a possibility of the starter causing this issue and it should be changed to the 09 +.

I have verified all the wiring to the sensor so should my next step be the starter?
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:52 AM
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Troubleshooting the ESS starts on page 502 of the FSM. There are links on this site to an online copy of it. In my FSM [formerly] on CD, it looks something like the below. In a nutshell, if the ESS plate, sensor, and ESS and PCM connectors are in good working order, the problem is with the PCM. Of course, YMMV.


DTC P0336 [13B-MSP]
DTC P0336 Eccentric shaft position sensor circuit range/performance problem
DETECTION
CONDITION
The PCM monitors the input signal from the eccentric shaft position sensor
when the engine is running. If the input signal is not the proper pulse
pattern, the PCM determines that there is an eccentric shaft position sensor
circuit range/performance problem.
Diagnostic support note
This is a continuous monitor (CCM).
The MIL illuminates if the PCM detects the above malfunction condition in the
first drive cycle.
FREEZE FRAME DATA (Mode 2/Mode 12) is available.
The DTC is stored in the PCM memory.
POSSIBLE
CAUSE
Eccentric shaft position plate malfunction
Eccentric shaft position sensor connector or terminals malfunction
Eccentric shaft position sensor is dirty
Eccentric shaft position sensor malfunction
PCM connector or terminals malfunction
PCM malfunction
Diagnostic procedure
STEP INSPECTION ACTION
1
VERIFY FREEZE FRAME DATA (MODE 12) HAS
BEEN RECORDED
Has the FREEZE FRAME DATA
(Mode 12) been recorded?
YesGo to the next step.
No Record the FREEZE FRAME DATA (Mode 12) on
the repair order, then go to the next step.
2
VERIFY RELATED REPAIR INFORMATION
AVAILABILITY
Verify related Service Bulletins
YesPerform repair or diagnosis according to the
available repair information.
and/or on-line repair information
availability.
Is any related repair information
available?
If the vehicle is not repaired,
go to the next step.
No Go to the next step.
3
INSPECT ECCENTRIC SHAFT POSITION PLATE
Inspect the eccentric shaft position
plate.
(See ECCENTRIC SHAFT POSITION
PLATE INSPECTION [13B-MSP].)
Is there any malfunction?
YesReplace the eccentric shaft position plate, then
go to Step 7.
(See ECCENTRIC SHAFT POSITION PLATE
REMOVAL/INSTALLATION [13B-MSP].)
No Go to the next step.
4
INSPECT ECCENTRIC SHAFT POSITION
SENSOR CONNECTOR FOR POOR CONNECTION
Turn the ignition switch off.
Disconnect the eccentric shaft
position sensor connector.
Inspect for poor connection (such
as damaged/pulled-out pins,
corrosion).
Is there any malfunction?
YesRepair or replace the connector and/or
terminals, then go to Step 7.
No Go to the next step.
5
INSPECT ECCENTRIC SHAFT POSITION
SENSOR
Inspect the eccentric shaft position
sensor.
(See ECCENTRIC SHAFT POSITION
SENSOR INSPECTION [13B-MSP].)
Is there any malfunction?
YesReplace the eccentric shaft position sensor,
then go to Step 7.
(See ECCENTRIC SHAFT POSITION SENSOR
REMOVAL/INSTALLATION [13B-MSP].)
No Go to the next step.
6
INSPECT PCM CONNECTOR FOR POOR
CONNECTION
Turn the ignition switch off.
Disconnect the PCM connector.
Inspect for poor connection (such
as damaged/pulled-out pins,
corrosion).
Is there any malfunction?
YesRepair or replace the connector and/or
terminals, then go to the next step.
No Go to the next step.
7
VERIFY TROUBLESHOOTING OF DTC P0336
COMPLETED
Make sure to reconnect all
disconnected connectors.
Clear the DTC from the PCM
YesReplace the PCM, then go to the next step.
(See PCM REMOVAL/INSTALLATION [13B-MSP].)
No Go to the next step.
memory using the M-MDS.
(See AFTER REPAIR PROCEDURE
[13B-MSP].)
Perform the KOER self test.
(See KOEO/KOER SELF TEST [13BMSP].)
Is the same DTC present?
8
VERIFY AFTER REPAIR PROCEDURE
Perform the “AFTER REPAIR
PROCEDURE”.
(See AFTER REPAIR PROCEDURE
[13B-MSP].)
Are any DTCs present?
YesGo to the applicable DTC inspection.
(See DTC TABLE [13B-MSP].)
No DTC troubleshooting completed.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:04 AM
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Thanks Steve. I am at step 6 in the FSM right now. Will update my findings....
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:59 PM
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Current update.....

Since going through the entire FSM process for testing the ESS it suggested the ECU was bad. I was not sold on that. There is documentation on here that claims that a weak starter/battery could possibly trigger the P0336 code.

I took it upon myself to replace the starter.....thinking ahead because if the engine actually needs to be replaced I will need it for the new lump. So new starter in, cleared codes, NVRAM reset, and we crank.

Still no start but now no codes at all. Will proceed with pulling the plugs for inspection and or replacement. Will also deflood engine just to make sure. Will also look at the coils and plug wires as well/
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:14 PM
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Pull the plugs and clean them with a soft brush (old toothbrush or similar) and denatured alcohol. Reinstall them and do the deflood procedure immediately. Check the wire connection sequence while you are in there (common problem to mix up the wires). If that doesn't work, test the coils with an HEI tester. There is a procedure on here somewhere.

Your starter logic also applies to the ignition system. You will need new parts for the new lump anyway, so you might as well buy new coils, plugs, and wires.
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:21 PM
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Thanks Steve. That is my thought as well. Dealer is closed today so may have to wait till Monday to get the Coils and wires. I do have new plugs.....so I'll do what you suggest tomorrow as see how it goes.

So you recommend doing the deflood procedure with the old plugs? I was going to remove them and crank the engine over for a bit and see if anything came out. Then install the new plugs!
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:22 PM
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BTW I replaced the Starter with the 09 model......big difference in cranking speed!
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Old 12-29-2018, 06:18 PM
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Where do you live? You can buy coils and NGK wires at any auto parts store. You don't need dealer parts. Many times, BWD / Intermotor coils come with a lifetime warranty that you can leverage for a new set every ~20K miles. These are the same coils Mazda sells, although they may be the B revision instead of the newer C revision.

Yes, I would clean up the old plugs and use them to troubleshoot to keep the new plugs fresh. Unless there is something physically wrong with the old plugs (or unless they are worn out from being reeeeeeaaaaaally old, they should fire once cleaned up.
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Old 12-29-2018, 06:35 PM
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I am in Greensboro. The BWD stuff I think I can get from Oreillys. Ill call and check on them tomorrow.

And thanks for the info on the plugs.....Ill try that tomorrow and update this post.
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:48 PM
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New year....new update

So pulled the plugs and as to be expected wet and carboned up. Tried to clean them up per Steve but after 30 mins just decided that it would take a longer time to clean them than to put the new ones in. So put the new ones in and did the deflooding procedure. Tried to start it on the next attempt after doing the procedure for about 8 times. She stumbled and fired and I was able to get the revs to about 6k and then they slowly fell off and then she died. Tried to fire it up again and she came to life for about 5 seconds and died again.

So further trouble shooting is required.

Heres a pic of the plugs that were removed.....

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