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Complete R3/S2 drivetrain swap on my S1

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Complete R3/S2 drivetrain swap on my S1

Old 08-31-2017, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by @italia916 View Post
Yes I know, it been a long *** time that I've been working on this project for it to not be running yet, but it's alright though. At this point I really don't care about getting the car finished asap, there's no event this is planned for and no deadlines I'm trying to meet. But the car has come a very long way and that's all the video was meant to cover as well as a few other things.

Besides that I know many people think this swap is absolutely pointless and should never be done period and I completely agree. This build's only goal is to run and function as a stock Series 2 RX-8 with a few common (and not so common) OEM and aftermarket mods/parts. There is no real justification for this swap, just buy an actual series 2 instead seeing as their prices have dramatically dropped since the build started. They've actually dropped so much in fact that I even considered buying a red 09 R3 that popped up for sale near me with 80,000 miles for $7,000 and just ditching this build and swapping everything over from this car to the red R3, but it had already sold as I pulled up to the dealer to check it out, so I guess I'll just stick to the original plan and finish this build instead lol
For what its worth, you probably have the most knowledge in stripping an rx8 down to a nub and putting it back together... That's gotta be worth something.

Last edited by strokercharged95gt; 08-31-2017 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 11-25-2017, 04:33 AM
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New things and stuff

Got my LRB speed aluminum undertray modified to relocate and flat mount the AC condenser for improved airflow to the radiator and also got the two replacement RKE modules/antennas that MAZDA IDS was having issues with and once I get my new computer setup with the new version of IDS I should be able to reprogram the car and actually be able to start it! :D (but I won't get my hopes up though, I'm sure something else that's small, stupid and hard as ***** to figure out will get in the way)









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Old 12-04-2017, 09:36 PM
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Pretty cool project.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:37 PM
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So i've basically given up on reprogramming the car myself. I can't get another computer setup with Mazda IDS to where it can actually read the car like it did before, so my plan now is to just have mazda do it at the dealer. I still have a few things to finish up and/or install on the car before that happens, but for now my main focus is porting and rebuilding my cosmo engine for my RX-7 so I can drive down to Texas in June with a ported 13B instead of a POS stock port 12A (Or if I can somehow manage to "finish" the RX-8 instead that would be much better. But just thought i'd give a bit of an update on this since people have been asking about it. Also here's the quote mazda gave me for Diag, 2 hours of work and programming fee


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Old 04-18-2018, 12:43 PM
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Old 08-11-2018, 07:19 PM
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So I've been in El Paso for the last few months and, instead of only staying the 4 months that was originally in my orders, I'm getting extended for another year, so with that in mind a red R3 popped up for sale at a used dealer near me, went to check it out and test drove it. Runs and drives fine, but overall not in very good shape, however, it's an actual S2 that starts, runs and drives fine and only cost $4,000, but does have 131,000 miles on it with a rebuilt title. I've decided to buy that instead of finishing this build and my plan is to just putt the R3 around base or only drive it on super hot days seeing as it has great working AC and my RX-7 doesn't and when the time comes to go back home to Utah I'll drive the RX-7 1st then greyhound back down here and then drive the R3 home and EVERYTHING that went into building the S1 will go into the R3, so I'll still end up with my original desired result except the car will be an actual S2 and not an S2 swapped S1.

To cover the cost of the R3 (as as much of it as I can) I will be selling the Recaros (with new inserts), 19" BBS wheels (cleaned up of course) and front end as I won't need or want any of those.

I also know it may suck to hear that I've decided to go this route, but I'm just warn out from busting my ***** building this car for 3 years now and still not being able to start it. Sure maybe taking it to the dealer and paying $400 to reprogram it might fix it or it might not. Either way I'm ditching my build simply because the RX-8 is a modern car with an immobilizer system that I just don't want to spend any more time on at all. This swap is 100% doable, there's no doubt about that, but starting this build with a donor S2 that has this immobilizer issue was a mistake. The bright side of all of this is that I learned about the entire car inside and out through building it myself which was one of my goals to begin with. This car was my gateway to becoming a rotary enthusiast and don't regret any bit of what I've done with it up to this point, but I think it's just time to throw in the towel so that's what I'm doing. I've owned this for for 4 years and have only gotten to actually drive it 1,500 miles before the engine that I got it with **** itself and thought this swap would be an easier and cheaper solution, but it wasn't and I learned that the hard way. The correct way to S2 swap an S1 is to go to a dealer selling an S2 and trade in your S1 for it (or just sell your S1 and buy an S2).

*Once the S2 swapped S1 is fully gutted back down to just a shell I'll more than likely have it crushed and get whatever it's value in scrap is worth for it. Better that than sell it to someone who will likely just drop an LS into it or something.

*Pics of the R3 shown below (It has an S1 rear end because it was likely rear ended and the torn piece of metal you see is just the fuel tank shield. Everything behind the rear bumper appeared to be fine as well)

Also if you want to follow a build that will actually be finished, check out my killer bee RX-5 Cosmo 13B engine build using complete renesis rotating assembly with precision balanced & clearanced renesis rotors and super lightweight flywheel going into my SA22C: https://www.rx7club.com/build-thread...-swap-1108365/











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Old 08-12-2018, 12:15 PM
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You know that thing was likely hit hard from the rear, right?
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:22 PM
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I think its pretty decent considering those seats alone are like half the price of the car.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:03 AM
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Yep it probably was. I looked over it behind the bumper and couldnít find anything out of order there, all looked straight. The only visible damage I could really see was the passenger fuel tank shield thatís torn up
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Old 08-13-2018, 12:10 PM
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You probably already know but the left has a Bilstein shock (which is what came on the car) and the right does not. It seems like unmatched shocks would have some affect on handling. It could have a different spring as well.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:24 AM
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Ya I did see that, it also has one mismatched wheel too. 3/4 are the standard 19Ē R3 wheels while 1 is an 18Ē MS3 wheel. The shock wonít be much of an issue to replace as Iíve seen a few floating around for around $150 used, but the wheel is about $449 new (each), so that will put a bit of a dent in my pocket (also noticed today that one of the R3 door panels is missing and just has a regular cloth panel instead). I also looked at the rear trunk area and couldnít find much other than a small bend in the muffler heat shield but it is missing that rear inner trunk cover though.







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Old 08-16-2018, 08:32 PM
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Out of curiosity, where are you finding OEM R3 wheels for $449 each? I just had one of mine replaced (guy at work hit the car pulling out of his parking spot and scraped the wheel). The insurance claim for just the wheel was $1320. Fortunately the guy who hit me was an upstanding dude and left a note with his contact info so it went on his insurance.
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:06 AM
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I just googled rx8 r3 wheel and it popped up


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Old 08-17-2018, 09:00 AM
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That looks like a $2000 car to me...
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Dallas View Post
That looks like a $2000 car to me...

What, an RX-8 after putting on 4 of those wheels? Unfortunately, you're probably not far off the mark.

Last edited by TomD_Cincy; 08-17-2018 at 11:41 AM. Reason: fixed spelling
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Dallas View Post
That looks like a $2000 car to me...
Sideskirts, front clip, recaros (once he gets new seat belt guides), and a complete set of wheels would be worth more than $2k.
He has a car where the whole isnt greater than the sum of its parts I suppose
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:10 PM
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So I secured and finalized my loan today and I'm picking the car up tomorrow. I've already had a few people agree to buy the front end for $1500 (but may end up working out a trade deal on a red S1 front end instead) and the seats seem to be of substantial interest at $1500 as well (new inserts included of course). The wheels I may just hold onto for a while and buy the 4th to complete the set because, if I sell them now, All that's available in El Paso locally are cheap shitty eBay crap like XXRs or "rEaL RoTaS" that some dude with a riced out civic is selling (all I've been able to find so far). But overall I should be able to make a decent amount of my money back once all unneeded or doubles of what I already have are sold.
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Old 08-18-2018, 06:50 PM
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Went to Mazda to pick up an oil filter for the car and while there I got a CARFAX for it, now I know a bit more as to why the title was rebuilt


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Old 08-18-2018, 08:24 PM
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Old 08-19-2018, 10:48 AM
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Car fax confirmed what I was seeing, damage to the right rear which is why the bumper, shock and door panel are not stock R3 parts. The front bumper is correct but missing the chrome strips below the driving lights. Since I am not aware these are prone to fall off they must have been removed.The doors are aluminum and expensive to fix so the rear door was probably replaced with a used one that already had a door card. I would be suspect of any structural repairs since they obviously wanted to fix it cheaply (hence the non R3 replacement parts). Be sure to have the chassis checked out by a good body shop for alignment. This is the kind of car you can have lots of fun modifying as cars with rebuilt titles are never worth more than the price of their valuable parts.
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Old 08-21-2018, 01:44 AM
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Brought the car home today, I was a bit wary of taking it on the highway with the known issues in mind, but the drive towards it seemed perfectly fine so I did anyway. Car was as smooth as could be the whole way back to base and the AC works phenomenally well and am very happy about it (been daily driving 1st gens for the last 2 years, both with no AC, so itís a pretty big deal to me lol). But I paid close attention to whatever feedback and noises I heard while driving and the only questionable thing I could hear was an occasional thud coming from the back. I couldnít tell if it was the car itself, or just road noise, but the car did great with no issues during the 20 mile drive and the first thing I did after getting back to base was removing all of this sound system wiring garbage (check out that sweet grounding job too lol).

One thing to note is that the fuel gauge was sitting at about 1/2, I filled up and put a total of 13.1 gallons in (w/premix of course) and, when I started the car, the needle stopped at 3/4. Based on the fuel tank shield damage Iím wondering if the fuel sending unit on that side was affected at all, so I may order one for that side and see if that changes anything, but otherwise Iím very happy to finally have a working, running and driving series 2 (which just happens to be an R3)😃








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Old 08-21-2018, 06:05 PM
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Resolved the wheel and mismatched door card issues. An R3 popped up in a junkyard and a dude nearby was willing to go pull them for me so long as I paid for the parts and shipping. Wheel was $75 and door card was $50, so I think I did alright there




Last edited by @italia916; 08-23-2018 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:27 AM
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You should get the strut, tail lights and rear bumper too.
Edit: Unless you have that stuff already ha
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Old 08-23-2018, 03:00 AM
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No point in buying S2 bumper and taillights as I didnít plan to keep them even if they did come on the car (doing a complete S1 panel conversion). Also Iím just going to have a friend pull the mazdaspeed coilovers and some other stuff off of the other car and ship them to me so I donít have to spend more money on parts that Iím not going to keep anyway.

*The wheels are another story, I may keep them but not sure yet
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:28 AM
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So for the first few years you were trying to convert your S1 into an S2... Now you bought a S2 and will be trying to convert it into an S1??? I mean this with all due respect.
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