My 04 Nordic Green GT Restoration - RX8Club.com



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Old 11-24-2016, 05:32 PM   #1
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My 04 Nordic Green GT Restoration

Since the 8 was new, my first color choice was Nordic Green. They don't come up for sale that often around these parts and I was lucky to acquire this car. Its a major project and was destined to be a parts car before I rescued it. It needs a lot of work to say the least but I'm willing to put the time and money into the car to make it what it once was.

I'm starting with a GT without nav. The previous owner sold the seats and door panels and the car came with S2 seats and painted door panels. A set of black S2 door panels are what I need to make the interior look decent... That or a complete black/chaparral interior would be my first choice. As expected, the engine is near death. Its a Mazda reman. I can see new coils and plug wires that are older than the Titanic. There's rust and a crappy cat back exhaust. I'm going to update this thread as I bring the car back and document each step I take with the car. Here are a few pics:

The car was dropped here at my place by the seller and I'm using the Jetta to get the battery jumped to get the engine started to pull the car in the garage:



The car in the garage for the first time:



The interior before I started working on it:



One engine bay pic:



Interior cleaned up a little, panels, seats and radio in place, passenger side still has yet to be done. Maybe tonight:


One final pic of the old girl before I went in last night:

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Old 11-24-2016, 08:16 PM   #2
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Worked on the car for awhile tonight ad got the interior back together and swept out. Not a lot of room to work in the garage on the passenger side but I made it work. Could be swept out better but for now it'll work.





Took a couple pics of the car as it sat tonight:









Also decided to swap out the plugs and wires tonight and this is what I found:



That's right, 4 trailing plugs. There were no RE6C's in this engine!!! I'm surprised it even ran with as fouled as the plugs were and with the wrong type installed. I put in the correct plugs and swapped out the sticky wires for a set of used O.E. wires I had laying around. The engine started and ran alright, despite the lack of a muffler (it's not even connected to the converter set),and the low compression. It stalled and I decided that was enough for the night. Would like to do a compression test but that can wait for another night.

Next step is to scan the ecu's for DTC's and figure out why the steering light is on and there is no power steering. Perhaps a failed harness. I'll have to do some searching on that. But for now, there's where I'm at. Maybe the weather will cooperate enough for me to wash the car tomorrow after work and post better pics.
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Old 11-24-2016, 10:54 PM   #3
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Oh man, you're addicted! #3! lol. I will be following this one as well! Looks like a pretty decent car, it's dirty so hard to tell, how is the exterior?

And WOW on the plugs!
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Old 11-25-2016, 05:12 AM   #4
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I am addicted, lol. I suppose that if the deal comes up that I can't pass up, I buy the car. The last two just fell into my lap really, so I took them under my wing. This car is going to be a handful. Its pretty rusty and the previous owner was going to part it out. Its not beyond repair however and seems to be pretty straight. If I can get off work early today, I'll back it out of the garage and wash it. The paint appears to be pretty good other than the rust at the rear bumper seam. I see evidence of bondo in the places that are rusting so either it was whacked in the rear lightly or someone fixed the rust at one point and didn't repaid the rust damaged area before painting the car. I can't wait to post a pic of the long oil cooler line!! Its made out of copper tubing, hahahaha. It worked so I can't knock it too much. I have another oil cooler set and lines in my parts cache so I'll swap those in.
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Old 11-25-2016, 10:29 AM   #5
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Wait, so an oil cooler line was replaced with a homemade replacement? Oh boy. Who knows what other homemade remedies you may find, lol
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Old 11-25-2016, 11:34 AM   #6
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Yeah it's pretty wild. It works....it's not pretty and it's not staying lol. So far that's the only thing I found that was rigged up..other than the spray painted door panels. The inserts were once red and have since been sprayed black. They're hideous.
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Old 11-25-2016, 08:59 PM   #7
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Washed the car tonight after work and did a pressurized intake system cleaning. It felt great to have the car clean. I don't think it had been washed in quite some time!











Got all of the lights working:







As the car sits currently:

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Old 11-26-2016, 05:29 AM   #8
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Saw that I forgot to post a pic of the induction system cleaning. Since I work for Toyota I am able to use some specialty service tools and take them home when I need them for the evening. So, I used our BG pressurized induction system tool. It uses a pressurized canister that works at about 60psi to spray an induction system cleaner through the throttle body and the engine sucks in the mist, which is a powerful cleaning agent. I used it in hopes of easier starting when cold and to clean out some of the carbon in the intake. It seemed to help throttle response. I think the next step is going to be soaking the engine's internals in Marvel Mystery Oil for some time to see if compression can be restored some. It worked wonders for the engine I installed in my BB 04. That engine was so full of carbon when I bought it home it would only achieve 60psi on the front rotor and 50psi on the rear rotor when tested with a piston compression tester. After a month or so soaking and being turned over and re-soaking, I achieved 100psi on the front rotor and 90psi on the rear. I figure that its worth a shot before I tear it down. I don't know, its just a thought at this stage. I still need to run a compression test on it. I should just order a tester from rotartcompressiontester.com and get a more accurate reading. Here's a pic with the service tool hooked up to the engine sans the air line:

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Old 11-27-2016, 08:38 AM   #9
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Got the engine to run long enough to take the car up the road and back to the house and pull some DTC's. Here's what's going on with the trouble codes:



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Old 12-03-2016, 07:36 AM   #10
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Going to spend some time in the garage today and try to get some MMO in the engine to start cleaning the internals in hopes of restoring some compression. I used the stuff on the engine before I put it in my 04 and the compression numbers went up significantly. Now, the sticking sleeves are a concern. I may have to pull the upper intake manifold and try freeing them by spraying some MMO in there in hopes it will trickle down where I need it. I truly believe carbon buildup is killing these engines. I brought one back with the MMO treatment and I'm willing to gamble on a second. I don't have anything into this car really so it will be more enjoyable to rebuild this car.
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:33 AM   #11
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Decided I was going to get the power steering working again so I pulled the power steering harness for cleaning and inspection. It cleaned up well and I decided to clean the connections at the rack, which I did. Then I decided that I wanted to fix the studs on the coil bracket as all of the studs were broken and the coils were just sitting there loosely. Also wanted to pull the a/c compressor that's long been locked up and replace it and the idler pulley.

Got the idler pulley and bracket off and I started removing the compressor bolts but we had to leave for my work Christmas party. So, I'll pick back up where I left off some time today. Snapped a pic of where I left off for the night last night:

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Old 12-04-2016, 04:55 PM   #12
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Forgot to add, I installed a stock exhaust system on the car to ensure quiet operation and decided it was better to identify issues with the engine running quietly and in stock form.

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Old 12-05-2016, 05:32 AM   #13
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Decided to tear down the top of the engine to start cleaning the manifolds and the grounds on the top of the engine. I also decided to make sure both SSV's were in working order and of course they were not. The lower one is frozen, which leads me to believe that the sleeves are frozen as well. I sprayed some MMO into the engine through the lower intake manifold after I spray cleaned the runners. I will also fill the engine with MMO through the spark plug holes to start melting away some of the carbon in the engine. Figured I'll try the free stuff to see if I can restore some compression back to the engine and fix some non working items while I'm in there.

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Old 12-07-2016, 05:26 PM   #14
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I'm in the process of parting out an 04 with black and red interior. I'm building a track car so most of the interior is up for grabs if you need anything. I wish it were the color combo you were looking for!
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:26 AM   #15
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I'll shoot you a pm
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Old 12-13-2016, 05:38 AM   #16
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Took the upper intake manifolds into my work and hot tanked them. They looked brand new when I was finished. I also hot tanked the battery tray, lower air box mount, and air intake's accordion boot.

While all of the cleaning was going on, I soaked the internals of the engine in MMO, rotating it daily for the last week. I freed the stuck SSV and tested the diaphragm. I came home from work last night and put the engine back together. I was surprised at how fast it started. Normally it has to be cranked over for awhile when cold and then it will sputter to life. Yesterday it barked right to life, bellowing clouds of smoke. I did crank the engine over multiple times with the plugs removed to blow out my MMO mixture, so I got out as much as I could. I was finally able to rev it to redline without it misfiring. Here are a couple pics after the engine stalled and the smoke was clearing:



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Old 12-13-2016, 09:07 AM   #17
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Oh wow nice job!
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Old 12-13-2016, 04:19 PM   #18
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Absolutely love it! Best pics ... ever!
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Old 12-13-2016, 04:56 PM   #19
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Love the restoration, wish I had a hot tank to work with. Regarding firing it up after an MMO soak, that makes sense, such a quantity of oil can act as a seal between the apex seal and the housing (as well as other seals). Let it burn off and see if the fix is permanent.
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Old 12-14-2016, 05:37 AM   #20
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I ran it again last night and its still smoking quite a bit... There was a small puddle of black oil under each muffler tip. Most likely a mixture of carbon, MMO, and condensation. I'm sure a good bit of the MMO got into the exhaust when I was turning it over and not all came out of the spark plug holes. It still stalls when when at normal operating temperature and will not restart until it has cooled down. I was hoping to help that issue. It does however rev strongly with no misfiring. That's a plus! So some progress has been made. I think fresh gas and oil in the engine would be a good thing for the car as well. Not that either will help the compression issues the engine has, but if I'm going to keep soaking the engine and running it then I think that they would be beneficial.
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:21 AM   #21
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Spent some time in the garage yesterday after work running the car. The engine was not smoking as heavily and ran well until it stalled. Decided to take a few pics while I was out there and wanted to post them up.





Much less smoke this time when running the engine:



My Christmas tree like instrument cluster:





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Old 12-21-2016, 05:20 AM   #22
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Decided to take apart the front brakes and clean and lube the caliper brackets, pad clips, sliders, and inspect the rotors yesterday. The left front had two frozen slider pins. I was able to heat the bracket up slowly with a torch and loosen the pins. Then I cleaned the pins and removed all of the rust. I did so on the bracket as well. Long story short, I am now able to roll the car much easier by hand.

I decided to take the car down the road and back yesterday, but the ice in the driveway was completely unforgiving. I literally had to use my car hauler's winch to pull the car back up to the garage. It was an exercise in frustration to say the least. The good news is that I cleared the DTC's after I fixed the stuck SSV and did an MMO treatment and I finally have no warning lights illuminated on the dash. That's a plus at the very least. Took a couple pics to share while I was out there letting the car get some fresh air:





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Old 12-21-2016, 09:54 AM   #23
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Good job. A second life for a neglected but most deserving Nordic Green!
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:11 PM   #24
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Excellent progress. So is it stalling out?
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:11 PM   #25
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Yeah it's stalling once it's at normal operating temperature. Typical low compression issues on a Mazda reman. I was hoping it was due to carbon buildup so I ran some MMO in the combustion chamber. While it does run better, it still has hot start issues. Odd that the Renesis has stalling issues when warm. Older 12A's will run fine when warm but hard to start when cold. Guess I'm stuck in the 80's lol
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