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Did I destroy my engine???

Old 07-26-2015, 04:31 PM
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Did I destroy my engine???

I took my car to Streets At Willow (WSIR), weather was about 95* outside. During one of my sessions, I looked down, and my needle was buried in the H side of the temp. I immediately came into the cold pit, turned on the heater, left the car idling and the temp needle started to drop. after awhile, it went back to the normal position.

I tried using an ebay OBD scanner, and Torque app. Showed my temps at around 210* but would fluctuate. Hardly did it ever drop under 200*. I open the hood, I see all my covers (engine, battery and intake) were covered in dried fluid splatters. And I open the coolant bottle cap, and it was really low. Poured two water bottles of water I had, took it out to the track, temps would slightly raised, turned on the heater and it would drop but still wanted to slightly raise, Never got to the H zone.

I waited, went to autozone, picked up some of their green 50/50 antifreeze, and poured a little under 1litter into the bottle. As that's all it would take.

I may have overfilled it cause it would leak under the radiator area, after maybe a small amount of coolant leaked, it stopped leaking (didn't leak for hours after it stopped leaking a tiny little puddle) I would check my temps again around 205* is where it would read.

Took it back onto the track, temps didn't raise. Drove it home, didn't move the needle.

In fact the engine doesn't make any noise, it doesn't have any loss of power. It feels fine.

So, my question is, did I ruin my engine? I have 80k on the odometer.

I know i know i know, I'm an idiot for not having aftermarket temp gauge, I can't afford them, but I will have to stop eating out and invest in one.

I plan to continue tracking the car, so I'm thinking of getting these mods.

1. Koyo Radiator
2. Thermostat that opens sooner
3. upgraded water pump
4. Aftermarket gauges
5. bigger oil cooler

In that specific order, unfortunately with maybe a few months in between the big ones since I'm strapped for cash.

What do you guys think?
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Old 07-26-2015, 05:31 PM
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that's why I never track in the summer.

It's too hot for the radiator.

Looks like you caught the overheat just in time.

Only time will tell about the condition of your engine.
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:25 PM
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An oil analysis could diagnose a blown coolant seal. I believe 9k noticed his that way, before it became catastrophic.
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Old 07-26-2015, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by BigBadChris View Post
An oil analysis could diagnose a blown coolant seal. I believe 9k noticed his that way, before it became catastrophic.
So I went outside right now, and checked the oil dibstick, its clear. There doesn't seem to be anything abnormal about it. I also checked the oil cap and its clear too.

I really hope nothing catastrophic happened.
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Old 07-26-2015, 09:16 PM
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I apologize, Jesus. I did not phrase that well. He did an analysis with black stone labs, who detected the coolant in his oil.

Blackstone Labs
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Old 07-26-2015, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by BigBadChris View Post
I apologize, Jesus. I did not phrase that well. He did an analysis with black stone labs, who detected the coolant in his oil.

Blackstone Labs
ahh okay, I ordered a kit. For $25 its better to know. Thanks man.
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Old 07-27-2015, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Jesus Martinez View Post
I can't afford them, but I will have to stop eating out and invest in one.

I Lol'd....






But apart from that your mod list looks good and if you aren't noticing the car having a hard time starting on a hot start then you are most likely okay. I would agree with the above, you probably caught it on time.
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:20 PM
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I see the Ron Davis radiator is $600+. Is it worth it over the Koyo radiator?

I need something that'll perform better than the OEM one for track use, but I don't want to break the bank account.

What do you guys think? Is the Koyo one a decent choice considering its around half the price of the ron davis one?
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:47 PM
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It's worth taking a look at the CSF all aluminum radiator. Probably my favorite as far as bang for the buck goes.
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:54 PM
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Rx8Performance.com has a dual pass, high thickness one that they recommend for track use. It's a little pricey, but as you have seen, the rx8 overheats quick.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:08 AM
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I turn on the heater during hot track days as a preventative maitience, and watch the needle like a hawk. When it gets above 3/4 I take a cool down lap. Redline water wetter helps and not over driving the car helps even more.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by thewatcher101 View Post
I turn on the heater during hot track days as a preventative maitience, and watch the needle like a hawk. When it gets above 3/4 I take a cool down lap. Redline water wetter helps and not over driving the car helps even more.
Whoa... you are aware that the needle doesn't even move until it's hot enough to kill your motor right? That's got to be like 250+ degree coolant temps.
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Old 07-30-2015, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Arca_ex View Post
Whoa... you are aware that the needle doesn't even move until it's hot enough to kill your motor right? That's got to be like 250+ degree coolant temps.
damn man why the heck you gotta continue to scare me!? lol .. my mom says that now whenever I pull in to the driveway after a long drive, it smells like coolants...
Originally Posted by Arca_ex View Post
It's worth taking a look at the CSF all aluminum radiator. Probably my favorite as far as bang for the buck goes.
So I checked and it seems the people with the csf are happy with it. So it's a better bang for my buck compared to the koyo it seems. to be clear, this is the one you are talking about right?

CSF Radiator Mazda RX8 [Aluminum] (2004-2008) 3164
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Old 07-30-2015, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Jesus Martinez View Post
3. upgraded water pump
Well there's half the problem.
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Jesus Martinez View Post
my mom says that now whenever I pull in to the driveway after a long drive, it smells like coolants...
I wouldn't be surprised if you popped a coolant seal and it's leaking out of the block (check for coolant on the ground) or it might be burning coolant now (no coolant on the ground but coolant is being consumed).
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:04 AM
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I have ram air and a huge opening in my front end which helps.

20-50 or straight 50 weight for the track makes a big difference.

But really, summer time heat in California is not the time to track the 8.
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Old 08-08-2015, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Legot View Post
Well there's half the problem.
No, it's not. Not even on my list ...

Originally Posted by Arca_ex View Post
Whoa... you are aware that the needle doesn't even move until it's hot enough to kill your motor right? That's got to be like 250+ degree coolant temps.
No, it's not.

https://www.rx8club.com/series-i-tec...s-move-256838/

I don't recommend it, but have been at the upper end of the ECT gauge on the dyno too many times and never had any problem


Originally Posted by BigBadChris View Post
Rx8Performance.com has a dual pass, high thickness one that they recommend for track use. It's a little pricey, but as you have seen, the rx8 overheats quick.
Apparently that's the Ron Davis "mothers special" DP radiator that all the serious RX8 track racers say gets the job done ....


The bigger half of the problem is misinformation ....
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Old 08-08-2015, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by TeamRX8 View Post

No, it's not.

He said he pulls off when it gets to 3/4 and from those pictures it looks like that's in the 240 to 245 range, so I was off by what, maybe 5 degrees? Whoopdefuckindoo. Still hot.
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Old 08-08-2015, 01:32 PM
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Ron Davis? Sweet! Team, you are an invaluable source of information, just gotta ask the right questions and get the info out to the masses
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Old 08-08-2015, 04:31 PM
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1. Koyo Radiator - Discussion already underway. Get the best radiator you can afford.
2. Thermostat that opens sooner - Unnecessary for track use. A healthy thermostat will be fully open at track temperatures.
3. upgraded water pump - Many people think this is unnecessary. The first water pump had some issues with cavitation at high RPM, but that was fixed. What year is your car?
4. Aftermarket gauges - Can't hurt. I have my temp readout on Harry's Lap Timer when I am on the track.
5. bigger oil cooler - Not really necessary. Just make sure your fins are straight.
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Old 08-08-2015, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by thewatcher101 View Post
I turn on the heater during hot track days as a preventative maitience, and watch the needle like a hawk. When it gets above 3/4 I take a cool down lap. Redline water wetter helps and not over driving the car helps even more.
Please stop giving bad advice.

Turning on the heat does nothing but add < a quart of coolant to your total volume in circulation, which accomplishes almost nothing.

The needle doesn't move until it is too late. Real gauges or an OBDII app are the correct ways to monitor coolant temps on the track.

Redline Water Wetter does more harm than good. The correct approach is to modify the water to coolant ratio to amplify water while leaving enough coolant for proper lubricity.

Not over-driving the car is a good idea. Setting it up properly for the track so as to not have to worry is a better idea.
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Old 08-08-2015, 05:45 PM
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Mazda says the Renesis can operate safely up to 240*F ECT. I have operated beyond it under full load and extremely high AFR and never lost an engine or coolant seal. The bigfnwhoopdeedoo is people who have no experience operating there spewing non-applicable earlier rotary engine facts they heard or read 20 years ago.

The premise of the thread is did he damage his engine. In my actual experience, not likely.
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:28 PM
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Your engine should be fine figuring you caught it soon enough. And that's bullshit if the needle moves you're still OK engine is not blowing is not ruined once the needle moves. I had something similar happened to me had a fuse go out on my fan my car overheated and blew antifreeze everywhere. I had a mechanic look at it that only works exclusively on rotaries Eazy-E one. Your temp gauge is supposed to move what do you think all the people that live in desert communities like Arizona have deal with when it gets too hot. So don't worry just make sure that you watch it and if it does move pull over and check what's going on . Mazda is not going to create an engine that once the temp gauge moves it ******* blows the engine up. The Renaissance has it's problems but that's not one of them to the people that had a problem with the temp gauge moving well bad luck for you you probably kept driving it like a madman
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Rx8init View Post
Your engine should be fine figuring you caught it soon enough. And that's bullshit if the needle moves you're still OK engine is not blowing is not ruined once the needle moves.
There was a bit of hyperbole in my statement that once the needle has moved it is too late. (Although that has been true for some people on this board.) I was trying to drive home a point with brevity. Obviously, it is not a black and white issue considering the variables at play.

It is well-known the gauge is not a true gauge, but an idiot gauge. There are several threads on it, and one is linked in this thread.

My gauge behaves as follows:

  • Stays at 0 until the coolant temp reaches 160F
  • Moves to 1 notch below half after that
  • Never moves from that spot, no matter if the temp is 160F or 229F
If that gauge moves at all, your coolant temp is at or above 230F, which depending on your specific circumstances, may be the threshold at which problems can start to arise. It is time to start actively managing the coolant temp if you like to live on the safe side.
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:34 AM
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Steve, what water to coolant ratio do you run?
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