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DIY: RX8 engine removal how-to w/pics

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Old 07-22-2009, 11:01 PM
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DIY: RX8 engine removal how-to w/pics

Here is a writeup of how I remove engines out of rx8s. The manual/factory wants you to drop the engine/transmission/subframe/suspension out the bottom as a unit, which requires a lot of space and a vehicle lift. This writeup shows you how to do it the conventional method that other RWD vehicles get their engines removed...out the top, trans staying in the car. I've used it 3 or 4 times now and have gotten the procedure down to about 3 hours give or take, not rushing particularly but also working at a good steady pace.

When it is engine rebuild time for you guys, remember which builder took time to photo document, transcribe, and post this procedure for free on your forum for your assistance.

Start off by removing the hood, battery, battery box, battery tray, air filter box and base.



Remove the air pump. As an addendum, I have started to remove the bracket supporting/under the air pump as well...there's only two bolts for it, and it offers extra clearance during the act of working the engine out of the bay.



Remove the PCM lid. Find the engine wiring harness coming from the passenger front corner of the engine, follow it to the PCM, and unplug only the 4 connectors at the PCM (3 for 4 port auto models) needed to free the harness from the PCM, then lay the harness aside on the engine. There is not really a need to remove the PCM, the connectors can all be accessed with the PCM still installed. Also remove the upper small coolant hose going to the coolant reservoir tank, from the tank, and lay it aside on the engine.



Unbolt the battery wiring harness from the chassis crossbar, and unplug/unbolt from the main fusebox. Unplug the other connectors holding it to the chassis wiring harness above the fans, so that the harness can be pulled back and laid on top of the engine out of the way.

Remove the brake booster hose from the brake booster and lay it on top of the engine out of the way.



Remove the a/c belt.

Remove both fuel lines by prying off the color retaining clip and pulling the line up. One clip has a second small plastic retainer inside that must be reinstalled, be sure not to lose it (seen here as a burgundy color plastic piece under the blue clip). The retaining clips only go back on one way. Best to put them back on immediately after you remove them, so you don't forget how they are oriented. During reinstall, you will need to recall that the blue line goes in front and the red one in back.



Disconnect the oil cooler lines. For MT models with dual coolers, there are 3 lines up front. One comes from the engine and goes under the front crossbar above the radiator. The other 2 are under the drivers frame rail near the radiator. The top line actually does not go to the engine, however we must disconnect and move it out of the way to gain access to the bottom one, which does go to the engine. For auto models with a single driver side oil cooler, both lines go to that corner of the car beside the radiator. The lines are held in place by a retaining C clip. I suggest using a liberal amount of penetrating oil (wd40 etc.) well in advance of trying to get these apart. Simply use a pick or thin blade flat screwdriver to gently pry the clip out (dont lose or bend it, as it retails for $35 from mazda!) and then twist/pull the hose end off the metal pipe. Be prepared to catch a bit of oil spillage with a towel. Lay the 2 hoses from the engine facing up near the engine.

As an addendum, I find that many of these cars have significantly rusty/seized oil cooler line disconnects. There is not much room to work in, and a couple of times all the penetrating lubricant and twisting in the world won't get them apart unless you want to completely disassemble the entire front end of the car by removing the radiator and all surrounding plastic trim. Rather than do this, IF IT IS THE LINE FROM THE FRONT COVER/FRONT OF THE ENGINE that is stuck, it is easier to just unbolt it from the front cover under the a/c compressor. This is easily done from under the car. Careful, it's full of oil so be ready with a shop rag as soon as you crack the fitting open. IF you take it loose here, just wedge it over out of the way beside the steering shaft. The other line goes to the rear of the engine at the oil filter and you basically have to leave it in place and unhook the quick disconnect fitting whether you like it or not.





Unplug the a/c compressor connector from the top and lay it on the engine.

Remove the 2 top a/c compressor bolts, a gear wrench is best for this.

Last edited by RotaryResurrection; 03-20-2014 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:08 PM
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Next the car should be jacked up and placed securely on jackstands about 15" off the ground in the front.



Drain the coolant at the radiator and engine block (driver side just above oil pan).





While the coolant is draining go ahead and lubricate the 3 exhaust fasteners holding the main cat converter/midpipe onto the exhaust manifold/header.



Drain the oil.



Remove the lower 1" diameter coolant hose for the coolant reservoir tank, from the engine and lay it aside.



Remove upper radiator hose from engine. If the clamp does not want to slide off of the outlet, use lubricant on the outside so the clamp will slide over. Tuck the hose out of the way.



Repeat for heater core hose...



And lower radiator hose...

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Old 07-22-2009, 11:17 PM
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Next remove the ground wire on the passenger side of the lower intake manifold and lay it aside away from the engine.



Remove the driver side heatercore hose at the firewall pipe.



Remove the alternator belt by taking tension off the alternator.

Remove the crank pullies and trigger wheel by removing the 4) 10mm bolts. DO NOT remove the 19mm main hub bolt. This is necessary to provide clearance to get the engine over the cross bar in the engine bay.



Remove both bottom bolts on the a/c compressor from underneath, and let it lay down slightly on the steering gear. You can also use a long extension, ratchet, wobble/ujoint, and socket to get at this later via the driver wheel well.

remove both front wheels.



Remove the motor mount top retaining bolt (14mm) on each side of the car. You can do this via the wheel wells, or you can use a long extension/ratchet/socket with a wobble/ujoint and get it from the top above the engine bay.



Remove the crossmember under the engine/transmission using 17mm and 19mm sockets.



Remove the small bracket joining the exhaust manifold and the transmission. Sometimes on northern or ocean cars the bolt to the exhaust manifold snaps off, this is no big deal as this brace is not very important and I would just discard it and not worry about it.



Remove the starter. The top retaining bolt requires a wrench on the engine side and a socket to remove the nut from the back side. Check to see if you have the upgraded 13/14 tooth starter or an original 11 tooth slow starter at this time.



Remove the 3 nuts holding the converter/midpipe to the exhaust manifold/header. It is not uncommon for one or more studs to break/shear off or strip. This is no big deal, in this case the affected stud can be hammered out backwards with a punch, and a standard replacement bolt and nut can be used during installation. Also it is not uncommon for the gasket/o-ring inside to be rotted or damaged and should probably be replaced anytime these are separated.


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Old 07-22-2009, 11:34 PM
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Life the engine about 1/2" to 1", just enough to take pressure off the motor mounts themselves. The bracket has a lip on the bottom edge that prevents it from lifting more than this amount off of the motor mount. The goal is to have neither lip resting on the motor mount itself for this part.



Remove the passenger motor mount. I find it easiest to use long extensions from the top of the engine bay. There is a 14mm nut and 14mm bolt.



Now you can remove the passenger motor mount bracket from the engine. There are 3) 17mm fasteners on the engine, I find it easiest to use a long extension to get these from the wheel wells.



Now move to the driver side. Push the engine toward the passenger side, unbolt the driver motor mount bracket, and remove it from the engine (it is a tight fit, but possible). If you are uncomfortable or unable to do this, you can remove the driver side motor mount for extra clearance. That might be the best idea anyway, since you probably want to examine your motor mount(s) for cracking etc. Also note that the front top fastener for the mount bracket is a stud sticking out of the engine block. In some cars the nut is siezed onto the stud and pulls the stud out of the block. This is GREAT for you if it happens because if that stud remains in the block, it makes it a PAIN to get the engine around and out past the a/c compressor later, but it is pretty easy without this stud. IF your stud remains in the block then you will have to fight with the a/c compressor a bit more during remove and install.





Lower the engine/transmission about 4 or 5 inches to gain access to the top of the bellhousing. Unplug the front oxygen sensor from the engine harness (you'll quite possibly wind up breaking it, there's no good way to avoid it), and remove the harness clip from the passenger side of the transmission. You can also remove the upper 2 or 3 bellhousing bolts if you want, however I find it easier to get these from underneath using a long extension and a u-joint. The bellhousing bolt on the top drivers side of the transmission is behind the slave cylinder line, simply gently bend this line out of the way to get the bolt out.



Disconnect the rear oxygen sensor and the other connectors on the top rear of the transmission. Remove the clips holding this harness to the top of the transmission and pull this harness out through the top and lay it on the engine (it is part of the engine wiring harness). You will often wind up breaking these clips/zipties to get them apart.



Now support the transmission with a jack and blocks. Jack it slowly up all the way until the transmission begins to touch the top of the transmission tunnel/firewall. The engine will move up with it, because it is still connected by the 2 lower bellhousing bolts.



Now put tension on the engine hoist chain to support the engine, and remove the 2 lower bellhousing bolts. IT may also be helpful to pry on the bottom of the engine/trans to get them apart.



BE CAREFUL OF THE OMP (OIL METERING PUMP) AND THE BLACK PLASTIC POSITION SENSOR ON THE SIDE OF IT. Shops and DIY'ers are somehow breaking this position sensor during r/r of the engine. I am not sure how, since it does not really come close to anything on the way in or out. Regardless, if you damage the position sensor it cannot be purchased separately to my knowledge, so then you must buy a whole OMP. Mazda retails that part for over $1000 new, and used ones go for $200-300 or more so this is a mistake you want to avoid.

Wiggle the engine while pulling forward to separate it from the transmission. There should be just enough upward tension on the engine to keep it from moving downward, but not enough upward tension to put it in a bind. You basically want to keep it as parallel with the direction of the transmission and input shaft as possible until they are apart.

Eventually the engine will separate from the trans, at which time you slowly want to raise the front of the engine, while moving forward in small increments, to clear both the input shaft/clutch/transmission and the front crossbar in the engine bay.



Be careful of the a/c compressor. There is a stud on the front iron/engine block that sticks out and tends to catch onto the compressor. Work the engine side to side and upward until the compressor is out of danger of being wedged or damaged. It is fine for the compressor to hang loose and lay on the steering gear.



Don't forget to check clearance on the passenger side, for the auxiliary port actuator and the OMP, as well as the manifold to heatercore pipe. Slowly continue to raise and pull foward the engine in increments as it clears components.



When the clutch pressureplate is completely clear of the input shaft and transmission you can raise the engine straight up from then on.



A/c compressor off of the engine, out of danger and resting on the steering gear.


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Old 07-22-2009, 11:35 PM
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VICTORY!







The crossmember can be replaced under the transmission and then the jack can be lowered so the trans will rest on the crossmember. The car can then have the wheels reinstalled, be lowered and rolled around safely while you work on the engine.



Mod Edit:
This diagram was put together for proper injector connections when you re-install: https://www.rx8club.com/series-i-tec...iagram-250850/

Last edited by RIWWP; 01-31-2014 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:43 PM
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Epicness...
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:49 AM
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holymoly...your efforts are truly appreciated. Thank you for posting all the pictures with detailed instructions.
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:29 AM
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Thanks RR! Clear and concise!

Stickied, and the teardown thread too.

S
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:25 AM
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Massive Awesomeness Do we get a rebuild how to
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by auzoom View Post
Massive Awesomeness Do we get a rebuild how to
Wouldn't that be a little like McDonald's telling you how to make a Big Mac at home that tastes the same as the one they make?
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:14 PM
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c'mon RR, that's an easy one.

RX-8 Engine Rebuild DIY:
1. Remove engine per RR DIY thread
2. Drink a cold beer, you've earned it
3. log onto www.rx8club.com
4. send PM to RR
5. Have Visa Card / Checkbook handy
5. Drink another beer
6. find another car to drive while engine is rebuilt
7. Sign for BIG *** box on your doorstep being delivered by UPS / Fed EX
8. Install engine in reverse order of Step 2.
9. you're done.



P.S. your 'drain the oil' pic isn't showing.
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:23 PM
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gee... your da boy Luke!
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:33 PM
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really cool ... if you dont mind me askin how much do you charge for a rebuild and how long does it take you approx. mine runs great and is finr (knock on wood knock knock) but i was just curious. pm me if you dont wanna disclose on here thanks
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by RotaryResurrection View Post
Wouldn't that be a little like McDonald's telling you how to make a Big Mac at home that tastes the same as the one they make?
I would have said like the Colonel giving you the 11 secret herbs and spices but yeah ... it was very tongue in cheek
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rodjonathan View Post
really cool ... if you dont mind me askin how much do you charge for a rebuild and how long does it take you approx. mine runs great and is finr (knock on wood knock knock) but i was just curious. pm me if you dont wanna disclose on here thanks
Well, it mostly depends on what is wrong with the engine being rebuilt. I rebuild your core, rather than exchange. IF your core is just weak compression, using some coolant, or burning some extra oil/smoking, then it is probably fully rebuildable. Best case scenario price for a shortblock rebuild if all your major components are reuseable is $1400. Plus shipping both ways if applicable.

If I tear it down and find extra damage that requires replacements of parts such as irons, rotors, housings, etc. then the price goes up. For instance, the poor fellow who owns this car is having to come out of pocket close to an extra 1000 for replacement rear and intermediate iron, e-shaft, rotor, and all 4 bearings, plus some of the rotor seals that I normally reuse which were damaged in this engine.

If the car is brought to me like this one and I do the remove/teardown/assembly/install then this adds $1000 to the cost of the engine block rebuild itself, whatever that winds up being.

Turnaround is usually in the 2-3 week range.
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:39 PM
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Thanks Kevin for another valuable asset to this community! You have tought me and other a great deal about our cars!

PS i never knew you could drain the coolant from the block like that. thanks again haha. Makes me feel stupid for trying to tip the motors over to drain coolant before shipping.
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by G3tR3DDY2GR3DDY View Post
PS i never knew you could drain the coolant from the block like that. thanks again haha. Makes me feel stupid for trying to tip the motors over to drain coolant before shipping.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:04 AM
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thanks for the diy man!
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by G3tR3DDY2GR3DDY View Post
PS i never knew you could drain the coolant from the block like that. thanks again haha. Makes me feel stupid for trying to tip the motors over to drain coolant before shipping.
are you serious ? jeeze.

SEARCH U N00B !!!!
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:16 AM
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That removal is not as bad looking as i figured it would be. The hardest part comes with taking everything else off the engine, and that i am all set with not doing.
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:54 AM
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I might have to remove the engine from my FC one day.

All engine removal requires you to take everything off.

Good write up
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SleepeR1st View Post
That removal is not as bad looking as i figured it would be. The hardest part comes with taking everything else off the engine, and that i am all set with not doing.
Originally Posted by nycgps View Post
I might have to remove the engine from my FC one day.

All engine removal requires you to take everything off.

Good write up
Huh?

That all makes about as much sense as a buy 1 for the price of 2, get 1 free sale.
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by RotaryResurrection View Post
Huh?

That all makes about as much sense as a buy 1 for the price of 2, get 1 free sale.

LOL that's awesome.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:41 AM
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So how much more difficult is it to pull the engine & trans out together this way as an assembly? Late in the year I can see needing to do this. I know how to disassemble everything. It's just a matter of what it takes to get it out through the engine bay ie car needs to be higher in the air or not etc.?
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:14 PM
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Why remove the cross member?
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