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DIY: RX8 engine removal how-to w/pics

Old 03-23-2010, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Rote8 View Post
Why remove the cross member?
Little easier to get to the bottom trans-to-engine bolts. Not 100% necessary, but it's only 6 bolts, so why not.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by TeamRX8 View Post
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.?
Car has to be higher in the air if pulling the trans...plus you have to deal with the catback, driveshaft, shifter assembly/console, and PPF also. Due to the firewall and cross-bar in front of the engine pullies, you have to swing the tailshaft of the trans WAY down to get the engine out the top.
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Old 03-28-2010, 04:18 PM
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i used your method to get my engine out but i cant for the life of me get the transmission and engine to mate back up.... any help would be great
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Old 03-28-2010, 09:04 PM
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It's basically a matter of experience doing it that way...sometimes they slide right together in 30 seconds, sometimes it takes an hour to get them to go back into place. A lot of it is experience, and some of it is just luck of the draw.

You kind of need a prybar or pipe to give a little leverage to push the engine back into the trans, it often won't slide on with just you pushing by hand. A lot of wiggling and adjusting of angles in 2 planes of motion (up down, side to side) is also necessary. One last trick you can use is to put the trans in gear with the e-brake on and then turn the engine crank to help get the input shaft lined up to the clutch disc. You'll fee it grab and engage the teeth, and then you know it's beginning to line up...then you only need to worry about pushing/wiggling, and about having it lined up properly in terms of angles (trans parallel to engine in 2 planes).
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:25 AM
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First, thanks for great write-up. Very useful as I am about to do the same thing.

My RX8 is automatic however.

Could someone tell me how to deal with the torque converter removal?

Thanks!
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:15 AM
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i finaly got it back in lol....... thanks thread was awsome made it almost even seem easy.....
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 2aroundtheworld View Post
First, thanks for great write-up. Very useful as I am about to do the same thing.

My RX8 is automatic however.

Could someone tell me how to deal with the torque converter removal?

Thanks!
Same basic procedure...with some obvious differences. But it's not bad at all. In fact it is significantly easier to line up and reinstall the engine on an auto versus a manual, because you dont have to line up the trans input shaft to the clutch disc and get it to slide together.

There are a couple of trans fluid cooler lines routed to the front of the car, disconnect those and move them away from the engine. Be prepared for a lot of drainage from those lines.

The starter is bolted to the side of both the engine and trans. There are 4 bolts that hold it on IIRC. Remove the starter. This will expose the flywheel. Between the engine and flywheel, on the flywheel, you will find the 4 14mm bolts that hold the torque converter in place. I dont recall for sure, but there may be an inspection plate on the bottom front of the trans bellhousing, that would allow you to get to these from the bottom too.

Anyway there is no good way to lock the engine in place without letting the flywheel spin, which is what needs to happen. If you have help, you can rig up a big socket/ratchet/pipe combination on the front crank pulley bolt, rest it on the inner fender well/frame/ etc. in such a way that when you try to loosen a TC bolt, the rig on the front of the engine holds it from spinning and lets you break the TC bolt loose. Its not really practical to try this without a helper to hold the rig steady and move it every time you want to get to one of the other 3 TC bolts, also you'd be risking damage to your car's paint/body if one of the pipes fell off or flew off and hit something if there were nobody there to hold them steady.

Otherwise the way I do it is to grab a large flat blade screwdriver. Put it into the teeth of the flywheel adjacent to the top edge of the opening in the trans bellhousing. Then use a wrench or 2 and break loose the TC bolt, while holding the flywheel from spinning with your wedged screwdriver.

Once you get all 4 TC bolts removed, then use a screwdriver to gently slide the TC apart from the flywheel. It will move about half an inch or so into the transmission.

There is also one extra trans-to-engine bellhousing bolt near the oil filter that the manual does not have.

BE SURE you have the trans jacked up and supported in an upward position before trying to separate it from the engine.

Last edited by RotaryResurrection; 04-01-2010 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:28 PM
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Just a follow-up as I am almost ready to put a new engine in.

Removing the engine following this method turned out to be much more work than I expected.
It was my first time working on RX8 so I took my time but I have done several engines replacement in the past on various model.

Mine is an automatic so there are a few more tricky things to consider.

-The oil level tube was in the way and had to be removed.
-In order to reach the top bolts on the tranny, I had to remove all cross-member brackets all the way to the the last one in the back and lowered the engine as much as possible.
These 2 bolts were extremely tight, it probably took me an hour just to get these.
-There are a lot of plastic wire connectors to unplug. My car is a Central California car that has seen a lot of heat. Most of these connectors were a bit dry and some were really painful to unplug. At the end, I had to unplug some connectors at the transmission shifter area where there is another plate that needed to be removed to access these.
-As mentionned, I did break one on the exhaust pipe/intake bolt. Just tap it out with a hammer.

I highly doubt that someone can do this in 3 hours for the first time. I would at least count 6 hours.

Thanks again for putting this DIY together - it has been very helpful.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:35 PM
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Yeah, the exhaust manifold-to-cat studs tend to break every time you remove them, so I would count on replacing all 3 sets of hardware on the exhaust as well as that donut gasket.

The rx8 is harder to r/r an engine on versus an rx7 or most other "normal" cars. The engine sits under the firewall/cowl.
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:03 PM
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Thanks mate...

Great pics and Very Informative..

I have seen many Techs here Curse and Struggle sometimes mating the Input Shaft and Clutch Plate in old schoolers, RX-2,3,4,5,7...a little Luck helps.

As you say because the RX-8's engine is further to the rear (firewall) it does not help.

RR how many miles had this 8 done ..

Thanks again for ALL your Threads...excellent advise.
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rxat2012 View Post
i used your method to get my engine out but i cant for the life of me get the transmission and engine to mate back up.... any help would be great
Did you remove the clutch pilot shaft tool?

Don't ask why I ask.
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ASH8 View Post
Thanks mate...

Great pics and Very Informative..

I have seen many Techs here Curse and Struggle sometimes mating the Input Shaft and Clutch Plate in old schoolers, RX-2,3,4,5,7...a little Luck helps.

As you say because the RX-8's engine is further to the rear (firewall) it does not help.

RR how many miles had this 8 done ..

Thanks again for ALL your Threads...excellent advise.
This one had about 80-85k miles on it that I recall. Apparently the owner ran it low on oil and destroyed half the engine.
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:21 AM
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A couple of quick notes:

1) I remove the brake booster hose on the manifold end and leave it attached to the booster. It just swings up out of the way and is one less thing flopping around on the motor.

2) Remove the oil pressure sender before you disconnect the motor mounts. It is very easy to smash this when moving the motor around and is one less thing to worry about since you have to watch the OMP sensor like a hawk or it too will be smashed.

3) You do not have to remove the main pulley while the motor is in the car, it does not interfere with the crossmember.
However, DO loosen the front lock bolt while the motor is in the car before you even start the removal. Just put an 18", 1/2"-drive breaker bar with a 19mm socket over the bolt and rest the handle on the floor, hanging at the 4 o'clock position. With the ESS disconnected, bump the starter motor (key the ignition like you are trying to start the car) a few times and it will spin right off. This is WAY easier than trying to remove it with the motor out of the car.
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Old 06-07-2010, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MazdaManiac View Post
A couple of quick notes:

1) I remove the brake booster hose on the manifold end and leave it attached to the booster. It just swings up out of the way and is one less thing flopping around on the motor.
I dont see why it would really matter...in theory you could disconnect it in one of 3 ways...at the booster, at the engine, or in the middle. As long as it gets done, who really cares.

2) Remove the oil pressure sender before you disconnect the motor mounts. It is very easy to smash this when moving the motor around and is one less thing to worry about since you have to watch the OMP sensor like a hawk or it too will be smashed.
What do the oil pressure sending unit, the motor mounts, and the "omp sensor" have in common, or have to do with the price of rice in china on a rainy tuesday?

3) You do not have to remove the main pulley while the motor is in the car, it does not interfere with the crossmember.
I don't see how it could not...unless you want to literally have 1/4" of clearance on the way up and out, and then again on the way back in. It takes about 2 minutes, and if you have a pretty powdercoated or aftermarket pulley, there's no use risking it. The last engine I rebuilt/assembled/installed for a customer was removed by another "shop" and the main pulley was bent slightly, I had to hammer it back flat so that the front edge would not chew up belts. I figure they bent it trying to get the engine out.

However, DO loosen the front lock bolt while the motor is in the car before you even start the removal. Just put an 18", 1/2"-drive breaker bar with a 19mm socket over the bolt and rest the handle on the floor, hanging at the 4 o'clock position. With the ESS disconnected, bump the starter motor (key the ignition like you are trying to start the car) a few times and it will spin right off. This is WAY easier than trying to remove it with the motor out of the car.
Well, it's kind of assumed that most people are removing their engine to install another used one or send their core off for rebuild. IF you're doing it all in house then I can see this helping out...BUT I am not really fond of the idea of using the starter to try and break a bolt loose. Seems like it could be dangerous to the car and any bystanders. Ive known of rx7 guys damaging their fenders trying to use frame rails and breaker bars with this method. I agree the floor is safer, but it's definitely not the "right" way to do it. The "right" way is with an impact gun, such as the 1" drive 1800ftlb gun I use for this specific bolt. I went this route after years of trying various engineering methods of getting the bold off, including torches, breaker bars, impact guns, cheater pipes, breaking sockets, breaking bars, etc.
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Old 06-07-2010, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by RotaryResurrection View Post
I dont see why it would really matter...in theory you could disconnect it in one of 3 ways...at the booster, at the engine, or in the middle. As long as it gets done, who really cares.
Just one less thing to remember to put back in the engine bay.


Originally Posted by RotaryResurrection View Post
What do the oil pressure sending unit, the motor mounts, and the "omp sensor" have in common, or have to do with the price of rice in china on a rainy tuesday?
I'm not sure I get your comment.
You mention looking out for the OMP yourself. What I am pointing out is that both of those sensors get smashed regularly by people taking their motors out this way.
The position sensor on the OMP is particularly delicate and the OMP is really pricey.


Originally Posted by RotaryResurrection View Post
I don't see how it could not...unless you want to literally have 1/4" of clearance on the way up and out,
Dunno. Never done it before. I just leave it on and it comes right out. Never even gets close to the rail because the motor is pointing up at an angle by the time it is ready to come out.
Maybe it's something with the way you remove the tranny? (I just back mine off the engine on a jack.)


Originally Posted by RotaryResurrection View Post
Seems like it could be dangerous to the car and any bystanders.
Well, that's why you do it on the floor in the position I specified.
I've been doing it that way since 1984. Maybe I'm just lucky.
Its way cheaper than an 1800 ft/lb impact gun. My 1000 ft/lb gun will not remove this bolt.
When I have a motor that is already out of the car and this bolt is still tight, I lock the flywheel and use a contraption I made out of two 6 foot lengths of schedule-40 pipe.
I did the math on that and it was nearly 1400 ft/lbs of static pressure to get the bolt to move on the last motor we did.

Last edited by MazdaManiac; 06-07-2010 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:59 PM
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real great guide, thanks for the starter.
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by MazdaManiac View Post
Just one less thing to remember to put back in the engine bay.
Wait, wait...if you leave one end connected to the brake booster, and disconnect it from the engine, that took 5 seconds, and it remained in the engine bay...it will still be there later. If you leave one end connected to the intake manifold, and disconnect it from the booster, that also took 5 seconds, and it remained on the intake manifold...it will also go right back into the engine bay when you drop the engine in. I think you are making this harder than it has to be. IT really does not matter one bit.


I'm not sure I get your comment.
You mention looking out for the OMP yourself. What I am pointing out is that both of those sensors get smashed regularly by people taking their motors out this way.
The position sensor on the OMP is particularly delicate and the OMP is really pricey.
Well, to quote you, Ive done it several times now and never even come close to having an issue with the OMP or it's wiring contacting anything in the engine bay while pulling the engine .The crank pulley is 9 inches below the OMP, you claim that the crank pulley is in no danger of contacting anything on the way out, so how the heck would anybody damage an OMP?



Dunno. Never done it before. I just leave it on and it comes right out. Never even gets close to the rail because the motor is pointing up at an angle by the time it is ready to come out.
Maybe it's something with the way you remove the tranny? (I just back mine off the engine on a jack.)
Wait, wait, wait, let me get this straight...you actually remove the shifter, driveshaft, powerplant frame, and all that other BS so that you can slide the trans back when your goal is to pull only the engine? Because that is the only way I can see getting the trans to "back off the engine on a jack"...it has less than an inch of "play" otherwise.

So you spend at lesat 30 extra minutes taking all that other BS off, rather than spending about 3 minutes to pull the little crank pulley? That seems to make about as much sense as a buy 1 for the price of 3 get 1 free sale.





Well, that's why you do it on the floor in the position I specified.
I've been doing it that way since 1984. Maybe I'm just lucky.
Its way cheaper than an 1800 ft/lb impact gun. My 1000 ft/lb gun will not remove this bolt.
When I have a motor that is already out of the car and this bolt is still tight, I lock the flywheel and use a contraption I made out of two 6 foot lengths of schedule-40 pipe.
I did the math on that and it was nearly 1400 ft/lbs of static pressure to get the bolt to move on the last motor we did.
I didnt think you had a rotary car before the rx8? Were you disassembling rotaries in 1984? Yeah, I know, you are probably referring to various piston engine cars. Bear in mind that the crank pulley retaining bolt on most engines does not have loctite nor as much torque on it as the rotary does, so they are usually nowhere near as hard to get out.

But, whatever works for you I guess. It's just not something I'd be bragging out. Kinda like saying you screwed 100 chicks since 1984 without a rubber and havent died of aids yet.
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by RotaryResurrection View Post
Wait, wait...if you leave one end connected to the brake booster, and disconnect it from the engine, that took 5 seconds, and it remained in the engine bay...it will still be there later. If you leave one end connected to the intake manifold, and disconnect it from the booster, that also took 5 seconds, and it remained on the intake manifold...it will also go right back into the engine bay when you drop the engine in. I think you are making this harder than it has to be. IT really does not matter one bit.
I clean the IM. It would have to come off, anyway.




Originally Posted by RotaryResurrection View Post
Well, to quote you, Ive done it several times now and never even come close to having an issue with the OMP or it's wiring contacting anything in the engine bay while pulling the engine .The crank pulley is 9 inches below the OMP, you claim that the crank pulley is in no danger of contacting anything on the way out, so how the heck would anybody damage an OMP?
Dunno. I've sold quite a few OMPs to various people that have done just that. Done it myself, too.
It get very close to the rail on that side of the motor because of the lack of clearance around the ABS and A/C compressor.
I wonder if that had anything to do with Mazda's decision to turn the ABS 90 after 2005?




Originally Posted by RotaryResurrection View Post
Wait, wait, wait, let me get this straight...you actually remove the shifter, driveshaft, powerplant frame, and all that other BS so that you can slide the trans back when your goal is to pull only the engine? Because that is the only way I can see getting the trans to "back off the engine on a jack"...it has less than an inch of "play" otherwise.

So you spend at lesat 30 extra minutes taking all that other BS off, rather than spending about 3 minutes to pull the little crank pulley? That seems to make about as much sense as a buy 1 for the price of 3 get 1 free sale.
I wouldn't ever take the tranny down off the motor without disengaging all of that stuff. You should know why.



Originally Posted by RotaryResurrection View Post
Bear in mind that the crank pulley retaining bolt on most engines does not have loctite nor as much torque on it as the rotary does, so they are usually nowhere near as hard to get out.
It only has "LocTite" on it if you put it there. Mazda only recommends to oil it, not threadlock it.
That said, the torque spec isn't the issue, its to "work-torque" that does it in.
Piston motors are no different.

Originally Posted by RotaryResurrection View Post
I didnt think you had a rotary car before the rx8?
I had a Turbo II and a GTU back in the late 80's.

Last edited by MazdaManiac; 06-15-2010 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:14 PM
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Thought I'd bring this back up. I am currently doing rebuild and r/r on an rx8.

Here's a pic that proves the crank pullies WILL hit the crossbar in the engine bay if not removed prior to pulling the engine out.



And here is another that shows the OMP mysteriously nowhere in the vicinity of touching anything that might damage it. This is the closest it comes to touching anything.



And another that shows it is possible, feasible, and just as easy to pull the engine and trans together, as spending time under the car uselessly dropping the trans by itself.







Class dismissed.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:24 PM
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Why is the transmission still attached?

Teacher is fired.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by MazdaManiac View Post
Why is the transmission still attached?

Teacher is fired.
Because in this case, it's getting replaced with another, thus it makes the most logical sense to remove it with the engine. Dur.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:20 AM
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I think, what it comes down to, is that some people just aren't all that sensitive to the condition/quality of the fit and finish of a vehicle and its components.

One man's "luxury" is another man's "car in the yard up on blocks".
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by MazdaManiac View Post
I think, what it comes down to, is that some people just aren't all that sensitive to the condition/quality of the fit and finish of a vehicle and its components.

One man's "luxury" is another man's "car in the yard up on blocks".
That's your rebuttal? Okay lol. You keep on dropping those transmissions (that otherwise have no need to come out of the car at all) before you pull engines, and keep worrying about those OMP's getting damaged. I will keep pulling and installing them my way, all the while lamenting that I've failed to adhere to the standards of luxury set forth in the mazda FSM (not to mention by yourself).

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Old 07-20-2010, 11:15 AM
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That's a lot of smileys.

Dude, you do whatever you feel like doing. No one really cares what you or I do.

The whole point is to maximize the effort and minimize the damage, which is precisely the opposite of what you are advocating.
No one here cares if you or I have some sort of "magic touch" that makes any particular method practical or impractical. The idea is to give people the method that will most likely lead to a happy outcome.
Bravo on smacking the pulley and not smacking the OMP. I smack neither, which is good for me.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by MazdaManiac View Post
That's a lot of smileys.

Dude, you do whatever you feel like doing. No one really cares what you or I do.

The whole point is to maximize the effort and minimize the damage, which is precisely the opposite of what you are advocating.
No one here cares if you or I have some sort of "magic touch" that makes any particular method practical or impractical. The idea is to give people the method that will most likely lead to a happy outcome.
Oh, now that you've been called out and your previous claims disproven on multiple accounts, you back off and say that it really doesnt matter? Awesome. I commend you for your excellent trolling skills sir.



Bravo on smacking the pulley and not smacking the OMP. I smack neither, which is good for me.
I actually didnt "smack" anything. I let it get close and touch in order to take the picture, then I worked it around to gain clearance and allow passage. No vehicle components were harmed in the making of this thread.
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