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Acceleration Issues - NO CEL

Old 07-22-2014, 02:51 PM
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Acceleration Issues - NO CEL

So I have found threads somewhat similar to my new issue with my 2004 RX8 MT but not exactly because they all report other oddities, and I have been searching this forum for 3 days now......

Acceleration at low RPMs makes the RPMs go up, then down and "catches" it seems like, and then back up, all while the MPH is steadily going up, but the car is not really going faster. Its the same feeling of when you ride the clutch ....but this happens while steady in a gear. MT btw. This has me quite baffled, as there is no CEL light, so I don't think it is a misfire or O2 sensor or Selenoid. I have read other posts with similar issues but they all report rough idle or stalling and CEL light, and mine does neither of those. It happens at high RPMs sometimes, much less than at low RPMs

History of things that may contribute to issue:
Coils replaced by a previous owner at 48,426 (carfax reports)
MAF cleaned - 69,035
Air Filter replaced - 69,043
Spark Plugs replaced NGK - 70,085
Alternator replaced - 88,025
Battery replaced - 88,025
Battery terminals replaced - 88,025
car now has 88,700
this started happening at around 88,400

anyone see this happen to them? and found the resolution? any suggestions before I go drop $620 on BHR full ignition system (coils, wires, plugs)

I took the time to create a short video and post it on youtube for reference:

Last edited by FLCL; 07-22-2014 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:41 PM
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Seems like its in limp mode ?
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:48 AM
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My plan:

1) inspect all vacuum lines - did this except for any under UIM
2) Coils, Wires, Plugs - BHR - $620 (blue)
3) Catalitic Converter - Davesport - $130 or BHR resonator & cat $575
4) ........Selenoids?.....
5) engine.....

I forgot to mention, if I take off and go through the gears it is a smooth as silk. This ONLY happens when I am cruising steadily and hit the gas.

Last edited by FLCL; 07-24-2014 at 07:52 AM. Reason: last line added
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:55 AM
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You might want to get the compression checked before you sink money into a car with a possibly failing engine.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BigCajun View Post
You might want to get the compression checked before you sink money into a car with a possibly failing engine.
I took your advice....thank you.

Here are the results:
@ 250 Rotor 1 = 6.0, 6.2, 6.3
@ 250 Rotor 2 = 5.9, 5.1, 5.6

Failed!!!!

So they said it is still under warranty by mileage but not by months......they are going to contact HQ and try and get the approval for parts, but i'll still have to pay for labor since I am not the original owner.......$5,000 vs $1,600.......i dont know if I should be happy or drink myself to sleep tonight...lol

Even so, what made the engine fail?? I dont wanna replace the engine and have it fail again because i fail to replace the real issue....would a bad cat cause the engine to fail?
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:27 PM
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Yes, bad cats kill engines, cascading failures- usually misfires cause cats to fail from faulty ignition parts, which is why it's recommended that plugs, wires, & coils all be replaced together every 30k miles.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:30 PM
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I'm also wondering how you have any warranty left, I'm pretty sure it's whatever comes first, in your case the years, not mileage..
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:34 PM
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Thanks for your responses, well Charles, looks like I will be ordering the BHR Ignition set (coils, wires, plugs - blue) and the resonator with the cat here sometime soon......the radiator you offer is still holding up good since I installed back in 2012. Your parts rock!!

My wallet just took 5 shots of Crown Royal......its a gonna hurt. lol
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by BigCajun View Post
I'm also wondering how you have any warranty left, I'm pretty sure it's whatever comes first, in your case the years, not mileage..
I thought I was out of warranty... 88,800 miles. 1st owner 9/17/2004. 118 months since the first purchase.....hey if he gets approved I will be very surprised. The dealer also pulled up the warranty history and the engine has definitely never been replaced.

Jim Ellis Mazda - Atlanta - fingers crossed
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by FLCL View Post
I thought I was out of warranty... 88,800 miles. 1st owner 9/17/2004. 118 months since the first purchase.....hey if he gets approved I will be very surprised. The dealer also pulled up the warranty history and the engine has definitely never been replaced.

Jim Ellis Mazda - Atlanta - fingers crossed
You are out of any warranty. The longest was 8 yrs and 100,000 miles for the engine core. You are over on the 8 yrs requirement.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:46 PM
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Something sounds wrong.
It's 8 years, 80k warranty on cats.
I don't think it matters if you're the original owner or not. Why $1600 vs. $5k?
Are you sure it wasn't $1600 for labor & $5k for a rebuilt engine?
$5k is too much for labor imo.
It doesn't seem right.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by BigCajun View Post
Something sounds wrong.
It's 8 years, 80k warranty on cats.
I don't think it matters if you're the original owner or not. Why $1600 vs. $5k?
Are you sure it wasn't $1600 for labor & $5k for a rebuilt engine?
$5k is too much for labor imo.
It doesn't seem right.
The service rep told me it would be $5,000 total. But if Mazda covers the engine then I would just pay around $1,600 in labor
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Old 07-31-2014, 04:13 PM
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I just a call back from Mazda, and to my surprise they are going to split the warranty cost with me, parts and labor!!!!!

$2,000 + fluids

and they said I could bring them parts and they will install it....like Coils, Cat, Motor Mounts, Clutch

BHR Motor Mounts - Both - orange - $375
BHR Coils, Wires, Plugs - Blue - $620
BHR - ACT "Street Duty" Clutch Kit - $475
Cat...not sure where I am getting it from yet.....maybe DaveSport one for $129

Total cost = $3,599 + fluids
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:29 PM
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Congrats on the split because you are nearly two years out. Looks like everyone should give this a shot
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by mscamp02 View Post
Congrats on the split because you are nearly two years out. Looks like everyone should give this a shot
My educated guess on why they approved a split cost:

1) still under the 100,000 miles
2) engine has never been replaced
3) meticulous receipts, including dates and mileage of installs
4) owner history with carfax report (im the 4th owner) and the car sat for almost 2 years tyring to be sold
5) only after market parts: radiator & radiator hoses

This is only speculation, but in any case if you are under the 100,000 it's worth a shot to ask if you fail the compression test.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R. Hill View Post
Typical of RX-8s, actually, but your engine lasted a lot longer than typical 2004/2005 models as most of them are dead by 50K miles.

The previous owner waited too long before changing the coils and, as soon as your engine is replaced, your OEM cat will also fail. I give the OEM cat 90 days after the new engine is installed.

Anyone want to place some odds?
My OEM cat supposedly lasted 10k miles after the first engine replacement, but that might be due to difficulty knowing if and when a cat is bad. So, if I understand you correctly, I think you are saying that bad ignition parts kill the cat and both kill the engine. When the engine is replaced, the cat is already failing and this will become apparent within 90 days. Do I got that right? Can a cat be functioning correctly in terms of the diagnostic test of the "Rear to front switch ratio" on the two O2 sensors, but still be clogged in engine destruction mode?
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles R. Hill View Post
Rob, I am having a little fun with this so don't get too heady about it. I said 90 days simply to place a prediction out there in this particular case but I have a lot of interaction with RX-8 owners, both on this forum but mostly not on this forum, and I have seen several times where a cat has failed due to weak coils and then, when driven too long on both the weak coils and failed cat, the engine will also fail. There are MANY on this forum who can attest to this. In your particular case, perhaps the best way to determine cat performance (in addition to the lack of a 420 CEL) is to look at the substrate in the cat, itself.

I have also seen where the engine has been replaced but a catalyst on it's way out (which has not yet illuminated a 420 CEL) had not been replaced and the failing cat eventually takes the second engine with it.

Of course, none of this is set in stone and FLCL is already awaiting his BHR order (which I e-mailed him about recently) so I have no interest here in selling something with my opinions and posts.

There are notable trends with the RX-8 and I am simply pointing them out, as I do in the 25-40 e-mails I receive every day with tech questions.
Thanks, Charles (I mean, Ray). I appreciate your input since you seem to be one of the smartest rotary guys out there. I've been away from the site for a while and this whole cascade idea is new to me but it sure seems to make a lot of sense. Hope the piano playing is going well, and congrats on the new grandson!
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R. Hill View Post
I have no interest here in selling something with my opinions and posts.
To the newbie's that may find this thread: BHR's parts and customer service speak for themselves, they are very reputable and honest. I found this out the hard way when I had radiator problems, ordered one from a company (leaving name out, I dont want to bash them here, prob should, PM me if you really need to know) that stated "it fits exactly as oem, no adjustments needed! Got the part and it didn't fit. Fought with the seller for over 6 months to get my money back and then when they finally refunded me they didn't even give me a whole refund...needless to say I will NEVER order from them again. I ordered from BHR and explained what i went through, Charles told me it fits exactly and not to worry, part came in, fit exactly as he said it would, and the part is solid, from then on I decided to put as many BHR parts under my hood as I could - His parts and service speak for themself!
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles R. Hill View Post
My wife is the pianist, I play 6-string bass guitar/vocals, but all that is going well and thank you for the well-wishes. Lotsa changes going on here at the homestead lately and right now. LOL
You're being too modest, Mr. Ray Charles.
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R. Hill View Post
Thanks for the sentiments.

I could have sworn you had/have an order pending. Am I wrong?
I am about to place an order within the next 2 weeks, as I gather my funds, but I did give you a heads up during our email discussion. I can't wait, so excited!
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:51 PM
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New engine installed from Mazda, new BHR midpipe & cat, BHR motor mounts (orange), ACT Street duty Clutch (BHR), BHR coils, wires, plugs, stainless steel clutch line.....

Wow what a difference!!! car feels great, sounds better and rides ever so smooth.

Thanks Mazda for doing 1/2 price on the engine and install (was out of warranty by time, not miles) 1st engine replacement for this RX8.

Thanks BHR for making such awesome parts!!!!
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Old 09-22-2014, 06:13 PM
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That's awesome your dealerships was cool enough to split the cost with you. The dealerships here in NYC are nowhere near as welcoming lol more on the money hungry side so I doubt I'd give that a shot here.
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