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Old 04-18-2017, 11:30 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Jastreb View Post
A blown coolant seal AND a cracked housing? I may have almost the exact same failure going on - leaking coolant into housing #2, coming out of bottom spark plug hole on a Mazda reman w/ 35k miles.

Carry on guys, don't mean to thread jack....
A routine oil sample test found traces of coolant in the oil due to a failing coolant seal so I pulled it and sent it to Pineapple racing before it actually blew. The crack around the spark plug hole is very common.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:34 PM   #77
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Okay, so what the hell is that crap in the coolant passages?

I only have these photos and the rebuilder's questionable word to go by.
It looks waxy. I would have expected it to be stained green by the FL-22.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:38 PM   #78
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Maybe it appears earlier in the thread, but did they use any new parts, like housing or rotors?
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:43 PM   #79
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I can't find the paperwork anymore (just moved, things are scattered) but IIRC, they reused housings and rotors. The total cost including round-trip freight was about $2200.

He diagnosed the initial problem a year ago as carbon-locked side seals. Said it took some effort to get them free.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:48 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by NotAPreppie View Post
Okay, so what the hell is that crap in the coolant passages?

I only have these photos and the rebuilder's questionable word to go by.
It looks waxy. I would have expected it to be stained green by the FL-22.
At least some of it looks crystalline, like minerals and/or salts.

Some of it looks like it could be grease, like waaaaaaaay too much assembly lube was used.

Whatever is going on, I agree with 9K. The gunk in the coolant passages is not normal, and that is a ton of carbon for such a new engine.

.

Last edited by Steve Dallas; 04-18-2017 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:05 PM   #81
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Well, if they did install the engine in a car for testing, maybe the gunk is from the components they used.

Or, maybe they just gave me the rebuilder equivalent of a wall job the first time around.
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:27 PM   #82
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This bodes well...
Foxtrot
Mike
Lima
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:10 PM   #83
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:11 AM   #84
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holyfuk man

time to let us know who to avoid man
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:20 AM   #85
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Not until the engine is back in my garage.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:23 AM   #86
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i understand man. sorry about the shitshow you are going through. its a shame theres dirtbag vendors in such a small close knit community
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:15 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by NotAPreppie View Post
I can't find the paperwork anymore (just moved, things are scattered) but IIRC, they reused housings and rotors. The total cost including round-trip freight was about $2200.

He diagnosed the initial problem a year ago as carbon-locked side seals. Said it took some effort to get them free.
Looks to me like the reused housings were not even cleaned, hence the oxidation in the cooling passages. Plus, the irons were not ground prior to reuse as the seal tracks are alarmingly obvious in the photos. Even at 8K miles, there should not be so much seal tracking. For $2200, he likely simply resealed the engine, ala what they do with the Mazda remans, and that is why this engine has done no better than what Mazda would have provided.
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:29 PM   #88
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Looks to me like the reused housings were not even cleaned, hence the oxidation in the cooling passages. Plus, the irons were not ground prior to reuse as the seal tracks are alarmingly obvious in the photos. Even at 8K miles, there should not be so much seal tracking. For $2200, he likely simply resealed the engine, ala what they do with the Mazda remans, and that is why this engine has done no better than what Mazda would have provided.
Thanks for your input throughout this whole stupid process.

I paid him the $550 because I just want a running car again. I'm going to run it and hope it lasts long enough for me to save for an LS swap.
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:42 PM   #89
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Thanks for your input throughout this whole stupid process.

I paid him the $550 because I just want a running car again. I'm going to run it and hope it lasts long enough for me to save for an LS swap.
Completely understood. I have had similar things happen in my supply chain and among a few vendors whom have supplied BHR parts in the past. At some point, we all feel held hostage to the one with whom we are no longer happy and to whatever process they seem to implement.

I think there is very little else I wish to say about this situation except that even my own cleaning and disassembly station looks like a damned surgical theater compared to the bench in those photos (if that matters to anyone). It certainly matters to me and I hate getting dirty. Thus, I am quite cautious even during the disassembly as well as the fact that what is found during the disassembly process is often indicative of why the engine failed.

Anyway, good luck with the LS swap. My own RX-8 has serious and elusive issues that may cause me to relegate it to track-only status.
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:26 PM   #90
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OJ Imports can bite my shiny metal ***!

Engine delivered! Huzzah!

YRC (Omar's favored freight company) didn't treat my engine too gently. The pallet was mostly destroyed and they just sat it on top of another pallet. Also, the engine had evidently rolled into its side at some point because the oil filler neck studs, dipstick tube and engine hoist loop had suffered some.

Omar appears to have done nothing to clean it up inside or out. He was kind enough to ask me if I sent my engine to him with my flywheel attached. I did because I couldn't my flywheel nut socket after moving. Kinda wonder why he didn't think to keep track of that.

I removed my REmedy water pump and put my OEM one back on so I could keep the hoist hook installed. Removing it, the pump is encrusted with scunge that wasn't there when I shipped it out to him. I guess he must have filled it with tap water when he was testing it.

Another oddity: I removed the (almost new) coolant temp sensor before shipping but he shipped it back with one. Kind of wondering who is missing theirs now.

Any idea why the front rotor spark plug holes would be clean and dry but the rears are weeping dirty oil?

He was kind enough to put a better condition oil pan on after YRC dented the **** out of it. Come to think of it, though, I only started getting false oil level warnings after the rebuild a year ago...

There are two sets of engraved numbers below each leading spark plug hole (EF21JA020 and EF16EA530). Does anyone know if those are unique serial numbers?

Edit: More oddities...
I now have two sets of bolts for the e-shaft pulley AND the clutch.

Edit 2: Oh **** me.
I shipped the engine with two exhaust manifold studs still in the irons. The nuts had seized to the other 4 studs so those studs just came out and went into a baggie. The engine came back with 3 exhaust manifold studs in it (all on the top row). Great, now I have an extra exhaust manifold stud! Except the threads on the middle stud are fuckered and the nut won't go on without a fight. So, even if I could pull one of the other studs, I can't get a nut on this one. Anyone got any tricks for removing an exhaust manifold stud with trashed threads?

I'm beginning to wonder if this isn't actually the same engine that I sent him.


Bent oil filler neck stud and dipstick tube


Bent oil filler neck stud and dipstick tube


Pallet barely holding together.


Scunge in coolant passage


Flywheel with greasy handprint


What the hell is this crap all over the water pump?


The Mazmart REmedy water pump as it was when I pulled it before shipping.


Water pump housing with rust and scunge


Front rotor housing, nice and clean


Rear rotor housing weeping dirty oil.

Last edited by NotAPreppie; 04-29-2017 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:43 PM   #91
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Sorry for your loss brother, I also used yrc to ship my engine out to BHR and by the time it was actually delivered my bill literally doubled from the quote that I agreed to.
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:47 AM   #92
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I'm actually at a loss for words.

So many shortcuts, cheapness, laziness, poor customer service, wow.

Three gallons of distilled water costs < $3. WTF?!
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Old 04-29-2017, 10:33 AM   #93
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I'm actually at a loss for words.

So many shortcuts, cheapness, laziness, poor customer service, wow.

Three gallons of distilled water costs < $3. WTF?!
Yah, I'd hoped I'd feel better about this clusterfuck after a good night's sleep but I'm even more pissed than I was after struggling with that stud last night. (it's still not out)

He drug this thing out so long and at the end basically told me to pound sand. He also kept saying, "It's too bad you found this during install."

I couldn't figure out what the **** he meant until his word salad coalesced into, "You shouldn't sign for damaged goods." He was hinting that this was damage done by the freight company, YRC. Because, you know, YRC is known to unwrap engines and crossthread nuts and run with tap water.

The driver from YRC was hightailing it away from the loading dock before I could even get there from my office. I figure he probably fired the engine up as soon as the fork driver pulled the pallet off the trailer. How the hell am I supposed to go over an engine with a fine tooth comb and find these problems on a loading dock before the driver leaves?
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Old 04-29-2017, 01:07 PM   #94
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Under the Uniform Commercial Code, you have three days to rescind your signature on a contract (Bill of Lading). Particularly with shipping, you also have the right to reserve liability until opening a sealed or otherwise contained shipment, the logic being that one cannot be expected to assume liability for something shipped that they are not allowed reasonable time to inspect. You may have both concepts still in your favor. For legal details, email me and I might be able to help you out if you want to further pursue the issue with Omar.

You also have a few other legal tools but we can discuss that later, if you like.

Lance; please sen me an e-mail with an update on your engine as I have been wondering how things were going, thus far. :-)
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Old 04-29-2017, 02:55 PM   #95
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I've just got so much Omar fatigue right now. Honestly, the visible shipping damage is minimal. Probably only a few dollars. It's the other **** that he did in his shop that **** me off.
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Old 04-29-2017, 03:02 PM   #96
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I've just got so much Omar fatigue right now. Honestly, the visible shipping damage is minimal. Probably only a few dollars. It's the other **** that he did in his shop that **** me off.
I figured if you didn't pursue anything, that would be the reason why. Believe me, I have experienced the same sort of thing in my supply and labor chain. LOL
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:37 AM   #97
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Oil from the spark plug holes? It tipped to the side of the oil filter, so maybe the oil was draining out of the MOP system into the chambers. Or...he put oil in there to temporarily raise compression numbers on a cold test. Or...its leaking right past the oil control rings...which would be just awesome for you.

*sigh*

EDIT:

What's that warranty tag on the rear rotor housing? I've not seen that before.

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Old 05-01-2017, 12:32 PM   #98
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Between the spark plug holes? It's a temp sensitive tag. Turns red or something if it goes over some set temp.
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:38 AM   #99
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I havent kept up with this thread from the beginning, but I saw a reddit post about it and thought I'd post some thoughts. A lot of these thoughts stem from the fact that I myself am also a builder who deals with customers, their budgets and expectations often, and I see some of the issues being brought to light here that I wish more owners/customers were educated about. The customer feels like the builder should have complete responsibility for every aspect of the build, yet there are some aspects that are not under the direct control of the builder. In reality the customer should share some of the responsibility for choosing what type of build and parts go into the engine based on some of the knowledge below, but unfortunately most buyers are not aware of any of these facts. They simply say "I bought a new engine and darnit, that thing should run better than it does. _____ builder sucks!" but in reality there is more to it than that.

First off...any rebuild from any shop in the $3000 or under price range WILL NOT have new rotor housings. That means it WILL have used rotor housings. Now as anyone who has ever tried to rebuild a renesis knows, used rotor housings are condition dependent and are also hard to find in any reusable condition, much less in great condition. All used housings will have some wear; some more than others, some in different areas, with different effects on compression and longevity. Think of used housings like used tires. There are a few defects that make a housing completely unusable, then there are new housings that are perfect, then there is a WIDE area in between of usable housings that are a judgement call as to whether or not they are suitable for a certain build, project, or owner. Finally, reusing rotor housings is ALWAYS a compromise in compression, longevity, and build quality, no matter who the builder is.

So with that said. If you bought a $2100 block then I don't see how you can sit there and say you are expecting compression values anywhere approaching what would be in the dealer book for a new engine. Any educated builder or enthusiast will tell you that's simply not going to happen with a used housing build. And for $2100, how nice do you think the used housings in that build are going to be? Assuming you can get the builder to supply you with an accurate list of what new seals etc. go into the build, anyone can do simple math and add up the prices of all those seals...usually around $800-1000 depending on the builder and what brand of parts they are buying...and also start adding up the used cost/value of components to build that block from such as rotors, housings, irons, etc. and then add at least 400 bucks for the builder's labor. IF you do all of that you can quickly get an idea of the condition of the used components being put into the build. No one is going to work for free and so you have to do the math and see where the money is going and where it's being saved. So in this case we have to figure out that the builder is building with used housings with a very low value, and for that to be the case consistently that means the builder is using worn housings that are near the bottom of their service life. Once you arrive at that conclusion, it would be foolhardy to expect such an engine build to last anywhere near as long as the original nor to perform anywhere near what the original did in terms of passing/failing compression tests.

Now the non-engine-builders among you out there are going to read that and say "oh well if you can't pass the dealer compression test with the used housings being put into that build then they should never be used to begin with. a builder should only build an engine he knows will pass the dealer tests and be like it was when it was new in 2003". Okay, fine, who wants to line up to build all-new-parts blocks for 6 grand or more? Because that is the only way that's going to happen for you. Oh, I bet now some of you are backing off of that statement.

Yes reusing rotor housings is always a compromise but it's necessary for budget reasons. Not many owners are going to spend more than $4k for a rebuild with new rotor housings, which is really what's necessary if you expect to get anywhere near the original engine's lifespan or compression values. The whole car is not worth more than 4 or 5 grand so who wants to put that much into just the engine? Not many owners. So you have to figure out how to cut costs while still getting a decent result. The bottom line is the lower the cost, the more parts with wear on them that you have to reuse, and the weaker the result in terms of compression and longevity.

For the builder, the real skill lies in figuring out how far you can approach the borderline of worn parts reused for budget vs compression quality and longevity going forward for the owner. Every builder will have their own mindset here based on their customer base and their own experiences. For me I tend to err a little bit more on the side of caution and only reuse middle of the road parts that will provide at least 25k miles of normal use going forward. However that still doesnt mean that every used housing engine I build would pass a dealer compression test. In fact I've had to explain this concept a few times to customers of mine who equated a $2500 rebuild with a "new engine" and then were surprised their engine didnt have new compression numbers. I don't care if felix wankel himself stacks your block, if you don't give him all new or perfectly resurfaced components to do it with, you're not going to see strong compression values that pass dealer tests.

In my experience most rebuilds utilizing used rotor housings, used irons, etc. and mostly new oem compression seals/springs, will see 90-105psi of compression with an accurate test after break in, with the variation depending on the specific condition of the rotor housing surfaces used in that particular build. In fact a couple years ago I had a customer bring me an all original, well maintained rx8 with 72k miles for rebuild. The housings looked nice with light wear and were in above average condition. The iron housings had very light wear well within spec. All new oem rotor compression seals and springs were used in the rebuild. I recently did a comp test on that engine after 10k miles of break in and driving. The engine shows about 96psi on the front and 91psi in the rear. It starts cold or hot on the first 2 rotations, idles perfectly, makes good power, and runs like it should with no issues. On a dealer test those compression numbers are failing, a "bad engine" in their view. Does that mean the engine is bad? Heck no. In reality a used rotor housing rebuild isn't ever going to get a whole lot better than that.

IF you want more, you have to use new rotor housings in the rebuild. Right off the bat, a pair of new rotor housings is over $1400 even at most builders' cost. And you still have to pay for all the other seals and parts needed for a build, and the builder's labor. I would expect most new rotor housing rebuilds that utilize reused iron housings with mild/normal wear, to produce in the 105-115psi compression range. This is considered a middle of the road, acceptable but not great passing compression value but still not what the specs say a new hiroshima-assembled rotary from 2003 would have made. Finally, an engine built from new rotor housings, new or resurfaced iron housings with zero wear, and all new rotor compression seals, I would expect to see 115-125psi of compression. I have done a couple such builds and that is what they produced when tested.

Now, let's broach the subject of aftermarket apex seals. The bottom line is that in my experience aftermarket seals have nowhere near the long term longevity or sealing compression of oem apex seals. So you might ask, why do people make them and use them? Well one obvious answer is budget, a lot of these seals are half the cost of oem.

The other answer has a bit more psychology involved. Let's say your rotary engine blows up and you say "oh the apex seals failed. I don't think the apex seals should ever wear out or fail, so there must be something wrong with the stock seal design. there should be a better apex seal! let's make one". So you and your machinist select a random metal to design your seal out of. You size a few to fit the rotors and build a couple of test engines, which you run on the street and/or on the track for a few months or maybe a year or two. You take the test engine(s) apart and if those seals didn't catastrophically fail, you say "well dang man, my seals look like they work good, I'm gonna start selling them to other people. Down with stock apex seals!". That's essentially what happens with all these aftermarket seals. They get minimal testing and R&D before being released to market for you to be the long-term tester. They were produced based on the fallacy that because oem apex seals wear out or fail after 100k miles of use, those oem seals must be of poor design and should be replaced with something better. Yet in reality, the aftermarket seals rarely reach HALF of the lifespan of the oem seals before those engines fail or have to come apart for some reason. This is because they were only designed and tested in the short term. Sometimes they were only designed and tested for the race track under very specific circumstances which don't work out well in the long term on a street engine that needs good hot starting, idle, low rpm throttle response, and cranking compression. Maybe they are built to hold up to 28psi of boost and 10,000rpm of abuse on the track, but in order to do that, their material hardness properties had to be changed and now the rotor housing sealing surface that it rides against will get worn out much sooner than if stock seals were riding against the housing surface. Bear in mind that the seal and the housing surface were both designed to wear together, and when you drastically change the material properties of one, you will also upset that balance and change the longevity of the other. Mazda put decades and millions of dollars of R&D into designing their apex seals for maximum compression and longevity in stock form. Do you really think a random shop with one or a handful of dudes working on the project for a few grand investment are going to be able to improve on that tech? It's possible but unlikely.

This is further compounded by the fact that the average owner sees "racing seals" and decides they are going to be better suited for his naturally aspirated street driven rotary, even though in reality those seals are likely to perform worse in his engine than stock ones would have because he isn't using his engine for the specific "racing" that the aftermarket seal was developed for.

So looking again at the big picture, aftermarket seals were used in this build as a budget lowering tool and so it is not surprising that they a) don't make oem compression and b) don't last as long as oem. Now, again, you might look at this and say "well if the builder knows that ____ aftermarket seal won't last 100k miles like stock, then they shouldn't be building with that seal at all". Okay, well that means they will have to raise the price. And by the time you do everything you should do to produce an engine capable of lasting about as long as the original and making about as good of compression values that would pass a dealer test, guess what? Now your build is priced so high that nobody will buy it. As a builder you have to strike a balance and compromise between quality and budget.

In this case it looks like this builder fell a little short of that line, and maybe should have done better both with the initial build/parts selection and/or the warranty evaluation. But that also doesnt mean that I will side completely with the buyer here either, because as you can see above there are many considerations that the buyer should take into account going into the rebuild and with their expectations vs budget, and that doesn't seem to have happened here either.

YOU CAN NOT EXPECT A 2 OR 3 THOUSAND DOLLAR ROTARY REBUILD TO BE ANYWHERE LIKE NEW.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:01 PM   #100
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Thanks for your thoughts on this. I appreciate the extra info you've provided. Really, the contents of your post should be sticky'd so that others don't get killed in the expectations management phase.

It sounds like my expectations were out of line with reality but none of this was made clear to me at the time of the original rebuild. I don't know what I would have chosen to do if he had told me that the housings were worn and that I could get by with them but it would be better to replace them. It was a weird time for my budget but I've been leaning more towards paying more to have the job done right the first time in the last few years.

If Omar had taken the time to explain this to me before I shipped the motor back to him, I'd have been unhappy but I'd have gotten over it and neither one of us would have had to go through this experience.

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