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Miata guy gets a free RX-8... What should I do?

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Miata guy gets a free RX-8... What should I do?

 
Old 02-04-2019, 09:03 PM
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Default Miata guy gets a free RX-8... What should I do?

I was just offered a 2004 RX-8 with a blown engine for free. The car has not been driven for 4 years so the fuel system is probably varnished up, it exhibits all the signs of a bad apex seal. The body is good enough but not perfect.

My choices are
1. Clean it up and flip it with the bad engine. Maybe get $1000 for it?
2. Yank the engine and tear it down to see if it can be rebuilt. (good housings, rotors, e-shaft?) For $1000ish in parts if everything is ok for a re-ring... I mean re-seal.
3. Swap something into it and make it into a Gambler 500 rig. I am tempted to do this if I could do it for super cheap, but I doubt I could find a MZR (or some cheap swap) and ecu for less than $500 to make this viable no matter how much I want to run the Gambler.

A few notes.
I am a welder and I love making parts. I am no stranger to rebuilding engines, but I have less experience with rotarys than I do with piston engines. What do you guys think?
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:09 PM
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LFX swap.
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:19 PM
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4. Swap something into it and make it a car worth owning.

That is a really good chassis, practical, fits big tires and lots of engines.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:29 AM
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BP swap for the haters.
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:27 AM
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I agree with doward...RX-8s are awesome cars with the rotary obviously being the weakest point. Do a nice swap and enjoy your badass free chassis.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:24 AM
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V6 or V8 swap
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:13 AM
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LFX
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:37 AM
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You need to replace that high-revving rotary engine with a nice high-revving 1.6 B6 motor. Both will make the same torque, absolutely none.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:53 AM
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2.5 swap?
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Stealth97 View Post
BP swap for the haters.
Yes!

Originally Posted by shuiend View Post
You need to replace that high-revving rotary engine with a nice high-revving 1.6 B6 motor. Both will make the same torque, absolutely none.
Even better.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:36 PM
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4BT swap.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:59 PM
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5: Post it to Craigslist, noting that it ran when parked, and just needs a little TLC, but you've got so many other projects right now that you just don't have the time. Emphasize how rare of a find this is. Ask at least double what it's worth. Be sure that none of the photos are larger than 640x480, or in focus.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
5: Post it to Craigslist, noting that it ran when parked, and just needs a little TLC, but you've got so many other projects right now that you just don't have the time. Emphasize how rare of a find this is. Ask at least double what it's worth. Be sure that none of the photos are larger than 640x480, or in focus.
"No low *****, I know what I have"
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
5: Post it to Craigslist, noting that it ran when parked, and just needs a little TLC, but you've got so many other projects right now that you just don't have the time. Emphasize how rare of a find this is. Ask at least double what it's worth. Be sure that none of the photos are larger than 640x480, or in focus.
And put a $1 price on it.

hit me up with offers, no low *****, I know what I got!

Might trade for nice motorcycle or a running truck. NO JUNk
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:59 PM
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Actually, I hadn't thought of it until I re-read the OP, but this sort of scenario IS kind of the dream of ever Lemons / Chumpcar driver.
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Old 02-05-2019, 04:26 PM
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Put a Turbo diesel engine in it and run chump.
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Old 02-05-2019, 04:41 PM
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Keisler already has a LFX swap for the RX8 developed. It's actually a pretty good value and there's several running around already. I've instructed a guy in one of them at AMP.

https://keislerautomation.com/contact
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:52 PM
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As much as I want to do a LFX or LS swap, I dont really want to pull money or time from my Miata. (I have a box of 3in stainless pipe and a MT.net Magnaflow that has been sitting in my garage for 3 months waiting to be fabbed up) That's why I was thinking of rigging something up to run the Gambler500, but I would destroy the chassis and the car is too nice for that.

Right now I am debating putting the time and money into a rebuild. Driving it for a few months. Then selling it to fund the Exocet project I have been dreaming of for many years. Cons are that I might spend too much and only brake even when I do sell it, and be out time that I could have spent on other projects.
Or I could sell it as is (after I clean/polish it up a bit) and set that money aside for my Miata, or future Exocet project. Or trading it for a ratty NA/NB (a chassis I know more about) running the Gambler in that, then strip it down for parts for a later Exocet build.

Also Pos Cats for everyone that made a Craigslist joke!
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:32 PM
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I feel like a manageable LFX swap into an RX-8 chassis might possibly solve all the problems in my life.

Originally Posted by flier129 View Post
Keisler already has a LFX swap for the RX8 developed. It's actually a pretty good value and there's several running around already. I've instructed a guy in one of them at AMP.

https://keislerautomation.com/contact
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:13 PM
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Rx8 swaps aren't as easy as they seem. It has just enough tech to make it a pain in the ***. Gauge cluster is run through the canbus so you either have to keep the stock ecu, figure out a canbus converter to the ecu you have, or swap to different cluster.
Steering rack is electric and needs an rpm signal from the ecu to work. So you need to keep the stock ecu and rig up a trigger wheel and pickup. Also the stock steering rack sits high so you need to lower it(bump steer) or swap to a smaller rack(complexity.)
Unless you have a base model with the non-dsc ABS module(uncommon) ABS won't work, and you can't eliminate it because that's where the speed signal for the cluster comes from.
That being said, I'd love to see someone come up with a Honda K-swap kit for the RX8, it'd be just about perfect.

As for rebuild of the stock engine, if there is nothing wrong with the internals and it just needs a new set of seals, it'll run you around $1500 if you do it yourself. However it is extremely rare for the the housing to be in usable shape after a seal failure (gouging with a apex or side seal failure, corrosion with a coolant seal failure.) They also wear poorly even in a good engine. New housings are ~800-900 x2, good used are in the 500 range x2 Side plates have a better chance of surviving, and rotors too is the apex seal hasn't come apart. More realistic rebuild cost is probably in the 3-4k range, but don't forget to add some extra dollars for the replacement harness bits since they get brittle from being in a super hot engine bay all the time. Be sure to fix the issues with the stock fuel pump and catalytic converter or you'll be rebuilding it again soon. Also make sure you check the rad and coolant bottle for cracks or you'll fry your new motor.

That being said, the RX8 has an amazing chassis, and I love my swapped car. It's a great car let down by an awful engine(even by rotary standards.)
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