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    Thread: RX-8 Perfect Roller for Cheap Powertrain Ideas?

    1. Geriatric Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 01:47 PM #1
      Ok another small chance hypothetical thread; I have the opportunity to purchase a 2005 RX-8 with high mileage. The chassis, interior, body, etc is perfect, but being a high mileage Renesis it could use a new engine. So... does anyone know of any kits for an engine swap? SR20, LSx, etc? How about rebuilt "built" Renesis? Any place to get them? Has anyone actually done a swap? I am looking for a backyard weekend mechanic job. I can get LSx parts galore for cheap too. Engines and transmissions for it are not an issue. Basically I was thinking about buying this RX-8 driving it till it breaks and then either fixing it or swapping something less rotary () in it.






      Pretty damn clean.
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      Quote Originally Posted by GoForBroke View Post
      I'm noticing more and more that Aonarch has some of the better comments.
      Aye, I do.

    2. Member helement2003's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 01:52 PM #2
      It's been done. Not sure how hard it is though.


    3. 08-08-2012 01:55 PM #3
      My god are those ugly....BUT it a lot better without the horrible Renesis in it. DUE EET

    4. Member rbloedow's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 01:58 PM #4
      Google Hinson Motorsports - they are about to release a full swap kit.

    5. Geriatric Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 01:59 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by helement2003 View Post
      It's been done. Not sure how hard it is though.

      Quote Originally Posted by kwik!gti View Post
      My god are those ugly....BUT it a lot better without the horrible Renesis in it. DUE EET
      I think they are fantastic looking. I've done Skip Barber twice and drove them there. Fantastic car. The Renesis is fine... but if I had the opportunity I would like to change it. Buying this particular RX-8 would allow funds for a motor swap ~$5k.
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      Quote Originally Posted by GoForBroke View Post
      I'm noticing more and more that Aonarch has some of the better comments.
      Aye, I do.

    6. Geriatric Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 02:00 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by rbloedow View Post
      Google Hinson Motorsports - they are about to release a full swap kit.
      They were both arrested for auto theft.

      Edit: to clarify, that is why the site has no updates for the RX-8. Word on the forums is the owner and son were arrested for having stolen vehicles in their yard. I'll find the news story.

      http://www.decaturdaily.com/stories/...property,44856
      Last edited by Aonarch; 08-08-2012 at 02:02 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by GoForBroke View Post
      I'm noticing more and more that Aonarch has some of the better comments.
      Aye, I do.

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      08-08-2012 02:23 PM #7
      Swap in a 13B-REW
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      08-08-2012 02:29 PM #8
      Probably not cheap but I always dreamt of a disi 2.3 swap into an Rx-8. 13b would be cool but sbc/lsx is probably the cheapest way to go if cost is your overriding factor.
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      08-08-2012 02:31 PM #9
      Is there something actually wrong with the motor or is it just high mileage? You sure it's the original motor?

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      08-08-2012 02:34 PM #10
      sr20
      pardon my 'merican

    11. Geriatric Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 02:34 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Oliver@triplezoom View Post
      Is there something actually wrong with the motor or is it just high mileage? You sure it's the original motor?
      No for all. Nothing wrong with it. Basically I would drive it until it broke, or until I accumulated all of the parts for it. Basically I want to build a Monster Miata with an RX-8.

      It would serve as a **** eating grin machine.
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      Quote Originally Posted by GoForBroke View Post
      I'm noticing more and more that Aonarch has some of the better comments.
      Aye, I do.

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      08-08-2012 02:35 PM #12
      Cheap? No.

      The best rotary roller for cheap powertrain swaps is a FC RX-7.
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    13. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 02:47 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by Aonarch View Post
      I think they are fantastic looking. I've done Skip Barber twice and drove them there. Fantastic car. The Renesis is fine... but if I had the opportunity I would like to change it. Buying this particular RX-8 would allow funds for a motor swap ~$5k.
      I have pondered engine swap ideas.
      But losing air con and cruise and... It stops being a comfortable capable car.
      At that point I would probably gut the interior and make it a hard core machine.. And is it the best option for that?


      Also- rotary resurrection will do a complete rebuild including pulling the engine and reinstalling it for like three grand.
      If you rebuild before the engine has a part failure, there probably won't be any added part costs over what is listed on Kevin's site.
      I haven't talked to Kevin in a long time, but he has an excellent reputation.
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    14. Member MAGICGTI's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 02:47 PM #14
      I could have gotten a 2005 Winning Blue 6MT with 138k and a blown motor for $500 and still didn't take it. Thank god I didn't

    15. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 02:50 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by MAGICGTI View Post
      I could have gotten a 2005 Winning Blue 6MT with 138k and a blown motor for $500 and still didn't take it. Thank god I didn't
      Sarcasm?
      Add in 3k for a rebuild and you could have had a good RX8 for beat Focus money.
      ...assuming the car was in good shape otherwise.
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      08-08-2012 03:04 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      Sarcasm?
      Add in 3k for a rebuild and you could have had a good RX8 for beat Focus money.
      ...assuming the car was in good shape otherwise.
      Seriously... I would have bought that in a heartbeat. Why wouldn't you?
      I'll miss you all... '87 XR4Ti, '01 Jetta VR6, '73 240Z, '91 Miata

    17. Geriatric Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 03:33 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      I have pondered engine swap ideas.
      But losing air con and cruise and... It stops being a comfortable capable car.
      At that point I would probably gut the interior and make it a hard core machine.. And is it the best option for that?


      Also- rotary resurrection will do a complete rebuild including pulling the engine and reinstalling it for like three grand.
      If you rebuild before the engine has a part failure, there probably won't be any added part costs over what is listed on Kevin's site.
      I haven't talked to Kevin in a long time, but he has an excellent reputation.
      I don't need air con or cruise. I really have been itching for a project car. Something that I could pay all cash for, not really care about, and take forever building.

      I have a friend who owns a shop and he has the ability to swap whatever I want into whatever I want, but I would like to DIY jack stand in the driveway 200 piece tool-set this job.

      I might just cave and buy a S14... super easy Enjuku Racing swap kits, tons of guides, and custom ready to order parts.
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      Quote Originally Posted by GoForBroke View Post
      I'm noticing more and more that Aonarch has some of the better comments.
      Aye, I do.

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      08-08-2012 03:33 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by MAGICGTI View Post
      I could have gotten a 2005 Winning Blue 6MT with 138k and a blown motor for $500 and still didn't take it. Thank god I didn't



      You could've parted it out for several times that amount.

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      08-08-2012 03:40 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Aonarch View Post
      I don't need air con or cruise. I really have been itching for a project car. Something that I could pay all cash for, not really care about, and take forever building.

      Might want to look into the smog laws in your area. If your city requires smog checks, it's going to be more difficult to get the car smog legal. Most smog check states require the engine you're swapping in to be newer than the chassis, and from the same class of vehicles (car-->car, truck-->truck), meaning you can't grab an LS engine out of a Suburban or pickup to put in the RX8, as the trucks will have different smog standards.


      Of course, if you have no smog testing in your area, the sky's the limit!

    20. Member Mike!'s Avatar
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      08-08-2012 03:45 PM #20
      They're not the 'perfect roller' in a northern climate due to rust already taking its toll on bodies, particularly on the corner panels by the wheel wells. I'm sure one with an already-blown engine is pretty cheap, but so are many cars (want a 911 with a blown engine for $9,500?).

    21. Geriatric Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 03:52 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by Mooosman View Post
      Might want to look into the smog laws in your area. If your city requires smog checks, it's going to be more difficult to get the car smog legal. Most smog check states require the engine you're swapping in to be newer than the chassis, and from the same class of vehicles (car-->car, truck-->truck), meaning you can't grab an LS engine out of a Suburban or pickup to put in the RX8, as the trucks will have different smog standards.


      Of course, if you have no smog testing in your area, the sky's the limit!
      Quote Originally Posted by Mike! View Post
      They're not the 'perfect roller' in a northern climate due to rust already taking its toll on bodies, particularly on the corner panels by the wheel wells. I'm sure one with an already-blown engine is pretty cheap, but so are many cars (want a 911 with a blown engine for $9,500?).
      I live in the deep south, no emissions, inspections and no rust.

      Yeah I saw the 911 posting, but Porsche tax is a heavy burden.
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      Quote Originally Posted by GoForBroke View Post
      I'm noticing more and more that Aonarch has some of the better comments.
      Aye, I do.

    22. Member MAGICGTI's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 03:55 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      Sarcasm?
      Add in 3k for a rebuild and you could have had a good RX8 for beat Focus money.
      ...assuming the car was in good shape otherwise.
      Nope, no sarcasm. Don't have space, don't have knowledge, don't have the drive to make that work.

      For somebody, it's a good project.

    23. Member MAGICGTI's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 03:56 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by Mooosman View Post



      You could've parted it out for several times that amount.
      Based on time and storage costs I would lose money doing that, so no.

    24. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 04:02 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Aonarch View Post
      I don't need air con or cruise. I really have been itching for a project car. Something that I could pay all cash for, not really care about, and take forever building.

      I have a friend who owns a shop and he has the ability to swap whatever I want into whatever I want, but I would like to DIY jack stand in the driveway 200 piece tool-set this job.

      I might just cave and buy a S14... super easy Enjuku Racing swap kits, tons of guides, and custom ready to order parts.
      Well, the RX8 is a stiff chassis.
      You would never think with those doors it would be so stuff.
      And a no sunroof car (like mine) has tall guy with helmet room.
      I would much rather see them cut up for track or engine swap use than crushed.


      An LS would be nice and probably fit fairly easily.
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    25. Geriatric Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 04:18 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      Well, the RX8 is a stiff chassis.
      You would never think with those doors it would be so stuff.
      And a no sunroof car (like mine) has tall guy with helmet room.
      I would much rather see them cut up for track or engine swap use than crushed.


      An LS would be nice and probably fit fairly easily.
      Sigh I guess it would take some serious modification to work, which is a little out of my league. I might just rebuild the renesis.

      Any turbo kits?
      Semper Fi | USMC '06-'14 | 0311 | 0331| 0933
      Quote Originally Posted by GoForBroke View Post
      I'm noticing more and more that Aonarch has some of the better comments.
      Aye, I do.

    26. 08-08-2012 04:24 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by Aonarch View Post
      Sigh I guess it would take some serious modification to work, which is a little out of my league. I might just rebuild the renesis.

      Any turbo kits?
      C/D test a turbo 8, Protech? But I think they went belly up.
      Quote Originally Posted by Aseras View Post
      I got the (RX8) engine replaced at 112K miles not because it failed but because I hit a pig on the interstate.

    27. Member HwAoRrDk's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 05:07 PM #27
      RX-8's are pretty cheap in the UK, almost dirt cheap if you find one with a wrecked engine, so the subject of engine swaps comes up fairly often on the UK owner's club forums. So, it's a fairly well discussed subject there.

      Swapping a different engine in to the '8 has several fundamental issues to overcome:

      - Almost any straight-6 is a no-go, as they're too long and present problems just trying to fit the damn thing under the hood. Either hood clearance issues or steering-rack issues (rack is behind the axle line, so occupies space the engine wants to take up).

      - Conversely, anything too wide is a no-go either. This counts out most V6s and DOHC V8s. The space available between the shock towers is fairly narrow.

      - Compromises ground clearance. Because the rotary engine is small, it sits quite low, and thus the gearbox sits low too. On some engines, in order to mate the flywheel to the 'box, the engine needs to sit lower than the rotary would, which means the sump hangs out the bottom of the car.

      - If the stock dash is to be retained, this requires some effort electronics-wise. Because everything bar the fuel gauge on the instrument cluster is fed over CAN bus by the PCM, you can't just hook up analogue senders. You need an interface. (I've never actually seen documented any explanation of how anyone's done this, so maybe there are a lot of hacked-up clusters out there.)

      - Usually compromises the weight balance. Start hanging engines out over the front axle or using anything with an iron block plus turbos and the car is now front-heavy and the suspension needs to be re-engineered accordingly.

      From what I've seen, an LSx V8 swap is the best thing you can do. Actually fits (short and not too wide because of push-rod design), doesn't screw the balance (weighs not much more), and there is already a wealth of knowledge out there from similar efforts with RX-7s.
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    28. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 07:26 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by Aonarch View Post
      Sigh I guess it would take some serious modification to work, which is a little out of my league. I might just rebuild the renesis.

      Any turbo kits?
      http://www.rx8club.com/vendor-classi...-$3995-217648/



      The Esmeril Racing turbo kits seem to be the best available (for anything close to the price).

      My concern is the transmission- as they can be a bit fragile if abused even on stock RX8s.
      But then again, used ones are fairly easy to find for not that much coin.
      You could even swap to the FD's 5 speed unit, I guess.


      If you want a good engine swap car- the 2rd gen "FC" Rx7 is a great used car to build up value (better than 240 imo).
      Find a solid one with a bad engine for dirt cheap- at least I assume they can be found that way.
      They are starting to get rare.
      But the FC chassis and even rear end can handle a V8 transplant, and there are kits available.
      ChrisV on here built a very nice one.
      It's the blue and white one at the bottom of this page.

      http://grannys.tripod.com/2ndgenrx7fordv8.html

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    29. Geriatric Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 07:40 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by HwAoRrDk View Post
      RX-8's are pretty cheap in the UK, almost dirt cheap if you find one with a wrecked engine, so the subject of engine swaps comes up fairly often on the UK owner's club forums. So, it's a fairly well discussed subject there.

      Swapping a different engine in to the '8 has several fundamental issues to overcome:

      - Almost any straight-6 is a no-go, as they're too long and present problems just trying to fit the damn thing under the hood. Either hood clearance issues or steering-rack issues (rack is behind the axle line, so occupies space the engine wants to take up).

      - Conversely, anything too wide is a no-go either. This counts out most V6s and DOHC V8s. The space available between the shock towers is fairly narrow.

      - Compromises ground clearance. Because the rotary engine is small, it sits quite low, and thus the gearbox sits low too. On some engines, in order to mate the flywheel to the 'box, the engine needs to sit lower than the rotary would, which means the sump hangs out the bottom of the car.

      - If the stock dash is to be retained, this requires some effort electronics-wise. Because everything bar the fuel gauge on the instrument cluster is fed over CAN bus by the PCM, you can't just hook up analogue senders. You need an interface. (I've never actually seen documented any explanation of how anyone's done this, so maybe there are a lot of hacked-up clusters out there.)

      - Usually compromises the weight balance. Start hanging engines out over the front axle or using anything with an iron block plus turbos and the car is now front-heavy and the suspension needs to be re-engineered accordingly.

      From what I've seen, an LSx V8 swap is the best thing you can do. Actually fits (short and not too wide because of push-rod design), doesn't screw the balance (weighs not much more), and there is already a wealth of knowledge out there from similar efforts with RX-7s.
      Cheers mate!

      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      http://www.rx8club.com/vendor-classi...-$3995-217648/



      The Esmeril Racing turbo kits seem to be the best available (for anything close to the price).

      My concern is the transmission- as they can be a bit fragile if abused even on stock RX8s.
      But then again, used ones are fairly easy to find for not that much coin.
      You could even swap to the FD's 5 speed unit, I guess.


      If you want a good engine swap car- the 2rd gen "FC" Rx7 is a great used car to build up value (better than 240 imo).
      Find a solid one with a bad engine for dirt cheap- at least I assume they can be found that way.
      They are starting to get rare.
      But the FC chassis and even rear end can handle a V8 transplant, and there are kits available.
      ChrisV on here built a very nice one.
      It's the blue and white one at the bottom of this page.

      http://grannys.tripod.com/2ndgenrx7fordv8.html

      You the man good buddy! Yeehaw!!! < domesitic
      Semper Fi | USMC '06-'14 | 0311 | 0331| 0933
      Quote Originally Posted by GoForBroke View Post
      I'm noticing more and more that Aonarch has some of the better comments.
      Aye, I do.

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