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wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/12/18 2:57 p.m.

If you have a rusty exhaust and it goes under the trans in any way, it will be more expensive to pull the trans WITH the engine.  You WILL end up replacing exhaust parts.


Also, if you pull the driveshaft and tilt the trans, the fluid will come out.  This will be another expense that you dont need.


If you are okay trading labor time for money, pull the engine seperate from the trans.  Should save you roughly $50 to $75 in fluid and exhaust parts.


Its not that much more difficult to just pull the engine...  Especially if you have a helper.


Pro tip (for ALL engine / trans)...  If the trans will not seat DIRECTLY against the engine when you are mating them back together, do NOT force them.  Do NOT use bolts to pull them together.  Something is WRONG!  The engine and trans should mate together flush and THEN you put the bolts in.


Also, don't take the crank pulley off until you have some way of holding the flywheel against the back of the engine.  See the following linky dink....  https://www.mazdatrix.com/faq/pulley.htm



TED_fiestaHP Reader
9/12/18 3:24 p.m.

Smoky the Magnificent, a tale of Magic Spinning Doritos

    That is the title of the RX8 story....

BirgerBuilder Reader
9/12/18 3:27 p.m.

This build has me excited to get back to my rotary powered MG build, but one thing at a time...

If you do need to do an overhaul of the engine, Atkins Rotary seems to have the best quality/ price on kits. 


Schizamm New Reader
9/15/18 10:41 p.m.

Mini update!

A wild hoist appears!

Schizamm New Reader
9/16/18 1:36 a.m.

Engine and transmission are out!

Can't believe how light the engine trans combo is! That's me examining our handy work. A few questions. Looks like the transmission might not be original, it appears the trans tunnel where the shifter comes through the floor was clearance on the firewall side to allow for the shifter to be further forward. 

No idea how to tell, I'm going to do some research on these and see if it is a different unit from another year or model but if anyone knows that'd be great! Car is an 83 GSL

Here's the heart! Couple of questions with this. First is WVU provided an awesome source to making sure I have the keep the flywheel on the back of the engine. If I were to simply tip the engine virticle onto the clutch housing would that work to keep it safe? 

The yellowish part above is what I mean, can I just let it sit on that? Or should I pull off the clutch and set it down onto the flywheel? 

Last question is about tear down. Any advice or things to keep in mind while I break it down? Luckily the rotor that seems to have blown apex seals is the front one, so I only need to open it halfway-ish. Obviously oil pan comes off, and a few other things just was curious if there's something big I need to watch out for.

But first time pulling an engine, it was a blast! Went pretty dang smooth, only missed one hose clamp so I'm pret-tee proud of myself (ok I can't take much credit with my brother holding my hand the whole time). Really excited to start pulling it open and seeing how this rotary is built and what it'll take to get it running smoothly again. Thanks for checking it out!



wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/16/18 7:08 a.m.

It's difficult to take half of one of the apart.  The bolts go through the entire engine from the rear.

Get a video on rebuilding these or YouTube the hell out of it.


Yes, you can just lay the engine on the clutch.  However, at some point you need to remove the flywheel to tear this thing apart so you might as well remove it.

Bent-Valve Reader
9/16/18 10:57 a.m.

You have CONCRETE to  work on! laugh I am so jealous!

I saw another rotary thread and just had to read it. I just got the supposedly good engine back into the bay last night about 11:30. I will be rebuilding the bad motor this winter. It will still be a week or so before I can try to fire the good one. Tomorrow if I have time I am going to work on connecting everything back up.

Yellowish part is the pressure plate, it holds the clutch plate against the flywheel, you will need a tool to line it back up. you can "rent" one at some auto parts stores, then they give your money back when you take it back so really just free use of a tool. So if you needed specialty tools for some of the work that is a good option. Look at my thread for removing the flywheel, it took a 54 mm socket (2 1/8 inch fits too I think) and some serious torque.

Look at

Goopy Performance

Racing Beat

Atkins Rotary

About apex seals. Do mucho research and decide for your self.

Keep going!



Schizamm New Reader
9/16/18 1:23 p.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

In the link you provided about the crank case bolt it talks about keeping the engine resting on the flywheel anytime you're working on the front of the engine. But in order to break the engine down enough to get the the first rotor, I'll need to pull the flywheel off. Excuse my lack of understanding, but I'm confused on how to proceed. When I take off the front cover and assembly, leave it on the flywheel? Then when I'm going to pull apart the rotary sandwich I'm ok to tip the engine horizontal and pull off the flywheel and get to the thru bolts? For now I'm just going to pull off things like oil housing cooler deal not sure what its called, pull off the clutch, etc.


Schizamm New Reader
9/16/18 1:25 p.m.

In reply to Bent-Valve :

Yeah I'm pretty lucky to have a little single car garage to work out of! Added bonus with my apartment. Just read through your build, looks like a steal! Great body and a (supposedly) good spare engine all for cheap, I'm jealous. I'll be pulling the clutch since it needs to come off eventually anyway. And that flywheel looked like a doosy, hopefully mine cooperates.

wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/16/18 1:46 p.m.

What I'm saying is that to get to front rotor, you need to take all that stuff off anyway, including those flat bearings.


Not really sure it's possible to easily only take off the front rotor.  I am blanking hard right now, but I think the rear rotor comes off first.  


Google rebuild rotary on a bucket.  It will show you how to do it without a fancy stand....

Schizamm New Reader
9/16/18 2:55 p.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

Ok thanks, I figured since it's all coming apart it isn't a huge worry!

Schizamm New Reader
9/21/18 9:16 p.m.

Time for an update! Basically a photo dump.

Got the 19mm bolt off the front, as well as the 54mm on the rear both with my cousins 1/2 drive impact drill. A little concerned on how loose that means the rear flywheel nut was, but I mean, it was cheap. Really cheap.

Next I went shopping (read dumpster diving) and found a perfect engine stand (home depot bucket), and started pulling apart the engine. Flywheel key gave me some grief, otherwise it was pretty smooth sailing.

Survey says: At the very least, one rotor housing and one rotor are completely unusable.

The rotor looks even worse. If that's possible. Yes that's apex seal completely wedged into the groove there.

The front cover is probably ok for my purposes, and the midplate is also equally ok. I think. Rear rotor and housing actually look pretty dang solid.

Here is the front cover. One small lip enough to catch a fingernail, then a sizable gouge near the exhaust port. Usable?

The rear housing and plate both look great. After reading through quite a few rebuild threads, I feel confident in using them. Also, after some cleaning, the rear rotor is good to fo as well. 

Would like some weigh in. To my eye, at minimum for reassembly I need:

  1. Front housing
  2. Front rotor
  3. New soft seals
  4. New apex seals at least for new rotor, might as well get enough for both, included in that are springs and corner seals/springs
  5. New outer oil rings
  6. I've read on rx7club that reusing side seals is ok, I kept my in their original places. But I'd want new springs.
  7. Various gaskets (oil pan gasket etc.)

I know I'm missing a lot of other things too, but it's a pretty long (more like expensive) list.

Some thoughts. This chassis/body is really bad. I mean like $350 car bad. Frame rails are more dented then a skateboarders shins. And flimsy too. Setting it down on jack stands you can watch it bend around them. Just thinking about whether or not it would be worth keeping around or just scrapping anything not worth money at this point. Rebuilding the motor and putting it back into this pile doesn't sound very appealing. If anyone has any better ideas let me know! 

wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/22/18 9:25 a.m.

Sell the usable parts and get a better one?


You can probably easily make your money back and learn a lot by taking the car apart for sellable pieces.

fidelity101 UltraDork
9/22/18 11:06 a.m.

Yikes there are a lot of boat anchor parts in there

Schizamm New Reader
9/24/18 1:54 a.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

Yup that's going to be the plan!

If anyone needs RX7 parts, anything at all, let me know! It's all for sale!

Schizamm New Reader
9/24/18 1:56 a.m.

In reply to fidelity101 

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but still not a pretty sight!

JtspellS SuperDork
9/24/18 4:23 a.m.

In reply to Schizamm :

Never know until you tear in to it!

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