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Bent-Valve Reader
10/4/19 6:17 p.m.

Past 3 day have been spent burying a new power line to the barn. The old one wasn't deep enough.

Finally found the water line so I could dig under it to put the line below possible digging in the future.

I also threaded it through a 2 inch piece of pvc so if they kept digging below the water line maybe they wouldn't get electrocuted.

At some point it hit me I have 21 days until the challenge. 

So at least I have power to work in the barn...

Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
4/14/20 9:20 p.m.

That last post was obviously late last fall. I have been working on the barn so it will be a nicer place to work on my projects.

I got far enough to start back on Smoky. A recap, it had a blown motor and came with a "good" motor. I dropped it in as cheap as I could, reusing gaskets etc. I have driven it off and on for the last year and a half but it had a vacuum leak and a slight oil leak. it also has stuck secondary ports. I am going to fix all of those.

Besides the forum needs a little rotary content, it been lacking some Spinning Magic Doritos for too long!

First, assume the position.

I snagged a full gasket kit from Mazdatrix and new coils and plugs a while back and have been waiting for the right time to pull the engine.

The first time I did this, i read "don't break this off the radiator" (see the yellow arrow).

Yeah, I promptly broke it rendering the radiator useless. I was hoping to NOT repeat that mistake.

Guess what I did this time.....

So that is a small victory in this job. Radiators ain't cheap.

As I got further I figured I would find the oil leak was the rear main, as you can see from the rusty non oil coated flywheel, that ain't my problem.

And it is nice to know that under all that plumbing and electrical crap there is an engine, almost ready to pull.

Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
4/14/20 9:32 p.m.

I made a bar that sits low and close to the engine, there is not much room because those crazy Mazda engineers tried to stuff the engine under the dash.

And those crazy Mazda engineers decided to throw in a 3D puzzle. heres your cheat, undo the bolts / nuts indicated by the yellow and red arrows, lift the engine slightly while supporting the transmission. Now pull out your awesome 3D puzzle skills.

You will know you have won when you see the pieces on the floor looking like this:

Rinse and repeat on the drivers side.

It comes out with 1/4 to 1/2 inch to spare, if the cross brace above it didn't have the cut away sections (bottom of arrow) I'm not sure it would come out as easy. The oil pan "indent" slips past that brace like saw teeth meshing.

And its out and mounted! Tomorrow I'll start stripping it down.

Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
4/15/20 9:06 p.m.

WME, aka Wacky Mazda Engineers, from now on I will refer to WME's as WME's.

One is named Yuto.  Yuto works for Mazda. I am familiar with Yuto's work.

We will get back to Yuto. As I started working on the engine I think I found the oil leak. It seems to be coming out from under the oil filter mount. It is either that or the sensor, but seems to be above that. The great big opening is for oil cooler lines. If that is the leak the gasket set has new copper seals.

Yuto, remember him? He giggles every time he thinks about someone removing the injectors to get the wiring harness off. In this picture you are looking at 6 injectors. The arrow is pointing at one of the fuel rails.

Ok, fast forward to removing the wiring harness, the exhaust manifold, and I am pulling the lower intake. This is where the problem is, it only came up this far and the valve stuck in the bore. With Pyro's help and a big pair of pliers I got it out.

Using a machining parallel I found the bore has a constriction. Using a really coarse file I managed to get it mostly down. Then I used 400 grit on a piece of round stock to smooth it up. I also had to file the valve smooth as it would slide in and rotate smoothly. Remember this was a junkyard engine.


Back to Yuto. Yuto went on a bender one night, full on cigarettes, saki, pachinko, no sleep bender right before he was to design the intake gasket. He was 3, maybe four sheets in the wind and decided he wanted to make a gasket that you had to bolt in. unfortenately as he staggered into work the next day he still had that idea. WME's they love 3D puzzles and well, if you have Magic Spinning Doritos, why not a bolt in gasket?

Truly the engineering in this gasket is kinda crazy, like five layers, metal, fiber material and this is what failed wehn I reused the old one. I had revved it to 8,000+ and left off the thottle suddenly, the sudden, massive vacuum load caused it to partially fail. I know when it happened. It also messed with the idle some.

I got a late start (broke my phone and shopping) and this is as far as I got, I glossed over decarbon, cleaning, fitting and disassembling, blah, blah, boring stuff like checking the vacuum cans, etc.

 I'll tork it down tomorrow.

JoeyM Mod Squad
4/16/20 2:18 a.m.

WME  and magic spinning Doritos are now going to be a permanent part of my vocabulary

Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
4/17/20 8:58 a.m.

Yuto may be a WME but his designs are quite nice. I torqued the intake down, cleaned up the exhaust and did the same. The raised metal seal around the ports has a nice reassuring feel when you torque it down.

BTW I bought a complete set because it was like $105, JUST the intake gasket is like $99. It came with new lower, middle and upper intake seals which are molded rubber. Molder rubber, another WME inovation, there is a molded rubber seal at the bottom of the bell housing on the transmission, to insure any leaking oil goes out the specified drain hole. Those Wacky Mazda Engineers even want failures to be orderly!

Found the oil leak. I thought it was the gasket under the oil filter mount. It was, but why it was leaking is more interesting.

This engine was dropped off a lift gate. It broke a part of the bell housing which the shop TIG welded back on. I knew this when I bought the basket case.

It also bent the valve bore, that is why it was sticking. But I didn't think it hit the filter mount. When I started unbolting it the bolt wiggled, the mount wiggled and was loose. Look at the picture:

Pretty horrific to think I drove all over with these barely holding the oil filter mount on.

I filed the bottom of the filter mount flat and did a little clean up of casting lines and machining inside it to flow better. It flows a lot of oil and oil provides a substantial amount of cooling on this engine. I also have to straighten the oil radiator fins, it looks like a pressure washer was directed at them.

I made this clutch alignment tool just for RX-8's. For a transmission input pilot bearing they use a roller bearing and seal. The second step on the alignment tool is so I can press the seal in. The large diameter just above my finger is where the clutch plate splines sit.

Pulled out the sander to clean up the flywheel and pressure plate. Bolted it all together, torqued em down and on to putting it back in.

Now back the those WME's and their love of 3D puzzles. Lift, lower, jiggle, put engine mount in, wait, no, No, NO! Twist, ok, now lower, and its in. No, it wasn't that quick.

In Yuto's defense this is a sweet driving machine, not stupid fast but decently quick, smooth, responsive. A twisty road and the buttery smooth Wankel revving makes forgiving Yuto's benders before designing this thing pretty easy.

I got a little farther but my phone was charging, so no pics. It was late last night so this post is overdue. With possibility of snow in our forecast I may sit here for a while. I am out of firewood for the barn heater. Stay tuned!



Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
4/17/20 9:07 a.m.

Just a thought as I reread the post to check for errors.

The manual shows dropping the entire front sub frame to pull the engine. That requires a 2 or 4 post lift. If I get one someday I plan to try it, it looks much easier than pulling it out the hood.

The draw back is you have to align it after dropping the sub frame.

Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
4/17/20 8:30 p.m.

I started here this morning, not much to finish.

Now, hypothetically speaking, if this hose indicated by the yellow arrow was missing and goes behind and below everything you put on you would have to take some of it off. Its easiest to take the alternator out. But then you lose the lower coolant hose on the MAS, and that's when you find out its easiest to take the alternator out, it makes for a longer day.

Hypothetically speaking.

I broke this elbow, I'll have to get one tomorrow. I also need distilled water to flush the radiator and antifreeze.

So it sits like this, almost done, except ....

I am trying to straighten the oil cooler fins up some. This pic isn't great, I did some of them but it really isn't clear.

Its 34 out in the shop, I decided this part was a little too OCD for tonight.

Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
4/18/20 11:55 p.m.

Got it put together.

Starts great. smiley

Then dies. sad

Leaks fuel near the injectors. I'll find the exact leak and order parts Monday if they aren't to expensive. I figure this is why it dies. Resetting the ecu etc didn't fix anything. I thought the gas smell was flooding at first.

On the bright side it doesn't have the vacuum leak noise. Or any codes. So I fixed two things before I broke something else.

Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
4/24/20 11:32 p.m.

OCD. CDO is the proper order.

I am afflicted with it on some things. Like oil radiator cooling fins.


Really that is during, the bottom row is opened up some, the top row is what I got.

Notice that the fins are louvered! There is a wide, un louvered beginning to the cooling fin, most likely for strength, then the louvers start.

I got them more open than they were but a new set would be best. They are located on each side, this is a before / during shot.

On to injectors!

Most websites say you need to 2 kits. so I ordered 2. I didn't find out that one kit does one injector, until I got them. I have 6 injectors. Fortunately I only needed to reseal 4 of them, see the arrow? that points to the injector hole furthest back. The other 2 are even deeper and I would have to pull it mostly down to get to them. As it was I had to pull the mid intake out for room to work.

Oh and nobody had 2 more kits so I ordered them from Rockauto. They came in today. Its drizzling, and working with fuel leaks maybe its better that its out of the shop. To the left you can see where I dug about 4 foot more out of the hill. I'm going to add some more gravel soon I hope.

Got it put back together, only lost a little skin and 1/2 pint of blood, so not too bad. All vacuum leaks sealed, fuel leaks stopped. It started and ran, for twice as long before it died. Again, and again, and again.

After trying to let it relearn to idle, which it failed to do, I am wondering if I have a fuel pump problem. There was a recall done, but that was a fuel pipe. Today I found a fuel pressure gauge in some stuff  and I have extra fuel lines with the connectors. Tomorrow I am going to see if I can build a test gauge, or rent one, to test the pressure. It should be around 58 psi.

On the bright side, it starts great, no vacuum or fuel leaks. And I was mostly dry working on it!



Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/25/20 8:02 a.m.

Sounds like lots of progress made. Glad you got your injector kids mostly figured out. 

Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
4/25/20 8:53 p.m.

So the apprentice sorcerer that is working on this engine which runs on some dark magic had a lapse in attention.

The problem is still that it starts great, then dies. Checking grounds all of them are secure and connected.

HOWEVER! I found a plug on the harness that I forgot to plug in. Doesn't throw a code but the engine simply will not run. It runs the Bosch air pump for the egr system.

Fired up and ran through the idle training smoother than it has ever run.

I flushed the last of the green / blue antifreeze out with distilled water. For those of you not versed in the dark arts, this plug on the side of the engine keg doesn't hold oil, but drains the mystical labyrinth installed by the WME's (Wacky Mazda Engineers)

It finally  ran clear and I filled it up with red antifreeze like what it originally had. Zerex spec?

After buttoning it all up I drove about 45 miles. Idles smooth, pulls away from a stop smoothly.

However, it has no power on the top end, its flat.

Besides sealing up the leaks all I did was put in new coils and spark plugs. I thought maybe I had switched leading / trailing, it will still run, not great but from what I have read it will run. Checking the wiring diagram and looking at the colors on the coil harness I have all of them right:

Front leading, black with white stripe is correct for example, I don't know why this 2 is on it. Double checking, all the wiring is correct. I am guessing that the coils are not great.

I did get, I thought, decent coils. Not Mazda coils ($$), not the LS coil conversion ($$$$) that I wanted, but decent. I looked at the old coils and they are Mazda coils. So tomorrow I am going to swap them back into it and see what happens.

I have found poor spark, poor performance. I made a hot ignition for a truck I had, just changed that, and the difference was incredible.

I am one step closer to autocross, it runs! Now to get it to run great!


wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/26/20 9:10 a.m.

Does this still have cats?   If so, my rx8 had clogged cats that created similar power issues.

Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
4/26/20 4:15 p.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

Yeah it still has them. I wonder it they contribute to it.

This morning I swapped the coils. Yes the Mazda coils are better than the others but I still have the flat top end.

I stood on it until it threw a code. P 2004.

Same dang problem I have been chasing from the start.



Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
4/29/20 9:11 p.m.

2005 RX 8 on Copart. What would you bid for it. keep in mind fees up the real price.

For the right price this is something I really want for the Challenge.

Some of the better parts go onto my "good" RX-8, like the engine cover and I can see from the pictures another part I need that is bad on mine. It seems like a win-win.

It doesn't say it runs, but it doesn't say it doesn't. It says hail damage.

Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
4/29/20 9:27 p.m.

Oh and although I am sick of cleaning, I tore down my old work bench and finished another section of wall.



I moved this out but didn't get a picture. The a/c doesn't work so tomorrow it comes out and outside metal gets patched, again. I have to smooth up the floor before moving the lathe into place. It is an exceptionally thick bit of concrete, like 2 foot thick, I mixed it and was wiped out when it was needing finished. That was more than 15 years ago. Now I have diamond blades for the grinder so I'm going to fix it up.

The head is upside down so it has a lower center of gravity and my engine hoist won't fit around it so it was me and a lever walking it forward.

I think I have figured out how I am going to do the electrical. I am going to use all metal conduit and boxes this time.


Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/30/20 7:09 p.m.

Alot of cars on copart don't run do flat batteries, security issues ect. 

Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
5/4/20 8:47 p.m.

The project that won't end. This started when Pyro bought me a wood burning stove for the barn.

This corner took some time. I had to pull the old a/c unit. I put it in REALLY REALLY well. Then I made a patch for the wall. best patch I have ever made. Looked great outside.

Then I had the bright idea that I needed a window. indecision After it was all over I'm glad i put it in. But it required framing, loosen all the outside metal, more framing, cutting little pieces of metal, chaulking, yada, yada, yada....


Oh and notice in the pic above the electrical panel, pulled all the old wiring out, remounted it, framed around it, insulation .... I finished that wall today. Still had primer in the pan so I used it up on the window wall.

And Pyro decided to start the paint process, Kilz primer. She got a couple of sections done yesterday afternoon. Now I have to pull everything off the wall and move everything out so we can do the rest of the wall.

And I started organizing the electrical stuff. I stripped all the Romex I could to reuse the wire, I am going all metal conduit / boxes etc for durability and safety. 

I registered for Copart today, I am waiting for them to approve my license so I can bid on the RX-8 I mentioned a few posts back.

EDIT -- Just found out I CANT bid on it unless I use a broker, which kills the cost for the Challenge. So I keep looking for an RX-8. There is one in Little Rock I can bid on, it has mechanical issues and from the pics it has been, well, tinkered with or abused.


In reply to Bent-Valve (FS) :

Message me the link, I'll see if I can bid on it for you. 

Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
5/6/20 10:07 p.m.

In reply to Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) :

I just looked at GRM since yesterday. I have been plowing through to do stuff. 

I wasn't ignoring you. 

In reply to Bent-Valve (FS) :

All good. I understand.

Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
5/7/20 7:19 a.m.

Yeah, now I'm standing in line at the DMV. In the parking lot. Only 9 people ahead of me. It opens in 12 minutes. 

Yesterday the line was a long way out, I just kept driving. 

bruceman Reader
5/7/20 9:21 a.m.

Following. I have done similar painful things to my Rx8 but mine runs really well now and is a pleasure to drive.

The DMV is my own personal hell. 

Bent-Valve (FS)
Bent-Valve (FS) HalfDork
5/8/20 8:12 p.m.

In a few minutes I will register the RX-8 for the Test and Tune, which means I have to pull the engine back out again and get those secondaries right. You can't pull the lower intake off the engine in the car, no room. Third times a charm!

Wait here for a minute ......

Ah ha!

And I'm registered! Woo Hoo!

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