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Thread: DIY RX8 Engine Rebuild (pic heavy)

  1. #1
    Member hadlowj is on a distinguished road
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    DIY RX8 Engine Rebuild (pic heavy)

    Well this is sort of a carry thread from the rx8 owners club so if you want to read though all 10 (and counting) pages then check this link out Click Here Otherwise read on.

    First the very short version of how I came to doing this, I went to a dealer brought the car got ripped off, engine was a screwed, at the time did not have to money to pay someone to rebuild so decided with little engineering experience and no experience working on cars to rebuild the engine myself. As it turns out I now have 2 rx8's and a spare engine all being rebuilt by myself

    First was the very long process of pulling the engine out of the car, unfortunately I did not take any pics of this and it took about 2 months to do. The main reason it took so long was that I did not have many of the tools required and ordered them as i went so had to wait for delivery. The weather did not help either. But after much work I got the engine out.

    I then started the engine tear down process.
















    Yes that engine is sitting on my freezer lol. Anyway I then started the process of the sorting and cleaning.
    Image below shows all the little bits in their own box (not cleaned yet)

    Stripped rotor (not yet cleaned)

    Shiny Steel



    Cleaning out the seal slots

    Oil the gap and rub

    There was a lot of rubbish in the groves


    The one on the left has been cleaned with cataclean, the one on the right is what it looked like before. Still some way to go yet.


    And the rotors all cleaned (with old bearing still in). The rust is because they went though the dishwasher (wont do that again).





    The process of checking the side plates.

    Here you can see the heavy carbon deposits in the ports.
    Last edited by hadlowj; 03-13-2011 at 02:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Member hadlowj is on a distinguished road
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    It was a pain to remove but worth it



    Now for the VERY bad news, both rotor housings were screwed. The cause was a apex seal getting stuck in the slot. I originally though this was carbon build up but when i came to the rebuild I could not get the corner seal in the slot easily and when I did the apex seal did not fit. The cause was a tiny indentation in the side of the slot causing the apex seal not to move properly. The only way I can see this happening is that it was always there and Mazda decided to just force it pass the grove.
    This is the worst housing, in some places the chrome flak reaches almost 7mm and in pic 4 the chrome is gone





    Housings 2, This one does not look terrible, in one place the chrome is slightly out of tolerance at 3.31mm, looking around it is ok to use, but I’m not going to so 2 new rotor housings (ouch!!)


    Close up of same damage as above pic.


    And at this point my house looked like this




    This is the fun day when you get a big box from the USA with all your new bits.











    This being my first rebuild there was bound to be a screw up and there was, I forgot about the bearing retainer screw in the front bearing. The gear was fine and I replaced both bearing screws.


    Then the rebuild begins, First job is organise everything.


    And this is the engine stand I will be using. I had to modify the mounting plate a little (because there was messy welding) to fit the rotary adapter




    First job was to put the new bearings into the rotors


    I drew lines on the outside to line them up.
    Last edited by hadlowj; 03-13-2011 at 02:15 PM.

  3. #3
    Member hadlowj is on a distinguished road
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    Then the moment of truth pressing the bearing into the rotor, I first practised with an old bearing but then this is the real thing.

    And the two rotors with both there shiny new bearings


    Next I labelled both of the rotors.



    The side seals already have one side at the correct angle, the other is flat and they are all oversized.

    Each seal then went into its own labelled box ready to start.


    Corner seals then went in, they are at an angle at the moment encase I have to remove them when doing the side seals. You can see the first side seal spring in place at the bottom.


    Then sizing the seal, I used a fine grit stone (400 and 600 to finish) with a regular supply of oil. The first one is quite tricky to do but it gets easier as you go.



    Once sized then the hole is filled with petroleum jelly to keep it in place and then the seal is inserted.


    And after a fair bit of work, patience and some pain in the finger all three seals on the first side are done


    Next is the oil seals, first the springs, the different colours have to go in specific places e.g. white on rotor 1 faces the front.



    Then just place the O rings round the oil rings and push into place and your finished

    Then repeat on the other side


    Then a bit more work later and they are both done.




    I next did the bearings for the front and rear gear. This is the same as the rotor bearing except you have to line up the oil holes and retaining screw hole rather than a tab.




    Then I hit a problem. Because of my little accent earlier I did not have one of the retaining screws as it was destroyed so I needed to find new ones. Got them and in they went fine with a bit of loctite.

    Well time for a massive update. I got the screws today and started work.
    First job was to prep the first hosing. I used petroleum jelly and hylomar.

    and then onto the front plate


    Then goes the front rotor e-saft, the e-shaft was a nightmare to get into place but once lined up dropped straight in.



    Then its time to put the first apex seal in, the first time took about 10 tries before I got it right but once you discover the trick its easy. You need to put the first bit spring in, then put the apex seal down a small amount then put the little spring in the slight pressure from the big string means that the little spring is help in place. then just push down and then put the top of the apex seal in place. (these pics are from the second housing as i forgot to take pics of the first, oops)




    And then they are all in place and look like a good seal.

  4. #4
    Member hadlowj is on a distinguished road
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    Then the centre plate goes on, again there is a trick to this, way I did it was turn the engine on its side, then pull the e-shaft out, get someone to hole the eshaft and then put the plate into place on the dowels. Finally turn the engine back to it facing up and the centre plate drops into place



    Then the next housing is prepared.

    and drop it into place with the next set of dowels

    Rotor goes in followed by apex seals



    Then I fitted the new seal into the rear gear and attached it to the rear plate.

    On it goes and the bolts go into the many holes

    Then number them all in the correct order ready to torque up.

    Then with a torque tighten in the correct order in 3 passes (10nm, 20nm, and then 35nm)



    Next flit the engine over and remove the front gear bolt used to hole it in place

    Make sire the collar does not crush the bearing.

    Then torque up


    And the finished item (well almost)




    This is as far as I can go for now, I have ordered a new flywheel and counter weight which I need before I can do the front cover.
    I cleaned up the front cover.
    I scrubbed and scrubbed but some of the rubbish just would not move.




    I also cleaned up the oil pan and remove all the old sealant.


    Now just need that Flywheel and counter weight. Until then I have started work on my other 192 engine and my other 192 rx8

  5. #5
    Administrator bse is a splendid one to behold bse is a splendid one to behold bse is a splendid one to behold bse is a splendid one to behold bse is a splendid one to behold bse is a splendid one to behold bse's Avatar
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    That's a nice write up. What i like the most is the fact that you were wise enough to invest in all the little accessories that are needed to make the rebuild a breeze.
    It also look that you didn't follow Mazda's side seals gap specification but went tighter, that's a good thing.
    I use a bench grinder and some 2000 grit sandpaper on a flat surface to do the side seals since it is a bit faster

    Why didn't you do any clean-up port work while you were at it?

    G
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipM View Post
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  6. #6
    Member hadlowj is on a distinguished road
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    thank you I decided it was worth doing it right and investing in the tools and I am glad I did. I think the seal gap was 0.05mm, took a long time to get right. I did not do any kind of porting on this engine as I do not have the right tools and did not want to risk screwing it up but I have been doing a lot of reading on porting. I am trying to get hold of some old side plates to practice on before I try on a real engine.
    Joined at 17 now 19
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  7. #7
    Administrator bse is a splendid one to behold bse is a splendid one to behold bse is a splendid one to behold bse is a splendid one to behold bse is a splendid one to behold bse is a splendid one to behold bse's Avatar
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    You have got the seal gap right... That engine is going to purr!
    Eshaft play? I find that adjusting it is a bit of a pain at times

    Putting the apex seals in is messy as well the first time but you figured out the trick on your own... another good trick is to put the rotor's apex in a position where the apex is mildly "compressed", so that the spring placement works the first time. If you're as lazy as I am less than half a drop of loctite will keep the seal's smaller piece in place
    Milk the mad cow!
    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipM View Post
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    Awesome Thread James, Good to see you over here now.
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    Member hadlowj is on a distinguished road
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    The best bit is I tried to put it all in one post but it said I was not allowed 110 pictures in a post only 30 lol Have not checked the e-shaft play yet waiting for my stupidly big torque wrench to arrive so I can do the front 19mm bolt up to the correct torque but will update with the figure when done.
    Joined at 17 now 19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bse View Post
    It also look that you didn't follow Mazda's side seals gap specification but went tighter, that's a good thing.
    G
    Interesting. I guess the advantage to this would be better compression, what is the disadvantage then?
    Currently: Mazdaspeed suspension, Whiteline sway bars, Racing Beat radiator protectors, Mazdaspeed (MX5) carbonfiber shift knob, Mazsport fan control mod, BHR ignition, Idemitsu gear and engine oils, Motul 710 premix, Racing Beat midpipe, Racing Beat RAM AIR DUCT, maintained by RotaryPit.com (and myself).
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