Monday, August 23, 2010

1993 Mazda Rx7 - Rotary Engine Rebuild - Part 1

Intro - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Parts List - Final

At this point in the rebuild I had simply followed the service manual instructions to disconnect the transmission from the engine and drop it out from under the car. This was probably one of the easier tasks to accomplish but ended up being time consuming because I was waiting on an extra set of hands to actually assist in removing the transmission once it was disconnected. (Thanks Dad!) From here I just took my time to follow the service manual and disconnected all of the required hoses, lines and parts in sequence while laying them out in a pattern (left to right) on my makeshift table.

Once I was at the point to where I could remove the motor, we used some very heavy straps and a 1 TON chain block to lift the motor up and out of the engine bay. The chain block was attached to a 5ft long 4" x 4" fence post that was positioned across 3 of the rafters directly above the car. Once the engine was high enough to clear the engine bay I pulled the motor out away from the car while my Dad lowered the engine onto a pallet on the floor. Needless to say the 2 main oil lines with the metal connectors (you can see one in the above photo) was sticking out just far enough to scratch the paint on the front clip on my car. I learned the hard way, so be sure to cover your fenders and front clip or remove them!

Since the motor was now out of the car it was actually very easy to strip all of the external parts off of the short-block. This only took about 2-3 hours to accomplish making sure to mark any electrical connections, vacuum, oil and coolant lines with different colored electrical tape as I went. I know the above photo looks like a mess however there is a method to my madness to where I could easily re-assemble the motor if I had lost my service manual. So STAY organized!!

Some links worth reviewing:

This site has "How To" videos on various aspects of a rebuild

Here is a fairly organized forum with a lot of links to resources (some links are dead)

Up next...disassembling the short-block.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

1993 Mazda Rx7 - Rotary Engine Rebuild ... Intro

Intro - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Parts List - Final

In late 2008, I had decided to drive my '93 Rx7 one last time before storing it away for the winter. Upon starting it up and backing it out of the garage I was greeted with the normal plume of white smoke coming from the exhaust due to condensation buildup in the exhaust from sitting for a few weeks. As I usually would let the car warm up for a few minutes before taking her out for a drive, I started walking toward the house. Just as soon as I had turned my back I had noticed the "to be expected" condensation burn off had turned into what some might call a smoke screen. I literally was unable to see the neighbors house through the foggy disappointment that was floating through the air in front of me. Now since winter was not too far away, I figured that I would let the car sit until Summer 09' before I attempted any work on the car. Little did I know, time was disappearing faster than I had planned.

Warping into Summer of 2010, below were a top 10 list of things I knew about this upcoming project:

1.) I have never rebuilt a motor in my life nor had I intended on ever taking on the task.
2.) I knew slightly more than the average person about car maintenance, simply because I never wanted to pay the high labor costs for car repair service.

3.) Internet has most all the information you could ever need.

4.) It pays to do your research!!! I really cannot express this enough.

5.) If you own an Rx7, especially a 3rd Gen, then you either better be prepared to spend some serious cheddar and/or get very familiar with your engine bay.

6.) The factory shop manual is a must! Luckily for you, I have provided a link which has all the shop manuals for free --->

7.) Rx7 + A ton of white smoke = more than likely...engine rebuild

8.) If you are not sure if you can rebuild a rotary engine, chances are you probably can!!

9.) You should never let a blown motor sit for too long, especially knowing there is a puddle of coolant in the engine. Rust is not a Wankel's friend! ;)

10.) This would most definitely be an extremely rewarding project. Not only because I could potentially save myself thousands of dollars, but I would end up having the experience and knowledge I need to maintain one of my favorite and most interesting cars I would probably ever own.

Lastly, this is by no means a "walk-through" on how to rebuild a rotary engine but more just a very informative overview including my experiences, tricks, suggestions, and resources which helped me along the way.

This posting will be the first of many....stay tuned.