Rotary Engine build Blog

Building the Rotary Engine is all in the right tools, experience and knowhow. Get it right

rebuilds, mazda rx7

6 Min Read

Rotary Engined cars | When a car is worth saving

Rx7 engine rebuild shop ColoradoFrom time to time we get people that want us to help resurrect their project Rx.

Some cars are worth the effort, others will become a parts car. What makes a car worth saving?
The answer is you are the key. What motivates you to want that car to be special is expected, otherwise get a basic people mover. The key to any restoration is to have a full understanding of what the car needs (parts and labor).

Every car that doesn't run was a car that did run and the issues that led to it sitting are going to cost money to get it back to the road. Sounds simple, right?

We just had a customer bring in a SA Mazda Rx7 with a rebuilt motor in to help get it running. This is where experience is more valuable than just about anything else. The reality of this car is one that is all too common, rebuilding the motor and then letting it sit for several years is what killed this project before it even spun over. 

No owner wants to pay for many hours to determine that the project is much deeper (financially) than anticipated, it is our duty as a shop to deliver results. Sometimes the results mean that the project needs to stop and be reevaluated.  

The key is to draw on experience and help the customer at every step. Always keep expectations near the effort. On this car, the fact that the radiator was bone dry meant that the engine was sitting without coolant. This means that the water jacket seals were without lubrication while being baked by the hot sun underneath the hood for a long time. Once we filled the radiator, the coolant came dripping out the bottom from the block, not a good sign. Time to re-evaluate.

Rotary Engine rebuildsExperience shows that the coolant seals dry out quickly. What does this mean? It means that every motor we build for customers is started within 30 days of assembly to make sure that the seals get lubricated, go through several heat cycles to take a set and pressure tested before and after it is running to ensure a good build. 

Even if this car started and held pressure, the weak point will be the coolant seals. It isn't if they will fail, it is when. The key here is to stop before things go seriously wrong. Years ago, we had an rx7 12A that sat for 17 years, pulled out of storage and started. That motor lasted 4 years, why? because the seals were lubricated, pressure tested before being put into inside storage away from the heat of the sun. 

The key to this is to know the symptoms, take proper action and share information to make good decisions. 

A truly valuable car is one that undergoes a comprehensive inspection supported by data and expertise. At our shop, we hold the belief that each car deserves to be utilized effectively - whether it transforms into spare parts, revives as a reliable driver, or embarks on a new journey altogether.

It takes time and patience to bring value to every unique project that comes in our shop. Sometimes it is necessary to stop a project vs. just spending a lot of money and disappointing both the owner and our reputation. 

Ready to start a conversation?

Topics:   rebuilds, mazda rx7

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