RX-8 Daily Driver: Tune-Up!


There was only one of me, so I don't have a pic of using an air compressor to blow excess fuel out of the chamber. Helpful? I think so, and it cannot hurt so…  Here you can see the trailing plug (top) and the leading (lower) plug. Proximity is very close – the first time I looked at the plugs I remember being surpised they were that close to each other.

With the tune-up component done, now it was time to get back to the flooded engine issue. Removing the fuel pump fuse to avoid dumping more fuel into the engine, I turned the engine over for 5 to 10 seconds. Then gave starter a breather before turning it over again. Then I was back out of the car and one at a time removed all four spark plugs, again using compressed air to attempt to clean out the combustion chamber.


With the wheel off and the two extensions, I'm able to work in the wheel well area where there is lots of room. That's not how I usually hold a rachet, but I'm trying to take a selfie and that was a challenge.

Putting everything all back together, fuel pump fuse inserted, I was ready for my car to fire right up. Factory procedures are to have the gas pedal to the floor while attempting to start a flooded rotary. So I did that but nothing. Then I tried my normal process of not touching the gas pedal. Nothing. Then I let it turn over longer than 5 to 10 seconds and it kicked over. Then nothing. Feeling that bit of life, I waited a couple of minutes. Why? I am not sure, maybe anticipation. Foot off of the gas. Clutch in. Rolled it over and, after about 20 seconds, with a billow of smoke my RX-8 was alive and well again.


While one wheel is already off it was time to make the switch from summer tires to winter rubber. For summer I've been running 245 45 18 Toyo R1R tires and I've been very pleased. As the stock size is 225, this is one modification that I've done. Winter tires are Toyo Garrit 225 45 18 mounted on a spare set of OEM RX-8 rims. Good thing that I did, as winter weather is blowing through the west coast this week.

A twenty minute ride, during which I stopped twice on hills and shut it off just to be sure it would start again (it’s a manual, if there was an issue the lengthy hills I was on should fix that). And start it did. A few runs up to 9000 RPM and my RX-8 is good to go again. It really is a great car and, while it is not as awesome looking as the last RX-7’s were, it is a great looking car. A perfect commuter with all of the creature comforts needed. Proper maintenance and a few quirky starting and shut-down habits and you will be driving for years!


Before the tools get put away and the winter tires installed, this is time for an inspection of the brake system.
Inspecting the pads to ensure they're in great condition. Clean them up a bit and then apply some anti-seize to the backing plate. Replace if necessary.

Over the years of Time Attack and racing, I have learned my way around brakes and servicing them. In fact, I have gotten to the point that I do not like anyone else working on my brakes as I want to know everything about them. Here I am inspecting and cleaning autocross pads that I purchased a few years back from Danny Puskar – obviously a lot of life left still. This year Danny and his brother Chris opened G-LOC Brakes and not only do I support them, from the day their doors opened I've been their Canadian dealer. These pads are built with a ceramic, carbon, kevlar, and semi-metalic compounds that are rotor friendly. From street compound through a wide range of track compounds, G-LOC Brakes have you covered. There is no question, if you have properly functioning brakes then you will have peace of mind driving and the opportunity to have fun with your car. You will be able to stop when required!

1 comment

  1. I adores the rotary engines, I love the high revs and the chassis designed by mazda.
    the rx8 has always been a great sports car. Balanced and not over powered, and it has real usable back seats.

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