RX8 Care and Maintenance
RX8 Care and Maintenance:
So you bought your RX8 and maybe you have heard rumors regarding the Rotary engine’s performance level, quality and life expectancy. There’s no secret that the Rotary Engine’s uniqueness means being unable to take your RX8 to any shop for work. As a result, in order for your RX8 to ensure it lasts for as long as you have it you need to be educated in how the car operates. No oil, tune up, or other maintenance will replace knowledge of the car and the ability to self diagnose problems. At the end of the day seeking out your local trusted Mazda dealership will ensure you are well taken care of.
If taking care of your RX8 yourself is your interest then Black Halo Racing has several suggestions regarding the care and maintaining of your RX8 to keep it in top shape!
The Great Oil Debate:
Trying to figure out which oil is the best to use in your Rotary is just as impossible as it would be for a piston motor. There are dozens of oil manufactures of which many of them provide their products for various race cars and suggest theirs is the best. Nearly every person has had a good or bad experience with every oil brand on the market. It’s up to you to decide which oil brand to use that fits your needs and budget.
Black Halo Racing’s recommendations on oil are very simple. Stick to a couple rules when choosing your oil. First, ensure its quality synthetic oil and secondly ensure that you use a 5w-30 SAE rating or higher depending on your climate.
Black Halo Racing recognizes that the Mazda manual calls for a 5w-20, non-synthetic, oil to be used in the RX8. Our research and testing as well as various engine rebuilds have shown these suggestions to not be enough to protect your rotary engine. So how is it we know what’s best for your car when Mazda has engineers with PHD’s and millions of dollars at their finger tips?
The reason is Black Halo Racing is not restricted by political or environmental regulations when making suggestions for your vehicle. Mazda, like any other automotive manufacturer, must create a vehicle with operates in all conditions, climates, and also falls within government regulations. The decision to use 5w-20 is mainly environmental and fuel mileage driven. Thinner oils require the motor to work less hard during its operational process. The trade off is less protection of metal parts.
Mazda’s decision to not suggest synthetic oil is due to the inability of them to test fully synthetic oil within the RENESIS motor. Unlike conventional oil, no two synthetic oils are created alike. There are various differences between synthetic oils and Mazda cannot fully endorse one brand over another. Finally, there is no data to show what the long term effects of injecting synthetic oil via the Oil Meter Pump would be. It was easier for Mazda to suggest not using synthetic oil in the end.
The RX8, like any other rotary car before it, requires that oil be injected into the rotor chamber to lubricate the various seals and rotor surfaces as part of the combustion process. This is done via the Oil Metered Pump or OMP. This device draws oil from the oil pan and injects amounts based on engine load and RPM. While this process is automated, it does present two problems.
First, the oil being injected is dirty engine oil or aged oil that has broken down and its additives depleted. This oil may or may not be able to provide the kind of needed lubrication that the seals and rotors need. The second problem is that conventional or synthetic oil is not designed to burn. This can lead to carbon deposits inside the motor that build up over time and could cause damage to the motor. Sustained high RPM’s once in a while will ensure this doesn’t happen as much but a long term solution is needed to combat this problem.
Enter the Sohn adapter. While there might be other products available on the market like this adapter, the Sohn adapter has been the one most familiar to RX8 owners. This adapter is designed to block the flow of oil from the oil system and instead inject oil provided by an exterior tank located in the engine bay. The overall cost for the necessary items is minimal and the benefits are huge. With a properly installed Sohn adapter, you can inject 2-cycle engine oil which is designed to burn in a combustion chamber with little carbon deposits. The oil is available at any gas station or parts store and costs less than a normal quart of oil.
With increases made to the OMP output, you can ensure your rotary engine has proper lubrication which will extend the life of your seals and bearings. While no specific data has been provided to show this will guarantee a long life of your rotary, numerous people have been able to duplicate these results in their own vehicles.
One of the poor performing parts of the RX8 is the ignition system. More specifically, the ignition coil system. The ignition coils do not provide enough spark to get the best ignition while also suffering from failure after about 20,000 miles. The process of coil failure, symptoms and outcomes has been well documented on RX8 forums. As such, Black Halo recommends utilizing the BHR Ignition Upgrade.
In many cases, an ignition upgrade is considered a performance modification. While owners have reported slight increases in power, the ignition system upgrade was developed as a reliability modification which will ensure your motor burns fuel completely and has plenty of ignition power for any future modifications. We suggest this modification for any RX8 owner but if you are under warranty and not looking to modify your vehicle we suggest holding off until your warranty expires.