13b Rotary Swap - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old March 18th, 2015, 11:29 Thread Starter
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13b Rotary Swap

I'll do my best to keep up with costs and what has to be done to give anyone else an idea of what has to happen.

Goals:
350~400 WHP with supercharger.
OBD2 complaint for as "legal" a swap as possible.
Because Racecar... on the street.
Variant 1: Get it working.
Variant 2: Full aluminum block to cut an additional 150 lbs.


Prices:
Used Engine (13b-REW or Renesis long-block): About $2,000
Engine Rebuild: $1,500~$2,500 depending on damage and engine type.
Transmission: $1,500~$2,500 depending on C60 variant, LSD, and used/new.
Adapter Plate: $600 (Quoted will update with finial price.)
Input Shaft: $??? See below
RX8 ECU for "legal" swap: $200
Decent Standalone/Piggyback: $1500
Wiring: No clue yet. Will update when I get here.
Sub-frame / Mounting Brackets: No clue yet. I will most likely have a custom tubular aluminum k member made. Will update.
Exedy Stage 1 Clutch: $300~$500
Exhaust: All custom. Will update. See below.



Things Needed:
My engine setup:
I'm going to use a hybrid setup. The engine will be an RX8 Renesis engine except for the following:
  • The rotor housings will come from an FD RX7. These housing are less prone to cracking than FC housings, and will allow me to block off the siamese exhaust port in the Renesis center iron.
  • FD RX7 engine rotors (lower compression)
  • FD Counterweights (because of the rotors)

Exhaust and Manifold: All custom. I don't recommend anything off the shelf. Rotary engines run excessively hot. You may be fine with something cat-back if you could maintain the location of the cat exit. Either way, 3" back is recommended. Manifold is a given especially since it will need to clear the axles. A lot of heat shielding etc will need to be in place too. Will document all this when we get there.

Transmission: Pretty sure I'm going to use a 4.3:1 C60. 4.5:1 would be nice, but I'd like a better overdrive... the 4.3 seems like a good compromise.

Adapter plate: I have a local fabricator making mine, but I have to wait for the transmission. he quoted me $600 but that's nothing finial. I may see if he'll make a template so more could be made in the future if anyone wanted one.

Input Shaft: May or may not be necessary (Most likely will be). We'll see once I get it all to the fabricator for the adapter plate. Rotary engines have a pilot bearing.

Clutch: I'll be running an Exedy Stage 1 (MazdaSpeed clutch). The pressure plate will be for an FC RX7/RX8, and the actual clutch disk will be for a 88~89 MR2. This disk is the same diameter as the RX7/RX8 disk. Will most likly use the MR2 throwout bearing to keep things simple.

ECU: Factory RX8 with reflashed VIN and immobilizer removed for OBD2 inspections, and then an actual tunable ecu or piggyback for the RX8 ecu. I haven't decided if I want a piggyback or full standalone run in parallel. There are advantages to both, but tuning availability will be a factor in this too.



Note:
For anyone else doing this swap, I recommend just using a 13b-REW engine for the sake of simplicity unless you're planning to make the car "street legal".

Federal Law says you can swap any engine that's the same year or newer into a vehicle of the same class. So if you want a "legal" swap, you'll want to go with a Renesis or something hybrid like what I'm planning. Also, you'll have to check with your state and local government's engine swap laws (contact your local DA). You will need an 04 RX8 ecu, have the VIN number flashed to your MR2's vin by someone you know at a Mazda or Ford dealer (I haven't tested this yet, but in the next couple weeks I'll have an answer), and then have racing beat flash out the immobilizer (HAS to be an 04 model ECU for this).

Last edited by reddozen; March 18th, 2015 at 17:25.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old March 18th, 2015, 11:48
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Just out of curiosity, why a rotary? I'm not bashing or trying to talk you out of it - juts curious.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old March 18th, 2015, 13:08
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5th line.

Beacuse race car.... on street.

Go for it. Lots of pictures! Lets see one of the motor.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old March 18th, 2015, 13:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mordakai View Post
5th line.

Beacuse race car.... on street.

Go for it. Lots of pictures! Lets see one of the motor.
I read that. I was more wondering whether he chose the rotary because he wanted to be different, because he can get ridiculously high rpms w/ a rotary, because he's been a rotary mechanic for years, it was a promis to his great grandpappy on his deathbed, etc. "Because racecar" didn't clear it up for me, so I figured there might be something more to it.

And I agree - go for it.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old March 18th, 2015, 15:35
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Hey you wanna buy an RX8 for parts?
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old March 18th, 2015, 16:56 Thread Starter
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I've been a rotary guy for 15 years. I have a 91 FC (former race car), and an 04 RX8 (bridge ported) former daily driver.

Me and a friend have wanted to do this for about 10 years. He had a MK1.


My choices for a rotary are mainly because I cannot be without a rotary car and the RX7 and RX8 are ultimately going. As far as practical reasoning is that it's "light weight" (same weight as a 2ZZ in stock form), compact, lower center of gravity, and less torque. IMO the lighter the car is, the less torque, and the smoother the power delivery you want. Phase 2 will drop the weight by almost 150 lbs with the aluminum intermediate irons (110~120 lb total engine weight).


I have a spare Renesis in the attic. FD housings could take between 3~6 months to ship from Japan. Worth the wait as they're a group buy straight from Mazda at close to a $500 savings per housing. So this is a project that will make progress in chunks. I'll have the adapter plate made sometime next month after the Deals Gap Rotary Rally (coincidentally the same weekend as the spyder meet...)


I don't take offense. I would do it regardless of peoples opinions. If it somehow offended anyone, I just wouldn't post it publicly. I'm happy to answer any questions. I have nothing to hide.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old March 18th, 2015, 17:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddozen View Post
I've been a rotary guy for 15 years. I have a 91 FC (former race car), and an 04 RX8 (bridge ported) former daily driver.


I had a FC for a while, and have been on the lookout for a decent FD that wasn't ridiculously priced, and that wasn't rice-i-fied and ragged out.
Nobody jumps to the rotary conclusion without knowing a lot more about them than the average 'car guy'. It's always interesting to read about wild swaps. Good luck!
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old March 18th, 2015, 18:50
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Looking forward to the updates on this one... Would love to try and put a rotary in a MKII... Just do it!
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old March 18th, 2015, 22:12 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MR2 T'd View Post
Looking forward to the updates on this one... Would love to try and put a rotary in a MKII... Just do it!
Would certainly cut weight over a 3SGTE
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old March 19th, 2015, 12:17
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Originally Posted by reddozen View Post
If it somehow offended anyone, I just wouldn't post it publicly.
Its an MR2. This is an MR2 board. Post it regardless of peoples sensitive, offended feelings. I cant wait to see it progress!
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old March 19th, 2015, 12:32
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Thumbs up

^^^ ^^^

Agreed... There are V6, V8, KA20, electric projects going on all over...

Just do it!
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old March 19th, 2015, 12:34 Thread Starter
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The swap is happening no matter what the opinions. I'm not worried about that. The fact that there's interest at all I'll keep everyone posted
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old March 19th, 2015, 12:49
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Want to hear the exhaust since the piping will be short... Just wondering if you can keep the db down? You know how loud rotaries can be...
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old March 19th, 2015, 13:15
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I always thought it would be awesome to have a rotary in an MK1 so go for it.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old March 19th, 2015, 13:56 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MR2 T'd View Post


Want to hear the exhaust since the piping will be short... Just wondering if you can keep the db down? You know how loud rotaries can be...
It will have a racing cat and a muffler, so it shouldn't be tooo loud... Worse case I'll will add a resonator too. I'm not worried about "power loss" since I could easily make 450~500 on the engine... I'm shooting for a much lower number.
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old March 20th, 2015, 23:25
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Ceramic coat and wrap the exhaust. Use all high quality stainless.
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old March 21st, 2015, 01:33
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If you got the time and money, anything is possible.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old July 4th, 2015, 20:30
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I am playing with this idea now myself being an mr2 fanatic and also a rotary buff. Im interested if you have made any progress. Im looking to pick up a roller soon. Cant wait! GL with yours!
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old July 4th, 2015, 22:51
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Hows the project coming along? Haven't had an update in awhile... Hope all is working out...

Definitely curious myself...
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old July 6th, 2015, 11:00 Thread Starter
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About to buy an RX8 donor car for emissions modules, ecu, gauge cluster, wiring harnesses, etc...

I have the fabrication work etc lined up. I need to source a good 13b REW block and talk to my builder about setups for my power goals and have it built. We have a clutch shop in Nashville that can build the clutch pack for me.

That's kinda where I'm at. Getting closer to starting in on the actual work, but I've had to do a lot of re-planning etc. For instance, the factory gauge cluster cannot go above like 8k RPMs... that's not going to work for a rotary. I need a 10k tac, so I need to use the RX8 gauge cluster, but that's going to take more work and more fabrication to make it look stock.

It's a slow roll... lol
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