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Pete and Ben's Rotary Racer
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Ben
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2001 BMW M5

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:11 am    Post subject: Pete and Ben's Rotary Racer Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

As you may have read, Pete and I have been taking part in the Javelin and Toyota sprint series in a variety of cars over the years. Well, Pete has had a variety of cars – I’ve been running a Westfield since 2015. What follows is an intro to our new joint project – initially lifted from another forum – which Pete and I will keep updated over time so you can all point and laugh when it inevitably goes horribly wrong [Laughing]



The last couple of years’ sprinting has been enormous fun, but having a fair amount of money tied up in a car that gets very little use has got me thinking recently about trying something different. Cheaper. Maybe a little more disposable.

And then, all set to go up to Croft last weekend, the turbo on my trusty tow-car decided it didn’t want to hold all of its oil anymore.

2017-07-08_07-04-25 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Pete came to the rescue with a very kind offer for me to double-drive his current Fiesta – a 140k mile Zetec S with some ECP coilovers and a set of R888Rs. It was a bit different to the Westfield, but a lot of fun nonetheless!

2017-07-08_07-05-15 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35nL38iUay4

So a plan was hatched. We both do all the same sprint events, and would like to do more trackdays. Neither of us drive our ‘other’ cars very often, and both of us have more sensible things to be spending money on. Why not share a car? All the costs are halved. We have between us two garages, two sets of tools and a hydraulic lift. Trackdays just become car + additional driver. But what could we get?

We spent the 5 hour drive back from Darlington looking at many different options. Civic Type R? Clio 182? MX5? Too many in the series already, and we wanted something different. I got very excited about the prospect of an MG ZS180 (yes, really!), but it would put us in a class with VX220s and V6 Exiges. Same for an Accord Type R. Z3/Z4 were too expensive, but we did want RWD. We’ve both had a variety of MR2s in the past but fancied something different – something that could fit both of our kit, plus tools, jack and a spare set of wheels for a weekend. We kept coming back to the obvious answer that was staring us in the face – I’ve owned one before, but even so the internet scare stories can be a bit off-putting. How would it cope with regular track abuse? Only one way to find out!

We set a budget of £1000 and hit eBay.

We almost had too much choice for our budget so whittling them down was a fairly arduous process, and finally chose one to go and have a look at. So, yesterday evening, I put down a deposit on this beauty:

2017-07-08_07-05-28 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

2017-07-08_07-05-39 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Yep, £1000. It has a recent rebuild from Apex Rotary, starts well from hot and cold, and has clearly had some money spent in the past. It already has a stainless manifold and full exhaust system, Tein coilovers etc and seems to have had recent plugs, Magnecor leads and coils. On the other hand the paintwork is scruffy, it smells of dog, has a bit of play in the steering column and has some horrendous drug-dealer wheels fitted (those rears are 265 section!).

So, plans? Well, the coilovers were on the list already so they’re a bonus. The exhaust does have a cat (so MOT friendly) but is fairly loud and the manifold is blowing slightly. We might be a bit close to some track noise-limits, so I’ll need to investigate that. We’ll flog the wheels in favour of a couple of sets of standard wheels (one for road use and one for a set of R888Rs we already have ready to go on). First sprint event is in three weeks so we have our work cut out! Longer-term plans will be to strip a reasonable amount from the interior, acquire some braided lines, fit a bolt-in roll cage, bucket seats and harnesses and take it from there. Hopefully it’ll give us a reasonable amount of fun without grenading itself.

Pick-up this weekend!
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2001 BMW M5 (Bahnstormer) | 2004 RX8 231 (the Racecat) | 2001 Volvo V70 (Swedish eBay barge)


Last edited by Ben on Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ben
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2001 BMW M5

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Well, we made it home! [Very Happy]

20170701_183145 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

So, what does £999.50 of RX8 buy you, exactly? Let's see what we have here...

20170701_192012 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

20170701_192501 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

20170701_192620 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

20170701_192608 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

20170701_192644 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

20170701_192911 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

20170701_194335 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

20170701_194344 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Pretty grim really. What these pictures don't convey is the vile smell coming from the boot. It looks clean, but something has definitely died in there.

Still, it drives well enough. Pulls well, handles OK (those stupid wheels aren't doing it any favours), but it is very loud. Gearbox seems fine, if a little whiny in second.

First things first, lets give it a clean!

20170701_204329 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

20170701_204631 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

20170701_210034 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

20170701_210000 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

20170701_205951 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

20170701_205929 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

That's better!

Also found this little chap:

20170701_192335 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

And a MYSTERY SWITCH [Surprised]

20170701_192438 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

So, plans? We have a growing list for next weekend when i'll be making the maiden voyage down to Kent - mostly servicing, but the exhaust manifold gasket needs sorting and it'll get a service as well. I'm also in danger of getting a bit attached to it, so it'll be getting some racing-orientated decoration [Very Happy]

In the meantime, I'll drive it for the coming week and see what else I come across [blackeye]
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Ben
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Well, things are slowly starting to happen in preparation for the weekend. I've managed to secure two sets of standard wheels - one with some decent branded rubber which we'll use as road wheels, and a ropey set of bare wheels which will get sprayed a silly colour and shod in a set of R888Rs.

We also have a full set of service gear to go on (plugs, coils, leads, oil & filter, EBC Yellows) as well as a new exhaust manifold gasket. Chatting to a couple of specialists revealed a few things we should probably know by now:

1) Apex Rotary (who did the engine rebuild) don't really seem to have the best reputation....
2) the stainless manifold (most likely a Japspeed) is almost certainly junk, and is in fact blowing because they have a habit of warping
3) Mazda want a hundred bloody quid for a new exhaust manifold gasket [Laughing]
4) oil choice is a very emotive subject amongst RX8 owners

Well, 1) we can't do anything about, so let's just see how long it lasts [blackeye]

2) and 3) are a bit easier - we'll pilfer a standard manifold off a breaker, and Pete (my partner in ill-advised carfoolery) managed to get hold of another gasket from a local specialist. We opted for some 10 40 semi-synthetic oil after chatting to the guys at Opie Oils and doing lots (and lots) of reading on the subject.

I'm using it as a daily driver this week to get to know it. So far I've had one startup out of about 20 that was a bit smokey, but I'm hoping it's down to a bit of oil overfill rather than anything more sinister. It also pops and bangs when changing up at 9k rpm, which would have been fun for anyone along my drive to the station at 7.00 this morning :hehe:

2017-07-04_10-08-20 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

So, that’s where we are. More this weekend, if I make it as far as Kent [Laughing]
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Draven




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Tuned in for this [Smile] looking forward to seeing how it goes, glad you guys are doing this together.
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Ben
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Me too [hug]

I almost forgot the most important part! [Laughing]

2017-07-05_11-49-03 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

This will travel with us to each round, and be awarded to the fastest Wankeler of the day [Mr. Green]

It would be very bad form of me to point out that I gained possession of this trophy by beating Pete in his own car [Shame on you] [Laughing]
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Magic Beans
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Forest Fresh, the pinnacle of Magic Tree fragrances.

Oh, nice car by the way. I look forward to bouncing on it very soon [Mr. Green]
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pistol pete
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Yay.. im here..

Cant wait to get my grubby hands on it
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craig




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Nice one lads. Not a bad buy for under a grand!

Ya pair of wankelas. [Mr. Green]
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MikeyB571
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Your giving me ideas [Smile]
I've got my mrs old RX8 at the mo and I'm using it to keep me sane while I build my new MR2.
Took it out to Cadwell park the other day and it performed pretty well on very wet and unforgiving Cadwell.

I'll be at castle Combe on 28th July if you fancy having a side by side comparison [Wink]
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Essex2Visuvesi
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Add a bit of 2 stroke oil when you fill up
About 200ml per tank is enough

Also check the ignition coils for white spotting


You really want either Genuine Mazda Rev 3 coils or got after market the LS1 coil packs
Cheap ebay coils and leads will kill your engine

Myself and a local Rotary Specialist are currently working on the logistics of fitting the 13B renesis into a MK3 Roadster [Smile]
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gavsdavs
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

.......
Ben wrote:

It would be very bad form of me to point out that I gained possession of this trophy by beating Pete in his own car [Shame on you] [Laughing]

Giggle [Smile]



Marvellous acquisition chaps- i hope it's not too ruinous.
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pistol pete
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

cheers guys

we have a set of mazda coils and genuine sparks going in..
we will be looking at upgrading the coils to the more powerful ones when we get some monies together..
we now have 2 spare sets of coils just in case and a spare set of magnacor leads [thumleft] [thumleft]
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Ben
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Thanks all!

E2V - cheers for the tips. We've been doing plenty of reading up on oils, premixing etc so this is definitely something we'll start doing.

Mikey - can't make the 28th unfortunately. Shame, it's my local track! Have a good day [thumleft]
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Ben
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Last bit of tinkering last night - find out what the mystery switch does! I had an inkling that it was going to be a fan override switch, and sure enough...

Mystery wire by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

...which leads through to...

Engine bay by Ben Edwards, on Flickr


And, under that (very sharp!) engine cover lurks this little piece of ghetto engineering [Laughing]

Redneck fan by Ben Edwards, on Flickr

Yep, it's a fan switch. Useful for track work I suppose, but it's on a permanent live so we'd best remember to switch it off again [blackeye]

Oh well, at least I know what it's for before I sit in traffic for many hours tomorrow evening [Laughing]
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pistol pete
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

whats the japspeed thing in the side of the pic?
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Ben
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Oil catch-can:

2017-07-06_10-49-32 by Ben Edwards, on Flickr
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shinny




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

I've always had a soft spot for the RX8 but never got round to buying one. I shall be watching with interest...
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JAAASH
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Tuned in! [Mr. Green] Looks sweet! Might mention to the old man about doing a racecar share [Think] Quite fancy having a go myself.

Love the custom battery terminal covers [Wink] [Laughing]
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pistol pete
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Its here!,!!!

Its pretty awesome
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Essex2Visuvesi
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

What Intake is that?
Consensus of opinion seems that the stock intake with K&n is very hard to beat. Most of the aftermarket kits actually reduce power and can cause running issues.
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