FD3S and RX8 – Goals for 2016

And yes I know it’s already March!
So, what are my plans for the year?

It currently has a dead heater core. The car sits around far too much, and it corroded through. Thankfully not into the cabin, at least as far as I could see, but with how painful and time consuming that would be to replace, I don’t think it will get replaced. The car doesn’t get driven much, especially in the winter, so I don’t think I’ll miss it.

FD3S’s don’t have a heater tap anyway so they circulate hot coolant through the cabin the entire time, which is probably part of the reason they get quite warm inside the cabin sometimes.

From here, I’ll bypass the heater core and then start it back up. I’m planning on doing exactly that in the next few weeks. The car is at my parents house still, even after I previously said it would only be for a few weeks, that’s now over 12 months.

Once the car is running again, I’ll attempt to get it back home. There is a few things I need to do to the RX8 (yes, that project IS still going, despite the lack of updates!) before I can actually get the FD home but I’m close to being able to actually finalise those things.

Once the car is home again, I need to fabricate some cooling ducts for the front brakes. I have had a good look at a few race car setups and with my goal for the car for the year, I need the thing to stop, and well. The final change is to finally bolt in my 1.5 way diff, which was assembled by Oscar F, months ago now…

June MCSA round is on the cards, and a little birdie tells me there could be an event in October at Sydney Motorsport Park on the South Circuit, which would be nice to get to.

Ultimate Goal: Run Sub 1:20 lap at Mallala.

Progress has been reasonable over the past couple of months. I’m motivated to get through these first round of changes, and get the car into paint. Once it’s in paint, then the expensive bits happen, and that’s when things will really slow down.

I’ve been getting stuck into cleaning up seam sealer firstly, that’s progressed reasonably well. I need to get a smaller diameter wire wheel and air powered die grinder fitting to get rid of the last of the sealer I can’t do with a manual scraper or the 125mm wire wheel on my grinder.

Next is to drain the fuel tank, then mount the thing up on the rotisserie. Once it’s up, it’s grinder season – I’ll be stuck in to wire-wheeling the underbody sealer off the car. I’ve heard some other alternate tricks to help too, such as heat guns to soften it up and scrape it off, some others say dry ice works on it too – I’ll give them all a try and see what works.

Ultimate Goal: Have the car running on the race engine

That ultimate goal is obviously what I would like to happen, but as there is a lot of expensive MoTeC gear required for that step – there is a pretty good chance it won’t happen!

So, all in all a busy year ahead.

Slow progress is Slow!

The progress on the IPRA RX8 has been very slow for a few reasons. Daughter number 2 has had a number of nights of not sleeping well, meaning that me and the mrs are stuffed every night and being up after 9pm is a struggle. Easier to go to bed than work on the race car!

The other issue has been some work we are getting done on the house, we have a nice big verandah going up at the moment which was delivered a few weeks ago. It’s wood, so we needed to store it in the garage. That meant moving the RX7 down to my parents place for a few weeks, and next to no room to work on the RX8! The upside is more undercover car storage space 🙂

I’ve been able to do a little by climbing over the stacked wood and into the cabin, so I did that today. I’ve been trying to pull the dash out of the car so I can remove the looms and crap from under the dash – but the bastard would just not budge. I’d followed the rx8 workshop manual and removed all the bolts it said needed to come out – still no dice!

I cracked it and figured whatever it was wouldn’t be needed for a race car so just literally ripped the dash out. Crack, and it was free!

Turns out, there’s an issue with the workshop manual. There’s ONE bolt on the firewall and a lug on the HVAC system which requires a single nut to be removed. ONE FUCKING NUT!

Lucky it was something I actually don’t need in the race car – so score one for me.

The other issue was it was high 30s in Adelaide today, so that means the garage is a similar temp. With no air movement at all, it was a sauna! Lasted an hour and that was it. Looking forward to removing all the under dash looms and HVAC bullshit; hopefully one night this week.


I watched both the Bathurst 12hr IPRA races today and was proud to see David Waldon in his RX8 qualify 4th for the first race. Proves the car has some speed and the chassis works well. Pumped again to get into mine!

Also, roll cage install has been bubbling along in the background – need to go and speak to a few blokes around town shortly and get that happening!

Renesis teardown to shortblock

I got a chance to get out into the garage yesterday and begin the teardown of the renesis block. I’m yet to source a 54mm impact socket to get the flywheel off so I was limited to just tearing it down to the shortblock today, but based on what I’ve seen it may be too far gone and will mean I won’t have many useable parts from this motor that can go into the first race motor.

The parts don’t have to be perfect for the first race motor – I will be building it cheaply (though to the best of my ability) as it will essentially be a motor just to shake the car down with and for the first couple of practice days. But, if the rotors are too far gone, and I fear they may be, then that will add to the build costs for the first motor.

Based on what we saw when the exhaust was pulled off the car clearly has lost a coolant seal at the very least, but more likely coolant seals in both rotors. This has lead to extensive rust inside the rotor housings. What I saw when I pulled off the intake and the 6 port inlets, plus the crap that was in the exhaust ports, all but confirms this. All that remains is to pull the block down and check the rotors. It may be that only the eccentric shaft and stationary gears are useable out of this engine. I may be able to have the rotors acid bathed or bead blasted depending on their condition but I’m actually not holding much hope at the moment.

Rx8 engine issues.

Rx8 engine issues.

Rx8 engine issues.

Major cooling system corrosion:
Rx8 engine issues.

Clutch is blue:
Rx8 engine issues.

Down to the rivets:
Rx8 engine issues.

6port actuators:


Renesis shitbox is out of the car!

Yesterday was a good day.

Renesis turd is out of the car!

Just after lunch time (well, photo was old, but it looked the same)

Rx8 project process.

Rx8 project process.

Didn’t get any shots of the motor and box together – we were kind of busy then 🙂

Rx8 project process.

Rx8 project process.

Rx8 project process.

Sadly the engine damage is far worse than previously suggested – though in his defence the car has sat still for years, we also suspect it’s had incorrect coolant put in it too – corroding the rotor housings. There was a LOT of coolant in the exhaust system (about 1/2 litre in the cat), and also in the oil, so she’s cactus. I’m hoping the rotors may be salvageable after an acid path or some major cleaning but not holding much hope – there was also the loss of compression issue which occurred so that will hopefully only be a carbon stuck seal rather than a broken side seal. Counterweights and eccentric shaft probably have more chance of survival than the rotors.

More disappointing however is the gearbox, the play in the input and output shaft seems pretty large. I was planning on using this gearbox in the car when it initially goes back on the track but it may not last long with this amount of play. Now would be the time for a freshen up of the box but still that’s money that has to come from another part of the project (or the gearboxes intended replacement).

Anyway I’m glad it’s out and it’s time to get an engine stand and strip this thing down to see if any of it’s internals are salvageable.

Adding lightness...

I’ve been on holidays from work for a few weeks and have managed to rip into stripping the RX8 chassis. The interior was obviously the first place to start…

I did all this one one day, and it was a great fun day getting stuck into ripping out the interior!

I now have a couple of big loads of crap to take to the dump – headliners, door seals, trims etc etc…

This weekend a few of the boys are coming around and we’re going to liberate the engine from it’s current home; it will be stripped and pending it’s internal condition the rotors, eccentric shaft and counter weights will be used in the race motor. The specifics will be detailed in a future post 🙂


Oh how life can change. Earlier, I said I’d decided not to build a dedicated race car. I re-thought that idea, as one of the reasons I’d decided not to at the time was there was a baby on the way. Well she popped out in the middle of the year. As these things tend to do, it reduced the chances I could spend time at the track with the FD for a year or so.

Continue reading IPRA RX8!

The cycling...

…is working. So far. Dropped under the 100kg mark now thanks to the work I’ve been doing on the bike. I promised myself I wouldn’t get back into the kart until I was under 95kg. That will put me about 5kg over the Clubman Heavy weight, but then we’ll get out for some practice at Monarto.

Last weekend I ticked off my first major Cycling goal, which was to ascend Mount Lofty. It’s the tallest point in Adelaide and a very popular climb with road cyclists in Adelaide, and I wanted to be able to say I had done it. I liked the idea of riding from the Sea at Glenelg to the Summit of Mount Lofty. I didn’t realise it when I was planning it, but as you ride up Anzac Highway you can see the summit of Mount Lofty – 700m up in the air, and 20kms away as the crow flies. At that moment it was hard to think that it was my destination – it looked so far.

I plugged along up the bike track by the freeway, which then continues up the old freeway. It’s about 8kms of 5% avg gradient, but it hits over 10% in places – such as the last hairpin coming into Eagle on the Hill. That’s a doozie!

Had a couple of breaks to get it done, and it didn’t help that I’d been fighting a cough the previous two weeks either but the ride didn’t hurt it.

Previously I’d ridden up a little way, but only getting from the Toll Gate to the Dog kennels before turning around and heading home – that was a really hot day (36c) and after only a couple of weeks on the bike, I did not have the fitness or strength to go much farther.

So, now I have a (particularly unimpressive) time up the hill I can aim to beat next time.

Cycling Updates

A few weeks have passed and I’m back at work again, but I’ve kept up with the riding too. The Big Red Ride I completed successfully; surprising myself with my own performance compared to other riders. Prior to the ride, I also put on Continental Grand Prix 4000S tyres – they’re bloody fantastic! Low rolling resistance, so they are easier to ride on than the stock tyres on the bike which are some kind of entry-level Specialized tyre. On the leg down to Outer Harbor from Glenelg, I was able to maintain over 30km/h average speed with a max of 45km/h. That’s basically flat along there with a few small humps in the road and that top speed was just after the start along military road. I was riding on adrenaline, and the tyres made it feel like I was riding on air 🙂

The ride back from outer harbor? Yeah, that was a slog. Into a head wind, but I was still able to maintain above 22km/h average speed which I was happy with.

Since then, I’ve done a ride to work and back (though I cheated slightly by driving to glenelg first) which totaled around 50km and also the BUPA ride. I picked a shorter distance because I thought I would struggle to be prepared in time. Turned out that I was already doing longer rides prior to the event, and I was fine on the ride. The long hill outside Yankalilla was a tough slog, but I got up it and over it – without stopping. I like to think I could have done the 75k event, though that would have had the King of the Mountain climb in it. That would have been a true test!

Now that I’ve done a few hundred km’s on the bike it’s due a service. The entry-level Shimano Sora hubs on it are based on 1950s technology, and they’re due for a rebuild – though I’m considering upgrading the wheels to something that is lighter and has sealed bearings which will last a lot better and roll smoother. That will of course depend on weather the wheels will work with the Sora derailleur and cassette etc. I have no idea about that…

Riding goals for the rest of the year are to do a full 100km ride before Winter sets in, and include Mount Lofty via Devils Elbow, Bollards and Crafers in that ride. Planning on entering VeloAdelaide in March which has a number of rides which will fit – though that ride goes via the Heysen tunnels – it’s a rare opportunity to ride up through the tunnels!

Enjoying the riding so far and it’s having the desired effect (though taking a little longer due to muscle growth!). I’ve finally dropped below 100kg, so I’m on schedule to get back into a kart on this side of July.

Fitness work.

I’m a bit heavy to race at the moment. There, I said it! I’m doing some work on building my core and my shoulders up, so I can handle being back in a kart again and also in the RX7 on the track.

The other thing I’m also doing, is riding my road bike – though not as much as I should!

I’m riding in an event called BigRedRide in 2 weeks time, which is a 50km ride from Glenelg to Outer Harbour and back to Glenelg again. It’ll be tough, but at least it’s a flat ride! Riding around home is tough given we have a lot of hills down south here, which doesn’t help my motivation much.

This is the route:

Route 1,335,797 – powered by

The next one is the BUPA Challenge ride. I’m only doing the 33km ride which is the shorter of the rides (longest is over 150km!) so hopefully I’ll be OK on it.

I’m on Strava if you’d like to follow my feeble efforts on the bike!

Getting closer…!

Club membership is done, AKA licence has been renewed – all set to hit the kart track!