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Race engine builders

Old 01-23-11, 12:45 PM
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CA Race engine builders

Hi All:
Who builds reliable race engines in the SF bay area?
Thanks,
Jim
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Old 01-23-11, 02:47 PM
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For NA motors there is an scca racer name Jose Rodriquez (spelling) No shop, no ads. He races a GT2 rotary car.

For Turbo motors SR motor sports in Brentwood. Bring your checkbook. He's not cheap.

Good Luck.
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Old 01-23-11, 03:08 PM
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Ship it up to Daryl Drummond ([email protected], 541-761-5520) in Southern Oregon. Rebello used to also build rotaries, I think. And Mike Haag (www.haagperformance.com) used to work for Rebello and can build rotaries...
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Old 01-23-11, 05:33 PM
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Pineapple also builds race engines, but not sure where he is on the "cutting edge" curve.

I think there is a distinct line between those that can assemble a roatary engine to race specs and those who build, develop, and then assemble a package for racing. Dan at Pineapple would be on my list of the latter and there are a few others. If you are loosking to freshen an engine, particulalry for ITor Spec, then pretty much any methodical, detail oriented individual "should" be able to assemble a solid engine for you. If you are setting out with a core and a rulebook, look deeper. The people with solid knowledge and a record of doing well will cost money, but its generally worth it in the long run.

Last advice on choosing a race engine builder- do not listen to internet BS or even trackside commentary. Its ALL slanted. Go visit the builder or speak to them over the phone. If this is going to be a longer term relationship, make sure that they fit your personality, style, and expectations.
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Old 01-23-11, 11:11 PM
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Thanks for all the tips. I recently moved to SF from Seattle area and I'm looking for someone local. Of course it doesn't cost all that much to ship to my favorite shop in Seattle (JLC Racing) but it would be nice to be able to just drive over to a shop if there's a good one close by. It's a stock port N/A GSL-SE ITX engine. And, unfortunately it's not a freshening... it's in need some major parts.
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Old 01-24-11, 12:16 AM
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Hi Jim,

I believe that Jose builds the motors that the Downeys run in their RX3 E-production car. That car finished third this year at the runoffs and second last year. I think Shpnout has Jose's phone number floating around somewhere.

Best,

Guy
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Old 01-24-11, 09:53 AM
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Pineapple has yet to disappoint me...
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Old 01-27-11, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jimeby View Post
Thanks for all the tips. I recently moved to SF from Seattle area and I'm looking for someone local. Of course it doesn't cost all that much to ship to my favorite shop in Seattle (JLC Racing) but it would be nice to be able to just drive over to a shop if there's a good one close by. It's a stock port N/A GSL-SE ITX engine. And, unfortunately it's not a freshening... it's in need some major parts.
that's hardly really a race build. just about any of the shops in the bay can build the engine, some will just want to use new parts while others will just want to replace it with a reman. the only thing that might set your engine apart in the term "race build" would be internal engine balancing or rotor lightening for higher revs, unless you plan on changing things up a bit and going with a PP, semi-pp build.

rick in pleasanton is super expensive and basically builds to OEM tolerances with basically new parts, rotorsport i believe only installs remans now, SR motorsports in brentwood is good but pricey as well from what i have heard but no complaints. there is also PR motorsports in hayward but i have been hearing a few horror stories lately about their shop.

if it's just a basic rebuild i head through the bay periodically but my shop is located in Las Vegas now so pickups and deliveries aren't very timely.
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Old 01-27-11, 01:11 AM
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Exclamation I have to say this...

I believe Rick in Pleasanton knows how to build a rotary engine.

However, here are (only a couple) the facts:

He charged me $128 to swap out my fuel pump (which I've done myself 6 times and can do in under 15 minutes).

I later found out my rebuilt engine was never bolted down, but merely sitting on the engine mounts. The left side bolt was over-threaded into the red part of the Banzai mount due to their not using the huge washer when tightening the bolts. The right side mount was missing the bolt entirely! I had my car on the lift at Advanced Auto in San Francisco, and the owner Jeff and I verified this.

I mentioned to Rick that the steering was sloppy and for him to take a look at it while he had the car. So he goes ahead and replaces the rack bushings, which did NOTHING to fix the problem, and he charged me for the parts and the labor without my consent! (Fortunately, I had a torn bellows boot and could see by turning the steering wheel left and right that my steering rack needed to be replaced - this was again identified later by myself and Jeff at Advanced Auto.)

Very shortly after my rebuild, when I went to change my oil, I found my Pineapple oilpan bolt was torqued so tightly, I was literally dragging myself across the asphalt trying to loosen it! (btw I'm 170 lbs and I can roll out of bed and knock out 35 pull-ups in a row without breaking a sweat, so I'm NOT a weak guy.) I finally got it loose with hollow pipe connected to my breaker bar - essentially a 3-foot breaker bar!!!! - with one of my feet braced up against the car to keep me from sliding. Unbelievable....

I'm going to stop there because I feel my blood pressure rising, and I don't want to entertain these negative memories. I'm an honest, respectful and standup guy, but some things you just can't let fly.

I seriously could go on for PAGES about that place. What a NIGHTMARE. That guy knows he's one of the few rotary shops in the Bay Area, and milks the fact and doesn't give a **** about integrity. I wouldn't wish upon the person I dislike most on this planet 1/2 the bs that I experienced through his shop.
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Old 01-27-11, 01:26 AM
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Exclamation Think I'm making this up?

I wish I was.

Below is a sample of my receipt:



Note the steering rack bushings parts and labor charge which I DID NOT AUTHORIZE.

Then the $56.38 to replace a cooling fan which was barely frayed in the first place, plus $25.60 to install it?!?! Again, I NEVER AUTHORIZED that. Then he had the nerve to tell me that if he didn't replace the fan, my engine would overheat - even with my Scoot hood with 7 giant holes in it?!?! (Click my avatar for a pic.)

Then there's $128 in labor to replace my fuel pump!

Since when to you charge $128 additional labor for installing an oilpan on a rebuild AND use $34.80 worth of sealant? Were there diamonds in the sealant that I was not aware of?

Then $35 labor if I actually want to have fuel injectors in my motor? Are you kidding?

Sadly I got screwed BIG TIME. He knew I was working full-time WHILE going to school to finish my Pre-Medical classes (which I recently finished with a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology) and that I DON'T have a lot of money.

Even for people I don't like, I treat EVERYONE with respect and integrity, and I can't believe he took advantage of a poor kid trying to put himself through school to be a Doctor.

N E V E R A G A I N.



Just have Karack build your next motor. End of discussion.
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Old 01-27-11, 04:18 PM
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Karak: Thanks for your input. That's the kind of list I was looking for. And I see JuicyJosh has an opinion of one of them.

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 01-27-11, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by juicyjosh View Post
I later found out my rebuilt engine was never bolted down, but merely sitting on the engine mounts. The left side bolt was over-threaded into the red part of the Banzai mount due to their not using the huge washer when tightening the bolts. The right side mount was missing the bolt entirely! I had my car on the lift at Advanced Auto in San Francisco, and the owner Jeff and I verified this.
strangely enough this isn't the first time i have seen one of his motors leave his shop with the motor mounts not bolted down. juan from vacaville's motor had been just sitting on the mounts for months before i noticed that the nuts were just slightly threaded on. also he has almost no experience building performance rotaries to today's standards. if it's an original car and you have deep pockets rick usually doesn't do half bad work but remember to check your motor mounts, because apparently after the motor is in the bay he must think the job is done..

while looking for a shop to CNC mill rotors i asked Rick how much he charges to mill them to 3mm, he quoted me $900 to mill both rotors, i knew he would be a bit expensive but not THAT expensive. i found a machine shop who experimented on a few of my rotors and eventually got it dialed in and charged me $75 per rotor, sure they messed up a few rotors but $900? heh.. now i'm going through the same process after having moved but i have a shop that is doing them for me since that is the only thing i don't have the equipment to do.

Last edited by RotaryEvolution; 01-27-11 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 01-28-11, 02:59 PM
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Yea, I believe I got charged $15 by Rick to tighten a SINGLE nut on my accelerator cable bracket when I took my first gen to him when I was having vibration issues.

Then on another occasion, I got charged over $300 to replace my brake hoses because I had a problem with my brake pedal feel (turned out to be a defective brake booster) and all that money still could not fix my problem and Rick still released the car to me to drive back home.
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Old 01-28-11, 05:05 PM
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CA

Originally Posted by SHPNOUT View Post
For NA motors there is an scca racer name Jose Rodriquez (spelling) No shop, no ads.

I'd like a little more info on Jose Rodriguez. Where is he located? And do you have his contact details?

Thanks!

m
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Old 01-28-11, 05:24 PM
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OR

Rob at Pineapple racing, awesome guy, calls you on his own time when your parts are done, checks in to make sure things are working, and from the stuff that he has accomplished in the past, and his extensive history with mazda, i would say him. biggest problem with boosted race motors is that they twist and flex, the flex can be gotten rid of with the two piece e shaft, but the twisting is a little more complex. he says to use a thick oil pan brace, and that will get rid of alot if not almost all of the twisting threat to the motor.
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Old 02-06-11, 04:29 AM
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go to San Francisco Region SCCA races to look for Jose..

not sure what kind of race engine you have in mind, but REAL race engine is extremely pricey, look up internal component prices on mazdatrix site to get an idea. if $500 invoice from Rick is a problem, then forget about it..
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Old 02-06-11, 08:46 AM
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I have one of Mike Haag's motors in my ITS car, it's been great. You might what to talk with Bob Maybell, he has a good reputation as a builder in the race world. [email protected]

Paul
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Old 02-08-11, 02:58 PM
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Hi Gadd: Thanks for the referrals.
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Old 02-08-11, 04:10 PM
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Sounds like this thread should be moved to the 'Bad Guy' Section
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Old 02-09-11, 11:10 AM
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Just correcting Karack regarding Rotorsports in Santa Clara - he does indeed build motors. I know a few people running his motors on the street. Don't know anyone running his motors in a race scenario. Rotorsports and Rick's focus on the street driven car.
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Old 02-09-11, 03:07 PM
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I've had a one of Dave Lemon's old backup motors in my E/P car for shakedown/tunig. If I could afford a full blown build, he's definitely be on the short list.

Jimeby:
What kind of motor are you looking to build, 12a or 13b?
What kind of racing and class?
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Old 02-10-11, 03:26 PM
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This is to replace my current 5 year old race engine which finally tossed an apex seal while I was racing it on a race track. It's for SCCA club racing in ITS race class which I've been racing with this current race engine for the past 5 years. To conform to ITS race rules this race engine is a stock port GSL-SE 13b. For this race engine I retain the factory fuel injection and observe a race red line of 7000 rpm. I run this race engine extremely hard under race conditions in my race car on a race track and it currently holds two SCCA race track records, one for qualifying and one for racing at the Laguna Seca race track.

Ahhhhh now that felt good.

Sorry remydrm, I just had to vent for a second.
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Old 02-10-11, 04:17 PM
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Jimeby, 5yrs on 1 motor! My God, I can't seem to get a season... shoot, an afternoon even!

I spoke to Mike Haag the other day. He seems like a nice guy and was extremely open to building around a budget.

He said he can take a deposit to disassemble a blown motor and work up an estimate to building it back to desired specs. He also said, he will not use damaged or "iffy" parts in the rebuild.. which he says can drive the cost up when compared to some other builders.

I think he means that he's developed a pretty good reputation and can't afford to slap a motor together and have it fail publicly.

So that's a great option.

I'm in the same boat so I'll keep you posted with any info I get.
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Old 02-10-11, 04:35 PM
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if you are allowed i would switch to different apex seals, ceramics are best for minimal wear and can handle more detonation and do not flex like the stock seals can so they're ideal for time attack and endurance cars. sure they may be overkill but they will cause literally 0 rotor housing wear to keep your average compression up for the longhaul(they do have less cold compression than 2 piece seals do since they are 1 piece however). keep in mind ceramics are a bit pricier than your traditional seals are.

if you're interested in a build, drop me a PM.

Last edited by RotaryEvolution; 02-10-11 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 02-10-11, 04:59 PM
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CLR out of Miami is my choice for engines. He did some of the ALMS engines for the factory backed team when they ran the three rotor and has been doing race motors since the early eighties. He does all of his balancing inhouse. You can reach Carlos at 305-235-3696

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