Is the swap really a good thing?

Old 05-21-13, 05:56 PM
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Is the swap really a good thing?

I am thinking of getting a project car fc that someone put a v-8 into, however I cant help but wonder if the v8 is really a good thing. Are v-8's really more reliable than the rotary? Doesnt it take away some of the high-reving fun? Is a rear-end change almost essential to the swap?
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Old 05-21-13, 06:38 PM
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dude wat?
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Old 05-21-13, 06:44 PM
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All the threads on this EXACT same topic and you couldnt make up your mind? What makes you think another thread will?
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Old 05-21-13, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Gold_1st_Gen View Post
Are v-8's really more reliable than the rotary?
You know, after I've had a long and hard day like today it's really nice to be able to come home and read a question like this. I literally laughed out loud, thanks!
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Old 05-21-13, 08:50 PM
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Do it. If it's not a turbo chassis, find turbo diff. then never look back.

Also - go to Ronin for all your parts needs - quality stuff.
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Old 05-22-13, 03:53 PM
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The rotary engine has some merits. Problem is it has its problems also. There is a reason you don't find that engine in all but 1 car manufactured today. On the other hand look at all the supercars that run a V-8.
Do you think for any reason that had the rotary engine been more
Successful that it would be the new engine platform standard?

Its not even all about reliability or even efficiency. Ferarri isn't known for its reliability but it still makes a piston engine. I remember when the FD3S was out and new on dealer Lots. They sat, why do you think production went down to only 500 cars in 1995 before the car was pulled from the Mazda line in the US?

The FD3S is arguably one of the most beautiful designs and ranks right up there with European exotics.
So why does such a beautiful car sit on a lot while an equally beautiful European exotic have an 18month waiting list?

Also why is it so popular to see RX-7's with V-8 swaps but not a bunch of Corvette's with a rotary motors? And why once people swap do they rarely if ever go back to the rotary?

This should all speak volumes regarding the conclusion you should be able to ascertain on your own.
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Old 05-26-13, 08:29 PM
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Old 05-28-13, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Gold_1st_Gen View Post
I am thinking of getting a project car fc that someone put a v-8 into, however I cant help but wonder if the v8 is really a good thing. Are v-8's really more reliable than the rotary? Doesnt it take away some of the high-reving fun? Is a rear-end change almost essential to the swap?

No offense to rotaries, but LS engines are a lot more reliable than the boosted rotary engines and typically go a lot further between rebuilds even without special warmups, cooldowns, pre mixing etc. With both engines making the same power level that the LS makes in stock configuration (about 340 RWHP for an LS-1, more for LS-2, LS-3), the LS engine will probably last about 3-4 times as long. I will admit that the high revving experience and the continually climbing power of the rotary turbo engine is fun, but part of the thrill is the contrast between having less power and then having more as the R's climb. that surge is kind of thrilling, but the LS powered car had probably already pulled ahead and will continue to. The NA LS powered cars have lots of power everywhere with very linear power delivery, and you get caught out of the power band /off boost less often if you are subject to an impromptu "Grand Prix". Most of the time I just start out in second gear which can be run up to about 65 in one continuous pull.

I test drove a LS FD that did 11.6 in the quarter mile at about 124 trap speed, there was no drama, the car didn't feel that fast, but it covered a lot of ground fast.

I love Rx-7's with stock rotaries, modded rotaries and LS engines, it's not that one is "better" than another, it's what you like and can live with. It's kind of funny that people have no problem putting in aftermarket parts and even putting in a T56 transmission and/or a Ford IRS rearend, but can't deal with the idea of changing the motor. I'm like, who cares?

RE the rearend, the FC needs a T2 diff, you can blow out the NA rearend pretty fast with all the torque of a V8, but you can get a T2 rearend for about $250 and they are pretty strong. Any time you start modifying cars, there are tradeoffs and if big changes are made, a lot of parts need to be upgraded.
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Old 10-14-13, 09:34 PM
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+1 to ZoomZoom. Perfectly put.
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Old 06-03-14, 01:38 PM
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the rotary is a sick motor, wicked for a rally or a drift built... saying that, putting a sleeper project together gives you that warm tingling feeling when you pull up to a light beside one of those damn ricers with rims and spoilers on their parents old cars
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Old 07-09-14, 08:21 AM
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Well said ZoomZoom.
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Old 07-09-14, 10:15 AM
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You don’t see the rotary anywhere else because Mazda owns the patent on the Wankel engine. If Honda threw out a rotary powered Civic, Mazda would sue the pants off them. Also the engine itself is not an efficient design in terms of economy. It does a poor job turning fuel into work when compared to a modern piston engine.

The Japanese economy was booming in the early 90’s. Mazda took a huge risk with the Rx-7 and lost horribly. In fact some blame Mazdas down fall and eventual take over in 1995 on the FD RX-7. The amount of R&D Mazda put in that car was astronomical! This resulted in an outrageous 32k sticker price in 1993. (More expensive than a 93’ ZR1 corvette!). The average US consumer couldn’t afford one, and the few that could bought corvettes! In 1994 the Japanese economy tanked and so did Mazda. In 1995 Mazda was taken over, and the Rx-7 project was grounded.

I say keep that neato rotary in a museum where it belongs. To me it’s all about the dollar invested VS the power received. My $220 JY LS motor went 8’s last year at 153 mph in a 2850lb 1st gen. That’s getting your money’s worth! Not to mention I can pick up another “race motor” at any junk yard across the US for peanuts.
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Old 08-06-14, 02:05 PM
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go to Ronin for all your parts wants.
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Old 08-20-14, 05:38 PM
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Thanks for the love to everyone who's vouching for Ronin.

To the OP's question, this is a dramatic change to the car, that can't be understated. The simplest way to understand it to find someone local and get a ride along. If you're on the fence that's one of the easiest ways to make up your mind.

We at Ronin love v8's and the LS family of engines in particular. It's a great engine with a ton of aftermarket support. They're lightweight, compact due to the cam in block design (a Ford 5.0 Coyote is huge by comparison), and have a variety of oil pans that make them fit in a great variety of chassis.

For small car swap candidates, the RXs are especially well suited because the rotary cars tend to have tall transmission tunnels (the E-shaft on a rotary being in the middle of the wankle rather than a crankshaft which is typically down low). That lets you get a big bellhousing like that of a t56 trans way back against the firewall.

It really is like a 9/10th scale corvette and suddenly all the power to weight arguments make sense. If they sold a 9/10th scale corvette I might be driving one, but until they do a swapped 7 is truly the best of both worlds.

Assuming you don't mind folks calling you a heretic from time to time, it's a pretty stellar combo. Don't take my word for it. Get a ride and make up your own mind.

-Joel Payne (aka Frijolee)
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v8 swap kits, 8.8" diffs, widebodies, wings, and more...
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