Monday, October 6, 2014

15k: RXV8: 2004 Mazda RX-8, LS1

The RX-8 was Mazda's replacement for the out of production RX-7, introduced as a last chance attempt at saving the rotary engine.  The RX-8 was built starting in 2003 and ending in 2011 when the lights went out on production of Felix Wankel's spinning machine...for now.  Anyway, the RX-8 rapidly gained the a similar reputation to the RX-7 -- specifically that it was a great car to drive, but the engine blew up faster than a George Clooney relationship...or about 4 years.  What do you do when your factory Mazda engine starts seeing other people?  Swap in a fuel injected Chevrolet V8.  Find this 2004 Mazda RX-8 with LS1 swap currently bidding for $12,000 reserve-not-met with 2 days to go.

This 2004 RX-8 originally had a naturally aspirated 2 rotor Wankel displacing 1.3 liters and rated at 247 horsepower when new.  It isn't a bad engine at all, but the lack of low end torque and Kitty Hawk-class thirst for crude makes it less than perfect.  Fortunately it is easy enough to swap the ubiquitous GM LS1 alloy 5.7 liter V8 in for a minimum of 350 horsepower out of the box.  

This LS1 looks to have been massaged for more than the stock horsepower, although the seller does not include a breakdown of the modifications, so you'll have to guess power level.  This RXV8 uses an automatic transmission so it is more of a drag strip terror than an apex hunter.

See another V8 swapped classic wearing Mustang (?) wheels?


  1. Why do these @#$% @#$%^& @#$%ers always use automatics in such swaps?!!!

  2. Fleetwood T. BroughamOctober 6, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    What is this, all caps seller day on DT? I also like the fact that he included almost no shots of the interior of the car. Clearly I don't want to see how he coerced a Corvette shifter into the space previously occupied by the Mazda stick.

  3. Soooo by year 2027 every car on the road will have a LS swap?

    1. Nope, just those outside CA! Probably a good mid-week matchup though.. What current car are you waiting to to see transformed by an LS swap in the year 2027? Mid-engined Minis?

  4. This car looks like it was an auto to start with. Primarily, the steering wheel with the silver "paddles" and thumb buttons. So, that said, this car probably had closer to 197hp from new. The bonus to that is that it's the lightest weight RX8 they sold here - 4 port engine, no leather, no sunroof. Also, unfortunately, it had taller springs, softer sways, no HIDs, no fog lights and no LSD either.

  5. As much as I dig LSx swaps, I swear in ten or so years y'all will complain about the absence of stock rotary powered RX-8s. I know the LS makes more sense, but the swaps generally are quality in the engine bay and trampstamp-esque in wheel selection, interior mods, etc. Save the manuals? Damn right. While you are at it save the rotaries too!

  6. Too much to describe arghhhhn.

    At least give it a shot!

    Do the gauges work? Does the A/C work?

    Probably a bargain (given what I've heard this swap entails due to the CANBUS running everything in the car) but no way of knowing.

    This seller is bad at eBay and should feel bad...

  7. Where did those weird dents in the hood come from?


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