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buyers tips

Tips for Buying a Rotary

A quick guide on what to look out for when buying a Rotary powered vehicle.

tip 1
The most obvious test is if it blows oil smoke under power.
It is acceptable to give a little oil smoke on first start up as it is a feature of a Rotary's oil injection system to lubricate the housing walls with engine oil via the metering pump, however this should disappear within a minute or two and the exhaust should appear clean from then on.
In colder areas, condensation in the exhaust system can also cause some steam on first start but this should also clear when the engine has reached operating temperature.

tip 2
The second most obvious indicator of a worn or damaged engine is operating temperature. If the engine gets too hot under normal driving conditions then there is either a problem with the cooling system or possibly a more serious problem with the engine itself. Low oil levels can also increase the operating temperature and if you discover this is the case then give the car a miss because this is most likely indicative of the owners slack attitude towards engine care and would reflect a badly maintained car anyway.
A defective or blocked oil system can also cause overheating as the oil system in a Rotary not only provides lubrication but also serves partly as a cooling system, especially with regard to the cooling of the rotors themselves.
Overheating due to an engine fault is not to be confused with the effects of driving hard or racing an engine for long periods which can overheat even the best maintained units unless specifically built for that purpose. In general, about one quarter to almost half way on the temperature guage is a pretty acceptable range.

tip 3
Another item to look for, particularly when buying a pre RX7 model (R100,RX2,3,4,5 etc.) is a late model RX7 electronic type distributor has been fitted. If it's still running a mechanical points type ditributor then either be prepared to intall an electronic type (preferably RX7 series 2 and onwards) very soon after you get it home.
The reason being that if you want a clean reving engine, the mechanical points model will just not do. Only a very new set of points can cope with the job and burn out very quickly requiring constant replacement.
You will soon pay for the newer model distributor in savings made by not having to constantly replace the points.
Or alternatively, just keep looking for a different car.

tip 4
This goes for buying any sort of car, as do a lot of these tips.
Check the pedal rubbers. No, I'm serious !
If the pedal rubbers are worn out then this car has done some long hours.
If they are original rubbers with little or no wear, you can beleive the " One owner, little old lady " claims.
If they are brand new, ask the seller why. Most of the time they are not wise to this and will simply say, " Yeah, the others wore out ".
Anyway, these little bits of rubber tell us a lot about a cars previous usage.

tip 5
Has this car been in an accident ?
Are the seller's claims of "original this" or "factory that" true ?
What you are looking for are marks on the bolt heads in the appropriate places. For example, you can tell if it is an original factory installation if the bolt heads show no use that are holding that component.
Something else to look out for.

tip 6
Up inside the rear panels, behind the driving wheels, you might find evidence of rubber left from performing burn-outs or dough-nuts.
It only takes a second to check and speaks volumes about the previous owners habits.

tip 7
There is no tip 7 yet.
Please check back soon

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