The Mazda RX8 is one of the most recent blessing and curses in automotive history, but it is still a loved treasure.
Its a beautiful rear wheel drive sports car, composed of as much aluminium and plastic parts as possible to reduce weight, and with an iconic rear suicide door design so you can't help but love it. Its downfall is what makes it move. The 13b rotary engine is not for someone who has no spare cash. A rebuild can cost between £1-2k as they usually lose compression after 50k miles and they can burn more oil than a diesel train. These causes can result int he RX8's going for cheaper than MK1 Miatas which is great from a project car guy perspective. All the modern comforts, incredible design and interior for under £1k from the same guys that built the legendary RX7 and lovable MX5's.
This is why its the perfect engine swap candidate. 2JZ, Mazda V6, LS, SR20 & VTEC they've all been done. The main problem is the rotary is so small and compact that any engine conversion will involve chopping into the firewall and possibly the subframe. No biggie, those engines aren't too big. But what about a 5.9 Cummins turbo diesel? Don't be so stup....
Well that's exactly what the lads at Bodge Rides Garage decided to do to the RX8 shell they had sitting in the corner. They bought a DAF Truck and stripped it of its torquey and massive engine. For those of you that don't know about the Cummins engine in question, its a very large 6 cylinder, 12 valve diesel motor. The engine weighs 500kg (1,100lbs), has an aluminium block and comes equipped with a Holset turbo. They make anywhere from 160-180bhp and upwards of 380 ft-lbs of torque, they are also incredibly easy to tune and can get to the 400bhp mark with relatively easy fuel modifications.
The front end of the donor RX8 was sliced and diced, the firewall and tunnel, the sump, subframe and any sort of cross-member in the engine bay were scrapped and eventually the Cummins 6BT sat where it needed to be, although it was protruding about 6" or more above the hood of the car. Non the less they now had a monster of an engine in a car that was not designed with much torque in mind at all. To make extra room in the front they used a BMW E36 steering rack, the transmission stayed the same as the one that came with the engine, the driveshaft was also from a DAF and the diff was swapped to a BMW 3.0 diesel one after the standard RX8 one inevitably shit itself. What a fantastic build, but wait! That's only Version 1, keep reading. Watch the Verison 1 build video below.
Version 2.0 was then created to allow the guys to ship the RX-hate abroad as the original didn't have the paperwork to do so, so some revisions were made as they were rebuilding anyway. There's no video unfortunately but there is some great pictures on the Driftworks forum of the awesome fabrication, also on their Instagram (@rx_hate).
The objective was to have the engine sit lower and further back into the car, generally tidier than the first build, more power (like it needed it!) and have it all caged, because safety.
From above you can see the lads made a significant improvement on getting the engine lower and further into the car, in fact from above you can see that 4 of the 6 cylinders are now past the original firewall placement which is absolutely nuts and I'm sure that has dramatically improved steering, the center of gravity and weight distribution. The whole car got a beautiful rollcage and of course, no cage is complete without obligatory dimpled gussets. Whats really impressive is they kept the rear seats but replaced them with the ultra light Kirkley buckets, so your mates can sit just a couple of inches away from a rear diff that just wants to explode!
The really really crazy part about V2.0 is that they managed to get an unmodified hood back on the car! The turbo has been relocated down front where the radiators used to be and now has a monstrous manifold snaking its way through the tight space that remains between the block and the engine bay. This is by far the craziest thing to leave Ireland since Conor McGregor. Its louder, scarier and will last more than a few minutes of being thrashed. I have yet to see it going sideways in its latest form but I will be tuning in as soon as I can, and I'm loving the Fast and Furious style design down the sides of it too for some extra badass points.
I wish the lads luck in their voyages abroad with RX-Hate, I'm sure it will turn a lot of heads and shred a lot of rubber.
Follow their Instagram: @rx_hate
The Driftworks RX-Hate V2.0 page: HERE
Images from Instagram & Driftworks - Credits to owners of photos.