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FAQ

I can't find a product on your web site.

Please call or email us to inquire! We often have parts in inventory or accounts with companies that manufacture the parts you are looking for, and simply don't get around to putting them all on the web site. For example, we can get every single part in the Mazda inventory and sell at a lower price than the dealer (usually 15% off) and we don't add sales tax. Need a Weber carb? We have a long-standing relationship with the manufacturer, which is why we can offer the 48IDA for $50 less than anyone else. These are just examples. If we don't carry a product, your phone call or email will let us know there is demand, so we may re-evaluate the situation.

I tried calling but nobody answered or the line was busy.

Our hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Pacific), Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. If we don't answer the phone during business hours, it is because we are in the shop and doing paying work. Please leave a message and we will call you back. If the line is busy, it's because we are helping someone else. 9 out of 10 calls we get are asking for free technical advice and these calls cost us money by taking us away from paying work or preventing us from answering calls from real or potential customers. If you do have a technical question, we don't mind spending a couple minutes on the phone helping you out, but please try to keep it brief and to the point. Do a little research if you can before the call, tell us all the important details up front so we don't have to play Twenty Questions, and when we say something like "e;well, I need to get back to work"e;, please take the hint that we really do have work to do for paying customers that needs to get done. Keeping calls brief not only helps us but also our customers who need to speak to us. If you are a customer and can't get through, please either try again later or shoot us an email with your phone number, so we can call you back at the first opportunity.

Why are your engines so expensive?

The simple truth is that inexpensive rebuilds are made with a lot of used parts. We put over $1,000 of brand new rotor housings into our standard rebuild alone. On top of that, there is another $1000+ (our cost) of seals, springs, bearings, etc., plus many hours of labor into disassembly, cleaning, inspection and assembly. If someone charges less, it is guaranteed that they are not replacing as much stuff as we do. Basically, you get what you pay for. Do you want a "e;floorsweeper"e; or a quality engine? Anyone can assemble an engine that will last 12 months or more, using parts taken off several worn out cores. If that's what you want, great. Just please be clear with them exactly what is being replaced and if the replacement is with new parts or used (some places say they "e;replace"e; rotor housings but forget to tell you the replacement parts are just out of another old core motor). Also ask them if they build to Mazda standards. That's a trick question because an answer of "e;yes"e; is not good. Mazda rebuild specs do not give you a "e;good as new"e; engine but more like something intended to get you out of the warranty period. For example, Mazda allows over 2mm of chrome flake on used rotor housings. Ugh! Even without chrome flaking, please consider that rotor housings only have (typically) 130,000-150,000 mile life span to begin with so, by reusing them, you will only get the balance of their remaining life. That's great if they only have 20,000 miles on them; not so good if they have 100,000+ miles.

If I order a custom-built engine, how long will it take for me to receive it?

Most simple engine builds take 2 weeks. More exotic engines may take 4-6 weeks or more. The reason is that we are extremely busy and we want to be honest about the time frame required to complete the project. We won't tell you one thing to get the order and then string you along with excuses after the fact. That said, sometimes there are reasons that can delay an order, particularly work relating to outside vendors. It doesn't happen often, but some things are out of our control (like when Mazda ran out of FD rotor housings for several weeks last summer). No matter what, we like to communicate with our customers, so if we do hit a road bump, it does not come as a surprise.

Do you rebuild my core or can you do a core exchange?

We generally prefer to rebuild your core unless it is extensively damaged, but we can do a core-exchange if needed. In the case of a core-exhange, we source a core motor, rebuild it to your requirements, ship it to you and have you send back the original core to us (or lose the core deposit) after you recieve the new one. In this case, a core deposit is mandatory. One popular option is to have us source a MANA motor (Mazda remanufactured), as a rebuilding core. This is particularly a good option if you seriously grenaded your old motor, since the value of your core to us will be determined by what good parts we can salvage; Mazda is not so picky. MANA motors usually come with an obscene amount of new parts but they are really having problems with assembly, to the point it would be ridiculous to even run one without going through it first...but that makes it perfect as a core! You still send us back your core, which we return to Mazda, but they don't seem to care about the condition of the core as long as it is the right one, completely there and makes it back by the deadline. Mazda remans run between $2700 and $3000 or so for most RX-7 engines (RENESIS is more) plus a $1000 core deposit with a 30 day core return window. Since the parts are usually in very good if not new condition, this reduces our labor and replacement parts required, so our end is cheaper. The overall cost is typically higher than having us rebuild your core, but you will end up with even more new parts, have a quicker turn-around time on our end (less work for us) and have the luxury of getting the replacement engine before you even pull the old engine out of the car (easier swap when you don't have time to misplace nuts and bolts or forget how the vacuum lines are routed!). If you wish to use this option, contact us for required lead-times and current pricing. At times, Mazda's lead-time can get very long, very quickly, which may make the option un-viable.

What kind of deposit is required on a custom engine build?

We typically take a 50% deposit. That covers most of the parts and none of our labor, so we are motivated to get the job done yet are protected from a customer flaking out (it happens). A typical core deposit for a 13B-REW (3rd gen/FD engine) is $1000 on top of any other deposit, since we must be assured of getting a usable core. Excessive core damage will be deducted from the deposit, unless it is going back to Mazda in exchange for a MANA motor core.

Apex Seals -- 2mm vs. 3mm

First of all, 2mm seals are perfectly fine for extremely high boost levels. Many people successfully run 20+ psi on stock 2mm seals with no reported problems. However, 3mm seals are much more durable and not all of us have (1) great tuning skills and (2) the financial resources to shrug off a small tuning mistake that requires a full rebuild. One hard ping and a 2mm seal will likely break. 3mm seals generally take much more tuning abuse (multiple, hard pings), which is often enough margin to back off and save the motor. Also, we use a special 2-piece 3mm seal that, when it does fail, tends not to cause subsequent damage to rotors and housings. While getting the rotors machined out for 3mm seals and purchasing the seals themselves costs a bit more, it does not begin to compare to that of a second rebuild. For this reason, we recommend 3mm seals to customers who plan to exceed stock power levels and/or go with aftermarket fuel injection systems. Again, it's not mandatory if you have advanced tuning skills or are willing to risk a second rebuild, but 3mm seals are relatively cheap insurance.

Flywheels -- Light vs. Heavy

Light flywheels are a great modification for most street or track cars. The reduction in rotating mass has a noticeable impact on acceleration in lower gears and certainly makes the car feel more responsive to throttle inputs. On the other hand, it's not a good modification for drag racers or those who live in extremely hilly locations. Here, a heavier (stock) rotating mass helps keep the car from bogging on launches.

Clutches

Pineapple Racing generally recommends a good quality sprung hub, solid marcel, full-face, organic clutch for most street applications. Full face clutches provide a nice, smooth engagement, but are limited in the amount of torque they can handle. It is preferable to upgrade to a heavier pressure plate before considering the switch to a puck-type clutch. Sprung hub clutches are much easier on the driveline components. Marcels (the substrate that holds the clutch lining) are typically a springy metal, but solid ones are available, which allow for faster engagement and disengagement. The quick disengagement, in particular, is better on the transmission synchros. Puck-type clutches are best reserved for very high power applications. Still, a sprung hub is recommended for any street driven puck clutch due to the absorption of shock otherwise imparted to the driveline components. Also, except in the most extreme racing applications, we do not recommend any metalic-faced clutches due to the extreme wear they cause to the flywheel.

Throwout Bearings

For all 79-92 (1st and 2nd generation RX-7) applications, we recommend upgrading to the Turbo version of the throwout bearing. Mazda part number F853-16-510.

Flowbench

Flowbenches are great tools, particularly for piston engine work. However, their usefulness in porting rotary engines is virtually nonexistant. First, there is no easy way to simulate the operational characteristics of rotary engine ports. Simply strapping a side housing to a flow bench and measuring static flow rates is a futile exercise. One would have to build a very special apparatus to replicate the dynamics of port flow and the related turbulence of the intake charge. And, the extremely limited performance benefits make it hard to justify the expense. 2-3 hp for $200-300 in additional labor is not very cost effective. We recommend that you invest that money more wisely.

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