Where are the apex seals and how do I get to them to see if they are in good shape or not?


Asked by May 12, 2014 at 03:41 PM about the 2004 Mazda RX-8 4-speed

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I am trying to see if the seals are in good shape because the dealer said it may not need a new motor if the person who changed to spark plugs might have put them in wrong in shich case it would only cost $160.00 to repair what they call a 'wash out'  verses a new motor.  I only have about 40% compression...

2 Answers


Dangerous ground there, the apex seals are inside the engine, if the wrong spark plugs were used, it not only damages the apex seals but also cracks the rotor housings thus ruining the engine, if it is indeed a "washout" it can be cured by removing the spark plugs and squirting in a little ATF into the lower spark plug holes and turning over the engine slowly, then putting in the correct spark plugs and attempt to start, this needs to be done in a well ventalated area as it will smoke till all of the ATF is burned out and the engine is at operational temp. Then the engine is shut down and a compression test it again performed to see if it recovered or if the seals are bad. Clear as mud, right?

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Best Answer
Richard Boettger

As stated, the apex seals in a rotary are similar to the rings in a piston engine. They "seal" the rotor edges, hence the name "apex" in the housing as it spins.

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