I’ve always had a soft spot for the RX-8 and how good they can look when done right (think Derek King and Joe Chrusciel). When I came across a black 2008 with a Mazda reman’d motor and an incredibly cheap price-tag I couldn’t pass. It was never meant to be more than a fun daily driver and minor project and I’m determined to keep it that way. Up to this point all I’ve done is SBG ignition coils, Stance coilovers, adjustable suspension arms, new brakes, Racing Beat header, full exhaust from Mike Fieock, and a Vertex steering wheel and quick release, and a carbon trunk spoiler.
I felt comfortable with how the car was performing and decided to address the looks. The stock body on the Series 1 isn’t too bad once you put some decent wheels on and lower them, but it’s definitely no where as good as the Series 2 (2009-2011). While I would have loved to do a full S2 conversion, this isn’t a car I’m interested in investing a bunch of money into.
I picked up the exhaust from Mr. RX-8 himself, Mike Fieock. It came off one of his former pro cars and is meant to fit the S2 rear bumper, which I had actually picked up a few months ago and fitted. I wanted to add a bit of chrome flare so I slipped on a Uras dolphin tail.
It turned out great. The S2 rear bumper is light-years better looking than the S1, and the Uras tip finished it off nicely. I actually have to pull the rear off and do some bodywork and re-spray it as I didn’t realize the black Mazda used on the 2009+ RX-8 was different than the earlier models. You can really see the difference in the sun.
I’ve never bought knock-off aero before so I wasn’t thrilled to be ordering Duraflex Mazdaspeed replica skirts. However, despite being incredibly cheap, they fit perfect and required absolutely no trimming/shaving. There were a couple of sizable chips in the gel-coat, but they were easy enough to repair before priming.
A big issue with RX-8s is fender rust, and mine was certainly no exception. They were BAD and were going to have the be cut out and replaced. If this was an S-chassis it would have been an easy fix. I could have ordered any of the dozens of over-fender options available and riveted them on. Unfortunately for the RX-8 there aren’t many options, and most of them suck.
I’ll walk out into traffic before I put any of that Rocket Bunny/Rocketvanya bullshit on anything I own. There are some full over-fenders available on Yahoo Auctions, but with shipping they get a bit pricey, and they had a bit too much flare to them. My options were either Pan Speed or Mazdatrix flares. I would have definitely preferred the Pan Speed, but the Mazdatrix price was too good so I settled for them.
They give you about an extra inch of space, which means I can run 265s in the rear with zero camber. I plan on running a couple of Gridlife HPDE events next season so it will be nice having the extra grip. At this point, I’ve managed to finish painting the fenders and the skirts and I just need to mount them. The fenders aren’t getting rivets. Instead, I’m using a panel bond called Sikaflex to give it a more factory look. The skirts will just go on with a couple zip ties and self-tapping screws.
That’s it for this post. In my next post I’ll be fiber-glassing a Mint Blue front bumper that looks like it got hit by a train back together and doing a final install of all the aero…