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1983 Mazda RX-7 GS + 2009 Toyota Prius


Oh my. It’s been a couple weeks since my last post. And its been a rough two weeks.

Nothing really new has happened to the RX-7, besides a 140+ mile drive that she handled flawlessly (and got an impressive 23mpg on). I got my new brake hardline and I think we can retrofit a new set of self-adjuster screws to the drums, which is good. Oh, I did have a run in with the mystery “oil flooding” issue, but it seems to have disappeared after I tightened the spark plugs down (they were literally only hand tight, yikes on that one past self).

and she passed 72k miles on the way into work this morning!

I really want to get the clutch master and slave changed out, but unfortunately I’m going to have to wait. The Prius has developed an unidentifiable problem (at least I have not been able to figure it out).

Last weekend the Maintenance light came on in the Prius, signifying that I needed an oil change (which I was overdue anyways). So I did an oil change. After the change, the engine was misfiring a bit at idle and low throttle. I also happened to notice that the oil got overfilled a bit somehow (I measured it out to be below the capacity listed online, but whatever).

Due to the misfire, I decided to check my spark plugs. The first plug came out alright, and I noticed that the ceramic was cracked, probably part of my misfire. The second plug’s ceramic broke and exploded while I was loosening it; I used a combination of a vacuum and air compressor to retrieve as many of the ceramic pieces from the spark plug well as I could before extracting the spark plug. I changed the other two plugs without a hitch, and they came out undamaged. However, when I started the car back up, the engine was shaking and rattling, as if something was pinging around inside a cylinder; it seems like I missed a ceramic piece. The piece did leave the engine and out the exhaust, and based on my research, the engine should not have suffered much, if any, internal damage. After the ceramic piece left the engine, it sounded great and perfectly normal. But then on my shakedown drive, I began to notice a strange noise. I changed oil filters, thinking maybe the Fram filter I put on was junk; and also dropped the oil level back down to just under full in the process. However, even with the oil level corrected and an OEM Toyota/Denso oil filter, the noise persists. To me it sounds like piston slap, but I can’t really tell if it is or not; for all I know it could be a timing issue. Perhaps the timing chain jumped a tooth, or the tensioner broke loose, when the engine rattled and shook with the ceramic piece…

Regardless of what the issue is, I don’t have the knowledge or experience to diagnose or fix it myself. As much as I want to avoid a big repair bill or diagnostic bill, I am going to take the Prius to either the Toyota dealership or a local shop. I may be chasing ghosts, but I’d rather chase a ghost and pay a bit now than wonder why my engine died and have to fork up a lot of cash later.

I’ll include some pictures and videos in a section below if you want to see the old plugs and the well with the broken plug. Videos you can take a listen to the noise yourself. I’ve been avoiding driving it in case this is a big problem, so don’t worry. The RX-7 has been behaving like a good girl since last weekend, so I’m in good hands until the Prius can get diagnosed and/or fixed. Of course, it is January, so I would like to get the Prius roadworthy ASAP in case it decides to snow out of nowhere again.

Thanks, as always, for reading my text walls.

PS: I would say that at this stage, it’s a little too early for 'F’s in the chat, but feel free to do so if you want.

Prius incident

This video was taken the day of the ceramic incident and prior to the new oil filter.
This video was taken after the new oil filter.

And just so I can end on a positive note, here’s a video of a nice, successful cold start of the RX-7.

I probably won’t post back until one of two things happen:
-I get an update on the Prius
-The rear brakes on the RX-7 get fully serviced and repaired.
or both.

Until next time.


And it is time. For (hopefully not) another text wall.

I took the Prius in to a local shop that is like 3 minutes from my house. They stuck a bore-scope down into the cylinder, and lo and behold, there was still ceramic in there. They attempted to extract the pieces with some adhesive on the end of their bore-scope, but the ceramic pieces were stuck. The shop concluded that they wouldn’t cause any long term damage, and the engine is still running good; just keep on driving it and the pieces may break free. They recommended I add Seafoam to the gas, and I may do the Seafoam spray treatment as well.

And after having driven it for a few days; she’s doing a bit better. It’s still there, but she’s running and sounding a bit better. I put some Seafoam in the gas, and I think that’s part of why it runs better. Probably going to add another can before my next fill up. Once it warms up a bit (so I can actually exist outside without freezing to death), I will see about running that Seafoam spray treatment; will be interesting since the computer likes to turn off the motor and dislikes revving in neutral/park.

My mom had me run her van to the dealership for an oil change. I didn’t do a crazy write up like I did with my dad’s car. I did take a couple photos, and a video of plugging it in…

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Video of plugging in the van, lol.

I am itching to drive the RX-7, desperately. But, they salted all the roads and it’s snowing right now. Now that the Prius is back (again) and running ok, literally no excuse for dragging the rotary onto salt and risking rust.

The Prius is a little…salty.


We hit 99k miles! Raise your glasses, and lets hope the ceramic goes away before we hit 100k.

And, obligatory photo shoot:

Pictures, but it's not a rotary


Update on the RX-7:
Rear brakes are done. For the final time. New wheel cylinder is in on the drivers side. No more rub. New brake soft line and a new brake hard line. The car feels faster and smoother now that the rub is gone, and braking is much improved.

Update on the Prius:
Still rattling. Now you can only hear it when the engine is cold, however, so it is improving. Still want to try Seafoam spray, but the weather has been trash lately.


Replacing the soft line that goes from the body hard line and into the axle hard lines. We also replaced the hard line from that soft line that goes into the wheel cylinder.

New wheel cylinder in.

And, the new drum finally fits.

As is now tradition, some pics:


You can see steam coming off the hood after you do a few hard revs, lmao. No hood insulation, just an aluminum sheet with some bracing for structural rigidity.