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The attributes of the Renesis engine make quite a few people wish that there was a different engine in the chassis. Either one with more torque, more power, better economy, or better reliability. Many people start thinking about engine swaps, but it isn't as simple for an RX-8 as it is for other cars.
Can you simply add another rotor to the engine to make it a 3-rotor? No, you can't. This is a piece written years ago by RotaryGod, an RX8Club.com forum moderator.
This is probably the most common engine swap there is, and it's still not very common. This swap has the advantage of having an engine that is pretty close to ours physically, and can be adapted to work with the RX-8's ECU, which means that much of the fabrication and wiring headache is a non-issue. It's still a long process and not cheap, as the engine is "pretty close", which means still not exact. The Renesis sits lower and farther back than the REW, and even a few inches can mean a surprising number of additional issues. Cooling is already a problem for the RX-8, so you need a completely new cooling system designed to take the REW's higher power (everyone that swaps pumps up the power). Expect that it will cost a minimum of $12,000 from a shop that is competent with both the RX-8 and the FD RX-7, and expect that it will still take 3-6 months to complete. Costs will likely climb higher however, with $15,000 to $18,000 more typical.
Similar to the REW swap above, although more-so in most dimensions. It can not run on the OEM ECU, so all the wiring must be completely re-done. The engine bay has to have significant fabrication changes to accommodate the engine in the correct location, and the parts themselves are rare, which means sourcing stuff (like the manifolds) can be a long and expensive process. Expect a minimum of $20,000 to start from a competent shop. If you go NA instead of Turbo, you can usually knock some money off that.
Often talked about, very very very rarely completed. The financial cost of failure is about as high as the financial cost of succeeding, and has been easily north of $30,000. There is nothing existing today that will make an LS swap easier. Every single last bit is custom. Even cars like the Miata where there are shops that do the swaps regularly STILL have a turn-key price of $30,000. For an RX-8 you can expect a healthy amount higher. As to who does them, the short, and nice, answer is that ZERO shops that can do this kind of swap advertise for it. None. Period. End of story. Someone once asked what parts he needs to buy for an LS swap...
Literally nothing in the engine bay that is there in a stock RX-8 can stay where it is with such a swap. Including things like re-locating the brake master cylinder, which means re-running hardlines for the brakes.
Set aside about $25,000 to start, and expect to need another $10,000 to $20,000 more. Expect to not have your car for a minimum of a year. Expect that the best price you can get won't be able to finish within a year and will have stuff wrong and jacked up. Expect that the 2nd best price isn't any better. Expect that the highest price you are quoted is probably from the only shop that can actually complete it, and for more than they quoted you.
Expect that once the engine is swapped, you will need to replace the suspension, wheels, and brakes to deal with the difference in the weight balance and dramatically different torque dynamics.
However, if you have the time, the skills, and the money, it is certainly possible to get the swap going: RX8Club.com: LS6 Upgrade Parts List and Paperwork
Note: The swap still isn't complete as of the time of this last article update, which says something about the difficulty of following through.
Take everything from the LS swap above and triple it. This is because there was never a production 26b rotary, so every 26b is completely custom created. There have been several 26b RX-8s built, and the usual price tag is over the $100,000 mark. No, that isn't a typo, no, I'm not joking.