So, like a couple of threads asking 'Is x a retro ride', I've noticed RX-8s have been a fringe car here for quite some time, albeit with photos of them housing LSx conversions, alot like forebearer, the FD RX-7. There is no doubt the reasons behind this are down to it being a very smart design even back when it was released, being a 'smart' 4 door car with style, and of course, being the last of a long line of successors to having a rotary engine. Whilst this engine variant tarnished that reputation due to emissions and cost-cutting, there is no doubt that it has a number of USPs .
So for those of you who can put up with Car Throttle's AutoAlex/Alex Kersten, here is a video of rotary going back together! I can see a little more about why port sizes can affect things, as luckyseven pointed out it being similar to cam timing (after all, where the port begins will affect the mixture/induction process depending on where the rotor goes), but am surprised at why certain parts went into the engine like the oil bypass valve, but also how different they are to assemble compared to a piston engine.
Naturally we (including me) may have a few questions regarding the assembly methods, but it's an interesting illustration nonetheless:
I always found it easier to think of rotaries in two-stroke terms... they're not, but have many similarities such as the piston (rotor) is what controls intake and exhaust via ports, and where the ports are and how long they open for and overlap is the black art bit of it
they are simpler to rebuild than a piston engine ( depending on the engine!) but it's their fragility and the cost / lack of good usable 2nd hand spares that causes the grief. A bit of detonation in a piston engine, you just tweak the timing and it's fixed.... seldom is it terminal. Not so with a rotary, just one instance of detonation can destroy the engine. With a piston engine if it loses a touch of compression or starts burning oil you can just drop the pistons out, glaze bust the bores, put another set of standard rings in it and for a few quid and a bit of time you'll probably get another 15,000 - 20,000 miles out of it. Not so with a rotary though, as they wear they slowly lose compression, power and are difficult to start and the only fix is a full tear down and rebuild costing £££££'s... which is why the classifieds are full of RX8's going for peanuts. When you're looking at £1500 - £2000 for a specialist to drop the engine, strip, rebuild and then put it back in the car it's easy to understand why owners just bale out of them.