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Thread: rotary engine 13B

  1. #1

    rotary engine 13B

    I have decided to install a Mazda rotary engine 13B for those that know anything about these engines...
    I will be running it in a mid-engine configuration with a VW transaxle.

    I was curious if anyone else has considered or used a rotary in a recent build. I decided on a rotary due to the light weight of my car - ( tube chassis, no body panels - about 1400 lbs ) and I wanted that high-reving sound.

    The VW trans will not be taxed too heavily, as the engine puts out 200+ hp, but not until it spins up to 5k rpms - so there will be no damaging high-torque take offs.

    I tried a search and didn't find anything, so I thought I'd throw this out there... the first will be a carb'd, non turbo to keep things simple...

    I will also investigate building an engine cradle ( like the ones I build for V8's and chrysler v6's ) for a mazda rotary engine with various transaxles. The engine is about 17 1/2" long from trans mating surface to the front... and the aluminum adapter plate is 5/8" thick.

    I'll post some photos in my tube chassis build thread when the engine / trans / adapters / etc... arrive this month.

    Cocoa Beach FL

  2. #2
    Senior Member MunkyKing's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Re: rotary engine 13B

    Check out conversion perversion on this website
    Direct link to the conversion pervesion section:
    There are many many threads on there about putting Mazda lumps into aircooled VWs
    Even though your not putting too much surprise torque into the tranny, make sure the current one is up to scratch. You are right though. a well built VW transmission will take the power as long as your not mean to it - unlike the subaru version which can chew up the tranny quite quickly.
    Can't remember 100% but I think a company called rhino were doing some competitvely priced stock-ish transmissions for just this type of thing.
    Also Adaptor plates are available.
    Don't think you will need a true cradle as the rotary is so light. You can get extra support brackets though (again available almost off the shelf or drawings for home creation) for the tranny again look on Conversion Perversion.
    Sorry I can't help any more but it's about 2 years since I was thinking about doing this to my 356 speedster and the old memory is fading! Will look to see if I have any old files left on my other PC.
    This thread:
    is a 13b in a VW Karmann Ghia and has just recently been finished.
    This site might help as well:
    as well as this volks swap one:

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Re: rotary engine 13B

    if anyone chooses to go turbo, you can boost as much as you want but you HAVE to replace the seals that are weak

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Re: rotary engine 13B

    Well at least if it goes wrong its only 1 of 3 parts

  5. #5
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Tampa, FL

    Re: rotary engine 13B


    I have been looking at all kinds of turbo stuff related to these engines. They can get some serious horsepower out of them with a T04b attached. Most around 450 BHP. That combined with the light weight might be interesting in your car.

    Can't wait to see it.


    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Re: rotary engine 13B

    Here's a pic. of my rear engine Bremen Sebring. I bought an entire 86 RX-7 non turbo and did a Camden supercharger on it instead...

    Car was making roughly 305 h.p. at the crank at about 6 pounds of boost. Mariah Motorsports had done the build on it. If I remember right we were running a 600 cfm Holley Street Avenger carb on it. Trans was a heavy duty build as even the rotaries can still tear up a VW tranny.

  7. #7

    Re: rotary engine 13B

    I have built a custom chassis with a 13B mid-engine with a VW transaxle. The problem with it is that the gear ratios aren't the best for the rotary. The jump between 2nd and 3rd is too big. I am going to swap it to a 914 transaxle for the extra gear. I am building another car that will have a 914 with an RX8 engine. I am not sure how to post photos here but if you will give me your email address I can send them to you.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Re: rotary engine 13B

    I thought of the 13B engine also. I wasnt sure how the transmission would work as i wasnt able to figure out what FWD trans would fit. I decided to look into the h22a honda vtech motor. Ittl be interesting to see the result of a 13b swap. keep updating//
    see my question post for the h22a

  9. #9

    Re: rotary engine 13B

    i have an empty 13B engine...waiting on the adapter from Kennedy to put it all together. Once I do that, I can finish the forward mount and snap some follow up pics.

    Cocoa Beach FL

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Re: rotary engine 13B

    Dave, I put a roary in a 914. It was carb'd and no turbo. You have to watch temp though. They are real touchy about that. They don't last long if you loose coolant for what ever reason. Like in less than a 1/2 mile. (experience) They are easy to rebuild too. You might think about using a 914 transaxle. Pretty much the same as a vols and have the solid shift linkage for a mid engine set up. Just a thought. Good luck on this. Lookin good.


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