We offer the Racing Beat-designed RX-8 3-Gauge Panel Kit for the dedicated "do-it-yourself" mechanic. This hand-laid fiberglass, high-gloss black gauge panel features three (3) openings that are suitable for use with a variety of 2-1/16" OD gauges. This flat face panel has been designed to install easily into the RX-8's center console and replaces the cigarette ashtray. Note: mounting your selected gauges will require that you develop your own retaining bracket for use with your own specific gauges. We've included a photo above showing a suggested mounting method using a single u-bracket from the gauge component and our own fabricated cross bracket.
You might ask “Racing Beat offered a complete oil pressure & water/oil temperature gauge kit for the 2004-08 RX-8, why not offer the same for the 2009-11 RX-8?” Great question, here’s why:
Mazda Engine Revisions – 2009-11 RX-8 Renesis
With the 2009 model year RX-8 Mazda changed the shape and design of the oil filter mounting base on the rear housing, preventing the installation and use of our standard Racing Beat Oil Pressure and Temperature Adaptor unit – which includes the critical pickup positions for the oil pressure and oil temperature sensor units. Also, the 2009-11 RX-8 Renesis engine is not equipped with a rear oil pressure regulator from the factory and has a maximum nominal oil pressure of 115 PSI. These two factors posed significant challenges to the introduction of a kit for this vehicle application.
Although we put considerable effort into the development of a complete, easy-to-install and reasonably priced gauge kit, changes to the Renesis engine as described above were met with serious obstacles. Although we preferred to use a set of the Autometer 2-1/16” OD Sport Comp gauges, the elimination of the rear oil pressure regulator on this engine required a gauge that was able to record a higher PSI reading (in the 100-150 PSI range) as compared with the lower maximum 100 PSI gauge we offered in our earlier kit. Unfortunately Autometer did not offer a suitable gauge for use in this pressure range. We evaluated several digital gauges from the competing ProSport Brand product line, but were meet with unexpected challenges when attempting to mount their supplied sensor mounting units.
As the cost and complexity of this complete kit continued to escalate we decided to reconsider the offering of the kit, but we encourage you to use our advice and findings when considering the appropriate gauges for your installation efforts.
Mounting an Oil Pressure Gauge
Mounting an oil pressure pick-up sensor posed the most significant challenge. First, the length of the plug-in wire harness provided with the ProSport gauges presented limitations as to how far into the engine compartment we could venture in an attempt to find a suitable mounting location. We preferred not to cut-and-splice the supplied harness to extend the reach if needed; we thought our customers would share this same opinion.
On the 2009-11 Renesis engine Mazda actually provides an inspection/test port on the rear housing, but access to this port with the engine installed in the vehicle is difficult. At the top of the engine rear housing (driver’s side) there is a mounted fitting that supplies oil from the front cover to the rear of the engine. At the top of this fitting is a recessed hex plug which can be removed and used for inspection/testing, or for the insertion of a sensor adaptor fitting.
However, mounting a sensor into this port would require both an angled brass adaptor fitting, and a special wrench-type tool to securely mount the pickup sensor to the brass adaptor. The gauge manufacturer assumes you’ll be able to use a standard wrench on the underside of their sensor during installation, but in this case the underside of the sensor is not accessible due to very limited access of the test port. We developed a small one-time use prototype tool to thread and tighten the sensor into the adaptor during development of a potential kit. You'll be faced with similar challenges when attempting to mount a sensor in this same location, but given some creative ingenuity it can be completed!
Mounting an Oil Temperature Gauge
We suggest mounting the oil temperature pickup sensor on the inboard fluid bolt on the inlet of the right front forward oil cooler. We purchased a replacement from Mazda (Part No 99381-1400 – Fluid Bolt) and drilled and tapped a threaded sensor position into the end of the fluid bolt.
Mounting a Water Temperature Gauge
Mounting this sensor did not pose a issue and can be accomplished with the use of the RX-8 Water Temperature Sensor Adaptor