What is the best way to break-in a rotary engine?
This is a question that may have more than one answer depending on who you ask. I am offering my opinion which is based on ideas gleaned from 30+ years of working on early rotary-engine Mazda RX2, RX3, RX4, Cosmo, Rotary Pickup, and later RX7 and RX8’s. My formula for break-in is this simple; “the longer the better.” The factory recommends about 600 miles for most models. I believe Rotaries are somewhat broken-in at 600 mi. but experience has taught me that if one wants to get the maximum benefit of a break-in period the figure is around 3000 miles. I’ve seen builders who mercilessly rev engines after building them to get engine internals to “seat”, and conversely, I’ve driven Rotaries owned by women and people that barely rev them thinking that high rpm’s are damaging. The latter run the best by far. I’ve built hundreds upon hundreds of Rotary engines-most of them high-performance builds and have personally noted that 3000 miles is the magic break-in figure where maximum engine performance is realized. So how does one break-in a fresh Rotary Engine? for the street simply drive normally and avoid really hard acceleration. When you get close to the end of your break-in mileage gradually increase engine load and revs. For racers you might want to let your engine “sit”and run for periods at different rpm’s. I believe you will like the results. I will talk more later about synthetic oils vs conventional oils in Rotaries.