One word on overheating these engines – DON’T. Say you’re motoring down the highway and a rad hose bursts. or a heater hose springs a leak. Or the rad packs it in. What ever, your temperature guage is creeping past 1/2 the guage’s span. If you’re driving any other car you may be able to limp the extra 5 minutes to a service station without doing any damage, or you may warp the cylinder head and then have to fork over for the repair bill of $1000 or so.

But if you’re driving a rotary-powered car you need to shut the engine down NOW. Call a tow truck. Or hitch-hike into town for a new hose and a jug of water. If you try to drive it to the station the engine will get you there, no problem. But the over-heating will have warped the rotor housings, causing the water jacket o-rings to fail. This may not become evident immediately in fact, it may even take months. But the only fix is an engine rebuild to the tune of at least $2500. This is one of very few disadvantages of these engines, weak torque at low RPM and slightly higher fuel consumption per horsepower being the others. Otherwise, rotaries are superior to “boingers,” ie: piston engines.

Written by
Rotor Head