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1988 Convertible, power and idle issues

posted Jul 9, 2011, 12:36 AM by Michael Harrington   [ updated Jul 9, 2011, 12:45 AM ]

My 1988 RX7 convertible had been slowly losing power over a period of time measured in months and every fix suggested on a variety of forums, by individuals or the official repair manual were to no avail. I had also been in contact with Mike about this issue and after finally sidelining the car due to the power issues and subsequent overheating symptoms, he suggested to me that he would actually have to look at the vehicle to make a diagnosis. Long distance descriptions of symptoms and remedies were not proving conducive to bringing the car back to any kind of previous performance levels.

Please understand that this car is well loved, lives in a garage and is not driven in VA winter, the state where I presently reside. Mike actually came up to Virginia on other business he and I had to conduct and brought along his trailer ("just in case"). As he road tested and looked at the car, he made an immediate determination that the 6-ports were not operative. This diagnosis was couched in cautionary language as this problem could lead to more issues once he got into it. It was also determined that the car had to go back with him to NC, a solution I had hoped to avoid. 

Literally three days later, he had a diagnosis of everything involved and it was fixed several days later. In a nutshell, the 6 ports had to be replaced as they had never worked right contributing to total loss of the plugged (newer) catalytic converter. The plugged converter was the cause of the loss of power and the overheating condition. Also diagnosed was a muffler leak which I later repaired with a new RB catback system, a leaking oil pump and incorrectly installed/wrong sized drive belts that needed to be replaced. The oxygen sensor also suffered total failure. 

In a nutshell, Mike knows these cars, is versed in diagnosing the symptoms to find a solution and his fees are fair, equitable and just. As I later told an inspection station here in VA that wanted to repair the muffler leaks, there are only two individuals who I let near my car. One of them is Mike Harrington. I'm the other for matters I can diagnose with the factory manual, or instructions I can follow based on Mike's long distance interpretation of problems I cite for him. I recommend him without reservation.

--Ralf Wilms

Note: Ralf's car's main problems were non-present 6 port shaft seals and a melted Bonez cat.

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