Rotary Resurrection - Tech Section
How long do rotaries last before they die?

A lot of people come to me asking about the myths they’ve heard about rotary engines. Most of the time it goes something like “I heard the engines in these cars burn out at 100,000 miles, is this true?”. To me, the very idea of such a general statement is just ludicrous. It’d be about the same as saying that all dogs will die before they reach the age of 10…of course we know that’s not true, some may live to be 17, some only 2. You can’t predict what each engine is going to do, it’s largely a product of environment and previous treatment and maintenance. It’s possible to have an original rotary with 400k miles if it were meticulously maintained, and it’s also possible to have a rotary blown up with 10k miles on it if it has sat undriven all it’s life or if it’s been poorly maintained or abused.

With that aside, here is a general guide to the average life expectancy of these engines. Again, there are probably lots of examples one way or another outside these ranges, but these are average ranges based upon my experience.

85 and previous 12a and 13b: 150-200k miles
86-88 nonturbo 13b: 125-175k miles
87-88 turbo 13b: 100-150k miles
89-91 nonturbo 13b: 100-150k miles
89-91 turbo 13b: 100-125k miles
••   93-95 twinturbo 13b: 50-75k miles
Rotary Resurrection - Tech Section
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