New Product: Mazdaspeed Camshafts for DISI MZR Motor

Mazdaspeed camshaft

After multiple years of testing, design and research, CorkSport is proud to announce its release of camshafts specifically designed around the MZR DISI platform. This kit is engineered to reliably provide increased power and torque without lower rpm sacrifices.

The turbocharged MZR DISI engine was first introduced in the 2006-2007 Mazdaspeed6 and was later put in the 2007-2013 Mazdaspeed3. This engine has a High Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP) that is driven off the intake camshaft. Other MZR engines use different camshafts and don’t have a HPFP lobe to run the fuel pump. This has been a limitation in the market since the engines introduction.

Camshaft Basics

In order to understand the basics you need to know some camshaft terminology. The most common terms are lobe, lift, duration and base circle.

Common Drawing of Camshaft Terminology
Common Drawing of Camshaft Terminology
  • Base Circle – The circle on the backside of the lobe. When the base circle faces the valve the valve is closed.
  • Lobe – The lobe is the portion of the camshaft surface that is not the base circle. This is when the valve is opening or closing.

Camshaft base circle and lobe

  • Lift – The distance between the base circle and the top of the lobe. This will be the amount the valve is allowed to open.
  • Duration – The distance, in degrees, that the camshaft is in the lift section. This controls the time that the valve will be open. This is shown in the diagram from A to B.

MZR Flow Testing

The first thing to do was flow test the head to figure out where restrictions might occur. To flow test, a constant vacuum was applied through the head and while slowly opening the valves. This is similar to what the engine is doing while running.

Intake lift

The factory intake ports do not flow much air above 0.350” of lift on the flow bench. The factory camshaft runs rough at 0.370” of lift. Shown in the graph below, minimal flow was increased between 0.350” and 0.400” on the factory head.

Intake Ports of MZR DISI Head
Intake Ports of MZR DISI Head

Porting is the process of modifying the intake and exhaust ports of an internal combustion engine to improve the quality and quantity of the air flow. After porting the head, there were significant increases in flow, but around 0.400” of lift there was again minimal increase in flow, with more lift. Testing suggests a proper maximum lift of 0.390” for the intake camshaft. Factory heads or ones with a large port should show gains from this increase in lift.

Why Stop at 0.390”?

More lift above 0.390” would require very extensive head work to gain much more power. Another downside of going above 0.390” lift is the valves will require stronger valve springs to maintain proper valve operation at high boost or high rpm. Upgraded valve springs should not be required for a factory head with 0.390” of lift camshafts.

Exhaust lift

A similar process to that described during the intake lift process was used on the exhaust ports and an optimal lift of 0.355” was chosen. For comparison, the factory runs 0.321” lift on the camshaft.

Exhaust Ports of MZR DISI Head
Exhaust Ports of MZR DISI Head

Limitations of Existing Options

The factory camshafts were designed around a compromise of performance and emissions; from that design criteria, there is still more power and torque available. The reader can now understand why increased lift and duration can release this power. There are limited options to increase lift and duration on the MZR DISI engine.

Reground Factory Camshafts

In order to increase lift and duration on a reground camshaft, the factory camshaft must be welded and reground to the new profile, but commonly the base circle is reduced. This allows the lift to increase and also the duration to be adjusted.

There are limitations with this approach. When reducing the base circle, many other parts in the head will have to make up for the amount ground away. It is essentially limited to the amount ground away. It is also limited by the duration because the profile must fit within the factory profile design.

In order to regrind a camshaft it must be removed from the engine or a new camshaft must be bought. A used camshaft can have wear that cannot be fixed. Buying new camshafts to send out is expensive and adds to the total cost of installing the camshafts.

Aftermarket Camshafts

The only aftermarket camshafts currently available are not designed for the MZR DISI engine. This means the intake camshaft does not have the ability to run the HPFP.

The existing camshafts for the MZR engine were also designed around naturally aspirated (non-turbocharged) engines, so the duration, lift, and overlap between the intake and exhaust camshafts are not optimal for forced induction applications.

The best option to upgrade camshafts is to buy those designed and made for the MZR DISI engine specifically.

Camshaft Design

In order to start testing camshafts on the car, a blank camshaft is needed. This requires making a mold and casting a generic camshaft from a mold. Then the bearing services were machined to factory specs and after that a few dozen durations, ramp rates, and overlaps based on the engines natural pumping ability were chosen.

Blank Camshaft with Bearing Surfaces Ground
Blank Camshaft with Bearing Surfaces Ground

After carefully grinding all of the blanks, it was time to dyno the engine and determine the difference in power and torque.

An engine is basically a vacuum pump with the camshaft helping determine at what rpm the pump is efficient. Camshafts allow the power under the curve to be manipulated. If you have ever taken a calculus or thermodynamics class you might have flashbacks.

Power/Torque Factory Camshaft vs CorkSport Camshaft
Power/Torque Factory Camshaft vs CorkSport Camshaft

Potential variations in the engine tune, fuel, outside temperature, and other factors were monitored. The result is clear improvements in power and torque throughout the rpm range. The final design was chosen to limit lower rpm power decrease with a large band of power improvement over 4,500 rpm.

Exhaust Camshaft Comparison

Further examination of the exhaust lobe design is a good example of where the power comes from. When looking at the lift versus degrees as the cam spins, the changes to the lobe profile become apparent.

Exhaust Camshaft Design
Exhaust Camshaft Design

This change allows the camshaft to lift the valve more and longer. This allows more air to flow out of the engine.

Intake and Exhaust Relationship

The intake camshaft is electronically controlled. With additional tuning, turbo spool and power can be increased by controlling the overlap between the intake and exhaust camshafts. Overlap is the time when both intake and exhaust are open at the same time. Typically in a turbo car overlap is much smaller than in naturally aspirated cars. Below shows intake and exhaust camshafts placed over each other and the area that would be considered overlap.

Diagram of Overlap
Diagram of Overlap

Fuel Pump Lobe

Recall the intake camshaft drives the mechanical HPFP. In order to allow the end user to have the best camshaft possible and also have reliable fueling and limited wear the fuel pump lobe on the CorkSport intake camshaft is ground to match the factory camshaft lobe and then rechecked to ensure no clearance issues.

Mazdaspeed camshaft

Installation:

The installation of camshafts in the Mazda MZR engine is not easy. Camshaft upgrades should be considered by an experienced enthusiast or professional installation is appropriate. To aid an experienced installer, detailed installation instructions are provided. Successful installation is supported in two different ways.

  • Color installation instructions
  • Excel Tappet guide available for download online

The CorkSport Camshafts for DISI MZR feature:

  • Created from brand new castings.
  • Break-In coating included on lobes to extend life of camshaft.
  • Designed exclusively for the MZR DISI engine.

Extensive testing to determine optimal camshaft design then manufactured to exact tolerance.

NATOR OR BBQ and Dyno Day

As some of you may know already, CorkSport HQ made the move to a much larger and more functional building in January 2014. I think we can all agree that moving sucks and basically consumes your life for at least the month before and after the actual move. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s a hundred times worse when you are trying to move a business while still “keeping the doors open”. In the chaos of moving and getting the new location setup just right it’s easy to forget about the little yet important activities. So what better way to get back in the groove than a BBQ and Dyno Day to support the local community!

July 18th was the big day with 15 cars scheduled to get on the dyno, and another 35-45 cars planning to show up to watch the numbers! With everything set up and the burgers and dogs grilling away, people started to roll in by 12:30pm. The first car got on the dyno and the show began.

Dyno Testing Day

First, a bit about our dyno; it’s nicknamed “The Heartbreaker,” and oh so many hearts has it broken. The Tq/Hp curves look good, but it just reads low numbers. For example, a stock Mazdaspeed3 puts down a sad 190whp. Anyway, amongst the 15 Speed3s that planned to hit the dyno the mods varied from nearly stock to big turbo builds with lots of meth. There were quite a few Speeds in the 200-250whp range with a nice assortment of bolt-ons, a couple cars running a BNR or CS turbo in the 295-320whp range and then there is Justin England: a local out of Washington rocking a built block, GTX3071r at 34psi and tons of meth. He put down a very respectable 400wHp/365wTq on the heartbreaker dyno.

More Mazda Dyno Testing

Just to give you another reference point, we threw a 07’ Corvette on the dyno that also has high flow cylinder heads, intake & exhaust manifold, performance camshaft, and full exhaust system. He put down a mere 420wHp/380wTq…yup. Anyways, enough about our depressing dyno!

Along with the constant roar of WOT pulls there was plenty of food and drinks and even a raffle thanks to a handful of sponsors: Tuned by Nishan, Justin at Freektune, Damond Motorsports, James Barone Racing, and CorkSport.

Check out the images below!

Mazda BBQ 1

Hot Pink Mazda Miata

Yes, that’s a pink Miata with a V8 that’s a daily driver drift car…it’s basically badass.

Dyno Testing a Mazda

Mazda BBQ 2

Mazda BBQ 3

All-in-all it was great day! We had a blast, put down some numbers, and stuffed our bellies. What more can you ask for?! Big thanks to all the NATOR OR members and CS employees that made this day possible and to the sponsors that donated items for the raffle! This is what makes the Mazda community so great!

 

Cheers,

Barett

Barett Strecker-01

Love for the Skyactiv

We're going to take apart and upgrade a brand new Mazda 3 with a SkyActiv manual transmission.

We have gotten some great response back from our customers who have the SkyActiv Mazda 3, 6, and CX-5s over the past few years with product suggestions and questions about power, technology, and more.

We're going to take apart and upgrade a brand new Mazda 3 with a SkyActiv manual transmission.

We decided to have an in-house example of Mazda’s current sport model of the Mazda 3, a 2015 2.5 liter SkyActiv manual transmission. As everyone’s favorite television series host has put it in the past: There is no better way to test the breed than motorsports. So that is exactly what we are going to do with this brand new Mazda 3. Strip the interior, outfit it with CorkSport parts, install some safety gear, and go racing.

Want some new Mazda 3 parts? We'll be selling off just about everything.

Yes. We are really going to take apart a perfectly good car to race on the track with a bunch of other people who suffer from the same mental disorder. We will be posting regular updates on the car as we proceed through the build, which will include time on our dyno and results on the races.

This also means there will be a garage sale on brand new parts from this car, interior, wheels, etc. It has every option so if you want something shoot us an email.

Stay tuned for updates.

-Derrick

Meet Derrick from CorkSport. Loves racing, Mazdas, and his CS fam.

Mazdaspeed EPIC NATOR MEAT 2014 – Spencer’s Review and Wrap Up

Oh the wonders of the East Coast. Potholes, 80mph in a 55 zone, Toll Roads and EZ Pass, humidity and some of the greatest people you will ever meet!

Kim, Brydon and I had the wonderful, nay, EPIC, opportunity this year to attend the EPIC NATOR MEAT put on by a few members from mazdaspeedforums.org . Sadly we had only a day and a half to hang out with hundreds of people, watch some drag racing, and join everyone for a Dyno Day. This is a one of the greatest events you can attend and has arguably the most knowledgeable people currently driving Mazdas all in one place. Not only did we get to see 500+ horsepower speeds at the event, but we got to witness some of the cleanest looking, most original, most unique and even the world’s fastest Mazdaspeed 3, all in one place.

Here are some of my Highlights.

  • Hanging out till 3am in the parking lot and back patio of the hotel and learning more than I ever thought possible about Mazdaspeed’s, among other things…
  • Rolling from Philadelphia to the Dyno Day and running into a crew of 6 or so Mazdaspeed’s who had no idea who we were in our weak little Honda rental.
  • Eating some Killer food at Buca di Beppo and hearing so much passion and love of cars during the conversation.
  • Finally getting to meet so many people that I’ve had such wonderful conversations with on the phone, through email, through PM, or in threads.
  • Getting out of the Northwest rain and finally getting some Sunshine!

 

Some of the Worst Parts

  • Arriving at 8am to the Dyno Day after a red eye flight leaving at 6pm the night before with a layover in Phoenix. Ugh.
  • Not having my own 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 that got left back in Washington.
  • Having to leave around 1:30 on Sunday.
  • Not bringing shorts, the weather was beautiful.
  • Accidentally buying  bottled water that was $4 at one of those incredibly terrible and yet wonderful, quick stops in the middle of the highway. Place was a zoo and WAY to expensive.
  • Walking into the wrong room at midnight.

 

Time for Drag Racing

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Kim at the Drag Day doing some Social Media Updates

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The World’s Fastest  MS3 and Crew Getting Prepared for the Drag Day

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Mazda’s only for Dinner at Buca di Beppo

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Some of the Lovely People at the Dyno Day

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Halfway through the Dyno Day, Check out those Numbers!

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Flame Shooter

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The Unexpected Mazdaspeed Crew we caught Rolling to ENM

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Thanks for everything.

-Spencer@CorkSport

Why Every Mazdaspeed Owner Needs the Cobb Accessport

CorkSport-Cobb-Accessport-ECU-Tuner-Mazdaspeed

What is an accessport?

The Cobb Tuning Accessport is a device that communicates with your ECU (Engine Control Unit). When you own an acessport you will be able to read error codes, modify engine settings, and take informational logs of data to keep your Mazda running reliably, and to give it more power.

The main reason people purchase the accessport is to install maps on their car.

What is a map?

A map is a preconfigured group of settings or parameters for your car. Want your Mazdaspeed to get better gas mileage? Run the “Economy Mode Map.” Want your Mazdaspeed to run faster? Remove the boost limits in 1st and 2nd gear, then run a “Stage 1 Map.”

Related: Get a Free Map Sensor with the Mazdaspeed 3 Turbo Upgrade

Maps also allow you to tell your ECU specifically what power modifications you have done and how you want them running. If you have a new downpipe that flows better and Max Flow Fuel Pump Internals, then your ECU will need a new map installed that tells it how to control the boost levels by controlling the waste gate, the spark advance, ideal fuel pressure, fuel trims, and many other things.

CorkSport-Cobb-Accessport-Install-Car-AP-Mazdaspeed

So where do I get these maps?

The Cobb Accessport will come pre-installed with a few maps that are known as OTS (Off-The-Shelf) Maps. They are basic maps that should cover a wide variety of parts. Though they are more beneficial than keeping a stock ECU tune, they are nowhere near as beneficial as doing a custom tune. Custom tunes can be done by anyone with Accesstuner Pro who is willing to devote time to learning the ins and outs of engine control management. Most people who don’t want to spend hours tweaking small variables to meet safe and powerful conditions choose to get a tune done by a professional.

For the Mazdaspeed platform there are many tuners to choose from:

How do I use this thing?

The accessport is really rather simple. If you can use a modern smartphone, you can figure out the accessport.

  • Step 1: Find the OBD II port on your Mazdaspeed 3 (located on the left side of the dash above the hood lever, below the traction control switches.) and then plug the accessport cable in.
  • Step 2: Tell it to install. Make sure you follow all directions on the screen and don’t shut your car off halfway through install.

Once installed to your car the accessport will not be able to be installed in any other vehicle unless you uninstall it. This is called by many “marrying “ the accessport. You can only install an “unmarried” accessport to your car. If it’s already “married” it will not work, which is why buying one used can be so sketchy.

Now that it’s installed, you can change maps, do datalogs, and view check engine lights right from inside your car. When it isn’t installed, you can easily connect it to your computer and load the accessport manager to copy new maps to the device, or open datalogs in Excel. You can eve use tools such as Virtual Dyno to monitor performance gains.

CorkSport-Accessport-Manager-ECU-Datalog-MazdaspeedThe Final Step

Once you have installed the accessport and decided on the map to use there is only one thing left to do: Drive. Get out there and enjoy your car with its new power curve, removed boost limits, and better breathing. If you thought your car was fun before, just wait until you get an OTS map installed with your accessport and put the pedal down for the first time!

Once you’ve done that and realize how amazing it is, I dare you to get a custom tune for your specific car, modifications, gas, elevation, and driving habits. You will be BLOWN away.

Overall, the accessport is an amazing device that every Mazdaspeed owner should have for safety, reliability, power, and to learn more about your car. Let us know if you have any questions about them, or purchase one here.

No 32 i Moto Cybernation Mazda Speed 3

Get the latest Mazdaspeed 3 Performance Parts from CorkSport