There are many features and design elements that can be incorporated into coilovers so when CorkSport decided to design new coilovers for the Mazda 3 and Mazdaspeed 3 we had to come up with priorities. We asked the Mazda community what features they wanted to see incorporated and what we came up with and will be releasing in the near future fulfills all of those wants and needs at a competitive price.
You told us you wanted inverted struts. We decided on a 45mm inverted strut body for the fronts and traditional strut bodies for the rear. There are some huge advantages to inverted struts. Inverted refers to a strut that is built upside down. The shaft that moves actually holds the gas or oil in some cases. Traditionally this is held in the lower section of the strut and moved up and down as the control arm moved up and down. The first huge advantage to inverted struts is the unsprung weight. This refers to the weight that your suspension holds. If the weight is on a portion of the suspension that moves this is referred to sprung weight which we limited by moving the factory oil and strut body to a hard mounted body position so the only weight that has to move is a hollow body.
The second advantage of inverted struts is side loading. With Macpherson style struts in the front, your suspension is literally held together by the strut. By increasing the surface area on the strut tubes we increased the rigidly of the structure to make a more stable suspension, which is great if you like a good autocross day, track day or a drive through the twisties.
The rear of the Mazdaspeed 3 and Mazda 3 uses a multilink suspension meaning the rear is tied together in a way that the suspension doesn’t hold any load. There was little need to go to an inverted strut in the rear so we decided against it.
For those of you out there that need data, we have what you want.
If you have ever tried to dig up data on coilovers, you may have found that it was hard to actually get the compression and rebound on the settings. Now I am not sure if this is because it is a tightly guarded secret or most company’s just don’t fully test their struts before sending them out, but we wanted to make sure that ours would be the best option on the market and out last the factory struts in every way so we tested all of the struts for rebound and compression on professional tooling.
The data below breaks down rebound and compression into six twists of the dampener knob. They are 15 way adjustable but by showing the six major steps the data is a little easier to absorb. Now you can have the important data that no one else seems to want to share.
Another important part about choosing coilovers is comfort. Yes, they will be stiffer than stock but there are ways to limit the stiffness so that the system is not undrivable on harsh roads.
Up front we added helper springs to make those little bumps and potholes take less impact on your vehicle. It can also save those nice wheels from bends and dings. The 15 way adjustment front and rear also helps. With easy adjustment you can go soft for the weekdays and stiffer for the weekends. You can also combine dampening and swaybar adjustments to make that perfect combination for your driving habits.
After you really get comfortable with the adjustments you can start changing endlink preload, sway bar adjustment, strut dampening, camber settings and toe settings.
In January, CorkSport released the front camber kit for the Mazdaspeed 3. Aside from the obvious ability to change camber, these camber plates have a lot of advantages over the factory camber plates so we decided to incorporate these into our coilover design. Using thick machined aluminum, high-grade bolts and tightly machined plates and bearings they will hold up to almost all abuse. They also get rid of the unwanted flex in the factory rubber mounts.
Now that we have covered the front coilovers we can learn a little about the rears. Because the system is a multilink rear suspension we have a separate spring and shock combo. In order to again have great ride quality with great handling we went with a progressive spring. In order to have ride height adjustability, we produced an adjustment device for the spring that is easily adjusted with an Allen wrench from the bottom of the spring.
The rear shocks are 15 way adjustable just like the fronts and can be adjusted in length to match any setup of the coilover springs. We have also accommodated for the differences between the Gen1 and Gen2 struts so everyone can enjoy these coilovers. For those people who like a little more camber in the rear, you don’t have to worry because we are currently in development of camber adjusters for the rear.
Even at the lowest settings we were able to dial camber into factory spec but some of us like more adjustments to their suspension settings. Soon CorkSport will release our camber adjustments for the rear. There will be another blog on camber coming soon.
We are in the final stages of testing on the coilovers and will be announcing the release soon! To be included on our pre-release list for advance information on this product, please email firstname.lastname@example.org