Mazda’s Game Changer

Recent news has been circulating about the new Mazda and Toyota joint production plant and what will be built there.  In a few news articles, Masamichi Kogai has been quoted saying Mazda will introduce a new and different type of CUV (crossover utility vehicle).

I have been thinking about that statement about a new and different type SUV. Looking in the marketplace, you have pretty much everything out there in size, shape, and quality.  I think there is something which is getting lost in the translation of this message.

My bet is it will be something totally new for Mazda.  

Back in 2015, Mazda showed off the Koeru concept which was hinting to future models of crossover SUVs.

Looking at the current styling and the concept cars Mazda has laid out at the Tokyo Auto Show with the Mazda 3 Kai concept this year.

The front end styling has been sharpened on this concept car, but it isn’t too far outside of what Mazda is currently offering. The changed roofline at the rear points is designed to maximize cargo space, but in a good-looking package.

I will go out on a limb and guess that Mazda is probably working on a new motor to power whatever the upcoming CUV is going to be.

The most powerful motor Mazda offers right now is the 2.5 Skyactiv turbo engine, which powers the Cx-9 and soon to be offered in the Mazda 6. This motor is based on the older Skyactiv tech though, and with Masamichi saying the new vehicle will something new, my guess is that we should expect to see another tech marvel being produced.

The last thought I have on this with Mazda is this:

If they’re coming out with something new, we may see a large-sized vehicle to go up against the truck-based SUVs from other manufacturers. It is a direction Mazda has not gone before and lines up with the statements they are giving us.

Time will tell!

-Derrick

CorkSport BIG Turbo

Good day boosted enthusiast!

We wanted to take some time to give you all a quick update on one of the many projects we have brewing up here at CorkSport Headquarters.

The project I’m referencing, in general, is our 2nd turbocharger upgrade for the Mazdaspeed 3, Mazdaspeed 6 and CX-7. This unit is a substantial upgrade over our current 18G turbocharger. This Turbo will cater to those looking to take their performance and power goals to a higher level.

Not only will it be capable of putting you well into the 465whp range but this CorkSport Turbo upgrade will be able to do it without giving up on reliability and throttle response.  

It will be very beneficial to those who have mildly-built blocks and a supporting fuel system that will allow them to get higher in the HP range.

So, let’s talk about some of the features you can expect on the upgrade and why we decided to utilize them.

 

 

Let’s start at the heart of the Turbocharger.

The new CorkSport turbo will take full use of a GTX3076R center housing and rotating assembly (CHRA). The unit is equipped with a fully sealed ball bearing cartridge, which is a nice upgrade when compared to a standard journal bearing unit. We chose to go with a ball bearing unit for a few reasons.

  1. The enclosed design of a ball bearing system allows us to eliminate the need for a thrust bearing, which can account for about 40% of the bearing system drag on the turbos rotor assembly.
  2. Ball bearings reduce the viscous drag, which allows a ball bearing unit the ability to spool up about 15% faster than its journal bearing equivalent.

The next thing you will notice on the new Mazdaspeed Turbocharger upgrade is the holes that are drilled into the compressor cover. These little holes are known as anti-surge ports and are intended to expand the turbochargers compressor map. The ports function to move the surge line further left on the compressor map which gives the Mazdaspeed turbo some more headroom before it falls out of its efficiency island. Anti-surge ports are becoming increasingly more popular in modern performance turbochargers and with great reason. They offer some unique benefits as mentioned and will be fully integrated into our unit.

 

Last but not least, as with our CorkSport Turbo, this bigger Mazdaspeed Turbo will once-again be a true drop-in unit; minus the 4” compressor inlet.

There will be no cutting, modifying, sourcing oil and coolant lines, running to the store to buy couplers, etc. This unit will come with everything you need to have a trouble-free install. As with the current CorkSport 18G turbocharger, the new Garrett-based design will come with all studs, gaskets, washers, and knowledge that you need to have a nice weekend install.

So keep your eyes peeled as we get closer to delivering more performance for the Mazda community!

– The CorkSport Team

 

SOURCES: Miller, Jay K. Turbo: Real World High-Performance Turbocharger Systems. CarTech, 2008.

 

Winterize – Dear Car Guy

Dear Car Guy,

It’s beginning to look a lot like WINTER, and for those of us who aren’t so lucky to have a daily driver, it’s time to start to winterize our Mazdas.

If you’re not one of those who put their Mazda baby to sleep for the long winter months, check out the tips below to best prepare for winter driving, and keeping yourself safe!

CHECK YOUR TIRES!

• Consider getting snow tires. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, swap out your regular tires for all-season tires or snow tires. Seems obvious, but snow tires have a softer rubber that allows them to retain flexibility in the coldest of weather. They also have specifically-designed tread pattern for gripping in ice and snow. They aren’t guaranteed to keep you from slipping and sliding in your car, but they help with better traction. (In winter, any extra help to keep us from losing control of our Mazdas)

• Check the tire pressure. If you’re not opting for winter tires, check your tires often and keep them properly inflated, however this is needed for all tire types. Cold weather changes the air pressure in your tires and causes it to drop (No, it’s not the local kids deflating your tires… I’ve fallen for that one before). Remember that properly inflated tires keep better contact with the road, and while you can’t always keep from slipping, you can do your best to have more connection to the pavement.

• Check the security of your mudflaps. Mudflaps can help keep road debris from killing your paint, be sure yours are securely installed on your ride for maximum protection. If you don’t have them yet, we can hook you up with a fresh set of mudflaps here.

CHECK YOUR FLUIDS AND ENGINE!

• Fill your wiper fluid and change out your blades. Remember that seeing the road is a requirement to staying on it! An ample supply of wiper fluid and new blades will give you a good line of sight in those nasty winter storms. Be sure to use the wiper fluid that has a lower freezing temperature. Otherwise, you’ll be trying to clear your windshield and failing.

• Get an oil change. For your Mazda’s engine to run, it needs the correct oil lubrication. Unfortunately, colder temperatures reduce the effectiveness of the oil. The colder it is outside, the thicker the oil gets. Thickened oil has trouble circulating through your engine, which means your engine doesn’t get appropriately lubricated during startup. Check the owner’s manual to see what oil is currently used in your Mazda, as well as, the recommended viscosity (thickness of the oil) level for different climates.

• Check your anti-freeze mixture. The ratio of your water to anti-freeze mixture should be 50:50 to prevent your radiator coolant from freezing. If you’re unsure, your local auto parts store should have a relatively cheap anti-freeze tester.

• Check your belts and hoses. Colder temperatures potentially weaken the belts and hoses. Look for signs of wear, and replace if needed. In the scenario that a belt snaps while you’re driving, you’ll have to wait for a tow truck, or that trusted buddy to get you out of the cold.

PROTECT YOUR CAR!

• Remove vulnerable exterior mods. Exterior modifications like front lips, custom wheels, and any other exterior bolt-ons that you cherish should be removed. The elements will take their toll on your car, even if it’s parked in the garage at night. From salt on the roads to new potholes you can’t see in the rain, keeping these beloved mods in the garage for the season will preserve your investment.

• Install floor mats. If you don’t already have floor mats in your ride, putting them in the front and back of the car will help keep your interior carpet pristine. Floor mats are easier to clean and can be removed to wash if the mud or snow gets too intense. Click here to check out our CS floor mats.

• Secure your Seat Covers. If you don’t have them, winter is the best time to use them! If you do, make sure that you have them securely installed. The wet from rain and snow isn’t great for the interior and seats. They’re also great for protecting your back and passenger seats from corners of boxes or crockpots of chili while carting presents and food from place to place.

PROTECT YOURSELF!

• Stock your car with emergency supplies. This is one that my dad never let me leave home without. Snacks, blankets, towels, waters, and emergency/first aid kit should be in your trunk during the winter seasons (if it’s not always in there). You never know where or when you might get stranded during winter, and if it’s for longer than expected being prepared is key! Also, the towel is great for kids, passengers, and pets who might be a little muddy or wet from the weather.

Note here from CorkSport: Keeping spare cash in your emergency kit can often help if you’re financially strapped and need to pay for a tow. It could save your butt one day (I know it has saved mine in emergencies!).

• Check your emergency supplies. Road flares, jumper cables, and first aid supplies should be checked for expiration and usability. Road flares do not always have expiration dates. However, the summer months with high heat can sometimes render them unusable (storage above 120 degrees for longer than a week should be avoided), as well as they could be expired if you got your kit for Christmas from Grandma a few years ago.

Whether you’re driving a Mazdaspeed 3, Mazdaspeed 6, or you’re riding around in a Mazda 3 or Mazda 6, we hope that you use our tips to keep yourself safer this winter!

We also sincerely hope that you’re not trying to weather any storms in a Miata or MX5… our Mazda enthusiasts are awesome, but that’s just a different level of crazy!

Anyone else have some good tips or tricks for winter driving in your Mazda or Mazdaspeed?

Share your thoughts or tips in the comments; I am sure we could all use them!

Wishing you safety, warmth, and clear weather this winter!

Cheers,
Kim@CorkSport

 

Kill The Nannies

Nannies. One thing we have discovered while racing our Mazda 3 is that the OEM safety systems in the newest generation of Mazda 3 work well, too well in fact for racing.

Each year, new safety features are added by Mazda which make the cars safer and reduces the risk of collisions. This is great for day to day driving and commuting, but it presents a problem if you plan to take your car to the track to race it.

The OEM system in the car really frowns on lifting a rear tire off the ground, or when you get wheel spin accelerating out of a slow speed corner. They design the cars against these things happening for safety purposes (understandably). However, Mazda does give you a button on your dash to turn off the traction control. This gets us racers around the limitations to a certain degree.

Let me explain:

When you disengage traction control, the system which measures yaw/pitch and ensures your car has all the wheels on the ground is actually still working, even with the button off. What the button does essentially is give you a sort of leash with more leeway, until the computer thinks you have gone too far of course, then it will kick in traction control again.

So, how do we get past these nanny systems so we can push our cars for maximum performance?

Can you simply unplug the computer which controls the this? I wish it were that simple, but you cannot. The systems in the car are all tied to each other, and the car may not start, it may not run safely, or it may run in a limp mode. A good example of this in our 2015 Mazda3 is: if you unplug the rear view mirror the car won’t start. The ABS is also controlled by the same unit, and this is very handy to have on the track.  The ABS is very good in the Mazda3 by the way, so I recommend you keep it.

The solution we’ve come up with at CorkSport is pretty simple: Leave the computer plugged in and turn it over.

That’s it, simple, nothing else is required. What happens when you turn the computer upside down is the computer loses its physical reference point, so it defaults by turning off the stability control and nannies, but most-importantly, the ABS still functions.

A big word of caution: The computer which controls the nannies also runs the airbags. If you race your car on the track, the airbags will have been removed from your car already. DO NOT drive your airbag-equipped car with the module flipped over.

The reason this solution works for the track is that our Mazda 3 race car has additional safety equipment installed, with the 6-point harness and halo seat, along with the rest of the driver’s safety gear, that keep you from injury in the event of any wrecks.

FYI: When using this “hack”, your Mazda 3 dashboard will light up like a Christmas tree from all of the warnings; but that is a small price to pay for the improved performance while racing.

–Derrick

DISCLAIMER: This modification is for racing purposes ONLY. Doing so will render many of your car’s safety systems ineffective. Installing other safety systems after this modification is essential.

 

2018 Mazda 3 CBR – Transmission Modes Comparison

If you didn’t know already, CorkSport recently bought a brand new 2018 Mazda 3 Hatchback Touring Modelwith an automatic transmission.

Yes, I know, a performance aftermarket parts company has an automatic; I’m right there with you, but there’s a good reason for it.  CorkSport has a couple Mazda3 6-Speed Manuals and a couple manual and automatic Mazda 6’s, but no automatic Mazda 3; so it made sense to add that to the garage, especially with the many new performance parts we have in the pipe line.  Check those out here.

Now back to the CorkSport’s new 2018 Mazda 3.

The 6-speed automatic comes equipped with three transmission control modes; Standard (default), Sport, and Manual (aka manumatic).

We became curious about how those three modes affected the driving experience, specifically the shift points. I believe we all understand how the Manual control mode works, as it provides nearly 100% control of the shift points, so for the comparison I am going to focus on the differences between the Standard and Sport modes since those are controlled by the ECU.  

Driving the car on the street, you can easily feel the difference between the Standard and Sport modes of the Mazda3.

The Standard mode feels soft, relaxed, and maybe even lazy between shifts. It seems to default to the highest gear (lowest engine RPM) possible in every driving situation. This is great for fuel economy, but disappointing for smiles-per-gallon.  Push the Sport toggle, and the car comes alive.  The engine pulls through the RPM range longer for each gear and seems more eager to accelerate with the slightest throttle input. MUCH better.

The Butt Dyno is great and all, but it’s subjective, so we decided to strap the car down on the dyno to see what is happening; what exactly is changing between the Standard and Sport modes with the CorkSport 2018 Mazda3.

On the dyno, things become much clearer, but first, we had to set up the dyno to provide us with useful information. Typically we are testing wheel Torque and Horsepower, not shift points. It was interesting to play with the various parameters the dyno has available to find a readout that would convey the shift points and the effort the car was exerting. Check out the graph below; this is not your typical dyno plot.

With this dyno plot we quickly see that is much different than the typical readout.  I’m going to break it down, so it’s clear and easy for you to understand what is going on.

Description: Standard Mode = Red, Sport Mode = Green

The horizontal axis is our independent variable in the test. This is the variable/parameter we can control directly in the test. Since we are trying to understand the difference in shift points between the Standard and Sport modes, Road Speed was the logical choice. To be consistent, the throttle input percent for both Standard and Sport modes was held constant throughout the test runs.

The two vertical axis’s are the dependent variables in the test; these are the parameters that depend on engine RPM. On the right side of the dyno plot, we have engine RPM; this is represented by the lines with dots. On the left side of the dyno plot, we have tractive effort, which is essentially the amount of force the tires are applying to the road surface.

Looking at the two graphs, it’s clear that the Sport mode shift points and tractive effort are much different than Standard mode. This is interesting because we can now visualize what we were feeling while driving the Mazda 3 Hatchback on the street.

In Sport mode, the car carries through the engine RPM longer, and the resulting RPM after each shift is also higher.  Because each gear is carried to a higher RPM the resulting power is much greater, which is shown with the tractive effort plots.

Finishing statement: Sport mode significantly changes the way the car drives and responds. If you are looking for some fun out in the curves, don’t be shy, hit that Sport toggle and let the Mazda do what it was designed to do best.

Happy driving!

-Barett @ CS