Did you know that CorkSport uses your product ideas?!
We’ve been committed to an unprecedented amount of customer involvement in the product development process. From ideas to beta testing, we keep our Mazda community involved throughout the procession of product development processes.
We even have write-ups and reviews from our beta testers that give an insider view of the products they’ve been testing! Some customers have been generous enough to pull together guest blogs from events and shows where they had our beta parts and released parts installed.
The way we see it, no one is more likely to run our products hard than our customers and race teams! So we put them to the test ourselves at the track and have our trusted customers give us feedback on installation, performance, and drivability of parts they are running.
Product and process sneak peaks are dropped into the 7th Gear Membership group on a weekly basis. Where you can see everything from 3D printing, to test fitment and data logs of our upcoming products.
Do you have an idea that you think CorkSport should explore?!
Submit your product ideas here!!
Our engineering team will weigh your idea and see if it’s something we can take on!
Whether you’re looking for power, styling, or just increased comfortability of your Mazda or Mazdaspeed, submit your idea and who knows, your idea might be something EVERYONE has been waiting for!
Until next time, stay safe, stay fast, and stay happy my friends.
Making Working in the Garage Easier Starts with Organization!
While we often discuss what’s best for your Mazda and how to make it more fun, we rarely talk about where you spend all your time while working on your Mazda: the garage!
Having a nice organized space to store and work on your ride will keep your Mazda’s exterior in better shape and help you get those CorkSport parts installed faster. After all, we all know someone who has a garage, but their Mazdaspeed lives outside because of how disorganized their garage is. Using the tips that follow should help you avoid being that friend.
Tools are a vital part of any install, but they don’t do much good if they cannot be found and easily accessed. Below are some tips for keeping your tools neat and tidy.
Have a good quality toolbox that is big enough for all of your tools. Toolboxes exist in all shapes and sizes, finding one that fits your tool collection and suits your preferences will help keep you organized.
Organize your toolbox logically. Sort your tools by type but be sure you don’t have to dig to find the tool you need. I also like to put my most used tools in the drawers that are easiest to access.
Upgrade your organizers. The basic metal or plastic socket organizers work fine, but for a few bucks more, you can get well labeled, magnetic organizers that will keep your sockets in place. The ones below have the bonus of being magnetic on the bottom for even more versatility. Similar organizers exist for wrenches, screwdrivers, and pliers.
Pegboard is your friend. Using pegboard and assorted hooks for the large or otherwise awkward tools will help keep your toolbox easy to access. If you’re not into sifting through drawers, a large pegboard wall can even replace your toolbox!
Having a place to store extra parts, jacks, and other miscellaneous garage stuff will ensure your garage stays a clean and comfortable work environment.
Just having a place for everything can transform the feel and organization of your space. It may seem obvious but having a designated area for everything in your garage and ensuring it returns to its place removes a lot of the risk for a cluttered, unusable garage.
Keep things off the floor as much as possible. Anything left on the floor will be awkward to work around and will make your garage feel messy. Simple shelving units and cabinets to get things out of the way can make a huge difference.
Utilize your walls and ceiling as much as possible. Moving storage to the walls and ceiling allows you to maximize your usable floor space. Old kitchen cabinets can be repurposed to hang high up and out of the way until you need something. There’s a ton of ceiling storage solutions out there, be creative and finds what works best in your garage. If you’re lucky enough to have high ceilings, storage above the garage door works fantastic.
Making Working on a Project Easier
Whether working on your Mazda, it can be easy to get distracted and messy, leaving you wondering where the extra bolts came from after you get everything put back together. It’s especially important to stay organized if your Mazdaspeed will be out of commission for a little while.
Keep track of your hardware! We’ve said it before but merely using plastic bags and a sharpie to label where each bolt and nut came from makes it way easier when it’s time to put everything back together.
For a more short-term solution, we also use small plastic bins to keep parts and hardware together. If you have a pegboard, be sure to find some bins that will hang on the pegboard! Lastly, a fishing tackle box can be useful to neatly store extra hardware rather than having a random bolt drawer.
Give yourself a good work surface. Whether you’re cleaning parts, swapping some studs over to a new turbo, or putting together the head on an engine build, having a nice surface to work on will make your life easier. To kill two birds with one stone, some larger tool boxes come with a great workbench top already installed. Short on space? Buy or make a workbench that can fold out of the way when not in use.
Set up your parts in order of removal. This makes it easy to retrace your steps if you have to remove a bunch of different parts to get to whatever you’re working on. It’s extremely simple, but it’s saved me from having to retrace my steps because I forgot to install something.
Keep your tools in a tool tray. We’ve all lost that 10mm socket while rolling around under a car. A simple tool tray will keep all your sockets and wrenches in one place and easily accessible.
Miscellaneous Garage Improvements
While not possible for every garage, these are ideal improvements that take your garage to the next level.
Upgrade your lighting. Most home garages have a few dim light bulbs that work well enough but make it can be really hard to see when deep in an engine bay. LED shop lights can help you see what you’re working on, even after the sun goes down. Extra tip, strong zip ties can offer a temporary hanging solution if you’re unsure what locations will work best.
Epoxy the floor. While it can be expensive to apply, nothing beats the look of a high-quality epoxy coated garage floor. It also makes spills easier to clean up, and you won’t have to worry about staining the concrete. You can even match it to your ride with the colors you choose!
Install a garage fridge! Cold refreshments make any install that little bit easier. Plus, a garage fridge gives you a place to put all of your extra stickers!
Please share any other tips and tricks you may have down below; we are always looking for ways to improve our experiences in the garage. We’d also love to see what spaces you guys and gals are working with!
Brett’s Car Part 2
Let’s pick up where we left off with part 1! The year 2015, I made my way back to the Golden State from Arizona. At this point in time, I was content with the power, but my Mazdaspeed 3 looked otherwise stock on the outside, so that was my next plan of attack.
After a couple months settling in, I hashed out my plan. My buddy back in Arizona, Travis was selling his Evo 10 wheels. They were freshly powder coated, and he had the ability to ship them from his work. He was nice enough to make that happen for me. Since I was getting new wheels on the way, I knew it was time to drop it, so I purchased lowering springs. Since my Mazdaspeed3 only had 15k on it at the time, I opted to keep the OEM shocks and struts, knowing Coil-overs were down the road. But, it is advised to use the upgraded shocks and struts with lowering springs, especially on older suspension.
After it was all said and done, I was happy with this look. It stayed like this for a few months until I got bored again. The mod bug started to itch, so, I decided it was time to upgrade to a 3.5” intake and get a port and polished manifold to see what this KO4 could do. With the 3.5” intake it also needed a battery relocation kit.
Knowing that Big Turbo was down the road, I thought towards the future and where I could save potential dollars. We got it up to about 325-330 WHP on the K04 with some e85. For California’s terrible 91 Octane fuel, I was satisfied. I also threw on boost and oil pressure gauges to monitor more in the Mazdaspeed. Oil pressure was the key!
I got more acquainted with the local Mazda community in Nor Cal and ended up meeting one of the largest influencers for my build this way. Brian of BMSPEC. During this time, BMSPEC was just a side project for him as we worked full time as an Engineer in the cooperate world. He ended up taking me under his wing (No pun intended) and taught me a thing or two. In return, I helped him out after work to make Aero Parts like wing extensions and splitters. I assisted where I could with the dirty work, and my car was one of the beta testers. So, for those of you that wonder where my extension and splitter came from, there is your answer!
Brian guided me on the right path to take for setting up my coil-overs and getting my Mazdaspeed 3 to not only handle as well as possible but also look good while doing it. It was awesome for me to be able to represent his parts and start to make my car stand out. I am very fortunate to have had that opportunity and be able to call him my friend.
In early 2016, I was driving behind a semi-truck on the freeway which resulted in pretty a chipped-up bumper. Working closely with my body shop, we got my MS3 fully repainted (Minus the hatch.) I requested that the mirrors be painted black, Roof black, fog bezels black, and the rear valence black. It took several months for them to finish, as I gave them permission to take their time. But they did an incredible job, and the paint has held up phenomenally.
A few months before my move to Washington, I finally hopped on a big turbo upgrade. Paired with this was an upgraded EBCS, and MAP sensor. The Mazda Intercooler was also upgraded from a TMIC to an FMIC. She was starting to turn into the car I had aspired to build. But, as all us car guys know, this just means the bar gets raised higher and our aspirations grow further! An upgraded intake manifold was also added to even out air flow between runners even more.
The time is now late 2016. I got offered a job with CorkSport right after Thanksgiving. So I packed up, said goodbye to all my close friends to set out on a venture in the PNW. Things were beginning to get more interesting, and the journey for my Mazdaspeed3 would continue. Stay tuned for part 3!
Road Trip Tips
As the weather is clearing up and the winter months are ending, spring break will be here quicker than you can expect. For us in Washington, we are starting to get a taste of some dry pavement again! This has CorkSport itching to head out on a road trip to enjoy the spring weather, and for some of us, that Mazda that has spent most of the winter in a garage. I thought I’d share some tips to ensure that your first road trip this spring goes smoothly.
PIC: Alejandro Romero
Prepare (at least a little) before you go
Preparation will ensure that you don’t end up lost or stranded somewhere on the side of the road with no help in sight.
1. Check the obvious things.
- Tire Pressure
- Tire Tread,
- Oil Level
All basic checks that should be at the top of your list before heading out. This is especially true if your Mazdaspeed has been in a garage for the winter and this is your first long trip of the year.
2. Check the not-so-obvious things.
Road trips tend to highlight any little issues that may not show up in your day-to-day commute simply because you’re driving for a lot longer. This means ensuring your belts, coolant hoses, and battery are all in good condition. Double checking your coolant level will ensure your Mazdaspeed stays cool during long drives, especially if you’re pushing it in the twisties.
Lastly, for you automatic transmission folks, check your transmission fluid level and ensure it has been changed according to manufacturer specifications. Long mountain passes can be killer on AT cars, especially if they are low on fluid or desperately need fresh ATF.
3. Where ?!
Research where you are going before you go. A quick google search will ensure you won’t miss anything interesting on your way or at your destination. Google maps is your friend, especially for scouting out potential good driving roads. At CorkSport, we have even found good locations to film cars and test parts using google maps alone. Researching your route will also let you know if there are any road closures or construction that can spoil your drive.
Be ready for the inevitable
While preparation is nice, having a backup plan for if things do go south is best.
How’s your spare tire doing?
When’s the last time you checked if your spare tire was even inflated? Flat tires are unfortunately common on road trips, and having a spare in good condition is a lot cheaper than having to call a tow truck. While on the subject, ensure you have all the tools needed to change a tire in your car. From my own experience, the OEM scissor jacks may not fit if your car is lowered and you have a flat. Additionally, it’s really difficult to change a tire when the OEM lug wrench is a different size than your wheel locks. I was lucky enough to have a friend close by to help me out, but on a road trip, you likely won’t be so lucky.
If you’ve got the space, pack extra tools. If you do break down, having a decent assortment of tools to help you fix what is wrong can help you get back on the road faster. Even though parts stores have tools for sale, they are always way more expensive than they should be, plus, who’s to say you were lucky enough to break down near a parts store anyways?
Keep a basic emergency kit in your Mazda. Jumper cables, a small first aid kit, flashlight, even some extra oil will keep you moving toward your destination. There are quite a few inexpensive emergency kits out there that can really save your bacon in a pinch. Who knows, you may be able to help out someone else stuck on the side of the road.
Come up with a plan for a lockout. Having a spare key is invaluable, especially while far away from home. Whether it’s a hide-a-key somewhere under the Mazda, or just a spare key that is given to someone you’re traveling with, having a way to get back in your car after losing your key will keep you moving.
Last and most important, stay safe. Don’t go all out on the street, especially on unfamiliar roads, and be patient with other drivers, more so during busy travel days. After all, what good is a road trip, if you or your car don’t come back in one piece?
Hopefully, a few of these tips will help some of you have a great road trip, and be sure to tell us about it! We love finding new driving roads and scenic locations. If you share your spots, who knows you may just see some CorkSport Mazdas around once in a while!