MZR Turbo Inlets -Comparing Apples to Apples

There are a lot of factors that go into purchasing any part for your car, and a turbo inlet pipe is no different. With a wide variety of materials and configurations on the market, it can be a difficult decision.

I think the major discerning differences between metal and silicone are that silicone is an insulator, which is why there are claims that the silicone is a) quieter and b) less prone to heat soak. I’m not sure if a) is true to a consequential amount, haven’t done a dB comparison by any means…but I seriously doubt that b) is true either. All materials have thermal properties, all materials transmit thermal mass at different rates. You can deduce all sorts of theories as to how this effects the boost air temps, but I really doubt that there is any discernible power output or boost air temp difference between a silicone, aluminum or stainless inlet pipe from one pull to the next. These vehicles push enough air to fill an office cubicle through that pipe in the span of under a minute. Then they run that air into a turbocharger that superheats the air. It takes 3 degrees of inlet air temperature change to result in one degree of boost air temperature change with a stock intercooler based on thermocouple datalogging that I’ve done on a number of different cars (Speed6’s and 3’s). With air traveling through a tube at insane velocities (like lets say…60 meters per second…or better yet 134 miles per hour), I find it hard to believe that there is any major detriment to having the turbo inlet pipe made of a more thermally conductive material than another.

The reason you buy the pipe is so you get rid of the stock pipe, which sports an oh so stylish, effectively square profile that changes cross sectional area erratically and is made of plastic which is also pretty thermally benign. But that’s not where the power or quickening of spool up happens when you add the inlet -it’s the flow of the air and the smooth transition from the intake to your turbo that you want to optimize. Simple as that.

If it were my car, I’d get one that a) works reliably, b) has quality construction and c) has a reasonable price tag. I can’t point out any on the market that fail a) or b)…all are excellent from what I have seen. Ours is $89….because designing and manufacturing any piece of tubing and/or silicone doesn’t cost much. Period. It’s a pipe. Every turbo inlet pipe on the market is a pipe -with three pipes in factory locations connecting into it. A few have factory like brackets that attach to the valvecover, some don’t. Some are aluminum (CorkSport and RPMC), some are stainless (Protege Garage), some are silicone. They all do the same thing.

Our system certainly gives you a few options that you should be familiar with when purchasing . But the first thing to remark on is -our intake includes these parts. If you’re in the market for an intake, this information is of benefit to you, but if you really want a good deal on all of these bits, grab our Power Series Short Ram Intake for your MS3 or MS6 or CX-7.

So back to the configurable differences if you already own an intake and want to get a turbo inlet pipe to match. Our turbo inlet pipes have a few toggles: Valvecover breather (yes/no) and Recirculation Valve Port (yes/no). The valvecover breather is almost completely unnecessary if you have an aftermarket intake that is not made by us -as most intakes include this provision in the CAI pipe or the coupler. So that’s almost always going to be a ‘no’ unless there’s some other reason why you want an external intake vacuum source to plug into (catch can, etc). The other is the recirculation valve. If you have chosen to do a strictly vent to atmosphere configuration on your bypass valve (not necessarily recommended), you can choose this option and clean up your engine bay a bit.

The final dial on these is the silicone color – for the silicone coupler between the turbo and inlet pipe, as well as the valvecover breather and boost control solenoid lines. These are available in Red, Blue and Black. Finally, in the near future we will be offering one or more powdercoating options starting with black.

Any questions, leave us a comment or shoot me an email.


Upgrading Your Engine

Just like the suspension on your Mazda, you need to have a plan when upgrading your engine. There are several areas to consider when upgrading the existing engine in your Mazda and all play a big part. If you were to call me up and ask “What should I do with my engine in my Mazda?”, I would ask you what you are going to be doing with it. There is a laundry list of components in your engine, and when added up can range from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. We are going to stick with piston engines for this article. Sorry RX-7 guys!

Starting with the base of the engine the block is the center of everything. Oiling is handled in the engine block which then feeds the cylinder head and in some cases the turbocharger or supercharger. One thing I tell people is when doing any work with the block or bottom end of the motor is to change the oil pump with a new one. Why risk several thousand dollars of a newly built engine on a critical component. If the oiling system fails it can mean throwing out everything and starting over, which no one wants to do. If an upgraded oil pump is available purchase it.

Mazdaspeed Oil Pump for the B6 DOHC

Located in the engine block is the crankshaft. Mazda has been good with supplying most engines with a strong crankshaft. I recommend that you have the stock crankshaft inspected if it is out of the engine. Options for upgrading the crankshaft are cryo-treating and shot peening (stress relieving).

Connecting rods are also located in the engine block. They attach the crankshaft to the pistons. Thankfully, if there are no upgraded connecting rods on the market you can have some made. Most manufacturers of rods will custom build a set if you send them one of your stock rods. When choosing a connecting rod there is two general paths. If you are going with an engine that will not see forced induction you can normally go for a lighter rod which is made from better materials than stock. If you are going with forced induction you will want a connecting rod which is sturdy and can survive detonation in the event a mistake happens.

Carrillo Connecting Rod

Pistons play a big role in how your engine is going to be used. Lower compression pistons are normally used with forced induction engines. High compression pistons are good for a normally aspirated build. With EFI systems both stock and aftermarket making use of knock sensors, it is possible to build a forced induction engine with a relatively high compression engine. Regardless of the compression ratio, forged pistons are the strongest. There are also squeeze cast pistons which are strong as well but not quite as tough as the forged pistons. Some high compression pistons are squeeze cast which results in a lighter piston, and can be strong enough for high RPM use.

Engine bearings can make or break your motor. We recommend the best quality bearings you can buy. Factory Mazda engine bearings are really good as are some aftermarket brands like ACL. For setting clearances of the bearings make sure you speak with your engine machine shop to see what they recommend for your application. Most performance machine shops have years of experience and can provide you pointers for the assembly of your engine.

Cylinder heads carry several parts to look at for a build. Camshafts need to be selected to match your engine build. Normally aspirated performance camshafts and forced induction camshafts have different timing and lift profiles. I recommend speaking with the manufacturer of the camshafts to make sure they will be appropriate for your engine. Installation of performance camshafts may require upgrading the valve train. Some require valve springs to be upgraded along with the lifters and retainers. Again speaking with the manufacturer of the camshafts is a good idea. Performance machine work of the cylinder head should be looked at. Porting your cylinder head for better flow, volume, or efficiency should be looked at as well, as it can get you more gains from the camshafts and other upgrades. Adjustable camshaft gears give you another option for doing fine tuning in your engine. Cam gears can let you extract the last bit of power from your engine with cam tuning.

CorkSport Camshaft Gears for the B6/BP DOHC Engines

Upgrading the fasteners should be considered when upgrading your engine. Critical components like the cylinder head bolts and main cap bolts can be upgraded with a stronger fastener like ARP studs. The advantages they offer besides strength is the ability to re-use them multiple times without fatiguing the hardware.

Manifolds for both the intake and exhaust need to be selected to match the use of your engine. Manifold lengths can affect the power band of the engines. Shorter runners on intake manifolds are normally better for mid-high RPM engines and longer runner manifolds normally develop lower end power and torque. Exhaust manifolds in non turbo motors can be setup for different power bands as well. 4-1 headers are generally for mid and high RPM power. 4-2-1 manifolds are better for mid range power. Turbo manifolds range from log style to elegant custom tubular creations. I will cover more on turbo manifolds in a later post.

Gaskets are the last part of the engine I will cover. Mazda supplies most of the engines with good gaskets from the factory. There are exceptions to look at for a few of the engines like the FS engine in the 99-03 Protege. The factory head gasket is ok, but better parts are available. Upgraded head gaskets from companies like Cometic are available for several Mazda engines including the DISI, FS, and the B6 DOHC/B6T.

Make sure you take a look at all of these areas when upgrading your engine to get the best results. All of the areas listed above, the block, oiling, rods, pistons, gaskets, fasteners, and bearings work only as well as the other parts in the engine. Selecting an exhaust manifold for top end power and not getting the higher compression pistons to get the most for the header can sell your build short. Send us an email if you have any questions on building your Mazda, we have years of experience and would be happy to help.


CorkSport Contingency Program

After spending some time with a number of Motorsports Marketing minds at the SEMA show last month, we have been contemplating starting a CorkSport Contingency Program to help sponsor successful enthusiasts who are out there campaigning their cars in activities such as AutoCross, Drag Racing, Rally Cross, etc. The program would work similar to other contingency programs with decal placement requirements, sign up in advance and a schedule for contingency awards based on being enrolled in the program and achieving a specified goal.

With this in mind, we’re looking for your input. If you’re a racer and would like to see your sport be the initial run for our CorkSport Contingency Program, drop us a line and let us know.


Get Your Swap On

I frequently get calls asking “What should I do with my car?!” and asking what engines a customer can swap in. Engine swaps are a good thing to think about, but there are a wide range of items to consider before you decide on doing a swap. Doing an engine swap can be a simple bolt in to the factory mounts or as sophisticated as having to notch the frame rails, fabricate all of your own mounts, custom axles, and major wiring. There are several things to consider. Will the new engine get you the power you want? Will the engine fit? Will it work with the transmission in your car? Will the swap require different wiring? Has anyone done the swap before? Do you need to pass emissions, and if so will your swap pass emissions?

The first thing to take a look at is whether or not someone has done this swap before. This can help you get the job done quicker and help you avoid hidden problems that someone else has already encountered. The internet makes checking to see if someone has done the job before much easier than in the past. Forums are also another big help, and a great place to look. Not everyone publishes an engine swap but if you can find someone on a forum who has done the job they might indulge you and offer up a few pointers. Let’s look at the big picture: If the engine you are installing requires everything to change, like the engine, transmission, wiring, axle, shifter, etc. there is probably going to be a lot of time and money involved with the swap.

Engine fitment is what you should look at next. If the engine you’re planning to swap won’t work with your transmission, make sure you get the all dimensions of the engine and transmission together. One dimension to remember is the height which often gets overlooked. The engine will move in the engine bay and the last thing you want to do is get the engine installed and then discover your engine hits the hood under acceleration.

If the engine you are mounting is not a bolt in make sure you take a look at how the new engine mounts. Find engine bay pictures online or a car to look at with the engine factory installed. Most manufacturers like Mazda keep similar mounting points. There are exceptions to engine mounting so you need to make sure you address this. If you are installing a different transmission with your engine, look at the mounting for it as well.

Transmission mounting is critical. You need to have the transmission located perfectly to get the axles to line up. Check and see how the new transmission is shifted. Does it use a cable shifter or a rod shifter mechanism? How does the clutch operate if it is a manual transmission, hydraulic or cable type? Are the axles larger in diameter and do they have a different spline count? You might have to consider getting custom axles done if you are not able to find a bolt in part.

Cooling is also an important item when considering a swap. Do the radiator hoses come close to lining up with your radiator? Does the radiator you have carry enough capacity to cool the new engine? Forced induction engines will generally require larger radiators. If the new engine is turbocharged, make sure you remember that you will need an intercooler and a place to run piping for it.

Wiring is the part that scares most people out of doing an engine swap. Most swaps are using engines from newer cars and thus include some extra systems that your car may not have in it. Make sure you have the wiring books for both the cars you are swapping the engine from and to. Engine wiring normally is the most difficult. If you can get the engine wiring that belong to the new engine it will make the job easier. Sensor changes, plug differences, and wiring routing all are important items to look at. A nice side advantage to keeping the newer wire systems is emissions. This can also be a drawback with OBDII systems and the level of complication they can present. Most states will allow you to swap to a newer engine if you keep the emissions controls intact. Make sure you check with your local EPA for emissions info before you do the swap.

Exhaust is the last thing I will cover. It is normally straight forward to get the exhaust connected up to the existing system on your car, if it is adequate for the new motor. If it is not, look at building or getting a new one built. Make sure to add a catalyst if you are going to be driving your car on the street and required to pass emissions.

To review the swap check list:
Engine fitment
Transmission fitment

So have I scared you off? The items I have brought up above are all things I have learned from experience doing engine swaps. My goal is to make sure you have everything covered before you start a swap. I have had quite a few calls of people wanting to swap a DISI MZR engine into Proteges, MX-6s, and other cars. I think this will be the next big swap we see once someone takes on the challenge.


Staged Dyno Results for 2010 MazdaSpeed3

We have received a lot of questions regarding the dyno numbers for our products for the 2010 Speed3. So far we’ve only released a Stock vs. (Intake+RacePipe) dyno sheet, and I figured it was time to add some clarity to the questions and comments in a centralized location instead of replying on specific forums and leaving other people in the dark. In the end, our Intake + Racepipe + Downpipe give customers the ability to crank out 51 more horsepower for $687. The key to getting the most out of your car isn’t just to make ample power increases, but to have money left in your wallet to add more options sooner. CorkSport has you covered at a cost of $13.74/hp with a peak gain of 51 Wheel Horsepower and 47 Ft Lb of Torque.

The 2010 Speed3 has a lot of power left on the table, and our product development has really brought that to light. Unfortunately, we stage build everything -starting with an Intake, adding a RacePipe, then the DownPipe…and Dyno and labor hours add cost to parts, so we try our best to get the data we need to validate our products without adding a lot of cost to the parts based on a variety of test iterations and combinations. This blog post details the results of the staged build on our 2010 Speed3. In addition, it makes some details clear about comparing our systems to other options on the market -what’s included in intake and downpipe packages to provide detail to costs vs. gains.

Stock vs. Power Series Intake System
Our $239 intake system includes our aluminum turbo inlet pipe, billet MAF housing and CorkSport Dry Flow Air Filter. Again, this package includes the turbo inlet pipe -it is the only system on the market that is packaged including the inlet pipe -all others are marketed separately. The torque gains were nearly 20ft lbs increase on average. We also saw large sections of torque gain that were up to 33ft lbs of torque. The horsepower gains were equally impressive with the largest differential being a 36whp gain over the stock numbers. Our system works great, we have put a lot of time into the design and validation testing of it and it generates some serious power…at $6.63 per horse at the wheels.

Racepipes and Downpipes…*
The CorkSport TurboBack Exhaust packages are broken into three components: The Downpipe which evacuates exhaust gasses from the turbocharger into the main exhaust system; The Racepipe (available with or without high flow catalytic converter) which replaces the factory secondary restrictive catalytic converter; The CatBack Exhaust System which is comprised of the primary 80mm (3.15″) exhaust pipe and resonators and the dual 80mm tailpipe section. The main component to discuss is the comparison of the CorkSport Downpipe and Racepipe to other Downpipes on the market. A few other Downpipes cost substantially more -due partially to the fact that they include what we sell as a Racepipe. Despite our separate packaging, our pricing is still competitive at $448 for the combined package, and allow our customers to swap in the wide open 80mm Racepipe on track days and retain their factory catalytic converters or choose the Racepipe which features a high flow spun metallic catalytic converter (an additional $200). Whether you choose the Downpipe/Racepipe combination with or without a high flow catalyst, you’ll find our prices aggressively competitive.

Stock vs. Power Series Intake System + Power Series Stock Fitment Racepipe
This stage adds the Power Series RacePipe to the 2010 Speed3 w/ CorkSport Short Ram Intake & Turbo Inlet Pipe. Power goes up nicely to a combined gain of 41whp and 33ft lb of torque at peak and a blistering 50ft lb of torque at 3000rpm. Where the intake alone dropped low end (1600-2900RPM) torque by a few pound feet relative to stock, the addition of the racepipe puts the entire torque curve higher than that of the stock setup. If you’re running a rally car or just want blistering torque -this is your prime combination.

Stock vs. CorkSport Intake + Racepipe + Downpipe
This stage adds the Power Series Downpipe from CorkSport to the 2010 Speed3 w/ Short Ram Intake & Turbo Inlet Pipe. The CorkSport downpipe features a divorced wastegate dump design -providing a separate outlet for wastegate gasses and avoiding disruption of the primary exhaust pathway when the wastegate cracks open to bypass excess exhaust pressure past the turbine wheel. Adding the downpipe to the previously detailed combination of intake and racepipe, power jumps another 10 horse at the cost of a little bit of peak torque, but the low end of the torque curve increases nicely. As a combined package, the CorkSport Intake, Racepipe and Downpipe put down 51 horsepower and 47 pound feet of torque at the wheels. Watch for the release of our downpipe for the 2010 Speed3 in the coming weeks.


* Consult with your local governing body regarding the legality of removal of a factory catalytic converter, whether it is for track or for street use and whether you are using the full race open pipe or a high flow catalyst. High Flow Performance Catalystsare ILLEGAL in the State of California, and will NOT be sold into California.