While creating a new CorkSport part, we sometimes run into issues where calipers, bore gauges, and angle finders are simply not enough to get the measurements we need. We’ve discussed how we use 3D printing in a previous blog, but today I thought I’d go over the opposite: 3D scanning.
Where 3D printing takes a CAD design from computer to physical part, 3D scanning takes a physical part and converts it into a computerized model. This is especially useful for things like intercooler piping, intake design, and even creating exterior body parts. What these components all have in common is that they are a complex, difficult to measure, shape where fitment is critical. Check out the 3D scan below from the development of our GEN2 Mazdaspeed 3 front lip. While not a perfect replica, this 3D scan information was vital for designing the CS front lip to ensure great fitment and stylish look.
At CorkSport, we do have a small 3D measuring arm that can take measurements of 3D objects and input them directly into a CAD program. The arm does this by first having a “home” position established that the arm can measure from. Then as the arm is moved around, it knows how far the tip of the arm is from the home position in x, y, and z coordinates. This is a very basic form of 3D measurement as the arm must actually touch the surfaces of the part. Mostly simple information like mounting surface locations, angles, and hole sizes can result from this arm. While not a full 3D scan, it is especially useful for things like the GEN3 Transmission Motor Mount that have mounting planes at different angles.
For intercooler piping with completely round surfaces and bends, CorkSport’s 3D measuring arm has its limitations. We typically get a full 3D scan performed on the OEM piping to give us solid locations and a great visual reference to design from. The 3D scanning arm bounces a laser off the part to determine its shape and size. Then, software that accompanies the 3D scanner stitches all the information together into a full 3D CAD model. The scans achieve great accuracy; check out the embossed writing and even texture on this OEM intercooler piping for the SkyActiv 2.5T.
From this point, we design the new CorkSport parts. In terms of intercooler piping, we analyze where the larger piping will fit to get the performance gains we want. In some cases, we can also simplify the pipe routing to get smoother airflow than the OEM piping. Having a full OEM piping scan makes this much easier as we can easily double check our measurements with the OEM parts on the car. As a result, our first 3D print can often be the final version before having metal parts made. An early design for an upgraded Mazda 6 SkyActiv 2.5T hot pipe is shown below (blue) with the OEM part scan (gray). The routing was carefully chosen to achieve our desired piping size within the constraints of the OEM engine bay.
3D scanning has a huge range of uses and we are just beginning to explore the full capabilities. Be sure to share your ideas on how we should use this technology and what new CS parts we should make with 3D scanning’s help!
Creating CorkSport Parts with 3D Scanning September 18th, 2018CorkSport
There has been a lot of buzz about the new(ish) turbocharged SkyActiv-G 2.5L first found in the Mazda CX-9 and now in the Mazda 6. Along with all this buzz, there are a lot of unknowns as well. Here at CorkSport, we’ve taken the step to try and address some of these unknowns. What is Mazda’s “Dynamic Pressure Turbo” and how does it work? There have been diagrams bouncing around on the internet, but no close-up view of the turbocharger itself. That’s about to change.
The turbocharger found in the 2.5T equipped CX-9 and 6 is quite complex in design. There are many aspects to the OE turbocharger we could discuss, but today we are going to focus solely on the dynamic pressure system and turbine housing.
If you are reading this, then you’ve probably already seen various diagrams depicting how the dynamic pressure system works and showing Mazda’s clever 3-2-1 exhaust port design. If you haven’t, check it out below. Image credit to Car And Driver Magazine for the fantastic diagram.
Mazda’s 3-2-1 exhaust port design takes full advantage of the engine cylinder firing order. The advantage is improved exhaust gas scavenging for the adjacent cylinder (more or less the cylinder that just fired helps pull the exhaust gases out of the next cylinder that is about to fire). Ok moving on; this is great, but how does the dynamic pressure system come into the mix?
Shown here are the turbocharger assembly and the dynamic pressure valve assembled as one unit (the first two images also showed the fully assembled setup). The three ports are clearly visible along with the “vane” that passes through the three ports. This vane rotates depending on engine RPM to control the exhaust gas velocity entering the turbine housing. The vane itself is controlled by the larger blue colored actuator.
Now let’s take an even closer look. The vane does not open until approximately 1600rpm, but the engine could not run of no exhaust gas can flow out of the engine. To resolve this Mazda has designed the dynamic pressure system with two exhaust gas paths. Looking at the above image you can see a small opening just above the vane. This is the sub-1600rpm exhaust gas path.
By reducing the cross-sectional area of the exhaust gas path, the exhaust is forced to accelerate through the dynamic pressure system and into the turbine wheel. This effectively reduces turbo lag, improving the vehicle’s response at low engine RPM. Once the engine revs past 1600rpm the vane opens, allowing the larger path to be used.
Here we show the turbocharger assembly (right) and the dynamic pressure valve assembly (left) separated. Looking at the dynamic pressure valve assembly, you can now more clearly see the three small paths above the larger path with the vane inside. Then look at the turbocharger assembly and you will see the small upper path and the larger lower path.
The fact that these two assemblies are separate systems is great news for the enthusiast. The development of a performance turbocharger will be much more feasible and the dynamic pressure valve can be retained with the performance turbocharger. One more detail to point out.
Mazda put a lot of thought into the design of the wastegate port; let me show you why. First, looking at the inlet of the turbine housing you can see a small vertical wall in the large path. This wall creates a completely separate path to the wastegate port which is very unusual on an OE turbocharger. Combine this design with a very large wastegate port and you get a design that can “waste” or divert an excessive amount of exhaust gas.
This tells us the SkyActiv-G 2.5L engine is creating a lot of (currently) unused exhaust gas energy. Again this supports the feasibility of a performance turbocharger suiting Mazda’s new turbo engine quite well.
Great things are on the horizon for the 6, now if only Mazda would put this engine in the 3 paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. Oh, one can dream.
-Barett @ CS
Mazda’s Dynamic Pressure Turbo – A Closer Look September 11th, 2018CorkSport
The SkyActiv 2.5T has been around for a few years in the CX-9 however, things started to get interesting when the engine was dropped in the Mazda 6 for 2018. While lacking a manual and not a true Mazdaspeed, it’s a step in the right direction for the enthusiast. With one of the new Mazda 6s in the CorkSport garage, we’ve been getting curious about where all of that 310lb-ft comes from. Well we decided to call up Mazda and purchase a turbo to see how it all works.
There’s a lot to take in on the turbocharger and there are quite a few things that have changed from the K04 that made its home in the Speeds.
For starters, this turbocharger is pretty big. The wheels themselves are not large, with the compressor wheel very close in size to the old K04 & the turbine wheel only slightly larger than the K04. However, with the dual inlet turbine housing, 90° compressor outlet, and lots of attached electronics, the whole package takes up a lot of room in your engine bay.
The turbine housing is not far from the old K04. A large five-bolt inlet flange has two rectangular inlets to work with the dynamic pressure system (more on that later) and even a port where the EGR system sources its exhaust gases. The outlet is much simpler, using a five-bolt flange to mount to the downpipe, yet does house a surprisingly large wastegate port.
From a performance standpoint, the large wastegate should help eliminate boost creep but the turbine housing will likely need a larger scroll to get some more serious power out of the engine.
The compressor side is packed full of features. As usual, the wastegate actuator bolts to the compressor housing, however, Mazda has switched to an electric actuator. Interestingly, the bypass valve is also electric and is even mounted to the face of the compressor housing.
Some fancy casting design leaves a pathway between the high and low-pressure sides of the compressor and lets the BPV decide when the passage is open or closed. These two electric actuators will mean easy and consistent boost control. The final plastic component on the housing we believe is a boost assisted vacuum source for the vehicle. Finally, the inlet is a typical clamp connection while the outlet uses a 90° turn and two-bolt flange for better accessibility around the wastegate actuator.
With the housings removed, the CHRA of the dynamic pressure turbo is very simple & standard. Oil feed in the top, two-bolt oil drain in the bottom, and standard crossflow engine coolant ports. The compressor wheel is a cast 6×6 unit and turbine wheel is a basic 11 blade unit.
We are looking forward to waking up the Sky-T in the coming months and making the 2018+ MZ6 into something a little closer to a Speed. Stayed tuned, there’s much more fun to be had from the 2.5T!
Mazda’s Dynamic Pressure Turbo – An Introduction September 6th, 2018CorkSport
You’ve likely seen a quick glimpse of our 7th gear program previously, but there is NO WAY you have made it this far knowing all of the benefits and still not pulled the trigger.
There is just no way… and if so…You are MISSING OUT!
We’ve loved how this program has grown over the last year, with members giving product ideas, insight into their builds, and passing the EXCLUSIVE info on the gains we’re experiencing on our prototypes; it has truly become a community of enthusiasts. With pushing one another for higher power and better builds as a center, great parts, and direct insights provide for instant feedback and inputs on projects.
If you haven’t heard, or looked fully into this program, here is a brief overview and some insight directly from our members!
As a 7th Gear Member, you’ll receive …
An exclusive gift package worth $99 when you sign up.
You can only get these apparel items by becoming a 7th Gear member! – worth the cost of the membership by itself!!
Access to our exclusive 7th Gear Facebook group.
We’ll provide insider information on our products, lifestyle, and happenings!
You’ll interface with other elite members of the Mazda Community and receive CorkSport answers faster than anywhere else on the web.
You’ll have first access to new product releases via the 7th Gear Inner Circle thanks to your membership
If you’re buying anything with a significant shipping cost, it would be patently stupid to not get the 7th gear membership. The hat is top quality flex-fit and the shirt is nice too, big vinyls if you’re in to that. Exclusive access to sales, skipping the line on new parts, and you get behind the scene access for product development. Combined with CS points it’s a much better offer than competitor’s “free shipping”. – Jason Gambill
Free Shipping to the lower 48 States. (Hawaii, Alaska, and International orders get reduced rate shipping.)
You heard us right! Free shipping to lower 48 and reduced cost shipping for our members elsewhere!
“Do you love buying Corksport parts for your Mazda? Then why wouldn’t you want to join 7th Gear? Early information on upcoming parts so you and your wallet can plan ahead. Corksport is one of the few companies still developing new and exciting products for the Mazda/Mazdaspeed platforms. Why not join them and get an even deeper inside scoop! Even though I’m in Canada and I don’t get free shipping, the discount I receive does help! The cost of 7th Gear could be covered from just a couple orders. And even the occasional sale exclusive to 7th Gear is great.” – Michael Cheek
Automatic Annual Renewal that includes an awesome anniversary gift worth, at least, the cost of membership!
Once again, no one has access to this exclusive gift item unless they’re a 7th Gear member!
As a 7th Gear member, rest assured that we’re here to ignite your Mazda dreams into reality. With first access to parts, exclusive gear, exclusive 7th Gear promotions, and direct links to our CorkSport team, the free shipping is just a perk. Head to CorkSport.com for more information on 7th Gear today.
We love the look and feel of the CorkSport Mazdaspeed steering wheels and thought we would throw some love to the Miata guys. Designed to inspire confidence during aggressive driving while improving day to day comfort, this steering wheel is a complete package and will complement your other CorkSport Performance Upgrades.
The CorkSport Steering wheel is a direct OE replacement as it retains all trim, buttons, airbag, and even paddle shifters for automatic models. It’s also a perfect fit for all ND Miata models (yes even those of you with a RF). Check out the image below, it shows exactly what you will get in the box (right) next to an assembled performance steering wheel (left). Once you remove your OE wheel you just need to transfer all of the trim and accessories and you’re ready to install.
In designing the wheel we knew we wanted performance without sacrificing comfort. Let’s face it, the steering wheel is the one thing you are (hopefully) always touching while driving. We knew right away we wanted a thicker wheel as the stock one is awkwardly thin. We increased thickness without increasing the overall diameter of the wheel.
The flat bottom of the wheel makes it easier to get in and out of the car, especially for those of us who barely fit in Miatas anyways. To further enhance the aggressive style we added a center stripe to the top of the wheel. Finally we carried over the deep thumb grooves from the CorkSport Mazdaspeed 3 steering wheels to really lock your hands in place during spirited driving.
All of the features are wrapped up in plush black leather, with perforated leather on the high use areas to keep your hands cool. If that wasn’t enough we’ve also added an option for alcantara inserts. Why? Because Racecar!
If you’re looking for an easy mod that will upgrade the feel, comfort, and style of your ND Mx5 let the CorkSport Steering Wheel find a home in your interior.
CorkSport Steering Wheel for ND Miatas August 30th, 2018CorkSport
We are working on our blog, We will get you the best Mazda content back up shortly