If you’ve been paying attention to the CorkSport channels, you may have seen rumors here and there of a race header for the GEN3 Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 2.5L. While I can’t say too much on that just yet, I can give you a breakdown of the OEM exhaust header that’s hiding in the back of your engine bay. Analyzing the OEM part is usually our first step in creating a new performance part and I wanted to bring you all along for the ride. It’s surprisingly complex for an OEM manifold/header and some serious engineering went into it.
Excuse the dirty part, this OEM header has had a hard life! I imagine many of you have not seen the stock header as it’s in the back of your engine bay covered in heat shields. Taking the heat shields off gives us a glimpse of the craziness that is the stock header. Mazda has gone with a true 4-2-1 design (also known as tri-y) with an integrated catalytic converter and what appears to be equal length runners. Stay with me, I’ll explain what all that means.
The image above hopefully helps you visualize the 4-2-1 design. Starting at the engine, there are four exhaust ports from the head. Each exhaust port gets its own pipe, known as a “primary”. The primaries then pair together to form two “secondaries”. Finally, the two secondaries combine into one collector pipe, in this case heading directly into the catalytic converter. The three unions or “y’s” are where the tri-y name comes from. The 4-2-1 design was chosen by Mazda for a very specific reason. Check out the image below and Mazda’s explanation HERE.
Essentially, using a very high compression ratio causes very high exhaust gas temperatures. If too much of this exhaust gas is leftover in the cylinders for the next combustion cycle, knocking can occur. In addition, if you have a short 4-1 header or a log-style manifold you can suck exhaust gas into a cylinder before combustion as one cylinder can be on an intake stroke while another is on an exhaust stroke (see the upper image in Mazda’s diagram).
The 4-2-1 has two benefits to fight this. First, the long length means the exhaust gas takes longer to traverse the pipes, so one cylinder sucking in another’s exhaust is drastically reduced. Second, the cylinders are paired correctly to one another (1 with 4 and 2 with 3). Since the firing order is 1-3-4-2, each secondary is receiving an exhaust pulse at a regular interval. If you paired 1 with 3 for example, you would receive two pulses quickly, and then a large gap as the other two cylinders fired. This helps with exhaust scavenging as the pulse from one cylinder helps “pull” the leftover exhaust from the cylinder it’s paired with. These benefits can also be present on a long tube 4-1 if designed well but, there is a good reason why Mazda did not choose this option.
Typically a well-designed 4-2-1 will make more power and torque in the midrange while a well-designed 4-1 will make more power way up at the top of the RPM range. Since normal driving does not involve being at the top of the RPM range all the time, it makes sense that Mazda went with the 4-2-1. We will likely do the same as we want to retain the low knock characteristics of the 4-2-1, high midrange power & torque, and because the SkyActive 2.5L is a fairly low revving engine.
It appears that Mazda also went with close to equal length runners. This means that each primary section is the same length and each secondary is also the same length. This ensures the exhaust pulses are arriving to the collector or Y at uniform intervals. The easiest way to explain why this is a good thing is to visual the entrance ramp to a highway. When the cars entering the highway follow the “zipper” method for merging, the cars currently on the highway do not need to slow down. The high and entrance ramp merge and flow in a smooth and consistent rate.
However, if a surge of cars come down the entrance ramp to merge onto the highway you will get a back-up of cars on the entrance ramp and will disrupt the flow of cars on the highway. If the cars are exhaust gases and the highway is the exhaust pipe, you can understand why equal length can help. Again, we will adopt this strategy with the CS race header.
So far so good then, as Mazda has put a lot of thought into making a high quality stock header. However, as usual there are a few areas we can improve on. That’s coming in a later blog though so you’ll have to stay tuned for more details! Let us know if you have any questions or thoughts down below.
-Daniel @ CorkSport
Many years ago we helped bring a revolutionary design to the Mazdaspeed community. Fast forward 4+ years and you’ll find that the CorkSport Tokay Injector Seals are still the best option for your Mazdaspeed.
Recently, we had a customer ship their stock block engine core to us for a fresh Dankai 2 Built Block. During the engine core tear-down and inspection, we found a set of CorkSport Injector Seals installed. We realized this was a great opportunity to share what we found with the community.
When the CorkSport Injector Seals arrive at your door they look like this:
Brand new a fresh of the lathe with all of their beryllium copper brilliance. After many thousands of miles of use and abuse they look like this:
Now to the untrained eye you may think they look bad, but the truth is they look fantastic! The visible top of the seal has a small amount of carbon deposits present. This is to be expected because this surface is exposed to the combustion chamber. Moving to the side of the seal you can see a distinct clean edge and no carbon deposits on the sides of the seal. This distinct clean edge is where the exterior of the seal is designed to seal in the cylinder head. This is awesome!
Now let’s look at the inside of the used seals:
Again we see carbon deposits, but they are in and only in the expected locations. Moving up the side of the seal you can see a “shelf” or “step” that is clean. This is the edge that the fuel injector seals against. Beyond that the inside of the seal is clean.
From this inspection we can see that the injector seal was functioning as designed and doing its job effectively.
So you might be asking…”What is so special about this design?” Well, we wrote a two-part design blog answering that exactly. We highly suggest spending the 10 minutes to read these.
This is exactly why every single CorkSport Dankai Built Long Block includes a set of CS Injector Seals, but if you’re not looking for a built block but still want the assurance of the CS Seals you can check them out right here. The install of the seal can be a bit tricky sometimes, especially getting dirty injectors out of the cylinder head. Because of that we’ve developed an injector puller tool that makes the job MUCH easier.
We hope you enjoyed this quick tech inspection of the injector seals! Thanks for tuning in with CorkSport Mazda Performance.
-Barett @ CS
Mazda did a great job bringing a turbocharged engine back to the Mazda 6 (Mazda 3 next please?), but may have done too good of a job of keeping it quiet. Say hello to the CorkSport 80mm Cat Back Exhaust for 2018+ Mazda6 equipped with the turbocharged 2.5L engine. If you’re interested in waking up your SkyActiv-T in both excitement and power, read on as we breakdown the newest CS exhaust.
As with all CorkSport exhausts, the goal of the MZ6 2.5T exhaust is to improve power and sound by improving the flow of the OEM exhaust. We started by increasing the size of the piping from 60mm to 80mm. That is an increase of over three-quarters of an inch to really help your turbocharger breathe better. In addition, the CS exhaust system eliminates the crushed areas present in the OEM exhaust and replaces the restrictive muffler sections with pass-through resonators. These resonators control volume and drone without affecting power output.
All that extra flow does mean a power increase. In our in-house dyno testing, we saw an increase in 5-6WHP just by bolting on the CorkSport Cat Back Exhaust. Check out the dyno sheet down below to see. This increase came with no tuning changes, no check engine lights, and the only other mod
The CorkSport MZ6T exhaust is more than just function. We went through multiple iterations and designs to ensure the best sounding exhaust for your 6. The finished product ups the volume without being annoying to daily drive yet still sounds great when in hard acceleration. We strongly recommend you watch the video below to hear what to expect from this exhaust.
To give a great looking, long-lasting finish to each exhaust, they are manufactured from fully polished 304 stainless steel. To ensure a high quality fitment, all components are precision TIG welded together on jigs made from OEM exhaust components. Lastly as a finishing touch, we use 100mm dual wall exhaust tips. They fill out the bumper cutouts and are extended slightly to give a classy look and enhance the new Mazda 6’s styling.
The CS Mazda 6 Turbo Exhaust comes with all the hardware and gaskets you need for installation, high quality instructions, and CorkSport support for any questions you may have. Pick up a CorkSport MZ6 2.5T Exhaust today and liven up that daily commute.
We’ve already mentioned briefly that we have an upgraded intercooler kit in the works for the SkyActiv 2.5T, but now it’s officially time to dive in and get into how and why an upgraded intercooler kit is a good fit for your 6. To understand how to make a performance part, we first have to understand what makes the stock parts tick and where we can improve them, which is what we will be covering today!
For those of you that are new to the boosted lifestyle, I feel that I should go over a few terms that will be thrown around frequently later in this blog.
Hot Side Piping: Also known as just “hot side” or “hot pipes” this piping section carries the pressurized air (boost!) from the turbocharger to the intercooler. As it is before the intercooler, the air has not been cooled and the “hot” name is quite accurate (think 200-250°F. or even more on a turbo that’s too small). Shown above on the right side.
Intercooler: A basic heat exchanger. Air flows through the inside and is cooled by air flowing through the outside while you drive down the road. The same way a radiator works except with air inside instead of coolant. It is made up of three parts the “end tanks” and the “core”. The end tanks are what transfer the air from the piping to the core while the core is the actual heat exchanging portion. Shown front and center in the above image.
Cold Side Piping: Also known as just “cold side” or “cold pipes” this piping section carries the pressurized air from the intercooler to the engine. As it is after the intercooler, the air has been cooled to make more power. Shown above on the left side.