2019 Mazda 3 – What’s new with the suspension?

With the introduction of the 4th generation Mazda 3 there are many questions around the new chassis, engine, interior, and many other components. Here we are going to start investigating the suspension as we move through the process of developing sport lowering springs for the 4th Gen Mazda 3.

View all Mazda 3 Parts

If you didn’t know already, we recently purchased a 2019 Mazda 3 Premium with the 6 manual transmission and Snowflake white paint. Right out of the box the 2019 has impressed us with its intuitive driver feedback through the steering wheel, pedals, and gear shifter. The interior is phenomenal and the exterior is…growing on us.

BUT enough of the chatter lets throw the car on the lift and take a look at the suspension.

CorkSport

At the front of the car, we have a pretty typical McPherson strut assembly with a lower control arm. This type of suspension is very common in modern passenger cars because it is simple, durable, and cost-effective. There are tons of aftermarket support for this type of suspension because it is so common, but from a purely performance standpoint, it does leave something to be desired.

Comparing the 2019 to our inhouse 2018 3rd Gen you can see one major difference. The connection from the steering knuckle to the strut body is now a simple clamp collar vs the two-bolt connection on the 3rd gens. We imagine this was purely a cost-cutting design change. For you, the result is just a slightly more difficult installation.

View all of our Lowering Springs

At the rear of the car, things are drastically different. Instead of the more standard multi-link trailing arm suspension, we have a torsion beam style suspension. Mazda says this was “to reduce unwanted movement in the suspension and increase driver comfort”, but sadly we believe this is straight-up cost cutting at the sacrifice of performance.

Check our 3rd Gen Suspension options

We could go into a bunch of nerdy details here, but in a nutshell, going from multi-link trailing arm to torsion beam takes away our ability to adjust and control camber, toe, and rear roll stiffness because all of these major suspension dynamics are integrated (or discarded) with the torsion beam design. Never fear, the Team at CorkSport Mazda Performance is working on solutions to this, but it will be a challenge.

Now specifically looking at the rear springs, you can see that the spring is very short. This caused some difficulty in design, but we have successfully overcome this hurdle.

View all of our current lowering springs

We’ve tested the OEM springs rates and WOW are they soft. We developed prototypes to validate our target springs rates and have been driving on those for about a few months now. Happily, from this testing, we’ve found that the OE struts/dampers damping rate is more than sufficient for proper sport lowering springs. With that complete, we’ve designed multiple sets of lowering springs with various ride height targets and our tested springs rates.

Lastly, we tested various final prototypes to get our final ride height just right. Ladies and Gentlemen, these will be LOW and will work with Sedan, Hatch, AWD, and FWD!

We are excited to release final production units to the public in #twoweeks. It is important to note, CorkSport 7th Gear Members will have an opportunity to purchase these springs a week before the general release and they will receive free shipping (in the lower 48 states), as part of their membership benefits!

If you have not seen what the future holds for your 4th Gen Mazda 3, see our product pipeline blog here. If you have ideas or feedback, please let us know. We are listening, we want to hear from you!

-Barett @ CS

Performance Parts for the 4th Gen Mazda 3

Today we are going to lay it all out; we are going to tell you about what we are working on for your Mazda 3 and WE ARE EXCITED!  Who are we?  If you don’t know already, we are CorkSport Mazda Performance based out of Vancouver, Washington.  We are the number One Performance Aftermarket Mazda Parts Company and we have set our sights on the 4th Generation Mazda 3.

Below are the first projects we are developing for the 4th Gen Mazda 3 and CX30.  Engine performance, suspension performance, and styling are all covered here and we are closer to launch than you may realize.  Sit back and enjoy, there’s a lot here and we want you to see it all. 

CorkSport – Lowered on CS Springs

One of the most sought after and anticipated performance items for the 2019+ Mazda 3 are the CorkSport Sport Lowering Springs.   The CS springs provide the most aggressive drop on the market today while providing a sporty and comfortable ride for daily driver use.  With that, we have confirmed fitment on FWD manual transmission hatch and AWD automatic transmission sedan.  We found that the Auto AWD Sedan rides just slightly lower, but is still within proper ride height for suspension function.

See all of our Lowering Springs

We design our springs with more than just looks in mind (but they do look great).  Spring rates and the suspension frequency are critical to performance and comfort.  With that being said we increased the front spring rate 52% and rear rate 40% based on the OEM 2019 FWD Hatch MT springs.  

CorkSport

Now if you’re looking at the images and thinking “Damn those wheels look good” then you are correct and we agree; they look amazing and fit the car and CorkSport springs perfect.  

Here are the specs: Advan RS 19×8.5 +38 with 235/35 Kumhos.  We have just the slightest rub on the inner fender on large bumps.  Besides that they are perfect and you can have this setup too!

See all of our Axle-Backs

Next up is the CorkSport Axle-Back Exhaust.  Off the showroom floor, the Mazda 3 is ghostly quiet which is pretty disappointing. Our goal with the Performance Axle-Back Exhaust is a noticeable but mellow tone that you can enjoy every single day; gents this is Wife/Girlfriend approved. 

CorkSport – Using OEM Springs

We are proud to announce that will we be supporting multiple models on launch.  We have confirmed the Sedan, Hatch, Hatch w/Aero Package, and the CX-30.   Along with that we have confirmed fitment for both FWD and AWD models for all cars listed.  

See all of our Strut Bars

Look closely, there’s a couple new products in this engine bay…long in development is the Short Ram Intake System which replaces the OEM airbox with a high flow dry element filter, billet aluminum MAF housing, 4-ply silicone coupler, and stainless steel T-bolt clamps.  

Upon launch we will be offering various color combinations between Black, Red, and Blue.  You can see them below.   

See all of our Intakes

In our testing we have seen repeatable 5whp gains at peak with a nice increase across the RPM range.  Street driving our butt dyno agrees with crisp throttle response and a lovely intake induction noise.  The combination of induction noises, exhaust note, and sporty feedback from the sport springs really turns the Mazda 3 from an A-to-B car to a great enthusiast hot hatch.  

CorkSport

The other project sitting in the engine bay is the CorkSport Front Strut Brace.  Bracing the strut towers to each other improves chassis stiffness and reduces suspension complicity.  This results in increased driver feedback and thus a better driving experience.  The powder coated steel brackets and polished aluminum cross bar add a nice loot to the engine bay.  

See all of our Swaybars

Lastly, and still in development, are the rear sway bars for the FWD and AWD 4th Gen Mazda 3.  This project has been interesting because of the new torsion beam rear suspension found on the 4th Gen Mazda 3.  It’s interesting because there is no factory equipped sway bar.  Instead of just developing a larger rear sway bar, we are developing a sway bar from scratch along with the attachment methods.  

You also notice that there are two different bars in the image.  This is because the AWD and FWD torsion beams are different due to the AWD drivetrain.  Long story short, we are developing a RSB for each drivetrain specifically because that’s the correct way to do it.  

Wow, that was a lot, and trust me there is more we are investigating, but we can’t let ALL the secrets out yet.  We would love to know what products you would like CorkSport to develop for the 2019+ Mazda 3 platform, you can do so right here by Submitting a Product Idea.  

Also, we love sharing with the community directly and have been doing so in these groups.  If you don’t know about them then check them out and join for more info.  

Thanks for tuning in with CorkSport.  We hope you are as excited about the 4th Gen Mazda platform as we are!

-Barett @ CS

2004-2013 Mazda 3 and 2010-2013 Mazdaspeed 3 Aluminum Coolant Reservoir is back

2004-2013 Mazda 3 bolt in coolant reservoir

We’re happy to welcome another product we have resurrected from the dead: the CorkSport Aluminum Coolant Reservoir for 2004-2013 Mazda 3 and 2010-2013 Mazdaspeed 3. Back and better than ever, we have completely redesigned the tank from the ground up. We ended up with a tank that performs just like OEM yet will stand up to the test of time and look a hell of a lot better while doing it!

2004-2013 Mazda 3 bolt in coolant reservoir

As the GEN1 and GEN2 get older, the OEM plastic tanks become more and more prone to failure. The constant changes in pressure and temperature, plus the chemicals in the coolant cause the plastic to weaken over time. The aluminum used for the CS coolant tank will hold up better over time, ridding you of the hassle of a leaky coolant tank. To ensure proper functionality, the CS coolant res includes internal baffling, just like OEM. The baffling keeps air bubbles from entering the cooling system under aggressive driving conditions and ensures your cooling system will be operating as intended, regardless of how you’re driving.

A replacement for the ugly plastic coolant tank for the 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 Mazdaspeed 3

The CorkSport coolant reservoir is designed specifically as a replacement for the OEM Mazda tank, which means no drilling, fabrication, or other modifications. The OEM coolant hoses even work perfectly with the CS tank. To check the coolant level in the CS res, since you obviously can’t see through the aluminum, we include a sight tube on the front of the tank that easily displays how much coolant is present. As an additional upgrade from OEM, we include a 1.5bar (~22psi) radiator cap for better protection against overheating. Plus, should you want even a higher pressure cap, it uses a typical radiator cap connection, so upgrading is easy. Finally, an overflow hose is included, which can easily be adapted to fit with a catch tank, should you need one when racing at a track.

Replacement for the OEM plastic coolant tank for the 2010-2013 Speed3

We haven’t yet touched on what is possibly the best part of the CorkSport coolant reservoir: appearance! With its simple design and sleek wrinkle black powder coat finish, it is a great fit in almost any engine bay. Let’s be honest, the OEM tanks look okay at best when brand new, yet within a few months they become yellowed and ugly. The CS coolant tank is a great finishing touch for your Mazda’s engine bay. We even hid the mounting locations to provide you with the cleanest look!

2010-2013 Mazda 3 coolant tank upgrade

Each CorkSport Coolant Reservoir gets a lot of love before it heads out our doors. The tanks are first laser cut from 11 gauge aluminum and then precision formed before being TIG welded together. Each tank gets a cap, sight tube, and fittings which are all chosen specifically for the use with pressure and automotive coolant so they will hold up over the years. Finally, once assembled, we pressure test every tank to ensure no leaks for your Mazda. All of this comes with the hardware needed for install, color instructions, and CS support!

Mazda MPS3 coolant surge tank replacement

Be sure to check out the product listing for more pictures of the CS coolant reservoir. Give us a call if you want any additional info. We can’t wait to see you all get your hands on these tanks!

Testing & Validation: CorkSport 2.5L SkyActiv Race Header

mazda 6 exhaust header

Over the past few months, we’ve been teasing you with tidbits of info on the CorkSport Race Header for the Mazda 3 2.5L SkyActiv-G in the GEN3’s. Today’s blog is a big one as we go through the testing we performed on the header and share some results, including power! Before we get too deep though, be sure to get up to speed with a breakdown of the OEM header and our design goals for the CS header.

mazda 3 skyactiv header
2014+ Mazda 3 Header Installed

Addressing Underhood Heat

In our previous blog, some of you keen-eyed individuals were asking about underhood temperatures with the ram-horn style CorkSport header. Well, we went through testing to ensure everything will function as before when the new header is added. We’re happy to let you know that we saw very similar under the hood temperatures as the OEM header. As a double check, we applied some temperature sensitive stickers to some areas near to the CS header, as shown below. These stickers will fill in with color if a temperature listed is reached. While these ended up reaching higher temps than with the OEM header, no areas are at risk of damage or malfunction. Furthermore, both the CorkSport racecar and our beta tester have run the 2014+ Mazda 3 race header at the track with no issues with overheating, power losses, or engine bay damage!

2.5l SkyActive Race Header testing
2.5l SkyActive Race Header testing with temperature sensitive stickers

How Does The Header Sound?

Before we get into the really good stuff, let’s go through a side effect of freeing up the headers on any engine: volume. We tested the Mazda 3 SkyActiv race header with multiple different setups: OEM cat back, CS 60mm cat back, CS 80mm cat back, and straight pipe. The race header on an OEM cat back is something that will not likely be used often (who runs a racecar with a stock exhaust?) but offers some nice growl and extra volume over the OEM exhaust. Both the CS 60mm and 80mm exhausts sound fantastic, with the 80mm being louder and having higher power potential than the 60mm. Even so, the 80mm is not uncomfortably loud and could be daily driven if full catalytic converter deletes are street legal in your area. We cannot recommend the straight pipe though. It is extremely loud and very uncomfortable. If you want a tease of sound with the 80mm cat back, check out our feature on our beta tester’s car in the video below.

80mm Cat Back with the 2014+ Mazda 3 Header!

The SkyActiv-G Race Header Adds Power

Full Race Header for the Mazda 2.5l SkyActiv Engine
Full Race Header for the 2.5l SkyActiv Engine

Alright, I’ve kept you waiting long enough, let’s talk power. The 4-2-1 design is very evident in our tests, as we did not see huge gains at peak WHP/WTQ. We did see very good gains throughout the midrange. From 2000RPM or lower all the way up to about 5300RPM we made 4-8WHP and 5-15WTQ. On our beta tester’s car with a good tune and supporting mods, this meant 194WHP and 226WTQ on 91 octane pump gas. The graph below shows a direct comparison of a 2016 Mazda 6 with a CS short ram intake, CS 60mm exhaust, and the same tune with and without the race header. Keep in mind, there is more optimization to be had with tuning with the header installed, and greater gains with an 80mm exhaust. The midrange gain may not seem like much but is extremely noticeable when driving the car.

Mazda 6 Race Header Dynograph
Comparison of a 2016 Mazda 6 with a CS short ram intake, CS 60mm exhaust, and the same tune with and without the race header.

That’s about it for our testing and validation blog. Next time you’ll hear about the CorkSport Race Header for the 2014+ Mazda 3, it will be released! Be sure to stay tuned to all the CS channels if you’re interested in being one of the first to pick one up.

-Barett @ CorkSport

P.S. We noticed a lot of you asking if this header will fit the auto transmission or 2.0L. The automatic transmission is 2-3” larger right where the lower section of the header sits, so for optimum pipe routing, we had to do away with automatic fitment. The 2.0L has a different bolt pattern and exhaust port spacing on the engine, so the 2.0L will not work with the CS race header either.

Please
submit a product idea here if you would like to see automatic fitment, 2.0L fitment, or any other product for your car. The more submissions, the more likely we are to produce one so tell your car buddies!

The Design – 2.5L SkyActiv-G Exhaust Header

CorkSport 2.5L SkyActiv Header

A few months ago we broke down the complicated design of the exhaust manifold found on the 2014-2018 Mazda 3 & 6 2.5L SkyActiv.  Mazda put extensive R&D into the design and packaging of the OEM header to optimize the exhaust gas pulses and overlap.  

In this blog we are going to explain some of the design features in the CorkSport 4-2-1 header and why those features are important.  

Below is a diagram showing the primary, secondary and collector routing of the OE header.  

Mazda 2.5L SkyActive Header
The OEM header for the 2.5L SkyActiv engine has a 4-2-1 design.

When designing a performance header we have to ask ourselves, “what is the goal with this performance part?” and then fulfill that goal.  With the performance header for the 2.5L SkyActiv our goal was to increase mid-range torque, retain good fitment and user installation, and improve the sound output of the exhaust system.  

CorkSport Aftermarket Exhaust Header
CorkSport 2.5L SkyActiv header design.

Immediately you’ll notice a significant difference in the design of the OEM header and the CorkSport Header.  There are three major differences:

  1. Primary, secondary, and collector diameters have been increased to promote better exhaust gas flow.
  2. Primary and secondary runner lengths have been increased to optimize power/torque lower in the RPM range.
  3. The design is two-piece to drastically improve the installation process.  

The primary runners (these are the runners that mate directly to the engine) have been increased in diameter from 1.55” to 1.75” and the secondary runners (these are the runners that combine only two cylinders before the collector) have been increased in diameter from 1.87” to 2.00”.  Both of these changes improve peak flow per cylinder throughout the RPM range. Lastly, the collector has been increased from 2.00” to 3.00” to be paired with the CorkSport 60.5mm or 80mm Cat-Back Exhaust Systems.

CorkSport Exhaust Header Installed
CorkSport Header Installed.

Here’s where things got a bit tricky.  Increasing the length of the primary and secondary runners forced us to be a bit creative in routing all the piping.  In order to achieve the primary runner length we wanted, we had to route the piping upward first (as you can see below) then back down between the engine and firewall.  The results were better than we expected with a “Medusa” style header peeking out of the engine bay and the lengths we wanted.

It makes us grin every time we pop the hood open, we hope you love it as much as we do.  

CorkSport 2.5L Exhaust Header broken down for install.
The final design of the CorkSport 2.5L header is installed in two pieces.

However, the complicated CorkSport design did create a new problem.  Installation! We always try to create a performance part that can be installed by the average enthusiast in their garage and this was no exception.  In a one-piece design, the header was nearly impossible to install. We went to the drawing board and realized that separating the upper and lower halves of the header was the best option.

We considered a conventional flange, gasket and hardware setup, but realized it to was far too complex in the close quarters behind the engine.  We then moved to a v-band connection that proved to be the best setup for installation, weight, and sealing ability.

That wraps up the design, next we’ll breakdown the testing and results! Let us know if you have any questions or thoughts down below.

-Barett @ CorkSport