Why Lowering Springs?

Everything to know about lowering your Mazda with lowering springs.

Whether you want the better handling that comes with the lowered center of gravity, or you want to rid yourself of the wheel gap eyesore.  Lowering springs will give you want you’re looking for.

For running the track, or a spirited drive through the countryside, CorkSport lowering springs are the upgrade you’ve been looking for. By adding lowering springs and lowering the center of gravity of your Mazda allows the car to stay more planted to the road.

One of the biggest things to note on stock suspension is how far upward the suspension travels when hitting a bump. It can make the car feel like it wants to lift off of the road; depending on how fast you’re taking corners. Lowering springs help to correct the car’s suspension travel when you hit a bump in a turn.

Corksport Mazda 3 racer

Lowering springs also have about 25% increased stiffness. For the Mazdaspeed platform, increased stiffness in the rear is a must. Mazdaspeeds like to squat pretty hard when hitting full boost, so any way you can manage to stiffen up the rear is a great modification for your car.

Adding lowering springs also gives your baby amazing eye appeal and a much more aggressive look. Whether you drive a Mazdaspeed3Mazdaspeed6Mazda 3, Mazda 6, CX-5, CX-3 or MX-5, lowering springs will get rid of that ugly wheel well gap. The result is a Mazda that carries a much cleaner and more aggressive look and gives you the ability to take it to the track if you want to.

Drop your Mazda for an aggressive look and better handling with the CorkSport lowering springs.

Some people want to drop their Mazda as much as possible, and some don’t. CorkSport lowering springs don’t deliver a super aggressive drop. If you’re not interested in scraping your front bumper on every road bump, the CorkSport lowering springs have the right drop for you, and provide the increased handling capabilities you’re looking for.

 

If you’re curious about other suspension pieces for your Mazdaspeed, check out our Struts and Shocks combo kits, that give you just what you need for suspension.

Performance Turbo Exhaust Manifolds – Tubular or Cast?

If you have been in the car scene for a while, you have probably seen or heard of performance exhaust manifolds.  Like any other component on the engine that affects flow, performance exhaust manifolds can have a significant improvement to the engine’s peak performance and power under the curve amongst other aspects that the exhaust manifold can affect.  

You have also probably asked the question. “What type of exhaust manifold do I need?” In this blog, we at CorkSport would like to help you better understand the differences between cast and tubular so you can make the best decision for your Mazdaspeed.  

There are two main styles on performance exhaust manifolds; tubular and cast. Both have their pros and cons to consider as an end user (that’s you the enthusiast) and as the designer/manufacturer (that’s us at CorkSport).   

First, let’s look at tubular as it’s the most common in the performance industry.  Tubular is the most popular option because of it manufacturing flexibility.  Unlike casting, tubular does not require expensive molds to develop even a single prototype. Not needing expensive molds allow great flexibility in design and manufacturing, which lends the tubular manifold as an exceptional option for one-off builds.  

To fabricate a tubular exhaust manifold you need just the raw components: flanges, tubular sections, collector and fabrication supplies, and of course the expertise to fabricate the manifold.  Let me emphasize the necessity of fabrication skills here. To produce a reliable and performance proven tubular exhaust manifold takes the correct skills, tools, and patience…it’s honestly a work of art.  

With this work of art does come some compromises.  To create the necessary runner routing, many tubular sections will need to be welded together.  This increases the chance for weld impurities and slag which can later result in cracking and poor performance.  Any reputable fabricator should be able to avoid this, but it does come at a premium due to the many man hours that must go into each and every manifold.  

Next up is cast.  Manufacturing via casting provides a different set of opportunities and difficulties to overcome.  The process of casting alone has restrictions that must be considered; such as mold design and molten flow in the casting.  Assuming these issues are overcome casting can provide unique opportunities for the design to improve reliability, performance, and packaging.  

A well-designed cast exhaust manifold can have great reliability due to its one-piece design.  There are no welded joints that can crack or fail and casting typically has a higher threshold to heat before issues arise.  The wall thickness of the casting can also be defined for the application which can improve strength if the exhaust manifold is the only part supporting the weight of the turbocharger.  

Overall performance can also be affected due to the casting design flexibility with each runner.  Unlike tubular, a cast is not restricted to standard tubular elbows and straits. The runners can bend and change profile as desired to aid in performance and packaging.  

Speaking of packaging, casting can really change the game here.  Since each runner does not have to be accessible for welding, the entire design and each runner can be tightly packaged together to reduce the overall size of the exhaust manifold and better retain heat which aids with turbocharger response.  

Lastly, comes the cost to you the enthusiast.  Although the upfront cost of a cast manifold can be high, typically the unit cost and necessary man-hours are low which helps keep cost down for you.  

As a designer and manufacturer of performance parts for you Mazdaspeed, these are all things we have to consider providing you with the best parts possible.  We’ve explored both and are happy to stick with casting as we feel it provides the best balance reliability, cost, and performance. Keep a look out for future projects and updates!

Thanks for tuning in with CorkSport.

-Barett @ CS

Transmission Motor Mount for Mazda 3, 6, & CX-5

TMM for Gen3 Mazda3, Mazda6, and CX-5

CorkSport is proud to introduce the first and only performance transmission motor mount for GEN3 Mazdas. It’s a simple upgrade that can really change how shifting feels in your 2014-2018 Mazda 3, 2014-2017 Mazda 6, or 2013-2018 Mazda CX-5. We saw how an upgraded mount can drastically affect the characteristics of your car with our Mazda 3/6/CX-5 RMM and wanted to take the next step in getting the best driver feel you can out of your car.

We followed a design similar to the OE mount to ensure proper fitment and function for all engine and transmission options. Whether you have a 2.0L Mazda 3 Auto, a 2.5L Mazda 6 Manual, or anything in between, the CorkSport TMM will bolt right in with no issues. We even retained the OE battery tray mounting location to ensure the battery stays stationary. Don’t be mistaken though, the CorkSport Mazda Transmission Motor Mount is a completely different mount than OE.

The OE mount uses relatively soft rubber to ensure the least amount of noise and vibration makes its way into the cabin. It also allows the engine and transaxle to move around a surprising amount while accelerating, decelerating, or changing gears. By using 70A durometer polyurethane, the CorkSport TMM helps to lock down the engine and transaxle for better throttle response, less wheel hop, and much-improved gear changes. When we first installed a prototype TMM in the CorkSport Mazda 3 racecar, we immediately noticed the lack of delay and slop coming from the transmission when setting off from a stop and changing gears.

Don’t think we forgot about vibration and noise though. The size and stiffness of the polyurethane pucks were chosen to help minimize the adverse effects of stiffer mounts. That being said, there is still some added vibration and noise, most noticeable in automatic cars, when lugging the engine, and/or when using the A/C system. Once you are up and cruising on the highway, however, the added NVH is virtually eliminated solely by road noise.

Much like the CorkSport RMM, the TMM uses billet aluminum for the main body of the mount. After machining, it is anodized black for durability and finished off with a laser etched CS logo. A zinc-coated steel sleeve is used through the center of the bushings so you can be sure that your mount is tightened to spec. Finally, stainless steel is used for the hardware, angled mounting plate, and side washers. All of these materials were selected for their strength and corrosion resistance so that your CorkSport Mazda TMM will stand the test of time.

The CorkSport Mazda 3, Mazda6, and CX-5 Transmission Motor Mount will liven up you GEN3 whether you use it as a daily driver or racecar. The TMM is even better when combined with our RMM however, it works standalone perfectly fine. While not for everyone, those who are willing the sacrifice a little comfort for a boost in driver feel will love this mount.

 

2018 CorkSport Garage Update

CorkSport's Mazda 3 guide.

CorkSport Garage

How about something a little different from the usual CS blog? I thought I would give you all a little insight into all the different Mazdas that are owned by employees. Some are daily drivers, some are full racecars, and some are…different (more on that later). So grab a cold refreshment, we’ve got quite a few cars to go through.

The Mazdaspeeds

Owner: Corey
Year/Model: 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata
Mileage: 28,800

Modifications: Full Flyin’ Miata CAI, polished stainless piping, Turbosmart recirculating bypass valve, manual boost controller, O2 signal modifier, boost gauge. Recent Mustang Dyno showed a consistent 189.9WHP.

Corey’s Comments: Purchased new to me at 17,000 miles in 2012 for my 40th birthday. The MSP Miata had been stored for 4 years-everything was original, even the tires. This Miata came from California and had never seen rain. I keep it in the garage and it’s mainly a fair weather/weekend car except during the summer. I enjoy taking a ride in the MSM with each of my kids, but love honking the horn at people and making my son wave back…like he knows them.

 

Owner: Luke
Year/Model: 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 GT
Mileage: 124,000

Modifications: Full bolted, built engine, CS prototype turbo, methanol injection. Too many CorkSport Par

Luke’s Comments: Car has been through stock turbo/stock block, CS turbo/stock block, CS turbo/built block, 35r/built block, and now CS prototype turbo/built block.  Fun fact: my girlfriend went faster in my car than I did when I first bought it.  Stock turbo went 12.8 @ 110mph in the  1320.

 

Owner: Daniel
Year/Model: 2007 Mazdaspeed 6
Mileage: 68,000

Modifications: Custom front license plate delete, CS Interior LED Kit, daily driver dirt.

Daniel’s Comments: Just bought the MS6 a few weeks ago, doing a ton of maintenance before mods. This Mazdaspeed6 started out as a dealer fleet vehicle (whatever that means). Bought it from a guy who owned it the past ~9 years. Hoping to sneak some new Mazdaspeed 6 parts into the CS catalog and feed the zoom-zoom obsession!

 

Owner: CorkSport (shop car)
Year/Model: 2013 Mazdaspeed 3
Mileage: 14,000

Modifications: Virtually everything in the CS catalog for MS3. Plus a few prototype parts that never made their way to the market.

Comments:  Affectionately called “Whitey”. On its 2nd built engine (we use and abuse this thing). This was one of Vincent’s first projects when he arrived at CS: rebuild Whitey’s engine. He just got done rebuilding it for the second time and is now breaking it in.

 

Owner: Barett
Year/Model: 2009 Mazdaspeed 3
Mileage: ~135,000

Modifications: Manley internals, L19 head studs, CS cams, bowl work & porting, all the bolt-ons, 28gph methanol injection, prototype CS turbo, 330mm BBK, other suspension bits.

Barett’s Comments: More info on the engine build here. Made ~465whp at the 2017 CS dyno day. My car hates me and is a constant work in progress.

 

Owner: Brett
Year/Model: 2013 Mazdaspeed
Mileage: 37,000

Modifications: Full CS bolt-ons, big turbo, meth injection, making 430whp 385ft-lbs. BC coilovers w/ custom rated Swift springs, BMSPEC front splitter, Varis rear diffuser, custom side skirt extensions, Volk TE37SL: front 18×11 rear 18×10, paint matched 240Z flares, 330mm BBK.

Brett’s Comments:  I’ve had the Mazdaspeed3 for about 4 years now. It has every CS bolt on in the catalog. Helps that I work here now. This MS3 makes ~430 WHP, and is a stock block for now; built block soon to come. I take more pictures of this car than I do anything else. 

 

The GEN 3’s

 

CorkSport's Mazda 3 guide.
Ready to mod your Mazda 3? You will be after you read this!
Owner: Jennifer
Year/Model: 2014 Mazda 3 2.5L Hatch
Mileage: 100,000

Modifications: Most of the CS catalog for GEN3: Intake, exhaust, lowering springs, adjustable struts, rear sway bar, aluminum skid tray, etc., GEN2 MS3 wheels, big CS livery.

Jennifer’s Comments: The car has been used for the majority of the Mazda3 research and design at CS. This Mazda 3 is daily driven ~80miles each day to torture test CorkSport parts, it helps that the commute to my house is that far round trip. Basically, my daily drive is a perfect example of “running up a hill both ways” for this Mazda 3.  

 

(Left)

Owner: Collin
Year/Model: 2016 Mazda 6
Mileage: 40,000

Modifications: CS RSB, prototype CS FSB, CS RMM, prototype CS performance header, CS license plate kit.

Collin’s Comments: Aside from the performance parts available at CS, I chose this car due to the extra ~30HP compared to most commuter cars. I still get 42MPG on my freeway commute. This is my first New Car I bought myself and I have loved learning how to modify on it. 

(Right)

Owner: Rich
Year/Model: 2014 Mazda 6 GT

Modifications: CS lowering springs/struts, CS front camber plates, CS rear camber arms, CS SRI, CS catback, CS radio control knob, CS license plate kit, 25mm wheel spacers

Rich’s Comments: I drove around the same B2300 for many years while we built CorkSport from the ground up. I finally decided to treat myself and picked this Mazda6 up in 2014. Big shift, and I’ve loved having the luxuries of this Mazda 6. 

 

Owner: Derrick
Year/Model: 2014 Mazda 3 2.5L Sedan

Modifications: Caged, stripped, CS SRI, straight pipe to CS axleback, bunch of custom adjustable suspension, BBK (sometimes), custom racetrack-modified bodywork.

Derrick’s Comments: This Mazda3 could not be sold as a road legal car, so I don’t drive it on the road. There are a TON of track hours on this Mazda 3 and all of it’s modifications. We basically TRY to break our test parts before we let them hit the market, which is good for me because I love to go fast.

 

Owner: CorkSport (shop car)
Year/Model: 2018 Mazda 3 2.5L Hatch
Mileage: 2900

Modifications: CS struts, CS lowering springs, CS camber plates, CS RMM.

Comments: Mainly stock so far, big things to come to the “CBR” (CorkSport Branded Ride). Brett, who has been dailying the CBR, somehow only is getting 23mpg. Expect more parts for facelifted GEN3’s with the CBR’s arrival.

 

The Others

Just because you may not have seen much about them and they don’t get their own category does not mean they’re not special. For me, some of the most interesting cars are down below.

 

Owner: CorkSport (shop truck)
Year/Model: 1995 Mazda B2300
Mileage: 160,000

Modifications: Sweet stickers for extra HP, tire shop wheels, custom faded paint

Comments: Vincent used to own this truck before selling it to be the “new” CS shop truck. He notes that it was involved in 3 accidents, each time the insurance company did not total the truck, leaving Vincent with more money than he spent to buy the truck. No power steering provides an arm workout for those lucky enough to drive this beast.

 

Owner: Derrick
Year/Model: 2016 Miata Launch Edition.
Mileage: 24,000

Modifications: Full CorkSport ND Miata catalog – CS cold air intake, CS catback exhaust, CS front and rear swaybars, CS lowering springs, CS adjustable front end links, VersaTune CS parts tune, CS short shifter – Sparco Drift wheels, Bridgestone Blizzak run flats

Derrick’s Comments: The ND is an interesting car for me as being a lifelong Mazda enthusiast I had never owned a Miata before.  When the ND was announced I had already converted the Mazda 2 into a B-Spec car so I stopped street driving it and went back to my Rx7 turbo as my daily driver so I had gotten used to driving a car with “issues” again.  When I got into the ND for the first time and drove it home it was very surreal expecting some weird sound or smelling hydrocarbons (the Rx7 is old and catless) and the car handled incredible right out of the box.  Of course that lasted all of 3 months until we have Kenton Koch behind the wheel helping us out with the suspension development.  It is one of those cars that I warn people, if you drive it you will want to buy one.

 

Owner: Vincent
Year/Model: 2010 Mazda RX-8 R3
Mileage: 60,000 (original engine, no issues)

Modifications: Turbo XS exhaust, K&N high flow filter, custom VersaTune tune, DBA club spec rotors, Hawk Street/Race pads, Goodridge stainless steel lines.

Vincent’s Comments: I had been wanting a 2nd gen RX-8 since high school. This thing revs out to 9400RPM and is super fun to drive. Just recently sold (hi Aaron) but too good to not include in this blog.

 

Owner: Derrick
Year/Model: 1993 Spec Miata
Mileage: “Lots and lots” (this car has run 25hours of Thunderhill a few times on top of all its other racing)

Modifications: Spec Miata Bilstein shock package, Eibach swaybars, illegal plunge cut cylinder head (lookup spec Miata plunge gate 2014), GLoc brakes, 949 6ul Spec Miata wheels, AIM dash & datalog system, ESR drive side drop floor, Really big radiator.

Derrick’s Comments: I took the advice of all the spec miata people and bought a built car so I didn’t have to spend 6 months building one myself.  The local car was raced for a long time in the northwest and was a front running car before it was parked for a few years.  I picked it up for $6000 with some extra spares and was immediately able to get on the track and go racing after the installation of the drop floor and new seatbelts.  The big question I have people ask me is why did you get a SM?  The real answer is the level of drivers in the class.  At any sanctioned race event weekend there are always SM and someone to race against and I have personally known several drivers go into SM a novice and come out the other side in pro racing.  To win at SM you have to have your shit together.  To be the best you need to compete against and beat the best so here I am.

 

Owner: Barett
Model: Mazda B2600i
Mileage: ?

Modifications: Solid axle swap with Toyota running gear, 4.88:1 axle gears, rear locker, 3 feet of articulation, 8000lb winch, high bolstered seats, 35×14.5R15 Super Swamper Bogger Tires, “lots of f*ckery fabrication.”

Barett’s Comments: This was my first real vehicle, and it taught me lots about owning a vehicle, modifying a vehicle and I have more memories with this beast than I can come up with right now. I beat the SH*T out of this truck and it’s always put away wet.

 Owner: Rich
Model: 1988 Mazda Rx- CONVERTIBLE

 

Modifications: Turbo engine swap, Apexi Power FC, CS Border Style body kit, CS front mount intercooler, CS turbo back exhaust, many other mods.

Rich’s Comments: The Rx-7 is kept in the garage and it’s mainly a fair weather/weekend car except during the summer. I take it out for special occasions or to just show off every once in a while. It’s a nostalgia piece for me. 

 

Not Pictured:

  • 2016 Mazda 3 Sedan. Derrick’s 2nd racecar. Caged, stripped, 2.0L AT converted to 2.5L MT.
  • Mazda RX-7 FC. Owned by Derrick.
  • NA Mazda Miata. Parts car for Derrick’s Spec Miata
  • Mazda 5. Derrick’s wife’s car.
  • Mazda CX7. Kelly’s daily driver.

For those keeping score, that’s 22 Mazdas in the CorkSport garage. The cars have come and gone over the years but one thing will always stay true: our cars will be fun to drive because they are Mazdas. Here’s to more Mazdas finding their way into the CS (and your) garage.

 

Oh and if you have any questions on the above cars, please let us know down below, we’ll be sure to pass on your question to the car’s owner.

 

-Daniel

Protect your Mazda 3 with the CorkSport Skid Tray

Extra Protection for your 2014-2016 Mazda 3

That’s right folks; CorkSport’s favorite skid trays have made their way to the GEN3 Mazda 3. Whether you have a broken OE plastic skid tray or are just looking for some extra protection for the winter months, please welcome the CorkSport 2014-2016 Mazda3 Skid Tray. Made from laser cut, 0.090” thick aluminum formed to a perfect fit, this skid tray is a direct upgrade from the OE Mazda3.

From the factory, the GEN3 Mazdas come with a flimsy plastic under tray that can crack and break with the smallest of impacts.
It exists primarily to smooth the airflow traveling under your car and act as a splash shield for the engine compartment while driving in the rain but offers no real protection for your oil pan. We felt compelled to remedy this issue, and thus, the CorkSport Mazda3 Skid Tray was born.

The 0.090” thick aluminum protects your Mazda 3 from road debris, rocks, and damage to vital engine components while adding minimal weight to your car. This aluminum is the same material as our Mazdaspeed 3 skidplate, and it has proven itself to take plenty of punishment. We even torture tested one of our prototype skid trays during the 25 Hours of Thunderhill on the CorkSport Mazda 3 Race Car and had no issues.

As always, we sought out to make the installation as painless as possible while retaining all OE features. The CorkSport skid tray only uses the OE mounting locations without having to drill or trim anything. The CorkSport Mazda3 skid tray is a two-piece design that allows for a more straightforward install. Each piece is more manageable to move around for installation than the traditional one-piece design. As a bonus, it also makes the shipping is cheaper! We retained The oil and filter access panel so you can easily perform maintenance without having to remove the Mazda3 skid tray.

By extending the front of the skid tray above the bottom of the front bumper like OE, the CorkSport Skid Tray retains the smooth transition from bumper to skid tray to ensure smooth airflow under your car. You can even run the CorkSport Skidplate with the Mazda OE front lip with no issues.

If you’re worried about your oil pan or can’t seem to keep an OE skid tray in one piece, let the CorkSport Skid Plate for 2014-2016 Mazda 3 alleviate your issues.

P.S. Our two-piece design allows us to develop fitments for other models. If you’re interested in a skid plate for your car, let us know, and we might start work on one for you!