All About That CatBack Exhaust

Mazda Catback Exhaust Installed

Ever wondered the key factors of making a decision about your aftermarket exhaust? Why Cat-back? 

Is it the diameter of the exhaust that says performance? Or is it the type of metal used? What about fitment to your current setup? None of these questions by themselves answer what you need by themselves, but all of them together help when making the decision on how to get more power out of your Mazda.

At CorkSport, we have made it our #1 priority to make our customers dreams a reality. Whether you drive a Mazdaspeed or a regular Mazda, we’ve made sure to engineer a great fitting exhaust that maximizes engine performance.

Check out the Cat-Back Exhausts by Car Model Below:

Take the Mazdaspeed 3 for example: When you purchase a CorkSport Catback Exhaust, you’re getting T304 stainless steel piping that has been polished to a mirror-like finish.

You’re also getting true 80mm piping, which is slightly bigger than three inches, making our exhaust one of the biggest bolt on catback systems.

Fitment is also a big concern to us. We make sure our exhaust systems are mandrel bent and TIG welded to make a perfect bolt-on fitment.

Mazda 6 Power Series Exhaust

Now that you know our exhaust is 80mm piping, polished to perfection, and made to be a direct fitment, you can bet this exhaust will increase performance and sound. By installing our cat-back exhaust, you’re removing the secondary unmonitored catalyst making the exhaust flow much faster out of the motor. By increasing the velocity of exhaust gases out of the motor, you increase power and make your turbo spool up a little bit faster.

Among the power gains you’ll see from installing the CorkSport Catback Exhaust, you’ll also have a car with a deep growl to it. Our exhaust has one of the best sounding tones on the market. With a quality made exhaust, comes quality sound.

When find yourself ready for a cat-back exhaust, be sure to check out CorkSport to ensure you get the highest quality for your ride.

 

Stopping power for the Mazdaspeed6

With our goals to make more power, we often forget about the opposite requirement so speed…stopping. The CorkSport Big Brake Caliper Kit is a great place to start, however, if you wish you could stop even faster say hello to the CorkSport 13inch Big Brake Kit. Designed for serious stopping power, it includes 13” directional rotors, powder-coated 4-piston calipers, upgraded pads, and everything you need to install it on your Mazdaspeed 6.

Read on for a breakdown of all the components:

2-Piece Rotors

Lots of thought has put into the design of the performance rotors found in the CorkSport 13inch BBK. The upgrade to 13inch diameter rotors provides greater braking torque for an equivalent braking force (like how a longer wrench makes it easier to loosen a tight bolt). The increased diameter combined with a thicker 28mm (vs 25mm for OE) rotor ring provides better cooling as there is a larger mass to reject heat into.

In addition, slots were added to the friction surface to help sweep away any debris, brake dust, or gases that can otherwise affect your braking characteristics. Drilled rotors were not used as holes decrease your total friction area and increase the chance that the rotor will crack. Utilizing a two-piece design, we were able to decrease the overall weight of the rotor via center section produced from billet aluminum; while also helping dissipate heat from the rest of the rotor better. Semi-Floating mounting between the inner and outer sections allows for quieter rotor vs having a full-floating center section.

Lastly, the rotors feature directional internal vanes that promote more efficient airflow through the rotor which further increases the rotors ability to dissipate heat. By using curved vanes instead of the typical straight vanes, the rotor becomes directional and has to be used on a specific side of the vehicle; however, it also provides more efficient cooling. When the rotor turns, the curved vanes draw air through the center of the rotor and out through the edge, providing greater airflow than a straight vane and thus better cooling. There is another bonus to heat dissipation as the curved vanes have a larger surface area that will come in contact with air than an equivalent number of straight vanes.

Forged Calipers

Four-piston performance calipers manufactured from forged aluminum are included with the kit in a choice of powder-coated blue, red, or black.

Although each piston is individually smaller in diameter than the single OE caliper piston, the total surface area is increased so the braking force at a specific brake pressure is increased. Larger piston surface area means larger brake pads can be used as well. You also get more even braking force on each side of the rotor due to the opposed piston design. This encourages even pad wear, even rotor wear, and consistent braking characteristics. The piston diameter and material were chosen for optimum braking endurance and reliability. They are staggered in size, with the pistons on the leading edge being slightly smaller than the trailing edge pistons. This is another protection for even pad wear. Each piston is made completely out of stainless steel for its low conductive heat transfer. What this means is that the pistons themselves will transfer less heat to the brake fluid than an aluminum or steel piston, decreasing the chances of overheated brake fluid.

Performance Pads

Street performance brake pads are included with the kit. The street sports pads bridge the gap between street and trackpads. They are a more aggressive compound than the pads included with the CorkSport Big Brake Caliper Kit but are not a full track pad. They will produce less dust and noise than a track pad but still need to be warmed up for optimum performance. Should you need new pads or want to change to a different pad, you have a bunch of options from G-Lock, Carbotech, EBC, Hawk, and various other manufacturers.

Lines, Brackets, and Hardware

The remainder of the CorkSport 13inch BBK is composed of exactly what you need to properly and safely install the kit on your MS6. Coated stainless steel brake lines are included to remove any risk of a soft brake pedal and ensure the calipers are operating optimally. High strength billet steel brackets properly position the four-piston calipers on the new rotors using the OE bracket locations. All components are locked down using Grade 12.9 hardware with a corrosion resistant coating for lasting durability.

The CorkSport Mazdaspeed 6 and Mazda6 13” Big Brake Kit has everything you need to keep you safe at increased horsepower levels. If you’re looking for more than the stock brakes have to offer, let the CorkSport BBK be a part of your build.

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.

The Race Car Romance

I recently had the opportunity to interview one of my favorite up and coming racers and wanted to share with you some of her advice and story. This is just an awesome look into the winning mentality of one of SCCA’s Wendi Allen Scholarship prominent women Racers! From where she started to where she’s headed and some info in between, you’ll get a chance to hear direct from Johanna Foege in this interview.

How long have you been racing? What got you started?
My brothers both got involved with auto-crossing while I was in college and were always trying to convince me to come out and race with them. It wasn’t until the end of 2011 when a friend offered me a codrive in their Mazda3 (and a year after I purchased my first MazdaSpeed3) that I finally gave it a try.

At that first event, I ended up taking first in my novice (open) class of 7, on my first run, nonetheless! Naturally, I was immediately hooked.

What have been the best outcomes for you since starting racing?
This year I received the SCCA Wendi Allen Scholarship. I suppose this means that I’ve made enough positive impressions on SCCA members to have been nominated for this award, which is intended for young women drivers that show promise at driving and inspiring other women. This scholarship has made a crazy year of racing possible for me, and I’m so grateful to have received the recognition and the opportunity to compete in 8 national tour events throughout 2018!

What have been your best standings thus far?
My first taste of victory was at a local event in Champaign, IL when I took the fastest run of the day (out of all the drivers), in the Mazdaspeed6 back in June 2014. I’ve only made it to one National event which was in September 2017 at Lincoln, NE, but I managed to trophy there, finishing 3rd in my class. And just last week at the Championship Tour Event in Peru, IN, I managed to finish 16th out of 275 drivers.

What do you believe is the best MOD for racing – if you had to pick the best one?
I think this entirely depends on your car and the kind of racing you do! For autocross, the rear sway bar has been my favorite in my Mazdaspeed3, as it helps combat the understeer, pushy front wheel drive characteristics. My favorite mod on the Mazdaspeed6 has been the custom valved, high spring rate coilover setup since that car has relatively soft suspension and a lot of body roll from the factory.

What is your favorite MOD – other than the Driver Mod, which we know you invested in already?
If awesome tires count as a mod, definitely that! All other mods depend entirely on how much grip your tires have on the surface at any given moment. This applies to the street, too. Also, have you seen our Hoosiers? 😝

What has been the most memorable mistake you’ve made on the track?
At 2017 SCCA SOLO Nationals, I had a KILLER run- 0.7 seconds faster than the rest of mine, and 0.5 seconds ahead of first place in my class. I’d been working on looking ahead while driving throughout the year and was doing such a good job of this that I hit a cone that was right in front of me on that run. I remember seeing it at the last second and thinking, “There’s no way I’m getting around that now!” What I didn’t know at that moment, was that cone was going to cost me first place at my first Nationals.


What is your best advice for other Drivers starting out?
Take a school, ask people for help and advice (and be receptive to it), and don’t give up! Don’t be too hard on yourself, driving skills take a long time to polish, and do come more naturally to some people. In the end, racing is really about mental preparation, confidence, and ambition composure on course.

Why do you believe women in racing is important?
I think it’s time we see a paradigm shift about the activities that women (and men) pursue. I’m all about supporting whatever healthy hobbies people find themselves interested in, and I don’t think there needs to be gender stereotypes associated with any of them. I love to see women participating in motorsports because it serves as a reminder to all that we are on the same playing field as men, and are capable of just as much. As more women enter the world of racing, I really hope it opens the door to other ladies feeling comfortable pursuing what has historically been an atypical interest. I just hear way too many women say “That’s so cool that you race, but I could never do that!” You can, and you should give it a try!!! Maybe someday, they will.

Lastly, feel free to add anything you’d like the public to know about you, your car or your racing experience!
I’ve made efforts in the Mazdaspeed (forum) community to support and encourage all members, but particularly other women, to participate in the sport of autocross. I’ve taken part in organizing four different national meets, and assured autocross was on our schedule at each one. I also made myself available to instruct at these events, and really focused on getting the women members to take part with me. I’ve gotten several of the local member’s girlfriends into the driver’s seat at autocross events as well. It has been rewarding to watch them find enjoyment from it and helping them grow into better drivers, as many have found it easier to learn from a fellow woman, than their significant other, lol.

My teammate and partner of 5 years, Clint, and I live nearly 600 miles apart. He’s been my inspiration, engineer, coach, mechanic, and best friend all along, and I credit him for bringing me to where I am today, and for building us an amazingly capable and unique car. I just started a blog to keep track of our long-distance relationship racing adventures this year, as well as driving tips, goals, and my progress through each event! www.TheRacecarRomance.com

The Top Five Things YOU NEED to Know Before You Buy a Mazdaspeed

The Mazdaspeed 3 and Mazdaspeed 6 are some of the most unique, exhilarating, and frustrating sport-compacts out on the market today. If you’re reading this, then it’s because you are in the market for a Mazdaspeed or you have one already and are looking for a good laugh. For you are newbies to the Mazdaspeed game…listen up; we’ve got some words of advice and things to check as you are shopping around.  

First, let’s start with the top two must do inspections when shopping around.  

One: Has the car been modified?  If so then what parts are on the car and has it been properly tuned for the parts.  This also means the car should have some type of tuning tool such as the Cobb Accessport or Versatune Tuning Solution.  

Two: You MUST check the engine compression!  This is the easiest way to get the overall health of the engine and know if you are getting a solid Mazdaspeed to start your journey with or a Speed on it’s last leg.  Most auto parts stores can loan an engine compression tool for a small deposit then only basic hand tools are need to do the test.

Now let’s get the top five things you should know before buying a Mazdaspeed.  

Maintenance is KEY, but that’s really not special to just the Mazdaspeed, all performance engines/vehicles, especially turbocharged and direct injected ones, will require a higher level of care and cost when it comes to routine maintenance.  This means better quality oils, oil filters, premium grade fuel, and an acute awareness of the vehicle itself; if you’re ready for that than let’s move on.

Next up are the three “not if it happens, but when it happens” about the Mazdaspeed engine.  

The variable valve timing (aka VVT) system is prone to failure from the factory so this should be on your radar for an upcoming replacement.  You may get lucky and find a car that has had the VVT system replaced, but I wouldn’t plan out. It’s a medium difficulty project that can be done over a weekend and cost around $400 in parts. If you are not mechanically inclined, it is going to be expensive to have a shop perform the work.

The poor little OEM K04 turbocharger just never had a chance on the 2.3L DISI MZR engine!  Sadly, the OEM turbocharger is an honest to gosh ticking time bomb. The OE turbo will fail at some point and need to be replaced.  Fortunately there are a lot of exciting options on the market to take you and your Speed to the next level. For example check out the CorkSport Drop-In Turbocharger.  It bolt’s in like OE, but packs a punch in the performance department, supporting up to 450 horsepower. Note: Updating your turbo requires tuning.

Lastly for the Mazdaspeed quirks; the high pressure fuel pump internals (HPFP).  Like the name states, these parts provide an upgrade for the camshaft driven high pressure fuel pump so your engine does not experience fuel starvation during wide open throttle (WOT). These are absolutely required if you plan to make in modifications to the engine that would increase power and for any performance tuning.  Honestly, we recommend the HPFP internals for 100% stock Mazdaspeed as well because the drop in fuel pressure is even an issue for stock cars.

So you read all that and you’re probably thinking “damn I’m not buying a Speed, sounds like a total PITA”.  Well hold on, I didn’t mean to shine a poor light on the Mazdaspeed platform, but it does have its quirks to overcome.  However, after those few concerns are taken care of the platform is A LOT of fun and probably one of the best bang-for-the-buck sport compacts available.  Just a few thousand dollars can net you a Mazdaspeed around 350whp and more smiles than you’ll know what to do with.

The last thing you need to know before you buy a Mazdaspeed…jump straight in and don’t look back because you won’t regret it.  From the late nights in the garage installing the latest performance parts, to the early mornings at the car show, and then the midnight highway pulls making V8s owners second guess their purchase. The community, the journey of building YOUR car, and of course the car itself is so awesome.  

-Barett