Testing – CorkSport External Wastegate Housing for Mazdaspeed

Turbo EWG

Why EWG?  (it’s just about awesome turbo noises)

We hear this alot as the Mazdaspeed platform continues to grow and the 450-500whp build becomes the status quo. Following up the EWG Housing Design & Details Blog about the new CorkSport EWG Housing, we want to share some testing data and differences we saw between an IWG (internal wastegate) and EWG (external wastegate) setups.  

Details about design, flow, placement, data, and feedback from our CST4 EWG Beta Tester.  

IWG vs EWG comparison on the CST4
IWG vs. EWG on the CST4

Let’s jump right in!  First up is a spring pressure comparison between the IWG and EWG housing on a CST4 turbocharger.  Let’s first define what “spring” pressure is: this is the resulting boost pressure with 0 added wastegate duty cycle.  AKA we are not trying to add boost pressure.

Immediately you can see some very obvious differences.   The IWG setup has a taper up boost curve that could be considered boost creep.  Some boost creep is ok, but an excessive amount may reach the capacity of the fuel system or other systems in the vehicle.  In this setup that is not the case, but it does show that the IWG is at its limits for boost control.

With the EWG setup you see a much different curve.  The boost builds a few hundred RPM later (due to the larger 0.82 A/R) then climbs right to the spring pressure and then settles to a consistent plateau; very predictable and controllable.  

CAD EWG and IWG Designs
CorkSport EWG and IWG Designs

Now let’s look at the design to better understand why.  On the left is the EWG turbine housing with a 0.82 A/R and on the right is the IWG turbine housing also with a 0.82 A/R (we don’t want the A/R to be a factor in this review).   

The EWG housing has a very efficient flow path for the exhaust gas to reach the EWG control valve along with a much larger path to flow.  Both of these features provide excellent flow and thus control of boost pressure.

The IWG housing uses a side port in the turbine scroll to exhaust gas.  In this setup, the exhaust gas must make an abrupt turn and pass through a much smaller port.  Both of these issues reduce boost control.

EWG and IWG Explained

Here is a diagram showing placement of an EWG in the exhaust pre-turbine.  Granted we are comparing a EWG and IWG, but the concept of flow is the same.  

Exhaust gases will always take the path of least resistance and if the turbine wheel is the easier path than the wastegate then boost control will be more difficult.  

Internal and External Wastegate performance chart
(Left) Internal Wastegate Setup | Common Issues
(Right) External Wastegate Setup | Optimized Setup
Click to Expand

This graph was shown in the last blog, but we want to show it again so you can directly compare it to the data graph below.  

Below is the boost curves for the CST5 in both IWG and EWG setup.  Alone each graph actually looks really good, but when overlaid you can see some interesting differences.  

CST5 Dyno testing with IWG and EQG setup

IWG vs. EWG on the CST5

The purple IWG graph has a crisp spool and then flat-lines at approximately 30psi with a slight fall off at 6500rpm.  The CST5 IWG setup does control boost really well, but holding the turbo back at spool up and not over-boosting or spiking was a small challenge.  An abrupt boost curve like this can make the car somewhat difficult to drive because the torque “hits” very hard and you lose traction.

The EWG setup was a bit more controllable.  Not only did the CST5 turbo spool a bit sooner, but we were able to better control the spool up boost curve so we could create a torque curve that was more friendly to the FWD traction.  This makes the car more fun to drive. Looking at the higher RPM range we were also able to hold boost more consistently to 7500rpm.

CorkSport External Wastegate

We hope you guys and gals are as excited for the EWG options for the CST4, CST5 and CST6.  They really are an awesome setup for any driving style and power goal.  

Thanks for tuning in with CorkSport Performance.

-Barett @ CorkSport

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 ~6k 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

How to Clean your EGR System

Cleaning Your EGR System

The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR for short) system present in all Mazdaspeed 3 and Mazdaspeed 6 vehicles is known to have some issues. It is present from the factory to help with NOx emissions and likes to clog, throwing a check engine light in the process. The common solution to this is to do a full EGR delete, and use an AccessPort to clear the CEL.

While likely the best solution, it is not possible for all people to do, especially if you live in an area with extensive emissions testing. If this sounds familiar, read on as I explain what the EGR system does, how to clean it, and how to ensure you will pass emissions afterward.
The EGR system does exactly what the name says; it recirculates some of the exhaust gasses back into the intake system.

Through some fancy chemistry, this reduces the total amount of NOx that comes out of your exhaust pipe. In Mazdaspeeds the system consists primarily of the EGR valve and the tube that connects the valve back to the intake manifold. Over time, the carbon present in the exhaust builds up, causing issues for the system. If the valve cannot open/close all the way or the tube gets clogged, your car will likely throw a P0401 code, for insufficient EGR flow. Aside from being another pesky CEL, a clogged system can cause rough idling, poor MPG, and slow startups.

Tools and Products Needed:

  • Degreaser/Carbon Cleaner – This will really help break up the stubborn carbon, making it easier to clean the EGR valve/tube. B-12 Chemtool works the best, but regular brake parts cleaner or other strong degreasers will work as well.
  • Picks/Scrapers – The cleaner will get the carbon softened but you will need something to scrape at it and get the pieces out.
  • Flexible Round Brush – The EGR tube can be cleaned by just soaking in the degreaser and picking out the big chunks but a round brush works even better. I used a straight brush but I think this flexible one will work better.
  • Coolant – The EGR valve has a coolant passage so you will lose most if not all of the coolant in your overflow tank. Be sure to buy OEM Mazda coolant or at least coolant with phosphate organic acids to keep your cooling system healthy.
  • Assorted Tools – You will need a regular assortment of sockets and hand tools for this job. The only irregular tools are a 22mm wrench (you can use an adjustable wrench) and some small needle nose pliers.
  • OBDII Code Reader – Okay you don’t NEED this for EGR cleaning but who doesn’t love new toys? This one is great for reading any CEL codes and seeing when you’re ready for emissions (more on that later).

Now let’s get started!

  1. Start by removing the OE battery, battery box/tray, top mount intercooler, airbox lid, and turbo inlet pipe. Getting to the EGR valve is really the hardest part of this entire process. If you’re new to your Mazdaspeed and need some help removing any of these parts, MazdaSpeed Forums has a lot of resources if you just search for them. Be very careful when removing the small vacuum line on your turbo inlet pipe. The plastic barb likes to break off, causing all sorts of headaches down the road.

  2. Locate & remove the EGR valve. It is the small aluminum piece with a round plastic top. Loosen the clamp on the black rubber hose and drain the coolant that will come out. You will lose about what is present in your overflow tank, catching it with a cup prevents a mess in your engine bay. Remove the electrical connector and the two bolts that hold the EGR valve to the engine and the whole valve will come free. Be sure to keep track of the gasket between it and the engine.            

  3. Remove the throttle body. You must first remove the two coolant lines that run to the TB. Clamp them closed to prevent any extra coolant leakage. Remove the four bolts, and the throttle body will come free. Once again keep track of the gasket.

  4. Remove the EGR tube. There are two bolts located by where the EGR valve was removed. Another gasket located here. Trace the metal tube back to the front of the engine and remove the large 22mm nut. You may need some penetrating fluid to help loosen this nut. The EGR tube then pulls out of the intake manifold.              
  5. Start cleaning by using a pick to remove some of the carbon from where you removed the EGR tube. There’s a bunch of gunk in there but it’s not easy to clean so do what you can.

  6. Spray some of your degreaser inside the EGR tube and let sit while to start loosening up the carbon buildup while you clean the EGR valve.

  7. Disassemble the EGR valve. Remove the four screws from the plastic section. The two halves should separate. These screws strip extremely easily, use care to not damage them and be sure to keep track of the gasket.
  8. You will now have access to a plunger. This is what opens and closes the EGR valve. Push it to help you clean around the valve. Use the picks, degreaser, and whatever else you need to remove as much carbon as you can. Focus especially on the areas around the valve. Ensure it has smooth operation and can fully open and close. Take your time here.          

  9. Using the round brush, degreaser, and picks, clean the EGR tube as best as you can. I found the majority of the carbon was located toward the end with the 22mm nut. Take your time, once again, you don’t want to have to redo this.

  10. Reassemble everything. Ensure you reconnect all hoses, reconnect all electrical connectors, use all gaskets, and tighten all bolts. Add coolant to your reservoir until you reach the max line.

You should now have a squeaky clean EGR system! Start up the car and check for any leaks or strange noises.

Now if you’re like me and had to clean the EGR system for emissions, you will need to complete a “drive cycle” to pass. All the sensors for the emissions system have to run tests to ensure that they are operating correctly. Since you had the battery unplugged, the sensors have basically reset and need to run all of the tests again. In most states, there is a limit to how many sensors can read “not ready” and still pass emissions. Guidelines to reset most if not all of the sensors are as follows (sourced from MSF):

  1. Before you start to be sure you have: no CELs, fuel level between 15-85%, all accessories off, cold engine.
  2. Start and idle for 5 minutes.
  3. Rev engine in neutral to 2300-2700 RPM for 15 seconds.
  4. Rev engine in neutral to 3800-4200 RPM for 15 seconds.
  5. Idle engine for 20 seconds.
  6. Accelerate to 52-55 MPH, maintain speed in 6th gear for 1.5 minutes.
  7. Decelerate to 15 MPH, drive for 13 minutes at speeds between 15 and 35 MPH.
  8. Drive at 25MPH for 50 seconds.

This order of steps activated all but one of my sensors, meaning that in Washington State I was able to pass emissions in my 2007 Mazdaspeed 6.

Hopefully, this will help out a few of you that are stuck with an EGR system. This procedure saves a few hundred dollars over replacing the valve, making that next modification happen just a little bit sooner!

If you have any additional tips or tricks be sure to share them in the comments, we’d love to hear your experiences!

 

Daniel

CorkSport Engineer

New Year, New Gains

As the New Year rolls around, most people are looking for a change for the better in their lives.

At CorkSport we think one of the best changes you can make is more power for your Mazdaspeed. We have all the parts you need to liven up your Mazdaspeed3 or Mazdaspeed6 in the New Year.

Safety First

One of the first things to consider when modifying your Speed is the health of its engine. Performing maintenance is very important but it only gets you so far. When adding power, one of the first modifications on your list should be the CorkSport Max Flow Fuel Pump Internals.

These pump internals allow you to maximize your stock fuel system for optimum power capabilities and safer than OE A/R ratios. This means you can add the power you want and have peace of mind that your engine will get the fuel it needs.

Put the Power Down

Like the CS fuel pump internals, the CorkSport Stage 2 RMM for Mazdaspeed 3 will not directly increase the power levels of your car; however, it helps you put all that hard-earned power down. By decreasing the amount the engine can rotate, the Rear Motor Mount allows for reduced wheel hop and torque steer while providing faster throttle response and crisper shift feel.

Even we are surprised how much this engine mount changes how a Mazdaspeed 3 feels. Don’t worry Mazdaspeed 6 guys and gals, we have an RMM for you too.

Improving Airflow

Engines in an extremely simple sense are air pumps; so the faster you can get air in and out of the system, the better. That being said, some of the simplest and easiest power gains you can get from your Mazdaspeed are from upgrading the intake and exhaust. We have seen peak gains of 25ft-lbs and 33WHP from only the CorkSport Stage 2 Intake and a CorkSport Racepipe.

Checkout the dyno sheet below.

Power and torque levels will be further increased if you install a full CorkSport Turbo Back Exhaust instead of just the race pipe section.

The catback exhaust section has proven to gain up to 14WHP while the downpipe section alone has proven to gain up to 21WHP. In the dyno graph below, the downpipe car had a CorkSport Intake installed at the same time as the downpipe (hence the 50hp gain).

If that wasn’t enough flow for you, we also offer 3” and 3.5” intakes for even more airflow into your turbo. Keep in mind though, once you get into those you will need to use a new tune to ensure your car runs optimally. But check out the extra flow you get!

Turbo Upgrade

The CorkSport Drop-In Turbo is a fantastic upgrade to the stock K04 turbo that allows your car to make more power on an equivalent boost pressure. It will work with any mods you already had on your OE turbo as the CS turbo is truly a drop in upgrade. With supplemental tuning, fueling, and supporting parts, you can push your Speed to its limits.

The Next Level

CorkSport also manufactures parts that can take your Speed beyond the parts discussed above. A short list of the parts with the best power gains can be seen below:

    • CorkSport Camshafts: Replacement cams with extra lift to provide increased power and torque across the entire RPM range.
  • Bigger CorkSport Turbo? Yes, there is one in development. See this blog post for details.

No matter what your goals are for this year, CorkSport is here to help you achieve them. Whether you just picked up a Mazdaspeed and are unsure where to start, or have been driving one for years and want the excitement you once had back, CorkSport has a part for you.

Daniel

CorkSport Engineer

How To Achieve 400 WHP In Your Mazdaspeed

Today I want to share with you a simple blog on just one way of taking your Mazdaspeed to 400WHP. After checking out this blog, If you would like more in-depth information on some of these parts, I thoroughly suggest picking up a copy of our Ultimate Mazda Performance Guide. This simple read is packed full of information on modifying 2004+ NA and Mazdaspeed models. It’s also a great place to start for folks who are new to aftermarket performance parts and the modification game.

Let’s Get Started

The MZR DISI engine in the Mazdaspeed platform has been around for just over 10 years now. CorkSport along with the community of racers, shops, and enthusiasts alike have learned quite a bit about these engines. We have learned what they like and what they don’t. How they react to certain mods, how to maintain them, and also some of their weak points. We also learned how to take this platform well over 400 WHP.

We recently hit 684 whp with the CST6 — Check it out here.

Among the many things we have learned, we have developed a great understanding of what is needed to get these engines to make power. More specifically, with the right set of bolt-on parts and tuning one can easily and safely make 400WHP on a stock bottom end of your MS3 or MS6. The torque will just need to be kept under control.

It’s not a secret or rocket science on how to achieve this power level in a Mazdaspeed3 or Mazdaspeed6, and it is very much doable.

Stock Red Mazdaspeed3
Stock Mazdaspeed3

Disclaimer:

There are certainly many variables that can come into play when trying to achieve 400WHP safely, such as the health of your engine, quality of engine tune, octane rating of fuel, engine management software and more. This is by no means an all-inclusive guide and the only way of making this level of power. However, this is a tried and tested method of making high power safely and reliably. We come from years of experience doing it ourselves and helping the community with their Mazdas as well. We have spent years and years developing this platform and continue to do so on a daily basis. What I aim to do is educate you on how you can make the most out of your MZR engine.

Necessary Upgrades To Make 400WHP

Now before we get too ahead of ourselves, there are two modifications that are a must before going down the 400whp quest. Those are high-pressure fuel pump internals and a tuning solution such as those provided by COBB or VersaTuner. These parts do not inherently increase hp and tq levels, but they are 100% necessary to give you most out of your hard part modifications and do so with safe and reliable power. A high-quality tune is worth every penny, and when paired with things such as an intake or exhaust, you can capitalize even more so your parts and net more horsepower.

Understanding the DISI MZR 2.3T

The DISI MZR 2.3T is not much different than any other gasoline direct injected engine that you would find on any modern automobile. Here is how it operates:

  • Air goes into your Mazdaspeed.
  • Air is combined with the correct ratio of fuel.
  • The air/fuel mixture gets compressed.
  • A spark event occurs that ignites a controlled burn.
  • This event forces the piston downwards.
  • Exhaust gases then leave the Mazda.
  • The cycle repeats.

So in an oversimplified matter, that is all an internal combustion engine is – a glorified air pump with more bells and whistles. One of the best ways to make a really effective air pump is to optimize the movement of air into and out of the cylinders. For that reason, it’s best to start at the front and back of our car to help give it a little breathing room.

Intake & Exhaust

Mazdaspeed 3 Power Series 3.5

Mazdaspeed3 Power Series 3.5″ Intake

It’s no secret that an intake and exhaust system are among the most popular first upgrades for any vehicle, and it’s for a good reason. Letting air in and out of the engine as easily as we can is a great first step to create more power. Doing this will free up restrictions with the manufacturer parts, especially on a factory turbocharged vehicle. OEM parts are by and large designed with emissions regulations and pricing priorities, rather than performance.

Upgrading your Mazdaspeed to a 3” or 3.5” intake and pairing it with a turbo-back exhaust will create the airflow efficiency that we need to reach 400 WHP. We’re able to do this by increasing the exhaust pipe diameter and either eliminating our catalytic converter or replacing it with a high-flow race cat. By increasing the efficiency of airflow from entry through the exit, the engine is effectively working less to produce the same amount of power.

By adding an intake and exhaust to your Mazdaspeed, you can net an easy 50+ whp when paired with the proper tune. As you continue down the modification road, you’ll find that this is the most effective dollars spent to horsepower ratio. Now that we are able to take more of the power stroke, we can focus on getting more power to the wheels, rather than letting it be consumed by byproducts such as waste heat, noise, and vibration.

Mazdaspeed3 Exhaust Setup
Mazdaspeed3 Exhaust Setup

Intercooler & Turbo

Another great way to make more power with your Mazdaspeed, and to get closer to 400whp, is to increase the level of boost pressure running through the engine. OEM boost levels are around the 14-15 PSI. But once we have our intake and exhaust installed on our Mazdaspeed, our tuning solution can allow us to start increasing that level into the 19-21 range.

A natural byproduct of increasing the pressure within the system is a corresponding rise in air temperature. To be able to make the most of the increased boost levels, it’s important to keep the temperature at a lower level. To do this, you’ll want to upgrade to a larger top mount intercooler (TMIC), or even go a step further and upgrade to a large front mount intercooler (FMIC) core.

The intercoolers primary function is to act as a heat exchanger, and we know that heat is the #1 roadblock for any engine to make more power. The more efficiently we can remove heat from the system, the more power we can create safely and reliably. We should also note that the stock TMIC in the Mazdaspeed platform is a terrible bottleneck in the system so this will free up extra flow.

Mazdaspeed Front Mount Intercooler
Mazdaspeed Front Mount Intercooler

Now that we have a good way of getting air into, out of, and keeping it cool at the same time, we want to increase the total volume. An easy way to do this is by upgrading the turbocharger in your Mazdaspeed. This is an easy process that replaces your factory k04 and creates the potential to throw down some serious power. When you reach this point in your build, you open up options on how to proceed:

  1. Make the same power on less boost
  2. Make more power on the same boost
  3. Make way more power on WAY more boost!!!

If we are shooting for 400whp, then we generally like to choose door #3.

CST4 Turbo
CST4

Side note: We highly suggest / possibly need a 3.5 bar MAP sensor and an electronic boost control solenoid (or EBCS). Once we start to increase our boost pressures north of 21psi, the OEM electronics begin to lose resolution and can negatively affect our tuning if not addressed.

By upgrading our MAP sensor we are allowing the powertrain control module (PCM) to recognize and look up higher boost targets than those equipped from the OEM unit. With this upgrade, the computer can now accurately record and look up these values. We also upgrade our electronic boost control solenoid (EBCS) to allow more fine-tuning of our maps and boost targets. An OEM EBCS just won’t allow us as fine of control of our boost pressure, which can result in some headaches as we approach higher horsepower levels.

The Finishing Touches To Reach 400 WHP

With the above combination of mods and proper tuning on a healthy engine, a medium frame turbo on pump gas can get you into the 330-340whp range. If we go another step further, we will open up more ‘breathing’ mods such as the intake manifold, taller lift camshafts, or a larger throttle body. This will stretch us into the 350-360 whp range.

That being said without the help of e85 or aux fueling we can’t go any closer to our 400whp mark. We simply hit the limits of the Mazdaspeed factory fuel system and need to look into upgrading that system as well.

Making the switch over to e85 allows us to get in the 380 range, but we soon run out of fuel injector headroom in the Mazdaspeed at this point and max out our injector duty cycle. We then have to look at aux fueling (Meth or Port Injection) as a solution to get us to our 400whp mark safely. What’s unfortunate is that at this point we are also looking at upgrading our hard parts such as our in-tank fuel pump to keep up with demand if you plan to run PI. There are quite a few options for AUX fueling which are beyond the scope of this blog.

Now, as mentioned this is not the only way of making these power levels, but it could be said that it is one of the easiest and most popular. It’s important to remember that along the way we supplement the engine with other supporting mods to ensure we are safe and can make full use of our power. Things like lower heat range spark plugs and a stage 2 rear engine mount can go a long way.

Thanks for following along and feel free to leave us a comment if you have any questions or want some more specific information on a product.