2018+ Mazda6 Performance Exhaust for the 2018-up 2.5T

Mazda did a great job bringing a turbocharged engine back to the Mazda 6 (Mazda 3 next please?), but may have done too good of a job of keeping it quiet. Say hello to the CorkSport 80mm Cat Back Exhaust and Axle Back Exhaust for 2018+ Mazda6 equipped with the turbocharged 2.5L engine. If you’re interested in waking up your SkyActiv-T in both excitement and power, read on as we breakdown the newest CS exhaust.

As with all CorkSport exhausts, the goal of the MZ6 2.5T exhaust is to improve power and sound by improving the flow of the OEM exhaust. We started by increasing the size of the piping from 60mm to 80mm. That is an increase of over three-quarters of an inch to really help your turbocharger breathe better. In addition, the CS exhaust system eliminates the crushed areas present in the OEM exhaust and replaces the restrictive muffler sections with pass-through resonators. These resonators control volume and drone without affecting power output.

All that extra flow does mean a power increase. In our in-house dyno testing, we saw an increase in 5-6WHP just by bolting on the CorkSport  Cat Back Exhaust. Check out the dyno sheet down below to see. This increase came with no tuning changes, no check engine lights, and the only other mod being the CorkSport Short Ram Intake, which was installed for both tests. With the 80mm piping size, this exhaust is ready to support future modifications and would likely show more power gains with proper tuning.

The CorkSport MZ6T exhaust is more than just function. We went through multiple iterations and designs to ensure the best sounding exhaust for your 6. The finished product ups the volume without being annoying to daily drive yet still sounds great when in hard acceleration. We strongly recommend you watch the video below to hear what to expect from this exhaust.

If you feel the video below gives you too much volume for the daily, then check out the Axle Back Only Exhaust.  Recently added to the CorkSport line-up, the Axle Back alone adds a mellower, but still noticeable tone to the exhaust.  This is a great middle ground between the CorkSport Cat Back and the stock exhaust.

To give a great looking, long-lasting finish to each exhaust, they are manufactured from fully polished 304 stainless steel. To ensure a high quality fitment, all components are precision TIG welded together on jigs made from OEM exhaust components. Lastly as a finishing touch, we use 100mm dual wall exhaust tips. They fill out the bumper cutouts and are extended slightly to give a classy look and enhance the new Mazda 6’s styling.

The CS Mazda 6 Turbo Exhaust comes with all the hardware and gaskets you need for installation, high quality instructions, and CorkSport support for any questions you may have. Pick up a CorkSport MZ6 2.5T Exhaust today and liven up that daily commute.

Oil Catch Can Kit for 2016+ SkyActiv Turbo 2.5L

Skyactiv Turbo OCC Kit

When you think of a performance aftermarket component you typically think of a part that increases the vehicle’s power, but some performance parts don’t. Instead they have a more critical purpose, increasing the reliability of your performance engine and components.  The CorkSport Oil Catch Can Kit (OCC Kit) is just that type of component(s). 

CNC machined Mazda Oil Catch Can

Why is an Oil Catch Can Kit critical for your Mazda?  Despite the huge advancement Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) technology there are still some downfalls.  Compared to the more conventional port injection fuel systems, GDI is much more prone to engine oil fuel dilution.  This is primarily due GDI injecting directly into the cylinder; in low speed operation and cold starts the fuel simply does not have enough time to fully atomize into a gas before ignition.  This results in some excess fuel seeping past the piston rings into the oil along with any combustion chamber blow by the pistons.  This is fuel dilution. 

OCC catch all the nasty build up from entering your Mazda Skyactiv engine

Here you can see the results of a CorkSport OCC installed for ~3000 miles on a 2018 Mazda 6 2.5T.  This engine only has 500 miles and has an average commute of 15 miles & 20 minutes of mixed traffic and speeds. 

Mazda’s OE design attempts to resolve some of this with a valve cover breather that vents directly into the turbocharger compressor inlet and a PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) valve in the engine block that vents to the intake manifold. 

How the Mazda OCC works

Mazda’s setup depends on the fuel and water vapor inside the crankcase being drawn into the intake manifold and intake system to then be re-ingested by the engine.  This has two major flaws:

  1. The direct crankcase ventilation via the PCV valve only works while cruising (no boost).  Combustion gas blow by will occur most often while in boost under high throttle application when the PCV valve is closed.
  2. This forces the engine to re-ingest dirty air that carries contaminants in the form of fuel and water vapor along with carbon debris.  These containments then build up on the inside of the intake manifold, cylinder head runners, and the intake valves slowly degrading performance over time. 
Carbon build up on a Mazda engine without the catch can

The CorkSport OCC Kit provides you with two major features:

  1. Both the valve cover vent and the PCV valve are drawn from the turbo inlet directly ahead of the turbocharger compressor. Thus both the valve cover and PCV valve have constant vacuum in all driving conditions, both cruising and high throttle application.
  2. The oil catch can itself acts as a “filter” for the vapor and debris that would normally be directly ingested by the engine. The drawn crankcase vapor and debris is separates and collects in the catch can for easy removal during normal oil changes. 

As you saw above, there is a significant amount of vapor and fine debris that is being filtered out of the crankcase air that would have normally been ingested.  As you continue down the path of modifying and demanding more form your Mazda, the need for a OCC System only becomes more and more critical. 

Bolt on Mazda Cx5, Cx9, and Mazda 6 turbo

The CST6 has Arrived!


The long wait is finally over and you can now get your hands on the CorkSport CST6, which holds the record for the highest horsepower on the OEM turbine flange at 684WHP! In case this is the first time you’ve heard “CST6”, be sure to check out our blogs on the CS Turbo catalog, CST6 Design, and CST6 Testing. The CST6 is truly a big turbo, so if you’re ready for some serious power on your Mazdaspeed 3 or 6, read on!

CST6 with External Wastegate for Mazdaspeed

Let’s start by looking at the anatomy of the CST6. The backbone is a tried and true dual ceramic ball bearing Garrett CHRA. We opted for ball bearings to improve response and durability, especially when running at high boost levels the CST6 is capable of. As for wheels, the turbine is a 10blade GT35 while the compressor is an 11blade GTX76 that is rated for 64 lb/min. This combo provides fantastic spool characteristics for its large size, achieving 20psi by 3800-3900 with the appropriate supporting mods and headwork like on Barett’s GEN1.

Mazdaspeed Turbo

The quick spool is not due to the wheels and ball bearings alone though. A lot of research and development went into making the turbine and compressor housings the right fit for the CST6, and balance fast spool with top-end power. A 4” inlet with anti-surge ports provides plenty of air into that compressor wheel while a high swallowing capacity 0.82 A/R external wastegate turbine housing offers superior top-end power capabilities and optimum boost control. Even with all these changes, the CST6 fits in the OEM location; all you need is the external wastegate actuator and an intake that fits the 4” compressor cover.

CorkSport CST6

The CST6 is definitely not all bark and no bite though. We have thoroughly tested the CST6 up to its limits and beyond and have had nothing but success. Check out the graph below, that is the CorkSport CST6 in “calm” trim making mid-500s at 28psi. The difference in power on the graph was a back to back exhaust manifold change but more on that when we reveal more of the CorkSport Exhaust Manifold….

CST6 Dynograph

At the limit of the CST6 is a full bore 38psi, port-injected E85, and revving out to 8000RPM, resulting in 684.7WHP and 552WTQ. Check out the graph below. There may even be a little more to be had, with a larger 4” intake and 3.5” downpipe and exhaust.

CST6 Dynograph

Like every other CorkSport turbo, the CST6 comes with all new hardware, gaskets, and the needed oil and coolant lines to make your install as painless as possible. The CST6 is a little special though as it also comes with a v-band clamp and EWG elbow to help with the installation of your EWG actuator. While you will have to supply the EWG actuator itself, the elbow helps locate the Tial 44mm (or equivalent) wastegate in a usable location, whether you have an MS3 or MS6. In addition, we have a dump tube available for purchase to prevent any fabrication on your CST6 install.

So if you’re in the market for some serious horsepower on your speed, be sure to check out the CorkSport CST6. Let us know if you have any questions on the CST6, installation, or supporting mods, we’re happy to help!

P.S. If you buy a CST6 share your power graph with #CorkSport

CST5 Spools!! Testing and Validation

We’re back on the new CorkSport turbocharger lineup again with today’s blog, this time focusing on the testing & validation of the “medium big” turbo, the CST5. Just in case you missed it, the CST4 (formerly known as the CorkSport 18G) is getting some company to go along with its new swanky name. Check out the full lineup here and the design behind the CST5 here. Now that you’ve read all that, let’s get into what you’re really here for, testing & dyno numbers.

We started with the internal wastegate option, to validate the CST5 for drop-in fitment. Since we’ve had great experience with the drop-in CST4, we knew how to design a turbo around the tight confines of the Mazdaspeed engine bay. The CST5 fit great in the OEM location with just a few minor revisions for proper fitment. It looks pretty good in there too if we do say so ourselves!

Next the car got put on the dyno for tuning and to push the new CST5 to its limits. With a little help from our friend Will at PD Tuning, the CST5 was soon putting down some impressive numbers. We started off with a “calm” boost level of ~25psi. This netted us 450WHP and spool time that surprised us, achieving 20psi by 3500-3600RPM. Turning up the boost and pushing the turbo to its limits, we achieved 519WHP at ~30-31psi on Barett’s built GEN1 MS3. Check out the dyno graph below.

Taking the car out on the street surprised us further at just how early the car was building boost for this size of turbo. Road logs showed that we were making 20psi slightly sooner than on the dyno (3400-3500RPM) but even more surprisingly the CST5 was making 30psi by 3700-3800RPM! Obviously this is an aggressive tune that would most likely kill a stock block, but, the CST5 can be tuned to be stock block friendly and still make good power.

Then came the testing on the EWG variant of the CST5. We had developed fitment for the CST6 which meant the CST5 had no issues upon install on both MS3 and MS6. Next was a quick retune and some power runs. The larger swallowing capacity of the EWG housing meant some extra power at peak, yet spool was nearly unchanged. We made 525WHP at the same ~30-31psi.

Comparing the IWG and EWG turbine housings you can see a small variation in the graphs.  This variation is mainly due to the change from internally waste-gated and externally waste-gated.  The EWG setup provides more precise boost control through the RPM range. The EWG setup allows us to better tune the “torque spike” around 4200rpm vs the IWG setup.  For peak power the IWG and EWG housings are within the margin of error which makes since because they are both 0.82 A/R housings.

Further supporting the IWG and EWG setups, both options allow you to tune the spring pressure so you can better setup your CST5 and Speed for the fuel and boost levels you want and of course the most noticeable difference is what you hear. What’s an EWG without a screamer pipe!  

Wrapping up testing showed exactly what we were hoping for with the CST5: a great middle ground between the existing CST4 and the upcoming CST6 that can be used on both high powered stock block and fully built cars. Our testing continues as this blog is written as the CST5 is being beta tested by a close friend of CS with a freshly built Dankai 2.

There’s more to come from the new CorkSport turbo lineup so stay tuned for more info on the CST5, CST6, and EWG housings.

-Daniel @ CorkSport

Inside look: CorkSport Turbo Design

The development and evolution of the CorkSport Performance CST5 and CST6 turbochargers are uniquely intertwined.   We’ll be honest, we started with the goal of a single larger turbo than the CST4 in mind, but as development progressed we were not getting the exact results we wanted. We wanted fast spool & transient response, huge power, and to retain the internally wastegated system.  Something had to give…we realized that we were asking too much from a single turbocharger, thus we redefined what we wanted and realized that two separate and focused turbochargers for the Mazdaspeed platform were the ideal choice.

CST5 Billet Compressor
CST5 Billet Compressor

Today we will focus on the design around the glorious CST5, specifically the theory and design around the wheel selection for the CST5 and why it works.  

CST5 Wheel Design

CST5 Turbine
CST5 Turbine

The compressor wheel utilized on the CST5 is the well-known and trusted GEN1 GTX71.  Compact and efficient, this compressor is rated for 56 lbs/min flow rate with a relatively high-pressure ratio threshold.  Paired with a 4-inch anti-surge compressor housing and we have a very versatile and responsive compressor setup.

Now here is where the design begins to deviate from the standard path.  The turbine wheel is an MHI TF06 design that is designed for high-performance applications.  The TF06 turbine wheel is the key to the performance of the CST5. Let’s see how and why below.

If you are unsure of the turbine wheel size don’t worry, that will get covered shortly.  For comparison, the MHI TF06 is very similar in size to the well-known GT30, but there are a few very specific differences that affect performance.  

Turbine Blades

Turbine Blades
Turbine Blades

The first and most obvious difference is the number of turbine blades; this difference has a couple of benefits. First, less weight; even a small difference in weight can make a significant difference in the spool and transient response characteristics of the turbocharger.  Second, reduce flow restriction; with one less blade, the “open” area through the turbine wheel exducer is increased which increases the peak flow potential for top-end power.

Inducer & Exducer

Inducer & Exducer Comparison
Inducer & Exducer Comparison

Next, are the less obvious differences.  The GT30 has a 60mm inducer and 55mm exducer which equates to an 84trim turbine wheel vs the TF06 with a 61.5mm inducer and 54mm exducer which equates to a 77trim turbine wheel.   

There are two key values to pull from this:  First, the turbine wheel inducer directly relates to the peak flow of the wheel and the overall wheel size balance which we will cover next.  Second, the turbine wheel trim affects the spool and response characteristics of the turbocharger. The smaller the wheels trim the faster the spool and response.  

Sizing

CST5 Sizing
CST5 Sizing

Alright here is the most important and commonly overlooked aspect of a turbocharger.  There is a rule of thumb when sizing the compressor and turbine wheels for a turbocharger.  

If the turbine is too large then the turbocharger will be very “lazy” and have trouble building boost.  

If the turbine is too small then the compressor may be overpowering the turbine wheel causing excessive exhaust gas buildup that can rob power even though you may be running a very high boost pressure.  

So what is the right balance?  From our experience in turbocharger design, development and validation along with industry professionals we have consulted there is a rule of thumb we have found when sizing the compressor and turbine wheels.  The exducer of the compressor wheel should be 10-15% larger than the inducer of the turbine wheel as shown in the image above.

CST5

So why does this work?  Well, let’s look back a bit first.  Many think you can just install a larger and/or higher flowing compressor wheel onto the turbocharger to make more power.  Now that is true to a point, but quickly the approach becomes very inefficient for the engine. Forcing more air into the engine without improving the flow out of the engine can only go so far.  

Everything that goes into the engine must come out, right?  Increased A/R sizing and turbine wheel sizing is the key to exhausting all the gases from the engine efficiently, and efficiency is key to making power.

With both the CST5 and CST6 development we focused on the overall performance of the engine, not just the development of a high-performance turbocharger.  

Thanks for tuning in with CorkSport Mazda Performance, more to come…

-Barett @ CS