3rd Time’s the Charm

We all know the saying the 3rd time is the charm and this year’s SCCA National Championship Runoffs was no exception to the rule.  The past 2 runoffs I have not made it to the finish.  In 2016 at Mid-O I was hit on the first lap and punctured my left front tire.  At Indy, I retired as we developed a fault in the ECU from some beta software we were running and the car dropped into limp mode and I wasn’t able to maintain full throttle.  

We have been working on the brakes for the past 3 years and during the season it limited us from running the car as much as we like.  We have also been chasing a fault/error with the ECU/control system of the car. We were still able to get the car enough starts and race finishes to get qualified for the runoffs in Sonoma.   Granted the car was not happy at most of those races and it was a struggle to get the finish.

2 weeks before the runoffs we sorted out the ECU problem and were confident enough in the car to race it.  The backup plan was to race my Spec Miata if we couldn’t get the Mazda 3 fixed as I ran it this past season as well and had enough starts/races.

With the Runoffs at Sonoma it was within 1-day driving distance unlike the past 3 runoffs at Daytona, Mid Ohio, and Indy so I got to try out the new (to me) truck and trailer.

I had raced at Sonoma one time prior, so the track wasn’t totally unknown like Mid-O and Indy, which all I had was simulator time so I was able to get up to speed quickly on a test day and find out what I needed to work on for chassis setup and driving.  The driving was easy to adjust, look at the data, see where the driver was sucking and had to man up to keep a foot to the floor in some sketchy corners.

The car, on the other hand, had what we call “a good problem to have”, too much power.  We have been running a torsen style differential in the car which works pretty good in a straight line and relatively flat tracks.  Sonoma is not a flat track which unloads the car 3-4 times per lap. With the Mazda 3 and the amount of torque it makes means I was unloading the tire enough for it to spin the inside tire.  Most people think what is the big deal with a little tire wheel spin? It is a problem when you enter turn 10 at Sonoma at 97MPH and you start lighting off your right front tire. Look at the picture below and you can see that front inside tires is barely on the ground and the rear isn’t.  The speedometer would jump around and you could see the right front wheel speed turning at 5-10 mph more in the data.

We tried several suspension changes and driving style changes to make the best of it but in the end, we were way off the pace by 2-3 seconds of the rear wheel drive cars in the class.

The good part about not being at the front of the field, there was zero stress when race day came.

Like any race there was a fun challenge, we would be heading into turn 2 blind as the race was at 4 pm in the afternoon and the sun would be shining directly down the hill.  Since I wanted to see the end of the race I a little cautious at the start and Ali in the other Mazda 3 got around me at the start.

We fought it out for 8 laps and he went into turn 6 too hot and I was able to get under him and pass him on the inside.

After a few laps I put a 4-5 second lead on Ali I was basically in no man’s land, slower than the front guys and faster than the back half of the field so I spent my time working on tire management (it is easy to overheat your left front tire at Sonoma) and made it to the end of the race.

My official finishing place was 10th but after some adventures in tech, I was moved to 9th in the final results.  This isn’t where I wanted to be by any means but the 3rd time was the charm and I made it to the end of the race.

Huge thanks to the support we get racing the car from CorkSport, BFGRacing, Monarch Inspections, G-Loc Brakes, and Mazda Motorsports.

 

Derrick Ambrose

Intake Valve Cleaning – A Dirty Job Made Easy

Introducing the CorkSport Intake Valve Cleaning Kit. While designed specifically for the DISI MZR engine found in the Mazdaspeed 3, 6, and Mazda CX-7 turbo. Our kit is versatile enough to be used in a variety of direct injected (DI) applications and alleviates many of the pain points associated with cleaning your intake valves. For an explanation on why DI engines need their valves cleaned, check out our blog on cleaning Mazdaspeed intake valves. Read on as the CorkSport Valve Cleaning Kit could make your next maintenance job much easier.

Despite its interesting appearance the CorkSport Valve Cleaning tool was carefully designed for ease of use. Starting at the large end, the cone shape was selected to accommodate a wide variety of vacuum hose sizes (1.50-2.5- inch OD) – it even works with the oblong-shaped hose we have in the CS shop! A clamp is included to keep the tool secure on the vacuum. Due to the slightly flexible nature of multi-layer silicone, clamping the hose creates a seal useful to get great suction from the vacuum.

To provide the best fit for both the large and small intake ports of the DISI MZR, the opposite end of the valve cleaning tool also is flared. When in use, this flare compresses slightly, making for another great seal. This keeps the cleaning chemicals, media, and any carbon deposits from getting all over you and your engine bay.

Last but not least is the small diameter offshoot on the side of the CorkSport Intake Valve Cleaning Tool. This is the port for a media blaster that helps make quick work of dirty valves. It is positioned for easy use, where one hand holds the CS valve cleaning tool while the other operates the media blaster. An abrasion resistant hose is included to fit on the end of your media blaster and travel down into your intake ports for direct blasting. Unlike doing this without the tool, you do not have to permanently modify your vacuum just to do valve maintenance.

There you have it, folks, quite possibly the weirdest looking CS product ever created but it’s quite useful!  Check out the listing for more details and to see the CorkSport Intake Valve Cleaning Tool in use.

600hp Mazdaspeed Build Path – CorkSport Barett’s 2009 Mazdaspeed

If you haven’t heard already, the CorkSport Dyno Day and Summer Event was a blast with food, friends, raffles, a Show-N-Shine, and the continuous string of dyno runs.  The highlight of the dyno runs came when one of the CorkSport Engineers, Barett, put his car on the rollers.  With a few minutes of warm up and anticipation building, it was finally time to see what the “CorkSport Speed” could do. 

Getting past the ecstatic crowd to see the dyno screen showed an impressive 620whp/530wtq.  Now, whether you were at the show or not, you may be wondering what Barett’s setup is to support these numbers.  It’s not a short list but is simpler than you would expect. 

In this blog, we are going to layout the WHOLE build to show you how your Mazdaspeed can make 600+whp.  

The engine was built by CorkSport in preparation for setting up the Dankai Engine ProgramIt features Manley Connecting Rods and Platinum Pistons, head work very similar to the Dankai 2 Built Longblock, along with the CS BSD (balance shaft delete) and CorkSport Camshafts.  Holding the block together are L19 head studs and ARP 2000 main studs.  

To get the air in and out of the engine efficiently we have an assortment of bolt-on parts and some prototype parts because what kind of CorkSport R&D car wouldn’t have some prototype performance parts on it?  To break this down in the simplest way possible we have laid out a full build list:

600hp Mazdaspeed Build List:

  • CorkSport Built Engine:
    • Manley Pistons – 0.5mm overbore @ 88mm
    • Manley H-Beam Connecting Rods
    • CS Balance Shaft Delete
    • Dankai 2” Ported Headed: Single Runner Intake, Bowl Work, Combustion Chamber Touch Up, Exhaust Porting
    • CS Camshafts
    • Stock Valve Springs (We would recommend upgrading these and plan to do so ourselves)

Now, this isn’t the complete list, but it does lay out most of the essential parts to get your Mazdaspeed over 600whp.  You might have picked out a couple “prototype” mentions in that list above…well we can share a bit on the new CorkSport Turbo.  You’ve seen the power it can make…and it still has some more left in it up top, now check it out some sexy billet and massive turbine.

Lastly, none of this power would be possible without the fuel to support.  As you may know already, the OE direct injection fuel system taps out around 380whp on an efficient build so how do we make another 240whp?  Auxiliary fueling is the key my friends, and we recently posted a blog to help you explore Methanol Auxiliary Fueling that I invite you to read.  To stay focused on Barett’s 600+whp build we have made an auxiliary fueling build list below:

 

Methanol Auxiliary Fueling 600hp Mazdaspeed Build List:

  • AEM Boost Based Pump Controller
  • Snow Performance 5 Gallon Cell Trunk Mounted w/CS Prototype Mounting Bracket
  • AEM 80 micron in-line filter pre-pump
  • ProMeth 220psi Pump (Essential for flowing this volume of methanol)
  • Snow Performance Solenoid
  • Devil’s Own 1in/4out distribution block
  • 4x Devil’s Own 90degree nozzle holders
  • 4x ProMeth Compact Check Valves (Essential for proper AFR control between shifts)
  • 4x Devil’s Own D07 Nozzles (One per intake manifold runner; each flowing ~10gph)

Despite that this auxiliary fuel setup is providing the fuel required to support just over 600whp; it is at the ragged edge of what can be supported.  Looking at the dyno graph further up you can see torque decline after 6000rpm and horsepower go flat. This is due to the auxiliary fuel system reaching its maximum fueling capacity and thus forcing us to reduce boost pressure as engine RPM goes past 6000rpm.  

At this power level, true port injection auxiliary fueling is the correct step to take.  Lucky for you guys and gals, we are currently exploring this path with our product R&D. We plan to give you guys and gals a full breakdown of our experience and how we built a full port injection auxiliary fuel system that can support over 600whp.  

AND…I forgot to mention one very critical aspect of this entire build.  Professional Tuning! This specific build was E-Tuned on the CorkSport in-house dyno by Dale Owen of Gem Tuning.  E-Tuning is a great way to set up your car with the tuner that is the best suited for your platform and vehicle build because it doesn’t require the tuner and the vehicle to be in the same place at the same time.  

Hang tight for more on the PI Auxiliary Fueling and thanks for tuning in with CorkSport Performance.

-Barett @ CS

 

Mazda’s Dynamic Pressure Turbo – An Introduction

The SkyActiv 2.5T has been around for a few years in the CX-9 however, things started to get interesting when the engine was dropped in the Mazda 6 for 2018. While lacking a manual and not a true Mazdaspeed, it’s a step in the right direction for the enthusiast. With one of the new Mazda 6s in the CorkSport garage, we’ve been getting curious about where all of that 310lb-ft comes from. Well we decided to call up Mazda and purchase a turbo to see how it all works.

There’s a lot to take in on the turbocharger and there are quite a few things that have changed from the K04 that made its home in the Speeds.

For starters, this turbocharger is pretty big. The wheels themselves are not large, with the compressor wheel very close in size to the old K04 & the turbine wheel only slightly larger than the K04. However, with the dual inlet turbine housing, 90° compressor outlet, and lots of attached electronics, the whole package takes up a lot of room in your engine bay.

The turbine housing is not far from the old K04. A large five-bolt inlet flange has two rectangular inlets to work with the dynamic pressure system (more on that later) and even a port where the EGR system sources its exhaust gases. The outlet is much simpler, using a five-bolt flange to mount to the downpipe, yet does house a surprisingly large wastegate port.

From a performance standpoint, the large wastegate should help eliminate boost creep but the turbine housing will likely need a larger scroll to get some more serious power out of the engine.

The compressor side is packed full of features. As usual, the wastegate actuator bolts to the compressor housing, however, Mazda has switched to an electric actuator. Interestingly, the bypass valve is also electric and is even mounted to the face of the compressor housing.

Some fancy casting design leaves a pathway between the high and low-pressure sides of the compressor and lets the BPV decide when the passage is open or closed. These two electric actuators will mean easy and consistent boost control. The final plastic component on the housing we believe is a boost assisted vacuum source for the vehicle. Finally, the inlet is a typical clamp connection while the outlet uses a 90° turn and two-bolt flange for better accessibility around the wastegate actuator.

With the housings removed, the CHRA of the dynamic pressure turbo is very simple & standard. Oil feed in the top, two-bolt oil drain in the bottom, and standard crossflow engine coolant ports. The compressor wheel is a cast 6×6 unit and turbine wheel is a basic 11 blade unit.

We are looking forward to waking up the Sky-T in the coming months and making the 2018+ MZ6 into something a little closer to a Speed. Stayed tuned, there’s much more fun to be had from the 2.5T!

-Daniel

CorkSport Steering Wheel for ND Miatas

We love the look and feel of the CorkSport Mazdaspeed steering wheels and thought we would throw some love to the Miata guys. Designed to inspire confidence during aggressive driving while improving day to day comfort, this steering wheel is a complete package and will complement your other CorkSport Performance Upgrades.  

 

The CorkSport Steering wheel is a direct OE replacement as it retains all trim, buttons, airbag, and even paddle shifters for automatic models. It’s also a perfect fit for all ND Miata models (yes even those of you with a RF). Check out the image below, it shows exactly what you will get in the box (right) next to an assembled performance steering wheel (left). Once you remove your OE wheel you just need to transfer all of the trim and accessories and you’re ready to install.

 

 

In designing the wheel we knew we wanted performance without sacrificing comfort. Let’s face it, the steering wheel is the one thing you are (hopefully) always touching while driving. We knew right away we wanted a thicker wheel as the stock one is awkwardly thin. We increased thickness without increasing the overall diameter of the wheel.

 

The flat bottom of the wheel makes it easier to get in and out of the car, especially for those of us who barely fit in Miatas anyways. To further enhance the aggressive style we added a center stripe to the top of the wheel. Finally we carried over the deep thumb grooves from the CorkSport Mazdaspeed 3 steering wheels to really lock your hands in place during spirited driving.

 

All of the features are wrapped up in plush black leather, with perforated leather on the high use areas to keep your hands cool. If that wasn’t enough we’ve also added an option for alcantara inserts. Why?  Because Racecar!

 

If you’re looking for an easy mod that will upgrade the feel, comfort, and style of your ND Mx5 let the CorkSport Steering Wheel find a home in your interior.