CorkSport Cat Back Exhaust for CX-9

Time to bring some CS love to those who need some more space than what a hot hatch can offer. Introducing the CorkSport Power Series Cat-Back Exhaust for 2016+ Mazda CX-9 AWD.

The CX-9 has great potential with its turbocharged 2.5L engine but it is bottlenecked by the small stock exhaust. The CorkSport catback ups the exhaust diameter to 80mm (from the OE 60mm) and utilizes high flow pass-through resonators to really help that turbo breathe better.

To go with the better performance, the CorkSport cat-back also looks great. Made from CNC bent, fully polished, T-304 stainless steel, it’s definitely an attention grabber that will stay looking great for years to come. The dual exhaust tips were upgraded to 100mm outer diameter and extended to really fill out the bumper cutouts. Don’t worry though; the tips are noticeable without being obnoxious and detracting from the clean look of Mazda’s Kodo design philosophy.

Last but certainly not least: the sound. The upgraded piping diameter and less restrictive resonators combine to create a sound that is certainly louder and more pleasant than stock without being unbearable for the daily commute. You hear the exhaust when you want to but it quiets down while cruising and does not drone. As a final bonus, you get a little taste of turbo noise as it spools up. Check out the video down below to hear a comparison between the CS CX9 cat-back and the OE exhaust for yourself.

All of these benefits come with the same CorkSport quality and customer service that you all have grown accustomed to. This means OE style fitment that retains all existing exhaust hangers and oxygen sensors since no one likes a check engine light.

Whether you have moved on from a Mazdaspeed but miss the sound or just want to spice up your grocery getter with a little extra noise, the CorkSport Mazda CX-9 cat back is an upgrade that hits all the right notes. Check out the product listing for full details.

Want more for your CX-9? There may be a few more things coming down the pipeline, but submitting a product idea helps us to know what you’re looking for!

2018 Mazda 6 Performance Parts – Cold Side Boost Tube

You have probably heard us mention the new Turbocharger Mazda 6 in the recent weeks and months and have probably been wondering; “what’s going on?”  Well, today we’d like to share a little bit about what’s been going on at CorkSport HQ with our very own 2018 Mazda 6.

Right off the bat, I can say we have a handful of exciting performance products in the works and will be sharing info on them as we make progress.  Today we want to talk about the intercooler piping, specifically the cold side piping and the parts of the system. This is the piping that connects the outlet of the intercooler and the throttle body.  It is commonly referenced as the “cold side piping” because the charge (boosted) air has passed through the intercooler and is therefore cooler.

The OE cold side piping consists of three main components.  Starting on the right side of the image; we have the hard piping that connects to the intercooler and a soft rubber hose.  Next is the soft rubber hose itself, which we will talk more about later. Lastly is the throttle body connection, which is the oddest part of this system.  You can see why in the next image.

The above-mentioned intercooler hard pipe and the rubber hose are pretty common parts on modern turbocharged vehicles, but the throttle body connection is unusual from our experience.  The throttle body connection appears to be designed for a quick connection (and not so quick disconnection) during the vehicle assembly process. Unfortunately, this leaves a very odd connection flange on the throttle body itself.  Lastly are the fins inside the connection part; other than straightening the airflow entering the throttle body we don’t see many purposes these. We will be testing the effects and need for these in the near future.

Now let’s get to what we really wanted to talk about; BIG Silicone Performance Parts.

Mazda designed the Turbocharged 2.5L SkyActiv-G to function at a specified boost pressure and no more.  However, we fully intend to change this set boost pressure for increased smiles per gallon. With increased boost pressure comes more force and strain on the OE rubber hose.  Eventually, the OE rubber hose becomes too flimsy for the increased boost pressure and may expand or fail completely via a rupture.

So how do we develop a performance part to replace a rubber hose?  Well, there is one obvious improvement and another not-so-obvious change that can be made.  First, we use silicone as the prominent material for its excellent heat resistance and durability.  Next, the silicone is reinforced with five layers of fabric braiding to withstand the increased boost pressures.  Compare this to the OE single layer of reinforcement and you can see why this would make a big difference.

Now for the less obvious performance improvement; the CorkSport 3D Printed prototype is larger in diameter than the OE rubber hose.  Leaning on our experience with past intercooler piping development, we have found that increasing the charge air volume directly in front of the throttle body increases throttle response and helps spool the turbo faster, reducing turbo lag.  

Currently, we are still in the development phase but will be testing soon.  Stay tuned for future updates on the CorkSport Performance Boost Tube and other exciting products for your 2018 Mazda 6.  

-Barett @ CS

Dyno Numbers and You

We talk a lot about dyno testing and seeing improvements with CorkSport goodies but we rarely talk about what dynos are and why dyno testing should be a part of your build. While e-tuning using logs and v-dyno works great, tuning on a chassis dyno can be quicker and is a just a bit safer; since let’s be honest, 4th gear WOT pulls in your local area of “Mexico” can get a little sketchy sometimes. Keep reading on for some advantages of knowing your dyno numbers.

To start off, I wanted to share a little bit of knowledge of what a dynamometer (dyno for short) is and how they work. Dyno is a broad term for a machine that measures force, torque, or power. In the automotive world, we typically think of a chassis dyno that measures torque through the drivetrain of a vehicle, however, for high-level suspension tuning, shock dynos also exist. Now some of you may be surprised to hear that dynos measure torque, not horsepower. Torque is much easier to measure and can be easily converted to horsepower (HP equals torque times RPM divided by 5252 for those curious).

There are a couple names of dyno you have likely seen get thrown around: Dynojet, Mustang, Dynapack, and DynoTech to name some of the most common. Each measure power a little differently but for the sake of keeping things concise, each uses a known or controlled “resistance” to fight the vehicle’s torque that is being produced.

Dynojet and some Mustang dynos use a physically heavy drum while Dynapack, DynoTech, and other Mustang dynos use electricity or hydraulics to control the dyno’s “resistance”. Each type of dyno has its own set of advantages & disadvantages but the most important thing to remember is that they will read differently for the same vehicle. This means if you are getting your car tested or tuned on a dyno multiple times, be sure to use the same type, and better yet same exact dyno, to really see how your build has affected your horsepower & torque.

On to advantages of getting your car dyno tested. While most are not “make it or break it” changes, dyno testing can really take your build to the next level.

Bragging Rights: While an obvious one, dyno results make it much easier to compare your car to another since you have hard data to back you up. This is especially true if you are using the same type of dyno. On a lighter note, comparing your car to someone with a well-documented build can help you decide what your next mod will be.

Ease of Tuning: Consistent and accurate pulls can be had back to back on a dyno, without having to drive out to your “dyno road” after every small tuning change. In a properly setup environment, pulls will show only tuning changes instead of having to worry about every little variable that comes with on-road pulls. If your tuner is in town, having them live tune with your car right in front of them can turn a multi-week e-tuning process into a long afternoon. Plus, you won’t have to worry about an expensive ticket from the local boys in blue.

Monitoring Car Health: Friend has the same car, same mods yet are making much more horsepower? Dyno testing can show things like this that may indicate a big problem with your ride. Removing the “driver mod” from racing your friend light to light can help determine if there’s something more going on. In addition, having hard data on power & torque numbers can tell you when to stop pushing for one more psi, keeping your ride on the road and not in pieces.

New Mod Validation: Bought a part and want to see what it’s doing for you? A dyno before and after is a great way to validate your new mods and see what your next step should be. In addition, you may find out there are more benefits to a part than just max power gains. Maybe that newest part only gave you +2WHP at peak but shows gains of 10-15 through the middle of the rev range, or you can hold power to a higher RPM. Analyzing dyno graphs for more than just peak numbers is a powerful tool that can indicate how a part changes how a car feels.

Obviously, not everyone has access to a dyno and it is usually expensive to use a dyno for more than a few pulls, however, it is worth it and can give you some much-needed info about your ride while keeping you & your ride safe and out of legal trouble.

Looking for a dyno for your car? We are hosting the 2018 CorkSport Dyno Day in August. Dyno runs, food, a car show, and even drag racing are all on the agenda. Check out the Facebook event page for full details & don’t be shy if you don’t have a Mazda-we had a Fiat 500 Abarth on the rollers last year!

Hope to see you there!

-Daniel

Boosted Down the Rabbit Hole

“Intake, test pipe, and a tune ONLY” was my mantra.  I’d just bought a shiny new ’13 tech package VRM MazdaSpeed3 with the extended warranty, 3 miles on the odometer as it rolled off the lot for the test drive.  Via the web forums (back when MSF was still popular), I had performed my due diligence in terms of where I was headed with this ride. I knew what my mods would be, the results to expect, and even learned a bit about the tuning process, all with the intent to “stock out” in less than an hour in the event I broke something on the car.

But… the local Nator chapter wrapped their slithering hentai tentacles around me, and those thoughts of a mildly tuned car with the manners fully intact started to erode.  The friends, the fun, and the performance results were an instant addiction.

In just a few short months I had sold that warranty back and started down the rabbit hole.  Trips to Epic NATOR Meets were a terribly awesome influence, seeing cars on the bleeding edge of the DISI Mazdaspeed platform, and meeting several of the prominent people in the Mazda community that were so forthcoming with their knowledge.  The hook was set!

I found myself pursuing information, and if there wasn’t any data to be had, I wanted to make it myself.  I tested and cataloged a variety of items, from NVH with motor mounts to compression test compendiums (yes Cylinder 3, you deserve that BAD rap!), meanwhile moving along the mod path to a medium turbo, front mount intercooler, and a methanol kit.  Once I purchased a spare long block, I knew I was getting in ball-joints deep.

Fast forward to today.  I’ve been very fortunate to be chosen to test products for a handful of vendors!  With an aligned focus – direct fit or minimal fabrication parts – I’ve reached my (probably temporary) goal of 500 wheel horsepower! Where I’ve tested the limits of products/parts for many companies – whether they have asked me to or not. The CorkSport 3.5 Bar Map Sensor is a solid example of exceeding the envelope, as I did manage to over boost while playing with my EBCS configuration, and pegging it at 37.58 PSI. (At 900 ft. ASL)

 Corksport asked me to describe my modification journey and how their beta parts have impacted my build and decisions, so there is no slight intended to the multitude of other people involved in my project – that list is not short.

I’ve run the Corksport intake manifold for nearly 2 years and just prior to the big turbo transition.  

  • It gained 12 g/s flow on the identical tune and no other modifications, so I knew it was an immediate upgrade.
  • I’ve been hammering  30+psi through it for the majority of that time, and my built engine is approaching 25 thousand miles with that duress.  
  • The spark plugs have been pristine and uniform, indicating to me the flow is balanced in the runners.  
  • There is no better fitting upgrade intake manifold for the platform.  

The beta-testing portion of this journey has been pretty awesome. Constant emails and conversations back and forth with the CorkSport Engineering team, and support from installation, to checking in periodically afterward to see how the system is running and the part is performing for me and my particular set-up. I understand that I am not the only one to have been running this part as a beta-tester, which just shows how thorough this company is with it’s beta-testing.

Barett, the CorkSport engineer, was probably annoyed with the ‘data-whore’ aspect of who I am, but man was it fun! Tracking my progress throughout, and sending info back and forth fed the logical performance driven sides of me for quite a while.

The manifold was recently combined with the Corksport 72mm throttle body, which takes advantage of the IM’s oversized opening, which I feel will scale up with even more power should I get the itch for ludicrous speed.  There is zero loss of drivability with the TB mimicking the factory unit electronics and nothing for your tuner to battle with like the old days of trying to open up that choke point.

While it’s usually about performance parts for me, I have to say that I run a few of the CorkSport “comfort” pieces and can genuinely say they are worth the investment. The CorkSport Performance Steering Wheel is just amazing! The contoured grips are a tremendous comfort for long drives, and the beefy upper section is awesome for the twisties in roads like the “Tail of the Dragon” in NC. It’s also shown no signs of wear in the last 2 years, and I look forward to driving with it for many years to come.

I was lucky enough to get the CorkSport Hood Strut kit when they were available, and now my hood opens significantly more than the prop rod and facilitates installing those go fast bits. (Hopefully, CorkSport gets wise and brings them back for sale again).

I would like to thank Corksport for giving me the opportunity to test their parts, in addition to many others, and YOU for taking the time to read my cool story, bro!

Spread the boost – there is no vaccine!

Jason

Working on the Driver

I have been racing Mazdas on the track in wheel-to-wheel competition since 2013 and I have learned quite a bit.

I am nowhere near being the best driver. I have good moments and plenty of “WTF Derrick” things which happen on the track which are masked by good car control.

2 years ago I bought a Spec Miata (SM). Locally the number of B-Spec and Touring 4 classes are smaller.  This is not great for me, as I find my racecraft suffers when I get too big events where there are more than 5 cars and the racing is close.  I can always fight my way to 2nd or 3rd place but the top step has been elusive.  Don’t get me wrong, I can go to events where there are other T4 cars (they are not unicorns) but the travel cost, time away from CorkSport, and fuel gets pricey really quick when constantly towing to southern California.

I took the SM out a few times last year and found I was way off the pace I needed to be to even get into the top 25% of a Ppec Miata field at any events.  The Northwest has a really strong group of SM racers who are more than happy to beat the illusion out of you that you can drive fast on the track.

This year I have been working on the car setup and updating the drive train to the best I can get for my car.  I worked with Haag Performance to get one of their SM 1.6 engines which have been winning races up and down the west coast. I have been also talking with Joe Jordan on car setup and general SM advice as he has gone down this road before with multiple SM drivers including Joey Jordan and Will Rodgers to get them to the top.

Before the season started I knew I wanted to get some top-level coaching so I looked locally at Pro Drive Racing which offers race school for SCCA certification and high-performance driving classes.  After few emails finding which event I should show up with my SM it was determined the June 5th high-performance school would be the best bet and I could get someone on one coaching with Todd Harris the head instructor.

I have struggled with the braking too much in the corners, as past instructors/coaches I have consistently mentioned this to me. I needed to overcome this if I was going to have a chance to match times with the top 25% of the field. With Todd strapped into the “Thrill Seat”, we hit the first session at speed so he could see how/what I doing and work on it.

This was a good news and bad news sort of ride.  He found my approach and driving style to corners works but it was not the fastest way through them – I was giving up cornering speed and to be able to get back to the throttle quicker. By simply backing up my braking zones I had more control in the corner which allowed me to stay committed to the throttle without having to modulate it after the steering wheel was turned.  This doesn’t seem like a huge thing but the feedback from the SM was drastically different. I was able to roll speed into the corners and carry a few more MPH. Heading onto a straightaway this is huge. I spent the rest of the day fine tuning the changes and making sure they stuck with me.

By the time this blog goes up, I will have raced again at the Oregon Region SCCA event at Portland Intl Raceway and found out how much the school improved my driving technique.  If I don’t screw it up too bad I should be able to take a second out of my lap times which in SM is HUGE! The weekend of June 29th I will be at Sonoma racing against 40 other SM drivers to really get a feel for where I am at skill level wise, I am prepared for this to be humbling, lol.

So, my advice to you, if you ever have a chance to take a driving school I really recommend it and specifically Pro Drive if you are in the Portland Oregon area.  They run a great program and you get one on one seat time with some of the best local drivers and instructors.

Look for future updates here at the CorkSport the blog on how it went.

-Derrick