Brett’s Build Part 4

“Hey Bro, what flares are those?” A common question asked, not that I blame anyone for their curiosity.

This is a very niche platform in the grand scheme of things. So we don’t really get lots of options when it comes to widebodies or flares etc. Those of us who have been crazy enough to chop into our ¼ panels had to trust what we think will look good, cross our fingers, and just send it. Some of us get lucky, some of us don’t. I wasn’t in it alone though, I had help from a few friends, and some inspiration. So, here’s the story on how I flared my Mazdaspeed 3.

My good friend Brian over at BMSPEC has a well-known Mazda 3, named “Circuit Heart” Which just recently has gone into retirement. He was one of the first to ever put flares on the Gen 2 Mazda 3 body, and for years I said I wanted that look. When He decided to let go of his old Volks, I had the opportunity to take possession. With his direction, I ordered fair lady Z flares from that were originally meant for a 240Z.  

I asked my local Nator Buddy Aaron Maves if he was down to help me chop up my Mazda and lend me a spot in his garage. Ironically enough, he was a stoked to be a part of the project, probably more than me. Once my flares came in, I got them dropped off at the body shop to be paint matched and started hashing out a plan. Since I work all day long, and flares are a rather tedious process this was going to be a strictly after work job and it ended up taking quite some time to get done. But the wait, blood, sweat, and tears were worth it.

Here is a little step by step process we took to get it done. If you are looking to ever do this to your Mazda, it may either motivate you or deter you away.


Step 1. – Test Fitting

This part is very critical, and one of the most difficult. You have to Mock up the flare to be as perfect as possible. Usually, since the flares we try to use on our Mazda’s, they don’t exactly want to line up where we want, and we need to motivate them a bit to do so.  Painters’ tape by itself will not be enough to hold it where you need. The way I got around this is by using 3M Double Sided VHB tape on the back of where the bolts will go, paired with the painter’s tape. Since these flares weren’t made for this Mazdaspeed3,  I started out on my front driver side fender.  Once I got it where I knew I wanted it, I opened up pandora’s box. I drilled my pilot holes into the fender, no going back now. That’s not even the worst part, because now I had to make all 4 corners symmetrical (No pressure or anything).

Matching every corner is not an easy task, and also something that is often messed up. All I can say is triple check everything, and then do it again. We had to find reference points on the Speed3 itself to measure from. The ground below could be slightly inconsistent. Not only because the floor may not be perfectly level, but because the floor jacks may be slightly different as well. Choose about 4 points to measure from so you can get an accurate X/Y axis measurement to link to the other side. You’ll want the fronts to be identical, and the rears to be identical.

 

Step 2 – Rivnuts

 

Now that we have drilled pilot holes in all 4 corners. We opened them up enough to accept the riv-nuts. This will be the threaded inserts that allow you to bolt the flare to the Mazda. We had to open the hole up slowly, stepping up the size of the bit each pass. Doing this prevents the thin metal from fraying and making sharp edges around the hole. You want the riv-nut to sit as flush as possible, so the flare sits close to the body.

In this particular case, I used ¼ – 20 sized bolts, so I opened op the flare with a ¼ hole and bolted the flare on for a final fitment check.

 

Step 3 – Cutting

The most intense part of the process now begins. My buddy Devin Sorter who is a fabricator/welder came through to help with this. He’s very skilled with a cut off wheel, and I knew I could trust him to make some solid cuts that are symmetrical and clean.

With the flares mounted up, we drew the line for the cuts. Remember you not only have to give yourself enough clearance for the bumps on top, but for steering in the front as well. During this process, part of the bumper clip will have to be removed as well. This isn’t a problem though since the flare itself acts as a support and keeps the bumper from sagging, even with the splitter on the front.

 

Step 4 – Sealing the rear ¼ Panels

Since the ¼ panels in the back aren’t just 1 layer like the front, when you cut into them there is now a gap between the layers that are left open. Even though my Mazdaspeed isn’t driven in the rain, it still leaves the car open and vulnerable to getting moisture in there and eventually causing corrosion. To prevent this, you need to stitch weld the panels together and then reseal it. Once the welding was complete, we used silicone to seal it all in and protect it from the elements. We also put some weather stripping on after the fact to prevent any harsh rubbing on the wheel in case the Mazda bottomed out or the tire somehow traveled up high enough.

At this point, the Mazdaspeed3 was done, and I bolted on the flares. The gasket you use between the flare and the body is up to you, there are lots of options out there.


Thanks for checking this out and stay tuned for part 5!


Cheers,
Brett@CS

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

 

CorkSport Throttle Body Spacer

We are proud to introduce the CorkSport 72mm Throttle Body Spacer for Mazdaspeed 3, Mazdaspeed 6, and Mazda CX-7 Turbo.

This is a great product for those Mazdaspeed owners who want push past the limits of their OEM fuel system. We’ve carefully chosen nozzle locations, upgraded the inside diameter, and added an O-ring for quick and easy sealing. We designed the CS throttle body spacer to eliminate a lot of the headaches that come with adding extra fuel.

The area where the throttle body mounts is pretty tight on the Mazdaspeeds which leaves few options for adding methanol nozzles, especially the tall AEM ones. We realized right away that nozzle orientation was critical.

To prevent any modification, the top nozzle location sits at an angle that perfectly clears both the OEM & CorkSport Intake Manifold to provide an access port for most meth nozzle styles on the market. For more stealthy setups, there are two ports located on the bottom side of the CS spacer, one straight down and once again at an angle for easy usability without further modification.

We also considered nozzle depth when designing the CorkSport Throttle Body Spacer. Most nozzle styles will sit flush to the inside surface of the spacer. This prevents any irregular airflow around the nozzle locations without affecting the spray pattern of the nozzles.

Just like the CorkSport Performance Throttle Body, we enlarged the inner diameter of the throttle body spacer to 72mm. This is the maximum size that can be used with the OEM bolt pattern and ensures optimal best airflow. The OEM throttle body & gasket can still be used with no issues.

Each CorkSport Throttle Body Spacer is precision machined from 6061-T6 aluminum before being anodized black for a clean and durable look. An O-ring groove is added during machining to allow the spacer proper sealing to your intake manifold. Rest assured, the O-ring is safe with all fuels and even oil. Finally, the spacers are laser etched with a CorkSport logo for a subtle finishing touch. The entire package is wrapped up with hardware; including extended length throttle body mounting bolts & two NPT plugs for the nozzle/injector ports you are not using.

If you’re running out of fuel in your Speed and we can make installing a methanol system much easier, pick up a CorkSport Throttle Body Spacer.

Creating CorkSport Parts with 3D Scanning

While creating a new CorkSport part, we sometimes run into issues where calipers, bore gauges, and angle finders are simply not enough to get the measurements we need.  We’ve discussed how we use 3D printing in a previous blog, but today I thought I’d go over the opposite: 3D scanning.

Where 3D printing takes a CAD design from computer to physical part, 3D scanning takes a physical part and converts it into a computerized model. This is especially useful for things like intercooler piping, intake design, and even creating exterior body parts. What these components all have in common is that they are a complex, difficult to measure, shape where fitment is critical. Check out the 3D scan below from the development of our GEN2 Mazdaspeed 3 front lip. While not a perfect replica, this 3D scan information was vital for designing the CS front lip to ensure great fitment and stylish look.

At CorkSport, we do have a small 3D measuring arm that can take measurements of 3D objects and input them directly into a CAD program. The arm does this by first having a “home” position established that the arm can measure from. Then as the arm is moved around, it knows how far the tip of the arm is from the home position in x, y, and z coordinates. This is a very basic form of 3D measurement as the arm must actually touch the surfaces of the part. Mostly simple information like mounting surface locations, angles, and hole sizes can result from this arm. While not a full 3D scan, it is especially useful for things like the GEN3 Transmission Motor Mount that have mounting planes at different angles.

For intercooler piping with completely round surfaces and bends, CorkSport’s 3D measuring arm has its limitations. We typically get a full 3D scan performed on the OEM piping to give us solid locations and a great visual reference to design from. The 3D scanning arm bounces a laser off the part to determine its shape and size. Then, software that accompanies the 3D scanner stitches all the information together into a full 3D CAD model. The scans achieve great accuracy; check out the embossed writing and even texture on this OEM intercooler piping for the SkyActiv 2.5T.

From this point, we design the new CorkSport parts. In terms of intercooler piping, we analyze where the larger piping will fit to get the performance gains we want. In some cases, we can also simplify the pipe routing to get smoother airflow than the OEM piping. Having a full OEM piping scan makes this much easier as we can easily double check our measurements with the OEM parts on the car. As a result, our first 3D print can often be the final version before having metal parts made. An early design for an upgraded Mazda 6 SkyActiv 2.5T hot pipe is shown below (blue) with the OEM part scan (gray). The routing was carefully chosen to achieve our desired piping size within the constraints of the OEM engine bay.

 

3D scanning has a huge range of uses and we are just beginning to explore the full capabilities. Be sure to share your ideas on how we should use this technology and what new CS parts we should make with 3D scanning’s help!

-Daniel

Mazda’s Dynamic Pressure Turbo – A Closer Look

There has been a lot of buzz about the new(ish) turbocharged SkyActiv-G 2.5L first found in the Mazda CX-9 and now in the Mazda 6.  Along with all this buzz, there are a lot of unknowns as well. Here at CorkSport, we’ve taken the step to try and address some of these unknowns.  What is Mazda’s “Dynamic Pressure Turbo” and how does it work? There have been diagrams bouncing around on the internet, but no close-up view of the turbocharger itself.  That’s about to change.

If you haven’t already read Daniel’s first installment, “Mazda Dynamic PressureTurbo an Introduction.” You wouldn’t want to miss out on the extra information before reading on.

The turbocharger found in the 2.5T equipped CX-9 and 6 is quite complex in design.  There are many aspects to the OE turbocharger we could discuss, but today we are going to focus solely on the dynamic pressure system and turbine housing.  

If you are reading this, then you’ve probably already seen various diagrams depicting how the dynamic pressure system works and showing Mazda’s clever 3-2-1 exhaust port design.  If you haven’t, check it out below.  Image credit to Car And Driver Magazine for the fantastic diagram.  

Mazda’s 3-2-1 exhaust port design takes full advantage of the engine cylinder firing order.  The advantage is improved exhaust gas scavenging for the adjacent cylinder (more or less the cylinder that just fired helps pull the exhaust gases out of the next cylinder that is about to fire).  Ok moving on; this is great, but how does the dynamic pressure system come into the mix?

Shown here are the turbocharger assembly and the dynamic pressure valve assembled as one unit (the first two images also showed the fully assembled setup).  The three ports are clearly visible along with the “vane” that passes through the three ports. This vane rotates depending on engine RPM to control the exhaust gas velocity entering the turbine housing.  The vane itself is controlled by the larger blue colored actuator.

Now let’s take an even closer look.  The vane does not open until approximately 1600rpm, but the engine could not run of no exhaust gas can flow out of the engine.  To resolve this Mazda has designed the dynamic pressure system with two exhaust gas paths.  Looking at the above image you can see a small opening just above the vane. This is the sub-1600rpm exhaust gas path.  

By reducing the cross-sectional area of the exhaust gas path, the exhaust is forced to accelerate through the dynamic pressure system and into the turbine wheel.  This effectively reduces turbo lag, improving the vehicle’s response at low engine RPM. Once the engine revs past 1600rpm the vane opens, allowing the larger path to be used.   

Here we show the turbocharger assembly (right) and the dynamic pressure valve assembly (left) separated.  Looking at the dynamic pressure valve assembly, you can now more clearly see the three small paths above the larger path with the vane inside.  Then look at the turbocharger assembly and you will see the small upper path and the larger lower path.

The fact that these two assemblies are separate systems is great news for the enthusiast.  The development of a performance turbocharger will be much more feasible and the dynamic pressure valve can be retained with the performance turbocharger.  One more detail to point out.

Mazda put a lot of thought into the design of the wastegate port; let me show you why.  First, looking at the inlet of the turbine housing you can see a small vertical wall in the large path.  This wall creates a completely separate path to the wastegate port which is very unusual on an OE turbocharger. Combine this design with a very large wastegate port and you get a design that can “waste” or divert an excessive amount of exhaust gas.

This tells us the SkyActiv-G 2.5L engine is creating a lot of (currently) unused exhaust gas energy.  Again this supports the feasibility of a performance turbocharger suiting Mazda’s new turbo engine quite well.  

Great things are on the horizon for the 6, now if only Mazda would put this engine in the 3 paired with a 6-speed manual transmission.  Oh, one can dream.

-Barett @ CS