CorkSport September 2009 Swap Meet and Dyno Day

We had our swap meet and dyno day on Saturday the 19th. The weather for the day was pretty ominous with rain forecasted from early morning to around noon and it was right on. At 6am the rain started up but that didn’t stop us from getting the event going.

10am with the rain coming down

Alan Webb Mazda showed up at the event early and brought along some parts to sell at a discount and a new 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 to show off. We had the swap meet spaces in doors to keep people dry during the entire day. There were lots of good deals to be had at the event that we offered and other people brought as well.

People checking out the deals (including the sweet RE-Amemiya MS3 hood)

We had almost the entire Mazda range of models represented at the event. All models of Rx7s, Rx8s, Mazda Proteges (new and older models), Miatas, Mazda 6s, and Mazda 3s.

Scott’s FC with the drift damage can be seen at the right (Scott too)

The dyno event had 20 cars on run on it during the day. The best power made was a NB Miata with a GT3076R turbocharger at 400 wheel hp. The car is very un-assuming until the driver hits the throttle.

The biggest dyno number of the day went to the red Miata above.

The day even had a few surprises in it too. The 1st gen Rx7 after its dyno run drove around the parking lot and the tie rod end broke. After a quick assessment and help from CorkSport the tie rod end was repaired and the car was back on 4 wheels. Thankfully it happened in our parking lot and not on his drive home.

Oh Snap!

Thank you to everyone for coming out and making the event despite the not so pleasant weather early in the day. I would like to mention a special thanks to Alan Webb Mazda for braving the weather and to MazdasNW group for driving down from the Seattle area.


Old Memories

Remember when the first Veilside body kits came out back in the late 90s? Back in 1998 those kits were incredible! Another must have item for style was wheels made by the company Niche. They had some cleverly done up advertisements in Sport Compact Car Magazine that that caught my attention. Niche was not exactly Rays Engineering but they were very cutting edge.

Speaking of Sport Compact Car, I remember reading that magazine when Shiv and Dave were contributing editors. Project cars back then were mostly FD Rx7s and too many Hondas to count. Every once and a while a Mazda would pop up in the articles and features. Our CorkSport KL-ZE swapped Mx3 was featured in the March 2000 issue. My favorite quote, “I never thought a Barney Purple MX-3 could look so badass”.

All of these things have one thing in common; they are not with us anymore. You can still buy the original Veilside kit but with all the knockoffs I haven’t a real one in 10 years. Niche wheels have been out of the market for years. Sport Compact Car (after Shiv and Dave left) went downhill and had become just another car magazine. The owners of the magazine killed it last year.

Things change for the good and the bad. One thing that hasn’t changed is that CorkSport is still here to support Mazda enthusiasts, and we thank you guys for all your support over the years.


Product Testing Has Never Been So Fun!

I have finally got some time to polish the washer behind the steering wheel on the 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 and I can without a doubt say it is an unbelievably fun car. I come from a world of cars that have an immense amount of what I like to call ‘Soul.’ Meaning they’re rickety and loud and generally belch mass quantities of fuel out the tailpipe on tipping into the throttle after 7500rpm decel because the 45mm Weber DCOE’s are washing the cylinder walls down like a firehose. So for me to drive a refined car is usually an exercise in complaining about how quiet it is or that it doesn’t have enough of this so called ‘Soul.’ Meaning I feel out of place because I’m actually in a nice car that behaves like it should and also accelerates and handles like a monster. It’s my exercise in self justification that my 70’s and 80’s cars have something that replaces the refinement that I am so dearly missing.

During the product validation phase for our Power Series Intake System we found that the 2010 Speed3 has a very low tolerance for improved intake designs – the window for fuel trim on the 2010 seems to be far narrower than it was with the 2007-2009. And the car runs pig-rich at wide open throttle from the factory, and from what we can tell Mazda wants to keep it that way. Which is ridiculous – maximum best torque isn’t made at 10:1 AFR. We have managed to design a system that pushes the envelope for power and also resides at the upper end of the safe zone as it relates to ECU Long Term Fuel Trims (LTFTs). This required us to spend a lot of time behind the wheel with an OBD2 datalogger to gather data off the 2nd Gen. ECU. We’d then head back to the lab to crunch some numbers and improve our understanding of what the ECU wants to see, what factors effect that and how to manipulate them for safe running and excellent power while simultaneously avoiding the dreaded CEL/MIL light. And no, the first step of the install instructions aren’t ‘Remove Gauge Cluster and cut traces on Tachometer circuit board that lead to check engine LED.’

But wait, this technical background story is nothing compared to the best part – all those hours behind the wheel!! After countless hours of punching up and down the freeway at various levels of cruise, I switched gears and took the 2010 out on one of my favorite loops… Until this point, I hadn’t had a good opportunity to really see what the car was capable of, as most of my time in it was on commutes and around town driving.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with where we’re located, CorkSport is in Vancouver, Washington – right across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. Vancouver is in the shadow of Mt. St. Helens, the cascade range volcano that blew 2000′ off its top in 1980. I live about halfway between Mt. St. Helens and Vancouver and the North Clark County area has an amazing array of roads snaking over the landscape. Banked 180 degree curves abound and just when you’re ready to pull over and lean your head out to paint the tarmac with your lunch, the road opens up to 1-2 mile straights that give your inner ear the slightest respite prior to wrapping right back into beautiful Nurburgring-esque sweepers among gorgeous green foliage and narrow cliff-lined lakes.

The Speed3 performed phenomenally. There were plenty of areas for improvement, what with it having stock suspension, no strut braces, factory tires, etc. For the most part, however, it was a blast to drive. The factory brakes are surprisingly capable and the transmission gearing is perfectly matched for putting lots of power down through the curves and even more as the straights open up. The engine management provides a very crisp deceleration with its overrun (deceleration) fuel cut algorithm. There were a number of times when I had to remind myself that I was simply going waay too fast and back off in areas where sight distance was limited, but the car is so smooth to accelerate through 2nd, 3rd and 4th that it’s hard to realize you’re doing 90-100mph.

Coming from a predominantly rear wheel and all wheel drive background, the Speed takes some getting used to when hammering it around corners laying down 300lb-ft of torque. In sharp turns under acceleration, the massive torque-steer requires some elbow grease to reorient the treads to follow the road, but the benefit gained on big sweepers is well worth the tradeoff provided in the FWD drivetrain configuration. This is a wonderful car and if you can get past the torque steer and not be bothered by it (which takes very little time from what I’ve found), the benefits had from the power that causes it far outweigh the initial surprise of how heavy handed the car can be under certain conditions. But for me, the torquesteer is an excellent addition – I think I have slowly identified that what I see to be the feeling of ‘Soul’ in a car is really just elements of a visceral experience – and the torquesteer is the only unrefined and live thing about the car that reminds you that you’re not driving your girlfriend’s Jetta. As automotive enthusiasts we long for these elements in our cars which is why we love to modify them – a throaty exhaust system and an intake / turbo inlet that allow you to hear the turbo spool up both go a long way to bringing your Mazda’s Soul out of its cage and to the surface.


Mazda Trucks Are Back!

There was a recent “spy shot” of the new Ford Ranger truck seen driving around. The good news it is a Ford Ranger in name alone. The new Ranger chassis will be based on the Mazda BT-50 truck which is sold everywhere on the planet except North America.

Photo Courtesy of Mazda Australia

They are listing the new Mazda Ranger to be available in 2011 with a 1.6 DI gas engine. If Ford has some sense and sells the 3.0 16 valve 4 cylinder Turbodiesel with the 150 hp and 280 torque which is found overseas currently, they already have 1 buyer. With the Mazda chassis we will get double wishbone front suspension with torsion bars instead of the twin I-beam carry over from the 1960s. Ford had been using this suspension in light duty trucks in the last 30 years of Rangers.

If the engine and power train controls carry over from the BT-50 diesels there are plug in tuners available as well. Plug it in, turn up the boost and pick up an extra 50 torque!

You can tell I really want a new Mazda truck can’t you?

Who knows, CorkSport may even offer performance parts for the trucks.


2010 MazdaSpeed3 First Dyno Results

MazdaSpeed3 Dyno

Just got got the 2010 Mazdaspeed3 off the dyno after doing some installs and have some results to share.

The Dyno run went great for the 2010 MS3. It’s bone stock with three mods – CorkSport Power Series Racepipe (80mm with factory 65mm outlet) and CS Power Series Intake w/ Turbo Inlet and a set of CorkSport Motor Mount Inserts. Each of these products will be released shortly for the 2010 MS3 including some revised design considerations for the new 2010.

The stock baseline numbers for the 2010 were 231hp 269tq (73.8F/45%Humidity). With the two mods, it hammered down 272hp and 301tq (78.7F/43%Humidity).

41hp gain, 32ft lb of torque. Boost went from factory 16.4psi to 18.6. $388! Can’t wait to see what it picks up with the downpipe.

If you have a Speed3 without any exhaust modifications or haven’t added an intake or a turbo inlet pipe, hit me up…there’s power on the table right in front of you.