Hey Everyone, if you don’t know me already I’m the engineering manager at CorkSport Performance & @Halfmilespeed3. I want to make a formal greeting and invite you to follow along as I take the next huge step with my personal build. I drive a 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 that has been through many iterations. I bought it nearly 6 years ago and have since used it in excess to support CorkSport R&D. Hundreds if not thousands of passes on the dyno with so many parts…it’s been a beaten test mule. The time has come to set a focus.
Now, with the 4th engine going in it, I’m setting the build focus for ½ Mile Drag Racing. Power, Aero, and some “Mad Scientist” R&D is going into this build. (see WTF is THAT)
My goals are 700whp on the CST6 stock flange (with Will @ PD Tuning giving it the sauce) and 180mph in the standing ½ mile. I plan to play in the 1320, but half mile is the focus. My first event was going to be Never Lift @ Coalinga Munical Airport in Late March, but with recent events, this was canceled and a new date has not been set. Fingers crossed the country gets through this and the next events hosted by Shift S3ctor Airstrip Attack in June and November hold.
Back to the build…I know that pushing a Mazdaspeed through the air at 180mph is a lofty goal and that physics are against me. With the help and advice of Aaron O’neal @ English Racing I am exploring high-speed aero design.
The primary goal is stability at high speed. I want to be safe in this type of racing so I need to do what I can to make the car stable and predictable at speed. This means I need the car to cut through the air as smoothly as possible, and if possible, generate downforce.
To do this I’ve made a prototype drag wing (which I will share more detail on in a later blog) per the advice of Aaron and my research. This wing is two feet long at the top! And with the closed sides, this should reduce the amount of lift generated at the back of the car.
There is still a lot more work to do here but you get the idea so far.
Upfront I am still very much in the conceptual phase of design. Nearly the whole front bumper will be sealed off with a single sheet of ABS plastic formed to the front of the car. The only opening will be a rectangle about the size of the intercooler for cooling airflow. I also plan to build a chassis mounted splitter. The red parts in the image above are the one-off brackets I designed to mount the splitter to the chassis and still be able to adjust the height (Again I’ll share more detail in future blogs as the prototype comes together).
The other less intuitive aero bit I’m doing on the front of the Speed is hood venting. Thanks to Jonathan Castro @ JC Speedworks for the hood vent I’m able to kill two birds with one stone here. If you’ve done any type of racing you know heat is a killer and must be managed. With this hood vent, I am both evacuating any high-pressure air build up in the engine bay and promoting more efficient airflow through the intercooler and radiator.
With the 300 miles I’ve put on the car, I can already see a huge difference in normal operating temps. Maybe more vents are in the works? 😉 Oh and shout out to @mz_rawr (Aaron Maves) for cutting holes in my hood.
In the process of getting the engine and transmission together, I wanted to fix a 2nd gear drop out issue I had. Over a weekend @thatonepnwguy (Bryce Peterson) and I split my transmission and replaced the shift forks. We certainly did it the wrong way and had to chase some balls around and get them back into their respective locations; despite all that, don’t be afraid to tear into things and learn the hard way.
The powerplant made it in the car and is running great. Right now I’ve got about 300 miles on the engine. I’ve been working out some little details with heat management and setup of the Vacuum Pump (WTF is THAT). I am just now starting to do logs and tuning with Will Dawson at Purple Drank Tuning. With these goals, I still intend to keep the car street legal and driven on a nearly daily basis (I wish you could see the stares I get from people). I’m putting this out to all of you as an invite to follow along with the build on Instagram @halfmilespeed3. All the inside info and goodies are there for you to see along with @corksport for other stories and build updates. I’m stoked for this season and to explore a racing series that has largely been untouched by the Mazdaspeed community. I will be finding limits and new challenges for the platform that I hope to overcome.
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Barett’s 1/2 Mile Mazdaspeed 3 Build – Part 1 November 15th, 2022CorkSport
Today I want to share with you a simple blog on just one way of taking your Mazdaspeed to 400WHP. After checking out this blog, If you would like more in-depth information on some of these parts, I thoroughly suggest picking up a copy of our Ultimate Mazda Performance Guide. This simple read is packed full of information on modifying 2004+ NA and Mazdaspeed models. It’s also a great place to start for folks who are new to aftermarket performance parts and the modification game.
Let’s Get Started
The MZR DISI engine in the Mazdaspeed platform has been around for just over 10 years now. CorkSport along with the community of racers, shops, and enthusiasts alike have learned quite a bit about these engines. We have learned what they like and what they don’t. How they react to certain mods, how to maintain them, and also some of their weak points. We also learned how to take this platform well over 400 WHP.
We recently hit 684 whp with the CST6 Mazdaspeed Turbo — Check it out here.
Among the many things we have learned, we have developed a great understanding of what is needed to get these engines to make power. More specifically, with the right set of bolt-on parts and tuning one can easily and safely make 400WHP on a stock bottom end of your Mazdaspeed 3 or Mazdaspeed 6. The torque will just need to be kept under control.
It’s not a secret or rocket science on how to achieve this power level in a Mazdaspeed3 or Mazdaspeed6, and it is very much doable.
There are certainly many variables that can come into play when trying to achieve 400WHP safely, such as the health of your engine, quality of engine tune, octane rating of fuel, engine management software and more. This is by no means an all-inclusive guide and the only way of making this level of power. However, this is a tried and tested method of making high power safely and reliably. We come from years of experience doing it ourselves and helping the community with their Mazdas as well. We have spent years and years developing this platform and continue to do so on a daily basis. What I aim to do is educate you on how you can make the most out of your MZR engine.
Necessary Upgrades To Make 400WHP
Now before we get too ahead of ourselves, there are two modifications that are a must before going down the 400whp quest. Those are high-pressure fuel pump internals and a tuning solution such as those provided by COBB or VersaTuner. These parts do not inherently increase hp and tq levels, but they are 100% necessary to give you most out of your hard part modifications and do so with safe and reliable power. A high-quality tune is worth every penny, and when paired with things such as an intake or exhaust, you can capitalize even more so your parts and net more horsepower.
Understanding the DISI MZR 2.3T
The DISI MZR 2.3T is not much different than any other gasoline direct injected engine that you would find on any modern automobile. Here is how it operates:
Air goes into your Mazdaspeed.
Air is combined with the correct ratio of fuel.
The air/fuel mixture gets compressed.
A spark event occurs that ignites a controlled burn.
This event forces the piston downwards.
Exhaust gases then leave the Mazda.
The cycle repeats.
So in an oversimplified matter, that is all an internal combustion engine is – a glorified air pump with more bells and whistles. One of the best ways to make a really effective air pump is to optimize the movement of air into and out of the cylinders. For that reason, it’s best to start at the front and back of our car to help give it a little breathing room.
Intake & Exhaust
It’s no secret that an intake and exhaust system are among the most popular first upgrades for any vehicle, and it’s for a good reason. Letting air in and out of the engine as easily as we can is a great first step to create more power. Doing this will free up restrictions with the manufacturer parts, especially on a factory turbocharged vehicle. OEM parts are by and large designed with emissions regulations and pricing priorities, rather than performance.
Upgrading your Mazdaspeed to a 3” or 3.5” intake and pairing it with a turbo-back exhaust will create the airflow efficiency that we need to reach 400 WHP. We’re able to do this by increasing the exhaust pipe diameter and either eliminating our catalytic converter or replacing it with a high-flow race cat. By increasing the efficiency of airflow from entry through the exit, the engine is effectively working less to produce the same amount of power.
By adding an intake and exhaust to your Mazdaspeed, you can net an easy 50+ whp when paired with the proper tune. As you continue down the modification road, you’ll find that this is the most effective dollars spent to horsepower ratio. Now that we are able to take more of the power stroke, we can focus on getting more power to the wheels, rather than letting it be consumed by byproducts such as waste heat, noise, and vibration.
Intercooler & Turbo
Another great way to make more power with your Mazdaspeed, and to get closer to 400whp, is to increase the level of boost pressure running through the engine. OEM boost levels are around the 14-15 PSI. But once we have our intake and exhaust installed on our Mazdaspeed, our tuning solution can allow us to start increasing that level into the 19-21 range.
A natural byproduct of increasing the pressure within the system is a corresponding rise in air temperature. To be able to make the most of the increased boost levels, it’s important to keep the temperature at a lower level. To do this, you’ll want to upgrade to a larger top mount intercooler (TMIC), or even go a step further and upgrade to a large front mount intercooler (FMIC) core.
The intercoolers primary function is to act as a heat exchanger, and we know that heat is the #1 roadblock for any engine to make more power. The more efficiently we can remove heat from the system, the more power we can create safely and reliably. We should also note that the stock TMIC in the Mazdaspeed platform is a terrible bottleneck in the system so this will free up extra flow.
Now that we have a good way of getting air into, out of, and keeping it cool at the same time, we want to increase the total volume. An easy way to do this is by upgrading the turbocharger in your Mazdaspeed. This is an easy process that replaces your factory k04 and creates the potential to throw down some serious power. When you reach this point in your build, you open up options on how to proceed:
Make the same power on less boost
Make more power on the same boost
Make way more power on WAY more boost!!!
If we are shooting for 400whp on our Mazdaspeed, then we generally like to choose door #3.
By upgrading our MAP sensor we are allowing the powertrain control module (PCM) to recognize and look up higher boost targets than those equipped from the OEM unit. With this upgrade, the computer can now accurately record and look up these values. We also upgrade our electronic boost control solenoid (EBCS) to allow more fine-tuning of our maps and boost targets. An OEM EBCS just won’t allow us as fine of control of our boost pressure, which can result in some headaches as we approach higher horsepower levels.
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The Finishing Touches To Reach 400 WHP
With the above combination of mods and proper tuning on a healthy engine, a medium frame turbo on pump gas can get you into the 330-340whp range. If we go another step further, we will open up more ‘breathing’ mods such as the intake manifold, taller lift camshafts, or a larger throttle body. This will stretch us into the 350-360 whp range.
That being said without the help of e85 or aux fueling we can’t go any closer to our 400whp mark. We simply hit the limits of the Mazdaspeed factory fuel system and need to look into upgrading that system as well.
Making the switch over to e85 allows us to get in the 380 range, but we soon run out of fuel injector headroom in the Mazdaspeed at this point and max out our injector duty cycle. We then have to look at aux fueling (Meth or Port Injection) as a solution to get us to our 400whp mark safely. What’s unfortunate is that at this point we are also looking at upgrading our hard parts such as our in-tank fuel pump to keep up with demand if you plan to run PI. There are quite a few options for AUX fueling which are beyond the scope of this blog.
Now, as mentioned this is not the only way of making these power levels, but it could be said that it is one of the easiest and most popular. It’s important to remember that along the way we supplement the engine with other supporting mods to ensure we are safe and can make full use of our power. Things like lower heat range spark plugs and a stage 2 rear engine mount can go a long way.
Thanks for following along and feel free to leave us a comment if you have any questions or want some more specific information on a product.
I want to let you know what’s on my wish-list so that if you ever happen to stumble upon our wonderful little world of CorkSport, you’ll see everything I’ve been dreaming of.
1. New Mazdaspeed
While I personally prefer the Mazdaspeed3 hatchback look, I’d even be ok with a Mazdaspeed6 iteration. I like to have fun; I like to be pushed back in my seat by power and performance, and realistically I LIKE TO GO FAST. The newest generations of Mazda are missing some of these aspects, and I’ve been dreaming of their return!!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I like the Gen3 Mazda3. It’s a smooth ride, and we’re pretty stoked about what it can offer. However, our customers like to make power, N/A leaves us begging for more despite what HP we can squeeze out of the Mazda3.
So, Dear Mazda, Please bring back the Mazdaspeed!
2. Mazda CX-3 with a turbo
Genuinely, I like the look of the CX3, I enjoy the size of the CX-3 and even find that it suits my ever changing lifestyle being a little higher off the ground. (For those who don’t, check out CorkSport’s lowering springs for the CX-3). It’s just flat out missing the power that comes with a turbo. It’s “get up and go” is … well… slow. This could, with the right improvements, be a great replacement for the Mazdaspeed3 for those of us waiting for the newest generation. Just please, please, can we get some more POWER?!
3. Turbo Diesel Mazda 6
You gave it to everyone else!!! Why in the world would you leave us out?! You have to do ZERO redesigns; just getting it to the states is all I’m asking. The clean look of the Gen3 Mazda6 is something we like, but the power and improvements that come with the Turbo Diesel, I mean COME ON?! Just let us have a chance at it!
Heck, make that an AWD Mazda 6.
If you’re feeling generous, you could make it an AWD Turbo Diesel Mazda 6.
If we’re going THAT far, make it an AWD Turbo Diesel Mazda 6 wagon, because “I love me some hatchback!” that big booty look, and being able to fit all of the things… What’s not to love?!
It’s not a long list, and I realize that it’s selfish of me to ask, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one you would be making happy if you would just deliver on even ONE of these items.
P.S Apple Carplay, and Android Auto… have been in the works for about 3 years, and you probably could have just hired a coder and completed a custom code in half the time… so we’re still waiting for that one too.
Dear Mazda, I have a Wish List December 15th, 2017CorkSport
Can you believe we started this project back in 2012?
Yes, it’s been a long journey, and a few too many “two weeks”, only to find that more improvements were needed. We’ll be frank, this has been a challenging project to tackle, but we have prevailed. We have pushed past the challenges faced in manufacturing the complex design, and are proud to announce that we are ready to present you with the most complete solution for the Mazdaspeed 3 and Mazdaspeed 6 platform.
The CorkSport Intake Manifold is here for those of us wanting some more flow in our lives.
Our design focuses on performance without sacrificing OEM fitment or drivability. With equal flowing runners, higher flow than OE, and TMIC fitment, it truly is a complete solution to the OE intake manifold.
Fitment is huge when it comes down to large engine components like intake manifolds. While designing the CorkSport IM, we wanted to retain as many OE features and mounting locations as possible while maintaining neat and tidy packaging. By doing so, we were able to keep components such as the TMIC, OEM throttle body, MAP Sensor, and even the oil dipstick bracket in OE locations. This all means a relatively quick and easy part to install, but we made it even easier by clearing some space around hard-to-reach areas.
The CorkSport Intake Manifold may fit like OE, but that’s where the similarities end.
The CorkSport Mazdaspeed Intake Manifold is designed with performance and drive-ability in mind, with the larger plenum design and long cylinder runners. Since the intake plenum is about three times larger than OE, there is an increase in high RPM power capacity without sacrificing throttle response and drivability. By maintaining the length of the cylinder runners (vs the typical aftermarket intake manifold), we improved mid-range power while still having peak RPM capacity with the single runner design vs. an OE split runner design.
The increase in performance also comes with an increase in engine health.
By optimizing the design for equal flow between runners, the CorkSport IM eliminates the flow imbalance of the OE intake manifold. This significant imbalance causes cylinders to run excessively lean or rich, affecting engine durability and performance. Check out the graph below to see the difference. Not only does the CorkSport Intake Manifold outflow the OE design by 70CFM per runner on average, but also significantly reduces the flow imbalance to 2% or less vs the OE imbalance of 21%.
This means your engine can run stronger, longer, and have a higher potential to make power.
But enough talk about numbers and flow, let’s SEE some numbers. The dyno graph below shows the difference before and after the CS IM on a Mazdaspeed3 with a CorkSport TD05H-18G turbo equipped. Not only was there an increase in power and torque across the entire RPM range, the turbo spooled around 100RPM faster than with the OE intake manifold.
But wait there’s more! Along with the overall design improvement over OE; there are additional design features that you need to know about.
Firstly, we increased the size of the throttle body opening. This allows the OE throttle body to work great but also allows for a larger throttle body to be installed without modification.
Next there are added fueling ports for each runner. They are standard 1/8-27 NPT ports that can be used with methanol nozzles or other fueling options.
Finally there is an extra 1/8-27 NPT port that can be used for boost controllers, gauges, or the like.
Now you may be thinking, But there aren’t any larger throttle bodies available. To that we say, Not just YET!
Along with the great features of this new Performance Intake Manifold, we are also providing nearly all of the hardware you need for installation; that is, the brass fittings that come pre-installed on the intake manifold and the additional hardware and hoses needed for auxiliary components.
Now we would like to circle back to where we started with this conversation:
We here at CorkSport pride ourselves in doing everything in our power to provide you, our customers, with the best possible products out there. We also are committed to being real with you guy as well, because we too are Mazda-lovers who get a thrill out of overcoming the toughest challenges that stand between us and the ultimate car experience.
The most challenging aspect of this project has been getting the manufacturing to an acceptable quality, and consistent among each intake manifold. We have tested the intake manifold on multiple cars in-house and with various beta testers, the results speak for themselves: this is an exceptional performance product that your Mazdaspeed will love to have.
Believe us when we say that this design is tough to manufacture, and that process results in no two parts being exactly the same visually; but it also means that each manifold has its own unique look and character, the same way our cars do.
We guarantee that the CorkSport Intake Manifold will give you the best performance out there, but if for whatever reason you’re not satisfied with the unique look of your IM, please contact us and we’ll be more than happy to take care of you like we always do. – We’ve got your back!
That being said, if you’re looking to take your Mazdaspeed to the next level in both speed and reliability, the CorkSport Intake Manifold is the best comprehensive solution on the market.
These babies are only available while supplies last, so don’t wait, they’ll be gone before you know it!
The Wait Is Over: The CorkSport Performance Intake Manifold Is Here April 8th, 2020CorkSport
Made from 80 durometer urethane, these 1/8 Inch thick flaps will protect all of your painted surfaces, and result in a cleaner rear hatch.
How does this really affect you? Well, have you ever tried wiping without toilet paper? I can tell you that it can be a tad bit messy. Go ahead and skip the dirty booty by adding these to your Mazda 3/Mazdaspeed 3. 2010-2013 Mazda 3 & MS3 Mud Flaps (Set of 4)
A few extra tidbits about the mud flaps:
Durable 80A 1/8inch thick polyurethane.
CorkSport logo laser etched into the mud flap.
2-year limited warranty.
These are a must-have if you are trying to increase style while still being functional. I can tell you that these definitely help to keep the rear hatch cleaner makes it easier to keep the entire car cleaner for longer periods of time.