With the introduction of the 4th generation Mazda 3 there are many questions around the new chassis, engine, interior, and many other components. Here we are going to start investigating the suspension as we move through the process of developing sport lowering springs for the 4th Gen Mazda 3.
If you didn’t know already, we recently purchased a 2019 Mazda 3 Premium with the 6 manual transmission and Snowflake white paint. Right out of the box the 2019 has impressed us with its intuitive driver feedback through the steering wheel, pedals, and gear shifter. The interior is phenomenal and the exterior is…growing on us.
BUT enough of the chatter lets throw the car on the lift and take a look at the suspension.
At the front of the car, we have a pretty typical McPherson strut assembly with a lower control arm. This type of suspension is very common in modern passenger cars because it is simple, durable, and cost-effective. There are tons of aftermarket support for this type of suspension because it is so common, but from a purely performance standpoint, it does leave something to be desired.
Comparing the 2019 to our inhouse 2018 3rd Gen you can see one major difference. The connection from the steering knuckle to the strut body is now a simple clamp collar vs the two-bolt connection on the 3rd gens. We imagine this was purely a cost-cutting design change. For you, the result is just a slightly more difficult installation.
At the rear of the car, things are drastically different. Instead of the more standard multi-link trailing arm suspension, we have a torsion beam style suspension. Mazda says this was “to reduce unwanted movement in the suspension and increase driver comfort”, but sadly we believe this is straight-up cost cutting at the sacrifice of performance.
We could go into a bunch of nerdy details here, but in a nutshell, going from multi-link trailing arm to torsion beam takes away our ability to adjust and control camber, toe, and rear roll stiffness because all of these major suspension dynamics are integrated (or discarded) with the torsion beam design. Never fear, the Team at CorkSport Mazda Performance is working on solutions to this, but it will be a challenge.
Now specifically looking at the rear springs, you can see that the spring is very short. This caused some difficulty in design, but we have successfully overcome this hurdle.
We’ve tested the OEM springs rates and WOW are they soft. We developed prototypes to validate our target springs rates and have been driving on those for about a few months now. Happily, from this testing, we’ve found that the OE struts/dampers damping rate is more than sufficient for proper sport lowering springs. With that complete, we’ve designed multiple sets of lowering springs with various ride height targets and our tested springs rates.
Lastly, we tested various final prototypes to get our final ride height just right. Ladies and Gentlemen, these will be LOW and will work with Sedan, Hatch, AWD, and FWD!
We are excited to release final production units to the public in #twoweeks. It is important to note, CorkSport 7th Gear Members will have an opportunity to purchase these springs a week before the general release and they will receive free shipping (in the lower 48 states), as part of their membership benefits!
If you have not seen what the future holds for your 4th Gen Mazda 3, see our product pipeline blog here. If you have ideas or feedback, please let us know. We are listening, we want to hear from you!
-Barett @ CS
2019 Mazda 3 – What’s new with the suspension? May 21st, 2020Sky
Today we are going to lay it all out; we are going to tell you about what we are working on for your Mazda 3 and WE ARE EXCITED! Who are we? If you don’t know already, we are CorkSport Mazda Performance based out of Vancouver, Washington. We are the number One Performance Aftermarket Mazda Parts Company and we have set our sights on the 4th Generation Mazda 3.
Below are the first projects we are developing for the 4th Gen Mazda 3 and CX30. Engine performance, suspension performance, and styling are all covered here and we are closer to launch than you may realize. Sit back and enjoy, there’s a lot here and we want you to see it all.
One of the most sought after and anticipated performance items for the 2019+ Mazda 3 are the CorkSport Sport Lowering Springs. The CS springs provide the most aggressive drop on the market today while providing a sporty and comfortable ride for daily driver use. With that, we have confirmed fitment on FWD manual transmission hatch and AWD automatic transmission sedan. We found that the Auto AWD Sedan rides just slightly lower, but is still within proper ride height for suspension function.
We design our springs with more than just looks in mind (but they do look great). Spring rates and the suspension frequency are critical to performance and comfort. With that being said we increased the front spring rate 52% and rear rate 40% based on the OEM 2019 FWD Hatch MT springs.
Now if you’re looking at the images and thinking “Damn those wheels look good” then you are correct and we agree; they look amazing and fit the car and CorkSport springs perfect.
Here are the specs: Advan RS 19×8.5 +38 with 235/35 Kumhos. We have just the slightest rub on the inner fender on large bumps. Besides that they are perfect and you can have this setup too!
Next up is the CorkSport Axle-Back Exhaust. Off the showroom floor, the Mazda 3 is ghostly quiet which is pretty disappointing. Our goal with the Performance Axle-Back Exhaust is a noticeable but mellow tone that you can enjoy every single day; gents this is Wife/Girlfriend approved.
We are proud to announce that will we be supporting multiple models on launch. We have confirmed the Sedan, Hatch, Hatch w/Aero Package, and the CX-30. Along with that we have confirmed fitment for both FWD and AWD models for all cars listed.
Look closely, there’s a couple new products in this engine bay…long in development is the Short Ram Intake System which replaces the OEM airbox with a high flow dry element filter, billet aluminum MAF housing, 4-ply silicone coupler, and stainless steel T-bolt clamps.
Upon launch we will be offering various color combinations between Black, Red, and Blue. You can see them below.
In our testing we have seen repeatable 5whp gains at peak with a nice increase across the RPM range. Street driving our butt dyno agrees with crisp throttle response and a lovely intake induction noise. The combination of induction noises, exhaust note, and sporty feedback from the sport springs really turns the Mazda 3 from an A-to-B car to a great enthusiast hot hatch.
The other project sitting in the engine bay is the CorkSport Front Strut Brace. Bracing the strut towers to each other improves chassis stiffness and reduces suspension complicity. This results in increased driver feedback and thus a better driving experience. The powder coated steel brackets and polished aluminum cross bar add a nice loot to the engine bay.
Lastly, and still in development, are the rear sway bars for the FWD and AWD 4th Gen Mazda 3. This project has been interesting because of the new torsion beam rear suspension found on the 4th Gen Mazda 3. It’s interesting because there is no factory equipped sway bar. Instead of just developing a larger rear sway bar, we are developing a sway bar from scratch along with the attachment methods.
You also notice that there are two different bars in the image. This is because the AWD and FWD torsion beams are different due to the AWD drivetrain. Long story short, we are developing a RSB for each drivetrain specifically because that’s the correct way to do it.
Wow, that was a lot, and trust me there is more we are investigating, but we can’t let ALL the secrets out yet. We would love to know what products you would like CorkSport to develop for the 2019+ Mazda 3 platform, you can do so right here by Submitting a Product Idea.
Also, we love sharing with the community directly and have been doing so in these groups. If you don’t know about them then check them out and join for more info.
Thanks for tuning in with CorkSport. We hope you are as excited about the 4th Gen Mazda platform as we are!
-Barett @ CS
Performance Parts for the 4th Gen Mazda 3 May 14th, 2020Sky
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 — 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 MS3 or MS6. 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, 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.
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.
How To Achieve 400 WHP In Your Mazdaspeed December 30th, 2019CorkSport
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