How To Achieve 400 WHP In Your Mazdaspeed

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.

Stock Red Mazdaspeed3
Stock Mazdaspeed3

Disclaimer:

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

Mazdaspeed 3 Power Series 3.5

Mazdaspeed3 Power Series 3.5″ Intake

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.

Mazdaspeed3 Exhaust Setup
Mazdaspeed3 Exhaust Setup

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.

Mazdaspeed Front Mount Intercooler
Mazdaspeed Front Mount Intercooler

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:

  1. Make the same power on less boost
  2. Make more power on the same boost
  3. Make way more power on WAY more boost!!!

If we are shooting for 400whp, then we generally like to choose door #3.

CST4 Turbo
CST4

Side note: We highly suggest / possibly need a 3.5 bar MAP sensor and an electronic boost control solenoid (or EBCS). Once we start to increase our boost pressures north of 21psi, the OEM electronics begin to lose resolution and can negatively affect our tuning if not addressed.

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.

Why You Need Injector Seals for your Mazdaspeed, Part 2

This post is part 2 of a 2-part series on the importance of injector seals. If you’re just now discovering this post, be sure to tune in to part 1 before continuing here.

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Like the title says, you need injector seals for your MZR! Here’s why.

When Mazda designs a part, they design it with the “typical” customer and OEM power in mind – not the power hungry, boost craving driver.  Yeah, I’m talking about you and you know it – and we have just the thing to keep you and your MZR in check.  As you add more fuel and more boost, the weakest link is eventually going to give. That link is the OEM injector seals.

Three Reasons You Need Injector Seals For Your Mazdaspeed

  1. Reliability is sacrificed using the OEM seals.
  2. Leaking seals causes loss of power.
  3. Inconsistent performance is caused by leaks.

So, if you are just tuning in to our blog, then shame on you, go read part one like everyone else! With that, let’s dive into the design of the seal and how it works.

We put 500 hard miles on the Speed3 and here are the results.  500 miles may not sound like a lot, but the company owned MS3 does not live the normal life. It spends most of its time on the dyno testing new products pull after pull, may have hit 35psi, and when it does hit the streets, it’s driven by an employee searching for the governor speed.  I think we can all agree that the 500 miles was a fair amount of abuse to put the injector seals. Plus, other sets of seals have been running in alpha testers vehicles for thousands of miles without issue.

Now that we have that covered, let’s talk a bit more about the design of the seal and how it works.

Injector-Seals-Mazdaspeed-MZR-Engine-Tokay-

It’s no longer just a washer with one sealing surface – it’s a cup. So it seals in the OEM location AND along the side of the cup. The secret is in the design (which is all thanks to @Tokay444 from MazdaSpeedForums).  The lip at the bottom of the cup is flared just a bit so that it crushes down tight against the cylinder head, and as it crushes down it also crushes outward, pushing against the wall of the port much like an O-ring. If you are having trouble visualizing the flared lip crushing outward then check out the image below. Time to get technical!

FEA-COrkSport-Injector-Seals

Looking at this side view of the seal, you can clearly see that the flared lip is extended further outward than the side of the seal. (Please note that in this FEA, or Finite Element Analysis, the deformation scale factor is 6.5:1, i.e. highly exaggerated). This design is what separates the CorkSport seal from any other seals on the market today. In the FEA the seal is subjected to 3300lbf in the direction of the arrows; 3300lbf is the approximate clamping force of an M8x1.25 torqued to 18ft-lb. The areas in red indicate a displacement of 0.0057 inches, which is just enough to begin yielding (permanently bending) the beryllium copper material. After the 500 miles of use, we had the four seals precision measured using a CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine). On average, the seals yielded 0.0015 inches confirming our FEA.

Still following?

So what does this mean to you? When you torque down the fuel injector bolt and clamp you are applying approximately 3300lbf to the injector seal. This crushes the seal downward pushing the flared lip outward into the wall for ultimate sealing strength; and we have all the data to prove it! The CorkSport seal works flawlessly, but because of the design they are not reusable like any other crush seal.

So, now that we are done with all the technical stuff let’s take a look at the used seals. First, I would like to remind you what the injector looked like with the OEM crush washer and only 4000 miles.

Injector-Seals-Mazdaspeed-MZR-Engine-Tokay-Info-Tech-Injector-Fuel

Extremely dirty with an excessive amount of combustion gases blowing by the OEM injector seal. This makes for a very unhappy MZR. Second, in the images you are about to see, the seals have not been cleaned in any way, shape, or form. I pulled these out of the car and immediately took the pictures. Prepare to be WOW’d; I know I was…

Injector-Seals-Mazdaspeed-MZR-Engine-Tokay-Info-Tech-Injector-Fuel-2

 

Injector-Seals-Mazdaspeed-MZR-Engine-Tokay-Info-Tech-Injector-Fuel-3

Besides the clean injector body, there is a more subtle detail that needs to be pointed out. If you look at the very edge of the flared lip on the seal you will notice that the black soot does not go all the way to the edge. This further confirms that the seals are working the way Brock (@Tokay444 on MSF) had envisioned them and we can also see this “clean ring” in the cylinder head below.

Injector-Seals-Mazdaspeed-MZR-Engine-Tokay-Info-Tech-Injector-Fuel-Inside-Intake-Manifold

In the image below you will notice that the seal is dirty on the inside, but that’s okay – that happens by design. The “shelf” that you see midway up on the inside of the seal seals against the injector body instead of in the OEM location further down around the injector nozzle. This change in sealing location allows the flared edge to deflect how it needs.

Injector-Seals-Mazdaspeed-MZR-Engine-Tokay-Seal-Dirty

If I haven’t convinced you yet why you need injector seals for your Speed3 then you’re hopeless…you should go get a Civic or something else that’s slow…

Injector-Seals-Mazdaspeed-MZR-Engine-Tokay-Full-Injector

Between our results and the reviews given to us from our alpha testers we have great confidence in the seals and you should too! Keep an eye out for these to be released very soon! Zoom – Zoom! -Barett, CS Engineering

Dual Product Release!! CorkSport Shift Knob and MazdaSpeed 6 Rear Differential Mount

After months of testing and making sure it couldn’t be broken, we are finally ready to release the CorkSport Mazdaspeed 6 Rear Differential Mount!

Mazdaspeed 6 Rear Differntial Mount

With all the testing we have done on this part, we know it is the strongest available on the market, but don’t take our word for it. To quote Dennis Gardener, who tested this part on his Mazdaspeed 6 equipped with a GT35 turbo: “I threw everything I had at this mount and my engine blew up long before I could even make a dent in it.”

Machined from lightweight billet aluminum and anodized black, the Rear Differential Mount from CorkSport is durable and built to last. Priced below the cost of replacing the stock mount, the CorkSport Rear Differential Mount is ideal for all Mazdaspeed 6 owners, especially when you start turning up the boost!

The CorkSport Mazdaspeed 6 Rear Differential is available at our online catalog for only $239.99 and is ready to ship now. For more information please visit our product listing at:https://www.corksport.com/corksport-mazdaspeed-6-2006-2007-rear-differential-mount.html

CorkSport Shift Knob

The CorkSport Shift Knob provides smooth throwing shifts, and clean style to complement your Mazda.
Weighing in at 320 grams, the CorkSport Shift Knob provides easy weighted throws that improve response and feel. Shift smoother and let gravity help with extra weight in the palm of your hand. With soft leather, and baseball style embroidery the CorkSport shift knob will complement your interior and feel good in your hand. Works great with your Mazda or Mazdaspeed.

The CorkSport Shift Knob is available at our online catalog for only $59.99 and is ready to ship now. For more information please visit our product listing at:https://www.corksport.com/corksport-shift-knob.html