Kill The Nannies

Nannies. One thing we have discovered while racing our Mazda 3 is that the OEM safety systems in the newest generation of Mazda 3 work well, too well in fact for racing.

Each year, new safety features are added by Mazda which make the cars safer and reduces the risk of collisions. This is great for day to day driving and commuting, but it presents a problem if you plan to take your car to the track to race it.

The OEM system in the car really frowns on lifting a rear tire off the ground, or when you get wheel spin accelerating out of a slow speed corner. They design the cars against these things happening for safety purposes (understandably). However, Mazda does give you a button on your dash to turn off the traction control. This gets us racers around the limitations to a certain degree.

Let me explain:

When you disengage traction control, the system which measures yaw/pitch and ensures your car has all the wheels on the ground is actually still working, even with the button off. What the button does essentially is give you a sort of leash with more leeway, until the computer thinks you have gone too far of course, then it will kick in traction control again.

So, how do we get past these nanny systems so we can push our cars for maximum performance?

Can you simply unplug the computer which controls the this? I wish it were that simple, but you cannot. The systems in the car are all tied to each other, and the car may not start, it may not run safely, or it may run in a limp mode. A good example of this in our 2015 Mazda3 is: if you unplug the rear view mirror the car won’t start. The ABS is also controlled by the same unit, and this is very handy to have on the track.  The ABS is very good in the Mazda3 by the way, so I recommend you keep it.

The solution we’ve come up with at CorkSport is pretty simple: Leave the computer plugged in and turn it over.

That’s it, simple, nothing else is required. What happens when you turn the computer upside down is the computer loses its physical reference point, so it defaults by turning off the stability control and nannies, but most-importantly, the ABS still functions.

A big word of caution: The computer which controls the nannies also runs the airbags. If you race your car on the track, the airbags will have been removed from your car already. DO NOT drive your airbag-equipped car with the module flipped over.

The reason this solution works for the track is that our Mazda 3 race car has additional safety equipment installed, with the 6-point harness and halo seat, along with the rest of the driver’s safety gear, that keep you from injury in the event of any wrecks.

FYI: When using this “hack”, your Mazda 3 dashboard will light up like a Christmas tree from all of the warnings; but that is a small price to pay for the improved performance while racing.

–Derrick

DISCLAIMER: This modification is for racing purposes ONLY. Doing so will render many of your car’s safety systems ineffective. Installing other safety systems after this modification is essential.

 

2018 Mazda 3 CBR – Transmission Modes Comparison

If you didn’t know already, CorkSport recently bought a brand new 2018 Mazda 3 Hatchback Touring Modelwith an automatic transmission.

Yes, I know, a performance aftermarket parts company has an automatic; I’m right there with you, but there’s a good reason for it.  CorkSport has a couple Mazda3 6-Speed Manuals and a couple manual and automatic Mazda 6’s, but no automatic Mazda 3; so it made sense to add that to the garage, especially with the many new performance parts we have in the pipe line.  Check those out here.

Now back to the CorkSport’s new 2018 Mazda 3.

The 6-speed automatic comes equipped with three transmission control modes; Standard (default), Sport, and Manual (aka manumatic).

We became curious about how those three modes affected the driving experience, specifically the shift points. I believe we all understand how the Manual control mode works, as it provides nearly 100% control of the shift points, so for the comparison I am going to focus on the differences between the Standard and Sport modes since those are controlled by the ECU.  

Driving the car on the street, you can easily feel the difference between the Standard and Sport modes of the Mazda3.

The Standard mode feels soft, relaxed, and maybe even lazy between shifts. It seems to default to the highest gear (lowest engine RPM) possible in every driving situation. This is great for fuel economy, but disappointing for smiles-per-gallon.  Push the Sport toggle, and the car comes alive.  The engine pulls through the RPM range longer for each gear and seems more eager to accelerate with the slightest throttle input. MUCH better.

The Butt Dyno is great and all, but it’s subjective, so we decided to strap the car down on the dyno to see what is happening; what exactly is changing between the Standard and Sport modes with the CorkSport 2018 Mazda3.

On the dyno, things become much clearer, but first, we had to set up the dyno to provide us with useful information. Typically we are testing wheel Torque and Horsepower, not shift points. It was interesting to play with the various parameters the dyno has available to find a readout that would convey the shift points and the effort the car was exerting. Check out the graph below; this is not your typical dyno plot.

With this dyno plot we quickly see that is much different than the typical readout.  I’m going to break it down, so it’s clear and easy for you to understand what is going on.

Description: Standard Mode = Red, Sport Mode = Green

The horizontal axis is our independent variable in the test. This is the variable/parameter we can control directly in the test. Since we are trying to understand the difference in shift points between the Standard and Sport modes, Road Speed was the logical choice. To be consistent, the throttle input percent for both Standard and Sport modes was held constant throughout the test runs.

The two vertical axis’s are the dependent variables in the test; these are the parameters that depend on engine RPM. On the right side of the dyno plot, we have engine RPM; this is represented by the lines with dots. On the left side of the dyno plot, we have tractive effort, which is essentially the amount of force the tires are applying to the road surface.

Looking at the two graphs, it’s clear that the Sport mode shift points and tractive effort are much different than Standard mode. This is interesting because we can now visualize what we were feeling while driving the Mazda 3 Hatchback on the street.

In Sport mode, the car carries through the engine RPM longer, and the resulting RPM after each shift is also higher.  Because each gear is carried to a higher RPM the resulting power is much greater, which is shown with the tractive effort plots.

Finishing statement: Sport mode significantly changes the way the car drives and responds. If you are looking for some fun out in the curves, don’t be shy, hit that Sport toggle and let the Mazda do what it was designed to do best.

Happy driving!

-Barett @ CS

CorkSport CBR Update #2: Bodykits

Alright, boys and girls so it’s time to turn up the CBR a notch and make her stand out.

Vincent from CorkSport here giving you the latest update!

If you have been following along, you know that we just got this brand new Mazda 3 not too long ago and decided we wanted to build it with you guys. In our most recent post, we asked for your opinions on a wrap for the car. Frankly, we wanted to collect more data to determine a real standout before we made a final decision, so we went back to the drawing board.

We also decided to take things a step further.

Before we decide to wrap it, we think we might do something a little bit more unique here and play with some body lines. We decided to make her pop and started exploring some options for body kits for the Mazda3. 

Now before you hit the next button and bail, hear me out.

I know the notion of body kits can leave many with a sour taste in your mouths. Some of you might think, “gross” or “you’ve got to be kidding me”, and in all honesty, I totally get where you’re coming from; I’m as “function over form” as they get. It’s rare you see me doing anything to my Mazda’s that does not ultimately have a true performance improvement goal intended. Maybe some nice LED’s here or a lip there, but pretty much if I am replacing something, it’s because I broke the original at the track, or need to upgrade to cut down on some lap times.

But for this Gen3 Mazda 3, since we are definitely going to have the performance end of things covered, we thought we might also explore some options that would make this ride visually unique as well. After all, the whole idea of the CBR is to have fun and to experiment!

On to the body kits we’re considering.

When I began looking for body kits, the first thing I did was go straight overseas to some good names in the aftermarket body industry. (No, I’m not talking about Rocket Bunny, can we please just go ahead and kill that already?)

Anyhoo, I decided to start with two names that CorkSport is very familiar with: Those two brands are Autoexe and Knight Sports. If you have not heard of them before, you should definitely give them a look. They are two of the biggest Mazda Performance brands out of Japan. Even more so, they both offer high-quality parts and styling accessories for the Mazda 3. I knew they would both have something interesting to offer, so I wanted to share my selections with you to see what you guys think.

AUTOEXE

Auto Exe #1

Autoexe offers two options for our Gen 3 Mazda3. Both simple and clean. One of the versions is just a rear spoiler and front bumper/grille. It does not even touch the side skirts or rear bumper. While this is not a bad option that makes for a simple look, I also wanted to explore something that would stand out a bit more; something that could catch the eye as a definite exterior modification.

Auto Exe #2

Now the 2nd kit they offer has a bit more to work with. It also is comprised of a front bumper/grill and rear spoiler, but it also adds side skirts and a little bit more aggressive styling. I liked this one because it has some nice LED fogs that are integrated into the bottom of the front bumper. A nice touch that is purposeful and visually stylish. The one drawback that I ran into however, is that both of these kits are both pre-facelift of the new car. Unfortunately for us, our car is brand spanking new and DOES have the face lift that Mazda provided for this model. That leads me to our next option…

KNIGHT SPORTS

I’m not going to lie here: the Knight Sports kit looks mean. (In a good way.) It’s aggressive, sleek, sexy, and fits all of the car’s body lines so well. The front fascia is fierce and fits the look of the car so naturally. The side skirts are in just the right proportions for the doors, and the little rear wing on the hatch compliments the car oh so well. Not to mention that this kit includes the whole package deal, including a nice rear bumper. I mean look at it!

This exterior modification kit looks pretty sick, and would make any Mazda3 look tough. The only sad thing once again, is this kit is pre-facelift, so we will have to have a chat with them and see what can be done. Perhaps we can see if something can be brought to the masses? Either way, all I know is that I personally want one of these kits on my cars!

Take a look at each of these kits, and let us know which one of them you like better.

Do you love one and hate another? Or maybe you are not a fan of either, and can recommend an even better-suited suggestion. We’d love to hear your feedback, because after all, we’re all building the CBR together 🙂

We want to give this CorkSport Branded Ride a new look asap, so drop a comment below and help us pick a direction!

Cheers,

Vincent @ CorkSport

 

What’s in the Pipeline for the 2014+ Mazda3?

Here at CorkSport, we are always working toward the next new product. We create our catalog just like you build your cars. Since there’s so much in development, we thought we would give you all a glimpse into what’s coming for the 2014+ GEN3 Mazda 3.

2.5L SkyActiv-G Turbo Kit

Let’s start with the big one since you’ve all been asking for updates: the 2.5 Liter Skyactive Turbo Kit. We are still making steady progress and are more excited than ever for this Mazda3 Turbo. Our functional turbo kit prototypes are slowly starting to arrive, meaning we are inching closer and closer to having our Mazda3 test car on the dyno (with added turbo noises). Stay tuned folks; this is going to be a fun one!

2014-2016 Mazda 3/6/CX-5 Motor Mounts

 

We already showed you the new and improved CorkSport Rear Motor Mount, but there’s more to come with the CorkSport Transmission Motor Mount. Check out the CAD model above to see what we’re talking about. Keep tabs on the CS blog for more info on the design and function of this motor mount soon.

2014-2016 Mazda 3 Skid Tray

The CorkSport skid trays have been consistently requested for the Mazdaspeed models; so much, that we brought them back for both the Mazdaspeed3 and the Mazdaspeed6. Now we are providing the same benefits to Mazda3 owners. We just received and test fit our first prototype skidplate, and it’s looking very promising moving forward.

2014+ Mazda 3 Suspension Kit

Need some extra handling and style for your Mazda3 but don’t want the hassle of lowering springs? We have created a kit that includes the CorkSport lowering springs, adjustable shocks/struts, and camber plates all assembled with OE accessories and ready to install. No spring compressors needed, for ease of installation. Coming soon…

2014+ Mazda 3 Front Sway Bar

Reducing overall roll or “sway” can drastically change your Mazda’s handling characteristics. We should be receiving our first prototype to test fit on our Mazda3 any day now are excited to see how it complements the CorkSport rear sway bar. Oh, and the new front sway bar is 3-way adjustable just like our ND Miata sway bars!

2014-2016 Mazda 3 Steering Wheel

Last, but not least, our leather steering wheel will be making a comeback in the coming months. Featuring a similar profile to the CorkSport Mazdaspeed3 steering wheels, it is designed to increase confidence in both aggressive and daily driving while staying comfortable and stylish.

As you can see, we are staying busy with the newest generations of Mazda here at CorkSport, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing we are focused on.

We still have plenty of upcoming products for you Mazdaspeed guys and gals, and for some platforms you may not be expecting. Keep tabs on the CS blog, Instagram and Facebook page to make sure you don’t miss anything!

Until next time,

-Daniel @ CorkSport

Customer Feature: Larrison Gervacio (AKA BLKAUT)

At some point in time, you may have seen this car getting featured on our CS Facebook and Instagram pages.

He’s pretty well known on Instagram, and across several social media groups. We had a couple requests from customers to do an interview with Larrison aka @blkaut3!

Luckily, he’s a friend of mine so I was excited to do a little write up on his car. I gave Larrison a questionnaire to answer about the modding process he took with his car.

Hope you guys enjoy the read, and seeing a bit of how this beautiful machine was put together!

Question 1: When did you buy your car?

“It all started in the summer of 2014. I bought it from a Carmax, and had to have it shipped from Texas to Las Vegas. I ended up trading in my 2013 Mazda 3 for this. I used to have a slammed Mazda 626, after owning that, I knew I wanted something faster.”

Question 2: What took you down the Mod path you went with and why?

“With the 626, I was limited on how much I could modify, so I was excited to really do some things with this. I started doing minor mods here and there, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted my end result to be until my K04 blew. From there, I threw in a GTX3071 and all the supporting mods. I was ready for something more powerful! This is what really started everything.”

Question 3: What made you want to go with a track-inspired look?

“At first I just wanted something simple and clean. But, then I saw Brian’s Car (The owner of BMSPEC)
When he started producing his V1 wing risers, I knew I needed to jump on it. I put on the wing and splitter, and after that it was clear this was the path I was wanting to go with the car. After a bit, Brian and I established somewhat of a     partnership. Promoting his products is what really made my car look like it does today. There is more to come, as I am always working on it.”

Question 4: What do you enjoy most about owning this car?

“My favorite part would have to be owning something that is one of a kind. Something that has my own personal touches that make it mine. There isn’t another car that’s exactly like it, which is what makes it so fun. Getting to work on something that reflects my personality and style is what it’s all about.”

It was awesome of Larrison to share with us a bit of history on his MS3. We look forward to seeing his progress continue!

Cheers,
Brett @ CS.

 

Do you have ideas of any owners you’d like us to interview? Let us know in the comments or on social media!