The Little Things Count With CorkSport


CorkSport is all about making direct drop-in aftermarket Mazda parts, as well as making sure the customer is 100% happy. We make sure to put all our energy, time, and reputation into making the best parts on the market. Because of that service, our customers give great feedback and let us know when there’s a problem or if the part is fantastic. We love this because our customers are our number one source for feedback on how a part fits, works, and looks. There’s a ton of competition in this industry; making something different is what sets CorkSport apart from all other companies.

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“Which intercooler should I get?”

“Which intercooler should I get?” At Corksport we get this question almost every day. The debate of top mount intercooler vs. front mount intercooler has been one that has raged on in the forums for years. Just looking around you will see both options on all sorts of cars. So what is the answer?

Mazdaspeed 3 Top Mount Intercooler


The Mazdaspeed 3 and Mazdaspeed 6 both come with top mount intercoolers (TMIC’s) from the factory. There are many reasons for this, but the main one is that it is much cheaper to manufacture and install. A Top Mount Intercooler can be installed directly to the engine at the factory so it is ready to drop into the car which saves both time and money.

Beside the TMIC, the other option available is the front mount intercooler (FMIC). Both styles have their pros and cons. The upsides of the TMIC is that it uses the shortest possible path from the turbo to the engine. This reduces the amount of time it takes for the car to accelerate, this feeling can be amplified between shifts when the power comes back on very quickly. The TMIC also is very simple and compact with very few connections and possible places to leak. A TMIC will also weigh very little compared to a FMIC setup and usually is in a place with very good airflow.




The downside of TMIC’s is that they are generally limited in size by the design of the car and can be much smaller than most FMIC’s. They are typically placed very high in the engine bay, raising the car’s center of gravity. Most importantly though, the biggest downside of the TMIC is that it sits in a hot engine bay. Just by sitting on top of the motor, the TMIC can soak up heat thereby decreasing its effectiveness in cooling the air compressed by your turbo.




The principals are mostly the same for the pros and cons of the FMIC. The core of a FMIC can be much larger, and in the case of a properly designed system, can cool temperatures much more effectively. Being placed further away from the engine and out into the stream of air can make the FMIC much cooler and more importantly, more consistent. One last reason that many people love FMIC’s is the look, nothing says I mean business more than a massive bar and plate core smiling in your rear view.

The biggest downside of a FMIC is that the install process is much longer. Other downsides of FMIC’s can be the much longer piping needed to route compressed air to them. This piping can increase turbo lag and usually has many couplers that can have the potential to leak or cause other issues.


So what does CorkSport say? As a general rule we would say if you don’t plan to add more than 50-100 horsepower, a top mount intercooler will work just fine and be much easier on your plans and wallet. If you eventually want to go wild with your car and build it up much higher than stock, you will probably want to look hard at a front mount intercooler. Our advice would be to try to plan in advance what you want out of the car so that you only have to buy parts once.

Happy spooling!

Product Release! CorkSport Gen 1 Mazdaspeed 3 FMIC Radiator Shroud

Have a Front Mount Intercooler and wondering how you can get even more out of it? CorkSport has the answer for you with the new Front Mount Intercooler Radiator Shroud for the CorkSport 2007-2009 Mazdaspeed 3.

Adding the radiator shroud will channel the air coming through the lower grille to cool your radiator more effectively. This will give you lower BAT’s and more efficient ECT’s on your ride by replacing the stock TMIC diverter with a more optimal FMIC diverter to complement your front mount intercooler set-up.

Made from durable FRP, this product will be a long lasting replacement for the OEM plastic TMIC diverter that can crack over time and can be easily painted to customize the look of your engine bay.

It has been designed to work with any Front Mount Intercooler kit on the market as well as the stock and aftermarket radiators. It can be purchased in our catalog to complement your current set-up for $49.00 or can be added to your CorkSport Mazdaspeed 3 Front Mount Intercooler Kit for Short Ram Intake for just $44.10.

For more information or to purchase today, check out the product listing on our site today at

Avoiding Clamp Failure Modes

As CorkSport works through R&D on any new part we are developing, we always take the time to consider possible failure modes. This ensures the final product has been thoroughly thought out and developed to avoid as many potential failure scenarios as possible.

Failure modes can come in many different forms. There are failure modes brought on by the product that have to be considered, failure modes brought on by assembly and packaging to consider, and failure modes brought about by the installation of the product. Often a failure mode can be a simple issue that may seem trivial until you sit back and consider the potential consequences. For that reason, clamp placement is a critical issue that can be easily overlooked during installation.

The Common Cause of Clamp Failures

When a part is installed that requires clamps, it is easy to consider only the aesthetics of the part. The initial reaction is to want the clamps to be even and silicone to be on properly, but there are a number of other potential hazards that need to be addressed when installing clamps.

The motor itself rocks back and forth which is particularly noticeable on a Mazda where the motor rocks a lot. Because the motor rocks but the engine bay does not, the clamps on your installed parts may move around and come into contact with other parts of the engine bay.

Notice the picture above. Everything looks good until you look closer. The clamp is actually touching the radiator hose which can be a potential failure point with the part. By simply rotating the clamp slightly so the bolt does not come into contact with the radiator hose, you can avoid the contact point and a possible problem with your vehicle.

Clamp placement is critically important with a front mount intercooler install because the clamps have the potential to contact a lot of parts in the engine bay and other pipes. When it comes to intakes, it is also very important to consider clamp placement because they are much closer to critical wiring. Simply flipping the orientation of the clamp can mean the difference between worn plastic and wiring harnesses or trouble free operation for years to come.

Avoiding Clamp Failures

Using the picture below as an example, you can see that the clamp fits well and doesn’t touch anything, but imagine if it was tightened into the stationary object. When it moves back and forth it would eventually rub through the tape and shielding and contact the wires inside. By being aware of this, we can position the clamp so it will never contact. This is something easy to do while you are installing the part, but can be a much bigger headache down the road if it is not considered upfront.

Below is another example of a clamp that is not ideally positioned. We actually have the opposite scenario here to the last example. The clamp is on a pipe that is hard mounted to the frame, while the other pipe is attached to the motor and moves. This will cause the clamp and the pipe to contact and wear against each other over time. Although both are metal, the clamp will eventually work its way through the aluminum pipe and cause a vacuum and boost leak. This means a poor running car and loss of power.

Take Time to Consider Clamp Placement During Install

Take care during your installation and avoid potential pitfalls down the road. By maintaining good clamp placement, not only will you avoid scratching the pipes, but you can avoid other potentially serious issues like boost leaks and unintentional contact with other parts in your engine bay. So remember, always keep your car safe, beautiful, and protected by maintaining good clamp placement.


CorkSport Across the Pond – Dave Higson’s Gen2 Mazdaspeed 3 Build

I’m Dave or piggy as my mates call me (Long story). My fiancé, Caroline and our two year old son Jason are my life, modding is my obsession.

I’ve always loved cars beginning with an apprenticeship as a mechanic for Peugeot for a couple of years then later in life a year in commercial mechanics, followed by 18 months as an assistant manager at a car modifying superstore. I most recently spent eight years as a parts specialist for Mercedes Benz.

I own a Gen 2 Mica Black Mazda 3 MPS (Mazdaspeed). I was originally going to buy an RX8 (a very popular car here and are cheap) but the parts that are available are generally body kits and wheels and I loved the look of the Gen 2 Mazdaspeed 3, mainly because of the bonnet scoop (although I’d love to get my hands on a raised scoop! hint hint CS).

There are literally about 5 companies in the UK that have any clue how to tune Gen 1 or Gen 2 Mazdaspeed 3’s and even fewer companies that sell parts for them. This is actually the second time I’ve modified this car. The first time the company that did the map messed it up and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong so I took it back to standard and started again at great cost because I sold all the parts. Now I have a full CorkSport build and could not be happier with the result.

For power, I started by adding the CorkSport Cat Back Exhaust, CorkSport Downpipe, CorkSport Racepipe, CorkSport FMIC for Ram Air Kit, BBR star tune & HPFP internals, and HKS4 BOV. I also added the CorkSport DISI Silicone Bypass Valve Hose, and CorkSport Mazdaspeed 3 Silicone Radiator Hose Set.

The power gains are very noticeable even without the re-map. The tuner even said it’s a very good setup. The ram air intake breaths really well and the tubo spool packs a harder punch once the boost comes in. I’ve not had a dyno run yet, but 320hp is roughly what it has with the set-up.

For handling I went with eibach with a 30mm drop, Bridgestone RE050A, CorkSport Short Shift Plate and Shifter Bushings, CorkSport Mid Brace, CorkSport Front and Rear Sway Bars,CorkSport Sway Bar End Links, CorkSport Front Upper Brace Bar and CorkSport Lower Front Brace Bar, CorkSport 4-Way Brace Bar, CorkSport Front Camber Plates, and CorkSport motor mount inserts.

Usually a steering wheel will have some play, allowing you to move the steering wheel an inch left and right while driving and nothing happens but that’s gone giving me a much sharper response. Now I can feel the car taking a corner so much better and I have a much greater idea of what the car is doing when I corner. The ride is much firmer so not for the faint hearted. The mods take away the factory smooth and comfortable ride and give you a sharp responsive car with much more grip.

Then of course there is the styling which I decided to go with a red and black theme on the outside and a blue theme under the hood.

I got Rarerims red wheel nuts, Wheelworx gloss black powder coated wheels, CorkSport Rear Smoked Led Reflectors, CorkSport Interior LED light kit, CorkSport Number Plate relocation, black mud flaps, red calipers, and rp boost gauge.

Just placed 3rd in the ultimate street cars online voting and 4th at the main show @ Santa pod raceway losing out by one point to 3rd. 1st was a tuned RS focus with massive ice install and dripping with carbon fibre. My next event will be the 2nd of September, Trax at Silver Stone.

My next mods will be CS Oil Catch Can, CorkSport Eyelids, and CorkSport Rear Camber Arms. I am planning an ice install already have vibe space twin 12″ subs are 3000 watt a piece. Carbon dipped alloys 8.5J (if they’ll fit) so I can plant the power and I’m also looking to upgrade the discs and pads all round.

I have had a lot of different cars including a jdm Subaru sti 6 but once I saw the gen2 speed3 i was hooked and for price, you can’t beat them. I am an active member on and my car club is If you wanna chat about parts I’ve fitted then add me on Facebook, Dave Corksport Higson or ask CorkSport for my email address.