How to Diagnose a Misfire

Diagnosing a Misfire

It’s safe to say that most of us who are into modifying cars have seen this delightful CEL pop up on our dash. The P0300 (random/multiple cylinder misfire) can be one of the most annoying codes when it comes to drivability.

Diagnosing a Misfire

Sometimes a P0300 is very simple to sort out. Other times, it may take all day to track down. That said, here’s a user-friendly guide for those modders who are learning and would like to figure out the problem themselves.

Break down of combustion

In order to properly function, an internal combustion engine has four basic requirements:

  1. Air (O2)
  2. Fuel
  3. Compression
  4. Spark (or ignition)

Loss of one or more of these will cause a misfire. Understanding these requirements will better allow you to diagnose a problem and make an educated decision about what the problem might be — rather than just throwing parts at the car.

Types of misfire codes

There are two types of misfire codes. The first, P0300, means the misfire is happening on more than one cylinder (and/or happening randomly) and the powertrain control module (PCM) isn’t able to find where the misfire is originating from. The other type of misfire code is anything above P0300: P0301, P0302, etc. The last digit indicates the cylinder number that the misfire is occurring on. This means that there is a clear pattern for a misfire occurring on that specific cylinder. These codes are much nicer — and simplify diagnosis of your misfire without a doubt.

Misfires from cylinders

Let’s go ahead and start with the easier type of code.

One day, you’re driving down the road. The car feels a little bit rougher than normal, then your CEL comes on, and the P0304 code comes up on the Accessport/Scan Tool. This means that cylinder number four is having a misfire. Here are a couple steps to figuring out the culprit.

We already know what the four basic combustion requirements. Typically, the easiest and first thing to check would be your ignition system. So we’ll start the diagnosis with the spark plugs and coil packs.

  1. Since the code was for the number four sensor, you’ll start on that cylinder. Number one is on the side where your drive belts are and, in this case, they progress from left to right.
  2. There are two components that could cause an ignition failure, assuming that your PCM is in good working order. These components would be your spark plugs and coil packs. It’s as simple as playing some musical chairs with them to see which one is the culprit.
  3. Take your number four spark plug and swap it over to your number one cylinder. Now take your number four coil pack and put it on your number three cylinder.
  4. If the misfire jumps to the number one cylinder, you know it’s your plug. If it follows to number three, then we know it’s your coil pack. If it stays on number four, then we’ve eliminated the ignition system and can proceed to the next step.

Now your remaining options are either a problem with your fueling or a problem with the compression of your specific cylinder. To check this, perform a compression and a leak down test to verify the health of the motor, which will give you some peace of mind. However, if you find that the compression is low, or your leak down was excessive, you’ll have your answer right there. Typically, low compression and excessive leak down can be a result of valves not seating correctly, warped cylinder walls, bad piston rings, or other similar issues.

If you’ve done these two tests and everything has come back good, then we can cross that off the list (phew!) and move on to what’s next!

Fuel pressure

If you have an AccessPort, or readily available scan tool, checking your fuel pressure in regard to a misfire will be very easy. If your car is not direct injected you probably won’t be able to monitor it on your electronic control unit (ECU). So, you’ll more than likely need to hook up an inline fuel gauge to make sure you’re getting adequate pressure.

In this case, with our Mazdaspeed3, we’re able to see the PSI of our high-pressure system which makes diagnostics on this easier. Pressure, at idle, should be somewhere in the range of 400+ PSI for this vehicle. If you’re seeing a PSI under 100, then the pump is not creating any pressure and it’s just flowing through from the in-tank pump. If you’re seeing a PSI in the 200s, then your pressure relief valve may need to be replaced.

Monitoring your fuel pressure can give you lots of good information that can potentially tell you what’s causing a misfire. These issues aren’t as common, but they do still happen. If the pressures and fuel pump check out, then you’re on to the next step!

Injector seals

Injector seals are a very important part that often gets overlooked. On higher mileage cars, or cars creating more power, the injector seals are a contributor to misfires and loss of performance.

As you can see in the image, the upgraded injector seal on the left has a much more rigid design. These seals have a proven design that, believe it or not, don’t have a single reported failure! You can find those injector seals here.

While you’re working on this area, it’s a good time to clean out any carbon build-up in the ports and on the tips of the injectors. Carbon that builds up on the tips can keep the fuel from properly atomizing, so clean them as best you can. Make sure the seals, as well as the seats for the seals, are very clean so they can adequately seal.

The chance of an injector failing is very small on this platform, but it’s still possible. If you have a cylinder-specific misfire code, and you’ve eliminated all other possibilities, it’s time for a new injector.

Air (O2)

Back in the good old days, your engine used carbonators to moderate fuel/air intake. The engine would suck in air, and in turn, use the Venturi effect to draw in fuel. The more air that got drawn into the engine, the more the fuel would automatically get sucked in. Although this method works, it’s inefficient and not as reliable. When the weather changes, it may not always work or need to be adjusted.

Today, a car’s ECU uses sensors to monitor how much air comes into the engine. Once it knows how much air is coming in, it can appropriately choose how much fuel to inject to achieve the targeted air/fuel ratio (AFR) in the ECU’s mapping. If this monitoring system is not working correctly, the car will run poorly and probably sputter when you apply any throttle.

In Mazdas, the vehicle uses the mass air flow (MAF) sensor to detect how much air is entering the motor. The ECU reads this on a scale of 0–5 volts. The higher the number, the more air. This sensor also works in conjunction with the manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor. This sensor tells the ECU what boost/vacuum reading is for the air entering the motor. If either of these is not operating correctly, misfire codes are very possible.
You can tell when these sensors are giving improper readings by using your AccessPort or scan tool to monitor MAF grams/sec or the MAP readings. If they are sporadic, or not within specifications, then you know you have an issue.

Air-related issues, such as vacuum leaks or sensor-related problems, are more prone to causing a P0300 code — they affect more than just one cylinder. So, if you have a P0300 instead of a specific cylinder code, it wouldn’t hurt to start checking here!

I hope this helps you have a better understanding of why misfire codes happen and how you can find a resolution. If you ever have any technical questions, please you guys give us a ring at 360-260-2675! We’re always happy to help!

Until next time,
Brett

New Third Generation Shocks and Struts

CorkSport Third Generation Shocks and Struts

This post goes out to all of our awesome third generation fans, we haven’t forgotten you. In fact, we love you! And so, we’ve created a new, rad product to take your Mazda 3 to the next level. Your older sibling, the Mazdaspeed 3, has loved these beauties for years, so we thought it was about time to share the love with the third generation rides.

Introducing performance adjustable struts and shocks for the 2014+ Mazda 3! And Mazda 6 fans, you just hold on …

Why struts and shocks matter

CorkSport Third Generation Shocks and Struts Installation

Before we get into all the awesome details of these new performance struts for your Mazda 3, let’s talk about why performance struts and shocks are so critical to your vehicle.

Everything you do with your Mazda happens through the tires. Whether it’s commuting, canyon carving, driving at an autocross event, or showing up to your favorite car meet, it all happens through your tires. That said, we can’t give the tires all the glory, because everything they communicate gets translated through your suspension. This comes in many forms classified as handling performance: accelerating, decelerating (braking), cornering, and steering response are the key aspects. All of these characteristics work great (albeit soft and numb) in OE form, and they do all work together as designed, buy we can do better than that. You’re an auto enthusiast now, so you install those awesome CorkSport lowering springs and really start to push your car past its OE limits. It feels great initially, but you quickly hit the limits of the OE struts and shocks damping range, which means it’s time to upgrade.

When you lower your Mazda with higher rate springs you push the OE struts/shocks out of their effective damping range. This can directly affect the characteristics I mentioned above.  Increasing the damping to better match the higher spring rates will put the suspension back to its balanced design, but with more emphasis on performance. The sacrifices you made for the lower and stiffer suspension are now less of a compromise and an even greater benefit. It’s a win-win folks.

Time to upgrade those shocks and struts

CorkSport Third Generation Shocks and Struts

You now understand why you need performance struts and shocks, but why do you want CorkSport performance struts and shocks? First off, they fit like OE. There is nothing more frustrating than being mid-install under your Mazda and the part just won’t fit. Not with CorkSport parts, folks! We wouldn’t do that to you because we know how much it sucks. Second, we designed the damping range to have a great flexibility depending on your setup. The softest setting will allow you to basically match the OE damping rate, if you’re still rocking OE springs and comfort is your highest goal. However, if you like to push you Mazda to the limits then turn up the damping to up to 70 percent stiffer than OE, or anywhere in-between, with 15 positions to choose from. You really can setup your Mazda just how you want.

Lastly, it is so easy to make adjustments with these shocks and struts. If you like a softer ride during your commutes, but want to push the car on the weekends, just pop your hood to adjust the front and reach into your wheel well to adjust the rears. Don’t wait any longer my fellow Mazda enthusiast, take your Mazda 3 to the next level.

Pre-Production Update: New CorkSport 72mm Throttle Body

GEN-6-497 72mm Throttle Body Pre-Production

CorkSport continues to strive for new and innovative products to elevate the Mazdaspeed platform, even as many in the community have fallen away from it. For the past year, we’ve been steadily working on a throttle body upgrade for the DISI MZR that doesn’t force you to compromise between performance and drivability.

GEN-6-497 72mm Throttle Body Pre-Production

Our initial design process started with simulating various inner diameter sizes to see where maximum gains could be achieved with both 2.5-inch and 3-inch IC piping. The resulting best compromise for both piping was 72mm ID versus the OE 60mm ID. The 72mm ID also allowed us to retain the OE bolt pattern for a painless installation utilizing an O-ring for sealing between the throttle body and intake manifold.

Once the prototype was produced, we began the validation process. To prove and measure the true increase in airflow, we flow-benched both the OE and CorkSport throttle bodies. To reduce variables in testing, both throttle bodies were equipped with 3D-printed velocity stacks with a 0.5-inch radius.

GEN-6-497 72mm Throttle Body Pre-Production Testing

The flow bench testing showed impressive gains at 28-inch H20 with a 12mm larger ID. Testing was performed at 25 percent, 50 percent, and 75 percent throttle plate open. We attempted 100 percent, but the flow bench we used could not support that high an airflow. At 75 percent throttle open there was an increase of 131cfm.

GEN-6-497 Flowbench Testing

With the flow bench showing impressive improvements, it was time to put it on a car and see how it responded. Installation was straightforward, only requiring a new 3-inch silicone couple and T-bolt clamp. The first drive with the new 72mm throttle body was quite undramatic — I consider this a great thing because the car drove great. There were no odd throttle surges, no choppiness, and no unpredictability. Throttle response felt a bit more crisp and alert in a predictable way.

The first dyno testing was performed on a CorkSport turbo-equipped car with CorkSport camshafts and intake manifold. Dyno testing showed about 100rpm decrease in spool and inconclusive peak power gains. This may be due to the lower volume of airflow moving through the engine. However, driving the car felt better.

Next, we wanted to see how the 72mm throttle body would react with a larger turbo setup. We sent the prototype to a beta tester running a GT3582R at 34psi with a built and PI-equipped engine. This is where the CorkSport throttle body woke up. Check out the graph below. The green graph represents the OE throttle body, and the blue graph represents the CorkSport prototype 72mm throttle body.

GEN-6-497 Throttle Body Dynojet Research

Again, the results are impressive with a 16wHp/20wTq increase at peak power, but what’s even more impressive is the power under the curve. There are consistent gains from spool to redline. Spool was about 100rpm sooner, followed by a substantial gain from 4,000rpm to 5,000rpm and more conservative gains from 5,000rpm to redline. Both of these dynographs were produced on the same day within a few hours of each other due to the installation time.

So, you’ve got the info. Now tell us what you think of the new CorkSport 72mm Throttle Body. Comment below, or reach reach out on Facebook or Twitter.

10 Tips for Garage Days

Garage days and your Mazda

Garage days have been around for as long as the practice of modifying cars. Wrenching on your projects, some good company, hot food, cold beer — what could go wrong? Hopefully nothing, but that’s typically not the case in all honesty, especially in the Mazda game. Murphy’s Law truly takes effect, and what can happen usually will happen.

Garage days and your Mazda

Coming from the Bay Area, where I was the main go-to tech guy, I usually had two to 12 Mazdas at my house on any given weekend. (How the homeowners association didn’t get mad, I will never know.) I’ve been around the block a time or two and seen what can go wrong on garage days. I’ve seen what turns a fun day into 20 trips to the hardware store, tools everywhere, missing parts, and the typical “What did I get myself into?” feeling.

If you have a big job coming up and you’re questioning whether you can do it, some of these tips may help you get it done faster and more efficiently, and ensure you have a good time — instead of pulling your hair out.

Preparing for modding your Mazda

Tip 1: Preparation

Don’t wait until garage day to check the box. Always make sure you have the right parts and hardware in advance. Now I’m sure you’re thinking, “How could some people wait that long to open their shiny new parts?” Honestly, I agree. But some people toss the boxes aside and don’t open them until the day of installation. I’ve seen people go to put on that new part and discover they’re missing something they need. Get all the hardware taken care of beforehand.

Tip 2: Tools

Be prepared for different outcomes that may happen and have all the tools that you need at hand. If you’re lacking proper tools, I’d recommend working with a buddy who has a better collection. Having nice quality tools makes all the difference.

Tip 3: Rise and shine

Start early. Nothing sucks worse than nighttime falling with the car halfway apart (especially when you have work the next day and it’s your daily driver). If you can, plan your job to go over the course of the weekend so you’re less stressed and can take your time.

Flashlight for working on your Mazda

Tip 4: Plan for drops

Have a quality flashlight and a pick-up magnet handy. On a garage day, it’s not a matter of if but when you drop something important. There’s nothing worse than when that dropped part falls into the abyss or someplace you can’t reach. Keep a pick-up magnet for those annoying bolts. The flashlight is good for easily spotting shiny things, and for overall lighting during the job.

Tip 5: Really read the instructions

Thoroughly read up on the installation. Read the instructions. Read the forums and talk to some friends for tips. There is usually something helpful out there you may not have known already. For specialty jobs, know your torque specs and procedures.

Tip 6: Stay stocked

Stock up on brake clean, PB blaster, WD40, carb clean, gloves, or whatever else you might need beforehand. It’s annoying to have to stop what you’re doing just to go buy a $6 item that was forgotten. Also, if you wear them, get plenty of gloves. Your hands will thank you at the end of the day.

Tip 7: Catch a catch can

Have something around to catch fluids. Occasionally, people get deep into a job and realize they have to disconnect a line they didn’t know they’d have to. It’s always good to have some sort of catch can. Especially ones that can be sealed off so you can dispose of it easily. This goes along with our first tip, but I’m mentioning it again, because some people will overlook this.

Catch can to keep your garage clean

Tip 8: Organization

Organization trays are awesome. Use sticky notes for trays or zip locks you can label to keep tabs on bolts and nuts for their component parts. This makes reassembly on a big job much faster.

Prevent scratches in the garage

Tip 9: Prevent scratches

Moving blankets or big blankets are amazing for preventing any scratches while you’re leaning over the hood. Also, blankets help to hold the tools you’re currently using. You can drape them over and attach them with masking tape to keep them in place.

Check your work on your Mazda mods

Tip 10: Check your work

Once you’re all done, be sure to verify all of your work before starting the car. Verify torque specs, connectors, and the rest. After you start up, quickly check for any possible leaks, listen for odd noises, etc. For example, make sure no exhaust gas is escaping from the downpipe gasket.

I hope these tips are helpful one day! Make sure to follow the CorkSport blog for more Mazda modification tips and information. And, if these tips do come in handy, tag a photo of the finished product with #CorkSport on Instagram and show us your ride.

Cheers,

Brett

 

 

Winter Projects Update: Break in Procedure

CorkSport break in procedure

Over the past couple of months, CorkSport noticed that a handful of people — including a few guys here in the Washington and Oregon area — are doing engine builds over the winter. It’s very exciting to see more people raising their power goals and pushing the limits of the platform. As I continue to follow certain engine builds, I noticed that the question of a proper break in procedure always comes up.

We can all agree that making sure the rings fully seat themselves is the most important thing in the life of the piston, but everyone has a specific way of breaking in a newly built engine. Still, you may be looking for some guidance. Here at CorkSport, thanks to Master Mechanic and Technical Advisor Vincent Melon, we use a specific break in procedure we thought we’d share.

CorkSport break in procedure

Life comes at you fast

Four months ago, I blew a quarter-sized hole in the notorious piston three that forced my hand — it was time to get a built bottom end. I learned a lot during this build process and, most importantly, learned what a proper break in procedure looks like. I wanted to make sure to list out the steps Vincent and I took to guarantee the engine would be solid when fully broken in so that we could help folks like you who might go through the same process.

 

Breaking in a Mazda engineCorkSport's Vincent breaking in

Mazda engine blockHole in Mazda piston

 

Oil tips for breaking in your engine build

In our opinion, one of the most crucial parts of the break in process is choosing the correct oil to break in your new build. For people who aren’t sure which oil to go with, here’s what we recommend you run: Driven BR30.

Driven BR30 oil

Vincent has done a lot of research on this specific type of break in oil and swears by it. This oil will end up costing you around $10 a quart, and you’ll need around twenty quarts by the time the break in procedure is all said and done.

Burning the midnight oil

Once you have the oil you need, new plugs, and the engine put back together, it’s time for the crucial first startup. When you first start the car again, you will want to rev the car throughout the rpm range for about 15–20 minutes to get your coolant system and oil hot. This first step will work out any air bubbles in your cooling system. It will also keep any extra metal bits in the engine fully suspended in really hot oil. Once you’ve kept the rpms consistent for about 20 minutes, it’s time to change the oil. The next few steps are super easy to follow:

  • Change the oil again at 400 miles.
  • Change the oil again at 800 miles.
  • Change the oil again at 1000 miles.

Make sure when changing your oil at these increments, you keep a close eye on what the oil looks like. If you do not see metal bits in the oil you are changing, you’re fine. If you do notice a continued amount of metal in the oil, make sure everything is running and machined properly.

During the first 2000 miles, keep your rpms above 3000 and avoid cruising at any certain speed or rpm for long periods of time. The most crucial part of this process is making sure to change gears a lot. You can get into boost, but we recommend that you give the engine about 1000 miles before you really start romping on it. Once you have reached your 2500-mile mark, you’re good to drive it any way you like, and you can go back to using whatever type oil you want.

Cheers,

Luke

 

Shift Knobs and Tailpipes: A Car Guy’s Valentine’s Day

Mazdaspeed3 Leather Steering Wheel

While we prefer the smell of motor oil, the wafting scent of roses everywhere tells us it’s Valentine’s Day. If you’ve got a special someone, by this point you’ve bought the flowers and candy, made a dinner reservation, and detailed your Mazda, with a substantially lighter wallet telling the tale of your romance-fueled efforts. If not, what are you doing reading this blog? Get to work before before you end up demoted to the couch!

But for those who might not have a date set up, don’t worry. Your true love (your Mazda), will always be there for you. Here are a few ideas for how you can spend Valentine’s Day with your ride so you don’t end up sitting home alone handling your camshaft.

Dinner and a movie

Spending an evening in guarantees one thing: You’re not driving. And we know you — you’re happiest when you drive. So, we’re giving you a destination. Hop in your Mazda and go grab a burger or a slice. Afterward, hit the cinema and enjoy some kick-ass action. We recommend you check out “John Wick 2” and watch Keanu Reeves wreck shop on anyone and everyone that crosses him. Or, if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s time to check out “Fast and Furious” star Vin Diesel’s “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.” If you happen to run into a cute, single lady at the theater, why not offer her a ride home?

Check out our ultimate driving playlist for music suggestions for the ride to and from the movies.

Leather play

You’re too smart to get roped into a screening of “Fifty Shades Darker” this Valentine’s Day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a little fun with leather — by installing CorkSport’s Mazdaspeed 3 leather steering wheel.

Mazdaspeed3 Leather Steering Wheel

We’ll opt for the soft, stylish feel of hand-wrapped and stitched leather on a racing-inspired grip any day. If you’re feeling bold, add a leather shift knob. Once installed, hold on tight. You’re in for a wild ride with these two.

Can’t get enough? We’ve got a leather e-brake handle, because braking safety is just as important as an agreed upon safeword.

Oil and massage

On this special day, it’s time to treat your baby to a little TLC. Dim the lights and break out the oil … then turn the lights back on so you can see what you’re doing. Give your whip an oil change and, if you really want to splurge on your Mazda, install a CorkSport SkyActiv Aluminum Oil Catch Can. If you want to be extra smooth, add a CorkSport Oil Catch Can Drain Valve Kit to your cart, so you can really be slick with the oil. Your ride and your garage will thank you. Then, bust out the loofa and the wax and give your baby the massage she deserves, rubbing her down from tail end to headlights.

CorkSport Mazdaspeed Waxing

These suggestions are sure to get your engine revving. Date or not, your Valentine’s Day will be an affair to remember. Treat yourself to a new part and have the night you and your Mazda deserve. Whether you spend the night modding or taking your ride to a late-night movie, tag us with #CorkSport in a photo so we can immortalize your Mazda romance on our Instagram feed.

CorkSport’s Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

You’re busy. We get it. You’ve got a Mazda to mod, places to drive your sweet ride, a job to do, and you’ve got to carve out a little time for that special someone. Who’s got time for holiday shopping? The lines are long, the mall is packed, and the weather — and how poorly most people drive in it — isn’t helping things. If you’re like us, you probably haven’t even started shopping yet. Which is why we’re here to help.

Whether you need to get your buddy a knockout gift for your car club’s Secret Santa or your mom’s blowing up your phone looking to add items to your list, check out our suggestions. It’s the best way to make sure grandma doesn’t get you an ugly sweater, again!

CorkSport Turbocharged T-shirt

CorkSport Turbo T-Shirt

Sure your car looks good, but how do you look? Nothing undercuts the envy you’ve generated when you pull up in your dope Mazda more than a holey old shirt. Suit up with our Turbocharged T-shirt and you can look as fly as your ride. Make sure to check out the rest of our merch as well. Your modded Mazda isn’t complete without a sticker or license plate frame letting the world know you’re rocking some of the best hardware on the planet under your hood.

CorkSport Max Flow Fuel Pump Internals

CorkSport HPFP Internals Fuel Pump

Looking to optimize your stock fuel system and protect your engine? These are the parts you’re looking for! It took us over two years of research to innovate this high-pressure fuel pump for your Mazdaspeed. Always a flawless fit and incredibly high efficiency, CorkSport’s MZR DISI Max Flow Fuel Pump Internals are precision machined, then treated, coated, and machined again. Who wouldn’t want to find more horsepower under the tree this year?

Limited Edition “Fast & Furious” 1–7 Collection

We don’t really need to explain this suggestion, right? Even if you have the 1–6 box set, it’s time for an upgrade. What would Dom do? Whether you receive it or gift it, a limited edition box set of, arguably, the greatest car guy movie franchise of all time is sure to be a hit.

CorkSport Mazdaspeed MZR Bypass Valve

BPV700W

Gifting one of our newer parts is always a surefire way to deliver a great holiday treat. An awesome addition to a turbo-charged engine bay, the CorkSport Mazdaspeed MZR Bypass Valve is a smaller piece that offers the same amount of force, so it increases turbo life while putting an end to premature wear-and-tear. It’s the gift that keeps on giving: a high-performance valve that stands the test of time.

Black & Decker Corded Flexi Automotive Vacuum

Granted, it’s not the sexiest gift, but sometimes functionality is what counts. You want to keep your ride spotless and this Black & Decker car vacuum will be invaluable in that regard. Save money on trips to the car wash and keep that interior detailing tight. It’s not the size of the vacuum, it’s how you use it!

The Ultimate Mazda Performance Guide

Mazda performance guide book

This is the perfect stocking stuffer for a Mazda Performance maniac. Our “Ultimate Mazda Performance Guide”, written by CorkSport’s own Derrick Ambrose, is a great guide for beginner and intermediate modders, and a good resource for expert-level enthusiasts looking for a refresher course. With over 160 pages of detailed info and full color photos, it’s the one stop shop for ways to get the best performance out of your Mazda.

Mazdaspeed 3 Turbo Upgrade

CorkSport Mazdaspeed3 Replacement Turbo

Go big or go home this holiday season! Sure the price tag on this turbo upgrade is on the higher end, but it’s a joy to receive or give, especially if you or your special someone need a worn out or smoking turbo. And installation is a cinch. It easily bolts into your Mazdaspeed with no mechanical modifications to replace an undersized OEM turbo and supports a range of 250–450 horsepower. You’ll come in first place this holiday season if you splurge on this gift. And hell, if you don’t get it, this is as good a place as any to cash in those checks from your aunts and uncles.

ZeroEdge Full HD 1080p Car Dashboard Camera Bundle

While we don’t recommend driving as recklessly as they do in most of those Russian dashcam videos, it’s always fun to revisit your excursions with other Mazda owners. Add some new tech to your car to match all the dope hardware under the hood. If you get one, show us where you take it out for a spin on social media. We’d love to see how you’re putting those CorkSport parts to use!

CorkSport Clearance

If your wallet is feeling a little light, but you still want to secure some great gifts, make sure to peruse our clearance section. It’s the perfect place to lock down some excellent parts at low prices that can help you arrive with a sack full of gifts in your sleigh, without demolishing your bank account. Once these parts are gone, they’re gone — so don’t wait too long before looking into this holiday gift option.

Regardless of what you end up buying as a gift or receiving in your stocking this holiday season, make sure to show us your new parts using #CorkSport on social media. Nothing brings us more holiday cheer than seeing the joy new CorkSport parts bring to our customers. Happy holidays!

New Product: MazdaSpeed Dual VTA Bypass Valve

Many months ago here at CorkSport we decided it was time to bring a new high performance BPV to the market. The goal was to design a BPV that was compact, durable, and performed beyond just making noise; most importantly this BPV had to feature VTA functionality that was a right balance of daily driver friendly and performance. Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, I give you the new CorkSport VTA BPV.

A beautiful picture of the outside looks nice, but does not even begin to show the many features designed into this BPV. Let’s take a look inside.

mazdaspeed bypass valve cutaway idle
Figure 1: Cutaway view in idle position

Looking at the first cutaway view shown in Figure 1, you’ll immediately notice the three O-rings. Two are located on the sides of the piston and one is located at the bottom of the piston. These are important for a couple reasons: the O-rings allow the piston to actuate/slide easily when combined with a proper lubricant and provide air tight seals in all piston positions. This allows the valve to hold 50psi of pressure without leaking.

I specifically identified the VTA port because it location is critical to the BPV design and the drivability of the vehicle. In the idle position the piston sits at approximately the same position as shown above due to the vacuum pressure sourced from the intake manifold. At idle the VTA ports are closed, keeping your fuel trims in check.

Next, let’s look at the BPV in positive pressure (building boost) situation.

mazdaspeed bypass valve cutaway pressure
Figure 2: Cutaway view in positive pressure position

Immediately after applying throttle, the intake manifold begins to increase in pressure due to the turbocharger building boost. At the same time the BPV piston is forced closed as shown in Figure 2. Like the idle position, the VTA ports are closed keeping fuel trims in check. The piston also creates an airtight seal against the base flange improving boost response.

Next you shift or get off the throttle which causes a sudden pressure change in the intake manifold and the charge pipe pre-throttle body. The excessive pressure build up in the charge pipe combined with the vacuum from the intake manifold cause the piston to open as shown in Figure 3 below.

mazdaspeed bypass valve cutaway high boost
Figure 3: Cutaway view in high boost lift off position

Unlike the idle position, the piston has moved up past the VTA ports. This is due to the excessive pressure differential between the piston vacuum chamber and the charge pipe pressure. The greater this pressure differential the faster the piston will respond and vent more air to the VTA ports. Testing has shown that the VTA ports begin activating at ~15psi or greater boost pressures on a K04 equipped vehicle.

So that’s how the CorkSport VTA BPV works, but what makes it so efficient in doing so? A combination of simple and effective features all wrapped up into one design.

Response is key to a great performing BPV, plain and simple. The piston inside the BPV must respond and accelerate extremely fast in order to reduce the pressure in the charge pipe and protect the turbocharger. Attaining that response comes down to simple physics in the form of Force = Mass * Acceleration. We can directly affect the mass of the piston via design and materials, which we were able to get down to a mere 38 grams w/O-rings. We can semi-directly affect the force required to accelerate the piston which various spring rates. Therefore by reducing the weight of the piston and optimizing the force applied to the piston we were able obtain a remarkable response time.

vta bpv response
Figure 4: CorkSport VTA BPV response time during high boost throttle close situation

Looking at Figure 4, you can see two separate graphs shown. The blue graph shows the intake manifold pressure in a 0-5volt range. Boost pressure was leveling at ~23.5psi on a CorkSport turbo equipped vehicle. The red graph shows the charge pipe pressure just ahead of the throttle body approximately where the BPV is located.

During the test the car is held steady at ~6000rpm so that boost can level off for ~5sec, then the throttle is abruptly closed; this is shown in the blue graph with the sudden decay. This causes sudden vacuum in the intake manifold and increased pressure in the charge pipe pre-throttle body. The pressure delta causes the BPV piston to react and vent which is shown with the slight increase and then decay of the red graph. The response time of the BPV is time delta from the intake manifold going into vacuum and the BPV beginning to open and vent. The resulting time delta is a remarkable 50 milli-sec or 0.050sec in general terms.

The piston isn’t the only optimized part of the BPV. The piston design and the BPV cap were designed to work together. Looking at Figure 3 you can see that the hose barb fitting is integrated into the cap design and more importantly is “inside” the piston as much as possible. By reducing the volume of the vacuum/boost signal chamber in the BPV, we have reduced the total volume that must be removed from the chamber before full vacuum occurs and can begin moving the piston. You could compare this to “shot-gunning” a can of beer. The tall boy is going to take longer than your standard 12oz right? Same idea with the BPV, but we are trying to shave milli-seconds.

bpv flange adjustability
Figure 5: CorkSport BPV flange adjustability

Another awesome feature on the CorkSport VTA BPV comes in the form of installation flexibility. Not only is the BPV compact at just 2.50 inches tall, but the flange can be adjusted to a total of five positions. The center BPV in Figure 5 shows the typical position for a Mazdaspeed BPV. From there the flange can be adjusted 15 or 30 degrees clockwise or counter-clockwise to aid in installation.

cad flow simulation
Figure 6: CAD flow simulation at ~220CFM with piston BPV fully open

Lastly, and arguably most important, the CorkSport VTA BPV flows great. Figure 6 shows a CAD flow simulation of the BPV fully open with inlet condition 23psia @ 110F and outlet condition 7 inches of H2O vacuum. Mach flow or commonly called “choke flow” is the situation when the air velocity reaches Mach 1. At this point no more airflow can be pulled through the BPV without increasing the pressure at the BPV inlet (charge pipe). In the CorkSport VTA BPV, Mach flows begins to occur at the nozzle throat shown in Figure 6. This is to be expected with the compact design and was a compromise made in the design process; however you will notice that the CAD simulation does not take into account the potential flow of the five VTA ports. These will only increase the maximum potential flow of the BPV.

To top it all off, the CorkSport VTA BPV makes an array of noises ranging from subtle whistles to loud whooshes. I invite you to check out the video found in the product listing as words just cannot give it justice.

We set out to design a high performing VTA BPV for the Mazdaspeed community that delivered with performance, style, and entertainment. We believe we delivered with a leak-proof, fast responding and glorious sound BPV. We hope you enjoy your new CorkSport VTA BPV as much as we enjoyed designing it.

-Barett

Barett Strecker-01

New and Improved Mazdaspeed 3 Lower Tie Bar

CorkSport is proud to announce the new Lower Control Arm Tie Bar for the 2007-2013 Mazdaspeed 3. The lower tie bar is designed to increase the stiffness of the front sub-frame assembly to improve driver feedback by reducing wheel hop and torque steer.

The CorkSport Lower Tie Bar works by connecting the front LCA inboard pivots together to add stiffness to the front of the sub-frame assembly as shown below.

The Mazdaspeed 3 lower tie bar improves driver feedback by reducing wheel hop and torque steer.

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My CorkSport Mods: Keith’s Mazda 3 Sport

I’ve met a lot of amazing people thanks to my Mazda 3 Sport, but Yolanda Sampson (Instagram: @bluehalogirl) is the one I blame for this addiction we call “modding.” When we met, I hadn’t done much to my car yet, just a couple minor things like tinted windows and tinted taillights. She had a feeling I’d be into meeting some more like-minded locals and invited me to a meet. We got along like only two Mazda nuts could, and it was game over for me.

Mazda 3 Sport

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