The Top Five Things YOU NEED to Know Before You Buy a Mazdaspeed

The Mazdaspeed 3 and Mazdaspeed 6 are some of the most unique, exhilarating, and frustrating sport-compacts out on the market today. If you’re reading this, then it’s because you are in the market for a Mazdaspeed or you have one already and are looking for a good laugh. For you are newbies to the Mazdaspeed game…listen up; we’ve got some words of advice and things to check as you are shopping around.  

First, let’s start with the top two must do inspections when shopping around.  

One: Has the car been modified?  If so then what parts are on the car and has it been properly tuned for the parts.  This also means the car should have some type of tuning tool such as the Cobb Accessport or Versatune Tuning Solution.  

Two: You MUST check the engine compression!  This is the easiest way to get the overall health of the engine and know if you are getting a solid Mazdaspeed to start your journey with or a Speed on it’s last leg.  Most auto parts stores can loan an engine compression tool for a small deposit then only basic hand tools are need to do the test.

Now let’s get the top five things you should know before buying a Mazdaspeed.  

Maintenance is KEY, but that’s really not special to just the Mazdaspeed, all performance engines/vehicles, especially turbocharged and direct injected ones, will require a higher level of care and cost when it comes to routine maintenance.  This means better quality oils, oil filters, premium grade fuel, and an acute awareness of the vehicle itself; if you’re ready for that than let’s move on.

Next up are the three “not if it happens, but when it happens” about the Mazdaspeed engine.  

The variable valve timing (aka VVT) system is prone to failure from the factory so this should be on your radar for an upcoming replacement.  You may get lucky and find a car that has had the VVT system replaced, but I wouldn’t plan out. It’s a medium difficulty project that can be done over a weekend and cost around $400 in parts. If you are not mechanically inclined, it is going to be expensive to have a shop perform the work.

The poor little OEM K04 turbocharger just never had a chance on the 2.3L DISI MZR engine!  Sadly, the OEM turbocharger is an honest to gosh ticking time bomb. The OE turbo will fail at some point and need to be replaced.  Fortunately there are a lot of exciting options on the market to take you and your Speed to the next level. For example check out the CorkSport Drop-In Turbocharger.  It bolt’s in like OE, but packs a punch in the performance department, supporting up to 450 horsepower. Note: Updating your turbo requires tuning.

Lastly for the Mazdaspeed quirks; the high pressure fuel pump internals (HPFP).  Like the name states, these parts provide an upgrade for the camshaft driven high pressure fuel pump so your engine does not experience fuel starvation during wide open throttle (WOT). These are absolutely required if you plan to make in modifications to the engine that would increase power and for any performance tuning.  Honestly, we recommend the HPFP internals for 100% stock Mazdaspeed as well because the drop in fuel pressure is even an issue for stock cars.

So you read all that and you’re probably thinking “damn I’m not buying a Speed, sounds like a total PITA”.  Well hold on, I didn’t mean to shine a poor light on the Mazdaspeed platform, but it does have its quirks to overcome.  However, after those few concerns are taken care of the platform is A LOT of fun and probably one of the best bang-for-the-buck sport compacts available.  Just a few thousand dollars can net you a Mazdaspeed around 350whp and more smiles than you’ll know what to do with.

The last thing you need to know before you buy a Mazdaspeed…jump straight in and don’t look back because you won’t regret it.  From the late nights in the garage installing the latest performance parts, to the early mornings at the car show, and then the midnight highway pulls making V8s owners second guess their purchase. The community, the journey of building YOUR car, and of course the car itself is so awesome.  

-Barett

Oil Filter Changes Made easy for your 2007-2009 Mazdaspeed 3 and 2006-2007 Mazdaspeed 6

The GEN2 Mazdaspeed 3 has a lot in common with the Mazdaspeed 6 and the GEN1 Mazdaspeed 3 when referencing the engine and transmission.  However, there were a few things that Mazda did change and improve when they gave the Mazdaspeed 3 a facelift in 2010.

Some of these changes include the valve cover, the gear ratios in the transmission, the power steering system, and the oil filter assembly.  This last one is the one I want to talk about today.

Perhaps you just ran across this blog while googling how to change the oil in your Mazdaspeed for the first time or maybe you’ve already done a handful of oil changes.  Either way, you can benefit from this info, unless you already have a 2010-2013 Mazdaspeed 3 you lucky bas****. All you Mazdaspeed6 and GEN1 Mazdaspeed3 owners listen up.

This is what you’ll find on your pre-2010 Mazdaspeed 3 and all Mazdaspeed 6; it sucks.  This design uses an internal filter element only which is fine, but the OE housing cap is a real PITA to remove from the car which makes a simple oil change a much more frustrating process than it should be.  

Along with the difficult disassembly, there is a limited number of filter options compared to the modern canister design.   Luckily, the oil filter housing found on the 2010-2013 MS3 utilizes a modern canister oil filter and is a simple bolt-on affair.  

Mazda part # L311-14-311A is the part you’re looking for and can be found online or at your local Mazda dealership.  It’s also wise to get a new gasket for the installation; nobody wants to do a job twice. This is Mazda part # LF02-14-342.

Once you get your parts and all your oil and new modern oil filter, you’re ready for the big install.  It’s actually really simple, only adding about 30 minutes to your oil filter change. Remove the fluid-to-fluid heat exchanger (the black thing on top with the coolant ports), then pull the housing off the engine and swap over the sensor.  Back on the car with the new gasket and you’re good to go.

Another great benefit of the modern oil filter canister is the ability to use an oil filter plate to provide sensor ports for gauges such as oil pressure and oil temperature.

This sums up the oil filter housing swap; it’s really just that simple.  So if you have an oil change coming up and aren’t one of the lucky ones with the GEN2 Mazdaspeed 3, then consider this before you get started.  I promise you won’t regret it.

-Barett @ CorkSport

Preparing your Mazdaspeed for Tuning

Preparing Your Mazdaspeed For Tuning

CorkSport was just hit with snow again today…boy are we ready for winter to be OVER!

Are you ready? What do you have left to get ready before the weather breaks, and racing starts? 

Winter months exist so us Mazda people can spend all of our hard earned money to make our Mazdaspeed’s faster. It all starts with an AccessPort, and CorkSport Fuel Pump Internals.  Before you know it, your Mazdaspeed is now fully bolted with an upgraded CorkSport Turbo.  

People sometimes seem to forget that quality of your tune is just as important as the quality of your parts.  So how do you get a solid tune on your car?

CorkSport wanted to make sure to lay out exactly how to prepare your Mazdaspeed for tuning services.  This helps streamline getting your Mazdaspeed ready, and it also helps your potential tuner so they don’t have to worry about tuning with a potential mechanical problem.

Cobb AccessPort

The very first step in getting your Mazdaspeed tuned would be to get the Cobb AccessPort tuning device.  This is the gateway to access your ECU and to make adjustments to your tune. You will use your AccessPort to record logs and send those logs to your tuner.  Not only can you make adjustments to your ECU, but you can also read/clear CEL’s ( check engine lights), and you can also monitor up to six different parameters in real time.  

When you do apply for a tune, your tuner will tell you which parameters to monitor so they can have the correct information to get you a reliable tune.

CorkSport Fuel Pump Internals

The stock high-pressure fuel pump internals has proven to randomly lose pressure during a fourth gear wide open throttle pull.  What we have seen is the pump spike pressure up in the 1800’s, and by redline, the fuel pressure has dropped below 1600psi. This creates lean situations which have lead to engines grenading themselves.  Before a tuner will touch your car, you will have to make sure to have these upgraded. These will increase flow and allow your fuel pressure to stay above 1600psi keeping you in the safe zone.

Spark Plugs

Double check what your tuner will want you to use, but in general, people will use one step colder plugs gapped down to a .026.  The trusted spark plug in this platform would be the NGK Iridium IX plugs (part # 6510). The idea behind using a more quality plug with a smaller gap is to keep the spark from blowing out when you increase boost pressure.  If you do have too large of a gap, then you will start to misfire, and you should get a code on your AccessPort for either random misfire, or cylinder specific. Keeping that spark in check will prevent delays in the tuning process.

Compression Test

Making sure to double check the engine health is probably one of the most important things to do before modding and tuning your Mazdaspeed.  Doing a quick compression test to make sure your cylinder rings can still hold pressure will tell you if the engine is healthy or not. Ideally, you want to see all of your cylinders read approximately the same numbers.  

You also do not want to see your compression go below 140 across the board. Mazda says that anything 140 or below is poor compression. If you end up having an unhealthy engine, then the car will not make the desired power, and you could potentially ruin your engine even further.  Make sure to check out our misfire blog where we show you how to properly boost leak test your car!

Boost Leak Test

Every tuner is going to be targeting a certain boost pressure based upon current modifications.  A lot of times the turbo has to work harder because of a few boost leaks that are not closed off before tuning.  This can affect your fuel trims, and it will also affect how much wastegate duty cycle is needed in order to reach desired boost targets.  Having zero boost leaks is important so your tuner does not have to work around those leaks.

Ghost Knock

A big question we always see in the forums, and on Facebook would be people wondering why their AccessPort shows knock values.  The most important thing to remember is part throttle knock is nothing to worry about. My own Mazdaspeed see’s values of 8.0 all the time on part throttle.  The only time to worry about knock values is when you are at wide-open throttle. As long as your knock values stay below 2.0 then that is nothing to worry about.

Doing these few simple things for your tuner will not only save time for both of you, but your tuner will love you because they don’t have to try and diagnose an issue from thousands of miles away.  CorkSport hopes this really helps the community as a whole, and we also hope that people can use this as a tool to get their car dialed in much faster.

Stay happy, and stay fast CorkSport family!

-Luke

 

CorkSport Built Engine

CorkSport Built Long Blocks for the 2006-2013 DISI MZR

You’ve probably seen the stellar videos posted on our news feed or heard the rumors about CorkSport building stout long blocks for our employee’s Mazdaspeeds and the company R&D Mazdapeed.  Today, we are ready to let the “cat out of the bag.”

CorkSport is building long blocks for your Mazdaspeed and here’s why it will interest you:

We have complete long-blocks ready for installation with blueprint certificates. These long-blocks are in-stock and are ready to ship. If you’d rather send us your motor, we guarantee one month or less turnaround.  

Let’s check it out:

Every engine is meticulously inspected and measured to extremely precise tolerances per our ASE certified master technicians.  Critical surfaces are measured to the 0.0005” for the pistons, bearings, and camshafts to create a tight, powerful, and reliable engine setup that you can depend on. To support this, every engine comes with a blueprint certificate to confirm all critical tolerances in your engine.

Better yet, this precision doesn’t come with at the cost of a  3-6 month wait. We intend to have these motors in stock. Even if you send us yours for a rebuild, we guarantee we will have your engine ready to ship in one month or less or you will receive a $100 credit for every complete week of delay.  

No bull pricing means you get exactly what we list out here.  

At no point will you get a call from CorkSport stating extra work or cost is needed to get your engine complete and ready for you.  We’ve all been through this; starting a build with one budget and ending with a different, much larger, budget. We hate it and we won’t let it happen to you.  

Other than the block and cylinder head themselves; all the parts going into your build are brand new, not reconditioned or re-used.  This includes genuine OEM Mazda components; Manley connecting rods and Mahle pistons, ARP fasteners (specifications depend on Dankai Build), along with CorkSport Camshafts, Injector Seals, and other supporting parts.  

Finally, what good is all this if your engine can’t get back to you safe and secure?  

We want your new built block to arrive for delivery without issue, that’s why we use heavy duty sealed plastic crates that are designed to ship engines.  This provides ample mounting and restraining of the engine block in the upright position for easy access for you. Along with that your engine ships free of charge within the lower 48 states.  Just return your good engine core in the provided crate and get the core charges refunded.  

This sounds pretty great, right?  If you’re thinking about a built engine for your Mazdaspeed, then I invite you to check on the CorkSport Dankai Engine Builds to see which version fits your goals and desires.  

 

-Barett @ CS

 

 

2018 CorkSport Garage Update

CorkSport's Mazda 3 guide.

CorkSport Garage

How about something a little different from the usual CS blog? I thought I would give you all a little insight into all the different Mazdas that are owned by employees. Some are daily drivers, some are full racecars, and some are…different (more on that later). So grab a cold refreshment, we’ve got quite a few cars to go through.

The Mazdaspeeds

Owner: Corey
Year/Model: 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata
Mileage: 28,800

Modifications: Full Flyin’ Miata CAI, polished stainless piping, Turbosmart recirculating bypass valve, manual boost controller, O2 signal modifier, boost gauge. Recent Mustang Dyno showed a consistent 189.9WHP.

Corey’s Comments: Purchased new to me at 17,000 miles in 2012 for my 40th birthday. The MSP Miata had been stored for 4 years-everything was original, even the tires. This Miata came from California and had never seen rain. I keep it in the garage and it’s mainly a fair weather/weekend car except during the summer. I enjoy taking a ride in the MSM with each of my kids, but love honking the horn at people and making my son wave back…like he knows them.

 

Owner: Luke
Year/Model: 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 GT
Mileage: 124,000

Modifications: Full bolted, built engine, CS prototype turbo, methanol injection. Too many CorkSport Par

Luke’s Comments: Car has been through stock turbo/stock block, CS turbo/stock block, CS turbo/built block, 35r/built block, and now CS prototype turbo/built block.  Fun fact: my girlfriend went faster in my car than I did when I first bought it.  Stock turbo went 12.8 @ 110mph in the  1320.

 

Owner: Daniel
Year/Model: 2007 Mazdaspeed 6
Mileage: 68,000

Modifications: Custom front license plate delete, CS Interior LED Kit, daily driver dirt.

Daniel’s Comments: Just bought the MS6 a few weeks ago, doing a ton of maintenance before mods. This Mazdaspeed6 started out as a dealer fleet vehicle (whatever that means). Bought it from a guy who owned it the past ~9 years. Hoping to sneak some new Mazdaspeed 6 parts into the CS catalog and feed the zoom-zoom obsession!

 

Owner: CorkSport (shop car)
Year/Model: 2013 Mazdaspeed 3
Mileage: 14,000

Modifications: Virtually everything in the CS catalog for MS3. Plus a few prototype parts that never made their way to the market.

Comments:  Affectionately called “Whitey”. On its 2nd built engine (we use and abuse this thing). This was one of Vincent’s first projects when he arrived at CS: rebuild Whitey’s engine. He just got done rebuilding it for the second time and is now breaking it in.

 

Owner: Barett
Year/Model: 2009 Mazdaspeed 3
Mileage: ~135,000

Modifications: Manley internals, L19 head studs, CS cams, bowl work & porting, all the bolt-ons, 28gph methanol injection, prototype CS turbo, 330mm BBK, other suspension bits.

Barett’s Comments: More info on the engine build here. Made ~465whp at the 2017 CS dyno day. My car hates me and is a constant work in progress.

 

Owner: Brett
Year/Model: 2013 Mazdaspeed
Mileage: 37,000

Modifications: Full CS bolt-ons, big turbo, meth injection, making 430whp 385ft-lbs. BC coilovers w/ custom rated Swift springs, BMSPEC front splitter, Varis rear diffuser, custom side skirt extensions, Volk TE37SL: front 18×11 rear 18×10, paint matched 240Z flares, 330mm BBK.

Brett’s Comments:  I’ve had the Mazdaspeed3 for about 4 years now. It has every CS bolt on in the catalog. Helps that I work here now. This MS3 makes ~430 WHP, and is a stock block for now; built block soon to come. I take more pictures of this car than I do anything else. 

 

The GEN 3’s

 

CorkSport's Mazda 3 guide.
Ready to mod your Mazda 3? You will be after you read this!
Owner: Jennifer
Year/Model: 2014 Mazda 3 2.5L Hatch
Mileage: 100,000

Modifications: Most of the CS catalog for GEN3: Intake, exhaust, lowering springs, adjustable struts, rear sway bar, aluminum skid tray, etc., GEN2 MS3 wheels, big CS livery.

Jennifer’s Comments: The car has been used for the majority of the Mazda3 research and design at CS. This Mazda 3 is daily driven ~80miles each day to torture test CorkSport parts, it helps that the commute to my house is that far round trip. Basically, my daily drive is a perfect example of “running up a hill both ways” for this Mazda 3.  

 

(Left)

Owner: Collin
Year/Model: 2016 Mazda 6
Mileage: 40,000

Modifications: CS RSB, prototype CS FSB, CS RMM, prototype CS performance header, CS license plate kit.

Collin’s Comments: Aside from the performance parts available at CS, I chose this car due to the extra ~30HP compared to most commuter cars. I still get 42MPG on my freeway commute. This is my first New Car I bought myself and I have loved learning how to modify on it. 

(Right)

Owner: Rich
Year/Model: 2014 Mazda 6 GT

Modifications: CS lowering springs/struts, CS front camber plates, CS rear camber arms, CS SRI, CS catback, CS radio control knob, CS license plate kit, 25mm wheel spacers

Rich’s Comments: I drove around the same B2300 for many years while we built CorkSport from the ground up. I finally decided to treat myself and picked this Mazda6 up in 2014. Big shift, and I’ve loved having the luxuries of this Mazda 6. 

 

Owner: Derrick
Year/Model: 2014 Mazda 3 2.5L Sedan

Modifications: Caged, stripped, CS SRI, straight pipe to CS axleback, bunch of custom adjustable suspension, BBK (sometimes), custom racetrack-modified bodywork.

Derrick’s Comments: This Mazda3 could not be sold as a road legal car, so I don’t drive it on the road. There are a TON of track hours on this Mazda 3 and all of it’s modifications. We basically TRY to break our test parts before we let them hit the market, which is good for me because I love to go fast.

 

Owner: CorkSport (shop car)
Year/Model: 2018 Mazda 3 2.5L Hatch
Mileage: 2900

Modifications: CS struts, CS lowering springs, CS camber plates, CS RMM.

Comments: Mainly stock so far, big things to come to the “CBR” (CorkSport Branded Ride). Brett, who has been dailying the CBR, somehow only is getting 23mpg. Expect more parts for facelifted GEN3’s with the CBR’s arrival.

 

The Others

Just because you may not have seen much about them and they don’t get their own category does not mean they’re not special. For me, some of the most interesting cars are down below.

 

Owner: CorkSport (shop truck)
Year/Model: 1995 Mazda B2300
Mileage: 160,000

Modifications: Sweet stickers for extra HP, tire shop wheels, custom faded paint

Comments: Vincent used to own this truck before selling it to be the “new” CS shop truck. He notes that it was involved in 3 accidents, each time the insurance company did not total the truck, leaving Vincent with more money than he spent to buy the truck. No power steering provides an arm workout for those lucky enough to drive this beast.

 

Owner: Derrick
Year/Model: 2016 Miata Launch Edition.
Mileage: 24,000

Modifications: Full CorkSport ND Miata catalog – CS cold air intake, CS catback exhaust, CS front and rear swaybars, CS lowering springs, CS adjustable front end links, VersaTune CS parts tune, CS short shifter – Sparco Drift wheels, Bridgestone Blizzak run flats

Derrick’s Comments: The ND is an interesting car for me as being a lifelong Mazda enthusiast I had never owned a Miata before.  When the ND was announced I had already converted the Mazda 2 into a B-Spec car so I stopped street driving it and went back to my Rx7 turbo as my daily driver so I had gotten used to driving a car with “issues” again.  When I got into the ND for the first time and drove it home it was very surreal expecting some weird sound or smelling hydrocarbons (the Rx7 is old and catless) and the car handled incredible right out of the box.  Of course that lasted all of 3 months until we have Kenton Koch behind the wheel helping us out with the suspension development.  It is one of those cars that I warn people, if you drive it you will want to buy one.

 

Owner: Vincent
Year/Model: 2010 Mazda RX-8 R3
Mileage: 60,000 (original engine, no issues)

Modifications: Turbo XS exhaust, K&N high flow filter, custom VersaTune tune, DBA club spec rotors, Hawk Street/Race pads, Goodridge stainless steel lines.

Vincent’s Comments: I had been wanting a 2nd gen RX-8 since high school. This thing revs out to 9400RPM and is super fun to drive. Just recently sold (hi Aaron) but too good to not include in this blog.

 

Owner: Derrick
Year/Model: 1993 Spec Miata
Mileage: “Lots and lots” (this car has run 25hours of Thunderhill a few times on top of all its other racing)

Modifications: Spec Miata Bilstein shock package, Eibach swaybars, illegal plunge cut cylinder head (lookup spec Miata plunge gate 2014), GLoc brakes, 949 6ul Spec Miata wheels, AIM dash & datalog system, ESR drive side drop floor, Really big radiator.

Derrick’s Comments: I took the advice of all the spec miata people and bought a built car so I didn’t have to spend 6 months building one myself.  The local car was raced for a long time in the northwest and was a front running car before it was parked for a few years.  I picked it up for $6000 with some extra spares and was immediately able to get on the track and go racing after the installation of the drop floor and new seatbelts.  The big question I have people ask me is why did you get a SM?  The real answer is the level of drivers in the class.  At any sanctioned race event weekend there are always SM and someone to race against and I have personally known several drivers go into SM a novice and come out the other side in pro racing.  To win at SM you have to have your shit together.  To be the best you need to compete against and beat the best so here I am.

 

Owner: Barett
Model: Mazda B2600i
Mileage: ?

Modifications: Solid axle swap with Toyota running gear, 4.88:1 axle gears, rear locker, 3 feet of articulation, 8000lb winch, high bolstered seats, 35×14.5R15 Super Swamper Bogger Tires, “lots of f*ckery fabrication.”

Barett’s Comments: This was my first real vehicle, and it taught me lots about owning a vehicle, modifying a vehicle and I have more memories with this beast than I can come up with right now. I beat the SH*T out of this truck and it’s always put away wet.

 Owner: Rich
Model: 1988 Mazda Rx- CONVERTIBLE

 

Modifications: Turbo engine swap, Apexi Power FC, CS Border Style body kit, CS front mount intercooler, CS turbo back exhaust, many other mods.

Rich’s Comments: The Rx-7 is kept in the garage and it’s mainly a fair weather/weekend car except during the summer. I take it out for special occasions or to just show off every once in a while. It’s a nostalgia piece for me. 

 

Not Pictured:

  • 2016 Mazda 3 Sedan. Derrick’s 2nd racecar. Caged, stripped, 2.0L AT converted to 2.5L MT.
  • Mazda RX-7 FC. Owned by Derrick.
  • NA Mazda Miata. Parts car for Derrick’s Spec Miata
  • Mazda 5. Derrick’s wife’s car.
  • Mazda CX7. Kelly’s daily driver.

For those keeping score, that’s 22 Mazdas in the CorkSport garage. The cars have come and gone over the years but one thing will always stay true: our cars will be fun to drive because they are Mazdas. Here’s to more Mazdas finding their way into the CS (and your) garage.

 

Oh and if you have any questions on the above cars, please let us know down below, we’ll be sure to pass on your question to the car’s owner.

 

-Daniel