The Mazda 3 Rear Motor Mount 2.0: Back & Better

We here at CorkSport are proud to announce the relaunch of the Mazda 3 Rear Motor Mount.

Yes, you read that correct, this is a re-launch. At CorkSport we push ourselves to design and develop new and interesting products every day, with that, we try new and innovative manufacturing designs and methods in an attempt to create exceptional, competitive, cost-effective products for our loyal customers.

Sometimes those new and innovative manufacturing methods end up not being as awesome as we originally expected. This is just part of the designing and learning process. Let’s get into the details.

The original, let’s call it V1, Mazda3 RMM used a new-to-us manufacturing method of applying the polyurethane to the billet aluminum body called vulcanizing. The billet aluminum body and the steel sleeves are mounted in a fixture then liquid polyurethane was poured into the assembly and cooled until the polyurethane had set to the final hardness.  This process appeared to be very promising; each part was set up identically, it was nearly impossible to have any missing parts not sent to you, and most importantly the polyurethane was adhered to the billet aluminum body and therefore could not fall out.  More on that last bit later.

We moved forward with the manufacturing method and had a few samples made with various polyurethane durometers ranging from 60A to 80A.  After various testing, we determined that 70A was the best compromise of response and NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) experienced by the driver. We continued testing for a few months to verify long-term durability and found no issues.  Hooray! We moved forward with production to get this new great Mazda6 RMM out the door to you.

Unfortunately, it appears that our testing period just wasn’t quite long enough.  Eventually, the polyurethane would fail but fail in a style we had never experienced before.  Long story short, polyurethane has excellent compression strength compared to the tensile strength.  The polyurethane was being pulled/split apart due to the forces of the engine.  

Now we had a few options of how to redesign the Mazda 6 Rear Motor Mount after going through the failure analysis.  

  • We could have simply stuck with the same design and just increased the stiffness of the polyurethane.  Increasing the durometer rating of the poly increases the tensile strength, but this would have resulted in an unsatisfactory driving experience for you which was unacceptable.  
  • The other option was to start from scratch again to create a new design that did not compromise the driving experience or the durability; with challenge comes innovation.

Again we went through many different designs, with the greatest challenge coming in the form of retaining the polyurethane pucks.  Typically the polyurethane pucks are retained by whatever the mount is bolting to, but with the Mazda motor mount, the steel sleeves extend far past the outer edge of the polyurethane pucks.  This leaves the pucks free to slide out of the billet aluminum body and cause a major failure.  

Using the conventional polyurethane puck style, we developed a design that would work, but more than doubled the number of parts needed which increased the chance for something to go wrong and drives up the cost.  This design is shown below:

 

The red arrows show the direction the conventional polyurethane puck would slide out of the body.  The red circles show the puck retention system to hold the washer and pucks in the body.  This retention design required many parts to be successful.

With the cost going through the roof we had to go back to the drawing board. There had to be a better way… and there was.  

The third major iteration shown above solved the problems of the V2 design and got us away from the vulcanized polyurethane of the V1 design.  Things were looking good.  With the V3 design, the polyurethane pucks are pressed into the billet aluminum body.  The pucks have ribs, shown with the red circles that are just large enough to keep the puck in place, but small enough to let the puck be pressed into the body.  

With this, we were able to make some clever designs to the RMM to keep it centered in the engine and chassis brackets on the vehicle.  The smaller diameter puck extends out to the ends of the steel sleeves; this keeps the entire rear motor mount centered.  The large diameter puck retains itself in the body and allows the associated steel sleeve free to slide for easy installation; shown with the red arrows.

Now… does it work? YES! Pretty fantastically, we might add!  

We have had this design on a handful of vehicles, one of those being the CorkSport Mazda 3 Racecar during the SCCA Run-Offs at Indianapolis Speedway.  Other than some dirt and grime, the tested RMM looks great.  

You were probably expecting this blog to be all about the details and reasons you should buy this performance RMM for your Mazda 3, Mazda 6, or CX-5.  All those details can be found on our website, and I invite you to check them out.

What we really want to get across here is this:

First and foremost, we will always do the best we can to take care of you and your car if there is ever an issue or concern with your CorkSport part.  

Second, if you are a driving enthusiast, if you go driving for the sake of just driving, then you need this RMM in your life. It will completely change and improve your driving experience, plain and simple.  

-Barett, CS Engineering

 

Charging for the WIN!

Track Tested CorkSport Approved AXM Parts – Leading the Pack.

The last race weekend I had available before the runoffs turned out to be pretty interesting.

Locally there are very few T4 (touring 4) class cars so I often find myself running with other class cars and this weekend was no exception at Portland International Raceway. I showed up for qualifying on Friday morning with a new part to test and a suspension setup with something I had not tried.

I looked over the entry list the day before, and there read a list of cars you would expect to clobber a Mazda 3 on the track. 3 Porsche 911s, a pair of V8 mustangs, an STL Miata and more.

To make sure I had a clear track for qualifying, I hustled to the pre-grid to make sure I was the first car out. Straight out of the pits, I went flat out to get some distance on the Porsches to be able to push the car for the entire time I was out qualifying. As I watched the lap timer in the Mazda 3, my times kept dropping lap after lap. 6 laps in and I had already bested my fastest lap time at Portland by a second, so I called it quits and pulled in to the pits.

On the way out of the track I grabbed the time sheet to review and see where I placed. A quick review of the sheet showed I had qualified the Mazda 3 in second out of 10 cars and I was in front of 2 of the Porsches.

The start of the race didn’t go that great. Out of all the cars on the track I was in the bottom ½ for horsepower. But I was making up the speed in the corners.

One of the back cars jumped the start a bit and managed to take us 3 wide into a corner which is only good for 2. I was forced to give up some room to one of the Porsches to keep from having contact which put me back to 4th. Several laps into the race one of the Porsches who got ahead of me at the start spun off the track so I was able to move back up a spot while trying to chase down the leader who was running ~1 second a lap faster than I was. The 30 minute mark came pretty quick, and the race ended on a not-so-exciting note of me being in 3rd, and the leaders ~ ½ a lap ahead and all but a few of the rest of the field being lapped.

The big question you all want to ask is: “What were you testing for the 3rd Gen Mazda 3?”

First things first, the changes we made to the Mazda 3:
  • We made an adjustment with the CorkSport rear adjustable swaybar. Being able to make quick adjustments on the rear swaybar bar allows us to soften the suspension to match the alignment changes.
  • We had taken more rear camber out of the back of the car with the CorkSport adjustable camber arms, trying to decrease rear grip (yes you read that right). We have been having problems with front end push (understeer) so we worked on dialing rear grip out of the car.  – We had the CorkSport front camber plates maxed out for camber to the class limits, but it wasn’t enough to offset the rear grip.
  • We originally were running our CorkSport Mazda 3 adjustable shocks on the track but we had to remove them as they are not legal for the Touring 4 class. The adjustable shocks make a world of a difference over what I have to use on the car and I wish we could’ve changed back. Being able to fine tune the Mazda 3 suspension is a great asset for any performance driver.

Now to the fun, what I got to test that was new:

The engineers here at CorkSport have been working on a revised Mazda 3 Rear engine mount for the 3/6/Cx5 over the past few months. The best way we have to extreme test parts is on the track.

Think of the race-testing this way: I am driving full throttle, banging gears, and when I am off the throttle means I am on the brakes, so there is no time for the mount to get any rest. There is the maximum amount of heat, load, and stress in a compressed time line, compared to street driven cars, so if failure is to occur it would be on the track.

At the end of the month, I will be doing a test on a final version of the rear engine mount at the SCCA Runoffs and competing to bring home a National Championship for CorkSport and Mazda.

This brings me to my next point: All of the parts mentioned above have been punished on the track and had zero failures. I have been on the same rear sway bar, rear camber arms, camber plates, and short ram intake, and cat back exhaust since we started racing the car at Daytona in 2015.

You just can’t beat the fact that our CorkSport parts walk the talk when pushed to the extreme, which means they won’t let you down, no matter what you’re doing.

Charge for the WIN!

Derrick

Love for the Rotary

With all of the talk of doom and gloom for the next rotary I wanted to share the experience I had with the help of Mazda during Sevenstock 17 on Nov 22nd.  I hate to say it but while I was at Sevenstock helping out with the Diesel Mazda 6 I experienced the awesome side benefit of being next to three 4 rotor cars in the same garage.

The recent message given from Mazda about the rotary engine being important but not in the cards for a current car has been a heart breaker for the rotor heads out there, myself included as I daily drive an 87 Turbo FC.  I can definitely say that from the top down the rotary engine is important to Mazda despite it not being considered for a new car right now. Take a look at this 787 which Robert Davis (senior vice president U.S. operations aka he runs the show in US) personally drives.

Mazda-787-4-rotor

There is a genuine love for the rotary with him, I watched him wipe down the car after going out onto the track for one session. In conversations, the restoration of other rotary race cars was brought up many times and when Robert isn’t driving the 787 above he rolls in an Rx8 in NASA PT racing, when time affords it.

See the first car in the line below?  It is one of the Rx-792P IMSA GTP prototypes.

full-rotary-line-up

I watched Weldon Munsey (Manager of Dealer Affairs) hop out  after just one session with a big smile on his face.  You could tell he just loves driving that car.

This next car is one of my favorite Rotary race cars (as I had the opportunity to see it raced at Portland Intl Raceway in the early 90s).  The 4 rotor GTO kept the basic shape of the FC rx7 (which included the stock roof panel, windshield, and tail lights) and the rest of the car was pure business with a 4 rotor engine.

Rx7-GTO-4-rotor

Not a big surprise another Mazda executive drives it, Jeremy Barnes (Director of public relations).  I am sure the re-occurring theme is not lost here, these guys love rotaries and if the opportunity presents they will be pulling to get another car released for all us rotards out there.  In the meantime enjoy the video below from Sevenstock 17 with a few drive byes of the 787 and the 792p wide open on the throttle at Autoclub Speedway.

Zoom zoom.

– Derrick Ambrose from CorkSport

Derrick_HEadshot

Derrick started working with cars when he was in high school.  A friend had a GLC which they tweaked a bit which then became a 323 then into RX-7s and it was all Mazda down hill from there. His current projects are a 1968 Mustang, The 1988 323 GTX (never ending project), 1986 Honda Shadow Motorcycle and a 1968 Silverline Rambler 16′boat. For motorsports activities he has previously participated in drag racing the CorkSport Protege Drag car and Rally Cross with the 323 GTX. Currently he is driving the CorkSport Mazda 2 B-Spec race car.

If you attend any events CorkSport is at Derrick will be the guy you will talk to at most of them, so stop by and say hello!

2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs: End of a Long Season

2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs

So, a few weeks back I attended the 2014 SCCA National Championship runoffs at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with aspirations of finishing on the podium in B-Spec with the CorkSport sponsored Mazda 2.

CorkSport Mazda 2

Day One:

The first day was a practice day in order to check out the car and review the changes we made, ensuring that everything was perfect for the three days of qualifying.  After the first test session, we made a few small changes and went back out for the afternoon session…

That’s where things got crazy.

The track was feeling greasy and the car was sliding around a bit, making corner 6 a handful since its taken flat out in a B-Spec car.  On the 7th lap the car drifted to the outside much faster than it had before so I steered into the drift and went off in the dirt. My plan was to ride it out and get back on the track towards the top of the hill.

Needless to say, things did not go as planned…

 

The video above is courtesy of a Spec Miata driver and friend at the track Steven Powers who (being directly behind me) got front row seats to witness the whole thing.

Rather than riding it out of the dirt, the front corner of the Mazda 2 made direct contact with a concrete wall… sideways (which  data showed being at 30mph). After playing 20 questions with the safety crew and getting the car loaded up, I was dropped off in my pit to evaluate the damage and make a plan on what to do next.  We got the car disassembled with help of fellow racers, slowly realizing just how bent up the car really was.  Besides the sheet metal, we had punched several holes in the engine block, broke a wheel, bent the right side control arm and front sub frame.

It took 2 hours to take the car from a crunched mess to the picture below.

 

The Aftermath

Day Two:

I chose to sleep on the decision to either rebuild or scrap the whole weekend race.  The next morning, with an optimistic attitude, we took inventory and made the choice to rebuild the car at the track. Mazdaspeed Motorsports lent a major hand as we started chasing down the parts we would need to replace, while I was hitting the phones looking for a body shop with an empty frame machine so we could get started on the car ASAP.  8 calls later, we had our shop and loaded the car up on a flatbed in order to get the repairs going for straightening the car and getting it ready for a frame rail and shock tower.

More Aftermath

Spectrum Auto Collision was a great help with the overall repair of the car. They got right on the job and loaded the car up on to the frame machine while their awesome technician started straightening the drives side rail. Arrangements were made to have the replacement frame parts arrive to the shop for the following day so they could continue the repairs non-stop, getting the car back together for Thursday’s qualifying session.

corksport racing

Day Three and Four:

Due to a mishap with UPS, we were out one critical part needed to not only start work that Wednesday morning but also have it completed by that afternoon. This complication pushed back the plan that included having the car assembled in time to post a qualifying time.  After a discussion with the race officials, they agreed to let me start at the back of the B-Spec field allowing me to race despite not having a qualifying time. Which was awesome of them.

That Thursday evening, my trusty friend was delivered right back to the track so that we could start the re-assembly process. With the help of my crew, we rebuilt the engine, reinstalled the whole front suspension and sheet metal, and reinstalled the rebuilt motor within two days.

Day Five:

Saturday evening, we fired up the car to make sure it would be ready to go for the race.  After a drive around the paddock, the car was feeling good and ready to race on Sunday.

RACE DAY:

Lucky for us, the B-Spec/T-4 race was the first event on Sunday, meaning the track would be in its best condition.

Since I was at the back of the field, I snagged an opportunity to pass up the stacked up cars on the inside of corner 2 and get passed 2 cars in the first lap. Several laps later I was able to get around one of the HPD Honda fits, putting me in 8th place. The leading Chevy sonic was brought to a stop due to a check engine light, moving him from 1st place to last place and me to 7th. During the race, the Mazda 2 felt really loose (the back of the car was sliding around) and like the tires were wearing out quickly.  This is not expected due to the brand new tires we just had put on the car for the race. BFGoodrich tires always hold up extremely well to the abuse of B-Spec cars.  I reported it to the crew over the radio and I got back an acknowledgement.

CorkSport Racing Accident

If you look at the picture above you can see smoke rolling out of the front wheel. 

Results:

At the end of the race (back in the pits) I saw the driver’s side of the car was coated in Redline MTL transmission fluid which had also been coating the front and rear wheels causing that loose feeling I was getting.

Imagine driving on and off ice whipping through corners at the fastest speed you can go. That is exactly how crazy the race felt driving with the transmission fluid everywhere.

Later I found out that the crew had actually seen the smoke but decided to keep quiet about it so as not to alarm me and keeping me from changing my driving style (which had already been working). I am incredibly thankful they made that call, because it would have changed my driving and possibly caused more problems.

The final result was 7th place, which doesn’t give any trophies from the SCCA but I got something even better from Mazdaspeed.  I was gifted a copy of the book Never Stop Challenging, which chronicles Mazda’s path to winning Le Mans and overcoming all of the challenges they went through.  I was told by a good friend at the track (who has experience in amateur and professional racing) that he had not seen a car with as much damage as we had, rebuilt and make it back onto the track before.

 

Mazdaspeed race

 

Appreciation:

Thank you so much to CorkSport, Monarch Inspections (for the season long logistics support), Mazda Motorsports Crew, John Doonan, Mike Allen, Scott Kaluza, David Cook, and Dean Case who were at the track for the parts sourcing and tech help and the best trophy a Mazda racer could get.

Big thanks to my Dad (aka the crew), Joey Jordan Motorsports (for the help rebuilding the motor and getting the alignment straight), James Wilson and Black Armor Helmets (for driving out to race his 2 from Texas), Brad Green and his crew (for help getting the car taken apart), Steven Powers (for the video) as well as all of the B-Spec racers who I got to compete against all season long.

Last but not least (in any way), I would like to say thank you to my wife Jessica and two daughters for being understanding of my pursuit in racing.

Zoom zoom.

– Derrick from CorkSport

Derrick_HEadshot

Derrick started working with cars when he was in high school.  A friend had a GLC which they tweaked a bit which then became a 323 then into RX-7s and it was all Mazda down hill from there. His current projects are a 1968 Mustang, The 1988 323 GTX (never ending project), 1986 Honda Shadow Motorcycle and a 1968 Silverline Rambler 16′boat. For motorsports activities he has previously participated in drag racing the CorkSport Protege Drag car and Rally Cross with the 323 GTX. Currently he is driving the CorkSport Mazda 2 B-Spec race car.

 

If you attend any events CorkSport is at Derrick will be the guy you will talk to at most of them, so stop by and say hello!

 

Mazdaspeed EPIC NATOR MEAT 2014 – Spencer’s Review and Wrap Up

Oh the wonders of the East Coast. Potholes, 80mph in a 55 zone, Toll Roads and EZ Pass, humidity and some of the greatest people you will ever meet!

Kim, Brydon and I had the wonderful, nay, EPIC, opportunity this year to attend the EPIC NATOR MEAT put on by a few members from mazdaspeedforums.org . Sadly we had only a day and a half to hang out with hundreds of people, watch some drag racing, and join everyone for a Dyno Day. This is a one of the greatest events you can attend and has arguably the most knowledgeable people currently driving Mazdas all in one place. Not only did we get to see 500+ horsepower speeds at the event, but we got to witness some of the cleanest looking, most original, most unique and even the world’s fastest Mazdaspeed 3, all in one place.

Here are some of my Highlights.

  • Hanging out till 3am in the parking lot and back patio of the hotel and learning more than I ever thought possible about Mazdaspeed’s, among other things…
  • Rolling from Philadelphia to the Dyno Day and running into a crew of 6 or so Mazdaspeed’s who had no idea who we were in our weak little Honda rental.
  • Eating some Killer food at Buca di Beppo and hearing so much passion and love of cars during the conversation.
  • Finally getting to meet so many people that I’ve had such wonderful conversations with on the phone, through email, through PM, or in threads.
  • Getting out of the Northwest rain and finally getting some Sunshine!

 

Some of the Worst Parts

  • Arriving at 8am to the Dyno Day after a red eye flight leaving at 6pm the night before with a layover in Phoenix. Ugh.
  • Not having my own 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 that got left back in Washington.
  • Having to leave around 1:30 on Sunday.
  • Not bringing shorts, the weather was beautiful.
  • Accidentally buying  bottled water that was $4 at one of those incredibly terrible and yet wonderful, quick stops in the middle of the highway. Place was a zoo and WAY to expensive.
  • Walking into the wrong room at midnight.

 

Time for Drag Racing

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Kim at the Drag Day doing some Social Media Updates

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The World’s Fastest  MS3 and Crew Getting Prepared for the Drag Day

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Mazda’s only for Dinner at Buca di Beppo

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Some of the Lovely People at the Dyno Day

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Halfway through the Dyno Day, Check out those Numbers!

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Flame Shooter

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The Unexpected Mazdaspeed Crew we caught Rolling to ENM

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Thanks for everything.

-Spencer@CorkSport