Are you looking for an exterior mod that will freshen up the look of your first gen Mazdaspeed 3? Well if that’s the case then the Carbon Fiber Spoiler is the perfect part to install on your build. The Carbon Fiber Spoiler retains the OEM look with the much appreciated addition of carbon fiber. Keep on reading below for more info on the carbon spoiler.
Since the Carbon Fiber spoiler is based off of the factory Mazda piece, installation is a breeze and requires no drilling or other modifications to the hatch. We have also pinned the third brake light so that it can reuse the OEM connector with no modification to the harness needed! The Carbon Spoiler also comes with all the necessary hardware to install the spoiler so you can be back on the road in no time. Fitment with other add-on parts such as spoiler extensions or gurney flaps should work with the OEM style shape, however, we have not test fit. The same goes for GEN1 Mazda 3, the CF spoiler should fit, however, you may have a different 3rd brake light setup and/or have additional holes from the smaller Mazda 3 spoiler
The CF Spoiler features a fiberglass base that is then topped off with a layer of carbon fiber on the top side of the spoiler. The underside of the spoiler is finished in gloss black and the whole thing is then coated with a UV-resistant epoxy resin to provide a mirror-like finish and the necessary protection from the elements. The two halves come together on the rear edge so there is a small seam, however, once installed, the seam all but disappears!
If the CS Carbon Fiber Spoiler is a mod that you would like to add to your build, then head over and check out the product page for additional photos! Also, feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.
Cold air intake systems, are they necessary? Are they worth the extra cost? Does it matter if the engine is turbocharged or not? Will the engine or its performance be hurt without one? We have repeatedly seen these questions on forums and social media groups regarding Mazda’s 3rd and 4th Generation Mazda 3 & 6. To help the Mazda community grow, learn about their cars, and what to do with them, we have written a blog that we hope will help shed some light on these questions and others.
Most importantly, you will NOT hurt your engine if you use an SRI only on Turbo or Non-Turbo applications.
What are the typical intake systems available for your Mazda? At CorkSport, we have two primary intake system setups: Short Ram Intake (SRI) System and Cold Air Intake (CAI) System. It is essential to distinguish between the two because you (the Mazda enthusiasts) will ultimately decide which system to use.
Short Ram Intake (SRI) System:
This CorkSport system consists of a filter, billet MAF housing, silicone coupler, a few clamps, and may or may not have a mounting bracket (depending on application). This system is efficient and straightforward (an unrestricted airflow path increases power). This system removes the factory airbox and snorkel. The cost is very effective for the results and provides excellent induction sounds.
Cold Air Intake (CAI) System:
CorkSport’s system consists of the SRI (as mentioned above) plus a heat shield or airbox designed to keep the engine bay heat away from the intake system’s inlet and helps direct cold air induction. This system removes the factory airbox and may or may not reuse the factory snorkel. The cost will be higher than an SRI due to the additional components involved and may muffle some of the induction noises but provide better heat control.
OK, is a Cold Air Intake System worth the extra cost and complexity? Does it do anything? Well, in our opinion, yes and no. We have tested this, and we have proven that a heatshield does improve (read reduce) “heat soak” of the intake system, BUT not in the ways most people expect. Below is some data from our 2018 Mazda 6 Turbo with our SRI and then also with our SRI + Heat Shield:
This first graph shows the vehicle idling for a period of time, much like sitting at a stoplight or in traffic. The red graph shows the SRI only, and the blue chart shows the SRI+Heat Shield. It’s pretty apparent the heat shield is helping reduce the amount of engine bay heat being ingested by the intake while the vehicle is sitting. The maximum temperature delta is approximately 15-20deg F. That’s a respectable improvement, and this lower amount of heat soak should, in theory, improve the vehicle’s acceleration from a complete stop. Now let’s look at a graph that combines idling and acceleration up to 50mph
The second graph indicates similar data for the stationary idling period, but more importantly, is what the data tells us once the vehicle starts moving. You see a small spike for both systems (this is due to the engine suddenly ingesting more air), then you see the air temp drop rapidly as the vehicle increases in speed. The vehicle’s forward motion/speed is important because that is how fresh cool ambient air enters the engine bay.
You’ll notice that both the red and blue graphs meet at the same point after the rapid cooling then have a small amount of fluctuation. In a nutshell, both the SRI and SRI+Heat Shield perform about the same once the vehicle is moving. Again, they perform almost identically once the car is rolling.
Next question, does it matter if the vehicle is turbocharged or not? Before we answer that, let’s go over the differences between turbocharged and non-turbocharged systems.
The engine is equipped with a turbocharger and an intercooler system to cool the boosted air temperatures before entering the engine. The intercooler system is required to negate the by-product of turbocharging an engine (and thus boost), which is heat. The airflow path is intake -> turbo -> intercooler -> engine.
In a turbocharged engine, the need for and use of a Cold Air Intake System is typically not deemed necessary or very useful. The turbocharger superheats the cooler air it receives from the intake before passing it to the intercooler. The boosted air exiting the turbo is substantially hotter than the ambient air temperatures in your engine bay before it enters the intake – especially true while the vehicle is moving.
More focus is placed on performance improvements of the intercooler system because that is the primary method to cool the incoming boosted (read “hot”) airflow before it enters the engine. The use of a cold air intake system has little effect on the resulting boost air temps, so the cost-effectiveness is not great. This is precisely why the Mazdaspeed platform focuses on increasing the intake size (ingesting more air = more power), adding a larger turbo (more boost), and increasing the size of the intercooler (additional surface area for cooling) coupled with a professional tune to maximize power.
The engine is not equipped with a turbocharger and, therefore, does not require an intercooler system. The airflow path is more direct and does not have a cooling system built-in; intake -> engine.
Since there is no intercooler to cool the incoming air (it’s not needed), the best way to improve air density and performance is with cooler air entering the engine directly. So, a cold air intake on a non-turbo engine can be helpful – especially in warmer climates.
In either turbo or non-turbo applications, a heat shield or CAI system will provide varying degrees of benefit in some driving situations. For a turbo application specifically, the usefulness of the CAI system is marginal due to the turbo heating the air it receives from the intake. Instead, investing in an SRI and performance intercooler system is a much better plan.
For the non-turbo applications, a CAI system is a worthwhile investment because the airflow path is so much more direct, and it’s the only way to help reduce intake air temps and thus increase air density which equals power.
We hope this has been a helpful and educational blog and lends support as you decide the right path for you and your Mazda! Thanks for tuning in!
-Barett @ CS
Cold Air Intake Systems Explained for your Naturally Aspirated & Turbo Mazda September 9th, 2022CorkSport
All CorkSport products go through an extensive process to ensure they are the best fitting, looking and performing parts that they can be. As a product development engineer, I see all of these steps on a day-to-day basis, but we don’t often talk about how an idea evolves into a CorkSport part. Sit back and read on as I give you a glimpse of what goes on during CorkSport R&D.
Concept and Planning
All parts start out as an idea. They come from many sources: employees, forums, car shows. One of our biggest sources of ideas is YOU! Check out the blog on submitting product ideas for more info on how our customers give us their thoughts.
At the beginning of each quarter, all product ideas are evaluated to determine which are feasible and which are going to be pursued moving forward. After the extensive list is narrowed down, they go into a more in-depth evaluation.
This includes defining the scope of the project, how many man hours it is expected to take, evaluating all expected costs of production, and setting a retail price. Without this evaluation, we would encounter all sorts of roadblocks along the way that would delay getting parts out to you all. If everything is looking good, the project is approved and moves forward.
At this stage, it’s time to get our hands dirty (literally in some cases). First, we investigate the car the part is for and the scope of the project to understand exactly what the goal of the part is. Doing this allows us to find all design constraints and look for things we may not be expecting. Replacement part diagrams and factory service manuals can be vital here, especially if we do not have a Mazda or Mazdaspeed readily accessible.
By now we usually have a good idea of what features we want the part to have and can move forward with creating an “MVP”. A minimum viable product is just what it sounds like. Not necessarily pretty or optimized yet but good enough to get to see if an idea will work and to check fitment. During MVP creation we have to consider all design constraints, desired features, integration with other CS parts, and even how to manufacture the part. Check out the changes below from an early MVP to the final design for our GEN3 TMM.
If the part can be 3D printed, we print the initial MVP and test fit. Test fits are by far the most unpredictable part of the whole process as sometimes we discover an issue that can change an entire design. Depending on the part, we can have one test fit and be good to go or four and still have work to do. Once we have revised the MVP to a point where it fits well, looks good, and can be manufactured relatively easily, a functional prototype is produced.
This is where the fun really begins; test fitting is a 3D print is one thing, having the part made out of metal is a whole new story. Depending on the part, we sometimes have to skip directly to this stage as it cannot be easily printed in-house. We always have to be careful doing so to limit the number of expensive prototypes we have made. Sometimes this goes well, other times not so much… This swaybar prototype was limiting suspension travel.
A functional prototype also allows for any testing that we may do. Whether it be on the dyno, track, or on the street, all CorkSport parts are used and abused to ensure they hold up to what you can throw at them. Check out an early CS Throttle Body getting tested on a flow bench.
If we are happy with a prototype, this is where you all can get involved again. We often use “Beta Testers” to get another opinion on the part and to see if they come across any issues. From here we sometimes have revisions that need to be made and another prototype produced but ideally, we are ready to move on.
Manufacture & Prep for Release
From here we move to getting the parts made. Sometimes this is a process that only takes a few weeks, other times it takes many months to complete. The manufacturing method, type of part, and order quantity play a big role here. Additionally, some products have a lot of different parts to make up a whole CS product, so each individual part takes time. Sometimes, we even get to see something unexpected, like these Command Wheel Covers before getting anodized black.
While all of this is going on, we are also preparing the product for release. That way, when our manufactured parts show up, we are ready to send them out to all of you. Installation instructions are created, QA checks are set up, laser etch files are set up, product images and video are taken, the web page listing is set up, and so on. Any and all of the content you see on a product is all created in-house. Engineering school definitely did not prepare me for shooting high-quality photos and video!
Check out a “behind the scenes” look at one of our videos:
At this point, we are pretty much ready to bring the new CorkSport Mazda or Mazdaspeed part out to you all. Throughout this process, we are constantly thinking about the experience someone has when they buy the part to ensure it is something that we would be proud to have on our own cars. After all, we build our dream cars using CS parts just like you do!
An Inside Look at CorkSport R&D September 13th, 2018CorkSport
We wanted to take some time to give you all a quick update on one of the many projects we have brewing up here at CorkSport Headquarters.
The project I’m referencing, in general, is our 2nd turbocharger upgrade for the Mazdaspeed 3, Mazdaspeed 6 and CX-7. This unit is a substantial upgrade over our current 18G turbocharger. This Turbo will cater to those looking to take their performance and power goals to a higher level.
Not only will it be capable of putting you well into the 465whp range but this CorkSport Turbo upgrade will be able to do it without giving up on reliability and throttle response.
It will be very beneficial to those who have mildly-built blocks and a supporting fuel system that will allow them to get higher in the HP range.
So, let’s talk about some of the features you can expect on the upgrade and why we decided to utilize them.
Let’s start at the heart of the Turbocharger.
The new CorkSport turbo will take full use of a GTX3076R center housing and rotating assembly (CHRA). The unit is equipped with a fully sealed ball bearing cartridge, which is a nice upgrade when compared to a standard journal bearing unit. We chose to go with a ball bearing unit for a few reasons.
The enclosed design of a ball bearing system allows us to eliminate the need for a thrust bearing, which can account for about 40% of the bearing system drag on the turbos rotor assembly.
Ball bearings reduce the viscous drag, which allows a ball bearing unit the ability to spool up about 15% faster than its journal bearing equivalent.
The next thing you will notice on the new Mazdaspeed Turbocharger upgrade is the holes that are drilled into the compressor cover. These little holes are known as anti-surge ports and are intended to expand the turbochargers compressor map. The ports function to move the surge line further left on the compressor map which gives the Mazdaspeed turbo some more headroom before it falls out of its efficiency island. Anti-surge ports are becoming increasingly more popular in modern performance turbochargers and with great reason. They offer some unique benefits as mentioned and will be fully integrated into our unit.
Last but not least, as with our CorkSport Turbo, this bigger Mazdaspeed Turbo will once-again be a true drop-in unit; minus the 4” compressor inlet.
There will be no cutting, modifying, sourcing oil and coolant lines, running to the store to buy couplers, etc. This unit will come with everything you need to have a trouble-free install. As with the current CorkSport 18G turbocharger, the new Garrett-based design will come with all studs, gaskets, washers, and knowledge that you need to have a nice weekend install.
So keep your eyes peeled as we get closer to delivering more performance for the Mazda community!
– The CorkSport Team
SOURCES: Miller, Jay K. Turbo: Real World High-Performance Turbocharger Systems. CarTech, 2008.
Nannies. One thing we have discovered while racing our Mazda 3 is that the OEM safety systems in the newest generation of Mazda 3 work well, too well in fact for racing.
Each year, new safety features are added by Mazda which make the cars safer and reduces the risk of collisions. This is great for day to day driving and commuting, but it presents a problem if you plan to take your car to the track to race it.
The OEM system in the car really frowns on lifting a rear tire off the ground, or when you get wheel spin accelerating out of a slow speed corner. They design the cars against these things happening for safety purposes (understandably). However, Mazda does give you a button on your dash to turn off the traction control. This gets us racers around the limitations to a certain degree.
Let me explain:
When you disengage traction control, the system which measures yaw/pitch and ensures your car has all the wheels on the ground is actually still working, even with the button off. What the button does essentially is give you a sort of leash with more leeway, until the computer thinks you have gone too far of course, then it will kick in traction control again.
So, how do we get past these nanny systems so we can push our cars for maximum performance?
Can you simply unplug the computer which controls the this? I wish it were that simple, but you cannot. The systems in the car are all tied to each other, and the car may not start, it may not run safely, or it may run in a limp mode. A good example of this in our 2015 Mazda3 is: if you unplug the rear view mirror the car won’t start. The ABS is also controlled by the same unit, and this is very handy to have on the track. The ABS is very good in the Mazda3 by the way, so I recommend you keep it.
The solution we’ve come up with at CorkSport is pretty simple: Leave the computer plugged in and turn it over.
That’s it, simple, nothing else is required. What happens when you turn the computer upside down is the computer loses its physical reference point, so it defaults by turning off the stability control and nannies, but most-importantly, the ABS still functions.
A big word of caution: The computer which controls the nannies also runs the airbags. If you race your car on the track, the airbags will have been removed from your car already. DO NOT drive your airbag-equipped car with the module flipped over.
The reason this solution works for the track is that our Mazda 3 race car has additional safety equipment installed, with the 6-point harness and halo seat, along with the rest of the driver’s safety gear, that keep you from injury in the event of any wrecks.
FYI: When using this “hack”, your Mazda 3 dashboard will light up like a Christmas tree from all of the warnings; but that is a small price to pay for the improved performance while racing.
DISCLAIMER: This modification is for racing purposes ONLY. Doing so will render many of your car’s safety systems ineffective. Installing other safety systems after this modification is essential.