We want YOU to help us design the next CorkSport Branded Ride!

As if it wasn’t obvious, we have a plethora of vehicles to work with around here. True to fashion of course, we at CorkSport have gone and done it again: We went and filled some of the last remaining shop space with ANOTHER CAR.

Not just any car. Say “Hello” to our newest addition: 2018 Mazda 3 Hatchback, touring 2.5L SKYACTIVE-G. Equipped with an automatic transmission and some of the nicer creature comforts.

We love the sparkle of the Eternal Blue Mica and of course her 18” gunmetal dancing shoes. However, as with all things good and standard in the world, we couldn’t help but think that the potential for upgrading is endless.

Do we strip it and go full race car? Perhaps something crazy and AWD swap of sorts? Or maybe we take it way out of left field and go rally-style with it?

With the opportunities being endless, it was starting to make our heads hurt, so we decided to take a step back and start with the basics. We asked ourselves:

“What would our average customer who just picked this car up do?”

And that is exactly what we are doing.

If you guys are anything like us, then you have several hobbies that extend beyond just cars. Some of our team’s personal favorite other hobbies include hiking, camping, traveling, water sports, chilling at the beach, and has recently included obstacle course racing. With all these interests taking up different aspects of our time, we would need a ride that can accommodate our lifestyle. While it would be awesome to have a 6-second drag car, we’d probably have to lose some creature comforts or find a pot of gold to cover the cost, and that’s just not what the average Mazda enthusiast is about.

This project, like we said, is for YOU. And if it’s for you, then we need your help in putting it together.

PIC: NWAPA – Vinnie Nguyen

This car, or as we are designating it: “Project CBR” (CorkSport branded ride), will be built by the people for the people.

We are going to take you with us on the full journey of this car; from the basic mods to the full on weekend task. From the daily driver to the long road hauler. From the car wash to the full service details. We are going to show you everything and anything on this car.

And through the whole process, everything is going to be built with your help.

Over the next several months as we put some miles on our test mule, we will want your guys’ feedback.

  • Do we put springs and shocks on it or full coilovers?
  • What type of wheels should we get?
  • Tint the windows, wrap it, get rid of the chrome?
  • The list goes on!

Every couple of weeks, we will keep you updated on where the car stands and what you think we should do next.

We will create a section on the CorkSport site so you can follow along, ask questions, provide suggestions, and fully immerse yourself into the car. Ever so often, we will also host a poll and you guys will vote on what happens next!

Think reverse sponsored: Instead of CorkSport’s name being the only one on this ride, we will be giving Sponsorship Cred to the Mazda Enthusiasts who give us the ideas for our mods. (first come, first credits).

We’ll put YOUR NAME on the CorkSport Branded Ride.

If you have a Dream Mod, and We pull it off on the CBR, you’ll get the credits… Remember: The CBR is By the People, For the People!

Stay Tuned, we’ll need your feedback soon!

CorkSport

So You Want to Go Racing in a Family Sedan?

CorkSport Mazda in NASA 25 Hours of ThunderhillNot too often do you get a chance to cage up your family sedan and “run what you brung,” but that’s exactly what Mazda and Robert Davis Racing (RDR) did in the 2013 NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Mazda took three brand new Mazda 6 Skyactiv diesel sedans out to the track and ran them. There were a few on-track incidents in the 2013 race but nothing too serious. Mazda was lining up to run the cars again in 2014, and several things fell into place that allowed CorkSport to provide some additional power improvements to the cars. We outfitted them with a downpipe and exhaust made from 80mm stainless steel, a high flow intake system, an upgraded intercooler and piping, and some ECU tuning. This gave the cars more power to stand a shot at the podium in E1 with better fuel economy than the other class cars and more power than the previous year.

CorkSport at NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Inside the group of three Mazda Sedans was a rivalry of the Mazdaspeed Guys (comprised of Mazdaspeed Motorsports employees) and the Dealers CEB (Crayon Eating Bastards), a group of Mazda dealership owners/employees. The dealers controlled cars #55 and #56, and the Factory Guys (Mazda Employees) had #70, all fighting it out for bragging rights. Before the race got going #70 hit a snag where a coolant line came loose and overheated a motor, which prompted a Thursday motor change.

By Friday the cars were all in good shape for qualifying. This went down trouble-free despite a giant rainstorm, as if it wasn’t hard enough trying to run a fast lap with 58 other cars out on the track in six classes— all of which had different speeds.

CorkSport Mazda parts qualifying

Thankfully, by Saturday morning the weather had cleared up, and the forecast predicted dry racing for the full 25 hours. This prompted us to get the three cars ready to run on slicks which were mounted up on the wheels and installed on the cars.

CorkSport Mazda parts ready for racing

Right at 11 am the flag dropped and started the longest race in North America. This was, needless to say, an adventure for the whole team. Several hours into the race, the driver of #70 reported that the car would not shift into all of the gears. It turns out the extra power was a little harder on the drive train in the higher gears, which removed the 5th gear from being functional. The driver decided to stay out and run the race in 6th gear until the fuel stop came up. That turned out to be hours later courtesy of the excellent fuel economy of the Skyactiv engine. The pit area was prepped for a transmission swap with a spare gearbox the team had brought with them. Unfortunately, this took the car out of any chance of being on the podium, but with endurance racing you never know what will happen! So the transmission change went ahead as planned.

At the first extended yellow flag session #55 and #56 reported a power loss in the cars. This resulted in a massive jam session to diagnose and fix what was going on with the cars. Since these specific cars live their lives on the track they did not get a chance to be tested with the new modifications at low speeds (AKA street driving speeds) which brought up an exciting challenge with the fire control systems in the cars. It took ~about 2 hours to sort out the problem, and we had the #55 and #56 back at full speed heading into the night.

Mazda Sedans drive into the night

The #70 was getting its final work completed with the transmission change and ready to head out onto the track again well behind the Mazda dealers in the #55 and #56 cars. Late into the night, after a driver change, we got a call in on the radio #55 had an on-track incident with another car in the E2 class, and sadly both cars had to retire from the race. This E2 class car happened to be leading the class which RDR was also fielding “Kermit,” the green RX8, in. Though the incident was unfortunate, as a result Kermit moved to the leader position of the E2 class.

Several hours later we got a call in from #56 of an off-track situation which required the car to retire from the race too. This put the #70 Mazda 6 in position to finish ahead of the #55 and #56 for total laps if its drivers could finish the race trouble-free. As the sun came up, the #70 car was running without a hitch, as was Kermit.

Mazda RX8 racing at sunrise

From sunrise until noon, the race for the two remaining cars was uneventful. At the noon finale of the race Kermit secured the win in E2 for the first time! Like in any race, there were things you learn and adjustments for the next time on the track. I want to give a huge thanks to RDR, Mazda, Mazdaspeed, the volunteer crew peeps , and Weldon for the guidance on my first time being a crew chief for an endurance race. Lastly, a big thanks to Ruandy from Pacific Northwest Life for the great camera shots—and to my family for letting me miss an entire weekend at another race.

-Derrick

Interested in any of the diesel performance parts we developed? Shoot an email to sales@corksport.com for more information.

Top 7 Mazda Questions with Our Answers

Corksport Q&A

You had questions, we had answers. Here are the top 7 questions we found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter:

Question: What would be involved/required for CS to develop injectors for the MS3/6?DSC_2518

  • Questioner: Vincent Pham
  • Answer: Fuel injectors, especially direct injection, are complicated high precision electromechanical devices. A project like this is outside the “normal range” for a small company like CorkSport; therefore we would have to team up with an injector manufacturer like Bosch to tackle this project. We would also need lots of money. Even with these huge hurdles to overcome we are investigating the project.

Question: What’s the most power you have seen a SkyActiv-G engine put down?Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 12.34.32 PM

  • Questioner: Shane Foster
  • Answer: I haven’t heard of any high power SkyActiv-G and we probably won’t for some time, unfortunately. Currently the 2.5L SkyActiv-G engine produces 165hp at the crank which is nothing to brag about in a market full of 300hp turbo 4-cylinders and 600hp V8’s. Although, the SkyActiv engines do have something to brag about; they are some of the most technologically advanced engines on the market. With a 14:1 compression ratio, direct injection, and variable valve timing that’s designed to run on 87 octane fuel; there is huge potential for power. CorkSport has an eye on this potential. For more in-depth information, check out the link below.

Question: Best way to clean carbon on the direct injected cars without pulling manifold and media blasting them?

  • Questioner: Alex Gonzalez
  • Answer: From my research and personal knowledge, everybody has their own method for better or for worse. One method is to use a ½” diameter hose attached to a shop vac and scrap away, but I don’t recommend that. Another method is to use the PCV port on the intake manifold to slowly suck Seafoam into the intake runners, but again I can’t say I recommend it. You can’t control how much or which ports it goes through and the idea of running something other than gasoline through the combustion chamber bothers me. Ultimately, you should remove the intake manifold then clean it with a heavy duty foaming engine cleaner. This will also give you a chance to inspect the intake valve and I do recommend purchasing an EGR delete kit.

Barett Oil ChangeQuestion: What oil should I use in my speed?

  • Questioner: Alex Duran
  • Answer: Alex you really want to stir that pot? O-well let’s give it a shot. I personally run Mobil-1 Full Synthetic and half a quart of Lucas Oil Stabilizer for 3000 miles. I’m not going to recommend a specific oil, but I will say this. You should run a full synthetic oil and quality oil filter. The oil should be SAE certified and be the manufacturer’s suggested viscosity or slightly thicker. I say slightly thicker because I have found good results when doing so with higher that factory horsepower setups and in severely worn engines.

Question: Think you guys will ever offer full performance engines and components. I.E. big valve head, billet cranks, high comp pistons, or a 2.5 bored to 2.7 with all that plus cams?

  • Questioner: Colt Krahwinkel
  • Answer: I’m going to assume this question is directed to all recent Mazda engines for the sake of variety. Unfortunately, we have no plans for the naturally aspirated SkyActiv-G engines other than bolt on’s; there just isn’t a big enough market for that investment. As for the DISI MZR engine, we have produced camshafts and plan to re-release those in the future. Other bolt on’s are either already done or planned, maybe even a turbo, but we don’t plan to get into the engine internals.

Question: How well might breathing mods affect power on the Mazda 2? Say CorkSport SRI, Headers, and CorkSport exhaust?axl-6-276-blue_installed

  • Questioner: Mike Wildt
  • Answer: With the combination of those, the highest gain I would expect is 20hp. The exhaust manifold would show the biggest gains, followed by the SRI. The exhaust system will give marginal gains, but a little grumble is always nice.

Question: Why do you highly recommend resonated over strait pipe? (Referring to the Gen2 Mazdaspeed 3).

  • Questioner: Phil Young
  • Answer: This can be a very biased opinion and is probably the most highly debated subject with all automotive enthusiasts. Despite that, I will try to throw in some facts. Personally, I can’t stand an exhaust system with excessive drone. If you can barely hear your passenger then what’s the point right? That’s why resonators are important and why I should define the difference between resonators and mufflers. Resonators are typically a canister with strait through design and a perforated tube and packing material. Mufflers are typically a canister with chambers and baffles that divert flow. The resonator does not reduce the grumble of the exhaust that we love, it targets certain frequencies that cause the annoying drone. Mufflers are the opposite. Also, we have had many customers order the strait pipe exhaust system to later return it for the resonated exhaust.

 

Thank you for your questions and keep them coming. We’ll have a Q&A every month for your Mazda performance questions.

#ZoomZoom

Barett Strecker-01

 

Corksport Aluminum Crank Pulley for 2.0L & 2.5L SkyActiv Engines

Feeling like your SkyActiv powered Mazda isn’t getting the “shining” attention it deserves? Maybe you’ve already bought every CorkSport item you can, but just want more! I can’t blame you really; it’s a virus that all car fanatics fight.  So here’s fuel for the fire! Introducing the aluminum crank pulley for 2.0L & 2.5L SkyActiv engines!

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 1.54.58 PM

Manufactured from high-grade 6061-T6 aluminum, this precision machined crank pulley is sure to give you that extra level of detail you’ve been searching for. Plus it’s 100% designed and manufactured right here in the Pacific NW, USA.

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 1.57.41 PM

This crank pulley isn’t just for looks folks, it’s got bite too!  With a 68% weight reduction, compared to the OEM component, your engine is going to rev faster due to the lower moment of inertia of the rotating mass.  I can’t guarantee your bum will feel the difference, but your 2.0L will.

You may also be wondering: “The OEM component is steel, will the aluminum be strong enough?” Absolutely! We’ve been testing the component on an employee car for 2 months (roughly 2000 miles) without a single issue. The accessory belts put a very small, almost insignificant, amount of force on the pulley.  The real concern is the bolt that holds the pulley on, but we got that covered also, see below.

corksport-mazda3-crankshaft-pulley-isometric-vonmises-stress-psi-700x586

To be confident in the products we produce, we conduct FEA (Finite Element Analysis) on all applicable components.  In this case it is the bolt clamping force holding the pulley on the crank.  The crank pulley bolt is an M16x1.5 with a torque spec of 67-80 ft-lb.  For this analysis I used 79 ft-lb which creates a clamping force of 7557 lbf.  Looking at the color graph to the above, you can see that the maximum stress is ~12420 psi which is far below the material yield strength of ~40k psi.  So what does this mean to you? You can (but shouldn’t) torque that bolt down to ~250 ft-lb without worrying about your beautiful new pulley being structurally damaged, but you will have to worry about getting that bolt out next time, that’s your own problem.

Crank Pulley

Add some shine to your engine bay and just a little more pep in your step.  Keep an eye out for the product release in the near future! Offered in anodized black.  Zoom – Zoom!

Barett – CS Engineering

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The End of the Mazda Rotary RX

tombstone

R.I.P Mazda RX Rotary

We received some sad news a few days ago about the much loved Rotary RX-7, RX-8 and other RX series. The official word according to the Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai is that “we don’t have that kind of vehicle in our future product plan.”  when asked about a future RX. 

Honestly I’d love to pontificate about this more, but there isn’t much to say. It sounds like the final word from the current CEO. When pushed further he gave some reasoning that honestly makes perfect sense, “If you increase the number of segments, then the resources we can allocate to each will decline and that will prevent us from developing truly good products.” Also stated was the fact that “It’s difficult for us at present to further expand our lineup. The company is still in the process of improving its financial structure. We want to focus our limited resources on the Skyactiv products that we have today” 

Though this probably makes the most sense from a stability standpoint, it certainly doesn’t make us excited or want to say “Zoom-Zoom”. What happened to the Mazda passion? All that racing knowledge and development? Did they just give up on pushing the bar? Honestly, I don’t think so, I just think they are changing focus. The Rotary is off the board in the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean their current lineup won’t see some improvements…. after all, what about that Mazdaspeed 3 and MX-5?

Nonetheless, let us all take a moment of silence and mourn the passing of the RX series, for now.

 

Cheers

Spencer@CorkSport

Spencer CarsonWritten by Spencer Carson. Spencer is a car enthusiast and Mazda fan at heart. Whether enjoying the power of a modified Mazdaspeed 3, or driving top down in his 1992 MX5, he always enjoys getting behind the wheel. As much as Spencer loves driving, he loves helping out other Mazda owners even more. Whether helping at a local install day or heading to a car meet across the country, he loves chatting about Mazda and giving advice on how to get more Zoom-Zoom out of any car.