Search for shade
The sun can damage your car’s paint job and interior materials. Keep your Mazda safe by parking in the shade or using a garage whenever possible. Not only will it keep the interior from being a blazing heat soaked oven, it will do a little more to keep you and your Mazdaspeed comfortable!
Get fresh fluids
Keep your Mazda running smoothly during the hot summer months with fresh fluids in your coolant system. It will protect your engine and keep your AC cold as ice. Keep in mind that your intercooler will be working overtime in the coming temperatures, might as well give it that extra boost of topping off the fluids.
Check your oil
Oil is your car’s lifeblood. Regular oil changes are the cheapest way to extend the life of your Mazda and keep it performing at its best. Change your oil before your next big road trip or if it’s been longer than three months since your last change. You can also look into cleaning out your oil catch can, as it’s been protecting your engine from some extra gunk for a while!
Give her a proper wash
This is crucial for keeping your Mazda looking good and preserving the paint. Be sure that you’re cleaning the brush that you’re using so you don’t scratch her, and the pre-soak is there for a reason! Check out our thoughts on ceramic coating that can protect your paint!
Keep the interior fresh
Exterior shots are sexy but you spend most of your time inside your Mazda so don’t forget about keeping your interior clean. We have customers that use vinyl conditioner to keep their interior pure and preserve its matte metallic finish. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time inside your ride, you might think about upgrading the interior components for that luxury feel, the Corksport Alcantara Steering wheel or shift knob is a great start!
Maintain a sexy shine
Now that your interior is fresh and the exterior is washed, it’s time to get that sexy shine. Kiefer Westlund, a professional detailer, and John Lukis a CorkSport 7th Gear Member recommend regular waxing using Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax. Meguiar’s wax is affordable and will last for many washes. For more tips on keeping your exterior shine, check out our blog post on how to keep that new Mazda sheen.
Now you’re ready to take on the hottest months of the summer performing well under the hood and looking good.
The Mazdaspeed platform is a great place to start if you’re looking for a fun tuner car that offers awesome power to money spent ratio. This holds true until you hit the capacity of the OEM fuel system. If you don’t know it already, the DISI MZR was one of the first gasoline direct injected engines offered in a passenger car. For its time, the Mazdaspeed was a powerful and capable sport hatch right off the showroom floor, however, this type of fuel system quickly reaches it’s limits and is not easily modified for higher power.
In this blog, we are going to take a look at auxiliary fueling with methanol and my personal experience taking this path.
Damn, I’m out of fuel… You got your Speed setup with all the hard parts (aka fully bolted) and finally pulled the trigger on that big turbo. Just a few revisions and your tuner is telling you you’re out of fuel and more or less stuck at around 350-380whp (depending on turbo and octane). It’s time for auxiliary fueling.
Now when considering auxiliary fueling it is critical to consider your goals with the car; the level of complexity and cost are drastically different depending on these goals.
With this power goal you most likely have a fully bolted Mazdaspeed and an upgraded turbo such as the CorkSport 18G. To achieve this power the auxiliary fuel system can be fairly simple. From my experience, a single nozzle with the appropriate flow rate positioned just before the throttle body can get the job done. This setup is very simple, consisting of a progressive rate controller, fuel cell, some tubing, nozzle and ideally a check valve on the nozzle. This will cost you around $450 to get started.
I personally started with the AEM Methanol Kit, but there are many other kits available such as Devil’s Own, Auqamist, Snow Performance, and ProMeth. I recommend doing some research to find the best kit for your needs before jumping in.
Once you break past that ~440whp mark you should really start to consider adding nozzles. There’s a couple ways to do this.
First, you could maintain your basic system by adding another nozzle with a splitter and another port in your intercooler piping, just before the throttle body. This can get you close the 500whp mark but is not ideal as you will need to run two very large nozzles. With nozzles, this large the fuel has difficulty atomizing and instead can condense into relatively larger droplets. This is not ideal; however is only the added cost of a splitter and nozzle.
The other option is running a single nozzle on each intake manifold runner. Check it out below.
By doing this, you can now run a smaller nozzle that will atomize much better, but since you have four nozzles you can still flow the appropriate volume for your power goal. However, with this nozzle location, we have made a drastic design change to the system. In a pre-throttle body set up the nozzle never see vacuum, however once located in the intake manifold they will see vacuum which requires additional components to operate correctly.
To avoid the risk of hydro-locking your engine and awful driving characteristics, we must add a check valve to each nozzle and a solenoid controlled valve to the hose that feeds the nozzles. Check valves (which you see a close up of in just a bit) allow fuel to flow in only one direction. Along with that, a properly design check valve will have a crack pressure (minimum pressure to allow flow) that is slightly greater than the vacuum force in the intake manifold. A solenoid is a valve that opens and closes and is controlled by the controller. This allows fuel to flow only when commanded by the controller.
Let’s take a closer look at the nozzles and distribution block necessary for a per-runner nozzle setup. Looking at the nozzles you’ll see silver cylinder between the nozzle and the black fitting that connects to the hose. This is the check valve. A simple, but critical part of the system for proper function. Up towards the top of the image, you see a single hose entering a black block along with four separate hoses leaving the block to each nozzle. This is the distribution block; this can be configured in many ways, but more or less it allows you to direct fuel to each nozzle from a single hose.
So, as you can see moving to a per-runner setup includes a lot more complexity and cost. This added cost is approximately $300 on top of the methanol kit you already purchased and not including an intake manifold that is already set up for nozzles. You could cut a little cost by using nylon tubing versus stainless braided hose, but not much.
It’s also worth noting that the pump that comes standard with most kits will not flow enough fuel to support just under 500whp, so depending on your goal you may need an upgraded pump as well. If this is the case I would recommend the pump from ProMeth only because it’s the only pump I’ve found that truly flows more.
At this point, I would simply recommend moving to a true port-injection system. Like the per-runner nozzle setup, a true port injection setup sprays fuel in each runner, but the systems, in general, are very different. Since port injection alone could be a couple blogs on its own I will give the quick and dirty here. A true port injection setup uses conventional style gasoline injectors that control flow amount directly in the injector itself. This allows much more precise control and reduces a lot of risks. However, the cost is much higher starting around $1500-$2000.
Lastly, I wanted to mention some things I love about using methanol for auxiliary fueling. Methanol is expensive, about $8-$12 per gallon which is a real bummer, but it does not get used for all driving situations. You don’t use the methanol unless you are pushing your car to the point that the extra fuel is needed.
The methanol is contained in a separate fuel cell like the image above verses in the OE fuel tank. Therefore it’s only used when you want to use it. Unlike E85 blends or other exotic fuel that must be mixed and/or used through the standard OE injectors and therefore used for all your commuting.
I hope my lessons learned were useful for you and your exploration into methanol auxiliary fueling. With that, I sign off.
-Barett @ CS
*All pricing based off of price at the time of the blog writing.
Road Trip Tips
As the weather is clearing up and the winter months are ending, spring break will be here quicker than you can expect. For us in Washington, we are starting to get a taste of some dry pavement again! This has CorkSport itching to head out on a road trip to enjoy the spring weather, and for some of us, that Mazda that has spent most of the winter in a garage. I thought I’d share some tips to ensure that your first road trip this spring goes smoothly.
PIC: Alejandro Romero
Prepare (at least a little) before you go
Preparation will ensure that you don’t end up lost or stranded somewhere on the side of the road with no help in sight.
1. Check the obvious things.
- Tire Pressure
- Tire Tread,
- Oil Level
All basic checks that should be at the top of your list before heading out. This is especially true if your Mazdaspeed has been in a garage for the winter and this is your first long trip of the year.
2. Check the not-so-obvious things.
Road trips tend to highlight any little issues that may not show up in your day-to-day commute simply because you’re driving for a lot longer. This means ensuring your belts, coolant hoses, and battery are all in good condition. Double checking your coolant level will ensure your Mazdaspeed stays cool during long drives, especially if you’re pushing it in the twisties.
Lastly, for you automatic transmission folks, check your transmission fluid level and ensure it has been changed according to manufacturer specifications. Long mountain passes can be killer on AT cars, especially if they are low on fluid or desperately need fresh ATF.
3. Where ?!
Research where you are going before you go. A quick google search will ensure you won’t miss anything interesting on your way or at your destination. Google maps is your friend, especially for scouting out potential good driving roads. At CorkSport, we have even found good locations to film cars and test parts using google maps alone. Researching your route will also let you know if there are any road closures or construction that can spoil your drive.
Be ready for the inevitable
While preparation is nice, having a backup plan for if things do go south is best.
How’s your spare tire doing?
When’s the last time you checked if your spare tire was even inflated? Flat tires are unfortunately common on road trips, and having a spare in good condition is a lot cheaper than having to call a tow truck. While on the subject, ensure you have all the tools needed to change a tire in your car. From my own experience, the OEM scissor jacks may not fit if your car is lowered and you have a flat. Additionally, it’s really difficult to change a tire when the OEM lug wrench is a different size than your wheel locks. I was lucky enough to have a friend close by to help me out, but on a road trip, you likely won’t be so lucky.
If you’ve got the space, pack extra tools. If you do break down, having a decent assortment of tools to help you fix what is wrong can help you get back on the road faster. Even though parts stores have tools for sale, they are always way more expensive than they should be, plus, who’s to say you were lucky enough to break down near a parts store anyways?
Keep a basic emergency kit in your Mazda. Jumper cables, a small first aid kit, flashlight, even some extra oil will keep you moving toward your destination. There are quite a few inexpensive emergency kits out there that can really save your bacon in a pinch. Who knows, you may be able to help out someone else stuck on the side of the road.
Come up with a plan for a lockout. Having a spare key is invaluable, especially while far away from home. Whether it’s a hide-a-key somewhere under the Mazda, or just a spare key that is given to someone you’re traveling with, having a way to get back in your car after losing your key will keep you moving.
Last and most important, stay safe. Don’t go all out on the street, especially on unfamiliar roads, and be patient with other drivers, more so during busy travel days. After all, what good is a road trip, if you or your car don’t come back in one piece?
Hopefully, a few of these tips will help some of you have a great road trip, and be sure to tell us about it! We love finding new driving roads and scenic locations. If you share your spots, who knows you may just see some CorkSport Mazdas around once in a while!
Servicing your OCC
We at CorkSport hope all of you are staying safe, warm, and happy during this winter season. As the weather changes, so do components in your Mazda. Making sure to take the time to properly do some maintenance on your Mazda will go a long way. Whether you own a Mazdaspeed or an NA Mazda, I wanted to make sure and take a little bit of time for you guys to explain how to service your CorkSport oil catch can, and why that is important as the weather starts to become colder.
Why Use an Oil Catch Can
Having an oil catch can on your Mazda is always a good idea. Over time, the engines will start to wear down allowing oil to blow by the piston rings. Due to this, you can have oil pass back into your intake causing unwanted smoke to come out of the tailpipe. Keeping that oil from contaminating the engine will result in a much cleaner engine over time.
Also, having an OCC on your car is a good way to tell if you have internal engine issues, or if you have a bad PCV. We recommend draining your catch can every oil change. If you see a bunch of oil in your catch can, then you know, it’s time to start looking into why the can is filling up with oil.
Servicing Your Catch Can for Winter
Making sure to catch all the nasty vapors an engine puts off is an important thing to do in regards to longevity of the engine. However, making sure the CorkSport OCC is working properly is just as important. The reason why this is important is that you want to make sure your oil catch can continue to filter out the nasty vapors otherwise you will dirty up your engine faster than you want. However, it is very easy to maintain a good working oil catch can.
Follow these couple steps below on getting that catch can back up to a new status:
Remove top dipstick
Remove bottom plug
Spray Brakleen through dipstick hole
Repeat a couple of times to ensure your can is clean
Check all rubber hoses. Make sure none of them are cracked or look dry
Why You Should Service Your Oil Catch Can
Even though oil/gas takes really cold temperatures to freeze, water vapors still make it into the system which most definitely can freeze. The last thing you want is to have your oil catch can no longer able to catch the nasty vapors the engine puts off.
If you have a frozen can, those will pass by the baffle and make it into the intake. Make sure to drain that OCC, and continue to drain it every time you change your oil. As long as you do that, there should be no problem with having your catch can freeze, or getting too dirty.
Be sure to check in with us and see other tips and tricks for your Mazda.
Keep on driving Mazda fam!