2017
02.20

Garage days have been around for as long as the practice of modifying cars. Wrenching on your projects, some good company, hot food, cold beer — what could go wrong? Hopefully nothing, but that’s typically not the case in all honesty, especially in the Mazda game. Murphy’s Law truly takes effect, and what can happen usually will happen.

Garage days and your Mazda

Coming from the Bay Area, where I was the main go-to tech guy, I usually had two to 12 Mazdas at my house on any given weekend. (How the homeowners association didn’t get mad, I will never know.) I’ve been around the block a time or two and seen what can go wrong on garage days. I’ve seen what turns a fun day into 20 trips to the hardware store, tools everywhere, missing parts, and the typical “What did I get myself into?” feeling.

If you have a big job coming up and you’re questioning whether you can do it, some of these tips may help you get it done faster and more efficiently, and ensure you have a good time — instead of pulling your hair out.

Preparing for modding your Mazda

Tip 1: Preparation

Don’t wait until garage day to check the box. Always make sure you have the right parts and hardware in advance. Now I’m sure you’re thinking, “How could some people wait that long to open their shiny new parts?” Honestly, I agree. But some people toss the boxes aside and don’t open them until the day of installation. I’ve seen people go to put on that new part and discover they’re missing something they need. Get all the hardware taken care of beforehand.

Tip 2: Tools

Be prepared for different outcomes that may happen and have all the tools that you need at hand. If you’re lacking proper tools, I’d recommend working with a buddy who has a better collection. Having nice quality tools makes all the difference.

Tip 3: Rise and shine

Start early. Nothing sucks worse than nighttime falling with the car halfway apart (especially when you have work the next day and it’s your daily driver). If you can, plan your job to go over the course of the weekend so you’re less stressed and can take your time.

Flashlight for working on your Mazda

Tip 4: Plan for drops

Have a quality flashlight and a pick-up magnet handy. On a garage day, it’s not a matter of if but when you drop something important. There’s nothing worse than when that dropped part falls into the abyss or someplace you can’t reach. Keep a pick-up magnet for those annoying bolts. The flashlight is good for easily spotting shiny things, and for overall lighting during the job.

Tip 5: Really read the instructions

Thoroughly read up on the installation. Read the instructions. Read the forums and talk to some friends for tips. There is usually something helpful out there you may not have known already. For specialty jobs, know your torque specs and procedures.

Tip 6: Stay stocked

Stock up on brake clean, PB blaster, WD40, carb clean, gloves, or whatever else you might need beforehand. It’s annoying to have to stop what you’re doing just to go buy a $6 item that was forgotten. Also, if you wear them, get plenty of gloves. Your hands will thank you at the end of the day.

Tip 7: Catch a catch can

Have something around to catch fluids. Occasionally, people get deep into a job and realize they have to disconnect a line they didn’t know they’d have to. It’s always good to have some sort of catch can. Especially ones that can be sealed off so you can dispose of it easily. This goes along with our first tip, but I’m mentioning it again, because some people will overlook this.

Catch can to keep your garage clean

Tip 8: Organization

Organization trays are awesome. Use sticky notes for trays or zip locks you can label to keep tabs on bolts and nuts for their component parts. This makes reassembly on a big job much faster.

Prevent scratches in the garage

Tip 9: Prevent scratches

Moving blankets or big blankets are amazing for preventing any scratches while you’re leaning over the hood. Also, blankets help to hold the tools you’re currently using. You can drape them over and attach them with masking tape to keep them in place.

Check your work on your Mazda mods

Tip 10: Check your work

Once you’re all done, be sure to verify all of your work before starting the car. Verify torque specs, connectors, and the rest. After you start up, quickly check for any possible leaks, listen for odd noises, etc. For example, make sure no exhaust gas is escaping from the downpipe gasket.

I hope these tips are helpful one day! Make sure to follow the CorkSport blog for more Mazda modification tips and information. And, if these tips do come in handy, tag a photo of the finished product with #CorkSport on Instagram and show us your ride.

Cheers,

Brett

 

 

2017
02.17

Over the past couple of months, CorkSport noticed that a handful of people — including a few guys here in the Washington and Oregon area — are doing engine builds over the winter. It’s very exciting to see more people raising their power goals and pushing the limits of the platform. As I continue to follow certain engine builds, I noticed that the question of a proper break in procedure always comes up.

We can all agree that making sure the rings fully seat themselves is the most important thing in the life of the piston, but everyone has a specific way of breaking in a newly built engine. Still, you may be looking for some guidance. Here at CorkSport, thanks to Master Mechanic and Technical Advisor Vincent Melon, we use a specific break in procedure we thought we’d share.

CorkSport break in procedure

Life comes at you fast

Four months ago, I blew a quarter-sized hole in the notorious piston three that forced my hand — it was time to get a built bottom end. I learned a lot during this build process and, most importantly, learned what a proper break in procedure looks like. I wanted to make sure to list out the steps Vincent and I took to guarantee the engine would be solid when fully broken in so that we could help folks like you who might go through the same process.

 

Breaking in a Mazda engineCorkSport's Vincent breaking in

Mazda engine blockHole in Mazda piston

 

Oil tips for breaking in your engine build

In our opinion, one of the most crucial parts of the break in process is choosing the correct oil to break in your new build. For people who aren’t sure which oil to go with, here’s what we recommend you run: Driven BR30.

Driven BR30 oil

Vincent has done a lot of research on this specific type of break in oil and swears by it. This oil will end up costing you around $10 a quart, and you’ll need around twenty quarts by the time the break in procedure is all said and done.

Burning the midnight oil

Once you have the oil you need, new plugs, and the engine put back together, it’s time for the crucial first startup. When you first start the car again, you will want to rev the car throughout the rpm range for about 15–20 minutes to get your coolant system and oil hot. This first step will work out any air bubbles in your cooling system. It will also keep any extra metal bits in the engine fully suspended in really hot oil. Once you’ve kept the rpms consistent for about 20 minutes, it’s time to change the oil. The next few steps are super easy to follow:

  • Change the oil again at 400 miles.
  • Change the oil again at 800 miles.
  • Change the oil again at 1000 miles.

Make sure when changing your oil at these increments, you keep a close eye on what the oil looks like. If you do not see metal bits in the oil you are changing, you’re fine. If you do notice a continued amount of metal in the oil, make sure everything is running and machined properly.

During the first 2000 miles, keep your rpms above 3000 and avoid cruising at any certain speed or rpm for long periods of time. The most crucial part of this process is making sure to change gears a lot. You can get into boost, but we recommend that you give the engine about 1000 miles before you really start romping on it. Once you have reached your 2500-mile mark, you’re good to drive it any way you like, and you can go back to using whatever type oil you want.

Cheers,

Luke

 

2017
02.13

While we prefer the smell of motor oil, the wafting scent of roses everywhere tells us it’s Valentine’s Day. If you’ve got a special someone, by this point you’ve bought the flowers and candy, made a dinner reservation, and detailed your Mazda, with a substantially lighter wallet telling the tale of your romance-fueled efforts. If not, what are you doing reading this blog? Get to work before before you end up demoted to the couch!

But for those who might not have a date set up, don’t worry. Your true love (your Mazda), will always be there for you. Here are a few ideas for how you can spend Valentine’s Day with your ride so you don’t end up sitting home alone handling your camshaft.

Dinner and a movie

Spending an evening in guarantees one thing: You’re not driving. And we know you — you’re happiest when you drive. So, we’re giving you a destination. Hop in your Mazda and go grab a burger or a slice. Afterward, hit the cinema and enjoy some kick-ass action. We recommend you check out “John Wick 2” and watch Keanu Reeves wreck shop on anyone and everyone that crosses him. Or, if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s time to check out “Fast and Furious” star Vin Diesel’s “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.” If you happen to run into a cute, single lady at the theater, why not offer her a ride home?

Check out our ultimate driving playlist for music suggestions for the ride to and from the movies.

Leather play

You’re too smart to get roped into a screening of “Fifty Shades Darker” this Valentine’s Day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a little fun with leather — by installing CorkSport’s Mazdaspeed 3 leather steering wheel.

Mazdaspeed3 Leather Steering Wheel

We’ll opt for the soft, stylish feel of hand-wrapped and stitched leather on a racing-inspired grip any day. If you’re feeling bold, add a leather shift knob. Once installed, hold on tight. You’re in for a wild ride with these two.

Can’t get enough? We’ve got a leather e-brake handle, because braking safety is just as important as an agreed upon safeword.

Oil and massage

On this special day, it’s time to treat your baby to a little TLC. Dim the lights and break out the oil … then turn the lights back on so you can see what you’re doing. Give your whip an oil change and, if you really want to splurge on your Mazda, install a CorkSport SkyActiv Aluminum Oil Catch Can. If you want to be extra smooth, add a CorkSport Oil Catch Can Drain Valve Kit to your cart, so you can really be slick with the oil. Your ride and your garage will thank you. Then, bust out the loofa and the wax and give your baby the massage she deserves, rubbing her down from tail end to headlights.

CorkSport Mazdaspeed Waxing

These suggestions are sure to get your engine revving. Date or not, your Valentine’s Day will be an affair to remember. Treat yourself to a new part and have the night you and your Mazda deserve. Whether you spend the night modding or taking your ride to a late-night movie, tag us with #CorkSport in a photo so we can immortalize your Mazda romance on our Instagram feed.

2017
02.06

The wait is over! It’s finally the time of year where we shed the car covers, finish our tunes and builds, and make any last modifications to get fully prepared for the 1,320-feet road course racing season. As you can imagine, all of us here at CorkSport now have an extra pep in our step with the weather improving and our goals becoming clear.

Built for speed

2017 Race Season at CorkSport

Because I live for racing, I’ve built my car specifically for the drag strip. I have a 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 decked out with:

CorkSport built for speed receipt

Running faster in 2017

During last year’s season, I was able to lay down a pretty raw pass with my full bolt-ons, stock block, and CorkSport turbo. I was happy with a 12.7 elapsed time (ET) at 115 mph — a respectable number if you ask me! This year with my new built bottom end, I am hoping to have more midrange, spray more meth, and run faster. I have a personal goal of trapping 120 mph on the CorkSport turbo. Just imagine how sweet it would be to have a Mazdaspeed 3 trapping 120 mph in the 1,320 with almost no turbo lag!

Whether a racing victory is your goal, or you just want a modded-out dope-looking ride, we want to make sure you guys think about CorkSport when you are looking for parts. I’m proof that our turbo with full bolt-ons is capable of impressive speed. Whether you need suspension components, turbo components, or you just want to have a chat, you know where to find us!

Cheers,

Luke

2017
02.01

Think back to one of your most memorable drives. You can — no doubt — remember the road you were driving, who you were with, what Mazda you were cruising in, and what else? The music. Every great drive needs a soundtrack. When that familiar guitar line or chorus pipes through your speakers, you grip the wheel a little tighter, your foot instinctively pushes down a little harder on the pedal, and nostalgia takes over as your car hits those highway curves.

At CorkSport, we know that once you have the car and the parts, and maybe even the route to drive, the next thing you need is some great tunes. Whether it’s a modern banger or a classic rock song, you can always use some new tunes for your next road trip playlist. CorkSport’s suggestions, from old standbys to modern hits, will make sure your head’s nodding next time you hit the pavement with your Mazda.

“Slow Ride” by Foghat


For a song called “Slow Ride,” this tune sure makes you want to drive fast. Featured in the movie “Dazed and Confused,” this 1975 rock hit may tell you to “take it easy,” but we bet it will encourage you to put the pedal to the metal.

“Drive Slow” by Kanye West featuring Paul Wall and GLC


In contrast, the mellow thump of Kanye’s “Drive Slow” is the perfect accompaniment to cruising around town. Hitting the streets to look for some honeys? Put the windows down, bump this, and go out on patrol.

“Low Rider” by War


One of the all-time classic driving jams. To quote the Beastie Boys, “slow and low, that is the tempo,” and this funky, upbeat hit is ideal for any kind of drive. If you’re looking for a great twist on this standard, check out Amerigo Gazaway’s “Tenderoni (Lowrider Cruisin’ Mix)” that combines War, Chromeo, Marvin Gaye, and T.I.

“Ride Wit Me” by Nelly featuring St. Lunatics


Nelly may owe the IRS $2.4 million, but this joint ain’t broke! If you’re looking for a smooth song to have on as you pick up your lady, look no further. Good bass, smooth flow, and a catchy hook? Like the song says, “if shorty wanna rock, we rockin’ to this.”

“King of the Road” by Roger Miller


OK, this one’s pretty old school, we admit it. But, it’s also a quintessential driving song packed full of Americana, nostalgia, and that ol’ traveling spirit. Call it a classic, dub it a guilty pleasure, or tell your friends it was your grandpa’s favorite song. With us, you’ll have no shame toe-tapping to this classic.

“Car Song” by Spank Rock featuring Santigold


If you want to put your subwoofer through its paces, anything from Spank Rock’s catalogue will suffice. But with its car-centric title and lyrics, this rhyme-laden bass-boomer gets our pick for the jam you’ll most want to roll to.

“Old White Lincoln” by The Gaslight Anthem


We know you’d rather drive a slick Mazdaspeed 3 than an old, white Lincoln, but this earworm from New Jersey rock band The Gaslight Anthem is an incredible driving song. Heavy on the nostalgia, this tune is a love letter to youthful escapades and the cars that featured in those memories.

“Radar Love” by Golden Earring


No list of driving songs is complete without this masterpiece. With a churning, chugging bass line that forces your foot to lean on the gas (“I’ve been drivin’ all night, my hands are wet on the wheel. There’s a voice in my head that drives my heel.”) and lyrics you can belt out as you fly down the highway, if this song doesn’t make you want to drive you should see a doctor — you may actually be dead.

“Get Your Roll On” by Big Tymers


Maybe it’s how car-heavy most of the music videos were, but there’s something about late-1990s/early-2000s hip-hop that lends itself perfectly to rolling, windows down, with the volume cranked up. Needless to say, with this jam bumping in your Mazda, you’re required to get your roll on.

“Panama” by Van Halen


Much like that late-1990s hip-hop, classic rock feels like pure driving music. There’s something about it that grabs you by the guts and makes you want to drive. It doesn’t get much more classic than this track from Van Halen, which features engine-revving sound effects to boot. Hit the road, turn the volume up as far as it goes, and get ready to pound the ceiling as you shout, “PANAMA!”

“Neckbrace” by Ratatat


Sometimes, a great beat constructed by a two-man-band is all you need. There’s not much more than percussion and bass in this jam by Ratatat, but it thumps along in such an addictive way that there’s no way you’ll take a pit stop with it rumbling out of your speakers.

“Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen


Like we were gonna make a list of great driving songs and not include The Boss. Yeah, right! “Born in the U.S.A.,” “Dancing in the Dark,” really, you can take your pick. But, for our money, start with the classic “Born to Run” and just keep cruising through the Springsteen discography as you head off into the sunset.

“Levels” by Avicii


After a long week, sometimes getting up the adrenaline to hit the town on Friday night needs a jumpstart. “Levels” is basically audio caffeine. It’s electricity for your ears. It’s a shock to the system and fuel for epic evenings. “Get a good feeling” by bumping this.

“Black Betty” by Ram Jam


Though the meaning behind the lyrics is widely debated, we’ll stick to the interpretation that “Black Betty” is one helluva hot rod. I mean, it just feels like a driving song, so whatever else it may mean, this tune is a necessary jam when you hop in your ride.

“Have Love, Will Travel” by The Black Keys


This gritty, funky take on The Sonics’ original thumps along nicely as it pipes out of your speakers. Sometimes you just need a little low-fi soul delivering a gritty guitar riff to your night driving.

“S.O.B.” by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats


When it’s hard not to stomp your feet or clap your hands to a song, you have the mark of a great road trip song. When that song also allows you to holler, “SONUVA BITCH!” at the top of your lungs, you know you’re driving with a winner on the radio.

“See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth


By far the most melancholy track on our driving playlist, this song from the “Furious 7” soundtrack is a tribute to the late, car-loving Paul Walker. While it might hit you right in the feels, it’s upbeat, catchy, and feels like a natural tune to get you thinking mistily about your local Mazda community.

“She Is Beautiful” by Andrew W.K.


Just substitute the word “car” every time Andrew W.K. says “girl” and you’ll see this rock anthem really is the perfect love song for your Mazda.

These tunes should get you started, but we’d love to hear about your favorite driving songs down in the comments. And if you take these jams on the road, take a picture, and tag us with #CorkSport when you post to Instagram!

2017
01.30

One great thing about racing is that you always keep tweaking the car to see how you can make it better. Each track presents a different challenge and setup requirements to keep you on your toes.

Derrick Racing for CorkSport at SCCA

We’ve been developing our SCCA Touring 4 (T4) class 2015 Mazda 3 into a viable competitor, and we recently got the final piece we needed to make it a strong candidate in Indianapolis this year for the SCCA National Championship Runoffs. That final piece was a limited slip differential.

CorkSport Limited Slip Differential

A limited differential helps with traction, but it changes the handling characteristics of the car when you install it. We entered the SCCA Majors event at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, to see how the car would do with the new differential. The biggest change was the handling; it was tight which means the car wanted to understeer. The car’s existing setup for ride height, toe, and camber would need to be adjusted to help remove the imbalance we had created.

The first thing we changed in the car was the ride height. Some concerns were brought up during discussions with Kenton Koch, our driving coach for the weekend (and a championship driver in several series). They pointed out this was one of the easiest changes to make on the fly. One thing to note: When you change anything, you need to make sure your change did not move something else. Once we had raised the car up half an inch, we took a look at the toe and camber settings. In this case, the car was right where we wanted it, so we headed out to try the new settings along with a 5psi bump in rear tire pressure.

The changes yielded a big boost in performance. We went from 2:02 around the track to 1:58, and moved up during the race from sixth to third. The car was fairly neutral around the track, but we still were not getting any oversteer. We opted to raise the rear of the car another full turn on the springs to see if we could get the change we were looking for. Another check of the rear toe settings after the change showed the new setup was good.

CorkSport at SCCA

That last turn did the trick in regards to oversteer. There was a hairpin corner where the car would oversteer too much, and it required lots of counter steering to stay pointed in the right direction without looping the car. Creating rake in the car was counter to advice we had gotten from the manufacturer of the suspension we are running. Sometimes going against the grain of what everyone else is doing can lead to some good discoveries and lessons learned.

We are already working on a new list of things to try for the next event and the opportunity to make our Mazda 3 a championship-winning car for Indy.

Derrick

Meet Derrick from CorkSport. Loves racing, Mazdas, and his CS fam.

2017
01.25

There aren’t many things that can make a person pick up their whole life and move to a new place — especially when that move has to happen in only four weeks — but an amazing job can be good motivation. Still, when this whole journey began on October 31, I had no idea what kind of roller-coaster ride I’d started.

My old grind

A few months back, I was just a technician working my normal routine. I’d wake up, go to work at 8:30 a.m., work on cars, and then go home. As much as I love working on cars, repairing people’s daily drivers wasn’t exactly fulfilling. There were no turbos, no coilovers, no stage 3 clutches, and — most of all — there was no challenge, no way to better myself. There was satisfaction in learning and in becoming a better tech, but even though I had a great boss, I didn’t exactly find myself waking up looking forward to the day. My motivation was declining and I knew it was time for a fresh start.

Moving Truck from Cali to Vancouver

Pacific Northwest-bound

Since I moved to Vancouver, I’ve gotten two responses when people ask me where I came from. It’s either the classic, “I hate Californians!” (Of course, I can’t blame them. Many Californians are snobby, drive too fast, and don’t use their turn signal enough. So, it’s understandable that the locals are pissed off that their area is getting contaminated by newbies.) However, I’ve also been asked, “What brought you up here?” And, to that, I get to reply, “I got recruited by an awesome company that I’ve wanted to work for since I was 19.”

CorkSport in San Francisco
When I first saw Luke post that CorkSport was hiring, I wanted to hop all over it. But after reading the job description, I didn’t think it was right for me. A few weeks went by and I hadn’t thought about it again, that is, until I spoke with Barrett. I asked if anyone had been hired yet and the answer turned out to be a negative — they were still looking. Next thing you know, I’m getting asked if I might be interested in the gig. One thing led to another, and a day later I’m on the phone with Kim. Turns out the job was a better fit than I first thought!

It’s quite the elaborate interview process at CorkSport. We don’t have revolving doors here, and they needed to make sure that I was the right fit. Over the course of a month and a few interviews, things were looking good and it started to become much more real that I could actually end up working for the biggest name in Mazda Performance. They already had a strong idea of what they had in store for me and where they wanted to see me in six months. Everything came together and they offered me the job.

I remember when I first got my MazdaSpeed a couple years ago, I thought about how cool it would be to work at CorkSport. It was apparent to me, as well as fellow modders, that CorkSport has fun doing what they do, and that they love their customers and the Mazda community. It’s ironic that, not too long after I first thought CorkSport would be a great place to work, the windy roads of life brought me to the moment when I received a formal job offer from them.

Corksport Mazdaspeed in Garage

After a long talk with my girlfriend and my family, the decision was made, I accepted the offer, and we started packing boxes. I was leaving my family, a beloved Mazda community, and a bunch of friends behind for a clean professional slate, but I knew I was gaining the room to grow, and more opportunities than ever before.

Part of the team

A few weeks and a million questions later, here I am writing a CorkSport blog and getting settled in. I must say that, so far, my favorite part about this process has been dealing with and getting to know our awesome CorkSport customers. I’ve been writing postcards and throwing in little goodies, the same things I used to get with my parts when I was a customer — a little something extra makes all the difference! My daily job is helping people make their cars faster, lower, and cooler. I’m living the life!

CorkSport MazdaSpeed to Vancouver

On another note, no other company I’ve worked for has been so welcoming and helped me to feel at home so quickly. It’s not easy to pack up and move your life, but it didn’t take long for Luke, Vinny, and me to become best buds. Working on cars has now become more of a hobby, and all my tools now go good use on side jobs, like other Mazdas in the community. No more beat-up, dirty hands from repairing people’s daily drivers is a nice change, and my girlfriend is probably happy about that as well. Ha!

That’s, essentially, the long story short of how I was recruited to work at CorkSport and made the jump from the Bay Area to Vancouver. I’m glad to be a part of this awesome new team, and to have the opportunity to keep growing and learning.

Until next time, ladies and gents!

Cheers, Brett

Corksport Mazdaspeed to Vancouver

2017
01.16

There’s nothing worse than being all dressed up with nowhere to go, right? Whether you’re itching to try out your Mazda 6’s new added power, your Miata’s updated handling, or you simply need a more scenic background to snap a new photo of your Mazdaspeed 3’s dope hood scoop, sometimes a trip down the road to the grocery store just doesn’t cut it. If you’re as passionate about the roads you drive as you are about the mods you install, or you’re simply looking to vary your daily driving route, this list of some of the best roads in the West will inspire you to take your Mazda to new frontiers.

Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon

Since the Pacific Northwest is near and dear to our hearts, we’ll start with an amazing drive that’s close to home. Hop on U.S. Route 30 in Troutdale to begin the 75-mile journey to The Dalles that features a bit of everything that makes this area of the country stunning: tall trees, Columbia River views, waterfalls, and Mt. Hood. The winding, curvy road is a dream to drive, and you can stop along the way at sites like Multnomah Falls and Bridge of the Gods for photo ops with your Mazda.

Highway 101, Oregon

One of the few gorgeous natural features Oregon is known for that you can’t find along the Columbia is the ocean, but this coastal drive takes care of that. Some folks may take this route to tour historic lighthouses, but we love 101 because it allows you to trace the sweeping curves of Oregon’s rugged coastline from Astoria all the way to the California border. You’ll enjoy fresh salty air, great seaside driving, and loads of Oregon breweries to check out if you want to stop for the night and sample the local flavor. Remember that it takes a few days to do the drive even cruising speedily in your modded ride.

 

Three Rivers Highway, Oregon

Whether heading to or from the coast and Highway 101, the Three Rivers Highway (aka Oregon Route 22) is a twisty, curve-laden, extremely fun drive. It’s not the best when it’s dark and rainy, as visibility can get bad, but this trip from Salem to the ocean is a great ride to test your handling on. It’s also located right in the heart of CorkSport’s local region!

Olympic Peninsula Loop, Washington

Head north up I-5 for one of the most rustic scenic drives you can conquer without four-wheel drive. You can enjoy the great outdoors no matter which Mazda you’re in! This 330-mile trip features beaches, lakes, hikes, and camping as you circle Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest. Sometimes you just have to get away from it all. All of it, except your Mazda, of course!

State Route 1, California

One of the most iconic American roads, right up there with Route 66, is the 655-mile route that stretches most of the length of California. On this journey, you’ll hit San Francisco, Los Angeles, and all the stunning coastline in between — the road even goes over the Golden Gate Bridge. The Pacific Coast Highway section through Malibu is another highlight you won’t want to miss on California 1! And it’s a great place to show off your ride to California girls, naturally.

State Route 12, Utah

Also known as “A Journey Through Time” Scenic Byway, this meandering desert drive gets you out of those tree-lined Pacific Northwest roadways and ocean drives and into some staggeringly impressive canyons and rock faces. Crossing through Bryce Canyon National Park as well as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, this road won’t simply allow you to put your handling to the test; it offers scenery perfect for that new profile pic of you and your Mazda you’ve been meaning to take.

State Route 12 Utah

Million Dollar Highway, Colorado

Though you can take U.S. Route 550 all the way from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Montrose, Colorado, it’s the stretch between Silverton and Ouray in Colorado that will really wow you. The guardrail-free drive through Uncompahgre Canyon features narrow roads with steep drop-offs, so exercise caution. But hugging these mountain curves is definitely a thrilling drive. The road is often closed in winter, so check conditions before you prepare to zip through these bends. After this drive, if you feel like continuing the road trip, Route 50 through the Curecanti National Recreation Area is another great drive that winds along with the Gunnison River.

Going-to-the-Sun-Road, Montana

What better drive to take than the route along the first road built by the National Park Service specifically for automobile-using tourists? Following the Continental Divide through Glacier National Park, this strip of pavement winds its way around, and even through, the Rocky Mountains. Offering great views and engaging driving, isn’t it about time to convince your lady to take that educational vacation to a National Park she’s been begging for … so you can drive your Mazda through these sick curves?

The High Road to Taos, New Mexico

Looking for a drive that feels like you’re in a foreign land, but don’t want to worry about shipping your Mazda to Spain? The High Road to Taos, aka State Road 503, needs to be on your list. A 56-mile scenic route through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this road features loads of great, twisty driving, but watch your speed as you’ll head through villages along the way. If you want to skip the slowdowns, check out the “Low Road.” State Highway 68 is a quicker route, but it follows the Rio Grande and delivers some great views!

The Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia

Let’s not forget the asphalt of our neighbors in the Great White North! Picking up west of Vancouver by Horseshoe Bay, the Sea to Sky Highway follows Highway 99 all the way to Pemberton. Formerly a bit dangerous, the road has been improved so you can safely zip through the craggy Canadian coast up into the snow-capped mountains. If you’re feeling more ambitious, you could always opt for Highway 1, aka the Trans-Canada Highway, which takes you all the way to the east coast. But we’ll stick to recommending the easier-to-reach Sea to Sky HIghway for now!

 

This list should get you started on some exhilarating Western drives to add some fresh scenery and fresh curves to your Mazda driving. If you have other great western drives, drop your recommendations in the comments. And if you follow up on these recommendations, tag us with #CorkSport when you post to Instagram!

2017
01.06

Oh, winter and the holidays. It’s an amazing and stressful time of year when we hope all the time spent shopping for that perfect gift for our lady means we get the karmic payoff of loads of CorkSport parts in our stocking — or, even better, when they’re rad mods too big to fit in a stocking! (If you didn’t get that special CorkSport part this year, or you’re still shopping for the Mazda fanatic in your life, check out the last-minute holiday gift guide).

 

Now that we’re past focusing on holiday madness, it’s time to get back to thinking about your Mazda. ‘Tis also the season of winter weather and slick, sludge-covered roads. At CorkSport, we’re here to help with that. We don’t want you to fret about snow damaging your ride or how a trip to the mountain for snowboarding might fill your car with salt-filled snowmelt, so take a look at these Mazdaspeed 3 mods you’ll want this winter.

Mud flaps

CorkSport Mazda Mud Flap

Branded with a stylish CorkSport laser-etched logo, these 80A durometer 1/8” thick urethane flaps protect your baby from the abuse of road debris and snow buildup. They’re heavy-duty enough to keep your vehicle in great shape, but durable and flexible enough to hold up to wear and tear — they won’t peel, fade, rust, or break. Fear no road with these bad boys installed, which only takes about an hour!

Floor mats

CorkSport Mazda Floor Mats

If you know the snow’s about to hit, it’s easy to grab a trash bag to lay down and protect your car from the snow that’ll drip off your shoes. But who wants to pick someone up for a ride with garbage bag-lined floors? And nothing ruins a good entrance like stepping out of your ride with a trash bag accidentally stuck to your shoe. Our floor mats are the accessory you need to protect your vehicle from the winter weather and look good doing it. With OEM fitment that delivers show car quality, these mats feature a fully sewn and sealed edge along the high-quality carpeting to deliver a long lasting, durable floor protector.

Car cover

Don’t make the mistake of simply trying to protect your Mazda while it’s on the road. Keeping your car covered during the winter weather is crucial. With a five-layer composite structure to protect against all forms of water — even falling icicles that can cause scratches — this cover also keeps your ride safe against the additional UV rays that bright white snow banks can bombard your car with in winter. Even better, this cover comes with a tie-down and adjustable buckle so it won’t blow off during winter storms.

Aluminum skidplate

CorkSport Mazda Aluminum Skidplate

Winterizing isn’t just about protecting your car’s good looks. You want to protect that undercarriage as well. Don’t put in all that hard work just to let a snowy, salty, gravelly road mess it up! Made of a single piece of 0.090” precision machined aluminum to deliver maximum coverage with minimum effect on your vehicle’s weight, the skidplate also features an opening that makes oil changes a breeze. You can hit those winter roads with peace of mind that your hard work isn’t going to get dinged up along the way, no matter what the weather.
These winterizing tips should help you start preparing your Mazda for the months ahead. If you have tips and thoughts of your own based on cold weather experience, we’d love to hear them in the comments below. And, if you apply any CorkSport mods to prepare for the snow, make sure to share them with us using the hashtag #CorkSport on Twitter and Instagram!

2017
01.03

In the car game, there are two big shows each year where all the action happens: the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) and Performance Race Industry (aka PRI). At these events, automotive parts companies flaunt their accomplishments, showing off their latest and greatest mods and parts, while everyone gets a chance to network, catch up, and just generally ogle and chat about gorgeous vehicles. We here at CorkSport love to keep up on what’s hot and new in the automotive industry, so this year we headed to Indianapolis for PRI to see what auto trends are being developed.

First Impressions

CorkSport at PRI

As we first entered the convention center, the stage was set. The picture above features the main PRI banner, which prominently displays some dirt mod cars. That can only mean one thing: PRI would be showcasing a lot of American muscle and, probably, not a lot of imports. Regardless, we braved the show.

The Cars, The Parts, The Highlights

Wandering the aisles of the show, our suspicions were confirmed. PRI had more American muscle than the lineup of cars Vin Diesel will drive in the next “Fast & Furious” movie. But, as we navigated the aisles, we were greeted by a sight for sore eyes — an import you can never go wrong with — a Le Mans-winning P1 car.

Corksport at PRI Mazda

When it comes to performance cars, it doesn’t matter if the car is an import or a domestic, one good thing about them is turbos. Good news from the show is that it looks like Garrett doesn’t have any plans slow down on their production of turbos anytime soon, for themselves or for the Mazdaspeed 3. They had some great tech on display, which is never a bad thing. Feast your eyes on these beauties.

CorkSport at PRI - NP01

Next, we came across a nice surprise in the NASA booth — a paint scheme that any Mazda enthusiast should know. The NP01 is more than just rad-looking, it’s powered by the 2.0 MZR motor and a large selection of other drivetrain parts making it very affordable when it comes to cost to own and cost to race. If you’re in the market for a race vehicle and cannot afford one of the Lola/Multimatic-built Mazda Prototypes that Speedsource is selling, the NP01 is a great alternative.

CorkSport at PRI

Finally, there was one big wow part we have to tell you about. Check out this crazy, billet Duramax Chevy motor.

Corksport at PRI DX600 Billet Duramax

The DX600 Billet Duramax is a supercharged compound turbo setup. Looking for a billet aluminum block for your Chevy truck? We know you Mazda fanatics probably aren’t, but this is really freakin’ sweet piece of hardware regardless. Now, if only we could get someone to make a billet engine for the Mazdaspeed 3. Then life would be really sweet.

Hope you all enjoyed this PRI update as much as we enjoyed checking out cars and parts at the show. As always, at CorkSport we strive to keep you all apprised of the new and interesting car news you crave. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for our latest news.