New Product Release!! Mazda 3 and Mazdaspeed 3 Oil Cooler Kits

Details:
Are you built and tuned? Are you a track Junkie? Are you both? Keeping the motor in your 2.3L DISI engine as cool as possible is going reduce knock and prolong engine life. Preventing the oil from exceeding normal operating temperatures will extend the life of your oil by reducing temperatures that prematurely break it down and increase engine wear. The OEM oil cooler uses a coolant based heat exchanger to keep the oil cool. Adding the JBR oil cooler will reduce the rise in coolant temperatures often seen when on track or during extreme temperature conditions.
 
The JBR Mazdspeed 3 Oil Cooler Kit employs a 19 row core constructed out of aluminum corrugated-fins & internal tubular plates greatly increasing both thermal efficiency and mechanical strength, so you get the smallest, lightest and more importantly, the most efficient oil cooler package.
 
Custom length commercial grade -10AN fittings and large ID stainless braided lines are the key to minimizing the pressure drop and making for an easy installation.
 
The polished billet aluminum sandwich plate incorporates an 1/8″ NPT port for additional gauges and sensors.
 
A custom mounting bracket and stainless steel hardware keep the core solidly mounted out front of the radiator maximizing its exposure to incoming airflow resulting in an oil temp reduction of over 28⁰F.
 
Applications
  • 2004-2013 Mazda 3
  • 2007-2013 Mazdaspeed 3*
 *Does not work with most conventional front mounted intercooler kits
 
Features:
  • Designed and Manufactured in the USA
  • Direct bolt on application
  • Corrugated-fin & tubular plate aluminum core
  • Commercial grade –AN10 fittings and large ID Stainless lines
  • +28⁰ drop in oil temps*
 
Includes:
  • 1 Oil cooler core
  • 2 Stainless braided hoses
  • 1 Sandwich plate & 2 1/8” NPT Plugs
  • 1 Application specific core mounting bracket
  • Stainless steel mounting hardware
  • 2 Aluminized fiber glass heat shield sleeves
  • Installation instructions are available in our support section
  • Shipping is free in the US & our Hassle Free Lifetime Warranty is included
 
*Ambient temperatures, track and road conditions, traffic and driving style can affect results.

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Suspension Part Two: The Breakdown

Going back to our last post (if you haven’t read Part One yet, you should), we discussed some suspension basics. We know that two major components in a suspension that can be upgraded to optimize performance are springs and dampers. Springs can be thought of as a coarse control, with the dampers  being a fine control. When looking for the most performance and flexibility for different conditions, a full replacement is best. This is commonly known as a coilover system.

When looking at coilover options, an abundance of offerings will be found. Where does one begin to make choices? Spring-rate, dampening, compression, rebound, and independent adjustability of these are all items to consider when choosing a coilover system.

Spring-rate is a large factor in how a coilover will perform. Simply put, the spring-rate is defined as the amount the spring deflects over a certain load capacity. This rating can be made in either kg/mm or lbs/in. You will see kg/mm often shown as “K” and lbs/in often shown as “#” or “lb”. To understand and compare different systems to one another, use this chart:

700 lb/in = 12.5 kg/mm
650 lb/in = 11.6 kg/mm
600 lb/in = 10.7 kg/mm
550 lb/in = 9.8 kg/mm
500 lb/in = 8.9 kg/mm
450 lb/in = 8 kg/mm
400 lb/in = 7.1 kg/mm
350 lb/in = 6.2 kg/mm
300 lb/in = 5.3 kg/mm
250 lb/in = 4.5 kg/mm

So what does this mean? The stiffer the spring, the more load it will take to compress it. Essentially, body roll in cornering will become less when spring-rate is increased. Spring-rate is generally fixed rate on a set of coilovers. This coarse control by itself would result in a very “springy” ride. Rather than a tire staying planted on the tarmac, with a load applied, it would waiver between loaded and unloaded. An unloaded corner makes for loss of grip. This is where dampening comes in.

Compression dampening is the rate of reaction to a change in compression. This is the car pushing down onto the surface. The rate at which the piston compresses directly relates to the amount of compression dampening. This essentially aides the spring in absorbing fine changes in force exerted. This can be bumps in the road, slight turns, or say the car ends up on the rumble strips.

Rebound dampening does the opposite of compression, go figure. Rebound force comes into play when force is lessened on the road, say at the bottom of a dip in a pothole, in the bottom of a bump in the road, or on the exit of a turn.  More rebound will create more response on weight transfer out of a corner.

One can see how having a fixed spring-rate means that compression and rebound adjustability shifts the burden of your choice onto these variables. Most coilovers will be advertised based on how many clicks are on the dial. This refers to how many different settings there are for dampening. Although more options are better, this is not always the whole story. The range that these choices cover is really the thing to be looking at. Most users will be wanting to track their vehicle, but also have the flexibility to have a bearable ride on the street. A set of coilovers with tons of adjustments on one end of the spectrum does the user no good on the other end. This is why range is key.

Not only is range of concern, but compression and rebound do not always go hand it hand. To really dial a vehicle in for a specific setup and circumstance, these variables should be able to be controlled separate of one another. Though this feature is not something that is seen on the bulk of the coilovers on the market, it is available on quite a few and should be sought after if budget allows.

Ultimately, one must consider the use of the vehicle to make a decision. Often times, paying a little bit more money for a gain in versatility is a good choice. The better range of options offered, the more likely the coilovers will be able to accommodate for the various situations to be encountered.

Next in the series Suspension Part Three: The Pertinents

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Free JBR Phone, Tablet, AccessPort & Desktop Backgrounds

Here’s a perfect pairing to go with the parts you love. Show off your support for JBR with these free Phone, Tablet, Ford MFT and Desktop Backgrounds. From your computer, click on the image, then right click and save. From your phone or tablet, tap the image then hold down on the image and download.

Enjoy and Thanks for your support!!

Phone & Tablet Background

Desktop Background

Ford MFT

COBB AccessPort Background

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Just Bought a Focus ST! Where do I Start?

So you just bought a Focus ST and you are probably looking for an overview of general knowledge, from what oil to use to what performance modifications are best to start with. With expert knowledge from tuners, manufacturers, and retailers in every corner of the ST community, it may be difficult to determine where to start. Here is a quick cheat sheet of info you need to know.

1. What oil do I use?

When choosing an oil, you will encounter a broad range of opinions. Luckily, lubricant technology has come a long way. With conventional, semi-synthetic, and full synthetic options on the market there is a broad range of choices. From experience, we recommend a full synthetic oil in the Focus ST. To understand what the differences in oils are, one must first understand how to read the packaging content.The manufacturer recommends a 5W-30 oil. Let’s break that number down. Viscosity is a fluid’s resistance to flow at a given temperature point. This measurement is taken at two points in rating oil. 5W refers to the oil’s viscosity at 0*F. 30 pertains to the oil’s viscosity at 212*F. These ratings are made through SAE guidelines. There are many full synthetic options on the market for 5W-30. Pennzoil Platinum, Mobil 1, and Royal Purple are a few great choices. 

While oil choice is very important, another very key factor in engine performance and longevity is service interval. Ford recommends changing the oil every 5000 miles. This rating is made with a lot of variables in mind. It is best practice to perform a Used Oil Analysis, commonly referenced as a UOA. Blackstone Labs is the industry leader in these tests. A standard analysis costs $28 and the test kit is free. This will help you determine your engine’s health and a proper maintenance interval.

2. This is my daily driver. Is this vehicle reliable when modified?

The Focus ST is an economy vehicle with performance as a focal point. This being said, Ford designed the vehicle knowing full-well that owner’s would be looking to modify it. The Focus ST is able to be modified pretty substantially without sacrificing much reliability. Following a proper modification path is key to keeping your ST healthy, while getting more enjoyment out of its performance.

3. What are the best “first mods”?

Oil Catch Can – The first modification on every Focus ST should be an oil catch can. The factory PCV system is designed with emissions in mind. In most vehicles, port injection is utilized. This allows fuel to spray before the valves. Fuel acts as a cleaning agent, preventing recirculated particulate emissions and other blow-by from building up. In a direct injection application, like the Focus ST, the fuel is injected directly into the cylinder. The fuel is not able to clean the valves in this manner. Over time, gunk will build on the valves and cause a drastic loss in performance. Adding an oil catch can prevents these from hitting the valves and building up.

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Rear Motor Mount - The OEM rear motor mount is a weak point on this vehicle. The OEM component was designed with comfort in mind. It uses a soft bushing that eliminates transfer of NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness). This is a major compromise in performance. Allowing for slop in engine movement, this weakens the transfer of power to the ground. Results of this are more wheel hop and sloppy shifts.

rmm

Cobb Accessport w/Tune - The stock tune accommodates for a large range in climates, driver conditions, etc. It is also mapped with fuel economy as a forefront. The Cobb Accessport not only allows you to flash a custom map to your vehicle, it also allows you to monitor up to 6 parameters at a time. This means that not only will your ECU be mapped to your specific desires, but you will also be able to keep an eye on how things are working. This allows you to see small problems before they become big problems.

cobb ap

Front and Rear Sway Bars – The Focus ST has a lot of body roll from the factory. This is designed with driving comfort in mind. The addition of aftermarket sway bars help to counter this. This will allow for much better cornering and balance. The vehicle will perform better in the twisties, at AutoX, and on a large track in road racing.

sway bar

4. Where can I obtain more info? 

The best resources for information on this platform are blogs and forums. While Facebook groups are quick and easy to get an answer on-the-fly, sometimes answers can be incorrect, inferred, or misinterpreted. It is best to obtain information from credible sources.

FocusST.org is the leading forum on this platform.

Stratified Automotive Controls has a host of information on ECU calibration and fueling related topics.

Edge Autosport has a lot of information on what brands are the best and which parts suit your needs.

Like the information in this blog? Check out the James Barone Racing line of aftermarket performance parts!

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There’s Nothing Positive About the 2.0L SkyActiv PCV System!

Recently, we had a customer bring their 2014 Mazda 3, 2.0L to us to install an oil catch can kit and to perform its very first oil change. With the car being so new, we asked if it would be OK to have a look inside at the current condition of the valves and document our findings. The car wasn’t to be picked up until the following day so we were given the go ahead.  With only 4462 miles on it, wait until you see what we found!

OK, so what is the PCV system and why is there a need for one? PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation. Simply put, the purpose of the PCV system is to ventilate the lower half of the motor that contains the motor’s crankshaft, connecting rods and balance shaft. When the motor is running under normal operating conditions, the oil becomes very hot. As the motors rotating assembly spins at very high RPM, a considerable amount of pressure is built up that must be relieved. For obvious reasons that we’ll go into more later, this can’t just be vented to the atmosphere. Instead, the hot vapor is released from the crankcase, routed into the intake manifold and burned as part of the combustion process. Sounds like a logical and efficient approach to the problem.  Unfortunately, the vapor released from the crankcase contains trace amounts of oil, fuel and water. Let’s take a closer look at what makes up the PCV system and the path it takes back to the combustion chamber.

Let’s begin with the removal of the intake manifold. It’s pretty easy and took less than 25 minutes to get out of the car.

IMG_2911

Immediately, things began to start looking ugly. With the manifold removed we found the presence of oil on the head, in the gaps created by seals between the cylinder head and the intake manifold. Click on any of the pictures for a larger view.

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The next picture illustrates where the intake manifold mates with the cylinder head ports from the passenger side, port 1, towards the driver’s side, port 4. The seals that create the gap between the two are green and surround each intake runner. Take note of the proximity of the ports in relation to where the line leading from the PCV valve enters the intake manifold.

The next series of pictures will show the astonishing amount of carbon accumulation we discovered on the valves beginning with cylinder 1, the furthest from where the crankcase vapor enters the manifold.

2LMZOCC-3

As you can see from the pictures above,  the valves for cylinder 1 are pretty clean and what we expected to see. As we moved to cylinders 2 thru 4 though, we can see significant accumulation, the worst being cylinder 4. The oil in the vapor is adhering to the back side of the hot valves and subsequently, it’s being baked on forming an impressive crust for such low mileage. The assumption for the increased build up from 1 to 4 is due to their proximity to where the crankcase vapor enters the intake manifold.

Why is this build up of crust bad? The valves are designed to seat in machined surfaces within the cylinder head. This creates the needed compression when it’s time for that particular cylinder to fire. When the build up of carbon becomes excessive, the valves are no longer able to seat properly, reducing power that robs your engine of performance and increases the amount of money you spend at the pump.

We reinstalled the intake manifold, changed the oil and installed our oil catch can kit. When the customer came to pick up the car we explained what we found, reviewed the pictures and agreed, this motor will certainly benefit from an oil catch can.

So that brings up the next question, what is an oil catch can and how does it work? An oil catch can is a can that contains some form of baffling that captures the oil present in the vapor released from the crankcase. The can is plumbed in-line between the crankcase and the intake manifold. Let’s take a deeper look into the catch can and the PCV system.

In this cut-away of the JBR oil catch can, you will see the inlet, the outlet and the baffling that separates them. The crankcase gas enters the catch can through the bottom port. Due to the size of the can, a pressure drop occurs as the gas enters allowing for oil to begin falling out of suspension. As the gas travels around and eventually up towards the outlet, it must pass through a series of three perforated baffles with hundreds of .063″ holes in each. Not only do the holes in the baffle plates greatly increase the amount surface area, a capillary action is also created. That, combined with surface tension, results in adhesive forces between the oil and holes in the baffles. The oil clings to the baffles and as it accumulates it drips off and is collected in the bottom of the can to be drained off at each oil change.

Well if this is such a problem why isn’t Mazda including one? Well, they are, sort of. It’s called an oil separator and it’s located on the side of the engine block behind the intake manifold.

When we removed the oil separator from our 2016 Miata with the same 2.0L motor as our customer had, we found oil making its way past the baffling headed towards the outlet of the oil separator. It appears to work, just not very well.

At the time we tore into our new Miata it only had 31 miles on it so everything was nice and clean. After seeing what we saw on the same motor with only 4463 miles, a catch can was going on immediately!

With just over 900 miles it’s time for us to change the oil in our Miata.

With the drain for the catch can located right by the filter housing, we can easily open the valve and empty its contents.

We were pleased to discover that we had accumulated a mixture of oil, water and fuel just shy of 50ml! Our catch can is doing its job well and our valves are being kept as clean as possible.

Below is a picture of the typical amount collected from our Mazdaspeed 3 at its regular 5k mile service interval. After it’s allowed to sit for a few days, there’s pretty clear separation of the oil, water and fuel that’s collected.

We’ve been making and testing Oil Catch Can Kits for most Mazda’s and  a few Ford vehicles for several years now. It’s our opinion that any engine utilizing direct injection fueling can only benefit from an oil catch can.

On a separate note…Many customers have asked if warranty claims can be denied for having a catch can installed? The answer is yes however, it’s highly unlikely and the burden of proof falls on the dealership to prove the catch can was the direct cause and ultimately the reason for the warranty claim in the first place. We’ve never heard of a warranty be denied for a vehicle having a catch can installed.

We’ll be sure to provide future updates on both our customer’s Mazda 3 and our Miata in the upcoming year to see how both are doing.

 

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