Why Your Mazdaspeed 3/6 Still Needs OEM Parts To Go Fast
Mazda OEM Parts are as important to going fast and achieving high horsepower on your Mazdaspeed 3 or 6 as the massive turbos spinning up all witchcraft behind the engine. Without crucial Mazda OEM parts, of which there are no adequate alternatives, you can not properly assemble a built motor, or even pump oil through it.
OEM parts are sometimes misunderstood within the high performance community. We often get calls with people asking us for upgraded gaskets and I always feel a little bad when I have to let them down with the information that there are no upgraded versions of the parts they request. They are so excited to upgrade everything for their motor build and then find themselves disappointed with having to buy Mazda OEM parts instead.
However, Mazda OEM parts are not always a let down. Yeah, sometimes you will have to buy stuff like AC compressors that have no fun value and that always sucks. But when you are looking to go fast, don’t shirk the OEM stuff because it's the backbone on which your entire build hinges.
Sometimes its the small things that are the most important in a build. There is a plethora of Mazda OEM Engine gaskets that will need to be replaced when you build your motor. But gaskets are just the start of it. You also have various bolts and washers, and perhaps most importantly, you have the VVT Actuator and the Oil Pump. None of these parts can be overlooked or your expensive motor build might have to be repeated way sooner than you would have liked.
For the VVT Actuator, you do have an upgraded option from DCR, however with the new VVT actuator revision from Mazda, it is no longer necessary to run the DCR VVT Actuator. The newly revised VVT Actuator from Mazda OEM offers the exact same performance at a fraction of the cost.
As for the Oil Pump, there are no aftermarket upgrades for this. This isn’t due to a lack of interest in the platform, this is due to a lack of need for an upgraded Mazdaspeed Oil Pump. The Mazda OEM Oil Pump is a trooper and can only be knocked out by metal in the oil that is usually a product of a spun rod bearing. This is also why it is always a good idea to replace the oil pump with a brand new Mazda OEM Oil Pump should you have any engine failure that could have contaminated the oil. You can’t trust a used one in this scenario because you are putting your $5k engine build at stake over a $200 oil pump.
What about bolts?
Bolts are another thing that Mazda seems to have gotten right. The Mazda OEM Crank Pulley Bolt can be found in some of the highest horsepower Mazdaspeed builds on the planet. Even though there is an ARP alternative to this, most people will save the money and go with the well proven OEM unit.
There are also the Mazda OEM Head and Main Bolts. These have been proven to handle over 500 ft/lbs of torque without lifting and are proof that you don’t necessarily need anything fancy, especially if you are on a budget. If you are building for crazy power however, you may want to consider upgrading these to an L19 or H11 material in order to contain the massive amounts of cylinder pressure you are sure to throw at it.
Then there are the flywheel bolts. Anytime you remove the flywheel, these will need to be replaced. They are crucial to ensuring your clutch assembly stays attached to the crank. And the perfect solution from these comes straight from Mazda OEM. There is no reason to upgrade something that has never failed.
Surely there are upgraded exhaust gaskets…
Nope, no need. The Mazda OEM gaskets are better than anything else out there, especially when it comes to the downpipe, turbo to manifold, and manifold to head. These multilayer gaskets are proven to handle the highest horsepower achievable with bolt on turbos without batting an eye.
Even once you surpass the bolt-on turbos and start pushing crazy power with V-band setups, you will still be relying on the Mazda OEM Exhaust Manifold Gasket.
Little side note here, if you bought an exhaust manifold and it came with one of those little “waffle press” looking exhaust manifold gaskets, you should toss that in the trash and pick up a new Mazda OEM one. We’ve seen them leak too many times to count as they just can’t handle the pressure or the heat and you’re exhaust gasses will take the path of least resistance right out the side of the flange instead of through the turbo if your back pressure is high enough.