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Old 01-31-2011, 09:48 PM   #1
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Default ITT: sway bar opinions

There has been much talk about brake, aero , and coilovers, but I have yet to see a discussion from the track guys about sway bars.

I understand sway bar setup is very much personal preference, and after reading through much of the Suspension discussion it is clear that you want to have proper spring rates & compression/rebound instead of just slapping on sway bars.

That being said. . . I am still budget minded and slowly working towards a mostly track / weekend fun only Miata. Right now I have stock sways with KYB AGX's and FM springs. I am not happy with the suspension, but IK i have a lot to learn as a driver before I spend $1500 on coilovers. I am, however looking to spend a bit of money to improve the handling and make myself more comfortable behind the wheel.

**SINCE THIS IS THE RACE PREP SECTION, I AM MORE CONCEREND WITH TRACK/AUTOX INPUT. . . NOT GENERAL STREET FEEL. **

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So lets talk generally about turboed miatas (low to mid 200hp range pref.) & sway bar setups on the track / autox course.. . .

1) what sway bars are you guys running?
2) end links? are they worth it to start? Should I start with zero preload? how does preload effect handling?
3) additional braces. . . how many of you guys are seeing fatigue / failure on your sway bar mounts. If so what is your setup and use for the car.
4) Any other good info or opinions.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:15 PM   #2
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1. 1-1/8" hollow RB in front, stock in rear.
2. I use adjustable end links mostly due to the funky angle of my swaybar from the V8 clearance. The idea is to leave the links loose, set the ride height on your car, THEN adjust the end links so there is no tension/compression (preload) on the link.
3. DIY funky V8 stuff so not applicable
4. Take a good look at the Fat Cat Motorsports worksheet. You can do a lot of what-if analysis, and figure out what sways you need in front based on spring rates, etc. etc. From my experience it will definitely get you in the ball park on chassis balance. This seems to be the general opinion amongst those who have used it. For the most part, assuming you do not have retarded spring rate stagger, the front sway should be much stiffer than the rear.

Is your car understeering or oversteering in the corners?
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:25 PM   #3
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1) Racing Beat 1.125" front / Mazda OEM 14mm from MSM rear
2) 949 Links
3) Racing Beat front brace hardware, not the beam itself
4) Pretty much the same set up on every car we touch.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:16 PM   #4
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ISC racing 1-1/4 X 1/4" wall front
ISC racing 5/8" rear.

Note: much more arm length adjustability than others because the arms can be made much longer and the bushings can move for aft so they might not be as stiff as they might seem. They are splined straight bars with aluminum arms.

Pillow ball front bushings and rod end bushings for the rear so they rotate freely rather than bind up with a lot of friction in a soft friction filled bouncy bushing.

I just recently made my own end links using high quality 7/16 aluminum rod ends from McMaster and having some hex bar threaded. Got all the hardware so they install with the 10mm bolts. cost about the same as 949 links all together and they are cool because they are aluminum the slightly bigger ***** I’m hoping will be more durable.

Bob

Last edited by bbundy; 01-31-2011 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:22 AM   #5
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I've ran spec miata bars on two cars and MSM bars on two. I drove a buddies car with the rb big front bar and really liked it. Remember thats the sways are just a tuning aid.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:58 AM   #6
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1) Current generation FM bars front and back. I want to say middle hole front, loosest hole in the rear
2) Racing Beat in the front, stock in the back. I started with RB links at stock length, haven't changed them. I want rears, they're tweaked a lot just to match the angle of the FM bar.
3) FM front bar comes with thicker mounts, otherwise stock. Stock in the back.
4) I haven't done much tuning with my bars, since they've worked really well from the start. The car is a little tail happy, although I haven't found an angle from which I can't recover. That's good/fun in rainy Oregon, and I keep it straight on the track as much as possible. It's nice to know it won't spin unexpectedly if I do get sideways. It would with stock bars.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emilio700 View Post
1) racing beat 1.125" front / mazda oem 14mm from msm rear
2) 949 links
3) racing beat front brace hardware, not the beam itself
4) pretty much the same set up on every car we touch.
+1
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbundy View Post
I just recently made my own end links using high quality 7/16 aluminum rod ends from McMaster and having some hex bar threaded. Got all the hardware so they install with the 10mm bolts. cost about the same as 949 links all together and they are cool because they are aluminum the slightly bigger ***** Iím hoping will be more durable.

Bob
More durable than our links that never break in the first place or more durable than some other links that broke?
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:34 AM   #9
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More durable than our links that never break in the first place or more durable than some other links that broke?
They dont break. but every thing I have had has developed a significant amount of rattle and slop after a few years of use. dust boots dont make a differance. actually probably the best ones are NB OE ones but they are non adjustable, dont fit NA arms, and I need them shorter.

Bob
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:51 AM   #10
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Get the welder out for a chop/cut. Did this on my friends wifes bmw last week. So far so good.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:18 AM   #11
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I priced out my own end links on Mcmastercar. If you go with the same lube for life style bushings that 949 sells the price difference is neglegable. At that point I would rather just spend the extra little money and get 949.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:55 AM   #12
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@ Emilio, I had the Mazdaspeed end links which were crap so when my Dad went to order his I told him about yours. Now a year later there is some surface rust popping up on a few of the pieces. Is it all supposed to be aluminum or is that normal? We live by the ocean so everything here rust wise is on a faster timeline. Other than that they have been bullet proof.

Jake
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:38 PM   #13
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I priced out my own end links on Mcmastercar. If you go with the same lube for life style bushings that 949 sells the price difference is neglegable. At that point I would rather just spend the extra little money and get 949.
Yea I priced them out and they came to the same price as 949's But I wanted to try 7/16 aluminum versus 10mm. They are FK 3 piece Teflon lined and they have bigger ***** than the White Line ones I had been running. Found some thin wall 7/16 tube for a couple bucks at a hardware store that works perfect to sleeve the hole to 10mm and it holds the beveled washers in line while you’re assembling it to the car. Though they are aluminum the weight differance turned out to be neglagable because the bearing parts are bigger.

It’s interesting that the cheapo cobalt ones from moss use 3/8” rod ends and you have to use smaller bolts than stock. Allot of the others use garbage rod ends, I suspect 949's are the best quality.

My application is huge bars and sticky tires so loads are high and it is not just a track day car It see's a lot of road use in grimy conditions wet weather and I live at the end of a 1/2 mile long dirt road.

Bob

Last edited by bbundy; 02-01-2011 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
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@ Emilio, I had the Mazdaspeed end links which were crap so when my Dad went to order his I told him about yours. Now a year later there is some surface rust popping up on a few of the pieces. Is it all supposed to be aluminum or is that normal? We live by the ocean so everything here rust wise is on a faster timeline. Other than that they have been bullet proof.

Jake
One of the custom made jam nuts was uncoated in the first several production batches. I now have those zinc coated so every component is either anodized or zinc plated.

Bearing was modeled after an Aurora. We changed the slop tolerance, length, thread section, bushing material and higher strength body material. Ours should have around 2x the tensile strength of the similar Aurora bearing.
Never had one break yet and that's with 275 A6's, big wings, 400whp and 100+mph kerb hits.
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:49 PM   #15
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I have the 949 sway bar links on my car BTW. No problems with them at all.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:57 PM   #16
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Emilio, what do you mean with the brace hardware but not the beam itself?
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:59 PM   #17
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Emilio, what do you mean with the brace hardware but not the beam itself?
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:57 PM   #18
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Hmm.. OK, thanks. So you run them without the spacer portion? What is the reasoning behind that? Drops the bar too low?
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Hmm.. OK, thanks. So you run them without the spacer portion? What is the reasoning behind that? Drops the bar too low?
No, there's a bar that goes between the two mounting points, tying them together

http://www.racingbeat.com/Miata-1990...ion/54120.html
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:11 AM   #20
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Ok. Gotcha.

What`s the reasoning behind not running the bar. is it just weight
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