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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any of y'all had a chance to seek out what we have available?

I'm expecting a slightly larger rear bar to do wonders for the MS3 in terms of rotation, and would like it to be one of my first mods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
[quote author=bearda link=topic=66080.msg1132864#msg1132864 date=1167933401]
This thread makes it sound like your choices are fairly limited, as the MS3 sway bar is already pretty thick:

http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=63249.0

Has anyone marketed an aftermarket bar for the MS3 yet?

Andrew Beard
[/quote]

Not that I've seen, but I haven't had much time to look around. I was hoping some of y'all did. What kind of aftermarket bars are available for the regular 3? Has anyone compiled a list, by any chance?

I'm still confused as to why the stock sway bar sizes are as they are, if R&T is correct (26 front, 25 rear). Now, everything has its purpose, and I trust Mazda to have set the car up correctly, but regardless, a larger bar will do WONDERS for the MS3 as far as rotation goes, which is something I'm looking for in the car.

BTW, for all of y'all interested, another extremely informative source of info for road/autox/rallying info can be found over at www.Focaljet.com. While it's primarily based on the US-spec Ford Focus, there are not only a good number of Mazda3 guys there (as many Mazda3 owners are former Focus owners), but the Focus chassis and Mazda3 chassis share a great deal in suspension components/design. So, we Mazda guys may be able to get more/better ideas as to how to improve the MS3 as far as handling and road manners goes.
 

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there isnt much available that is a noticable upgrade from what we currently have :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
[quote author=CosmicBlueMS3 link=topic=66080.msg1133425#msg1133425 date=1167951033]
there isnt much available that is a noticable upgrade from what we currently have :(
[/quote]

True...:(

That Racing Beat bar is the only one that'll provide a rearward bias...

Coming from a differently configured vehicle, it's weird to see such large stock bars.
 

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its funny to think, but Id be interested in trying a 31mm rear bar matched with a 28mm front
Im not a big fan of just upgrading the rear bar since it tends to make the car over rotate and not handle as well in big offset or steady state turns. quick slaloms is one thing, but thats only a small aspect of performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
[quote author=CosmicBlueMS3 link=topic=66080.msg1133909#msg1133909 date=1167970367]
its funny to think, but Id be interested in trying a 31mm rear bar matched with a 28mm front
Im not a big fan of just upgrading the rear bar since it tends to make the car over rotate and not handle as well in big offset or steady state turns. quick slaloms is one thing, but thats only a small aspect of performance.
[/quote]

I hear ya. Really comes down to what the car's being used for though. Upgrading just the rear bar could do a world of wonders, IF done for a specific, desired end result. I'd like to start off with just a slightly larger rear bar with the stock front, and then work my way up, but that's just me.

Either way, we need some aftermarket bars to be made... :(
 

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I'm really not that convinced that bigger sway bars will improve performance that much. The stock size of our sways is about the same as most aftermarket ones, and not much smaller than even the most hardcore aftermarket bars. My guess is that most of the flex is coming from the sloppy rubber mounts that mazda used. I think just swapping in a better set of bushings and possibly adjustable endlinks will give people the performance they are looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
[quote author=Judd link=topic=66080.msg1134922#msg1134922 date=1168029384]
I'm really not that convinced that bigger sway bars will improve performance that much. The stock size of our sways is about the same as most aftermarket ones, and not much smaller than even the most hardcore aftermarket bars. My guess is that most of the flex is coming from the sloppy rubber mounts that mazda used. I think just swapping in a better set of bushings and possibly adjustable endlinks will give people the performance they are looking for.
[/quote]

It's all relative. The issue isn't so much the size in absolute terms, but the size in relation to your ENTIRE suspension setup.

Sway bars aren't used to reduce flex, necessarily, or body roll, especially with the MS3 suspension design. They shouldn't be confused with the theoretical purpose of "stress bars".

Sway bars help the springs/shocks operate more effectively in rotating balance of a vehicle in motion.


EDIT: quick link to give a basic overview regarding the purpose of sway bars.

http://www.houseofthud.com/cartech/swaybars.htm
 

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[quote author=Focused link=topic=66080.msg1135349#msg1135349 date=1168042231]
[quote author=Judd link=topic=66080.msg1134922#msg1134922 date=1168029384]
I'm really not that convinced that bigger sway bars will improve performance that much. The stock size of our sways is about the same as most aftermarket ones, and not much smaller than even the most hardcore aftermarket bars. My guess is that most of the flex is coming from the sloppy rubber mounts that mazda used. I think just swapping in a better set of bushings and possibly adjustable endlinks will give people the performance they are looking for.
[/quote]

It's all relative. The issue isn't so much the size in absolute terms, but the size in relation to your ENTIRE suspension setup.

Sway bars aren't used to reduce flex, necessarily, or body roll, especially with the MS3 suspension design. They shouldn't be confused with the theoretical purpose of "stress bars".

Sway bars help the springs/shocks operate more effectively in rotating balance of a vehicle in motion.


EDIT: quick link to give a basic overview regarding the purpose of sway bars.

http://www.houseofthud.com/cartech/swaybars.htm


[/quote]

+1
as I sit here considering stiffer springs, im gonna have a need for stiffer sways. Suppose its possible to get some custom bars made, but hopefully someone jumps in, does a tad of research and creates something for us to save me the trouble.
 

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I've been considering a Racing Beat rear bar, as theoretically it should balance the car out a little more - BUT It is pretty easy to get our cars to rotate if you know how to trail brake properly, it's quite easy to get the car to "set" with pretty heavy use of the brakes as you turn in, but you have to be driving like a lunatic on the street to get it to kick out. I suggest to everyone to explore the limits of your car a little more before you decide that you need to add a rear bar, as our suspensions are very well sorted out and don't have many compromises, it's a very balanced car!

The other addition that would produce a similar effect is front camber plates, adding 1-1.5 degrees in the front and leaving the stock camber in the rear will make our cars rotate quite a bit more as well as produce sharper turn in.

Just a few thoughts guys! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Appreciated thoughts, at that! :)

Good idea to explore the limits as-is first. Though, I do hope the aftermarket kicks up a notch so we at least have options... 8)

I'm only going by past experiences with the Focus, but I have a feeling we won't see front camber plates for a while, unless some company makes it a point to churn out a product. Reason being, the general suspension design doesn't allow for such a plate as other platforms. I honestly can't remember what exactly the issues were about making a cost-effective part, but I know there were design issues that had to be worked around. A part finally came out, but it costs a pretty penny for a pair of front plates.

Another area that might be worth looking into is slotted, front Lower Control Arms. No parts ever made production, but a shop was doing custom slotted LCAs for one Focus participating in some enduro races. Adjustment was easy, offered a wide range, and the piece was just top quality. Don't think the shop ever got pushed hard enough to make more.
 

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if there isnt a slightly stiffer rear available I may end up running a smaller front bar. although the ms3 is setup well from the factory, it doesnt rotate and stick in the front during rotation as it could, for saftey reasons mazda doesnt want a car to rotate so hard it spins off the road backwards. wont be positive of this until I get a few autox runs with the car under my belt, but with time ill hopefully figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yep...same boat. Get some experience in it, and work from there.

I'm so damn excited. Can't wait for the season to start :csweeney:
 

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[quote author=Focused link=topic=66080.msg1135349#msg1135349 date=1168042231]
[quote author=Judd link=topic=66080.msg1134922#msg1134922 date=1168029384]
I'm really not that convinced that bigger sway bars will improve performance that much. The stock size of our sways is about the same as most aftermarket ones, and not much smaller than even the most hardcore aftermarket bars. My guess is that most of the flex is coming from the sloppy rubber mounts that mazda used. I think just swapping in a better set of bushings and possibly adjustable endlinks will give people the performance they are looking for.
[/quote]

It's all relative. The issue isn't so much the size in absolute terms, but the size in relation to your ENTIRE suspension setup.

Sway bars aren't used to reduce flex, necessarily, or body roll, especially with the MS3 suspension design. They shouldn't be confused with the theoretical purpose of "stress bars".

Sway bars help the springs/shocks operate more effectively in rotating balance of a vehicle in motion.


EDIT: quick link to give a basic overview regarding the purpose of sway bars.

http://www.houseofthud.com/cartech/swaybars.htm
[/quote]

I'm not a suspension expert, I think I didn't describe what I meant with the right words (or maybe I have the totally wrong idea in my head!)

The flex I was talking about is the flex of the sway bar setup itself. People usually look for a stiffer setup because it translates more of the force from the outside strut to the inside strut when cornering. My theory is that the sway bars on the MS3 are beefy and have very little flex, but the rubber bushings they are mounted in are very soft and allow a lot of play.

I picture something like this happening: The outside strut is compressed in a corner, which pulls the end of the sway bar up towards the body of the car. This should translate into torquing the bar, and causing it to rotate, which at the other end of the bar translates back into an upward force on the inside strut. At the same time, the whole thing is happening in reverse as the inner strut wants to extend in the corner, and push down on the sway bar, translating a downward force back to the outer strut.

Instead what I think is happening is X% of these forces are being absorbed by the rubber bushings, and deforming them, instead of twisting the bar. The outer strut is pulling up on the bar, which deforms the outer bushing by pulling up on it. At the same time the inner bushing is getting deformed in the opposite direction. This has two effects, the first is that X% of the force was lost, which is bad for the reasons mentioned in the link above. The second thing is that now the geometry of the sway bar has been thrown off (maybe by a few degrees), because the rubber is soft, the outer strut can compress more than expected, and the inner strut can extend more than expected, even though the sway bar itself is not flexing.

Does that make any more sense?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ah, yes, I gotcha.

I agree, some form of stiffer bushings (i.e. ever-popular polyurethane) will for sure add some positive rigidity in the system, eliminating any "slop" that soft rubber ones won't stop. However, its benefits are for a different purpose than that of replacing the actual sway bar. Again, the goal of changing your sway bars is to improve rotation balance. Upsizing a bar even just a couple mm's will make for a much more profound change on a stock MS3, rather than upgrading just the bushings, even though they are working toward the same end result. When you want a stiffer bar, you increase the size. Additionally, when talking about size, measuring bars in mm's, even 1mm will for sure make a noticable difference. As you increase size, the more noticable of a difference, naturally.

Think of stiffer sway bar bushings as the "cherry on top" so to speak. Or better yet, as a "role player". It's complementary to the big modification, which is the bar itself.

BTW, you're probably familiar already, but most aftermarket bars come with stiffer bushings and aftermarket endlinks to complement the bar and do exactly what we it to do.
 

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I personally think stiffer bushings in the rear will make a more notable difference. The reason being, because youre actually making the rear bar more efficient and letting it performed the way it was designed to perform. Rather than hindering its performance with rubber bushings. But I also do agree that even if the rear is increased by 1mm, it will make a large difference...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
[quote author=Boost Addict link=topic=66080.msg1163701#msg1163701 date=1169524863]
I personally think stiffer bushings in the rear will make a more notable difference. The reason being, because youre actually making the rear bar more efficient and letting it performed the way it was designed to perform. Rather than hindering its performance with rubber bushings. But I also do agree that even if the rear is increased by 1mm, it will make a large difference...
[/quote]

Well, it all comes down to each of our goals. What I want the bar to offer is more rotation, and stiffer bushings alone will not make anywhere near the noticable difference I'm looking for. The bar simply won't function the way I want a 1mm+ larger bar to.
 
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