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no idea but good to ask

I don't think it's necessary to get aftermarket ones........

and I don't think there is room underneath that hood.....
 

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bee04M3S said:
sway bars go underneath the car

strut bars connect the strut mounts (front is in the engine bar, rear is normally in the trunk)
:idea:
ha...........

yah that's it.....i got all the bars mixed up...

thanx for the clarification :wink:
 

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Ya, I paid attention to the strut mounts under the hood and while it had a metal ring to brace the strut studs, I didn't see enough room for a typical aftermarket strut brace. If they snaked it downward and back a bit, maybe they can get something in there, but it doesn't look like a easy job.

Anyway, the salesperson told me that there is a built-in strut tower brace, but I didn't immediately recognize anything like that. I'll take a closer look at it tonight.

As for the sway bars, the car seems to do fairly well in normal driving but leans quite a bit when the turn becomes sharp. It definitely doesn't feel floaty nor does it undulate when doing quick left/right transitions. So even though it leans, the body motion is controlled.
 

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As for the sway bars, the car seems to do fairly well in normal driving but leans quite a bit when the turn becomes sharp. It definitely doesn't feel floaty nor does it undulate when doing quick left/right transitions. So even though it leans, the body motion is controlled.
Right on!!! One of the flaws of the twin-trapezoidal link (TTL) rear suspension (Protegé/P5) is the toe-in-toe-out is controled by the body-roll, and the toe always kicks in with some delay during a quick left/right transition, because the car body leans with some delay. This flaw is completely disappeared with the Mazda3's multilink trailing arm. I'm happy that someone finally points it out.
 

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bee04M3S said:
so lee, what do you think would be the best solution to get rid of the body roll?
I am still trying to decide if it needs getting rid off. So far, it just feels like I have to tilt my head a lot to compensate, but the car handles well. Once I put some mileage on this car and start driving some of my favorite twisty roads, I'll decide then.

But just as a mild guess, some firmer springs and roll bars should do nicely to reduce the body roll. But like I said, I am not sure if that's going to help with the handling.
 

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Since I'm a moron and never took shop in high school (j/k), what was the bright red bar under the hood on the P5? Was that a strut bar? I don't even know wtf a strut bar is.... Sway I understand...
 

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Yes, that's the strut bar (the strut towers are the cylinders connected by the bar, the strut tower houses the spring and damper). Strut bar enhances the rigidity of the chassis. The bigger is the bar, the better is the handling.

Sway bar works differently: when the car leans, it twists the sway bar (like a spring being compressed). Large bars are harder to be twisted. There is a fine compromise to make between the front and rear sway bar diameters. Otherwise the car will be over or understeered.
 

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Thanks for clearing that up!
 

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once the eibach springs (will probably be a 1.2" drop) come out that will probably do alot to decrease body roll. a larger rear sway bar will help, not in the front though as you will create more understeer. poly bushings, and a good set of adjustable struts ala tokico or koni. after that it's off to the wonderfull land of adjustable coilover setups (hello 3" lower and most likely no adjustment to eliminate tire wear).
 

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i would love an inch to an inch and a quarter drop......and how do adjustable ones work? u can adjust how much u lower ure car? and u can raise it again?
 

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Coilovers have a threaded shock, where the lower spring perch is adjustable for ride height.

Typically, they can lower the car to the floor, and raise above stock by .5".
 

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bluong1 said:
Yes, that's the strut bar (the strut towers are the cylinders connected by the bar, the strut tower houses the spring and damper). Strut bar enhances the rigidity of the chassis. The bigger is the bar, the better is the handling.
uh why would a bigger strut bar be better for handling... the whole point to a strut bar is to rigidly tie the shock towers together, it doesnt matter how this is done as long as its rigid. The P5, MP3 and Mazdaspeed all had strut bars because the old chassis was at its max due to it not being originally designed for 16 and 17" wheels and sticky rubber. I doubt that the Mz3 would benefit much (if at all) from a strut bar (besides the fact it doesnt look like one would fit) as the chassis is far stiffer than the outgoing chassis and was designed with 17"+ wheels in mind.
 

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FWIW - I don't plan to do any suspension work on the MZ3 until Mazdaspeed or racing beat has had a chance to do some testing.
I do know that you have to know what you are doing when messin with the suspension, especially on this car that already handles well.
I had to do the suspension on my RX 7 twice (once myself - the wrong way, and once by the pros - the right way). My first setup was way too stiff with tokico lowering springs, tokico alumina's and the Racing Beat front sway bar. The car certainly "sat" a lot nicer but the cornering was brutal. The pros determined that the spring rates were too stiff and did not allow for enough travel through the corners - the expanation was that your car has to be able to move through the corners in order to compensate for the G's - it's getting it down correctly that takes a professional who can test different equipment and rates. I understand that manufacturers test their product, however, you don't necessarily know what else they have done to the car during the test process (ie; A Spring manufaturer for instance... what type of shocks were they using and at what dampening and at what alignment specs, what size wheels and tire type, sway bars? Poly and where - front and back?).
I love the look of a lowered car but there are many that do it purely for looks dispite the cars handling.
 

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bluong1 said:
Sorry! I was not arguing how much the strut bar would be beneficial for the Mazda3.
sorry myself, i was only arguing the statement of "the bigger the bar the better the handling"... i had a little more in them typing fingers :D
 

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most of the more afordable units such as those from ground control will lower the car as much as 3 inches and only go as high as the stock ride height, have a colar that fits to whatever strut you are using with some modification to the stock spring perches. and this type thus far is less than $600 for applications i have seen. gc are very easy to adjust. i have seen a single person drop there car from stock height to 3" lower in about 10 minutes. also if GC does make a kit for the 3 down the road they use eibach springs made just for them. :)
 
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