|January 18, 2011 - The sway bar has an upward angle to it due to the bar placement.|
The stock end link - the black one - made this as bad as it could be. So I decided to go with a shorter unit. I have boxes full of old Miata suspension pieces, of course, and the heim-jointed end link in the middle is from the "end link" box. Seriously, I have a box for Miata end links. I also have a box for bumpstops, a wall full of springs, a cord of sway bars, random steering column parts, etc. And at least three boxes of wires. But I digress.
The unmodified heim-jointed link was still too long. So I cut it down, as you can see on the right. There's still a lot of thread engagement so strength is not a problem, but I've made the angle of the bar much better.
It's not the only suspension work I did today. When I was first doing the suspension work on the car, I didn't pay too much attention to the control arms and suspension uprights I used. All the important dimensions are the same. But in my fevered excitement to assemble the car for the First Drive, I left those parts on the car. And that was a problem.
Mazda tweaked the Miata's suspension in 1999. The control arms got beefed up a bit, although the dimensions were basically unchanged. The one change was on the taper of the upper ball joint. The steering knuckle/upright was also very similar, with the steering arm moved up by 7mm and the appropriate taper on the seat for the upper ball joint.
Well, when I looked at what was on the car, I realized that I had the new design upper control arm on one side, but the older steering knuckle. On the other, I had the older parts. This is less than ideal, so I swapped everything out for the newer designs. It was actually a pretty quick job, the guy who built this car was careful to leave enough room to do things like remove suspension bolts. Whew!
tags: suspension, sway bar, end links