|January 18, 2011 - Since I had the welder out and the front wheels off, the obvious thing to do is to add a front sway bar.|
The car needs more roll stiffness, and I've been looking at how to add a front bar for a while. Of course, I'm trying to use a Miata part because I have a huge collection of them.
I built a couple of plates with studs in them and welded that to the bottom of the frame rail. I considered simply installing some rivnuts, but the sway bar mounts see quite a bit of load and I can see myself ripping them out of the frame. So I have a nice solid mount instead.
The geometry would have worked better if the bar was on top of the frame rail instead of underneath, but the packaging would simply not allow that. Even if I could cut a big enough hole in the panel above the rail, there isn't enough room for the bar to go between the engine and radiator. We'll see how it works. On a short drive, the car did feel more settled. Too much traffic to try out the handling balance. I'm still dialing in the spring rates so I'm not sure exactly what the sway bar sizes will be yet. This one's off a 2004 Mazdaspeed turbo Miata. Why? Because that's what I had on hand! If I want a softer bar, I can use a non-turbo version. If I want an adjustable bar, I can use one of the Flyin' Miata ones.
And yes, I have an idea for a rear bar. We'll see if it will package.
tags: sway bar, handling