One of the first steps a MX-5 owner can take to improve handling performance, without significantly hampering ride quality, is installing a balanced, front and rear, performance sway bar set. Racing Beat's in-house engineered sway bar sets for the MX-5 reduce chassis roll in turns and increase your car's sensitivity to steering inputs thereby resulting in improved maximum cornering power. Substantial engineering effort, select steel alloys, and precision manufacturing processes are combined to produce our top quality, peak performance suspension components.
For the MX-5 owner that might be considering their first suspension upgrade, the installation of set of sway bars make an ideal place to start. Although upgrading the springs and/or shocks on your MX-5 will also noticeably improve handling, these components can also degrade the ride quality depending on their intended performance levels.
Sway bars have two functions: First, they reduce body roll when turning, and they do this without simply raising the "two wheel" spring rate - that is, they do increase the wheel rate for a "one wheel" bump such as a pothole, but they do not change the "two wheel" rate for things like pavement joints. Although this may not sound significant, in practice, trying to restrict chassis roll with spring rates causes harsher ride characteristics than the same roll restriction with sway bars. There are a variety of reasons to restrict body roll. For one, the steering response to a turning input on the steering wheel is much crisper and clearer if the body doesn't have to roll at the start of the turn. For another, the angles with the pavement that develop as the wheels move up and down are often not ideal. By restricting these angles, more cornering power is usually available.
The second value of sway bars is that, by adjusting the stiffness of the front bar versus the rear, it is possible to change the understeer/oversteer/neutral steer characteristics of a car, making it easier to control and generally increasing cornering performance.
Racing Beat Front Sway Bar Specifications
The Racing Beat Tubular MX-5 Front Sway Bar, weighing only 7.5 lbs, is manufactured using 1" OD (25mm) x 3/16-inch wall DOM tubular steel, as compared to the .82" OD (21mm) Mazda stock sway bar. As calcuated by Racing Beat, this bar is 2.67 times stiffer than the stock bar. The Racing Beat Tubular MX-5 Front Sway Bar is provided with three (3) endlink mounting positions and is finished with a distinctive, red powder coating, providing a smooth, glossy protective layer. This Racing Beat sway bar is supplied with two powder-coated bushing retaining clamps, urethane bushings, Prothane bushing grease, and detailed installation instructions.
These Racing Beat sway bars feature a pair of urethane Stopper Bushings, secured with band-clamp retainers, serving as a preventative device against lateral movement of the sway bar during hard cornering. This simple and effective Stopper Bushing method effectively replicates the method used by Mazda on the stock bar.