Racing Beat or Progress Sways

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Racing Beat or Progress Sways

Postby tmac » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:58 pm

I have a 2006 with totally stock sport suspension and am starting to do some handling upgrades. First was a precision alignment, next will be sway bars, and eventually I plan to add Progress springs and Koni shocks.

The car is a daily driver, no racing, but I do like to have fun in the curves. If I had to describe what I am looking for it would be a "sport-touring" setup. Firm is fine but I am trying to avoid harsh.

So given the setup I am looking for I'm thinking either Racing Beat or Progress sway bars. Can anyone compare the ride and handling between the two for me? For instance, will the extra stiffness of the Progress bars mean a significant increase in harshness, or is the increase minor and worth it for better handling?
06 Sport, 6MT, Winning Blue / Progress, Koni, FCM, RB sways, RB end links, RPF1 7.5, PSS 215
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Re: Racing Beat or Progress Sways

Postby Brian » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:30 am

The Progress is the more serious setup. So, for light sport touring I suggest our Racing Beat sways, still a big step up from stock.
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Re: Racing Beat or Progress Sways

Postby tmac » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:36 am

Thanks Brian, that is the direction I am leaning as well. I like the quality of the Progress bars but they may be too stiff for my purposes.
06 Sport, 6MT, Winning Blue / Progress, Koni, FCM, RB sways, RB end links, RPF1 7.5, PSS 215
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Re: Racing Beat or Progress Sways

Postby JamesK383 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:54 am

I have a stock suspension with progress sways

I didn't notice a difference in ride comfort compared to the stock sways.
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Re: Racing Beat or Progress Sways

Postby Brian » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:00 am

Really can't go wrong with the Progress or Racing Beat sways.

Both are a bargain, the Racing Beat are a great step up from stock and bargain priced for the combo.

The Progress sways are just more serious, more stiff, wider brackets, a product more in line with the Hotchkis bars but for much lower price.
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Re: Racing Beat or Progress Sways

Postby tmac » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:07 pm

JamesK383,

So the Progress sways didn't seem to increase stiffness on bumps that are only on one side (like potholes)? Interesting, I thought that would be the natural byproduct of increasing bar stiffness, and a reason to not go too stiff. If that isn't true, what is the downside of going to a stiffer bars?
06 Sport, 6MT, Winning Blue / Progress, Koni, FCM, RB sways, RB end links, RPF1 7.5, PSS 215
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Re: Racing Beat or Progress Sways

Postby JamesK383 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:11 pm

That question requires a very complicated answer.

Theoretically the sway bars only work while the car is swaying to one side. You turn left your car will roll right. your outside suspension compression and your sway bar compresses the inside suspension to keep the car flat/level through a turn.

This video explains it well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_liGnV3PTiQ

Basically if your car isn't swaying left or right, then they are doing much. So bumps from pot holes won't change because of a sway bar. This is going be affected more by changing springs, shocks and tires.

your ride comfort won't suffer, at least not noticeably. your handling will be more balanced and that is a good thing.
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Re: Racing Beat or Progress Sways

Postby tmac » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:54 pm

True, but it seems that hitting a bump on one side acts on the bar in the same way, i.e. it twists the bar, shifting force to the other side; effectively increasing the force, or spring rate, on the original wheel. Hitting something like a speed bump square on should have no effect (as if the bar is not there) as the bar is not twisted, both ends simply move in the same direction.

In any case I'm still curious. What is the affect of using a set of bars that are too stiff?
06 Sport, 6MT, Winning Blue / Progress, Koni, FCM, RB sways, RB end links, RPF1 7.5, PSS 215
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Re: Racing Beat or Progress Sways

Postby GaryO935 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:16 am

I have Progress sways and I love them. I think the manufacturing is top notch. The car handles great and the ride is not harsh....and some of our roads here are crap.

Gary
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Re: Racing Beat or Progress Sways

Postby JamesK383 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:31 am

I think doing the alignment first is the right way to go.

I did bars then alignment and i feel the alignment did the most for my handling and responsiveness ( i also swapped out some worn Kumhos for Micheline Pilot SS when the alignment was done)

The progress and racing beat are not hard enough for you to worry about and will help control the roll. you should be happy either way.
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Re: Racing Beat or Progress Sways

Postby tmac » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:50 pm

Thanks, appreciate all the input.

I agree that a precision alignment makes a big difference. I went with slight toe in front and back, -1.2 all around, and 5+ on the caster. It made the MX5 handle like I always thought a stock MX5 should.

The car no longer tends to follow seams and expansion joints (well, maybe a little bit on big ones) and I no longer have to correct when going over lane bumps. The car used to have quite a bit of understeer and would snap to oversteer, making things unpredictable. This is now much less pronounced and very predictable, the front still pushes a bit but the back end will break first and it is controllable.

The only thing it didn't fix is how "busy" the car gets when it hits bumps in corners, it actually got worse. I suspect that the reason the car is busy is that it is on the bump stops in the corners/curves, and that it has gotten worse because I now drive faster in the corners, thanks to the alignment. I am actually hoping that this is one thing stiffer bars will help with ... but keep in mind my shocks, etc., have over 60K miles on them so that might have something to do with it as well!
06 Sport, 6MT, Winning Blue / Progress, Koni, FCM, RB sways, RB end links, RPF1 7.5, PSS 215
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Re: Racing Beat or Progress Sways

Postby tmac » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:54 pm

Gary,

The quality of the Progress bars is the main reason I am having a hard time deciding. I may not need the extra stiffness, but they sure are nice!
06 Sport, 6MT, Winning Blue / Progress, Koni, FCM, RB sways, RB end links, RPF1 7.5, PSS 215
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Re: Racing Beat or Progress Sways

Postby GaryO935 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:11 am

I was advised that RB would be a better choice for street, but thought I might later regret not going with the better bars (Progress) Whatever you get it will be a vast improvement over the "coathanger wire" that Mazda uses!
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Re: Racing Beat or Progress Sways

Postby tmac » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:20 pm

Got a set of RB sway bars for my birthday and installed them last Sunday, the car now handles like a go cart :D Flat and stuck to the road. Amazing difference, can't wait to take it up in the hills. I didn't realize how much body roll there was with the stock bars. And just for the record, I really don't notice a difference in ride quality. Can't imagine what the handling will be like when I get to the springs and shocks.

Installation was fairly easy, took about two hours to do the front and back. We put the car up on jack stands, removed the wheels, dropped the plastic from the bottom front and followed the RB instructions. It took a bit to get the front bar in position, especially getting the first end (right side) over the tie rod. I used teflon tape on the bushings instead of grease. Used the middle hole on the front bar and the end (softest) hole on the back.

Thanks everyone for your insight and recommendations!
06 Sport, 6MT, Winning Blue / Progress, Koni, FCM, RB sways, RB end links, RPF1 7.5, PSS 215
tmac
 
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