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Discussion Starter #1
One of the great things about the 2018+ 6 is that slilky torque which allows very rapid speeds. Out west where roads are open and speeds are high, I regularly find myself blasting up to 100mph for passing. The OEM suspension feels wonderful at about 7/10th driving. At 8/10ths it stars to feel wallowy and at 9/10th if feels like it is loosing control.

The way in which the OEM suspension sets up for a turn is very odd. Turn the wheel and you can feel the ass end takes a while to come around. Then there is this nervous feeling like the car is loosing control, but then the car sets into the turn and you regain confidence that the car is going to hold traction and maintain the turn. The whole process is very unlinear and takes about 2-3 seconds to get to a point of stability where the car feels like it is going to hold the line.

I spent about 9 hours installing the front and rear springs and sway bar last night. At 3 am I took the car out for a shake down. The car now responds very quickly to steering input and sets up for a turn immediately and with much more confidence. The suspension overall feels more like my BMW's with sports suspension. I will be taking it for a 6 hour one way drive today. Over the weekend I will able to fully assess the improvement, but so far so good.

The good news is that there doesn't look to be any interference with the sway bar ends. Boy was that a tight fit though.

Now I think I can truly enjoy the car, instead of just the engine. It will be interesting to see if my wife notices anything.
 

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I am interested in hearing how this works out.
 

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One of the great things about the 2018+ 6 is that slilky torque which allows very rapid speeds. Out west where roads are open and speeds are high, I regularly find myself blasting up to 100mph for passing. The OEM suspension feels wonderful at about 7/10th driving. At 8/10ths it stars to feel wallowy and at 9/10th if feels like it is loosing control.

The way in which the OEM suspension sets up for a turn is very odd. Turn the wheel and you can feel the ass end takes a while to come around. Then there is this nervous feeling like the car is loosing control, but then the car sets into the turn and you regain confidence that the car is going to hold traction and maintain the turn. The whole process is very unlinear and takes about 2-3 seconds to get to a point of stability where the car feels like it is going to hold the line.

I spent about 9 hours installing the front and rear springs and sway bar last night. At 3 am I took the car out for a shake down. The car now responds very quickly to steering input and sets up for a turn immediately and with much more confidence. The suspension overall feels more like my BMW's with sports suspension. I will be taking it for a 6 hour one way drive today. Over the weekend I will able to fully assess the improvement, but so far so good.

The good news is that there doesn't look to be any interference with the sway bar ends. Boy was that a tight fit though.

Now I think I can truly enjoy the car, instead of just the engine. It will be interesting to see if my wife notices anything.

I have yet to mess with the suspension height, but I do have the RSB and it truly transforms the handling. The limit of the car has been greatly improved. I haven't messed with the front sway bars because for track performance usually you want the rear end to slide/rotate a bit for a FWD car in turns.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Just finished up a 6 hour drive and here is a review:

Consider the Source: It is important to know something about the reviewer to understand their perspective. I prefer cars with a more aggressive edge to them. I consider myself more a motorcyclist. I used to road race motorcycles and love race vehicles. I have always owned sport bikes or sportier motorcycles. My current motorcycle is a Yamaha FJR1300 which does long distance 2 up well. But I am just chomping at the bit to get another Suzuki GSXR. Because everybody needs a vehicle that can power wheelie at 100+ mph! My other car is a 2017 Shelby GT350. I always travel with a radar detector, usually at a fast clip. So my preference is an aggressive setup, that leans towards excess.

Character: Whether one car is faster than another is not as important as feel. Today, many cars have 300hp, which is 1980's super car territory. What is more important is how those cars make you feel. The stock OEM suspension is palatable for the majority of american drivers. Most of these drivers I am yelling at to get the hell out of my way. Sorry that is just the truth. However for me, there is a disconnect in the soft OEM suspension. Some would consider the OEM luxurious or quiet, obviously this is what Mazda was going for. The updated CorkSport setup is much more engaging. I will use a bunch of words hear to describe how the new set makes me feel. It is engaging, rewarding, confidence inspiring, satisfying, in control, planted. The wallowy OEM suspension always made me feel like this was somebody else's car. It made itself clear that it was unhappy when I went through a sweeper with bumps at 85. The feed back from the car said, "whow big fella, slow it down". The new setup doesn't fight back and complain. It just gets the job done. It is now evenly matched to the locomotive like torque of the car. The suspension can finally keep pace with the velocity the car can generate.

Observations:
Stance
- The car clearly sits lower, but at first glance it doesn't look like a lowered car. It will be interesting to park it next to a stock 6 when I get a chance.
Directional Stability - The OEM setup always felt like the car struggled to keep a straight line. At 85+ mph it felt like the car was always hunting, and needed constant correction. I chalked this up to the tires or an alignment issue. The new suspension solved this issue.
Suspension compliance - The OEM suspension was very complient and felt perfect, until you pushed it beyond 7/10th or hit some larger bumps at speed. Then the OEM suspension felt out of control. Comfort was definitely prioritized over control. With the OEM suspension, whenever I put people in the rear seats the car immediately felt under sprung in the rear. I was glad to see that the CorkSport rear spring rate was a big jump up in stiffness. This seemed appropriate.
Handling - As mentioned before the OEM handling was very non linear. Entering a turn went like this. Turn in, body roll, body roll stabilizes, tires start to bite, now 2-3 seconds into the turn you have a consistent arc. This is all very unnerving and very unrewarding. The new setup is instant. The turn in is instant the body immediately holds the line, all in a very linear manner. There is no waiting for the car to take a line. HUGE improvement.
Road comfort - There is certainly a little bit of road comfort that is gone, depending upon the choppiness of the road. But I will say that I am personally much more comfortable knowing that at speed the car is in control. In addition, I like feeling the bumps and road irregularites as I pass over them. To me this is comfortable. So for me, the feeling of competancy is more comforting.

Installation - The installation time per CorkSport was 3 hours for the springs and 1 hour for the sway bar. My installation time was more like 9 hours. There were a few items that took me time. The front end was easy. No hitches, other than needing to buy spring compressors and torque wrench that went to 170lbs. The rear springs and sway bar were harder. Getting the new sway bar in was a bitch. It's just tight. I had to remove the brake caliper to move the brake line to get the sway bar in. Secondly, the new bar is just tight and accessing the bar mounting bracket nuts isn't easy. Another hard item was to remove the rear shock caps, so that the bump stops could be trimmed. The key was to at least break the 12 mm nut free, before trying to hold the shock piston with lock jaw pliers. At first it seemed like I would not be able to get this nut free, in which case I would not have been able to trim the bump stops, but I eventually got it done.

Conclusion - This is my wife's car. She drove it for several hours today. She is very happy with it as well. I was concerned that I might be tricking out her car and she may be less happy with it. This was NOT the case. While some might say that the suspension is only 80% as comfortable, I say it is now much more comfortable, as I rank control as comforting. Driving a car at a speed that makes the car unhappy, makes me unhappy. Now when I drive the car at my normal rate of speed the Mazda doesn't object. I see NO downside, only upside.
I would have to say for the price, less than $500, that this is the first thing to do to the car. The car was previously a nice luxury car with a good motor and unfulfilled sporting intentions. Now the car is a true sport sedan. The entire character of the car has changed. The driving experience is much more engaging. I now like to drive the car, rather than just appreciate it for being a good car.

Could the setup be better. Yes and no. For the money no. The setup is less than $500 for a complete change in character. But it does use the existing shocks. If I were to get an integrated system including new shocks or coil overs, maybe the setup could be better. But for $500 this setup solves all of my complaint about the suspension and more. I can't think of any $500 mod that so completely changed the character and feel of the car for the better.

Disclaimer: For those that drive at speeds from tame to mild or prefer comfort over sportiness, the stock suspension is probably more than adequate.
 

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If everything is accurate, in which I assume it is, you might qualify as an automotive journalist.

Please make a summary of the parts you bought and/or modified to make it easy to look at without reading the whole thing again.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

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I had corksport springs and rear sway bar installed, too- on my 2018 gtr. I agree with this review- it transforms the car. The oem handling was sloppy and insecure, but I'm very happy with the improved feel and handling.
 

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Great write up! Having the same setup myself, I couldn't agree more with your take on the car and parts. I installed my rear swaybar using the 130% stiffer endlink mounting location, did you use the 130% or the 220%? I was thinking of changing it to 220%, but I was concerned the ride would be too ruff on Maryland’s poor road conditions. I was wondering if you had tried both mounting locations and what your opinion might be, or if your review was based on your experience set at 230%?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have the rear sway bar set to the softer of the two settings. If we went with the stiffer setting, then this would create more turn in / oversteer. I haven't completely flogged the car yet, as my long trip was on freeways and my wife was in the car. My next move will be to get new tires and I might just go all the way and get Michelin PS4's. Then if the car feels like it is plowing it's front end, I can go to the stiffer setting.

Right now, however I don't feel like I am knowledgeable enough to make the decision to go stiffer. The car was SOOOOO transformed from stock with this first change and it feels so good right now. It may take a little while living with the setup to see if any fine tuning is necessary. I guess it will just depend upon how neutral the steering is (understeer vs. oversteer).
 

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Very interesting to read this, and thank you, Captain Underpants. (And yes, it was that much fun just to be able to write "Thank you, Captain Underpants.")

I agree with your assessment of the stock suspension. I also think I'm personally probably, at best, halfway between the average drive and your level of speed. Also come from a history of much stiffer suspensions and more aggressive driving, though did 8-10 years of road racing and, of course, there's nothing like that on the street.

I find the stock shocks about 20% mushier than I would like. Changing shocks at 35K isn't attractive, and I don't want to lower the car since it's currently my sole vehicle and occasionally takes me on less smooth or even dirt roads. (I can also rant against the ridiculous 225/45R19 tires, too.)

The rear sway bar is very intriguing to me. How do you think just that would work with the stock springs and shocks? I would rather surrender ultimate feel and grip than have an unbalanced car. Thanks for your comments.
 

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I asked CorkSport for advice on the sway bar tension, and their engineer recommended the looser setting. That's what i'm using, with Michelin PS4 tires. (I forget his name, but he had substantial driving experience with their Mazda6 upgrades.)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The rear sway bar is very intriguing to me. How do you think just that would work with the stock springs and shocks? I would rather surrender ultimate feel and grip than have an unbalanced car. Thanks for your comments.
I did the spring / sway bar swap all as one, so I can only speculate on the sway bar individually. I think you will be very happy with the sway bar just on its own. My biggest complaint with the handling was the non linear feel caused by so much body roll due to the overly soft rear end. The sway bar should help a lot with this. I don't think you can go wrong with just the sway bar.
 
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