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Discussion Starter #223
Canyon rider I love your setup, what endlinks you recommend with the racing beat sway bar?
I'm running home-made endlinks from the the Grainger catalog - I get a pretty good discount at work. I wouldn't use them on the street because they are not weatherproof.

For street use, the AWR endlinks appear to be the ticket. I have no experience with them, but they appear to be a quality product.
 

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Lowspeed
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Two quick questions for ya-
You've got some nifty condoms on your ball joints in the pic below, can I get some details on those?
Also, in your wide travels have you come across suitable replacement boots for same?

My superpower seems to be the ability to tear random rubber bits in my wheel wells. I've already managed to rip the boots on both my SPC's, at different times, and both outer CV boots, and now have a torn boot on a lower CA. That's five separate occasions over the time I've been driving this car! If tall buildings were involved, I could leap them...

SPC was kind enough to ship out replacement boots, both times, for free, which was remarkably customer service oriented of them I thought.


 

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Discussion Starter #225
I share that propensity. :) When I bought new control arms, they came with the protective shipping caps. I left them on until I assembled the steering knuckles to avoid damaging the boots.

You can buy replacement control arm boots from your local Mazda dealer for around $10 IIRC. I may even have a couple laying around the shop.
 

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Lowspeed
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:facepalm:

Of all the places I looked, of all the crazy replacement schemes I read online, of all the fail info like needing to order the entire arm, it never occurred to me to call the dealer...

may need glasses, can't see the tree for all the woods around...
 

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I LOVE this thread! Amazing job CR! Might I ask how competitve your setup is? Such as what cars are you keeping up with or similar lap times with? Id love to build mine up some day but I cant make up my mind whether to keep the 6 and build it or keep it as a dd and build a lil track miata :/
 

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Discussion Starter #228 (Edited)
I LOVE this thread! Amazing job CR! Might I ask how competitve your setup is? Such as what cars are you keeping up with or similar lap times with? Id love to build mine up some day but I cant make up my mind whether to keep the 6 and build it or keep it as a dd and build a lil track miata :/
Thanks for the props! I won't lie, the 6 is not a real competitive platform - especially at the national level. But it doesn't mean you can't have fun with it. It also doesn't mean you can't win with it. It all depends on what you want to do with it. I'm not yet at a point where I can run a full season of AutoX and track events (raising kids, paying for college, etc). So the 6 was cheap and available when I no longer needed it as a 4-door DD. It allows me to run a half dozen AutoX's and a couple of track events a year. I think I said in a prior post, the car's primary purpose is to entertain me, put a grin on my face and satisfy my need to tinker.

There is always a better car or platform out there. Like most car nuts, I'm always lusting after something newer, faster, cooler. If you are just starting out, it almost doesn't matter what you drive (I remember not believing this when I first heard it as a novice). It's actually easier to learn to drive fast in a "slow" car than in a "fast" car. To illustrate this point and to answer your question "what cars does the 6 keep up with", take a look at my latest AutoX results.

Of 111 cars posting times from 36sec to 56sec, you'll find me 51st. About 3.75sec behind the fastest car. Note that the first 50 cars are less than 4sec apart, while the last 50 are over a 16sec spread. Some of the cars below me: WRX, S2000, Boxter, VW GTI, 911, Cobra Mustang, MS Miata, MS3, Lotus Elise, Evo, M3, 350Z, etc. Are ALL these cars slower or less competitive that the 6? Hardly. I'd venture to say, with more seat time most of them could be within 4sec of the lead. So I wouldn't get too hung up on "what car to have". The guys in the top 20 could probably be there in just about any car.
So get out there and get some seat time in your 6 - no mods required to have fun. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #229 (Edited)
So after a couple of AutoX's to shakedown the car, we found and corrected a number of minor problem. There are still two issues that need to be resolved before we get to VIR in about a month.

1: Despite rolling the rear fenders, the 285s still rub a bit in full compression. I don't think this is going to be a problem at VIR because I plan to swap tires. The 285s I've been running are left over AutoX tires from my Bullitt and have a wear rating of only 30. This is too soft for 3 days at VIR - they would never last (especially being half wore out). I'll be running a new set of 245s with a wear rating of 140. The narrower tire should eliminate the rub problem and the harder compound should easily go three days.

2: I've also decided the car may have too much oversteer. For tight corners of an AutoX, it definitely has too much oversteer. It probably won't be so pronounced on a road course, but I need the ability to soften the rear swaybar if it becomes a problem at the track.

You may remember I added a hole to the rear swaybar to give us some adjustability.





There are two problems: 1- the soft setting (outer hole) is still too hard. 2- it is all but impossible to move the endlink from hole to hole at the track. We'll solve both problems by changing the two holes to a continuous slot extending almost to the end of the bar. This will give us more adjustability and allow us to just loosen the endlink and slide it down while at the track. Much easier! :thumbup:

Stay tuned. :D
 

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Thanks for your reply that really shed some new light on what I was thinking! I just wanted to make sure that when I do take my car to a track it would still be competitve enough to be fun (being lapped is never fun haha) well sounds like its more the driver than the car as with most racing. I have some experience in shifter karts (125cc motos) and worked at PKRA for 3 years so hopefully I can transfer that knowledge I have into a full size vehicle. Id honestly think just doing suspension work would be all I need to have some fun in my 6. Like you Im not worried about winning so much, but id still like to be able to keep up somewhat to make it fun. Keep up the good work and good luck with future events!
 

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Discussion Starter #231
THIS is much better!



I gotta say I'm a little disappointed with the manufacturing quality of this RB Swaybar. One arm is nearly a 1/4" shorter than the other. The short arm is shown above. I had to grind some of the swedging down to get the slot length equal to the other side. :mad:
 

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Awesome idea. You're sure you're not getting any slipping of the endlink in that slot? On a street car, swaybar forces are pretty high, but on your 285 R-tire shod beast, the cornering forces that bar is trying to counteract must be enormous.
 

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Lowspeed
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I was wondering the same, about slippage in that slot.
maybe a sharpie index mark to easily spot changes till you get a sense of how it behaves
 

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Discussion Starter #234
Good points. Holes are often prefered because you can carefully drill them and be sure not to create lever arms of differing lengths. Slots are not uncommon, but you need a way to index the arm length on each side. I plan to file some index notches similar to the pic below.



As for slippage, it's possible, but the forces are almost entirely in the vertical plane. When the endlink is not perpendicular to the slot, the force componant along the slot axis should be able to be handled by the clamping pressure of the bolt.

Another setup I've seen is a sliding collar on a round bar - seems difficult to get both side set the same. And based on the angle of the endlink below, I'd be worried about slippage.

 

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I wasnt suggesting it WILL slip, only that its certainly now a possibility. I would just index it with a sharpie as TiGray suggests...

Either way, awesome idea that I cant believe isnt more prevalent in mass produced adjustable bars.
 

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Discussion Starter #236
Got the sway bar done, back in the car and adjusted all the way to the end - as soft as it goes. :D

Hard to get a decent picture under there. :mad:





Hopefully we'll do one more AutoX before VIR.
 

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Discussion Starter #238
Got the new track tires mounted and balanced. I hate giving up so much contact patch dropping from 285/30 to 245/35 :mad: But these were affordable and have a wear rating of 140 which should provide better grip than the street tires I ran last year at VIR.

 

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Discussion Starter #240
285 Look like NASCAR tires!
They ARE pretty darn wide and give the 6 awesome grip - but they are also about $1200/set. :eek:

Update:
Fresh tires, pads, rotors, brake fluid - Check.
All suspension, exhaust, engine and tranny mounting fasteners re-tourqued - Check.

The only fasteners that took additional torque were the rear swaybar, rear control arms and the exhaust. The swaybar and exhaust didn't surprise me, but the I'll be checking the control arms again after each track session.

I think we're about ready to go - even though VIR is still 2 weeks away. Sadly, the 3-day event was cut to 2 days due to lack of entrants. Major bummer - I thought the economy was getting a bit better and we'd have at least as many folks as last year. :mad:
 
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