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My track toy got wrecked, so I'm thinking I might just race my mazda 3 this upcoming autocross season. I raced it once before and found it surprisingly fun and capable, but not the most controlled. Body roll is a bit excessive and it's surprisingly tail happy for a FWD car. The steering is way too light too but not much I can do about that...

I'm thinking about doing springs and struts and a RSB to tighten things up a bit. I don't want a punishing ride driving around town and plan to pass this off to my daughter, but I do want to stiffen it up a bit and control body roll some. I'm at the autocross to have fun and not trying to dominate or anything, so I don't need to get too extreme. The corksport options look pretty appealing for a slight stiffening without getting excessive, but are there other options worth considering?
 

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Poeple who say the steering is too light must have never had power steering or something. It has the same 16.1:1 as my Talon TSi did and i find it perfectly balanced. I also find that about 50# in the trunk tames the tail pretty well, contrary to normal belief.
 

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I'm not familiar with front wheel drive, but I'm not sure that adding roll stiffness in the rear will increase overall grip on that end of the car. I'd suspect that increasing the front roll stiffness would yield the desired results.
I'm interested what the experienced FWD community has to say on this subject.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
 

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Read the rules for what your local autox club allows for your class.
Locally, Hstock basically limits you to uprating tire compound and a few tiny tweaks to alignment IIRC.
Anything swaybar related bumps you up a class.
 

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My track toy got wrecked, so I'm thinking I might just race my mazda 3 this upcoming autocross season. I raced it once before and found it surprisingly fun and capable, but not the most controlled. Body roll is a bit excessive and it's surprisingly tail happy for a FWD car. The steering is way too light too but not much I can do about that...

I'm thinking about doing springs and struts and a RSB to tighten things up a bit. I don't want a punishing ride driving around town and plan to pass this off to my daughter, but I do want to stiffen it up a bit and control body roll some. I'm at the autocross to have fun and not trying to dominate or anything, so I don't need to get too extreme. The corksport options look pretty appealing for a slight stiffening without getting excessive, but are there other options worth considering?
Before you go any further with this, you need to figure out what class you want to be in and determine what you can or can't do to the car.


I'm not familiar with front wheel drive, but I'm not sure that adding roll stiffness in the rear will increase overall grip on that end of the car. I'd suspect that increasing the front roll stiffness would yield the desired results.
I'm interested what the experienced FWD community has to say on this subject.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
Adding a larger rear bar will reduce the tendency to understeer. However, if you are going to be pushing the car hard, a larger bar can induce snap over steer at the limit.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not really concerned about class, like I said I'm not out there to win, I just like to have fun and enjoy pushing the car. Just looking for something that is a nice balance of improved capability while maintaining reasonably daily driving comfort.
 

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I'm thinking about doing springs and struts and a RSB to tighten things up a bit. I don't want a punishing ride driving around town and plan to pass this off to my daughter, but I do want to stiffen it up a bit and control body roll some. I'm at the autocross to have fun and not trying to dominate or anything, so I don't need to get too extreme. The corksport options look pretty appealing for a slight stiffening without getting excessive, but are there other options worth considering?
Any of the better spring sets, H&R, Eibach, Racing Beat etc
Progress rear sway bay
JBR front sway bar or whatever brand you prefer
Koni Special Active shocks
Those will get you started.....then you can move on to strut braces, chassis braces etc....
 

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Don't forget, if you're gonna run r-comps or re71's, you'll be taxing the OEM components real quick.
Can't speak to the lighter mazda 3's, but my gen 1 mazda 6 on Toyo RA1's would routinely go through a set of bearings every other year.

Was daily driving that as well, probably 15k miles/year.
 

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Don't forget, if you're gonna run r-comps or re71's, you'll be taxing the OEM components real quick.
Can't speak to the lighter mazda 3's, but my gen 1 mazda 6 on Toyo RA1's would routinely go through a set of bearings every other year.

Was daily driving that as well, probably 15k miles/year.
This....

You don't want to be running super sticky tires with your stock suspension either. If you push the car hard, the suspension can be overwhelmed and go past its limits, and the only thing keeping you going in the right direction is the tires. High performance tires can have not so good break away tendencies. That is, some will grip until they don't, then its all over. Make your tire choices accordingly....
 

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2016 sGT 6MT (no GVC)
BC suspension 12k swift f / 10k r (currently more spring than tire)
Progress RSB set on full stiff with GRP endlinks

First track day showed very capable, neutral handling. The car rotated EXTREMELY well. Minimal traction loss on the inside tire accelerating through / out of turns (i.e. very flat handling). I spent the track day driving relatively within the car's limits. Every time I braked later and later into turns, expecting to understeer and wash out, the car just rotated and continued to turn where I needed it to. As far as tracking a FWD car, this car required much less manual throttle control to balance corner rotation. I would attribute that a bit to the modern nanny systems my old car didn't have, but the suspension setup does make a difference. I spent the day being pushed around by Miatas and S2000s running semi-slicks, so I will be going with a softer tire and probably try inverting the BCM to fully disable all nannies (I am not endorsing the latter, play at your own risk).

My spring rates are a bit on the stiffer side for street, and isn't great driving around LA roads, but my recommendation would be to find softer spring rates with a smaller gap from front to rear. All spring rates I have seen that come with coilovers or spring setups tend to be more front biased, with 3k or more difference between front and rear. I think if you find a setup with a 2k or closer difference, it will improve the balance under aggressive driving. That along with a proper RSB and you should be all set. That is my recommendation from my experience.

-CR
 

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This....

You don't want to be running super sticky tires with your stock suspension either. If you push the car hard, the suspension can be overwhelmed and go past its limits, and the only thing keeping you going in the right direction is the tires. High performance tires can have not so good break away tendencies. That is, some will grip until they don't, then its all over. Make your tire choices accordingly....
With that said, my local club used to allow rcomps on stock classes, so I just built in those wheel bearing replacements to the cost of "having a massive tonne of fun". Would I do it again? 100% especially if you're going to consider all those mods that will bump you into the other super-competitive classes anyways.

What I definitely would recommend is NOT going super sticky tires for your first season. Learn to manipulate the stock chassis on not so competitive tires, and get as much seat time riding shotgun with the more seasoned vets.
 
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