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I wouldn't worry about the 'downward angle' of the sway bar too much. The OEM bar had a slight downward angle, I'm sure Mazda knew what they were doing. The angle of the bar isn't as important as BOTH sides having the SAME ANGLE.
Incorrect. For the sway bar to actually function properly, the geometry needs to be correct. If the bar is angled, the force applied to the end of the bar will push or pull on the bar instead of rotating it. This will reduce the effectiveness of the bar. Applying pushing or pulling forces to the bar will damage the mounting brackets and if there is enough force applied it can rip them off. My OEM bar was pretty close to straight. The bar as shown above has nearly a 45° angle. It is absolutely not installed correctly.
 

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Incorrect. For the sway bar to actually function properly, the geometry needs to be correct. If the bar is angled, the force applied to the end of the bar will push or pull on the bar instead of rotating it. This will reduce the effectiveness of the bar. Applying pushing or pulling forces to the bar will damage the mounting brackets and if there is enough force applied it can rip them off. My OEM bar was pretty close to straight. The bar as shown above has nearly a 45° angle. It is absolutely not installed correctly.
I get what you're trying to explain, but I'm simply saying (per multiple sources) that the ANGLE of the bar doesn't necessarily mean there is a "problem", as your picture suggests.

I spoke with Bruce Kress at Racing Beat at length about this when looking into suspension parts, as I was concerned that the OEM sway bars aren't EXACTLY "straight". He said that the angle doesn't matter, as long as BOTH sides of the sway bar are angled the same and you install the bar & endlinks with the tires on the ground/ramps, and you don't have ANY pressure pulling or pushing against the endlinks as they're installed into the sway bar holes. I don't know Bruce from Adam, so who knows if he's just talking out his rear end, but...

From the Miata forums:
"When a sway bar is preloaded it means that the bar is trying to list the car to one side or another. It has absolutely nothing to do with the bar's position relative to control arms, the body whatever.

Imagine a perfectly stock car. Now, sit in the car. Your weight is pushing down on the left side of the car. You are compressing the left side suspension more than the right. Because of this you are causing the left end of the bar to pull up on the right side of the bar, and compress (slightly) the right side suspension. Preload is the difference in force one end of the swaybar is applying to the other side of the car. "



I'm not saying the RSB & endlinks are installed correctly on Y100's car... simply recommending that he needs to stop focusing so much on the "angle" and just make sure it's installed correctly. I did put my stock suspension back on last month, and my rear sway bar was angled slightly downward, fyi (after a day of driving around). Yes, it's possible something changed from all this swapping of parts, but still. If you can load the suspension with the tires on, and easily slip the endlinks through the sway bar, that should be "correct" enough, especially for street driving... regardless of the sway bar position/angle.
 

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The preload quote is not the same thing. Preload is when one end link is longer than the other so the sway bar is under tension all the time. This is not the case here, and this is most likely what the guy at RB was referring to.
The angle is indeed important, and the angle will indicate whether or not the installation is correct. What you should be looking for is a 90 ° connection between the bar and the link so that the bar will twist properly along its axis. For the Mazda 3 that means the bar will be approximately parallel to the chassis. The 90° connection will ensure that there is no transmission of force through the axis of the end link directly into the mounting brackets. Also, if the end links are pushing on the mounting brackets instead of turning the sway bar that will have an impact on ride quality as it may impede movement of the LCA.
 

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I just greased everything to completely rule out any source of the original creaking noise. Nothing was changed besides swapping out the sway bar assembly and removing/reinstalling the rear wheels. Oddly enough, the noise has happened a bit less in the past couple of days, though I haven't touched anything since my last post and the sway bar is still at that downward angle. Regardless, I'm going to ramp the car and readjust the sway bar today and see what happens.
Compare the OEM end links to the aftermarket ones you have installed. Are they close to being the same length?
 

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Compare the OEM end links to the aftermarket ones you have installed. Are they close to being the same length?
I had the same thought. Even though I compared them when I originally got them, I figured I'd check again for the hell of it, and they're exactly the same length. But then when I disconnected the bottom ends of the Moogs and pushed the Progress bar up to the level/parallel position, there was about a three inch gap left between the bottom ends of the Moogs and the connection points. I was getting extremely frustrated before, but now I'm just completely baffled.

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On a slight positive note, on the drive home (been using my parents' garage) the clunking sound wasn't nearly as frequent or loud. I guess having the suspension loaded for the endlink reinstallation did something?🤷‍♂️
 

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Compare the OEM end links to the aftermarket ones you have installed. Are they close to being the same length?
They should be the same length, from bolt to bolt.
The Moog just looks shorter because of how beefy it is.

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The preload quote is not the same thing. Preload is when one end link is longer than the other so the sway bar is under tension all the time. This is not the case here, and this is most likely what the guy at RB was referring to.
The angle is indeed important, and the angle will indicate whether or not the installation is correct. What you should be looking for is a 90 ° connection between the bar and the link so that the bar will twist properly along its axis. For the Mazda 3 that means the bar will be approximately parallel to the chassis. The 90° connection will ensure that there is no transmission of force through the axis of the end link directly into the mounting brackets. Also, if the end links are pushing on the mounting brackets instead of turning the sway bar that will have an impact on ride quality as it may impede movement of the LCA.
Just from my experience, the Progress RSB will never be 90 degrees relative to the endlink, using either the stock or Moog endlink. This was my very first upgrade before any other suspension mods, and you simply can't get it to be at that angle.. unless of course, you're using adjustable endlinks.

I'm not saying the 90° angle is wrong, but Mazda's OEM parts can't even get to the 90° angle you're referencing.
 

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I had the same thought. Even though I compared them when I originally got them, I figured I'd check again for the hell of it, and they're exactly the same length. But then when I disconnected the bottom ends of the Moogs and pushed the Progress bar up to the level/parallel position, there was about a three inch gap left between the bottom ends of the Moogs and the connection points. I was getting extremely frustrated before, but now I'm just completely baffled.

On a slight positive note, on the drive home (been using my parents' garage) the clunking sound wasn't nearly as frequent or loud. I guess having the suspension loaded for the endlink reinstallation did something?🤷‍♂️
Don't get frustrated, that's just how it's going to be unless you want to mess around with adjustable endlinks. It's almost like Mazda originally made the RSB / endlinks for a slightly lowered ride height.

Just for kicks, I installed the H&R springs (1.5-1.75" drop? I forget..) on my Mazda3 (with OEM shocks), and the RSB was actually VERY close to 90° with the endlinks. But with the OEM springs, the RSB is angled downward.
Again, all of this is with the stock or Moog endlinks, which are the same length.
 

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I had the same thought. Even though I compared them when I originally got them, I figured I'd check again for the hell of it, and they're exactly the same length. But then when I disconnected the bottom ends of the Moogs and pushed the Progress bar up to the level/parallel position, there was about a three inch gap left between the bottom ends of the Moogs and the connection points. I was getting extremely frustrated before, but now I'm just completely baffled.

View attachment 278500 View attachment 278501

On a slight positive note, on the drive home (been using my parents' garage) the clunking sound wasn't nearly as frequent or loud. I guess having the suspension loaded for the endlink reinstallation did something?🤷‍♂️
Just looking at that picture says something is wrong. Are you absolutely sure the bar is mounted correctly and in the correct orientation? It looks too high overall....If those end links are the same size as the OEM parts there should not be a 3 in gap between the end link and the control arm when placed in the position shown.
 

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Just looking at that picture says something is wrong. Are you absolutely sure the bar is mounted correctly and in the correct orientation? It looks too high overall....If those end links are the same size as the OEM parts there should not be a 3 in gap between the end link and the control arm when placed in the position shown.
I installed it as the directions described, and I'm plenty neurotic enough to have checked again every time I've gone under there. Aside from factory error, I'm left wondering could the control arms themselves be out of position?
 

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What did the OEM setup look like? The control arms look ok in the pictures...those pictures show the relative positions with the suspension fully loaded, wheels on the ground (or ramps), bar parallel to the subframe, the car not supported by jacks or jackstands, correct?
 

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What did the OEM setup look like? The control arms look ok in the pictures...those pictures show the relative positions with the suspension fully loaded, wheels on the ground (or ramps), bar parallel to the subframe, the car not supported by jacks or jackstands, correct?
Yes to all of that. The only time I had a close look at the OEM setup is when I swapped it out, which was on jacks with the wheels off. I don't have a photographic memory, but I really can't recall the OEM bar drooping at such a noticeable angle.
 

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Yes to all of that. The only time I had a close look at the OEM setup is when I swapped it out, which was on jacks with the wheels off. I don't have a photographic memory, but I really can't recall the OEM bar drooping at such a noticeable angle.
The OEM setup doesn't angle as much, but it still angles downward.

The amount of gap you have is the same amount I had too with my OEM springs/shocks. With lowered springs, the gap isn't as bad... the lower you go, the less downward angle you'll have.

Here's how the angle looks on OEM springs/shocks, compared to Racing Beat springs + Koni shocks. Didn't take any pics when I put the H&R springs on, but the RSB was pushed even higher, closer to 90-degree with the endlinks.

The stock RSB is closer to the angle of the bar with RB springs.

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Looking good.
CK
 

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Just finished a lengthy drive over local highways, backroads, and streets of various surface qualities. Barely any clanking noises anymore except when one side passes over particularly sharp bumps or rough patches. But the noise that does occur is much less harsh now and isn't focused in that one spot anymore. I'm sure the sway bar not being perfectly even probably was and still is related to the residual noise, but I'd also wager that the left side endlink might have just been a tiny bit too loose after all.
 

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Just finished a lengthy drive over local highways, backroads, and streets of various surface qualities. Barely any clanking noises anymore except when one side passes over particularly sharp bumps or rough patches. But the noise that does occur is much less harsh now and isn't focused in that one spot anymore. I'm sure the sway bar not being perfectly even probably was and still is related to the residual noise, but I'd also wager that the left side endlink might have just been a tiny bit too loose after all.
Glad it's not noisy anymore for you. Would the greasing of the endlinks possibly be a cause for it being or becoming loose? I thought about doing the same just to keep it from rusting, but I don't recall that being in the install instructions. I figured I'd just go back and grease it if it ever made any noises but haven't had any noise issues so I just forgot about it.
 

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No need for grease on the end links. If they make noise, they most likely need retightening.
CK
 

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Glad it's not noisy anymore for you. Would the greasing of the endlinks possibly be a cause for it being or becoming loose? I thought about doing the same just to keep it from rusting, but I don't recall that being in the install instructions. I figured I'd just go back and grease it if it ever made any noises but haven't had any noise issues so I just forgot about it.
I greased them after they were initially making the noises.
 

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Glad it's not noisy anymore for you. Would the greasing of the endlinks possibly be a cause for it being or becoming loose? I thought about doing the same just to keep it from rusting, but I don't recall that being in the install instructions. I figured I'd just go back and grease it if it ever made any noises but haven't had any noise issues so I just forgot about it.
If there are zerk fittings, you can always add a little grease that way, but greasing the entire exterior probably isn't necessary. In fact, depending on the grease used, it could attract direct and actually cause undesired wear.
 

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I never really grease anything that doesn't call for it, but I do spray PB Blaster on all my bolts once they're removed just to keep rust off of'em. Especially more exposed bolts like the LCA bolt and any bolts around the hub, calipers, etc. The Moog endlink bolts actually already had some kind of coating on them when I bought'em, similar to PB Blaster but no smell.. so I didn't bother to spray them.
 

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Crazy question but, can the rear bar be installed without having to undo a control arm and removing a spring?

I think I remember one company said you didn't in their install (I could be mistaken), but most say you do.


The work itself isn't an issue, but I won't have time to get to an alignment shop to redo the autocross setup for another month and with the soft rubber bushings we have, undoing one side will result in the settings getting messed up (even though it's a round bolt, round hole setup - those soft rubber bushings are under tension and the toe won't be the same afterwards).
 
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