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Thread: Developing a rear sway bar alternative

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    Administrator Daox's Avatar
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    Developing a rear sway bar alternative

    Many Mirage owners have expressed dislike for the large amount of body roll that the Mirage has. Many owners have also mentioned that adding a rear sway bar to the car is one of the best first modifications you can make. I know many owners would also appreciate a cheaper solution to the Ultra Racing (~$200) rear sway bar. I've even nudged other companies to provide additional options for sway bars to no avail. So, I intend to provide a solution.

    I call it a solution because its not an actual sway bar. Allow me to explain. The torsion beam suspension we have on our car actually doubles as a sway bar without actually needing a separate sway bar (thus reducing cost). The beam that connects the two rear wheels actually twists when you go over a bump with one wheel and not the other just as a sway bar does. The problem with our beam is it simply isn't stiff enough for most of us. However, if we reinforce it, it acts the same as adding an additional sway bar. That is what my solution is. I am calling them torsion beam clamps.

    The torsion beam clamps simply reinforce the torsion beam stiffening it up. Pretty simple right? That is the idea. Keep it simple, keep the cost down. Its basically two pieces of bent steel that form a clamp around the rear torsion beam. The clamp strengthens the beam and helps it resist twisting.

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    Why hasn't anyone else done this before? I can't find any similar products on the market, so I'm not completely sure. One possibility is it does put additional stress through the torsion beam. Additional stress could lead to failure of components. But, many other aftermarket parts do the same thing such as stiffer springs, chassis braces, etc. Personally, I think that sway bars are more expensive and thus more profitable for companies so they go that route by default.

    The benefits of the torsion beam clamps are pretty nice though:
    1) They'll be a good amount cheaper than a full blown rear sway bar.
    2) You can use as many clamps as you'd like to adjust your desired stiffness. I anticipate that one or two will probably do the job.
    3) Installation is ridiculously easy. Simply bolt the two clamp halves together over the rear torsion beam and you're done.

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    I have done some work with testing things out as much as I can before hand. I ran some computer simulated stress analysis on the beam without any clamps and then with numerous sizes and numbers of clamps on it. This analysis allowed me to reduce the amount of twist in the beam while also optimizing the clamps to not add too much additional stress. I came up with a prototype design based off of that analysis. A single clamp should reduce twisting by about 25%, and two clamps reduce it by about 45%.

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    The prototypes are in the process of being made as I type this. A member of this forum works at a metal bending shop and I have recently got the blanks made up and into their possession. We will be doing testing as soon as they are made and available. I'll keep you all updated.


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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 automatic: 49.0 mpg (US) ... 20.8 km/L ... 4.8 L/100 km ... 58.8 mpg (Imp)


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  3. #2
    Moderator Eggman's Avatar
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    That's a brilliant idea!

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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 48.8 mpg (US) ... 20.8 km/L ... 4.8 L/100 km ... 58.6 mpg (Imp)


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    Some of torsion beam suspensions are set up to have the sway bar bolt on to the middle section hidden inside V-groove. Bar works on twist, by changing/removing it you can change rigidity of the beam. I think this could work if you have 2 clamps holding the ends of the bar

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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 46.4 mpg (US) ... 19.7 km/L ... 5.1 L/100 km ... 55.7 mpg (Imp)


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    Mileage Miser
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    Genius idea Daox!

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    Administrator Daox's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I was hoping you'd like it.


    Quote Originally Posted by cyclopathic View Post
    Some of torsion beam suspensions are set up to have the sway bar bolt on to the middle section hidden inside V-groove. Bar works on twist, by changing/removing it you can change rigidity of the beam. I think this could work if you have 2 clamps holding the ends of the bar
    The ends of the bar are held by the rest of the rear axle assembly. Its just not shown in my pictures because it wasn't needed when I modeled things up. Here is an actual picture of the rear axle assembly.

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    When you twist that assembly, the most elastic deformation occurs in the middle of the beam. Thus that is where our first clamp goes. As we add clamps, we want the distance between the clamps to all be equal so stress is most evenly distributed.

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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 automatic: 49.0 mpg (US) ... 20.8 km/L ... 4.8 L/100 km ... 58.8 mpg (Imp)


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    ^^^ I tried to find the picture, but the one I am thinking of had a bar fashioned as a straight rod with 2 eyelets on the end. The middle beam had 2 through mounting holes, and the bar was bolted in in V-grove of the middle beam. This may not work on Mirage (unless someone wants to drill beam, but idea was very similar, reinforce the connection beam with external piece.

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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 46.4 mpg (US) ... 19.7 km/L ... 5.1 L/100 km ... 55.7 mpg (Imp)


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    Lately I've been wondering if the Racing Beat rear sway bar for the Mazda 2 would work on our cars. It's a bar that is located inside the torsion beam, and is clamped onto either end.

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    Senior Member Charlie's Avatar
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    Awesome Daox! As someone who isn't actually that interested in improving the handling of his daily driver, I still have to recognize how awesome and 'above & beyond' you've went with this!

    -Charlie-

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angrybeaver View Post
    Lately I've been wondering if the Racing Beat rear sway bar for the Mazda 2 would work on our cars. It's a bar that is located inside the torsion beam, and is clamped onto either end.
    http://www.racingbeat.com/Mazda-2/Sway-Bars/77101.html


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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 46.4 mpg (US) ... 19.7 km/L ... 5.1 L/100 km ... 55.7 mpg (Imp)


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    That's the one! Thank you Cyclopathic! I don't know if anyone has the resources to get the measurements for both our bar and the Mazda 2.



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