How To: Racing Beat rear Sway bar on P5/ES

garretts77

Member
:
2007 WRX VF39'd
Ok, this is my instructions on how to install a Racing Beat rear sway bar on a Protege5 or ES (assuming that the ES is the same as a P5). This may also work on other 3rd gen models, but I could not say for sure. This how to: is for installation using AWR's mounting brackets, not the MSP rear subframe. Mods feel free to move this to the How To section if you so desire.

First things first. What you will need:
Racing beat rear sway bar
AWR brackets
AWR Poly bushings (the ones that Tony at AWR sent to me were 19mm)
Socket wrench and 14mm socket
Lithium grease
Mountain Dew Live Wire cause it's tasty...
Not pictured: 14mm box wrench, 5mm (I think) allen wrench

Will also need new endlinks, either MP3/MSP should work, or some adjustables like AWR will work. The P5 endlinks are too short. See bottom of post for more info.

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Step one: Remove lower end link bolt from factory sway bar. This is using the 14mm socket wrench. The first one came off rather easily. The second one was a bit tougher. I found that I was able to spin the nut, but the whole bolt was spinning with it. This is when you will need the 5mm allen wrench and 14mm box wrench. The bolt has a hole in it for an allen wrench. Hold the bolt in place and turn the nut. Then slide from the factory sway bar.

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Step two: Remove the factory brackets from the rear subframe. There are two brackets. Each one has a nut and a bolt. These are 14mm as well. Remove both brackets.

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Step three: You are now finished with the removal process. Easy huh? Pull out the factory rear sway and set aside. You are going to use the horseshoe brackets from this bar.

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Step four: Install AWR brackets. The new bracket will fit over the bolt that was left in the subframe. Tighten the nut and bolt that you removed back on the subframe.

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Step five: Lube up the poly bushings. I used a crap load. It may possibly be too much, but I figured it was better than not enough. I lubed both the bushings and the bar.

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Step six: The horseshoe brackets that wrapped your stock bushings are re-used over the newer (and bigger) poly bushings. The 19mm bushings do not fit exactly as they probably should due to the fact the bar is a 20mm bar. The Mazda bushings may fit better, but I used what Tony suggested. We will see how they hold up. Anyways fit the horseshoe brackets over the poly bushings and slide back under the car. The horseshoe brackets will line up with the holes in the AWR bracket. Secure them with the 4 bolts provided with the AWR brackets.

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Step seven: Re-connect the end link to their new home. Use the allen wrench and box wrench if necessary.


Viola! You are finished. I have never done this mod before today, and from start to finish, including the time it took to take pictures took me about 45 minutes. And that was taking my time. It was very simple to do. Once you get under there, it is very obvious what needs to happen. Here is the finished product.

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A couple of things to note: The Mazda bushings may fit the bar better. In fact I am sure that they would, however I do not know if they would perform better or worse than the polyurethane AWR bushings. I also do not know if they would fit in the stock horseshoe brackets. You might need to upgrade to the MP3/MSP horseshoe brackets, but I do not know for sure.
Also the end links do seem a bit weak once you get under there and look at them. They are supposed to work fine, but the AWR end links would make a fine upgrade I am sure.

That is it. If anybody else has done this mod and sees something blatantly wrong with what I posted here, let me know. The car handles fantastically! I did a little Indy car style tire warm up swerving down my street ant it felt like a slot car. Very little body roll. And the cloverleaf on-ramp to the freeway was no match for the RB bar. Good times!

Update(June 14,2004) <-- see update on post 14

Update(December 09,2004) <-- Problems were encountered while using the factory P5 endlinks. They are too short and cause the bar to rotate 180 degrees towards the front of the car. This has happened to a few people. Longer endlinks are needed. I assume that the factory MP3/MSP endlinks would be fine, but I used the AWR endlinks since the cost is about the same from the dealer. I adjusted them so that they are slightly down (5-10 degrees) from parallel to the ground. I have been driving on these for a while and it is great. I added this info later in the thread, but forgot to put it here.

Enjoy!
 
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macklum

Member
Thats what I did on my 2001LX,Everything looks great ,nice how to .
By the way wait until you put the adjustable endlinks and set the swaybar so the legs of the swaybar are paralell with the ground .
 

garretts77

Member
:
2007 WRX VF39'd
I was just asked for a price breakdown. At the time that this was written, the price for the AWR brackets cost about $20.xx each. The Poly bushings were $5.xx something each. So approx $50 plus shipping. I got the sway bar used from a member, so in my case the entire upgrade cost about $90. And it made a significant difference. Well worth $90. I just hope that the tabs on the P5 struts hold out for a while. If not I guess i will be getting some Tokiko HP's and my suspension will be finished...
 

garretts77

Member
:
2007 WRX VF39'd
I used lithium grease. I asked Tony at AWR what he thought would be best and he said that it is probably a good idea to use what the rest of the guys on the forum are having the best luck with. But he also mentioned a product from the mountain bike industry called Prolink chain lube by Progold. He said that this is also a good way to go.

Up to you...
 

DistantTea

Member
:
Mazdaspeed... of DOOM!
I've been to about a dozen shops and for some horrible twist of fate I CANNOT find any lithium grease. Its really starting to piss me off. I've been trying all kinds of stuff.
 

garretts77

Member
:
2007 WRX VF39'd
Napa was the first store that I went to and they had 4 or five different containers in various brands and sizes... Maybe a hardware store might have it?
 

rustychops41

Member
:
2007 Mazda 3s HB
couple of things to note: The Mazda bushings may fit the bar better.

I ended up going back to the rubber OEM "D" bushings due to the noise levels of the urethane, lubed or not. What I did was find a socket that was exactly 19MM in outside diameter, probably a 14mm or so. (I have the 19mm AWR bar, but you get the idea). If in doubt, use an open-end wrench to see if the socket "slips right in there." Then just use a Dremel or something similar and "hog out" the stock bushing until that socket fits good without a gap at the split in the OEM bushing. I probably lost a teeny bit of stiffness with the rubber versus the urethane, but the squeaking was worse than watching all of the Planet Of The Apes movies. . . . . out of sequence!
 

BlueWolfCry

Member
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02 LX, 03 MSP
good write up man. do you know anyone who distributes the racing beat sway bar? and what is better about the racingbeat sway bar than the oem p5 swaybar? thank you
 

garretts77

Member
:
2007 WRX VF39'd
OEM bar is either 16mm or 17mm. Racing beat bar is 20mm. That is pretty significant. Check out the chart below from Whiteline for an idea of the increase in rear end stiffness...

http://www.whiteline.com.au/docs/bulletins/010barup.pdf

From 16mm to 20mm is 144% stiffer and from 17mm to 20mm is 92% stiffer. I got the bar from an MSP owner that upgraded to AWR 21.5mm. They are up for sale often on this forum and have popped up a couple of times on eBay.

BTW, AWR makes a 19mm and a 21.5mm (obviously). I have read from some of the Aussie members that Whiteline makes a good bar that fits our cars, but you will probably have to contact them for specifics. I think that Suspension Techniques makes a set too, but I'm not sure. If you got any of these aftermarket bars, then this write-up may or may not apply.
 
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garretts77

Member
:
2007 WRX VF39'd
Update

OK, I have had the sway installed for a little over a week, and I love it. The suspension feels a little stiffer on uneven roads, but not harsh. ON the corners it handles much better. I was always pretty impressed with how the P5 handled with just springs and tires, but the sway makes it that much better.

I mentioned above that I was a little unsure about the smaller 19mm bushings. Well it turns out that I was right. The bushing is 1mm too small in diameter which means it is over 3mm too small in circumference. Well I took the car out to the mountains on Saturday to really try it out. It was great! for about 2 hours, then I started hearing clunking from the rear. I figured it was the infamous MSP clunk, but I took it easy and went back home. By the time I got home it was clunking over every little bump. When I looked under the car, one of the bushings was smashed. It was strectched out to about 3 inches long and not seated properly under the horseshoe bracket anymore. I am not putting down the AWR bushings at all, just that the 19mm didn't work very well on the 20mm bar. So I went to the dealer this morning and got the MSP bushings. They are part number BN7H-28-156E and are about $15/ea to anybody that is interested. I will try these out again sometime soon.

EDIT: I went to put on the Mazda bushings, and they do not fit in the P5 horseshoe brackets. I guess that I will need to buy some of them too. I will find out the cost tomorrow.
 
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wannabe

meh
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16 CX-5, Old: 06 Mazdaspeed6, 08 CX-7, 01 Protege ES/Mp3wannabe
SpicyMchaggis said:
don't you need different struts to use the stabilizer bar? or is it just the end links?

a couple people have had bad luck, and have snapped the tabs off their struts. but all in all, you dont really need anything....

my car with 53,000 miles on it needs new endlinks. if i snap the tabs off, then i guess i need those as well.
 

garretts77

Member
:
2007 WRX VF39'd
mp3wannabe said:
any update on the cost of the MSP horseshoes?
Well the MSP bushings do not fit in the P5 horseshoe brackets. They are just too damn big. So I went to the dealer to price the MSP brackets and they are $35 a piece! And I don't even know if they actually fit in the AWR mounting brackets. So I ordered another set of AWR bushings and I am going to dremel the hole a little bigger to make it nearer to 20mm.

PS: I experimented on one of the MSP bushings and cut away a bunch of material to make it fit in the P5 bracket, but by the time I was done, there was barely any bushing left. The walls were very thin, and since they are made out of rubber, I didn't think that would work. I am going to take the other one back and use that money for the two new AWR ones.
 

macklum

Member
When I put my MP3 rear bar on my sedan i used the rubber bushings that came withthe stock bar and opened them up to fit the 20mm bar ,i havent had any problems for 2 yrs .