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"My Fiancée's" Miata: Part 8 - Whiteline Roll Bars and Track Test

by Daniel O'Donnell

 

In Part 6 of our ongoing Miata project, we got to spend a lovely day tracking the car and finding out its good and bad traits. One of the most glaring problems, at least from the driver’s confidence standpoint, was a massive amount of body roll in the corners. Body roll, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world, especially as our Miata is at the stock ride height. It didn’t appear that we were running out of shock travel and we didn’t notice any exaggerated or strange tire wear, confirming that the suspension was working more or less as designed. That being said, it didn’t exactly inspire confidence. The car would set into a turn and take significant time to transfer load if I had quickly change directions. To improve the dynamics of the Miata and not feel like we’d roll over and off the track, the body roll had to be rectified.

 

Using the miracles of modern science, we go back in time to see a shot of the Miata in turn 3 at Gingerman Raceway in early 2016. Even on mismatched, all-season tires, the car felt like it wanted to flip over due to excessive body roll. When making a quick transition, you'd have to be ready to catch the car's under or oversteer once the load finally transferred.
 
The solution to our body roll problems comes in the form of Whiteline's very complete Miata front and rear roll bar system. On top of the bars, bushings and grease, one pair of adjustable links and collars are also included.
 
The front roll bar is two position adjustable, while the rear is three position adjustable. This level of flexibility allows for different driving styles, track setups and future modifications.
 
Whiteline bushings feature a textured inner surface to retain lubricant to keep squeaks at bay. Fast forward to late 2017, when this article is being published, and the bars are still offering silent performance!
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Comments
BANFSTC
BANFSTClink
Monday, November 20, 2017 11:52 AM
What would happen if you set one side of an anti-roll bar to a different setting than the other side of the same bar? Would you have a stiffness that is between the advertised settings? In other words, if you set the front bar to the stiffer hole on the left and the softer hole on the right, would you have an effective stiffness that is between the soft and stiff settings?

Or, would that just result in uneven stiffness when turning left or right?

If it is feasible to set the bars differently left-to-right, then you would now have a 3-way front bar and a 5-way rear bar. Your ability to fine tune the handling in the future would be more broad.
rawkus
rawkuslink
Monday, November 20, 2017 12:10 PM
You know, I've wondered this myself. I feel like there wouldn't be any negative effects in running different adjustment holes on different sides, but I'd love to hear other thoughts.
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Monday, November 20, 2017 12:34 PM
can I barrow Zack? I need my front sway bar installed on my NC
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, November 20, 2017 8:42 PM
BANFSTC, if you adjust the sides of the bar differently, your overall stiffness is the same either way, but since bars are sometimes irregularly shaped and sometimes have some bind, it is possible that the roll stiffness could be slightly different from side to side.
tanyeewei
tanyeeweilink
Monday, November 20, 2017 9:16 PM
Congrats on changing it to My Fiancée's Miata!
Nicolas G
Nicolas Glink
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 8:05 AM
BANFSTC, the RX Lights Spec series routinely adjust sides differently to get half steps in the adjustment.
rhocken
rhockenlink
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 6:42 PM
Having the left and right on the bar different causes oddness. Consider front wheels under straight line braking. Equal length arms results in the sway bar have no real impact. But on unequal length arms, say the right arm is shorter than the left, then the right suspension is trying to put more rotation on the bar for the same suspension compression than the left does. This results in the bar winding up, and the front of the car wanting to roll to the left to straighten the bar out. Depending on what the rear end is also doing it can result in uneven weight distribution across the front tires. Similar oddness occurs under actual cornering being unsymetrical for a left vs right turn. So I wouldn't really consider it a mid setting - it's more complex than that.
blackdbl0si
blackdbl0silink
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 10:19 AM
TITLE CHANGE!!!!

This was "My Girlfriends Miata" yesterday.
rawkus
rawkuslink
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 2:21 PM
blackdbl0si,
Don't let my girlfriend know!
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