My "follow-along" Mazda5 Suspension upgrade

Dave, I can't remember for sure how I installed mine and since I don't have the stock springs installed on my 2012 I can't just go out and look. But here is the link to my thread. There's a pic there where I can see the orange dot. See if that gives you a perspective on which direction to install them. By the way I installed mine correctly because I looked at a used 2012 MZ5 we had in our car lot. http://www.mazdas247.com/forum/showthread.php?123827975-Upgrade-on-2006-rear-suspension-to-2012
I did see that thread, thank you! I am beginning to think the dots are just to identify the springs.
 

I suggest you take a few mins and completely disassemble the SPC arms to see how it is constructed and you’ll fully understand. Essentially it is a 3 piece design where A nests into B which nests into C (see pic, B is AKA “large 32MM adjusting nut”). Pinch bolt locks B and C, lock nut locks A and B. Since the pieces nests into each other, you ideally want the extension between A:B to be similar to B:C to distribute load and neither points should exceed ” with A:B being the weaker point, IMO. The stock arms are exactly 11.25” eye-to-eye. To adjust, you would loosen the lock nut and pinch bolt and adjust “B: adjustment nut” in/out, then lock everything in place, put wheels on, roll car to get new measurements. At least this is how I understand it :p


The lower spring seat remains since it is just a gasket, unlike the upper seat which covers the top coil. Random stupid idea: assuming it fits, you can reuse the old upper perch on the lower coil. This should in theory add a slight bit of height too (<.2”?) and provide an slightly thicker layer for NVH but this is just my random at the moment stupid idea.
I see how they are put together, with the larger nut moving a sleeve in/out of the arm, and the smaller nut being a locknut for the outer bushing. Great diagram!

I guess my confusion stemmed from the term "outer bushing", which makes sense now. Which also means I need to unhook the camber arm to adjust it differently. Grrr.

Even with the pinch bolt tightened it doesn't seem like it tightened enough to take the slack/slop out of the bigger threads. I'll look closer. Thanks!


I also have people saying these arms are a waste of time/money and will just fail. Any truth to that? I'm doubting it.
 
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2008 Mazda5 GT
I guess my confusion stemmed from the term "outer bushing", which makes sense now. Which also means I need to unhook the camber arm to adjust it differently. Grrr.
Nope. I think my pic is misleading you, you really should take yours apart and see. The B:Adjusting Nut is not just a nut. It is a nut connected to a shaft (or tube) that is, in this pic, fully inserted into C, which it should NOT be. Whatever gap you have between B:C equals the distance you can retract or make the arm “smaller” once installed. You can back B out of C as far as it is safe (1/2: per instructions) without unhooking anything. Rather or not you can reach the adjustment nut is another story.

I don't think the pinch bolts needs super tight pressure. The arms endure vertical forces given how the trail arm is designed. It does not twist so I don't think it will be an issue. If you look at the Megans/Topspeed, it looks like they simply give you a nut to hand tighten (I could be mistaken on that)...



I haven't heard these are prone to failure. Can you point me to where you see this? What exactly is the failure refering too? Works A.OK for me.
 
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It was further explained that the large collar is right-hand-threaded and the outer bushing is left-hand-threaded, so that when the adjusting nut is turned, both are adjusted evenly. Now it all makes sense to me.

As for being failure-prone, it was a couple nay-sayers on another automotive forum I'm on.

"If this is for a daily driver, then no. They make zero sense. They will fail 3x faster than stock."
"Camber isn't the issue on those cars, it's just making sure the bushings aren't sloppy and the toe alignment is right."
"IMO, return them or sell on ebay. Aftermarket, especially heim jointed like that, will turn that car into an even bigger pile of unreliable shit."
"Install the arms. Sell the car."
 
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2006 Mazda5 Touring
^^Is this a Honda forum by any chance? They sound like a bunch of un-informed d-bags to me. I think the adjustable arms are one of those " better to have it and NOT need it, than need it and NOT have it"
kind of deals.
 
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Mazda 5 GT 2009
Were your lateral links sitting cock-eyed in the mounting tabs like this l/l or were they vertical between the tabs lke this l l l ? If they were sitting crooked i would go ahead and replace them, you dont want to have to tear it all apart again right? Snow, in springtime, stupid damn global warming...
when i replaced my rear shocks I noticed that link "|/|" issue you mentioned. If I'm trying to eliminate a clunk should i be going whole hog like the OP? Are there parts and bushings out there that will last longer than OE?
 
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2008 Mazda5 GT
The language in their response show they are young or immature. They provide NOTHING of substance, just a bunch of blanket statements... I agree, in general, that camber is not the issue with this car. It is dynamic toe going into extreme due to worn bushing coupled with worn shocks. If these are fixed and you are DDing with no intent of dialing alignment, they are not necessary. However, having them allows you to alter the dynamic toe range to keep it out of the extreme to prevent scrubbing.

Are they at least Mz3 owners or have experience with this particular arm design (SPC makes a whole lot of other “types” of arms which cannot be compared)?? It sounds more like they have no respect for a family car (anything but a “sports” car). In my eyes, these arms are a very simple construction which is great. The only way it can fail are due to 1) physically break/crack (highly doubt, unless you set it wrong as in exceeding the A:B gap, then this is user error, see warning in step 8) 2) the busing fail early (possible since it IS aftermarket, time will tell but it look/felt good to me, I also like that SPC bushing are supposedly softer/forgiving like OEM) 3) the lock nut or pinch bolt does not hold (highly unlikely, lock nut is a lock nut and the pinch bolt does not require much force, see step 9). Disclaimer: I only have mind on for ~7 months.

BTW, I just realized the instructions answered your own questions ;). But again, the ability to reach the nut is a different question.
7. Install tire and wheel assembly and lower vehicle.
8. Adjust camber by turning large 32mm adjusting nut until desired camber is reached.
Warning: The gap between the large adjusting nut and the outer end of the arm should
not exceed 12.7mm (1/2”). See Fig #1. Exceeding the range of adjustment of these arms
may cause the arm to fail and void warranty.
9. Tighten small pinch bolt and nut to 20 lb-ft. Tighten jamb nut tightly against
adjuster nut
 
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2006 Mazda5 Touring
To answer your question Moe Drama, you may not need to go all the way crazy as Dave is. The lateral links all by themselves are probably not the source of your clunking, but they may be one of a number of small things that ARE adding up to a clunk. While you are under the car take a close look at your trailing arm bushings and be sure that they are OK, check your springs, make sure that the upper and lower seats (rubber isolators) are in place, not rotted, crooked, or worst missing. Your rear sway bar bushings and end links are another likely culprit in the rear suspension for knocking and clunking. If any one, or two of these things is going on then your lateral links have likely had a lot of stress put on them and will most likely then need to be replaced. Conversely, replacing the lateral links but leaving the other issues un-addressed will not solve your clunking.
 
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Mazda 5 GT 2009
To answer your question Moe Drama, you may not need to go all the way crazy as Dave is. The lateral links all by themselves are probably not the source of your clunking, but they may be one of a number of small things that ARE adding up to a clunk. While you are under the car take a close look at your trailing arm bushings and be sure that they are OK, check your springs, make sure that the upper and lower seats (rubber isolators) are in place, not rotted, crooked, or worst missing. Your rear sway bar bushings and end links are another likely culprit in the rear suspension for knocking and clunking. If any one, or two of these things is going on then your lateral links have likely had a lot of stress put on them and will most likely then need to be replaced. Conversely, replacing the lateral links but leaving the other issues un-addressed will not solve your clunking.
Thanks for the input, i'll jack it up and have look at that stuff. The sway bar bushings and links looked ok but ill give them a solid wiggle to check this time. We do load up the 5 and tow a fibreglass camper a few times a year and i'd like to upgrade any weak links under there if possible.
 
Well that was short-lived. *sigh*. Never even got around to putting the front FSDs on there. Front suspension was going to be a spring project.

What a waste of time and money. Totaled. No idea how the hell she managed to pull this off.

2008 Grand Touring, purchased brand new. New trans put in about a year ago.

 
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Well that was short-lived. *sigh*. Never even got around to putting the front FSDs on there. Front suspension was going to be a spring project.

What a waste of time and money. Totaled. No idea how the hell she managed to pull this off.

2008 Grand Touring, purchased brand new. New trans put in about a year ago.

I know this is a old thread, but how did the rear end "finish up" ride wise? I ask because i just bought a 14 Grand Touring and i notice how stiffish the suspension is, so i was going to upgrade it. Any thoughts would be great.....

Also any known issues i should look out for would be great, thanks in advance...
 
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