Sway Bars

Hi guys,
Wondering on peoples opinions on if upgrading the sway bars has any benefit to the (‘16-current) CX-9? Before I keep going, I do recognize that the CX-9 is not a race car and I’m not going to be taking corners like I use to in my Honda Civic but just curious from a suspension/handling improvement perspective.
I have a ‘19 Signature AWD and am thinking about getting an SPR rear sway bar. Train of thought is the CX-9 is a taller vehicle and from my limited understanding, the taller the vehicle, the more you’d want to control body roll in turns. I’m waiting to confirm how thick these SPR sway bars are to see if they would make a difference. Here’s all my questions,

1. Given that I have an AWD, would I need to upgrade the front sway bar as well? I’m used to Honda’s where upgrading the rear was the priority as they were front wheel drive cars
2. Would I need to stiffen up the subframe? I guess the answer depends on how thick the aftermarket bars are. SPR makes a rear lower tie bar so not sure if that would be necessary.
3. Based on people’s opinions of how effective either bar would be, looking for thoughts on if it’s worth upgrading. I’m waiting to hear back on price so that could be a factor as well. That money could go towards other mods like wheels, other cosmetic parts etc
 
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Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2015
Basically, Factory sway bars are tuned to make the vehicle understeer (safer) as it is easier to recover from. That set up is Front sway bars are stiffer than the rear (normally). Not sure how is it set up for an AWD, front biased vehicle.

I do agree a better tire would be more beneficial.
 
That’s interesting b/c SPR makes the front 28mm and the rear is 26mm. So based on your comment, I’m assuming they make the front thicker to follow your logic regardless of AWD or not?
 

sm1ke

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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
The last car I added a sway bar to was a 1999 Honda Accord V6, which was FWD. One of the common handling mods was a rear sway bar upgrade. I will say that on that car, I felt a pretty noticeable difference in cornering. This was after I had already lowered the car on Eibach ProKit springs.

If it were me, based on my experience with my CX-9, I would try installing an upgraded front sway bar first. This is because I have swapped out my OEM wheels and tires in favour of wider wheels and better tires. Since switching to the wider wheels and better tires, I find that I tend to experience oversteer a bit more often. Turns are much sharper, but the transition out of the turn is less comfortable. My understanding is that a stiffer front sway bar would reduce oversteer and promote understeer, which should make the transition out of the turn much smoother and more comfortable. And I think your assumption re: SPR making the front thicker is correct.
 
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Mazda CX-9 Signature
Just curious where did you find the availability of sway bar? I tried searching on their website and couldn't find anything.
 
The last car I added a sway bar to was a 1999 Honda Accord V6, which was FWD. One of the common handling mods was a rear sway bar upgrade. I will say that on that car, I felt a pretty noticeable difference in cornering. This was after I had already lowered the car on Eibach ProKit springs.

If it were me, based on my experience with my CX-9, I would try installing an upgraded front sway bar first. This is because I have swapped out my OEM wheels and tires in favour of wider wheels and better tires. Since switching to the wider wheels and better tires, I find that I tend to experience oversteer a bit more often. Turns are much sharper, but the transition out of the turn is less comfortable. My understanding is that a stiffer front sway bar would reduce oversteer and promote understeer, which should make the transition out of the turn much smoother and more comfortable. And I think your assumption re: SPR making the front thicker is correct.
Thanks for the input sm1ke. That’s an interesting perspective based on the wider wheels (which is something I will eventually be doing)
Question, when you say you experience an uncomfortable transition out of a turn, are we talking about regular street turns? On ramp/off ramp turns? At what speeds?
Thinking I might be better off to wait until I upgrade my wheels and tires so that I can see if I experience the same thing as you before spending $700 plus on sway bars.
 
Just curious where did you find the availability of sway bar? I tried searching on their website and couldn't find anything.
A few sites come up under SPR Racing. Try this link below. Also, I had to use my computer as I don’t think their site is completely mobile friendly.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
Thanks for the input sm1ke. That’s an interesting perspective based on the wider wheels (which is something I will eventually be doing)
Question, when you say you experience an uncomfortable transition out of a turn, are we talking about regular street turns? On ramp/off ramp turns? At what speeds?
Thinking I might be better off to wait until I upgrade my wheels and tires so that I can see if I experience the same thing as you before spending $700 plus on sway bars.
The uncomfortable transition is from regular street turns. For example, turning from a main road with a 60 km/h speed limit to a residential road with the 50 km/h limit. I slow down enough to make the turn without my wife having to reach for the grab handle, but not so slow that it impedes the traffic behind me. As I accelerate out of the turn, I have to straighten out just right or I end up having to make very, very slight corrections. I tried to find a video showing an example but couldn't find anything.

Quite honestly, it may just be my aggressive acceleration lol. The car handles very well during on-ramp/off-ramp turns.
 
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Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2016
An anti-sway bar is a torsion spring. Picturing one on the rear of a rwd vehicle makes it clear--the bar is attached to the axle housing with the ends attached to the frame. In a turn the body wants to roll due to centrifugal force, one side up and the other side down. This puts a twist, a torsion, into the anti-sway bar that is resisted by the springiness of the steel bar. This is the first time I've heard of aluminum being used, in this case 7050 alloy:
The 7050 aluminum plate is a top choice for use in aerospace applications, which requires the use of metals that have a great combination of resistance to SCC (stress corrosion cracking), strength and toughness. It is commonly used for plate applications that are between three and six inches thick. Compared to 7075 grade alloys, the 7050 aluminum has a higher resistance to corrosion and better toughness. It is required to use 7050 alloys in thicker sections because it has less quench sensitivity compared to other aerospace aluminum alloys. This enables it to maintain its strength properties, resistance to stress corrosion cracking and levels of fracture toughness.

The applications that are commonly used for 7050 aluminum alloys include bulkheads and fuselage frames that require sections to be between two and six inches thick. Another common application is for wing skins. Majority of the applications that this metal is used for require a thickness over two inches, making this metal an excellent choice.

https://www.clintonaluminum.com/product/7050-aluminum-plate/

The comments about balancing the front and rear anti sway bars are important. Oversteer can be dangerous.

Sway bar, anti-sway bar, anti-roll bar, all the same device. They reduce body lean when cornering.
 
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