Haven't decided if this is a good idea or not yet. The problem is I'm married with two kids BUT I still want something enjoyable (and cheap) to drive while hauling my DNA and their toys. So here it goes...
The vehicle is my 2008 Mazda5. It is the sport model with a 5-speed manual. Since it is based and shares a lot with the 3 it is already a decent handler for what it is.
So part one was completed a few months back. Off came the stocker 17" wheels and on when a set of 18" Mazdaspeed wheels with a set of Sumitomo HTR Z III in a 225-45R18. Nice improvement right from the start and still appears Mazda stock. As it is now it is holding it's own fairly well against other mundane family haulers on back roads and long 270 degree exit ramps. Put in on a straight section though and this thing isn't going anywhere quickly.
Part two is a new rear dogbone style motor mount to replace the OEM mush that is in there now. I just get WAY too much slop when coming on and off the throttle or slow speed driving with the ac cycling on and off. Have alredy ordered one of those and expect to install about Tuesday.
Part three is a rear anti-sway bar from Tri-Point Engineering
. They run a trio of Mazda6 sedans in the Speed World Challenge and do a damn fine job at it. They also make parts for Mazda vehicles. Fortunately most of their stuff for the 3 is a direct bolt on to the 5....
It is an adjustable piece. The stock bar spec is 230lbs per inch. The Tri-Point unit is 750 lbs/in on the lowest setting, 825 lbs/in on medium and 1000 lbs/in on the highest setting. Should really help as this van is a bit more top heavy than the 3. It expect they will begin production on these this week so hopefully it won't be long.
Will update with pics after the swaybar comes in. Will probably start looking at a set of coilovers and shocks next. Would like to improve the handlng further yet keep it reasonably close to stock ride height. Figure a set of adjustable coilovers would let me do that.