Well, it's been almost 3 years since I last revisited the sway bar brackets. During a preseason inspection, I discovered the stock brackets reinforced with the Racing Beat brackets have failed.
The driver's side bracket was broken in two.
|And the passenger side was well on it's way.|
I had believed the pieces of aluminum inserted into the hollow factory brackets was absorbing the majority of the flex that causes the failure of the stock brackets.
(Driver's side aluminum insert shown on passenger side bracket for photo only. That's not how they were installed.)
|I decided that the smart thing to do was buy the Mazdacomp
They are closed boxes, and appear to be indestructible. (We'll see about that.)
The bad news is that while the Mazdacomp brackets appear to be heavier duty, the factory brackets allow the power steering cooler lines to run through them, and the solid Mazdacomp units, while having a hole to accommodate one of the two lines, alas, will not.
You have to pull the radiator in order to remove the radiator support brackets, they block access to the sway bar brackets. The rerouted power steering cooler lines lines ran beautifully along the inside of the engine bay, and life was great, until I realized that the rerouted power steering cooling lines ran right through where the radiator would need to be reinstalled. <grumble, grumble> After moving the cooling lines 1 too many times, they broke. <scream, throw things, etc.>
Now I decide the smart thing to do is to use the automatic transmission oil cooler built into the radiator that replaced the factory one when the plastic was getting hinky last year.
Of course, to get access to the power steering pump, I decided to unbolt the A/C compressor, and tie it off, and work on the pump plumbing from below.
I now have the radiator out, the hoses for the radiator disconnected, the A/C disconnected, the power steering unit in complete disarray, and I still haven't worked out the sway bar brackets.
|What's a guy to do now?
Well, I've been toying with the idea of a supercharger. With 117,000 miles on the clock, that's probably not a good idea.
I've got half the stuff disconnected anyway, what the hell.
Let's go crazy, and change the engine now as well.