How to Modify the ND-Chassis Mazda MX-5: Tips From Good-Win Racing

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Jul 31, 2022 | Mazda | Posted in Drivetrain , Suspension & Handling | From the April 2016 issue | Never miss an article

[Editor's Note: This article originally ran in our April 2016 issue. Some information may be different.]

The ND-chassis Mazda MX-5 still has that new-car smell, but owners and tuners are already tearing into them. Good-Win Racing’s Brian Goodwin has already started the development process, so we posed a simple question: What are the three most important modifications to make? He gave us two separate lists, one for street and autocross, and another for track.

Street and Autocross

Anti-Roll Bars: “Stock ND body lean is extreme, and sways are the easy way to tame it and thereby keep the tires more flat to the surface and gripping the road,” Goodwin says. “Street class autocrossers are reporting great results with our front Progress sway upgrade allowed for that class, while everybody else is adding front and rear bars for best balance.”

Adjustable Shock Absorbers or Coil-Overs: “The stock ND is amazing, but once you try to autocross or canyon drive it on the weekends, you find the time wasted flopping from bumpstops on one side to bumpstops on the other side limits the driver to extra-slow, gentle inputs that cost time in tight sections,” he reports.

Solution? “Tame that bumpstop flop and the real potential of the platform shines. Stock-class autocrossers are waiting on Koni shocks in testing, while STR customers and everybody else are looking to coil-overs from Öhlins, Xida, RSR, Cusco, Tein and more.”

Exhaust: Need a little more excitement while shedding nearly 10 pounds? “The number-one replacement so far is our RoadsterSport Super Street for street customers and RoadsterSport Race for the more serious Street-class autocrossers.”


Oil Cooler: “We likely still have one of the very few NDs with added oil temp data collection, and so far that data says serious ND track use requires oil cooling.”

Coil-Overs: “All the same reasons named in the previous list are even more true once track days are added to the calendar, along with wider wheels and tires.”

Wider Wheels and Tires: “I expect either our 17x9-inch 6UL or Advanti Storm wheels to be the top choices in light, flow-formed wheels made for ND track days and STR autocross. A 235/40R17 tire fits in stock ND fenders without rolling on both these choices; 245/40 usually needs a bit of lip roll in our experience.”

Good-Win Racing
(858) 775-2810

Join Free Join our community to easily find more Mazda articles.
View comments on the GRM forums
Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/12/17 10:48 a.m.

Wow, that's an old article.

jerel77494 New Reader
9/30/21 9:57 a.m.

How about a set-up that's street focused and not autocross focused?  Like, say, the Dekker package?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/30/21 10:16 p.m.

- maintain lots of travel (often overlooked by suspension designers)

- use a spring rate that is well matched to your ride height

- good damping, not overdamped

- let it move

- season with sway bar to taste

Those are the key factors to making an ND work :) The Dekker Package is a good all-around setup that works on cross-country drives as well as on the track. Does pretty well on autox too. Basically, the Dekker Package is the Fox Stage 2 setup from FM.

Here's where it got its name.

Our Preferred Partners