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Because race car
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2,835 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
At least on our cars that is....
Been reading over on Corner-Carvers (which of course is down now) and the topic of strut tower braces came up.

Most seem to believe that the standard 2 point mounts (like those in our cars from the factory) do absolutely nothing.

Sure, the triangulated setup that mounts the firewall to the strut tops might help with the stiffness of the front end....but I don't see how the one in our cars does anything.

Anyone ever see any back to back comparisons on this? And I'm looking for a little more than the "seat of the pants" feel on this one.

Thanks!
 

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Bite my shiny metal ass
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7,889 Posts
I'm curious to. Unless it's of the 3 point variety I don't see how any of the one's sold are any better than the stock one. Beside looks of course. Hopefully someone will educate me:)
 

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Hold on, we're goin for broke
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1,499 Posts
This is a good one. I want to see the out come of this.
You could tell the differance in an F-body when you put one on but in our cars is a differant story.
 

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ChimChim is in the HD's trunk
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4,966 Posts
Well, I can tell you if I take mine off and put the car on jackstands for a period of time and then set it back on the ground, I can't get the strut brace back on without jacking the car up some from the center of the front cradle. That said, I am positive they do provide some support for the front end.
 

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Beer Geek
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3,713 Posts
I saw a back to back on either corner-carvers or deep in the archives on LS1tech. Search is currently down at the latter...

They found diminished cowl shake with the strut tower brace installed, but it was only measurable on convertibles.

Having pulled some contact patch outlines under my car now with a 50# bag of dog food perched precariously on one strut top but not the other I think that the strut tower brace is doing a little bit for us.

If I took mine off I would not expect to notice at specific points in specific corners from the driver's seat, but I would expect to notice new tire wear patterns after a few thousand miles.

M2c,
S
 

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Enthusiast
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1,425 Posts
There's an interesting article on the math/theory behind strut tower bars here:
http://e46m3performance.com/tech/strutbar/index.htm

I am of the opinion that it doesn't hurt, but some cars may be stiffer than others. On Imprezas, for instance, rear strut tower bars really help out wagons (where there's no bracing across the rear of the car due to the wagon shape), and marginally helps out sedans. Most people say that front strut tower bars on Imprezas don't do much - but people do like fender reinforcements, it seems.
 

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AZGOAT
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109 Posts
Sure, they make a difference. When I open the hood, the big bright red BMR brace looks alot more impressive than the factory black little wimpy one. The bigger brace also helps to build credibility when you're lying thru your teeth about how a Goat can corner with an F-body!
 

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Registered
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506 Posts
Owe5Goat said:
Well, I can tell you if I take mine off and put the car on jackstands for a period of time and then set it back on the ground, I can't get the strut brace back on without jacking the car up some from the center of the front cradle. That said, I am positive they do provide some support for the front end.
I should think it would increase oversteer in hard cornering without it.

Nevertheless, your experiment highlights a hard physical fact.

Note to self: upgrade the strut brace.
 

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Because race car
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Discussion Starter #10
Bigdave said:
Well this should be easy enough to figure out. Go for a spirted drive with and without back to back and tell us.
Not sure if this would be the best approach. I highly doubt that the stock bar would change anything that noticeable....at least that I would feel just cruising around on the streets. Maybe on a road course though....

I was hoping someone had some hard data they've seen around.
 

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= Ol Dirty Ed
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hey z28mike a goat can and will outhandle an Fbody.......with a full track II pedders upgrade like I have ;) :cool:
 

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keep it simple
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2,098 Posts
With or with out is a no brainer but stock vs after market is good question. Hou much better is the BMR or any other? I have never heard of a stock brace bending or breaking.
My 2 cents
simple
 

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Registered
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1,162 Posts
the only thing i notice was that my car became slightly more tail happy. Sway bars are a way better investment though. front and rear.

Jason
 

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Riddlefox said:
Most people say that front strut tower bars on Imprezas don't do much - but people do like fender reinforcements, it seems.
Yep. This is because the front strut towers are very close to the firewall in the Impreza. So adding additional stiffness does very little. If there is more space between the firewall and strut towers, I'd imagine you'd get more noticeable results.

In either case, I wouldn't see it hurting. Just more worth it in some cases than others.
 

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V8 Whore
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823 Posts
Under normal driving contitios you will NOT notice a difference betwee, no bar, oem bar or aftermarket bar.

The difference comes under load where the change in geometry if only minor at the top of the trut housing can have a much larger effect farther down the strut. While im sure that the OEM one is adequate, as with most cars, most of us go to larger more visually stimulating setup.

The addition of a larger diameter or larger wall thickness bar will only help under larger loads. While I have yet to find a bar that has the ability to be preloaded, as with some aftermarket applications for other vehicles, the larger diamter/W.T bars certainly do help those of us that enjoy the twisties versus those that enjoy the top speed/drag events.

Riddlefox..that was by far one of the best finds I have seen across the internet for explination on a specific topic. In fact, im going to use it for the M3Forums that im a moderator for. Nice find!
 

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'06 M6 IBM, Bermuda Blue, 18"
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44 Posts
You will not notice a difference at all this early in the game. If you let things go bad and then remedy it, then you will see a difference, but it is best to be prudent and start sooner than later.

Myself being a Mustang owner also...boo and hiss...(yes I know, but I bought the car brand new in 2000 before there was even a GTO) anyway....I reiterate....

Myself being a Mustang owner I painfully saw and heard my ride slowly flex and creak for five years. I had always told myself that I would buy the strut tower brace and subframe connectors for it as soon as possible.

Of course I procrastinated and never did until I took the car to a tire shop to fix a tire. The fools jacked the car up at the wrong spot and did it with all two doors open and the trunk too. The driver's side door didn't want to close afterward and when they slammed it shut, the window popped off the the track. After carefully discussing it the *female* owner of the name brand tire shop I was able to get their insurance to pay to fix the damaged pinch weld and to put it on a plate to align the chassis.

The car was never as tight as it was before. Squeaks, rattles, and a random clunk ?!? Go figure.

So I paid someone to fabricate some subframe connectors. Ok. Well some of the squeeks disappeared for a little bit but a long drive from Washington D.C. to Texas revealed that the clunk moved to another part of the car. The clunk was now coming from deep within the roots of the a pillar/firewall/front subrame area.

So I put a Steeda 4130 Chromoly strut tower brace and that darn clunk dissappeared. The only creaks on it now are the ones in the a/c-radio console were Laredo sand has crept it's way in there and only on bad potholes. I will attend to that at a later time.

Furthermore, if I had another car with a real trunk I would also put a rear shock tower brace on the Mustang, too. I need *some* trunk space.

So now let's talk GTO shop talk.

-Open the hood and stand facing the engine from the front of your car.
-Lean in and grab the stock strut tower brace from the center with both of your hands- somewhat like a "curling bar grab".
-Wiggle the bar in a quick/resonating front to back motion.

Notice how the stock strut tower bar wiggles?
This doesn't happen on the Mustang 4130 Chromoly part.

Remember, I am a weakling compared to the stresses that a car deals with daily.


So far I have an SLP strut tower brace but I have been out of town on business for the last month. I have yet to install it.

The BMR version looks a little thicker. The test is what type of metal is being used. 4130 doesn't have to be so thick.

SLP's site doesn't state 4130 or mild steel or tootsie roll, but that is what I was able to get at the time.

BMR Fabrication's bar looks beefier, but they don't state what type of metal it is. I may buy this at a later date.

Remember, what you want is to prevent the inward collapsing of the strut towers, not so much as the front to rear deflection. This will help maximize the use of the *suspension* as a suspension not the *chassis* as a flexable suspension. The area between the strut towers it a weak spot.

The strut tower brace completes a perimeter around the front subframe where it is weak. Plus it is the easiest place to put a brace in a car because little fabrication is needed. In the a perfect world you would want to triangulate the chassis all over the place I would surmise.

Oh yeah, don't forget about the subframe connectors. The sooner the better.

cheezwzl

Also following another thread...Tint. If you want to call it a mod then defend it by stating that it strengthens the fore to aft section of the middle of the car. hehe
 

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2005 GTO m6
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756 Posts
z28mike said:
Sure, they make a difference. When I open the hood, the big bright red BMR brace looks alot more impressive than the factory black little wimpy one. The bigger brace also helps to build credibility when you're lying thru your teeth about how a Goat can corner with an F-body!
I owned a 94 Transam, and the stock GTO did not feel like it handled any better, but my Pedders Track II feels like it could kill a T/A or Camaro in AutoX. The Pedders strut bar looks nicer then the stocker, but I too doubt they do much without the triangulation to keep the front end stiffer. However, its main function is to keep the towers from moving or flexing by allowing them to support each other in a push pull arrangement. I am sure they help a little. I would say if the engineers put it in there, they did it as a band-aid for an engine compartment originally designed to hold a weak 6 cylinder that has 400 lb-ft of twisting torque in there trying to pick the drivers side up.

SAm
 

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god of the sea people
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229 Posts
i'll interject my personal experience.. i replaced the stock strut tower bar with the bmr model. i did the bmr for 2 reasons. the first being that the paint on the factory one had flaked off the welds because of the flex in it. the factory one is not built very well. the bmr has some thick flanges, and they do not flex. the second reason is that it is not very noticeable. i got it in black, like the factory one, and left off the sticker. nobody notices it,and i like that. it's not that i notice it being any firmer, it's that i don't notice the front end being so soft..
 
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