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grayscale
03-10-2007, 02:41 AM
I've been fooling with this at work for a while trying to come up with a good design that doesn't cost a crapload to make. I ended up using stainless pipe, threads, and links, with a steel foot painted black. I wanted to use aluminum pipe but for the right wall thickness it was too costly. I still need to polish it but haven't gotten around to buying more polishing pads yet. This was more of a project for me than it is usefull, I don't autox or drive aggressively often enough for it to be really functional, but I thought you might enjoy it-
http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/5/3/3/2/customstrutbrace1.JPG
http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/5/3/3/2/customstrutbrace2.JPG

partyball
03-10-2007, 07:36 AM
Looks preatty nice. How much did it cost you to make?

grayscale
03-10-2007, 08:03 AM
I used bits and pieces at work, so nothin but time. It was dark before I got my ass out of bed in case the pitures look odd, it was like 8pm when I took them.

PhillyDRFT
03-10-2007, 08:41 AM
looks pretty good! :bigthumbu OT: is that a 3sge exhaust manifold I spy?

grayscale
03-10-2007, 08:48 AM
Yep, but it's not doing a whole lot of good right now. i got a couple of stripped threads in the head I'm too lazy to fix, so it's not sealing well.

celicatrd93
03-10-2007, 10:16 AM
looking nice, love how you keep your engine bay clean.

grayscale
03-10-2007, 11:03 PM
...love how you keep your engine bay clean.
Ha ! I guess the pics did it a little justice. It'll be cleaner when I get that frickin oil leak stopped.

Trance4c
03-11-2007, 01:03 AM
Nice work!! :bigthumbu

grayscale
03-11-2007, 04:19 AM
Thanks! :bigthumbu
Saw this one on eBay and it made me laugh, it's either a stock photo and not the actual item or it's a ripoff. The mounting holes are completely wrong-
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=016&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=260094707419&rd=1,1
http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/5/3/3/2/struttowerbrace.jpg

=cJ=
03-11-2007, 07:44 PM
I often wonder about why there's a ball link on each end of a strut brace, it allows movement, and I thought that was what a strut brace was to stop?

Still, most manufacturers seem to have them...

???

grayscale
03-11-2007, 08:48 PM
Yea, ball link, rodeye, end link, it's got a lot of names, but I'm with you, no idea why you would want that unless the fitment was off and you needed a little play to get it in there, so I didn't use one on mine. If you look at a quality example like the Cusco, it is perfectly rigid at the ends, as it is welded solid to the foot mounts.

1990CelicaGT-S
03-13-2007, 08:56 AM
Haha, good point. I never thought of that.

Conrad_Turbo
03-14-2007, 08:50 PM
I often wonder about why there's a ball link on each end of a strut brace, it allows movement, and I thought that was what a strut brace was to stop?

Still, most manufacturers seem to have them...

???

Adds another place to markup costs and to make up for sloppy manufacturing. Here is a strut tower brace I currently build for Starlets:

http://www.aceengineering.ca/Temp/IMG_0719.JPG
http://www.aceengineering.ca/Temp/IMG_0727.JPG
http://www.aceengineering.ca/Temp/IMG_0729.JPG
http://www.aceengineering.ca/Temp/IMG_0768.jpg

Also heim joints fool people to thinking they need to preload the bar to work.

Also with most under hood braces being of such small diameter ( due to engine/hood clearances) it's worse having jointed since the load capacity drops due to the fixity ratio being lower. Fixity ratio is used to determine buckling in structures and those with jointed ends will buckle first.

grayscale, very nice brace, nice touch with the stainless bar. I despise oval aluminum bars since they scratch so easy and honestly they could be round and do the same thing... The thicker the bar looks by being oval is deceiving since it's going to buckle in the thinnest area (funny enough most ends are jointed in a fashion that allows this to happen). One thing I would change is by adding more material on the strut top mounts to where you attached the rod end to. Otherwise it looks pretty damn good. :D

Edit: celicatrd93, your car is the exact same color code as mine (Lexus Pearl White, exact number slips my mind though). :D

grayscale
03-15-2007, 02:37 AM
Thanks Conrad. I agree, most strut bars sold en mass are for looks and are about as weak as the stock ones we have. Ovals just aren't as strong as the tried and true round. I wanted to kepp my o.d. small for clearence issues so I went with a much thicker i.d. to help make up. I to wanted to add more material to the foot area but have yet to come up with a good way to do it. Nice work on yours btw, that things a beast! My threads are also both right hand, as opposed to left and right, so it is not possible to preload it, I strongly agree on that too, it is not necessary to preload a brace for it to work. If you do, then I suppose it is possible to mess up your camber. I feel my design is more for the daily driver who might go to the track or mountains on occaision, thus the clevis/pinned ends which can be easily removed for service reasons. I am currently working on a solid tri-point design to replace the current stock piece, so stay tuned!

Conrad_Turbo
03-15-2007, 03:15 PM
Thanks Conrad. I agree, most strut bars sold en mass are for looks and are about as weak as the stock ones we have. Ovals just aren't as strong as the tried and true round. I wanted to kepp my o.d. small for clearence issues so I went with a much thicker i.d. to help make up. I to wanted to add more material to the foot area but have yet to come up with a good way to do it. Nice work on yours btw, that things a beast! My threads are also both right hand, as opposed to left and right, so it is not possible to preload it, I strongly agree on that too, it is not necessary to preload a brace for it to work. If you do, then I suppose it is possible to mess up your camber. I feel my design is more for the daily driver who might go to the track or mountains on occaision, thus the clevis/pinned ends which can be easily removed for service reasons. I am currently working on a solid tri-point design to replace the current stock piece, so stay tuned!

More power to ya man. :D I reverse engineered the OEM one a LONG time ago and just haven't found time to build a stronger tri point bar. Maybe I will in the future, but the biggest issue I have is cutting end plates... That'll change once I build my CNC plasma cutting table though (which won't be for a while since I'm...er...fiance is planning a wedding Haha).

Trance4c
03-15-2007, 03:23 PM
Conrad - I would really love a tri-mounted bar for mine, one that would fit over the 3SGTE.

Just a side note.

grayscale
03-15-2007, 05:20 PM
Yep , cutting those footplates is a pita. I do them by hand with the plasma.

Rio_Cyber
03-15-2007, 05:48 PM
i have access to a cnc cutter ... ,

http://www.pireko.hr/cnc_big.jpg

just most go and draw them in autocad first ;) - hat COULD take a while :), if only shiping isn`t such hugh pita (cost wise), we could join our strenghts :)

grayscale
03-16-2007, 08:18 AM
Holy gigantuan cutting table! I actually think it would be cheaper and faster to have them made on a turret press.

Denver_whiteST185
03-16-2007, 09:34 AM
Conrad, would you be interested in making something similar to these????

Rear three point strut brace:
http://www.bulletproofautomotive.com/items/1247.jpg

Front three point strut brace:
http://www.bulletproofautomotive.com/items/1237.jpg

Not quite as important, but it would be nice:
Side strut tower brace
http://www.bulletproofautomotive.com/items/1242.jpg

If so, im sure alot of people, including myself, would buy them...

Conrad_Turbo
03-16-2007, 02:37 PM
Been wanting to for a looooong time... The only issue is the initial investment of getting endplates cut, since anything cut out of metal sheet is always sent out of house to get lasercut. However in the future I will have a CNC plasma cutting table so then I can pump out prototypes in no time.

If I did build the braces it'd be only the front and rear. I'd probably star the rear brace first since it'd be quite easy to make due to the lack of clearances needed. The side braces make me laugh since it's like 1/2" away from the stock sheet metal, I'd hope to god our chassis' don't flex that much that we need a brace so close to prevent the sheet metal from buckling or tearing. :laugh: Personally I haven't seen any real word results from a brace like that, I think it's just another bar that a company can sell to make money.


Conrad, would you be interested in making something similar to these????

Rear three point strut brace:
http://www.bulletproofautomotive.com/items/1247.jpg

Front three point strut brace:
http://www.bulletproofautomotive.com/items/1237.jpg

Not quite as important, but it would be nice:
Side strut tower brace
http://www.bulletproofautomotive.com/items/1242.jpg

If so, im sure alot of people, including myself, would buy them...

Trance4c
03-16-2007, 02:41 PM
Conrad - I would be interested in sending some payments to help with the initial costs for the front and rear bars. Let me know if this is a possibility, PM me with what you would be in need of to get it off the ground and lets talk about it.

Conrad_Turbo
03-16-2007, 04:10 PM
Conrad - I would be interested in sending some payments to help with the initial costs for the front and rear bars. Let me know if this is a possibility, PM me with what you would be in need of to get it off the ground and lets talk about it.

:laugh: It's not so much cost as it is time...I have no problem investing a few hundred or thousand in something (I've done that for smaller scale stuff). It's just the time...I am VERY precise and that takes time. I know for a fact my work is of higher quality than Cusco, JSpeed and other big manufactures. However they have many people and I do everything from design, building jigs, running for supplies, dealing with vendors and ultimately to welding and fabrication of each part. It takes a lot of time for 1 person to build something of higher quality than a company such as Cusco or Jspeed. I have to make sure I have the time to justify the investment, otherwise it's just a waste.

I'll post a teaser thread just to gauge interest.

Edit: Here we go: http://www.celicatech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24509

Trance4c
03-16-2007, 04:19 PM
:laugh: It's not so much cost as it is time...I have no problem investing a few hundred or thousand in something (I've done that for smaller scale stuff). It's just the time...I am VERY precise and that takes time. I know for a fact my work is of higher quality than Cusco, JSpeed and other big manufactures. However they have many people and I do everything from design, building jigs, running for supplies, dealing with vendors and ultimately to welding and fabrication of each part. It takes a lot of time for 1 person to build something of higher quality than a company such as Cusco or Jspeed. I have to make sure I have the time to justify the investment, otherwise it's just a waste.

I'll post a teaser thread just to gauge interest.

ah please man.. would appreciate it.

Denver_whiteST185
03-16-2007, 05:38 PM
Cool Conrad.

BTW, if you like, i would also be willing to send you some cash up front for some additional funding....

your right about the side brace too now that i think about it.

grayscale
03-16-2007, 09:01 PM
Well, since I was slow getting to the point and some one beat me to it :thefinger, I will also be producing strut braces, however, I will be doing them on a custum basis- i.e. tell me what you want and I will build it, one at a time. All of my pieces are hand made, tig welded and finished in your choice. Single or tri-point braces upon request.

Front tri-point will be tubular, unlike the j-speed above which is a flimsy p.o.s. design. Anytime you throw bends in a piece like that you create a major weak point for collapse, not to mention the use of flat bar/tube material.

The rear brace will also be a redesign. The one pictured above shows one 6mm-8mm size bolt for the center mounting point which is useless when it comes to shear strength. Note: rear brace will require modification for center point bolts to mount to.

As for 3sgte braces, I would need a volunteer who also has 5s powered car to take some comparative measurements and possibly fit a 5s brace to the 3s for comparison. First ones are always freebies! :bigthumbu

Pm me if you need anything. I will post pics as work progresses.

Denver_whiteST185
03-16-2007, 09:24 PM
Sorry to theadjack you. I would defiantly take a three point rear brace and in a month or so a three point front brace if it fit easily under the stock 185 hood. Ill PM you tonight but i would want just a basic machined finish since my friend can powder coat it for me.

Conrad_Turbo
03-16-2007, 09:29 PM
The one pictured above shows one 6mm-8mm size bolt for the center mounting point which is useless when it comes to shear strength.

I LOVE that! Decent sized structural members and then a tiny bolt, almost suprised if it wasn't self tapping either. :laugh:

I don't mean to hijack either...I'm just gauging interest. If there is enough then I will produce them, if not then no skin off my back...I have enough to do as it is.

grayscale
03-16-2007, 09:44 PM
No big deal, like I said, I was slow getting to the point. I was gauging interest just by how many people responded.

If you guys with st185s or 5thgen mounted 3sgte[s] want to send me some overall pics of your enginebays from different views, I would appreciate it.

Ted- Jeremy mentioned in the other thread that the st185 cargo area is more shallow than the 184 so I would need to get some very precise measurements from some common spots in our cargo areas.

Denver_whiteST185
03-17-2007, 02:36 AM
yes the cargo area is smaller because the fuel tank is mounted further back and up, making the spare intrude more into the trunk. i can give you pictures of the difference since my friend Dustin has a GT and an Alltrac. The bar between the strut towers is the same. The third point should also be the same too since its the place where the back seat bolts to the body, but ill take some photos of his with exact measurement just to check.