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View Full Version : Strut tower bars really do work



ccsouls
12-15-2009, 09:40 PM
I know there are many people out there who believe strut tower bars are just a waist of money, but I recently did a real world test at our Dec. SCCA Autocross and I can tell you without any doubt they help.

I ran my practice and first three runs with the factory front strut tower bar, then switched to the Cusco for the afternoon 3 runs and I can tell you without question the car turned in better.

No other adjustments made.

So, if anyone is out their questioning whether to use one, I can tell you they do help.

FYI

Luni
12-16-2009, 12:43 AM
If you dont believe they work, go drive sideways over a dip in an SW20 with T-Tops.

Then put the TRD front and rear bars on and go do it again.

You can TOTALLY feel the difference in chassis rigidity.

ccsouls
12-16-2009, 12:49 AM
I heard adding a rear on an St185 might actually reduce the positive affects from adding the front.

Do you know if that is true or false?

Luni
12-16-2009, 01:05 AM
I honestly do not know that.

Im thinking the physics of it would move toward the front not being stiff makes it wobbly and unresponsive up there. You might want a little flex in the rear to keep the car planted.

Id imagine it might make the ST185 more tail happy with a rear bar, so I can see why adding one might negate the front.

But no matter what, youre stiffening up the chassis which is what you want.

goretro77
12-16-2009, 01:15 AM
They work!

VikingJZ
12-16-2009, 04:56 AM
Of course they do!

I could tell a huge difference for my SC300 and the rear cross brace in my Volvo wagon.

I will add them to my Del Sol considering the top will be out a lot during the summer.

celica91gts
12-16-2009, 06:06 AM
i feel like a ricer... i have both a front and rear and have never tracked the car to feel a difference, the only way i know it makes the car more rigid is by feeling EVERY thing on the road, im sure my solid motor mounts and lowering springs dont help that.

Conrad_Turbo
12-16-2009, 04:18 PM
It's easier to tune the suspension and drive within those limits, than to try and tune and drive around a flexible chassis. Stiffness/weight ratio is crucial for predictable handling.

donteatbugs
12-16-2009, 07:34 PM
i have one in the front on my gt-s, i would do one in the rear if it were legal to have a 3 pt brace in st class. i have a 3 pt in the alltrac and no front brace and it is tail happy! i like it a lot

ccsouls
12-16-2009, 08:12 PM
I know what you mean about the 3-point rear. There are some nice ones, but I have to use the 2-point because I am in STX.

I plan to try one out in the first event of 2010, so I will try to let everyone know if I notice the difference.

RedRkt01
12-17-2009, 04:09 PM
I didn't realize there was doubt amongst racers......or anybody for that matter.

Trance4c
12-17-2009, 04:49 PM
It's easier to tune the suspension and drive within those limits, than to try and tune and drive around a flexible chassis. Stiffness/weight ratio is crucial for predictable handling.

*cough* 3 point front *cough*

Lagos
12-18-2009, 04:27 PM
Front and rears came stock on the st205 (I have them in my car) so they do work, however I'm a little skeptical of some of the after market ones as I believe there is a point where stronger ones wont make more of a difference then the stock ones besides ascetics.

Luni
12-18-2009, 05:09 PM
If you want to find out if your strut bar actually DOES something, try lifting the front of the car up by just the strut bar. If the bar bends and cant handle the stress, it isnt doing much.

I know the bars I have on my MR2 work. You CAN lift the car up by the TRD bar. LOL.

celica91gts
12-18-2009, 09:50 PM
If you want to find out if your strut bar actually DOES something, try lifting the front of the car up by just the strut bar. If the bar bends and cant handle the stress, it isnt doing much.

I know the bars I have on my MR2 work. You CAN lift the car up by the TRD bar. LOL.


i don't necessarily think this is true.. the way the bar sits and is mounted it's designed to be strongest when stress is applied to the bar linearly, not vertically.

ccsouls
12-18-2009, 11:24 PM
Front and rears came stock on the st205 (I have them in my car) so they do work, however I'm a little skeptical of some of the after market ones as I believe there is a point where stronger ones wont make more of a difference then the stock ones besides ascetics.

I can tell you without any doubt the Cusco bar on the front on ST185s & ST184s makes a difference over the OEM front bar. (As my orginial post states)

I have SCCA autocross tested both personally and the Cusco is noticably more responsive and reduces understeer.

ccsouls
12-18-2009, 11:28 PM
*cough* 3 point front *cough*

You know...I never thought about that but the OEM one is a three point...you are exactly right.

I wonder why the tech inspections never mentioned it. Perhaps because it is stock???? Or because it does not have a direct connect between the strut towers AND the firewall????

Even more glad I changed to the Cusco for that reason too.

ccsouls
12-18-2009, 11:30 PM
I didn't realize there was doubt amongst racers......or anybody for that matter.


I have been told by some the nice slight oversteer the upgrade gave me might be neglected by adding the rear as the stiffer rear MIGHT add the understeer back.

That is why I asked about it.

Trance4c
12-19-2009, 12:35 AM
You know...I never thought about that but the OEM one is a three point...you are exactly right.


Sorry, I wasn't talking about the weak OEM piece, its far from a true solid 3 point brace. Rather, I was quoting Conrad as his mechanical engineering skills are second to none, I would love to see a custom true 3 point front brace from him. It was simply my way of stirring the pot, he knows I've been interested in seeing him develop one for some years now, whenever the opportunity arises I like to remind him :)

KoreanJoey
12-19-2009, 07:28 PM
I have been told by some the nice slight oversteer the upgrade gave me might be neglected by adding the rear as the stiffer rear MIGHT add the understeer back.

That is why I asked about it.

I don't see that happening really, you generally don't experience any added understeer by stiffening the rear of the car. Usually it's the other way around.

RedRkt01
12-21-2009, 04:17 PM
I don't see that happening really, you generally don't experience any added understeer by stiffening the rear of the car. Usually it's the other way around.

That's what I was thinking.

ccsouls
12-21-2009, 04:22 PM
I don't see that happening really, you generally don't experience any added understeer by stiffening the rear of the car. Usually it's the other way around.

Thanks Joey. I knew you would have the 411.