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Smot-Poker
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What the hell are strut bars for? I see there is front ones that go under your hood, and rear ones that go in the trunk,... these seem to be pretty inexpensive.. what the hell do they do??

thanks
 

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Rufnek69 said:
What the hell are strut bars for? I see there is front ones that go under your hood, and rear ones that go in the trunk,... these seem to be pretty inexpensive.. what the hell do they do??

thanks
They structurally tie the tops of the strut towers together.

If you think about what happens to the car's structure as each wheel moves up and down in response to bumps and turning forces, you'd see that the strut towers actually flex slightly. During jounce, the towers are forced toward each other by the not inconsiderable force of the coil springs & struts. During cornering, one strut is heavily loaded and moves inward while the other has it easy. All this distortion and bending going on can make for a car that doesn't feel solid and the resulting distortions make the wheels actually come out of alignment during cornering etc.

By using a strut-tower brace, you tie the struts together which really helps to strengthen the structure. By strengthening it, you lessen distortion and improve the chassis dynamics and handling (by preserving the alignment.)

Some strut braces are better than others. Those that tie the towers to eacxh other and to the firewall are best. Unfortunately, some cars, like the V6 (and the 4-banger I think) MX6 don't have the room for this additional tie point. Some braces are flimsy aluminum tubing with fancy graphics but little structural strength. They might help a bit, but with the forces involved, I bet they just bend with the rest of the car. Good bracing will be fairly substantial stuff.
 

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Smot-Poker
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
hmm

So do you recommend spending the between 100 and 200 bucks for both just to releive some stress when turning?

do you think I would actually notice a difference? I dont care about graphics, just functionality..
 

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If u feel there is too much body shift when you turn hard and fast then u should. 100-200 is small price to pay for having a car that can stand up better through hard curves.
You will a notice a difference but its up to you wether you need that extra handling support for racing, curvey roads, etc.
 

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This is a question I have asked also Rufneck. Speaking of the front strut bar.

My personal opinion--I have no facts to back it up, is that unless there is some sort of structural damage to the car, I don't see why it would make an even significant difference. You see, our cars, like most cars, come with an anti-sway bar anyway. It is bolted right to the A-frame, which to me is even more of an anti-sway than the top of each strut. If you think about it, the top of the struts should not be moving anyway. And if they are moving, your probably talking maybe a milimeter (unless like I said, there is some sort of structural damage).

I don't believe there is a anti-sway bar on the rear struts (someone correct me if I'm wrong), so it may benefit you to have a rear strut bar.

But I'm not much into "twisting" my car anyway. Tight cornering just makes me lean left and right--that doesn't do any thing for me. I also think that that puts undue stress on the body, and suspension components. I'm into acceleration.

Can anyone honestly say that they have noticed a significant difference? With a front or rear Strut bar?
 

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jiffy6969 said:
This is a question I have asked also Rufneck. Speaking of the front strut bar.

My personal opinion--I have no facts to back it up, is that unless there is some sort of structural damage to the car, I don't see why it would make an even significant difference. You see, our cars, like most cars, come with an anti-sway bar anyway. It is bolted right to the A-frame, which to me is even more of an anti-sway than the top of each strut.
The anti-sway bar is a different animal than a strut tower bar. The anti-sway acts like a torsion-spring; with each end tied to the lower control arms and connected to the chassis of the car through compliant bushings, it's intended purpose is to resist the control arms from moving in different directions, using the chassis as the "fulcrum". The control arms will move in different directions when, say, going around a corner: when the car leans, the inside control arm moves down, the outside one moves up. The anti-sway bar twists in this condition, resisting the motion, which is caused by body lean. Resisting it means less body motion.

If you think about it, the top of the struts should not be moving anyway.
Well, there will always be a certain amount of movement in any mechanical assembly like this. Certainly, there's nothing particularly exotic or super-strong about stamped sheet metal bent into roughly the shape of a box (with no top or bottom) and spot-welded together. Cars like the PGT and the MX6 are admirably stiff (moreso than many other cars in their class & price range) but there's still movement there.

If there was no movement at all (i.e. it was impossibly stiff), the car would fatigue itself and crack apart in short order. Ever seen heavy-jet wings in turblence? You'd think they'd be stiff and strong but in reality they're like damp lasagna noodles :)

I don't believe there is a anti-sway bar on the rear struts (someone correct me if I'm wrong), so it may benefit you to have a rear strut bar.
There is a skinny anti-sway bar back there (on the V6 anyway). But it's serving a different purpose than a strut-tower reinforcement bar.

But I'm not much into "twisting" my car anyway. Tight cornering just makes me lean left and right--that doesn't do any thing for me. I also think that that puts undue stress on the body, and suspension components. I'm into acceleration.
But for those that are into cornering (and, considering the FWD platform and the comparatively limited power output, that's really what the car's forte is), a strut bar can really help to tighten the car up, make it turn in slightly quicker, get rid of annoying rattles etc.

Still, everyone has a preference. The car can be made quick and there are good suspension upgrades one can do, separate from tower bracing, that will help with acceleration too.
 
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