A strut bar, or commonly known as a strut brace or a strut tower brace, is designed to tie the two opposing strut towers together to form a single unit. This is to minimize the strut tower flex during hard cornering.
When taking a turn, a car's strut towers normally flex. This may cause the losing of some traction. The strut tower brace keeps the strut towers from flexing. They distribute the pressure applied to one strut tower when taking a turn on both towers instead of just one.
This results to improved chassis rigidity. Understeer is reduced, the tire wear is improved and metal fatigue is minimized in the strut tower portion. Adding a brace between these two strut towers is a great way to solidify a vehicle's suspension.
Important Facts You Need to Know About Strut Bar
Most drivers think that their car's stock suspension is good enough. Well, in fact, a stock suspension is not as good as it can be. Yes, your car's suspension system can definitely be improved. A little modification can make it perform even better, making your car handle the road with a lot more agility and stability. A strut bar is all that's needed.Every time one of your vehicle's tires hits a bump, the suspension tends to lean towards the engine. Now, when you hit a corner, the front suspension does the opposite. As your car's weight is pulled away from the corner's apex, the suspension leans away from the engine. Both these instances make the front tire's grip surface partly lose contact with the road.That's when your car's tires start to lose grip and cause your car to skid. That is why performance enthusiasts put a strut bar at the top of their shopping lists. It's one of the easiest and cheapest modifications around. CarParts.com has a wide range of strut bars readily available.
• Keeps your car's front tires in full road contact
• Maximizes steering ability
• Improves car safety and handling
What to Consider When Getting a Strut Bar
Installing a strut bar is a popular modification because it's easy to do and it makes a big difference in improving the quality of your ride. Also known as a strut brace or a strut tower brace, a strut bar provides a solid connection between your vehicle's strut towers, thus limiting the amount of flexing and twisting experienced by your chassis every time you make turns. This gives you more stable handling while reducing the stress on your vehicle's suspension system. With the right information, getting an aftermarket strut bar is a purchase you won't regret.
Kinds of Strut Bars
- Front strut bars - These improve your vehicle's responsiveness in making turns and add comfort to your ride. They are also easy to install since many vehicles have pre-drilled holes and the right nuts you need to mount a front strut bar.
- Rear strut bars - These also improve your vehicle's performance in negotiating turns. However, they are a bit harder to install since you may need to drill the mounting holes yourself.
The kind of strut bar you get will depend on the setup of your vehicle's suspension system. For example, if your vehicle has only front struts and rear shock absorbers, then you can only install a front strut bar. If your vehicle has four shock absorbers and uses no struts at all, then you won't be able to install a strut bar unless you have a suspension conversion done.
Quick strut bar tips:
- Strut bars are made out of different materials like magnesium, steel, certain alloys, aluminum, carbon fiber, and titanium. Aluminum is the most common since it's cheap and saves weight. Stainless steel bars are more rigid and durable. Higher-quality strut bars are made of titanium, which has the rigidity of steel and the lightweight property of aluminum. Carbon fiber is another high-end option.
- Adjustable strut bars allow you to set them to your preferred level of rigidity. However, for casual driving applications, a non-adjustable strut bar will do.
- Certain car manufacturers, like Audi, BMW, Toyota, and Pontiac make their own specific strut bars. See if you can get an aftermarket strut bar from your vehicle's manufacturer for a direct fit and easier installation.
- Major strut bar manufacturers include Cusco, JIC Magic, DC Sports, Greddy, and Whiteline.
- Be sure to consult your vehicle's service manual for specific details that will help in your decision.
Strut Your Ride!: Installing a Strut Bar
A strut bar, also known as a strut brace or a strut tower brace, can improve the quality of your ride by solidly connecting your vehicle's strut towers. What this does is reduce the amount of flexing and twisting your chassis is subjected to whenever you negotiate turns—giving you better, more stable handling while reducing wear on your vehicle's suspension. Installing a quality, aftermarket strut bar is an easy job you can do with a few basic tools.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Here's what you'll need:
- Socket set and ratchet
- Open-ended wrenches
- Torque wrench
- Degreaser spray
- Clean rag
- Front strut bar
- Vehicle owner manual
NOTE: If your vehicle was used recently, we recommend letting the engine cool over a few hours first before starting the procedure.
Step 1: Open the hood of your vehicle and spray degreaser onto the strut towers and the upper strut holding bolts. Wipe them clean with the rag.
Step 2: See how the upper strut is mounted to the body. You should find nuts securing the upper parts of the struts to the body. Remove them with a socket.
Step 3: Take the front strut bar and lay it out on your engine bay. Check if it's a good fit by seeing if you can completely close the hood of your vehicle without hitting the strut bar.
Step 4: Install your new strut bar by bolting it into place using the nuts you removed earlier. Use your torque wrench to tighten the nuts as specified in the instructions that came with the strut bar.
Step 5: Use your open-ended wrench to adjust the center nut of the bar so that the bar is firmly tensioned against both strut towers.
Step 6: Check once more if you're able to properly close the hood of your vehicle without any interference from the new strut bar.
If you don't find any pre-drilled holes for your strut bar, you will have to drill the holes yourself. Refer to your vehicle's owner manual for specifications that may require you to deviate from these general instructions.