Fitting a strut brace and performance benefits
"Strut your funky stuff"
Think of a car like a shoebox with no lid. It will flex as you twist it and this is not good for handling.
Whilst the roof of the car affords a lot of rigidity there is still scope for flexing under cornering and on surfaces that are not level.
You might be thinking that a car is made of metal and is not subject to this flexing.
The actual requirement for doors and glass substantially reduce the rigidity of the car, but you can address this problem yourself.
In a convertible or cabriolet this flexing is a more exaggerated problem as there is no roof to strengthen the car, as many TorqueCars owners can testify.
A strut brace is a sturdy metal bar which connects the top of the strut towers (suspension pillars) together. This reduces the flexing and twisting of the body, under heavy cornering, and on roads with steep cambers.
Combined with a roll cage a very rigid car can be created. The front of the car is more subject to flexing than the rear, so most people fitness strut brace in the front of the car.
The strut braces need to be precision made, and many allow fine tuning adjustment after fitting. They need to be a strong and light, so many are constructed from aluminum or carbon fiber, but steel rods are also suitable.
When fitted a strut brace will improve the handling of the car by maintaining the originally calculated angles in the suspension geometry, even under heavy load. You will also get better feedback from the chassis, and cornering grip will be greatly increased.
Fitting a strut brace is a very simple job and easily accomplished in a short period of time. You will require a torque wrench, allen Key and socket. (Sometimes you need a metal drill with a slow speed setting.)
First off lay the strut brace over the struts and ensure :-
1) They fit (you will be really stuck if they are too short/long or the bolt holes are in the wrong place.
2) They will not interfere or touch the engine or components therein.
You must ensure that the car is on a level surface, use a spirit level and check for vertical and horizontal level. You need to undo the bolts on the top of the suspension, fit the strut brace and refit the bolts. Don't over tighten them, they will snap easily so use the Torque Wrench to get a measure for the amount of force to use. (Some cars/strut brace kits may require drilling, so check the instructions before you start! If the strut only has one nut you will typically need to drill new holes around the top in order to connect the strut brace.)
Adjust the strut brace when it is on to straighten out the tops of the struts. (Over time the struts will have started to pull in so you are looking to correct this and restore the cars original geometry with the brace.)
The lower strut brace generally requires removal of the lower part of the suspension, but again is a simple job. It is easier to do this on axle stands or ramps but you must ensure that the car is on a level surface. We would also recommend a full wheel alignment check is performed to ensure that the car has an optimum set up. Please join us in our friendly forum to discuss all aspects of car tuning and modifications.
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