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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! bazgti's Avatar
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    Default Strut brace heaven

    Got the sparco strut brace today and i was so keen to install it ,i did it in the rain.
    very easy job altho i need to adjust the bonnet up a tad,it still closes but it aint right.
    first impressions from driving to local shops and back-awesome.
    the front feels as strong as a tank now with improved turn in and generally a stronger feel from the front end.
    i took some piccys so check it out.
    the instruction were in italian and i used a translating site on the web to translate it.
    unfortunatly it appeared in broken english/italian and was nearly impossible to understand.
    i got an italian mate to check it out and he was stuck because of some techy words unfamiliar to him.
    it said to lift the car off the ground to install it-why?
    i rang a few suspension specialists and they all recomend to install it with the wheels on the ground,this i did.
    mine is adjustable ,looks pretty good and im glad i got it now.

    you jealous yet reggie????-BAZZ

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    Last edited by bazgti; 12th September 2005 at 07:28 PM.

  2. #2
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    i wonder why they said to lift the car off the ground, that will just be a pain since the top off the struts will drop down.

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! bazgti's Avatar
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    i know,they said only 5 ml or thats what we could make out of the broken english.
    i put the weight off the car and the strut tops didnt move at all,didnt want to put it further as ,as you mentioned the strut top mount would slip down.
    i then put it back down and did it on the ground.-BAZZ

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazgti
    i know,they said only 5 ml or thats what we could make out of the broken english.
    i put the weight off the car and the strut tops didnt move at all,didnt want to put it further as ,as you mentioned the strut top mount would slip down.
    i then put it back down and did it on the ground.-BAZZ
    They do work really well. I had both top and bottom bars installed in my 106 (top is OMP, bottom is Sparco) and the difference is incredible, but the most impressive change was made by the bottom one. For some reason, the mechanic who installed the strut tower bar jacked up the car a hair and bolted it on, then had me drive it for a bit with hard cornering (I hated that but had to oblidge.) He then checked the width adjustment again, AND THE ALIGNMENT. BTW, after the bar was installed he changed the toe in to 0.5 mm. I can't tell you why (I should have asked, I guess), but he is incredibly picky so I thought it was one of his over-the-top deals because I have had strut tower bars installed in all of my cars in the last 30 years and it was the first time I saw the front lifted. But it can also be something about the 106 and the 205 is REALLY similar so perhaps there is something to this lift-the-front deal.

    Thanos
    Last edited by Thanos; 12th September 2005 at 08:31 PM.

  5. #5
    I might be slow... DRTDVL's Avatar
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    Default Edit:

    IF you have the car off the ground when your installing the strut brace it would take the stress of the towers, so that when you have installed the strut brace and lower the car back down the strut brace is already stressed and working.

    Think about it, and use your hands at the front suspension...

    car on the ground / \ <--- this is what the towers are trying to do, if you install the strut brace now the car has already take up some of the force you are trying to combat. EDIT: also if the car goes over a bump and gets light or airborne the stresses will be unloaded from the suspenion... pulling the strut brace (i don't think they are designed for that).

    car off the ground | | <---- now if you install the strut brace it will take the full load of the towers trying to move inwards...EDIT: this way when car goes over a bump and gets light or airborne the stresses will be unloaded from the suspenion... causing the strut brace to return to it's unstressed state not trying to pull it...
    Last edited by DRTDVL; 13th September 2005 at 04:24 PM.

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts U Turn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRTDVL
    IF you have the car off the ground when your installing the strut brace it would take the stress of the towers, so that when you have installed the strut brace and lower the car back down the strut brace is already stressed and working.

    Think about it, and use your hands at the front suspension...

    car on the ground / \ <--- this is what the towers are trying to do, if you install the strut brace now the car has already take up some of the force you are trying to combat.

    car off the ground | | <---- now if you install the strut brace it will take the full load of the towers trying to move inwards...
    Excellent post!
    Take the long way home....

    - 306 gti6

  7. #7
    I might be slow... DRTDVL's Avatar
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    thanks u-turn,

    i was thinking about why they would recommend it, that was the best reason i could think of...

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! bazgti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRTDVL
    IF you have the car off the ground when your installing the strut brace it would take the stress of the towers, so that when you have installed the strut brace and lower the car back down the strut brace is already stressed and working.

    Think about it, and use your hands at the front suspension...

    car on the ground / \ <--- this is what the towers are trying to do, if you install the strut brace now the car has already take up some of the force you are trying to combat. EDIT: also if the
    car goes over a bump and gets light or airborne the stresses will be unloaded from the
    suspenion... pulling the strut brace (i don't think they are designed for that).

    car off the ground | | <---- now if you install the strut brace it will take the full load of the towers trying to move inwards...EDIT: this way when car goes over a bump and gets light or airborne the stresses will be unloaded from the suspenion... causing the strut brace to return to it's unstressed state not trying to pull it...


    hhmmmm,sounds about right.ill slacken off the bar jack the car up and tighten it up and see if there is any noticable difference.
    most suspension places say not to do this tho???
    where is the best place for jacking the car up from the front using a trolley jack.
    is it just infront of the cat guard on the cross member there.-BAZZ
    Last edited by bazgti; 13th September 2005 at 06:38 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazgti
    hhmmmm,sounds about right.ill slacken off the bar jack the car up and tighten it up and see if there is any noticable difference.
    most suspension places say not to do this tho???
    where is the best place for jacking the car up from the front using a trolley jack.
    is it just infront of the cat guard on the cross member there.-BAZZ
    I called the mechanic who raised my car to install the bar and asked why he did that. DRTDVL is spot on! He also said you can fine-tune it now, jack the front up till the wheels are just off the ground, then adjust the width of the bar to the most open position, but without forcing it. He reiterated reducing the toe-in to under 1 mm to minimize understeer.

    Thanos

  10. #10
    1000+ Posts U Turn's Avatar
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    I would assume the actual deflection in the strut towers from the car's static load to be barely a millimetre, but the key thing is you get the most benefit from the strut brace when you add the stiffness so it prevents that initial deflection in the first place.

    Thanos, you mentioned having a top and bottom brace. I take it the top brace attaches to the top of the strut towers, the same as in bazgti's photos. But I don't understand what you mean by the bottom brace. Where does it attach? Do you have any photos. Thanks.
    Take the long way home....

    - 306 gti6

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by U Turn
    Thanos, you mentioned having a top and bottom brace. I take it the top brace attaches to the top of the strut towers, the same as in bazgti's photos. But I don't understand what you mean by the bottom brace. Where does it attach? Do you have any photos. Thanks.
    My knowledge of the technical terms is non-existent, but I will do my best to describe the set-up.

    The brace consists of two pieces of semicircular pipe, welded together so you have a double wall in the middle. At each end, between the two "walls" you have a metal bracket with a single hole on it. The brace is bolted to the suspension arms that end up at the wheel (A arms?). Its purpose is to keep these arms together so the geometry of the car does not change under load. This brace becomes the lowest point of the car, ground clearance of my 106 is a mere two inches, and with 300lbs/inch front springs potholes and sidewalks can be lethal. The brackets are designed to bend easily to avoid suspension damage and I have lost count of the times I had mine straightened. It is a bit of a pain, but if I were to make only one suspension modification to the 106, this would be it. It is quite inexpensive as well; I paid less than AUS$60 for it from Sparco. Sorry I don't have a picture, I would certainly be worth much more than a thousand of my words, especially considering my highly technical description. If the description is unclear and you cannot locate the part, let me know and the next time the car is on the lift I will take a photo and send it to you.

    Thanos

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts U Turn's Avatar
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    I think I found a pic of it. Does it look like this?

    It came from a website which stated it's a lower strut brace for a 205 gti.

    Take the long way home....

    - 306 gti6

  13. #13
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    The Sparco does not look like this, and even if the one in the picture fits, I would recommend against using it. The upper strut tower brace by OMP is acceptable (that's what I have on my 106) but this lower brace looks dicey: The mounting points on it seem way too rigid and if you hit any sort of road debris taller that 2 inches (that's what your clearance will be) at speed, you are risking front end damage. The Sparco bar is designed to bend so damage is avoided and can be readily straightened. Check with your Sparco dealer, I am certain they will have it. It is the best bang-for-the-buck suspension item and very popular.
    Thanos

  14. #14
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    But if it's not rigid, I don't understand how it can act as an effective brace?
    Take the long way home....

    - 306 gti6

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by U Turn
    But if it's not rigid, I don't understand how it can act as an effective brace?
    The bar in itself is a quite rigid double pipe, effectively linking the two arms and keeping their distance constant. The mounting points on the OMP brace are the two tube-like end pieces. On the Sparco brace they are two flat metal brackets. Now imagine that you take a hammer and hit the OMP brace hard, right on the OMP sticker; since it can not bend, it will move and take other parts with it. If you had flat brackets as mounting points, the fixed brace length would keep the A arms fixed, but the brackets will bend on impact. I am not doing a very good job explainng this, am I? I can however assure you that it works quite well.

  16. #16
    I might be slow... DRTDVL's Avatar
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    lower strut braces are mainly for use on tracks or in stiff as syspension.. you will hit it alot if you have it on your standard road car...

  17. #17
    Fellow Frogger! bazgti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanos
    I called the mechanic who raised my car to install the bar and asked why he did that. DRTDVL is spot on! He also said you can fine-tune it now, jack the front up till the wheels are just off the ground, then adjust the width of the bar to the most open position, but with
    out forcing it. He reiterated reducing the toe-in to under 1 mm to minimize understeer.

    Thanos

    Thanks for the imput thanos but i dont understand one point.
    you mention to adjust the bar to its widest point that will fit,i thought it would be the oppisite.
    isnt it meant to pull the strut tops in towards the motor not out towards the guards?
    unless you mean to then adjust it after its at the widest point.
    unless i have the whole concept arse about .which wouldnt surprise me.-BAZZ
    Last edited by bazgti; 14th September 2005 at 07:17 PM.

  18. #18
    I might be slow... DRTDVL's Avatar
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    Baz: the idea of a strut brace is to reduce the flex of the body.

    when cornering the forces act up the suspenion causing the chassis/body to move, the strut brace is designed to minimise this movement...

    say this is your car normally | | when you take left corner (with no negitive camber) your car will absorb some of the cornering forces making it want to go like this / \ <--- this is bad ... the forces acting on the left hand tower reduce as the weigh shifts to the right tower causing it to unload (moves a little --->), the forces acting on the right tower increase causing it to load up and move left (remember most syspension is mounted on a slight angle).

    the strut brace basically stops the tops of the towers getting closer |--| by supporting the towers, it's actually pushing the towers apart so to speak. It reduces the towers movement by using the force acting on each side to balance the other side. I'm tring to think of a good real world example, but the best i can think of is you standing inbetween two say planks of wood, you are the strut brace, the wood planks are the syspension, as they try to fall towards you, you push against them, supporting them. i know it's not a great example but hey....

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazgti
    Thanks for the imput thanos but i dont understand one point.
    you mention to adjust the bar to its widest point that will fit,i thought it would be the oppisite.
    isnt it meant to pull the strut tops in towards the motor not out towards the guards?
    unless you mean to then adjust it after its at the widest point.
    unless i have the whole concept arse about .which wouldnt surprise me.-BAZZ
    Actually, Buzz, you seem to have a very good head on your shoulders, in spite of your self deprecating style. The point I was trying to make is that if the brace was installed with the car on the ground, the brace is possibly adjusted at a shorter length. With the car off the ground the stress is relieved and the mounts will tend to move a hair further apart.
    Or, you can install it from scratch with the wheels a bit off the ground. I would also give the lower brace and the 1 mm toe-in some serious consideration.

    Thanos

    Thanos

  20. #20
    I might be slow... DRTDVL's Avatar
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    Thanos: do you find your lower strut brace hits things or is it only for track/race use?

  21. #21
    Fellow Frogger! casnell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRTDVL
    Thanos: do you find your lower strut brace hits things or is it only for track/race use?
    And hey Dr tdvl (I wondered what the Dr bit was 'til I worked it out, D'oh!), I checked a contact for DMS suspension, $2100 for 50mm, when I went direct, $3450 for 40mm !!!!! How did you go on suspension?
    Chris
    205gti

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRTDVL
    Thanos: do you find your lower strut brace hits things or is it only for track/race use?
    DRTDVL

    I use my 106 as one of my daily drivers, and try to avoid parking on sidewalks and falling in potholes. The bar works great for city use and paved roads, but if, as your name implies you frequent dirt roads (the other option is that you like the Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner) you may be hitting things quite often. During the seven years (and 112,000 km) that I have had a lower strut brace in my 106, it has been bent back into shape five or six times and it takes about five minutes to do.

    Thanos

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    awesome, now only if i can find one for my 405
    1989 Peugeot 405 Mi16
    -Apex springs
    -Koni shocks
    -EBC brake pads and rotors
    for now, more to come later

  24. #24
    I might be slow... DRTDVL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanos
    DRTDVL

    I use my 106 as one of my daily drivers, and try to avoid parking on sidewalks and falling in potholes. The bar works great for city use and paved roads, but if, as your name implies you frequent dirt roads (the other option is that you like the Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner) you may be hitting things quite often. During the seven years (and 112,000 km) that I have had a lower strut brace in my 106, it has been bent back into shape five or six times and it takes about five minutes to do.

    Thanos
    Ya i like the gravel....

    I was asking because my friend has one on his car and he's constantly hitting it on things... so it's only for track use now....


    Haven't sort any suspension stuff yet, had a few other things come up... like control arm bushes, and a bend trailing arm, so i'm going to replace the front and rear bushes, and both trailing arms first....

    fix it as it breaks,

  25. #25
    Fellow Frogger! bazgti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRTDVL
    Baz: the idea of a strut brace is to reduce the flex of the body.

    when cornering the forces act up the suspenion causing the chassis/body to move, the strut brace is designed to minimise this movement...

    say this is your car normally | | when you take left corner (with no negitive camber) your car will absorb some of the cornering forces making it want to go like this / \ <--- this is bad ... the forces acting on the left hand tower reduce as the weigh shifts to the right tower causing it to unload (moves a little --->), the forces acting on the right tower increase causing it to load up and move left (remember most syspension is mounted on a slight angle).

    the strut brace basically stops the tops of the towers getting closer |--| by supporting the towers, it's actually pushing the towers apart so to speak. It reduces the towers movement by using the force acting on each side to balance the other side. I'm tring to think of a good real world example, but the best i can think of is you standing inbetween two say planks of wood, you are the strut brace, the wood planks are the syspension, as they try to fall towards you, you push against them, supporting them. i know it's not a great example but hey....
    thanks for the description i do understand what you are saying and now it all seems to make sense.ill do it this arvo.

    thanos-self depreciation as an art form is dying,the thing is people take you seriuosly where i am trying to throw a bit of levity in the mix.but thank you for the good head on your shoulders comment,obviously you aint seen a recent picture of me.
    see self depreciation coming in again
    but seriuosly thanks for contacting your mechanic ,the info is great.-BAZZ

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