What is a
Strut Tower Brace?
The terms "strut bar", "stress bar", and "strut
brace" are all generally refer to the same kind of device, a bar
mounted between the front strut towers. The purpose of this
bar is to reduce the flex that these towers experience during hard
cornering. Reducing the flex will keep the wheels in position and
in the desired position on the road, allowing the suspension to
work as engineered without the added factor of chassis flex
changing camber and caster settings.
This will help to improve traction on the turns, increasing turn-in
response, and help the suspension work effectively. However, unless
you choose carefully you may end up with a bar that looks great but
does not meet your legitimate performance objectives.
Many of these bars look sturdy, shiny, and just
plain cool. However, looks have little to do with performance. To
reduce the flex between struts the stress bar setup should be as
rigid as possible. The bar should be designed to take horizontal
pressure during a turn without flexing or losing rigidity. The bar
should not bend, flex, or pivot at the point it is attached to the
strut cap otherwise the towers can move freely as they did
By solidifying and isolating the struts in their
original configuration, it allows the suspension components (stock
or modified) to retain their geometry and to function as
designed. Typically, steering will seem quicker and
more responsive, but in reality, it is the suspension doing its job
properly. Benefits are not limited to high performance
driving. Most people find a strut bar improves low speed
turn-in response as well. A final advantage is the
structural longevity of the vehicle; by giving everything extra
support, the chassis will retain that "like new" stiffness for a
much longer period of time. In particular, convertible model
owners will see noticeable decreases in cowl shake.
From driver school participants and autocrossers to
the typical enthusiast, the strut bar has become a widely accepted
solution to the annoying problems of chassis flex in modern
production cars and professional race cars.
Want to see the serious math on how a good strut bar works?
[ CLICK HERE ]