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Worst Mechanic Ever!
EG
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As you can tell by my other thread, I just installed front and rear strut tower braces. Obviously I went for a quick drive to see if I could feel a difference, and started thinking about that myth that they are useless. After just feeling the car through turns, I realized that the braces DO something, but I don't know if it's good or not.

I did feel the difference in that the inside (in relation to the turn) side of the car seemed to lift up a bit more. I had heard that the bars could exagerrate body roll, but I don't thik thats what it is. I just think that when the force from the turn is applied to the chassis, without the bar the towers would pivot at their base, thus twisting the car. This would also change the distance between the tops of the tower, in an uncontrolled manor. So the only real job the bar does is keep the tops of the struts equal distance from each other, which would reduce the amount of twist. If the distance changes, then alignment angles would be different for each side. Maybe only minutely, but still a fact.

Now, for my car, not so good, because my suspension is loose, not stiff, so the body roll allows more travel on the inside side of the car. But on a stiff suspension, I think it would be good, keeping the alignment even on both sides, especially when it's a tuned setup with specific angles. Again, add to that better tires with a lot more grip, then through turns more force will be applied to the chassis, causing more flex, making larger changes to the alignment.

I know this is a lot of already there knowledge, I just wanted to see what the other side has to say about all that. I may not have used the right terminology, but it makes logical sense to me and proves that strut tower bars DO something. Now, whether they do good or bad, I'm not trying to say that, otherwise I wouldn't have opened the discussion.
 

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I agree, solid front stut bars can make a difference.

I bought my car bone stock; no strut brace, stock springs, rubber bushings, no sway bar.

I added Eibach's: felt better, responded better.
I added a Neuspeed bar: felt even better response and turn-in was a lot more crisp but got a bit more understeer.
I added poly bushings: more response but also a little more understeer.
I changed from Eibach's to full-coilovers: a lot more cornering ability but about the same amount of understeer.
I added an HF front sway bar: understeer went bye-bye.

:thehump:
 

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the phase of the moon has more impact on chassis roll then a strut bar does. 'nuff said.
 

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Worst Mechanic Ever!
EG
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
the phase of the moon has more impact on chassis roll then a strut bar does. 'nuff said.
What is your reasoning though? Just stating the fact without at least a thought process to back it up is just about useless. The reason I spouted all that BS was to try and get a discussion about the topic that actually has some substance to it.
 

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the reasoning is that strut bars have no affect on chassis roll. things that have an affect on chassis roll are your sway bars, your springs, and the geometry of the suspension. when doing any chassis math, we assume that the chassis is infinitely stiff. there are two reasons to that. the first and most important is that what little chassis flex there is doesn't really affect anything enough to change the numbers. your strut bar might have increased chassis rigidity by 1% (if you're really lucky and got an incredibly well designed product. something of a shot in the dark since you won't find chassis rigidity numbers published by manfucturers and strut bar manufacturers likely don't test their products (a safe bet considering the price point of a strut bar)) but you're talking 1% of a function in the equation that has such a small impact we ignore it in the first place.

a more likely scenario? you've modified something in your car, you expect to feel a difference and as such pay much closer attention to how the car feels and how much it rolls. i never hear more squeeks and rattles from my car then when i think i've got a wheel bearing heading south or a ball joint that is tweaked. finally, if you are feeling that much of a difference daily driving your street car, i'd definitely be seeing a difference with my DL1 during competition pulling just over 1g steady state and spikes approaching 1.2g's. (that's on street tires too, btw)

nate

ps. just for reference, driving really aggressively on the street you might see .8g's. if you're driving harder then that on the street, you might want to re-evaluate your friendship with Darwin. ;)

pps. yes, i datalogged my commute to work. doesn't everyone? :)
 

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so, what about the Integra Type-R?!? it has strut bars all over the place! again, good luck getting honda to publish chassis stiffness numbers with and without the strut and tie bars. i have some theories on why they are on the car (and so visible too...) but i'll keep those to myself sense they are only theories. when thinking of these things, i tend to focus on where we want the stiffness. it's not at the ends of the 'box', it's in the middle of the 'box' where you'll see gains by increasing stiffness.
 

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i tend to focus on where we want the stiffness. it's not at the ends of the 'box', it's in the middle of the 'box' where you'll see gains by increasing stiffness.
Very true, which is why the new trend is to strip down to the bare shell, do all sorts of cool welding (forget the technical name for all this), and then BLAMO! stiffer chassis.

I did feel crisper steering when I put on my Neuspeed bar. Whether or not the chassis is stiffer doesn't matter to me.
 

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Worst Mechanic Ever!
EG
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
...but i'll keep those to myself sense they are only theories. when thinking of these things, i tend to focus on where we want the stiffness. it's not at the ends of the 'box', it's in the middle of the 'box' where you'll see gains by increasing stiffness.
Don't keep it to yourself, this is a no beef discussion. I'm ot worryed that you have a different opinion, its just that most discussions on the subject have been:
"yes they do!"
"no they don't!"

ya know? But I agree, it's not hard to see what would be the most likely to flex, that baing the big, open middle.

On the topic of how much it heps, I think it has more to do with weight. There are factory strut bars put on cars, they logically make sense, so I hardly see how they can do nothing. 1% is still 1%, not much but SOMETHING. Now, what about if your car was heavier? All the forces applied through the turn would be bigger, which could cause more flex. Of course, if the car is built sturdier, that would reduce flex too, as well as simply designing the chassis better.

As for the paying more attention to my driving, I doubt thats possible. Driving too and from work, or whatever, I pay more attention than most. When I'm out for a drive, I usually turn the radio off, and just pay attention to nothing but my car. :D:D The difference that I noticed wasn't so much a change in body roll or handling, but the car itself does feel less spongy. Not the suspension though, it's still squishy. Does that make sense? I can understand why most people say it makes their car handle better, because I car feels a lot better putting power down after a turn. But I don't think it made my car handle BETTER.
 

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Ferio inspired
90' Civic sedan
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the type R, has more than just some added strut bars to make the frame tighter. the frame itself has been strengthened in all the right places too.

i guess it just depends on how in tune with how your car drives, to notice a difference. on mine it was instant when the Nuespeed bar was added to the front.:beer:
 

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I'll throw in my 2 cents worth of information, after thinking about the subject for all of five minutes.

A. I suspect that the strut bar is typically under tension, rather than compression... Weight transfer to the outer tire would move the outer strut tower AWAY from the centerline, making the strut bar be under tension. The only time the strut bar would see compression is when the car's chassis is forced down evenly.. like if you were to jump it or something.

B. The strut tower brace is there to support the strut tower. (Duh, I know) I often hear people discussing it as if it supports the strut itself - which it doesn't.

I'll think about it more during the day, and see what I come up with and post back here.

-Des!
 

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It's possible that strut bars can make your chassis stiffer (less squeaks, etc.) without actually improving max lateral acceleration.
 

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Very true, which is why the new trend is to strip down to the bare shell, do all sorts of cool welding (forget the technical name for all this), and then BLAMO! stiffer chassis.

I did feel crisper steering when I put on my Neuspeed bar. Whether or not the chassis is stiffer doesn't matter to me.
it's called seam welding.
 

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hrmm w/e...i dunno if it was psychological or what..but my chassis felt liek ti stiffened up..around corners i found my steering to be a little sharper at speeds in excess of 40 miles...but w/e..just like my AEM pulleys...got it for free...cant complain when its free
 

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It's possible that strut bars can make your chassis stiffer (less squeaks, etc.) without actually improving max lateral acceleration.
if it isn't making the car handle better, why bother? if the only defense for buying one is "i felt like my chassis was stiffer after i installed" then should we listen to engine tuners that claim their chip makes more power because someone said their car pulled harder?

i may not be a national champion, but i can hold my own when it comes to dodging cones. i can feel a half pound change in tire pressure. i'm stressing the chassis on my car WAY more then anyone on the street ever should be. yet, i can't feel any difference with or without a strut bar. someone else claims they can feel a change. maybe i'm just pickier then everyone else, but i have a hard time dropping my hard earned $$$ on something that people can't even agree actually does the job it is advertised to do. i have to rely on what imperical evidence i can get, and the data from my logger says "strut bars = waste of money".

i'm not telling anyone NOT to buy a strut bar. i'm not even saying that it definitely doesn't stiffen the chassis. all i'm saying is that even with an impartial tool taking imperical data i don't see any performance improvement from adding a strut bar. personally, i'll take that strut bar money and put it into something that WILL improve the performance of the car. things like koni 2812's, an SMS header, dyno time, wider/lighter wheels, different spring rates, lighter swaybars and so on. and for everyone that tells me "but my chassis is stiffer with strut bars!" i'll say prove it. yeah, i can get my car to sit on 3 jackstands too. so what?!? :)
 

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they worked for me, but i think this whole discussion is a matter of opinion because some people think they work some people dont. If they didnt work do you think companies would waste their money producing them
 

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It stands to reason that the bars would at some chassis stiffnes. However, the level of improovement would be marginal. If you're running very high spring rates on a track car, you might see a gain. On a street car, in good condition, the rates shouldn't be that high or the driving nearly that aggressive.

That said, I have a pair of upper bars on my daily driver, EJ!. No, I didn't feel ant change after I installed them. & yes, I will be moving them to my Solo2 car, EJ2. Because they are paid for, the wieght gain will be minimal, & any gain might help.
...& they look nice when I have the hood open for tech
 

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the bar in itself doesn't do anything but make a car look good under the hood, when combined with a stock car. it also does nothing in a chassis that has serious modifications (roll cage, seam welding, redesigned suspension geometry, etc). but on a 90% stock car that is just lowered (2.5 in.), it does do something.

thanks for reading my .02 on the subject.
 

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It comes down to, if you like them great, if you don't great. they matter little either way.

BTW there has been lengthy convos about this already.
 

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if it isn't making the car handle better, why bother? if the only defense for buying one is "i felt like my chassis was stiffer after i installed" then should we listen to engine tuners that claim their chip makes more power because someone said their car pulled harder?
It made the top creak less on my del Sol ;) I don't have any bars on my EF because I couldn't find any benefit either.
 
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