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slik_gts
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slik_gts Aug 2, 6:28am - #32528 

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2002 Toyota Celica GT

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Michigan, USA
Effectiveness of Strut Bars?

hey guys i live in michigan and the roads here are so friggin' horrible, pot holes are all over the place and i hate the suspension on celicas, it's definitely not made for these roads. some one was telling me that a relatively cheap way to improve the ride is buy putting on front and rear strut bars. is this true? and if this is true does the brand of struts really matter? thnx for ur help.

slik
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celicapimp02
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celicapimp02 Aug 2, 6:56am - #32529 

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celicapimp02
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celicapimp02 Aug 2, 6:57am - #32530 

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front and rear strut bars are just going to stiffen the chassy like when you go around a corner your car wont lean and it will be more responsive when turning the wheel, a way to have a smooth ride is to get like 15inch wheels with a tire thats thick and it will absourb the pot holes so thats what they will do
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Krayze
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Krayze Aug 2, 3:54pm - #32531 

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Pittsburgh, PA
strut bars won't affect how much you lean in a corner. THye prevent the chassis from twisting. the struts wihtout a brace will actually twist to a degree and make handling numb and in extremes unpredictable. sway bars will affet how much you sway in turns. hence the name

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Celicatastrophe
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Celicatastrophe Aug 2, 5:23pm - #32532 
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2000 Toyota Celica GT

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Jacksonville, Florida
I never understood how people lower their cars in a place like philly PA??? When I go to visit family them roads are so jacked up with holes and what not I'd be scared everyday of my driving life that id fuck my car up.

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SilverGT
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SilverGT Aug 2, 7:04pm - #32533 
2002 Silver Toyota Celica GT
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Torrance, CA
anybody have the tanabe front strut bar? if so, give me some feedback on how it is. thanks.
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celicapimp02
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celicapimp02 Aug 2, 8:37pm - #32534 

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It is my belief that a strut bar definitely does help. And during the explanation that follows I will try to provide a convincing argument for this.
Figure 1 shows the forces of interest in a strut bar analysis. For this calculation only horizontal forces need be considered. There are of course vertical forces, but since the sum of forces must independently equal zero in both the horizontal and vertical directions, we can concentrate on just the horizontal forces in this analysis.




Figure 1


We must begin by making some assumptions. First, consider an M3 cornering such that it experiences 100% weight transfer at the front wheels. This is not at all unusual on a modified M3. We have probably all seen pictures of an M3 in a turn with its inside front wheel in the air. That is a sure sign of 100% weight transfer.


Second, let us assume that our M3 is cornering at 1G. Again, on a modified M3 with R-series tires, this is very plausible. If an M3 weighs 2700 lbs and has close to a 50/50 weight distribution, then the outside front tire must generate a lateral force of 1350 lbs under the circumstances just outlined.
Thus F1 = 1350 lbs as depicted in the figure above. The figure is really a "free body diagram" which considers the forces that act ON the strut/wheel assembly (the blue link in Figure 1). These forces must sum to zero in the horizontal direction. Also, the sum of the torque's acting on the strut/wheel assembly must cancel out. Our goal is to determine the force F3 which is the force that the strut tower exerts on the strut assembly. There is an equal and opposite force exerted on the strut tower BY the strut assembly.

We can solve for F3 if we do a balance of torque's around the outer ball joint (where the control arm attaches to the strut). What we get is:

F1(L2) = F3(L1) or, F3 = F1(L2/L1)

Now, we already know F1 = 1350 lbs. And we can determine L1 and L2 from a quick measurement of an M3 (L1 = 24.3" and L2 =6.0"). Thus F3 = 333lbs.

So the conclusion is that when an M3 corners at 1G with 100% weight transfer at the front wheels, there is a 333 lb force pulling OUT on the outer strut tower. Since the inside wheel is un-loaded there is no corresponding force generated at the inside strut tower. Therefore a strut tower bar tends to be in tension, not compression as is often believed.




Now we ask ourselves: How critical is a force of 333 lbs pulling on the outer strut tower?
This 333 lb load amounts to about 12% of the car's total weight. Even though the strut tower is designed mainly to manage vertical forces , 333 lbs in the horizontal direction is not going to permanently deform the chassis. But the problem is that this force is repeatedly applied over many cycles during the life of the car. The more you drive it hard the more cycles you generate. This can lead to fatigue failure of the material that forms the strut tower (or where the strut tower attaches to the inner fender well).

What a strut bar does is tie the two strut towers together so that they share the load applied at the outer tower. This gives you twice as much material to deal with the same cornering force and helps reduce fatigue stress in this area.

Another point to consider is that if your outer strut tower is deflected outwards 0.20" by this 333 lb force, then you just lost 0.5 of negative camber! If it deflects 0.42" you have lost a full degree of negative camber.

This demonstration has hopefully illustrated how a strut tower bar can be beneficial. But what about the possibility of a strut tower bar being under compression? This is examined on

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celicapimp02
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celicapimp02 Aug 2, 8:38pm - #32535 

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Contrary to the simplified analysis on the previous page, many people believe that a strut tower bar is predominantly under compression, not tension. This assertion is partially born out in some cars where the strut towers gradually move closer together over time. And I have heard of incidents where the strut tower bar was instrumented with strain gauges as the car was driven around. These tests show the strut tower bar is under compression as well as tension, depending on what the car is doing. One test showed that the highest loads recorded on the strut bar were in compression as the car was pulling out of a garage (sideways down an inclined driveway - we have all heard a stiff car twist under this condition).

So what is this all about? Is a strut tower bar under tension or compression? One likely theory is that it experiences both. It just depends on the driving conditions. Cornering on smooth asphalt induces tension. Driving in a straight line over bumps induces compression. A force diagram illustrating how compression forces result from driving in a straight line (over a bump) is shown in Figure 2:





Figure 2

The left side of the figure shows the resultant forces acting ON the strut tower assembly. Force 1 is the road holding the car up, and force 2 is the weight of the car. Forces 3 and 4 result to stop the strut from spinning (they counter the moment produced by forces 1 & 2). Force 4 of course has an opposite and equal reaction force which is Force 5. This is shown on the right (in green) and is the resulting compression force on the strut tower.

Bear in mind that when the car encounters a sharp bump or dip in the pavement that the chassis may momentarily experience 3 or 4 G's. This means that F1 and F2 in Figure 2 could equal about 2800 lbs! F3 and F4 (and therefore F5) are much smaller, but could still be quite significant. To calculate F5 more precisely requires some measurements. I will get to this eventually.

In conclusion, some cars spend most of their lives driving in a straight line. Such cars might experience the strut towers moving together over time. Track cars spend a lot of their time cornering at over 1G. Thus a track car might see it's strut towers spread apart over the years. Thus a strut tower bar can be under tension OR compression depending on the environment that the car is operated in.

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celicapimp02
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celicapimp02 Aug 2, 8:44pm - #32536 

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here are the figures
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Tater
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Tater Aug 2, 11:03pm - #32537 

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New Orleans
Originally Posted by celicapimp02

It is my belief that a strut bar definitely does help. And during the explanation that follows I will try to provide a convincing argument for this. ...



Why not just link to the web site that you cut this info from? LINK It has the information that you pasted into your reply as well as other information that may be of interest to members of this forum.

Thanks,
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Rave669
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Rave669 Aug 2, 11:57pm - #32538 

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2002 Toyota Celica

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Lisle, IL
Actually, the strut bars would make those potholes even more noticeable, seeing that the Unibody won't be flexing as much. That's another benifit of strut bars, they give you a better tactile sense of the road.

You may want to get some nice aftermarket struts, ones that have adjustable dampers, that way, you can make them a bit softer for daily driving, and firm them up for the track.

Also, I would reccommend sport springs rather than coilovers, since the locking colars may wiggle loose with all the bumps and such, If you do go coilovers, make sure the ride height is maxed out, and you're running matched struts, so your strut doesn't bottom out and spring a leak.

Use factory rims and tires for street, those potholes can crack rims if you're running low-profile rubber and are not careful.

I have to deal with potholes in some places too, they suck.

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VSGTS14
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VSGTS14 Aug 3, 7:55pm - #32539 

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strut bars are for corning and handling...they reduce body roll...have nothing to do how it is going to hit holes in the road and bumps...

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SilverGT
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SilverGT Sep 10, 6:40am - #32540 
2002 Silver Toyota Celica GT
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Torrance, CA
so bascially, the tighter the strut towers are 'joined' together by the strut bar, its better correct? if so, the tanabe can be lengthened and shortened to fit the strut towers, then isnt the tanabe bar one of the best?
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ssgsky
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ssgsky Sep 10, 10:51am - #32541 

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fort hood texas
Originally Posted by VSGTS14
...they reduce body roll...


grrrr, sway bars reduce body roll, strut bars keep your alignment figures when a force is acted upon the wheels, at any angle

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GTSHYPR
Bruce Leroy
GTSHYPR Sep 10, 12:39pm - #32542 
2002 Spectra Blue Mica Toyota Celica GTS
Bruce Leroy
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Salisbury, MD
I have a Tanabe strut bar and it is great for cornering thumbsup but, like everyone says it does not help with pot holes. It makes them feel twice as deep. cry cry

I'm gonna take your little Civic. Dust it off. Turn it sideways and stick it straight up you candy A*s.
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