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Strut bars effect on handling

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  • Strut bars effect on handling

    I just installed a set of front and rear Sparco strut bars mainly thinking in better handling on the track. I have used them in the street until now just a few times and there is no change I can really feel. I look forward to the next time in the track to see if there is anything different and if lap times are better or not but thought to ask you guys which will be the real effect of the strut bars (just front and both front and rear). It may be ki d of late to ask this after buying the thing but I didn't find a thread about it and thought it may be a goog one.
    1987 E30 M3
    1992 E36 325i (race car)
    1983 E24 635csi (for restoration)

  • #2
    You should be able to feel a little bit of difference, unless your suspension is already pretty stiff. What kind of suspension setup are you running, and how have you been testing them on the street?

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    • #3
      Suspension is stock (stock springs and bilstein HD).
      No real test on the street, just regular slow driving.
      1987 E30 M3
      1992 E36 325i (race car)
      1983 E24 635csi (for restoration)

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      • #4
        You really have to get it into some turns to feel the rigidity that the bar adds. Since you are on the stock springs, you may not feel as much since it'll roll a bit. Try getting the car into some corners with and with out the bar for comparison.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by chutrain View Post
          You should be able to feel a little bit of difference, unless your suspension is already pretty stiff. What kind of suspension setup are you running, and how have you been testing them on the street?
          Suspension stiffness should have little to do with it. I think it's more about chasis stiffness.

          When I put in front/rear strut bars the car felt significantly more together (and I have a very stiff suspension). After adding a harness bar, the car would lift a wheel going into and out of driveways, over speed bumps, etc. Because of the increase in chasis stiffness, I had to change my shock settings slightly to try and get more out of it and to compensate for the now rigidness of the car as a whole.

          I would say you will "feel" more out of a springs/shocks/coil over setup than a strut and butt bar. However, if you have done the other things first, I would say that you "should" be able to feel a difference in body roll reduction using the bars.
          1990 e30 m3

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          • #6
            I disagree. The stiffer the springs, the more flex in the strut towers.

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            • #7
              Your strut bars will only stiffen the chassis slightly. They are only bracing the chassis in one dimension, and that is between the towers.
              They are not triangulating braces and therefore not combating the tendency of the chassis to warp.... So they only slightly make the suspension work better.

              You would notice more stiffness if the bar tied the two strut towers to the firewall, with the firewall also having some bracing on the interior side also.

              m

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              • #8
                Since the vehicle has stock suspension, you won't be able to feel much difference.
                If you had r-compound tires and very stiff suspension, you will feel a difference.

                Reason is you would then be able to load the suspension and chassis harder and in a shorter amount of time in a corner. This transmits much more load through the springs/shocks, shock towers and chassis.

                If you're running otherwise stock suspension and tires, you end-up loading the suspension less and more gradually during the turn in.
                Pat

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                • #9
                  It seems the benefits of strut bars depend on what other things have been done to the car and that in the case of stock suspension, no much can be gained. I will be able to test the car on the track in a couple of weeks and will try to do some lap times with and without the bars or just compare to last sesion lap times without the bars.
                  1987 E30 M3
                  1992 E36 325i (race car)
                  1983 E24 635csi (for restoration)

                  Comment

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