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Old 11-13-2003, 12:46 PM   #1
microtonal
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Strut tower brace stress bar

I've been looking at getting a front strut brace/stress bar and was wondering if any of these three are any good and if there are any others(Brand name) that work well with the Focus.

FocusSport Stress bar

Focus Central Tower Brace

AFX Stress bar


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Old 11-13-2003, 01:46 PM   #2
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I've got the one from FocusSport and it fits and works fine. I'm not positive but I'm not sure there is a difference between the FocusSport bar and the Focus Central bar. The AFX
attaches to all 3 bolts on the upper strut which might lead one to believe it may be a little more rigid than the other two but I don't know that for a fact. My 2, 1. stay away from the aluminum cheapies. You want steel or some higher priced bars are made of what they refer to as chrome-moly steel (see www.steedafocus.com) which is supposed to be stronger. 2. Make sure it has the "focus" bend.

I don't think you would go wrong with any of the ones you listed.
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Old 11-13-2003, 09:07 PM   #3
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I'm curious, do these braces actually do anything? Most of the ones I've seen have a fairly small diameter, the attachment to the strut towers is via a single welded joint, and the bends needed to clear other stuff under the hood must take away from the stiffness.

Or is the placebo effect enough to justify the cash outlay? :)

If I was designing one of these, I would make sure the ends were triangulated, so the bar has a chance of actually adding some stiffness. I would avoid bending the bar where it mounts to the strut towers. And I would use the biggest diameter steel tubing that would fit, with the thinnest wall I could get away with.

The Steeda piece looks like it has the best chance of actually adding some stiffness to the car, but I still think a good fabricator could do better.
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Old 11-13-2003, 09:48 PM   #4
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the fronts are really just for looks, at the position of the strut mounts, theres no real way for flex on the unibody.

now for the rear, you can actually feel it a little. and there is a design that uses triangles for that, works well too.
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Old 11-17-2003, 01:27 PM   #5
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The best strut tower bar will be as straight a bar as possible. The more kinks and bends in the bar the less efficent it is (the bar will bend at the kinks etc. defeating the purpose of the bar). I agree with the premice that a triangulated bar (tying into the fire wall) is better than a two point connection (strut towers only). The idea is to keep the towers from bending inward from extreme cornering forces or in rallying from the weight of the car coming downward and pulling the towers toward the center of the car. I'm not impressed with many of the focus braces I have seen and would agree that many are more for looks than function.
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Old 11-24-2003, 07:17 PM   #6
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Does anyone know if Steeda's front bar will fit an SVT w/ AEM CAI?

Thanks,
Nick
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Old 11-26-2003, 10:07 AM   #7
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as well as the aem short ram on the zx3.. anyone have any problems fitting a front strut bar on there?
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Old 11-26-2003, 10:13 AM   #8
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The only intake I have seen problems with is the K&N FIPK short ram. The part of the tube which connects to the TB is larger, kind of balloons out at the end. This does not allow room for a strut bar.
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Old 11-26-2003, 11:26 AM   #9
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of the ones out there, the focussport is the most popular, and likely the best. a friend of mine had one in her zx3 when she totaled her car. front of the car was all smashed up, twisted around, etc, but her stress brace was still intact, keeping the strut towers in line, and she was able to reuse it on her new zx3. go figure.

the bar should fit with just about every intake out there, besides the K&N mentioned above.

jon: the short ram will not pose a problem at all.
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Old 12-03-2003, 09:50 PM   #10
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late seeing thread.. thanks tj..

i think im going to get one to dress the engine up a bit.. i need something in there
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