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It's been fun.......
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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.[cheers]
 

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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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AKA Toyotech
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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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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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It's been fun.......
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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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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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If your're going for looks look at the OBX bar from Modern Performance. It's relatively cheap at 59.95, comes in colors, and is straight! It does this by varying the bar attachment locations on the strut housing. Look at the picture at their web site closely. It looks like its made of aluminum tubing and this may offset the somewhat clever mounting and weaken the bar a little. Like I said, if looks are more important than a really stiff bar this may be a good option. On the other hand, it may be stiff as well and you win both ways.
 

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Chucko said:
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.
A buddy of mine drives an eclipse, and I know that when he got a front bar put in, you could really feel the difference. Right after he had it put in, he took me an the same offramp I rode in his car, and even just as the passenger, I could feel the difference. It's ahrd to descrbie it now, it was like 3 weeks ago, but it is noticable in his car, and I would assume ours would be no different.
 

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steeda

steeda chrome moly is strongest thou not straight. its in the race car w/aem cold air. it fits fine.
 

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I have a FocusSport front bar on both of my Foci. My wife drove the 05 SE off road (out of a curve), into a 4x4 mailbox post and through a ditch. It was about $4500 damage. The first thing the mechanic said was that he thought the bar helped save the front suspension. Sure, its just an opinion, but there was no suspension damage at all. The Focus is not made for off road and this jump was straight out of Dukes of Hazzard.
 

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The bars do make the engine bay look better... I tried to attach a pic, but it isnt working. hmmm
 
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