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Old 03-06-2010, 09:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Subaru strut tower brace - worth it?

Advice needed:

I bought a 2010 Forester XT to replace an '05 Legacy GT wagon. The wagon was complete unmodified, but I loved its taut handling. The Forester is OK but seems to wallow in turns. The strut tower brace seems to be a very easy modification, I just wonder whether it will really make a difference.

I don't plan any other mods (beyond new tires when these wear down a bit more). Is this money well spent?

Thanks,
BZGT

High-strength aluminum bar increases chassis stability by providing additional
stiffness to the front upper suspension area.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I see this is your first post, so welcome to the forum from Oregon!

I have neither, but I've read that the rear strut towers need the bracing more than the front strut towers. If I were going to add these, that's where I'd start.

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Old 03-06-2010, 10:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would start with a rear stabilizer bar first.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Bobby:

Thanks for the quick reply. Do you know how much in involved in installing the rear braces? What I liked about the front tower brace is that it appeared to be a simple bolt-on. When I was a teenager (25 years ago) I did all sorts of auto repairs, but now the idea of crawling under my car in a cold garage has much less appeal. I like to think it has more to wanting to play with my kids, but I don't even change my own oil anymore.

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Old 03-06-2010, 10:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bzgt View Post
Bobby:

Thanks for the quick reply. Do you know how much in involved in installing the rear braces? What I liked about the front tower brace is that it appeared to be a simple bolt-on. When I was a teenager (25 years ago) I did all sorts of auto repairs, but now the idea of crawling under my car in a cold garage has much less appeal. I like to think it has more to wanting to play with my kids, but I don't even change my own oil anymore.

BZGT
Funny... since I retired, nearly 2 years ago, I seem to enjoy working on my cars more & I'm nearly 60! I do my work outside, so I wait for nice sunny days to do any work.

I agree with el Fox beSTIal, adding heavier front & rear sway bars would do more, but adding the strut tower brace can't hurt. My Forester is an '07, but my installation write up here & here shows how simple the installation is.

As to the installation of the rear strut tower brace. I bought one for the '03 X, but I haven't installed it. I'm still pondering how to make the cut in the strut tower covers.

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Old 03-06-2010, 07:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2.5x_sleeper View Post
I see this is your first post, so welcome to the forum from Oregon!

I have neither, but I've read that the rear strut towers need the bracing more than the front strut towers. If I were going to add these, that's where I'd start.

Bobby...

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Does the multi link rear suspension as found on the 09 and 10 even have a "strut" tower brace?
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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No not necessary. No strut towers to brace though I'm sure someone will offer something JDMish.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Does the multi link rear suspension as found on the 09 and 10 even have a "strut" tower brace?
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No not necessary. No strut towers to brace though I'm sure someone will offer something JDMish.
No strut towers in the rear of the '09/'10 models? Learn something new here everyday!

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Old 03-07-2010, 08:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have the Fuji Heavy Industries titanium front strut bar, and while it's a nice piece, I haven't noticed any significant handling improvements. I'd first upgrade your front and rear sway bars, end-links, rear lateral links (recommended since the tabs occasionally break), sway bar mounts, and put in some subframe locking bolts.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I had one in front and one in rear made no difference at all.Took up space in the back to be honest.
May help for shaving tenths at an autox but,no mas
Get sways and tyres.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The "wallowing" in the corners will be the sway-bar's job, and the strut tower braces (front or rear) won't do squat for. Replace the front and rear sway bars with stiffer (or adjustable) ones from any of the various companies that make them, would also recommend you replace the end links at the same time. Also, I highly recommend that you get some sort of tab reinforcement (where the endlink connects the sway bar to the tab on the lateral links). A couple of companies make kits, or you can fabricate your own in you're up to it, but I can almost guarantee you that you'll either bend or break a tab with a stiffer rear sway bar (only bent mine, luckily).

With firmer (or adjustable) sway bars & end links, you'll firm up your cornering drastically.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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just curious, but does anybody know the size of the stock sway bars? they look pretty beefy compared to my Impreza or am I just seeing things?
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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just curious, but does anybody know the size of the stock sway bars? they look pretty beefy compared to my Impreza or am I just seeing things?
I know the rear is 16mm.

Just in-case anyone is interested SOA just released a strut tower brace for my MY09, 10 XT. I don't have the PN with me, it's at the office, but it is listed in the new release of the Forester Accessory guide....the paper version. I don't know if it has been added to the accessory installation guides yet listed on STIS.
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