Add Strut Bar

Settings - right and left is direction viewed from inside the car towards outside. i.e. this is a right hand drive car, right strut tower top in the one in front of the driver.

Preface - Story of Allan's experience of strut bar and it's settings.

A friend, owner of AE101 (between 1991 to 94) have severe understeer feeling. The suspension was put to blame by me. Complaining too hard a spring rate. However Allan did not change the coil and investigate other areas of possibilities. Around March / April 2004, he tried to tighten his strut bar, pulling the left and right strut tower top closer to each other by allot from his definition. After that ................... it's heaven. His car turn from a understeer monster into a oversteer king :). So from this lesson we learn of such "experience".

Current Situation -

I don't have a strut bar, and I have severe understeering problem, especially when low speed drifting. Or hard / tight corners. Especially after the tires are hot :(

26th April 2004 Monday Night - Acquisition

So, a strut bar is sought after. Being not very keen on new products, a used one was acquired. By luck! visiting a workshop whose owner is a AE86 fan and serves many AE86 owners. His got a spare for sale. RM100. No arguments there, take it, look at it, put in on the tower and it fits and pay for it. Only when leaving then I realize the strut bar is bend :(. Oh well, can't complaint when it's used :(. It's not very expensive either. Comes with the price I guess.

Thanks to Jonn Leow (nick = Leviathan in

Anyway, before installation, the strut bar is put on a quick jig to bend it back straight: -

Needless to say, it was not effective. I didn't have the balls to push it hard anyway. Oh well, I tried, leave it. Better consult some sifu master before proceeding.

27th April 2004 Tuesday Night - Installation

Well, the strut bar is finally installed onto the strut tower top. It is then tighten somewhat as per Allan's experience.

The strut bar only manages to tighten very little by hand. Lucky a friend was around (Gary) and gave the tips to use plumbers wrench, because they tighten the grips as they turn. So one was used. Very handy, able to turn effectively now.

Before further tightening, it was previously noticed that the locking bolt needs to be released and the strut bar turn allot of rounds to let the strut tower top brace extend outwards left and right one inch each side.

Wow, the previous owner must have had it really really tight.

Or is it my chassis screwed up? May be? I only know my right strut tower allows -2.5 camber maximum, while the left only -1.0 camber.

The strut suspension was previously inspected very carefully and found no faults.

This highly suggests that the chassis is not right !!!!!!! This car has seen allot of accidents from all sorts of direction and impact levels. Taking this as conclusion. The opportunity of pulling the strut bar inwards from left and right is used to pull the left side strut tower more than the right. Hoping anyway.

The way to do it is theoretically possible by jacking up the left side of the wheel only. So that there is no loading and the strut tower top, and hence may sway in easier compared to the right, which is loaded by weight onto the floor.

A picture to demonstrate: -

By this it is assumed that, when turning the strut bar to pull the strut tower closer between left and right, that the left gets pull more than the right.

This is a risky move, as the theory may be correct, where the strut tower may lean towards one side more than the other. However the risk is that, in may be instead of the left strut tower move in more, it may be the right side strut tower moving in more.

Regardless, I have more confidence over the first theory than second, so I go for it. The car will need to be taken to a alignment machine to check the chamber later. The previous settings are known. Both -1.0 camber.

Notice the scratch mark circled in green color. The amount pulled is around 1/2 inch from each side. It is hoped that the effective pulling is more from the left strut tower top.

After everything is done, the car is driven out for a test drive. Before rolling out, the strut bar is turned and place in such a way that the bending is not upwards or downwards, but forward. It is hoped that it would resists against bending downwards further. But then again, bending is bending.

Aftermath - Test Drive 12am Mid-night

It feels ............ tight .......... may be psychological......... I don't believe in such things :) heheheheehh - must try to be neutral and not favor it so quickly :)

After 10 turns, it really makes a difference. There is a little oversteer. The oversteer can be induced by accelerator, previously not possible at this low speed 40km/h.

Stops to inspect from the front. Make the steering as straight as possible and observe if the left camber is more than the right. From the naked eyes, it seems that the method worked. It is double confirmed by the amount of grip difference between right turn and left turn. Not balance as before.

This really have to be ascertained by the alignment machine.

Oh, don't care for now. Continue to have some test drive around. Tight, good, in fact sharp. Very sharp turning behavior.

Oh man, I can't believe what I missed out all this while.

Now, should I still reduce the front coil spring rate from 4.4 kg/mm to 3.3 kg/mm to match the rear currently on 3.3 kg/mm ???

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm difficult decision. Needs to drive more to tell.


  1. Front Strut Top Tower Bar
  2. Front Strut Tower Top Bar's Report




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