Strut tower brace
Well made, installed pretty easy. Looks nice too!
You’ve probably read somewhere on the internet that a strut tower brace never does anything but look pretty. You’re about to read otherwise. Armed with a strong background in vehicle dynamics and chassis design, we’ve spent months understanding the BRZ/FRS/86 chassis, testing different designs, collecting data and measuring performance. With the help of the FT86Club community, we’ve developed a strut tower brace that works.
Our design requirements for this project were simple. The GrimmSpeed Strut Tower Brace must provide additional stiffness between the strut towers, enhancing stability and sharpening steering response. We began with testing both on the street and by statically flexing the chassis in the shop. Tweaking the chassis manually and using our FARO Arm to plot critical points in CAD, we were able to identify the weak points in the system. What we found was interesting. The OEM triangulation bars actually function very well. So, while the allure of a beautiful 3-point brace was tempting, the data spoke loud and clear: a simple 2-point brace was the right solution. With that, we set out to create a clean, simple and cost effective solution.
Using 3D scanned data from multiple vehicles, we were able to quantify the manufacturing tolerances and design our brace accordingly. What that means for you is a perfect fit and easy installation. 3D-printed prototypes helped speed the development cycle and allowed us to test a number of different bracket designs for fitment and aesthetics.
One key design decision was to utilize a rigid, welded construction. The reasons for this are three-fold, but what it boils down to is the old standby, ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’. When the goal is to reduce compliance in the system, it’s not hard to understand why a solid form design is best.
End brackets are laser cut from 3/16" steel and precision CNC bent. These brackets were sized to provide maximum strength and stiffness without compromising thread engagement with the vehicle. Cross tubes are CNC laser cut to length from .125in wall tubing. Mild steel, being both the viable material that is both economical as well as the well-suited for the job, was an easy choice. Contrary to popular belief, mild steel offers greater stiffness than stainless steel and while stainless steel offers higher yield strength, in this particular application, we’re nowhere near those types of forces. The assemblies are all robotically welded in the same fixture for unbeatable accuracy and repeatability. Each finished brace is coated with a durable DuPont textured powdercoating. The cherry on top, so to speak, is that we’ve laser cut the GS logos from stainless steel, so you’re free to polish the coating off of it for a unique look without worry about rust.
Performance metrics, both quantitative and qualitative were carefully tracked through development and following production. In our slalom testing, peak deflection between the strut towers dropped from .180in to .030in, a decrease of 83.3%. Even more notable than the lowering of deflection was the substantial decrease in ‘noise’ within the data. You can truly feel this improvement the first time you leave your driveway after the install. Expect an immediate and noticeable decrease in NVH and a noticeable increase in sharpness and steering feel. The chart below shows strut tower deflection through a series of slalom turns before and after the installation of the GrimmSpeed Strut Tower Brace. What you see is that without the brace, the data shows a great deal of noise and unpredictable deflection, indicating an unsettled chassis. After installation of the brace, noise in the data is greatly decreased and behavior is much more predictable. With the brace installed, the chassis reacts as you would expect, cycling between tension and compression as the brace works to maintain stiffness between the strut towers through the slalom.
“WOW! Im usually very skeptical and I thought this was more of an engine bay dress up piece but NOPE. The moment you drive off your home and hit the streets you can already feel it. The car is more planted, nimble, quieter over bumps and less jarring. The car also feels more responsive. Whether this is a placebo effect or not, I have no regrets.” – SliverBrz
“So, after installing this and driving to work today, got to say.....It is awesome. If i were to start all over, or even just to recommend to a new twin owner, make this your first purchase. Amazing how much better the car feels, as someone else mentioned, steering feels tighter, less play, just solid. Great purchase!” – gdrider77
“Your comment on how it improved ride was one of the things that helped sell me. It really is true. I took my test drive this morning. On a BRZ with stock suspension and tires, it has removed a LOT of the harshness. Driveways, intersections, bumps, potholes are much smoother and less noticeable now. It seems to handle cornering better but I was limited by school zones being checked out. The strut tower brace is really a plus to my driving satisfaction.” – elrod
“I am not the handiest of men, but even for my skill level this was like a 10m install where 4m was trying to find my socket set. And what a difference in ride/handling. It makes one wonder why this wasn't included from the factory.” – Optimus Prime
“I agree! The install was very easy and the car drives and feels better! This was one of the best upgrades I have done to the BRZ and the red bar looks awesome!” – tripjammer
“Install took all of about 10 minutes. REALLY liking the difference the bar makes. Overall, a "tighter" feel in the steering wheel, the minor "back and forth" I felt via the steering wheel, even on pretty level roads, is gone. I'm feeling quite a bit of difference (IMHO) when driving over washboard roads or small bumps. Thanks GS!” – PNW FRS
- 2013 Subaru BRZ
- 2013 Toyota BRZ/FRS
Well made, installed pretty easy. Looks nice too!
Really nice product. Fit perfectly, and looks amazing. Grimmspeed never lets down! Steering response never felt better. Highly recommend!
I did have to modify the product so it was compatible with my flex fuel system ( the were both attached to the same bolts) however, it turned out great and looks great.
I have a 2017 Series Yellow Special Edition BRZ with Sachs shocks, Brembo brakes and upgraded stock suspension. I also have Motegi Racing wheels, 18x8 and Yokohama Advan Sport a/s+ tires, 245x35. The strut tower brace was easy to install, looks great and I noticed an immediate improvement in the sharpness of my steering response.
Honestly, the best 140$ you will spend on your FRS/BRZ/86. I don't know what makes me happier, the steering feel going from great > telepathic or the entire front end being smoother and quieter. Engineering works. Buy this brace, you won't regret it.
The strut bar package comes with everything you need and installation was very easy. It looks amazing in the engine bay and I can feel a slight difference in hard corners. For the price, I am satisfied and would recommend this strut tower bar to every GT86/BRZ owner. You can't go wrong with this strut tower bar. If you're on the edge of buying it or not, DO IT.
There is a nice on-ramp to the turnpike I take from work in the afternoon. If traffic is good and the road is clear I like to see what the BRZ can do. Before the strut bar I could take the turning on ramp around 65-70 mph, but it felt like it was just on edge of loosing it. With the bar I can do 70-75 mph and it still feels like I could push it a bit more. The bumps on the road feel better in the front and just feels tighter in general. For an everyday driver, it is perfect, not too little and it's not overkill. By the way it looks great.
Install was very easy and straightforward and should not take more than 5-10 minutes. I have a 2017 GT-860 and fitment was perfect. This brace is a fraction of the price of other brands and it does very much the same thing. The triangular OEM cross bars do a fair job in themselves, however there is an increased "planted" feel when turning or traversing a windy road. For the price, it was a very easy decision to make. The construction is top notch and the finish is great. The solidly welded construction is an improvement over other brands that use link pivots or added bolts and nuts on either end, as extra flex points defeat the idea of any brace. Great work GS. I am glad that I ran across this company when researching modifications. I currently have their MCB, this strut bar, hood prop kit and the pulley cover/tool tray (all quality products), and will be purchasing their CAI in the future as well.
I track my FRS, so I believe in "anchoring" the suspension points, for consistency corner-to-corner, lap-to-lap. With the twins developers deciding to upgrade the mounting point at the firewall for the diagonal bars for the 2017 models, I'm happy to triangulate the mounting points at the strut tops! And I have a black car; the black crinkle finish mimics the appearance of the black plastic covers at the top of the motor, so your piece looks OE as a bonus! Easy install, (recheck torque of nuts after a little "twisting"), looks slick, good price; I'm pleased.
Not that the BRZ needs any help in the steering department, but I couldn't believe the difference this small, quick modification made. From the first time I drove away after installing it, I immediately could feel the difference in how tight the steering felt. I haven't taken the car to the track yet, but I am confident it will help it perform even better.
I've never used a strut bar and alot of people on the forums don't think they do anything. I bought one and immediately felt a much more connected car and the added benefit of noise reduction. The car just feels stronger and turns are so much more fun now with handling. If you're on the fence about buying this strut bar, just buy it, because you will immediately feel more connected with your car.
Was delivered quickly. Very nice look and finish. Installation was a breeze. Went for a drive out on a back road and felt an immediate difference. Great product!
Literally the easiest install ever. Intial test drive I didn't feel anything different, but when I got to blood mountain it made a big difference. Great overall product.
Nice, Clean simple to install. Was going to upgrade the front sway bar but not sure I still need to. Highly recommend!
Easy to install and noticed improved handling right away.
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