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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Received my strut brace from Chip Centre today and have fitted it, as you can see below...



Now for the comments...

For 146 Euros, I'm a bit disappointed with the finish. Ok it's chrome plated but it's not the smoothest of finishes.

When you fit it, the sections that bolt to the top of the struts bend a lot under bolt tension, and I'm sure I heard some of the chrome plating cracking


However, it's design which is quite flat (about 70mm wide/20mm high) will, I reckon, do the job well. I haven't been out to try it yet as the roads round here are presently a bit greasy and frankly, at this time of night, I decided I was better off sitting down to have a beer...
 

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Saabz2000 - you're not suggesting going back to an ignition distributor with that dreadful vacuum advance/retard unit, are you? DI ignition maps can be reprogrammed, you know .
 

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When you fit it, the sections that bolt to the top of the struts bend a lot under bolt tension, and I'm sure I heard some of the chrome plating cracking[/b]
Ahh you do realise that you should fit a strut brace with, ideally the front suspension/struts removed or at least rised off the ground and supported so that the suspension turrets are at their natural position. then fit strutbrace and tighten before you attempt to put any weight on it.

The point is to stress the brace in the correct position so that when you put weight on it again it is actually holding the turrets tight.

I dont mean to be offensive or anything like that Mark but ive worked an quite a few rally cars and unless you do it that way its basically a waste of time

I saw 1 guy who couldn't fit a strut brace on a cossie so he cut the brace, fitted it and then re-welded it in position !; he then found that the car tended to vere off in 1 direction under hard braking on the track!!

Basically unless the car/chassis is new they all move inconsistantly.

Damo
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I sort of understand what you're saying Damo, but I'd have thought the best way to fit it would be on the level, with weight on the wheels. My logic for this is that when you have your suspension set up & geometry checked, it is done on the level with the wheels on the flat, and yo would want to try to maintain that alignment under all conditions.

If what you're suggesting is that you should raise the car, fit the brace, then lower it again thereby putting it under tension, then surely you must then affect the static geometry of the suspension when the weight is back on the wheels which would need re-aligning- except that you don't have a camber adjustment on the front of 9000s....

You can't "remove" the struts to fit this brace as it uses the strut mounting bolts.

No offence taken whatsoever _I'm grateful for the input but I must admit I'm having difficulty understanding your argument for the reasons above- likewise I hope you don't take offence either . I think we could generate a useful discussion here which could lead to greater understanding of the suspension geometry for all.

Now anybody is quite welcome to tell me I'm talking out of my posterior here (wouldn't be the first time I know...
)
 

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Hi Mark,

I think the problem as outlined to me by a friend who drives/builds rally cars, is that most cars suspension tends to sag and the chassis flex to a certain degree.

The geometry of the suspension and steering is set (when the car is built) with no weight on the body/chassis, as soon as the suspension bits are put on the car and engine is installed and so on, the combined weight puts pressure laterally on the body & chassis.
These forces are "built into the equation" i.e. the stresses involved help to keep the car in a straight line and the suspension working as it should.

When you’ve got a car that’s done some miles this true setting is distorted slightly from it's original position, and a certain amount of sagging occurs.

The turrets tend to flex inwards when the likes of us "men racers" drive our cars quickly.

The point I am trying to make (poss not in the best way) is that on an older car the static position of the turrets when the full weight is on them, will most likely not be correct as per when it was new.

So the only way to get back to this correct position is to actually remove all of the suspension ancillaries’ jig the chassis and then fit the brace.
Of course this is only realistic if you are doing a full strip down and rebuild, but if you’ve got all weekend to do the job you can get away with removing the wheels and releasing the struts from the hub so that there is no pressure/stress on the turrets and then fit the brace.

I understand what you mean by the fact that you have your camber, toe and alignment done with the wheels on the ground but this is done with the assumption that the turrets are in their perfect position.
If you were to take your car to a professional track/rally prep shop they would measure all the angles of the setup and correct them before changing anything, this just can’t be done at 99% of garages.

To cut to the chase when you brace the front you just don’t know if it is actually holding one of the struts slightly out of sync with the other, but the main purpose is to stop them from flexing any more than necessary and that you will achieve even if the above method is not followed.

BTW you can get camber adjustment on the 9000, speedparts do them (mines on order soon )

Maybe I’m just being a bit picky ,that’s what happens when you’ve got just too much time on your hands!

Best regards

Damo

BTW I forgot to thank you, ive been looking for a supplier of a front strut brace for over a year. top job Mark, ill shall be ordering mine as sson as ive done some work to pay for it!
 

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Originally posted by DaMoB:
[qb]but if you’ve got all weekend to do the job you can get away with removing the wheels and releasing the struts from the hub so that there is no pressure/stress on the turrets and then fit the brace.[/qb][/b]
I can't imagine this would take all weekend, in fact. As long as there were no seized bolts (like there were on my Aero ), I'm sure I could do this comfortably in half an hour on a 9000. If (when) I get round to stiffening the chassis, I'll bear this in mind, Damo.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Originally posted by BillJ:
[qb]
I can't imagine this would take all weekend, in fact. As long as there were no seized bolts (like there were on my Aero ), I'm sure I could do this comfortably in half an hour on a 9000. If (when) I get round to stiffening the chassis, I'll bear this in mind, Damo. [/qb]
OK Bill, I've got the stopwatch, you've got the garage... I'll even let you practice on mine first...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh, forgot to say Damo that all pretty much makes sense. At the end of the day I wasn't chasing absolute perfection- just an improvement on the flexing I can feel happening when I try to unstick the Bridgestones- and it's only going to get worse once my Maptun ECU is sorted!
 

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Yeah I didn't quite mean it in the literal sense:)

But as you said that is of course all yer bolts and nuts want to play ball, when I did my koni's it took an entire week as I had to wait for the rear strut lower bolts to arrive from Sweden when they finally arrived I found that st Davids Saab had ordered the wrong damn ones Grrr

BTW with ref to the above discussion, I do admit that I am in the lucky position of being just down the road from a very good motorsport/rally prep garage who have all the necessary gear like jigs and the measuring devices and so on, and as my friend who rallies uses this garage exclusively I do get the use of his kit:)

Oh, forgot to say Damo that all pretty much makes sense. At the end of the day I wasn't chasing absolute perfection- just an improvement on the flexing I can feel happening when I try to unstick the Bridgestones- and it's only going to get worse once my Maptun ECU is sorted[/b]
Mark, wow I made sense im glad and relived at that alone!
I do aree with you, absolute perfection is a litle bit out of range most of the time.

Cheers

Damo
 

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Found another place that does a strut brace for the 9000.

www.kempower.be have a front alloy one for 144Euros plus VAT and delivery.

Don't know anything about them but the site is in English and has other interesting race/road stuff on it.

(Edit: Carnt spel propperly)
 

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Just picked up on this thread...must concentrate more
......I agree with Damo....releasing the struts first was always recommended when fitting strut braces to MK1/11 Escorts and Sunbeams......done regularily in me 'youf...
 

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So, how should the the brace have been fitted.. Jack the car, undo the top suspension nuts?.. fit the brace, then tighten the suspension nuts again, check alignment..?
 

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Ermmnnn.......got me now!
Only times I did this was in conjuction with a spring change and so the struts always came off.

However, I've just blown the dust of my old FoMoCo-Boreham 'Guide to Escort rally preperation', and it says in there about strut brace fittment.
"Make sure it(the brace)is under NO tension when you fit it, and don't use any rubber bushes.."
 
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