How to Properly Install a Front Strut Brace for Improved Handling in a Toyota 86?

In the world of automotive performance enhancement, certain modifications are straightforward and can dramatically impact your car’s handling. One such modification is the installation of a front strut brace. This article will guide you in professionally installing a front strut brace in a Toyota 86, Subaru BRZ, or Scion FR-S, all of which share the same chassis design. With vendor-approved instructions and product-specific advice, you’ll be well on your way to a sportier ride.

A Guide to Strut Bars: What Are They and Why You Need One?

As adrenaline junkies and speed enthusiasts, you are likely familiar with the concept of strut braces, or strut bars. These bars are essentially a suspension device designed to stabilize the front tower struts of your car.

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The purpose of a front strut brace is to reduce the amount your car’s body will flex during cornering, thus improving overall handling. This is achieved by providing a connection point, a bridge if you will, between the strut towers. This prevents independent movement of the towers, ensuring that the car’s body remains rigid and well-balanced at all times.

Strut braces are particularly beneficial for rear-wheel-drive cars like the Toyota 86, Subaru BRZ, or Scion FR-S. These cars are renowned for their sporty, agile handling and the addition of a strut brace can optimize this performance, enhancing the thrill of the drive.

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Understanding the Importance of Choosing the Right Type of Strut Brace

The second step to improving your car’s handling with a strut brace involves choosing the right product. Not all strut braces are created equal. There are several types, each offering different levels of performance enhancement.

The most common type of strut brace is the two-point brace. This type connects the two front strut towers to each other. It’s a straightforward design, easy to install, and offers noticeable improvements in handling.

Three-point braces are another option. They connect the two strut towers and also brace against the firewall of your car. This type of brace provides extra rigidity, but it’s more complex to install.

Finally, there are chassis braces. These are the most comprehensive type of brace, offering the greatest level of rigidity. However, they’re also the most complex to install and require a significant level of expertise.

Remember, when choosing your strut brace, base your decision on your driving needs and your comfort with the installation process.

Detailed Steps to Install a Front Strut Brace on a Toyota 86, Subaru BRZ, or Scion FR-S

Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter – installing your strut brace. You’ll need a socket set, a torque wrench, and, of course, your chosen strut brace.

Start by opening the hood of your car and locating the strut towers. These are the raised, circular sections on either side of the engine compartment. The top of the towers have three nuts which have to be removed to install the brace.

Choose one side and gently remove the nuts. Place your strut brace over the studs and replace the nuts loosely. Repeat this process on the other side to fully mount the brace. Be careful not to over-tighten at this stage.

Once the brace is on, you can tighten the nuts to the vendor-specified torque setting using your torque wrench. This ensures the brace is secure and won’t cause any issues during driving.

Frequently Asked Questions about Strut Bar Installation

After installing a strut brace, you may have questions about the impact on your car’s performance. Let’s address some of these common queries.

"Will a strut brace make my car faster?"

Not in itself. A strut brace improves handling, not speed. You’ll find the car feels more responsive and corners better, but it won’t increase your top speed.

"I’ve installed a strut brace but can’t feel a difference. Why?"

The difference a strut brace makes can be subtle, especially at lower speeds. Try taking your car on a twisty road or track, where the improved rigidity really makes itself known.

"Can I install a strut brace myself, or should a professional do it?"

As outlined above, installing a strut brace is a feasible DIY project for most car enthusiasts. However, if you’re uncomfortable with it, a professional will ensure it’s done correctly.

In conclusion, a front strut brace is an excellent investment in your car’s performance. With this guide, you’ll be able to install one yourself and enjoy the improved handling that comes with it. Happy driving!

The Role of Other Vehicle Modifications in Enhancing Performance with a Strut Brace

Beyond just installing a front strut brace, other auto parts and modifications can have a huge impact on the performance of your Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86, or Scion FR-S. When you understand how these parts work together, you can unlock the full potential of your vehicle’s handling capabilities.

For instance, sway bars also play a critical role in the suspension system. They link the right and left wheels together through short lever arms linked by a torsion spring, which resists body roll movements. This works in conjunction with your strut brace to reduce chassis flex and maintain balance in sharp turns.

The spring rates, or how resistant the spring is to being compressed or expanded, also influence handling. Higher rates result in stiffer suspension, enhancing your steering feedback and control at higher speeds.

If you’re looking to maximize the impact of your strut brace, consider investing in an air suspension system. Besides offering adjustable ride height and damping, it can significantly improve cornering stability and balance.

Moreover, remember the importance of maintaining your vehicle parts. Regularly inspect your strut towers and tower bar for any signs of wear or damage. Keeping these parts in tip-top shape will ensure your front strut brace can do its job effectively.

Final Thoughts on Installing a Front Strut Brace on Your Toyota 86

In this comprehensive guide, we have shed light on the role of a front strut brace in enhancing the handling of your Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86, or Scion FR-Z. From understanding what strut bars are to the detailed installation process, you’re now well-equipped to take on this modification journey.

Remember, your strut brace should be powder coated to resist corrosion and increase its lifespan. Make sure to choose the right strut brace based on your driving needs and comfort with the installation process. The improvement may be subtle, but the enhanced steering feedback and reduced chassis flex will make your ride on any street or track more thrilling.

In conclusion, we reaffirm that the installation of a front strut brace is a worthwhile investment for every speed enthusiast. It will make your car more rigid, improve its handling, and enhance your driving experience. While it’s a relatively simple DIY project, don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself.

In the world of automotive performance, every detail matters. So, take this step today and elevate your driving experience with a well-installed front strut brace. Happy driving!