Fiat 124 Spider Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
what are others opinions on cross bracing and strut bracing. My car is a daily driver, monday thu saturday april thru october, to work and back, and at times taking back roads for fun.

i am thinking of doing the delrin bushings, under cross brace, and strut towers bracing.

I've never had a car with these type of things before and wonder how much they affect the handling? not at all? harsher ride?

my thinking is that if it has little noticeable effect and in the long run the car will remain stiff and not develop squeaks and rattles as quick then it might be worth it in the long run.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
615 Posts
Are we talking Fiat or Abarth?

If the latter, and you're only using the car as a daily driver with the occasional spirited run on the backroads I wouldn't bother.

The car handles exceptionally well as it is, and if you're even a half decent driver others will have trouble keeping up with you through the corners...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
I'm kinda bemused by this strut brace thing in the 124/MX5. They don't have "struts to brace". The front suspension is double wishbone. Surely the application of a strut brace on non-extistent struts has to be of limited value?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
805 Posts
Unknownsir:

I did the front strut brace which requires a mounting bracket that replaces an existing bracket against the firewall. (Supplied with kit). Therefore the brace allows a four point installation which does add rigidity to the strut towers. An easy install which "seemed" to make a difference in turn into corners. Did not affect the ride.

Rear strut brace being offered does not allow for mid point mounting, it just connects one rear strut to the other,probably adds a little rigidity, but I am not convinced as to benefits.

The front strut brace is reasonably priced, and looks good under the hood.

Where are you thinking of installing the Delrin bushings? I wonder if it's worth the effort if you're talking control arms etc...

Just my two cents, I'm sure others will contribute to the topic. Cheers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
805 Posts
RBH58:

I kinda agree with you in as much as there are "no struts to brace"!!! I went the esthetic route, and probably deluded myself into thinking there was a benefit, and hey it looked good. Greasy kid's stuff!! However, the required mid point brace is an OEM Mazda part, which means this set up is available on Miatas? Don't know....but having said that, what do Mazda engineers know anyhow???
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
676 Posts
Most of us don't drive close enough to the edge to notice the benefits of bracing and the strut tower braces...but I am sure under the right conditions they provide a much stiffer chassis for the driver...if you like them I say go for it...you only live once...;)
 

·
Member
Joined
·
813 Posts
Good question. I had the opportunity to drive one of the prototype 124 Abarth Spiders that FIAT built prior to selling the cars for testing. This pre-production had extra frame braces and it definitely made the car tighter. I could notice the difference in the handling. Unless you drive your Spider hard, I am not sure that you would notice it much but it does help.

The white Abarth is the pre-production car next to our modified Spider. This was taken in Detroit.

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
RBH58:

I kinda agree with you in as much as there are "no struts to brace"!!! I went the esthetic route, and probably deluded myself into thinking there was a benefit, and hey it looked good. Greasy kid's stuff!! However, the required mid point brace is an OEM Mazda part, which means this set up is available on Miatas? Don't know....but having said that, what do Mazda engineers know anyhow???
I'd have to drive them with/without back-to-back, but I'm sceptical on a double wishbone setup. Totally get it when you are actually bracing some struts. I have them on on my BRZ and it made a small but none the less noticeable difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
My goal is not to feel stiffer so i can road race or push the car to it's limit on back roads but rather to have the vehicle be stiffer and in the long run have some of the sloppiness as the car is broken in be prevented. also i just have a lusso, with the EC light couldn't wait out the Abarth or convince myself it was worth the extra $$ for what you got, might have if i could have drove both back to back.

Delrin bushing, oops, i should have stated the ones for the doors. Not the ones for control arms. i might consider them later in it's life after the others start to wear. Again the goal is to reduce the flex in the vehicle. Figure less flexing now means fewer squeaks and rattles later or at least delay them.

Strut braces by peoples thoughts seem to be not needed or least maybe the lowest on the list. Just can't get past the memory of the old VW Scirocco i had back in the day that every month you could visibly see that the shock towers slowly pulled further away from the fenders. got the car as a beater and traded a used full wave water bed to get it, was still worth the trade.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
Totally get it when you are actually bracing some struts.
I don't think that the strut braces are there to brace the struts. They are meant to close a structure (the car body) that is open above and below the engine. The strut towers are just convenient hard points in the middle of the opening. Together with the bolt-on metallic cover under the engine, the braces form kind of a closed box that is stiff in torsion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
958 Posts
If I win the lottery, I will add braces, but since I am not racing it, it will be just fine as is, and I have other uses for the $$$. Regarding the delrin door bushings, I read where one person tried them, then took them off. I believe it was on the Miata forum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
If I win the lottery, I will add braces, but since I am not racing it, it will be just fine as is, and I have other uses for the $$$. Regarding the delrin door bushings, I read where one person tried them, then took them off. I believe it was on the Miata forum.
There was a gentleman from Italy who had installed them and removed. The reason he gave was that it made it harder to shut the doors. One of the places that sells them does have an install note on their site that says sometimes this does happen and that they just need a light sanding to alleviate this. I do think these will be my first add on just because they are the cheapest stiffening upgrade.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
A couple of thoughts. The strut brace has existed since before the use of "struts". The original Shelby GT 350 used them. It makes the chassis stiffer. On my 1st gen Miata I installed a new set of shocks at about 120,000 miles. Huge improvement. Then my son added a frame brace on the bottom of the chassis. That stiffened the car enough that the shocks were able to do their job. It rode better and handled better than ever before! I doubt that our chassis is in need of this kind of stiffening unless you are building a track car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
RBH58:

I kinda agree with you in as much as there are "no struts to brace"!!! I went the esthetic route, and probably deluded myself into thinking there was a benefit, and hey it looked good. Greasy kid's stuff!! However, the required mid point brace is an OEM Mazda part, which means this set up is available on Miatas? Don't know....but having said that, what do Mazda engineers know anyhow???
Mazda engineers follow the lead of the marketing division. The *spring* tower brace is not configured to resist any vertical forces. Unresolved horizontal which it might address are quite small.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I bought a 3 point strut/firewall brace because it made so much difference in my Lexus IS300. I have to say, though, I can't tell a difference in the Spider. I suspect the reason is because in a convertible, the body is so loose without a top that the front end is no longer the "weak link". For that reason, the biggest improvement I got in stiffness was from the simple, affordable Delrin door braces. After that it would be the butterfly under-body brace. The tower brace looks cool, but if elves stole it at night I don't think I'd notice it missing.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top