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dcb 05-31-2009 07:55 PM

diy $2 lower stress bar
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Here is about $2 in 1" conduit that has been custom fit to the control arm mount ends. The mount ends are cantilevered so this adds quite a bit of stiffness to the lower control arms. It is so cost effective that it is hard to justify NOT doing it:) Just need to be able to hammer and drill and cut, and I bent it by foot (mostly while it was still long). If you were paying attention before installing this, you should notice a significant difference afterwards, at least that has been my experience.

The key things are identifying the low spot(s), making about the right bend, then cutting both ends (a little long at first) and flattening one end and getting one hole in the right place in relation to the bend/low spot, then using that hole over the bolt readjust the angle if needed, then flatten the other end and with the first hole around the bolt, mark the second hole. I wound up bludgeoning the holes in with a 5/8 carbide masonry bit, you may have something nicer around :) I also flattened the ends with a mallet and held it flat against the concrete with a piece of wood.

MetroMPG 05-31-2009 11:22 PM

Thanks for reminding me about this, dcb.

I'd say it's particularly important if you're driving a Suzukiclone with previously weakened/repaired control arm mounts, as is the case with the ForkenSwift.

Coyote X 06-01-2009 12:02 AM

Another possibility maybe is to attach to the lower steering rack bolts. I can't remember if they are easy to get to or not but I think they would be a good place to brace from since it is part of the thicker firewall/crash protection area.

But connecting them together is probably as strong as it really needs considering how light the car is.

Good job on finding a cheap easy to find alternative to the really expensive commercial ones :thumbup:

dcb 06-01-2009 04:53 AM

Thanks Guys :)

VW Rabbits/golfs/etc are also good candidates for a lower front stress bar/brace, and many other cars are too I'm sure. I had tried other braces on my old rabbit, front/rear upper shock tower, and the lower front one made the most difference by a wide margin.

Edit: I just went to jcwhitney to look for a rabbit bar, couldn't find the lower front bar, guess if your friends can't see it when you pop the hood then it doesn't sell :D.

Edit2: Here is a rabbit guy that just made one too:

MetroMPG 06-01-2009 10:35 PM

That's funny - I had the braces in my Rabbit(s) too. I moved them from car to car as I progressed through my bunny fleet.

Christ 06-02-2009 08:20 PM

I had all 4 standard types of braces on my Civic, but not necessarily for anything MPG related ;)

Front upper/lower, rear upper/lower normal bars... at some point, I had an interior C-Pillar bar, and a floor stiffener bar as well.... the added weight was only justified by the nearly 20MPH cornering increase before traction was an issue.

Good job on the DIY!

metroschultz 06-02-2009 08:55 PM

I like it!
I may have to look into making my own.

wagonman76 06-02-2009 11:13 PM

I am surprised that a piece of EMT conduit that can be bent by foot can hold anything structural under a car, especially after being bent. But I believe you when you say it does make a difference. Great job!

cirwintech 06-03-2009 11:48 AM

Pardon my ignoance but what exactly does a lower stress bar do?

MazdaMatt 06-03-2009 11:48 AM

DCB, What do you mean by "stress bar"? Is this to take the place of a sway bar (reducing roll in a corner) or a brace (stiffening chassis, not affecting suspension)? Good hack :)

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