Brace Strut for Outback, why?

Whether something makes a difference or not is not so black and white. Sure, stickers don’t make your car go faster, but does a strip stiffen the structure? Yes, sort of. It’s not a huge difference, and while I wrote about my bar setup, I didn’t think it would make much of a difference due to our soft bushings, soft springs and shocks, and the added stiffness of the Subaru Global Platform.

I don’t know if it would reflect an improvement in lap times, but for me I traded in a WRX for the Outback and drive the Outback like a WRX. Almost all of my cars have been sports, or modified to be more sporty if they weren’t that way from the factory.

1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS Turbo – adjustable Koni shocks – no tower bar.
1992 MR2 Turbo – suspension was great out of the box
1992 SVX – suspension was great out of the box.
The 1996 Impala SS had a great V8, but it was so soft and wobbly that I installed hotchkiss sway bars and bilstein HD shocks and it was transformed.
2005 Legacy GT Wagon 5-speed – Bilstein HD shocks, stiffer rear sway bar – no tower bar
2011 WRX – not bad but added a thicker rear sway bar – no tower bar

When I got the Outback, it took me an ex-minivan. I love turning the wheel and getting instant answers. Not to say it’s a bad car to drive – for something with added ground clearance and a supple ride, it’s pretty good.

When I installed the strut tower bar, I didn’t expect much, but at the time, a stiffer rear sway bar and heavy duty shocks weren’t available, so I did every little extra thing I could do that > could help me. The car has MacPherson struts, and in that type of suspension, the struts are taking a lot of lateral load, unlike cars with upper and lower control arms like the Impala SS, so struts can help.

I have a whole thread on all the little things I’ve done to make the car handle better – still waiting for the heavy duty shocks to be available. Gen 6 – Gen 6 2020+ Stock Height Suspension Mods For…

But does an Outback need a strut bar, steered like an Outback is normally steered gently? No. If you don’t drive at least semi-aggressively, you might not notice anything at all. Some people may notice that the sidewalls are a little too smooth with low tire pressure, and others may not really notice until the TPMS alerts them.

However, a 200% stiffer rear sway bar really changes the car’s behavior significantly and noticeably even if you drive normally. If I had a solid sway bar available from the start, I might not have bothered installing the strut tower bar, but I’m glad I did because it helped the front end, in my subjective opinion. If you don’t find owner reports credible, then hopefully you’ll equally dismiss the reports of people who have never owned or installed these particular machines. Psychological bias works both ways—if you bought it, you’ll probably justify it, and if you didn’t, you’ll pooh pooh it without any empirical basis.

When the first set of Nameless tower bars were made, they were a little tricky to install – one guy found that tucking them into a corner of the car made it easier to get in – which indirectly adds to the evidence that pillar towers bend, in our General 6 MacPherson strut cars. But static loads are nothing compared to dynamic loads when a car is cornering.

Here is a video of someone doing an autocross and you can see the side loads visually.

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply