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Discussion Starter #1
Alright...I want to get a strut brace for my ride, but I don't know what to go for. Basically what I've heard is that you can't really beat the M3 strut brace, but is there anything else out there that's better than this?
 

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Resident CF Whore
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Well, I love my ACS racing strut bar.
I belive this is one of the few strut bars for the E46 that you can ACTUALLY feel a difference.
I'd prefer this one, but that's only because I don't need access underneath the strut mount.
If you're one of those people that don't need access, then you can't go wrong with the ACS standard or racing strut bar.

Here's a pic of mine:
<img src="http://photos.e46fanatics.com/data/500/9828engine_bay_a.jpg">
 

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Asik Ajee !
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All strut bars are the same. theres no difference ! only price difference, the more you pay, the better look you gonna get ! ACS racing bar is an example !
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the input everyone.

man...the RDsport one looks good, but I wonder how functional it really is...

An M3 one from the dealership will run you about 500 or so. I was able to negotiate the price down to 300 at the dealership near me, but I still want to see if I can find someone that'll sell it for cheaper. I know a bunch of you M3 owners out there have replaced yours!
 

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BlackChrome said:
Guess its time to call up pacific. But i'll stop by the dealer near me first. For some reason, they are very negotiable about the price. They match pacific BMWs price for: splitters, rubber floor mats, and wheel locks, and M3 lip spoiler.
 

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Bimmerfest Co-Founder
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makonto said:
All strut bars are the same. theres no difference ! only price difference, the more you pay, the better look you gonna get ! ACS racing bar is an example !
This is not true. Some braces have hinges, some do not. Some are CF, aluminum, magnesium, etc. The effect on strength that each of these choices has is some what questionable but not so minimal as to say that they are all the same.

Tim
 

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Asik Ajee !
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tim330i said:


This is not true. Some braces have hinges, some do not. Some are CF, aluminum, magnesium, etc. The effect on strength that each of these choices has is some what questionable but not so minimal as to say that they are all the same.

Tim
Tim, how bout AA strut, is it any good ? just curious ? or anybody ?
 

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I bought one identical to the AA, probably from the same manufacturer, from Ebay for $149 plus shipping. On my Cabrio it made a difference that you could feel. I've heard that you will most likely not have as dramatic of a change on the Coupe or Sedan. As far as the fit and quality goes though, it is very nice.
 

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I seriously doubt that a strut/stress bar does any good. First, if there is chassis flex, the twist will likely be oriented towards one of the other front corners raising relative to the other (imagine twisting the corners of a playing card). A strut bar could not possibly control that.

Secondly, imagine solidly attaching one end of a three foot long strut bar in a fixture of some sort. Imagine grabbing the other end and hanging from it. I'll bet it would flex at least a quarter inch. There is no way you're getting a quarter inch of chassis flex.

Thirdly, suppose the chassis flex was where the strut towers pushed in towards each other. I doubt the strut bar could control that motion either either because the strut-to-strut tower bolt holes are slotted (for camber adjustments) and the strut-to-strut tower bolts are torqued to a whopping 18lbs. The bolts would slip if great amounts of side loads were taking place.

All this said it will proably sound ridiculous, but I have a Dinan one. I bought it for looks only. IMHO the BMW M3 strut brace is kind of plain and unattractive.
 

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Make that 18ft/lbs for the strut tower NUTS (not bolts). I hate that when people do that. Take me out and shoot me.
 

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www.piratecove.org
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I hit a pretty twisty road, and took it pretty hard through there after I got my M3 brace put on. I could tell a difference, not as big as if I did bigger suspension mods like sways/coils, but I still noticed a difference.

Plus I'm not all about paying some ungodly amount for a strut brace...I wanted something there, and the M3 one got the job done and looks good too.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've just heard that a lot of aftermarket struts are hollow, or just other things that make them less effective. I've seen the M3 strut, and it feels solid and doesn't appear as though it would lose any efficiency to aesthetics. I'm in it more for performance than looks.

You'd be amazed how much a strut brace will do to help handling. Simply from the feel alone - a buddy of mine has a 2002 GTI VR6, and we canyon run our cars all the time. His car handled pretty well - but it was night and day after he just put springs on and a strut brace.
 

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I had an M3 strut brace and noticed that it did not fit my non M coupe exactly, certainly not the same as it did when compared to how it fit in an M3 (the strut towers are angled a bit differently). Anyway, in the end I wasn't satified with it and preferred the way the AA fit. As it is it looks like there is a special on it so you can actually get it for less then the OEM one:
http://www.activeautowerke.com/holidaylist.cfm

I also installed an ACS rear strut brace and recommend the combo for a very nice steering/handling improvement.
 
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