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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello Everyone,

I have read the sub-forum threads before posting here obviously , but what I'm trying to find out is: "What is the reasonable and justifiable price of an STB?"

Since I'm in Israel, location and shipping do not play in my favor, and having a little bit of extra improvement on the handling would be nice but at the right price.

I have learned that one price STB is the best way to go, but I can't just justify spending over 150USD for a STB.

So I narrowed down all the options that ship to my country (This includes STB price + Shipping):

1- Speedline STB 115.20USD
2- Ultra Racing STB 183USD
3- Tanabe TTB173F 226.55USD
3- CorckSport STTB 270.04USD

What do you guys think? Is it justifiable to spend more for something that will do the same as the others?
And in the future I will be interested to upgrade the RSB and Endlinks, so being the OCD person that I am, I like everything to be from the same brand!

Thanks!
 

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@Davidval18, im searching for STB too and in my opinion there is no reason to spend so much money (CrockSport and Tanabe) for STB. You can buy something that will do the same for much more lower price.
 

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Gearhead
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I put in Tanabe's. It fit perfectly, looks terrific (its color looks like I chose it based on my car being SRM).. I am very happy with it.

Not saying it is worth the extra money over Speedline or Ultra's -- as I have not seen either of these installed.
 

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*The Electrician*
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It will be very difficult to find a strut bar and rear swaybar both in the same brand. I recommend the progress rear swaybar and GRP endlinks for when your ready to give the car a nice boost in handling. I think you will find the swaybar does loads more to benefit handling than a strut bar does. I would consider skipping the strut bar and going straight for a rear swaybar. I find most strut bars are more of a cosmetic piece than a proper suspension mod, but some here have found benefits from the strut bar so to each their own.
 
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Not everything makes a huge difference in the way a car handles as the sway bar does. The front tower bar helps quite a bit, but in different ways that may not be so noticeable. Everything adds up in the end though and every little bit helps.

https://youtu.be/-S6H7ZdzBfE


The costly bars are not a whole lot different from the cheaper ones. I don't see as any of them would be significantly better than any other as they are all basically a different execution of the same design intent.
 

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I think you will find the swaybar does loads more to benefit handling than a strut bar does. I would consider skipping the strut bar and going straight for a rear swaybar. I find most strut bars are more of a cosmetic piece than a proper suspension mod, but some here have found benefits from the strut bar so to each their own.
+1

Your money is better spent on springs and shocks, then a RSB

You'll have to be getting into some heavy G's for a STB to make a difference
 

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Just to clarify something here, the tower brace is not a suspension piece. It is a chassis stiffener. It does have certain benefits especially when used on a car that has a Macpherson strut front suspension, and it is most effective when used with a similar brace that ties the lower control arms together.
 

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*The Electrician*
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Just to clarify something here, the tower brace is not a suspension piece. It is a chassis stiffener. It does have certain benefits especially when used on a car that has a Macpherson strut front suspension, and it is most effective when used with a similar brace that ties the lower control arms together.
I think tho on the whole, your average driver is looking for some quick mods to the suspension(or chassis) that net immediate improvements that they can feel on a daily basis during some very light driving and the occasional weekend twisty roads. I had used many struts bars across many Macpherson strut systems and I could barely tell a difference in the basic daily driving. Where as a rear swaybar you will notice immediately and feel the improvement on a daily basis. There is this one left hander that has plagued my Mazda since day 1, very busy cross street, fast dive straight across and then a hard left to get into the lane and accelerate quickly to prevent being rear ended. I always fought heavy understeer in the hard left section of that maneuver, but now with the rear swaybar upgrade its a breeze.
 
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Yeah, thats the problem with people today. Instant gratification, if it doesn't make the car handle like a Porsche for $10 using no more than 3 bolts its no good.:laugh2: Stuff like this works the same as Mazdas gram strategy. A lot of little things add up to one big thing.:smile2:
I can feel the difference, especially with the camber plates. The bar keeps the suspension from moving side to side, keeping the edge of the tread face from losing contact with the pavement. Next time you have the car jacked up, grab onto the front tire, shake it in and out and watch the top mount move. If you don't have a tower bar you may be surprised at how much it can move around. This not something you "feel" like a sway bar, but it is there.
I have found a 4 point H bar for the lower arms to go with the top bar. Once I check it out to see if its actually a decently made part I'll be getting one for my car.
 

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Yeah, thats the problem with people today. Instant gratification, if it doesn't make the car handle like a Porsche for $10 using no more than 3 bolts its no good.:laugh2: Stuff like this works the same as Mazdas gram strategy. A lot of little things add up to one big thing.:smile2:
I can feel the difference, especially with the camber plates. The bar keeps the suspension from moving side to side, keeping the edge of the tread face from losing contact with the pavement. Next time you have the car jacked up, grab onto the front tire, shake it in and out and watch the top mount move. If you don't have a tower bar you may be surprised at how much it can move around. This not something you "feel" like a sway bar, but it is there.
I have found a 4 point H bar for the lower arms to go with the top bar. Once I check it out to see if its actually a decently made part I'll be getting one for my car.
Couldn't agree more - people should need to understand the car first before they go modding IMO. Although I also have a rear sway bar, I have a front tower bar and a lower control arm brace as well and it makes just as much of a different as it does the RSB - just in a different aspect.

I also think people put things like this on and don't push the car hard enough to really feel the difference, so in their terms its "useless".
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I thank you all for your insight, knowledge, feedback and advice! Always very well appreciated!

This is the reason why this forum is so special, because of people like you with vast knowledge that are always ready to share different points of view so other members can understand better as this will help us take better and clearer decisions! :)

For the near future I will consider the purchase of the "Progress" RSB and upgraded "Endlinks" as they are very well recommended and used by members of this forum.

So, I won't be jumping straight away with the purchase of an STB, but for now the STB and RSB will be on hold as I have purchased the tuning kit from Orange Virus :)
 

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Has anyone tried attaching a measuring device between the strut towers? For example, attach a telescoping rod between the two that is free to move, then put some way to mark the total displacement (something as simple as a marker)... such that when the distance between the strut towers changes, it will be marked.

I'd be interested to see how much flex is present (and thus how much the distance between the towers changes) during spirited driving.
 

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Has anyone tried attaching a measuring device between the strut towers?

I'd be interested to see how much flex is present (and thus how much the distance between the towers changes) during spirited driving.
Though not for a Mazda3, here is a study in which someone did just that on a BMW 3-series...
Is a Strut Brace Worth It? - Bimmerworld News, Projects & Tech

Driving around a racetrack, they found only slight movement (in fractions of millimeters) between the strut towers (with no strut tower bar installed).

Of course, this is an apples-to-oranges comparison. Things may be different in our M3's.

With the 2014-2018 Mazda3's, both strut towers have a metal plate welded to the top. This plate is then bolted to what appears to be a beam (cowl?) which spans from one tower to the other. So, in a way, there is already some strut-to-strut reinforcement from the factory.

Therefore, I simply cannot imagine how bolting on an aftermarket strut tower brace will add any significant stiffness to the front chassis. Especially if one were installing a lightweight 3-piece bar aluminum bar with pivot points like those from Corksport, Tanabe, or Megan Racing, all of which by design can flex and still allow for some movement between the strut towers.

However, if one is fixated on getting a strut tower bar, at least consider a one piece steel bar (like those from Speedline or Autoexe); those are much more rigid and hypothetically will be of greater benefit than a 3-piece bar.

Nonetheless, STB's are not that expensive and are easy to install, so no harm done. At the very least they make the engine bay look better.
I'm personally passing on it. :smiley:
 

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I like the look of mine.

I do feel that it helps when hard cornering at higher speeds. Not much benefit besides that.
CK
 

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Though not for a Mazda3, here is a study in which someone did just that on a BMW 3-series...
Is a Strut Brace Worth It? - Bimmerworld News, Projects & Tech

Driving around a racetrack, they found only slight movement (in fractions of millimeters) between the strut towers (with no strut tower bar installed).

Of course, this is an apples-to-oranges comparison. Things may be different in our M3's.

I was examining my 2018 Mazda3 and noticed that each strut tower has a metal plate welded to the top. This plate is then bolted to what appears to be a beam (cowl?) which spans from one tower to the other. So, in a way, there is already some strut-to-strut reinforcement from the factory. Therefore, I'm not convinced that adding an aftermarket strut-to-strut brace will affect things that much, more so if you are installing a 3 piece bar like the Corksport, Tanabe, or Megan Racing which will allow for some movement.

But hey, STB's do look cool, are not that expensive, and easy to install, so no harm done. I'm personally passing on it. :smiley:
I don't think I would judge the usefulness of the STB based on that article. That car is a track prepped Spec E46 car, not a $22k grocery getter. Big difference, and nowhere did it say you don't need it.
Take a look at your car, jack the front end up, shake the tires around really hard and watch how much the top mounts move.
Add a lower brace to complete the box and you'll see a difference. :smile2:

 

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Had my Sti Type RA, with both upper and lower brace and It helped, of course it was a 300hp 2600 lbs car...

I want to buy the rear sway bar for my M3 since I feel the car lose the rear esy, the change from 205/60 to 205/55, and better tires, improved a LOT, but still..

my question is, Do I need to grease or service the sway bar often.. or just in the installation?
 

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The job of a strut tower brace is to help provide firm mounting points for all the moving suspension bits, so the wheel alignment doesn't change as the chassis structure is stressed under cornering loads. Given the non-adjustability of the OEM strut setup, it makes little sense to insure the integrity of a vague/random factory alignment with street tires. It makes more sense on the track, with sticky track tires and a precision track alignment via aftermarket camber plates.

On my NA Miata, which uses double wishbones instead of struts, a shock tower brace does nothing for alignment, but does reduce NVH from the chassis reacting to road irregularities. The result is less mechanical "noise" reaching the steering wheel, and thus better feel of what the front tires are doing. Of course, that would be a silly goal on a Mazda3 with its mostly-numb electric power steering.

Oh, and the STB offers a handy place to rest one's hand when leaning over the engine bay. :)
 
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