What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Old 28-05-06
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What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

Phoned my insurance firm - no increase in premium for an engine strut brace. (With Tesco).

1. Do engine strut braces work? I want to only fit if will make any positive difference to handling.

2. If good to get, which one should I go for? Genuine Alfa one, any other reccomendations, or this fella?

eBay.co.uk:


3. Any other braces worth going for?

I am not a boy racer (well, I guess we all are to a point....) I use the car for a commute to work, although driving along twisty country lanes

Last edited by wrinx; 28-05-06 at 15:26.
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  #2 (Post Link)  
Old 28-05-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

Hi mate,

as i recall a strut brace (most commonly seen under your bonnet) is used to increase the rigidity of the suspension set up. It doesn't stiffen the suspension itself. by increasing the rigidity it is supposed to help handling consistency. Its often used with adjustable suspension. You can use it for the road but unless you car is made of paper it won't make a great deal of difference. It would be a wise fitment if you were using your car for track or competition driving. There's nothing to stop you putting one on, just don't expect miracles.

sparco make some serious strut braces. If you get one only get it fitted by someone who really knows what they're doing (IMHO).

Good luck
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Old 28-05-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

They improve the handling (mostly Turn-In making the car grip better when entering a corner fast.) As well as making the body of the car more rigid they also stiffen the suspension turrets and also give you the option of adjusting the amount of stiffness by either increasing or decreasing the distance between the top mounts.

You can fit a top or bottom strut brace or both and on some models fit them to the rear suspension too.

Each car is different so results vary between models. It usually takes only a matter of minutes to fit them with no special skill required, I fitted a strut brace to my Fiat Coupe 20vT in 20 mins. as the body flex was always the achilles heel on this model, for a car with performance of 0-60 in 6 Secs. and a 155 mph limited top speed the handling was shocking and the improvement was instant to see and feel.

On the other hand I also owned a Peugeot 306 XSi and it would have been a waste of time fitting one as the Pug was one of the grippiest cars I've owned and felt no improvement would be gained.

The handling on my 156 is somewhere in between which is what I would have expected.


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Old 29-05-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

Do strut braces reduce tramlining(*) for cars with wide and low profile tyres?

(*)tramlining = The tendency of a vehicle's tires (often when of low profile) to follow a ridge or rut in the road's surface.
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Old 29-05-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

Okay, from what I have read, looks like there will be no real improvement - have original shocks and no other braces, so will leave well alone. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 29-05-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

They can be useful, particularly on cars which aren't that rigid, but for normal driving I don't think you'd really notice any difference.
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Old 29-05-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

..Remember those who’ve fitted strutbraces say they definitely improve the handling..those that haven't say they probably wouldn't make much difference...we all like to justify our decisions.
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Old 30-07-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

Just got a strut brace on my ageing MX5, the difference is night and day. Okay, probably a cheap substitute for sorting out the suspension properly, but is an amazing difference.

I have got new tyres on the 147, and are tramlining when on country lanes. I am going to invest the £60 on a front brace bar, and will see what difference it makes.

Will report back once installed
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Old 30-07-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

You should see some improvement, but like many things, it works better as part of a package. If you uprated the shock absorbers, springs and renew bushes (esp stiffer polyurethane type) you should see even greater returns but ride quality would suffer.
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Old 30-07-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

you will notice the difference when cornering hard and the suspension is being pushed....

obviously driving along normally you aint gonna tell its on.

you can see the full range on alfa braces on www.strutbracer.co.uk
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Old 30-07-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

Originally Posted by Wilmslow
Just got a strut brace on my ageing MX5, the difference is night and day. Okay, probably a cheap substitute for sorting out the suspension properly, but is an amazing difference.

I have got new tyres on the 147, and are tramlining when on country lanes. I am going to invest the £60 on a front brace bar, and will see what difference it makes.

Will report back once installed
I would expect to see a great improvement in your MX5 with a fitted brace as it is a convertible, imagine any hardtop car as a cube with 6 sides, your MX5 has one side missing (its roof) so they are less rigid and suffer from scuttle shake, they do strengthen the floors on soft-tops to gain back some of what is lost but the extra strength is still in the wrong place, that's why convertibles are heavier than the saloon equivalent.

I disagree with what was said regarding justifying your decision because you have spent the money, I agree with your feelings that on some cars the difference is like night and day. Don't expect the same level of improvement though on your Alfa 147 and I'm not sure it will help with the tramlining although I'd say you will still notice a difference when cornering fast. I used to really enjoy entering a r-bout with someone tailgating 5 yrds. behind me and exiting the r-bout to find them 100 yrds. away, I'd deliberately slow up again and their expression was always a picture of embarassment.
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Old 30-07-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

ive had strut braces fitted to cars in the past, if your really pushing it around bends there is a very noticeable improvement but general round the town driving really wont benefit.

for the sake of £50 tho give it a shot, its very much worth it for those 'fast bends'
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Old 30-07-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

If I was going to have one i'd go for momo just cos its italian.

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Old 01-08-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

errr Sparco and OMP are Italian as well you know!
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Old 01-08-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

Just an off-camber question, but if these things are only about £60 and in some cases make a big difference (i.e. convertibles and other less-stiff chassis) then why don't manufacturers fit them as standard?
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Old 01-08-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

Originally Posted by jonwood79
Just an off-camber question, but if these things are only about £60 and in some cases make a big difference (i.e. convertibles and other less-stiff chassis) then why don't manufacturers fit them as standard?
That's a good question, don't really know Maybe it's because around town and even up to our legal limit you're not going to see much difference, the only time I could see a big improvement was on entering and exiting a large clear roundabout, I have a couple on my route to work and back and it's playtime for me every day, apart from that I think they do look very nice under the bonnet if you go for the right colour or chrome finish etc etc.

For £60 they are a bargain and the 2 I have fitted to previous cars have been removed and sold for around £50 as they don't deteriorate.
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Old 01-08-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

I noticed a big difference on my 145 with a strutbrace, okay it only comes into play when your really leathering it, but thats what an Alfas for isn't it? Well worth the £60
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Old 02-08-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

Originally Posted by jonwood79
Just an off-camber question, but if these things are only about £60 and in some cases make a big difference (i.e. convertibles and other less-stiff chassis) then why don't manufacturers fit them as standard?
It might have something to do with engine access maybe?
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Old 02-08-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

ive been thinking about getting a roll bar for mine to keep it flatter round corners,its not that bad as it is as ive got the sport suspension but does have a little body roll when pushing it.Im taking it that the roll bar that fits between the wheels underneath will be more effective at stopping roll than an engine strut?
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Old 02-08-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

Hasn't it already got one?
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Old 02-08-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

Yes it has but there not great,you can get stiffer ones that do a much better job
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Old 02-08-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

Originally Posted by Goonersele
ive been thinking about getting a roll bar for mine to keep it flatter round corners,its not that bad as it is as ive got the sport suspension but does have a little body roll when pushing it.Im taking it that the roll bar that fits between the wheels underneath will be more effective at stopping roll than an engine strut?
I have heard you can fit the GTA anti-roll bar or something.

And are non-adjustable strut braces better than adjustable, or is that just junk I heard somewhere else
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Old 03-08-06
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Re: What is a good engine strut brace, and do they work?

I would expect a strut bar to make a big difference to cars with McPherson type front suspensions and not that big a difference to cars with double wishbone ones like the modern Alfas (OK, torsionable quadrilaterals). The reason is quite obvious: the rigidity of the wells and top mounts play a more important role in suspension geometry in the former but not that much in the latter because more forces are applied to the upper arm joint instead of the top mount. On the other hand i would expect a brace bar between the lower or upper arm joints to make a big difference.
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