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eBay strut tower brace for $45 is it any good?

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by Daves09prius, Jun 25, 2011.

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  1. Daves09prius

    Daves09prius Active Member

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    04-09 TOYOTA PRIUS ALUMINUM FRONT STRUT TOWER BRACE BAR

    ebay item # 300549943547

    http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewitem?itemId=300549943547&kw=300549943547

    I'm on my iPhone I hope that URL link works. Has any one used this strut tower brace with good results? At $45 it would be a great addition. I wish the Prius had it as a standard item. But the Prius wasn't intended to be driven hard and pushed through corners. I know a strut tower brace is my next mod to improve the handling. I figure with a Prius there's no real point in increasing horse power or engine mods like traditional cars. I think the best mods for the Prius are suspension mods to help you maintain forward momentum. At $45 it almost seems too good to be true, and most of the time if it seems too good... It is.

    Let me know of anyone else has tried it and had good results from it.

    Thanks!
  2. Scotty Danger

    Scotty Danger Junior Member

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    I'm not an expert, but I noticed that the base of the strut tower brace isn't circular. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that a base that fully encircles the strut tower will provide more ridgidity.

    Here is what I use - notice how the base goes around the entire strut tower (instead of only fastening to a few points).

    TANABE STRUT TOWER BAR 05-09 TOYOTA PRIUS (FRONT) | eBay

    I'd spend more money for something as important to your safety as your suspension!!! I bought the Tanabe and the G3 underbody brace, and both really helped make the car more solid.

    17" rims with 215 45R 17 tires sealed the deal! Soooooo much safer IMHO



  3. roverguy78

    roverguy78 Elite Lurking Member

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    I agree with Scotty. I'm planning to get a strut tower bar myself and have been looking at the options. The mounts on the $45 bar just don't look all that solid to me. I think the Tanabe bar is far superior, and is the one I intend to purchase. Also, Tanabe is a well known brand. No idea who actually makes those others.
  4. Agape

    Agape Member

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    guys are you building a Tank?

    I would give a try to cheaper option and i'm sure there is couple weeks money back guarantee if you are unhappy customer.

    Even so 'light' upgrade may significantly strengthen the structure. It's like structural engineering. In Tokyo, Japan or Seoul, S.Korea people don't increase weight etc and buildings are going higher and higher. I disagree and would go for first option.
  5. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    That bar isn't structural engineering, it's structural kludging. If buildings were designed like that they would fall down.

    The thin vertical pieces greatly reduce the stiffness of the bar.
  6. Agape

    Agape Member

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    not necessarily, if the material used is of higher durability. i.e. cardboard and paper of the polymer biaxially-oriented polypropylene (used to print money) -cardboard looks tougher and stronger but it isn't.
  7. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Yes, necessarily. The vertical pieces are steel, all steel is approximately the same stiffness (Young's modulus) so has the same resistance to bending up to the start of plastic deformation. Strut tower bars are a 90%+ a rigidity problem, not a strength problem.

    It's a poor arrangement of material any way you cut it.



    Scotty, that's part of the problem. Engineers have a name for a 2 bolt bolt pattern "a hinge":D
  8. Agape

    Agape Member

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    only tests can provide you with data needed to asses your opinion.

    conclusion based on visual assessment will be inaccurate.

    the point is that if it looks better it doesn't always mean that it is better.
  9. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Nonsense, when material is arranged as poorly as it is in that part, the deficiency is obvious. Believe it or not, structures aren't designed by building some random kludge and testing it until it works. Anyone who would start testing with a kludge like that is not a structural designer.

    You don't even need to be a an official structural designer to see the problems with it. Loads of backyard fabricators know better than that.
  10. Agape

    Agape Member

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    Often when you see weak structure, this structure could be completely opposite.

    The technology of some materials can make them thin, looks weak, however they may be completely opposite.

    This strut may perform bad or it may be as good as $130 strut.

    Some time ago I tested Frame (Kevlar) and two Aluminium Frames, all totally different weight, thickness etc. all performed well.

    Don't take it as offence.
  11. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    No offense taken, I just don't like seeing such nonsense put up as fact.

    It's only saving grace will be the placebo effect that bolt on parts have for some people.
  12. Agape

    Agape Member

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    No offence taken, it's fact that often is not accepted. Thanks anyway.
  13. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Keep in mind that a bar with exotic materials and intense engineering comes higher cost. I bought a simple post hole digger and it was over $30 with much less steel than a STB. Do you really think this $40 is highly engineered with exotic materials for that price?
  14. Agape

    Agape Member

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    Hi F8L, it's interesting and the prius isn't a car for cornering, transmission won't allow you to race it too, the strut for $40 will be enough. unless you want to drift your prius :)
  15. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    A disagree that the car isn't for cornering. Have you tried driving one with lowering springs and 17s yet? They can definitely handle corners at much higher speeds than stock. I do agree that for everyday mild driving that the cheap bar would suffice for a lot of people. :)
    1 person likes this.
  16. Scotty Danger

    Scotty Danger Junior Member

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    Easy Solution:

    Sell Prius. Buy 911. Done :D
  17. Daves09prius

    Daves09prius Active Member

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    I was looking at pictures of the Tanabe Strut tower brace, and realized that the tanabe is the same shape as the cheap ebay one. same 2 bolt on points, same thin welds from the cross member to the strut towers... I just may waste $45 with free shipping to find out!
  18. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    The bar in the Tanabe fastens directly to the 2-bolt tower plate. While the Tanabe bar is far from an ideal strut bar, it is much better than the $45 eBay bar. The obvious difference is that the 2-bolt pattern in the $45 brace is way out of the plane of the bar so the skinny legs connecting it to the plate in are loaded bending and they are flimsy.

    The flat plates on the Tanabe are sized and positioned as though Tanabe actually has clue what is going on there. They is positioned to provide high rigidity given the general design.

    On the $45 bar, it looks like they intended to make have thin plates bend.
  19. Daves09prius

    Daves09prius Active Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] It appears to be a copy of the Tanabe brace, $140 for the Tanabe name, or $45 for the copy hmmm...
    1 person likes this.
  20. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    Anyone got a copy of Pro/E and wants to do some FEA?
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