Chevrolet Cruze Forums banner

UR Upper Strut Bar vs Front Lower Chassis Brace

9745 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  miketempleton
So I received the UR Upper strut bar yesterday and installed it on my car. I like that the car does feel more taut, but I also noticed that there was more 'thud' when going over bumps. Nothing jarring, but the car seemed to absorb bumps better without the bar. I've only driven on it once so far, and haven't decided if that is something that is going to bother me, but living in pothole city (Metro Detroit), it is a concern.

At first I thought the extra jolt was just because the chassis is more rigid than before, but after rereading EagleCo's posts of the front strut bar I'm thinking it maybe just the design of this piece. My question is if you guys think the front lower chassis brace will give similar stiffness to the front of the chassis, without limiting the ability of the suspension to absorb bumps.

My overall goal is to make the car more composed and fun to drive, with a minimal sacrifice in overall ride quality. I plan on switching from the 16inch Firestones on my 2011 LT to 17 inch Nittos too. I'll be losing some ride quality there, so I don't want to add on to it too much with the chassis bars.

Thoughts?
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

· Resident Derp
Joined
·
2,800 Posts
The way the front strut bar works is when one wheel/strut compresses, it transfers that force to the other strut, which improves stability. However, as you said, when you go over a speed bump, both struts compress, and therefore the bar ends up making it feel stiffer.

In terms of what to do to help the car driving wise without making the ride too harsh, I would go for the rear UR tower brace. The front of our cars is already decently composed, however the rear is another story, and kind of lacking stock. The tower brace helps a lot. Although for a certain level of handling, you will have to sacrifice some comfort, and maybe go a little slower over those speed bumps, because I have the strut bar and 18s and if you're hitting a speed bump hard enough to get a "thud" you;re close to(or already) going fast enough to damage your front suspension.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the explanation, I had thought that the point of a front strut bar was to reinforce the two strut towers, not tie the actual struts together. So, a lower front chassis brace wouldn't offer as much stability improvement when cornering as the upper strut bar?

I should rephrase 'thud'. I wasn't driving over speed bumps fast. Just the usual minefield of potholes and crappy road on my way into work (Pontiac, Mi is probably the worst place for potholes). You felt each bump a bit more. It reminded a little bit of the driving experience of a Camaro SS or CTS V.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
2,811 Posts
I have the lower 4 pt front brace on my ECO as well as the front tower bar and rear lower 2 pt. The lower brace tightens the steering up a bit - the car feels more responsive. The first bar I installed was the front tower when I first got my Cruze. My lower chassis braces were installed later so I could definitely feel the improvement with the lower bars. You will lose a little ground clearance the front lower brace.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
4,468 Posts
I have the lower 4 pt front brace on my ECO as well as the front tower bar and rear lower 2 pt. The lower brace tightens the steering up a bit - the car feels more responsive. The first bar I installed was the front tower when I first got my Cruze. My lower chassis braces were installed later so I could definitely feel the improvement with the lower bars. You will lose a little ground clearance the front lower brace.
You are almost done with your chassis

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

· Resident Derp
Joined
·
2,800 Posts
Thanks for the explanation, I had thought that the point of a front strut bar was to reinforce the two strut towers, not tie the actual struts together. So, a lower front chassis brace wouldn't offer as much stability improvement when cornering as the upper strut bar?

I should rephrase 'thud'. I wasn't driving over speed bumps fast. Just the usual minefield of potholes and crappy road on my way into work (Pontiac, Mi is probably the worst place for potholes). You felt each bump a bit more. It reminded a little bit of the driving experience of a Camaro SS or CTS V.
My first post was slightly misleading. The strut bar does reinforce the two towers BY tying them together to lessen the amount of force inflicted to your car's frame/chassis. Think of it this way;

You have an empty card board box with a bottom, and two sides. Which would represent your axle/control arms and your two struts. Now if you were to exert force on one of the sides of the box, the whole thing just goes caplooey. But when you close the top with packing tape; or in this case, introduce the strut bar, the box is solid and composed when exerting the same amount of force.

As for a lower front chassis brace, they are designed to work with the strut brace to completely solidify your suspension. However, we have a FF car (front engine/front drive), which tend to naturally oversteer, which is a problem that comes with a rear end that cant keep up with the front. In short, your car comes stock, with a front that can out corner your rear. Which also means that if you put more time into reinforcing the front of your car, the more it will oversteer, and in fact, you can make your steering worse than stock.

This is the main reason why I recommended the rear tower brace, because it does a lot to help our car in a corner, and after installing both the rear tower and front strut brace, I can easily say that the rear tower had the biggest impact, and the reason being is stated above. Another good choice would be a rear sway and front end links. As sway bars help reduce body roll through corners by limiting the amount your chassis twists through hard cornering.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Actually, that is the plan. I'm hesitant to cut even a little into my rear trunk space, so I'm ordering the rear sway first and then seeing if that is enough for me. I just wanted to mount each addition individually to see exactly how each changed the feel of the car.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
As for a lower front chassis brace, they are designed to work with the strut brace to completely solidify your suspension. However, we have a FF car (front engine/front drive), which tend to naturally oversteer, which is a problem that comes with a rear end that cant keep up with the front. In short, your car comes stock, with a front that can out corner your rear. Which also means that if you put more time into reinforcing the front of your car, the more it will oversteer, and in fact, you can make your steering worse than stock.

This is the main reason why I recommended the rear tower brace, because it does a lot to help our car in a corner, and after installing both the rear tower and front strut brace, I can easily say that the rear tower had the biggest impact, and the reason being is stated above. Another good choice would be a rear sway and front end links. As sway bars help reduce body roll through corners by limiting the amount your chassis twists through hard cornering.
Thanks for all the insight. I've been looking closely at all the braces that Ultra Racing offers – adding front and rear tower braces on previous cars always helped to tighten things up.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top