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View Full Version : Strut Bars / Chassis Braces



bigphil
05-08-2008, 09:29 PM
Most threads I come across say these aren't available anymore. There is still a bit of demand for them from what I can tell - maybe 10-20 people would be interested. So what I'm proposing is this: people have made their own for the rears, a few people said they'd make and sell them but I don't think that ever really happened. I haven't come across a custom front. So, if anyone would be so kind as to post up or send me any and all dimensions they have off hand to build a front and rear strut bar it would be a big help. I am thinking of designing both in Solidworks, posting them up for everyone to critique and then having them machined. A couple of things, a stock front strut bar is around $150 or so? And I believe there is a rear one available for around the same. If I had enough interest and guaranteed purchases, I could have a batch made at a machine shop - the more numbers here the better. I'm a mechanical engineer so I have experience with the 3D modeling, specs, and dealing with machine shops I wouldn't mind doing it. Maybe I'll even run some stress modeling at work. Chances are if I get no support or interest I'll go ahead and do a 1-off set (front and rear) for myself anyway. For the front I would go full tilt - try to keep the rear engine cover and make it a 6-pt mount. For the rear, I'm not sure, I would be using the rear strut mounts. At no point do I want either bar to require ANY modification to ANY structural part of the car, just bolt in and out. Sorry for the rambling, anyone chip in and let me know what you think.

I'm extremely busy with work and work crazy hours, so I may not respond right away.

and if you don't know what that rant was about, here are some pictures...
if you have a lowered car, any form of modified suspension it should make a huge difference on our cars.... especially with all of the aluminum and our B5's aren't getting any younger :)

http://www.audiworld.com/tech/pics/wheel32-strutbar-00.jpg
http://www.audiworld.com/tech/wheel32.shtml

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b382/SpyderSE2/strut1-1.jpg

http://www.audimods.com/NewMods/RIMG2211.jpg

hope no one is offended I borrowed their pics.

Kyle H
05-08-2008, 09:53 PM
I'd be very interested in a 2pt front bar if that's possible so I could stay in the STX class in solo2, but I wouldn't be buying until after summer. I think either way, at the end of the summer I'll be buying H-Sport Sways and these if they aren't too costly. Do you have any estimates on the price you'll be selling them for? That's the biggest turn off for most people. [up] for sounding like you're actually going to go through with this.

Ado
05-08-2008, 11:59 PM
i would be really interested in the rear tower brace shown in the pics. i got a LLtek front tower bar on my car and saw a huge difference.
link to my review. http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php?t=174149

when i installed the front tower bar (with stock rear sway bar) i did kinda feel some over steer but a week later i got a Neuspeed 28mm rear sway bar and it really helped out balance it all out. i was taking corners a lot easier and it felt safer too since there was no over steer on the car. note my car is FWD. sorry im not cool like the rest of you.

Mawhitey
05-09-2008, 01:37 AM
I really must get me one of those OE ones,do they allow the cover above the battery to still fit?

JaVa
05-09-2008, 07:44 AM
I really must get me one of those OE ones,do they allow the cover above the battery to still fit?

yes the cover still fits. they sit down really low.

ModifiedA4
05-09-2008, 08:37 AM
i recognize my parent's gravel driveway in the top pic [:)]

D's Avant
05-09-2008, 03:50 PM
I would be very interested in a front bar at the right price.

DND
05-09-2008, 03:58 PM
I'm interested, I tried to get measurement info to make my own on this thread:
http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php?t=178740
but didn't get any replies.

bigphil
05-10-2008, 05:56 PM
I'm not sure about price yet. I would estimate them to cost around the same price as the other companies were selling them at volume I doubt they had much margin on them once everything is said and done. I'd definitely be going for steel as well, not aluminum. DND, your poll had a decent response I wouldn't count on 50 people ordering, more like 10-20. I haven't had time to measure yet, I've been working on my dad's car all day. It seems like everyone's most interested in the front. I'm going to tackle the rear right now just because it seems much simpler, then try to model it. Then I'll get some measurements from the front and go from there. For the rear, the trunk lining has to be cut there's no way around that from what I can see.

bigphil
05-10-2008, 06:26 PM
Well I ripped out my entire rear interior, and then I lost daylight :(. I found all the bolt-points I was looking for though. Does anyone know what those tabs with the bolts in them are for anyway? I found another behind the sheet metal holding the rear seats, behind some sound deadening foam. I noticed everyone only uses the ones that are already exposed. I'm thinking about the possibility of cutting into the sheet metal to get access to those other bolt points, so you could have two points at the top, and one at the bottom where the anchors are. The sheet metal there seems to be only for the rear seats - not structural for the C-pillars or anything like that. I'll have to look and measure tomorrow when I get the daylight back again.

K04B5
05-10-2008, 06:47 PM
Count me in on this as long as the price stays down... THUMBS UP!!!

bigphil
05-12-2008, 05:21 AM
This is very very rough, still lots to sort out but here is my initial thinking. The everything except the middle cross bar would be steel. Weight right now is reading at around 6.1kg or roughly 13 pounds. No cutting or modification to the OEM chassis required, it just bolts right in. View is looking from the back seat into the trunk. I don't think I'd offer this whole setup but the closest brackets could be used with a single 1" tube from end to end behind the seats for a very light weight, maybe even relatively cheap setup that would just bolt right in.

http://www.7keysolutions.com/rearstb.JPG

black00A4
05-12-2008, 05:26 AM
I am very close to Toronto so I would definetly been in on this.

JaVa
05-12-2008, 07:04 AM
solidworks? i love that program.
id be interestd but i need to see waht will fit with my stereo

onemoremile
05-12-2008, 08:59 AM
That is a strange looking design.

The trunks and mounting points are not the same in all the B5s. That is why these weren't produced the first time around. They looked into it but didn't want to deal with the different versions.

AudiBoy808
05-12-2008, 10:38 AM
I'd be down for both. Keep us up to date.

Thanks,

llewop_211
05-12-2008, 09:05 PM
if these fit in my car im in for the front and rear

bigphil
05-19-2008, 03:03 AM
Not completely satisfied with this third design iteration, haven't abandoned the project. I took measurements for the front today. I should be ready to send off designs for quotes in a week or two. The rear brace I'll offer (if I eventually go through with all of this) will be much simpler (cheaper)... I may just build this one for myself. Starting on the front design tomorrow.



http://www.7keysolutions.com/A4/displ.JPG

http://www.7keysolutions.com/A4/FOS.JPG

onemoremile
05-19-2008, 05:44 AM
I love the little Cosmos animation files. Make that sucker dance!

What about those of us that use our trunks?

offroader1006
05-19-2008, 10:16 AM
15ft of tube and a lincoln mig. FTW

bigphil
05-19-2008, 12:40 PM
Here's a better view, honestly it barely takes up any trunk space - our trunks are massive enough as it is imo. Top tube is mounted to the seat belt bolt.

http://www.7keysolutions.com/Rear_Brace 3.0_sa.jpg

I can't get to export a .gif, only .avi animations and they're massive [down]

Cross bars are bolted in for ease of installation and convenience if you ever need to drop the seats and use the full trunk length.

B518T
05-19-2008, 01:03 PM
lookin good man!

any rough rough expectations of what price is goin to be lookin like?

LLTEK has a fron strut tower brace available, and I think that racetec may be in the middle of coming out with another batch...

I think the prices were 369$ for the racetec, but it was a 4pt. brace and then there is LLtek, and theirs goes for 299$, but it is a 2 pt brace...

as far as the rear goes i have only seen one rear brace for sale and I think it was just a cheesy two pointer, basically a bolt in bar...and all of the more substancial homebrew designs seem to hump trunk space :(.... heres the link to the rear for 130$

http://www.stableenergies.com/prodinfo.asp?number=GBA4

your design definately looks wayy more substancial

well, keep up the good work!

if they are reasonably priced I would definately be down!....especially if you could do a combo deal!

bigphil
05-19-2008, 06:28 PM
lookin good man!

any rough rough expectations of what price is goin to be lookin like?

LLTEK has a fron strut tower brace available, and I think that racetec may be in the middle of coming out with another batch...

I think the prices were 369$ for the racetec, but it was a 4pt. brace and then there is LLtek, and theirs goes for 299$, but it is a 2 pt brace...

as far as the rear goes i have only seen one rear brace for sale and I think it was just a cheesy two pointer, basically a bolt in bar...and all of the more substancial homebrew designs seem to hump trunk space :(.... heres the link to the rear for 130$

http://www.stableenergies.com/prodinfo.asp?number=GBA4

your design definately looks wayy more substancial

well, keep up the good work!

if they are reasonably priced I would definately be down!....especially if you could do a combo deal!

I know thats the biggest thing on everyone's mind - price. I'm kind of worried about it myself as well, I'm going to go shopping around at different machine shops once the designs are finalized. I'm going to aim for $350 each. If I can get the prices lower than that I will, but keep in mind these are not going to be mass produced by any means - they would be 100% custom designs.

I took a look at the LLTEK front brace and the Racetek one. Personally, I wouldn't run a 2pt design, and I would really prefer not to run a fully aluminum front brace either. So it looks like I will go through with a full front design as well. I really do like the racetek 4pt design though, if they sold it in steel for ~$300 I don't think I'd bother trying to have my own made. I am contemplating incorporating the last front two strut bolts, but I think its a bit insane given the lack of space and what it would be blocking.

I've done some more thinking and discussing with my brothers I've decided not to offer any simpler design for the rear. After running all of the models I don't think it would be much benefit to just fit a bar between those two strut points - I don't want to offer a compromised design. Also, I don't want to deal with sending a bunch of different designs to different machine shops. This means that there will be no cheaper setup for the rear as I was originally thinking. Go big or go home I guess [evilsmile]

As for trunk space, I really don't think it's an issue and as I said the cross bars *hopefully* will be easily removable. If you want to run a setup like this I think trunk space is the least of your worries.

Re: The stable bar. It serves no support to the suspension whatsoever. Furthermore, looking at the length and angle on the harness attached to it in the picture I don't even see the point in having one. There have to be better options out there.

As a side note, how different are the trunk mount positions from 98-01? Are there only two variations or more? If it's only an inch or so of difference I'm pretty sure it can be accommodated. Anyone mind taking some measurements? Bolt-bolt along the floor would be a good starting point.

ExSRAaron
05-19-2008, 09:02 PM
I'd definitely be interested in getting one or both of these...keep us updated! [:D]

audiFUEGO
05-19-2008, 09:33 PM
I'm in for the rear strut

minira
05-20-2008, 09:53 AM
i'm down for both, but it's going to have to wait after the wedding.

EOD-5
05-20-2008, 10:42 AM
id get both !

otterski
05-20-2008, 01:00 PM
I've an 01, I'd be interested in bothums. If you still need measurements for an 01 I'd be happy to take 'em as well. But I could only provide you with numbers. ^,^

audiFUEGO
05-20-2008, 03:40 PM
I've an 01, I'd be interested in bothums. If you still need measurements for an 01 I'd be happy to take 'em as well. But I could only provide you with numbers. ^,^

fyi if you have an 01.5 with sport package, you already have the stock front strut that is also found on the S4.

ExSRAaron
05-20-2008, 08:02 PM
fyi if you have an 01.5 with sport package, you already have the stock front strut that is also found on the S4.

really? hmm I'm gonna have to go check to see if i have one..anyone have a pic?!

bigphil
05-20-2008, 08:18 PM
Any measurements would help. Center distance bolt to bolt would suffice for now. I have a post-facelift 2000, so I don't need that year. Thanks for all the interest guys, the more interest the more likely I can bring the cost down and have a batch made.

bigphil
05-26-2008, 09:31 PM
Just a quick update. I'm 90% done with the rear, 50% with the front or so. I should have the quotes out mid-week... then its however long the machine shops want to take getting back to me. If anyone has suggestions/recommendations for machine shops drop me a pm.

EOD-5
05-26-2008, 09:35 PM
no suggestions but still definitely count me in for the rear ASAP, the front meh whenever

Eurotuned_A4
05-26-2008, 09:49 PM
good work phil. you're the man!