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Discussion Starter #1
i need some advice-i'm about to put a deposit on
kyb agx shocks $475
an eibach pro-kit $250
tanabe front and rear strut towers $250
and trd front and rear sways not sure on price
plus install price

-am i wasting my money?
is this a quality setup-
are the prices good?
thanks
 
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Discussion Starter #2
supraboytt said:
i need some advice-i'm about to put a deposit on
kyb agx shocks $475
an eibach pro-kit $250
tanabe front and rear strut towers $250
and trd front and rear sways not sure on price
plus install price

-am i wasting my money?
is this a quality setup-
are the prices good?
thanks
Don't waste your money on strut tower braces. They don't make much difference. I got my front one before I knew better and I got my rear one as a harness bar (works great for that!).

If you're serious about track events and road racing then consider a Tein setup instead of KYB's and eibachs. If this is just for the street then that setup is fine.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the feedback
-this setup is just for the street.
Basically i want my car to have a more solid feel-i also want to rid it of the awful cowl shake i have with the targa off

I have had varied feeback on the strut tower braces-most people tell me that they made a huge difference-

if i was planning oin keeping the car for a few more years i would get the teins-but i am not probably letting it go in december or november-
the car need new shocks and springs-so i figure why not upgrade
 
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Discussion Starter #4
supraboytt said:
thanks for the feedback
-this setup is just for the street.
Basically i want my car to have a more solid feel-i also want to rid it of the awful cowl shake i have with the targa off

I have had varied feeback on the strut tower braces-most people tell me that they made a huge difference-

if i was planning oin keeping the car for a few more years i would get the teins-but i am not probably letting it go in december or november-
the car need new shocks and springs-so i figure why not upgrade
I've heard that putting in a full roll cage helps a lot with chassis stiffness. :D Remember, you're posting this to the road racer forum...

Just get a TRD front brace. That's the only one that I've heard helps. The rear brace won't help chassis stiffness, there are large supporting beams near there already.

Something else that supposedly helps when the cover is off is a Do-Luck floor brace. Since I don't have one, I can't comment further.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Oh, and if you're just replacing worn-out components then just get the KYB AGX'es. They'll work with stock springs, too.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Here's a Bit About My Upgrade Experience

This is what I have learned. Upgrade your TT in the following sequence.

1. Better Tires: Biggest improvement of all...maybe even go up to 18" wheels.
2. Springs: Eibachs are nice if you will also be running the car on the street. They really stiffen up the handling, but the ride is still not too unbearably firm. I thought they were a great addition to my TT that sees many track days. H&R are a little more aggressive. Both are great!
3. If your struts are leaking, then go ahead and replace them. KYBs are excellent for the cost. However, dampers don't make nearly the improvement tires and springs do. Bilsteins are nice, but if you use them with an Eibach Pro Kit, they must be sent to Bilstein to have the spring perch height moved to TRD specifications or else the front suspension will bottom and the rear will sit too high, causing terminal understeer.
4. Bigger Anti-Sway Bars: Keep more of the tire footprint on the road...big improvement.
5. Front Strut Tower Bar: Tiny improvement only on race tires. Street tires flex so much you will never notice the difference.
6. Rear Strut Bar: Complete waste of money. Look under the carpet and under the car...it's already braced as strong as can be.

Then of course, there are the brakes. Keep it simple...EBC Greenstuff or Redstuff Pads and Valavoline Synthetic or Form Heavy Duty Fluid will make track days fade free!
 
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Discussion Starter #7
  1. Better tires: define better. You need top tier tires for a top tier car, and I'd definitely get summer tires for track days, but I wouldn't go up to R-compound until you learn more about driving at the limit. In my (limited) experience, they let go a lot faster and with less complaining than street tires.
  2. Springs, struts: if you're building a track car, go for coilovers. I have Teins, and they're nice.
  3. Anti-sway bars: they help too. I'd stick with the 27% stiffer. I wish someone made an affordable adjustable stiffer swaybar for this car. I would keep the stock balance; I like the balance towards slight understeer because I can "feel" it earlier.
  4. Front STB: Don't waste your time. I didn't notice a difference, and neither will you.
  5. Rear STB: makes a great harness bar. That's about it.
  6. Brakes: I use Hawk Blues in front and stock pads in the rear. You NEED good brake fluid and additional cooling ducts.
    [/list=1]
 

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I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth about the front strut bar. Don't expect a large difference, but it is noticeable. I can't say that it made a large difference on the roadcourse, because I changed wheels, tire sizes and added the strut bar all at the same time. I can say that I went to 18x9" with 255/35R18's front and 275/35R18's rear and added the strut bar and my car went from moderate understeer to slight oversteer. Given that the tires have the same 20mm differential from front to rear I would attribute the change to spreading out the front foot print with the wider front wheel and the strut bar keeping both the front tires more planted.

It's a very cheap part and it's won't hurt anything, I say go for it.

Later, Steve
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Front Strut Bar

Summit sells a Ractive Strut bar for $69.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Maybe it's that I have a cheap STB. I know the people who bought the TRD STB all have good things to say about it.

I put the STB on after tires but before any other changes. I can't say I noticed any difference on the street, and I went to the road course for the first time after I got it.

There are 3 prices to pay for a STB:
  1. The actual cost. That's relatively insignificant, but all the little things do add up.
  2. Difficulty getting to struts, spark plugs, and coil packs. One day I'm going to strip one of those studs from all the times I've had to remove the STB. It seems like the new step one for all work on the engine is "remove STB". Also, since I attached the injector resistor pack to the STB, I need it on to drive the car.
  3. Some racing series either don't allow STB's or assign a penalty for them. It's not enough of a penalty for me to care, but it could be the difference between classes.
    [/list=1]
 

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With the TRD, I can change my plugs without removing my strut bar and I can also adjust my KYB/AGX shocks without removing the bar.

Later, Steve
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Steve,

Do you leave the cover on your coil packs and cam gears?

Thanks.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Ractive Strut Bar

Access to the engine, etc with the Ractive bar is a piece of cake. It has an allen bolt on each end. You remove one end bolt and pull the bar up out of the way. And it's cheap: $69. I did notice a better response on turn in and slightly better tire wear. It seems to keep the camber a little more accurate.
 

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Yes I have the cover on. It touches the TRD bar slightly when you are removing it. I lay a rag on top of the cover so it doesn't get scratched and it comes right out.

Keep in mind that the point where the bar connects to the brackets that mount on your shock towers is as important as the bar itself (you know a chain is only as strong as it's weakest leak type deal). Now compare this area of the TRD bar to this same area on other strut tower bars. The other bars aren't even close.

Later, Steve
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Re: Ractive Strut Bar

vande17941 said:
Access to the engine, etc with the Ractive bar is a piece of cake. It has an allen bolt on each end. You remove one end bolt and pull the bar up out of the way. And it's cheap: $69. I did notice a better response on turn in and slightly better tire wear. It seems to keep the camber a little more accurate.
My strut bar has the same basic design, but I don't want to try and loosen those bolts. I had a hard enough time getting those bolts tight enough so they wouldn't move under stress.

Oh, and if the bar helps to keep camber accurate, you have big problems. You see, Supras have a double wishbone suspension, which means the strut/shock/whatever you want to call it does absolutely nothing to locate the wheels. It does, however, support the body of the car which is why it's one of the most likely places to flex under load. Next you'll tell me you have caster plates... LOL
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Steve Jarvis said:
Yes I have the cover on. It touches the TRD bar slightly when you are removing it. I lay a rag on top of the cover so it doesn't get scratched and it comes right out.

Keep in mind that the point where the bar connects to the brackets that mount on your shock towers is as important as the bar itself (you know a chain is only as strong as it's weakest leak type deal). Now compare this area of the TRD bar to this same area on other strut tower bars. The other bars aren't even close.

Later, Steve
Can you remove the allen-head screws that hold the cover down? On mine, two of the screws are directly below the bar and it's a PITA to try and get around it to get those screws off. I don't want to leave those screws off since the holes go through the cam cover. That all by itself is a good reason to choose the TRD bar over a cheap one.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Not really accurate.

Strut braces keep the top of the strut towers from moving inward, or closer together, resulting in less camber change. They do little to affect caster or toe. Upward movement instead causes bumpsteer from toe changes only.

Reviewing the Supra Product Guide that the Toyota rep gave me:
The suspension is designed so that body flex at the upper wishbone suspension attachment results in less toe change and bump steer, and results in minimal camber changes only.

Greddy's old catalog states:
As you add perfomance modifications such as lowering springs, stiffer dampeners, and swaybars, a strut tower brace will result in more consistent suspension geometry and more consistent camber.

Hotchkis Tuning states that that the braces are used for reducing flex and camber changes, also.

So does Rennsport, Stillen, and RMM.

Everywhere I look, including a suspension tuning manual states the same thing.

There may be a debate. But, it seems that those in the know state that it reduces camber change, causing a more stable footprint immediately on turn in.

BUT...who cares! If you're going to track days to have fun and learn...then keep it cheap. You will have no less fun with a cheap set of Eibach Pro's on stock shocks, on stock wheels with some halfway decent tires the the next guy who bought $3000 wheels, $1300 tires, $1500 coilovers, $400 anti-sways, and $300 strut braces. In fact, that guy could be trying a bit too hard!

Think about it...not only will you be having just as much fun as the next guy, but you will probably have enough extra cash to spend a week in the islands.

Unless you think your Michael Schumaker, don't get carried away. In fact, don't get carried away with spending huge amounts of money anyway. If you're that good, someone else will pay your way.

HAVE FUN!
 

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Re: Not really accurate.

vande17941 said:
Strut braces keep the top of the strut towers from moving inward, or closer together, resulting in less camber change
Very true. Too bad Supras don't have struts :) The camber of the wheel is effected by the upper and lower control arms, which are attached to the crossmember. The shocks aren't part of the suspension geometery like on MacPherson (sp?) strut cars. Most cars have struts (since MacPh is cheap, conserves space and performs pretty well), so strut bars help them. Notice there are no camber plates for Supras? Thats because they couldn't change camber if they wanted to. The camber ajustment is on the control arms themselves.

Oops, I just realized Oolan said the same thing, o well.

I will shortly be getting some poly bushings for the front control arms. Assuming I'm not too lazy to put them on, I'll post about any changes in steering respose or tire temps (which now get too hot on the outside).

I've never tried changing my plugs with the TRD in place, I just assumed it couldn't be done. I'll have to look at that, maybe my strut bar will actually go back on the car :)
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Check your "facts"

vande17941 said:
Strut braces keep the top of the strut towers from moving inward, or closer together, resulting in less camber change. They do little to affect caster or toe. Upward movement instead causes bumpsteer from toe changes only.
First, a upper chassis brace over the top front end will have tension at certain times and compression at other times.

Second, we don't have struts. We have double wishbones. You could remove the shock entirely and the alignment will not change if you support the chassis.


Reviewing the Supra Product Guide that the Toyota rep gave me:
The suspension is designed so that body flex at the upper wishbone suspension attachment results in less toe change and bump steer, and results in minimal camber changes only.
Read what you wrote. "The upper wishbone attachment point." That's the main cross-member under the car. The engine mounts to that as well.


Greddy's old catalog states:
As you add perfomance modifications such as lowering springs, stiffer dampeners, and swaybars, a strut tower brace will result in more consistent suspension geometry and more consistent camber.

Hotchkis Tuning states that that the braces are used for reducing flex and camber changes, also.

So does Rennsport, Stillen, and RMM.

Everywhere I look, including a suspension tuning manual states the same thing.
That's true for macPhearson struts. And since most of those companies sell to people hopping up econoboxes, they truthfully state that. However, it doesn't apply to our suspension that has more in common with a racecar than a Civic.


BUT...who cares! If you're going to track days to have fun and learn...then keep it cheap.
This is the first applicable and correct thing you've said so far.
 

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Re: Check your "facts"

wizard_of_oz said:


Second, we don't have struts. We have double wishbones. You could remove the shock entirely and the alignment will not change if you support the chassis.


Read what you wrote. "The upper wishbone attachment point." That's the main cross-member under the car. The engine mounts to that as well.

I wondered when somebody was going to point that out. :) A STB is just added weight on a mkiv IMO. If it makes you feel better, get one, but it isn't likely to make your car any faster on a racetrack. It probably has some minor effects at increasing chassis rigidity, but won't have any effects on suspension geometry (which is the primary purpose of a STB) as Oolan points out since the top of the stock tower does not locate the suspension and the control arms are mounted to a subframe that is unaffected by a STB. They make sense on cars with struts (hence the name "strut tower brace" :) )since the movement at the top of the strut tower affects camber, but since we fortunately don't have struts, that doesn't apply to a mkiv.

My personal take on modifying the suspension for track use is to start with a set of coilovers. Bolt on springs like Eibachs and TRD sway bars do not increase roll stiffness enough for track use. They are an improvment over stock, but by the time you buy springs, shocks and the sway bars, you could have bought a set of coilovers, which work better anyway since you can specify higher spring rates with them. Also, Eibachs lower the car too much in front. There isn't enough suspension travel up front before the top of the tire hits the fenderwell, or rides around on the bumpstop to waste 1.5" of travel on lowering the car.

Eric
 
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