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ROLL TIDE!
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Hey all,

Looking to do some easy mods to my BMW next weekend, I have to replace the brakes and I am adding chrome rings to my gauge cluster. I wanted to do something for handling, but after the brakes and rings I will be just about tapped so no sway bars this time. But I have seen strut tower braces on ebay for anywhere from $30-$300? The one I like is at this link.... http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Fron...016QQitemZ260142095348QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW

I am wondering if anyone has experience with before and after results, why so big a gap in price, and will it help a "spirited" driver such as myself. I already have 18" M3 wheels and 225/40/18VR rubber at the corners and that is obviously a big difference already.

Help please, I want to take curves at triple the reccommended speed so I can lose those nasty v8's out there that can beat me in a straight line. :thumbup:
 

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25 Posts
After wheels and tires, the strut bar is next

I have the M3 bar on my E46 and the Dinan on my Z3. It firms up the front nicely. It needs to be strong enough not to flex or twist alot. The mounting rings on the Dinan make better contact with the tower crowns, it has relief where the ridges are, so makes much better contact. The M3 bar just sets on the top of the ridges. Strong strut makes braces for Z's and now for the E46 and they are very well rated, as are the braces from Racing Dynamics and HMS.
Good luck!
 

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Is it Trackday yet?
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8,975 Posts
I have the M3 bar on my car too and love it. Couple things to note when making a decision. If you plan on installing a suspension with camber plates at any point, make sure the bar is width adjustable. Increasing negative camber brings the bolts closer to the center of the car. If there isn't enough play in the slots of your strut bar mounting plate, you won't be able to realize all of the benefits of the camber plates. The M3 bar is width adjustable and easy to change.

EDIT: I think I'm talking out my ass on the above paragraph now that I think of it. The Vorshlag plates I have pivot on the bolts, which can be positioned within the travel range of the slots on top of the strut tower. Unless you're trying to cheat by removing the alignment pin and sneak more neg camber out, any should work regardless of width adjustability as long as the mounting plates have some flexibility of position to the mounting holes.

The other variable is weight. Some bars are heavy, others not so much. If you don't care about that, you can get a heavier one and save money on the carbon fiber solution. The M3 bar has aluminum mounting brackets, stamped steel cross bar. Why it is over $400 new I have no idea. Crazy expensive. I got mine slightly used for a lower price.

Lastly, the added benefit which is somewhat overlooked is the mounting plates will help alleviate the crowning problem some E46 owners have on their strut tower mounts. This is one of the reasons I got mine early in my ownership. I drive on rough roads daily and wanted to prevent this added stress on the strut tower mounts.

When I installed my M3 bar I immediately noticed better turn in, so much that my learned behavior of driving my favorite mountain road had to be adjusted to turn in a little later than I had been. It really sharpened up the handling of my car.
 
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