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rear Strong-Strut customer product reports
You are invited to link on the name of any sender and question them about their experience with the Strong-Strut
New Jersey........Paul, After driving with the
rear strong strut for a few weeks, I can say that I am thoroughly pleased
with the change. I thought there was a problem with my 2000 M Roadster when
I bought it in early 2005. I actually considered
selling it because of the disappointing handling. After finding this product and the testimonials on the internet, I thought I had the problem solved...and it was. The rear is much tighter and handles much sharper. The other testimonials describe the transformation perfectly. No reason to repeat it. It was easy to install and worth every penny. It feels so good
that I want to keep the car forever.
You are welcome to post this testimonial on your website and include a link
to my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both Struts installed successfully. Cut several seconds off my best previous times at the San Diego BMW Car Club autocross this weekend! The car feels much tighter now. Thanks for the great products.
I bought my stock 2000 M Roadster 2 years ago,
and had been resistant to aftermarket anything. In general I've been happy
with the car, but the violent 'bunny hop '(w/o ASC), or occasional 'dead
run' (with ASC) when you push it in the turns, at this price level - I felt
was unacceptable. I installed the Butt/Body brace combo at the same time
about 6 months ago, and have been extremely happy ever since - the 'hop' is
gone. Given the torque, you can still lose it in the turns, but instead of
it being scary, annoying, and something I use to avoid - I now look forward
to it. The car is still far from being the best handling, but for me is by
far the most entertaining car I can afford. Given that I love the car, I
bought the Strong-Strut for long-term structural integrity. I've just
recently installed it, and the front reaction seems to be more responsive
and tighter. No where near as big a 'change' as the Butt/Body combo, but I
wasn't expecting one. Overall - very happy.
I can't speak for all Z's, but if you own an M, and like to push it in the corners, I believe the rear Strong-Strut at the least is a must. I've heard arguments about ground clearance issues - I lightly bottomed out once pulling out of drive-way straight too fast at the edge (lip), but not a single issue in the last 6 months with fairly hard driving, on occasional bad roads. I've heard of worse issues from people with new Vettes.
Hope this helps anyone interested in the Strong Strut stuff.
Paul and The Strong Strut Team.
Just a note to let you know our findings after fitting your Competition Alloy Front Strut, Rear Strut (rear Strong-Strut) and Body Brace to my wife's 2.2l Z3 Roadster in June this year. Sorry for the delay in my reply but the past 4 months have given us the opportunity to understand the changes in the cars behaviour. I am pleased to state that the cars handling has been significantly improved bringing a degree of fun and enjoyment into driving the car which it previously lacked. This lack of dynamic handling ability, much cited by the motoring press, has been vanquished and one can now drive the car with relish through bends and twists in the road confident of a safe outcome. The original 'tail-end wagging' of the car when exiting bends whilst accelerating has been eliminated. Steering response has improved considerably with good 'point and go' capability and increased sensitivity to movement of the steering wheel. The original under steer of the car has gone and the car demands that you pay attention to inadvertant movements of the hand when driving hard. My wife found this a little disconcerting at first and initially preferred the cars behaviour with the front strut only fitted. I did wonder whether i would have to remove the rear strut and body brace as a consequence of her concern but she has persisted with the full installation and now drives the car with confidence and enjoyment.
As stated by other Strong Strut customers, the car exhibits greater body stiffness, noticeable even when pulling off the drive at home over the uneven surfaces.
Overall this additional stiffness endows the car with far greater dynamic handling abilities bringing greater pleasure to driving the car and well worth the weight penalty. Many thanks for your help and it was worth the wait for delivery. Bob Turner.
(LA) Dear Paul,
My rear Strong-Strut arrived Friday, February 28, 2003 in perfect condition. I must say that the testimonials you post on your advertising web site aren't exaggerating about how beautifully made this product is. The metal work, drilling, finish and supplied hardware are beautifully first class!
The installation was extremely easy, though I did have to make several shim adjustments to get proper clearance between the bar and my fuel tank support.
It is up to you, of course, but I believe that it is completely unnecessary for you to advise your customers to put their cars up on jack stands to do this installation. It is very easy to do with the car flat on the ground as a "one person job".
Your claims of better chassis rigidity are true. Many of the roads I must
travel on each day have a rough, washboard texture that made the (pre-rear Strong-Strut) car quiver and jiggle in a most unpleasant way. Though your rear Strong-Strut doesn't eliminate this sensation, my seat-of-the-pants assessment is
that it is "markedly improved". The car now feels much more pleasantly solid
on these surfaces. High-G cornering is also more pleasant! The car's chassis
now seems noticeably more rigid, and the tires seem to be significantly
In short, my love affair with my 5 year old M Roadster has been re-ignited because of your superb product! I can't wait to get the "aero ducts" and the chassis brace. After those items are installed I will probably soon order a front Strong Strut.
You are free to use my endorsement on your web site. Thanks for your great work!
Walter (PA) The testimonials of the Strong-Strut rear Strong-Strut were appallingly conservative. The performance results were phenomenal on my 2001 Z3. BMW should have included this accessory as standard equipment. In addition, the installation was a "piece of cake."
John (CA) To any Z3 owner (and especially Coupe owners): edited for length
A couple of weeks ago, I installed a Strong Strut rear Strong-Strut in my 2001 Z3 3.0 Coupe, and I just want to share my thoughts and experiences. I am writing this review for a few reasons, first of all the product is great, second, the service I received from Paul is second to none, and third, I want all the Coupe owners out there who are skeptical about the rear Strong-Strut to know that it makes a huge improvement on the handling and chassis of our cars. Don’t think that because the Coupe body is more rigid than the Roadster that the rear Strong-Strut won’t solve many of the inherent shortfalls of the ‘classic’ design of the Z3 suspension.
I would venture to say that I know cars pretty well, and I can say that the rear Strong-Strut does the job it is designed to do. I will throw one more thing into the mix - when the rear Strong-Strut is combined with a front strut bar, some better sway bars, and some good tires, the stock struts & shocks and springs actually work pretty well, providing a compliant yet sporting ride and handling (at least on my 20,000 mile car), thus saving a lot of time and money, as well as scrapes and bruises from riding lower.
On to the rear Strong-Strut:
I must say, I was a little skeptical, and I thought the price was a bit high, but borrowing an accounting phrase, I must say that "Substance over Form" definitely prevails when it comes to the rear Strong-Strut. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful piece of hardware, but it just seems too simple to accomplish so much.
Starting with the installation: this had to be the first time that I've ever done something faster than the instructions. I've read some people have trouble removing the tightly torqued factory nuts, but with the right tools and enough strength, they came off quite easily, and even after playing with the spacers/ washers, I was done in 20 minutes at the most. The doors immediately had a 'thunk' like my wife's 2001 530i. I must have opened and closed each door four or five times just to listen and feel it.
My impressions of the improvements from the rear Strong-Strut in the first 500 or so miles:
Needless to say, I would definitely recommend a rear Strong-Strut to any Z3 owner.
Steve (OH) edited for length.
After reading all the raves about the
"rear Strong-Strut" on this board I had to give it a try. I hate the way the back
of the car acts around bumpy corners. So, I ordered, it came yesterday, and
a friend of mine and I installed it today.
Here are my thoughts:
First, the product is as high a quality as it could possibly be.
Installation is very easy and not necessary to jack up the car.
After getting it installed, we took it for a ride. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised.
It's everything they say it is. The back of the car doesn't "wobble" as much, it seems to actually steer much better - much smoother, and the transmission seems to behave better.
In addition, much of the body roll the car had is gone. This - at least to me - was the most noticeable part. It handles a lot more like my wife's 528i (sport package) now than it did before. To me, this alone is worth the price of the strut.
Finally, my car also has less little irritations than before. You know, little jerks, wiggles, stuff like that. I've grown accustomed to all those little annoyances, and it's funny to be driving along expecting the car to act up and - nothing.
Why BMW didn't do this is way beyond me. It seems so simple and the car handles much better.
I think my next project is going to be a front strong-strut and then a body brace. I'm very impressed with Paul and this product. If you own a Z3 and don't have this accessory, you're only having about half as much fun as you could have.
Andy (HI) Just installed my rear Strong-Strut (Thanks Paul) last Wednesday, been driving around for a few days, and also did an autocross with it installed. First impression was Wow!, feels like some one put a back brace behind the seat, the car just felt tighter, stiffer. My friend who helped me install (he has an '01 M Roadster) said he could feel it too. Rough roads felt significantly better, less vibration and overall stiffer. The back end seems to follow the front better, hard to describe, but feels good. No clearance issues on my car as far as installation, stock muffler etc. Combined with the front strut, definitely recommended.
At the autocross, it felt good, things happen so fast when you are on the course it is hard to define the change. I did come in 16th overall (out of 51 cars), won my class against a Z06 vette and was only .4 seconds behind an E36 M3 with heavily modded suspension. Also only .8 seconds off a D/A supercharged 1.9 with about $6000 in suspension mods including TC Kline adjustable camber plates, adjustible shocks, etc. I have the stock suspension and Kumho Victoracers on Borbet wheels.
While it may not be the killer autocross mod, the rear Strong-Strut is a winner in everyday driving, and Paul is wonderful as a vendor, great service.
Beautiful in its simplicity and its elegance --
a single piece of powder coated steel that uses existing attachment points
to bolt on and makes a huge difference. Truly, one of the great mods. Why
BMW couldn't have done something like this during the Z3's production
lifetime is beyond me.
Thank goodness for Paul, who has made the exorcism of chassis flex on the Z3 his personal crusade. It was one thing to create the Strong Strut -- a beautiful, effective piece but still a "me-too" product in that it's a standard aftermarket mod made by several competitors. He could have stopped there like most, but Paul took to it to the next level. The Strong Strut was good but not enough to cure the whole problem. He developed the rear Strong-Strut, something no one else has. And now, with the Body Brace under development, he is raising the bar again. He has created a system that attacks the flex problem from every direction. I don't track my M Roadster, but the difference this system has made in street driving enjoyment is remarkable.
Because of enthusiasts like him who step in and relentlessly attack a problem, our cars are more enjoyable to drive. In my case, were it not for his products, my car would be outa here. Not only has he created solutions, but their execution and attention to detail is first rate. As icing on the cake, his business relationship with his fellow-enthusiast customers is second to none. This is one business that deserves our support.
very happy with my new rear Strong-Strut. Summary: my traction budget just went up
a tad. If you don't have one, and there isn't one on your holiday wish list,
shame on you. ;-)
Roadster shimmy is reduced. One of the results is more responsive turn-in, as others have noted. Another is smoother transitions (that secondary loading/unloading is largely gone), and more linear response to throttle and steering input, especially during oversteer. I don't think it'd scare any halfway decent driver now, even if they'd never driven a rubbery convertible. When the rear comes out (and back), it does so in a smoother fashion. This is an especially happy thing with the Pilots, because they tend to be fairly quiet (especially with the hardtop on). My wife will enjoy driving the car harder.
Understeer becomes more manageable too, because the transition out involves less drama; throttle-lift and trail braking involves fewer quick micro-inputs to make the car settle in one smooth transition, and the car is a bit more forgiving of imperfect steering input. Being able to settle smoothly with less effort will be wonderful on the track.
I also don't expect to ever see throttle wretch again because the rear Strong-Strut has killed the primary driver (those 2-3Hz oscillations when accelerating in a rough corner in 1st gear, for example). My right leg muscles (mashing my leg against the console for stability in these cases) owe Paul a few beers.
Thanks Paul! With the Strong-Strut and rear Strong-Strut, I'm inching closer to the perfect topless tosser :-). I can fully appreciate the near 50/50 front/rear weight distribution now, and that wasn't always easy before. The rear Strong-Strut took the edge off of transitions, there isn't the strong tendency to spring away from the traction limit. My suspension is able to do its job now and isn't being overwhelmed on rebound by unloading chassis flex. I had asked some folks how hard they were running their rebound damping in the rear, but now realize that a good deal of the irritating part of the rebound curve was unwinding chassis flex, not spring rebound. With the rear Strong-Strut there isn't that feeling of steep fluttery spring rate increase near max compression in a corner. It's definitely a more significant improvement than the Strong-Strut on a newer car. This could be why one person thought they felt more body roll; the rebound from the chassis unwinding is not so steep at the start, so it feels more like pure roll as it should.
Oh, one more thing... DSC. It's friendlier with the rear Strong-Strut than without. The reduction in on/off cycles has followed the reduction in wiggles.
Now that I can actually feel my suspension and tires all of the time, it's time for my suspension upgrade. Of course I'll still have the remaining chassis winding and unwinding... body brace?