return to Strong-Strut home page
Front STRONG-STRUT customer product reports on strut brace
You are invited to link on the name of any sender and question them about their experience with the Strong-Strut.
Click here for testimonials on rear Strong-Strut
Click here for testimonials on Strong-Strut "trilogy"
From Per in Sweden..........Dear Paul,
I picked up the
Strong-Strut today at the post office and installed it in less than half an
hour (total time from opening the package). I then took my -98, 2.8 Z3 out
for a short ride and there is a noticeable improvement. Before, when hitting
some of the short stretches of gravel roads around here I really felt like
the car was shaking apart - but now the suspension takes it instead of the
chassis - which of course is much nicer! So thanks a lot for a good product,
your excellent service, and a well written manual for the installation. It
was really a mechanics for dummies!
From: Carl Robert Pihl <email@example.com>
Date: June 6, 2011 8:39:19 PM GMT+02:00
Subject: Strong Strut.
Hi Paul and the Strong Strut team.
Just to tell you my full satisfaction of the order of the Strong Strut all the way, from my questions, shipment details and last but not least how impressed I am with the Strong Strut in good looking CL Titanium on my 2000 Z3 cabrio 2.8. After the installation which was a breeze, I have been driving for a week in Norway were we have roads with terrible tracks from winter with spike tires from bad Norwegian drivers. After the drive I had to look in the car registration papers to check if was the same car that I left for winter storage last year, and it was !The car feels definitely more stable with much less "hunting" at the steering wheel due to a lot better tracking. Also the rigidity of the car is much improved. Thanks a lot for a great product. Have a nice summer, we will, with such an improvement on the car.
C. Robert. Oslo, Norway.
firstname.lastname@example.org 06 ///M Roadster
Just finished installing my Strong-Strut shock tower bar and matching firewall braces, overall a very nicely engineered and handsome piece of equipment!!
My 20 year old boy, who drives the car harder than I can (or should), took a test drive and said there was a noticeable improvement in handling (06 Z M Roadster). On Monday on my way to work I'll hit my least favorite stretch of less than smooth pavement, I'm hoping for good things.
There was a guy on Bimmerforums who bought the COSMO STB, apparently couldn't close the hood, ugh!!! I've invited him to come over and take a look at your product.
Chris in Illinois____
I took the car for a drive right away and could feel the difference. There are some RR tracks near my house that I go over pretty much every time I take the car out. Going over them with the strut on I immediately felt the difference in the front end. It felt very solid and stable. So I drove on and was looking for bumps and such but what I really noticed was that the front end just felt like it was tracking better, little to no movement of the steering wheel to keep her going straight....if that makes sense.
it's been a couple of weeks now and many drives....I really appreciate the ride difference with the front strut on, next is the rear strut and then the body braces. I want to try them one at a time to see exactly what each are doing to the performance of the car.
Thanks again for a wonderful product and install experience.
From Michael in England
I've just received my second set of braces, Strong-Strut "Trilogy", from Paul; I bought the first set for my 1.9 five years ago, then transferred it over to my 2.8 in 2005. That car has now gone to my brother, so I've had to get another set for my recently-acquired M Roadster, which is to be fitted next week.
I found out about Strong Strut on the Roadfly message board. I've been really impressed by how analytical and critically intelligent people such as Paul have been in the States, working out just what is wrong with the car and designing a method for putting it right and making it the really excellent car it has the potential to be. Many thanks to the Strong-Strut Team for their fine products.
Just a note regarding my recent purchase of the Strong Strut CL for my BMW Z3. It finally arrived yesterday and I installed it this morning. Installation was a breeze and since I baby this car, I took a lot more time than was necessary to do the job..... thought it was best to err on the side of safety. The instructions were precise and simple to follow. Did not have my stop watch running, but it was less than 1/2 hour. It took me longer to find my tools than to do the install. The Clay Blocks is the coolest idea of all - all the tolerances were perfect and no adjustment was needed for the hood. Oh, and the black finish really looks cool as my car is black - looks like it came from the factory. Now for the really good news! I just had to take it for a quick spin before the pending rain. WOW. I cannot believe how much different the car feels. Perhaps it was wishful thinking on my part, but the car is like driving a brand new vehicle. Everything is much tighter and there are virtually no squeaks or rattles in the car. Usually with the top down, I don't hear or feel many noises in the car. However, with the top up it has creeks and noises.....NOT ANYMORE! I drove over railroad tracks at a decent speed and there was no sound. More importantly the handling and feel of the car has changed for the better. It seems to "feel" the road even better than before (and thought it was darned good when I bought it). The front end is more responsive to cornering and the suspension seems so much tighter than before. There is also no excess movement in the steering wheel on turns or straight stretches.I did a lot of research before purchasing your product. From all I could find, your's seemed to be the best. I was NOT disappointed in the result. This was the best performance addition for under $400 ,you could ever put in a Z. Needless to say I am pleased. I can't wait to take the car out and really see what happens when I push the envelope! Thanks for making my Z even better than before.
Black Z4///M........Hi Paul,
I wanted to let you know that I installed the StrongStrut you sent me back
in late August and did a track day with it on Sept 8th. There was a
definite (positive) impact to the stiffness and handling of the car - to the
point where I had to change tire pressures relative to what I ran during
track days prior to installing the StrongStrut. The workmanship was very
impressive and the strut looks great under the hood. Just wanted you to
know that I am very happy I went with your product and have been showing
it to other guys with the same car around the area here in Seattle.
California Coupe owner report in .........I installed a Strong Strut alloy CL as an investment towards stress relief from the shock towers. All I have to say that it is definitely a high quality brace and most importantly it fits well and works. Like others have mentioned, it has hushed the noises emanating from the dash while going over bumps and turn-in seems to be more precise. Tramlining also seems to be reduced as well. Basically y'all can toss the BS about how Coupes don't benefit from it out the window and no, I ain't getting any compensation from Paul yadidimean? ! Last time I checked, plenty of stiffer cars utilize a factory installed strut brace up front, not to mention a myriad of race cars are fitted with some type of shock tower bracing. In addition, the Coupe's structure is only different from the roadsters aft of the firewall. It's all the same up front.
And another ///M Coupe owner in South Africa...........Hi
I fit the front strut to my M Coupe on Friday evening, and was mentally preparing myself not to expect too much, but was I wrong. Cape Town is the ideal testing ground because of all the mountainous roads. There is 10 km stretch where I live, that curves left right continuously, with bumps and undulations in almost every corner. I could not believe how hooked up the car felt, taking the turns with absolute confidence, that previously was not possible, the car felt much more confidence inspiring in the wet, which was also a major surprise.
On Sunday I fit the rear strut, and it just took the car to whole new level again. The biggest surprise is how well the car drives over bad roads, it actually feels if the car if the car has been fitted with high end dampers. never mind the huge improvement in handling, the car is now a joy to drive slowly, over bad roads as well, something I did not expect.
This morning I took a fast right hand sweep at speeds that simply were not possible before, with utter stability, I think an advance driving course is on the cards now, to exploit the increased handling capability.
The improvement in structural rigidity is incredible, she feels rock solid now, your products have addressed the only weakness in the car, and now I feel like I am driving something really special indeed, it is most definitely the best investment that one can make to these cars.
The products look like they have been engineered by BMW, as factory standard, the quality is outstanding.
I must admit I was a bit skeptical after reading the testimonials on your site, but nothing has been exaggerated, if anything it is understated.
Dare I think of the body brace!!!
Keep well and thank you.
email@example.com Chris, Germany, military
I just wanted to write and tell you how happy I am with the product and service that I received. I don't usually take the time to sit and write a thank you note to a retailer but you went above and beyond my expectations. I am in the military and I have never written a letter like this before.
The strong strut is everything you said it was.. It fit perfectly and the finish was superb!! By the way, the strut got here in just four days!! Not seven.. Amazing!! All in all, a perfect transaction. You have a guaranteed repeat customer. Let me know when the Rear Strut is available for the E46 and Paypal will have your money..
Thanks from Stuttgart, Germany,
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.
Mike.....Australia Z3 Hi
Paul, Its all installed, didn't take long and I found that I was missing
one of the OEM cross brace bolts, now ordered. I can't believe the
difference it makes to the car, the washy feeling at high speed, the feeling
that the car wanders, the back end boogy are now all gone. So is the body
flex going in and out of steep driveways. I find that I'm now going into
corners much faster with much less effort, the stock suspension is pretty
amazing and I concur with the other users that the car needs to be braced
properly before you even look at updating the suspension.
Once again Paul thank you for such a brilliant product. I've sent you some before and after shots, the after shots were taken after all work was completed and I re-jacked the car up. At no stage did I get under the car to get the shots and it demonstrates the added rigidity the bracing has added to the body.
Dear Paul & the Strong-Strut Team.
Today I received the Strong-Strut CL strut brace for my BMW E46 325iT, and WOW what a nice design and quality. The installation was really easy, with only some minor manageable problems regard the "power cable" on the passenger side. I had to remove a few mm from the plastic in order to achieve perfect fit when reinstalling.
On beforehand my expectations was very low whether or not I would notice any change in the car's habit after the installation of the strut. I have read about the strut brace theory, and have read a report regard simulation of the theory as well. I have also seen a lot of testimonials telling that people really notice a change. But I have not seen any real good measurements telling that the strut brace makes any difference. I know about one measurement done on an E30, and the conclusion in that report was that the strut brace did not make any difference. They could measure some flex, but not enough to notice. One need approx. 10 mm to change the camber 1 degree, and the question is then how much camber change do one need to feel it. On the other side I have noticed that on the first E46 M3's there were no factory fitted strut brace, but on later models there is (at least in Europe). I guess it is not only for the nice look. Also recently a BMW technician told me that BMW recommended an installation of a strut brace on the 3-series, at least on the e36.
I guess you believe my happiness when I could feel the change in the behavior of the front of the car immediately backing out of the garage. To get to the main road I have to go over some bumps, and I noticed that the response in the cars was positively different. Also when challenging the car on a twisty back road I could feel that the car was calmer and more neutral. I have a full AC-Schnitzer sport setup (springs, dampers and sway bars) on the car with 18" rims and 225/40 Michelin Pilot Sport 2 rubber.
I also guess you believe me when I am telling you that I am looking forward to explore the car on the race track this weekend.
I would like to thank you and your team for an excellent product and excellent service.
John........(England) reporting on E 46 Strong-Strut.
I am well impressed by the delivery service which is outside both of our
controls. I have been charged NOTHING by anyone for customs and VAT. If you get any
interest from other UK based MC owners who want reassurance of your service
and/or product, then please feel free to ask them to communicate with me.
I am sure that you will be aware that trading with others outside your own area of legal jurisdiction (country) is a potentially risky deal. What happens if the products are wrong? What happens if you don't receive the goods although the seller claims that they have been sent? etc. etc. Throughout the whole pre-sales and sales deal with you, I've felt comfortable with you as a man of integrity, selling a first-class product and I've not been disappointed.
Before I first communicated with you, I bought an "E-Tech" strut-brace from a UK based company, who assured me that the part would fit my S54 M Coupe. It didn't fit. I telephoned the company and told them it didn't fit and I was told that I should return the part for a full refund plus my postage costs. I duly returned the part on 26th March 2004 and I know for sure that the part has been received by the seller, I am still awaiting the refund! So much for British business!
It has been a pleasure to do business with you!
Kind regards and best wishes
PS, How I wish the Brits had the American attitude to service!
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 behavior. 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 inadvertent movements of the hand when driving hard. My wife found this a little disconcerting at first and initially preferred the cars behavior 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.
I'm a proud owner of an //M 2000 (Estoril Blue),
and drive it every chance I get...more so now that I have a STRONG STRUT
So...here is my story of the installation and testing. Please read on if you are considering purchasing a strut brace.
While my car is 3 years old and still has the acceleration it used to, I had noticed that this year in particular, the car just didn't feel like it used to. Basically, it had loosened up. To be expected, of course, but sad to see it happen.
Well....in my pursuit to give life back to my baby, I started researching strut braces; reading the posts, doing my own research, crunching the numbers, etc.
I finally decided on the "CL Strong Strut" from www.strongstrut.com
On Tuesday of last week I sent an email to Paul at Strong Strut, informing him of my decision to purchase the product. He confirmed my order, and provided a quote for the total cost. After ordering it, I sent a PayPal payment for the amount quoted. On Wednesday morning, I received confirmation of shipment. Wednesday evening, I received the parcel (WOW!....US to Canada in 1 day...that is service).
After paying the customs duties (only $10.38 CND...very reasonable), I scheduled Thursday as the day for the big surgery...ie: call in sick.
Thursday morning I decided to take the car out for a spin before I began. There is a stretch of highway just down the road from my house, with a respectable boomerang turn. Posted speed limit is 80KPH (Canada), with a speed warning of 40KPH for the turn. GOOD TEST AREA. So.....off I went. I approached the turn around 100KPH, and downshifted into 3rd and decelerated before I squealed thru and accelerated at around 82….. It was VERY tight. As I came out of the turn (big blind spot)....low and behold sits a COP! UGH. ABORT!!! Closer inspection revealed that he nabbed someone else. Whew!
Not wanting to test fate, I reasoned that I might have been able to push another 2-5KPH more, but that would have been the max. Remember, this is a VERY tight boomerang turn, with a post of 40, and the tires and engine were cold.
I then proceeded to take a nice drive thru the country...lots of bumpy roads and uneven pavement & railroad tracks. In a word.....GLOVE BOX RATTLE (ok..that's two words).
So. Test is complete. My baby needs some work.
With the Strut fully installed, off I went to test it out. Same route (hope there are no COPS!!!).
I clocked the same boomerang turn at 91....without a care in the world (except for the COP). I could have gone quite higher, but didn't want to push it on cold tires (don't forget the COP). On the country road....no more GLOVE BOX RATTLE. The car is SOLID and ROCKS!.
WHY OH WHY DIDN'T I DO THIS BEFORE?!?!?!?!?
Paul and The Strong Strut Team are GODS!
4lbs of CL Alloy is worth EVERY PENNY!!!
If you are driving your roadster without a Strong-Strut ....you're not getting everything out of your car.
Get one TODAY. The "no-hassle" return policy at Strong Strut is there for a reason......THE PRODUCT WORKS!!
Thanks to Paul & The Strong Strut Team.
I've already informed Paul that I'll be getting the rear Strong-Strut after my exhaust upgrade.
I received your product yesterday and installed it last night. I had heard a lot of good things about your product, but I was skeptical that I would actually "feel" the difference in an objective manner.
After installation, as I pulled out of the garage and made my way out of my neighborhood, I could immediately feel a difference as if the power steering was smoother or something. I thought to myself, that's just my brain's wishful thinking so that I don't feel bad about my $365 accessory. I needed a more
"amplified" experience where the difference would be big enough that I could be sure my brain wasn't playing tricks on me.
There is this one really bumpy corner on the way to my home where I get a lot of jittering. I decided that going around that corner would be the best "objective" test I could "feel" (what an oxymoron - feeling objective). And WOW, the difference was unmistakable!!
Paul, great product! I'll be sure to tell my bimmer driving friends about it. If
you need more testimonials, you're welcome to quote any part of the above
Brett (TX) Edited for length....
installed the Steel Strong Strut on my 2001 M Roadster this morning and just
got back from a 100 mile drive. I thought I'd pass on my perceptions.
It was a breeze and the Strut fit PERFECTLY and did not require any adjustment whatsoever. First I spent several minutes using the included blocks of clay, testing to make sure I had enough clearance. Once I had confirmed clearance was OK, it took less than 10 minutes to get everything installed and torqued to the proper values. Anyone can do it.
WOW!!! WOW!! WOW!!! What a difference!!! About 95% of the steering wheel shake under bumps and braking is gone. The front end just feels solid, I mean so much better than before!!! 90% of the constant body flex jittering, that you always feel thru the seat, is gone. It takes bumps with much less disturbance to tracking and feels much more stable. The car tracks true in hard cornering instead of having to make constant corrections in the turn (due to the now gone front body flex). It made a world of difference and well worth the $365. I cannot believe BMW did not include a strut-brace on these cars from the factory. It changes the whole car and makes it feel a few levels higher in quality. I bought the steel version because I wanted maximum strength and the 8lb difference (compared to the CL aluminum) meant little to me in the big picture. I wouldn't mind this car weighing 100 lbs more if it felt solid.
I do still feel the rear-end shaking and flexing some. This is minor in comparison to what the front was doing (now eliminated by the Strong Strut). I am thinking seriously about adding the rear rear Strong-Strut to address this. If the rear Strong-Strut helps the rear-end like the Strong Strut helped the front end, I'll be doubly thrilled with the return on investment of these products.
John (NM)...First post, with much praise for Paul and the Strong-Strut team!
'98 1.9 w/53k miles, Strong-Strut in drilled Cosmo's black, with chrome tower rings. (thanks Paul!) It looked like some kind of S&M gear laying on the rug! Flawless construction. Installation was very fast.
Driving Impressions- Admittedly somewhat skeptical, I started the car....... gone was an annoying cold idle rattle in the steering column! Pulling out on our gravel drive, understeer greatly reduced (and ANYTHING will understeer on gravel), down the steep, rocky dirt road to our house, the tightness and lack of dash squeaks and rattles was amazing! On the road, the car is much more solid, the wandering and pulling on uneven surfaces is gone! This is a product that does everything and more claimed for it. Note: Strong-Strut is the ONLY brace which goes straight across the 1.9 engine. Nothing else offered will do the job like a Strong-Strut! Thanks Paul!
After reading a lot about strut bars I decided
to go ahead and order one. I went with the CL Strong Strut with black
texture. First impressions are very positive. Contrary to what some people
say that they are not necessary on the coupes and I would tend to disagree
after putting mine on. It makes a significant difference over uneven
pavement. Car feels more solid and there are a lot less rattles coming from
the dash area. Maybe it is just an impression but it looks like tram lining
is reduced as well. I have not had the chance to push it through some
twisties yet but it seems that steering response is improved.
Anyway I am impressed with my new upgrade and I am going to keep it. Plus it looks extra cool in the engine bay matching the color and texture of the intake and valve cover.
installed an Alloy front Strong-Strut to
my 2000 2.3 today.
Installation was a total breeze even for a mechanical knucklehead like me and the quality of the product is simply incredible with beautiful design, welding and finish. But how did it perform? Well, I have seen some posts here saying that you won't really notice the difference unless you push the car. If that is the case then I must be pushing hard right out of my driveway! The difference was immediately noticeable. Only 200 yards away from my home they are digging the road up (again!) and I just HATE driving over the rough temporary pavement and potholes. Today, the car just waltzed over the top of them - it was just so much more rigid at the front end than normal and the suspension bangs, cowl shake and general front end 'wobble' had, for the most part, disappeared. The experience was much more like that of driving a regular coupe.
Taking the car onto one of my favorite roads, I accelerated onto it off main road and immediately noticed that the directional stability is now in a completely different class. This is not subtle folks! The word cohesiveness comes to mind - I knew the front end was vague but hadn't been aware of just how imprecise it was without the strut. Running through 12 miles of two lane back road twisties confirmed my original impressions - EVERY Z3 needs one of these struts!
Thanks to Paul and the Strong Strut team for removing the speed limiter on my smiles per hour gauge! Thanks also for their incredible customer care and efficiency - it's certainly not the norm these days!
One downside though - installing the front end strut really does show up the inadequacies of the rear end! I'll post again after I've installed the rear Strong-Strut over the weekend....
I'm one of those people who reads about 100 times more than they post so first of all, thank you all for the informative chatter. It seems like I learn something every time I come here to the message board.
I purchased one of the last available 2002 M Roadsters last Sept and now have just under 3K miles on it. It is such a fun and cool car, I intend to take good care of it and keep it as long as I live. It is not my daily (hence the low miles) but I do enjoy driving it and am sure the miles will rise with the thermometer.
Now, on to the Strong-Strut (SS) comments. Regarding my impressions of performance, results, and the installation process, I agree with and second just about every other SS commentary I've seen on this MB, including trube78's post just below this one. I have both the front and rear (butt) struts and they each make their own very positive improvement to the vehicle's handling characteristics. The point I'd like to make is how impressed I am with Paul and his team regarding how they treat their customers. Many of you will remember the posts from a couple of weeks/months ago about the guy who conned and scammed so many good intentioned people out of money and parts. I think many people on this MB had their guard re-awakened to the reality that innocently trusting people that you think you know because of a common interest (Z3's, Roadfly MB's, etc.) can be a costly mistake. So, with that as a recent backdrop, here's my story. Paul is contacted by my wife, who is a prospective customer but nonetheless a stranger from across the country, who tells him that she wants to order a rear Strong-Strut for her husband for Christmas but she can't seem to make Paypal work so she'll have to send a check. What happened next is the testament to Paul and his team that I'm trying to make in this long post. He realizes that I'll never get my present in time for Christmas if he waits for the check so, taking the risk that the check might never appear, he tries to ship the strut to us with only a stranger's promise to pay. Since he doesn't even have our address and my wife doesn't return any of his emails requesting such, he ships the strut to us the day the check shows up, to the address on the check, BEFORE it clears the bank. At this point the strut isn't going to make it to us by Christmas so why not wait a few more days to make sure that this stranger with the lame Paypal story who's not returning emails didn't send a check that's going to be returned NSF? Paul ships it on good faith, rightly thinking that I'd like to get it sooner vs later. Thinking from his perspective, I fully understand why he might wait to ensure the check cleared but he was thinking about my perspective and I appreciate that. What Paul didn't know was that my wife didn't want to use Paypal because she was concerned that would tip me off to the present. She didn't respond to his emails because she didn't even get onto email during most of the holidays. Not knowing this, he took a big risk with us IMHO.
I appreciate Paul's faith in us and therefore without hesitation not only recommend Strong Strut for good products but also outstanding customer service.
Keep it up Paul. All the best to you and your team in 2003.
(FL) I recently purchased the
strong strut CL and rear Strong-Strut, and thought I would give my thoughts. They
installed in a 2001 Z3 3.0 with about 5Kmi. No other performance mods.
1. Quality, finish. I am a 25 year USN Submarine Officer (yes I was a Submarine CO about 5 years ago and I am a Nuclear Engineer) as a result, I am very picky about how things are engineered and made. I would give both items a 9.5 out of ten in this regard. The SS looks great and is an easy install -- about 25 minutes. I have the black SS and it matches the engine compartment well but ... it is not a perfect match for the black in the engine compartment (Thus the 9.5.) The rear Strong-Strut is equally well made. It appears the 2" x 2" spacer blocks could be about 1/8" thinner on my Z3 which would raise the BS the same amount. Having said that, I do not think clearance is much of an issue. (PS In 25 years I have never given anything a 10)
2. Installation ease and fit. Both items take about 30 minutes to install.
With the Strong-Strut, most of the time is spent checking clearance. It sounds complicated when you read the instructions but once you have it all there in front of you it makes sense.
The rear Strong-Strut is an easy one man job. I did not jack up the car. In fact, I think that would make it harder as then you would have to lift the rear Strong-Strut higher. After all is said and done, My rear Strong-Strut is almost exactly 1" lower than the exhaust pipes, and other structures it runs directly under. However, I shot a line (used a laser/level) from other items, oil pan, differential housing, spare tire box, and any other low lying items. It appears the BS is about 3/8" lower than the previous lowest items. Finally, due to its location, The BS should not be an issue with speed bumps as the car will always be at least wheel height above the ground (unless you bounce over them). However, if you run over (straddle) a log or old tractor trailer retread on the road it could make a difference but ... If you are so unlucky that the 3/8" would make a difference then so be it ... you are having a bad day.
3. Performance. Before I installed any of the items, I took my car out for an hour ride on some of the areas roughest roads and the available twisties. (unfortunately there are no great twisties near Pensacola FL but hey, I can put the top down about 320 days a year).
As I mentioned before my Z3 has about 5K Miles on it so it is still pretty tight but is beginning to show cowl shake on rough roads, a few of the common rattles, the steering wheel jitters on rough roads and the infamous hula dance.
I installed the Strong-Strut first and then drove the same route. The cowl and front end shake was gone and some of the forward rattles were gone. on the available twisties it fell tighter and overall it was an improvement. However, the hula dance was a bit more noticeable on the rough roads and the rear rattles associated with the top hardware were more noticeable. My guess is the front rigidity had improved so much that the rear problems predominate. I drove the car a bit more that day to get use to the new feel and went home.
The next day I drove the same route, returned home and installed the rear Strong-Strut. After the install, I drove the same route again for comparison. A big improvement in the rear hula dance and virtually all the little rattles are gone. I am contemplating taking a long drive with both items on and then taking them off and redoing the drive to get a seat of the pants feel for the overall improvement but will probably wait till the spring.
4. Summary - IMHO, the Strong-Strut/rear Strong-Strut combination appears to go a long way in improving the side-to-side (torsional?) rigidity of the Z3 frame. at least the seat of my pants thinks so. It does nothing to improve the longitudinal rigidity. I would love to mount a few stress/strain gauges in a Z3 to verify what I think my butt feels but that would take some real time, equipment, and $$$.
If you are looking to improve the Z3's rigidity, I highly recommend both Strong-Struts as a combo. Both items are high quality and a good upgrade. I believe they are a good value and a good improvement for the $$$.
(MI) I'm 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?
Randy...(TX) Message Title: Strong Strut stuff
I installed the F and R strong struts Sat while my wife was out shopping. She didn't know I had even ordered them, nor has she any idea what they are. She drove later that evening when we went out and she said "wow, maybe I'm just getting used to driving it, but it seems all of a sudden that it is tighter" I just said I added a little something to tighten it up w/o going into $$details:>
Mark...(FL) I installed the front and rear (butt) Strong Strut
bars last week.
What a HUGE difference!!!!!!!
At first impressions during the ride after the installs were complete, I was a bit skeptical because not all the issues seemed to be gone. It probably wasn’t a fair judgment because the rides were brief and only about 10-15 miles – (not enough time to play around – just wanted to finish and compare the ride later). So to put my worries to rest, I took Friday off and drove all day long and then Saturday as well. The imperfections I originally observed I truly believe are related to the pitch and imperfections in the road. Mind you, the imperfections were minor. I guess I was wrong assuming the car would handle like an airplane after the install was completed. Oops on my part…
1.) Everything said in other postings is true…
2.) Stiffness of car improves greatly
3.) Rear end follows the front – much more responsive turns
4.) Wiggle in rear at high speeds gone 80% - (Still notice partly w/ top up)
5.) Rattles gone entirely
6.) Steering wheel vibration = GONE
7.) Pull to sides on uneven, poor, grooved, imperfect paved roads gone 95%
8.) Front struts absorb bumps clean and quick – SOLID
9.) Even the doors sound more solid when they close – Crisper closing sound - like a 325 sedan
I never believed such, what I felt minor thing, improvement could make such a difference. Wrong I was. I wish I installed them 4 years ago on my 98 (2.8). I may not have noticed the changes as well, but sure would have protected the rigidity of the car for the long run. The Strong Strut team needs to be commended on the products they have to offer. Once the Z4 is released for 2 or more years and majority of all the bugs are worked out, I shall buy one and they day I pick it up I shall have the dealer install the Strong-Strut bars – (if they exist yet for the Z4).
MORAL OF THE STORY – IF YOU HAVE NOT INSTALLED STRONG- STRUT BARS YET – DO SO SOON
Few quick comments on the struts: Front strut: Installed the all chrome front strut last week. Hardest part was getting past the idea of dinging the hood on a 5 month old car. After carefully measuring the strut/hood clearance (10 minutes) it took another 15 minutes to complete the install. I only needed a quarter turn of the hood stoppers to add good strut/hood spacing. The strut makes the engine compartment look as solid as a bank vault. Since the car is still new and tight I did not notice any great difference in driving. That's why I bought it though, to keep it nice and tight. I added a ring of loc-tite around the hood stopper to warn the dealer mechanic not to change the spacing.
I just installed the front Strong Strut in the '02 M Roadster. I then took a short drive around a few of the local winding roads to test it out. I noticed a bit less understeer, and the front end was definitely tighter over the rougher stretches of road. It feels a bit more planted, and there was less "bounce" of the front end body work. I'll post more observations after a few more days of driving. The install was a piece of cake. The instructions were excellent, and the hardware kit was flawless. Thanks to Paul and the Strong Strut team for the nice product! Can't wait to install the rear Strong-Strut in a few days!
Hello Paul, I just installed the strong strut yesterday afternoon on my 2.5Z. Today I took it for a spin around some mountainous curves and also some high speed Autobahn driving :) The handling is far better after installing your product. It is definitely one of the best upgrades I've done so far. My only regret is waiting so long before buying it, but I am going to really enjoy it now. Summer is finally here and the top will be down quite a bit. Thank You for everything. Doug Welsh
Bruno...(FL) After reading many reviews on this board as well as getting comments on other similar products, I decided to order a Strong Strut for my 2000 ///M. First surprise, it came in within 3 days of ordering. Second surprise, the product looks even better than I was expecting. I've ordered the Thunderbolt, which is the totally chromed strut. The finish is flawless and there is a lot of attention paid to details. Third surprise, the enclosed instructions can be successfully followed by anyone with 10 thumbs. There is almost no way a person can make a mistake if they can read.
After a 30 minute installation, which included double checking everything, I took the car out for a test drive on badly damaged roads and a few railroad crossings. I could not believe how much sturdier the car felt over those bumps and in curves at high speed. I drove the same route with a friend's brand new 3.0 and you can truly see the difference in body flex. Then the friend test drove both his and my car over the same circuit and he also agrees the improvement is amazing.
I recommend ordering the installation kit along with the Strong-Strut, It includes new strut tower nuts and plastic caps which enhance the appearance. My next step was to order the rear Strong-Strut and next week-end I'll redo the same test with it. On top of looking great and ensuring my ///M will age keeping its stiffness, it is even more enjoyable to drive than before. The only challenge remaining will be to keep avoiding those nasty speed traps as I don't feel the need to slow down on bumpy roads any more.
Warren...I have both a front and rear strong strut. I love them, and have made detailed descriptions on the Z3 message board, of installing them.
I selected a Strong-Strut ,not only because, as a former professional bicycle mechanic and with three years of mechanical engineering studying under my belt, I wanted steel. Yeah, a large diameter, thin walled tube strikes me as the best form for this application, but given the space constraints under the hood, a thick steel slab was my second choice.
What really impressed me with the SS though was not the bar itself (though I am very pleased with it) but with the quality engineered into the mounting system. It distributes force elegantly and cleanly. It locks down like it should without deforming metal or over-stressing studs. There is NO slop or play in any of the hardware.
The fact that Paul compares his system to the competition's should tell you something.
And though it does indeed look beautiful, with amazingly detailed welds, I couldn't care less about that. In fact, I ordered a completely black unit so that it wouldn't be flashy and to save some money.
And finally, there's the matter of price. The Strong Strut is definitely NOT the most expensive strut bar out there, though there are bars that undercut it in price. (and quality) Still, when you are paying $30K to $40K for a car, the small price difference in strut braces is insignificant if you're purchasing the very best product of its type.
If that's the cost premium for getting a beautiful looking, impeccably engineered, effective item delivered to you by a nice guy who also sponsors the Z3 Message Board, then I'll buy TWO!!
Oh wait. I did. ;-)
Stewart...Paul, I managed to
install the Strong-Strut last week and wanted to inform you that
I am truly impressed with your product. The installation presented
no problem and the fit was perfect, no messing around with miscellaneous
adjustments, etc. The reduction in noise and vibration was amazing.
The entire front end just feels tighter and more solid. I told
my wife that since the front Strong-Strut reduced the shaking
up front, I might also have to consider getting the rear Strong-Strut
for the rear.
Allen...(MN) Hi Paul, Just
a quick note to let you know that I installed my SS tonight.
It was here when I came home from work last night, but all I
had the energy to do was open the package and marvel at the craftsmanship
of the finished product. You were correct when you said pictures
don't do it justice. It's a masterpiece of machined steel! The
fit is right on! The finish is absolutely perfect! Theresa and
I agree that we made the correct choice of finish with the "Galaxy."
I had a moment of regret after I ordered that I should have gone
with the chrome, but no, I'm more than satisfied. I didn't want
to be the focal point of the engine bay but rather to compliment it in it's own special way. It does that perfectly. What more can I say! I had no problem installing it. After I was confident that I had what I needed in the way of clearance (I had to turn the stops on the drivers side ever so slightly) I breezed thru the installation and I had a blast
doing it. My thanks to you and your team members for such a fine and beautiful
product. I would, and do, recommend the SS. Again, Thanks for everything and I'll keep in touch and let you know how I like driving with it. If any questions or problems arise, I'm confident you will be there for me. Allen
Doug...(CA) I found a large package on my porch today. I just got both of my struts from Paul. Per instructions I have installed the front one first to get a better feel for just what it did. First off let me say the thunderbolt design which is all chrome is a great looking finish! Second thing is, the instructions state my grandmother could do the install in 20 minutes. It turns out my grandmother could do it in 10. The install took me exactly 20 minutes. Only a couple of tools required and instructions were clear.
Third. OK OK, I have only driven it for about 10 miles since install so I only have initial impressions and no cold hard data. I took my car over 2 sets of railroad tracks 3 times (6 crossings) and down a heavily wash boarded road and can honestly say it is still bumpy. But the car has better control and doesn't seem to want to 'dance' around anymore.
Fourth. Tramline syndrome. (car wants to follow a groove in the road) I have one point I hit every day on the highway where CalTrans has etched the solid line off of the road in the fast lane. The etched area is about 30 feet long, 1 inch deep and as wide as a tire. The etched area turns sharply towards the center divider at the end. I have always noticed the car wants to follow that darn line right to the wall. Now, nada zilch. woo hoo
Brad...(WA) The strut arrived today in fine shape. I installed it according to your excellent and flawless instructions. It fit perfectly. I am quite impressed with the new pivotless design - that stainless anchor block is gorgeous work. I am looking forward to driving the car and feeling the difference.
Stephan...(GA) Just installed the Strong Strut...what else to do on a snowy day...it went very easy and while very afraid I would dent my hood did not have any problems though I did raise the stops a quarter turn each as it was a close fit. I only took my Z girl out a little bit because of the snow but did feel the front was more stable and tight. The car is very new so the main reason I bought the strut is to keep it that way. One other thing to point out is that while I have the 2.5 engine I did not notice any decline in engine performance with the struts installed the car still moves fast...thanks Paul you really do have a great product and your service is just as good.
Steve...(FL) Well, Santa came early to my house, because over the weekend, I found a brand new shiny all chrome, drilled Strong-Strut Thunderbolt under the tree! Wow is it beautiful, it truly does look like a piece of jewelry that will greatly adorn the engine compartment of my 01 M Roadster. However, Santa (Ann) gave me strict orders that it is to remain under the tree for a while. I have to admit with the Christmas tree lights shining off all that chrome at night, it is a pretty sight indeed.
Now besides being handsome beyond all get out, what does the construction look like? Having had some formal machine shop training years ago, I would have to say outstanding. The new "pivotless" design is quite unique and well engineered. The "device" that attaches the cross bar to the rings is machined from a solid stainless steel billet, one at a time on a CNC machine. The welds are all of the highest order.
Paul and his team are truly constantly striving to improve and stay "one up" on the competition. This I have to agree with. Paul not only had the first bar for the 01 Euro M Roadster, that dealt with the high fuel rail fitting on the Big Euro Motor, but then almost immediately came along with this new "pivotless" design. Now I find out he has again improved upon this brace by no longer having the "spoon shaped cut-out" to clear this engine fitting on the Euro Motor!
Paul made mention to me that his costs went up substantially with implementing the new "pivotless" design. If you're at all "fence sitting" as I was on ordering one of these "Strong Struts," now may be the time before any possible price increases. To be honest, I am surprised he can sell such a product of this quality for as low as he does. I would highly recommend the Strong- -Strut". And yes.... steel is for real (the Strong-Strut motto)
Received the front Strong-Strut on Friday
and installed it on Saturday. I decided to drive a road I
try to avoid because it magnifies the chassis flex. Well, I cannot believe the difference with the addition of the Strong-Strut, BMW should make it a standard item. Very nice product, thank you for taking an interest in the Z3.
Steve...(FL) Z3 (E36/7) Message Board Message
Title: Strong Strut Performance Update
I would like to add this opinion after having driven my 01 M Roadster with the Strong Strut drilled "Thunderbolt" model installed on my car for a few weeks now.
It would be easy to say "Oh it handles much better now," etc. etc. that would be "subjective" due to the fact when someone spends money on a performance part, they want it to perform to their expectations. But having had a Dinan strut on my former 98/2.8 I feel I can do a factual unbiased comparison.
Who knows? I haven't noticed any difference in the curves, but then again most of the time I don't take the curves all that aggressively. I'm too cheap with those expensive tires. But give me a nice clean straight-away with the Big Euro Motor..... (;
A very noticeable improvement in the feel of the steering wheel. The lack of transmission of the road bumps and irregularities of the road surface through the steering wheel is greatly improved with the Strong-Strut. My Dinan did NOT do this. As I mentioned in a prior post, when I installed the new "pivotless" Strong -Strut, the center cross member immediately tightened up as I tightened the Allen bolts on the ends. I had to give it a good hard tug just to level the cross bar. This was quite impressive, meaning the strut towers were already tightened up on installation.
The aluminum struts certainly are lighter and win the weight issue. If money were not an object, and enough people could afford them, we would all have feather weight carbon fiber struts. I too am jealous of every pound of weight I add to the car. I felt the five or six extra pounds of a "Strong Strut" was a small price to pay for a quality strut that worked well.
4. Looks and Quality of Construction
Without a doubt, outstanding on both counts. Although the Dinan bar looked very nice on my 2.8, I can say there is no comparison to the all chrome drilled Strong Strut. When you open the hood, it's just wow, gorgeous !
would highly recommend the Strong Strut. Their struts are a worthwhile
investment just for the sake of maintaining the long term tightness
of the car. All the rest is just a bonus!
Title: Strong Struts Improved my '01 MZ3 (long)
Posted by: Michael on 2001-12-09 at 20:06:41
(posted from: Host: IP: 220.127.116.11)
I recently purchased both the front and rear tower braces from Strong-Strut for my '01 M Roadster. In sum, I whole-heartedly recommend both products and feel it was money well spent. In no particular order of importance, I can share the following observations.
1. Quick response. I received my strut braces via federal express within about a week of ordering them.
2. Quality manufacturing. Upon opening the packages, I was impressed by the quality of the machining and heft of construction. The initial impression was that they are very well made, attractively finished and immensely sturdy. The accessory kit did not disappoint, either.
3. Ease of installation. This was very important to me since I'm not very handy. The instructions are easy to follow and generally intuitive. I'm a desk-bound pencil-pusher and was able to install the rear brace in about an hour; the front took me about 90 minutes. I suspect a reasonably competent do-it-yourselfer could do the job in about half the time.
4. Effect on chassis rigidity. I installed the front brace first, and drove the car for a few days. Then I installed the rear brace. Each time, the car made perceptible gains in solidity. For instance, the car now feels considerably more rigid over bumps and pavement imperfections. The cowl and steering wheel don't shake over manhole covers, gutters, railroad crossings, etc. The car still shakes a little over larger bumps and potholes, but not as badly as before.
5. Effect on handling. Mid-corner bumps don't upset the car anymore. Around corners - especially corners where the pavement isn't glass-smooth - the car now feels like one, singular machine rather than a series of subparts connected together and doing different things. The car tracks straighter - I attribute this to the front brace. It also turns in more sharply and seems more prone to lift-throttle oversteer. This is good, though, since the oversteer is also more controllable and predictable than before. Gone is the twitchy feel that used to accompany lift-throttle oversteer; i.e., that abrupt transition seems to have been smoothed out and tamed. It's as though the suspension talks to me now, almost as nice as my E36 M3 coupe.
6. Service. Paul is terrific to work with and shows genuine interest in his customers. He's a true BMW enthusiast, and a true Z3 enthusiast. The fact that he's the only person making a rear brace for the Z3 and a front brace that will fit the '01 M Roadster speaks volumes about his commitment to clients.
Again, I highly recommend the Strong-Strut, both front and rear. Now I'm off to enjoy this mild California winter with the top down!
'01 M Roadster Blk/Imola/Blk
(NM) After going for a drive around lunch today I returned to
find a box on my porch. From the shape I knew exactly what is
was, the Strong-Strut for my 2000 MZ3. I unwrapped it like I
was a kid on Christmas morning. All I can say, is wow! The quality
of the manufacturing is amazing. The new pivotless design attachment
of the bar to the "rings" is a wonderful piece of work.
I carefully installed it on the car, which took
about 20 min. Directions were clear and easy to follow. The Z8 style caps in the accessory kit make for a very clean looking install. After the install I had to drive the car on the same bit of mountain road I had driven earlier in the day. My initial impression is that the car is more solid with less cowl shake, especially in rough corners. My thanks to Paul and the Strong-Strut team for a great product.
John (AZ) I've been watching the debates go back and forth on the merits of this strut vs. that one and would like to weigh in with my opinion. First the disclaimers: I am a very satisfied Strong Strut customer, I am a member of the AZ BMW Z3 Roadster Club (Paul Ebeyer of Strong Strut is president and club Founder), and I know Paul personally. Now, my OPINION is that, if you are going to purchase a strut and have no overriding reason to do otherwise, you purchase a Strong Strut for the following reasons: 1. It is an excellent product that does the job as well or better than any strut. Service, quality, instructions, and technical assistance are second to none. 2. There have been no posts on this board from anyone unhappy with their Strong Strut, to the best of my knowledge. In fact, I believe Paul's business philosophy is to have no unhappy customers. 3. Paul is a PAYING advertiser. This means his dollars support our message board. 4. I enjoy watching Paul scramble to keep up with the Strong Strut orders. The above is my opinion. Feel free to agree with it.
Rick (GA) Received my STRONG-STRUT today and the Cosmos powder coating is beautiful and with the drilled cross strut it looks right at home in the engine compartment of my Titan silver ///M. The large accessory kit really dresses up the installed strut bar. The instructions provided certainly made the installation easy. My initial impression upon driving to work the next morning was that the front of the car was much more solid. Over the railroad tracks near my home there was no hood shake and the car steered and handled bumps the way a car of this price should have been designed to do. The STRONG-STRUT certainly lives up to its "reputation" in bimmer board posts and exceeds my expectations of making the car more solid. I would recommend the STRONG-STRUT as the first modification that anyone with a Z3 should add to their car. I have not had the chance to put it through any spirited driving tests yet, but based on the improved steering response noted so far, I am sure the improvements will continue to be seen and enjoyed. I have the rear Strong-Strut on order and if it provides similar benefit as the front strut, complaints about the chassis flex of the roadster will be a thing of the past. Thanks for a product that exceeds my hopes and expectations, Rick, Atlanta, GA
(NC) Paul, I am amazed at the difference
the STRONG-STRUT Brace made in the way my Z3 drives!
I seem to have lost all my squeaks and rattles, plus half the
time I can't even tell when I've hit a pothole or manhole. The
car tracks perfectly straight, whereas before the front tires
would suddenly dive to one side or the other when the low profile
tires hit a groove or imperfection in the road surface. Now the
front end corners so smoothly and effortlessly that I swear I
can feel the rear end giving and shifting. Guess I'll have to
order one of your rear struts next. I was shocked one day when
a friend of mine kicked the front tire on the car and it vibrated
like a tuning fork would. Now when you kick it ,it doesn't even
move! Why doesn't the factory put these on every car?
As an Engineer, the fact was not lost on me how much time and thought went into the development of the STRONG-STRUT as I installed it. It's a beautiful and unbelievably strong piece of work! Great Job! You have made a car which was so enjoyable to drive, even more enjoyable. I had toyed with the idea of adding suspension upgrades to my car, I'm glad I put my money here first. Thanks, Marty
(FL) Paul, Got the STRONG-STRUT today and installed it in about 30 min.
It is everything everyone said it would be. I was reluctant to
buy a strut due to the cost, but I don't mind paying for a quality
product like yours. If the rear unit works as well as this one,
put me down for one. When will you have them? Thanks again, Pat
Mike (NC) - I received my STRONG-STRUT this afternoon. The installation was easy following your instructions and it did take less than 30 minutes. I was only able to take a short test drive but I am amazed at the difference it makes in just normal day-to-day driving! SS is an excellent product, very high quality, and should be standard equipment on the Z3. I really do wish that I had purchased one sooner. Thanks for a great product and in my case, I really appreciate it.
(CA) - Wow, what great service; it was four days from ordering
the STRONG-STRUT to driving around in a car with greatly
improved handling. Since the Z3 is a 2000 model, I really was
not cursed with rattles (only an occasional squeak from that
damn glove box). What your strut did was tighten the structure
of the car so as to make it less flexible and prone to shaking.
I took the car on a section of road undergoing reconstruction
and with the railroad crossing from hell. The Z3 handled it with
no problem. It went over the crossing in one movement, with no
sense of one half of the car independent from the other. Your
strut makes the car feel like it is turning on a rail, no body
shake, no flex. The installation was as easy as you said it would
be. I was so eager to install the
STRONG-STRUT that I went outside and installed the
thing in the garage that must have been 95 degrees easily. And,
OMG, does that thing look good. The HST strut and rings looks
fantastic with the steel gray car. When all those teenagers and
middle-aged women start to yell, "nice car" or ask
about the Z3, I'm going to be very tempted to ask, "Do you
want to see my STRONG-STRUT?" Of course, they may take it the
wrong way and I could be arrested. But in any case, thanks for
the great product and personal interaction.
Stanley (MD) - I just installed my new STRONG-STRUT. Installation was a breeze, thanks to Paul's comprehensive instructions. All I can say is WOW, what a difference! My Z seems tighter, much less cowl shake, and now handles bumps like my brother's M5. I highly recommend this quick upgrade. I can't imagine why BMW does not make a shock tower brace standard equipment on the Z. Paul is also a pleasure to work with. Get one, you won't regret it!
David (United Kingdom) - Paul is also a pleasure to work with, here here ! and as for the SS - I too was blown away when I fitted mine - went out for a blatt - and returned a few hours later with a great big cheesy grin across my chops.
Dane (CA) - This is a bit late, but I was hoping to have pictures of the installed bar. Unfortunately, the car, the camera and the sun were never able show up at the same time. In any case, I'm very impressed with my STRONG-STRUT which I installed last week. The installation was a breeze. Since I have a new 3.0, I didn't have a loosened chassis, or any squeaks and rattles to fix (which the STRONG-STRUT will theoretically help prevent from happening at all), but the STRONG-STRUT definitely reduces cowl shake over rough roads. On the rare occasion that I push the suspension (ok, maybe not that rare ) there's noticeably less under steer in the corner. The product itself is gorgeous. I got the "Shooting Star", black rings, chrome bar and the stainless hardware...a very nice combination. Quality is top notch and I thank Paul for his extensive help and lightning-fast response to my questions, and in shipping my order. I couldn't ask for anything more from the product or the supplier. Thanks again Paul. Dane
(GA) - I installed my new
STRONG-STRUT last week. It looks great under the hood and installation
was a breeze. Since my Z-3 was "just got it home" new,
there were no squeaks and rattles to stop, however, I'm now confident
that they are less likely to develop. The car is noticeably stiffer
when I cross the railroad tracks on my way to work. Feel free
to use me as a reference on your web site. I have no doubt I
purchased the best strut available. The quality is outstanding.
In addition, your customer service is unsurpassed. I appreciate
the time you took to answer questions and provide personalized
information prior to my purchase. -John
John, (TX) - Well, its taken me almost ten months of reading the testimonials from other board members about Pauls STRONG-STRUT before I decided to make the investment myself. The more I read about the strut tightening up my Z3 ride, the more I wanted to purchase one for myself. Ive only had my 1997 2.8 Cosmos Black for 11 months. Even though I love the ride and I love the vehicle Ill admit that the amount of chassis movement when going over small bumps in the road or the raised lane dividers on the streets was a little disappointing. So I bought the STRONG-STRUT. I opted for the cosmos black with the drilled holes. I made sure I read the instructions last night to familiarize myself with the installation. I made sure that I read them twice because my ex-wife always told me that I could never follow directions. Maybe it was just her directions I could never follow. But I digress. Installation time really is about 30 minutes. Normally I take the manufacturers installation time and double it for myself. If my dog hadnt have gotten out I probably could have completed the installation in under 30 minutes. And it REALLY IS extremely simple to install. I couldnt wait to take her for test drive. I could feel the difference as I backed out and turned the wheel. The car has a stiffer feel. I went for a test drive and the difference in handling was so tremendous I think I had a smile on my face the whole time. I had read on the STRONG-STRUT Website about the increase in point ability. Thats a term thats very hard to put into words but its something you can definitely feel with the strut. If I were to offer one piece of advice to someone without the strut, it would be this: dont wait as long as I did to make the investment. Believe me, it really does enhance your ride. Thanks Paul!
- I installed my chrome
Thunderbolt S-S a few weeks back. I decided not to post any comments
until I had driven it for a while and could give a fair account
of how it has improved my car's handling. First off, I am genuinely
impressed with the look of the product. The chrome has a mirror
finish with no detectable blemishes. Likewise, the welds are
as close to perfection as one can find on a strut brace. The
attaching hardware (especially the eye bolts) are like jewelry,
beautifully finished, and perfectly matching to the attaching
surfaces. Secondly, The car handles so much better. Sudden lane
changes are very crisp. Body flex on the front-end is a (bad)
memory. It no longer has the irritating squeaks or rattles in
the front-end. It feels so much tighter than before. In purchasing
the STRONG-STRUT, I can take comfort in the fact that
my car's chassis will be as tight 5 years from now, as it is
today. As important, if not more so, than the quality of the
product, is the quality of service of the people who manufacture
it. Paul Ebeyer and the guys are top notch. I have been in regular
correspondence with Paul regarding various aspects of the Strut's
design and it's effects on handling and chassis rigidity. Paul
has always been courteous and friendly in answering all of my
questions. This is definitely a product that I will recommend
to other Z owners. I brag about this every chance I get. I'll
probably wear out the hood latch soon, since I pop the hood to
show off the strut, to everybody. Thanks for the
STRONG-STRUT, Paul. "Steel IS for Real!!"
(CA) - Just got my STRONG-STRUT today and installed it. Wow what a difference
in how tight the front end feels and handles. Feels like a whole
new car. Thanks,
(WA) - Hi Paul, I put the
STRONG-STRUT on last night and WOW! I have a very aggressive
suspension setup on the car (Dinan stage 4 nearly maxed out),
and had been grumbling about the rebound damping because the
car tended to get unsettled coming hard out of a corner as if
the rebound was too loose. Sometimes it was severe enough to
require some opposite lock to keep the back end in line. It must
have been the chassis itself unloading because it does not do
that AT ALL now. I had read several articles suggesting that
strut braces were mainly cosmetic, and for cheesy aluminum braces
that may well be the case, but this baby made a huge difference!
Thanks for the great service & product.
Chris (Canada) - Finally got around to installing the STRONG-STRUT yesterday and immediately wished I had put it on sooner. The entire front of the car became noticeably more rigid, with turn in occurring earlier, and steering in general much smoother and more responsive. That is all under normal handling conditions, as I don't really push the corners too hard but am confident improvements would be evident if I did. The ride through the rough stuff is also more direct and confidence inspiring with greatly reduced flexing of the front end and a reduced tendency to follow undulating terrain away from the intended course. Something totally unexpected happened as well...I had just replaced the Pilots with Potenza RE730s. The RE730s seem to grip the road much better than the pilots but at the expense of a little sensitivity. They also caused the steering to become a little vague on center, something I would just have to get used to...or so I thought. Now, with the bar in place that baby is planted! There is no hint of vagueness and handling is a dream! I can only theorize that as the RE730s are a much heavier tire, perhaps they were putting a little extra stress on the strut towers that the corrected. ( What do you think ? ) Great job on a fine product!
STRONG-STRUT Tom (CA) - I received another goodie package in the mail today, and it was my new all chrome STRONG-STRUT. Installation was a breeze, taking about 1/2 hr., including reading the detailed instructions. The workmanship is uncompromised and I must say, Paul puts out an excellent product.
Paul (CA) - Received and installed the STRONG-STRUT on my 2000 ///M last weekend and couldn't be more pleased. Workmanship is superb, and it really tightened up the front end. Had read all the testimonials regarding Paul's product and was not sure they were for real - but everything that's been said about the SS are true. Was thinking during the installation that the OEM nuts which attach the rings to the strut looked a little blah - but then read on the MB just the next day that Paul has made available a kit which contains 6 new nuts, along with the cover plates. Will be ordering those as well. My advise to ALL Z3 owners - this should be the first upgrade you consider.
Chris (TX) - Got the strut last week, and let me say that it has exceeded all my expectations. The strut is Gorgeous, the craftsmanship remarkable. If it did nothing for my car, I'd still want it on there. The car turns better and feels much more solid now. I love it!!
Leroy CA - Paul, Installed my STRONG-STRUT this morning. I followed your instructions for verifying hood clearance to the letter. Thanks for your clear guidance and, particularity, for providing the modeling clay to use for the measurement. The STRONG-STRUT is just as gorgeous as your web site claims. The welds are a thing of beauty. I'm sure that an engineer could prove that good welds don't make any difference but I appreciate quality and demand it for my car. Installation was dead easy, even for this old amateur mechanic. Best of all, it works! I noticed immediately on my road test that a persistent rattle from the dash area was gone, and on a brisk blast over a nearby bumpy road, much of the old cowl shake was gone. Thanks, Leroy.
Jean (Canada) - Paul, I just received it and it's beautiful and massive, I almost want to take the rest of the day off and go install it ! I will give you feedback on how it went. Thanks a million and I'm proud to be your first Canadian customer, I'm sure I won't be the last one. I can't wait to show it to the guys at the race track.
Steve (OH) - "What a difference, I can say undeniably the car doesn't do that jiggle thing it used to when I drive over bumps or rough roads and boy does it corner sharp. It darts through corners now rather than just steering through them. I'm totally pleased - it sure is a stout piece of steel!"
Ray (CA) - "Everything went smoothly, I did not need to make any hood adjustments. I could feel the difference after the first turn."
Joe...I received my
Strong-Strut (Cosmos black) from Paul yesterday and installed
it that evening. It was easy to install and fit perfectly. The
workmanship is impeccable! I've always felt that my '00 2.8 Z3
steered a little heavy and tramline too much. The Strong-Strut
sure cured that! I noticed that the front end creaked a whole
lot less when backing out of my driveway onto the street. Tram lining
(an everyday thing for me) is reduced significantly, and managing
ruts and grooves in the roadway is much easier. The steering
feels lighter and more neutral...more "dialed in"...especially
around sharp turns. My hat is certainly off to Mr. Ebeyer!!!
Willard (KS) - "My '98 M Roadster feels solid like my 95 M3 Coupe. Never would have believed it. Paul, you built a better 'mouse trap.'"
Russell (IL) - "I certainly feel it has reduced the body flex of my ///MZ3 and it looks very impressive too. You make one hell of a nice product. Contact me when rear version is available."
- Received the STRONG-STRUT yesterday. Installation was a breeze.
So far it's proven to be everything you said it was. I certainly
appreciate the professional manor in which you conduct business.
You answered all my questions concisely, kept me advised by email
& did follow ups each step of
the way. Thanks again, Sid
Steve (MI) - I received the strut on Wednesday and installed it last night: It is everything you said it was. A very handsome piece of work right down to the extra step of the bevels on the eye bolts. It went in easily thanks to your directions. As far as changes to the handling of the car I can definitely notice less cowl shake" going over railroad tracks and rough pavement It is hard to judge these things not being able to A-B test them, but I can say the car feels much more rigid to me in all situations. And, of course, it looks great! Thanks a lot :)
Anon ? Paul asked me to post my impressions of my recently purchased STRONG-STRUT. He just asked for my honest impression, so here goes: I chose his strut because it was the only one made of steel that I could find. All the others were made of aluminum and I thought steel would be more resistant to flex. The strut arrived in good condition and was a breeze to install, took maybe 20 minutes, hood adjustment clearance included. Post installation impressions: I really like it. Body shake over RR tracks and rough pavement is markedly reduced. The whole car seems like it is screwed together better. Other effects are hard to tell but to me the whole car seems much more rigid and more predictable in the corners at speed. Oh yeah, and it looks very cool too (black powder coat).
- For 4 years, I auto crossed a 400hp Mustang GT with Saleen-tuned
suspension. I regularly drive an LT1-equipped Caprice Interceptor
at work, and have been in my share of 100+ mph pursuits on city
streets. Interestingly, though, I purchased the
STRONG-STRUT for my Z3 less in the interests of performance
and handling than as an aid in structural integrity.
We're all aware of the creaks, groans and rattles intrinsic to the roofless design. The noises from my own Z3 were aggravated by steep driveway thresholds and Phoenix's characteristically uneven pavement. And with oversize tire/wheels, the front end literally mamboed over even the slightest of irregularities. The STRONG-STRUT presents with the same strength of design and classic visual elegance as our beloved Z3's; the two are a perfect match. I purchased the powder coated version, and were it not for the STRONG-STRUT logo, the piece literally appears OEM under the hood. The fit and finish are exceptionally tight, the welds immaculate and the sheer heft reassuring. This is the piece that BMW forgot to install at the factory ...Now, the 3" drop from my driveway to the street produces nary a sound from the Z3. The sweeping U up the street is a pleasure to negotiate, as the front end is less likely to wander out at the slightest bump or rut. In fact, the Z3 feels like it tracks with much greater precision and in general, feels much more firmly planted on the asphalt. Your money is well spent on the STRONG-STRUT; trust me, you won't be disappointed.
Steve (CO) - Got mine last week. That simple bar should be factory equipment! I agree with everyone that has a strut, they improve the car, no doubt. Which is the best strut??? Dealing with Paul was a pleasure. The fit and finish are great. Happy with my STRONG-STRUT.
Leroy (CA) - I just installed my STRONG-STRUT last week and here are my impressions: The STRONG-STRUT is really beautifully made. Paul Ebeyer is proud of the quality of his welds, and his pride is totally justified. Powder coating and chrome are flawless. Paul's bar is made of steel. I'm not engineer enough to know whether steel is better than aluminum for this application, but the thing is for sure built like the proverbial brick outhouse! Of course it adds 12 1/2 lb right over your front wheels, too. Does it work? I don't track or autocross, so I can't comment on it's handling benefits, but a persistent rattle from the dash area disappeared as soon as I installed it. Problem is that some rattles from the back are now more obvious, but Paul is working on a rear brace and I've told him to put me first on his waiting list. Is it better than the Dinan? Probably not, but the quality of the welds is whoops better, it costs 75 bucks less, and Paul is prepared to offer it in a wide variety of finishes to suit the buyer's preferences. What more could a Bimmer head ask?
Steve (CO) - Paul, Just back from a test drive up some canyons west of Denver with the STRONG-STRUT installed. About a 200 mile test drive. You'd da-man! Great improvement in ride quality overall. Tracks better in the turns. Better braking! Smother over the bumps. The front end sticks to the ground! I can say with conviction that this simple product makes the car faster in the turns and easier to drive. Looks great and installation was simple with no problems. Very impressed with the product and a pleasure dealing with you.
John (KY) - Paul, I received and installed the STRONG-STRUT yesterday. Directions were very clear and understandable. The inclusion of the clay is a nice touch. Very satisfied with the quality and workmanship of the strut itself. I noticed a handling improvement immediately. The sense was that the whole front end had "tightened up". A big improvement in hard cornering and uneven roads. Great job. thanks, John
Joe (AL) - Paul, The STRONG-STRUT is simply awesome! I feel like I am driving a BMW for the first time since I bought it. I always felt the M roadster had way too much flex in the chassis, the strut eliminates any noticeable flex in the front end. Any chance you are working on a strut brace for the rear suspension? Installation was a breeze and the strut looks great under the hood. Thanks for a great product. Best of luck. You may want to contact BMW NA and see if you can get these installed on the assembly line. There is no way the M roadster should come without a top quality strut brace
Jim (CA) - 1. STRONG-STRUT arrived on Tuesday and, after 20 minutes of installation, was ready to go on Tuesday evening. 2. DAT (driving around town) tests by SOP (seat of pants) demonstrated a remarkable side effect of less plastic creaking in the back which is a problem with the coupe. 3. Saturday and Sunday at Laguna Seca was the real performance test: stiffer, better turn setup, a noticeable performance increase -- outstanding. 4. Plus, it gave me an excuse to put the hood up after runs--lots of looky lou positive comments. The chrome--powder coat combination is gorgeous. I like the look much better than the UUC bar and even the Dinan with its carb-fiber inserts. In all, Paul, a great product, with great service. My gratitude for enhancing the enjoyment of my driving school weekend on short notice.
Mike... Definitely improves handling over bumps -- the steering wheel doesn't jiggle all over the place. I don't really drive my car hard enough to notice handling benefits, though. However, the main reason I got it was that it's supposed to help with the rigidity of the vehicle over time -- since you don't have a roof on a convertible, the chassis will flex more than in a regular car, which "X" years down the line will mean squeakies all over the place (I've been told). So I look at the strut as cheap insurance in this respect. And, of course, if you're going to buy one, you have to get a strong-strut -- they're the best out there!!!
Rod (CA) - Paul, I did receive the strut. It installed very easily and works great. The torsional weakness of my car was the one thing that really bothered me about the Z3 and now it's solved. Beautiful workmanship and chrome. Thanks Rod
Mike (NC) - Thank you Paul. It really has been a pleasure working with you on this whole process. I hope you sell a ton more struts as a reward for your diligence towards your product and your customer's satisfaction.
Vincent (NY) - New York-Finally got mine! The STRONG-STRUT is definitely worth the money. Feels more solid over bumps now, and no more shakes! Feels better in hard corners also, much more steady. Dealing with Paul was also a pleasure...Its Great! Vin
Phil (HI) - Paul, Sorry I have not gotten back to you sooner. I installed the STRONG-STRUT the weekend after I received it and noticed an immediate improvement in the handling of the car as well as an absence of noises and squeaks that were a regular occurrence. If and when you do offer a similar support/device for the rear end, I would be very interested in obtaining one. As far as appearances and quality goes, it looks like it was meant to be there. Thank you. It has been a pleasure dealing with you.
Scott - STRONG-STRUT, Want some advice? GET ONE! I got mine and installed it in about 30 minutes this morning. The car is now ROCK SOLID, no more shake or shimmy's and the cornering is even more razor sharp. The SS ROCKS! Mega kudos to Paul.
Rich - I received my STRONG-STRUT this morning and it took me all of 15 minutes to install the unit. I did not even have to adjust the height on the hood. Anyhow by 11:30 I was taking the car out for a test drive on a really bad road. I did not even have to find a bad street to notice the difference in the ride. Talk about night and day, the car actually feels a lot stronger and firmer with the strut. thanks for your help and it was a pleasure doing business with you. The STRONG-STRUT is definitely worth the wait and cost. Another satisfied customer.
Dave - Just wanted to let you know that the STRONG-STRUT arrived yesterday. I have to say that it was impeccably packed, the instructions are truly professional, and when I opened the wrapping-- my breath hasn't been taken away by a piece of machinery like that since I saw my first Z3! I plan to install the strut brace on Friday. In the meantime, it is one awesome piece of craftsmanship sitting in my office, absolutely gorgeous. The welding and chrome job is flawless. I want to take some pix of the whole install for my website.