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Strong-Strut "trilogy" customer reports on results of installing all three Strong-Strut bracing produucts

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Robert  ........ CT
Hi Paul -- I am speechless !!! I did expect some improvement in the handling and performance in my "98" Z-3 2.8 roadster but the difference far and away exceeded " ALL " of my expectations. It fit My car like a glove and my installation went without any difficulty thanks in great part to your very precise instructions. The ride is now "tight" not stiff -- No More Roadster Rattle and even the drive train [ ie. Shifting etc.] feels more controlled and precise. Your Trilogy System has refined and brought My Z-3 to what I feel is the cars true potential. Thanks again to you and the Entire Strong Strut Team for enhancing and elevating the Z-3 to its Full potential through your product development.

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Jerry.....California
Paul,
I had a chance to take the car on a longer "shakedown" drive today, and was better able to assess the Strong Struts. I was pleasantly surprised to  find an unexpected benefit - the struts have totally eliminated the creaking of my convertible top when it is up. I used to hate driving the car with the top up. Now, it's perfectly quiet and had transformed the car completely. As you know, I was planning on selling the car because I couldn't tolerate the wiggly chassis and cowl shake. Your products have improved the chassis so much it is like a different car and I'm going to keep it. I'll be in touch later, but I just wanted to let you know that I am very pleased with the products!

 Jerry
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Howard.........United Kingdom
Hello Paul, I just wanted you to know I have received the Strong-Strut "Trilogy" and installed it on my 2000 M Roadster, I can't believe the fantastic improvement, much more than I had expected by far. The entire chassis feels like one solid "hunk" instead of the way it came from the factory, feeling like three disjointed parts, front, middle and rear, all twisting in different directions at the same time, really gruesome!  The improved handling is quite apparent as well, much quicker and more positive steering response. Every Z3 should have your products installed. I can't thank you and the Strong-Strut Team enough for designing and making available such significant products. Prior to learning about your products and ordering them, I was seriously considering selling the car because the wiggling chassis and the rear end "hula dance" were more than I could tolerate. Since installation of the Strong-Strut "Trilogy," I plan on keeping the car forever. I also love the appearance of the titanium silver, front Strong-Strut under the bonnet.

Best Regards,

Howard

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Richard.....Vancouver Canada
Hi Paul

 I actually bought the Butt Strut and Body Brace at the end of last March but have been really busy with work and didnít have the time to install them until about two weeks ago. I wanted to email you at that time to tell you that I saw an instant change for the positive after installation. The installation went without a hitch and took about 2 hours for total install of both parts.  I am one happy customer!!

Hope all is well with you.

 Richard

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Mark.......California

Paul, I want to thank you for being so informative each time I called you about your Strong Strut Trio. I wanted to make sure that you and your product even existed. I get pretty nervous ordering anything online. I am glad you have your phone number on your website and after calling you I felt like I was talking to an old friend within a few minutes.   I bought my 2002 BMW Z3 3.0i only two months ago and was thrilled. A couple days later I drove by the German Auto repair place in my neighborhood knowing I'll probably be needing their services from time to time. I told the mechanic this car brings me back to my youth and reminds me of my old Triumph.  He said my Z3 really looks great but that I should have gotten the Z4. The reason it reminds me of my old Triumph is because the suspension is old technology. The Z4 is just so much better. Geeez! I have this beautiful car for 2 days and already feel like crap based upon the mechanic's comments. But then the mechanic told me there are some remedies. Look online for aftermarket bracing for the Z3 and it will make a dramatic improvement. That's how I found out about Strong Strut. After calling you to make sure that everything was really legit I ordered the Trio. You explained how each part works as a team to improve steering, handling, cornering, shaking etc. My Strong Strut, Butt Brace, and Body Brace came in a timely manner.  Once installed every penny I spent was worth it! What a difference! My wife and I took the Z3 up the mountains to Lake Tahoe. Wow, The cornering is fantastic, just steer and zip through any turn. It sure doesn't feel like my old MGB and Triumph anymore. Thank you, Paul, for making this happen! --Mark R. Sacramento Ca

 

Robert......Indiana   
Dear Paul,
          
As you recommended, I first installed the butt brace with the rear of the car supported with jack stands and ramps. The rear tires on ramps allowed the suspension to achieve its near ground level attitude and gave me a better feel for the butt strut/body brace fit for my particular 1999 M Roadster. I used the 1/2" square spacers above and the 1/4" round
spacers below. There was plenty of clearance for the Eisenmann exhaust system. I initially torqued the custom fastener to 30 ft/lbs, lowered the car, sat in the driver's seat to fully settle the suspension (I'm 6'2" and 225lbs), and finally torqued them to 75 ft/lbs (red Loctite used.) Next I elevated the front of the car supporting it with jack stands and ramps and removed the X-brace. Some of the bolts and frame threads needed freshening so I ran them through my Matco tap and die routine. A .38cal brass bore brush was used to remove the debris from the frame threads. Using my Dremel, I enlarged all the holes in the X-brace as you suggested. Installation of the X-brace and frame braces were a snap, and the fit was glove tight. My application did not require any additional rear spacers on the butt strut. Next I dropped the top and went for a drive along my favorite cross-country route (plenty of twists, turns and rolling hills...well out in the country...plenty of deer to watch out for but no "bears.") I had planned on a 30 minute run, but returned 3 hrs later with a smile on my face (even after another $50 fill up.) I know this is just one man's opinion, but I feel that your bracing system is the most significant modification I have added to my Z3M,
"bar none." In fact "all of the other mods combined" do not add up to the "fun factor" increase your brace system provides. My earlier mods include: Pilot Sport 2 tires, Comforti CAI, Comforti Shark Injector, UUC EVO 3 SS with shift link, UUC clutch arm bushings and clutch "big" stop, and Eisenmann Racing catbacks. I rate your struts and braces at an 11 on a scale
of 10 for fit, finish, ease of install, and included instructions. I also thank you for the time you spent on the phone and in emailing me, but especially for your "WORLD CLASS" products.     Bob Bean   Newburgh, IN
 

Mike.....australia  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.
 

Michael: In England...... I promised Paul Ebeyer of Strong Strut that I'd post my assessment of his strut brace kit. I've already posted an earlier version, but Paul deserves all the publicity he can get for what he can do for these cars. Having driven several Z3s, I'd never have bought one had I not known about Strong Strut, I ordered a set before I'd taken delivery of the car.

I've added reference to new suspension dampers as well to complete the picture. Anybody without Strong Struts should read this...

THE Z3 TRANSFORMED
(Modifications to a 1998 British Market Z3)

For a two-seat sports roadster, the Z3 is a softly-sprung and luxurious car that has three characteristics that compromise its ride quality and limit its cornering speed.

The first is the rear suspension linkages (lifted from the obsolete E30) which seem to act as levers that tip the rear corners of the car as each wheel hits bumps on rougher surfaces. The effect of these is that the back of the car can Ďwaddleí out of sync with the front and although excellent damping limits the effect, it is de-stabilizing it makes the car feel as though it has a live-axle rather than an independent suspension.

The second is the soft suspension of the car, which is damped for a very high level of comfort but which is simply too soft for a sports car.

The third is the chassis, which is insufficiently, torsionally, rigid and combines with the soft springing to reduce the feedback available to the driver through the steering wheel, exaggerates the effects of suspension behavior and makes the carís reactions unpredictable under hard cornering. Even in a straight line, the car is liable to unpredictable reactions to surface irregularities and needs continual, if miniscule, corrective steering inputs.

The car is very smooth and reasonably stable at higher speeds; the problems become apparent at lower and intermediate speeds on rougher surfaces and on sharper corners that require quicker steering and impose more sudden centrifugal forces, and where unexpected corrective or evasive action may suddenly be necessary and where predictability and grip are paramount.

STRONG STRUT BODY BRACE AND 'BUTT STRUT' COMBINATION

Paul Ebeyerís longitudinal Body Brace and transverse rear strut brace (ĎButt Strutí) assembly stiffens the chassis to the extent that the driver is able to sense the grip of the big tyres and predict the effects of control inputs to a degree that transforms the feel of the car. Potential cornering speeds are increased, whereas driver workload is reduced, as tense anticipation on challenging roads gives way to confident exhilaration. The idiosyncratic rear suspension hammering away somewhere beneath the car as it fails to keep up with the roughest road surfaces can be ignored once it no longer requires corrective steering. And the improvement conferred by the kit is not simply of benefit to sporting drivers; at whatever speed, driving is easier, less tiring and more relaxed, and whatever margin of safety is allowed on corners, the kit increases it hugely, but even with the standard set up, the net benefit of the Strong Strut kit is an enormous increase in the Z3ís controllability, and as driving pleasure is directly proportional to the precision with which your car responds to your intentions, the improvement equates to an immeasurable boost of adrenaline.

ADDITION OF THE FRONT COMPETITION LIGHTWEIGHT ALLOY STRUT BRACE

Whilst the rear brace set neutralizes the Z3ís main handling problems, the engine bay brace makes another big difference. It sharpens the steering so that the car feels more connected to the road and more instantly responsive to direction changes, particularly during a fast switch from one hard turn to another in the opposite direction. The standard carís steering feels leaden and lumbering in comparison. The front brace allows you to exploit the limits of the carís performance in more challenging conditions, such as in and out of sequential roundabouts and complex intersections, and lets you feel the limits of grip more easily.

ADDITION OF SPAX ADJUSTABLE SUSPENSION DAMPERS

My benchmark for comparison when I bought the Z3 was a modified early MX5, and I wanted to get the Z to match the handling of that much lighter car as far as possible. With the Strong Strut kit, the remaining limitations were minimal and were imposed by the additional weight of the Z3, together with its soft suspension springing and damping , which reduced the grip and made the car drift more readily than the MX. Larger and wider wheels than the MX also made the steering heavier, and there was slightly more body roll, although the drift and roll were controlled and predictable with the Strong Strut kit and provided an element of historic racing car feel to the car.

I have now fitted (British) Spax ĎKryptoní adjustable dampers, adjusted, after some experimentation, to damping setting fifteen of the available 28. Even with the standard springs, this has been another quantum leap; the steering has quickened again and the car is even more agile and precise. I can now feel the texture of the road through the seat and while the ride is firmer and choppier, the grip has improved noticeably and I can commit the car to fast corners on unknown roads with even more confidence. It is quite extraordinary how the stiffer damping gives the impression that the steering is lighter, but thatís what itís like; the car no longer feels at all heavy, and itís completely lost the last vestige of that peculiar feeling that it was being born along on the backs of galloping horses that stumbled and tripped over one another when the road surface deteriorated.

CONCLUSION

Itís difficult to convey the extent to which the Strong Strut set and uprated dampers transform the experience of driving the Z3. Mile after mile of sweeping intermediate and fast bends, your arms tingle with adrenalin from the sheer precision of the steering and the electric feedback from the feel of the tyres on the road, day or night, in the dry or the wet; the blissful feeling of total control, total confidence in the car. This at last is the sharp and agile sports car BMW could so easily have made the Z3 but failed by so small a margin to allow it to become. The standard car is like an under-developed prototype by comparison.

(Sorry it goes on a bit...)


 

 Roger:  rogliu@sbcglobal.net     Hi Paul, Just wanted to let you know that I got your package and installed the three tonight.  Everything that everyone said was absolutely correct.  Like some others, I am a reformed skeptic!  Thank you

 Roy:  blue_mcoupe@hotmail.com  Paul and Team,  I recently helped my very good friend, Thom Morin, install the Strong Strut, Butt Strut and Body Brace on his 2000 BMW M Roadster. Before the install, he was considering selling the car due to its flex. No longer! I had only ridden in the car a few times before the install, but I could quickly tell a tremendous amount of difference. The car is much more solid and controllable. Iíve always liked the Roadster, but the chassis flex kept me away (so I bought an M Coupe instead!). The results of your struts and braces are amazing. Thom may not have told you directly, but heís very happy with the result and is definitely keeping the car.

 Having a 98 Z3 and going to a Mercedes SLK the biggest difference is the rigidity of the chassis. The Mercedes is so tight is makes a Z3 seem like a wet noodle. So I bought my newly acquired 98 M roadster, the feeling of a flexing chassis was remembered again. This time, however, there is the Strong Strut Trio. I promptly purchased the three units and installed them all at once. All I can say is WOW, what a difference. It still in not as tight as the Mercedes but it is SIGNIFICANTLY stiffer.
It is amazing how I can really feel the road. The ride is a bit harder since the bumps do not dissipate through the flexing body. Actually rides better IMHO. Definitely a worthwhile purchase!

 

Michael: Germany
Paul, I received and installed the Strong-Strut "Trilogy" and I can hardly believe the dramatic improvement it makes in chassis
rigidity. The handling response of the car is so much better and quite noticeable and all that wiggling in the rear end is now gone.
I am amazed at the total transformation your fine products have made. Thank you for making these available to all us Z 3 owners.

 

Phil: Florida

Hey, Strong-Strut guys, your Trilogy is installed on my 2001 M Roadster and it now drives like a coupe ~~no, even better!
Amazing products and the installation was so easy. Thanks fellows best investment I ever made on the car.

Cheng: Hong Cong
Hi Paul, received and installed my Strong-Strut Trilogy and test drove it, still amazed at the improvement, feels like a totally
different car. I am so glad a friend told me about your products, I'm keeping my car forever now that I have your accessories.

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