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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well my wife asked me for ideas for things to get me for my birthday, which is coming up, and I was thinking about adding a strut bar anyway since we almost got into a crash last month. I was driving along and this guy makes a left turn right in front of me, so I steered to the left (into the oncoming lane), the traction control alarm went off (idk what that meant, but the beeping while I'm trying to avoid the accident scared me), but I was able to control the car and avoid flipping or spinning out.

So I've been thinking about adding the strut bar to help tighten things up a bit anyway. So onto my question about the strut bars...is there any difference between the ones available? I've seen them ranging in price from about $30 to over $100. If some are better than others, please tell me what is the better product and why.

I assume they install over the bolts already on top of the struts in the engine compartment, but do you have to take off the nuts that are already there, or do they come with their own?

Thanks!
 

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Pretty much all of the strut bars on the market will have identical affect on the xB. That affect being hardly anything. It will make a slight difference, but not much since the strut towers are so close to the firewall.

I would highly recommend looking into a rear sway bar first. This will definitely tighten up the handling for you a bit. The Progress rear sway bar seems like one of the most popular choices and is very reasonable at under $140 shipped.

If you already have a rear sway bar, I would look at some sort of lowering springs, as well as new urethane bushings (cheap) for the front sway bar before I considered a strut tower brace.
 

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Yakima Rack God
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you want stiff? You need the following (listed in order of importance):

1. springs
2. rear sway
3. bushings
4. front sway
5. front strut tower bar
6. subframe braces (front and rear)
7. rear strut tower brace (almost pointless)

this is the order I have always built my track cars at, if you want a stiff, more responsive ride. I did everything at once, with the exception of the rear strut tower bar (don't have one, don't need one).
 

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the strut bar installs under the existing strut tower nuts. as far as trrut bars go I'd say the 1 piece is more sturdy that one that is like 3-4 pieses bolted together. but to tighten up the suspension look into adjustable or stiffer shocks and struts. or even some coilovers. lowering springs will lower the vehicle, giving you a lower center of gravity, but wont keep it from leaning through a turn. I've heard good things about the rear swaybar I dont have one yet. whiteline makes a nice one. fatter tires and a higher quality tire always help.
less sidewall = more responsive
less sidewall = more pothole damage
 

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lowering springs will lower the vehicle, giving you a lower center of gravity, but wont keep it from leaning through a turn.
Where the crap did you get that? Springs can absolutely help prevent body lean. Or actually make it worse in some cases. It is all a function of the spring rate. The stiffer the spring, the less roll it will allow. They don't do as much to flatten you out in a turn a sway bars in many cases, but they can make a HUGE difference. Even springs with the same drop can see a dramatic difference in handling dynamics based on spring rate.
 

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for me, strut bar on xB are just for show/looks. I can't even feel the difference because I don't drive like a maniac. It just look nice when you see someone open their hood and you see those and the shiny air filter pipe.

I just bought one from ebay, less than $50 shipped to me, haven't got it tho.
its the cusco style bar.

if you really want stiffness and handling performance, ditto on what rTon20s said.
 

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TheOtherGuys
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Strut bar is just for looks on an xB. Get a frame brace and progress rear sway bar and your good. You can get both for under $200 on eBay.
 

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Where the crap did you get that? Springs can absolutely help prevent body lean. Or actually make it worse in some cases. It is all a function of the spring rate. The stiffer the spring, the less roll it will allow. They don't do as much to flatten you out in a turn a sway bars in many cases, but they can make a HUGE difference. Even springs with the same drop can see a dramatic difference in handling dynamics based on spring rate.
Murphys question was what he can do to tighten things up. xb lowering springs Ive seen around, arent the specialty springs your refering to. so how about you give some helpful/useful info. instead of trying to find where other people might be technically wrong. yes very stiff springs will reduce lean through a corner and you will feel every bump in the road too. stiffer struts and shocks or some coilovers will help out alot more than trying put some stiff springs in, that was my point. as for where I get my info? experience.
 

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If you take a look at the very first reply to this thread, it was me, helping the original poster. So don't try to play it off like I come in here attacking people. Fact is, you were supplying bad information.

The stock spring rate for the xB springs is 148 lbs/in in the front, 160 lbs/in in the rear. Virtually every company that makes drop springs for the xB provide them in a higher spring rate than the factory springs. Some do have lower spring rates, yes. But the overwhelming majority use a higher spring rate. A.K.A. greater resistance to body roll.

And none of these are any sort of "specialty spring." In fact the springs with one of the highest spring rates is the least expensive. They will likely ride like a brick sh*t house, but they will resist lean. For a few bucks more you can get yourself into a nice set of Eibach Pro (mild drop) or Sportline (bigger drop) springs. With the Eibachs you get progressive springs. They are compliant when you are just cruising around supplying a nice smooth ride. But when you hit the twisty stuff the progressive rate of the spring comes into play and you get greater resistance to body roll.

As far as your comment about struts, you can just about toss that out the window. They will help, but not as much as springs. And my reason for saying this is because Tokico is the only company offering both compression and rebound adjustment in their replacement shocks and struts. The Konis that everyone uses are great, but will not do as much to affect ride and handling as a nice set of springs. The Tokicos should do even more than the Konis, but I am still not sure they could match the increase found in a good set of springs.

Once you step into coil overs, you are talking about a whole new ball game. And each different kit has to be looked at individually. But yes, as a general rule, you can have a better handing car using a set of coilovers vs. swapping out springs and adding aftermarket shocks and struts.

Bottom line to this whole long, drawn out spiel? Only buy a front strut bar after you have done just about everything else to adjust your handling. Or when you want to make it look pretty under your hood. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the advice, I'll try to talk her into getting me the Tein S-Techs...and forget about the strut tower brace until I dressing up under the hood
 

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As far as your comment about struts, you can just about toss that out the window. They will help
my comment was that adding them will help.
I just hate peeps that act like they know how cars work when its obvious they dont. doing a web search and quoting # dont mean a thing.
all I said about the springs was that they wont keep the car from leaning through a turn. which is what your saying now too isint it. without good struts/shocks the progressive spring will still lean through a corner. they have to compress past the soft part to reach the stiffer rate right? so even the springs your talking about wont keep the car from leaning through a corner right? thats what I thought...
 

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my springs greatly reduced my body roll. my springs are NOT progressive rate. they lowered the center of gravity and helped "stiffen things up" theres no reason both of you should bicker on someone post asking for help. thats not what were about here. sure your both entitled to your opinion, but if it differs it does not need to be taken into action like this.

the bottom line is you have a fellow xber asking for help and your both arguing about 2 different pieces of information.

both effects are true in a more extreme envornment. shocks springs coilovers sway bars and roll bars and whatever else will tighten things up, but together they can be very expensive. Im sure the question was diverted more twards a subtle enhancement of otherwise stock suspension for practicality issues.

Murphyslaw. im glad you made it out and avoided the accident ok. I do not have the traction control warning buzzer but i know that would scare the hell outta me too. All things said here can and will help stabilize your vehicle. some more effective than others. for a mild enhancement, you might look tward a progressive rate spring which will be soft for every day driving and stiffen up when you really need it to be there for you. the front and rear swar bars are also a good idea. they work very well in conjunction with eachother.
i hope you take the best out of the information given here.

ok so if im totally wrong and blew everything out of order just keep on keepin on and smack me around a little. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's all good, I really wanted the new springs anyway, now I have a few good reasons to justify the purchase of 'em...
 

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i hope you take the best out of the information given here.

ok so if im totally wrong and blew everything out of order just keep on keepin on and smack me around a little. :D
your right, my bad....my bad rton...
 
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