hey all, I wanna get one for my Civic, I'm not gonna spend 100+ for some super one, just one that'll be fine quality-wise and tighten up the engine bay/better handling, I've seen them here and there for like 30 bucks in the past, any suggestions? thanks.
yeah, they are all the same, except for in one major area. the brand names spent the money on r&d and build quality. i've seen so many cheap a$$ strut bars that prevent access to the brake reservoir, interfere with wires or hoses, or just look like crap. for me, a tie bar must be ALL aluminum, including the ends were it bolts to the car, and must be built so that it fits the car. all three of my tie bars earn my vote for being well built, well designed, and quality material.
mild steel does not qualify as a quality material. tie bars made from mild steel will flex, rust and bend much more then aluminum bars. imo, the cheap bars are for appearance only and do not perform their job to the fullest.
you get what you pay for?? a strut bar is a strut bar.. there isnt any breakthrough technology.. you pay for brand names with this part.. I will agree with you when you say you get what you pay for with other parts,, turbo,, suspension,, etc.. but with the strut bar,, cheaper is just as good..
Steel is the material that is stronger than aluminum. Steel does not flex as much as aluminum, nor is it as effected by heat than aluminum is.
Here are the numbers if you don't believe me:
Steel (Stainless-AISI 302-Annealed)
(Ultimate Strength) Max Tension=655MPa
(Max Yield Strength) Max Tension=260Mpa
Modulus of Elasticity=200GPa
Modulus of Rigidity=77Gpa
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion=11.7x10^6/C
Aluminum (6061-T6 which is aircraft grade quality)
(Ultimate Strength) Max Tension=260Mpa
(Max Yield Strength) Max Tension=240Mpa
Modulus of Elasticity=70GPa
Modulus of Rigidity=26Gpa
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion=23.6x10^6/C
What these numbers tell you is that Steel is more than 2 times stronger and more rigid than aluminum. This means it will NOT bend as much. It is less susceptible to thermal expansion (in 50mm, aluminum will stretch 17% it's length when you look at the expansion coefficient) and you know that it's hot under an engine.
That is why you will never see the important parts of your suspension made of aluminum. The only problem is that steel is heavier. I would still buy aluminum because you will get your money's worth in terms of how much more rigid the body of the car will be when compared to the cost of steel.
Oh yeh, mild steel, even low alloy steel is structurally stronger than aluminum.
From what I understand in mechanical engineering, it's actually the joint between the actual bar and the piece that connects the bar to the bolts and car body that is the weakest point. It is the design at this area that matters most. Do not get anything that can flex too easily at this area. I found the Ractive strut bars easiest to adjust, which means it'll be easier to bend when your car is under stress. You'll have to torque those things down tight!
uh, read the next line down in your engineer's handbook. find that line that lists the density of the material. steel is much more dense then aluminum, thus HEAVIER when comparing say a bar of steel that is 6 inches long and 1/2 inch diameter and a bar of aluminum with the same dimesions. with aluminum, they can make the bar thicker, thus overcoming the lower strength. remember, it is not only the strength of the material, but also the cross-section area of the part that determines strength. to acheive the same strength in a steel strut bar that an aluminum strut bar achieves would require about 20lbs of steel or so. now how do you think they get any stregth at all out of that 1/8 in hollow steel tube and brackets?????????????????
and uh, saab, porsche, bmw, mercedes, ferrari, lamborghini, and many other high end car manufacturers all use aluminum control arms. panoz makes a whole car chassis out of aluminum. f1 uses carbon fiber to make their control arms, and HELLO your WHEELS are made out of an aluminum composite. excuse the sarcasm please, no flame intended.
B&D Motorsports (www.bdsports.com) hooked me up with some awesome deals. my front dc bar was $100, the skunk2 rear upper bar was $125 and the st tie-bar/sway bar combo was $350. comp-tech makes some really good stuff too, including a similar piece to the suspension techniques combo setup. the comp-tech stuff is harder to get (supply, everyone seems to be out all the time) and the price is a little higher. as far as i can tell though, the build quality and material's are similar, with maybe a small advantage to comp-tech.
The engine in our civic has an aluminum alloy block as well.
Well, the quality of the aluminum alloy that is used to make the suspension parts is beyod the aluminum grade that you will get in ANY strut bar priced at $100 or below.
It's obvious that the wheels are made of an aluminum alloy because it's lighter, which has less inertia.
I'm still going to disagree with an aluminum bar being stronger as a strut bar than any steel bar. Don't make me bring out pipe stress calculations to disprove that a hollow steel cylinder isn't stronger than a solid piece of aluminum under tension.
true, if the diameter of the hollow steel tube were large enough, it could theoretically be stronger then an aluminum tube of similar dimensions, but the aluminum tube will still be lighter, allowing for more material, making for a stronger bar. i have been recommending all along that buying a more expensive bar will be worth it, and i cited that the materials would be better, so what i'm defending is the expensive bars with the high grade aluminum. have you also noticed that the diameter of the cheap bars is quite pencil-esque? i can actually flex some of the bars by hand. so in effect i agree, a hollow steel tube of adequate diameter and sidewall thickness would be stronger then a identical peice made from aluminum, however, the aluminum one would be lighter, permitting the designer to include more material and gain more strength without gaining much weight, resulting in a stronger and lighter bar.
I agree with you in the fact that an aluminum bar is the better choice for a strut bar because there are more benefits with a lighter bar. (I have an aluminum Ractive in mine)
In this case, I don't think that it's the material weaknesses make a difference because the weakest point is still the joints on the bar that connects it to your car. Since you can adjust the position, it naturally makes the joint the weakest part of the bar. There is no way a steel or aluminum bar will flex enough for it to really make a difference. It depends on the design..if it's a one piece, unadjustable, then that would be the preferred choice.
I just wanted to say that steel will always be the "stronger" metal. It just depends on how you use it.
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