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Strut Tower Bar and/or Anti-Sway Kit

 
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Old 03 Jul 2004, 09:52 pm
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Default Strut Tower Bar and/or Anti-Sway Kit

Hey,

I've been searching the boards for this but I haven't seen anything regarding this topic. Anyways, I've seen the Strut Tower Bars alot but I've also seen the Anti-Sway Kits front and rear. My question is, are they the same thing? Are the anti-sway kits for the front the same as the strut tower bars? [:I]

If they are the same, is it recommended to add the strut tower bar at the front and use the anti-sway bar for the rear? Will there be a problem if I use different manufacturers for each (ie. BTG Strut Tower Bar for the front & Eibach anti-sways for the rear)?

If they are NOT the same, which are better then?

Any information is greatly appreciated. Oh yeah, I forgot, I have a 2004 Dream Cruiser 3 with 2" Dropzone Springs.
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Old 03 Jul 2004, 11:26 pm
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First...WELCOME to the forum!

I'm not sure if the 2004 DC is a Turbo or not but since you didn't mention it, I take it you've got the standard engine.

The anti-sway bars and strut tower brace are different animals. The anti-sway bars (front and rear) are underneath the car, the strut tower brace connects both your front struts at the top.

The Turbo guys complained from the beginning that the rear anti-sway bar was left off their PT....Chrysler claims the bar was built into the existing structure of the rear end. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure if yours is configured like the Turbo or not. Someone else will have to let you know. If it is the same, you can add a rear sway bar and upper strut brace as both will help if you do any kind of aggressive driving.

Using different manufactures won't make any difference.

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Old 04 Jul 2004, 12:50 am
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zzrogue - welcome to the forum. The strut tower brace makes less of an improvement than the anti-sway bars. It stiffens up the front suspension by connecting the two front suspension struts (those two black round metal pieces with three bolts on each located on top of each fender well towards the rear that the front McPherson struts are attached to) together with a stiffening bar so that the front of the car has less flexing while cornering making it feel flatter and more solid. It also costs less than a complete anti-sway bar set and is easier to install.

The Eibach front anti-sway bar is smaller in diameter than the one that came on your car from the factory. The reason for that is so that the front end of the car "bites" more while cornering. This is a good thing because front wheel drive cars like the PT Cruiser have a tendency to plow or understeer while cornering, the car wants to go straight but you want it to turn. If you keep your stock front anti-sway bar, I don't think the strut tower brace is necessary. In fact, it might even make your car handle worse. However, the Eibach rear anti-sway bar reduces lean while cornering which dramatically improves cornering performance. Both bars also have harder bushing material which also makes for a more solid feel. Your car didn't come with a rear anti-sway bar although Chrysler says that it's built into the rear axle assembly.

As important as those upgrades are, it is probably just as or even more important to upgrade your front struts and rear shocks. Your lowering springs put greater stress onto the struts and shocks making them work harder and beyond what the engineers intended. You probably have already noticed that the rear end likes to bounce more than it did before you installed the lowering springs. This can be dangerous because you have less control in emergency situations plus the struts and shocks wear out faster.

Another dramatic handling improvement you might consider is replacing the stock tires with much stickier performance tires, especially "summer" tires with a shorter profile like a 45 or even a 40 series. Your car came with a 50 series which flexes more while cornering which reduces control. However, the shorter profile tires will make the ride harsher because there is less sidewall height to absorb bumps.

I hope this helps.

P.S. You should probably post questions like this in the "Turbo" portion on this forum since your car is the Turbo version.
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Old 04 Jul 2004, 02:29 am
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by zzrogue

Hey,

I've been searching the boards for this but I haven't seen anything regarding this topic. Anyways, I've seen the Strut Tower Bars alot but I've also seen the Anti-Sway Kits front and rear. My question is, are they the same thing? Are the anti-sway kits for the front the same as the strut tower bars? [:I]
No, the strut bar ties the upper shock towers/struts together to control body flexing during cornering. By itself, you should notice a tighter feel or better steering responce when you steer. Anti-sway bars controls the suspension arc, f/r drift, and body roll/lean during cornering.

Quote:
quote:If they are the same, is it recommended to add the strut tower bar at the front and use the anti-sway bar for the rear?
The only way that would work correctly/safely is if the rear anti-sway bar was the OEM factory bar, not an aftermarket one. And that's assuming you don't change the factory front sway bar.

Quote:
quote: Will there be a problem if I use different manufacturers for each (ie. BTG Strut Tower Bar for the front & Eibach anti-sways for the rear)?
That's fine. Just remember if you are going to change sway bars, only use/install the f/r matched sets from ONE manufacturer. The design and materials used may be different between manufacturers regardless of the bar's thickness. Mixing or using different manufacturers is best left to racers and professionals that want a certain handling characteristic. Matched sets will vastly improve your handling and is better and safer for all-season/weather driving. Last thing you want is uncontrolled oversteer if you have to do an emergency avoidance maneuver or happen to take a corner too fast.

Quote:
quote:If they are NOT the same, which are better then?
What brands/products you decide to buy is a personal choice. Generally, the available aftermarket sway bars and tower strut bars do the job they were designed to do and, IMHO, they are pretty much equal in improved performance.

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Old 04 Jul 2004, 07:17 pm
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Thank-you CREWZIN, purplept, and Sci-Fi for the response. You've cleared it up quite nicely.

I guess I should try adding the OEM rear anti-sway bar, change the front struts and rear shocks when it comes down to replacing them, adding low profile tires and I might try the strut tower braces. Wow, from one thing it all leads to another! [xx(]

Quote:
quote: P.S. You should probably post questions like this in the "Turbo" portion on this forum since your car is the Turbo version.
Sorry about that, I didn't realize the mistake. Thanks for pointing it out to me.
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