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      09-18-2010, 08:25 PM   #1
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Strong Strut Bars Installation Tips

Just received my Strong Strut bars this past week from the group buy. I guessed I'm the first to received this? So...I'll be your guinea pig on the install Here are a few tips when installing your bars. The cross bar gave me a few minor issues while the firewall bars were a breeze.

1. If those of you that haven't received your bars yet, be sure to ask Paul to ship you some extra washers (8 more to be exact) or just send some thicker washers - My kit only shipped with 6 washers. I had to head out to the hardware store to get some extra 5/16" washers.

2. You'll first have to remove the small capscrew on each shock tower dome (not sure why Strong Strut didn't just drill out a hole on the strut tower rings to accommodate this as most other strut bars that I've used in the past always have a hole to clear this small capscrew).

3. Add one washer to the strut stud (closest to the engine) prior to installing the strut tower ring (see picture). Otherwise, the strut tower ring won't sit flush on the strut tower (due to the small hump on the firewall brace receiver). Strong Strut should consider modifying the design to provide more clearance for this hump.

4. I had to use 2 washers per stud, otherwise, the acorn nuts will bottom out (I have OEM struts). The installation instructions even called out for 2 washer per stud, but for some reason, my kit only came with 1 washer per stud. Personally, I would rather use the OEM flange nut without the need of washers. But the counterbore of the rings were not large enough to let me use the OEM style nuts (I already bought 6 of these and was somewhat disappointed that I couldn't use them)

The firewall braces are very straight forward...just remove the OEM and re-install the Strong Strut in place of them.

The quality of the bars are excellent, but can't say that I'm 100% happy with the installation. I just don't like the idea of using washers on the strut tower studs. It would be much better to provide the option of using the OEM style flange nuts...this would require redesigning a larger strut tower ring to accommodate a slightly larger counterbore for the OEM style nuts.
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Last edited by XMetal; 09-18-2010 at 08:34 PM.
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      09-18-2010, 09:02 PM   #2
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Thanks for the heads up.
I'm surprised this hasn't come to light before now.
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      09-18-2010, 10:43 PM   #3
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Can't wait for mine too. How's the driving experience?
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      09-18-2010, 11:15 PM   #4
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We do not recommendand changes to the installation beyond the contents of the provided instructions. The tower ring is not intended to make 360 degree contact with the tower dome because the OEM humps on the domes are not consistant from vehicle to vehicle. The Strong-Strut rings are machined as is for a specific reason born out of our experience with the Z4 and e46 (same front chassis) vehicles since 2003. BMW sometimes makes minor changes or substitutions and most of the time it makes no difference until someone tries to install an accessory. We have hundreds of Z4 and e46 Strong-Struts on customer cars throughout the world and this is the first time anyone has put forth the suggestion to place a washer under the ring. We will be sure to send extra washers to be used under the provided acorn nuts to the owners in the group buy, this is another area that is inconsistant from car to car. Most of the Z4's have the shorter threaded studs and one washer is all that is needed. With regard to the small capscrew. it comes out in 1 turn or less and it has no function once the McPherson struts are installed. The purpose of the capscrew is an index point for the robot that installs the struts. There is a reason the counterbore in the Strong-Strut tower rings are not large enough for the OEM shoulder nuts to fit in them. Again, BMW with their clever tricks have provided two sizes of shoulder nuts, large and small shoulder. The large ones won't work at all with the Strong-Strut and the small ones work on 1/2 of the cars, so you can see why we provide the acorn nuts, they fit every car. It is not possible to increase the diameter of the tower rings which would allow for a larger counterbore that would accommodate OEM shoulder nuts. The reason it is not possible is because there is a critical clearance issue between the bottom of the hood and the exact location where it closes down on the shock towers. We found through experience that the uniformity of the shock tower stud placement is not consistant from vehicle to vehicle and that is why the tower rings have slightly elongated holes for the studs rather than perfectly round. This, along with the slight "wiggle room" provided by the acorn nuts (as opposed to OEM shoulder nuts) allows the Strong-Strut to be properly installed on any Z4 or e46 chassis anywhere in the world. We greatly appreciate the author's installation write up and photographs but we emphasize the fact that very often there are reasons for certain manufacturing features that the customer may not understand. We also encourage our customers to contact us if they are having any issues with their Strong-Strut product. In most cases, we can explain why things are the way they are and guide the customer through any problems. Best regards, Paul & the Strong-Strut Team.
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      09-18-2010, 11:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inTgr8r View Post
Thanks for the heads up.
I'm surprised this hasn't come to light before now.
I said that this would happen, just I reminder tho.

http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthre...=418341&page=3
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      09-18-2010, 11:27 PM   #6
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You can use OEM style flange nuts just have to get the right ones tho, that is what I did and told you guys about on the first pages of that group buy feeler.

http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthre...=418341&page=3
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      09-18-2010, 11:41 PM   #7
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I will post some pictures of my setup this week.
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      09-18-2010, 11:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XMetal View Post
Just received my Strong Strut bars this past week from the group buy. I guessed I'm the first to received this? So...I'll be your guinea pig on the install Here are a few tips when installing your bars. The cross bar gave me a few minor issues while the firewall bars were a breeze.

1. If those of you that haven't received your bars yet, be sure to ask Paul to ship you some extra washers (8 more to be exact) or just send some thicker washers - My kit only shipped with 6 washers. I had to head out to the hardware store to get some extra 5/16" washers.

2. You'll first have to remove the small capscrew on each shock tower dome (not sure why Strong Strut didn't just drill out a hole on the strut tower rings to accommodate this as most other strut bars that I've used in the past always have a hole to clear this small capscrew).

3. Add one washer to the strut stud (closest to the engine) prior to installing the strut tower ring (see picture). Otherwise, the strut tower ring won't sit flush on the strut tower (due to the small hump on the firewall brace receiver). Strong Strut should consider modifying the design to provide more clearance for this hump.

4. I had to use 2 washers per stud, otherwise, the acorn nuts will bottom out (I have OEM struts). The installation instructions even called out for 2 washer per stud, but for some reason, my kit only came with 1 washer per stud. Personally, I would rather use the OEM flange nut without the need of washers. But the counterbore of the rings were not large enough to let me use the OEM style nuts (I already bought 6 of these and was somewhat disappointed that I couldn't use them)

The firewall braces are very straight forward...just remove the OEM and re-install the Strong Strut in place of them.

The quality of the bars are excellent, but can't say that I'm 100% happy with the installation. I just don't like the idea of using washers on the strut tower studs. It would be much better to provide the option of using the OEM style flange nuts...this would require redesigning a larger strut tower ring to accommodate a slightly larger counterbore for the OEM style nuts.
Why wouldn't you purchase the BMW one?
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      09-18-2010, 11:49 PM   #9
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They are better then the OEM from far, little things like nuts don't change a thing about the quality of the product, is just cheap hardware that need to be added. the use of the washer under the ring in one stud of the tower is common in many other car as well.
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      09-19-2010, 12:02 AM   #10
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I will get the right part number for the nuts monday if I have time.
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      09-19-2010, 12:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reyebe View Post
We do not recommendand changes to the installation beyond the contents of the provided instructions. The tower ring is not intended to make 360 degree contact with the tower dome because the OEM humps on the domes are not consistant from vehicle to vehicle. The Strong-Strut rings are machined as is for a specific reason born out of our experience with the Z4 and e46 (same front chassis) vehicles since 2003. BMW sometimes makes minor changes or substitutions and most of the time it makes no difference until someone tries to install an accessory. We have hundreds of Z4 and e46 Strong-Struts on customer cars throughout the world and this is the first time anyone has put forth the suggestion to place a washer under the ring. We will be sure to send extra washers to be used under the provided acorn nuts to the owners in the group buy, this is another area that is inconsistant from car to car. Most of the Z4's have the shorter threaded studs and one washer is all that is needed. With regard to the small capscrew. it comes out in 1 turn or less and it has no function once the McPherson struts are installed. The purpose of the capscrew is an index point for the robot that installs the struts. There is a reason the counterbore in the Strong-Strut tower rings are not large enough for the OEM shoulder nuts to fit in them. Again, BMW with their clever tricks have provided two sizes of shoulder nuts, large and small shoulder. The large ones won't work at all with the Strong-Strut and the small ones work on 1/2 of the cars, so you can see why we provide the acorn nuts, they fit every car. It is not possible to increase the diameter of the tower rings which would allow for a larger counterbore that would accommodate OEM shoulder nuts. The reason it is not possible is because there is a critical clearance issue between the bottom of the hood and the exact location where it closes down on the shock towers. We found through experience that the uniformity of the shock tower stud placement is not consistant from vehicle to vehicle and that is why the tower rings have slightly elongated holes for the studs rather than perfectly round. This, along with the slight "wiggle room" provided by the acorn nuts (as opposed to OEM shoulder nuts) allows the Strong-Strut to be properly installed on any Z4 or e46 chassis anywhere in the world. We greatly appreciate the author's installation write up and photographs but we emphasize the fact that very often there are reasons for certain manufacturing features that the customer may not understand. We also encourage our customers to contact us if they are having any issues with their Strong-Strut product. In most cases, we can explain why things are the way they are and guide the customer through any problems. Best regards, Paul & the Strong-Strut Team.
Paul,
Thanks for the excellent detailed explanation I don't expect the tower rings to make 360 degree contact with the tower dome. However, I do expect them to make contact at each strut stud for proper securing of the rings, thus, the bar and the strut itself. Otherwise, unnecessary stress will be placed on the tower rings as well as the strut studs.

Have you consider shipping with regular nuts rather than the acorn nuts (at least provide a choice to the customer)? That would alleviate a lot of these "bottoming" out issues or requiring multiple washers, etc... I know the acorn nuts are slightly more appealing, but if it gets in the way of functionality, then I wouldn't mind the lesser appealing alternative

Oh...by the way, is there any instructions for modifying the tower caps to fit the Z4? Thanks

Last edited by XMetal; 09-19-2010 at 01:10 AM.
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      09-19-2010, 12:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Stygar View Post
Why wouldn't you purchase the BMW one?
The "bling" factor got the better of me this time

Again...the quality of the product is excellent, there's no denying that. Just a few minor fitment issues...nothing that can't be solved with the right hardware.
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      09-19-2010, 12:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diokaef View Post
I will get the right part number for the nuts monday if I have time.
Thanks!...pictures and part number for the shoulder nuts would be awesome.
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      09-19-2010, 12:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franco209 View Post
Can't wait for mine too. How's the driving experience?
No difference on the street. I won't be at the track for a while, so cannot opine on that end. My main purpose for getting the cross bar is to tighten up (box up) the chassis, not necessarily for the minimum performance improvement.
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      09-19-2010, 01:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diokaef View Post
I said that this would happen, just I reminder tho.

http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthre...=418341&page=3
Very true...you did warned us If I remember correctly, you have aftermarket suspension, right? I'm seeing this even on OEM strut.
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      09-19-2010, 09:25 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diokaef View Post
They are better then the OEM from far, little things like nuts don't change a thing about the quality of the product, is just cheap hardware that need to be added. the use of the washer under the ring in one stud of the tower is common in many other car as well.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...8&postcount=28
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      09-19-2010, 10:59 AM   #17
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The shoulder nuts with the small shoulder diameter may fit a given vehicle. However, we learned 7 years ago that the pattern for the three OEM studs is not exact from vehicle to vehicle. If it is "off" by more than 1/16 inch even the smaller shoulder nuts may not fit. We learned this lesson the hard way and that is why we supply the hardware that we do. If you can get a proper fit with the OEM small shoulder nuts, and that is your preference, please go ahead with it.
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      09-19-2010, 11:04 AM   #18
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With regard to the tower caps, they are Z8 parts but by coincidence they happen to fit the 98, 99 & 2000 M Roadster & Coupe perfectly, just snap them in. However they do not fit the Z4 towers without modification and we have made this info public from the start. It is necessary to take scissors and trim off the 1/8 inch bottom skirt and then use your favorite stickum on the edge and set them in place. Mine have been installed that way on my 07 M Roadster since new and it works perfectly, ditto for our Z4 customers who have ordered and installed them.
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      09-22-2010, 01:25 PM   #19
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Mine

I was not able to get the part number yet, I'm working on it.
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      09-22-2010, 01:27 PM   #20
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one more

...
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      09-23-2010, 12:04 AM   #21
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Looks great! Thanks for the pictures.
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      09-23-2010, 04:04 AM   #22
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No Problem.
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