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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I finished the install of the VST strut brace yesterday and snapped of a few shots of some clearence issues with it. It only took about twenty minutes to do and anyone with a 14mm socket, 17mm wrench and 8mm allen wrench can do it.

The finish of the bar is pretty good, a couple of areas could have used a little more polishing.


Overall it looks really nice. Is it trully is functional? I don't know if we'll ever know.




Now for the part I was not happy with at all!!!
The left hand side of the brace does not clear the brake resevior filler cap and is pushing up against it pretty firmly. There is also a wire harness coveron the left side where the brace bracket pushes the cover back about 3/8". Not really that big of a deal, but for the money this thing should be flawless.


closer looks:




Well for $400 I figured this brace would have no issues at all, apparently it does on my 04 R. There is some adjument on the brace brackets and I have them maxed out, still the filler cap hits and the harness cover is pushed back. I'm really sure I have it installed correctly and you guys might see something I don't. Any other folks have these issues with thier install?

On the other hand the instructions make no mention of an install on the R model, only the AWD 01+ model was the closest to the R. It could be that IPD didn't know, but then again they have the same brace installed on thier V70 project car....


Kevin

Modified by KVB at 4:14 PM 2-11-2006
 

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Re: Installed the VST strut brace, couple of issues (KVB)

That looks pretty tight against the reservoir cap! If things flex I could see issues arising. Let us know what IPD says. Perhaps the reservoir has some variations across years which change the cap location. I know that's true of the PS reservoir...

Tom.
 

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Re: Installed the VST strut brace, couple of issues (tmtalpey)

I've had mine for over 2 years now and have no problem with the bar touching the cap. It's close, but seems to work OK.
I cut the corner of the plastic wire shroud. There is no clearance problem there now.
 

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Re: Installed the VST strut brace, couple of issues (KVB)

I told you guys don't waste your money on looks, buy the powerflex bushings, THESE work
Are BOTh bars supposed to be there?
 

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Re: Installed the VST strut brace, couple of issues (JRL)

Both bars have to be there.

The VST bar doesn't incorporate the upper engine mount.
 

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Re: Installed the VST strut brace, couple of issues (tmtalpey)

Mine clears the cap fine (2004 GT), I think there might just be some variations in position in the car itself.

As for the plastic bits, the problem with mine was the plugs that mount on the cover. I moved them all down one notch (there is an empty position below the bottom one) and then everything cleared fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Installed the VST strut brace, couple of issues (tmtalpey)

Quote, originally posted by tmtalpey »
That looks pretty tight against the reservoir cap! If things flex I could see issues arising. Let us know what IPD says. Perhaps the reservoir has some variations across years which change the cap location. I know that's true of the PS reservoir...

Tom.

Well I can still turn the cap and get it off without problem, and it's a little better now as I just got back form installing the blue bushing and had a chance to readjust everthing. I know I'm being a little nit picky calling this out. On some cars as stated above there is no problem clearing the cap, so there must be very slight variations from car to car that VST over looked in thier design which was never meant to fit an R IMO. That bar will not flex at all... it's VERY solid once mounted. So chaffing and rubbing I"m not concerned with.

Modified by KVB at 10:02 AM 2-11-2006
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Installed the VST strut brace, couple of issues (JRL)

Quote, originally posted by JRL »
I told you guys don't waste your money on looks, buy the powerflex bushings, THESE work
Are BOTh bars supposed to be there?

You can't prove of disprove if this design works. Have you ever installed one on your car? I didn't thinkso. The powerflex bushing only help with engine mounting, just like the Evolve Blue. The don't help with the towers at all.

Anyways, I have some of the powerflex bushing coming too. So I think between all the engine brace bushings and the VST brace everything will be solid. Nothing more you can really do, unless someone designs a solid mounted engine brace that works as both the engine mount and locks the towers in place laterally.
 

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Re: Installed the VST strut brace, couple of issues (JRL)

Quote, originally posted by JRL »
I told you guys don't waste your money on looks, buy the powerflex bushings, THESE work

JRL / KVB, can you post where you got those and how much?

Do they mostly help with steering feel, ability to deal with bumps, turn in, all of the above?

I'm looking for front end to feel just a little more buttoned down above 100mph on Autobahn. Feels "loose" to me sometimes.
 

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Re: Installed the VST strut brace, couple of issues ("R" Kelly)

Quote, originally posted by "R" Kelly »


JRL / KVB, can you post where you got those and how much?

Do they mostly help with steering feel, ability to deal with bumps, turn in, all of the above?

I'm looking for front end to feel just a little more buttoned down above 100mph on Autobahn. Feels "loose" to me sometimes.

Kelly, partsforvolvosonline (PFS) has Powerflex bushings. I've been in contact with Clive at PFS about this and a strut brace (which he says he's working on). BTW, Powerflex has bushings for both the engine mounts (upper and lower) AND the strut bar ends, which JRL has.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: Installed the VST strut brace, couple of issues ("R" Kelly)

Quote, originally posted by "R" Kelly »


JRL / KVB, can you post where you got those and how much?

Do they mostly help with steering feel, ability to deal with bumps, turn in, all of the above?

I'm looking for front end to feel just a little more buttoned down above 100mph on Autobahn. Feels "loose" to me sometimes.

wrxownr ordered them for when he placed his order... Try Powerflex USA for starters, but I know of multiple places that sell them over the net here in the UK. Just do a search for powerflex bushs (yes bushs) and you should come up with a few.

They will basically do a little more of what the Evolve blue bushing does. If you ever grabbed ahold of the bar and rocked it back and forth, it moves quite a bit. They also sell the smaller rear/upper bushing that will add a little bit more. The engine mount setup was never designed to take the place of a solid mounted strut brace. If it was solid mounted and had no bushings I would say to everyone that buying an additional brace is a waste of monet. But the engine mount brace, though mounted solidly to the strut tower, is still loose as it has bushing via bolts to hold it to the solid mount.

But I do believe they will improve steering feel, just as the blue bushing did, maybe shifting as some have noticed improved shifting with the Evolve blue.

Kevin
 

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Re: Installed the VST strut brace, couple of issues (KVB)

I installed the Powerflex bushings after driving around with the Blue Evolve engine mount bushing. Honestly, I couldn't tell if they were doing anything at all. Either Johann or Our R said it would help decrease wear on the existing bushings on the bar so I got it mostly for peace of mind. If you've already got lowering springs and sway bars, I seriously doubt you'll feel any improvement from installing the bushings. Either that, or I've installed them completely wrong.

Doesn't the strut brace only connect the engine to the chassis? Stiffening it up won't really tie down the two ends of the chassis. That's what the VST bar is supposed to be doing.
 

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I ordered them from Powerflex USA. They went 04BQ, backordered. They e-mailed me within a day to tell me that it may take 2-3 weeks. They replied to my e-mails very quickly and answered every question I threw at them. It's been about a week and a half since I ordered them. Here is the drawing they have for 2002 S60 AWD:



Denny
 

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Re: Installed the VST strut brace, couple of issues ("R" Kelly)

Quote, originally posted by "R" Kelly »


JRL / KVB, can you post where you got those and how much?

Do they mostly help with steering feel, ability to deal with bumps, turn in, all of the above?

I'm looking for front end to feel just a little more buttoned down above 100mph on Autobahn. Feels "loose" to me sometimes.
ALL of the above, call ipd.
You WILL have a bit more vibration, no problem a 6 speed, I would NOT recommend with an automatic unless you don't mind a shaky steering wheel, not a problem with a stick tho. (I also have the black Evolve top engine bushing)
Really buttons up the entire front end.
I'm not sure I would also want that VST brace, as nice as it looks.
Track driving, sure, but I think mine seems all around stiff enough for any and all street applications
 

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Re: Installed the VST strut brace, couple of issues (KVB)

KVB said:
You can't prove of disprove if this design works. Have you ever installed one on your car? I didn't thinkso. The powerflex bushing only help with engine mounting, just like the Evolve Blue. The don't help with the towers at all.

QUOTE]
The powerflex bushings stiffen the engine/tower brace.
If you think a minute, the factory brace also is a strut tower brace. Sure it's not a solid brace, but the bushings really tighten it up significantly.
The VST brace al;so tightens up the towers even more without touching the engine.
So, after I looked at it again I suppose I was wrong in my first statement. However, I would try any poly top engine bushing, WITH the powerflex bushings. If you still want it stiffer THEN go ahead and do the VST type brace.
It would be interesting to drive a back to back comparison and see if there's any noticable difference (after all the 3 other bushings are installed)
JRL
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Installed the VST strut brace, couple of issues (JRL)

Quote, originally posted by JRL »
The powerflex bushings stiffen the engine/tower brace.
If you think a minute, the factory brace also is a strut tower brace. Sure it's not a solid brace, but the bushings really tighten it up significantly.
The VST brace al;so tightens up the towers even more without touching the engine.
So, after I looked at it again I suppose I was wrong in my first statement. However, I would try any poly top engine bushing, WITH the powerflex bushings. If you still want it stiffer THEN go ahead and do the VST type brace.
It would be interesting to drive a back to back comparison and see if there's any noticable difference (after all the 3 other bushings are installed)
JRL

Yes, all the engine related bushing could help, and should a little bit, but they wont lock the towers in place. The addition of the VST brace is the only solid link between the two towers. If one could produce a solid mount that fits into, and is designed to mount where the rubber bushings go into the engine bar..... that may be a much cheaper alternative to the VST brace.

I didn't comment on feel because it's totally subjective. I have no access to another completely stock R to drive back to back rides, in track conditions, not knowing which car has the VST/bushings and not and given that I drive the track the exact same was every time to base my opinion on.

So, the VST brace may help and it may not. None the less it looks nice and from what I know it should buttun up the towers just fine in addition to the current engine bar configuration.

Kevin
 

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Re: Installed the VST strut brace, couple of issues (KVB)

Quote, originally posted by KVB »


If one could produce a solid mount that fits into, and is designed to mount where the rubber bushings go into the engine bar..... that may be a much cheaper alternative to the VST brace.

That you do not want.
The vibration would be horrenous and unlivable for a street car
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: Installed the VST strut brace, couple of issues (JRL)

Quote, originally posted by JRL »

That you do not want.
The vibration would be horrenous and unlivable for a street car

I think it would work. It seemed to work on the Evolve Blue proto. I never heard anything about horrendous vibrations during driving, not to state that it didn't happen, but I think thier idea is certainly drivable in real world condition.

Check it out here:
http://www.evolvecars.com/albu...0.jpg

This would be my two in one answer to both engine brace/mounts and locking the towers in place.

Kevin
 
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