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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So in my quest to get some better handling from the R without doing major surgery, I went ahead and ordered Viva's Front Strut Tower Brace (<A HREF="http://www.vivaperformance.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=81_101&products_id=773" TARGET="_blank">http://www.vivaperformance.com...d=773</A>). Here's my mini review:<p><B><U>To preface, my suspension/relevant mods are:</U></B><br>-Powerflex upper engine mount ( <A HREF="http://www.vivaperformance.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=81_101&products_id=389" TARGET="_blank">http://www.vivaperformance.com...d=389</A>)<br>-QBM lower transmission mount (<A HREF="http://www.vivaperformance.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=81_101&products_id=589" TARGET="_blank">http://www.vivaperformance.com...d=589</A>)<br>-IPD Engine Stabilizer Upper Poly Bushing Kit (<A HREF="http://www.ipdusa.com/Volvo-S60/Engine/Engine-Mounts/Engine-Stabilizer-Upper-Poly-Bushing-Kit/p-74-392-761-866/" TARGET="_blank">http://www.ipdusa.com/Volvo-S6...-866/</A>)<br>-Stock Springs<br>-18" Pegs<p><B><U>Fit/Finish/Install:</U></B><br>When I first received the bar, the packaging was solid and it looked like it had arrived A-OK with lots of padding/bubble wrap where it was needed. Upon inspection the welds look nice and the powder coat is a nice glossy black. It seems very solid and sturdy but yet lightweight (~6lbs). <br>The install was simply EASY. It is actually easier to install this bar than it is to clean out my BMC air filter (yeah it takes some force to wedge the filter back onto the MAF connector!). Literally took 5 minutes to install using a 13mm socket/ratchet (I also used a few inch socket extension) to loosen the 4 nuts total (2 per side). When installed, I checked for hood clearance issues and I am happy to report that the bar clears the hood without a problem. Also, Viva's website recommends the QBM Strut Bar Conversion Kit (<A HREF="http://www.vivaperformance.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=81_101&products_id=587" TARGET="_blank">http://www.vivaperformance.com...d=587</A>) for clearance to the stock oem bar. With my current setup there is plenty of room, probably 1/8-3/16" clearance between the new bar and the oem. It really fits nicely and looks like it should be there!<p><B><U>Test Drives:</U></B><br>#1---<br>56 degrees<br>sport mode<br>Car feels more solid upfront. Even going over bumps, the frontend seems "as one." Turning also feels much better and you get the feeling the car is more confident on the turn at higher speeds. This might be just me but I also feel like there is is less body roll.<br>#2---<br>approx 35 degrees<br>sport mode<br>With the colder weather these past few mornings, I wanted to test out the new bar. As we all know, our Rs (and many cars) tend to vibrate and provide more "feedback" to the driver when the car is cold. So the bar added, IMO, A LITTLE more vibrations but still nothing unbearable. Keep in mind that I also have a stiffer upper engine mount bushing along with the bushings from IPD to make the stock oem bar more rigid. I noticed the same findings, obviously, as the initial ride regarding the more solid feel and just overall better frontend planting.<p><B><U>The Bottom Line:</U></B> <br>For the price of the bar you can't go wrong with this mod. You CAN feel the difference with this and anyone with a socket/rachet can install it. Also, you must factor in Viva (George's) customer service which I've found to be one of the best around. Thanks George for bringing us this great product <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0"> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0"> <p><B><U>PICS:</U></B><br> <IMG SRC="http://i43.tinypic.com/2n64xo6.jpg" BORDER="0"> <br> <IMG SRC="http://i43.tinypic.com/xvzw4.jpg" BORDER="0"><br> <IMG SRC="http://i40.tinypic.com/ws1cv6.jpg" BORDER="0"><br> <IMG SRC="http://i42.tinypic.com/2hs98gy.jpg" BORDER="0"><br> <IMG SRC="http://i40.tinypic.com/xm3gqs.jpg" BORDER="0"><br> <IMG SRC="http://i43.tinypic.com/1zwg0tg.jpg" BORDER="0"><p><br><i>Modified by juve021 at 11:22 AM 4-14-2009</i><BR><BR>
<i>Modified by juve021 at 9:23 AM 4-19-2010</i>
 

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Re: Installed: Viva Front Strut Tower Brace (juve021)

Aw shucks,<br>Viva strut brace, <B>painted to match:</B><br><A HREF="http://img10.imageshack.us/my.php?image=strutbrace.jpg" TARGET="_blank"><IMG SRC="http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/30/strutbrace.th.jpg" BORDER="0"></A><br>Oh and nice shoes... <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/rolleyes.gif" BORDER="0"> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/rolleyes.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Installed: Viva Front Strut Tower Brace (JRL)

yeah yeah, thanks for braggin' JRL... <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/wink.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>ADIDAS cross trainers....if you were curious <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/tongue.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: Installed: Viva Front Strut Tower Brace (juve021)

NNNNNice!
 

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Re: (tomedkaz)

The OEM bar isn't really a brace. You'll notice that it's connected to the upper engine mount and then to two more strut mounts on the side. There are bushings in those side mounts as well. Basically that bar acts like a huge overcomplicated engine mount. Stick in a poly upper engine mount and QBM strut bar conversion kit, now you have a more functional strut bar at the cost of increased vibration. <p>Has anyone added the Viva bar after already having the QBM strut bar conversion kit? How much added benefit is there?
 

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Re: (PhilUp)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>PhilUp</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><p>Has anyone added the Viva bar after already having the QBM strut bar conversion kit? How much added benefit is there?</TD></TR></TABLE><p>I did the $2.99 conversion on this bar, and with the VIVA bar, the improvements were dramatic. Both are needed, IMO.
 

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Re: (Short Circuit)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Short Circuit</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><p>I did the $2.99 conversion on this bar, and with the VIVA bar, the improvements were dramatic. Both are needed, IMO.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Interesting... Do you have track sways as well?
 

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Since i just put this and the rear strut bars on this weekend, I thought I'd give some feedback.<p>I already had the QBM conversion and the QMB lower tranny mount, along with a stock '07 square tranny mount. Oh yeah.. and the V70R Rear Sway on my SR<p>The bars made a big difference. Turn in at normal speeds seems sharper, more controlled, more defined. Since I was at The Ring last week and this week, I was able to compare the high speed qualities. The car now seems to slide into corners. Last week, when i turned in, I knew the card would push out. I guess that would be understeer (new track driver,sorry.. not a lot of track time and terminology, sorry). Now the front gets in and the back starts coming around and basically, i would get off the gas to let it catch up. It wasn't coming around a lot, but it wasn't there before. Maybe Ford420 can explain it a bit. He was with me on a few of the runs. We even did a little drift through Brunchen. It could very well be that I've had a RWD car before, and this could be normal oversteer, it was just different then how the car handled before. There is a marked improvement in turning and handling over the stock QBM conversion, that's for sure.<p>That help at all?<BR><BR>
<i>Modified by Jeremy7o2 at 2:05 PM 4-13-2009</i>
 

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Re: (PhilUp)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>PhilUp</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><p>Interesting... Do you have track sways as well?</TD></TR></TABLE><p>I do. F&R. Also see: <A HREF="http://forums.swedespeed.com/zerothread?id=110529" TARGET="_blank">http://forums.swedespeed.com/zerothread?id=110529</A>
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, Jermey and ShortCir have it dot on. This mod really is worth it!<p>I would definitely do the rear bar as well but my stupid audio equipment is in the way....hmmm anyone want to buy a 12" sub and alpine amp?
 

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Re: (Jeremy7o2)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Jeremy7o2</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Since i just put this and the rear strut bars on this weekend, I thought I'd give some feedback.<br>That help at all?</TD></TR></TABLE><p>That did help thanks. I think I'm convinced now. Did you install this rear brace?<br> <IMG SRC="http://www.vivaperformance.com/catalog/images/s60_rear_strut_tower_brace.jpg" BORDER="0"> <br>How does it install and how much trunk space do you sacrifice for it?
 

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Re: (PhilUp)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>PhilUp</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><br>That did help thanks. I think I'm convinced now. Did you install this rear brace?<p>How does it install and how much trunk space do you sacrifice for it?</TD></TR></TABLE><p>that's the one I installed. It wasn't to hard at all. I just had to get into the trunk and work on my back, move the foam that's in the frame out of the way. Lower the back seats, bolt up one side then the other.. maybe 20-30 minutes. I have big fingers, so it wasn't as easy for me to get into the frame holes, but I figured it out. The carpet almost fits right back in place and unless you look for it, you really don't see it.<p>It doesn't really take any space since it hangs down to just below the opening under the shelf anyways, so you can still slide/pass through the same amount of material.<p>I can take a few pictures of the installed bar if you want.<p>I ordered both parts from George at Viva on the 1st and had them in Europe on the 9th. I'm very happy with it, I just need to learn to drive with the new rear.
 

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Re: (juve021)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>juve021</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Yes, Jermey and ShortCir have it dot on. This mod really is worth it!<p>I would definitely do the rear bar as well but my stupid audio equipment is in the way....hmmm anyone want to buy a 12" sub and alpine amp?</TD></TR></TABLE><p>How big is the sub/amp combo? I can measure the fit in my car and let you know if it will work.
 

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Re: Installed: Viva Front Strut Tower Brace (juve021)

Great write-up!<p>Out of curiosity though, does anyone think the design would be stronger if the attachment was a full circle around the shock tower rather than an offset to the front? I'm not an engineer and don't play one on TV...that's why I'm asking. Maybe that design would transmit too much vibration?<p>-Eric
 

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Re: Installed: Viva Front Strut Tower Brace (Sue Esponte)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Sue Esponte</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Great write-up!<p>Out of curiosity though, does anyone think the design would be stronger if the attachment was a full circle around the shock tower rather than an offset to the front? -Eric</TD></TR></TABLE><p>No
 

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Re: Installed: Viva Front Strut Tower Brace (JRL)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>JRL</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">No</TD></TR></TABLE><p>You say that was such authority and confidence! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/smile.gif" BORDER="0"><p>So, next question...why not?<p>Why wouldn't the brace be stronger if the torsional force was evenly distributed front and back rather than in a single offset direction to the front of the shock tower? It's been a long time since I took Physics and it seems kind of telling to me that most braces <b>are</b> looped at both ends but, like I said...I don't know. I need some convincing. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/wink.gif" BORDER="0"><p>-Eric
 

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has anyone tried the poly bushings for the strut bar from IPD? is there a lot of vibration? easy to install? work good?
 

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Re: Installed: Viva Front Strut Tower Brace (Sue Esponte)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Sue Esponte</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><p>You say that was such authority and confidence! <p>So, next question...why not?<p></TD></TR></TABLE><br>If it were, most manufacturers would make their bars with a full circle mount.<br>95% of the torsional force is the sides and front where the mounts are located.<br>Sure, if this was a pure race car you may it to be a bit stiffer (maybe), but no one would ever notice any difference on the street and this way makes mounting SUBSTANTIALLY easier.<br>The VOLVO factory strut bars for GEN 1 car have THREE mounting holes and is designed the same way as the ones they raced with way back when.<br>Remember this is an auxilury (sp?) bar to complement the factory engine strut bar after that one has stiffer (IPD QB's etc.) bushings installed
 
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