Need a strutbrace for '86 5KCSTQ

Steven Hauptmann hauptmanns at MAIL.LLR.STATE.SC.US
Wed Nov 6 14:30:29 EST 2002

<< To be effective, any brace, including attachments and resultant tower
deflections to the point of useful stiffness, the tower top strut anchor
points, must be an order of magnitude stiffer than the towers themselves. >>

That seems logical enough. The brace and/or the tower top strut anchor
points must provide more stiffness than the weakest link.
Obviously off the cuff, the towers themselves don't seem obviously weak to
me, but since I did feel a noticeable difference in initial turn in after
installing a strut tower brace on my 87 GTI (I know the chassis is
significantly weaker than that of a type 44 but..), I have to wonder if the
chassis which separates the towers is what's being braced because of
inherent flex and not necessarily flex in the towers themselves.
Regardless, the flex would be transferred to the rubber mounts (as you
noted) without the aid of a Benz bar.

As a side note, I received the TAP aluminum (bare) brace as a Christmas
present in 2000.
It wasn't "Fram orange" but did look pretty cool. That's good because aside
from possibly serving as a high tech towel holder, it didn't offer any other
After installation, being very excited to take a test drive and hopefully
feel the difference, I was very disappointed to find out that the hood would
not close!
Talk about post Christmas blues!

TAP did let me pay for return shipping to get a "full refund".
The guy told me that it only seems to fit half the 200 20v's, and the other
half have a hood closing issue.

Steve Hauptmann
South Carolina

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