Strut Tower rip

Ken Keith auditude at
Fri Jan 28 10:30:59 EST 2005

On Thu, 27 Jan 2005 16:10:28 -0800, Bernie Benz <b.benz at> wrote:
> > From: Ken Keith <auditude at>
> >
> > On Thu, 27 Jan 2005 11:25:20 -0800, Bernie Benz <b.benz at> wrote:
> >>
> >>> From: Ken Keith <auditude at>
> >>>
> >>> What I was recently wondering is if 2Bennett would have an opinion
> >>> about a Bernie Brace being used in conjunction with their Revolution
> >>> camber/caster plates.  If both are used, do the plates see more stress
> >>> than if they are used alone?  <snip>
> >>
> >> Several problems here, Ken.
> >> 1. The 2B plates provide no more camber adjustment than stock, unless you go
> >> with a smaller diameter upper spring perch and springs.
> >> 2. The 2B plates do not provide independent camber and castor adjustment,
> >> change one and you alter the other.  Poor design for the money!
> >
> > Okay, so those are criticisms of the camber/caster plate.  I guess I
> > don't see how those really speak to what I was asking.  It does make
> > your opinion known, again.
> And just what were you asking?

It's the part with that funny symbol after your sentence, "?" =) 
i.e.: "If both are used, do the plates see more stress than if they
are used alone?"

> > It's slightly interesting how people with on topic, but previously
> > answered, questions are sometimes sent to the archives to find the
> > answer, but in other situations like this we get to hear the same
> > opinions as have already been posted, without even asking for it.
> The diff between a newbe and old timer.

Does that mean you consider me an old timer?!  If so, wow, that's
kinda cool!  Maybe I should come up with my own mantra.  How about
"fun wallet syndrome"?  I can use it whenever I want to spend money on
something for my car that may not be absolutely necessary for me to
get from point A to point B, but yet I still enjoy buying, installing,
and using.  Or maybe RIWIOS,BIB!  Replace It When It's On Sale, Before
It Breaks!  =P

> >> 3. Eliminating the strut rod isolation may be OK for the track, but I
> >> wouldn't have it for a street car. My brace retains the isolation while
> >> distributing the upper lateral cornering force equally between the two
> >> towers.  Absolutely and theoretically the best that one can do, without
> >> tower redesign.
> >
> > Well for any "best", isn't there still a compromise?  You may put a
> > certain level of importance on the isolation offered by the stock
> > piece.  Someone else may consider that less important, and have a
> > different "best".  I suppose it could matter what streets, and tracks
> > for that matter, that you will be driving the car on.  I think we
> > covered some of this with the track car thread.
> You missed the point here, Ken.  Maybe because my explanation lacked
> clarity. For the purpose of this discussion, the upper suspension lateral
> stiffness can be considered to be two different spring systems in series,
> the isolation system and the tower system.
> You could, 2B did, eliminate the isolation to obtain infinite stiffness of
> this component.  I chose to retain the full stock isolation capabilities but
> I increased the stiffness of the isolation system by 2X+ by paralleling and
> preloading the two isolators in the latteral direction.
> The stock tower spring system employs only one of the two towers at a time,
> one for each direction of latteral force.  My "Absolutely and theoretically
> the best that one can do, without tower redesign." statement referred only
> to this tower spring system, not the isolation.  The purpose of a tower or
> strut brace is to share some of the lateral force between the two towers.
> Minimum tower deflection occurs when this sharing is equal, requiring that
> the brace be on axis with the latteral force and an order of magnitude
> stiffer than the towers.

Well, I'm convinced of the merits of the Bernie Brace, not that I was
ever an opponent.  This discussion about, or maybe my reflection on
this and past discussions, has left me with a better understanding of
how and why it works than before.

However, I have camber/caster plates on my car and they are not coming
off.  I would like to increase the stiffness of the strut towers. 
What I was wondering is if I put a BB on the car, does that increase
stress on the plates.  I was also curious if a sufficiently stiff
brace on the towers themselves would be effective *with the
camber/caster plates in place*, since the strut isn't permitted to
move relative to the top of the tower.

Those are two of the things I was wondering and asking about.  IMO,
when drafting a reply it sometimes helps to consider what's being
asked, to at least include it in addition to whatever other related or
tangental information the respondent believes is lacking or

Sometimes when people are learning about something, they will ask
about stuff that have nothing to do with the core message you are
trying to convey, but if you don't address the question somewhat
directly, they won't hear what you are saying because they are
confused about that other issue.  I think the onus is on the one with
the knowledge, to try to view the issue from the perspective of the
learner, because everyone is different.  =)



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