strut tower rip?

Eric_R_Kissell at Eric_R_Kissell at
Sun Jan 30 09:22:13 EST 2005

I have been reading this thread and one thing occurs to me:

The Bernie Brace is very easy to build - why don't more people have one?

The strut tower cracking is a fatigue failure, which results from two
things - cycles and strain.

The Bernie Brace will reduce strain by spreading the stress between the two
sides. Less stress means less strain.

When Audi reinforced the V8 they changed the distribution of the stress as
well, which would reduce strain in the area that seems to crack. This does
not mean that the movement of the top of the strut was necessarily reduced
a significant amount, though it may have been. I have not looked at a V8,
so I cannot speculate. It may be that Audi was tired of the occasional
crack through the hole so they redistributed the loading to reduce some of
the strain at the area prone to cracking. Total movement of the top of the
strut may or may not have changed much.

The Bernie Brace makes a straight shot from the top of one strut to the
other, so it is loaded as a column and thus very stiff. Note that the
loading from side to side is always in compression, so column loading is
appropriate. Any brace that does not go straight across will be loaded in
bending and not as a column and thus need a lot more material arranged as a
proper "truss" to be as stiff as the Bernie Brace. Furthermore, just
stiffening the front of the strut tower will not provide that same
stiffness to the rear of the strut tower and vice versa because of the
"bending" or "rotation" of the strut tower front to rear. The Bernie Brace
puts the extra stiffness right in the middle where it is most effective.

Again, the Bernie Brace is a very easy part to make, so why not just add
one and see what you think?

Just wondering,

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