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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 10-10-2011, 09:58 PM   #1
SLO Town
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Mason Engineering E46 "Front Racing Strut Bar"

Folks, I just bought and installed this. I've had others but this is the best by far because it doesn't have pivoting joints, etc. You can get it in either steel or aluminum. Mine is steel, 5 pounds.

Get it directly from Mason Engineering or from Rogue.

Scott
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:04 PM   #2
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Nice. Strong Strut also makes a pivotless bar.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:05 PM   #3
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good looking bar
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mtnbound View Post
Nice. Strong Strut also makes a pivotless bar.
Thanks, and not throwing stones; but the Mason bar is a one piece design.

Scott
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:07 PM   #5
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Nice. Complements your clean engine bay. Mine is shameful right now.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:18 PM   #6
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Felt any difference with the bar?
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:22 PM   #7
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:36 AM   #8
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Felt any difference with the bar?
I did not feel any noticeable difference on the street but DID feel a difference on the track at higher cornering speeds. I kept it balanced by installing both front and rear bars. The car did not flex as much due to the strut bars closing the "top gap" of an "open box" suspension geometry.
Nothing like the two 20 minute SCCA PDX sessions during Sunday am quiet time at a SCCA Road Atlanta race event to find out what your car is doing when you get close to its limits.

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Old 10-11-2011, 08:58 AM   #9
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I was thinking about one of these to see if it would improve handling. In the photo it looks like the nuts for the strut mounts are not tightened or have no threads showing? The forward nut on the driver side looks like it is about 1/4" from seating???

How many threads show after this is installed? How thick is the bar where it connects to the mount? Did you use the existing strut mounts?
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BMW-North View Post
I was thinking about one of these to see if it would improve handling. In the photo it looks like the nuts for the strut mounts are not tightened or have no threads showing? The forward nut on the driver side looks like it is about 1/4" from seating???

How many threads show after this is installed? How thick is the bar where it connects to the mount? Did you use the existing strut mounts?
North:

The strut bar/strut bearing nuts are fully tiughtened. See the attached picture.

I have installed the strut tower stiffeners that fit on the underside of the strut tower. These are BMW pieces that I got from Turner. I am also using BMW strut bearings.

As a consequence, the nuts do not thread down on the studs as much as they would without these extra pieces. That said, the top of the nuts are even with the studs so there is full engagment. The attached picture suggests otherwise (only slightly), but trust me, I am getting full engagment.

To the other folks, in all candor I am skeptical of strut tower braces. However, after a brisk test drive today I honestly think it stiffened up the front end a bit.

I am 100% satisfied with this Mason Engineering piece, and think its one piece, no pivot design is superior to all others on the market.

Highly recommended!

Scott
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:56 PM   #11
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looks rather close fitting to the engine covers Scott??


strange, for some reason i thought you had bought one of the BMW PERFORMANCE CF strut braces like the rest of us

the only downside i've found with a one peice bar is that you have to take off all the darn bolts and bar to get under it
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Alex323Ci View Post
looks rather close fitting to the engine covers Scott??


strange, for some reason i thought you had bought one of the BMW PERFORMANCE CF strut braces like the rest of us

the only downside i've found with a one peice bar is that you have to take off all the darn bolts and bar to get under it
Alex, sir. It's not as close as the pictures suggest. One thing I've tried with my BMW is to test engine mount flex by engaging the clutch while in gear, in the garage with the hood up. I was amazed that there is virtually no movement of the engine.

Agreed about having to remove the strut brace, but one can do it in 3 minutes.

We need to figure out how to have a beer(s) or glass(es) of wine sometime so we can check out each other's steeds in detail.

Cheers,

Scott
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:01 AM   #13
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that bar is all business!
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLO Town View Post
Alex, sir. It's not as close as the pictures suggest. One thing I've tried with my BMW is to test engine mount flex by engaging the clutch while in gear, in the garage with the hood up. I was amazed that there is virtually no movement of the engine.

Agreed about having to remove the strut brace, but one can do it in 3 minutes.

We need to figure out how to have a beer(s) or glass(es) of wine sometime so we can check out each other's steeds in detail.
Cheers,
Scott
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:44 PM   #15
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nice bar, clean engine bay as well
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:16 PM   #16
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Strut tower bar can make a significant improvement depending on the car. My 2001 Nissan Maxima's front end was so loose that I felt a big difference after installing a strut bar. The front is much tighter and the car tracks straighter.

However, on my 2005 330ci vert the strut bar didn't make a noticeable difference. I have the bar mostly to prevent the strut tower mushrooming.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzwu View Post
Strut tower bar can make a significant improvement depending on the car. My 2001 Nissan Maxima's front end was so loose that I felt a big difference after installing a strut bar. The front is much tighter and the car tracks straighter.

However, on my 2005 330ci vert the strut bar didn't make a noticeable difference. I have the bar mostly to prevent the strut tower mushrooming.
Convertibles are notorious for having a lot of body flex so I suspect that more frame reinforcers are called for in this case. Underbody and rear strut bar are some of the choices.

Jim
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzwu View Post
Strut tower bar can make a significant improvement depending on the car. My 2001 Nissan Maxima's front end was so loose that I felt a big difference after installing a strut bar. The front is much tighter and the car tracks straighter.

However, on my 2005 330ci vert the strut bar didn't make a noticeable difference. I have the bar mostly to prevent the strut tower mushrooming.
A strut bar will not prevent strut tower mushrooming. You need to install these for that kind of protection. These are BMW parts.


http://www.rogueengineering.com/rogue/REIN/REINFT.html
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:52 AM   #19
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ya

Nice Bar.
I had one, but to engage enough threads, I would have had to remove some suspension and install longer studs... so I passed it along.
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:20 PM   #20
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A strut bar will not prevent strut tower mushrooming. You need to install these for that kind of protection. These are BMW parts.


http://www.rogueengineering.com/rogue/REIN/REINFT.html

Why not? I would say the strut bar does a better job than the plates alone.
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