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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi, i'm new to the forum (just bought a 3 about a week ago). i've done quite a bit of searching and i'm impressed with the site. i'm not new to car forums, so i know it's best to do searching before asking questions. i'll post up an intro thread when i have a little extra time. thank you all in advance for your help.

i've been looking at all the front strut tower braces on the board and see all sorts of options, but i've only found one thread that talks about the kakumei bar. and then, it really only talked about fitment more than anything. that thread basically talked more about the other bars the company sells.

does anybody have experience with these bars? here's the link to the item on ebay
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/_Car-Truck-Parts-Accessories__MAZDA3-4DR-SEDAN-5DR-HATCHBACK-2-0-2-3-FRONT-TOWER-BAR_W0QQitemZ130266733641QQadiZ2865QQadnZCarQ20Q26Q20TruckQ20PartsQ20Q26Q20AccessoriesQQcmdZViewItemQQptZMotors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories?hash=item130266733641&_trksid=p4506.c0.m245&_trkparms=72%3A543%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318
 

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you'd be better off going with sway bars than a strut tower brace, you'll get very little performance addition from the tower brace...while you'll see a big improvement in handling from the sway bars
 

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I'd start with the rear sway bar first. Its a very easy install and you'll see a very noticable improvemnet. In some cases its cheaper than a strut bar.
 

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Well I agree somewhat.

I added strut first and it did help some.

I alos upgraded to Mazdaspeed front and rear sway bars shortly after.

Overall the combination of all 3 really heped out. Less body flex and roll, feels tight and smooth in corners.

Lowereing also helps out, adding good springs, camber kit.

I got both my Mazdaspeed sways for $100 from a friend, just gotta find a member on here who has the Speed 3 and buy their set when they upgrade.

Still the Ultra Performance Strut I suggested it a one piece design, it will make an Improvement over 3 piece designs.
 

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Honestly, now that my springs and sway bar are done. I wouldn't mind adding a strut bar.

My 2 cents on the strut bars actually having an effect on the cars performance. I wouldn't see strut bars on race cars if they were just for show. By no means am I saying I drive a race car but the sum of all the suspension upgrades can make for a pretty drastic improvement. Also I completly get the part were people say the strut towers are close to the fire wall so there isn't much flex. Still even if it takes away a little flex you've made an improvement.

I wonder if you would see more improvement from a bar that also tied into the firewall? Have 3 attachment points rather than 2.
 

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[quote author=mazdaman35 link=topic=134302.msg2887605#msg2887605 date=1232811745]
Honestly, now that my springs and sway bar are done. I wouldn't mind adding a strut bar.

My 2 cents on the strut bars actually having an effect on the cars performance. I wouldn't see strut bars on race cars if they were just for show. By no means am I saying I drive a race car but the sum of all the suspension upgrades can make for a pretty drastic improvement. Also I completly get the part were people say the strut towers are close to the fire wall so there isn't much flex. Still even if it takes away a little flex you've made an improvement.

I wonder if you would see more improvement from a bar that also tied into the firewall? Have 3 attachment points rather than 2.
[/quote]

It does make a difference. It may not so much in the 3 as other cars, but that is probably because of such a short wheelbase. When the strut towers are a bit further into the engine bay, it makes a world of a difference because there is less frame support for the strut towers to base stiffness off of. With the design of the 3 and it's engine bay, I would say getting a strut tower brace that is going to hit all 3 bolts above the strut towers will be beneficial as well as having one that goes out towards the front some so that it doesn't interfere with the components on the firewall would be good.

eBay version should at least demonstrate the point, but I probably wouldn't buy it because it is an off name eBay product that won't stand up to the pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thank you everyone for your answers. i've looked at the sway bars a little bit and i guess i'll be doing that first. i didn't think about sway bars because my storm already has them and everyone adds the strut bars (front and rear) to tighten up turning a little. before my hg on the storm blew, that was goingto be one of my next mods.

i apologise for not specifying exactly what my plans for the 3 are. i don't really plan on going crazy and autox with this car, but there are a lot of nice mountain roads here and i want to have some fun driving driving the family around.

i guess the one person on the board who made a thread about the kakumei bar said he was happy with it, but he also put on the rear floor bar and the h bar.
 

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[quote author=daustin link=topic=134302.msg2887745#msg2887745 date=1232817053]
[quote author=mazdaman35 link=topic=134302.msg2887605#msg2887605 date=1232811745]
Honestly, now that my springs and sway bar are done. I wouldn't mind adding a strut bar.

My 2 cents on the strut bars actually having an effect on the cars performance. I wouldn't see strut bars on race cars if they were just for show. By no means am I saying I drive a race car but the sum of all the suspension upgrades can make for a pretty drastic improvement. Also I completly get the part were people say the strut towers are close to the fire wall so there isn't much flex. Still even if it takes away a little flex you've made an improvement.

I wonder if you would see more improvement from a bar that also tied into the firewall? Have 3 attachment points rather than 2.
[/quote]

It does make a difference. It may not so much in the 3 as other cars, but that is probably because of such a short wheelbase. When the strut towers are a bit further into the engine bay, it makes a world of a difference because there is less frame support for the strut towers to base stiffness off of. With the design of the 3 and it's engine bay, I would say getting a strut tower brace that is going to hit all 3 bolts above the strut towers will be beneficial as well as having one that goes out towards the front some so that it doesn't interfere with the components on the firewall would be good.

[/quote]

There is so much 'wrong' in this statement. Short wheelbase has nothing to do with it, it's where the strut towers are located relative to the cowl. The bar will not a noticeable difference, and is mainly for show...just as it is with many newer unibody designs. The C1-platform is a rather stiff car and is one reason why it does so well in handling and ride comfort, however it is also forgiving when it comes to rough patches of road...although the noise would make you think otherwise!

Now, the (iPD) strut bar on my Volvo made a difference, for a multitude of reasons mainly relating to the design of it being a early-80s design.

If you want to tighten up the car a little, go with a rear sway bar first. You can find Mazdaspeed3 strut bars for cheap (~$100) if you want an OEM-style upgrade or I'd go with a Racing Beat bar. Don't go too large or you'll be fighting some oversteer and in the snow, that isn't too much fun.

Good to see another Utah member...I lived in SLC for 6 years before moving to Boise for work. Enjoy your new 3.
 

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TEX hit the nail on the head.

It's been said time and time again here that strut tower bars do little to nothing but offer up some eye candy for the engine bay. IMO, money is best spent elsewhere.
 

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ok i get it. So what would you guys do if you were me?
 

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Save the money for something else.
 

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Brilliant
 

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i would also save for swaybars first.
i am actually installing a strut bar (already have MazdaSpeed Accessory sways) but really for bling (and because it's JDM MazdaSpeed). :p
 
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