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Completed 4/16/2004

Install STRONG-STRUT strut tower reinforcement brace.

     (STRONG-STRUT $365)

13mm Socket
Ratchet Wrench
6mm Hex Key
Torque Wrench (recommended)

Installing a strut tower brace has been proven to stiffen the suspension of most unibody cars like the E46 (BMW had a reason to include one on the M3). By connecting the strut towers with a stiff brace, it creates a box-like structure with the struts, lower subframe, and the brace itself. This results in a more responsive suspension and better turn-in. Strut tower braces are made for the front and rear strut tower, but this Strong-Strut is designed for the front of the car. Installation is very simple, so I will briefly cover the steps and include photos of the final product.

1. Park the car on a level surface and set the parking brake.

2. Using a 13mm socket and ratchet, remove the 3 nuts on both strut towers (all 6 nuts).

3. Lay the two ends of the strut brace over the bolts and replace the nuts, but do not tighten yet (Photo A). On the passenger side, you may have to lift up on the battery terminal to slip the brace end under the terminal.

NOTE:You may notice that the strut bolts do not point directly up and may angle away from the centerline of the strut, preventing the brace ends from going over them. In this case, place a small block of wood against the bolt and *gently* tap with a hammer. They will straighten up pretty easily.

4. Once the ends are in place, install the strut brace bar and line up the holes on either end and fasten the bar to the ends with the supplied hex bolts (Photo B).

5. Once the hex bolts are tight, tighten to 18 ft-lbs.

Simple as that, you are done... go drive! (Photo C)


Photo A

Photo B

Photo C


There are many strut tower braces to choose from, but this one is ALL business. It is constructed of aircraft-grade T6 aluminum alloy, weighs only 4.5 lbs., and is very well made. The finish is a rough matte texture that looks like it belongs in the engine bay.

As for handling, it instantly tightens up the turn-in and feedback of the front suspension. I really enjoy how it makes the entire front suspension feel as one piece. There is very little flex and it is definite noticable change in handling, all for the better!

Big thanks to Paul Ebeyer at Strong-Strut for providing the product for the my330i car!

  © MarvelPhx