ZHAUST.COM

23 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on ZHAUST.COM

BRACE YOURSELF

Zhaust.com reviews the Cusco Type OS Strut Brace

You see many of the performance cars in the magazines sporting strut braces, especially at the front. Some people put them on to enhance the look of their engine bay and some people use them with the expectation of improved handling. But do they work?

For our test we have selected the Cusco Type OS strut brace. Cusco has built an envied reputation for themselves in the segment of suspension and L.S.Ds. As such we have decided to go with them for the review.

There are a number of things to look for when selecting a strut brace. Ideally one will wish to cop a one piece bar that has no moving parts for better rigidity but increasingly popular are the three piece braces which consist of a hollow bar with 2 end pieces, such as the one in our test, so we will see just how effective they are. Ultimately you would wish to get a brace which also secures itself to the firewall in addition to the shock towers.

Secondly, if you are going to use a three piece brace you should ensure that the end pieces are made of steel or stronger material as opposed to aluminum. An aluminum bar is quite fine however. The design of the bar is important as well. Most bars are hollow but reinforced on the inside for increased rigidity of the bar and resistance to twisting.

Manufacturers use different technologies to ensure that the bar stays rigid but to be sure that you get a performance enhancing product and not an engine bay ornament always purchase from a reputable manufacturer.

Our test car is a Toyota Altezza, which is known to have a few issues of its own when it comes to handling. Installation of the Cusco brace was a snap. Installation time was less than 45 minutes. The package includes a bracket which repositions the throttle cable and protective loom that protects the cable from rubbing the brace. This is where merchandise from quality brands really shines.

A point to note which is usually ignored or unknown by installers is that your suspension should be suspended when you are installing your brace. This ensures even balance and neutral suspension orientation when you tighten up.

The moment of truth. Does this thing work or is it another marketing gimmick that we stupidly fall for like lemmings? What�s the verdict�. HELL YEAH! Improvements could have been easily felt in the car�s handling characteristics.

Notably turn in is a lot sharper and the feedback to the steering is much more positive. This means a huge decrease in understeer and much better traction from the wheels now being firmly planted to the tarmac. Overall the car feels much more responsive and much less flexible, allowing the driver to feel more confident when attacking the corners.

We give this product two smoking tires! If you can afford it, we recommend one for the rear and lower braces as well to keep your shizzle tight!

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