Rear Strut Tower brace on an 89? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 09-13-2007, 12:26 PM   #1
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Default Rear Strut Tower brace on an 89?

Hey guys. I've been working on my 89 LeSabre (F41 suspension, front STB, poly endlinks front, rubber endlinks rear) and I was wondering if adding a strut tower brace to the rear would help stiffen it up any? The rear of the car just feels sloppy compared to my front.

I searched the forum and found that new model H body cars don't benefit much from this, but what about the 87-91 cars? And clearance of the speaker boxes is not an issue for my car as I've got my speakers mounted directly in the rear dash.

My current idea was to take a normal mid 90'* front STB that I have laying around and modify it to fit the rear. I'd have to cut at an angle one of the STB-to-tower mounts off, and then weld in a bit of metal with a hole on the other end for the second mount.

So, anybody think that it would do any good? Or has anybody done this on this era of H body? Even if it stiffens up the rear just a little bit, then thats fine by me. If nobody else has done one on this era H Body then I'll play guinea pig
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Old 09-13-2007, 12:31 PM   #2
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I know the construction of the unibody in the 92-99'* pretty much rules it out, but then again, that unibody construction serves the purpose of a rear STB. I've looked into it on my SSEi, but found through other suspension improvements, it'* not needed any more.

The rear will generally sway less because the rear of the car is lighter. You may find that simply upgading your rear struts and endlinks may satisfy you. If it doesn't, then try full-coil-support spring rubbers (NASCAR style). This was my final step, and I achieved neutral handling with them.

Take a pic inside your trunk. One low-center view showing both sides, and closer in at the tops of the towers for us.
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:49 PM   #3
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That was quick

I do probably need to replace all my struts, but just from bouncing the rear and front I get less movement than my brother'* Olds 88 (FE1) with brand new struts.

I think the basic unibody design of the first gen H Body is very similar to the second gen, so I may not even notice a difference by adding a STB if the body already acts as one as you said. But... on the other hand if I've got the parts and time to play with it then why not?

And where might I find full-coil-support spring rubbers? They just replace the factory rear sway bushings, right? I know where to get poly bushings easily enough, but I've not heard of these others.

Anyway, I'll try to get a pic up soon
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Old 09-13-2007, 02:07 PM   #4
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Eric... I don't think a STB for the rear will do a lot of good..

Its a pretty solid set up on the older 87-91( 85-86 ) in the case of some of the Buick C and H bodies...

I believe that the rear of the Old H Body is overbuilt.. But if you can fabricate a bar and it makes an improvement.... Let us know

New struts will help you as well... I recommend either the Sensatracks or the Monroe Matic Plus

Also the 87-91 F41 used an 18 mm bar, it may be worth a shot to use a 21mm bar from a 92-99 FE2-F41 rear sway bar and see if you like the improvement

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Old 09-13-2007, 02:47 PM   #5
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Ah. Well looks like I'm just going to make one just for the heck of it then. If it doesn't improve anything then I'll just leave it. Its not in the way and at the least I can install a fire extinguisher on it or any other electrical goodies.

Quick Question: Which is stiffer: F41 or FE3?

Reason I ask is that I know of an FE3 Toronado in a junkyard and from looking at Addco'* website (they make aftermarket sway bars) that they show the same part number for both the toronodo and the LeSabre. Therefore, I assume they'll fit. Soo... if FE3 is better than F41 then I'm going to grab that toro bar, put it under my BLT, and then put my F41 bar under my brother'* Olds 88.
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Old 09-13-2007, 02:55 PM   #6
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I'm not so sure the bar will even work for you..

Not sure what they are listed that way.. Would be interesting if that was so tho..

I think the toro is either an E or G body... Very different than the C or H Body..

Things get a little tricky with the FE2/F41/FE3

All 3 of these will fall into the same category... GM had a mix of suspensions that could drive a person insane..

F41 was said to be Firm ride and handling

FE3 was said to be Sport Ride..

FE2 is said to be ride and handling..

But GM used different spring rates in every category...

I have driven FE2'* and F41'*... I have driven F41'* that seemed a bit softer than an FE2 and I have driven FE2'* that really made me thing I was in a Touring sedan with a Stiff ride and great handling.. Just ask Sandrock... His 94 SSE is Bone stock... And it rides stiff and handles great.. I love it..

So its hard to tell you what would be stiffer... But if you so Happen to find an H body with FE3 of your vintage... You might consider taking the parts... It would be worth your time

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Old 09-13-2007, 05:56 PM   #7
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I knew of FE3 H Body cars, notably installed on Oldsmobile 88 Coupes among others.

I guess what I'm asking is which bar is thickest? The F41 or the FE3? If I had the time to run out to a junkyard just to see what they are with my calipers I would...
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:12 PM   #8
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The FE3 or F41 out of which applications? APPLICATION will determine thickness of the bar as much as RPO code.

F42 and FE2 sways from H bodies are the same identical bar.
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:13 PM   #9
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18 year old car. If the suspension bushings are original it would explain allot of the loose feeling.

As the bushings age they get softer so, even if they look fine they can allow more movement.
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Old 09-13-2007, 07:18 PM   #10
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The thickest you will find for an H body from 86ish to 99 will be a 32mm front bar and a 21mm rear bar.. These will be the thickest..

I have heard of a 34mm fro the front but no one has yet to find one.. The largest we have seen is the 32

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