Friday, 12 April 2013
Ultra Racing Front Tower Strut Bar
My relentless pursuit to improve handling resulted in the installation of the front tower strut bar as a start to better chassis stiffening. With limited availability of tower struts for the S190 GS300/350 in the market , I put my money on the Ultra Racing tower strut as it was the only one I could find locally.
Yes, it is no big brand like Cusco and there is a lack of the chrome engine 'bling'. Nevertheless, S$140 for a one piece powder coated strut was certainly value for money. After all, a tower strut isn't exactly "rocket science" so any conventional one piece design should suffice.
Having said that, I have been driving with this one piece design for a couple of days and I noted that the chassis has stiffen up. This is noticeable around hard corners and bumps. My good wife commented that the ride feels a touch 'harder', especially when my suspension settings were on Sports mode. So it seems that I am speaking the truth given her slight complains.
I did note that there was a minor increase in vibrations when stationary in 'Drive', probably logical since the towers are now braced together and the overall chassis is stiffer. Nevertheless, everything feels as refine the moment I put my foot on the gas. Small price to pay for better handling. Go figure...but honestly, I was quite annoyed initially because the Lexus is such a refined car. So you tend to hear and feel everything and that messes with your mind.
One other thing to note was that Ultra Racing designed the tower strut for the S190 that came without the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS). Hence, I had to remove the dust caps for the suspension stepper motors to accommodate the tower strut. No issues thus far as the engine bay is relatively dry even on rainy days thanks to the flat undercarriage and great air channelling incorporated in the design. However, I will soon be sourcing for a rubber grommet or something to conceal the motors just as a precaution.
Certainly satisfied with the set up. The only drawback when in the department of appeal was that the white gets dirty easily. Especially on the areas where it comes in contact with the insulation material under the hood. That sucks and I doubt the strut would stay immaculate for long.