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2003 RSX Track Car
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Hey all, I was interested in testing my strut bar to measure the improvements it makes to the chassis so I threw together a vary basic setup I thought you all might find interesting.

Cars with MacPherson style suspension like the RSX are particularly prone to compressive forces pushing the two strut towers together. For this reason, my goal was to measure the compressive displacement of the strut towers with and without the strut bar.

I mounted a push rod rigidly on the driver’s side strut tower and let it rest on a slider on the passenger’s side. As the strut towers moved inward, a dial indicator would measure the movement of the push rod in relation to the passenger’s side strut tower.


Because the tires move horizontally slightly as the suspension is compressed, a roller was set under one wheel while the other was set on a block of wood to keep the car even. This eliminated any exterior forces caused by the tires.


To apply a load to the suspension, a long steel bar was attached to the subframe so that it extended out in front of the car. Applying a load to the bar I saw around 0.010” of deflection without any sort of strut bar and only 0.001” of deflection with my strut bar installed.

(Here is a link to my instagram post with the videos)
http://instagr.am/p/Cl15VOepFsl/

I can’t speak for all strut bars because each design varies slightly but I was fairly impressed by the results. I repeated the test several times and measured the same deflections each time. A 90% increase in chassis rigidity was much more than I was expecting to see and supports the claim that the strut bar reduces flex, creating a more predictable driving experience.

Obviously, this test did not fully replicate the forces that would be seen on track. Because of that I plan to replace the pushrod with something like a linear potentiometer so that I can data log the flex on track next season. Let me know what you guys think. I haven’t been able to find any real data or testing done on strut bars so I thought it would be an interesting experiment.
 
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