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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I installed a TRD sway bar a couple of weeks ago and was very impressed with the improved handling. I took note of all the suspension bars Jim (SuperchargedMR2) has on his S and thought I'd add the same, except make them myself. FWIW, I have literally no experience with making these kinds of things, but looked at a lot of pictures! And the last time I welded was eons ago in grade 10. I decided I had nothing to lose.

Materials:

- first and foremost safety gear, especially glasses;
- steel plate, steel tubing (I used square instead of round);
- welder;
- vice;
- level;
- vise-grips;
- rubber hammer;
- drill with 7/16" bit;
- grinder (bench and handheld);
- paint; and
- beer.

First up, the rear strut area ...

Here's a pic of the area; it's more complicated than on most cars which have the strut nuts/bolts level with the top shock mount making it easy to fabricate a bracket that connects to all bolts (like the front of the S). So I decided to mount my bar on the "front" side, to the bolt on each side. Jim mentioned the bar from Ultra Racing is mounted this way.



Here's the steel square tubing I used. Got it free, but it's from Home Depot. Square seems to me as being stiffer, but I really have no idea. :facepalm:



The first step was to make the mounting bracket for each side. I used cardboard to make the template (forgot to take a pic, sorry). But here's what it looks like cut out and with the hole drilled.



Another:



You will note some grinding around the hole, more so in the rear. The bracket mounts on a downward angle, but the strut bolt is at a 90 degree angle. By grinding around the bolt hole, the nut line ups/sits properly at 90 degrees.

I also had to bend the bracket because of the angle to make it level. So two inches from the end I bent it approximately six degrees so that the other part was level. I used a vice and rubber hammer. The next picture gives you a visual.



Next up was welding both brackets to the tubing. This was fun! I cut a small plate to attach perpendicular to the end of the tubing on the bracket for added stiffness.



The key to ensuring the bar fits is to spot weld one side, mount it then mount the other bracket and clamp to the tubing with a vise-grip, remove, then weld. Beats using a measuring tape! Don't spot weld with the bar mounted, as I read it can fry the electronics or something.

I did a test fit and then of course, went for a drive. More on that at the end. :D



I then cleaned up the unit, covered with primer and painted it Toyota red to match the sway bar. Looks are important, after all! :lol:







Mounted, the bolts need to be torqued 59 ft./lbs.





All done! It's relatively out of the way and doesn't interfere with putting the seats down.



Impressions: The bar makes the rear noticeably stiffer. There's less body roll than with just the bigger TRD sway bar, so the car handles better in the turns. What I didn't expect and I don't know if it's actually the case or perception, but my steering feels stiffer; there's less of that infamous "wandering" feeling. Interesting.

It took me about two hours to make the bar, then I painted it. Cost of materials was $0 (except for beer), as I got them for nothing from a friend. But at the most, it would cost maybe $40 to make this strut bar.

This was a fun project, I learned a lot and am ready for the second one, here's a hint!

 

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OregonRolla7
2010 Corolla S
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2,666 Posts
You beat me to the punch mna. i was talking with my friend about this yesterday. I was like it doesnt seem to hard. haha
way to go though man your the best. Did it make a really notiecable diference?
~Daniel
 

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Registered
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Discussion Starter #4
You beat me to the punch mna. i was talking with my friend about this yesterday. I was like it doesnt seem to hard. haha
way to go though man your the best. Did it make a really notiecable diference?
~Daniel
It did, nice addition to the TRD sway bar. It'll be interesting once I complete the front strut project. And no, it's not hard to do by any means.
 

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OregonRolla7
2010 Corolla S
Joined
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2,666 Posts
shoor man you just saved me some big money. Im gonna mock one up with a bud soon. would this work with round also?

Also PLEASE post pics from the front strut brace
your the man
~Daniel
 

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Diehard Rams Fan
Joined
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21,215 Posts
I installed a TRD sway bar a couple of weeks ago and was very impressed with the improved handling. I took note of all the suspension bars Jim (SuperchargedMR2) has on his S and thought I'd add the same, except make them myself. FWIW, I have literally no experience with making these kinds of things, but looked at a lot of pictures! And the last time I welded was eons ago in grade 10. I decided I had nothing to lose.

Materials:

- first and foremost safety gear, especially glasses;
- steel plate, steel tubing (I used square instead of round);
- welder;
- vice;
- level;
- vise-grips;
- rubber hammer;
- drill with 7/16" bit;
- grinder (bench and handheld);
- paint; and
- beer.

First up, the rear strut area ...

Here's a pic of the area; it's more complicated than on most cars which have the strut nuts/bolts level with the top shock mount making it easy to fabricate a bracket that connects to all bolts (like the front of the S). So I decided to mount my bar on the "front" side, to the bolt on each side. Jim mentioned the bar from Ultra Racing is mounted this way.



Here's the steel square tubing I used. Got it free, but it's from Home Depot. Square seems to me as being stiffer, but I really have no idea. :facepalm:



The first step was to make the mounting bracket for each side. I used cardboard to make the template (forgot to take a pic, sorry). But here's what it looks like cut out and with the hole drilled.



Another:



You will note some grinding around the hole, more so in the rear. The bracket mounts on a downward angle, but the strut bolt is at a 90 degree angle. By grinding around the bolt hole, the nut line ups/sits properly at 90 degrees.

I also had to bend the bracket because of the angle to make it level. So two inches from the end I bent it approximately six degrees so that the other part was level. I used a vice and rubber hammer. The next picture gives you a visual.



Next up was welding both brackets to the tubing. This was fun! I cut a small plate to attach perpendicular to the end of the tubing on the bracket for added stiffness.



The key to ensuring the bar fits is to spot weld one side, mount it then mount the other bracket and clamp to the tubing with a vise-grip, remove, then weld. Beats using a measuring tape! Don't spot weld with the bar mounted, as I read it can fry the electronics or something.

I did a test fit and then of course, went for a drive. More on that at the end. :D



I then cleaned up the unit, covered with primer and painted it Toyota red to match the sway bar. Looks are important, after all! :lol:







Mounted, the bolts need to be torqued 59 ft./lbs.





All done! It's relatively out of the way and doesn't interfere with putting the seats down.



Impressions: The bar makes the rear noticeably stiffer. There's less body roll than with just the bigger TRD sway bar, so the car handles better in the turns. What I didn't expect and I don't know if it's actually the case or perception, but my steering feels stiffer; there's less of that infamous "wandering" feeling. Interesting.

It took me about two hours to make the bar, then I painted it. Cost of materials was $0 (except for beer), as I got them for nothing from a friend. But at the most, it would cost maybe $40 to make this strut bar.

This was a fun project, I learned a lot and am ready for the second one, here's a hint!

Looks great! :thumbsup: You did a good job. I wish that I had welding skills! :lol: For me it was easier to just buy it! :facepalm: I'm not an expert but I would think that round tubing would be stronger if you can get it for any of your future bars. I agree with you though that the difference was very noticeable. It was the best $119 that I spent! :smokin:
 

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OregonRolla7
2010 Corolla S
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2,666 Posts
Jim i think with my money situation and my buds welding skills i may have to go this route. Borla on the way though!!!
 

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Diehard Rams Fan
Joined
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21,215 Posts
Jim i think with my money situation and my buds welding skills i may have to go this route. Borla on the way though!!!
Good for you! At least you figured out a way to get both! :thumbsup: :lol:
 

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OregonRolla7
2010 Corolla S
Joined
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2,666 Posts
Hey man if i can do as much work myself and get the same or similar results im happy!!!
I just wanna handle like you jim!!!
haha my dad drove my car tonight and just ripped it cuz i told him to and he LOVES driving it now.

he was so amazed at the springs. although he almost crashed hahahahahahaha
but seriously this DIY is such a huge help
thanks man
~Daniel
 

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Diehard Rams Fan
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21,215 Posts
It amazes me that for less than $200 you can transform the Corolla into a very nice handling car with excellent ride qualities. :clap::clap::clap:
 

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Registered
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Discussion Starter #12
It amazes me that for less than $200 you can transform the Corolla into a very nice handling car with excellent ride qualities. :clap::clap::clap:
And conversely, it's rather disappointing that Toyota didn't make the Corolla a better handling car off the lot, so to speak.
 

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OregonRolla7
2010 Corolla S
Joined
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2,666 Posts
i agree that it could have come better off the lot, but toyota will sell corollas without doing that and there about the economy user. Thats why they have comfort springs its higher then a truck and their is a super restricted intake. Trd springs and a few bars and the car handles like a dream. Im ok with spending a couple hundred bucks on it. Toyota has been disappointing in any sort of performance for cars in the past few years
 

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Diehard Rams Fan
Joined
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21,215 Posts
i agree that it could have come better off the lot, but toyota will sell corollas without doing that and there about the economy user. Thats why they have comfort springs its higher then a truck and their is a super restricted intake. Trd springs and a few bars and the car handles like a dream. Im ok with spending a couple hundred bucks on it. Toyota has been disappointing in any sort of performance for cars in the past few years
+1

Toyota sets up the Corolla for maximum comfort with decent handling for a daily commuter. Since 99% of Corolla owners will never care one way or another & will be thrilled with the car as stock. I'm just fine that with a few tweaks the Corolla can handle like its on rails like mine does now! :thumbsup: :naughty:
 

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Registered
09 Corolla S
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2,598 Posts
Today I went to a dealership and they had preinstalled Trd springs in some S models! Even though they charge a few hundred it's a great add-on for anyone that doesn't want to install themselves!
 

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OregonRolla7
2010 Corolla S
Joined
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2,666 Posts
they really did that? wow thats pretty awesome man. I think with the springs a lot of people that are younger would lean towards a corolla definately. For instance on the xrs or s if they put the trd suspension parts on it for like a grand extra that would be a big improvement off the lot.
 

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Registered
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147 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
+1

Toyota sets up the Corolla for maximum comfort with decent handling for a daily commuter. Since 99% of Corolla owners will never care one way or another & will be thrilled with the car as stock. I'm just fine that with a few tweaks the Corolla can handle like its on rails like mine does now! :thumbsup: :naughty:
It really is amazing the noticeable difference in handling by adding the two pieces I did. Once I complete the front strut bar, I'm going to add a sway bar and lower front brace a la Ultra Racing, like you've done.

I thought of coil springs, but I experience Canadian winters and have three kids, so I'm leery of the car being too low in those situations.
 

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Registered
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Discussion Starter #18
they really did that? wow thats pretty awesome man. I think with the springs a lot of people that are younger would lean towards a corolla definately. For instance on the xrs or s if they put the trd suspension parts on it for like a grand extra that would be a big improvement off the lot.
+1
 

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Lowdown Lowlife
09 Corolla LE MGM
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8,948 Posts
This is GREAT!! I had not even thought about a DIY Bar!! It shouldn't be too bad, I will have to give this a try! and now I could paint them black or something as I am not a fan of RED on my MGM rolla.

Any way we can get specs on the bar? Length, gerth, bend lengths, etc

You just got a Thanks from me for sure!! :thumbsup:
 

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Boy Wonder
2009 MG Corolla S
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949 Posts
How much stress do the bars take during agressive cornering and such? I would be afraid of a DIY bar breaking and destroying something, especially a DIY strut bar under the hood :eek:

But I guess if youre using quality materials and you know what youre doing, then there is very little risk. And you cant beat the savings. I would love to have a front and rear strut brace for $80 :D
 
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