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The Tri-Camry Family
2001 Toyota Camry
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1,175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My custom Gen 3-4 Camry Strut Tower Brace/Bar w/pic.

Here’s my custom made strut brace for my 2001 Camry I want to shared with TN.

I spotted a strut brace from an early MR2 at the salvage year. (Hard to tell when half the car is gone) It's might be an aftermarket. The bar was too short but the mounts were very close to the Camry gen 3/4 strut towers but the left mount had to be on the right and vice-versa. I got both mounts for $5.


Next I have to elongate the holes and grind down and bend the mounts to prevent it from touching the hood. I would run a piece of chalk on the top of the mounts and gently close the hood. If it touches the hood, it’ll leave a chalk line on the heat shield under the hood. Also, the kick-down cable had to be lower slightly to clear the bar. (You can see the zip-tie of the mock-up brace, the "R" stamp on the left side, and it was paint silver at first)


Next I got some thick steel tubing $4 and cut them to length. Tack welded them on the car. Don’t forget to unhook the battery. I took it off the car and fully weld it and grind the weld down to get a cleaner look.


I then got some engine enamel paint and paint the mounts blue and the bar silver, they dry fast. I inserted some metal sleeves inside the bar ends to get it a tight fit with the 1/2" bolts.


I went to the slavage yard and go some Solora strut mount nuts and washers because the camry nuts were too tall. (btw, the solora bar would work but it's too tall and would bend the hood up slightly, I checked on TN already) I torque down the mounts on the strut towers to spec, 59 lb. ft. and crank down on the two strut bar bolts and nuts $2.



You can see it clears the throttle, kick down cable, pcv, and oil cap. Clear the hood too, bearly. The spark plugs might be a bit hard to get to. You can see how straight the bar is.


Appearance: The blue and silver paint looks good not too out of place thans to the NKG wires. It was also my first welding job so there are some small pin holes in the bar but it's a strong weld. the bar was two piece weld together in the middle so it's not perfectly smooth but it's straight. The mounts had "L" and "R" stamp onto them and my attempt to use JB welds to fill it in failed. I can see them through the blue paint. Overall, I'll give a B- on this project.

Performance: I heard a lot that strut brace helps then others say they don't. One site said that people who install one on a aready stiff chassis won't feel any improvement like Evos or Mustangs, but will greatly help vehicles like Civics or Scions. After everything was finish, the steering felt really different, more precise on the road. I thought I was just making it up so I remove the bar and it was back to it's normal ride. Before the strut bar, when I push it hard around the corner, there was a lot of understeer and I can feel no grip on the front inside tire.

But now with the strut brace, I have more oversteer and it feels like both front tire grip better. it's weird to feel the rear end swing out in a Camry. There's a corner I drive around everyday that I know I can only do 25mph safety and at 30, I'm on the edge of the crub, but now I can do 35mph no problem :thumbsup: Which I shouldn't be doing at the first place :eek: On the highway it's more nimble and doesn't float around like before. Some say the front end would last longer because there's less flex in the chassis :dunno:.


Overall: I believe this is much better then the ebay thin aluminum strut brace. It might not be as good as a TRD Bar but mine is cheaper >$20. (paint was free) What do you guys think about it?
 
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Needs more TRD...
98/00 Camrys
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228 Posts
Nicely done...I like it...:clap:
 

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Registered
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221 Posts
Looks great. This will be one of my next mods. I like you were able to fashion one of your own without having to pay the huge markup there seems to be on these bars.
 

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2001 Camry XLE 1MZ-FE
2001 Camry XLE
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1,661 Posts
Here’s my custom made strut brace for my 2001 Camry I want to shared with TN.

Overall: I believe this is much better then the ebay thin aluminum strut brace but might not be as good as a TRD Bar but it much cheaper >$20. (paint was free) What do you guys think about it?
I think you did a very nice job with it. Clever design using junk yard parts, to adapt them to you car.

Don't worry too much about the welds. There's an old welders saying..... "A half inch weld is as good as a 1/2" bolt" :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

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Registered
1996 Camry 5SFE 5spd
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688 Posts
It's good to see someone else who likes junkyard parts as much as I do...Nice work!

So there really is a noticeable difference in steering and cornering with this bar? I have seen others that bolt to the firewall, but this one looks a lot better than previous designs...
 

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What Toyota?
2008 Saab 9-3
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10,477 Posts
I like it a lot. I wish I had the car and the skills to build one for myself. :lol:
 

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Mad Scientist
94 scepter coupe
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3,959 Posts
great job! question is thought is it tight or is it easily moved? cause for performance reasons you would want to beable to adjust it to be tighter.
 

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The Tri-Camry Family
2001 Toyota Camry
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1,175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
great job! question is thought is it tight or is it easily moved? cause for performance reasons you would want to beable to adjust it to be tighter.
I know what you mean, an adjustable bar would have been better but it would take a lot more work to thread the pipe and make it work. A one-piece solid brace would have been better too. With the metal sleeve inserts and large 1/2" bolts, there is no play at the connection. I chose to stay with making it a three-piece instead of welding it soild so that I can easily remove just the center bar to fix whatever was needed.
 
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