6th Gen ('00-'05): zzp gen 2 front strut tower brace question - Page 2 - Monte Carlo Forum - Monte Carlo Enthusiast Forums


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Old 08-26-2018, 04:42 PM
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both sides feel loose with the bar out. seems like it wouldnt be a fight
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:37 PM
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GM quit installing the braces as part of the SS package in 04. From 00-03 I believe it was standard that GM put strut tower braces on the SS model.

I just went to ZZP's web site and learned something. I mis-understood what the "Gen 2" brace was. The actual gen 2 is adjustable! At one point (maybe a year after I got my brace), I thought ZZP listed a brace specifically for Montes and Impalas (to avoid ob-longing the mounting holes). As for me having to modify the holes, that is pretty common of the original ZZP bars (and unless ZZP changed their current offering, you may have to do that). If you look at the attached pic, look at the mounting nuts, you can see the original holes. In all the driving I've done, the powder coating is unmarked (indicating the the holes never jumped the mounting points).

As for if the front made a difference or not, it's really difficult to tell. Around the same time, I also did poly sway bar bushings and end links. In my opinion, I never felt the front was as big a deal as the rear from a suspension. But from a design stand point, I believe there are better braces then ZZP on the market (like BMR), but from a cost perspective (especially for a daily driver), I believe the ZZP braces are far superior than the original GM. The GM one is has bends/creases in the travel of the brace (weak points), the ends are pinched down and lastly, it attaches to the sheet steel for the strut tower. Don't get me wrong, I have seen on bigger vehicles (like the 3rd gen Camaros of the 80's where after market vendors did that due to a weird shape of the strut tower). In my opinion (which is not a car engineer), a strut brace is BEST by grabbing the strut itself. By doing so, you grab the strut that is a huge part of the front suspension and it also doubles by supporting the chassis at the tower. There is a guy by the name "Don Rome" who was selling end pieces to help improve the factory bar so it grabs the strut itself (I have no idea if he still does or what they cost).

If you want better than factory, I believe the ZZP bar is that. If you want to improve the handling in the front, I believe you are best making sure the sway bar is in good health (the factory one is hollow and tends to rot and crack, I am still using the factory sway bar). Upgrade the front bushings that hold the bar to the subframe to poly and upgrade the end links to poly.

If you want to improve the rear end (where I felt most the handling issues were:
- Add a rear strut brace
- Upgrade your factory sway bar end links to MOOG. The MOOG ones have ball joints that can be greased and a thicker connecting rod, translating to better stability.
- Swap out the stamped steel factory trailing arms for tubular ones with poly bushings (I have the ones made by UMI Performance).
Those upgrades felt like they helped the rear end track better with the rest of the car.
- Upgrade front and rear sway bars to the solid GM Performance sway bars.

I still want to upgrade the rear sway bar bushings to poly (I have not done that yet).
If you want to go the extra step, look into BMR Suspension. They have stronger rear lateral arms for the car too.

I hope that helps and was not like being hit by a fire hose.


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Old 08-27-2018, 06:40 AM
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Sorry to steal your topic but while its brought up its reminded me..

On my 02 LS, the strut tower brace was held down by two small plastic screws. What would the point of that be?
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:14 AM
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yes the gen 2 is adjustable. however i dont think each end is extendable. i know must front strut bars can twist to extend or retract on most cars. unless the gen 2 can and im wrong. i have all upgraded bushings as well as front and rear sway bars and end links. swapped it all out when i put on my bcs
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