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Old 11-04-2013, 03:38 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Strut Bar Review: AEM Strut Bar Thoughts and Experiences

AEM Strut Bar Review, Thoughts and Experiences
AEM have been one of the more underrepresented brands in aftermarket part on this forum. As a result, I thought I should write a review on AEM’s current offering and bring awareness to their current product line.

Below is a link to the AEM website.

http://www.aemintakes.com/search/pro...x?prod=29-0009



This strut bar is rather unique compare to the current market offering. While other companies offers 1 piece tower to tower or 2 piece tower to chassis connection, AEM’s Strut bar offers an integrated wielded triangular design that connects both towers to the chassis. This integrated design offers maximum rigidity by interconnecting all 4 chassis mounting points together in efforts to ensure the relative displacement from each attachment points is at a minimum.
Unlike the traditional offering, the AEM tower attachment employs a 4 bolts attachment pattern rather than 2; 2 bolts are fasten to the inner strut bolts, while the other 2 are connected to factory strut bar bolts. This strut tower attachment arrangement offers superior load distribution over other offering by effectively disbursing the bending and torsional load experienced by each bolt under harsh cornering.
What’s more impressive of this strut bar is that it also has an integrated master cylinder stop. The wielded construction of this MC stop design effectively eliminates the undesirable strut tower side wall bending that comes with other designs.
Surprisingly, for a well overengineer all steel unit like this, it only weights 18 lbs. in all honesty, it felt lighter during installation.
The installation was pretty straight forward. It shouldn’t take more than 10 min to install. For a large unit with complex geometry like this, I was thoroughly surprise at the accuracy of its bolt pattern and the overall fit of this unit. The strut bar drops right into position without the need for further adjustments.
With all this being said, the most unbelievable feat achieve by AEM is that they are offering this all inclusive package for only $189. In comparison to GrimmSpeeds @ 159 (no MC brace, 1 pc), raceseng @ 299 (IMO it offers no additional benefit over OEM except pretty colors for 300 bills), or FT86 speed factory @ 299 (2 pc design, no MC brace, only use two bolts instead of 4). This unit can offer tremendous value from a brand you can trust while still leave you with additional money in your pocket for other upgrades.
To me, getting this is strut bar really a no brainer.

Pictures will be uploaded soon.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:46 PM   #2
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Hmm...apart from the integrated master cylinder brace, semi-boxed firewall, and perhaps saving $10, I don't see this being a no brainer/better than the aluminum 6061 oval tubed Hotchkis that weighs 14.5lbs less.

Let me know when they make if from 6061 aluminum for $220 and I'll buy one.

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Old 11-04-2013, 07:51 PM   #3
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to be honest, Im not really quite sure if the strut bar actually weights 18 lbs. it felt much lighter during installation.

also, the weight different between steel and aluminum of items with similar dimension shouldn’t be that significant. in all honesty i will get in touch with AEM to see if the weight they have on their website is accurate.

meanwhile, Hotchkis unit are very close to the AEM construction, however, according to their website, the unit is a wooping $248 w/o MC brace.

so $180 a little heavier with MC brace vs 248 a little lighter w/o.... to me the AEM is still the most logical compromise between cost and performance.

FYI. the general rule of thub for weight difference between alum vs steel of the same volume is roughly around 1:3. so if the hotckis weights 3.8 lbs. the AEM should be no more than 13-14 lbs.

Last edited by wu_dot_com; 11-04-2013 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wu_dot_com View Post
to be honest, Im not really quite sure if the strut bar actually weights 18 lbs. it felt much lighter during installation.

also, the weight different between steel and aluminum of items with similar dimension shouldn’t be that significant. in all honesty i will get in touch with AEM to see if the weight they have on their website is accurate.

meanwhile, Hotchkis unit are very close to the AEM construction, however, according to their website, the unit is a wooping $248 w/o MC brace.

so $180 a little heavier with MC brace vs 248 a little lighter w/o.... to me the AEM is still the most logical compromise between cost and performance.

FYI. the general rule of thub for weight difference between alum vs steel of the same volume is roughly around 1:3. so if the hotckis weights 3.8 lbs. the AEM should be no more than 13-14 lbs.
Just wanted to aid in your explanation in case anybody questions your response:

Density of general aluminum = 2.7 g/cm³
Density of general steel = 7.8 g/cm³
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:34 AM   #5
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Street price is around $200 give or take depending on your shopping skills. Not sure how low the AEM can go in the market.

The ratio as a predictor of weight is only applicable if the construction/design is the same between the two.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:12 AM   #6
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Wow, I was considering the aem unit but had no idea it weighed so much...
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shutter View Post
Wow, I was considering the aem unit but had no idea it weighed so much...
I have ask my AEM contact to verify the weight on the unit on production units. but meanwhile, lets put things in perspective.
the Hotchkis weights 3.8 lbs. so by putting on an AEM unit will add an addition 14.5 lbs plus the weight of a MC brace. the weight of MC brace is probably less than 1 lbs. so for the sake of easy number, the total delta in weight is 13.5 lbs.
meanwhile, lets say you can get hotchkis for $200, both perrin and grimmspeed MC brace goes for $100. so your total investment is $300-350 vs $ 180. of which you are paying an additional $120-170 to save 13.5lbs.
now unless you are really aggressively competing for time at a race track, the effects of 13.5 lbs on a 2700 lb car is really minimal. The difference in percentage is a wooping 0.5%.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wu_dot_com View Post
I have ask my AEM contact to verify the weight on the unit on production units. but meanwhile, lets put things in perspective.
the Hotchkis weights 3.8 lbs. so by putting on an AEM unit will add an addition 14.5 lbs plus the weight of a MC brace. the weight of MC brace is probably less than 1 lbs. so for the sake of easy number, the total delta in weight is 13.5 lbs.
meanwhile, lets say you can get hotchkis for $200, both perrin and grimmspeed MC brace goes for $100. so your total investment is $300-350 vs $ 180. of which you are paying an additional $120-170 to save 13.5lbs.
now unless you are really aggressively competing for time at a race track, the effects of 13.5 lbs on a 2700 lb car is really minimal. The difference in percentage is a wooping 0.5%.
To add to this, if weight is THAT important to you, run two gallons less gas to compensate...

You won't notice the weight difference from a single mod. Over saving 10-15 lbs per mod over the course of 10-15 mods, you'll notice the difference when you compare to a stock car, but each individual difference will be lost in the noise...
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:43 PM   #9
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I believe AEM's website lists 18.3lbs for the bar. I am not certain if that's the package weight or the weight of the bar itself. Seems more like package weight. Bar should be about 14lbs.

Edit: Holy crap Mike posted at the same time as me...LOL!
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:10 PM   #10
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$250 strut bar, wtf?
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:12 PM   #11
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1.5" OD. and .125" wall mild steel tube is really overkill, don't you think? That's the size they use on roll bar and roll cage construction. Price is on point tho, I'll give it that.

It's one bulky strut bar, right there.
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:59 AM   #12
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Bar weighs in at 9.0 pounds

Sorry to revive an old thread, but I hoped to put this one to rest.

I installed the AEM strut bar the other night and decided to weigh everything out.

The stock power braces weighed in at 2.0 pounds total (1.0 pounds each).

The AEM strut tower bar weighed 9.0 pounds without the screw/nut for the master cylinder brace.

My scale isn't hyper accurate, but I'm also certain it's not off by a lot.

As was mentioned previously, the bar actually feels very light in the hand. Of course, as many have already noted, the bar is actually somewhat thick on the exterior, but being as light as it is, I have to imagine that the actual metal thickness of the bar is not that much. If I remember my high school physics correctly, a piece of piping that is thin but of greater diameter is potentially still more resistant to flex than that of something with a thick wall, but smaller diameter.

I've run Hotchkis equipment in the past, and their stuff tends to be quite good as well. In the end, I'll bet there isn't much performance gap between the two, with the exception of the added bonus of a master cylinder brace on the AEM.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post
If I remember my high school physics correctly, a piece of piping that is thin but of greater diameter is potentially still more resistant to flex than that of something with a thick wall, but smaller diameter.
You are correct in your memory. There is some math behind it, but I'm more worries about my breakfast right now.
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:11 PM   #14
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just eyeballing the AEM design looks superior as it is all closed in and you cant beat the added bonus of MC brace. Does anyone know if master cylinder flex is an issue on our cars ?
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