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bluecalais79

Rear Strut Tower Brace- 1996 Cutlass Supreme

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Got em.

 

Received a P.M. from GOT2BGM   and ordered me a setup, thanks. Can't wait for Spring I will be taking those curves flat as a pancake, what with the front AND back towers braced up! Who said the Cutlass is a straight line dry road only car! A few mods like these and look out Bristol Motor Speedway, I'll be running the wall on all 4 corners!

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I have a set of his bar ends for my next build. Been thinking about making a plate inside the trunk and bolting it all the way through the rear subframe to establish a point down low in the middle for strut tower bracing.

Really just a RSTB with 2 diagonal braces down to the center.

Have to see how bad that would mess up any hope of a subwoofer enclosure.

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Sounds like an interesting idea. I'll just settle for the brace/bar going between the struts & call it a day, that'll be the extent of it for me. Also, I see Rock Auto is still selling Refurbished 16 inch star wheels for these cars. I blew it when I ordered tires from Tire Rack for this car last August, I got 225's and I don't have the 3.4 package in this car so I should have purchased 215's. Since my star wheels currently on the car are beat up S**T, I'm thinking about getting a fresh set of those wheels from Rock Auto and trying out the new Cooper CS-5's in a 215-60R-16, the right size for the Cutlass. A much better tire than the Uniroyal Tiger Paw Touring I have now, IMHO

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For handling around the corners, have you upgraded your rear sway bar yet?

 

Here's my situation with my 95 Cutlass Supreme (albeit the floppy body convertible), maybe some of this info will be helpful for you:

Rear:

Last year I finally upgraded the rear sway bar to the thicker bar from the Monte Carlo Z34.   It made a huge difference in keeping the body flat around the corners.  ( It didn't fit perfectly, I think because my car has been hit hard in the rear before and the rear end geometry might be off. )   I actually get a little oversteer now.    It wasn't expensive, less than $100 delivered to my door for the used sway bar and brackets, and new rubber bushings.

I can't use a rear strut tower bar because of the convertible top, so I don't know how much that would help compared to the rear sway bar.  

When I replaced my rear struts that helped handling, too.   And I also put the hard plastic pieces on the end of my rear leaf spring to replace the worn out rubber ends, it might have helped a little but I did it at the same time as other changes so I don't know.

 

Wheels/Tires

I've got the Grand Prix 5-spokes, they're 7-inch wide versus only 6.5-inch for the Cutlass wheels so I run 225 60 16 tires and I don't think they roll over too much.  The wheels have a lower offset than the factory Cutlass wheels, so they sit a little farther out from the body.  It looks better I think and helps handling, but it does change the front steering geometry so it feels a little different.   I run the narrower stock Cutlass wheels for my winter tires, so I'm switching back and forth twice every year and always notice the difference.  I was lucky and got mine for $100 total on craigslist, I would recommend craigslist or car-part.com for cheaper used wheels instead of the expensive rock auto or ebay wheels.    

Also, the tire pressure also has a big effect on handling, play around with yours and find the pressure that works for you.

 

Front:

I upgraded my front sway bar bushings to poly.  Replaced front shocks, too.  My convertible (it's a 3100) already had the thicker front sway bar and the front strut tower bar.

 

Result:  Better handling, but still it's a old w-body.   Spend a little money to upgrade the handling and enjoy it, but watch out for the wall at Bristol! ;)  

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Agreed on getting a thicker lower sway bar as you had mentioned. If you have the Z-34 monte carlo bar I am wondering if that is the same thickness as the 3.4 Performance Package the Cutlass offered. My car is the 3.1 "soft ride" FE-1 I believe. and one of the first cracks I made about it when it was up on the lift was "wow, look at that massive rear sway bar, I flossed my teeth with something thicker than that this morning". Man is that bar puny. I would really like to get something better than that, be it off a Z-34 Lumina or Monte Carlo, Cutlass, etc. There's got to be something out there that's better than what I have now.

 

Per Bristol, I would love to get this car on that track. At the Olds Nationals in 2016 I ran my 79 Cutlass Supreme on it for 11 laps. I had installed a HurstOlds/Calais rear sway bar on it a few weeks before the show and man that really helped it, I had no problem climbing that wall. Funny thing is, after that rally the car really liked making left turns. I fixed it with a fresh front end alignment.

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I'll have to go measure my front and rear bars, I can't find the info online right now.   But I was under the impression that the Z34 bar was thicker than anything put into the Cutlass.   The Addco bar might be even thicker still, but I was happy with the Z34 bar for a lot less money.   My skinny stock rear sway bar  could be easily bent by hand, but the Z34 bar couldn't. 

 

Here's some info:

http://www.w-body.com/topic/52400-stiffest-rear-sway-bar-installed-in-a-w/

 

When I first got my Cutlass and looked under the rear, I honestly thought the rear sway bar was a brake line until I looked at how it was connected!    

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In looking at Addco's  product pages, it looks like the closest one is their #474 but curiously enough it's for the Cutlass 1988 to 1995; I don't see why a 1996 (or 1997) couldn't use one of these, would I be incorrect on thinking this model would fit? Also, it seems no one's got one of these for sale. Would anyone have a lead on where these may be available for sale?

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Over the weekend I bought the ADDCO 474 rear sway bar for my 96 Cutlass. These are not easy to find these days, I ordered it on AMAZON but it's not even in stock so I will be waiting a while to get it.  Looks like the kit does not include those 2 stabilizer links that hold the factory sway bar (that's much thinner) to the frame toward the middle. Presumably the ADDCO 7/8" bar probably won't even need them.

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Ok, I finally got around to installing this rear strut brace I got from GOT2BGM. SUPERB! Down the road I am going to look for some bolts to replace the MOOG bolts where they attached to the body, they are just barely long enough to hold the brace & nut. Could use another 1/4 inch there and I'd like to get a harder bolt than what MOOG gives. It makes a nice, noticeable difference in the car’s cornering & handling.

 

There is one stretch of road on I-91 south coming into Hartford where it’s a nice track-like banked turn at full highway speeds.

When I first bought that car the handling around that bend was awful, felt like the car was going to stop turning. The front strut brace installed last year helped out immensely, and now coupled with the rear brace the car handles that bend flat as a pancake. I can even cut inside and it handles it like a pro. This is becoming a cool car to drive. Ok, it says Cutlass on the side and not Porsche but for a dry road-straight-line kind of a car, it’s doing a boatload better with these improvements. I would recommend getting these front and back braces for better handling if you have a 1st Gen Cutlass.

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The handling of this car has been amazingly improved since I've installed both the convertible front and aftermarket rear strut tower braces. I've been using my 96 all summer now with these improvements (along with KYB's all the way around) and the Cutlass is actually a fun car to drive.

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I've noticed improved handling in my FE1 and FE3 Luminas by going with the 245/50 series tires that came factory on 89-93 Grand Prixs...lot less sidewall roll, lower profile for clearance too.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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