Jul 20, 2019 update to the BMW 318is project car

Project BMW 318is: Installing a UUC Strut Bar

We have always heard that E30 chassis BMWs could benefit from the installation of a strut bar. And given all of the suspension upgrades we've done on our 1991 BMW 318is, like installing Powerflex bushings, Ground Control camber plates, Eibach's Pro-Plus Suspension Kit and Koni Sport Dampers, why not get a strut bar, too?

This bar ties the two front shock towers together to stiffen the front of the chassis which is beneficial in aggressive driving like autocross and track events and will complement all of our aforementioned upgrades.

While several companies still make strut bars for E30 BMWs, most only fit the six-cylinder engines which just so happen to sit a bit lower in the chassis than our M42, so they’re out of the running.

Luckily for us, UUC does have a strut bar that fits the M42-equipped E30 318is, and at $84.99, it is priced just right.

When it arrived, it looked well-made and was nicely finished. With a little bit of massaging, we were able to fit it to the car.

We’re eager to see how well it goes with the rest of our upgrades.

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irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
7/20/19 12:23 p.m.

I have the same bar on the rally car (though mine was bought used off ebay 10 years ago, so no idea if it's actually UUC or not, but is identical to that one). For future (?) reference, it fits fine with any M50/52/54 engines as well. 

I'll say, though, that a more effective way to reinforce the strut towers is to get the (OEM for cheap!) plates that connect the outside of the towers to the engine bay "rim." These reinforcements are stock for e30 convertibles but not on hardtops for some reason. Of course, they don't look as cool :)  You can order them from the dealer, or buy them aftermarket: https://store.garagistic.com/e30-strut-tower-gussets?gclid=CjwKCAjw98rpBRAuEiwALmo-yhaazwdd5UgqjLLMsvRyIIXMbULs9DuK21zfDt8bDByW38IA6yTVxxoCKwUQAvD_BwE

here's a pic of mine. I also added some additional "wrap-over" plating to the outer strut bolt to tie it all together.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
7/22/19 10:23 a.m.

In reply to irish44j :

It's a copy of the old Sparco bar. 

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