Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99-'05 1.6 liter 1.8 liter
Frog Arms are front chassis braces that mount under the front fenders. They weigh 3 pounds, 11 ounces a piece. Their object is to increase the front end stiffness of the chassis, improve steering response and reduce shakes. The Frog Arms come with a nuclear green powder coat.
Installation: While the installation is not nontrivial (it takes an hour to remove a fender) there isn't anything too complicated about it. A couple holes need to be drilled in the inner fender well. On NA's, a wiring harness grommet must be pulled from the fenderwell and so that a smaller area of wires can pass through the Frog Arm bracket. One needs to be careful not to cut these wires which are for the air bags. You may need to grind a bit of excess material from where the inner fender panels join for clearance. This won't effect the function of the fenders if you later decide to remove the Frog Arms. Performance. I'll cut to the chase and just say the effect is quite impressive. The front end of the car is noticeably stiffer. How much stiffer you might ask. Well, for one thing the added stiffness has caused my car to go from an understeer condition to oversteer. There is that much difference in the front end. Steering is much more immediate. Before I often looked at the front fender and it was a blur of motion....constantly vibrating. Now it appears clear and solid...like an extension of the rest of the car. Interestingly, front impacts are actually sharper...because the front suspension is stiffer....but they don't reverberate. The cowl shudder is greatly reduced. Another indication of the efficacy of the added stiffness is in my CD player, which never was impressive in it's ability to handle impacts...but now skips all the time. The road comes right through to it. If you are looking for something that will soften your ride, this is not it...quite the opposite. On the other hand, if you are looking for something that will make your vehicle more responsive...tighten the steering and reduce the shake and shudder, this should be high on your list. This has made more difference to chassis stiffness and handling than any other change I have done. These should be at the top of anyone's list of chassis improvements. Pros: 1. Reduces shake and shudder of the front end. 2. Improves steering response. 3. Impacts are quickly damped out. Cons: 1. Stiffens the front end which can make impacts more harsh. 2. The change in front fender stiffness has a large impact on the propensity to oversteer. One may need to change suspension settings (ie. spring stiffness or sway bar) to compensate. 3. The bright green bracket is visible (barely) at the door hinges when the door is open from outside the car, and in the seat (looking forward.) If this bothers you it could be hit with a quick coat of black spray paint.) Caveats/Disclaimers: Because I already had a roll bar, frame rails and strut tower brace installed I do not know the effect of just the Frog Arms. Perhaps they are much more effective coupled with frame rails.
This is the single biggest improvement I've made to my car. It makes it feel more solid and improves the ride quality (by reducing the constant chassis reverberation/shudder.)
Over 30 minutes to remove completely
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13 March, 2011