GReddy/Trust Shock Tower Brace

[10/3/2000] Reviewed by: Colin MacLean -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

This is a polished aluminum shock tower brace. It appears straighter than the comparitively priced competition and looks very similar to the FM brace. I paid $119 from Performance Buyers Club.

Installation was no problem. Undo the 4 suspension bolts, swing the diagnostic connector out of the way, attach the shock tower mounts and then thread the bar.

The bar itself is of a high quality. It is relatively light and is very straight with only a slight kink to allow for engine clearance. The shock mounts are heavy and solid and are well designed. Mine were silver unlike the previous reviewers' which were blue.

Changes to the handling were immediately noticeable. There is a stretch of road which has a very bumpy section. I used to bounce and skip all over the place but now the car is MUCH more composed. The 65mph shimmy has been reduced somewhat but not eliminated. Turn-in is definitely tighter and I can feel less chassis flex in the front end.

Overall, for $120 I am very happy with my purchase. I would recommend it only once you have all the other braces installed though. FYI, I have FM sways, SP8000's and all the chassis braces. Just a a side note, the service I received from PBC was top-notch. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Due to the great service I receive there it is always the first place I go for aftermarket items.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[8/10/2000] Reviewed by Huey -

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Slightly bent round, tubular aluminum bar that ties the tops of the shock towers by welded steel standoffs. Standoffs are blue crinkle finish. Bar is polished aluminum.

Noticeable difference in handling & "cowl shake". My car has a roll bar & braces underneath the car already so may not be as noticeable as with cars without any bracing. 10 minutes to install. Car also lowered with Koni's, Jamex springs, Suspension Technique sway bar & 15" Konigs.

Weld quality is poor & globby. Paint quality is poor also. If you want this item as a "dressup" component, still not a bad idea as the standoffs are the ugly part but it's not really noticeable. I polished the bar & it looks nice. For cars with no bracing, may be a good investment to tighten up the chassis. Money may be better spent elsewhere where it will be more noticeable gains for the money though.

Under 5 minutes to remove

[12/14/99] Reviewed by Tim Biggs -

Applicable to '90 - '97

This is a fairly standard brace thatspans the engine and is connected to th top of the shock towers utilizing existing bolts.

The brace came without instuctions but the Performance Guide has a break-down and if you've ever seen a picture it's a straight-forward install. The trick was to scrape away the excess paint that had blobbed in the well where you seat the two blue end link brackets that hold the brace rod so they can sit flat enough to bolt them down. I suspect the fittment is preety standard so any difficulties mounting are likely attributable to this cause. I used a paint can opener and in five minutes was on my way to strut tower bliss. The rest of the install was a breeze. I didn't even have to re-locate the diog box though reading the above reviews, maybe it would be prudent.

Total install time was under 20 mins and I must say, at least in the looks dept. this is a winner. Does it tighten the car? Sure, I guess I'll go on record as saying it provides a tighter-feeling front end. I already have the front and rear sub braces so this can only help though it's hard to say how much. But I love the look so money well spent, says me!

Under 5 minutes to remove

Reviewed by: Terrence Wong -

This product came out of the box and onto my 90' Miata in about 20 min. The brace fit perfectly, all the holds lined up. There are not much to the installation 6 bolts total. The only thing is the Diagnostic Plug has to be relocated. The quality of product is ok, you can't expect too much on a 150.00 brace. This might be the lowest price brace on the market.

After installation I took the car out for a test run it does seem to feel a bit tighter. After the test run I also installed the front and rear subframe brace from BSP, I took it  out again, but this time the car seem to feel like I didn't do anything to it at all. The body flex is just as strong as before! I don't know why??(if anybody have an answer e-mail me and let me know)

All this could be Psychological.

Reviewed by: Richard Kreis -

Manufactured in Japan, this brace spans the shock towers in the engine compartment to add torsional rigidity to the frame of the car. A pair of welded and painted steel brackets attach to the tops of the shock towers using existing hardware. These are joined by an aluminum rod with adjustable end-links having left and right threads, like a turnbuckle. A pair of slight bends in the rod form it into a bow to provide clearance over the engine. No instructions are provided.

As claimed, installing this brace results in a noticeable reduction in the perceived flex of the front end of the car. I would recommend this as one of the first modifications anyone should consider making to their MKI Miata.

Several manufacturers offer a Shock Tower Brace product. The distinguishing feature of the GReddy/Trust brace is its price, coming in at about half that of most others. This difference in price is reflected in the materials, fit and finish of the product. The brackets on Trust brace feature rough-cut edges and are rudely finished in an easily-chipped blue krinkle paint. Mine required some judicious filing to properly clear the wells at the top of the towers. Installing the LH bracket required slightly repositioning the Diagnostic Plug, a minor issue. The connecting rod is made of soft tempered aluminum and the bolt holes in the end-links are a sloppy fit for the provided bolts, which lack any shoulder. Cinching down the bolts provides rigidity by sandwiching the end-links between two surfaces of the mounting bracket. Access to the #2 spark plug will require removing the aluminum rod (but not the brackets).

Time to install: about one hour, including hand-filing required on both mounting brackets (a bench grinder would have made short work of this part). Tools: 1 pr. each of vise-grips and channel-lock pliers (Better might be a 14mm [deep]socket and ratchet handle with 6" extension and a 14mm end-wrench to install the brackets and a 22mm open end-wrench or 12" adjustable wrench to cinch the turn-buckle lock nuts). A cross-cut file (or bench grinder) for any fitting adjustments. Paint for filed areas and chipped paint. A 10mm wrench to remove the odd solenoid for access might be helpful.

Installation seemed obvious to me, but some might feel handicapped by the lack of printed instructions. Complexity, on a scale of one-to-ten (one being putting fuel in the tank, ten being rebuilding an automatic transmission): 2.6

The design of the Trust braces will not satisfy those who appreciate sophisticated engineering. Nor will the materials, fit and finish satisfy those for whom the look of the engine compartment is as important as their cars exterior. But, for those whose sole criteria is performance, this product should fill the bill. My overall assessment: adequate.

Back to Product Reviews 15 October, 2000