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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I did some research on front strut bars. Many Audis have them as stock. I'm not interested in going around corners fast or suspension lowering. It struck me that with cabriolet a front strut bar across the top of the struts could stiffen up the 'A' pillars and reduce some of the movement you feel going over bumps.

I wanted to reduce movement because it means the front seals have to do more work. Most of us know when we get creaks and squeaks from roof seals, it is time to Krytox. Whilst it's not a bad early warning, it demonstrates there is movement in the EOS body frame.

I wasn't going to spend a lot of money on this. I bought a Weichers Strut for EOS part number 511035. If you search the German websites you can find it between £95 and £135. I suspect the lowest prices are re-sellers wanting to sell a slow moving item:

https://www.ebay.de/sch/i.html?_odk...RS0&_nkw=Wiechers+Domstrebe+für+Eos+&_sacat=0

The strut is made of steel painted bright red (ugh). The paint finish is bright but like many Chinese products, just blown over clean steel and it scratches easily. More expensive exotic struts are made, but very few for the EOS. Out of the box I was optimistic it would be fitted in an hour, plug and play. I should have known better because looking at the rear of my engine bay, there seemed to be a lot of clutter and with the plastic plenum tray fitted, I couldn't even see the tops of the struts. It soon became obvious that some careful metal work would be needed and I was about to give up on it. My concern was after cutting away at sheet steel, the strut bar wouldn't work, foul the hood or require cutting of the plenum tray which takes water away from the screen and protects the ECU and wiper motor. The fitting instructions make fitting look a walk in the park which it isn't.

The pros and cons of front strut bars: Talk to car tuning experts and they put front strut bars low on the list of must dos. But the EOS already has that very strong engine tray and some rear stiffening. However, it still has body flex. After all it is a cabriolet and whilst a top front strut bar might not add much to most cars, I thought it could do a lot for my EOS.

Now I have mentioned there is some metal cutting to do, you might not want to go further. I did look carefully at parts in the engine bay that needed cut outs and concluded there was nothing seriously structural. If you look at the front of an EOS engine bay with the plenum cover removed you will see the metal profile around the top of each strut is different. On my RHD EOS thin steel rising above the right strut is already cut away to take a plastic insert carrying the wiper loom. The left strut rising sheet steel is not cut away in the same place as a mirror image. The Weichers strut drops in on the right side but is obstructed on the left strut and metal has to be cut away.

There is a thin steel panel in front of the plenum bridging across both struts. I thought at first this could be structural but it's only 22 guage steel and just serves to support the ECU loom and close off the plenum chamber. That panel needs some cutting. The large plastic cover over the plenum does not need any cutting.

Time you will need: Allow 5 hours to do a pro. job.
Level of difficulty: 6-7.
Tools you need:

A 4/1/2" angle grinder, small hacksaw, file, primer & touch up paint for cut edges, 6 new M8 strut bolts.

Remove both wiper arms, the long rubber seal holding down the front of the plenum cover and side foam pieces bridging the wings. Lift the plenum cover off the groove at the bottom of the screen. Clean the groove of muck. Remove an M10 bolt and nut holding the front thin steel cover at the front of the plenum, unclip the ECU loom at the back and lift up the cover. lift out the rubber edge gasket which will probably pull off.

Weichers instructions (poor) say remove the strut bolts with the car on level ground (3 X M8 each side). DON'T DO IT YOU WILL HAVE GRIEF! Once you remove the bolts the strut will move under compression and the threaded holes will not be aligned. If you missed this gotcha, you will have to mess around with a body jack wasting time. Re-alignment is difficult because the front torsion bar is still connected and in tension. If a threaded hole is off center and a bolt feels tight STOP. Don't cross thread else you will have grief! Centre the thread in the hole with a podger or tapered punch. If you damage the top thread, run an M8 tap down it.

VW workshop practice is to replace all 6 strut bolts with new as they are 'stretched'.Take each bolt out one at a time, cut off the hex head with a hacksaw and screw it back in with pliers. Repeat for the other 5 bolts. Now you can drop the strut bar ends over your open studs, lay the bar across and appreciate the obstruction on the left strut top which has to be cut away. Eyeball the line of the strut bar, mark the top of the steel and cut width and down sufficient for the strut bar to clear. Note: There is a stud to hold the vertical plenum panel, so leave enough metal around that! Work slowly, cut check twice go back for some more.

With the left strut steel re profiled and the Weishers bar loosely fitted you can move on to cutting the vertical plenum panel. GOTCHA! The Weisher strut bar is bolted to the strut plate at each end. Their bolts should be pushed in from the back with nuts at the front. If you assemble the other way around, you will not be able to remove the strut bar from its end plates!

Now fit the vertical plenum plate complete with bottom edge seal then refit the ECU loom into clips at the back. If the profile cutting looks good and there is clearance around the strut bar, torque the 6 strut bolts to 15Nm + 90 degrees (YES the OE bolts are stretched!). Finally, fit the top plenum cover into the groove around the bottom of the windshield. It is held at the front of the vertical plenum panel with the long rubber profile. If you have done everything correct, it should fit well except where the plenum cover passes over the strut bar. Gently lift up the front edge of the vertical plenum and push in the rubber edge, finally fit the two foam bridges acoss the top of the wings.

Road testing: I wouldn't know if my EOS handles better or not, I'm not the Stig or Jeremy Clarkson! However, driving over road humps and a bumpy road I can now feel very little movement between the 'A' pillars and the top roof segment. The car feels stiff and tight on corners, but then I'm not an aggressive driver. It's a fairly cheap DIY mod. to do but you need courage to cut away some steel and this isn't made obvious in their literature. Apart from their average to poor paint job the fit of the strut bar was excellent and this is really what you have to look for. The Weishers 511035 Strut Bar is EOS specific and will fit neatly with care and patience.

One thing not covered is dealing with the new gaps into the plenum from the engine bay, although these are smaller than the air grill. I shall run plastic edging around the cutouts and stuff neoprene foam into the gaps.
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Discussion Starter #3
You mean sway bars?

I came across all kinds of things which those doing suspension lowering and want hard cornering know about. If you are doing that you will probably need the full package. I think you just have to find the right aftermarket sellers who have the steel profiles worked out and tested for an EOS. Unfortunately, Golfs are more popular for modding and the EOS is not quite the right car, given it is inherently flexible with the roof down (and even up!). I certainly won't do more on my EOS diesel.

Have a look at what VW get up to on the 3.2l Audis e.g the TT. Sport.
 

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Can you remove the battery box cover with the bar in place?
 

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I feel the chassis twisting in the rear when driving across seams in the roadwork...
Probably much like the front does...

Obviously a traditional rear brace won't work, but the behind the rear seat type may...
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Can you remove the battery box cover with the bar in place?
Yes, and you can get to the battery clamps at the bottom, but I haven't tried removing the battery. Worst case you leave the end fittings bolted to each strut and remove the 2 bolts linking the strut bar. That's why I said it's important to fit the bolts from the back with nuts at the front!

I'm a little sceptical about bracing behind the seat working and I want to keep the ski panel for emergency access. My EOS Sport has a pair of bracing struts under the chassis forming a 'V' do all EOS's have that? Rear bracing like my front should be serious thickness steel or duralumin, which I would expect to be mounted somewhere substantial close to the suspension mountings under the body. :confused: But I'll wait for somebody else to have a go at trying something.

The link from David44 looks to by the right sort of thing. However their front brace doesn't seem to be on an EOS or they have left the plenum chamber open? I think these after market sellers avoid some of the details by giving generic instructions and only by going through an EOS installation will you discover the pitfalls.
 

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Great how too voxmagna, I have never thought about a strut brace till now so thats another one on my to do list lol.

Mick
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Job complete

One thing I didn't cover is dealing with the new gaps into the plenum from the engine bay, although these are smaller than the air grill. I shall run plastic edging around the cutouts and stuff neoprene foam into the gaps.
I bought some 12mm thick neoprene foam sheet. I thought I could sandwich two pieces together to make a nice plug to fit the edges of the cutouts, but the gaps were too small. In the end I did what I suggested and stuffed the neoprene in the gaps leaving a few small gaps I shan't worry about.

How can I test this mod.? I've driven over humps and bumps and all is solid at the front. I've driven at 10mph along a quiet road and violently swung the steering from side to side roof up and down. There is virtually no creak from the roof seals and the car feels very stable, controlled by its suspension and without signs of front body or 'A' pillar flex. Unless somebody who knows drives MY07 around a track, is there anything else I can do?
 

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You could do back-to-back drives with and without the bar in place. Otherwise, just enjoy a job well done and some extra stability.
 

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Multi storey car parks are the one I find gives the car a hard time. 2 rear wheels on the flat and the front ones just manoeuvring onto the ramp, twists the car quite nicely as you turn to go up or down it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Too many concrete obstructions for my liking, but I get the idea.
 

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I stuck one on my Ebay watch list and have just had a message that they are open to offers on the EOS ones.

Mick
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I stuck one on my Ebay watch list and have just had a message that they are open to offers on the EOS ones.

Mick
I made an offer on mine. Shipping was +15 Euros DHL from Deutschland. Arrived in 4 days. :)
 

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Is this mod something an insurance company need to know about?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You will have to ask your company but I suspect adding strength to the body is an improvement, as long as you are following the OE shop procedure to replace the 6 strut bolts and torque correctly. :confused:

I did wonder about a front end crash, but the engine is designed to submarine under the firewall and many cars in the soft top and sport category now have strut braces as standard. If you are looking at more significant changes like suspension lowering, wheel size changes and brake system changes you should talk to them first. I can't see an issue with mot.
 

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Hi All,

My Eos now has a strut bar too.

Think it really helps the engine bay look a lot better.

I've not been for a drive yet to test it out but as Vox said hopefully it helps stiffen the A pillars up to reduce a bit of flex.

I'm happy with the look of it though, I need to cut a bit more trim on the drivers side as the plenum cover isn't totally flush and the seal is leaving a slight gap but I can live with that for now. All in all it took me around 2-3 hrs to do including a few coffee breaks, cutting the passenger side so it fits was easy enough but took me a while as I had to use a Dremel type tool and the little cutting discs kept shattering after about 30 seconds but I persevered and eventually cut enough out for it to fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Looks good. You seem to like the 'Go faster red'! :)
Remember, if you ever need access to the rear or underneath, don't remove the plates over the struts, just the two long bolts connecting their bar to the plates.

Glad to see it went into the EOS V6. :) Some here have mentioned another cheaper brand of strut sold for Golfs? Now you have fitted yours, you will have realised how specific the strut shape needs to be, there is no room for error. I used a standard angle grinder with a thin stainless cutting disc for shaping the cutouts, then primed and painted the cuts afterwards.
 
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