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Discussion Starter #1
I recently searched the forum for threads concerning Strut Tower Braces (STB’s). Most were written long ago during the G6 production years. For background, STB’s consist of a sturdy bar or similar assembly that spans the engine compartment and is bolted to the tops of the strut towers using the bolts that secure the struts. This essentially ties the top of the towers structurally together, providing additional stiffening of the upper unibody forward of the cowl in the engine compartment where none normally exists. The intent of this is that once equipped with an STB, the increased resistance of the unibody to twist or deflect when suspension forces are applied results in more consistent/predictable handling in extreme (ie: racing) conditions. Some performance cars are equipped with these from the manufacturer and they’re popular aftermarket accessories though their effectiveness in street driving is debated. My car is a convertible and my interest stems from reports that an STB can add rigidity to convertible unibodies sufficient to reduce “cowl shake”, a common characteristic of convertibles in general.

I don’t think any G6’s were equipped with STB’s from the factory. However, GM did produce one (GM Part Number: 15286584) engineered for the 6th Generation (’04-’08) Malibu SS which was also built on the Epsilon platform with the G6 and Saturn Aura. Though not specifically designed for the G6, numerous owners bought and installed them on their cars with only minor issues of hood interference and bolt hole alignment being reported. GM’s stock of them sold out nationwide years ago and the parts site I checked reports that they’re discontinued.

During this time a few aftermarket vendors made STB’s specifically for the G6. The most frequently mentioned one was by Racingline, but there were a few others including one I bought by Megan Racing. Of course, aftermarket support has pretty much dried up for the G6’s so these STB’s will be where you find them.
(The vendor I bought mine from apparently has a few left:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Megan-Pontaic-G6-05-10-Saturn-Aura-07-10-Front-Upper-Race-Spec-Strut-Tower/233271176866?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649
I did find one NOS GM STB on eBay for about double that of the Megan. It wasn’t worth it to me.)

There are two basic designs for the STB’s I’ve seen. One is like the GM brace which is a single, one-piece crossbar with base brackets welded to it. The other design by aftermarket vendors uses a crossbar with separate base brackets. The Megan bar is this type. The one I bought is actually very attractive with sturdy, welded and powder coated base brackets and a beautiful polished aluminum crossbar with sleeves for the retaining bolts welded at each end. The crossbar isn’t “hinged” as one reviewer described it. Rather, the design facilitates installation and subsequent easy removal of the crossbar only if room for servicing is needed as the base brackets can remain in place. Once bolted in, the crossbar becomes a structural member with the base brackets. In the case of the Megan bar, it’s mounted low in front of the firewall and easily clears the hood. Also, though close, the coolant and master cylinder reservoir caps can be removed as well as the engine cover. This seems like a well thought out accessory and I’m satisfied.

Though my car is put away for winter, I’ll update the thread later with driving impressions. I’m not expecting dramatic differences, but even subtle improvement will still justify it for me. Good luck, everyone. - Mark


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08 convertible
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Thanks for the detailed post. Please do let us know if there is any improvement. I do notice a bit of cowl shake on mine but I also notice a general lack of "solid feel" which could be due to age and wear of various body/suspension parts (over 150k). I must say I drove Saab 9-3 convertibles for years and they were much tighter and more solid than my G6.
It would be interesting to hear impressions from someone with a very low mileage car.
 

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You will not hate this.
I have the Malibu strut brace, direct bolt on to the G6. That jungle gym underneath is supposed to tie everything together, and it does, this helps complete the job. Definitely firms up the front.
Bought mine from my GM parts guy, and I'd like to believe they are out there salvage.
This is one of those things I don't understand why the factory didn't do this to begin with.

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2007 gt retractable
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I recently searched the forum for threads concerning Strut Tower Braces (STB’s). Most were written long ago during the G6 production years. For background, STB’s consist of a sturdy bar or similar assembly that spans the engine compartment and is bolted to the tops of the strut towers using the bolts that secure the struts. This essentially ties the top of the towers structurally together, providing additional stiffening of the upper unibody forward of the cowl in the engine compartment where none normally exists. The intent of this is that once equipped with an STB, the increased resistance of the unibody to twist or deflect when suspension forces are applied results in more consistent/predictable handling in extreme (ie: racing) conditions. Some performance cars are equipped with these from the manufacturer and they’re popular aftermarket accessories though their effectiveness in street driving is debated. My car is a convertible and my interest stems from reports that an STB can add rigidity to convertible unibodies sufficient to reduce “cowl shake”, a common characteristic of convertibles in general.

I don’t think any G6’s were equipped with STB’s from the factory. However, GM did produce one (GM Part Number: 15286584) engineered for the 6th Generation (’04-’08) Malibu SS which was also built on the Epsilon platform with the G6 and Saturn Aura. Though not specifically designed for the G6, numerous owners bought and installed them on their cars with only minor issues of hood interference and bolt hole alignment being reported. GM’s stock of them sold out nationwide years ago and the parts site I checked reports that they’re discontinued.

During this time a few aftermarket vendors made STB’s specifically for the G6. The most frequently mentioned one was by Racingline, but there were a few others including one I bought by Megan Racing. Of course, aftermarket support has pretty much dried up for the G6’s so these STB’s will be where you find them.
(The vendor I bought mine from apparently has a few left:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Megan-Pontaic-G6-05-10-Saturn-Aura-07-10-Front-Upper-Race-Spec-Strut-Tower/233271176866?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649
I did find one NOS GM STB on eBay for about double that of the Megan. It wasn’t worth it to me.)

There are two basic designs for the STB’s I’ve seen. One is like the GM brace which is a single, one-piece crossbar with base brackets welded to it. The other design by aftermarket vendors uses a crossbar with separate base brackets. The Megan bar is this type. The one I bought is actually very attractive with sturdy, welded and powder coated base brackets and a beautiful polished aluminum crossbar with sleeves for the retaining bolts welded at each end. The crossbar isn’t “hinged” as one reviewer described it. Rather, the design facilitates installation and subsequent easy removal of the crossbar only if room for servicing is needed as the base brackets can remain in place. Once bolted in, the crossbar becomes a structural member with the base brackets. In the case of the Megan bar, it’s mounted low in front of the firewall and easily clears the hood. Also, though close, the coolant and master cylinder reservoir caps can be removed as well as the engine cover. This seems like a well thought out accessory and I’m satisfied.

Though my car is put away for winter, I’ll update the thread later with driving impressions. I’m not expecting dramatic differences, but even subtle improvement will still justify it for me. Good luck, everyone. - Mark


View attachment 17519 View attachment 17520
i bought me one.maybe it will quiet the rattles.plus i do like turning in too fast.
 

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Good choice on Megan's Racing STB for the G6, although it does to the. The front up BEWARE it will be
p preload your froint end in HARD braking maneuvers allowing your ass-end to follow the front.... been there done it in the one picture you can see my STB, melted from the heat..
17530
17531
 

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2007 gt retractable
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i got mine friday.the aluminum center section only weighs 1.5 pounds so i wonder if its really going to do anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Guess we'll find out. I've seen numerous others made of aluminum and of course we don't know what grade or hardness it is. But the forces on it are basically compression and extension so that shouldn't be an issue. More than the material, I'm more concerned that the eyes at the end of the aluminum bar and the holes in the steel brackets have a little leeway probably to accommodate installation. Once in place, the bolts that hold it together (which are quite substantial) have the job of ensuring the length is fixed and secure. After some experience if I detect any movement, I might drill and fit bolts that take up the slack.

Mark
 

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Factory or aftermarket, I think a strut brace is almost a 'must have' for convertible.


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Discussion Starter #11
I think that once the few new aftermarkets are gone, there will be no more. (I did see one NOS GM brace on eBay recently, though.) When I'm able to start visiting the local PULL-N-Save yards next spring I'll check all G6's and Malibus and grab any used braces I find.

Mark
 

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I decided to grab one based on the comments in this thread and I have to say I am surprised at the difference it makes on turns. Clover Leafs and cornering in general are far more controlled. At 160k miles I had replaced the suspension and I was not expecting much from the brace. Boy was I wrong as I found it to be far better than expected. Thanks for the tip.
 

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I got lucky and picked one up over the holidays. Installation was easy. The fellow I bought it from is telling me that I will be extremely happy.. Now I can't wait for spring and my initial drive with the brace
 

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You might not see it right away.
Mine looks like it clears, you can put a nickel on the bar and no touch, but there is a definite witness mark where the bar and hood touch from time to time. I don't know if it's from the body twisting when I jack it up, driving it hard or what. The paint on the bar is thinned through, and the hood paint is thinned, a little oxidation dust. But, for what it does, I am not worried, price of progress, beacause I love that thing!

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