Strut Tower Braces

I installed Don Rome's Strut Tower Braces into my 2006 Impala SS and I'm very pleased with the result.  Don Rome was able to fabricate brackets to adapt front and rear braces to our W-Bodies.  This was the first suspension upgrade I did--it has a huge "bang for your buck" value and the feel is immediate.

Don Rome Strut Tower Braces

Strut Tower Braces are a suspension upgrade that links the left and right struts to each-other via a strengthening brace.  As a result, the car handles much better through turns.  Previously, turns that would be "exciting" at 25mph I can now take at 45+ without feeling that the rear-end is about to break loose.  This is especially important in our cars which have a tendency for the rear-end to lose traction, especially with all of our car's weight being in the front (that big V8 is made of aluminum, not marshmallows you know...).  

The downside is that, like with many other suspension upgrades, the bumps in the road are a little more pronounced.  Also, the left and right sides of the suspension are now even less independent, so what happens on the right side will affect the left side even more (and vice-versa).

I liked the way the brace and brackets looked as provided by Don Rome -- he did a great job -- however, I thought that they didn't really fit with where I was going with the car, so I painted the braces (including the two diagonal braces that came on the car) metallic red and the brackets black.  The painting definitely helped make the braces "pop" and look more visually appealing than before.   

The installation procedure was very straight-forward and nearly completely painless, especially with the brackets and hardware that Don Rome provided.  My only caution is that you make sure that you've sufficient threads exposed above the nut that secures the front bracket to the strut's bolts.  On some cars, the brackets and nuts don't leave enough exposed bolt threads above the nut. This is BAD because the struts are no longer properly secured to the car. You can probably imagine what would happen if a strut were to break loose while accelerating a V8-powered 3,700 pound rocket on a busy highway!  

The best solution is to replace the bolts with longer ones, such as those found in our rear struts. 

That said, there are a few things to consider during installation:
  • do not over-torque the bolts that secure the brace to the supplied brackets -- they're aluminum; torque to 15 foot-pounds as per Don Rome's instructions

  • based on my personal experience, if you find it difficult to secure the brackets to the strut towers, make sure that you're using the front brackets with the front towers; they may also be upside-down

  • it's difficult to install the rear braces through the trunk -- I found it much easier to crawl in through the back seat

  • there were little threaded nubs on the strut towers on my Impala that interfered with the brackets -- I trimmed them down with a rotary tool without any problems

Don Rome's Strut Tower Braces:

Once on Don Rome's web page, you can find the applicable kit near the bottom of the page -- look for "1 Modified Front STB Bar & 1 Standard Rear STB Bar For Impala SS, Monte Carlo SS/Grand Prix GXP With V8 And 1 Set of Front & Rear Brackets."