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Discussion Starter #1
I found this strut tower bar on a well-modified '98 that ended up in the junkyard. It seems usual to me because the bar ties from each strut to the firewall, but not from strut to strut (like a truss chord).






But I don't know anything about these types of components, and I have never seen on one a Rav4 before: is this typical? Does something like this markedly affect the drive on our Ravs? What is its purpose? Does anyone else have one? The Rav4 shown is a '98 AWD 5-speed.

I did find this thread:


The bar I found today appears to be identical to the picture posted by fildigger. The conversation there seems to indicate that it was a more popular feature in UK/EU Rav4's. I am in the USA.

Thanks for any input!
 

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I have seen a few of these on US models, although rare. They may have been an option, or possibly part of a package on certain models. I have seen a few pop up on Ebay, but they are not bolt-on to the firewall as there are no pre-drilled holes as many have come to notice. As mentioned in that thread a few have drilled holes to mount them. I don't think it's worth the effort, being there are nice aftermarket strut tower bars still available.

Cusco makes a few different ones, an OS, and an AS model The OS doesn't fit with the standard battery and a smaller battery is required. I had an OS fitted before, as seen in my Album. I have since bought a new AS model which is a slightly different design, has more clearance, and may fit with the standard battery although I have a smaller battery so am not able to confirm.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info, DJ Sueno! Do these additions make much of a difference during driving, for someone who is not racing or doing other performance uses?
 

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I seriously doubt you would notice any difference at all, especially in normal driving. But, hey, they look cool.

My AE92 GTS had a similar setup from the factory. It got in the way a lot. Here it is as I got it:


You can still see it here after I "tuned" the motor a tad:
 

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I noticed a difference... going over bumps, etc., the RAV seemed to have a little more stability...
The aftermarket bars seem to be more sturdy than the factory ones, at least from what I have noticed. I have seen several factory bars that can be easily bent with little force. The Cusco bars are solid.

Just my .02 cents.
 

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Relevant part numbers for all those interested:
53607-42010: BRACE SUB-ASSY, FRONT SUSPENSION, UPPER CENTER (the elusive strut brace in question)
53699-42010: PROTECTOR, FRONT SUSPENSION LOWER CENTER BRACE (not sure where that fits in the diagrams or if it's relevant to the installation)
90119-10409: BOLT, W/WASHER (the two required bolts required for the installation)
 
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