ULTRA RACING 2-Point Front Strut Tower Brace for MINI Countryman

The ULTRA RACING 2-Point Front Strut Tower Brace I installed on Buster made quite a difference in hard cornering. It also makes a difference in daily driving although not really a good one.

The typical naive person (that would be me) would think that a vehicle would be more than rigid enough that it would not flex going around a corner, I mean it is after all made out of metal, right? Yeah, that person would be very wrong.

Unfortunately, the only way for us normal people to find out how flexible our vehicle is is to put in equipment like this and go for a drive.

What I found was that the vehicle tended to be more stable in the curve, responded to steering input a little better while in the curve, and settled faster if I hit a bump in the road while in the curve. The other side of the coin was that the ride was a little harsher, but surprisingly not much, and turning into driveways where the entrance is also on a good incline could cause the vehicle to feel like one of the tires was coming off the ground because there was no flex in the frame anymore.

Installation of the bar was simple, you lose four nuts, insert the bar, put the four nuts back on and torque them down, done.

What I really like was the fact that unlike other bars I had seen out there this one is a single solid piece of steel. There are no adjustments, no parts to bolt together, no tightening it up once it is installed, it is two thick plates of steel on the ends welded to a nice size tube connecting the mounting plates. There is zero give in any direction.

What I did not like was that the drilled holes are rather large and since the nuts simply clamp down there is room for it to move under high stress. Not that I noticed that happening, it just seemed like it could.

I posted online about my concern and got a reply that a guy from NM Engineering had solved the issue by making replacement nuts that had a shoulder on them which fit down inside the hole of the bar mounting plates. This seemed like exactly what I needed so I contacted NM Engineering. After a brief email exchange, I had a set of nuts on their way.

The custom machined nuts from NM Engineering were perfect. They fit right inside the hole in the mounting plate taking up all the extra room. I applied some blue Loc-Tite and torqued them to specs. So far I have not noticed any issues with the bar at all, it remains solid and the nuts have remained tight.

One other really stupid issue is that this bar is painted white with a little silver tag that has red and black writing on it. Buster’s engine compartment is mainly white with some red and black accents, yeah, it is color-coordinated, sue me.

I have to subtract a star since it did not come with proper nuts for attaching the bar to the vehicle but otherwise, I am quite pleased with my purchase of my ULTRA RACING 2-Point Front Strut Tower Brace and give it four out of five stars.

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