NTPOG Spoon Sports Strut Tower Bars Review

Author: John Haley

Initial Impressions
These things are top notch. The bars are polished aluminum, and the brackets are made of some of the thickest steel stock I've ever seen. They make the DC-Sports bars look like a joke by comparison. You can literally support both sides, then stand on the center of these things and they don't even deform, whereas the DC bars bend when you touch them. Plus, these look damned good.

Installation Impressions
Fairly simple, although not technically a direct bolt on. On the front, you'll have to bend or break/cut off the small tab on the cruise control module. It's just a mount for a molex plug, which can be harmlessly wire-tied out of the way (if you remove the mount completely). There's another "tree" of molex plugs attached to a bracket just inboard from the right front strut. You'll have to move some of the plugs around, because the bracket for the bar goes right through there... again, no sweat, there's plenty of play in the wires. After that, you just remove the strut bushing bolts, slide the brackets over the tops of the shocks, and tighten the bolts back down.

In the rear, there aren't any wires in the way, but you'll have to cut two small holes in the trunk liner to allow the bar to pass across the trunk.

Performance Impressions
From a purely practical standpoint, I wouldn't recommend these things as early mods. The Prelude chassis is pretty stiff already. You won't need (or feel much benefit from) stiffening the chassis any more, unless you've already got stiffer springs, shocks, swaybars, etc. In other words, the car won't flex there unless you've taken the flex out of the other places. I had the Tanabe Super-H springs on when I got these bars, and they DO make a difference. I put the front bar on first, and I noticed a slightly sharper turn in... as though the car was reacting a fraction of a second faster than it did before. About a month later I got the rear bar, and it didn't really improve handling much, but it brought the whole car together. That little bit of stiffening changed the car from a separate front and rear into a single unit. Instead of feeling the car react to bumps or changes in stages, it started to react as a whole. It's very subtle, but a nice feeling.

These things are really expensive. I would advise (in hindsight) to upgrade the rest of the suspension first, then worry about strut bracing. The Spoon bars are most likely a little overkill, they probably don't need to be as strong as they are. Another factor to think about is that they're really hard to get. Spoon Sports consists of like 8 Japanese guys making these things by hand (along with other performance stuff), so they're on a constant 6-8 month backorder, which surely contributes to the cost. On the other hand, to my knowledge, nobody else makes a rear bar, so I guess you're stuck :)

For comments or questions, e-mail me.

This page last updated 4/3/01.