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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2021 Explorer XLT 2.3l Turbo and was looking for a little better handling than the stock suspension. I noticed that the ST had a factory Strut Tower Brace which should help stiffen the front end.
I visited my local Ford dealer and got the part number for the 2020 ST Strut Tower Brace which is #L1MZ-16A200-A and costs $68. The mounting hardware is W709633-S439 screw with washer and is $7.50ea. So for a total of $97 I got the aluminum brace and bolts and washers to install it. When I installed it it fit perfectly and installed in a matter of minutes.
The Explorer has 5300 miles on it and after installing the strut tower brace I notice a noticeable feel in the steering and overall feel of the Explorer and very noticeable feel when taking sharp corners. For my less than $100 I think I've accomplished a much more enjoyable driving Explorer.
I have ordered a Steeda rear sway bar for the Explorer and will install it also expecting the Explorer to handle much better...we'll see.
 

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Strut tower braces will definitely tighten up the handling. I have a Ford Performance tower brace and a Steeda RSB in my Mustang - it's almost too stiff. I decided to forego the K-Brace, since the EB feels much like a go-kart now.

The Steeda RSB will tighten the Explorer nicely - mine did and was easy to install.
 
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That brace is such a simple stamping it should be in every model. I have a 2021 Limited 4WD and it was standard on mine.
Read Arthur Hailey's "Wheels". You'll see why they don't.
 

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It goes through all the parts of building cars, from getting the assembly line people to show up, through design efforts, etc. A board meeting takes place to deal with a vibration in the dash of a new model. The engineering staff determine a brace is needed to stop the vibration. One of the board member asks "... how much?". "Fifty cents" is the response. Doesn't sound like much, 'til you figure two million units. $1,000,000 is a sizeable amount.

That tower brace has to be perhaps $10 to stamp and install. 500,000 Explorer XLs and XLTs turns into $5,000,000 out the plant door. The manufacturers sweat the nickels and dimes. $10 is a staggering amount. Most buyers of the Explorer couldn't care less about a strut tower brace (or a bigger RSB, fancy lighting, remote start, etc., etc.).
 
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I know that the calculation of "how much times how many" seems like a lot, but when you look at $10 compared to more than $51K to buy the car (not counting sales tax and registration fees - over $1,100 in Colorado,) it's less than 0.02%. A couple of cups of coffee at Starbucks.
 

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$10 on the assembly line is $100 on the showroom floor. A few more unnecessary items like that and the sticker goes up $2K. How many "average" Explorer shoppers care about strut tower braces, power moon-roofs, remote start, etc., etc? They'll be headed down to the GM store (shudder).
 
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I have a 2021 Explorer XLT 2.3l Turbo and was looking for a little better handling than the stock suspension. I noticed that the ST had a factory Strut Tower Brace which should help stiffen the front end.
I visited my local Ford dealer and got the part number for the 2020 ST Strut Tower Brace which is #L1MZ-16A200-A and costs $68. The mounting hardware is W709633-S439 screw with washer and is $7.50ea. So for a total of $97 I got the aluminum brace and bolts and washers to install it. When I installed it it fit perfectly and installed in a matter of minutes.
The Explorer has 5300 miles on it and after installing the strut tower brace I notice a noticeable feel in the steering and overall feel of the Explorer and very noticeable feel when taking sharp corners. For my less than $100 I think I've accomplished a much more enjoyable driving Explorer.
I have ordered a Steeda rear sway bar for the Explorer and will install it also expecting the Explorer to handle much better...we'll see.
Hi thanks for the info just orederd mine too, prices went up by a few dollars.
 

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After all the back-and-forth, I just put an "EcoBoost" badge on the tower brace. I was surprised at how flimsy the brace is. Sure hope its shape helps do the job. I guarantee I couldn't twist the brace on my Mustang as easily.
 

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Installed my Steeda brace and dropped the bolt and spacer (fat fingers) didn‘t hit the floor and after looking for them three separate times, went to Home Depot. Didn’t have the bolt or spacer.
called Steeda and told them the truth and they were kind enough to a fed Ex me a new set of hardware.

great customer service. The brace is very strong and well made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After all the back-and-forth, I just put an "EcoBoost" badge on the tower brace. I was surprised at how flimsy the brace is. Sure hope its shape helps do the job. I guarantee I couldn't twist the brace on my Mustang as easily.
Not sure if you have ever road raced or drag raced an early Mustang/Maverick/Falcon, but tower braces were there for a reason and I doubt many people could feel the difference between a stock Explorer XLT or one with a brace...but I sure can and for a 5800lb brick, it corners 100% better than without one. Just as a case in point, my 19 GT PP1/A10 has brace that would hold up the Empire State Building and has some understeer much like the Explorer did without the brace. On my Mustang, with a little more aggressive front end alignment it showed a lot less understeer and became a lot more enjoyable to carve corners at speed, using the throttle to correct the direction of the apex...IMHO
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I have a 2021 Explorer XLT 2.3l Turbo and was looking for a little better handling than the stock suspension. I noticed that the ST had a factory Strut Tower Brace which should help stiffen the front end.
I visited my local Ford dealer and got the part number for the 2020 ST Strut Tower Brace which is #L1MZ-16A200-A and costs $68. The mounting hardware is W709633-S439 screw with washer and is $7.50ea. So for a total of $97 I got the aluminum brace and bolts and washers to install it. When I installed it it fit perfectly and installed in a matter of minutes.
The Explorer has 5300 miles on it and after installing the strut tower brace I notice a noticeable feel in the steering and overall feel of the Explorer and very noticeable feel when taking sharp corners. For my less than $100 I think I've accomplished a much more enjoyable driving Explorer.
I have ordered a Steeda rear sway bar for the Explorer and will install it also expecting the Explorer to handle much better...we'll see.
I have a 2021 Explorer XLT 2.3l Turbo and was looking for a little better handling than the stock suspension. I noticed that the ST had a factory Strut Tower Brace which should help stiffen the front end.
I visited my local Ford dealer and got the part number for the 2020 ST Strut Tower Brace which is #L1MZ-16A200-A and costs $68. The mounting hardware is W709633-S439 screw with washer and is $7.50ea. So for a total of $97 I got the aluminum brace and bolts and washers to install it. When I installed it it fit perfectly and installed in a matter of minutes.
The Explorer has 5300 miles on it and after installing the strut tower brace I notice a noticeable feel in the steering and overall feel of the Explorer and very noticeable feel when taking sharp corners. For my less than $100 I think I've accomplished a much more enjoyable driving Explorer.
I have ordered a Steeda rear sway bar for the Explorer and will install it also expecting the Explorer to handle much better...we'll see.
My Ford part was just delivered today. Looks like it is pretty simple to install
Would that be correct?
Thanks
 

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My Ford part was just delivered today. Looks like it is pretty simple to install
Would that be correct?
Thanks
Yes that is correct, make sure the brace doesnt rub against ac charge lines/ports I had to bent mine a bit. Like olerodder said it must be parked on a level surface. Screws will cut its own thread. I can definitely feel a firmer ride after installation.
 

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Yes that is correct, make sure the brace doesnt rub against ac charge lines/ports I had to bent mine a bit. Like olerodder said it must be parked on a level surface. Screws will cut its own thread. I can definitely feel a firmer ride after installation.
Hello all, Newbie here

I'm hesitant about getting a brace for my '21 XLT since the holes don't have threads.
So the screws will cut their way in and be secure?
 

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That's what Daniel said. My JD mower does the same thing for blade spindles. Once the thread's cut, it 'bout can't back loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hello all, Newbie here

I'm hesitant about getting a brace for my '21 XLT since the holes don't have threads.
So the screws will cut their way in and be secure?
Don't be hesitant, the holes are there for a reason, and that's to attach the tower brace. Just apply a little pressure and use a socket and ratchet and you'll be fine. I've done this on my Explorer and a neighbors and neither of us have had any issues.
 

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That's what Daniel said. My JD mower does the same thing for blade spindles. Once the thread's cut, it 'bout can't back loose.
Hi, don't be hesitant... the screws will cut their own threads. Fitted the brace on my XLT no problem and handles better.
Don't be hesitant, the holes are there for a reason, and that's to attach the tower brace. Just apply a little pressure and use a socket and ratchet and you'll be fine. I've done this on my Explorer and a neighbors and neither of us have had any issues.
Thanks guys
 
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