Monday, April 21, 2014

991 Front Strut Tower Bar Installation.

We had a customer come in the other day to have our exclusive front strut tower bar installed on his beautiful 2014 racing yellow 991.

We offer free installation of this product if you're in the area, but for those of you that want to install it yourself, it's a fairly quick and simple process for the average DIYer to tackle at home.

You really only need 3 tools:

  • Socket wrench with 13mm socket (for the strut tower nuts)
  • 16mm wrench (for rotating the turnbuckle bolts to adjust bar preload)
  • 19mm wrench (for tightening the jam nuts on the turnbuckle bolts, and for the bolts that secure the rod ends to the end plates)
First thing's first: you'll want to lay out the front strut tower kit for preassembly. The kit should come with a pack containing left hand threaded and right hand threaded rod ends (and will be labeled LH and RH, respectively), a pack containing two turnbuckle bolts with jam nuts pre-installed and two bolts with crush washers and nuts, two end plates, and the strut tower bar itself.

At top: the strut tower bar as shipped. At bottom: the strut tower bar fully assembled but not installed.

You'll want to pre-assemble the bar with the turnbuckle bolts and rod ends, and you may then opt to install the bar (with the turnbuckle bolts and rod ends installed) onto the end plates. If you're by yourself, it may be easier to install the bar onto the plates later after the plates are installed on the car.

With the bar assembled, all that's left is to install everything onto the car.

Open your front trunk, and then remove the plastic cover that hides the strut towers, battery, etc. It's only really held in by two clips, so you can just grab the "pockets" on either side, and give a firm tug upwards to release the clips from the slots, and then you can remove and set aside the cover.

The arrows point to the "pockets" on the cover that you can grab from.

With the cover out of the way, now you can get started on actually installing the bar.

If your car is equipped with PASM, you'll want to disconnect the PASM cables at the connectors on both sides. It's fairly simple to do: there is only one clip at the connector that you need to unhook.

You may have to lift up the side cover for better access to the clip on the female end of the connector

Undo the 3 nuts on each strut tower and set them aside.

Place the strut tower plates over the strut tower studs. If you have the bar fully assembled already, you may need to adjust the turnbuckle bolts to make the overall length longer or shorter to get the holes on the plates to line up with the studs.

While not necessary, having someone helping saves you the trouble of having to walk to the other side of the car.
With the plates on, you can now hand-tighten the strut tower nuts. Ideally, you'll want the nuts to be centered in the slots of the plates in case you need to make any camber adjustments to your car later, so move the plates as necessary (and if you already had camber adjustments made, the nuts will most likely not be able to be centered). Once the plates are where you want them to be, tighten the bolts to 24 ft/lbs.

If you do not have the bar preassembled, go ahead and attach the strut tower bar to the plates. You may need to adjust the turnbuckle bolts to get the holes of the rod ends to line up with the corresponding holes on the plates. The head of the bolt should fit inside of the slotted area of the plates on the side facing the front of the car, and the crush washer and nut installed on the other side of the plate.

If everything is where it should be, go ahead and tighten down the nut. As there is a crush washer, you can just tighten the bolt until snug, and then give it another quarter turn.

Now all that's left is to adjust bar preload.

With the bar flat and the logo facing upwards (refer to prior images if needed), first rotate all the jam nuts towards the center of the turnbuckle bar to allow for travel when you adjust the turnbuckle nut. Once that is done, take your 16mm wrench, and rotate the center nut of the turnbuckle bolt. The way your bar was installed will determine the direction to rotate the nut to lengthen or shorten the bar. The bar may rotate as you turn the nut, so use your other hand to brace against the bar to keep it from rotating. You want to eventually have both sides extended out until you feel you can no longer turn the nuts to extend the length of the bar.

With the pretension set, turn the jam nuts until they butt up against the rod ends for the outer jam nuts, and the bar for the inner jam nuts. Using your 19mm wrench, snug those up tight.

And that's it! With the strut tower bar installed, you have 3 options as far as the cover goes.

  • Run with no cover.
  • Put the cover back on as is. Keep in mind that the cover will be raised slightly near the strut towers, but the clips of the cover will attach as normal, and the front trunk lid will close and open as if normal.
  • Cut the cover to allow clearance for the strut tower bar and allow it to sit completely flat.

Most people opt to just put the cover back on without cutting, as it keeps things hidden, and may not even be noticed by most people.

If you have any questions about the front strut tower bar, or installation of the front strut tower bar, feel free to call us at 1-888-978-9899 during business hours, and we will be glad to help you out.

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