The best way to knock something out quickly is to know what you’re doing and be organized. Outside of that, the best way is to read the instructions and be organized. I chose the third option, read the instructions and having nothing ready. This is why the 15 minute strut tower brace install took me 30 minutes.
Selecting your strut tower brace
I ordered my strut tower brace from speedlogix on black friday. The piece I got is a 4 point strut tower bar, least expensive 4 pt I can find. I would highly recommend this over going with a less expensive 2 point. Basically, when you’re trying to stiffen your chassis, you want more than just 2 points linked together, right? Don’t get me wrong, a 2 pt will help, but unless you’ve got a compelling reason, then a 4 point is the way to go.
Disclaimer: This is based on you having a gutted interior on the car already. If you need to remove interior panels, this will take you a little longer, but basically, pop the rear seat, take off the side and bottom panel in the trunk, and then move forward.
Other disclaimer: I am not an ase certified mechanic, but I’m also not a novice to this stuff. Torque specs exist for a reason, over-torqing is a great way to damage things. DON’T DO IT. If you don’t have a torque wrench, there are plenty available out there, sometimes for quite cheap. If you can’t afford a torque wrench, but you have a strut tower brace on hand, do yourself a favor, sell the strut tower brace, use the money to go get this torque wrench. Use the leftover money to buy a consolation beer and start up a new strut tower brace fund.
Things you will need:
Strut Tower Brace
Step 1 – Make sure your strut tower brace is inside your trunk, then carefully unwrap it. Little dings here and there wont compromise its structural integrity, but you don’t want anything to rust.
Step 2 – Gently place the strut tower brace on top of the strut towers, line up all the holes, and then ensure the central portion (if present, e.g. 4 point brace). Is on or as close to the forward mounting point (center, rear seat, 2 MASSIVE studs which will take our 18mm nuts) as possible.
Step 3 – Move to the rear seat area, work the brace and any obstacles (such as an aluminum rear firewall) until you can get the slots in the brace lined up properly with the studs, and slid all the way down (try to minimize potential damage to the threads during this step).
Step 4 – Lightly hand tighten the 18mm nuts onto the studs in the rear seat area.
Step 5 – Move to the trunk, place the provided spacers (razors edge documentation calls them ‘cups’) open side down over the existing nuts on the strut-bolts (these should be the two smaller studs on either side of the strut).
Step 6 – Lightly hand tighten the 15mm nuts over the top of your spacers (cups).
Step 7 – Grab your torque wrench and tighten everybody in the trunk down to about 10-15 ftlbs of torque.
Step 8 – Move to the rear seat, tighten the nuts down to 42 ftlbs of torque. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN
Step 9 – Move back to the trunk, tighten everybody down to 32 ftlbs of torque. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN
Step 10 – Doublecheck everybodys torque level and go for a drive.