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Old 01-28-2006, 12:46 AM   #1
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Rear strut brace question

Received the rear strut brace today and while trying to set the brace up, I was puzzled because the nuts could not go straight down the bolt (there is a stopper inside the nuts preventing it to fully screw down). Attached is the picture (the nuts are indicated as red circle and arrow).

Are the nuts supposed to stay up / stay at the end of the bolt? I mean, if the car experiences a bumpy motion for example, the only thing that can prevent the bar to slide up and down is the force from the bar (tightned by rotating the golden tube).

The rear strut brace is from Weltmeister.

Any advice is much appreciated.
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Old 01-28-2006, 12:48 AM   #2
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second pic.
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Old 01-28-2006, 04:21 AM   #3
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Those nuts are self locking. There is a nylon ring at the top that keeps you from threading them all the way down by hand, but they'll thread down just fine with a wrench, and won't back off by themselves.

That brace is the exact same one that Vertex is selling, and I just installed on my car. Search for another thread about them, and you'll see my comments on its installation, which is a pain. There's an interference issue, both for how the bar gets mounted, and also when those nuts are tightened down. Did you get an instruction sheet of any kind?

I ended up putting a skinny washer between the nut and the Heim joint because when the nut is tightened, it contacts the outer part of the joint, which places downward force on the joint and the bar, which pretty much makes it impossible to adjust since it is now in a bind.

Poor design in my opinion. I called Vertex and expressed it.

Jack
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Old 01-28-2006, 04:28 AM   #4
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Thought I'd save you some time. Here are my comments from that other thread regarding the rear strut brace you have:

"Overall the brace kit looks fairly well made, but the brackets that bolt to the struts seem a little wimpy. They are flat plates with welded-in studs for the spherical joints to bolt on. The joints fit over the threaded portion, then just wedges onto the unthreaded portion. It then sits about 1/2 - 3/4 inch above the plate, which seems to give the stud a chance to exert a good bit of force on the plate, possibly flexing or ultimately cracking/breaking the weld. Maybe not, but time will tell.

Second problem is that there were no instructions. You may think it painfully obvious how they are mounted, and that's true, but with a couple of exceptions. You would think that you'd simply mount and torque down the plates, then thread the spherical ends into the rod, then place on the studs, tighten their nuts, then twist the rod and tighten its lock nuts. Well, almost. The studs on the plates, when mounted and tightened down, are not pointed straight up. They are canted in toward each other and back at an angle, which causes the rod to have to be continuously adjusted while the ends are placed onto the studs. Except, that isn't possible either, because the clips on the rear panel that hold the top drive cables are in the way until the spherical ends are completely seated! You must mount one plate, put the rod and its ends in place and on the other plate, then adjust the rod while getting the second plate into position, then torque it down and complete the setup. It's a pain. If the studs were 1/2 an inch out further and pointed straight up when mounted, that would all go away.

Third problem is the biggest. Because of the studs being at such an odd angle, when the nuts are tightened down on those studs to hold the spherical ends in place, they put pressure on the free portion of the spherical ends that thread into the rod. This makes proper adjustment of the rod impossible, so you end up guessing if you have pressure applied outward, inward, or just neutral. You're guessing anyway, since there are no INSTRUCTIONS!"

Anyway, good luck with it. It can be made to work, just takes some fiddling around with.

Jack
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Old 01-28-2006, 06:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackG
Thought I'd save you some time. Here are my comments from that other thread regarding the rear strut brace you have:

"Overall the brace kit looks fairly well made, but the brackets that bolt to the struts seem a little wimpy. They are flat plates with welded-in studs for the spherical joints to bolt on. The joints fit over the threaded portion, then just wedges onto the unthreaded portion. It then sits about 1/2 - 3/4 inch above the plate, which seems to give the stud a chance to exert a good bit of force on the plate, possibly flexing or ultimately cracking/breaking the weld. Maybe not, but time will tell.

Second problem is that there were no instructions. You may think it painfully obvious how they are mounted, and that's true, but with a couple of exceptions. You would think that you'd simply mount and torque down the plates, then thread the spherical ends into the rod, then place on the studs, tighten their nuts, then twist the rod and tighten its lock nuts. Well, almost. The studs on the plates, when mounted and tightened down, are not pointed straight up. They are canted in toward each other and back at an angle, which causes the rod to have to be continuously adjusted while the ends are placed onto the studs. Except, that isn't possible either, because the clips on the rear panel that hold the top drive cables are in the way until the spherical ends are completely seated! You must mount one plate, put the rod and its ends in place and on the other plate, then adjust the rod while getting the second plate into position, then torque it down and complete the setup. It's a pain. If the studs were 1/2 an inch out further and pointed straight up when mounted, that would all go away.

Third problem is the biggest. Because of the studs being at such an odd angle, when the nuts are tightened down on those studs to hold the spherical ends in place, they put pressure on the free portion of the spherical ends that thread into the rod. This makes proper adjustment of the rod impossible, so you end up guessing if you have pressure applied outward, inward, or just neutral. You're guessing anyway, since there are no INSTRUCTIONS!"

Anyway, good luck with it. It can be made to work, just takes some fiddling around with.

Jack
Mine didn't come with any instruction either. Your post above is very helpful as I now know what to do to get this done tomorrow. Thanks!

I also have the racing dynamics front strut and think that this one should bolt right in without much difficulty.
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Old 01-28-2006, 12:51 PM   #6
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Is that really how high up the heim joint sits on that cylindrical stalk? Talk about poor design. That won't do much to brace the rear and who knows how long those welds will last at the base of that stalk.
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Old 01-28-2006, 06:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eslai
Is that really how high up the heim joint sits on that cylindrical stalk? Talk about poor design. That won't do much to brace the rear and who knows how long those welds will last at the base of that stalk.
The cylindrical stalk rests about 2.5 cm from the bottom. I don't know how much force is needed to crack the welds, but time will tell.

Other rear strut brace (such as from titanium advantage) sits much lower but it rests on screws which may get easier bended.
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:13 PM   #8
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I installed the unit sold by EVO. I know it's made for them but I'm not sure if it's shared by any other vendors (I think Imagine gets theirs from the same supplier but I'm not sure)

Although the installation is not documented it's really rather simple IF you do a couple of things to prep.

1. On my '03 the clips that hold the drive cables also hold a cloth piece from the top. You'll need to remove those clips. That involves popping the cable out and unscrewing them.

2. Install both base plates and notch the insulation so the bolts protrude and there is no insulation to prevent the bar from dropping all the way down the bolts

3. Size the bar to fit over the top of both bolts.

4. Expand the bar as you walk it down the bolts (they are angled in so you need to expand the bar to get it to slide all the way down.

5. Expand the bar so the joints are pushed all the way down to the bottom of the bolts

6. Install the nuts

7. Re-install the clips that hold the cable and cloth making sure the lower clip portion lays on top of the strut brace

8. Re-install the top cables and the cloth.

Note, the nuts don't hold the bar on the bottom of the bolts, the pressure does. There will be a small gap between the heim joint and the bottom of the nut, this isn't a problem. With the bar fully tensioned it cannot ride up on the bolt. This design actually causes a slight downward force as lateral force is applied, this will reduce the force applied to the welds and transfer that force into the opposing shock tower.

Here's some pictures.
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackG
Thought I'd save you some time. Here are my comments from that other thread regarding the rear strut brace you have:

"Overall the brace kit looks fairly well made, but the brackets that bolt to the struts seem a little wimpy. They are flat plates with welded-in studs for the spherical joints to bolt on. The joints fit over the threaded portion, then just wedges onto the unthreaded portion. It then sits about 1/2 - 3/4 inch above the plate, which seems to give the stud a chance to exert a good bit of force on the plate, possibly flexing or ultimately cracking/breaking the weld. Maybe not, but time will tell.

Second problem is that there were no instructions. You may think it painfully obvious how they are mounted, and that's true, but with a couple of exceptions. You would think that you'd simply mount and torque down the plates, then thread the spherical ends into the rod, then place on the studs, tighten their nuts, then twist the rod and tighten its lock nuts. Well, almost. The studs on the plates, when mounted and tightened down, are not pointed straight up. They are canted in toward each other and back at an angle, which causes the rod to have to be continuously adjusted while the ends are placed onto the studs. Except, that isn't possible either, because the clips on the rear panel that hold the top drive cables are in the way until the spherical ends are completely seated! You must mount one plate, put the rod and its ends in place and on the other plate, then adjust the rod while getting the second plate into position, then torque it down and complete the setup. It's a pain. If the studs were 1/2 an inch out further and pointed straight up when mounted, that would all go away.

Third problem is the biggest. Because of the studs being at such an odd angle, when the nuts are tightened down on those studs to hold the spherical ends in place, they put pressure on the free portion of the spherical ends that thread into the rod. This makes proper adjustment of the rod impossible, so you end up guessing if you have pressure applied outward, inward, or just neutral. You're guessing anyway, since there are no INSTRUCTIONS!"

Anyway, good luck with it. It can be made to work, just takes some fiddling around with.

Jack
Ok, I've been trying to install the rear brace for 2 straight days now and getting frustrated. The rear clips that hold the cables are on the way...are we supposed to remove this? I popped the rear panel from the clips, but were not sure how to remove the clips.

I tried to put the strut bar below the clips, but it forces the clips to bend up, possibly breaking it, so I stopped half way.

I also tried to force the strut bar on the top of the clips trying to push it down, but it didn't really work (couldn't put the hole to the second plate).

This is a lot harder than what I expected. Any help is much appreciated.
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Old 02-04-2006, 04:26 AM   #10
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This picture below was posted by mjw930 and I added some circles to mark the items in questions.

About the items in red circle:
Anybody could direct me how to remove the clips? I didn't see any screw etc and the back of the insulation is glued.

About the items in green circles:
Anybody know what kind of screw/nut noted in the circle? It is a flat screw/nut made of plastic and used to hold down the insulation. I was using an electric screwdriver and accidentally break one of these (flatten the top)
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Old 02-04-2006, 06:25 AM   #11
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The clips marked in red are fairly easy to remove. Pop the cables and wire out of them then simply unscrew them. They screw into a bolt that's welded onto the rear firewall. To re-install them you must guide the lower clip portion over the strut while holding the center part square relative to the bolt. Don't overtighten them becuase the plastic will strip.

The caps marked in green are again only plasic covers that screw into a bolt welded to the shock tower. They can be tight but I found that using your hand to apply a twisting pressure to the outside of the cap exerts more force than a screwdriver in the plastic slot. I wouldn't worry if you strip or break either of these plastic parts, they aren't very expensive to replace.
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