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Welds in the way of strut tower bar?


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Hey everyone, I have a 97 OBW and I'm thinking about installing front and rear strut tower bars.

 

However, the welds around the front struts are pretty raised and I don't think the bar would be able to sit flush.

 

I'm looking at the used JDM bars on ebay... Some have notches cut out to fit around the surrounding equipment, and others attach at only 2 of the 3 bolts around the strut. Does that affect the structural integrity to have notches or only be attached to two of the bolts?

 

If I end up installing one of those, and it's not looking like it's gonna be flush, should I throw a few washers underneath so there's no space between the bottom of the bar mount and the top of the strut tower?

 

http://i64.tinypic.com/2rcvllf.png

http://i67.tinypic.com/2iixxee.png

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That isn't welds, it's just really tough seam sealer. I cut mine down flush. You could use a stack of washers I suppose if the strut studs will reach. I wouldn't count on compressing it. You'll have to cut the plastic trim panels in the back anyway, so it's not so bad making permanent changes. Also, if you can, get the quick remove rear if you want to use your cargo area if it's a wagon.
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Is the structural integrity of the stut tower impacted by grinding down that seam? And what's that squarish bracket on the right tower for? The stock strut bars seem to be designed around it, but I've never seen it used for anything.

 

It's the wagon, yeah. I'm debating the rear tower bar though because I have the cargo area roll-out cover and it looks like I wouldn't be able to keep it with a strut bar installed.

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I felt the added stiffness more in the back of my wagon than the front. I would definitely do it. I have the roll out cover in mine and it works with my rear strut bar from Whiteline. If the design of the one you are looking at is the same as the Whiteline unit, it should work. Or check out the part number of mine recently in the aftermarket parts pinned thread.

 

I don't know what that square bracket is.

 

The seams are some kind of caulk. I cut it away with a pocket knife. No structural difference. I was really surprised when I found that out since it's painted. I've never seen caulk hold automotive paint for so long on any of my previous cars. When I cut it down I was careful not to get quite all the way to the metal to avoid rust.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I installed the Whiteline rear strut tower bar a week or two ago and felt the difference immediately. It's way stiffer in the back now, and I can really hug the turns. I'll mention that the shocks only have a few thousand miles on them - I installed KYB's all around but kept the stock springs (because they're still decent and I'm on a budget). I especially love that you can't even see it with the cargo cover over it.

 

Anyway now that it's all stiff in the back, I can feel that it's not as rigid up front, and it's leading to some understeer if I go into a sharp turn too fast. I know it's not my tires because those are new too.

 

There are a lot of options for front strut tower bars, and I'm wondering which one people think is best. In talking it over with a friend, I'm leaning toward the Whiteline one, not just because that's what I have in the back but because the used JDM ones are still just stock equipment and the Whiteline one is more performance-engineered. Not to discredit the engineers at Subaru, but some of the JDM ones look like they're more for show, like the one that's actually carbon fiber, and especially the one that has faux carbon fiber tape over the metal. That said, the Cusco ones look solid. And they look like they were engineered with other stock equipment in mind, like that mystery square bracket, and they're pointed toward the firewall so it's not in the way of anything. The Whiteline one looks like it would get in the way of whatever that metal line near the right side strut tower is.

 

Also, what is that metal line near the right side strut tower? Is it the AC? I'm going to uninstall it whenever the temp outside decides to get above freezing.

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If I remember right it was A/C. I put a tiny bit of bend in it to clear, and I got rid of the mystery square bracket. The whiteline one going forward is right over the throttle body to intake joint which is actually pretty conveniently out of the way. I can get down behind it to get to my wideband, and all the hoses and such.

 

But I do believe the front bar did less to stiffen things than the rear did. I'm not sure if that is because of the bent aluminum design, or because the rear was so much weaker than the front to begin with.

 

I definitely am glad I put them in.

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  • 1 month later...

http://i64.tinypic.com/t7lhs7.jpg

 

Finally installed the front strut tower bar. Went with the Cusco bar because it seemed like it would be the strongest and fit the best. I've read that the Whiteline front strut bar may rub on the hood.

 

I will mention that the A/C lines by the front right tower were in the way and I had to disconnect them to install the tower bar. Eventually all of the A/C components will be removed. It's just been too dang cold to get out there. Today was a rare occasion where the temp was above freezing, and the bar came in the mail, so I just threw it right on there.

 

Nevermind that my engine bay is in need of some serious spring cleaning, and I'm in the middle of the A/C delete, but I think the bar adds a nice touch. Looks aside, I definitely feel an improvement in cornering with both strut tower bars on there.

 

Next step (suspension-wise) is sway bars and endlinks. I'm looking at all of the people posting on here with their rebuilds and getting super jealous.

 

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Stealth mode: activated

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I still need to cut sections out the plastic moulding that goes over the rear strut towers so they fit over the bar. And shampoo all the carpet.

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Shampoo the carpet? How many horsepower does that add? ;)

 

Haha considering how much dirt is lodged into the carpets, after I shampoo them I'll probably be running 10 second quarter miles. The fact that I live across the street from an auto detailing shop is salt in the wound everyday. But I'm not paying them $175 to do it for me.

 

I just got this Syms strut bar for $150. I just tightened the bolts all the way and whatever that stuff is just compressed down all the way no problem. You can kind of see in the pic.

 

I ended up cutting it down with a pocket knife. It looks like crap but so does the rest of the engine bay right now. I keep telling myself I'm going to get it all cleaned up this spring and then maybe get it painted this summer, engine bay and all.

 

Also, i modified the strut tower covers to work with my rear bar.

 

Yeah, I saw that. It looks good. I'm gonna do the same thing for mine whenever I get around to it.

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The mystery square thing is for the bar that keeps your hood up when working on the engine. The bar in its original position keeps the hood up at about 40 degrees.

 

You take the bar out from its original location (rubber grommet holds it in) and put it in the square holder on the right strut tower and now the hood can be held open at near vertical position.

 

Cheers

 

redleg05

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  • 2 weeks later...
The mystery square thing is for the bar that keeps your hood up when working on the engine. The bar in its original position keeps the hood up at about 40 degrees.

 

You take the bar out from its original location (rubber grommet holds it in) and put it in the square holder on the right strut tower and now the hood can be held open at near vertical position.

 

Cheers

 

redleg05

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Today I learned. Lol the whiteline bar requires that to be removed. Oops!

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