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Old 12-17-2008, 09:28 PM   #1
redyaris
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Thumbs up DIY: Strut Tower Brace Bar

Redyaris here again with another DIY. As usual, I like to submit these to show how easy it is to work on this car.

I recently purchased a strut tower brace bar from a seller on Ebay for around $40.

There's been a lot of debate on yarisworld about the effectiveness of these bars. Some swear the car feels better in corners, some don't. Whatever. For the record, I can't say that I noticed any change in handling.

I like the way it looks in the engine compartment and that's all that matters to me.

YW member and moderator Chris07LB did a DIY on the Tanabe strut tower brace a while back. Here is a link to his DIY http://www.yarisworld.com/forums/sho...trut+tower+bar A great writeup that perhaps I can add a little more to with my version.

My cheap no-name brace bar came in unfinished aluminum with supplied bolts, nuts and mounting plates. Just like Chris07LB, I trashed the included mounting hardware for higher grade materials (longer and heavier grade 8 bolts, washers, and nylock nuts).

What I didn't know from the previous DIY was in order to bolt the mounting plates to be attached to the strut towers, I would have to remove the windshield wipers, windshield trim and a metal support plate attached to the firewall. What a historic pain in the ass.

First you have to remove the windshield trim pieces where the washer sprayers are mounted. Undo a couple of plastic trim clips to begin. There are two pieces you have to remove. The bigger piece on the passenger side comes out easily. The smaller piece on the driver side requires the removal of the two windshield wiper arms.

Pry the wiper arm attachment nut cover off with a small screwdriver. Use a ratchet to unbolt the wiper arms. Tip: once the nut is off raise the wiper arm up from the windshield to remove it (it won't come off if laying flat).

After the wiper arms have been removed, remove the trim piece. Next you will have to remove several 10MM screws holding a large black metal support piece attached to the firewall. Some of the screws are hard to access so use your 10 inch ratchet extension. I recommend you take your time and drink a lot during this process.

The wiper blade assembly will have to be removed before the support piece will come out. There are 2 10MM screws that hold it in place. Slide the wiper assembly to the left and it can be removed. There is also an air intake vent on the passenger side that can be slid straight out for removal.

Once the large black support is removed from the engine compartment you now have free access to the strut tower mounting points (2 on each side of the car).

Using a floor jack or jack stands, jack the car up and remove one or both wheels to gain access to the wheel well strut tower mounting holes. I did one side at a time myself. Note: Before installing the bar, the car will need to be back on the ground supported by all 4 wheels.

For the next part of the strut brace install if you have large hands you are screwed. I had to fish the bolts up through the wheel well through the strut tower mounting point holes. This required a lot of patience and a lot more drinking. Finally, I had both bolts in on both sides of the car and ratcheted them down securely holding the bolt on the topside and the bottom via the wheel well.

Put the wheels back on and remove floor jack and/or jack stands. The vehicle must be back on the ground supporting itself for installation of the bar.

My brace bar was adjustable for length so i test fitted it to the mounting hardware. Install the bar using two bolts one at each strut tower mounting plate. Tighten securely. I don't recommend nylock nuts for this as you will have to remove the bar when servicing the car (installing a new battery for example).

There. Completed in just under 2 hours with 2 beers remaining in the fridge.

I did a test drive and not too much to report there. As I said I like the looks. A cheap mod in my book. If it adds extra handling, well thats a bonus.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg strutbar01.jpg (44.2 KB, 730 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar02.jpg (79.4 KB, 718 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar03.jpg (102.6 KB, 712 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar04.jpg (121.4 KB, 712 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar05.jpg (138.2 KB, 706 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar06.jpg (188.4 KB, 705 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar07.jpg (91.5 KB, 708 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar08.jpg (114.1 KB, 704 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar09.jpg (125.4 KB, 703 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar10.jpg (75.6 KB, 704 views)
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Last edited by redyaris; 12-18-2008 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:31 PM   #2
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Part 2 Pics
Attached Images
File Type: jpg strutbar11.jpg (82.7 KB, 699 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar12.jpg (164.4 KB, 694 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar13.jpg (170.0 KB, 696 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar14.jpg (217.6 KB, 691 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar16.jpg (191.3 KB, 688 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar20.jpg (147.5 KB, 695 views)
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:41 PM   #3
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Nice. Do they really work? I remember a user on here bashing everyone for getting these. He said they don't make a difference. bleh
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by PETERPOOP View Post
Nice. Do they really work? I remember a user on here bashing everyone for getting these. He said they don't make a difference. bleh
I don't know if they work and don't really care. It makes me happy.

Im also sure the bashers will be out in force on this DIY. Meh.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:59 PM   #5
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Looks like a painted Tanabe.
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:36 PM   #6
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Yeah, it looks almost identical to the Tanabe...
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:45 PM   #7
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does look like the Tanabe, and I'm not too proud to go brandless IF it is the same
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:33 AM   #8
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The Tanabe probably has better mounting plate hardware and im guessing might be a stronger constructed bar. Nothing against Tanabe's fine products but installing a name brand strut tower bar was not something I was concerned about - plus, it came in aluminum to match my intake and gives me the look i'm going for. Next step, silver stainless hoses and other engine bling.

One more thing, this bar comes within 1/4 inch of my neg battery terminal, almost sitting right on top of it with no way to adjust. I don't like that but its bolted down tight so no movement.

There are other bars out there, name brand and generic. I do like the NITTO strut tower bar that Micro Image offers. I'll probably purchase the NITTO silver rear shock brace bar from Garm in the near future. Megan Racing also has a silver C pillar brace bar im looking to obtain.
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:38 PM   #9
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That looks just fine, I'm guessing it's not the same construction inside the bar as the Tanabe, but so what? It suits your purpose and looks great.
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Old 12-18-2008, 04:54 PM   #10
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That looks great. I purchased the same Bar from ebay. How ever all I did to install the bar was jack the front end of the car up. There was enough room to get bolt and nut to line up and tighten with a ratchet on the top side. The quality for my taste is great. Light weight and powder coated. Nice DIY wright up
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:56 AM   #11
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:05 AM   #12
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^^^ someone needs a sig resize!

Anyways, My buddy bought a strut bar off ebay, jokingly i was like dude these things are wicked flimsy material watch...bent it right in half by accident....and i dont do 700lb deadlifts for lunch either....If I, 5'10 185lbs can bend a part that is suppose to prevent high force chassis flex theres a problem!!!!!!
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:32 AM   #13
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If a really sturdy bar is needed, how about a complete diy?

You could replicate the mounting plates with thicker and sturdier steel and then use a steel tube or steel bar. Spot weld it then remove for more welding. A solid one piece bar. I wonder how much of a difference that would make. I am also wondering if others are not seeing much of a difference because the bars they are installing are not stiff enough to make a difference.

On a side note, looks like there is some fire wall access. I wonder if you could do some sound dampening of the firewall through those holes.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:37 PM   #14
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OON RESIST there is a function on this site called the Yaris Garage to post multiple pictures of your ride. Check it out.
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:07 AM   #15
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Angry

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikegerm View Post
Looks like a painted Tanabe.
Seems like a Tanabe Clone

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Old 12-22-2008, 02:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Seems like a Tanabe Clone

And whats wrong with that, It looks good, is very regid and best of all about 1/3rd the price.
Congrats on a very nice install redyaris

And just as a kicker not all ebay items are poorly made , some of our vendors here
sell on ebay and sometimes cheaper than what they are offering to us as members,
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:49 PM   #17
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Thanks 1NZ...I like yours too.
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:04 PM   #18
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It's 2014, I just purchased the same strut bar! Thanks for the write up!
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