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Old 12-17-2008, 08:28 PM   #1
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redyaris's Avatar
Drives: 2007 Toyota Yaris Liftback
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 982
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 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, 764 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar02.jpg (79.4 KB, 750 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar03.jpg (102.6 KB, 745 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar04.jpg (121.4 KB, 743 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar05.jpg (138.2 KB, 739 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar06.jpg (188.4 KB, 737 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar07.jpg (91.5 KB, 740 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar08.jpg (114.1 KB, 737 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar09.jpg (125.4 KB, 736 views)
File Type: jpg strutbar10.jpg (75.6 KB, 737 views)
Bringin the Bling to Yarisworld

Last edited by redyaris; 12-18-2008 at 10:40 AM.
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