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 Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)

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ender467
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Sat Sep 15, 2007 2:10 pm

Anyone have an idea of how to get the bolt out on a '97? I don't feel comfortable with the brace being on with just a few threads holding it, I can get longer bolts, but what is the proces going to be to get them out?
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Jack the R
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:53 pm

It's not a bolt, it's a stud embedded in the strut mount. You'll have to pull the strut mount to get any access to it, which means removing the struts (and getting your front end realigned when it's all back together). Once you've got the mount out I guess you could cut off the old stud and weld on a new one. This is a big job, and if you're welding anyway why not modify the STB?
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TonySmooth89
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PostSubject: Strut tower brace in!   Sun Jan 06, 2008 12:30 pm

It took me about an hour of drilling out the holes and fighting but its in...and wow... If anyone hasn't done this yet i strongly suggest you do it.
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:03 pm

Just saw this thread. This STB is totally totally worth it. If you have a '98-'99 the procedure is this simple. It's a 20 minute install:

http://web.mac.com/derekcunningham/iWeb/The%20Cunninghams/STBinstall.html

I created that page last year when I put mine in. I had a sway bar end link broken for the last I don't know how long and didn't even notice wink
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Jack the R
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:59 am

MODDING THE STB:

Here's the mods my mechanic made to my STB. I think he got sick of messing with it, and it doesn't fit as well as I'd like (too tall), but he had a couple good ideas -



I'm sure this is too bendy to work though. the front tabs can be bent by hand. Here's what I've come up with to strengthen it up -



Bit of metal work involved, and I'm not exactly sure where I'd get the metal from

shocked

I'm thinking about ordering a couple more STB's, a front one to replace this one and the 2nd one as a base for fabbing a rear STB. The rear would need an extra section welded in, and the front needs those brace pieces on each end. I'd use this one as scrap to finish the other two.
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Jack the R
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:29 pm



Hey, am I the first person to notice this? The caddie STB comes real close to fitting across the rear. REAL close. It's like 1/2" to short. Weld some extra material on the ends, drill new holes, and WHAMMO, $20 rear STB!

The rear shock towers aren't perfectly horizontal, they slope downwards some. I don't think bending the tabs will be a problem here though since the bar will be under compression (?) .
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oldsman105
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:13 pm

YOU RULE!!!!!!!
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BillBoost37
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:32 am

oldsman105 wrote:
YOU RULE!!!!!!!

Nutjob.. bonk

Would you guys please stop feeding him ideas? Please.. I foresee more Riv work in my future with each of his posts. It's like giving crack to a junkie.
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Joey98riv
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:55 pm

ordered mine just now from gmpartsdirect.com ! Very excited to receive it!
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1998 Riv
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:08 am

Joey98riv wrote:
ordered mine just now from gmpartsdirect.com ! Very excited to receive it!


Cool, you're gonna love it. You'll need to pick up 4 longer bolts, I think 1/4" longer than stock will do. Also grab about a dozen flat washers for spacers so you will clear the brake fluid reservior. To simplify, I just removed one of my bolts and took it with me to a local fastener store to match up proper size and strength. They are metric bolts.
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Joey98riv
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:15 am

I am a manager at a parts store so we have enough junk in the back room that I aught to be able to find something I can use =D I spend all day in the catalogs looking at every part I could possibly want for my 3800... Wish pay day was every day!
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1998 Riv
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:24 am

Sounds like you've got it covered then, have fun!
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Joey98riv
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:43 am

Just got mine from FedEx this morning! Going to install after work and see if all the hype is deserved!
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:54 pm

Joey98riv wrote:
Just got mine from FedEx this morning! Going to install after work and see if all the hype is deserved!


Ok, were waiting... smile
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Joey98riv
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:59 pm

Well... I am surprised at the difference it makes! During my lunch hour I sanded it with 1000 grit and shot it with a few coats of royal blue and a couple clear coats and let it sit for about 6 hours and it looks pretty nice. I'll post pics at some point, the handling and ride difference is big, I took it out on a curvy road coarse and it takes away some of the grandma float. By far the best mod one can do for 20 bucks! Very impressed.. Now I need to get another one for the rear!
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1998 Riv
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:29 am

Jack the R was trying to figure out a fit for a rear stb also. Looked like some fabrication would be needed.
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Jack the R
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:41 pm

Yeah, the front STB isn't a direct fit for the back but it is amazingly close. I'd totally fab a front one to fit the back before spending $300 on an aftermarket STB that bolts up.
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:08 pm

Is there an aftermarket version?

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oldsman105
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:34 pm

I know RSM racing made one for the aurora.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:13 pm

Jack the R wrote:
Yeah, the front STB isn't a direct fit for the back but it is amazingly close. I'd totally fab a front one to fit the back before spending $300 on an aftermarket STB that bolts up.

FOR SHORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! its a no brainer bonk
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Jack the R
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:10 am

Especially when you consider it probably doesn't do much of nothing anyway.
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rivparadise
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:19 pm

Put mine in today. Notice a little difference but I haven't had the chance to really drive it yet.
Will get back
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:21 am

You'll notice the difference if you push it thru corners, or around an on-ramp loop.
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Jack the R
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:59 pm

Fabrication on the front brace:



$4 worth of steel (from Lowe's), $10 worth of welding. I've almost doubled the price of it wink I've still got to work out something for the back, because the guy who worked on it first made it too high in the front.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Front Strut Tower Brace (STB)   Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:11 pm

I put the modded STB on today and went for a test drive. My first response when I started swerving around was literally HOLY SHIT!! I totally expected it not to be any better than it was without the extra bracing. I wish I could test this scientifically and give solid numbers for the improvement - my seat of the pants feel is that it's as much of an improvement over the stock STB as the stock STB is over a Riv with no STB. It is substantial. How substantial? With the unmodded STB, I felt like the front end needed more work but the back end with the Rancho's set on 3 was perfectly satisfactory. With the modded STB, the front was suddenly tighter than the back, or at least tight enough to make the back wallowy. After the first test drive, I reset the rancho's to 5. Overall this has resulted in a pretty dramatic upgrade of the car's handling. It's not an Elise, it will roll (even an Elise will roll), but it's so much flatter. It's got a different character too - maybe this is what is considered "neutral" handling? It rotates better, and the back almost seems like it could break free if pushed. I don't know if that part is good or not. It feels like it's good, but the tires are getting overpowered by the suspension. Maybe I'm wrong though - I'm going to ask around and see if I can find someone who knows handling. Of course you are all welcome to put in your opinion wink
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