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 Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace

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Jack the R
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyWed May 14, 2008 11:56 pm

I got a STB to fab for the rear today. Before going any further I'd like to give a big WTF!! to GM Parts Direct for charging me $10 shipping and handling and not bothering to put my STB in a BOX.

mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad

Now that that's out of the way . . .

Session 1 -

Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace 011ygj

After pulling the plugs that give access to the top of the shock mounts, remove this piece of carpetting from behind the seat. This will let you fold the side carpetting down low enough that it won't get in the way of your bar. You'll have to cut the carpetting later, but this will do for now. Put some weights on the carpet sides to hold it out of your way.

Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace 012qjp

I used a nail to mark the area that needs to be removed to fit around the top of the strut mount, then used a hack saw and a cutting wheel on a dremel to cut the area out.

Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace 013vte

An extension will need to be welded on at each end of the STB.

Next step - find better drill bits.

Session 2 -

Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace 014uts

I got my bits. I'm not sure but maybe all bits are good for metal and wood both, after all. BUT, I got a special set of split head bits that do not walk, how pimp is that? Finding them was an interesting experience in itself, they were in a semi-abandoned part of an old mom and pop store, the owner didn't even know he had them. I couldn't resist the old part of the store, it has the feeling of a forgotten ruin. I'm not sure but I think I got them at the price they cost 15 years ago. I love that store. I think it will soon be wiped out by a bypass.

Anyway, I drilled my holes in 3 stages because steel is frickin' tough. The instructions with my drill said to use "cutting oil" when working metal. I used motor oil from my last change. I don't know if it helped with the drilling, but the metal shavings stuck together in a more manageable pile.

Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace 015uyt

Here's what the finished extensions look like.

Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace 017uwa

The pilot holes. I did the curve part of the cut out with the drill, used a hacksaw on the sides, and then the bench grinder and a dremel to clean up the sides of the cutout.

Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace 018xql

Test fitting - it turns out the cut out I made in the STB is not too large after all, as it allows for the rubber caps to be installed. This not only looks pro, but the caps help hold the STB in place while test fitting.

Session 3 -

Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace 019xl

I bolted the extensions down where they should be, and glued the bar into place with JB weld. I used a couple pieces of wood to wedge the STB down good on the extensions. When the JB weld dried I removed the assembly - one of the extensions broke off because of the tight fit. The JB Weld served as a guide to get the extension lined up right again on the bar. I superglued it back on.

Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace 0110np

Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace 0111m

This ain't Monster Garage, but I did get a FREEBIE!

FREEBIE!

FREEBIE!

(And I'm related to that Jesse James guy through Frank James, if family lore is true)

Anyway, free welding. WOOT!

The install was a PITA, because the shocks slowly retracted under the weight of the tops, and I did not figure out what the deal was until the end. But if you, dear reader, decide to try this mod, know that all you have to do is reach into the wheel well and push those puppies back up where they belong. You don't have to do like me and throw dead bodies in the trunk until it's sunk down onto the shocks again.

Here's the finished result -

Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace 0112lu

Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace 0113xs

It's clean looking if you cut the carpet in the right place.

Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace 15fin

For those worried about trunk space, there's plenty left, due to the way the brackets push the crossbar forward.

Driving Experience -

1st drive with the rear STB installed - IMO it's as good as the reinforced front STB. If you remember my comments following the addition of the reinforced front STB, I felt like the front handling was stronger than the back, and the back had become a bit squirrelly. I dialed my shocks up from 3 to 5, which was better but only a partial fix.

Now, the rear is most definitely quicker than the front again. The squirrelishness is completely gone. The back end is just fucking tight. Overall the car responds pretty quick, with the back and front starting to rotate instantly but the front going into a hard lean and plow. I say a "hard lean" to compare it to the marshmallow soft roll of the stock front suspension - it's not bad bad but it needs a big boost to catch up to the rear.

2nd drive - Dialing the Rancho's down took half the fun out of the suspension frown I couldn't feel any squirrels in the back though - I turned the shocks up to 4, looking for a better balance.

For the 50-60 bucks it takes to do this mod, I don't think anyone will be disappointed in it.


Last edited by Jack the R on Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:02 pm; edited 4 times in total
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BillBoost37
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyThu May 15, 2008 8:46 am

GMPD's shipping costs and methods do leave a lot to be desired.

What is that STB from?
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T Riley
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyThu May 15, 2008 9:24 am

BillBoost37 wrote:
GMPD's shipping costs and methods do leave a lot to be desired.

What is that STB from?

your daddy's caddy razz

but really its from a STS
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptySun May 18, 2008 11:39 pm

BillBoost37 wrote:
GMPD's shipping costs and methods do leave a lot to be desired.

What is that STB from?

It's the same STS bar we've been putting on the front. It only needs a little stretching to fit on the back.
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98riv
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyMon May 19, 2008 10:18 am

How much difference do you think a rear STB will make?

_________________
1998 Supercharged Riviera - Custom CAI, Alpine spx-13ref, Infinity 6x9's, Alpine 4 Channel Amp, Kicker KX3, Silverstars, STB, Hawk Brake Pads, Monroe Air Shocks, KYB GR2
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyMon May 19, 2008 4:27 pm

98riv wrote:
How much difference do you think a rear STB will make?

i like my tribal drums in mah trunk
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyMon May 19, 2008 4:40 pm

agree I've only got one small bongo, but I'm not givin' it up for a brace. I like the idea a lot, though. Anything to stiffen up the ride is great.

_________________
'05 GTO 6.0L • 6-spd • 95k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26

'95 Celica GT 2.2L • 5-spd • 165k miles • 0-60: yes

'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'70 Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe 455cid • 116k miles
^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyMon May 19, 2008 5:01 pm

AA wrote:
I've only got one small bongo


shocked lmfao lmfao lmfao lmfao lmfao lmfao
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyMon May 19, 2008 10:22 pm

I kinda think the STB will be useful for keeping things from sliding around the trunk. The cargo net doesn't do much.

AA wrote:
agree I've only got one small bongo, but I'm not givin' it up for a brace.

Obviously not. Look what I found on my brace today -

Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Aa

Small world, ain't it?

I'm more interested in ever to see what you come up with for a front STB, since you didn't think the STS unit was up to snuff.

98riv - No idea, but I intend to find out tomorrow.

Part of me thinks it will help out a lot, because the rear shock towers aren't tied to anything substantial like the firewall the way the strut towers are. But there's already a brace under the package shelf which might be doing the job. I kinda doubt it though, it doesn't look very strong.

As little as it costs, I figured it was worth a try, and at least I can say I was the first to do it. A little balm for my suffering ego while everyone else is doing cams and intercoolers bow
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyMon May 19, 2008 11:20 pm

You've got to be kidding me... I've been waiting on that bar for over a month now, paid for it even. There better be a bar with the name "Jeremy Ray" laying on my desk this week, or GMpartsdirect is going to be hearing from me.

It is a small world indeed, Jack. There were two people in this country who ordered that bar last week, and they manage to mix them up.

_________________
'05 GTO 6.0L • 6-spd • 95k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26

'95 Celica GT 2.2L • 5-spd • 165k miles • 0-60: yes

'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'70 Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe 455cid • 116k miles
^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyMon May 19, 2008 11:51 pm

AA wrote:
You've got to be kidding me... I've been waiting on that bar for over a month now, paid for it even. There better be a bar with the name "Jeremy Ray" laying on my desk this week, or GMpartsdirect is going to be hearing from me.

It is a small world indeed, Jack. There were two people in this country who ordered that bar last week, and they manage to mix them up.

if you don't mind me asking how much did you guys pay for the bar and shipping and handling?? im gonna buy another one from the Cadillac Dealer soon...... just to mess around with for the front

smile

i paid 33$ even at the stealership! for my first front one
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyMon May 19, 2008 11:58 pm

$37 shipped to Jack's house.

_________________
'05 GTO 6.0L • 6-spd • 95k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26

'95 Celica GT 2.2L • 5-spd • 165k miles • 0-60: yes

'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'70 Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe 455cid • 116k miles
^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyTue May 20, 2008 12:01 am

Oh man - here I was thinking the bar was most likely a return, but in the back of my mind, as I was taking that tag off, I was thinking - what if? What if it wasn't a return, and here I am, having just hacked Aaron's bar all to pieces (I didn't notice the name on the tag until today)?

shocked Oops, sorry about that!

Maybe they'll send you my box to make up for it. dunce

FWIW, I've been waiting for the bar for a month too. I'd nearly forgotten about it when the Fed Ex guy showed up a few days ago.
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyTue May 20, 2008 12:05 am

AA wrote:
$37 shipped to Jack's house.

Be a pal and let me know when you order an intercooler, o.k.?
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyTue May 20, 2008 12:11 am

Jack the R wrote:
AA wrote:
$37 shipped to Jack's house.

Be a pal and let me know when you order an intercooler, o.k.?

and Jack , Be a pal and let me know when AA gets that intercooler.... ill Stake out your house for a few days
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyTue May 20, 2008 10:42 am

Hey Aaron.. Buy a GM Torsion Diff will ya bonk
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyTue May 20, 2008 8:25 pm

1st drive with the rear STB installed - IMO it's as good as the reinforced front STB. If you remember my comments following the addition of the reinforced front STB, I felt like the front handling was stronger than the back, and the back had become a bit squirrelly. I dialed my shocks up from 3 to 6, which was better but only a partial fix.

Now, the rear is most definitely quicker than the front again. The squirrelishness is completely gone. The back end is just fucking tight. Overall the car responds pretty quick, with the back and front starting to rotate instantly but the front going into a hard lean and plow. I say a "hard lean" to compare it to the marshmallow soft roll of the stock front suspension - it's not bad bad but it needs a big boost to catch up to the rear.

For the 50-60 bucks it takes to do this mod, I don't think anyone will be disappointed in it.
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyTue May 20, 2008 10:12 pm

Sweet! Nice job!
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyWed Oct 08, 2008 12:17 am

Did you ever get your bar AA?
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyWed Oct 08, 2008 1:17 am

He got it and installed it months ago.

And I would have snuck up to Ohio and nabbed that one too if he hadn't dented it. lmfao So clever!


Last edited by Jack the R on Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyWed Oct 08, 2008 1:25 am

Jack the R wrote:
He got it and installed it months ago.

And I would have snuck up to Ohio and nabbed that one to if he hadn't dented it. lmfao So clever!

oh ya now i remember his write up or pics...... he bent it above the master brake lol
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyWed Oct 08, 2008 10:34 am

I did not install a rear bar, only the front.

_________________
'05 GTO 6.0L • 6-spd • 95k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26

'95 Celica GT 2.2L • 5-spd • 165k miles • 0-60: yes

'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'70 Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe 455cid • 116k miles
^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyTue Jun 05, 2012 4:05 pm

So i have been thinking about making a rear strut tower brace. It really couldn't be that hard to make could it? I'm thinking of making two individual bars that connect to each of the two bolts on the shock mounts, and then weld a thick metal sheet connecting the two bars. I think it would be a cool look, because it would have a wide flat surface, that i could put an emblem on kind of like the braces on a 350z.

http://thefuturegarage.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/nissan_350z_coupe_nismo_2008_other_trunk.jpg?w=300

here is a photo of the shock mount.
Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Mwqr81

Here is another bolt that i was thinking could be used to make another brace in the trunk.
Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace 6ef2p5
Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace 2gsmzcm
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyTue Jun 05, 2012 4:36 pm

I saw a STB for a grand prix that used RH/LH threaded eye bolts on the ends and the center bar was threaded like a turnbuckle, LH threads on one end and RH threads on the other end. I would think it would be really easy to take something like that and just make a longer bar from a piece of round stock. Would be a little heavy but it would be easy to make! You would use the plates and eye bolt mounts from the GP kit (or make your own if you have flat stock and a welder), then thread the bar stock and you are done!
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace EmptyTue Jun 05, 2012 5:21 pm

If I were going to do this mod, I might consider an X-brace design, where it connected between the shock towers, but also to the trunk floor at multiple points. Don't worry about adding weight in the rear - makes the car less front heavy!

_________________
'05 GTO 6.0L • 6-spd • 95k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26

'95 Celica GT 2.2L • 5-spd • 165k miles • 0-60: yes

'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'70 Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe 455cid • 116k miles
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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace   Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace Empty

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Write-Up: Installing a Rear Strut Tower Brace
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