[DIY] 92-95 JDM/EDM Honda Civic OEM Front Tower Strut Bar Install
Another DIY that I'm going to keep short. And that doesn't involve wiring! Hurrah.
One feature that came on upper-end 5th Generation Civic models in Europe (VTi) and Japan (SiR variants) was a factory-installed front strut tower bar. A strut tower bar provides extra stiffness between the struts and presumably leads to improved handling. Read more about them on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strut_bar. There are many aftermarket manufacturers of strut bars, but as can be seen in my other DIYs
, I do prefer OEM Honda where I can get it.
Once again, this is another feature that Honda in North America did not think we deserved on our vehicles. Or, maybe our "puny" D-series engines don't warrant a strut tower bar. A bit of both, perhaps. Well, if you do want added stiffness, or if you've already done your B-series engine swap, this DIY is for you.
Thankfully, finding one of these strut tower bars is not very hard. The 94-01 Acura Integra GSR and the 99-00 Civic Si (USDM) or SiR (CDM) came with a strut tower bar that is the exact same part number
as on the EDM VTi and JDM SiR 5th Gen Civic: 74300-SR3-010. These sell for ~$40 brand new from Honda, and you can find them for $25-30 shipped on eBay or hondamarketplace.com. Try to get the retaining nuts from the bar, too, with your purchase.
The OEM attachment location for the bar is not directly to the struts, as it is on many aftermarket bars, but is through two holes in the body just in front of the struts, covered by body-paint coloured grommets (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Front strut tower with grommets (1) covering the OEM Strut Tower Bar mounting holes.
Of course, these are painted because on a vehicle with a factory-mounted bar in this location, there are bolts welded to the body in this spot. Those without, get a rubber grommet before being painted. In the absence of a welder, I bought some 2 cm-long 8mm bolts that fit the OEM nuts and slid them through these holes (Figure 2). You can reach the holes easily if you reach your arm up by the front upper control arm.
Figure 2. 8mm bolts of length 2cm fit the OEM mounting nuts, and can substitute the welded bolts from the original vehicle.
On goes the strut bar and tighten down (Figure 3). Now, hopefully the first hard corner you take doesn't tear the sheet metal (it shouldn't).
Figure 3. Strut tower bar mounted.
The finished product should look like Figure 4. This upgrade took all of 20 minutes, max. It's so easy, it probably doesn't deserve a DIY. But, at least now you know that the Integra & Civic Si/SiR strut tower bars are a perfect fit.
Figure 4. All done.