Install Rear Strut Bar

No instructions are included with the bar, but if you need an instruction manual to install this thing, then you should not be installing it yourself in the first place. The tools you’ll need are:

- 14mm head
- torque wrench capable of at least 35 ft-lbs. (you may also need a 6″ extension depending on how fat your torque wrench is and whether or not it can fit into the confined space)
- 5/16″ hex wrench
- (OPTIONAL) breaker bar, it helps

Remove everything in your trunk, including any trunk mats, etc. and pull back the carpeting that covers the rear strut towers. You should clearly see the 4 nuts that need to be removed in order to install the strut bar…

…remove them, place the the strut bar over them, and then push down on the area where the bar and the “arms” are connected to ensure that the flat side of the arms is flush against the strut towers (i know that didn’t seem to make much sense, but you’ll understand when you’re doing it).

Replace the 4 nuts that you removed earlier and torque them down to 59 ft-lbs (this came out of the Corolla repair manual, because as I said, there are no instructions with this thing). Then grab your hex wrench and use it to hold one side of the “hinges” in place while you torque it from the other side to 35 ft-lbs (once again, you’ll understand when you see it; also, without a manual I simply guessed at what would be a reasonable amount of torque for this thing).

Also, for those of you who need to use an extension with your torque wrench because the head of the torque wrench is too thick, I recommend increasing your torque setting to about 63 ft-lbs or so to make up for the loss of torque caused by the “twist” through the extension.

There are two things that are immediately apparent:
1) The car feels more rigid (solid).
2) Understeering has increased noticeably.

That second point may be annoying to some people, who prefer the easy driveability of economy cars which don’t require very long turns of the steering wheel to make the car do what they want. Honestly though, suck it up, it’s really not the end of the world. I say that because the handling improvement is dramatic. I live in an area where all of our freeway onramps are circular and slightly banked. Before the strut bar, my rear would begin to slide out as I was coming out of the corners at say 40mph (I’m on TRD springs, KONI Adjustable shocks, Hotchkis sway bars, and TRD front upper strut bar, with stocks wheels wrapped in Yokohama AVS ES100 tires). During my test drive, I pushed it up to 48mph and the vehicle remained PLANTED. Most importantly, acceleration out of the corners is greatly improved. Even with the increased understeer, the car still pulls around corners better than before and everything just feels absolutely solid. And since the rear does not slide out anymore, I can maintain significantly more control of the vehicle through turns and corners.

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