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Discussion Starter #1
Vehicle: 4G64 2001 Stratus Coupe SE

Hello,

I was installing a strut bar that I bought on c3g recently, but encountered a problem.. First, when removing the right OEM bracket, it was incredibly difficult to fit it over the two bolts.. the bolts spread away from each other. I managed to get the bracket off (after a lot of prying >>) and went to install the brackets for the strut bar.

Here, I encountered the same problem.. The passenger side bracket went on without a problem, but the driver's side bracket refused to go on.. I could get it over two bolts, but the third wouldn't line up, and was about 4mm off. No matter how I rotated or moved it, it wouldn't go on. I took the driver's side bracket, and put it on the passenger's side, and it went on with no problem, but the same wasn't true for the other side.... (by doing this, I narrowed it down to the bolt positioning itself..)

In the below photos, you should be able to see my problem; I hope they illustrate it alright. Sorry for the one out of focus bolt, my coworker was talking to me while I took it and wasn't paying attention.

Here's the driver's side bracket, you can see that the two bolts fit, but the third didn't make it.


No matter what I did, I couldn't get the bolt through.. I swapped this bracket to the other side, and it fit perfectly.. (but the passenger bracket that fit, wouldn't fit on this side.. which, to me, confirms that it is the bolt positions)


One last shot of the misalignment... Don't comment on the bolt, it's how I got to work today :lol:


Other side, fitting without an issue. Both brackets fit here.


I lifted the car with my hand, and also pushed it down, to see if I could get the bolts to move, but they stayed in place regardless of what happened..

I think my suspension is going, and have suspected it for a long while.. perhaps the force of it bottoming out did this.. I'm not sure.

Please let me know if you need any more information.. Any suggestions as to the cause and the fix are much appreciated. Thank you for your time!
 

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Titanium Spork
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#1: judging by your avatar you removed the triangulaing stock bar to put on this lesser, aftermarket bar. (at least that is what it looks like) don't do that. there is not a better bar than stock (if it bolts to the firewall)

#2: yep. looks like your strut tower is tweaked.
 

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I have to agree; the stock bar is pretty damn good, why would you replace it with that Ebay POS?

is your car on the ground or jacked up when you're trying to do this swap?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
#2: yep. looks like your strut tower is tweaked.
Where would this 'tweaking' have occurred? Looking at the assembly according to the FSM, is the strut insulator warped?



#1: judging by your avatar you removed the triangulaing stock bar to put on this lesser, aftermarket bar. (at least that is what it looks like) don't do that. there is not a better bar than stock (if it bolts to the firewall)
Hey, it's all in good fun ^^'

Thanks for the suggestions
 

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Titanium Spork
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you mentioned that you bottomed out. IF you hit that wheel HARD, ti would have made the shock push up, past full compression, and that would make #3 spread out, thus doing what you have. (i am a redneck so i would say beat it with a hammer, without hitting the threads, until it is straight.)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have to agree; the stock bar is pretty damn good, why would you replace it with that Ebay POS?

is your car on the ground or jacked up when you're trying to do this swap?
Just trying something new lol. I'm not willing to do the work to make it fast (because it'd take away my daily driver) -shrug-

It was on the ground; I considered throwing it on jack stands and seeing if it caused the bolts to shift at all..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
you mentioned that you bottomed out. IF you hit that wheel HARD, ti would have made the shock push up, past full compression, and that would make #3 spread out, thus doing what you have. (i am a redneck so i would say beat it with a hammer, without hitting the threads, until it is straight.)
Well, I had one instance where I hit a concrete ramp on the highway at about 60mph (don't ask.. big truck merging into my lane forced me onto the shoulder.. on which there was a paved ramp for some reason.. that was not fun), and, my suspension is sort of shot in general.. very squeaky.. I think it's near the end of it's life.. Was considering redoing it all around with kyb agx/tein..

I was considering hammering it but was worried about potentially snapping off one of the bolts, or them not compressing equally. I don't know how to tell if the entire assembly is shifted upward or if it shifted once and pushed the bolts out, but went back down.. I might jack it up and see if they fold in.
 

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FeelsGoodToBeGangsta
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You bent the frame around the strut tower most likely. Take it to a shop, see what they say. They will be able to tell much better than we can over some photos.
 

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Hey I have been a mechanic 12 years and have easy 30k in tools. Nothing wrong with the a BFH and a wood block for doing strut tower repairs. I might get fancy sometimes and hit two hammers together or even use a brass drift although hitting to hammers together is dangerous and could possibly open a worm hole/time travel port hole.
 

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Hard for me to know why people give bad advice, but I suppose it is just a societal thing whereby people are driven to throw in there two cents even though that’s actually all it’s really worth.

Moving the metal quickly (hammering) is not the way to properly fix it. The area around that bolt has been stress hardened by the sharp motion of the impact that deformed it. Buy striking the bolt you will either break its weld or deform other surrounding metal aggravating the problem. The proper way to fix the problem would be to remove all the nuts and brackets and thread a coupling nut and a 4” (or so) long bolt onto the out of alignment stud, then heat the adjacent area, annealing it with a torch and slowly using a piece of pipe over the bolt push the stud back into alignment. Then quench the area with light oil to harden it again.

Then put your stock strut bar back on the car. Scarr is correct. Because that one you are trying to use is totally useless. Seriously the design is pitiful and the gauge of the metal is way to thin to do anything but flex.
 

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Boobs!? WHERE!?!
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Hats off to Worldwind because he actually knows what he's talking about when it comes to stress-hardening and fracturing... *Clap*
Also to Scarr because the Stock strut bar really is the best of the best. You actually degrade performance and even risk chassis twisting when you use an inferior brace. I look at it like this... That piece was put there FOR A REASON... Why remove it?
 

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Titanium Spork
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yeah... umm.. stess hardening is not an issue here. the amount of movement is not enough to even be noticeable. you are going to change the properties of the metal MORE by heating it.
 

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Hard for me to know why people give bad advice, but I suppose it is just a societal thing whereby people are driven to throw in there two cents even though that’s actually all it’s really worth.
The way you described would do nothing but bend the studs back in place so he could get the strut brace back on and would not fix the real problem. The whole reason that those studs are all bent outward in the first place it that the wheel took a big enough hit that it bent the strut mount and probably the strut tower into a dome shape.

The correct way to fix it would be to removed the strut from the car, replace the strut mount, which would come with new studs btw, and reshape or flatten out the strut tower with a hammer and a block of wood. The strut tower with the strut removed was the only part of the car I was refering to hitting with a hammer.
 
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