Evolution IX – the Strut Tower Brace

The next bit of bracing will take place in the trunk again.  Since the trunk bar itself has been installed it was time to install the strut tower brace.  The one I use is a factory unit from Mitsubishi.  It may not be as pretty as some after market braces, but functionally it is excellent.

P1040122s

The first thing to do is to remove all the trunk liners so I took out the carpet over the board that covers the spare tire as well as the board.  Then I pulled the large plastic piece at the rear of the trunk.  I didn’t install all the plugs and pins from when I installed the trunk bar so it just took a little tug to get it out. 

That left the side panels that are held in with push pins.  These pins are easy to install and do an excellent job keeping everything in place, but their removal is tricky and frustrating.  There is a center pin that locks it in place and it must be pushed in in order to loosen up the plastic fastener.  The trick is to push it in far enough to loosen the fastener so it can be pulled out without pushing the pin in so far that it pops out the back.  On some of the pins I could actually get a hand around back and catch the pin, but others were not accessible so the pins disappeared.  Note to self, buy spare pins.

P1040124s

With those out of the way it was time to take the nuts off the top of the rear shock mounts.  Since the car is sitting down on the tires nothing will drop off when the nuts are removed.  Then it is just a matter of setting the bar in place and using the special nuts that Mitsubishi supplies.  These nuts not only fasten the brace down, but they also center the bar on the rear shock mount studs.

P1040128s

The next part takes a lot of time and patience.  The side trim panels need to be cut to fit around the bar.  Tricky stuff this.  The top of the bar won’t need much room at all, but the bottom that is welded on to the mounting plates will need quite a bit cut away. 

P1040130s

My advice is to go slowly and plan on a lot of trimming.

P1040131s

With all that done it is time to put all the trunk interior bits back in place.  I won’t use any fasteners quite yet because I’ll have to take things back apart later when I install the Swift Spec R springs.  Besides, I need to get some more fasteners from Mitsubishi.

P1040133s

The next bracing will probably be behind the fenders.

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4 Responses to Evolution IX – the Strut Tower Brace

  1. Pingback: Evolution IX - the Strut Tower Brace | Cars....

  2. Pingback: Evolution IX - the Strut Tower Brace

  3. Tim says:

    Jeez, did Mitsu assemble this thing with tin foil and string? You’d think so with all the bracing you’re adding… 😉

  4. jimsgarage says:

    Good question – but actually Mitsubishi has done a lot to provide a stiff unibody for the Evolution. While the standard Lancer gets the typical seam welds, the Evolution gets three times the welds.

    So to begin with the Evo has a stiffer chassis, but the more you can stiffen it up the better. Braces such as the ones I’ve installed not only stiffen things up, they ensure that there is dimentional stability at some key points in the suspension. That translates in to some accurate alignments which mean that, as a track car, it is easier to repeat corners with perfection.

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