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5 door rear strut bar DIY

8844 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  ricerrx7
Well, finished roll and got pics developed today, so here it is. :)

Okay first off, I don't have much in the way of tools here, so someone better equipped may have an better time of this. Things I used: Kspec 5 door rear strut bar, pocketknife, phillips head screwdriver, 10mm wrench, 12mm wrench and a 14mm wrench. See that cardboard box in the trunk? That's my toolbox. Classy.

I painted my bar red because as we all know, red makes the car go faster. I had ordered some touch up paint for the car and it came in a spray can. That should tell you a little about driving in Korea. :)

First you need to remove the plastic speaker covers behind the seat. They are attached at four points. Two 10mm bolts which are under them, and one which is on the side in plain sight. The fourth point is a screw which is behind the seat. When you fold down the seats there is still a part of it, the part closest to the door, which stays upright. For the life of me I could not figure out how to remove this. If someone knows how, they should share. :)

What I had to do was put my hand between the seat and the door frame and pull the seat to the side and stick my screwdriver in. I really don't recommend doing this because 1. You need a long screwdriver and strong hands 2. if you aren't careful and your screwdriver is not magnetic, you could drop the screw and it will never be seen again. Much to my surprise I managed to get both out and back in but I was VERY careful.

Also, the speaker cover on the right side of my car was plugged into something, which I am assuming was a temperature sensor for the climate control system. Unplug that before yanking it off.

Once speaker covers are off just pull back on the black trunk lining (You might want to unplug the trunk light) to expose the top of the strut towers.

Use the 12mm to remove the 3 nuts you can see. Drop the mounting bracket thingy on top and then replace and tighten the bolts. repeat for the other side.

With the Kspec bar there was a little problem with the speaker holder. It was in the way of the bar and I was debating walking down the street to the harware store to get a file when I noticed my vicegrips and got an idea. It's soft metal so I just bent the corner back a bunch and the bar was clear.

Then bolt on the bar and tighten up. The black trunk lining and the speaker cover both have to be cut to make room for the new bar. After cutting way to much on the left side I saw that I could get away with a much smaller area on the right. You only need to shave a little off each side. I hope the pictures help, but it's hard to know exactly how much until everything is firmly back in place.

After a little shaving, replace the speaker covers, replace the evil screws and bolt it back on. I had a little trouble getting the covers back on, part of it kept sliding under something it needed to slide over, but if you can jam your hand in to guide it, it will go in.

Enjoy, I was pleased with a noticeable increase in body stiffness and a much more pleasant, crisp feeling when making quick lane changes and into turns. Aside from the evil screws it's not too hard, and well worth the effort, if you don't mind the bar going through your trunk. It will get in the way if you pack lots of junk (I haven't tried to cram the bikes in yet, but I image I'll have to be more creative now) in the back, but if you can live with that, I give it a big thumbs up.


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Very nice DIY. I agree this is a worthwhile mod on a hatchback. I like the look of the red bar in the red car -- If mine hadn't been polished aluminum I might have done the same.

To remove the side bolsters, fold the rear seat bottoms up, then flip up the flap of black carpet on the bottom of the side bolsters -- you should see a hex-head bolt (12mm, I think) going through a loop of metal protruding down from the rear seat side bolsters. Remove the bolt. You then have to push up on the bolsters to unhook them from a latch about 1/4 of the way down from the top. They're difficult to reinstall -- it's tough to get the top hook to latch again, but with some trying, you should be able to get it eventually. Once the side bolster is hooked at the top, replace the bolt at the bottom.
good DIY...I wonder if you could fabricate some sort of lock system that you can unfasten in the middle of the bar or on the sides in case you're planning on loading a bunch of stuff in. something that would not weaken the bar too much but at the same time can be unhooked
I asked the same question over on What someone (company I guess) needs to do is make the bar attachment point on the strut brackets stick out from under the speaker covers and trunk lining so that the bolts to the main bar are visible and accessible. You could probably use a "good" bike seatpost quickrelease to clamp the bar, or just keep a couple of cheap wrenches with your sparetire toolbag thingy.
Nice DIY. I'll try to get it up asap (asap isn't as fast as it used to be for me, haha).

Up, up, and away. Thanks again.

Yes it is.
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