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Discussion Starter #1
Hmm...I could've sworn I posted this earlier but here it is again.....

I finally have the Cusco Strut tower bar, and the Type II lower arm brace installed. Unfortunately I ordered both Type I and II brace, and indeed you must use one or the other. The Type I brace IS the forward member of the Type II brace. So now I have a Type I brace to sell.



Oh and remember when reading the following I have the Comptech Sway bar, stock suspension, and OEM wheels and rubber.

Strut Tower Bar



My impressions of the install:

First I didn't have the access to a hoist so I had to do it the hard way. Jacking up the car and sliding in and out from underneath it is a mega b****.

The strut tower bar is very simple to install. Remove the three bolts on each side, place the foot plates of the bar over the exposed threaded shafts, reinstall the bolts and torque down to 44N.m (32.5 lb.ft) and it's done. A word of caution needs to be made about the close proximity and contact that's made between the air-conditioning pipes and the drivers side mount. I placed some foam tape on the pipes to try to minimize and contact.



On-Road:

I went for a quick drive around some roundabouts and did a 60kmh slalom along a few clear and secluded roads. It felt slightly more neutral than without the bar and a little tighter. Previously when doing this type of thing I could sense a little body flex in the front, but now it's not that obvious at all. I can now sense the rear sway working more, or maybe that's just I sign I should give the rubber bushings a lube.

Lower Arm Brace Type II


My impressions of the install:

First and foremost if you have access to a vehicle hoist....USE IT!!!!!!. It's a bitch trying to jack the car up enough to slide underneath.

Aside from access it's very quick and easy to install the lower bar. If you've got a big long extension bar that you'd use to remove wheel nuts you'll make life a lot easier. Use this with a 17mm socket two removes the two large inner bolts, and then remove the four 12mm bolts (two on each chassis rails).

Next is the real pain in the *****. I'd been warned about it from another local Euro owners install, but figured it was a result of the modification he's had done to fit his CL7 header. And what's this problem???? The damn Catalytic Converter!!!!

The bar fits over it perfectly as it's bent in all the right places. So I torqued the big forward bolts to 103N.m (76 lb.ft) and the four rear bolts to 22N.m (16.2 lb.ft) dropped the car of the jack stands and prepared to go for a test drive. Start up the engine all sounds good.





However as soon as the air-con kicks in there's a rapid hollow metallic tapping. Continue on the drive and that's all I can hear. An incessant tapping whenever the engine is at low revs, and fairly laboured. It was blatantly obvious that the heat shield around the catalytic converter was striking the rear member of the bar as the engine and exhaust flexed and moved in their mounts.

I compared the instructions that came with it and it appears the dimensions of the JDM CL9 cat are shorter than the Australian CL9 Cat, and their cat is well clear of the aft brace. I've had a look at CCColtsicehockey pictures and you guys have the exact same size cat as us. So TSX's will also suffer this problem.



There's two fixes,

1st Remove the heat shield. Both top and bottom sections bolt together so if you remove one you have to remove the other. This is the easy fix which I decided against as I imagine the heat shield serves a number of purposes, first to retain sufficient heat in the Cat for the chemical reaction to properly take place, and second to keep dirt and other debris clear of it as the get very hot.

2nd Bash the crap out of that dam thing! (Or better still grind it down with grinding wheel)

This second one is one that really piffed me off. It took me about three lots of jacking the car up, farting around removing the brace, removing the lower shield, and then bashing the part of the shield that contacts the rear member of the brace with a hammer.

As a result of this, and not having a bench vice (or anything to stop the rest of the shield deforming) the screw holes on the shield become pushed out making it a mongrel to force the holes back into alignment so you can re-install the screws.

To remove the shield I just used a ratcheted 10mm ring spanner. To get the screws back in though I used a 12mm ring spanner to anchor the nut on upper heat shield (these can break free and move), and a small 1/4" drive "banjo" ratchet with a 2" extension and a 10mm socket. I found in the confined space this gave me enough mechanical advantage to push the bolt up hard and wiggle it while squeezing the lower heat shield until I could tighten it up. I finally managed to deform the shield in enough with my calibrated hammer so it no longer vibrates against the brace.







On-Road:

Each time I took it for a test drive my arms ached so much from hours of fiddling around under the car that I was too tired to really notice much difference. There probably is one but I can't feel it as noticeably as a rear sway. Or the marginal change from the strut tower bar.

Overall:
I feel the Strut tower bar and lower brace compliment each other. They provide a fine tuning effect on chassis stiffness with a rear sway installed. The improvement is probably more evident with the loose rear OEM sway.

All these Cusco components are very good quality, and exceptionally light. I was annoyed when I saw that the heat shield had scratched mine, so I painted over it with some clear nail lacquer.

I think the Type I brace will probably be just as effective as the type II unless you really push your car hard. Not to mention that now having done the install I imagine you could install it in a matter of minutes without jacking the car.



You'd just lie prone on the ground, reach under, and remove the 17mm bolt place the brace under the car on the ground, go to the other side of your car and repeat. Then lift the brace up, install the bolts, torque and you're done. No need to worry about the cat knocking then. :)

I'm also a little concerned about the effect on the bar from the Cat's radiant and convected heat. Tomorrow I'll place a small foam tape dot on the bars upper surface and see if it's melted/burnt off when I return home from work on Tuesday. If it survives 172km of driving I imagine the aluminium structure of the bar will be fine.
 

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lol Gotta love that rule of automotive repair, If it dosent work, Force it untill it does....lol... sounds like it might be a nice mod though, good luck w/ it all, let us know how it turns out, worse case, gives u an excuse to drop a smaller, less restrictive Cat on there, Personally I belive alot of the TSX's power to be had is restricted by that damn thing....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yep, smaller higher flow cat!. I think I'm going to have to look into doing that!....Catalytic Converters are such evil things lol. They rob you of so much just to keep the greenies happy!. hahaha Churn out those nast pollutants I say! We only live once! ;)
 

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Yup, I talked about the OEM CL9 catalytic converter's size being a problem when installing the Type II Cusco bar. Replacing the catalytic converter is also another option.
 

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Matell said:
Yep, smaller higher flow cat!. I think I'm going to have to look into doing that!....Catalytic Converters are such evil things lol. They rob you of so much just to keep the greenies happy!. hahaha Churn out those nast pollutants I say! We only live once! ;)

Let me know of any progress with that, I have a feeling the TSX Catalytic Converter is responsible for alot of the power we havent been able to unlock yet
 

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Unless you're running a highly modified NA engine or forced induction, the catalytic converter will produce/hold minimal power back. Emissions are one thing, performance varies significantly and would better be found elsewhere.
 
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