Finally, the bar goes on! Earlier this year, I ordered up a front strut tower bar (also known as a tower bar or strut bar) from Amazon – it was cheaper than the rest. But after nearly 8 months, it finally gets installed! It’s a quick and simple job, so let’s get to it!
Note: the bar isn’t blue…just the protective film on the chrome bar
A quick primer in case your not familiar, a strut bar is used to increase ridgity in the frame. Much like the A, B, and C pillars do for the cabin of the car, it also has the same effect on the body. With increased ridgity comes decrease in flex, and truer suspension dynamics. And with such a beautifully long hood of the 280Z, I figured, ‘why not?’. Here’s what we’ll need:
Cusco 240Z, 260Z, 280z front strut tower bar – Part#cus 246 540A
8mm Allen wrench
14mm socket / wrench (for the strut tower nuts)
17mm socket / wrench (for the tower bar)
The only thing understandable here on this box label is ‘S30’ (which is partially scratched).
Bar came in retail packaging…and apparently instructions in Japanese with one translated line…
Upon inspection the Cusco strut tower bar for the Datsun S30 Z is a very nicely made piece – welds are uniform, polish is good, machined nice. Overall, it’s a well constructed tower bar that feels well constructed.
Let’s get to work! (Jarritos optional :] )
Start by taking off the existing nuts with the 14mm. Mine had been rusted on there so I let them soak in WD-40 while gawking at the tower bar. Then coerced them off with a hammer. Once off, you can put the bar on the towers, then washers and nuts. Prior to putting on the bar, use the Allen and 17mm to loosen the blue plate from the bar. Only loosely hand-tighten the nuts on one side before setting the other side, so it’s easier to adjust / fit before tightening it all down.
Now let’s talk clearance. Wow…
I thought I was screwed. The strut tower bar for the Z was already designed with tight tolerances in mind: it already has a narrow oval / box cross section in the bar itself, and see how it curves just over the engine. Above, I’m slowly closing the hood to see if it’ll close!
This one piece lightly touchs the bar..
While others have a very close up view of the tower bar. Presto! The bar is installed! Now to take it out for a spin on those twisty roads…