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Old 03-13-2010, 03:18 AM   #1
snowflowmfg
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Default OEM STi Roof Vane Install

Ok, so after a long wait, I finally got an OEM roof vane. There was also a lack of any good writeups on how to do this mod so here's my experience with this. Oh, and this is my first writeup.
This works for all 02-07 WRX and 04/05 STi's. Supposedly this can be mounted to a GC and legacies as well, but that goes beyond what this thread will tell you. This is for the OEM vane. The ebay carbon fiber ones are more difficult to install.

Foreword: This mod can be pretty difficult and has a lot of variables. Just be warned that it's tricky and expect to possibly get creative to do some steps. I'm going to explain what I did and some ideas that may help you. However you are doing this at your own risk and I am not responsible for any mistakes you may make. The most important thing about this install is to take your time!

Tools:

14mm socket
flat head screwdriver
High powered drill
very sharp and good quality drill bits: 1/4" and smaller
some kind of marker
Knife or scissors
Friends to hold stuff
Measuring tape
optionals: punch, strong wood nails, hammer

Materials:

OEM roof vane (part #96021FE000) and side caps
4x 1/4" bolts (I went with stainless steel ones) 2.5" long
Washers and lock washers
Lock nuts

Note: When you look at the bottom of the OEM vane's base mounts, you will notice a little plastic tab that sticks out between the holes and gets in the way of mounting to the car. No one addressed this so I did some research. You can drill a third hole for it or do what me and many others do and just cut it off with the scissors or knife since it makes no difference for the install.





Step 1: Now things are going to get fragile so be very careful from here! Take the flat head screwdriver or similar tool and pop out the pop pins that are holding the rear-most part of the headliner in place and remove the pins. Be careful because the headliner is fragile and will crease very easily.



Step 2: Stick that flat head screwdriver into the cap that is on the bracket holding up the seatbelt at the highest point and gently pry the cap off one side at a time.



Step 3: Grab the 14mm socket and loosen the seatbelt bracket. Once that is loose, set it aside and out of the way. (this pic already has the trim piece off, I am just showing you what bolt released the belt bracket.)



Step 4: Pulling from the top, remove the trim piece that is covering the C pillar. This just pops out pretty easily.



Now that we have all the interior trimmings out of the way we can move on to the main event: lining things up and drilling some holes!

Step 5: Make sure the endcaps are off the roof vane and have your friends hold the roof vane up against the car. Have them hold it in the general area of where the vain is supposed to be. It helps to have looked at some STi's prior to doing this, but it's not necessary. Once you're in the general area of the right spot you will notice that there is pretty much one spot where the base contours perfectly with the body. Have one side lined up into this spot and make sure your friend holds it steady there. Then go to the other side and see how close you can get to the same spot. Then adjust each side as necessary compensating distance until it looks dead on and the base sits flush with the body. No break out the measuring tape and measure everything twice. (Or five times if you're me) I measure from the edge of the window to the edge of the base laterally. As well as measuring from the top of the window to the rear-most end of the vane itself by passing the tape measure underneath the vane. (see pic) I found that this was a good way to make sure everything is lined up and symmetrical. Now have your friends hold it very tight! Pull out a marker and mark the center of the holes.



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Last edited by snowflowmfg; 03-13-2010 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:19 AM   #2
snowflowmfg
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Optional step: I tapped a small indent with a punch to help get the bit started when I drill. Don't punch it too hard though as the roof is thin and can dent in pretty easily.




Step 6: DRILL!
Ya, pretty much that's it right there. Grab your drill and your A-game. You will be drilling through 3 layers. The second layer is the thickest and the trickiest to drill through. Start with a smaller bit before you work your way up to the 1/4". I used a 7/32 to start with or slightly larger. The first layer is thing and easy to get though. Just take your time and move slowly. This part is, in my opinion, the trickiest and most tedious part of this whole install. You will come up to the second layer at a horrible angle and this will make it nearly impossible to get the bit to bite into it. A good drill bit will help immensely.

There are a few tips to make this easier. I experimented with a few different methods to help get the bit to bite. First I took a nail and put in into the hole in the first layer and tried to simulate the angle that the bolt would be mounted at, then hit it with the hammer to make an indent to help the bit bite. For the other 3 holes I pushed the drill a little higher up onto the second later which made the angle better for drilling. It is very important to take your time and move slowly in this step. If you push too hard and drill too quickly while flexing the bit, it WILL break. Take your time and drill carefully. Be patient, because this layer will take a while to get through. Once through the second layer with your pilot hole, move to the 1/4" bit. If you chose to drill higher like I did for most of the holes, now turn on the drill and put it through the second layer but not into the third layer. Now as the bit is spinning, push down, but not too hard as to flex the bit too much and let the bit take out some material, making the second later hole oval and correcting the high angle that you went with to get the bit to bite in the first place. If you have a better way to do this, like with a dremel, go for it, but that's what I did and it worked well.




Step 7: Now you're in the home stretch and when you have the angle right on the second layer, just go ahead and drill through the third and final layer. Once that is done, deburr the edges of the holes and shoot the bare metal with some rust inhibitor or paint. I used some leftover Duplicolor wheel clearcoat on my edges.



These pics will show you the general area of where you can expect to have your drill bit come through on the inside.

Top-slightly underneath the headliner


Bottom


Step 8: Have your friends lift the vane back up over the holes you just drilled. Make sure it's perfectly aligned over the holes. Remove the backing from the double sided tap on the base of the vane and stick it down where you want it.

Step 9: Just about done, but don't get cocky. You still need to be very gentle here. Take the bolts, add a washer on the head and stick them through the holes. On the inside, add a washer, lock washer, and the lock nut. Tighten them down very lightly!!! Due not torque these hard at all. Just snug with the ratchet. Overtightening the bolts WILL dent in your C pillar on the outside. You do not want that to happen. Once it's snug, it's not going anywhere.

Step 10: Snag the end caps on and put the push pin in. Then reassemble the inside still being careful not to crease the headliner in the reverse order you took it apart. Be sure to torque down the seat belt bracket. I don't remember the exact torque but it's pretty tight, somewhere in the vicinity of 40 ft/lbs. When putting the C pillar panels back on, you will notice that one of the pins won't be able to go in because there is now a bolt in the way. Just remove that one pin and the panel will go on nice and clean and will be on there just as tight as before.




Congratulations! You have now just done one of the scariest DIY installs on your car. Now go grab a beer and admire your work.





Feel free to post up any question you may have and i'll do my best to help you out. Also feel free to post about any errors I have made or if I forgot to put something it and add any input or tips on making this easier.

-Dan

Last edited by snowflowmfg; 03-13-2010 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:20 AM   #3
snowflowmfg
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:26 AM   #4
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good write up...im going to do this mode and i was looking for a write up...thanks man
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:28 AM   #5
Rubr_Duky
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Would love to see the pics you mention of the inside, where the bolts come through the pillar. Good job, and thanks - I've been wondering about all the details for this.

RD


-edit-
Spoke too soon.

Right on man, thanks!
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:31 AM   #6
snowflowmfg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubr_Duky View Post
Would love to see the pics you mention of the inside, where the bolts come through the pillar. Good job, and thanks - I've been wondering about all the details for this.

RD


-edit-
Spoke too soon.

Right on man, thanks!

Sorry, I forgot to take pics of every step, so no pics of the actual bolts going through.
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:08 AM   #7
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soooo........I got a roof vane........didn't wanna drill without being positive.......sold roof vane..........found new thread. However, in my defence, mine was the ebay carbon fiber one, not the nicer (easier to install) oem one lol

So fail for me not having a little more patience

But a BIG win for you being the one to finally make one of these for others in my shoes. On behalf of all, thank you
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:17 AM   #8
CEGLEX
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Great writeup, very cool looking piece - congrats & thanks!
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:41 AM   #9
subydrivor
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what is the part number for the roof vane? looks great
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:04 AM   #10
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wow man awesome install....im jealous i sold you my vane i might buy another one! if only you were closer haha i would pay you to install mines
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:05 AM   #11
Speedster329
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subydrivor View Post
what is the part number for the roof vane? looks great
part # is 96021FE000

this is just the vane its self you would have to buy the end caps in whatever color your car is
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:24 AM   #12
25rsti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aggent15 View Post

But a BIG win for you being the one to finally make one of these for others in my shoes. On behalf of all, thank you
you know there's other step by step threads on this, right? this isnt the first. Godd job to the OP either way
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:31 AM   #13
snowflowmfg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 25rsti View Post
you know there's other step by step threads on this, right? this isnt the first. Godd job to the OP either way
Did you ever read them? They are so vague! and the only decent one no longer has working pictures. Thanks though.


Thanks speedster for adding the part #.
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:38 AM   #14
Turbedsti
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Good job been wanting to do this but the drilling the pillars bothers me.Might look in to it.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:47 PM   #15
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Nice write up. Though, an STI wing is pretty mandatory to use one of these.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:52 PM   #16
Boostinbildo
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Nice job man, but I have no idea why u felt the need to remove the rear seats...

Also, you must have missed my writeup lol
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:06 PM   #17
snowflowmfg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boostinbildo View Post
Nice job man, but I have no idea why u felt the need to remove the rear seats...
Also, you must have missed my writeup lol
You know what, you're right, you don't have to remove the seats. Ooops.

I guess I can edit that out.

Anyways, I used your thread to help install mine, but your pictures no longer work and I lacked some important key factors that help make this a little easier on the nerves. Your writeup was pretty good though!
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:31 PM   #18
snowflowmfg
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A couple dirty pics.


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Old 03-13-2010, 03:41 PM   #19
25rsti
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looking good. A+
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:31 PM   #20
deucesti
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Looking very good. How difficult is it for an aftermarket CF vane?
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:44 AM   #21
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Thanks for the Write Up
Been looking for a DIY on this
Will give it a try soon
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:31 AM   #22
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great write up
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:16 PM   #23
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good write up, gota put the Sti wing on to complement it tho
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:19 PM   #24
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This one was a scary one. I recommend using cobalt drill bits with the sheet metal tips, it made drilling through the 3 layers much easier.

Good write-up
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:51 PM   #25
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Cool Wait !! Read Before You Do This Install

The OEM Roof Vane install should not be drilled all the way into the car !!!

You guys ever heard of a RIV-NUT or Poly-Nut ????

You do not need to take your interior apart at all !!!

The Riv-Nut goes into the skin of the quarter panel only !

Granted you need to buy the tool and the Riv-Nuts but this is a MUCH better and easier way for for you to install. I just did mine in about 30 min start to finish!

This is how the dealer installs spoilers and roof racks. Riv-Nut and the tool is called a Thread Setter.

Napa part # 770-1898 is the poly nut required
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