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Old 06-02-2010, 06:28 PM   #1
dangerousatom
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Default V2.0 Wagon Rear C-D pillar to strut tower brace...Pic's!

There has been a big thread on RS25.com for a bit about questions for a bar to connect the rear upper seat belt mounts to create less body flex and roll, due to the lack of back deck reinforcing like the sedans have. Im transferring what I did here for everyone to see.

http://www.rs25.com/forums/f9/t11566...ce-wagons.html

After spending over 2 hours looking for a stock threaded mounting point behind the C and D pillar trim, that is out of the seat head rest and skull splitting zone I came to the conclusion that there is none. So I welded in a plate with a threaded mount on the D pillar that was the same height as the upper seat belt mount. Then I went about fabing up connecting bars to join the C and D pillars together. I made then out of 3/4" square tube and 1/8" x 3/4" plate. The C-D connecting bars where made about 1/8" short to create a strengthening load between the two pillars when tightened. Stock "crapy ebay" lower strut tower bar mounts where used for the lower bar mounts. The bars and turnbuckles are made of 3/4" 13 gauge tube with left and right hand threaded pipe ends welded in. All in all the total for the project cost around $100 with out powder coating. This has made a HUGE!! difference in how the rear end of the wagon handles on hard cornering. And I have BC coilovers with 17x8 rims with 225/45 tires.









The basic parts list of what is needed.

Lowes/Home Depot
-3 3'x3/4" steel tubes
-1 3'x3/4"x1/8" steel plate
-1 3'x3/4" square steel tube
-2 2" long 3/8"-24 bolts that the hex heads where cut off of to make R/H studs for the turnbuckle to bar connection.
-4 7/16 grade 5 nuts ....or same thread pattern as the Automotive Studs
.......2 nuts and bolts for the welded mounting plates ( I think they where 7/16 as well )

www.racingrodends.com
......I searched on line for a few hours to find the stuff as cheep as this place had it....

-6 3/8-24 RH Weld-In Bung $24.00
-2 3/8-24 LH Weld-In Bung $8.00
-2 3/8 x 3/8-24 Economy Male RH Rod End ( also known as Heim Joints ) $6.30
-2 3/8 x 3/8-24 Economy Male LH Rod End ( also known as Heim Joints ) $6.30

Quick Disconnect are normal Mt Bike seat clamps ( ebay $4 each ) with 3/8" OD to 1/4" ID bushings from Lowes .....regular bolts could be used

Tractor Supply/Home Depot/Lowes/Sears Hardware ect...
This part is key, its called a Automotive Threaded Stud. You will need 2 of them for the upper seat belt mounts. Pictured below is the thread size you will need for the upper seat belt mount and then just find the corresponding nuts x4 for the other end of the stud. You can do it with out them but, with only bolts the seat belts will not retract due to the bolts pinching the belt guides against the C pillars.....They looks like this from Tractor Supply and are loose in the hardware draws at other stores.
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Last edited by dangerousatom; 06-16-2011 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:33 PM   #2
hybrid gti 2
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Interesting but how well does it work?
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:41 PM   #3
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Ridiculously Well!!.... Wagons are super loose and sloppy in the back end. Even with my suspension setup after the bar was installed its made a major diff.
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:38 PM   #4
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nice work. diy ftw.

did you use the ebay rear strut bar before you installed your contraption?
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:32 PM   #5
dangerousatom
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^ Yes.....and it didn't do a whole lot. A V-brace would have been better
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:12 PM   #6
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nice project. well done!
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Old 06-07-2010, 02:13 PM   #7
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Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:00 PM   #8
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Awesome. Nice work.

Next we have to figure out a non-skull splitting way of putting a full ceiling to C-D to floor 6 point brace.
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:41 PM   #9
dangerousatom
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The 97 GCF wagon was totaled on 10/23/10 and the bar was sold, I miss its rigidity very much in the new 02 GD wagon..........SO!

V2 is in the works

Im upgrading all the Heim Joints/Tensioners/Threaded Ends to 1/2-20 thread due to the fact that the tension and torque on the bar was enough to show damage to the 3/8-24 threads. Waiting on all my bits and pieces to be shipped. I should be in fabrication mid April and will post pic's then.

anybody know of local PA 18951 laser or plasma CnC cutter operation around me???

Last edited by dangerousatom; 06-21-2011 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:03 PM   #10
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PM sent. Am really interested in this.
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:42 PM   #11
dangerousatom
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replied!
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:10 PM   #12
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That's super awesome, I'm really diggin' it!

"Quick Disconnect are normal Mt Bike seat clamps ( ebay $4 each ) with 3/8" OD to 1/4" ID bushings from Lowes ....."
That's a handy tip, to be sure. I sold my sedan brace and got the Whiteline version only because it had the disconnects. It didn't even occur to me to try seat clamps.

BTW... Wagons, FTW!
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerousatom View Post
Tractor Supply/Home Depot/Lowes/Sears Hardware ect...
This part is key, its called a Automotive Threaded Stud. You will need 2 of them for the upper seat belt mounts. Pictured below is the thread size you will need for the upper seat belt mount and then just find the corresponding nuts x4 for the other end of the stud. You can do it with out them but, with only bolts the seat belts will not retract due to the bolts pinching the belt guides against the C pillars.....They looks like this from Tractor Supply and are loose in the hardware draws at other stores.
Thank you so much for this thread.

I've been trying to install a harness bar in my GD and need to upgrade the "4.8" (~grade 2) bolts supplied with 10.9 or grade 8 that replace the stock outboard front lap belt bolts. I had assumed that everything would be metric. Thanks to your post the light bulb went on and the seat belt bolts are 7/16-20.

I should have known better. There is an SAE spec for seat belt mounting hardware, but haven't looked at it since 1986. The Chinese will coin anything you want on the head of a bolt. I've had some bad dealings with them in the past with material specs. A company I worked for wound up dumping ~1/4 million counter fit fasteners in the steel recycling bin too.
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:04 PM   #14
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Cool deal guys glad it was useful .......

It looks like wrxracer519 is going to be buying the 2nd C-D bar I make. He is an Autocross guy so I expect this should get a pretty hard thrashing and if he decides to give it some kind of review, we'll really see what the differences are with and with out it.

vader wagon yup its not the clamping pressure of the QD that is important its the sheering strength of the bolt /rod that passes through the eye. Be sure to get bushings long enough to go completely outside the eye assembly, so that forces of push-pulling on the bushing and QD rod are going through both not just the QD rod. The 6mm QD rod wont hold up to much by itself and will wear through and snap/bend eventually.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:55 PM   #15
dangerousatom
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V2.0

I finally have started the 02-03 wagon C-D bar.

Unknowing to me the 02 & up wagons have rear height adjustable seat belts. So that meant a total re-engineering of the side brackets. after about 3-4 hours or figuring and measuring I finally got it worked out. The V2.0 setup is going to be far more rigid than the 1st bar set that I made for the GC wagon. The 1st set's side brackets actually where bending from the amount of force I could but on then via the turn buckles. So the side bars are now 1" square tube upgraded from 1/2". The front mounting point on the side bar is a pipe anchor style and no longer attached to the seat belt directly, so seat belt mounts/function is unchanged. The rear mount is the same as the previous C-D bar. Instead of using cheap ebay rear tower bar mounts I had plate steel plasma cut and made my own.....far stronger and closer fitment. Also making my own turnbuckles again was out of the question. The 1st set litterly ripped the threads out of the female pipe ends, so I out sourced grade 8 turnbuckles along with all grade 8 universal/heim joints and pipe ends. Im figuring with the added strength I may be able to influence camber by .5+/- degrees depending on if the bars are in pulling or pushing tension mode......that remains to be seen appon rear alignment.

Here is what is finished so far:

Rear Side Bar Mounting Points




Front Side Bar Mount Points



Side Bars




Rear Strut Tower Mounts




Turnbuckle/Heim Joint Assembly



Last edited by dangerousatom; 06-17-2011 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:55 PM   #16
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Upper and Lower Bars Installed



Hopefully tomorrow I will be finishing things up and welding in the bars that connect the Upper and Lower bars together. Then its off to powder coat.
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:07 PM   #17
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That looks real nice. Gonna respond to your pm in a bit when i get out of work.
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:13 PM   #18
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looks good!!

I'm just curious if there's a reason you didn't do a lower 'X' or 'V' (though less twist resistant than X) brace?
Was it to save a little bit of room between the strut towers?

The 'x' would resist twisting in the same manor as this. This just makes two 'H' shapes between the C and D pillar which does nothing but put the aluminum section into torsion/twist short of adding another bar to help limit the towers flexing towards one another. Likewise you'd have the same with the X (the torsion/twist) but now it anchors between the strut towers with a broader 'x' and fewer parts.

Just spitting the first thing I noticed.

Still like the work

Last edited by Homemade WRX; 06-17-2011 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:33 AM   #19
dangerousatom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homemade WRX View Post
looks good!!

I'm just curious if there's a reason you didn't do a lower 'X' or 'V' (though less twist resistant than X) brace?
Was it to save a little bit of room between the strut towers?

The 'x' would resist twisting in the same manor as this. This just makes two 'H' shapes between the C and D pillar which does nothing but put the aluminum section into torsion/twist short of adding another bar to help limit the towers flexing towards one another. Likewise you'd have the same with the X (the torsion/twist) but now it anchors between the strut towers with a broader 'x' and fewer parts.

Just spitting the first thing I noticed.

Still like the work
You mean like this.....?!? An its not aluminum its 7/8" DOM steel tube with .083 thick wall



Well after about 18 hours of fab work-running back and forth to Lowes and other places along with modifying the new tubing notcher all that is left to do now is pull everything out and clean up the welds and edges.

Already I can feel the difference in rear suspension response and rigidity on the 5 mile drive home from the shop.....cant wait the give it a good thrashing to see if there are any problems or odd noises.

wrxracer519 I'll be starting on yours Monday, now that I have all the figuring and drill press setup worked out, it should only take 8+ hours to make another one. Also I need to buy a welding blanket so I dont leave welding splatter melts all over your interior carpet when I install the rear mounts.

Last edited by dangerousatom; 06-19-2011 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chimchimm5 View Post
Awesome. Nice work.

Next we have to figure out a non-skull splitting way of putting a full ceiling to C-D to floor 6 point brace.
I figured a way to do this too.....

Rear trunk X brace from the C-D pillars bars to the rear hatches lower anchor mounts or what ever the threaded mounts are for about 12" on the left and right side of the latch assembly.

All that would be needed is:
2 turnbuckles
2 RH pipe ends
2 LH heim joints
2 lengths of pipe
6" of all thread in the rob ends thread pattern
maybe 12" of flat stock to make anchor points and 4 more tabs on the C-D bars
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:49 PM   #21
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Good fabrication.
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerousatom View Post
You mean like this.....?!? An its not aluminum its 7/8" DOM steel tube with .083 thick wall
no, I meant lower...flip the 'x' down. Think of the classic 'v' brace but make it an X between the strut towers. You then won't need the bracing between the C and D pillars.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:46 PM   #23
dangerousatom
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ah.....Ya its a wagon so I dont want to make anything that will interfere with the floor ( tabs mounts and such ) Plus the floor is 4+ inches below what you see due to the foam bits that make up the cargo holder area business.

Plus its a show piece as much as a functional piece.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:55 PM   #24
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yeah, I know how the floors are. I figured you wouldn't want to take up the space between the towers for storage.
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:47 PM   #25
dangerousatom
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Heh just the opposite I don't want to take up space below . . . Most of my cargo is long and low as to high and bulky. Plus it comes put in less then a min.
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