Front Strut Bar Installation on 96-00 Civic - Performance DIY by DIY Guru

Performance DIY by DIY Guru

Performance Diy is an automotive blog covering diy jobs from simple repairs,modifications to full restomod/restorations.If its on wheels its on Performance Diy

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Front Strut bar installation:
A Strut tower bar is bolted to the frame to prevent some body squat. The frame of a car on a corner will flex a little, and this will help it flex less, keeping the frame more rigid at the top of the suspension struts. This will help the wheels stay more at the correct camber, keep them more planted, and make the car grip better on the corners.

Many people say a tower bar in the front is bolt in, but not always. There are 2 kinds:
There are tower bars that install onto the macphearson strut, and those that bolt onto the frame. The bars that go to the frame usually don't work on non-EX and Si models due to the damn airbox in the way. If you buy one offline, please check the design with a pic of the exact model you buy, ebay and aftermarket sites will lie and say some things fit that don't, so check.


You need a 14mm socket, a torque wrench, and a 14mm wrench (box end or open end) OR a socket wrench.
Pop the hood. On the left and right are two big ass squares of the frame of the car. In this picture is the top of the macphearson strut assembly. To install a tower bar that goes to this, the two bolts circled in yellow are what they bolt to. DON'T touch that bolt thats circled in red, that holds the strut together. Have the car on level ground, not jacked up. Unbolt these two with a 14mm socket wrench. Then do the same to the other side. You should have 4 bolts off. Put the tower bar in place, it should be a simple placement. Slide the holes of the bar over the threaded stubs. Then simply screw the nuts back on. These macphearson strut bolts are torqued to 33 ft-lbs of torque. If your tower bar has any bolts on it, tighten them now. They are different, so I can't give any torque specs, but hand tighten them, cause this bar should act as a solid rod.
Most tower bars that go high enough to clear the air intake box will work on ALL 96-00 Civics. If you have a EX or Si, They will all work, because no clearence issue with the air filter box, its over by the front right corner of the car.


NOTE: Most all tower bars that go to the frame do NOT work on a 96-00 LX, DX, CX, HX. This is because that bar is flat, and the airbox is in the way. My pictures were taken a year apart. The first one is when I had the stock airbox. I did the 'y8 manifold swap', and used a Short Ram Intake, so I didn't have to worry, cause my intake is that of a 96-00 Civic EX. The Civic EX and Si WILL take any tower bar that bolts to the frame because of the intake manifold that has the throttle body going sideways as opposed to straight up. This line shows where the bar would go through the air filter box on a stock D16Y7 engine in the 96-00 Civic DX, CX, LX, HX.

You need a drill, black drill bits (for metal), some oil for cooling the bit, a center punch and hammer, a 14mm socket and a torque wrench.
Sorry to say, Honda only gave the 2000 Si a tower bar. So this has threads for a solid piece tower bar to bolt to the frame (bolts are 8x1.25mm), not at the strut assembly.
If you want to put in a tower bar like I did, to the frame, such as a Type-R style, you're going to have to drill through the frame. This is doable, and not hard. I, however, Got my type-R style tower bar from ebay. This did not include the mounting hardware. I went to and got theirs. This was a little black bar with two threaded studs sticking out of it, and the bolts with it. Drilling into the frame isnt hard, but here's how to do it.
These are for, when you drill the holes, they go inside the wheel well, and you push them through the holes, and when you put the bar and bolts on the threads, they all hold together. Take this stud piece thing, and place it on the frame where the indents are already there. There are indentions in the frame, like dimples, where the 00Si has its bar already.

Place one of the ends on the frame, and mark where it goes. Use a center punch so you know where to drill into. using this stud piece, make the 2nd hole, and make sure its inline with those dimples. Do the same with the other side of the car. To check yourself, take your bar, assembled, and place it on the car where it would go. Through the 4 holes that will hold it there, make sure you can see the little holes that you made with the center punch. This is how and where the bar will go. Take off the bar, and get your drill. I drilled the holes twice, once with a smaller bit, then again with a bit that is wider than the threads on the stud piece, so it will go through. Try a 5/16" drill bit. Hold the drill perpendicular to the frame at that point, and start drilling. EVery few seconds, add oil to the drill bit, as it will get hot, and so will the frame. Keep the whole drilling soaked in oil. When you get through, drill the other 3 holes. Once you have all 4 holes, clean up around them with a file or something. I then painted the frame just to cover the bare metal and prevent rusting the frame. Put your hand in the wheelwell with one of the studs in your hand, and stick the two threads through the hole. Then put the bar's holes over the threads, and put the nuts on and hand tighten. Do the same to the other side, and make sure the bar fits and is alighned. Only hand tighten those 4 bolts. If your bar is a multi piece like mine, tighten all the bolts on the actual bar. Then, torque the 4 14mm bolts to the frame to 17 ft-lbs of torque. Note that on a 99-00 Si, these bolts are in the frame, so installing the tower bar is simply without the drilling; you will take off the 4 bolts, take off its stock tower bar, and put on your new one, still tighten the bolts to the same 17 ft-lbs of torque. Let me know if I forgot anything, I'll post up more pics later. Hope this helps the unexperienced to work on their own Honda.

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