Installation Time: Afternoon
September 27, 2013
Great bar, but...
Convertibles and styling bars go together like PB & J - it's just a great fit! The MMD Styling bar was an excellent value, and so I decided to adorn my '99 convertible with this touch of class.
Installation was pretty much as described in the (arguably) poor guide, and so I took it upon myself to submit an improved installation guide to American Muscle - it has yet to be received/reviewed at the time of writing this review.
My advice to all those considering the MMD Styling Bar is this: the included templates are WRONG!!! Specifically, there are 4 templates included: 2 for the left side, and 2 for the right side; one is for upper hole for the bar to fit through, the other is for the bolt holes to fasten the bar.
While the templates for the upper hole(s) were reasonably accurate (I did have to enlarge both holes after having made the initial holes), the bolt holes were the real issue.
There are 2 bolt holes per side - an upper and a lower. While the upper bolt hole was very well aligned, the lower bolt hole was SO far off that I could not access the lower bolt heads; the template is incorrect.
My final solution was to ensure the panels were in a very warm garage so as not to crack the plastic - from there I had to lift the sill plate and then ever so gently flex the entire lower portion of the panel away so I could access the bolt head. This resulted in slight marking of the panel from the Allan key wrench, as well as some minimal discoloration from the extreme flexing of the panel.
Having done all this, the MMD Styling Bar finally did install nicely, and thanks to a somewhat 'generous' lip where the bar meets the panel, it adequately covered the now-oversized holes at the top of the panels where the bar inserts.
My only other advice (especially for those of us who are tall) is to find a different seat belt guide. When the seat is fully pushed back, the stock belt guides interfere with the styling bar, robbing precious distance. As well, the stock guides leave permanent indentations in the styling bar!
There are aftermarket belt guides with a lower profile that can easily be found and switched out to alleviate this issue.
Beyond that, this is a very nice product and it looks very sharp on the car.