Installation Time: Less than 1 Hour
September 19, 2012
Easy install, good performance.
First off, you do NOT need to weld this brace in. It it very much overkill, this was confirmed by my trusted service advisor at Ford, Steeda, and American Muscle.
(Welding also tends to void certain parts of your vehicle warranty. Yes, I know about the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act, however welding in a part is a very big grey area in relation to warranty. In addition to that, it also is hard to remove said item once it has been welded in....)
(If you do choose to weld this brace on, remove all items from the area to be welded, clean up the area to be welded, and REMOVE YOUR CAR BATTERY TERMINAL CONNECTIONS. )
To install this piece, you must remove the carpeting from the trunk of your car. Before you literally take the carpeting out, you can easily just pull back the carpet material covering the the shock towers and also the spare tire well.
Once tucked safely away from the strut tower, you must grab yourself two wrenches. One large wrench and then a small crescent wrench. It doesn't hurt to grab some WD-40 or another penetrating oil or lubricant. Spray said lubrication onto both shock tower bolts, and allow it to sit and penetrate for a few moments.
Once soaked in, place the large wrench on the nut that is holding your shocks, then place the small wrench on the very top of the bolt. Holding the bolt and stopping it from spinning, use your large wrench to loosen the bolt on the shock tower. Once significantly loosened you can put the small wrench down and use solely the large wrench to finish removing the bolt.
At this point you can grab yourself a large socket wrench and continue removing the bolt, however using the plain wrench from before is just as easy.
With the bolts removed, grab the brace and twist one end and extend the brace a bit. Extended, take your brace and lay it over the shock tower bolts, be sure that the brackets match with the sheet metal of the shock tower.
The open end of the bracket should face towards the front of the car, while the closed off end should face towards the rear of the car.
Now, check how the brace fits between the towers, to extend or retract the brace simply take it off the shock bolts and turn one of the brackets clockwise or counterclockwise. At this point you should just eyeball how wide it should be in relation to the shock towers.
You want the brackets to come as close as possible to touching the body of the car on the left and right sides of their respective towers.
Once this is accomplished simply get your brace to lay flat, to do this you just have to press down on the brace bar itself. The bolts keeping the brace flat should be loose from the factory, but if they are not simply loosen the two big Allen wrench bolts up a bit.
Now all that remains is to re install the shock bolts onto the tower. Doing this is just a reverse operation of the removal process. You may not need to use the small wrench as much however.
After all the bolts are nice and tight holding the bracket, be sure to tighten the bolts which allow the bracket to be extended or retracted. They are just two nuts on each side of the metal brace itself.
With everything tightened and installed, press down on the brace and try to move it. If it is rock hard and feels solid you installed it correctly. If not, tighten the bolts just a bit further.
Be careful not to over tighten the shock bolts, this can lead to breaking or snapping of the bolts and this is a very expensive and non warrantied mistake.
Finally, push the carpeting back into its original position, you may choose to use a razor blade and cut notches into the side carpeting to allow it to fit over the brace, however unless you are a neat freak or perfectionist this is not necessary.
Congratulations, you are now finished installing your rear shock tower brace, go out and test it out! Be sure to come back here and write a quick review about it, and share how cool this dual purpose modification is.