(approx) 1 Hour
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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Hey, guys, Adam here with americanmuscle.com. And today, we're taking a closer look at and, of course, installing the Scott Drake Strut Tower Brace available for your '09 to '14 Challenger. Now, you should be checking this out for your own Hemi-equipped Challenger if you're looking to stiffen up the front-end suspension and chassis of your vehicle by adding a three-point strut tower brace. Now, this is gonna help reduce any chassis flex between the strut towers, which can make a huge difference when it comes to suspension and handling performance, especially under heavy load during tight cornering. This is special in the sense that it connects from the strut tower to the firewall and back to the other strut tower. Having that third point of contact on the firewall can really enhance the strength of its chassis support. There are some two-point options in the category that are a little bit less expensive than this guy if you're looking to save some money, but if you really want the most performance out of a strut tower brace, this is gonna be the way to go.What's also special about this is it's detachable. It can make life a little bit easier when it comes time for routine maintenance under the hood. You can take off these mil-spec quick release pins, there's one on each side and then two in the middle there, and detach the middle section giving you full access to the intake manifold and everything around it. So, that can come again really in handy when you're working under the hood. This thing won't be in the way. You don't have to detach it from every single point of contact.Now, the construction of the Scott Drake option here is absolutely next level. It has a natural machine finish, which means it's not painted. There's no coating on top of it. It is just bare billet aluminum, and it absolutely looks perfect, almost like a work of art. Every single piece here is constructed to perfect spec to make sure that it has really tight fitment and exact fitment. So, that can be kind of a plus and minus thing. It's a plus because it's a really good, really secure part, but it's actually a little bit tougher to install because you have to make sure every single part is exactly where it needs to be to get it to line up, but once you do, it's really gonna show. And the price tag is a little bit higher because of this beautiful construction here, it comes in right around 300 bucks, a little under 300 bucks, but really, you're getting what you pay for here, construction's next level, fitment's next level. And it's suspension enhancement, reducing that chassis flex is going to be something you'll definitely notice. Now, something I'll take note of here is once you start hitting the road with this, especially the first couple of miles you drive it, your chassis will flex a little bit, and you may need to go back down and tighten all your bolts to really secure it after a little bit of a drive. But once you have that dialed in, it's gonna feel great.Now, the installation is a little bit involved, number one because of the fitment I just mentioned, but number two because of that third point connecting it to the firewall, you have to drill two holes. Now, the firewall there is a couple of inches thick, so you have to drill through two layers of it, and I'm gonna show you guys that in just a little bit. It's a little bit of trial and error. You want to put it on, line everything up where you want it to be. Take it off, drill your holes. You might have to do that a couple of times to make sure it's exactly right. With that said, I'm giving it three out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter here. It's a little bit more involved than say just a bolt-on install. The install take you about an hour, maybe two hours from start to finish to dial it all in. I'll take you through the process here. What do you say we get started? Tools I use in this install include an impact gun, a drill, 3/8 ratchet, 8-millimeter hex socket, 13 and 15-millimeter deep sockets, sharpie, 1/8 drill bit, 13/32 drill bit. You may want to step in between, but it's a personal preference. Center punch, Phillips head screwdriver, 17-millimeter wrench, some eye protection, masking tape, and a clamp.We're gonna start our install here on the table. Now, it's worth noting if you have a factory strut tower brace, you have to remove that before you get started. Our Challenger behind me does not have a brace, so we get to start right off with the install of our Scott Drake option. Now, in order to start things off, we're gonna focus on our strut tower caps, these round ones here, and the brackets that'll attach the caps to the actual brace. You're gonna grab the four 13-millimeter hex bolts included in the kit along with the 8-millimeter hex little caps that'll screw onto the top of that. We're gonna start by taking this and dropping the bolts into the bottom and then screwing on the bracket to the top. You want to make sure that when you're installing this, you want to face it toward the double nut side. You'll see on this cap here that there's two on the left, one on the right. Make sure it's facing the double. That way, it goes in between. Let's get started.Grab one of these hex bolts, flip this guy upside down, and you'll see that there are two pre-cut holes in there. You want to drop this in. That can be a little tricky, but once you get it in there, it'll drop right through. Do it for both of those holes, and you'll notice that it's slotted and because this is a hex bolt, it locks itself in there, so you don't have to hold it with a socket. But we now have to flip it over, so make sure you have your hand in there to hold these guys in. Now, try to get them centered as best you can, and then we're gonna take this bracket and drop it on. Now, you want to make sure, again, that you're facing the double side, just like that. All right, from here, grab the 8-millimeter hex cap. You're gonna drop that into position and just thread it on as many of them as you can. All right. Once you have those guys on, you can let go at the bottom. Grab an 8-millimeter hex socket or Allen key and tighten them down. All right. So, now that we have that guy tightened down let's do the same thing for the other one.All right, next step, we're gonna focus on the main portion of our strut tower brace, these pins, and the lanyards. Now, we're gonna install these little brackets into the pre-cut slots here with the threaded holes. Now, you're gonna use your Phillips head screws included in the kit, the really small guys, so you want to make sure you have a Phillips head screwdriver on deck. And when you're installing this, you're going to install this bracket into the slot here and line up the two holes, but you want to make sure that you're not pinching this lanyard on the inside of the bracket. So when you line this guy up, make sure that this isn't getting stuck underneath. Now, it can be a little bit of a tight squeeze, so you want to make sure you got that solid in there. Grab your Phillips head screw and drop her in, and you're gonna basically repeat that for all four of them. All right, so we're just gonna move along to each one of these slots, making sure again that the lanyard doesn't get caught.All right, cables out of the way. We're starting under the hood here. Now, like I said, if you have a factory brace, you want to make sure that it's out of the way before you get started. Now, we've got no factory brace, so what we're gonna do is start by taking off our strut tower caps, which you can just go over to the edge there and pull straight up on it and set that aside. Now, we can take off the three 15-millimeter nuts. Now, you can grab your 13-millimeter deep socket and take all three of these nuts off. Now, you can take one of the assemblies that we already took care of on the table and drop it into place over those factory studs. Grab the factory nuts and thread them back on to those studs through the holes. All right, grab your 13 socket and tighten them back down. All right. So, now we can repeat that same process on the other side. Before we can install the brace and do our cutting, I want to put masking tape across this firewall portion. So, the drilling is gonna go right about here, but the masking tape will help us when we do that. So, I'm gonna take a little piece of this painter's tape here, set it across. All right. So, now we can install the main portion of the brace using those pins.All right. At this point, grab the main portion of your brace. You can see that we want this portion of the bracket facing the firewall, and you can see we have our pins dangling down. You're gonna drop this guy into position on the bracket. Now, when you do that, this hole here will line up with this. Now, you can your pin, press the button here, and slide it all the way through. Now, if you're having trouble fitting this guy all the way through, I'd suggest cracking these two loose on both sides. That way, you can move adjustment back and forth. Pop this guy through, and when it fits, tighten them down. Repeat that on the other side. All right. Now, we can do the same thing on this side. All right. So, at this point, we have our masking tape in place, the main body of the braces in place. Grab this bracket that'll bolt up to the firewall. You're basically gonna slide this guy into position, and you're gonna take those pins in the middle and pin them to the brace. Now, it might be a little bit difficult at first to try to find that hole there. Looks like I got that through. Do the same thing on the other side. Now, with this in place, we know exactly where this needs to be. Now, what we're gonna do is take a marker and draw an outline on that bracket. That way, we know exactly where to place this. Then we'll take the brace off, put the bracket back up against the markings, clamp it down, and then drill our hole.All right. So, now I'm gonna use this sharpie to mark the edges on each side and go along the top. Now, I know it's a tight squeeze. Something to keep in mind here is that without touching it, this does kind of fall a little limp, so you want to make sure you're pulling it exactly flush up against this brace here. So, that's where it's gonna be. All right, so we've got that covered. So, use a sharpie at that line. [inaudible 00:10:30] the side. All right. So, as you can see, we have our bracket back in place, and I have it clamped onto the firewall. Now, this is a method that I think is gonna work wonders in getting this guy lined up. I'm using these Irwin QUICK-GRIPs. Definitely, something I suggest, otherwise, you can hold it in place, but, you know, then it's not super accurate. It can be pretty tricky to line up. So, once you have this in place like we have here, and you can see we have it right up against the same sharpie line. I'm gonna grab the sharpie, and I'm basically gonna mark the holes inside the center here where we're gonna be drilling. Just gonna kind of go in here and circle around that little hole. Not a lot of space for a sharpie, but it's the perfect amount just to get it right in the middle. Keep in mind, guys, we don't need to mark the holes for the center ones because these two inside guys are for the pins, so they're not gonna go all the way through. We don't have to drill anything there. All right. So, we have those holes marked. Now, what you can do is just pull that grip off, and now you can see we have our bracket outline and the two holes we have marked, so let's grab our drill bits.All right, step number one, grab a center hole punch, and we're gonna make our pilot hole mark. That way, we don't dance around. We know exactly where we need to drill right in the center and mark the center of those holes. All right. Now, for our first hole, we're going to use an 1/8 drill bit. It's a great idea to have a trash bag or something similar like this over the top of the engine bay because you don't really want metal shavings getting in there, so we've got our trash bag in place. Make sure you're using safety glasses as well before you get started. All right. Now, it's also critical that you, number one, drill through the face and the backside of the firewall. Now, it's pretty fixed, so you got to go all the way through. And number two, you want to make sure you're going as straight as humanly possible. This can kind of affect the way the bolt goes through if it's not completely straight.All right. So, now we're gonna step up here. I got my 1/4-inch bit before we get to our largest. All right. So, now we can finish up by stepping up to a 13/32 drill bit. All right. At this point, once you have the holes drilled, grab your masking tape and pull it off. At this point, we can start installing our bracket. Now, there are shims of different sizes included in the kit. Looks like this. And that can go right around the backside around the bolt. So, depending on how much of a gap you have between this and the brace itself once that's installed, you may need to put some shims in. It's a good idea to test fit that before you, you know, just wing it with the shim. I'm gonna put this bolt through. I'm gonna put this through the hole here. Make sure it goes all the way through the back. I'm gonna take the nylon lock nut and thread it on the back as well. Just want to be really careful that you don't drop this in the engine bay. All right, same thing on the other side. All right. At this point, grab an 8-millimeter hex socket and a 17-millimeter wrench. And again, I know it's a tight squeeze, but I'm gonna put this wrench around that nut on the back. All right. So, now you can just repeat that on the other side.All right. So, we're almost done. So, now we can put the main portion back on. Now, it's worth noting that when you're putting this back on, you may have some trouble with the pins going in place. If that is the case, again, you can loosen up the brackets to make sure you're getting them exactly where they need to be. Might be a little bit of a trial and error the first time you drop this guy on. All right. So, now we can do the middle section. All right. And there you have it. So, guys, it's worth noting that if you're having trouble getting one of the pins in or out, try removing or putting in one of the other pins. Sometimes relieving stress on a different point can make life easier on some of the other ones as well. From here, tighten up all your bolts if you haven't done so already, and you're good to go.So, if you're looking to stiffen up the front-end of your chassis and make handling performance a little bit better and you don't want a simple two-point harness but instead want to pick up an upgrade to three-point, this is a great way to go. You can get the Scott Drake Strut Tower Brace for your own Challenger right here at americanmuscle.com.
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Features, Description, Reviews, Q&A, Specs & Installation
Improved Handling and Performance. The Scott Drake Strut Tower Brace is specially designed for a 3-point connection for outstanding reduction in chassis flex. This results in excellent handling and performance, especially during high-performance driving. Furthermore, to make engine maintenance easy, the center section can be removed using mil-spec quick release pins.
Heavy Duty Billet Aluminum Construction. The Scott Drake Strut Tower Brace is precision-machined from high-grade billet aluminum. This provides the Strut Tower Brace with exceptional strength, toughness, and light weight.
Minor Drilling Required. The Scott Drake Strut Tower Brace uses 3 attachments points to ensure optimum support. This requires minor drilling to be done on the rear support bar.
Comes With 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee. If you are not happy with the Scott Drake Strut Tower Brace for any reason, simply return it within 30 days and it will be replaced with no questions asked. A valid proof of purchase is required.
Application. The Scott Drake Strut Tower Brace is designed to fit 2008-2015 Dodge Challenger V8 HEMI, excluding Hellcat models.
Fitment: 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Details
CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
(approx) 1 Hour
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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