I installed a Cusco FSTB on my Classic and was not happy with the strut mount studs being too damn short. They only grabbed part of the locknut, not the entire thing. The stud was actually below
the top level of the locknut. Perhaps "acceptable" but definitely NOT good. Therefore I set out to fix them.
I took these pics with an inferior camera (the pics get much better), but you can see that the OEM strut mount studs are unacceptably short. Here's the pics of the too-short OEM studs.:
Originally Posted by Shawn B
What is up with the bolts being too short? I'm gonna have to search
out the solution. Yeah, they will work like that, correct me if I am wrong, but I want a quarter (1/4) inch or so above the nut.
Proper installation of a Cusco FSTB per the ~Knuckleduster~ thread. Once again, the bolts being just barely
long enough. Which is not enough in my book. Un-accept-able.
Here is my original "studs too short" thread, with a whole bunch of input from mechanically adept folks.
I figure Happynole has had...what....eight (8) Group Buys on the Cusco FSTB? Surely
not everyone has aftermarket fancy mounts with longer studs? Some folks out of the Cusco buyers must be running the Nissan OEM strut plates and (the too short) studs.
This is what I came up with.....
How To Change Out Your OEM Strut Mount Studs:
If you want to change out your factory strut mount studs, to much beefier and longer studs, with minimal hassle and expense, this is how to do it.
Total cost was eleven (11) bucks for hardware and whatever a couple small tubes of JB Weld costs. Plus a bit of time and effort. And I'm about to cut down that "effort" part considerably.
I bought six (6) 3/8 - 16 X 1 1/4 inch grade-8 button head socket screws in black oxide. Along with six (6) grade-8 locking nuts.
This is what the top of the new screws look like.
Here are the size comparisons between OEM and what I purchased.
Another stud vs. bolt comparison shot.
One more time.
Damn I love this new Cannon camera.
Looking at the ends.
Beefy new hardware all lined up with the mount.
Another angle on that one.
The new bolts fit through the bodywork and Cusco bar no problems. Just a small bit of play.
This is a 3/8 X 16 tap.
It lines right up with the holes perfectly. We measured the stock OEM hole at 5/16 (standard). No
prior drilling needed on the stock mount. Just line it up, eyeball it carefully, and twist it in.
The tap will self-align to a degree in the OEM hole. Then give it some careful torque and it will pull itself through.
Mike rocks, and it is through. I take pictures.
The new screw, halfway through, post tapping the mount.
Nice and flush. This is just hand tight to check it.
All three (3), halfway through.
Note a tiny-miniscule amount of space between the screw head and the mount. That goes away when you crank the hell out them after the next steps. Don't crank'em yet.
From the flipside. I love it.
Screw in all three (3) screws about halfway. Apply a liberal coat of JB Weld under the screw cap and up the first several threads. Think of the JB Weld as permanent Lock-tite.
Screw all three (3) screws in all the way. Crank them real tight. They will "seat themselves" against the strut mount perfectly flush. You should see some JB Weld on the threads as they come through the strut mount. The screw cap should squish all the excess JB Weld out of the way, use a towel to clean up the excess. Then dab some extra JB Weld around the threaded base of each screw. Up about two or three threads. Those threads will never engage anything anyways.
Finished product from the bottom. Which is facing up.
Another shot of the finished product.
And that is a done deal.
Those grade-8 button head cap screws are not
going to back out of the OEM mount any quicker than the original OEM stud. No way, no how. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to get them back out. Not that I care, I wanted an easy, inexpensive, anyone can do it, no special tools required, no special knowledge required, solution. And I damn sure was NOT leaving those short-ass OEM studs as is.
Any input, comments or advice is welcome.
I did not find this information out until post install. As we had to wait for the JB Weld to dry, I let Mike handle reassembling the struts in my absense. Hell, even I've done that before, no need to document.
However, per Mike (my mechanic):
1) You have to "slightly drill out" the other portion of the strut mount itself (it's a sandwich of plates) to accomodate the new studs/screws.
2) You may need to drill slightly larger holes in the vehicles strut tower body itself. Then touch up the slightly bigger hole(s) with primer and paint (if ya wanna be fancy). Then the very minor
drilling evidence disappears under your Cusco bar.
Again, per Mike. Because you have to wait on the JB Weld to dry, you do the other strut mount plate peice (the other part of the sandwich), and the strut tower drill/primer while the JB Weld hardens (15 hour is the full cure time.)
As he put it, "a total peice of cake." Further, doing that bit of extra drilling and prep for the vehicle to accept the new studs is well worth it. His theory being that the new screws being an exact match for the OEM strut plate is far more important than very minor and easy drilling/touch up on the aforementioned parts.
Sorry I initially missed those installation notes. However, I am still very, very satisfied with the results. I'll post pics of the new bolts in place, with the Cusco bar bolted down properly, next week.
And the final product on the vehicle. Notice plenty
of thread above the nuts.
That photo is at a body-shop, hence the dusty vehicle.
Any input, comments or advice is welcome.
I hope this helps.