In yet another attempt to make improve my car, I decided to put in a rear strut tower bar. The folks on the SR20forum seem to like the Active Tuning rear strut tower bar for the 91-94 B13 Sentra. I looked in my wallet, and found the usual ginormous void, so I decided to go ahead with the rear strut tower bar... CustomGhetto style!
The basic premise behind the rear strut tower bar is... well go here for that. Basically, the entire car is resting on the 4 wheels, and they're really only attached by the struts, and those are mounted to the rest of the car by the strut towers. So all the horizontal forces in cornering gets evntually translated to the strut towers. So that's a pretty good place to add some bracing.
So bascially copying the Active Tuning bar, I sought to find a piece of threaded rod, some square tubing and some miscellaneous hardware. Lacking a welder, I was forced to using nuts and bolts for my uh.. design. Anyway, the pictures are pretty much self-explanatory. So here they are with some comments.
I got this 1 inch square steel tubing at Home Depot. I think it was 7 dollars for a 3 foot section. I need to find another source for metal. I found a scrap metal place here in San Francisco, so I think i'll go there from now on for my scrap metal needs.
Here's some 5/8 inch threaded rod that I stole from a construction site. It was 8 feet long.
I used quarter inch nuts and bolts and lockwashers for the brackets. You'll see what they're for in a minute. Keep scrolling.
Here I am clamping a Metal plate to some random I-Beam getting ready to saw the plate with a jigsaw. I don't have a proper work space or tools, so I'm forced to ghetto-rig stuff like this. I'm lucky I still have all my fingers. The metal plate is a 3/8 inch thick, 6x8 inch (i think) foundation tie down plate. I found it at Lowe's. I cut it in half, and each half is large enough to make a bracket for one side.
Here's the plate cut out. I cut it too small, so I had to take it to the bench grinder later and waste another hour making it fit the car. Lather, Rinse, Repeat for the other side.
Here it is done! You can bascially see how it's put together. What you can't see is that the 3 bolts actually go all the way through the square tube. It's drilled so that the bolts sit right up against the inside wall of the square tube. The threaded rod has barely enough room to pass through the tube with the three bolts inside there. But it works.
So it's installed. Any noticeable difference? Not really. But I'm still riding on a stock 12 year old suspension. I'm planning on getting some new struts and springs, and maybe get all new urethane bushings. Maybe some stiffer sway bars too. I'm sure the strut tower bar will help more once all that expensive crap is in. But alas, I'm upgrading my car, one CustomGhetto part at a time, so who knows when the suspension will be done. I think the RSTB could be a little stiffer. I can still flex the 5/8 in all-thread if I push and pull on it. But it's not gonna buckle, I just think it could stand a little improvement.