STi side cowl
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This is a discussion on STi side cowl within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the Tutorials & DIY category; This is a forged aluminum piece that replaces the stamped steel oe one- this is for igidity and to prevent ...

  1. #1
    Moderating on the run! Big Sky WRX's Avatar
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    STi side cowl

    This is a forged aluminum piece that replaces the stamped steel oe one- this is for igidity and to prevent flex- it's not a weight savings meaure (although it does weigh 9 oz vs 11 oz for the oe one )

    This is the piece





    This isn't a first do mod by any stretch, but if your into the fine tuning stages of your suspenion setup- this piece would be worth looking at.

    Install is a bit of pain as the fender needs to be nearly removed.

    First we remove the front wheel and it get it on jack stands. Then you have to remove the fender liner- this is a pain the plastic fasternes they used were conceived in hell by the devil. You need a fine phillips head screw driver firmly turn the fastner to the left and if all goes well it will pop out slightly- once it's popped out you can ease them. You'll find they don't like to pop out easy- I had to "coax" several of them w/ a small thin flat head screwdriver. Be careful w/ the two clips that are part of the fender itself- they are thin and bend easily- easily enough you could snap one off if not careful.

    There are several sizes/shapes of fasteners (one is a 10mm bolt-also phillips head too at the top of the arch) remove them trying to remember where they went (you can alwasy look on the other side shen reinstalling- HINT do one side at a time )

    If you open the door you can see the very rear of the cowl (pic)

    Once you remove the fender liner looking up you can see the whole cowl (pic)

    You'll need more room- especially if you want to put a torque wrench on the piece when installing. So the fender needs to almost removed. There are three 10mm bolts on top-pop the hood- they are easy to spot. There are also two right at the door jam- one on top (no pic) and one at the bottom (pic).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails fenderliner.jpg   rearofcowl.jpg   underneathview.jpg   topoffender.jpg   bottomoffender.jpg  

    Last edited by Big Sky WRX; 03-05-2006 at 04:22 PM.
    "Simplify and add lightness." - Colin Chapman

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  3. #2
    Moderating on the run! Big Sky WRX's Avatar
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    Remove the five 10mm fender bolts. Be careful w/ the ones near the door- don't ding your door!

    With bolts removed carefully lift up the top of fender and pull it over the "hump"- while doing this pay close attention to the top fender portion near the door- the door ahs to be open a certian amount- again don't ding your door!

    Once it's pulled over it will be very loose and you'll have plenty of room to work.

    There are four 14mm bolts holding the oe piece in- remove these. Put the STi one in (match it to your oe one as they are right/left specific).

    Torque to 51 ft lbs.

    Couple of comparo pics- the oe stamped one is rather flimsy- you could bend it w/ your hands- the aluminum one is VERY beefy and won't bend.

    Everything goes back together the way it came off, pull the fender up and over the hump- thread in the 10mm bolts in finger tight. Carefully tighten- do not over tighten these small bolts- the factory calls for 5.5 ft lbs- just snug them up nicely- again pay close attention to the fender in relationship w/ your door. Replace the fender well (I pull the two piece fastenrs apart- stick the one end in first, the "plug" portion- seem to go in easier that way.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails oecowl.jpg   oevssticowl.jpg   sideofsticowl.jpg  
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    Registered User slavboy1's Avatar
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    What kind of flex does it prevent? Kinda hard to believe it would make a huge difference but hey i've been wrong before....a lot haha
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    Moderating on the run! Big Sky WRX's Avatar
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    If you look at the upper frame supports they attach to the chassis forming a 90 degree angle- this piece is the "hypotenuse". Any time your car accelerates/brakes/corners hard- there will be flex put on these pieces. The forged aluminum won't deflect like the oe steel stamped one.

    Like I said this isn't a "first mod", but if your suspension is getting pretty well sorted, one to consider.
    "Simplify and add lightness." - Colin Chapman

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