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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Wed, Apr-12-2017, 06:25:10 PM   #1
EY84002
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Default JT Designs Strut Tower Brace Install

Now a full year after purchase, I am finally getting around to installing my JT Designs Strut Tower Brace

With very little info available on these bars period, install instructions are nowhere to be found.

Does anyone have experience with this bar, or a similar hingeless/preload bar? I read stories of people messing up the strut towers, some say you need to install with car off the ground, etc.

Also worth note, the cap nuts for the LTW bar fit the JT perfectly. Part number is 51-71-2-268-565 Cap nuts are pictured on the bar below. Dealer said none were available here in US, so shipped from Germany. ~$8 per.

As always, any help is appreciated.



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Old Wed, Apr-12-2017, 07:09:48 PM   #2
M_Parallel
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Default Re: JT Designs Strut Tower Brace Install

Just fit it. No need for instructions. Car off ground to fit a strutbrace? Oh some people...
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Old Wed, Apr-12-2017, 07:48:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: JT Designs Strut Tower Brace Install

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Originally Posted by M_Parallel View Post
Just fit it. No need for instructions. Car off ground to fit a strutbrace? Oh some people...
Exactly.. The only time a lift the car off the ground is if the strut brace I am putting on is not adjustable and doesn't quite fit.. Give a little lift on one side pulls them apart. In your case, the spread of the bar is adjustable.. Just adjust to position and tighten it down.
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Old Wed, Apr-12-2017, 09:39:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: JT Designs Strut Tower Brace Install

Indeed.

If you need to lift the car to fit the brace, it's either badly made or the shock towers are really misaligned.
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Old Wed, Apr-12-2017, 11:17:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: JT Designs Strut Tower Brace Install

-Park the car on level ground, preferably a poured floor.

-Remove the strut mounting nuts and wipe the strut towers down so they're clean.

-Install the bar by going through trial and error to expand or contract it until it's sized correctly to install. The height of the strut mount studs will make it so it's a bit tight going on. Just use a little force to bend the bar in the middle so you can wiggle it into place.

-Tighten the top nuts down. Do not over-tighten. Torque spec for OE mounts is 16 ft-lbs. Double check to be sure those caps nuts have not bottomed out, leaving play in the mount and bar.


The bar is adjustable, so there is no need to lift the car in the air. You don't want the bar putting any force on the strut towers while the car is still on a level surface. Definitely install it with the car on the ground. Is that bar ASC compatible? Do you have ASC on the car? Just something to double check before you get too far into the install (which isn't difficult though).
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Old Wed, Apr-12-2017, 11:50:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: JT Designs Strut Tower Brace Install

Bend the bar on the middle. Que!?

If it's length adjustable like the BMW bar, it couldn't be easier. Screw in adjusters, hold bar between mounts and simply turn the adjusters outwards till it sits snug between the mounts.
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Old Thu, Apr-13-2017, 01:38:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: JT Designs Strut Tower Brace Install

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Bend the bar on the middle. Que!?

If it's length adjustable like the BMW bar, it couldn't be easier. Screw in adjusters, hold bar between mounts and simply turn the adjusters outwards till it sits snug between the mounts.
Sorry...*deflect* the bar in the middle to squeeze it in place.

Not all bars have adjusters with reverse threading that you can adjust without rotating the mount. I didn't want to make that assumption and confuse him.
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Old Thu, Apr-13-2017, 11:55:48 AM   #8
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Default Re: JT Designs Strut Tower Brace Install

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Originally Posted by fiveightandten View Post
Sorry...*deflect* the bar in the middle to squeeze it in place.

Not all bars have adjusters with reverse threading that you can adjust without rotating the mount. I didn't want to make that assumption and confuse him.
I can't see how this bar is fitted to the mounts. I assumed it worked similar to the BMW strut.

On the BMW strut the adjusters are just that, to size the bar between the structsmounts. Then you use a separate bolt to actually fix the bar to the mount. So the thread being reverse or not wouldn't matter.

But by the looks, this bar threads directly into the mount then Iguess?
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Old Thu, Apr-13-2017, 09:02:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: JT Designs Strut Tower Brace Install

Thanks for all the reponses. I spoke to Jim Mihal of JT Designs and he helped shed some light on the process. (Very nice guy and generous with his time btw)

When the cap on the mount is removed (to adjust suspension w/o removing the entire bar), there is an allen screw in there that turns threaded shaft that goes into the cross bar. That's how the length adjusting takes place. I will take a pic of the inside tonight.

The cap nuts have a tight, but reasonable clearance. They should not bottom out unless the strut bar mount itself compresses, I wouldn't think that would happen?

My car does have ACS, and the bar is compatible. Since I wanted something non descript, QUALITY, and OE looking, this was really my only option as the BMW/Rallyroad bars do not fit. I am also installing an X-Brace at the same time. While the merits of strut bars will be debated forever, the combo of them both should firm up the front end quite a bit....even if this piece is little more than eye candy.
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Old Thu, Apr-13-2017, 10:01:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: JT Designs Strut Tower Brace Install

Seems to be somewhat of an old official site:

http://jtdesigns.stores.yahoo.net/higperfronst.html

If that big bolt threads directly into the bar itself, how does that changes its length? Then that bolt itself is basically part of the bar and screwing it out makes the bar longer.

Does save an extra step compared to OEM bar.
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Discussing JT Designs Strut Tower Brace Install in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)