T30 Alutec Strut Bar Installation & Report
OK, this time it's the real thing
Just finished the installation and test driving if the Alutec Strut Bar and here are the steps (for those that haven't yet fitted them and those on order#2)
1. As soon as you open the bonnet and have a look at the 6 strut nuts you will notice that 1 on each side is in a tricky and un-reachable position.
2. I have managed to loosen all other 4 nuts with some force (they're pretty tight) and then tried to loosen the hidden nuts in the corner using a flat 14mm spanner (that didn't work at all), so I had Turkish black coffee and scratched my head thinking how the hell am gonna reach this nut and with what? It was then I remembered that Dave (dviv) is probably fitting his strut bar at the same time as me, so I gave him a call and asked about this "tricky nut" that drove me "nuts" Dave then told me that he managed to damage his in process and took it to a local mechanic (as you would have probably read already in Dave's post) Dave told me that his local mechanic used an offset 14mm ring spanner to get to this hidden nut (here it is)
I quickly went to my mate (local mechanic) and borrowed one from him. I used this spanner to loosen the 2 hidden nuts and it did the job perfectly. (Thanks for the tip Dave)
3. When you take off these 6 nuts you gonna need to take off the strut rings that are attached to them
4. Take off the strut brace and position the bases (one on each side)
5. Tighten all nuts (really well and hard) as they were quite tight when I tried to loosen them, and then attached the brace and tighten it as well.
P.S. Do NOT use excessive force, as you could end-up with something like this. hehehe
This concludes the installation BUT...
My installation process took much longer because of the aftermarket cruise control and the bracket of which was in my way and would not fit along the strut bar base here is a photo when I tried position the strut bar next to the existing cruise control bracket
I had to remove the cruise control bracket and drill a different hole in it to move it a bit so it can sit right next to the strut base. It worked-out well at the end.
Here is the finished product fitted and ready for a test drive.
Here are a couple of pics illustrating the distance between the strut brace and the brake fluid reservoir.
TEST DRIVE REPORT
OK, took the exy for a test-drive and noticed a difference in handling straight away on the 1st corner in my street. I then proceeded to a roundabout and gave it a bit of power at the turn and could feel the exy much more stable on such a hard turn and did not sway at all or cause a body roll.
I then proceeded to one of the streets where I could pick-up enough speed (up to 75kms/hour) and turned into another street and the exy was as stable as a rock.
I also tried doing a U turn in one of the wide street and again, handling was much better than before.
The last test involved having the left front wheel go above a high kerb (in a parked position) and let the other 3 stay on a lower position on the road. I proceeded to open the tailgate and the bonnet (which usually give you trouble when the chassis flex in a position like this) and was happy to find out that both the tailgate and the bonnet opened and closed normally.
The strut bar has definitely improved handling and cornering and I can tell ya that you guys gonna have FUN in roundabouts
Diffidently worth every Dollar spent on it and an addition well worth considering for every xtrail.
Sorry about the long post
Last edited by jalalski, 5/Mar/2012, 8:45 am
23/Jul/2005, 3:00 pm