September 13, 2009

Autopower Rollbar

Looks like I finally got to install my rollbar that has been hanging out in the garage for over a month! I want to give a big thanks to Oleg and Josh for their help in this little project, and thanks to James and Expo1 on how to install, tips for sealing and undercoating, the works. As you can see, the final result came out awesome and I was really happy that I painted the rear and bar flat black, as everything came out smooth and blended perfect. One of the added benefits of doing the interior the same color as the rollbar is that when we scratched a bit of the metal to install the bar, I just sprayed it after with flat black.

Below is my guide on how I did the install. I was recommended to do it one way, and read somewhere else to do it another, but so I'm glad to hear suggestions for other viewers but this way is how we approached it and it came out great!

Tools to have should be
  1. Power Drill
  2. Lubricant for the Drill Bit (we used PB Blast)
  3. 3/8 Drill Bit
  4. 14 Open End Wrench
  5. 14 Socket with Wrench
  6. Rustolium Underbody Rubberized Spray
  7. Black RTV Silicone Sealant
  8. Touch up paint (if you care about scrapes inside your car)
  9. Phillips Screw Driver
  10. Normal Tools to remove your wheels (socket, jackstands and jack, etc)
  11. Trusty and "overly willing to help" friend
  12. Patience and food
Now, we started off with the car already gutted (if you had read the previous post you'll see that my carpet has been removed from front chairs to the back and the rest of the rear is gone) so we had little to no prep work other than pushing the seats forward as much as possible. Once you're done prepping the rear by removing the rear seats, the side plastic coverings, and pushing the carpet out of the way, follow the steps below.

  1. Bring the rollbar into the car with your friend. Be sure to have one of you follow the bar into the car, climbing over the powerplant frame and out the other side. Just guide the feet through, and aim the top of the bar towards the rear of the car.
  2. Once the bar is in, position it so that the feet of the rollbar is on the floor and against the back of the rear seat molding? Not sure what you call it, but basically put the feet back as far as you can. That is where you'll want the rollbar in the end.
  3. Place in the legs into the rollbar. Line up the holes in the legs with the holes on the rollbar piping. Be sure that the feet of the back legs are set so the 2 holes are faced down and not up. (look at the backing picture below)
  4. Bolt in the the legs onto the rollbar. Be sure to use the neoprene nuts for the bolts on the legs.
  5. Once the legs are prepared properly, slide the rollbar back in the car as much as possible so that the feet of the hoop are against the frame where you saw before.
  6. We started drilling the feet of the hoop with the drill, doing one hole at a time. We drilled one hole on the right side, then one hole on the left.
  7. After the drill, we bolted those holes so it would help keep the rollbar in place during the drilling of the other holes.
  8. From here, we drilled so that it was a cross pattern like putting on a wheel. So if you do do the bottom right hole, you want to do the upper left hole. Be sure to bolt the holes after you make them.
  9. Once the hoop legs are done and bolted in decently enough to hold it in place, it's time to jack the car up to do the rear.
  10. Once the car is jacked up at the rear, be sure to remove the rear wheels, and rear wheel well lining.
  11. Go into the car and do the same as you did with the hoop feet..one at a time on each side, with a bolt right after to keep it firmly in.
  12. Once all holes are drilled, we took the nuts off the bottom of the feet to the hoop to prepare the backing plate. Spread RTV Silicone sealant all over the plate so that it will seal once you place it up against the bottom of the car. Place some nuts under the plates to hold the plates in place for the hoop.
  13. Do the same for the wheel well bolts now.
  14. Once plates are on all feet, under the car, its time to start really bolting in the bar. We started tightening the hoop first, getting one side a decent amount, then making the opposite side identically tight.
  15. After the two hoop feet are decently tight (not full), do the same for the rear feet in the wheel well.
  16. From here start tightening all of the bolts until you no longer can, evenly throughout the car. A final step we did to ensure the bolts were on as tight as possible was took the impact gun to the top of the feet (in the car) while another person used the wrench to keep the nut from moving under the car.
  17. After a couple of quick jolts, the bolts are as tight as possible. From here put on the remaining nuts onto the bolt so that the end result is two nuts per bolt (see picture of finished bottom)
  18. Once done and ensuring that everything is torqued nicely, spread RTV Silicone along the edges of the plating under the car. You'll notice that RTV has come out since you compressed the plate against the car, creating a smoosh effect. Just be sure to spread enough around the plating so that it's as sealed as possible.
  19. Once done with the sealant, the last step will be to spray the rustolium undercoating rubber spray all over the plating and bolts under the car, and inside the wheel well. This will ensure that everything is protected and sealed so you won't run into any rusting issues in the near future.
  20. Once done, patch the car back up and you should be done! Be sure to touch up any scrapes or scratches that may have happened while installing the bar.
To wrap harnesses around the rollbar, I followed this video from Schroth on youtube. I'm not sure if this is the completely correct way to wrap it, but I'm sure they know their stuff.
Video
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