The front strut brace is a common modification on many cars, including the mk2 Focus ST 225 and RS models.
It’s an easy modification to do, requiring only basic tools and minimal mechanical knowledge, this mod will improve the handling and chassis rigidity of your car.
A strut brace reduces chassis and body flex by adding a reinforcement bar between the two front struts.
- WD40 (not required)
- Pliers / flathead screwdriver (not required)
- Locktite (not required)
- Socket set (required)
- Torx set (required)
You may require the use of WD40 depending on the condition and age of the bolts that require removal, the flathead screwdriver or pliers may help you to remove the scuttle panel clips.
The locktite can be used on the new bolts for extra safety and peace of mind.
Step 1: Make sure car is a on level surface
Make sure your car is on a flat and level surface, this ensures that the struts have equal compression and forces on them.
Step 2: Open the bonnet, remove the wipers and scuttle panel
Open the bonnet and remove the scuttle panel by first removing the two front wipers. To do this, take off the rubber caps, spray some WD40 on the bolts and let soak for 5 minutes, then remove the nuts (on the lefthand-most side of the wiper) by turning them counter-clockwise.
Tip: The wipers apply pressure on the bolts from the side, push down on the wiper arm where the two sections connect to pop them off.
Once the wipers are removed there are several metal clips on the front of the scuttle panel, remove them either by hand or with the help of a flathead screwdriver or pliers.
The scuttle panel should simply lift away once these are removed.
You’ll see a secondary panel below the scuttle panel, it’s held in by two Torx screws either side. Loosen these (you may need to remove one of the screws) and the panel should slot out.
Step 3: Remove original strut brace
The original strut brace on the mk2 focus is held in by three bolts on either side. You will need a socket set to remove these, simply find the right size socket and turn it counter-clockwise to loosen them.
Once all are loosened, remove the bolts and the original strut brace.
Step 4: Fit the new strut brace
It should simply be a bolt-on procedure.
Place the new strut brace into place, apply locktite to the bolts (if you want to, I do recommend it though) and put the bolts back into their original locations and tighten them back down.
Step 5: Check it over and reinstall wipers and scuttle panel
Check all six bolts to ensure they’re secure and begin reinstalling the wipers and scuttle panel, follow step 1 and 2 in reverse order.
Fit lower scuttle panel back, then upper scuttle panel and then fit the wipers back into place.