Wofgang Mobius said that they put the engine compartment brace in at the last
minute. Actually part way through the 77 prototype run. They had reduced the
overall width of the car at the very end of the design process cause it wouldn't
fit in some carwash and gas pump lanes. They took 3" out of the centerline of
the sheet metal and redesigned everything else around that.... REALLY! I am not
making this up.
So when they were driving the first prototypes the engine was basically 3" wider than it was supposed to be in the engine compartment and when they pulled the engines to evaluate wear the engine was stuck in and they had to pry the fender wells apart to get them out. They felt this would not go over well with maintenance types so they put the bar in to stabilize the fender wells and put a procedure in to have the car on its wheels when removing the because they knew all the heavy suspension bits were cantilevered out off of the sheet metal.
Anyway I was standing there slack-jawed when I heard this :) But it came from the guy that dealt with the engineers and managers and had to actually draw all these last minute mods and get them into reality so I put a little validity in his tale.
That being said this is one stiff mutha of a chassis. As far as adjusting the bar. Just put it in and tighten it. It don't matter as long as it is there. If you can get the bolts through the holes it's perfecto. If the bar is straight you are good to go. If you straighten as slightly curved bar and it bends again get an early one or a CF one.
The early cars had 4130 thin wall steel tubes for the engine bar. They must have save a couple grams to put the later aluminum one in.
From: Will Hunt [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2004 2:42 PM
Subject:  Re: S4 Strut brace centre to centre dimensions
I'm interested in Fred's second question, from a chassis rigidity point of view. I've always been able to operate the doors as smoothly when the car is jacked by one point as when it's on all four wheels, and that's a good thing. So how much, if any, change would be expected on a lift vs. on the ground?
The brace is for dynamic environments, nicht war? OTOH, if Fred's car is bent, where does one get the body shop chassis books?
At 01:45 PM -0500 01.14.04, Brendan Campion wrote:
>If you haven't gotten this, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can get you both numbers.
>Fred R had written from a sandy place:
>>Can anyone out there tell me what the "official" centre to centre dimensions are for the strut tower brace. Guess I can always use my "bent" one as a reference.
>>Alternatively can we simply measure the distance from mounting hole to mounting hole with the car in the correct position (which I presume to be mounted on a lift, wheels off the ground?)
>>1990 S4 auto