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Old 02-13-2011, 04:23 PM   #1
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Location: Bay Area, Cali, United States
What I Drive: 2002 Black SVT (gone), 2012 SEL

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My crash bar/splitter creation/installation (kind of a how-to)

So I've had a tow hook on my svtf for awhile now, and up until yesterday, it's been basically purely aesthetics. It was weldled to the factory bumper beam, and would flex if you put any weight on it. So I decided (with some help of a friend) to make sort of a 'crash bar' that would be attached to the frame of the car, and re-weld the tow hook to that. I've also been wanting to create a splitter for a long time, so we decided to tackle both of those in one day. I tried to take pictures along the way to show you guys how we made them in case anyone else was wanting to do the same. Not sure if this qualifies as a how-to or not. lol

but here ya go:

first off, a picture of the car with the bumper and everything in the front of the car off

we decided as part of this crash bar, we would re-make the radiator support as well. we did this because we wanted to be able to remove the crash bar/splitter if needed to. so we used the two bolts on either side of the car that the radiator support were using (red circles), for our bolts/holes for the crash bar.

next we took a thin piece of aluminum to use as a template as we created the bends needed to use those holes and have a mounting part for the support beam

after we got that how we wanted, we got used the same steel that we used for my tow hook 1/8" (I think) thick, and 3" wide.

this stuff does NOT bend easy. so after cutting it to length, we created a couple of relief slits to help us bend it.

once we applied a ton of heat and muscle to this stubborn piece of steel, we used the template to make sure the bends were accurate, then welded the relief slits for strength, and test fitted it on the car.

next we took a 1"x2" piece of square steel tubing, cut it to length, and test welded it to the pieces we just made

after that, we made little "beams" that would connect that piece to the new radiator support. you can see the radiator support on the top part of this picture. The two square holes we cut were for the rubber bushings on the bottom of the radiator. what you can't see in the pictures were the welded nuts on one end of those beams that would be used to bolt the bottom of the radiator support to those new beams.

here it is test fitted to the car. (don't mind the calipers hanging in the background. we were painting those as well. multi-tasking ftw! lol)

after that looked good, we ground the welds for my tow hook, and re-welded it to the new crash bar, test fitted it on the car, and then painted everything.

while the paint was drying for the crash bar, it was time to tackle the splitter. we laid my bumper on some cardboard, and created a design with it. once the design was created, we took the cardboard over to the car, and traced out what would need to be cut for header clearance as well as wheel clearance. once that was done, we placed the carboard template on the alumalite material, and used spray paint as a fast and easy way to trace it. we cut the template out, and took a hand held belt sander to smooth the edges. once everything looked good, we peeled back the protective film, prepped the material and painted it flat black

please ignore the fact that the cutout for the headers looks like a big penis

while the splitter was drying, we attached the crash bar/new radiator support to the car. no idea why it looks like it's still rusted in the pictures. doesn't look like that at all in person. think it was the lighting or something.

we attached an "L" (or elbow) bracket to the radiator support. this is what the front part of the splitter would be attached to. we used a rivet gun and put 5 rivets in that bracket, and 2 in the k member (to attach the rear part of the splitter). We clamped the splitter up to the car and drilled the holes for the bolts.

you can see the rivet on the k member

the splitter clamped to the car

the splitter with the mounting holes drilled in it

installed the splitter to the car, and did some final checking/measuring before we put the bumper on.

put the bumper back on, as well as the headlights and everything else. then isntalled the support beams, took a few steps back, and was loving it.

the final product (please ignore how dirty the car is. new pictures of a much cleaner car will be taken soon lol)

I'm open to any questions/comments/constructive criticism.

Let me know what you guys think!

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Last edited by iminhell; 05-16-2013 at 07:57 PM.
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