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Old 07-17-2004, 11:44 AM   #1
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Default need help: side impact bar removal

I don't know exactly where to post this to get the quickest response, so I'll try here. I have searched high and low, and I can't find any tips on removing the side impact bars. I have found 2 bolts, 1 at each end, but they're hard as hell to get to...I can't even figure out what size they, and I definitely can't figure out how to get them out. I read where someonone said to drill a hole in the end of the door to get them out, but I need a few more tips please. I know I'm probably just being a dumbass and it's staring me right in the face, but I'd like to get these out today...so any help at all would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-17-2004, 01:19 PM   #2
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Alright, I figured out that the bolts are 15mm, but no ratchet or wrech that I have will fit in there, due to the curve of the door and the minimal space behind the head of the bolt. So it looks like I will need a different tool. Anybody got any ideas?
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Old 07-17-2004, 01:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody
Alright, I figured out that the bolts are 15mm, but no ratchet or wrech that I have will fit in there, due to the curve of the door and the minimal space behind the head of the bolt. So it looks like I will need a different tool. Anybody got any ideas?
I am about to do this also but I have 3 bolts. (1) 15mm on the one side and (2) 10mm on the other. I slipped the said sockets over the said bolts but you can't get a ratchet onto it. No room. I tried a ratchet wrench too. No go. My wrenches are straight but I wonder if a wrench with the curve in it would work?

My plan is to go to Sears to get sockets that you can slip a wrench onto it. That's my plan anyway. I'll find something at Sears that will work. I'm going tonight so I'll let ya know what I come up with.

Then I'll cut the bar in half and pull it out. Some have bored a hole in the door and slid the door bar out. I'm not boring a hole in my door though.
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Old 07-17-2004, 01:55 PM   #4
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all i didi was grabbed my grinder with a small cutoff wheel, and went to town! cut it off at both ends and slid it out! it is alot of work for 5#'s, lol!!!
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Old 07-17-2004, 02:15 PM   #5
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Are they 5lbs each or 5lbs total?
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Old 07-17-2004, 05:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Are they 5lbs each or 5lbs total?
I heard 7.5 lbs. each. I guess the 2 stubs and the 3 bolts on each side are worth 2.5 lbs. over cutting them off and leaving the stubs and bolts in place. I'm not gonna do that.

Anyway, I just tried a #10 X 1/4" swivel socket. It will go onto the nut. Then I tried to insert an extension into the socket so I could turn the socket. Well, my car is in the enclosed trailer and there is NO ROOM to work so I couldn't get that sucker on there. I gave up for now. With some room and some patience this will work with the 10mm bolts. I have a 15mm X 3/8 swivel socket. I'll try that at a later date. I need to pull the car out of the trailer but it will be raining for the next 2 or 3 days.

I thought of grinding a socket down until it will still be functional. The socket and ratchet method may work then.

Does anybody know what they are doing? I will get those suckers out even if I need to make a tool.
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Old 07-17-2004, 05:54 PM   #7
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I was able to get a wrench that i heated up and bent to configure to the door curves and took out the bolts then I put some heat shield material behind it and used a cutting torch to cut the damn bars 2 times to get them out without cutting a hole in the door. I also used a cutoff grinder but it was taking to long so I got the torch out, torch went right though it lol. Its alot of work but if your counting lbs it adds up.

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Old 07-17-2004, 06:22 PM   #8
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What is the total weight savings for both bars?I have messed with it twice, but
they are still in there and I think about that dead weight all the time.

I was just getting ready to pull the doors apart for the third time because
it angers me that they are still in there and I will NOT give up this time.
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Old 07-17-2004, 06:28 PM   #9
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I use a very thin 1/4" swivel ratchet that I got from Mac Tools ($65.00) and a Craftsman socket. I also remove the door and slide the bar out thru the hole that the factory wires go thru. It is much faster and cleaner to do it the right way than using a grinder.

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Old 07-17-2004, 06:29 PM   #10
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About six pounds each.
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Old 07-17-2004, 07:55 PM   #11
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please don't do this mod....please...in my accident, those bars basically kept my car from crushing me. those doors aren't **** without those bars. I know most will roll their eyes...like I did but after my accident (someone hit me) I will leave those things in and deal with the slower et.
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Old 07-17-2004, 08:24 PM   #12
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yeah but if these cars arent driven on the street, and have a full rollcage, then i dont see a prob with removing them
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Old 07-17-2004, 08:42 PM   #13
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I tried cutting them out, they got the best of me again. I am mad.
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Old 07-17-2004, 09:38 PM   #14
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Thanks for all of the replies. It makes me feel a little better knowing that I'm not the only one having a tough time with those things.

Tom, let me know if you find something that works. Thanks man.

Cablebandit, if I wasn't installing a cage, I don't think I'd do it. I gave the safety part some thought too. But I figure that the side bar in a cage is just as strong.
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Old 07-17-2004, 10:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cablebandit
please don't do this mod....please...in my accident, those bars basically kept my car from crushing me. those doors aren't **** without those bars. I know most will roll their eyes...like I did but after my accident (someone hit me) I will leave those things in and deal with the slower et.
With a full cage you are ok but I would leave them in. Extra protection is worth it
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Old 07-18-2004, 08:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cablebandit
please don't do this mod....please...in my accident, those bars basically kept my car from crushing me. those doors aren't **** without those bars. I know most will roll their eyes...like I did but after my accident (someone hit me) I will leave those things in and deal with the slower et.
Your right cablebandit, on the street I would not take the bars out. My car will probably never see the street again. I have a full 12 point roll cage.

When I eventually install light weight doors the bars won't be there so I might as well get started.

Woody, I'll let you know. I'm going to grind my 15mm socket down and try that.

I know these bars will save only 10 to 15 lbs but I took out about 5 lbs the other day and that makes 15 to 20 lbs total. Weight reduction is acumulative and I'm still working on it
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Old 07-18-2004, 01:48 PM   #17
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I made two tools to get these out retty easily.
1. cut a 15 mm socket as far as you cab and it still grips the nut. then just use a ratchet to loosen it and do the rest by hand.
2. take a regular 10 mm craftsman wrench and cut about an inch off the open end part. this way you can get the first bolt from the inside. and the second bolt i grinded a slit on the edge of the door (door jam where the hinge is) to get the wrench in thru there and got the last bolt.

Then just cut a hole about the size of a lemon in the bottom back of the door and pull the bar out thru there. or if you don't wanna cut a big hole in your door you can cut the bar in half and get both peices out. but thse bars are VERY thick. looks like atleast .125"
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Old 07-18-2004, 07:47 PM   #18
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I got the drivers side door bar out and it took me 4 hours. All the nuts and bolts too. This is not an easy thing to accomplish. I don't care what anybody say's, this is not easy.

Here is what I did. I went to Sears and looked over all the tools. My wife brings me a bolt-out remover. Part #952166 low profile to work in tight spots. I said good find baby. I think this will work. $20. She was SOO proud of herself

Slip this thing over the 15mm nut and put a regular combination wrench on it and turn. This nut loosened right up and took it off the rest of the way with my fingers. I said to myself "man this is going to be a piece of cake".

WRONG. Those 2 10mm bolts ( the 15mm is a nut and the 10mm's are bolts ) have a smooth shank on them. The shank is wider than the threaded section.

I put the 10mm bolt extractor on the outside bolt "closest to the front of the car" and slid a combination wrench on it and it broke loose but would never loosen up because of the smooth shank. This bolt faught me all the way. Little turns at a time while the bolt extractor decided to fall into the door bar itself I had a flexable magnet on hand an with a little aggrivation I got it out. This proceedure happened 4 or 5 times so I was getting pissed. I took a deep breath and continued I got the bolt out far enough to get a 10mm wratchet wrench on there and at this point it came out pretty fast but it was tight the whole way out till the very last turn. NO WAY can someone back these out by hand. NO WAY. At least in my 99 Camaro you ain't.

OK, 1 more 10 mm to go. This one the bolt extractor wouldn'r work because it is protected by lots of steel. Couldn't get the wrench on it to loosen it. I had to grind down a 10 mm socket. WAY DOWN till it barely would work. Now I backed out the 10mm with a regular 1/4" wratchet a few turns at a time until I had to stop or I wasn't gonna get the wratchet off the bolt because it was pinned against the door skin. I barley got the wratchet off the bolt and again I used a 10mm wratchet wrench to get it out the rest of the way. This bolt ALSO fought me all the way till the last turn. It was tight the whole way out.

OK, Now I got to get the door bar out. I left it in place and used a small air cutting tool with a thin disc. You need to very very careful because this bar is really close to the door skin. One slip and, well we won't go there Anyway that is why I used this tool very carefully. Took about 1/2 hour to cut through and take about 6 or 7 inches off the bar.

At this point I was able to pull the door bar out of its perches and pull the bar close to me or away from the door skin. I then made another cut off with a saw zaw and a short metal cutting blade. This cut off was about a foot long and it was quick with the saw zaw. The door bar still wouldn't come out so I had to make another cut and it was done.

I bribed my wife to vacuum the shavings from the inside of the door and I went right to the fridge and popped open one of those Mike's Hard Lemonade's I am having a Hard Lemonade as I type wondering why in the SAM HELL I even started this weight reduction mod.

OH ya I almost forgot. Before the MHL I weighed the bar pieces less the bolt and nuts on my bathroom scale. Not very accurate but it said 7lbs. I'll take these pieces to the Post Office tomorrow and weigh them.

So there you have it folks. If you want to drive yourself crazy for 14 or 15 lbs. be my quest.

One more side to go Damn

I'm gonna get me another lemonade

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Old 07-18-2004, 07:55 PM   #19
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Tom, thanks for sharing your experience. Sounds like a lot fun! I might have to wait to do this one...or pay someone else to do it.
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Old 07-18-2004, 07:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody
Tom, thanks for sharing your experience. Sounds like a lot fun! I might have to wait to do this one...or pay someone else to do it.
I'll do it for 100 cases of Mikes Hard Lemonade
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Old 07-18-2004, 07:57 PM
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