Before I get into explaining all about why you would need to get these gussets and how to install them, let me explain why I didn’t post a blog last week. If you read the last blog post, you would know that I was applying for a new job and wasn’t sure when I would be able to do any car projects. I ended up getting that new position, and had to immediately start my new job just 7 days after getting the good news that I had gotten the new position. This meant that I had to work 8 days straight at my old position, then start my new position at a new location and work there for another 3 days before I finally had a day off. (not complaining) Working all those days straight meant it was difficult to do any car projects, and create content. Even as you read this, I’m still trying to find a new groove to get into for getting content and posting stuff. Unfortunately, my new days off will be Wed/Thurs and no doubt this will put a damper on doing track events. (since usually every HPDE event is on Friday, Saturday, Or sunday) Yes, of course I will be able to request time off, but during my first few months im not going to be asking for anything extra. Fear not though, Ever, Patrick, Scott, and Nate will still be busy doing events and hopefully I will be able to get some content from them.
Anyways, a few weeks back Patrick decided to part out his Integra.
To read more about his integra you can click the link below.
His Integra was a total track car: Stripped, straight pipe, No A/C, sphericals, etc.. definitely not drivable on the street, let alone a daily. His S2000 was his Daily: A/C, Quiet, rubber bushings, cruise control, blah, blah, blah. After nearly beating his PB’s that he had set in his integra with his “daily” S2000, it was becoming more apparent that RWD was king and only children play with FWD cars. He decided that it was time to get rid of the integra, because it’s not like he was ever going to drive it again and for someone that’s mainly focused on becoming a better driver, RWD is really the way to go. Somewhere in between all this he bought a 97 Honda CRV to use as his new daily.
Slowly the S2000 is now starting to become more of a track car and less of a daily. He’s ditched the quiet comptech exhaust and replaced it with a non resonated Renegade system, removed the the air idle assist, and picked up some 17×10 ICB motorsport AE seven forged wheels with Nt01’s.
Going off a recommendation by seasoned track enthusiast, Kam. Patrick knew that with all that added grip that he would have to gusset his upper control arm mounts. On an AP1 chassis anytime you upgrade to a larger front sway bar or get a tire with a 200 tw rating or less, it’s recommended to strengthen the front upper control arm mounts on the chassis. This can be done by adding some stitch welds to the stock mounts, making your own gussets, or buying a gusset kit. On the AP2 chassis it’s less common to have front upper control arm mount issues, because they were made beefier with added bracing from the factory. However, on an AP2 chassis it’s still a good idea to gusset if you plan on tracking your car.
Below is what it looks like when the mounts crack, and even tear. (Pictures aren’t mine, I got them form S2Ki)
On Patricks AP1 he not only has an upgraded front sway bar, but he now has 17×10’s with NT01’s and tracks the fuck out of his S2000. All of this meant it was a given that he would need to do this preventative modification.
There are many gusset kits on the market, but Patrick decided to go with the Origin fabrication one. He knows this kit is overkill, but it’s better to have complete confidence in your car’s ability than any hint of doubt. Besides there is no negative repercussions to this gusset kit.
Starting out you will need to:
- Jack up the front of the car
- Take the front wheel off
- Remove the bolts for the upper control arm
- Remove the ABS wire, ABS sensor, and leave hanging off to the side out of the way
- Remove the Coilover/Strut (bolts on top hat, and the one through the LCA)
- Remove caliper and pads (you can leave the caliper bracket bolted on)
- Remove the soft brake line from the hard line.
- Remove the hardline from the bracket, tighten the softline back to the hard line to reduce air in brakes. (this is done so you can move the hardline out of the way for cleaning and welding)
- Place caliper off to side
- Remove lower ball joint
- We left he knuckle hanging by the tie rod, propped up on wood. You can just remove the whole knuckle if you want.
- Now there is room to starting prepping the surface for welding.
- Use various wire wheels to remove paint and seam sealer. (the cleaner you get it, the easier it will be to weld)
- Test fit to ensure there is no paint of seam sealer where you will be welding
- To ensure the welds are as clean as possible, make sure you clean the gusset kit pieces with brake clean or similar, and once they are clean try to to touch where you will be welding.
- Get a damp large towel and cover the tie rod boots, brake lines, and anything else that could get ruined from welding sparks, or slag. You will also need to remove some fender liner clips (not all) to allow the liner to be moved away from where you will weld.
- Tack in the brackets to make sure it all fits tightly (use light hammering to help get a snug fit) this wasn’t necessary on his car though.
- To prevent any potential warping during the welding the process, install the bolt and snug it down. You can see there is tape over the exposed threads to prevent any damage to them. Installing the bolt will also prevent slag from getting on the nut, which might cause the bolt/nut to strip out when reinstalling which would be a major headache.
Above you can really see how well the Origin fabrication kit fits.
- Once all tacked and you’re happy with the fitment, begin to weld them. Some of the chassis steel is pretty thin, so be careful when welding you don’t melt through it.
- Allow to cool, then clean up the surface and spray self etching primer. (Patrick is going to paint match it latter)
- Now reinstall in reverse order.
- Do the other side
- Then bleed brakes
It is best to expect this project will take 5-8 hours. This is mainly because you need to take apart the whole front suspension, clean off so much paint/sealer, and bleed brakes. Make sure you have enough wire wheels, and brake fluid prior to starting the project. You should have some welding experience as well. If your local to Vegas, we would love to install your kit.
Special thanks to Ever and Patrick for documenting the process and helping me with the write up since I’ve just been working everyday. Im bummed I missed out on all the fun they had doing this project. Also thanks to all the readers for being so understanding during this new chapter in my life. Don’t worry, the Blogs not going anywhere i’m just trying to adapt to my new work life. If you follow me in instagram (@Functiontheory) you will see that my brothers car is now gone out of my garage, which means I can now begin my B16 swap in my 4 door. This means tons of swap content will be coming your way soon.
If you have any questions regarding anything about gusseting your S2000, or any other questions. Please don’t hesitate to reach out Via email: Billy@functiontheory.com, instagram @functiontheory, or just comment below. I will respond to all, and if you like what we are doing please help by sharing or telling a friend about us.