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Quick Q: Tubing on front braces


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On the two front braces between the strut towers and front radiator support: My car has a piece of black tubing on the one that hangs over the battery, but not the one over the air cleaner. Is there supposed to be one over the air cleaner?

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On the two front braces between the strut towers and front radiator support: My car has a piece of black tubing on the one that hangs over the battery, but not the one over the air cleaner. Is there supposed to be one over the air cleaner?

On all of the Reattas that I have owned or looked at the tube was only over the battery, I questioned why and was told the battery gave off a gas that caused issues with the brace. I have not ever seen a car with the plastic that covers the brace on the air cleaner box

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Lets do a poll...........

list your car year and vin plus if it has it only on the battery side or both.

I just checked my late 1991 coupe and it has plastic on the battery side and the drivers side part is flattened to clear the air cleaner..... they are not the same part even without the plastic

Also I suspect the plastic was there to avoid touching the grounded brace if the car was jumpered.

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)
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I have had 7 Reattas (still have 6) and have seen quite a few for sale and in wrecking yards. All had the plastic on the battery side. Rivieras are the same. Never saw one with the insulator on the air cleaner (drivers) side.
Now you have. :) I didn't take it off but it doesn't appear to have a flat on the bottom side. It fits properly and appears to be stock.

post-52331-143138183023_thumb.jpg

post-52331-143138183027_thumb.jpg

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88 - both sides, short thicker piece over air cleaner

90 - battery only, flattened over air cleaner

Battery side on both is almost full length of rod, split on botton, relatively hard thin plastic

88 aircleaner side is much shorter and seems softer/ more like hose/not split. Brace is not flattened.

Note: wonder if there was concern about shorting a top terminal battery (Optimas have both top and side terminals).

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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  • 1 year later...

My '90 convertible is missing the drivers side brace. Seems PO'ner snapped the bolt off in the strut tower. Whats a good way to back the broken bolt out? I have a set of easy-outs but none of my old drill bits are hard enough to sink a hole in the broken bolt to back it out with an easy-out. Thoughts?

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Your going to have to invest in some new drill bits then. (At least TIN coated if not cobalt)

Get a center punch too if you don't have one.

You need to carefully drill down the center of the bolt shaft till you can seat an easy out if you can.

If easy out won't work, you'll need to drill the whole bolt shaft to the point you can retap the hole or worst case, oversize the hole and tap for next larger bolt size, or use a heli-coil to restore the original threads.

Where are the forum's machinists with more suggestions?

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Your going to have to invest in some new drill bits then. (At least TIN coated if not cobalt)

Get a center punch too if you don't have one.

You need to carefully drill down the center of the bolt shaft till you can seat an easy out if you can.

If easy out won't work, you'll need to drill the whole bolt shaft to the point you can retap the hole or worst case, oversize the hole and tap for next larger bolt size, or use a heli-coil to restore the original threads.

Where are the forum's machinists with more suggestions?

You gave pretty good advice. I recommend spraying the broken bolt a few times with penetrating oil (Kroil is the best IMO) a day or so before trying to remove it with the easy-out. Use carbide tipped drill bits. Start with a pilot hole and follow up with a bit about 3/4 the diameter of the bolt. The best advice I could give is don't break the easy-out. :D It's nearly impossible to drill out an easy-out.
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Maybe you need to lower your sights. Mine have some of the screw sticking into the wheel well. Once free (Kroil, PB Blaser soak) it may be easier to grab the bottom & turn it the rest of the way through into the fenderwell.

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mine has neither of these tubings but theyve been painted so.. Every GM product i've seen with these braces has it over the rod over the battery, even if it's a 90 degree brace in the back of the engine compartment there's tubing to protect it over the battery only. but nowhere else

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Since this necro-thread has been revived, note that the 88s have the plastic tubing on both braces. However on the '89-'91s, the drivers side brace is flattened and has no tubing. I guess this should be included in the Judging Manual along with the gray valve caps.

The thing that led to this question was that on my car, the tubing on the brace (battery side, since I have a '90) was badly cracked, so I picked up a nice one off a wrecked car. Then I got to wondering why there wasn't one on the drivers side - and if it was 'supposed' to have one.

Not sure I buy the battery fume explanation. The tubing has a slit on the bottom, so the metal is still exposed to fumes. And why would the '88 (and I presume, the '86-88 Riviera) have tubing on the drivers side? Am thinking that maybe it damps some vibrations that you would need test equipment to detect. But even that doesn't explain why it was elided after '88. Maybe with the flattened shape, it didn't ring anymore? But then why wouldn't they have flattened both sides...

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My '91 flop top doesn't have tubes. It has flat triangular shaped braces in the front corners.

The one over the washer bottle has a fill hole in the center. The one over the battery has a heavy plastic covering over the leading edge to prevent shorts when using a wrench on the positive terminal lug.

Bob

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Oh yeah - good point. I forgot about those triangular braces in the '91 'verts.

I can see putting the tubing over the battery side, like you say, to keep wrenches from hitting ground. But I still wonder why there was tubing on the drivers side of the '88 cars? The left and right used different parts and tubing, so one can't argue commonality. I can imagine the newer flattened brace on the drivers side makes it easier to remove the lid on the relay center and air filter box than with the earlier brace. But since I have never worked on (or even seen in person) an '88, I wouldn't know for sure.

Maybe also to keep the hood from rattling against the brace? And with the flattened version the tubing was no longer necessary?

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Well... I just saw an '89 today that had the original style brace on the drivers side. Very low serial number - 900084. Therefore it seems that the move to the newer brace style was 'slipstreamed' in '89. And yeah - on this car there was no way to remove the relay box cover without removing the brace - like one can on my '90. The brace is covered with a foam rubber, rather than hard plastic tubing - and it lays right on top of the air cleaner box cover and the relay box cover. So clearly there to prevent rattling.

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