Under the hood (bonnet) of the DB9 are three structural cross braces linking the strut towers and the firewall in a triangle (natures strongest shape). These braces perform a vital role in the cars handling – stiffening the front of the chassis. If you are about to do some service work like changing your coil packs, spark plugs, PCV valves or even the windshield washer bottle filler neck you may need to remove one or all of these braces.
In later model years you can see from this photo that they changed from three individual pieces making up the brace to a single one-piece triangular brace (also beautiful). My instructions below are for my early model car.
- T50 Torx bit socket and ratchet to remove the large bolts
- T30 Torx bit to remove the washer bottle filler neck bracket
- 15mm box end wrench in case the nuts spin
Removing them should take less than 10 minutes.
Warning: You don’t want to remove them if the car is in some position where the chassis is twisting. For example, if you have the car jacked up with just the left front wheel off the ground, that is inducing a flex stress into the body of the car. If you removed the braces now, the chassis might flex ever so slightly. If you reinstalled the braces with the chassis still in this slightly twisted flexed position you’d be locking the flex in forever. My suggestion is to have the car on level ground, or on a ramp or hoist with all wheels evenly supported, and to NOT reinstall the braces until the car is resting evenly back on level ground.
- Start the process by protecting your fenders(wings). Check out my other post on this. You’ll be using tools and removing large pieces of aluminum that can scratch up your paint in a heartbeat.
- Remove the large brace between the two suspension towers.
- Remove the four bolts using the T50 Torx bit.
- Lift the brace away and set aside someplace where the smooth finish won’t be scratched.
- Remove each of the two diagonal braces next by removing the same four bolts in each, only this time you may need to use the 15mm wrench to hold the underside nuts as needed along the bulkhead. Store these away.
When you remove the right side brace, you will find the windshield washer filler neck is connected to it with a bracket. Remove the single T30 Torx bolt.
I will cover reinstalling the braces including maintenance to the bolts and the torque settings in another post. Incorrectly re-installed braces can lead to chassis creaking, so check out the post.
Here is a short video showing the process of removing them.