Rick’s Pro Tips #2

by | Jun 2, 2022 | 0 comments

Welcome to the Mofab Blog Series (aka Rick’s Pro Tips)! These blogs are meant to give you, the auto enthusiast, a bit of insight into some of the best practices and tricks that we’ve come across during our time as Colorado’s premier speed shop!

Subaru Firewall Repair

Today we are giving you the inside scoop on what our 2008 – 2014 Subaru WRX & STi customers need to keep an eye out for. Unfortunately we are finding that this problem is extremely common and essentially a necessary repair at some point, especially if you’ve upgraded your clutch. This is what we refer to as the notorious “Firewall Repair”.

What’s The Problem?

’08 – ’14 Subaru WRX’s and STi’s have a manufacturing design flaw. When you press on the clutch pedal, torque is transferred from the clutch side (left side) to the throttle side (right side) where the box is mounted on the firewall and the master cylinder is located. Due to this poor design, the torque transfers to weak spot welds of various mounting locations for your pedal assembly and they fail by pulling themselves off the firewall. This failure is known to happen on completely stock vehicles, but is more prone to vehicles that have had an aftermarket clutch installed with increased clamp load, because of the higher pedal pressure needed to operate the clutch.

What’s The Repair?

If caught early the repair can be performed on the vehicle with the dash left in place. We remove the pedal box from under the dash and repair the spot welds. On vehicles where the damage is significant we need to remove the entire dash to make necessary repairs to the cowl and firewall. Torque Solutions & Radium make awesome clutch and brake braces that we install on the firewall and attaches to the pitch stop mount. We use this brace in conjunction with a weld repair when necessary.

An installed Radium clutch brace
An installed Radium clutch brace

More commonly we install the clutch and brake brace as a preventative measure to keep this problem from happening. If you have yet to do a firewall repair on your 2008 – 2014 WRX or STi, you should immediately schedule your car to get the Torque Solutions clutch brace installed.

How Do I Know That I Need This?

Most often you will notice a squeak. You may also notice that when you touch the clutch pedal the brake pedal will also flex and move. In more severe cases or if left untreated, when you try to push in the clutch you cannot get the car into gear because the flex isn’t allowing it to disengage.

What If I Don’t Fix It?

If left unaddressed you will not be able to shift gears on the vehicle. The repair also takes longer to perform due to the spot welds completely removing themselves from the firewall, forcing us to fill the holes in the firewall prior to attempting any repairs. You’ll have to tow your car since it’s no longer driveable. It’ll be in the shop for a significantly longer time. You’ll become heavily dependent on public transportation. You’ll gradually begin adopting and housing feral cats that piss on your furniture. You get it, all the worst things will happen.

What Will Subaru Do About This?

We haven’t had any customers with a successful Subaru warranty claim for this.

The Good News

We have performed this repair so many times that we are typically able to do this as a single day repair. We generally have you drop the vehicle off first thing in the morning and pick it up that same evening. There’s still time for you to be proactive and get the braces installed.

We maintain a stock of each of these braces in-house or can get them the next day. Give us a call prior to coming down for your repair, but we are generally able to squeeze these in the same week.

Interested in a consultation for having us work on your next build? Need to get on the calendar for a dyno protune? Questions about parts pricing or availability? Submit an info request here.

To schedule maintenance, tuning, repairs, purchase parts or talk to one of our experts call 303.699.2000.

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