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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if someone already touched base on this but I just thought I would toss up some photos and info from my front cowl install.


If you already have a strut tower brace in your car then this post isn't for you since you already have this part installed. This is more for the Classica crowd who I think are the ones who don't have it. Also for anyone interested in doing your cam down the road I guess knowing how to get the cowl off could be helpful.



First off the part is available from your local Mazda dealer and it takes about a week or so since it comes from California, unless you are at one of the dealers that have it in stock which some do. Mazda Part Number (QNDA-56-49X)


Here is a photo of the oem one in my Classica (right) compared to the new one (left).


I started by loosening the hard line running across underneath the cowl by removing the two 10mm nuts on either side. I then just loosened it and slid it forward and out of the way. There is quite a bit of play in it.




Next I started on the upper plastic portion by removing the plastic clips from underneath that hold the rubber seal. Be careful not to snap these little guys or accidentally pull too hard that you tear the rubber because its easy.



Next I removed the windshield wipers. I was able to easily pop off the covers hiding the 14mm nuts by using my fingernail. Anything small that can be used to pry can do the job.



Next you will need to remove the small covers at either corner of the hood. I used a knife to pop these off and then underneath is a phillips head screw.



Once you do this you will need to disconnect the windshield wiper hose at the center splitter since the plastic cowl is two pieces. Be careful to pull on the leading edge and you will feel the clips pop up and the both pieces will slide out. I wasn't able to get a good photo of this since I popped them on quickly and forgot.



Underneath you will see the cowl. There are 4 10mm bolts holding it from the top, and then 2 on each side from the firewall fora total of 8 10mm bolts.


Install in reverse order and voila. You can now install the strut tower brace of your choosing.

I went with this Megan Racing set which came with the front and rear one for $164 Shipped.



Hopefully this is helpful to those who have been wanting to add a brace but just didn't want to take on the job of installing the cowl. The whole process took me roughly 30-45 minutes and basically three tools. I couldn't even justify cracking a cold one!



Cheers!
 

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Wait, so you're saying the non-Abarth models have a different cowl, and needs to be replaced in order to fit an Abarth-style STB? Sheesh, what were those engineers thinking? Wouldn't it have been much simpler to just use the same cowl on all three models, and just slap an STB on the Abarth? That makes no sense at all to me...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wait, so you're saying the non-Abarth models have a different cowl, and needs to be replaced in order to fit an Abarth-style STB? Sheesh, what were those engineers thinking? Wouldn't it have been much simpler to just use the same cowl on all three models, and just slap an STB on the Abarth? That makes no sense at all to me...

Comparing the two, the cowls are identical except for the fact that the new one has two riveted in pieces of steel that let you add the strut bar. So I guess essentially they're the same design, except one cowl goes through an extra process on the assembly line depending on what model its going to. Non-Abarths get stamped and go on, Abarth gets stamped, gets holes and then the pieces riveted in that hold the bar.

It's the same for the ND Miata. Depending on which one you have they don't have the mounting points either.
 

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Not sure if someone already touched base on this but I just thought I would toss up some photos and info from my front cowl install.


If you already have a strut tower brace in your car then this post isn't for you since you already have this part installed. This is more for the Classica crowd who I think are the ones who don't have it. Also for anyone interested in doing your cam down the road I guess knowing how to get the cowl off could be helpful.



First off the part is available from your local Mazda dealer and it takes about a week or so since it comes from California, unless you are at one of the dealers that have it in stock which some do. Mazda Part Number (QNDA-56-49X)


Here is a photo of the oem one in my Classica (right) compared to the new one (left).


I started by loosening the hard line running across underneath the cowl by removing the two 10mm nuts on either side. I then just loosened it and slid it forward and out of the way. There is quite a bit of play in it.




Next I started on the upper plastic portion by removing the plastic clips from underneath that hold the rubber seal. Be careful not to snap these little guys or accidentally pull too hard that you tear the rubber because its easy.



Next I removed the windshield wipers. I was able to easily pop off the covers hiding the 14mm nuts by using my fingernail. Anything small that can be used to pry can do the job.



Next you will need to remove the small covers at either corner of the hood. I used a knife to pop these off and then underneath is a phillips head screw.



Once you do this you will need to disconnect the windshield wiper hose at the center splitter since the plastic cowl is two pieces. Be careful to pull on the leading edge and you will feel the clips pop up and the both pieces will slide out. I wasn't able to get a good photo of this since I popped them on quickly and forgot.



Underneath you will see the cowl. There are 4 10mm bolts holding it from the top, and then 2 on each side from the firewall fora total of 8 10mm bolts.


Install in reverse order and voila. You can now install the strut tower brace of your choosing.

I went with this Megan Racing set which came with the front and rear one for $164 Shipped.


Hopefully this is helpful to those who have been wanting to add a brace but just didn't want to take on the job of installing the cowl. The whole process took me roughly 30-45 minutes and basically three tools. I couldn't even justify cracking a cold one!



Cheers!
Very good write up and it should help those that plan on digging deeper into the engine.
Your engine bay looks nice!
Does the fuel line sheald fit with the Megan rear bar? @depotdan has the RoadsterSport rear bar and it required a lot of trimming because it hugs the floor and bolts to the gas tank access cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Very good write up and it should help those that plan on digging deeper into the engine.
Your engine bay looks nice!
Does the fuel line shield fit with the Megan rear bar? @depotdan has the RoadsterSport rear bar and it required a lot of trimming because it hugs the floor and bolts to the gas tank access cover.

Thank you!

I am not quite sure. I left all that out since I don't plan on putting anything in my trunk in this car including the carpet. I've left it bare so I can design my mounting brackets for my water/meth kit.
This bar was very straight forward and mounted directly to the tops of the struts and that was that. I already had my trunk fully stripped though from all the stuff i've been up to in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@Juan_servomedia . Engine bay is lookin good. Sanitary and functional. Next mod might be trimming some weight in the battery department?

Dan

Thank you! Funny that is my goal for tomorrow. I have some aluminum laying around and I found a lightweight battery for $40 I am going to try. Its not the 3.5 lb $500 lithium but at 11lb and $40 it should be nice if it'll do the job. I know the turbo needs to run for a bit after shut down which is why a good battery is important so I am going to see how this goes. The car I know it was used on was one requiring 790cca but he didn't leave the battery in the car all the time so I don't know how it would do long term without being on a battery tender.



I am hoping tomorrow at the dyno he has scales so I can get my corner weight and see how it's looking so far.
 

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Wait, so you're saying the non-Abarth models have a different cowl, and needs to be replaced in order to fit an Abarth-style STB? Sheesh, what were those engineers thinking? Wouldn't it have been much simpler to just use the same cowl on all three models, and just slap an STB on the Abarth? That makes no sense at all to me...
The shock tower brackets are the same. Since a strut bar wasn’t in the picture for the Classica and Lusso, the cowl mounting bracket for the shock tower bar was deleted.

Dan
 

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I had to do that when I installed the Euro lite drive. Little nervous at first, but worst was to get to the Cam position connectors. But worth the time
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@;
Nice work !!

A quick question - l recall some time ago reading that the Megan Racing front bar (just) fouled the coolant tank and a slight mod was required to the tank to make it fit. Did you experience anything similar ??

Thank you!

No I did not. I did have to take the two bolts holding it down off though and moving it to the side while I installed the brace then placing it back. Made access to the 14mm nut you see here easier. The only thing that contacts the coolant is the side of the nut and I am not worried about it. Those two things should technically move in sync so no rubbing should occur.


 

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Not sure if someone already touched base on this but I just thought I would toss up some photos and info from my front cowl install.


If you already have a strut tower brace in your car then this post isn't for you since you already have this part installed. This is more for the Classica crowd who I think are the ones who don't have it. Also for anyone interested in doing your cam down the road I guess knowing how to get the cowl off could be helpful.



First off the part is available from your local Mazda dealer and it takes about a week or so since it comes from California, unless you are at one of the dealers that have it in stock which some do. Mazda Part Number (QNDA-56-49X)


Here is a photo of the oem one in my Classica (right) compared to the new one (left).


I started by loosening the hard line running across underneath the cowl by removing the two 10mm nuts on either side. I then just loosened it and slid it forward and out of the way. There is quite a bit of play in it.




Next I started on the upper plastic portion by removing the plastic clips from underneath that hold the rubber seal. Be careful not to snap these little guys or accidentally pull too hard that you tear the rubber because its easy.



Next I removed the windshield wipers. I was able to easily pop off the covers hiding the 14mm nuts by using my fingernail. Anything small that can be used to pry can do the job.



Next you will need to remove the small covers at either corner of the hood. I used a knife to pop these off and then underneath is a phillips head screw.



Once you do this you will need to disconnect the windshield wiper hose at the center splitter since the plastic cowl is two pieces. Be careful to pull on the leading edge and you will feel the clips pop up and the both pieces will slide out. I wasn't able to get a good photo of this since I popped them on quickly and forgot.



Underneath you will see the cowl. There are 4 10mm bolts holding it from the top, and then 2 on each side from the firewall fora total of 8 10mm bolts.


Install in reverse order and voila. You can now install the strut tower brace of your choosing.

I went with this Megan Racing set which came with the front and rear one for $164 Shipped.



Hopefully this is helpful to those who have been wanting to add a brace but just didn't want to take on the job of installing the cowl. The whole process took me roughly 30-45 minutes and basically three tools. I couldn't even justify cracking a cold one!



Cheers!
Thanks for the instructions!

Two questions: did you find any particular torque settings for the 10mm bolts on the mazda cowl?

Also, i ordered a different part number which I cross checked to be the exact same cowl. Out of curiosity, could you try googling n244-56-35x and telling me if it ia the same part? I actually got it off the Japanese cusco site and then cross referenced it off the mazda parts catalogue which had a diagram clearly stating you get this one with the ND if you have the strut brace. The part nb you mentioned i could not find anywhere other than tuning sites. Weird... i have not received the part yet and your post has me worried.

TIA

Thanks for the
 

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Thanks for the instructions!

Two questions: did you find any particular torque settings for the 10mm bolts on the mazda cowl?

Also, i ordered a different part number which I cross checked to be the exact same cowl. Out of curiosity, could you try googling n244-56-35x and telling me if it ia the same part? I actually got it off the Japanese cusco site and then cross referenced it off the mazda parts catalogue which had a diagram clearly stating you get this one with the ND if you have the strut brace. The part nb you mentioned i could not find anywhere other than tuning sites. Weird... i have not received the part yet and your post has me worried.

TIA

Thanks for the
@CostarreraGT


the OP hasn't been online since July last year. So I don't think you will get a response. But from what I can see. It looks like you'll be ok. The part looks the same to me.

this LINK should help for your torque question.

screen-shot too...just incase the link dies...

aloha mike
 

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Thanks for the instructions!

Two questions: did you find any particular torque settings for the 10mm bolts on the mazda cowl?

Also, i ordered a different part number which I cross checked to be the exact same cowl. Out of curiosity, could you try googling n244-56-35x and telling me if it ia the same part? I actually got it off the Japanese cusco site and then cross referenced it off the mazda parts catalogue which had a diagram clearly stating you get this one with the ND if you have the strut brace. The part nb you mentioned i could not find anywhere other than tuning sites. Weird... i have not received the part yet and your post has me worried.

TIA

Thanks for the
@CostarreraGT


the OP hasn't been online since July last year. So I don't think you will get a response. But from what I can see. It looks like you'll be ok. The part looks the same to me.

this LINK should help for your torque question.

screen-shot too...just incase the link dies...

aloha mike
Aloha and Thanks!
Seems like extremely high torque settings for those small nuts... anyway thank you.
In helping me you raised another question though: It says i should disconnect negative pole on the battery, does that make sense?
 

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thats more of a precautionary step then anything. Keep you from shorting anything. I suppose if you really were safety minded...you would disconnect it anytime you are working under the hood. Oil change? wiper fluid refill? etc

good luck

aloha mike
 

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I had to do that when installed the Euro drive lite. only thing left is connect the wires to the cam shaft sensor.
Nasty job, but worth while.
 
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Thanks for the instructions!

Two questions: did you find any particular torque settings for the 10mm bolts on the mazda cowl?

Also, i ordered a different part number which I cross checked to be the exact same cowl. Out of curiosity, could you try googling n244-56-35x and telling me if it ia the same part? I actually got it off the Japanese cusco site and then cross referenced it off the mazda parts catalogue which had a diagram clearly stating you get this one with the ND if you have the strut brace. The part nb you mentioned i could not find anywhere other than tuning sites. Weird... i have not received the part yet and your post has me worried.

TIA

Thanks for the
@CostarreraGT


the OP hasn't been online since July last year. So I don't think you will get a response. But from what I can see. It looks like you'll be ok. The part looks the same to me.

this LINK should help for your torque question.

screen-shot too...just incase the link dies...

aloha mike
I think i figured out the difference in part nbs.
The n244 is just the cowl whereas the qnda is the kit which comes with bunch if nuts and 2 oem bracket pieces which i have no idea if i require (see thumbnail). If anything they should be they same as already in our cars.

Any idea if i need the full kit or am ok with the cowl and the megan bar?
 

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Aloha and Thanks!
Seems like extremely high torque settings for those small nuts... anyway thank you.
In helping me you raised another question though: It says i should disconnect negative pole on the battery, does that make sense?
Pay attention that the torque setting is in inch pounds, not foot pounds so it's not that high. Also, like Mike says, the "official" instructions practically have you disconnecting the negative battery terminal for everything.

I think i figured out the difference in part nbs.
The n244 is just the cowl whereas the qnda is the kit which comes with bunch if nuts and 2 oem bracket pieces which i have no idea if i require (see thumbnail). If anything they should be they same as already in our cars.

Any idea if i need the full kit or am ok with the cowl and the megan bar?
You don't need the OEM brackets if you are going with the Cusco bar. You will need them if you use the Megan bar. I just took mine off on Friday to install the Cusco bar.
 

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Aloha and Thanks!
Seems like extremely high torque settings for those small nuts... anyway thank you.
In helping me you raised another question though: It says i should disconnect negative pole on the battery, does that make sense?
Pay attention that the torque setting is in inch pounds, not foot pounds so it's not that high. Also, like Mike says, the "official" instructions practically have you disconnecting the negative battery terminal for everything.

I think i figured out the difference in part nbs.
The n244 is just the cowl whereas the qnda is the kit which comes with bunch if nuts and 2 oem bracket pieces which i have no idea if i require (see thumbnail). If anything they should be they same as already in our cars.

Any idea if i need the full kit or am ok with the cowl and the megan bar?
You don't need the OEM brackets if you are going with the Cusco bar. You will need them if you use the Megan bar. I just took mine off on Friday to install the Cusco bar.
Thanks a lot. Stupid question: the oem brackets i need are already on the car are they not? And basically the megan beackets fit on top of them...?
 

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Thanks a lot. Stupid question: the oem brackets i need are already on the car are they not? And basically the megan beackets fit on top of them...?
Yes, the OEM brackets are on the car. They are holding your coolant tank and wiring in place. Cusco brackets have all all that built in, the Megan bars do not.
 
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