Installing extended studs on Caliber SRT4

When you have nothing to do and you are a car junkie ... you find stuff to do :).
So, since I was bored, I decided to widen the stance of the CSRT4 to make it more stable and push those wheels a little more out ... you know ... to make it look prettier :).

Heads up ... it is not an easy process; so if you start doing this, make sure you have the time and the tools you need BEFORE you start working on it :).

What do you need!?

Well, I did this on the CSRT4 so I will be focusing more on this specific setup but the steps are somehow similar for all other makers as well. The tools needed are pretty much the same though.
So, like I've said, this might be slightly different on your setup and car, but for me, the following were required:

  • 4 sets of 5 extended studs (for the Caliber SRT4 you must use part number: ARP #100-7717)
  • 2 set of spacers (only one set if you do not plan to do both front and back)
  • 1 set of OPEN lug nuts
  • 1 trusty hammer :), C clamp or stud removal tool
  • 1 "Slide Hammer Puller Kit" - ONLY - if you need to slide the hub in order to have space to remove/insert the studs (NOT needed for the Caliber SRT4)
  • Impact power tools - not required but very handy ...
  • Lots of patience ... A MUST! :)

Now what!?

Well, first thing first ... raise the front of your car (or the side you plan to work on) on some solid stands and remove your wheel, calipers and rotors.
If you need help with this part, follow THIS DIY. Depending on your car, the steps might be slightly different, but close enough.

Removing the studs ...

Check and see if you have enough space to remove the old studs and especially that you have enough space to insert your new extended studs.
Some cars will have a special "area" (for lack of better term that's how I'll call it) on the hub where you can slide the studs in and out. If your car doesn't have this "area", then you have to go the hard way and remove the hub.
You just need to rotare the hub and place the studs above that area and knock them out.

For the cars that do not have this "area", just by sliding the hub partially out, will give you just enough space to remove/insert the studs. One particular car will be my other "babe" ... the 8th gen Si.
This is where the "Slide Hammer Puller Kit" comes in handy. Just follow their instructions on how to mount it on the hub and slide your hub out just enough to give you room to remove/insert your studs.

Caliber SRT4 ...

On the Caliber SRT4, the front will have this "area" that will allow you to remove the studs without a problem and you will barelly have space to insert the extended ones. But it will work without any issues.

On the back however, you will have to remove the hub :(.
The hub is hold in place by 4 bolts - located in the back of the hub assembly.
You will first need to remove the sensor for the ABS and then the other 4 bolts and the whole asembly should just come out without a problem. As a matter of fact, you might want to hold it because when you remove the last bolt, this thing will just drop to the ground. Well ... almost ... there is still a cable connected to it (no need to remove it).

All you have to do is to slide the hub out of that assembly and then remove the old studs and insert the new ones. This process might require some effort ... take your time and make sure you do not damage the plastic piece where the sensor gets mounted in.

We had a very hard time removing the hub. The build up rust and salt made it impossible to just slide it out. The guys from "Emperial 2000 Auto" helped me out by building a small heat shield that we put around the sensor's housing and then heated the whole thing up and eventually, with some persuasion, the hub came out. They also sand blasted the part and lubricated the hell out of it. Rust should not be a problem anymore ... for a while at least :) (see images).

IMPORTANT!!!

Is a good idea to knock the studs out of their holes BEFORE you slide the hub. And then tighten the new studs in the holes AFTER you put the hub back in its place.

Knocking out the studs ...

To knock the studs out, is not a big deal. Just grab your hammer and with one swift (but firm) move, hit the stud. Repeat if necessary.

Now, a lot of people will jump an say that is a bad idea to do this because the hub will get damaged in the process.
Honestly, I thought the same but then "Mr. Maciej" :) said that if the hub will be so weak, you would need to replace them every single time after driving on any kind of rough roads. It kind of made sense so, after he demonstrated how to "smack it", I used the hammer and I have no issues with any of the hubs.

Now, if you have your doubts, then feel free to use a C clamp (that will be a tough cookie) or the stud removal tool.
Place your chosen press (pretty much that's what the C clamp and stud removal tool are) on top of the stud (make sure the C clamp sits on the hub and not the other end of the stud) and push out the studs. Use the same tools to insert the new studs ... but in reverse - I guess that will be "pull in" :).

Now, if you have the luxury of having some impact power tools, grab an open lug nut - used and not needed anymore - PLUS a wider nut or a couple of wider washers.
First, put the wider nut/washers over the stud and, then grab your open lug nut and thread it on the stud until the open lug nut is nicely sited on the larger nut/washers. Then with your impact power tool, pull the stud in its place.

If possible, have a few of these used open lug nuts/washers around you. I had the "pleasure" of having two open lug nuts strip on me :|.
You don't want to get in the situation where that thing strips on you and then you're stuck ...

IMPORTANT!!!

Make sure that the studs is all the way in and that it is sited properly. If the stud is not sited properly, remove and re-insert it. And don't you dare use your hammer to straighten them out ... you are better off hammering your fingers; that will give better results :).
Jokes aside, if studs are not straight, you will not be able to install your rotors and wheels. So please, pay attention and test fit things.

Before you are putting everything back together, it is a good practice to clean the rust from the hub and put some anti-seize. This will help a little with the rust problem and make things easier to remove later in the future.

IMPORTANT!!!

DO NOT put anti-seize on the studs and DO torque them to your car's specification!

Once the studs are in, all that is left to do is put everything back together and take it out for a spin.
Make sure everything is tight and to the specs.

And that's about it. As always, pay attention, make sure you tighten all the bolts and do a final check before you go for a test drive.
I actually forgot to tighten one of the bolts that holds the back caliper and lost it. Fortunately, the other one was tight and nothing bad happened. Learn from others mistakes and double check everything!

If anyone of you think I have missed anything or you would like to add anything else that will complete this DIY... please let me know and I will add it here.

My results:

Disclaimer!
I am NOT a professional mechanic. Everything I do I gathered from my experience and from other car enthusiasts.
While what I advise and recommend is one way of doing things, please understand that you take your own chances following my DIYs and I cannot be held responsible if you damage your car or hurt yourself by not following the "proper procedures".