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Does anyone have a diagram/manual or jsut simply directions on how to remove the plastic cowl on a 18 Hatchback. I am needing to access the top strut bolt to remove the strut to finish swaping out the front OEM springs to the Ebiach springs.
 

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I believe that piece is all plastic snap closures. The front has little tabs that are visible all along the edge but are pretty flimsy so you kind of just pry those out of the way and then start at one end and firmly pull away the cowl.

Obviously be careful not to break anything but I believe that's all there is to it. It's designed to be easily removeable.
 

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Make sure you take off the wipers too, then it just come up, its in a little slit that connects to the windshield just pull up on it then the rest you can see the weird tabs that you squeeze together and lift up then there is little black plugs that cover up the nuts on the back two on each side.
 

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2014 LT program car, Pull Me Over Red, 1.4T Auto
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Thanks - its on the task list for this weekend. Sounds straight forward. Was just a bit suprised when I looked for the tops of the struts and they were hidden/blocked by the cowl.
NewStruts are next on my to do list.I am approaching 50K miles.
So,Which struts did you install?
Did they stiffen up the suspension?
Any other revisions?
Would either of you consider writing and photographing a How-To for this project?

How-To: Write a Tutorial
 

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**** I wish I would have taken pics. It's really not too bad though. Compressing the spring is by far the worst bit but as long as you're safe and take your time it's not too bad. What isn't clear in any tutorial or manual is the process for torquing the top strut mount nut. One you need a special tool so most people are going to work around that (like I did) and two the actual steps for doing that aren't clear. I ended up taking a measurement before and after on the nut to get it as close as I could because you can't put a torque wrench on it.

Of course most shady tree mechanics are just going to zip it FT torque spec with an impact gun but I personally don't like that because there is a real possibility of damaging the strut mount doing that.

Oh and as for the cowl removal, the only part you have to be careful with is the part that slots into the windshield. Don't yank it out too aggresively or there is a chance you'll break something. Once you remove the wiper arms and unsnap all of the clips from the cowl, you just have to wiggle it and maneuver it free. And take that opportunity to clean out any junk inside of that area where the wiper arms are because you probably won't be back in there for a while :)
 
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