Looking to do some "Chassis Bracing" - Any thoughts?
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This is a discussion on Looking to do some "Chassis Bracing" - Any thoughts? within the Suspension & Wheels forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Well now that its [hopefully] going to be warming up here in Ohio, I'm getting the urge to get under ...

  1. #1
    Registered User ThatOneGuy18's Avatar
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    Looking to do some "Chassis Bracing" - Any thoughts?

    Well now that its [hopefully] going to be warming up here in Ohio, I'm getting the urge to get under the car and finally do some suspension / stiffening improvements. The car will mostly be an everyday driver, but I do enjoy the pretty consistent "spirited" driving around corners and what not coupled with some auto crosses throughout the season, nothing super regular though. It's an 09 wrx hatch so I'll cut right to it -

    As far as suspension mods, the previous owner had installed a Perrin front sway bar and a Whiteline rear sway bar, along with an SPT strut brace. That's it. I'm fully planning on struts & springs in the near future to replace the stock but in the process of shopping for those, I came across a category on rallysportdirect called "Chassis Bracing". Its a lot to visualize for someone like me without a ton of working experience on the car, but they all seem relatively straight-forward as far as the install and at least from the product descriptions, seem like they would be beneficial when combined with suspension and/or other stiffening mods. I've got a couple thousand set aside for these improvements so as for right now, lets ignore cost.

    Is it worth it to go ahead and get a bunch of these braces and install them? i.e. sway bar mounts, front under brace, rear A brace, rear power brace, 4-point under brace..? Would installing a bunch of these kill the every day drivability of the car by making it too rigid? I'm ok with having a set up that's geared towards handling and performance, but I don't want to be thrown out of the window every time I hit a bump...

    I think I've already decided on a new tranny mount and bushings and a new pitch stop mount, but are there suggestions on the rest?

    Thanks for your input!
    2009 WRX Hatch, WR Blue
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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Do you have any plans to use the car in motorsports? Bracing typically kills classing, so if you're looking to actually compete (instead of just going for self-improvement / fun), make sure you read the rules for what puts you where...

    I would focus more on suspension/driveline bushings over bracing, personally. The one I would consider would be the TiC / CarLabs X-Brace.
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    Registered User ThatOneGuy18's Avatar
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    Interesting. I never even considered what the bracing would do for classes in auto x. Not a huge deal for me really, but thanks for the heads up. Luckily I live about 10 miles from TiC headquarters so I think I'll head over in the next day or two and see if they have time for a chat. They've been helpful in the past.

    I guess my main concern then if anybody can speak to it is how bracing like that would impact the "daily driverness" of the car. Is it too much? Or would it be worth my time to do some / all of the above mentioned?
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    Luke Skywalker Mikie13's Avatar
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    EJ would lose lots of his money if he were living 10 miles away from TiC...
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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    EJ would lose lots of his money if he were living 10 miles away from TiC...
    I'm kinda close to them. Luckily their shipping is "cheap" though =)
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatOneGuy18
    Interesting. I never even considered what the bracing would do for classes in auto x. Not a huge deal for me really, but thanks for the heads up. Luckily I live about 10 miles from TiC headquarters so I think I'll head over in the next day or two and see if they have time for a chat. They've been helpful in the past.

    I guess my main concern then if anybody can speak to it is how bracing like that would impact the "daily driverness" of the car. Is it too much? Or would it be worth my time to do some / all of the above mentioned?
    You live by one of the best vendors in the Subaru game, period, let alone their knowledge of suspension is spot on. You absolutely should go to their HQ...

    Hand Tony/Clint your credit card, tell them your budget, and thank them for the parts they pick out for you. I'm not kidding on this, that is some of the best advice you'll get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13
    EJ would lose lots of his money if he were living 10 miles away from TiC...
    Yes, I would. However, I'd have a huge smile on my face every time I went in there
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    Registered User STiDriven's Avatar
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    No point to do bracing until you've replaced all bushings.......

    Also - you go stiffer springs or coils, you should do bushings as well. Then perhaps bracing.

    Weakest link flexes first, until you fix the weakest (bushings) you won't get much, if any benefit. Even stiffer springs will make bushing slop worse. The bushing will need to flex through it's range of motion before it resists any suspension movement.

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    Registered User ThatOneGuy18's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pointers -

    Stopped into TiC today and got some good advice. I sorta went in as described with the understanding that whatever they suggested would be what I would go with.

    Going with Koni Yellows, RCE Blacks, their "stage 2 drive line" for engine mounts, tranny mount, tranny crossmember bushings, and a Kartboy pitch stop

    Excited to get it all finished and see how it feels!
    2009 WRX Hatch, WR Blue
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    Registered User MercRising's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatOneGuy18 View Post
    Thanks for the pointers -

    Stopped into TiC today and got some good advice. I sorta went in as described with the understanding that whatever they suggested would be what I would go with.

    Going with Koni Yellows, RCE Blacks, their "stage 2 drive line" for engine mounts, tranny mount, tranny crossmember bushings, and a Kartboy pitch stop

    Excited to get it all finished and see how it feels!

    That's sounds like a good days works sir....mmmmm race car! I'm currently teetering between Konis/RCE and GT Worx-Bils/RCE. Both sound like they'd be a welcomed change alone but, with all those bushings and mounts too>>>>> you're stoked!

    Cheers!

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STiDriven View Post
    No point to do bracing until you've replaced all bushings.......

    Also - you go stiffer springs or coils, you should do bushings as well. Then perhaps bracing.

    Weakest link flexes first, until you fix the weakest (bushings) you won't get much, if any benefit. Even stiffer springs will make bushing slop worse. The bushing will need to flex through it's range of motion before it resists any suspension movement.
    I respectfully disagree on part of that.

    While I am a huge fan of replacing bushings, there is a huge benefit to upgrading springs or swaybars before bushings. Especially when you break down the install difficulty and cost (theres a lot of them) of all the common bushings to replace, springs and sways make a good first step. In my opinion, many bushings, including the control arm ones and the steering rack bushings, are more work than they are worth for a newer car. As far as the driveline oriented ones (shifter/mounts/crossmember, etc), that would depend on the persons noise requirements. I personally enjoy them all... but john doe may not, and jane doe almost certainly will not.

    As far as the bushings vs bracing point, I can agree to an extent with that. Not for the same reasons however. I just generally think the newer body is pretty rigid to begin with, and most of your bracing upgrades are going to add more weight to the car than they are worth.


    That was a great set of additions. Did you get their super shift kit? I would HIGHLY recommend it. One of my favorite mods to date.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
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    Registered User mmiller2002's Avatar
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    Personally, I see most of those braces as "jewelry" on a daily driver. As other said, stick to the basics; sway bars, end links, springs, struts, some bushings, good tires, . Some of those parts from TiC will increase your NVH, reducing the daily "driverness", but it may be worth it.
    '02 WRX Wagon
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    Registered User ThatOneGuy18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heide264 View Post

    As far as the bushings vs bracing point, I can agree to an extent with that. Not for the same reasons however. I just generally think the newer body is pretty rigid to begin with, and most of your bracing upgrades are going to add more weight to the car than they are worth.


    That was a great set of additions. Did you get their super shift kit? I would HIGHLY recommend it. One of my favorite mods to date.
    Yup! Apparently forgot to mention that in my previous post. Glad you like it... I'm getting all too excited.

    I sorta ignored the NVH factor when making these decisions - I assumed that downpipe + Invidia N1 would still provide much of the soundtrack, but we'll see.
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  14. #13
    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatOneGuy18 View Post
    Yup! Apparently forgot to mention that in my previous post. Glad you like it... I'm getting all too excited.

    I sorta ignored the NVH factor when making these decisions - I assumed that downpipe + Invidia N1 would still provide much of the soundtrack, but we'll see.
    Good. Those shifter bushings really transform the car.

    The NVH factor isn't bad. I dunno how different it will be in in a WRX vs an STi, but I didn't notice much increase other than in 1st or 2nd gear NVH wise. The GroupN engine mounts and kartboy pitch stop really didn't add much/if any noise during normal driving to me. The engine mounts were a surprisingly nice upgrade after having the other stuff in place.

    That N1 is going to be pretty loud. If it's anything like my friends s2k N1 exhaust... there may be some nasty resonances where you don't want them. Who knows though - to each their own. Can always trade it or sell it if you don't like it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    Registered User STiDriven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heide264 View Post
    I respectfully disagree on part of that.

    While I am a huge fan of replacing bushings, there is a huge benefit to upgrading springs or swaybars before bushings. Especially when you break down the install difficulty and cost (theres a lot of them) of all the common bushings to replace, springs and sways make a good first step. In my opinion, many bushings, including the control arm ones and the steering rack bushings, are more work than they are worth for a newer car. As far as the driveline oriented ones (shifter/mounts/crossmember, etc), that would depend on the persons noise requirements. I personally enjoy them all... but john doe may not, and jane doe almost certainly will not.
    True - I wasn't very clear. There is a big difference noted when upgrading springs/sways. But the bushing slop is still there; the stiffer hardware will just make the engergy transfer through the marshmallow bushing quicker. But you are still left with dynamic toe/camber changes at the limit - a vagueness/numb spot that requires constant minor corrections.

    I did sways/coilovers about a year before I was convinced to do the rear bushings (yes PIA); I did them all with poly. Next auto-x; the precision I now had at the limit was astounding to me. I now understood what that bushing slop felt like and I didn't realize how crappy it felt driving at the limit. The next week I did the front control arm bushings also.

    I didn't mean to imply you need to do bushing first before springs/sways; because yes they will make a bigger overall change in the car. But I'd do bushings before bracing.

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