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    Thread: How many times can the .:R feel like a whole different car? Add a tick for the UNIbrace

    1. Member M00NEY's Avatar
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      05-05-2009 05:01 PM #1
      I'll post some pics when I get around to taking them, but I gotta tell you guys that this addition was a great one for me.
      Many of us are familiar with the now defunct TST Stressbrace. Since TST is no longer selling it, it si no longer available. BUT!!!
      It has been reborn. Just about the same design as the TST, the UNIbrace was designed by the same man who brought us the highly acclaimed TST design, and I am here to tell you that that man knows what he is doing.
      My experience goes like this:
      I wanted to firm things up for TOD this year. Traditionally, TOD is the excuse or reason that I come up with to do a modification or two to the performance side of the R. After a whole lot of searching, calling, talking, e-mailing, posting, talking some more, calling again, leaving messages... it does go on... but after all that I decided to go with a new offering that was being made available to me somewhat privately (there are a number of others on here who also got involved, but we will let them speak for themselves) - the UNIbrace.
      Timing was tight to say the least, but the run went into production and shipped to moe JUST in time to put the box in the car and head down to NC/TN for one hell of a good time with a whole bunch of cool cats - which actually ended up being the most PERFECT way to do all this.
      So I arrive - make a few runs Thursday evening, and then we get started installing not one, but two UNIbraces in the (thankfully VERY level) driveway of our cabinet in Fontanna Village.
      Chris went first and all the while, I ended up getting hungry - so I dipped out and went to dinner. Got back and had run out of daylight, but Chris's was in and set. My car simply had the rear seats out, so we went for a run.
      I had never tun the Dragon with no rear seats before and I was a little nervous about that, so I took it a little on the easy side, but I learned for myself that the rear seats DO add a lot of rigidity to the rear end of the R. IMO, this turned out to be an EXCELLENT idea to do since it gave me a whole new point to compare on.
      Next morning (Friday) we jumped in and got my brace installed before lunch. The install was straight ahead. The instructions provided were spot on and we really took our time, measuring, re-measuring, drilling, waiting for the air compressor - the works.
      Once in, we ate and drove.
      I gotta tell you guys, this thing totally rocks. Really does make the car feel like a different animal. I found the rear much more tossable, easier to hang out and found a new level of confidence in the predictability of the car.
      The UNIbrace, should you ba able to get your hands on one (PM me if you want a hint) is an excellent addition to this platform. And from th e looks of it, we will be able to get them...
      I am sur emore info is on the way from others, but I will add to this as my experience grows...
      For now, I am one HAPPY CAMPER!!

      I still LOVE MY UNIbrace!!! (UNIbruce? )


      Modified by M00NEY at 7:55 PM 1-15-2010
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    2. 05-05-2009 05:09 PM #2
      haven't installed mine yet, anxious for it though.

    3. 05-05-2009 05:36 PM #3
      Once it's installed and all set up, how easy is it to remove? I use the R for cargo and a dog every now and again, so I need the full, flat cargo area pretty regularly.
      perhaps we can meet up one weekend and I can check it out?
      TIA
      Steve

    4. Member M00NEY's Avatar
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      05-05-2009 06:16 PM #4
      Of course Steve!! - and it is 4 bolts. EZ to remove and replace...
      ...
      Also I have been asked for some pics, but I am having a tough time pulling any images from the installation instructions and alas, I have none of my own. However, I have been made aware of the fact that Harepower will be posting some pics this evening...
      Sorry I cannot supply - but muh boy's got it
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    5. Member Harepower's Avatar
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      05-05-2009 07:46 PM #5
      Mucho Grassy-ass my friend [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      Pics below
      Easy to install, but measure, check, measure, check, measure, check...on and on and on.
      -Get the PROPER NUTSERT tool that is speced. Reef that Mofo down until you got veins popping out. Then tighten it again. I used air ratchet to tighten the lower 2 screws into the nutserts and the nutserts did not give, but I did just drilled my lower holes 1 size larger to make this less of a strain for removal (on the nutsert, not me). Anyone local to me is welcome to borrow the tool (not likely making it easier to offer ).
      -actually use a center punch.... then start with 1/8" up to 1/2" bits. We only had the 2 sizes and a small air compressor. Upsizing bits would've cut our time more than in half. Seriously most of our install was waiting on the compressor.
      -Use BRAND new drill bits. 1 of ea. bit did Mooney's and I's with no issue, but like I said upsizing bits would be much easier.
      -scrap away the goo at the lower attachement points before marking or Drilling. I did "just" drill my brace out a little bit to make removing the screws easier. Not that is was bad, but I'd hate to ruin the nutsert. (I misdrilled my lower points by less than 1/8")
      I have mine out right now, and can really notice the difference. Plus the rear does not creak no moar! well with it in, it's a creaking right now.
      It took me about 3 mins to remove, just be careful not to catch the seatbelt and scratch anything. Also be careful not to bend the brace itself in storage or anything like that.





    6. 05-05-2009 08:05 PM #6
      awesome review guys! I remember you guys talking so highly of it during the TOD. I would love to get a hold of one....(check PM)

    7. Member GinsterDub's Avatar
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      05-05-2009 08:52 PM #7
      installed mine 2 weekends ago, but haven't had time to play with it yet. I'll be excited to see how it is on the trip to Fastivas and the track. I'll post pics soon as I have a moment to snap some!! Big [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG] to Bruce for bringing them back from the dead!!!!

    8. Member schmuck's Avatar
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      05-05-2009 08:55 PM #8
      I agree w/ everything they say above, as I installed mine w/o the tool and ran into one problem when a rivnut started spinning. I had to push it thru and start w/ a new one, but all is well now and it is installed. I did come up with a better way to use the bolt and nut method than the instructions say for the last one. I took a fairly long m8 bolt and put 10 or so m8 washers, followed by a nut, and then 2 more washers and made the bolt work in tightening mode like the real tool does rather than the way the instructions say w/ using the nut to back out the bolt and compress the rivnut. I realize how I said that might not make sense to those who haven't done the install, but I will try to get pics at some point and explain more.
      As for the brace, love it, it is a great addition to the car's setup right now. I can't wait for my next auto-x/track event to see what all changes feel-wise. Very happy with finally getting one, it fits my needs perfectly. I usually haul 4 other tires and tools to track events, and I think that I will be able to fit everything as usual w/o removing it, but if I have to, it shouldn't take more than a few minutes to undo the 4 screws. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    9. 05-05-2009 09:05 PM #9
      Quote, originally posted by schmuck »
      ...I took a fairly long m8 bolt and put 10 or so m8 washers, followed by a nut, and then 2 more washers and made the bolt work in tightening mode like the real tool does rather than the way the instructions say w/ using the nut to back out the bolt and compress the rivnut. ....
      I definitely want to see pics of this

    10. Member Harepower's Avatar
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      05-05-2009 09:17 PM #10
      Quote, originally posted by banzaimf »
      I definitely want to see pics of this

      me too. The tool was so worth the $0 I had to pay. Thanks Mooney [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    11. Member GTItraveler's Avatar
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      05-05-2009 09:39 PM #11
      Thanks Guys, I am always pleased that everyone is happy. To have the support of the community is what makes it all worth it [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]. It did get down to the wire, but we made it for the TOD!
      Regarding the install method that someone mentioned. You can do it that way, but I am hesitant to recommend it as TST had so many people who messed up their installs due to that cheap, makeshift tool. If you want to be sure that it's done correctly spring for the heavy duty tool. You will be happier that way. I am always contactable though IM. Bruce

    12. Member newcreation's Avatar
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      05-05-2009 09:42 PM #12
      Wow looks really good just how i imagined it in my dreams wish i could get these health bills paid for tired of everything being on the back burner the economy has hurt my work hrs for sure
      -JAMES CRIST JR-
      DRIVEN/Built /UM Turbo R

    13. Member schmuck's Avatar
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      05-05-2009 09:46 PM #13
      here are a couple pics:


      So I put a 13 mm socket on the end and tightened away. held it still w/ the 13mm open ended. The hardware I bought was not as strong as the rivnut, I got worried and thought I stripped the threads, but it was actually the nut on the bolt, not the rivnut (which I sourced my spares from fastenal I have many of those near me and they can get most anything overnight). So if you were going to do it this way, I would get a bolt, nut and amount of washers for each rivnut and not reuse them. And use anti-seize on the threads, they will need it. But the tool is the best bet I am sure.

    14. 05-05-2009 10:22 PM #14
      Years ago when I first redid the suspension, I would take corners and the whole dashboard would creak. Then I installed the rear stressbrace and the car was so much better. It seems like it rotates into corners and no squeaks or rattles. This mod, coilovers, and VF motor mounts are the three things that make the .:R feel like a forty thousand dollar car for less than $2000. Everyone needs to do these in my opinion. A chip and intake and the flapper mod are the others that make it go fast, but as far as feel nothing can beat the aforementioned trio.

    15. Member M00NEY's Avatar
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      05-06-2009 08:30 PM #15
      well said [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG] I agree with every aspect there.
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    16. Member GTItraveler's Avatar
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      05-07-2009 11:21 AM #16
      BLU R32: you are right. Small, but significant changes in this car put it on par with cars costing a lot more. It is no surprise that people are always posting about how four years later they still love this car. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    17. Member TRR32Andrew's Avatar
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      05-07-2009 12:09 PM #17
      great... now i have to add this to my ever expanding mod list

    18. 05-07-2009 12:59 PM #18
      Quote, originally posted by schmuck »
      So if you were going to do it this way, I would get a bolt, nut and amount of washers for each rivnut and not reuse them.

      this is wisdom. you'd be tempted to reuse them, but they always work best the first time. fresh nut/bolt (can reuse washers) for each one FTW!
      as for changing the car's feel, one fairly dramatic demonstration of this part's effectiveness is to jack the car up from the front, and see how quickly you get the rear wheel off the ground. stiffness=goodness!


      Modified by chwmy at 12:01 PM 5-7-2009

    19. Member schmuck's Avatar
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      05-07-2009 02:09 PM #19
      well you can reuse the washers if the nuts threads don't strip and leave them stuck on the bolt that's why I suggest enough for all bolts, they're cheap

    20. Member
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      05-07-2009 02:46 PM #20

      A Grade 8 bolt with a little anti-seize on the
      threads can install dozens of nutserts.
      --Chuck--

    21. Member schmuck's Avatar
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      05-07-2009 03:14 PM #21
      that's true - I liked the weaker hardware as it got damaged before the rivnut though. Much easier to replace the bolt than the rivnut. Still the tool works best

    22. Member
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      05-07-2009 03:17 PM #22
      Quote, originally posted by schmuck »
      that's true - I liked the weaker hardware as it got damaged before the rivnut though...

      Those rivnuts are pretty tough!
      I used a pneumatic impact wrench on the ones for my skidplate
      --Chuck--

    23. Member Harepower's Avatar
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      05-07-2009 08:52 PM #23
      ........I would still like to emphasis that the proper tool would greatly benefit those who have not installed such things.
      How about we do a traveling loaner program?
      I have the tool now. Mooney is the Owner. Who would like to borrow it? can;t cost more than 5 bucks to ship.

    24. Member schmuck's Avatar
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      05-07-2009 09:07 PM #24
      there is another buyer in indy who could use the tool, I don't think he bought one. Forwarding him this thread

    25. Member GTItraveler's Avatar
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      05-08-2009 09:02 AM #25
      Hey Guys, can you provide some driving feedback for people who don't know about this?

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