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Old 02-28-2011, 09:54 PM   #1
irish44j
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GrimmSpeed Master Cylinder Brace 08+ WRX/STi Review.

So continuing my attempt to find the “bang for the buck” mods on a limited budget. Not that I’m even close to the first to do this one, but figured it is worth a writeup anyhow, especially since I think a lot of people overlook inexpensive braking mods in favor of something flashy.

After much browsing and reading, decided this would be a good one to tackle on a winter evening since many with older wrx/sti’s claimed it worked well on their cars. Time to see if the 09 wrx has as much flex in the firewall as older models, or if Subaru thought to beef it up (ha ha).

Anyhow, here’s the part. A funky slab of steel with some bolts, essentially.



Install….
Grimmspeed has a nice install video that takes you through step-by-step. Also full-color instructions are provided with the part. So +1 already for them for showing how it’s done. This would have been a major bitch to try and figure out how to install on my own.

Install went according to their instructions. The only thing they forget to tell you is that you really need long, skinny fingers, preferably with Kevlar coating to avoid scratches and scrapes. Everything about this install is in the “tight fit” category. It’s hard to get the fuel line bracket out of the way. It’s hard to get the GS bracket into place. It’s a real bioch getting some of the bolts threaded and tightened – have a good selection of and 3/8” ratchets, extensions, ujoints, and 10mm sockets (long, short, medium) on hand. I also found that a cheap Husky “twist handle” ratchet came in REALLY useful. Never used it before, but now happy as hell I had it.

Also found that the Subtle alternator shroud is a perfect place to put a laptop when you’re looking at video while working on the engine!



Eventually I got it all installed, and everything lines up and fits well – it’s an excellent designed and fabricated piece. Only minor thing I noticed that it is *slightly* off on alignment to the end of the M/C, but still sits flush and I don’t think it’s an issue at all.



For those who are interested in “bling” underhood, you won’t be happy with this. It’s virtually invisible in the engine bay and you can’t see the GrimmSpeed logo at all, lol. SO if you want people to SEE it, you may want to paint it some mad tyte JDM red or something



Installed impressions:
This does what it says it will. Driving out of my neighborhood I didn’t feel much difference initially, and figured the little bit I did feel was placebo effect, lol. But once I got out on the main road and did a number of hard stops, the difference is APPARENT and NOTICEABLE. Before the pedal didn’t feel “immediate” on hard braking and as you pressed in you could feel the flex, as if the pedal wanted to push through the firewall. This is ALL gone and it really feels solid. Braking feel is more “solid” for lack of a better word. The foot travel needed to fully engage the brakes is noticeable reduced thanks to the elimination of flex. And the stroke feels much more positive and consistent. The closest thing I can compare it to is replacing your stock shifter bushings with polyurethane ones. It’s not going to make your car faster or turn better, but it is a noticeable upgrade in “feel.”

In any case, this is a $85 (or so) mod that takes and hour to install. It isn’t flashy, it won’t impress your buddies at the next Subaru meet, and it doesn’t make the car faster or look better. But I highly recommend it anyhow.

Btw: current brake setup on my 09 is 06-07 4pots front, Hawk HPS all around, and MachV braided lines. Although GrimmSPeed compares the MC brace as comparable in upgrade to stainless braided lines, I have to disagree. The MC brace makes MUCH more of a difference in brake feel, no question about it.

So there it is…nothing that hasn’t been said before but hope it’s of use to someone looking for an affordable, worthwhile braking feel upgrade.

jh
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:58 PM   #2
Valance
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Do they make it for the Maxima?



Haha nice!
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:03 PM   #3
irish44j
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sadly not STU legal for autocross. Trying to see if removing the bolt/red brace will take care of that problem, since then it would just be a hunk of metal hanging on the strut tower, lol...
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:21 PM   #4
Valance
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Sort of why Im debating on picking up the RCAs from Cutler.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:22 PM   #5
irish44j
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RCAs?
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:38 PM   #6
Valance
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Roll center adjustments.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:46 PM   #7
irish44j
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ah right...duh. why is Jason getting rid of his? As slammed as his car is, he certainly needs them. He must have lousy bumpsteer....
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:54 PM   #8
Valance
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He wants coin for the Z06 I guess. Im not so sure I want them. I already have a bit of money tied up in my suspension, and Im not even done.
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:25 AM   #9
irish44j
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Like I said before, I wouldn't bother with it until you have the suspension together and see if you feel like you need it. Jason, jason, jason.....lol
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:42 AM   #10
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I've been thinking about this one but my hands don't seem to do well in small spaces and I tend to drop things. Hmmm.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irish44j View Post
sadly not STU legal for autocross. Trying to see if removing the bolt/red brace will take care of that problem, since then it would just be a hunk of metal hanging on the strut tower, lol...
screw the rules....run sm or whatever and drive a better car for it
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:04 AM   #12
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Want to supervise my install?
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:57 PM   #13
irish44j
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I'll supervise all day, lol. I will not put my hands in there again though.....this morning I could see the 10+ scrapes on the backs of both hands that I got during the install.

still, it was worth it.

btw, it would have been a LITTLE bit easier without a FSTB installed, since that lmited how much I could push the fuel lines out of the way. So keep that in mind. If your FSTB comes off easily, take it off first. Or if you dn't have one, you might have a slightly easier time.
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:19 PM   #14
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Thank you for the awesome review irish44. Glad she is working out just fine for you!

Justin Grimm
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:16 PM   #15
irish44j
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another good review from an '11 (same part):

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2122262
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:27 PM   #16
irish44j
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just for some visuals, here's some vid I just shot of firewall flex with the MC brace on my 09 backed off (cap removed) to 1/8" gap. As you can see, with moderate pumping there is 1/16-3/32" of flex. I would guess that would be even more under aggressive braking.

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Old 07-06-2011, 09:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irish44j View Post
just for some visuals, here's some vid I just shot of firewall flex with the MC brace on my 09 backed off (cap removed) to 1/8" gap. As you can see, with moderate pumping there is 1/16-3/32" of flex. I would guess that would be even more under aggressive braking.

YouTube - ‪DSCN1689‬‏
That is an AWESOME video for sure, excellent test and angle, thanks!!

Will
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irish44j View Post
just for some visuals, here's some vid I just shot of firewall flex with the MC brace on my 09 backed off (cap removed) to 1/8" gap. As you can see, with moderate pumping there is 1/16-3/32" of flex. I would guess that would be even more under aggressive braking.

YouTube - ‪DSCN1689‬‏

WOW! That is an excellent video to show the need for this brace. I installed one a few thousand miles ago and have noticed a very firm pedal under hard braking. It did also transmit some engine bay noise too however. I immediately noticed how much louder my starter was once this brace was in. No complaints though. I'm a fan.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irish44j View Post
just for some visuals, here's some vid I just shot of firewall flex with the MC brace on my 09 backed off (cap removed) to 1/8" gap. As you can see, with moderate pumping there is 1/16-3/32" of flex. I would guess that would be even more under aggressive braking.

YouTube - ‪DSCN1689‬‏
WOW! I was thinking that this was another kind of gimmicky brace that I didn't need as much as Grimmspeed and TiC tell me I do, but apparently I do need/want one.

Next on the list is...
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowgodCCR View Post
WOW! I was thinking that this was another kind of gimmicky brace that I didn't need as much as Grimmspeed and TiC tell me I do, but apparently I do need/want one.

Next on the list is...
dont tell the idiot in that other thread that it may be a good idea
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:35 PM   #21
phenryiv1
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Just installed this on an otherwise bone-stock braking system. The difference was noticable in hard driving on back roads, but in stop-and-go driving or when just cruising along and stopping under normal conditions I really felt no change.

Most people do this after other upgrades (SS lines, pads, fluid), but I did it as my first upgrade, as the other parts are low-mileage and in working order. I intend to do SS lines at 25-30K and to flush the line at that time. We'll see if the additional decrease in flex is noticable with the SS lines with the GS MCB already installed.
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phenryiv1 View Post
...We'll see if the additional decrease in flex is noticable with the SS lines with the GS MCB already installed.
With the SS lines, new fluid and a good bleed, it will be very noticeable. So much so, you'll wonder which does what.
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:52 PM   #23
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With the SS lines, new fluid and a good bleed, it will be very noticeable. So much so, you'll wonder which does what.
I see a lot of people who have stated that they did SS lines forst or that they did the SS lines at the same time as the GS MCB. For that reason, i wanted to post my impressions of just the MCB. If SS lines further enhance things, I am looking forward to the additional benefit.
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:43 PM   #24
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Shoot me a PM when you do it - I'll be curious to see what your impression is. Are you going to change pads too?
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:14 PM   #25
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Shoot me a PM when you do it - I'll be curious to see what your impression is. Are you going to change pads too?
Will do. I'll probably post a thread as well, just for other people in the same situation.

I have some Performance Friction PFC Z-rated front pads (from brakeswap.com) waiting to go on the car, but I may keep chewing up the stock pads for now. If the MCB and SS lines (plus a flush) take out the mushiness and I still don't feel like I have enough stopping power, I'll put on the PFCs right away.
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