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Old 12-07-2003, 02:31 PM   #1
Dendrobium
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Thumbs up Sti Replica chassi brace review

Sti Replica Lower Chassis brace Review
================================
Got it from Swano in a group buy. Supposedly comes stock on '04 Sti's (I strongly
feel this is partly why people report that the Sti's steering feels quicker,
(apart from a different steering rack ratio))
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...=chassis+brace

IMPRESSIONS
=================================
I have an '03 WRX wagon running:
- STOCK suspension,
- STOCK rear swaybar,
- winter tires (multi-cell spongy type) on sTOCK rims

After getting the brace put on, the improvement is definitely
noticeable. Going around corners is a completely different
experience. Why? my theory is that it's because you have MUCH
MORE steering FEEDBACK. As a result of this, you'll feel
like it's "faster", "smoother" etc. etc. when in fact it's just
your hands, feet, and body getting more information about
exactly how much to steer.

Here's my best attempt at describing it:

WITHOUT CHASSIS BRACE:
======================
You come to make a tight 90 degree turn. You turn-in, waiting
for the feedback from the tires and suspension to begin to tell you you've
cranked the steering wheel enough.

You wait..
And wait..
This is a "gray-zone after initial turn-in, or numb spot" where you
don't have feedback and all you feel is the car's body rolling.

Finally the tires and suspension hook up in the turn, feedback returns,
and you realize that you've "over-cranked" the steering wheel a bit,
so you correct a bit, otherwise you "feel" as if you will turn
more than 90 degrees.

All this happens in a matter of seconds.

Overall the turn feels:
- slightly "disconnected"
- slow responding -- since there is delayed feedback after "turn-in"
- better after feedback returns.






WITH CHASSIS BRACE:
=======================
You come to make a tight 90 degree turn. You turn-in, waiting
for the feedback from the tires and suspension to begin to tell you you've
cranked the steering wheel enough.

Feedback is there immediately. Thus you have a better feeling for the
turn and can turn just the right amount.

Tires and suspension hook up, and since you've turned just the right amount,
there is no need to correct. You just smoothly unwind the steering wheel
as you progress through the turn.

All this happens in a matter of seconds.

Overall the turn feels:
- much more "connected"
- faster (though in fact, it's not really faster -- it's just that tire/suspension
feedback is immediate rather than delayed)
- feedback is consistent throughout the turn.




CONCLUSION:
===================
Some have reported more "understeer" with this mod. I tend to disagree -- my
theory is that with the chassis brace you no longer experience the sense of slightly
"over-cranking" the steering wheel that you used to get without the chassis brace,
which - once gone, feels like "more understeer")

I think this is an under-rated mod, and perhaps better than a tower-strut bar (and
even cheaper perhaps!)
Remember, the above was WITH stock suspension and winter tires. With
summer tires and upgraded suspension, the difference is probably even more pronounced.

cheers!

-- Dendrobium
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Old 12-07-2003, 02:44 PM   #2
krautdog
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Great review - I was glad to read it. I am expecting my brace from Swano any day now. I just recently installed my rear sway bar and end links and am hoping the brace will complement them nicely.
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Old 12-07-2003, 05:23 PM   #3
Swano
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Cool

Glad you enjoy the brace Dendrobium!

Phil =)
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Old 04-06-2004, 08:44 PM   #4
Rizzo314
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I regularly do work on my 2002 WRX and my friend's 2004 STi.

I know my car does not have that brace, and I have never seen it on his STi. I have dropped his front support where it would be bolted to, and have never had to remove anything that resembles that.

Are you sure that it comes on the US 2004 STi?

Nick
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:29 PM   #5
graff
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was reported by somone that 2004 usdm camme equipped with it but never had a chance to verify. But it as been verified that it came on the jdm V8 spec C
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:11 AM   #6
Dendrobium
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graff, thanks for clearing that up

BTW - here's a pic I found of the official Sti chassis brace part:

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Old 05-06-2004, 01:13 AM   #7
Dendrobium
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My hope is that someone will eventually make a replica of these :

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Old 05-06-2004, 10:07 AM   #8
Uncle Scotty
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dendrobium
My hope is that someone will eventually make a replica of these :

They are available......I don't remember the thread...but they are available...and I'll have them one day


....AND I DID

Last edited by Uncle Scotty; 03-17-2006 at 02:53 AM.
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Old 05-06-2004, 10:49 AM   #9
Psydotek
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Those side tower braces are about $200 from either chaste automotive or you can find the J-Speed bars (directly imported from japan) from www.bulletproofautomotive.com (i think that's the website anyways)

There are already beams in that position in stock form, but they're stamped steel (i think) where as the STi pieces are forged aluminum. The Chaste Automotive pieces are straight milled aluminum (think perrin endlink style) and the j-speed beams are endplates welded to an aluminum tube.

[i reeeeeally want some of those one day... but $200 is a little much for such a small piece at the moment...]
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Old 09-23-2004, 10:45 PM   #10
0260B4U
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damn, thought you were talking about the undercarriage H brace
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:29 AM   #11
mr2turbosw20
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does it mean if I already have a STi, I don't have to get this chassis brace?
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:36 AM   #12
Psydotek
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Holy crap bump from t3h past...

I'm not sure if the STi has the subframe brace or not. Just check under the car. Should be easy to see.

[i installed one on my car, the Tanabe Sustec Undercar Brace, and it made a subtle difference]

[as for the side cowl braces, i'm finally getting them later this month... nearly two years after my post.]
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Old 03-17-2006, 02:49 AM   #13
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....mmmmm.......HD cowl stays......mmmmmm
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:46 PM   #14
SubaDuba420
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Sweet, your TIC beta pieces? Approx. install time difficulty?
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:58 AM   #15
IIdiceII
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Anyone think ill get similar gains with the replica h-brace? I might geta used one from a local..
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Old 05-20-2006, 11:16 PM   #16
AcquaCow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dendrobium
My hope is that someone will eventually make a replica of these :

I hope you have a set by now...everyone is making them...

Look what's happened =)

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=995062

-- Dave
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Old 05-21-2006, 03:53 AM   #17
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