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Old 09-23-2020, 10:33 PM   #1
Kingpin1094
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Default Kein X Brace for GD

Has anyone used the Kein X brace for the GD?

It looks just like a knock off version of the original carlabs/TIC x brace. I'm sure it works just as well since its just metal connections, however I wanted to see if anyone purchased it and had any trouble with holes lining up etc.
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Old 09-24-2020, 04:51 PM   #2
car_freak85
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Don't buy fake parts, especially ones that are ripping off patented parts, like the CarLabs?TIC brace. This is the sort of thing that drives innovative shops out of business.
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Old 09-25-2020, 08:51 AM   #3
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Conversely, if "innovative shops" would sell parts at reasonable prices, we wouldn't have this problem in the first place.
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Old 09-25-2020, 10:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyWide View Post
Conversely, if "innovative shops" would sell parts at reasonable prices, we wouldn't have this problem in the first place.
Oddly enough though, these shops that are undertaking this sort of work, with R&D, does cost them money, money that they recoup by selling their engineered and designed parts
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Old 09-25-2020, 11:28 AM   #5
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Does TiC even make/sell the X-brace anymore?
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Old 09-25-2020, 04:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-37 View Post
Does TiC even make/sell the X-brace anymore?
No. We do not. Here's a bit of history.

CarLabs developed the X-brace to help bridge the cost of business as their chassis consulting business was just starting out. Turns out that their consulting business took off way faster than they thought it would.

Now, when I say chassis consulting that's exactly what I mean. Their ENTIRE customer base potential was 34. As in the major automotive manufacturers in the world.

Since it took off so quickly they no longer had time to produce the X-brace as EVERY SINGLE COMPONENT was pretty much custom made.

Years later we (TiC) approached them about producing them for the market again. We met with them on a number of occasions and we were able to strike a royalty agreement for production.

Upon receiving the pallets of left over components and parts designs we found that these guys were getting killed on pricing due to the custom stuff. So we made some design changes, had CarLabs approve them, and as a result I believe we were able to even lower the price vs. the retail of the last of the CL braces.

So we made them again, and brought them to market, and people were happy.

Then as years went on the GD chassis fell in status to the 3rd or 4th owner, and like many 3rd or 4th owners of a car they feel that anything that costs over $1.99 is too expensive.

The last batch of a dozen braces took over a year to sell, and the entire time we heard nothing but whining about the price. So in the end we asked ourselves why tie up capital in a product, and put up with people constantly bitching about the price, so we stopped producing it.

As for the Kein unit we are aware of it, as is CarLabs. Whether or not CarLabs does anything about it is up to them, but knowing them, and knowing how protective they are of their intellectual property I suspect that something will be done about it eventually.

Oh, and since this topic seems to come up every single time there's new discussion of the X-brace I'll just answer it preemptively.
Yes, there was an X-brace for the GC chassis.
Yes, we had the rights to that as well.
Yes, we had the left over parts from pre-production.
Yes, we made manufacturing changes like on the GD to bring the price down. Yes, we even went to far as to offer it to the GC community.
In fact, it was the same price as the GD X-brace, and we put up there that we'd need 10 people to commit to do a first production run of them.

We got 1 person who was interested. But when it came time to put up or shut up we got got many "Conversely, if "innovative shops" would sell parts at reasonable prices, we wouldn't have this problem in the first place."

So there you go.
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Old 09-25-2020, 04:26 PM   #7
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Yeah, it was kind of a rhetorical question on my end. Sorry about that.

I like TiC, and own many TiC parts. I wasn't really advocating for buying parts that infringe on someone else's IP. I was more surprised by the other comments, because those guys have been around long enough to know as well as I do that they're not available anymore..

If someone wants to buy XYZ, and there's only one knockoff version of XYZ available right now, it's hard to fault them.

FWIW, KEIN is based out of Russia.
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Old 09-25-2020, 04:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyWide View Post
Conversely, if "innovative shops" would sell parts at reasonable prices, we wouldn't have this problem in the first place.
You have obviously never designed anything, ever, and aren't even remotely familiar with what is involved logistically and $$$'ly in manufacturing anything.

Manufacturers don't just slap a buku$$$ pricetag on something thinking "awwww yisss this gonna make us rich". Believe it or not, manufacturers actually WANT you to buy it. They price it as fairly as they can to make money back on the R&D that goes into selling a finished product.

So many people have not a single clue what it takes and costs to design things like this in the real world and it drives me nuts when you make incredibly inaccurate statements like this.
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Old 09-25-2020, 05:15 PM   #9
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NM, cboggess beat me to it.
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Old 09-25-2020, 06:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shagfagon View Post
You have obviously never designed anything, ever, and aren't even remotely familiar with what is involved logistically and $$$'ly in manufacturing anything.

Manufacturers don't just slap a buku$$$ pricetag on something thinking "awwww yisss this gonna make us rich". Believe it or not, manufacturers actually WANT you to buy it. They price it as fairly as they can to make money back on the R&D that goes into selling a finished product.

So many people have not a single clue what it takes and costs to design things like this in the real world and it drives me nuts when you make incredibly inaccurate statements like this.
Wow, way to assume a whole lot there. Unwarranted and insulting personal attacks aside (which I don't care to get into), do people really think something like this product are actually worth the asking price? That might be about $20 worth of steel, 20 minutes on a plasma table, and the "R&D" might've taken 5 minutes. Obviously profits must be made, but is that much really necessary? There are many more examples, just happened to see this one recently.

Note that I was not saying anything about any of products in this thread in particular, I have no idea how much they cost or if they are worth it. Just responding to someone spouting the typical "only the most expensive version of 'thing' is acceptable to purchase or even talk about".
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Old 09-25-2020, 09:03 PM   #11
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It's because most of the real car people have left the GD/Subaru scene. It seems like this new scene is 90% made of people that want things other than performance for their cars.

To the OP, there was a DIY X-brace that could be made with threaded rod, IDK how effective it was. There's also nothing stopping you from using KEIN's or building your own.

As for the people that want reasonable prices on parts, I'm one of them but I also realize that you can't buy parts for the price of materials and expect businesses to stay open. OTOH there are some parts that are priced astronomically high that need to get market balanced, just be glad that Subaru's aren't in the Euro market, that scene is a blood bath of $$$ over brains.
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Old 09-28-2020, 10:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyWide View Post
That might be about $20 worth of steel, 20 minutes on a plasma table, and the "R&D" might've taken 5 minutes.
Thanks for confirming you've never actually R&D'd anything and brought it to production.
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Old 09-28-2020, 11:21 AM   #13
Wayne Suhrbier
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Small scale manufacturing is inefficient. I know, I do it. I got an order this morning and cursed because the thing is annoying to make. I really doubt the folks at TIC are getting rich. Yes there are overpriced items for sale in every market. It comes down to if the part is worth it to you. If not then don't buy it. If you think you can make and sell it for less (without violating IP laws) then do it.
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Old 09-28-2020, 12:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyWide View Post
Wow, way to assume a whole lot there.

Note that I was not saying anything about any of products in this thread in particular, I have no idea how much they cost or if they are worth it. Just responding to someone spouting the typical "only the most expensive version of 'thing' is acceptable to purchase or even talk about".
I love how OP bristles at people making assumptions about his/her level of knowledge re: engineering/manufacturing, but immediately assumes SJR couldn't possibly be charging a fair price for a part nobody else makes.

As far as the X-brace being worth it, I've had one for almost 10 years now and I noticed a big difference in how much the rear end of the chassis creaks over rough pavement and how much tighter the rear end feels.

Also, you need to reread this thread, because nobody said: "only the most expensive version of 'thing' is acceptable to purchase or even talk about." You've missed the point entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shagfagon View Post
Thanks for confirming you've never actually R&D'd anything and brought it to production.
My thoughts exactly. Although I have to admit, I thought OP was still referring to the X-brace, not the SJR products.
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Old 10-10-2020, 12:36 AM   #15
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I just bought the kein x brace off ebay. It cost me $400 shipped and it came from russia.

I completely understand how expensive R&D is. If TiC still made it and sold it for $600 and i had the option to buy it or the $400 kein i would buy the TiC all day but they dont so I honestly dont see how theyre losing out on anything.

Yall really expect me to read about the benefits and not buy the only x brace available, albeit a knockoff? thats just silly

If they start making it again ill throw away the kein and buy theirs hows that?

Last edited by Anieba; 10-10-2020 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 10-13-2020, 02:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anieba View Post
I just bought the kein x brace off ebay. It cost me $400 shipped and it came from russia.

I completely understand how expensive R&D is. If TiC still made it and sold it for $600 and i had the option to buy it or the $400 kein i would buy the TiC all day but they dont so I honestly dont see how theyre losing out on anything.

Yall really expect me to read about the benefits and not buy the only x brace available, albeit a knockoff? thats just silly

If they start making it again ill throw away the kein and buy theirs hows that?
If Kein is the only option in the marketplace, I think you're safe from criticism (though someone out there surely will bemoan your purchase).

When I initially responded to OP I thought the TiC option was still available. Sometimes only the rip-off artists survive, based on economics...
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Old 10-14-2020, 12:45 AM   #17
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Wow this took off and I forgot to come back to it.

To clarify I wasn't looking for the cheapest solution. I would rather have the real product if I could, but the TIC/Carlabs brace is no longer on the market and it seems the people who have them love them enough to never post them for sale.

Additionally the oswald triangle (Which I feel is also a solid option) is sold out and the they haven't answered me if they are going to make more and I've heard some faint rumblings they may be closing their doors.

Last edited by Kingpin1094; 10-14-2020 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 10-14-2020, 12:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cboggess View Post
No. We do not. Here's a bit of history.

CarLabs developed the X-brace to help bridge the cost of business as their chassis consulting business was just starting out. Turns out that their consulting business took off way faster than they thought it would.

Now, when I say chassis consulting that's exactly what I mean. Their ENTIRE customer base potential was 34. As in the major automotive manufacturers in the world.

Since it took off so quickly they no longer had time to produce the X-brace as EVERY SINGLE COMPONENT was pretty much custom made.

Years later we (TiC) approached them about producing them for the market again. We met with them on a number of occasions and we were able to strike a royalty agreement for production.

Upon receiving the pallets of left over components and parts designs we found that these guys were getting killed on pricing due to the custom stuff. So we made some design changes, had CarLabs approve them, and as a result I believe we were able to even lower the price vs. the retail of the last of the CL braces.

So we made them again, and brought them to market, and people were happy.

Then as years went on the GD chassis fell in status to the 3rd or 4th owner, and like many 3rd or 4th owners of a car they feel that anything that costs over $1.99 is too expensive.

The last batch of a dozen braces took over a year to sell, and the entire time we heard nothing but whining about the price. So in the end we asked ourselves why tie up capital in a product, and put up with people constantly bitching about the price, so we stopped producing it.

As for the Kein unit we are aware of it, as is CarLabs. Whether or not CarLabs does anything about it is up to them, but knowing them, and knowing how protective they are of their intellectual property I suspect that something will be done about it eventually.

Oh, and since this topic seems to come up every single time there's new discussion of the X-brace I'll just answer it preemptively.
Yes, there was an X-brace for the GC chassis.
Yes, we had the rights to that as well.
Yes, we had the left over parts from pre-production.
Yes, we made manufacturing changes like on the GD to bring the price down. Yes, we even went to far as to offer it to the GC community.
In fact, it was the same price as the GD X-brace, and we put up there that we'd need 10 people to commit to do a first production run of them.

We got 1 person who was interested. But when it came time to put up or shut up we got got many "Conversely, if "innovative shops" would sell parts at reasonable prices, we wouldn't have this problem in the first place."

So there you go.
Would you guys be willing to sell the dwgs/dxf files? I could have the plates laser cut and do the welding myself to create a DIY kit.
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Old 10-15-2020, 02:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cboggess View Post
As for the Kein unit we are aware of it, as is CarLabs. Whether or not CarLabs does anything about it is up to them, but knowing them, and knowing how protective they are of their intellectual property I suspect that something will be done about it eventually.
Based on the statement above, I don't think you'll get any free files, unless you want to take over the licensing agreement...
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Old 10-16-2020, 10:17 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingpin1094 View Post
Would you guys be willing to sell the dwgs/dxf files? I could have the plates laser cut and do the welding myself to create a DIY kit.
They are not mine to sell. My effort was license the rights, and pay a royalty per unit sold. All rights, changes, sourcing, IP, and parts design are still the property of CarLabs.
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Old 10-16-2020, 04:17 PM   #21
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I've always envied the GD sedan guys who were able to get this X-brace. Lucky for the wagon guys, we had the Oswald Performance triangle brace. That was over 5 years ago and it is really just a one-man shop. Life just happens. No idea if he will ever get a production run again. I would suspect that if he ever did make more, it would be through a Group Buy. I'd subscribe to that sub-forum just in case he randomly puts one up.

I lurk on the FB Subie classifieds groups and I've seen the X-brace put up for sale 2x. I've also seen a few of Oswald Performance front and rear bumper beams as well. Maybe browse around there.

And those that don't know the benefit of this x-brace, there should still be a youtube video of it on a road course. The strut tops are connected but not the bottom plate. you can see how holes keep shifting out of alignment during turns. Amazing stuff.
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Old 10-17-2020, 07:29 PM   #22
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Act quick: just saw it on sale on FB. In the 02-07 GD WRX/STI .....classifieds. Name of seller is Sean Wilson. A search in that group for 'car labs x brace' should turn up.

Good luck.
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:11 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenliu84 View Post
And those that don't know the benefit of this x-brace, there should still be a youtube video of it on a road course. The strut tops are connected but not the bottom plate. you can see how holes keep shifting out of alignment during turns. Amazing stuff.
It's still there. Relative movement is clearly shown, and you can even see some distortion (I don't think all of the distortion is image distortion, anyway).

There's definitely something to be gained by stiffening that big pass-through opening; you'd certainly get more out of the car's roof structure that way. Ford included similar bracing as original equipment on their Laguna Seca-trim Mustangs a few years back.


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