How-to: Get stiff [Saved from old site]

Member submissions, commonly asked questions, how-tos on various projects, etc.

Moderators: Ami, evtsteward


Topic Author
thebranded
Posts: 126
Joined: May 9th, 2005, 1:19 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

How-to: Get stiff [Saved from old site]

Postby thebranded » September 26th, 2015, 2:43 am

Long time no see!

Cleaning out some old files and i came across saved data from the old site before the crashes. i'll try to upload what i have.

First up: How-to: Get stiff (Update... IT'S ALIVE!) - Originally posted by Nitrew on 12th December 2004

Alright well this is not exactly a How-to. It is more of a How-I-did-it.

Alot of this stuff is just basic common sense (tab A slot B kind of shit). For someone who has no fabrication experience and might be a little intimidated or overwhelmed it is a nice easy starter project. Of course the funny thing is that for any one whom has access to the required equipment and has a working knowledge of how to use it the project is of remedial difficulty at best. Anyway, here it goes.


Custom Fabrication Process of:
1 one-piece front strut tower brace
1 one-piece rear shock tower brace
1 one-piece c-pillar chassis brace



Step 1: Materials
This is not written in stone. Aluminum is another alternative. However for me it is much less desireable to work with. Weight is not too much of a factor because of the small amount of metal stock we are dealing with.

1 one square foot of .25in steel plate. You do not neccessarily need this much plate. Most steel yards have square foot quarter inch plate precut. Therefore one square foot works out cheaper than a smaller size custom cut plate.
My cost: $12.00
I stuck a finger in the pic so you could get a size reference Wink
Image

Steel tubing. This is strictly a preference decision here. I used .75in .083 tubing. I bought 40ft. I have roughly 13ft left over.
My cost: $20.00
Image

Step 2: Templates
.25in particle board. I used a jig saw to make the cuts. Particle board is a much more accurate way to gauge a template than cardboard. Not to mention I hate cardboard. Just rough them out and keep putting them in place and trimming untill they fit. It is at this step where you must decide the final placement of the mounting holes for the rear shock tower brace. Once they are done just trace the outlines onto the steel plate. Simple.
My cost: $5.00 (I don't really remember the exact price, but I know particle board is very cheap)

Image




Step 3: Cut baseplates
Plasma cutter needed. I use a Miller Spectrum 375. If you do not have one, somebody you know does. If you have to go searching for someone to cut them for you try to find someone with a water jet who can hook you up. A water jet will make a much cleaner cut and save you loads of time. I chose to use the plasma cutter because I like to do everything myself and I do not own a water jet (yet Twisted Evil )

Image
Close-up of one of each type of base plate together
Image

Front strut tower baseplate detail. Notice the indentation on the outer edge on the right side. This is to allow space to clear the windshield wiper motor. The driver side bracket does not need this adjustment as you can see in the third picture down in step 4.

Image
Rear shock tower baseplate detail

Image
C-pillar chassis brace detail

Image




Step 4: Grinding
Time to clean up the baseplates, and make proper adjustments for final fitament. I used a 4.5in angle grinder and DeWalt Grinding wheel to clean the outer edges. They are getting there but still pretty damn rough.
Image
Image
Image

I used a die-grinder and metal auger bit for the inner edge and mounting hole grinding and clean up.

Image




Step 5: Baseplate mounting
So that the angle for the brace bars will be correct the baseplates must be bolted to the car in thier final positions prior to final costruction. The fronts were easy, remove two bolts and they slip right on.

Image
Starting to look much better, huh?
Image

The rears were a different story. Hardware mounting holes will need to be drilled. As my rear spring seats have been modified to fit large diameter Eibach Ground controls I had a signifigantly easier time than other people will.

Image

For the c-pillar base plates I had to modify the plastic interior piece as to allow the baseplate to bolt solidly and flush against the chassis. First I removed the seatbelt shoulder anchor. Then I put the plate up against the trim..... traced the outline with a sharpie...... and cut it with a Dremel. Then just put the plate inbetween the shoulder anchor and the chassis.

Image
Image




Step 6: Brace bars
I used a chop saw to cut the bar stock. It is a DeWalt with an adjustable angle sliding vice, that made it very easy. Although not completely neccessary I decided to lift the car off of the gound and remove the weight from the points where the braces would go. The car will need to be suspended off the ground and resting on a central undercarriage point to take the flex out of the chassis. This makes the car slightly unstable and subject to falling off to the left or right side of the cental resting point if unbalanced weight is added. Once the flex is out of the chassis tac in a bar. I just threw down a quick bead for the rear to keep the bar together and the angles right once removed.

Image
The front primary bar consists of three pieces. Two small pieces rising from the base plates to give proper clearance of the intake manifold and throttle body. Again I just threw down a quick bead.




Image
Image
Image

Step 7: Final welding & Grinding
Remove the tac'd bars. Lay down your final beads and design the final shape of the bars. If you don't care how ugly they look then after this step you are done fabricating and need only to reinstall them. However I didn't want them to look like cheap dime-store crap so I continued. I decided to grind down the final welds to give them a nice clean outward appearance.
Image

This was a big decision for me..... I HATE GRINDING! Especially with the intricacy of some of these angles.... what a bitch. I did not go into picture detail of the final design. The final design is really kind of irrelevant. There are a million different configurations that will provide proper rigidity..... pick one.
Rear shock tower brace
Image

C-pillar chassis brace

Image

Image
Image


Step 8: Minimize surface flaws
Some places on the bars showed minor flaws. Not really a big deal but I already committed to making them look decent so why not go the full nine. One word: Bondo. I covered all the places I had cut, welded, or had been grinding on. After letting it cure and sanding it down the surface becomes much more flowing and coherent. My aim was to make them look as close as possible to being machined from a single block of metal.
My cost: Bondo: $9.00 / Sandpaper of varying grit: $2.00
Rear shock tower brace
Image
Image
Image

Front strut tower brace

Image
Image
Image
Image
C-pillar chassis brace

Image
Image
Image




Step 9: Prep
Filler Primer, found at any hardware or autoparts store and even Wal-mart. Prime the surface for paint. Filler primer is thicker and heavier than standard primer and is effective at filling scratches and divots up to 1/16th of an inch thick. I prepped them and sanded the surface with a fine grit sand paper. Ideally I should've wet sanded them after the filler primer cured.... I do want them to look good, but lets not go crazy. Fine grit finish dry sanding will be adequate.
My cost: $5.00

Image

Image
Image



Step 10: Final paint
I chose black. I suppose you can use any fancy-assed ricer color you want, but for me...... black..... Ultra-flat black. I assume I don't have to explain how to spraypaint something..... do I? I used Ultra-flat with a satin clear coat because it combines to make a very 'close to stock' final appearance. If you look at the factory front shock tower brace on a 3rd gen GS-R and compare the color and shine to these I think you will find I got pretty damn close.
My cost: Ultra-flat black paint: $2.00 / Satin clear coat: $3.00
Image
Image
Image

Front strut tower brace
Image

Rear shock tower brace

Image
C-pillar chassis brace
Image





Step 11: Installation. The car will again need to be off of the gound and remove the weight from the points where the braces would go if that is how you initially fabricated them....... same as step 6. After you get them in admire your handi-work for a minute and then take the bastard out for a spin.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Originally posted by Nitrew on 12th December 2004
I've uploaded all the pics here:
http://imgur.com/a/MDWr6
Last edited by thebranded on September 26th, 2015, 3:04 am, edited 4 times in total.
Rover 416i aka Honda aka Acura

Suspension: Illumi's all round, 24mm torsions (waiting to be installed) Cusco front strut bar
Intake: K&N Drop in filter
Exhurst: 2" SS 75% parts aquired.


Topic Author
thebranded
Posts: 126
Joined: May 9th, 2005, 1:19 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: How-to: Get stiff [Saved from old site]

Postby thebranded » September 26th, 2015, 2:44 am

[Place holder in case i find more data relating to this thread]
Rover 416i aka Honda aka Acura

Suspension: Illumi's all round, 24mm torsions (waiting to be installed) Cusco front strut bar
Intake: K&N Drop in filter
Exhurst: 2" SS 75% parts aquired.

User avatar

MinkelR
Site Admin
Posts: 628
Joined: November 23rd, 2006, 10:25 pm
Location: Bellingham, WA

Re: How-to: Get stiff [Saved from old site]

Postby MinkelR » September 27th, 2015, 4:43 am

Right on!
1987 Acura Integra LS (Rest in Pieces)
1989 Acura Integra LS Daily Driver
1992 Mazda 323 (Sold)


Return to “FAQ/How-to/Articles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest