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Old 03-09-2010, 10:22 AM   #1
marcs_sp20
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GB: Chassis braces to suit BJ Astina/Protege

Hey guys,

There is currently a groupbuy happening over on Mazdas247 for various chassis braces for our cars - at stupidly low prices!!!

So these are the braces in question:

Front Strut Bar


Lower Tie Bar


Rear Panel V-Brace


4 Point Ladder Brace



Rear Strut Bar - Suit Protege Sedan only
[/QUOTE]


Prices - Please note this is in US dollars & US shipping
- Front Strut Bar--------------------------GB Price: $145 Shipped---Retail: $159
- Lower Tie Bar----------------------------GB Price: $79 Shipped----Retail: $89
- 4 Point Ladder Brace-------------------GB Price: $159 Shipped---Retail: $169
(washers/bolts needed for Modded Exhausts)
- Rear Strut Bar---------------------------GB Price: $99 Shipped---Retail: $119
- Rear Panel V-Brace (Revised and will clear metal jacking point)------GB Price: $165 Shipped---Retail: $169

Also, with the above prices, if you purchase more then 2 items, take off 25%!! These parts are coming straight from the manufacturer to Brisbane, so could be a little cheaper again!

The only catch is that we need to know numbers by the 15th of September, and payment by 17th of September, please PM Orion for payment, as he is the one organising from here on Mazdas247

Put your name down & what parts you want if seriously interested:

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Cheers
Marc & Darryl
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:31 AM   #2
Orion
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Guys,

The prices above are in US dollars. There are also for shipping in continental US. Please use them as a guide only.

I am getting a quote for a set of four pieces soon and I can give a more accurate picture of what the final cost of each piece to Brisbane will be. Obviously, if you can't / don't want to pick up from Brisbane then there will be Australia Post shipping costs on top of that as well.

Please post all questions in this thread. I have been following the discussions on Mazdas247.com and should be able to answer most of them. Any that I can't answer, I will get information fairly quickly.

As Marc said the window for this is open for only a short time, so quick and firm decisions will be required. Full up-front payment to me will be required and I will take care of payment to the States.

Thanks for your time.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:42 AM   #3
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Test Fit:

Front Strut Bar: Perfect Fit







4 Point Ladder Brace: Fits perfect with stock exhaust. If you have a 3 in exhaust, you will need washers and longer bolts.







Front Lower Tie Bar: Perfect Fit







Rear Strut Bar: Perfect fit. Sedan Only









V-Brace Panel: Negative. The Taiwan Protege's don't have that piece of metal sticking out. The arms look fine. I'm in talks with the company to make a revised version. Hopefully available soon!


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Old 03-09-2010, 11:04 AM   #4
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Note that the front strutbrace will require you to do something creative to hold the battery down, as it deletes the battery clamp.
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:51 AM   #5
Protege03
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1. Protege03 (rear strut bar)
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protege03 View Post
1. Protege03 (rear strut bar)
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Just to give you a heads up on the rear strut bar.

Not many people are buying one because it is only connected by one bolt. There is a big call to get these re-designed so that they connect with 2-3 bolts. This is not going to happen soon (latest estimates were November) and so the revised design is not available as part of this GB.

Also, because the sedan already has the solid deck between the two struts at the back they are not seen as particularly beneficial for sedans - at least in their current form.

If you still want the piece, then that's no problem and I will order it for you. But I figured that I would give you some more information as that piece has some things going on around it.

Feel free to post any questions you may have.
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:12 PM   #7
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Best deal in the Group Buy is the V-Brace...that is what I am getting...
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:46 PM   #8
Protege03
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ah i'll wait for the updated version.
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Old 03-09-2010, 03:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protege03 View Post
ah i'll wait for the updated version.
No worries that you don't want to grab the current version.

I will say this though. I don't know if they will do another GB in the States and I am unlikely to do any kind of organising of an Aussie if they do. To sum up, this may be a one-shot deal.

There is nothing stopping anyone following the thread on the US forum and getting parts through there in the future though.
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:51 PM   #10
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Dunno whether to get tie brace or ladder brace.

Not sure which id benefit from the most tbh.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice88 View Post
Dunno whether to get tie brace or ladder brace.

Not sure which id benefit from the most tbh.
The tie brace and ladder bar are not mutually exclusive - you can install both of them.

Here is some information from the US thread that might help.

Quote:
after installing the KMR lower tie bar on my P5, I noticed a really nice difference. the turn in was more responsive and made the rear almost seem sloppy. getting the rear v-brace and rear strut tower brace would really make a nice compliment.

my air ride has adjustable dampers for rebound control and stiffening. since i didnt have the v-brace, I did end up increasing stiffness in the rear struts to compensate. that helped a lot, but it seemed like there was still room for improvement for the rear. possibly a thick ass sway bar would be the trick as well??? dont know until I try. i dont have any other suspension mods than what is mentioned, so I cant provide much more info than that... sorry. Hope this helps!
Quote:
I recently installed a rear strut bar on my P5. Not this KMR one but similar design. Right away, the rear end stiffened up. I could physically feel the front of the car twist slightly more than the rear in hard cornering. A few days later, I installed the ladder brace and front tie bar. Again, not these KMR ones but exact same design. The front end stiffened up enough that in hard cornering, I no longer feel the front end twist more than the rear. Consequently, the turn-in is a little bit sharper and I think body roll is reduced by a slight amount. Less chassis flex should = more predictable cornering grip. These are just subjective impressions. I didn't do any sort of skid pad testing before and after the mods.

Not going to lie, the difference is very small but those that notice it will appreciate it. Also if you plan any sort of suspension mods for racing, these braces are a must. I'll be installing coilovers in the spring for autocross and am therefore really looking forward to installing the v-brace to complete chassis stiffening.
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Engine: AWR mounts; Twiggy cams; Custom CAI; RR Racing UDP; Mishimoto rad
EMS: Microtech LT-10; J&S Safeguard;
Gearbox: MSP LSD; Fidanza flywheel; 5th gear
Rims/Suspension: MX-5 rims; Tokico Illuminas; Eibach Pro-kit; Progress RSB; AutoExe STB
Exterior: MSP front lip & rear spoiler; Matt V headlights; AutoExe grill; EDM tails
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:19 PM   #12
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puttin on both the lower tie bar and the 4 point brace would sharpen steering right?

how much difference does the V brace make? and in what way

Cheers Orion.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brisbane_boy View Post
puttin on both the lower tie bar and the 4 point brace would sharpen steering right?

how much difference does the V brace make? and in what way

Cheers Orion.
Yes the lower tie bar and the ladder brace will provide sharper steering. In the comments I posted above, they mention improved 'turn in' - read as 'sharper steering'.

For the V-brace, unfortunately it has not been tested on the Protege (or Astina) platform as they needed a small redesign. I would imagine that it would stiffen up the rear for more stability. Not sure how much difference it would make and it may well depend on the spring/shock setup of the rear and what kind of rear swaybar you are using.
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Engine: AWR mounts; Twiggy cams; Custom CAI; RR Racing UDP; Mishimoto rad
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:36 AM   #14
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Check out reviews on the GT Spec rear V-Brace, I have heard nothing but good news and raves about it...supposed to be one of their best pieces with the most improvement...the GT Spec one was around $350 shipped, so there was no way I was passing this one up...
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Old 05-09-2010, 02:12 AM   #15
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Thanks ScratchNSniff i think you just made my bank balance even smaller
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:04 AM   #16
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You guys are not seriously considering buying those are you? The design of them is quite poor.

Front strut brace - lots of bends and where the bar actually bolts onto the end plates, these is nothing underneth it, as in the red end plate is not actually braced against any metal, so allows movement. (plus the negetive effect of what gav said).

Lower tie bar - the open end (left side of car) is at the wrong angle, and over time will move and doesn't have the correct design for 100% bolt grip.

4 point ladder brace - i don't have nothing bad to say about this, replacing a oem 35kg item with the 14kg ladder = less car weight = good thing. but it ain't gonna add any body regidity.

Rear strut brace - negetive aspects have already been spoken about. i don't see why it wouldn't fit the hatch though.

Rear v brace - how much extra bracing does a solid and fully welded bit of metal need?

Last edited by project.r.racing; 05-09-2010 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by project.r.racing View Post
You guys are not seriously considering buying those are you? The design of them is quite poor.

Front strut brace - lots of bends and where the bar actually bolts onto the end plates, these is nothing underneth it, as in the red end plate is not actually braced against any metal, so allows movement. (plus the negetive effect of what gav said).

Lower tie bar - the open end (left side of car) is at the wrong angle, and over time will move and doesn't have the correct design for 100% bolt grip.

4 point ladder brace - i don't have nothing bad to say about this, replacing a oem 35kg item with the 14kg ladder = less car weight = good thing. but it ain't gonna add any body regidity.

Rear strut brace - negetive aspects have already been spoken about. i don't see why it wouldn't fit the hatch though.

Rear v brace - how much extra bracing does a solid and fully welded bit of metal need?
Personally, I'm not much interested in the either of the strut braces. I already have a decent front brace and don't want the currrent version of the rear (I don't think they will sell any of those anyways.

It would be interesting to get a pic of a comparison brand, such as Cusco, for the lower tie bar. I'll see if i can find one this afternoon.

I'm pretty sure that you just plucked some numbers to make the point about weight loss. I know that you weren't trying to be accurately but as I have the information I thought that I post it up. The stock and KMR braces were weighed:
- Stock brace was 3.5 kg's
- KMR brace was 1.5 kg's
So the weight saving is 2 kg's. The KMR piece will be a little stiff compared to the stock metal piece but I'll agree that its something that is going to be barely noticable.

I think that the install pic of the rear V-brace are a little confusing. Yes, the panel connects on the solid metal piece in the car. It is the arms that provide the additional bracing. Here is a picture of the GT-Spec version:
http://www.vividracing.com/catalog/g...jrco2ifailofh6
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EMS: Microtech LT-10; J&S Safeguard;
Gearbox: MSP LSD; Fidanza flywheel; 5th gear
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Exterior: MSP front lip & rear spoiler; Matt V headlights; AutoExe grill; EDM tails
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:10 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion View Post
I'm pretty sure that you just plucked some numbers to make the point about weight loss. I know that you weren't trying to be accurately but as I have the information I thought that I post it up. The stock and KMR braces were weighed:
- Stock brace was 3.5 kg's
- KMR brace was 1.5 kg's
So the weight saving is 2 kg's. The KMR piece will be a little stiff compared to the stock metal piece but I'll agree that its something that is going to be barely noticable.
I just looked at the 2 pics of the ladder brace that Marc posted up and did my own calculations from lbs to kgs for the items on the bathroon scales.

//edit - and missing the decimal place.

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Old 05-09-2010, 09:17 AM   #19
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Just checked the pic for the rear V brace. As you cannot lengthen the rear trailing arms, I do not see why you need to increase the body ridgity lengthways. If it did something widthways, then it would make sense more.
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:24 AM   #20
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Here's a shot of the Cusco lower tie bar I had (and stupidly sold to Mat - wish I didnt), which has the same mounting points on both sides, cant understand why the KMR is different

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