Someone recently asked me in an email about using the convertible braces on R53's to help stiffen the front some. For those of you who are not familiar with these the braces are simple tubes that connect the strut tower to the box arms that also support the motor and the terminate at the bumper. Right or Drivers side brace shown below. These are inexpensive and many of the Sponsors here on Motoring Alliance carry them. I think I paid about $50 for them at MITM 07 from Custom MINI Shop. The question is...do they do anything besides add to the Mod List, inexpensively too I might add? Now I'll be the first to admit I'm not gifted with the ability to feel slight change as so many of you are and I often try things on just the strength of the idea. MINI did spec them for the convertible for some reason. They also changed the build process of all 1st gen MINIs from the introction of convertibles on to accommodate these braces by adding the mounting points to all cars. That entails adding yet another set of complications to the build process. Tintops have simple push in plugs for these 12 holes. My reasoning tells me if it helps brace that area on a convertible it can't hurt on the coupes. In other-words, I didn't feel a difference. Do you have them and can you feel the difference?