X Brace to stiffen your MINI

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by Way Motor Works, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. Way Motor Works

    Way Motor Works New Member

    May 4, 2009
    1,169
    205
    0
    MINI Tuner
    Atlanta
    Ratings:
    +205 / 0 / -0
    All the time we hear MINI owners want to stiffen the chassis on their MINI. Well I've used every chassis brace made and can say the TSW X brace is by far the best. Most chassis bracing systems follow the shape of the front subframe and just connect to the body of the car into the flimsy sheetmetal. This decreases the effectiveness of the brace because the subframe is already supporting the car. Then comes the X brace. The X brace goes across the center of the MINI where the subframe is wide open. It is in an X shape and has a single bar that laterally crosses the car connecting the front control arm bushing mounts. Also the X brace is made of round tubular steel vs others made from flat stock or aluminum bars, making is much stronger.

    [​IMG]

    If you have used the TSW X brace please post your thoughts on how well it works, and if you used any other brace prior.
     
  2. PGT

    PGT Wheel Whore

    May 4, 2009
    781
    7
    18
    Federal Gov Contracting
    Leesburg VA
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0 / -0
    +1 for best option. It doesn't have clearance issues like the M7 USS does and you don't have to mess with 'nutserts'. Think about it.....how much can the USS actually do if you are bolting it to thin sheetmetal with the nutsert? The x-brace bolts to solid mount points.
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Administrator
    Staff Member Articles Moderator

    Apr 23, 2009
    12,156
    3,162
    113
    Maryland, USA
    Ratings:
    +3,164 / 0 / -0
    #3 Steve, Nov 27, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
    I don't own the TSW version but I do have the M7 USS. For those who haven't held the USS in hand to check it out, it's made of black anodized, rectangular aluminum tube.

    Does the chassis really flex? One of the members of my USS is bent. I've studied it in detail with good light and magnification and can find zero evidence of impact or anything else that might have caused it. Is this a result of lightweight materials and real stress? I can't say for certain, but I kinda think so and I will be replacing it one of these days with a different brace.

    I can't believe I forgot to take pics. I'll try to remember next time I get the car off the ground.
     
  4. mini_racer

    mini_racer Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2009
    1,046
    55
    48
    Engr Manager
    Austin, TX
    Ratings:
    +55 / 0 / -0
    I have the R53 version. It is a well made item and installs easily enough. The X-brace is very strong, it simply has to stiffen the chassis, and it would provide some measure of protection for an inadvertent off-road or off-track excursion.

    However, I would warn you to NOT use the torque specs supplied as they are wrong. Or at least they were wrong, I could not find the install instructions on Way's site to verify. Just use the shop manual, and all will be well.
    I know, not your fault Way, but it is your burden to fix.

    Also, while it does install fine after you get the proper torque specs, there are fitment issues with some after market headers. Specifically, there can be interference with the cat on an after market header where it smacks the top of the gusset right at the 'X'. Also, there can be fitment issues with the post cat O2 sensor location or an AFR bung location, meaning they can also interfere with the center 'X' area of the brace. Sure you could blame any fitment issues with another after market component all on the other component. Regardless of fault, there are definitely fitment issues.
     
  5. Justa Jim

    Justa Jim Well-Known Member
    Lifetime Supporter

    May 6, 2009
    7,422
    1,678
    113
    Ratings:
    +1,678 / 0 / -0
    How does this differ from a rear say bar in what it does for the car? Just asking as I don't really know.

    Jim
     
  6. Mr. Jim

    Mr. Jim Mudshark
    Lifetime Supporter

    May 22, 2010
    3,381
    1,205
    113
    North Carolina
    Ratings:
    +1,208 / 0 / -0
    I have the TSW X-brace and I love it! I did a lot of research on it before I purchased it and it was the only one I considered from the start. Noticed the difference straight away when I installed it.
     
  7. Way Motor Works

    Way Motor Works New Member

    May 4, 2009
    1,169
    205
    0
    MINI Tuner
    Atlanta
    Ratings:
    +205 / 0 / -0
    Yes I have made a PDF with instructions and the factory torque specs. I can email it to anyone needing them.

    As for fitment, It was designed to fit with the stock cat. So if anyone that has a header has the cat in a different location or size it can be an issue, but we can't make different versions for each header. If you want an X brace get it before the header or be prepared that it may contact.

    As for difference from a swaybar. This will stiffen up the car by taking the flex out of it. The swaybar works in the suspension to make the car turn and rotate. They work totally different.
     
  8. TGS91

    TGS91 New Member

    May 8, 2009
    1,593
    17
    0
    Sales Dude
    St. Louis, MO
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0 / -0
    While I have front and rear swaybars as well as a strut bar brace I thought the X Brace a great extra

    I'm tempted to uninstall the strut bar and sell as I don't see it having anywhere near the impact the XBrace does

    If it wasn't a royal PITA I would do the same with the front swaybar

    For those who have not done anything to the front suspension this is a no brainer. Easy to install with great bang for the buck compared to all other choices.

    One of my 'Mod Mantra's' is take care of the suspension before adding the 'go fast' stuff
     
  9. TGS91

    TGS91 New Member

    May 8, 2009
    1,593
    17
    0
    Sales Dude
    St. Louis, MO
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0 / -0
    Way, could you email to me so I can make sure I am torqued to spec. When I installed I took to snug and about a 1/2 turn beyond
     
  10. Dr Obnxs

    Dr Obnxs New Member

    Jun 11, 2009
    1,158
    3
    0
    A Man of Wit and Charm! (Just ask my wife!)
    Woodside, CA, up in the hills and trees.
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    It's a great part

    I have one on my car, and all I can say is that it really, really stiffens up the chassis. My car is old and beat, and this really helped it. It's an easy install and does what it's supposed to.

    I do bump into an occational speed-bump in parking lots though.

    But it really tightens up the whole chassis. If you put one of these on, you'll have to re-tune you suspension settings to get you back to your sweet spot though. It does make that much of a difference.

    Matt
     
  11. mini_racer

    mini_racer Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2009
    1,046
    55
    48
    Engr Manager
    Austin, TX
    Ratings:
    +55 / 0 / -0
    So, what did you have to re-tune in your suspension due to the added chassis stiffness?

    I guess I just do not have a sophisticated enough suspension butt dyno, but for my car it just seemed that things were a little tighter, turn-in a little sharper, more controlled, etc. I was just better. However, I did not make any suspension adjustments after install.

    What am I missing?
     
  12. minimark

    minimark Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    5,146
    1,300
    113
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Ratings:
    +1,300 / 0 / -0
    Nothing.

    Its a well made piece that stiffens the front of the chassis and does just what you described; nothing more and nothing less.

    PS: There have been X-braces much the same as these available for BMWs for a long time.
     
  13. Mr. Jim

    Mr. Jim Mudshark
    Lifetime Supporter

    May 22, 2010
    3,381
    1,205
    113
    North Carolina
    Ratings:
    +1,208 / 0 / -0
    I think what Matt is saying , is if you adjusted your suspension, ie shocks to compensate with the flex, that once it's gone you may have to readjust shock settings.
     
  14. Rooster

    Rooster New Member

    May 22, 2009
    113
    0
    0
    Systems Engineer
    West Hollywood, CA
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Another happy X-brace owner here. It really stiffened up the convertible flex!
     
  15. danf

    danf New Member

    Aug 30, 2009
    33
    0
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    I've got one and I love it!
     
  16. mini_racer

    mini_racer Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2009
    1,046
    55
    48
    Engr Manager
    Austin, TX
    Ratings:
    +55 / 0 / -0
    Update after the install of the TSW/Way Upper Motor Mount as a replacement for the stock hydraulic mount and the TSW/Way damper.

    Fitment issues are history! I no longer experience any contact between the after market cat and the X-brace. :Thumbsup:
     
  17. Mike

    Mike New Member

    May 4, 2009
    403
    3
    0
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Excellent!!!!! :D:D:D
     
  18. BThayer23

    BThayer23 Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2009
    1,317
    154
    63
    Civil Engineer
    Durham, NC
    Ratings:
    +154 / 0 / -0
    Glad you got that worked out! I noticed that on my car, too. I had to use a bunch of washers to get my catback exhaust centered in the rear bumper. After I installed the TSW motor mount, I removed a bunch of washers because it realigned everything.
     
  19. mini_racer

    mini_racer Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2009
    1,046
    55
    48
    Engr Manager
    Austin, TX
    Ratings:
    +55 / 0 / -0
    #19 mini_racer, Jan 20, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
    Thanks, it was frustrating for a while there. The damper is great, it is just not strong enough for my needs. And speaking of washers, I also used washers as spacers for the rear mounting points of the X-brace to lower it away from the cat. I know I can go and remove them now, and allow the X-brace to function as designed. (Yeah I know it will not be a noticeable difference, still...)
     
  20. ColinGreene

    ColinGreene Well-Known Member
    Motoring Alliance Sponsor

    May 15, 2009
    438
    293
    63
    Male
    Orange county Ca
    Ratings:
    +293 / 0 / -0
    #20 ColinGreene, Feb 6, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2011
    Would this fit under a car with JIC coils all the way down on 16 inch wheels?
     

Share This Page