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Old 04-23-2010, 01:49 PM   #15
Hotchkis

 
Drives: 1st through 5th gen Camaros
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Sante Fe Springs, CA
Posts: 458
It really depends on what you do with your car. If you're looking for the optimal combination of handling, traction on launch, and a comfortable ride, we feel like our brace is the way to go. The 5th Gen platform is very stable, it doesn't really need subframe connectors that just connect front to rear. What it does need is a way to cut lateral movement in those big rear bushings. Using a small subframe brace and stiff bushings will solve the problem, but also give you a pretty rough ride.

Rather than cranking out parts to fill a slot in a catalog, we like to assess each vehicle and platform through rigorous race track and street testing before coming up with an action plan on how to improve overall driving dynamics. Through both acceleration and road course testing we found that the problem with the 5th Gen Camaro is not subframe flex, it's the massive bushings in the rear cradle used by the factory to isolate NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) originally designed for some of the other Zeta platform cars. Those big bushings are great for creating a soft cushy ride, but terrible for performance since they allow the rear suspension cradle to move longitudinally & laterally, hurting both launch from a standstill and overall handling.


Here's a visual of the problem:





The Hotchkis Sport Suspension Chassis Max Brace reduces chassis flex and improves traction during hard launches and high-speed cornering by triangulating the rear sub frame to the chassis frame rails. The beauty of the brace is that it stiffens the platform but still allows the bushings to articulate in the vertical axis, so ride quality is not diminished. You get a stable footing and harder launches without the punishing ride of some of the other solutions. It took hundreds of R&D hours and several versions to come up with a brace we were happy with, which is why it works so well.

As for cost, What does price matter if the part doesn't really do anything for the rear suspension? Our brace is manufactured from strong, lightweight elliptical aluminum tubing that we have extruded to our custom spec by Alcoa and mated to laser cut, CNC machined aluminum brackets. We do this for minimal weight, maximum strength, ground clearance and corrosion resistance. Once you consider that you don't have to buy rear bushings, the cost is a push - it's all about philosophy.


So, with our brace you improve chassis stiffness, launches and overall handling. Plus it’s easy to bolt on, as you can see here:


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Old 04-23-2010, 04:41 PM   #16
radz28
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Crapramento, Crapifornia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotchkis View Post
It really depends on what you do with your car. If you're looking for the optimal combination of handling, traction on launch, and a comfortable ride, we feel like our brace is the way to go. The 5th Gen platform is very stable, it doesn't really need subframe connectors that just connect front to rear. What it does need is a way to cut lateral movement in those big rear bushings. Using a small subframe brace and stiff bushings will solve the problem, but also give you a pretty rough ride.

Rather than cranking out parts to fill a slot in a catalog, we like to assess each vehicle and platform through rigorous race track and street testing before coming up with an action plan on how to improve overall driving dynamics. Through both acceleration and road course testing we found that the problem with the 5th Gen Camaro is not subframe flex, it's the massive bushings in the rear cradle used by the factory to isolate NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) originally designed for some of the other Zeta platform cars. Those big bushings are great for creating a soft cushy ride, but terrible for performance since they allow the rear suspension cradle to move longitudinally & laterally, hurting both launch from a standstill and overall handling.


Here's a visual of the problem:





The Hotchkis Sport Suspension Chassis Max Brace reduces chassis flex and improves traction during hard launches and high-speed cornering by triangulating the rear sub frame to the chassis frame rails. The beauty of the brace is that it stiffens the platform but still allows the bushings to articulate in the vertical axis, so ride quality is not diminished. You get a stable footing and harder launches without the punishing ride of some of the other solutions. It took hundreds of R&D hours and several versions to come up with a brace we were happy with, which is why it works so well.

As for cost, What does price matter if the part doesn't really do anything for the rear suspension? Our brace is manufactured from strong, lightweight elliptical aluminum tubing that we have extruded to our custom spec by Alcoa and mated to laser cut, CNC machined aluminum brackets. We do this for minimal weight, maximum strength, ground clearance and corrosion resistance. Once you consider that you don't have to buy rear bushings, the cost is a push - it's all about philosophy.


So, with our brace you improve chassis stiffness, launches and overall handling. Plus it’s easy to bolt on, as you can see here:


Good stuff to know, and now understand. Thanks
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Old 04-23-2010, 06:16 PM   #17
BMR guy

 
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Drives: 2010 1SS
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 1,099
THE biggest problem IS the rear cradle bushings and YES, this is the most rigid platform yet but it is still a car with a front subframe and a rear subframe and nothing but rocker panels and floorpan tying them together. The question "does this car need subframe connectors" cannot be answered the same way for every driver. Will everyone benefit from them? Probably not but some people baby their cars while others beat on them regularly. I like to drive my cars hard and push them to the limits as often as possible. Anything I can do to increase those limits (especially with an easy 2 hour bolt-on) just makes driving the car more exciting. The biggest difference between the two brands in question is the connection points. The BMR subframe connector ties the front and rear subframes together with a third connection at the driveshaft carrier bearing location. Connecting these together with our driveshaft tunnel brace further reinforces the chassis.

Here's just a little insight into why we did it this way. Our first design subframe connector tied into the rear cradle also. When we were considering this design we had plans to include solid cradle bushings with the subframe connectors because in our opinion the cradle needs to be "locked down" to prevent the subframe connector from fatiguing over time and cracking welds. With one end locked solid and the other attached to the cradle mounted in rubber, the amount of "flex cycles" transmitted into the connector was considered to be too much of a liability concern. It is common practice on earlier platforms (example: first and second generation F-Body, Nova, etc.) that have subframes isolated in rubber to "lockout" the bushings when installing subframe connectors. Not doing this just allows the subframe connectors to flex regularly, fatiguing the welds to the body or subframe connectors. It may very well be fine on this platform but it is the reason we didn't go that route. Instead we made a true subframe connector separate from the cradle and developed bushings to reduce the cradle movement.

We designed a poly bushing replacement for the rear cradle (that will be available in the next few weeks) and also a Delrin cradle bushing set for heavy duty street and track use(these will be available later this year). Both of these eliminate the cradle movement by themselves and don't require the subframe connectors to do so.

Hopefully this was helpful in making your decision whichever direction you go. If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask!
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