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Old 08-11-2011, 03:07 PM   #1
Avalnch

 
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Hotchkis Max Chassis Brace really does stiffen the Gen5 chassis

I always felt that the Camaro's chassis could be stronger, so I ordered the Hotchkis Max Chassis brace from Maryland Speed and installed it. Very smooth install even lying on your back. The brace is very light weight and easy to handle.

As I drove out of my back driveway, I could immediately feel the increased rigidity in the car's chassis. My driveway is elevated above the alley and the car has to travel over a decline, into a dip created by the rain runoff channel before all four tires are on the alley's main paved roadway. The car also has to back into the alley at about a 45° angle. This places a lot of flex on the chassis as each wheel transitions on and off the different elevations.

Before the brace, either of the front coilover springs (depending on which way I back out of into the alley) would bind and unbind causing a slight twang sound as my Camaro drove out of the alley. This noise was consistent and I always went slowly to avoid binding the springs too much.

The first time I backed out of the driveway with the brace on, I could feel the car flex much less and the spring noise did not occur. I haven't had that noise now since I got the brace.

On the road, the car ride is stiffer. As the car goes over road irregularities, the chassis responds as if it was a washboard with much less give. The suspension is working harder now for sure.

One note of caution if you autocross your car and have the complete Max Brace installed. You cannot run E-SP (street prepared) class since SCCA rules do not allow tying the left and right sides of the car chassis together unless you are using the factory tunnel brace (which also cannot be modified). To make my Camaro class legal, I have to race with the Hotchkis cross brace removed. Also, the Gen5 Camaro SS defaults into E-SP class right away (bone stock). It is not allowed in stock class.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:56 PM   #2
slotwheels
 
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I was thinking about getting the Hotchkis Max Chassis Brace . How much stiffer or harder is the ride compared to stock?
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:58 PM   #3
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The ride won't be harder, what it does is take the slop out of the rear end and make the ride more controlled. You will love how it feels, and will wonder why it did not come from the factory this way.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkscott View Post
The ride won't be harder, what it does is take the slop out of the rear end and make the ride more controlled. You will love how it feels, and will wonder why it did not come from the factory this way.
OK, Good. This will be my next upgrade.
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:10 PM   #5
brantley847
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I have been leaning towards hotchkis track pack w/ pedders bushings... the brace was a huge selling point for me.
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Next in order: F14s, 3.70 gears, DSS Axles, End links/Toe rods/trailing arms, Ported heads, S/C.







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Old 08-16-2011, 11:14 AM   #6
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Avalnch - Thanks for the good detailed review of our Chassis Max Brace. Now people can go in knowing a lot about driving and racing with the brace.

bkscott - Thanks for helping out with your experieces with our Brace. We've had people make the same comment about why GM didn't install a Chassis Max brace from the factory. The difference is pretty amazing.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brantley847 View Post
I have been leaning towards hotchkis track pack w/ pedders bushings... the brace was a huge selling point for me.

Brantley847 – You can always install the track pack first and install the bushings later. This would give you an idea of the difference before and after.

Some journalists had a chance to drive a stock Camaro, then got to drive a Track Pack-equipped Camaro. Watch the video and see what the Motor Press Guild President had to say.

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Old 08-16-2011, 01:39 PM   #8
brantley847
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotchkis View Post
Brantley847 – You can always install the track pack first and install the bushings later. This would give you an idea of the difference before and after.

Some journalists had a chance to drive a stock Camaro, then got to drive a Track Pack-equipped Camaro. Watch the video and see what the Motor Press Guild President had to say.
Yea, that is the plan... gonna take it step by step to see what I really need, seeing as how this is a street vehicle for me.

I was planning on doing the brace alone, but might as well just wait a few more weeks and save up to do the whole package.
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2011 2SS/RS
Performance: 439 RWHP A6: 226/236 Comp Cam, Kooks 1-7/8, CAInc, Borla S type, FTI Converter, Vmax TB, Rx Catch Can, Trans cooler, SLP 160 termo, Melling high volume, Eibach Springs/Sways 1" drop, Whiteline complete bushing kit.
Appearance:Smoked side markers and black bowties. Blk / Blue Carbon Fiber interior trim.

Next in order: F14s, 3.70 gears, DSS Axles, End links/Toe rods/trailing arms, Ported heads, S/C.







1100 7/02 Ordered
3800 8/09 Order produced
4200 8/13 Shipped
6000 8/24 HOME!
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brantley847 View Post
Yea, that is the plan... gonna take it step by step to see what I really need, seeing as how this is a street vehicle for me.

I was planning on doing the brace alone, but might as well just wait a few more weeks and save up to do the whole package.

Brantley847 – That’s a great approach. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:56 AM   #10
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I am going to go with the full race pack, but was wondering if anyone can tell me if there are significant (noticeable) differences just because of the end links and strut brace?? I would like to only spend the 1200 and save about 700 bucks if there is truly a significant advantage in having these things on the street, I am all over it. I do very little track racing and some drag strip. thougths??
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:13 PM   #11
Squintz Palladoris
 
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This brace will be a part of my suspension build. I really like how it ties into the rear suspension cradle and the rest of the chassis.
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:00 PM   #12
Blacc Mamba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brantley847 View Post
I have been leaning towards hotchkis track pack w/ pedders bushings... the brace was a huge selling point for me.
Did you go with this setup, I'm considering the exact same thing
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:29 PM   #13
brantley847
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacc Mamba View Post
Did you go with this setup, I'm considering the exact same thing
Not yet, I am still pricing everything out and I am probably going to be playing the mix and match game...

I can get Eibach springs and sways for 460... the hotchkis brace for about 400 and the Pedders Street 1 (bushings/inserts) for about 250-300... it would save me a buddle going that route.

I am just stuck between Eibach and Hotckhis. Both are cold wound, and I really do prefer Hotchkis. I will keep talking to vendors to see if they can get that package down for me and I can run Hotckhis all the way back...

I will be doing their chassis brace and their strut tower brace regardless of who I go with for springs and bushings.
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2011 2SS/RS
Performance: 439 RWHP A6: 226/236 Comp Cam, Kooks 1-7/8, CAInc, Borla S type, FTI Converter, Vmax TB, Rx Catch Can, Trans cooler, SLP 160 termo, Melling high volume, Eibach Springs/Sways 1" drop, Whiteline complete bushing kit.
Appearance:Smoked side markers and black bowties. Blk / Blue Carbon Fiber interior trim.

Next in order: F14s, 3.70 gears, DSS Axles, End links/Toe rods/trailing arms, Ported heads, S/C.







1100 7/02 Ordered
3800 8/09 Order produced
4200 8/13 Shipped
6000 8/24 HOME!
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:19 PM   #14
Blacc Mamba
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Originally Posted by brantley847 View Post
Not yet, I am still pricing everything out and I am probably going to be playing the mix and match game...

I can get Eibach springs and sways for 460... the hotchkis brace for about 400 and the Pedders Street 1 (bushings/inserts) for about 250-300... it would save me a buddle going that route.

I am just stuck between Eibach and Hotckhis. Both are cold wound, and I really do prefer Hotchkis. I will keep talking to vendors to see if they can get that package down for me and I can run Hotckhis all the way back...

I will be doing their chassis brace and their strut tower brace regardless of who I go with for springs and bushings.
Same boat, it just that I noticed ppl who were mixing and matching were having various problems until they swapped of for same brand stuff. I'm just trying to see which parts work good together. Make sure you post results when you do decide
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:50 PM   #15
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x2martell24 - If you drive your Camaro at (or below) the speed limit at all times, you may not notice the significant difference. You don't have to be on the track to notice it. But if you're going to be on the dragstrip, you'll notice the increased traction and more confidence off the line with our undercar Chassis Max Brace.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:43 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Blacc Mamba View Post
Same boat, it just that I noticed ppl who were mixing and matching were having various problems until they swapped of for same brand stuff. I'm just trying to see which parts work good together. Make sure you post results when you do decide

Every aftermarket suspension manufacturer has a different idea of how to make a car handle better. Some like to have more spring rate (and different progression of rate) and less sway bar (roll stiffness) and some prefer to have more sway bar. When you mix and match springs and sway bars (and other components) from different manufacturers, you are taking a chance that you’re mixing high spring rates and too much roll stiffness or too little of both.

Sticking to a single manufacturer makes sure you get a car that performs the way it was designed.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:24 PM   #17
Blacc Mamba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotchkis View Post
Every aftermarket suspension manufacturer has a different idea of how to make a car handle better. Some like to have more spring rate (and different progression of rate) and less sway bar (roll stiffness) and some prefer to have more sway bar. When you mix and match springs and sway bars (and other components) from different manufacturers, you are taking a chance that you’re mixing high spring rates and too much roll stiffness or too little of both.

Sticking to a single manufacturer makes sure you get a car that performs the way it was designed.
I intend on purchasing your track pack when I come across a good deal, or if you would like me to showcase your products at shows for a discounted price.
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:06 PM   #18
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I've had the Hotchkis Race setup on my car since the time we started selling it. I take my car to the track often enough to be able to tell you this setup is an outstanding way to bring the suspension up to where it should of been from the factory.

The single most important piece would be the under chassis brace. This takes pretty much all wheel hop out of the back and gives the car substantial control. The rear sway bar I would say has been another extreme help. I run the bar on its max setting being i run 315's in the rear.

The springs are substantially better than the other brands we've used. Eibachs would un**** themselves if the car was lifted or if the car hit a large bump. I do know Hotchkis has put an extreme amount of time into getting the right spring rate for our cars.

If you're in the orange county area and want to see what it feels like stop on by for a ride!
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