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Camaro V8 LS3 / L99 Engine, Exhaust, and Bolt-Ons Bolt-Ons | Intakes | Exhaust

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Old 03-22-2012, 06:22 PM   #1
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Do you really NEED the tunnel brace?

Installing my flowmaster outlaw kit and can't get enough clearance on the tunnel brace to put it on. I was using 1/2" bolts as spacers when I had my AMT on but I guess flowmaster can't seem to get a consistent production line going. So....do I even need the brace, and if so, anybody know what size bolts it uses so I can get some longer ones.....not enough thread left to add more spacing on current bolts
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:25 PM   #2
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I'd stop by ace hardware and find some longer bolts/bigger spacers. Better to have something then nothing. You can also look into a Stainless Works or ARH tunnel brace that add more room for bigger exhaust systems.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:25 PM   #3
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Yes. Can't help you with the bolt size though. Why not just take one to home depot. They usually have those things that let you check what size bolt you have.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:26 PM   #4
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Elite Engineering's tunnel brace. Problem solved.......



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Old 03-22-2012, 06:35 PM   #5
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:36 PM   #6
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Yea eventually I'd like to get a nice one. So if answer is yes I need it, then is it ok to drive it to the hardware store to get longer bolts?
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:08 PM   #7
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Oh....also, any suggestions on some heat resistant tape or padding I can put on a small section that is about 1/16" away from part of the car? It would be easier to put something to absorb vibration when it touches on a sharp turn than to readjust the whole exhaust (which wouldn't do much anyways)
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:28 PM   #8
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Yea eventually I'd like to get a nice one. So if answer is yes I need it, then is it ok to drive it to the hardware store to get longer bolts?
yes. Just don't get side swiped - seriously. the tunnel brace protects the frame during side impacts.

to your second question, I don't know of anything that's that heat resistant and can muffle vibrations.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:37 PM   #9
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The tunnel brace does not affect normal operation of the car...has no bearing on it. It's a side impact thing. If you're hit broadside, it is there to help keep the structure of the car together around you.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:57 PM   #10
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Thanks for the help and info guys. Bolts are 10MM-1.5 so I got some 50MM length and 1/2" nylon spacers and as for the tape stuff, I'm thinking a few layers of that muffler patching stuff should help for now
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:23 PM   #11
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you can drive it no worries...just dont get broadsided
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:01 PM   #12
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If I get broadsided I think I got more problems than my exhaust rattling lol. But it's all fixed. Got the brace spaced away from the exhaust and metal zip-tied the slack out of the exhaust hangar to pull it away from the car. Sounds awesome. Don't know why I didn't just go with the Outlaw in the first place
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
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The tunnel brace does not affect normal operation of the car...has no bearing on it. It's a side impact thing. If you're hit broadside, it is there to help keep the structure of the car together around you.
I beg to differ. The brace offers stability/rigidity across the tunnel, which is a weak point in the undercarriage. Yes it helps in side impact but it also keeps the undercarriage from flexing during normal cornering. There are several people that run without it so there's no worries in damaging anything from driving without it but if you're in tune with your car, you can feel the difference between having one or not.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:36 PM   #14
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If I get broadsided I think I got more problems than my exhaust rattling lol. But it's all fixed. Got the brace spaced away from the exhaust and metal zip-tied the slack out of the exhaust hangar to pull it away from the car. Sounds awesome. Don't know why I didn't just go with the Outlaw in the first place
I actually put another hangar on the drivers side pipe that pulled up both sides enough to not hit.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:01 AM   #15
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The Chevy service dept. took mine off when they installed my exhaust. They didn't even mention it to me either.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:02 AM   #16
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The Chevy service dept. took mine off when they installed my exhaust. They didn't even mention it to me either.
Yea you should reinstall it
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:11 AM   #17
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I ran about a year without mine out of sheer laziness. I got some fender spacers I was using on the 67 Camaro and used them to shim it down... worked like a charm. Did not need longer bolts.

Its one of those "things"... need... NO. Should have... probably. Yes, I am sure if you were T-boned by a Mac truck, the car my crumple another 1/4" without it and if you were running the car full bore on "The Ring" you may notice if you were THAT intune with your car.

All us regular Joe's would never know the difference... but its one of those things. It was there, GM felt it had some need (they dont do ANYTHING for no reason... they could probably have eliminated that and saved millions) for it so I put it back.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:29 AM   #18
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Yea eventually I'd like to get a nice one. So if answer is yes I need it, then is it ok to drive it to the hardware store to get longer bolts?
It is only needed if you put 3" caback exhaust on....if you do the exhaust and not the brace, it will rattle on the stock brace and you will wish you had bought it.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:41 PM   #19
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It is only needed if you put 3" caback exhaust on....if you do the exhaust and not the brace, it will rattle on the stock brace and you will wish you had bought it.
My stock one fits with no spacers with my 3" dual exhaust...it depends which catback you get and how nicely you can tuck the pipes up in the tunnel when you install it.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:43 PM   #20
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My stock one fits with no spacers with my 3" dual exhaust...it depends which catback you get and how nicely you can tuck the pipes up in the tunnel when you install it.
I ran the stock tunnel brace when I had my JBA 3" exhaust and it was fine.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:43 PM   #21
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I beg to differ. The brace offers stability/rigidity across the tunnel, which is a weak point in the undercarriage. Yes it helps in side impact but it also keeps the undercarriage from flexing during normal cornering. There are several people that run without it so there's no worries in damaging anything from driving without it but if you're in tune with your car, you can feel the difference between having one or not.
I guess...I dunno, I only drove mine for like 20 minutes without the brace...I guess maybe if you're pushing really hard in an autox or road course, but that's not why GM put it there. 99% of what GM does is to meet emissions and crash standards...after that it's "what will people want to buy?" and "what nvh will they live with?".

You may very well be right that it makes the car a LITTLE stiffer for cornering, but the design intent of the brace is side impact reinforcement, because without it, the floorpan would buckle very very easily at the tunnel.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:56 PM   #22
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I guess...I dunno, I only drove mine for like 20 minutes without the brace...I guess maybe if you're pushing really hard in an autox or road course, but that's not why GM put it there. 99% of what GM does is to meet emissions and crash standards...after that it's "what will people want to buy?" and "what nvh will they live with?".

You may very well be right that it makes the car a LITTLE stiffer for cornering, but the design intent of the brace is side impact reinforcement, because without it, the floorpan would buckle very very easily at the tunnel.
Look at it this way. People are spending thousands of dollars, adding stiffer sways, coilovers, and bushings, to make their car handle and corner better. Why would you take off a OEM piece that aids in those depts, especially when it weighs next to nothing.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:57 PM   #23
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Look at it this way. People are spending thousands of dollars, adding stiffer sways, coilovers, and bushings, to make their car handle and corner better. Why would you take off a OEM piece that aids in those depts, especially when it weighs next to nothing.
You're missing my point, I'm not saying to take it off to save weight, I'm saying that it's original design intent is crash protection, not to make the chassis feel better cornering. Maybe it does benefit in that way, all I'm saying is the reason GM put it there is for occupant safety in a side impact.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:08 PM   #24
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Mine has been off for over a year, couldn't tell at all. I highly doubt it adds any stiffness at all except for side impact. I did buy an aftermarket brace to put on this year. Like mentioned before, GM put it there for a reason....so now that I have one that will clear I will be putting it back on. So to answer your question, I drive my car very hard at times and couldn't tell a difference at all. It hasn't hurt anything being off. You never know when an accident will happen (obviously), so that's the main reason my aftermarket one will be going on when I get it out of storeage this year. Hope that helps.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:29 PM   #25
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Yea I solved this problem almost a week ago. This is now an old post. I just got longer, grade 8 bolts and spacers until I can afford to buy an aftermarket one...no longer an issue. Thanks.
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