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Old 04-17-2010, 02:06 PM   #1
se7en

 
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Im Stuck!! BMR Sub-Frame Connectors or Hotchkis Brace

Im torn between the two!!!

I like Hotchkis, but when it comes to Sub-Frame connectors it just seems like BMR's type connects better.

Please give your opinions.....

Vendors, please explain why your product (what type of material...ect) is better and why it will stabilize everything better.

Any advise would be much appreciated.

Does anyone have pics of either one installed and can give their 2cents?
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Old 04-17-2010, 02:47 PM   #2
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I (and everyone else in the industry) get asked, "What is the best ______?" all the time. All products have advantages and disadvantages over their rivals. The Hotchkis has feature I like over the BMR, and the BMR has features I like over the Hotchkis. They are both great products. In the end both of them are WAY better than stock and unless your last name is Hubinette or Schumacher you probably will never get close to driving your vehicle in a manner in which the limits of any suspension product will come into play.

In a nut shell, either one would be a great choice that I think you will be happy with.
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:55 PM   #3
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Neither. I got the Pfadt solid subframe bushings. Far lighter and more effective than a brace. Getting them installed next week with rear toe links. Already put in KW V3 coilovers, Pfadt f&r sway bars, end links and rear trailing arms. Corners flat and on rails. Loving it. Can't wait to get the solid bushings in.
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:24 AM   #4
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Ive already bought Pfadt Sway Bars, Pfadt Trailing Arms and Pedders Coilovers. They are not installed yet, but i know once they are, i will be very pleased with the results.

I saw the Pfadt Solid subframe bushings, but i guess i need to do some more research on them. To me it doesn't tie the whole system together very well, but i just glanced over them. Going to look into them now. Thanks
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:24 AM   #5
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I installed my BMR connectors yesterday, along with rear trailing arms, toe links and driveshaft tunnel brace. You are right, bws_82. The BMR parts connect just fine. In fact, I had planned to have someone help me at least hold the connectors while I got all the bolts in but I was able to do it by myself. All the hardware comes with and it is all bolt on. In fact, I ordered all my parts at once from Speed Inc. in Schaumburg Il. and got a little better price with free shipping direct from BMR.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:41 AM   #6
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Here is a good video and explanation of the Hotchkis brace and why I went with it. Pay particular attention to the subframe bushings and the part about what really moves and what doesn't. Also there is mention of the bushings being allowed to move some which allows for better NVH levels...

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showth...&highlight=bmr

it's near the bottom of the thread...
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:35 AM   #7
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So much to do Trailing arms going in next week. KW V3s in, but need spacers for the front wheels since they don't clear the springs.

Haven't had a chance to put her through some paces yet; still waiting to get her back from Stillen ;(

Bushings next - if I can figure where to start.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:37 PM   #8
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Thanks Michael_JS for the pics!!
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:07 PM   #9
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looks to be a wheel ramp in the driveway type install...correct? I may be interested if I don't have to use a lift. LOL
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Old 04-18-2010, 04:24 PM   #10
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For the Hotchkis install, yes - just up on ramps

Like this:

Ok, not like that - actually the other way around!
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bws_82 View Post
Im torn between the two!!!

I like Hotchkis, but when it comes to Sub-Frame connectors it just seems like BMR's type connects better.

Please give your opinions.....

Vendors, please explain why your product (what type of material...ect) is better and why it will stabilize everything better.

Any advise would be much appreciated.

Does anyone have pics of either one installed and can give their 2cents?
I apologize for taking so long to reply. We just returned from Camaro 5 Fest. What a blast!!

The BMR subframe connector connects the front subframe to the driveshaft tunnel to the rear subframe.

The best way to stiffen the chassis is to connect the subframe connector from one solid point (front subframe) to another solid point (rear subframe). Even better if you can connect to a 3rd solid point (driveshaft tunnel).

The best way to stiffen the rear cradle is to replace all 4 of the stock rubber bushings with 4 stiffer polyurethane bushings. The BMR sub-frame connector does not attach to the rear cradle because this will not significantly dampen the 2 back rubber bushings.

By the way, the BMR piece is $150-$200 less expensive as well.

BMR will be releasing our polyurethane Rear Cradle Bushings in 2-3 weeks.
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:26 AM   #12
se7en

 
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Thanks again for the Responses!! Sure is helping.

BMR your system is cheaper, but to connect to all 3 points wont i also have to buy your tunnel brace?
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bws_82 View Post
Thanks again for the Responses!! Sure is helping.

BMR your system is cheaper, but to connect to all 3 points wont i also have to buy your tunnel brace?
Yes, the tunnel brace does make the final connection between the two connectors...AND our system is "less expensive", not "cheaper"
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:48 AM   #14
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I'm interested in learning more about the bushings. I have been planning on doing SFCs but some newer developments have come up where I am starting to question the need. It seems like almost everyone says the chassis is super-stiff, and it's quite obvious those cradle bushings are really soft, so I know, for sure, those are going bye-bye. As much as the ones that I'm looking at are, I'm really reconsidering SFCs. It'd be nice to find qualitive data that will actually so the benefit of the SFCs, even after replacing the bushings. To me, I just don't know if the money it would cost to replace BOTH is going to be there and even if, whether-or-not it's going to really be worth it to do both. I'm sure for a car that's going to a track a lot, SFCs are going to help, for a street car, that might see some Test-and-Tune action, or just some fun hot laps, maybe it's not totally necessary. I'll tell you that I've seen some FAST 4th Gens, that didn't have SFCs, that really twisted so I'm not taking ANYTHING away from either of these companies (please don't misunderstand). I have used products from BOTH companies and will likely go back, but seeing is believing

Respectfully...
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:49 PM   #15
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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, 03:41 PM   #16
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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, 05:16 PM   #17
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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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