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Old 06-17-2010, 04:52 PM   #1
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Tunnel Brace

Hey folks. I finally dropped down money on a Solo MachXL exhaust, and from what I've read, there seems to be an issue with using the stock tunnel support brace with aftermarket exhaust systems. Some suggest adding washers, while others go for an aftermarket brace otherwise you will hear a rattle in the rear end of your car.

Can someone point me to these aftermarket braces? I read something about Elite Engineering making one, but haven't found it online. Other suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:58 PM   #2
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Umm.. not sure if the brace is the issue more like the heat shield but check out mtiracing.com they have what your looking for
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:05 PM   #3
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SOLO is going to be a 2.5" exhaust so you should be able to use the factory tunnel brace. The tunnel brace would be needed if you step up to a 3" exhaust.
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by caverman View Post
SOLO is going to be a 2.5" exhaust so you should be able to use the factory tunnel brace. The tunnel brace would be needed if you step up to a 3" exhaust.
Ah, thanks! This was exactly the info I was looking for. I was reading a few people suffering an annoying rattle weeks after adding an aftermarket exhaust, but didn't equate that with a 3" system. Thanks again for the info!
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrE View Post
Ah, thanks! This was exactly the info I was looking for. I was reading a few people suffering an annoying rattle weeks after adding an aftermarket exhaust, but didn't equate that with a 3" system. Thanks again for the info!
hey ed i have a tunnel brace. got mine from BMR havent installed yet gonna do it when i install my coilovers
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:40 PM   #6
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Tunnel brace issue can happen with 2.5'' or 3.0'' aftermarket exhausts. It's usually associated with the addition of long tube headers along with the new catback. The exhaust tends to sag down and make contact with the tunnel brace. Sometimes it will rub or hit the tunnel brace from the very beginning.
When you install the exhaust make sure you provide clearance for the tunnel brace. With my 2.5'' Magnaflow Street catback with Kooks long tubes I had constant issues with the tunnel brace rubbing.

If your exhaust makes contact with the tunnel brace you will know it. If the exhaust is constantly touching it, you'll get a bad drone/vibration noise. If the exhaust has some clearance but not enough, you'll get banging noises going over bumps.

I went with BMR's tunnel brace along with a thick washer to solve the issue for good. Now I have plenty of clearance and no more noises.
There's a lot of good tunnel braces available that provide a lot of additonal clearance (more than BMR's). I chose BMR's because they make great products and their Tunnel brace looks real strong. You can get find good one for about $80.00 or so.
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:51 PM   #7
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You can find elite's here if you end up needing one: eliteengineeringusa.com/Camaro_Tplate.html
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrE View Post
Hey folks. I finally dropped down money on a Solo MachXL exhaust, and from what I've read, there seems to be an issue with using the stock tunnel support brace with aftermarket exhaust systems. Some suggest adding washers, while others go for an aftermarket brace otherwise you will hear a rattle in the rear end of your car.

Can someone point me to these aftermarket braces? I read something about Elite Engineering making one, but haven't found it online. Other suggestions? Thanks!
I have the MACH XL - no problem with interference from the tunnel brace. Just make sure when fitting keep everything reasonably loose, align it, then tighten it. I put a trolley jack under the 'H' pipe for support. I had stock headers for while then just added Kooks headers and CATS -- no issues with either
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:17 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the suggestions. The exhaust should be here next week, and I was trying to head off any issues before they happened. I may still invest in a brace as a "just to be sure" avoidance.

Good information all around.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:24 PM   #10
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Installed my corsa and no problems with sagging pipes. I think you should be ok
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Old 06-18-2010, 04:03 AM   #11
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Mine makes banging noises when I hit bumps and stuff. It did it when I first put on my Borla "S" Type catback exhaust. Took it back and said it's either the tunnel brace or heat shield. Was told it was the tunnel brace. They tightened it up and it stopped. Then a week or so ago it started again. Gonna take it back in.
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Old 06-18-2010, 06:59 AM   #12
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I have the elite engineering tunnle brace and LOVE IT!

http://eliteengineeringusa.com/Camaro_Tplate.html

I did make some steel spacers to drop it down a tad more.
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Old 06-18-2010, 08:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adub4185 View Post
You can find elite's here if you end up needing one: eliteengineeringusa.com/Camaro_Tplate.html
I have the Elite Engineering Tunnel Brace installed on my car and it looks fantastic. Here are couple pictures from Elite's website.

http://www.eliteengineeringusa.com/
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Old 06-18-2010, 08:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I have the elite engineering tunnle brace and LOVE IT!

http://eliteengineeringusa.com/Camaro_Tplate.html

I did make some steel spacers to drop it down a tad more.
What are you running that needed that much clearance? Hopefully it all worked out for you.
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Old 06-18-2010, 09:37 AM   #15
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I just used washers when I added the LT headers. No point in spending money down there for a nice looking aftermarket brace.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:36 PM   #16
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I just used washers when I added the LT headers. No point in spending money down there for a nice looking aftermarket brace.
Yup. I used 3 3/8" washers per bolt. Cost me $1.64 at Home Depot. As much as I want the billet aluminum tunnel brace, I don't have a hundred bucks right now (cause I'm pretty sure I'm going to be buying something else right now. )

But, that $99 brace is by far the best deal I've found on the net. That would be the one I'd go for in a heartbeat.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:02 PM   #17
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The Elite Engineering brace will give you more clearance,I purchased a BMR brace and it gave me the same clearance as a stock brace.If you look at the pic above you can see you will have more clearance,the BMR grace is flat just like your stock brace giving you no extra clearance.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:08 PM   #18
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I have the Spohn brace, hope it works with the BMR subframe connector I just purchased a few minutes ago, other wise it will be up for sale here.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:57 PM   #19
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I'm running the Elite Engineering brace with my 3" Magnaflow system. The clearance is great. The brace is a really nice piece...almost too nice to bolt underneath the car!
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:30 PM   #20
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or you could just buy an MBRP, it comes with a new tunnel brace that gives more clearance.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:10 PM   #21
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Save yourself the $100, better yet, send me the $100

When installing the new exhaust, put some cardboard on the tunnel brace (about 1/2" - 3/4" thick). Lay the new pipes on the cardboard. Finish installing the rest of the exhaust system and tighten all of the clamps. Now remove the cardboard you placed on the tunnel brace, you now have 1/2" - 3/4" clearance between the pipes and tunnel brace. You can add 1 or 2 3/8" washers between the brace and underbody if you still need more clearance.
Problem solved.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:30 PM   #22
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Save yourself the $100, better yet, send me the $100

When installing the new exhaust, put some cardboard on the tunnel brace (about 1/2" - 3/4" thick). Lay the new pipes on the cardboard. Finish installing the rest of the exhaust system and tighten all of the clamps. Now remove the cardboard you placed on the tunnel brace, you now have 1/2" - 3/4" clearance between the pipes and tunnel brace. You can add 1 or 2 3/8" washers between the brace and underbody if you still need more clearance.
Problem solved.
For me that wasnt enough room. I had over 1" of clearance and still the resonator would slam into the brace when I hit certain bumps in the road.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:34 PM   #23
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I have noweed diverters and my exhaust basically sits on tunnel brace and I dont know why because the pipes are stock. I guess cutting original and making so many different connection points made the exhaust sag. Dont know what to do.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:43 PM   #24
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Mines vibrating now.

First I'll see about raising it without messing with the brace. If that doesn't work, I'll use washers. I see no reason to buy a new one.

When I installed mine, I let it rest on the brace when I was assembling the exhaust underneath the car and fogot to lift it off when I tightened the clamps.

It's gotten worse and worse ever since the install. Easy fix either way.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:28 PM   #25
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I took a coupler for aftermarket turbo pipes or cai and wraped it with exhaust wrap and sandwiched it in between the tunnel brace and motel and as I tightend up the brace bolts it actually pushed the exhaust upward as it mashed down on couple creating a tight fit but keeping it off the brace!!! Works for now. I had plenty of time to be creative since I now have my new set of race ramps!
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