WANTED: TiC GD X-Brace
A rear X-brace is something that I’ve always been interested in. The Turn in Concept piece looks extremely solid and robust. Unfortunately it does look a little heavy and takes up a good amount of the rear pass through for my car. I’ve noticed that my car is not rotating as well as I would like it to at my last track day and stumbled upon this MotoIQ article about the TiC X-brace.
The benefits of this brace seem impressive. You can see how much the body flexes in this video:
It does seem like the rear end of the GD chassis squirms around a lot under stress. The only downsides then are that I would lose so much of my pass-through as well as so much of my money. At $450, the TiC Rear X-brace is quite pricey.
Since the force on this brace is actually a pulling force, the folks over at Litespeed have actually made a three pound solution. Their rear chassis bridge is a mere $125, and from online and my personal friend’s reviews this option seems just as viable.
Eric Noble, designer of the X-Brace, is on record as saying you could duplicate the function of the X-Brace with cables. That and his video, almost identical to Dan’s, convinced me he was right — so I did.
If you look at the video, what you see is the top of the rear chassis moving laterally a greater distance than the bottom which of course is chassis flex and part of what makes up body roll. Since this can only happen in one direction at a time as you turn, you don’t necessarily need a fully rigid brace to counteract the motion. I have read the criticism that you “can’t push a rope” which while true shows absolutely zero knowledge of the physics involved here because all we’re trying to do is allow the bottom of the chassis to get a tighter hold on the opposite side top of the chassis. This is a pulling force and obviously not a pushing force so a cable situation works just fine.
Now, as far as initial tension of the cables, they don’t need to be gorilla tight to try and pull the strut tops together. The goal is to limit the lateral twisting motion of the chassis only when turning, so the turnbuckle is initially adjusted to “taut” (I say about as tight as an alternator belt in the install instructions, with a bit of deflection left in them), so when you turn, that small amount of slack is immediately taken up and resisted by the cable/turnbuckle.
Does it work, yes it definitely limits the chassis flex in the rear. I’ve always meant to make a video but just haven’t gotten around to it due to being busy, but I have a lot customers that agree. Does it work as well as the X-Brace? I couldn’t say for sure because I’ve never been willing to pay even used prices for one, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the X-Brace felt tighter. After all, it does limit the very small amount of vertical flex that may be present too, but I doubt it makes an enormous difference. — Litespeed
I am most likely going to pick up a Litespeed rear chassis bridge because of the weight and the price. As Bob Barker always said, “The price is right, bobby!”
I’ll post a review once I get and install one!