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Chassis stiffening, chassis gussets and giving thanks

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    Chassis stiffening, chassis gussets and giving thanks

    Chassis Stiffening
    Chassis and suspensions gussets.
    Going back to my teenage years and playing gran turismo I was always enjoyed upgrading the cars and seeing what upgrades did what. I was really interested in the section of chassis stiffening and lightening packaged stage 1,2,&3.
    Growing up and now with a real car it's been quite fun doing these modifications to my personal car and driving and seeing the fruit of my labor.

    Over the years I have met and collaborated with some great people. Thankfully they have been willing to share there knowledge with me.

    First off is Ron Jones (Rongineer)
    I frequently go to Barnes and Noble and read car magazines early in the month when they release the current issue. Several times I noticed a clean BMW red m6. One day I noticed the owner walking up to it and introduced myself and we striked up a conversation ends up he was there for the same reason, goes in reads car magazines for a while every month. He showed me his m6 and he had done euro m6 headers and a maf conversion. He was definitely a BMW car enthusiasts. We exchange numbers and a few weeks later we end up using my car as a Guinea pig for some prototype parts he was making.
    We ended up installing this sexy rear chassis shock tower brace

    It uses factory holes in the parcel shelf with rivnuts inserted in the holes.


    Next up is Kartek Chander
    I met Kartek through a local BMW shop and I helped him strip down 2 e30m3's that he was preparing for paint in exchange I got a lot of m3 specific goodies. One of them was this Sparco strut tower bar.
    It fits nicely
    The round shape on the bar has a larger diameter then the BMW at strut tower lip unlike other competitors products also doesn't hit the intake manifold.


    Next is Matt Ibrahim at Garagisitic
    I met Matt at school and through a mutual friend maybe 7 years ago now.
    We have worked together on many projects including the odometer gears and have attended several driving events together.
    One of his projects was the black e30 shop car that got the BMW V8 m60 engine swap. With that swap it requires BMW X5 headers and with those headers this X brace no longer fit. So I got this for nearly nothing.
    This is the second generation of the X brace and clears everything fine including lollipop bushings with offset hole.

    I Would like to upgrade to a Garagistic X brace soon ;)


    Next up is John Hickerson
    John fabricated my skid plate he also did the install.
    You can purchase it here
    http://hikfabrication.com/arvixe/Ski...2-m52-s14.html
    In ties in both frame rails and gives the skid plate a solid place to bolt to.
    At turn 13 at autoclub speedway I was going in to fast and instead of trying to drift or correct it I drove on purpose straight into the turn and hit the skid plate on the curbing at a easy 50 mph maybe less no issue at all and kept on going. With out the skid plate it would have ruined the oil pan and ended my day.





    On Matt Ibrahim's Garagistic shop car with the v8 there was a concern for the torque of the motor of tearing things apart. One upgrade Matt did was weld gussets on the rear subframe. I really liked the idea and made my own. I made them so the hole in the gusset is large than the hole in the subframe so it wouldn't increase the difficulty of aligning a bolt while installing the differential. Another reason was because I used the akg bushings that are 10 mm lower. Because of that mod I have to run 10mm spacers between the subframe and diff. In my opinion this can add stress to those 4 little contact points.
    Long term goal for this car is an s54 swap so the extra reinforcement will help down the road also.

    I'd like to thank my boss
    Jeff Bennet for teaching me more about tig welding and allowing me to use his equipment to weld my front and rear subframe gussets.

    He did one on the rear while I watched closely and then he showed me his hand movement pattern to get a nice stitch bead.












    Also did a gusset on the trailing arm sway bar mount.


    All done ready to bolt back in.



    Sanding the front gussets to get them to fit nice and tight before welding



    Sway bar gusset


    Motor mount boxed in


    For the front struts I fabricated a gusset that goes in between the knuckle and the strut tube to keep it from bending when running sticky r compound tires.


    Welded a m3 style sway bar tabs to the strut housings




    Stiffened chassis will now work even better with some sway bars!

    This is a e30 convertible sway bar that I had powdercoated
    It's now being used with long end links



    Powdercoated rear bar makes it stiffer right?


    New springs for the front
    6 inch length 2.5 Id 450lbs


    Hyper coil helper springs with some custom machined adapter that I made.


    Ground control race camber caster plates


    All installed


    Ground control Rear tall rear shock mounts

    Installed With hypercoil 600lb rear springs


    And the last piece to tie it all together a nicely made custom cage built
    By John Hickerson
    you can contact and purchase one here
    http://hikfabrication.com/arvixe/Rol...ace-track.html
    I expressed everything I wanted where I wanted certain tubes to be and John delivered.
    It's all one piece and fits snugly along the b pillar and the roof and has the harness bar at a proper height for a Hanns device and the rear down bars are one piece.
    All painted satin black and tig welded to perfection.




    Out in the canyons of la for some fun

    My car on the left and Simon (2man) in front of mine




    My best advice is do your research ask for rides with people who have a setup similar to what you want save your money and do it right and proper the first time.
    Last edited by iwantspeed; 12-08-2015, 11:24 AM.


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    #2
    Good stuff! What seats are you using?
    Originally posted by kronus
    would be in depending on tip slant and tube size

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      #3
      Your car looks like a prime example of how to do things the correct way. Love your build
      SO MUCH MORE TO DO!!
      IG: ohthejosh

      LEGIT CHECK ME BRUH
      BUYER FEEDBACK THREAD

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        #4
        Woah, looks really good! Love your attention to detail.
        Instagram:@e30_henry :D

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          #5
          This car looks real nice in person. Good stuff in here.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by agent View Post
            Good stuff! What seats are you using?
            Recaro Spg
            Originally posted by ohthejosh View Post
            Your car looks like a prime example of how to do things the correct way. Love your build
            Thank you
            Originally posted by PogiMonster View Post
            Woah, looks really good! Love your attention to detail.
            Thanks
            Originally posted by efficient View Post
            This car looks real nice in person. Good stuff in here.
            Thanks juan


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              #7
              Has anyone measured how much front strut towers deflect under maximum side load? I have. And I don't plan on making a strut brace.

              The purpose of that rear strut brace eludes me. Atleast connecting them to one another. Rear struts transmit only vertical forces.

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                #8
                Originally posted by petrolhead View Post
                Has anyone measured how much front strut towers deflect under maximum side load? I have. And I don't plan on making a strut brace.

                The purpose of that rear strut brace eludes me. Atleast connecting them to one another. Rear struts transmit only vertical forces.
                i have seen a few of these get bent at shop that works on spec e30's its way easier to just fix this before it becomes a problem then after.
                i doubt i could drive my car hard enough to bend this but i sure dont want to find out


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                  #9
                  so are you going to sign up to the Big Willow event on Jan 16 that the Alfa club is putting on?
                  Simon
                  Current Car:
                  -2000 330i Estate, the dad-mobile
                  -2002 MR2 Spyder, the solo-mobile



                  Make R3V Great Again -2020

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                    #10
                    I love the way you took care of your rear seat. Great job overall!
                    Hank Ahrens
                    1984 Alpine Coupe
                    1978 911sc

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                      #11
                      You need to get the cabrio reinforcements in there under the fenders and the ones between the strut tower and skirt. The front of these cars are so weak

                      I haven't done a set yet but I know they will make a big difference
                      We're out there in here.

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                        #12
                        very nice!
                        '89 325i OBD2 S52 BUILD THREAD
                        Shadetree30

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                          #13
                          Awesome, chassis stiffening really pays off. I've done everything you have except the half cage, though my car still has the chassis rigidity of a wet piece of Charmin

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by BUDNUNTA View Post
                            You need to get the cabrio reinforcements in there under the fenders and the ones between the strut tower and skirt. The front of these cars are so weak

                            I haven't done a set yet but I know they will make a big difference
                            I somewhat agree with this. Vertical loads are an order of magnitude higher than lateral, on the strut towers. E30s lack a triangular'ish support from A-pillar lower section to strut/enginebay side rail. Google a picture of E36 or 34 without fender and you'll see what I'm getting at. I made supports bit like that on my car.

                            I didn't bother making those sheet metal square shaped reinforcements to struts, that you see in a cabrio enginebay. I found that while under lateral force, the strut tower and side rail deflect an equal amount so no point joining them together? I'll have admit I'm confused as to why cabrios have them.
                            PS.. an E30 cabrio has many other worthwhile reinforcements that a sedan lacks. If you know where to look.

                            -Jarno

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                              #15
                              love the roll bar, I want something similar in my sedan in the future. would you mind posting a photo of the circled mounting area. I noticed you have it bolted in vs welded I was worried the wheel well area was maybe too thin of an area for the bolts. TIA

                              89 325i 4dr s52
                              02 BMW 525iT m54b30/manual swapped (daily)
                              15' Honda Grom

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