Here are some pics of the frame bracing I made for the LS. I used some 1 inch square tubing to connect the ends of the frame rails together, front and rear.
The results are startling and fairly impressive. The added benefits I have experienced so far are:
1. Stiffer feel to the entire car. The body seems to make one motion over large bumps, rather than a jiggle feeling without the braces. Directional stability on the highway is improved also. Strange!
2. Quieter interior. Exhaust noise resonance is reduced in the interior. This was the first reason I did the rear brace. I wasn't expecting the other improvements! Squeaks are rattles also disappeared.
Note: The rear bar will quiet noises created by the frame vibrating in response to other noises, but will not quiet a loud exhaust system! If the exhaust is loud, it will still be loud after installing the brace.
3. The steering returns to center better after a turn. The steering already would come back close to center, but now the steering feels a little tighter. I had to re-learn how to drive the car again, even after the big-spindle upgrade. I keep turning in too soon now on hard corners!
Here's a view of the rear brace. It mounts to an existing bumper bolt on either side of the end of the frame rails. I started thinking about the fact that the frame rails are not connected together past where the springs are, kinda like a giant tuning fork! Not good! GM used to build all of their frames with a rear crossmember, but stopped when the last generation came out (even on B bodies).
Here's a view of the front brace. It has to pass through the side walls of area in front of the radiator, but a hole saw went through the plastic real easy! It bolts to the lower, existing bolts that hold the bumper mounts. The center support had to be notched about a quarter inch, also. Again, like the rear, there is no connection between the frame rails in front of the engine crossmember.
Another view of the front brace. The Monte SS has an air box that prevents the installation of my front brace. A lateral brace from a Pontiac Gran Prix will work on the Monte Carlo SS. The normal G-bodies should be similar to the Monte Carlo SC, LS, or CL.
Here's a view of the Jegs differential cover. These can really strengthen the 7.5" housing and has convenient oil drain and fill holes. The 1 inch sway bar is from Suspension Techniques, with a blue powder coat (comes that way). The Dynomax cat back system pipes still look good after over 4 years on the road. Anybody seen a GM rear end that didn't weep oil?!?! The Bilstein shocks are a wonderful addition to the G-Body car.
Comments from some satisfied customers:
Steve Ellis wrote:
I installed the front & rear Frame Braces from Jeff Davidson today.They're
everything he said they were & worth every dime.The whole car feels
tighter,going over bumps are smoother & overall handling is better.Nice
inexpensive suspension mod.Jeff sent them out to me fast & they're black and
stock looking.Thanks again Jeff.Steve in NY
Doug Gulley wrote:
Just to let everyone know, I ordered the frame and the rear seat braces (the
*X* braces on the trunk-side of the back seat) from Jeff Davidson.
Very professionally quality and he's quick to get em out to you. Just
thought I'd pass along another recommendation! Thanks again Jeff!!!
Page made 3-31-2001: Updated 03-04-2003